I don't know how much those outside of New York know about Long Island. I didn't know much before I came here; I'd heard of the Hamptons, Long Island Iced Tea and recalled a few lyrics from Billy Joel songs about the Island (he hails from here and is a massive local hero).
The island is appropriately named -it's over 100 miles long. At the New York end sit the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens; JFK and La Guardia airports are both on Long Island, as is Coney Island. The South shore consists mainly of endless long, white sand beaches, including the Fire Island barrier island, famous as a summer hippy hangout, while the North Shore (where we live) is more wooded and hilly, with little coves and inlets.
At the far end, the island divides into two forks, the North and South forks. The South is where the Hamptons are situated, with their exclusive beachfront mansions, expensive restaurants and chichi boutiques. I'm sure they are lovely, but you really have to have an awful lot of money to live there - and the traffic, in the summer, is hellish, as a combination of New York weekenders and summer tourists crowd the tiny roads.
These pictures were taken at the very end of the North Fork; Orient Point. The North fork is much quieter but just as beautiful in a wild and less populated way. There are vineyards, farmhouses and farm stands by the roadside. On an ice cold January day, the sea (and part of the beach) was still frozen and we were the only people there. The shore is lined with red cedars, a particularly unusual protected species; the views of Long Island Sound over to the Connecticut shore are fantastic. The light was amazing; it is no surprise that the area is famous for artists.
So, while I'd love to experience hanging out in the Hamptons, I think I'd choose the North Fork if I had the money to buy a house out here. And I'd come here in the winter, just as much as the summer, and have the beach all to myself.
This post is for The Gallery; the prompt this week was The world Around Us.