Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Gallery: The lesser known Long Island






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.

19 comments:

Mud in the City said...

Stunning, simply stunning, and a great reminder to look beyond the obvious!

Dumdad said...

It looks wonderful. But wonderful usually means loads of money as well!

Menna said...

Look at the colour of that sand!
Beautiful.

Calif Lorna said...

The beaches look so beautiful, love the white sand.

PantsWithNames said...

Love beaches when no one else is there. I know nothing about Long Island - lucky you to live there for a few years! Quite a difference to Nappy Valley!

MrsW said...

Wow - beautiful coastline and completely unexpected with my limited knowledge of the area - it's a bit like the gorgeous Georgia coast - if you're not from there you don't really hear about it!

Belgravia wife - sort of said...

I have always had a Long Island / Clam Chowder / Great Gatsby idyllic view of this part of the US - I've been to most states and lived in California but never been to Long Island - these photos bring my mental images to life - lovely, thank you xx

Gone Back South said...

Hello again! Just read your party rant piece - I do sympathise - arranging children's parties is not my favourite occupation.

Potty Mummy said...

Lovely NVG, just lovely (the writing AND the pictures...)

Pond Parleys said...

If you're going to do suburbia, that's the place to be!

Mirka said...

Love the sandy beach ;)

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

I love it NVG, it hits so close to home and you did a fab job describing LI.

I'm also from the North Shore and much prefer the good old North Fork to the Hamptons when venturing out East. In fact I stayed in some cottages close to Orient Point with my friends after our high school prom (yes, very "American")and it was across the street from the beach, not crowded and just bliss. I've since taken Chris out there a few times, including in December when it's particularly serene and stunning like you experienced it.

Not sure if you have ever been to Caumsett Park but I would suggest that too. x

A Modern Mother said...

Is that snow or sand?

nappy valley girl said...

The second picture is in fact snow - not sand. The whole beach at that point was frozen, and part of the sea.

Tanya, I have been to Caumsett Park - it's beautiful.

geekymummy said...

Gorgeous! I love the snow on the beach.

Iota said...

Oh, fantastic. I wonder if you're going to stay there, and not go back to London...

I posted about the beach today, in rather similar vein actually, as a guest blog.

Sonya said...

Hi NVG,

I'm your new sort-of neighbour across the Long Island Sound. I've just moved to the Connecticut shoreline. I haven't been as lucky as you to find a lovely home, I just have a series of temporary houses so far, but I love the beaches and the view across to LI!

Great Pics. If I ever get around to creating a blog I'll post some pictures from the other side.

Cheers,

Kate said...

Beaches - how I miss them! I live on a desert island in the middle of the Arabian Gulf (literally) and yet we do not have a decent beach. Yours are spectacular.

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

it looks lovely. What an elusive allure beaches have. They seem to work their magic on everyone