Fire Island Update: In Praise of Sayville


Photo by Will Tung

A pal and I went to Fire Island the other day, but it wasn’t as electrifying an experience as usual. I was only getting about three quarters as much attention as in past visits, plus I hate the sun, the beach, the wooden planks, the diseased deer, the drugs, and the sight of imperfect, hairy flesh hanging out of Speedos. (And I’m talking about the women.) So we took the ferry back to Sayville and, before making the connection to the train home, we actually walked around the place. And it turns out it’s not horrible! There are super reasonable thrift shops, some perfectly respectable restaurants, and even a movie cineplex. After spending time on the island, where the only culture is a drag queen imitating Britney’s breakdown as Donna Summer records drown her out from the club next door, it’s nice to actually immerse yourself in a work of cinema, even if it’s just Hancock or half of Get Smart. Could Sayville become a destination in itself? A sane alternative to the Hamptons, where you can shop and people-watch without feeling your cerebellum rot and your nose itch? Quite possibly. And at least you get a regular view of gay life there when you spot the vans of queers racing by to get to the ferry!