11 March, 2009

What Is Long Island Style?

While images and perceptions have definitely changed regarding Long Island (for the most part positively), some things remain the same. Here is a great excerpt from an essay written by Susan Isaacs for the New York Times in 1998.

"So what is Long Island style? A mix of gritty urban ethnicity, garden club manners and middle-American taste. We still take our cue from New York City: Socially, most of the Island is a verdant improvisation on Brooklyn and Queens, while the non-agricultural world of the South Fork takes its cue more from modish Manhattan. (Manhattan-domiciled Hamptons homeowners weigh fifteen pounds less per capita than other Long Islanders. However, to view that area solely as a chic playground for wolves of Wall Street and media darlings is an error. Like the borough to which it perpetually correlates, the Hamptons are made up of many worlds in which everyone aspires to be a hotshot. Each weekend, there are gatherings of the glitterati of endodontia, the jet set of the bankruptcy bar, the intelligentsia of preteen sportswear...Long Island is literally, an extension of New York City. Like that great, gray city, it tolerates a wide range of styles and behavior. No, it is not the East Village, but neither does it force its residents into one particular mode of behavior. I have heard that the garden maven-Gold Coast socialite C.Z. Guest has as neighbors the novelist Victoria Gotti and the raconteur Howard Stern. While such a mingling delights me, it does not surprise me. It truly exemplifies the Long Island lifestyle, albeit the high-rent version. Guest and Gotti and Stern, like us, have the freedom not only to pursue an American dream, but to make that dream a distinctly personal vision — one that does not break faith with the past." (http://www.susanisaacs.com/bib/long_island.php)

Ah, Home Sweet Home.

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