Another potential casualty? Diversity. Fire Island has drawn a more diverse mix in recent years, but the virus appears to be setting that back this summer.
“I think traditionally the Pines’s reputation was that it was predominantly for white muscle boys,” said Faris Al-Shathir, 38, a founder of Boffo, a nonprofit that held an arts festival in the Pines focused on inclusivity. (This year’s festival is canceled.) “There’s a lot more acceptance now of gender diversity, a bigger trans population, and, although it’s still very white, noticeably more brown and black bodies.”
With fewer weekenders and day-trippers, at least until the amenities open up, this summer may resemble the more privileged 1970s, when people like Calvin Klein and David Geffen would spend the season on Fire Island and dinner parties reigned supreme.
“You rented a house for the summer and it was a totally different environment,” said Mr. Howard, the broker, who describes it as the era of the velvet mafia.
While homeowners are settling in for the long haul, the outlook for guesthouses relying on short stays is bleak, in part because meals from restaurants are hard to come by. At the clothing-optional Belvedere Guest House on Cherry Grove, now one of the few black-owned businesses on the island, only two out of 38 rooms were booked in early June when it reopened. “If people can’t go out to eat anywhere, being open isn’t going to do much,” said Julian Dorcelien, 48, the owner.
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/06/style/is-the-party-over-on-fire-island.html