OCEAN BAY PARK: A Seat at The Table

Welcome to Ocean Bay Park – Jim Leichtung
Jim Leichtung Welcomes to Ocean Bay Park.
Photo Barbara Gaby Placilla.

There is something almost diabolical about the summer solstice. All winter we long for that day in June when the sun travels the longest path through the sky and that day has the most daylight. It’s our reward after a long winter and a signal that summer has really begun. But then, the day after, the process reverses, and the days gradually get shorter. But we are blessed to be on Fire Island and what could be better? It’s all the more reason not to waste a second and have a great time.

Now that it’s July, it’s time for the annual “Where in the World is Carmen Santiago, aka Rachelle King Bascom?” This time, the New York City public school art teacher is off to Southeast Asia, first stopping in Tokyo before traveling to Thailand and Malaysia. Her summer adventures will inspire her students’ projects this fall. My guilty pleasure is traveling vicariously through her.

It was a nice surprise to see the new Ocean Bay Park welcome banners down at the ferry dock. It seems the “beautification elves” have been busy working their magic. The Ocean Bay Park Association has installed new signage at the cross-over beachside steps. These signs are vital to safety on the beach. When my grandchildren were little, one of the first things I taught them about OBP was to know the name of the street they were on if they got lost on the beach. We may take it for granted, but visitors are not always aware of this, so keeping these signs fresh is important.

OBPA President Karen Kee and Vice President Steven Jaffe have met with Colonel Alexander Young and his team at the Army Corps of Engineers in preparation for the upcoming federally funded emergency repair of the east end of Fire Island. This project is slated to begin in the fall. Thanks to their diligence, perseverance, and work with FIA, we have a seat at the table, as FIA President Suzie Goldhirsch would say. Plans are being implemented for the 100% federally funded project. Their efforts have already resulted in the emergency restoration of the vehicle crossover at Seneca Street, the primary access point for first responders to the east end of Fire Island.

The OBP Community Events Committee presents the second annual 2024 Art, House and Garden tour on Saturday, July 13. This was a huge success last year. Tickets, which include lunch at Schooner, can be ordered via obpcommunityfun@gmail.com.

The Ocean Bay Park Fire Department’s annual July 4th barbecue is scheduled for Saturday, July 6, so I will report on the festivities and the Point ‘o Woods fireworks in my next column.

To quote Miley Cyrus, “It’s a party in the USA” – Happy Birthday, America!