Ocean Beach – The Village Awakens

by Kevin Lowry

Ask me in July what my favorite time of year is in Ocean Beach and I will probably say summer. In September, my answer will very likely be fall. But truthfully, the most exciting time to be in Ocean Beach is the spring when the Village is rubbing the sleep from its eyes and taking a big morning stretch. As we emerge from hibernation, I meander about town surveying the latest renovations.

Oh look, the neighbors put in a new pool, I hope they invite me over! I see Mitch Goldberg raised the roof on the Montronys’ place. Everyone I meet knows my name because it’s just us locals out here this time of year. The time of year when we venture downtown to sample the local cuisine as the restaurant doors begin to open.

Chris Forget down at the freight house knows this time of year keeps them hopping. Sure, the construction material is still coming in, but now the homeowners have begun importing their appliances and furnishings. It’s like a whole new industry has sprung. Same goes for the post office.

But there is also a softer side to spring in Ocean Beach. A more peaceful side. Song birds have begun prophesying each and every sunrise. Tulips are splashing color on winter’s browned canvas. Seniors can actually get a seat in the senior waiting area at the ferry terminal. There is an undeniable spirituality on the beach – the water is still too cold to swim, the striped bass have not yet lured the fishermen and if the wind is right, you can lose yourself in sun-warmed meditation.

Certainly the contractors are scrambling to complete their work before July, but the rest of us are basking in the serenity of the season. The summer time happy hours are drawing near and we look forward to that, but for now, for these precious and fleeting moments, we reminisce and in essence, relive the bygone days of Fire Island.

I do relish these days in April and May when the only music is the symphony of the creatures of the beach and the thunder of the night. Even the noon siren from the Midway firehouse seems to be less intrusive in the spring. Chief Levine says that’s because I’m losing my hearing.

Spring also brings the electricity of local elections. This year we have five impressive candidates vying for two positions on the Board of Trustees. It makes me proud to see the level of commitment and dedication exhibited by those who pursue this often thankless office simply because of their love for our village and their aim to improve our already idyllic lifestyle.

Ocean Beach - Police Chief George Hesse with daughter Megan, Police Academy graduate

OBPD Police Chief George Hesse with daughter Megan, Police Academy graduate and now on the force.

These political contestants are jockeying for an opportunity to work long hours away from family and away from so much of what we have all come here for, just to keep this dream alive for all of us and our grandchildren. We must commend them all for their passion.

And speaking of venturing downtown, don’t miss the first annual Taste of Ocean Beach fundraiser organized by the Ocean Beach Community Fund for the benefit of the Ocean Beach Recreational program on June 3. from 12:30 to 4 p.m. For $50 you will get a drink and an app at each of 12 different restaurants in town. Leave your bikes at home.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

And when you see Rob Cavaleri (formerly Rob Weber of CJ’s, but now the OB post office), be sure to give up a high five. On Valentine’s Day, Rob and his lovely new bride Cory gave birth to their son, Dex Carsen. WOW, what a name.

Another proud dad in town this spring is OBPD Chief Hess. His daughter Megan graduated from the police academy on April 28, and joined the ranks of the OBPD Blue Bloods of Suffolk County.

 Finally, there is a movement afoot to initiate a weekly drum circle at the gazebo by Village Hall. Please contact me on Facebook if you are interested.