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Monday, June 9, 2008

Summering with Gatsby

Photo by myself at the Ram's End Inn, on Shelter Island.

A long table with place settings was prepared for a civilized luncheon.


Over the weekend, Mark and I went to a party thrown by one of his work associates, in celebration of her tenth wedding anniversary.

The theme was 'The Great Gatsby', and the setting was gorgeous. If you remember the book, Gatsby was set in West Egg, a fictional wealthy summer playground for New Yorkers. Guests were encouraged to come in 1920's garb.

The party was held at The Ram's Head Inn which looks like a large, old cottage, nestled among lawns, gardens and tennis courts. The Inn is located on Shelter Island, a small island off the northern part of Long Island. To get there by car, we had to board a car ferry.

Mark and I were overwhelmed by the drive up - there are wineries, farms and pretty shingle style summer houses. Long winding roads were shaded by trees, and at times you could see the glimmer of the ocean through the greenery.

Summer Lawn

With the heat and humidity, Mark and I motored along with the windows down most of the time, until it became absolutely unbearable. What struck us the most was that there was no 'scene'. There was no swarm of fashionable people, just peaceful quiet and the unmistakable smell of flowers. We were in the country, and it was beautiful.

I must have gotten carried away with the sangria and chit chat - almost none of my photos show people, and many were blurry. I was woefully underdressed, not having given much thought to the occasion. Some of the women wore nice dresses, a couple sporting hats. One fella wore a seersucker suit (!).

In the end, I had a good time. After lunch, many of us drove to a nearby beach to wade and lie about. Both Mark and I were so naturally tired at the end of the day, we stumbled back to our motel and slept deeply.

Sunday morning, we got up to motor around and admire all the beautiful houses. Then we bought some delicious fresh produce and a homemade blueberry pie at a farmhouse stand, and made the long, hot, drive back to the city.

Party End

Day trips are easily accessible destinations just outside the five boroughs of New York City.

Related posts: Life's a Beach, Mission Suspended and Giving Thanks.


roentarre said...

I always have soft spot for restaurant photo. Great shot and it does look expensive!

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is a beautiful setting. I liken this to places I have been when we were younger. Your photograph is really nice.

Patrizia said...

Nice setting and nice place. I could almost feel the heat reading your description ...

By the way, I just read your profile: my husband is an architect too.

Kitty said...

Hi James
Thanks. The food was pretty fine!

Hi Mr Lincoln
There's something very Southern about a veranda and white linens. Maybe that's it?

Hi Patrizia
How neat? My regards to your husband!

Susu said...

How Anne of Green Gables-like setting. So swell! You can almost sense the delicate odor of early summer flowers from your pics, maybe that's why you say they are blurry - just sedated by flora!

Jenn said...

Some of the descriptions that made an impression on me while reading the "Great Gatsby" were the long hot drives from West Egg into the city, so it sounds like you experienced a "Gatsby" weekend from a couple of different angles.

Olivier said...

je ne connais pas 'Long Island' mais tes photos donnent envie de faire une promenade a ma prochaine visite. Je trouve que cela ressemble beaucoup (la mer en moins) au quartier de Wave Hill dans le Bronx.

I do not know 'Long Island' but your pictures make you want to take a walk to my next visit. I think it is very similar (minus the Sea) area of Wave Hill in the Bronx.

Fredrik said...

Sounds like a nice trip altoghether!

Ha Ha Sound said...

I'm jealous. This seems like a perfect summer weekend. Glad you had fun!!

Tammy said...

I was hoping to see photos of you dressed up in costume. :o(

Eva said...

Aww, I'd LOVE to have a porch like that.

Your weekend sounds like a dream! I'm glad you enjoyed the party, and from your photos, it looks like you where surrounded by beautiful scenery.
(But as you know, I'm a country girl at heart and I will always be biased when it comes to country scenery ;-)

babooshka said...

I think you captured the Great Gatsby perfectly with a little Agatha Christie thrown in. Lovely image.

• Eliane • said...

Lovely setting. And I can totally picture a guy in a seersucker suit there.

Dana said...

thanks for sharing so we can live vicarously through you!

Spandrel Studios said...

The veranda and tables look so lovely - what gracious living!

There's nothing like some white Adirondack chairs to make you realize it's summertime!

Kitty said...

Hi Susu
I was seriously contemplating bottling the smell around us, it was so hypnotic and full. It's like everything was one giant blossom and we had our noses in it.

Hi Jenn
I loved that book, and now that you mention some of the scenes, I want to go back and reread it.

Hi Olivier
I've heard wonderful things about Wave Hill but I've never been.

Long Island requires the Long Island Rail Road rather than the subway. It's not too complicated, but definitely requires research beforehand so you don't wind up in the middle of nowhere.

Thanks Fredrik!

Hi Ha Ha
Hope you get out of the city this summer!

Sorry Tammy. I'm a bit camera shy. I'll have to figure out other ways of representing myself, lol.

Hi Eva
Speaking of nature, I forgot to mention the many rabbits and deer we ran into. At one pt we spied a male and female deer having their dinner. It was a nice moment.

Thank you Babooshka!

Hi Elaine
I wish I had a decent photo of him, but no. He claimed that seersucker was a very cool fabric. Though crumpled, it looked great.

Thanks Dana!

Hi Spandrel
I completely agree. I love those chairs, perhaps because they spread themselves out so. They look like they're enjoying the weather, too

Reluctant Blogger said...

oh wow, that looks unreal. Really fab. I never seem to get invited to parties like that and yet i would love to be.

sonia a.m. said...

What a nice place! Very chic!

Ming the Merciless said...

Kitty, are you guys considering buying a summer home there? :-)

Can we come and visit? I'll bring lots of beer.

Kitty said...

How about throwing a Gatsby party over thereabouts? It'd be such a cool thing to be the hostess.

Thanks Sonia!

Hi Ming
I only wish. Mark and I can at least daydream about Shelter Island.

Honestly we just toodled around saying 'wow' and 'gorgeous' all day. It is heaven.

Carolyn said...

Great Shot!