Fire Island: Two New Books Celebrate the Fragile Gay Mecca


Fire Island Pines (Source: NYTimes, Thursday May 23, 2013)

The New York Times published today an article about Fire Island that coincides with the 60th anniversary of the founding of The Pines, and mentions two newly published books about its history. One of the books, titled Fire Island Pines, Polaroids 1973-1983, is by GLR friend and contributor Tom Bianchi, whose photographs of beautiful men in beautiful settings have graced books, calendars, and greeting cards for the past few decades. Even before his career as a professional photographer, attorney and part-time Fire Island resident Bianchi started taking polaroid photographs of the beach community’s landscape and seascape and the men who inhabited them.

The other book is called Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction, by Christopher Rawlins, who observes that Fire Island is “an inherently erotic landscape.” Gifford was an architect whose designs for the houses of Fire Island — with their soaring ceilings and huge plates of glass — give the community much of its character to this day. Gay men who remember Fire Island in its heyday, or those who still frequent The Pines or Cherry Grove as they rebuild from Hurrican Sandy, will find both books fascinating and visually stunning.