Long Island is loooong…in fact, it is the longest and largest island in the United States, stretching 118 miles from New York harbor to Montauk point, including Brooklyn and Queens in the landmass and over 8MM people. (In fact, the majority of NYC residents are technically on Long Island in those two counties.) Of course, most people locally think of Long Island as Nassau and Suffolk Counties that make up the political part of the island distinct from NYC. I claim the whole thing as Long Island because that is the geography.
We have fantastic beaches on Long Island, running from Breezy Point in the far west to Montauk at the eastern tip. In between, there is famous Coney Island, Long Beach, the beaches and light house within Robert Moses State Park, the various communities of Fire Island (two of which, Cherry Grove and The Pines, are prominently gay, the balance not), including the below sea-level walkways of Sunken Forest, Smith Point (where I often go to photograph), the mansions along Dune Road in Westhampton Beach, more mansions in Southhampton and East Hampton and all the way to “The End”, Montauk Point. Add to these ocean beaches a nearly equal number of “North Shore” beaches along the Long Island Sound and the beaches of the Peconic Bay, including most famously Sunset Beach on Shelter Island. Considering all the millions that live around here, these beaches have the capacity to provide many areas that feel uncrowded…although it’s fair to say many people go FOR the crowds on a summer day and not to avoid them.
When the wind kicks up a surf, I often head to the beach to photograph. The Atlantic can be nasty – and beautiful. Here are some recent examples.
A nice video of the Fire Island beaches from www.fireislandandbeyond.com