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'Meat Rack' Between Gay Communities of Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove Scorched by Brush Fire

Meatrack

A large brush fire erupted for two hours on Thursday in an area between the gay Fire Island communities over Cherry Grove and The Pines in an area technically known as the Carrington Tract but known by locals as the "meat rack" because of its history as a cruising area.

Fireboats and 17 fire departments from Long Island, which are required to transit the Great South Bay with equipment because of the lack of roads and proper vehicles in these communities, fought the blaze, Newsday reports:

The wildfire was confined to an undeveloped area and was reported just after 5:40 p.m. and put out just after 7:30 p.m., said a Suffolk County official from the Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services.

Contingents of firefighters from the mainland were ferried in, along with their shovels and brooms, the official said. Those tools were used to rake over the brush in search of embers and to dump soil over any hot spots, authorities said.

In November 2011, fire destroyed the Pines' iconic Pavilion nightclub and several other buildings. They have since been completely rebuilt.

Thursday's blaze was deemed suspicious.

Several residents posted photos to social media.

Watch Newsday's raw footage of the fire HERE.


Nine People Remember the 'Ghosts of Fire Island': AUDIO

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The radio documentary Ghosts of Fire Island aired on KCRW's 'UnFictional' program on Friday in commemoration of World AIDS Day 2013. 

Producer Myke Dodge Weiskopf interviewed nine people (eight men, one woman - see photos and intros HERE) who lived on Fire Island at different times from the 1950s to the present day. Each of them bore witness to the island in its glory days and lived through the dark and terrible birth of the AIDS epidemic. Together, they represent the stories and the spirit of Fire Island in the age of AIDS.

It's being reaired on Tuesday, December 3 @ 2:30 P.M. (PST).

But you can listen to the whole program, AFTER THE JUMP...

Find KCRW here.

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Nasty Pig Battles a 'Personal Demon' on Fire Island: VIDEO

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NY-based apparel company Nasty Pig went to Fire Island Pines for their Fall/Winter video lookbook 'Personal Demon' and gets sandy and wet in the process. Also featured is some of Fire Island's most recognizable architecture.

You may recall their last lookbook, shot in downtown New York. They have stuck with the same director, @lilinternet, who was also behind Diplo's "Express Yourself" video.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Calvin Klein's Ex-BF Announces He's Straight, Crashes Gay Party, Gets Kicked Out

Nick-gruber-hot1Take a look at Nick Gruber, and you may recognize him for a number of reasons. You may have seen his work as a fashion and fitness model, a gay porn actor, or simply Calvin Klein's former boytoy and train wreck. If so, then you should know that Gruber has enlisted the help of a new publicist, Matt Rich, to help erase most of that from your memory and brand him with a new squeaky-clean public persona. Gruber subsequently celebrated his newly-announced straighthood by attending a party thrown by porn-entrepreneur Michael Lucas on Fire Island over the weekend. Then, after reportedly telling people not to touch him, Gruber was kicked out of the event. 

Lucas gave his account of the event on his Facebook page:

"This weekend was "Ascension" - the biggest party of the summer on Fire Island. Every year I buy a large VIP tent that's up above the dance floor, where I invite my friends.

I saw this arrogant guy who was being rude to people, shoving two guys away after they bumped into him. I heard him say, "keep your hands away from me! I"m straight!" So I went over to him, and asked him why he was being so rude. 

He said, 'I am straight, and I don't want any gay people to touch me.' At which point, I told him 'you're leaving.' He said, 'do you know who I am?' I said, 'I don't know, and I don't even want to know who you think you are.'

Then he said, 'try me.' I said 'watch me'. I called over to security and had him hauled away without his feet even touching the floor. Then someone explained to me that this is the ex boyfriend of Calvin Klein, Nick Gruber, who just 'came out' as 'straight.'"

Calvin-klein-nick-gruberNot surprisingly, Rich released a different version of the incident to Gawker and Michael Musto on Gruber's behalf:

“Nick was the guest of Hal Rubenstein and David Nichols and wasn't familiar with how these mass events work in terms of ‘areas’ and VIP areas. Nick overreacted when he was told to leave one area. He is sending a private apology to Mr. Lucas. It was Nick’s first time at Fire Island, and he was glad to be there with several friends and support the cause.”

And as for Gruber's supposed aversion to phyisical contact with gay people? Rich explained that to HuffPost Gay Voices:

"After about the fifth guy grabs your ass, you say, 'Look, I'm not interested.' He apologized. He didn't know what kind of party this was going to be."

Gruber himself finally explained his reluctance to wear the "gay" label in his interview with Gawker:

"That’s false information. I don’t believe in labels, I believe in what my heart tells me I love. If people say, 'What are you?' I say, 'I’m not gay. I’m straight, but I believe in love.'"

Calvin Klein, Gruber's reported former "sugar daddy", has yet to comment on any of the latest controversy, instead opting to keep a low profile and finish building his mansion in Southampton by Labor Day, according to the New York Post


Willam Heads to Fire Island Pines for the Annual 4th of July Drag Invasion: VIDEO

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Drag Race's Willam Belli was on location at the biggest drag gathering on the East Coast, the annual Independence Day invasion of Fire Island Pines.

Writes NewNowNext:

It’s a celebration of the original drag-queen invasion in 1976, when a fleet of queens sailed from the Grove to the Pines when one of their number was refused service.

As they have for nearly 4o years, the hordes arrived by ferry and sashay down the runway one by one on the pool deck. We saw Hedda Lettuce, homages to Paula Deen and the Kardashian clan, and more than a few girls that beggar description. And the festivities were especially festive this year with the opening of the brand-new Pavilion, the center of nightlife in the Pines.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Andy Warhol's Summer Portraits Up for Auction at Christie's: PHOTOS

BeachBoy

Lot 70
ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987) 
Fire Island Party 
dated 'Aug 02 1982' (on the reverse) 
unique gelatin silver print 
10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm.) 

Executed in 1982.
Estimate:  $2,000 – 3,000
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Coinciding with the celebration of Pride this month, Christie's has announced an online-only auction of 200 photographs, prints and drawings by Andy Warhol that focus on the male nude. The pieces are available to bid on now through June 27 online (warning: link work-unfriendly). 

From Christie's:

"Throughout his career, Warhol depicted male nudes through photography or drawing, often using gay underground culture as his backdrop. His visual explorations of the complexity of sexuality and desire chronicle the momentous changes within the gay community in the late 20th century,when many young men were flocking to urban centers such as New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans from their suburban and rural hometowns. With the anonymity of the city came the opportunity for a subculture that was both self sustaining and self defining. Warhol himself moved from Pittsburgh to New York in the summer of 1949, and witnessed first hand both the blossoming of the gay community in the 1970s and the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic that battered the community in the 1980s."

Check out a few more images of works (a preview exclusive to Towleroad) that are up for auction AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Andy Warhol's Summer Portraits Up for Auction at Christie's: PHOTOS" »


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