Geographic intelligence

Following my two recent early morning awakenings (yesterday and the day before) to prepare for meetings at 9:30 am and 10:00 am respectively, I slept late this morning until almost nine o’clock. In fact it was the first time I have slept soundly for as long, from about 1:20 am (when I took a handful of analgesics) until about 6:30 am after which I lingered sluggishly beneath the duvet. Consequently it wasn’t until almost 11 o’clock that I finished my breakfast and got onto my tricycle to commence a token exercise about the community.

On the Island I saw an elderly woman going along the side of the lane picking up debris with a pointed stick and depositing the same into a brown paper bag she carried with her.  The bag did not appear to contain much. In view of the plentitude of maintenance staff constantly about the grounds I can only assume her undertaking fulfills some social necessity or purge. I stopped to acknowledge her and to share a “top of the morning!” She enthused about my tricycle, suggesting that she should consider getting one for herself. After establishing the usual prerequisites – she from the mountains of North Carolina, I from Canada – she commented regretfully that a number of the former Buttonwood Bay residents were moving to a new retirement community north of Key Largo called something like the Villages which she understood to be immense. She expressed bewilderment that they should leave Buttonwood Bay with which I concurred, adding that Buttonwood Bay was in my opinion the Sacrament of Heaven!

Top of the morning!
A working-class phrase apparently once abundant throughout the British Isles in the Victorian era (not especially notable amongst the Irish vis-a-vis other peoples of the Isles), but was perhaps preserved slightly longer with the Irish and Irish diaspora. Possibly connected to a notion of fresh unhomogenised milk, where the desirable cream rises to the top (compare cream of the crop and creme de la creme), and thus wishing the listener to have an excellent day.

Upon my arrival at the Island swimming pool I noted that my cigar smoking acquaintance (whose name I still do not know, nor he mine) was seated at his usual perch in the shade on the side of the pool opposite the entrance where I station my tricycle. As I entered the pool I tried to quip across the pool to him about him not docking me pay for being late, but he clearly couldn’t hear what I was saying.  So I tossed my towel upon the chaise longue where I intended to sunbathe then tottered with my stick around the pool to say hello within hearing distance. During our subsequent conversation he enlarged upon his domicile in New York on Long Island, specifically Oak Beach where he informed me he has a large house of 9,600 sq. ft. In the process of this illumination he mentioned a boat and a Porsche automobile (in addition to his Mercedes SUV parked across from my tricycle).  Indeed much of what Cigar Guy says is punctuated by the word “big” which he applies not only to houses and cars but also companies (which he owns or others to whom he is close own). His exclamations naturally collide with the adage that “people with money don’t talk about it” (or words to that effect) but he is so persistent that one begins to doubt the strength of the social restraint especially when applied to the aerobicized reputation of New Yorkers. By his own admission he suffers from a recent stroke which has caused him at times difficulty in collecting the correct words or order of words. Thrice during our conversation his telephone rang.  Each time he unrepentantly answered, spoke briefly, then rang off. I could not conjecture what he was talking about though he informed me after I decided to leave during the third telephone conversation that “She misses me; she’s coming down to see me!”  I can only speculate that he was referring to his latest “girlfriend” from Sicily (in particular because when he had answered the call, he looked at the face of the phone and said, “Italy”). Before I left him he asked whether I knew Jones Beach Island which I confessed I did not – an admission he obviously found strangely curious (though for reasons I have yet to determine). He also commented on my advice about the Villages retirement community.  He said it has the biggest frequency of venereal disease in the state!

Long Island, New York

Long Island is a densely populated island in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of New York, part of the New York metropolitan area. With over 8 million people, Long Island is the most populous island in the United States and the 18th-most populous in the world. The island begins at New York Harbor approximately 0.35 miles (0.56 km) east of Manhattan Island and extends eastward about 118 miles (190 km) into the Atlantic Ocean and 23 miles wide at its most distant points. Culturally, many people in the New York metropolitan area colloquially use the term “Long Island” (or “the Island”) to refer exclusively to Nassau and Suffolk counties, and conversely, employ the term “the City” to mean Manhattan alone.

Jones Beach Island

At 17 miles long, Jones Beach Island is the second lengthiest of the four narrow barrier islands that protect the South Shore of Long Island from the Atlantic Ocean. With about 350 homes, it’s also the least populated of LI’s barrier beaches. Ocean Parkway runs nearly the full length of the island and connects to causeways at either end linking it to mainland LI.

Oak Beach

The park area used to be home to the Oak Beach Inn, a famous nightclub that shuttered two decades ago. With about 200 houses, Oak Beach is the third residential community on Jones Beach Island. The area’s founder, Henry Livingston, built the first house there in 1879.

On the north side of Ocean Parkway across from the entrance to Oak Beach is a parking lot for residents of nearby Oak Island, a small resort community that is accessible only by boat.

Oak Beach is a small community and census-designated place located near the eastern end of Jones Beach Island, a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great South Bay of Long Island. The community is part of the village of Babylon in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The eastern part, the Oak Island Beach Association, is gated, whereas the western part is not. The Oak Beach CDP was first listed prior to the 2020 census. Prior to that the community was part of the Oak Beach–Captree census-designated place.