I was just reading Chapter 1 of “The Great Gatsby” to an friend of mine who couldn’t sleep. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s description of Long Island (where I grew up) makes me laugh:
It was a matter of chance that I should have rented a house in one of the strangest communities in North America. It was on that slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New York — and where there are, among other natural curiosities, two unusual formations of land. Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay, jut out into the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western hemisphere, the great wet barnyard of Long Island Sound.
I decided to call to him. Miss Baker had mentioned him at dinner, and that would do for an introduction. But I didn’t call to him, for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone—he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. When I looked once more for Gatsby he had vanished, and I was alone again in the unquiet darkness.
— Nick Carraway, in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Photo credit: By Anthony Ross – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69287951
I lived at West Egg, the – well, the least fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on my right was a colossal affair by any standard … My own house was an eyesore, but it was a small eyesore, and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor’s lawn, and the consoling proximity of millionaires — all for eighty dollars a month.
— from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Welwyn Preserve Park in Glen Cove, New York. Photo credit: Michael Sean Gallagher [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D
Have fun! Be safe! Enjoy!
Make sure you have a designated driver! Or, better yet … why not be the designated driver? What better way to spend the first hours of 2019 than as a hero to the people around you (maybe not the hero that Gotham deserves, but the hero it needs right now)?
I’m not sure how I’ve gotten to become such a mother hen in my old age … Maybe it’s because, in my younger days, I was the one who needed mother henning.
Whatever, just don’t wind up like Gatsby, floating face down in the pool at the end of the night. (But go ahead and totally be him up until that point.)
Postscript — the quote below, which I rather like, doesn’t appear in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” or its 2013 film treatment with Leonardo DiCaprio. I’m told that the line actually originates from “Sex and the City” (1998 – 2004).