On the Walk Where You Live

by FIN |

By Joey Macellaro ~ Walking through town one evening over Memorial Day weekend, I felt both nostalgic and uneasy. To quote Lerner and Lowe, I had often walked down that street before, but it

Hanalei & Kula owners Lynnette and Pete Vitale are hopeful for a busy 10th season in their shop.

had been a while since that street looked quite like this. Friends greeted and embraced each other, there was dancing and singing, and it almost felt like no time had passed since I packed up and left the beach two summers ago with no foresight of the changes to come. Still, it almost felt too good to be true.

The village ordinance requiring face coverings in public places lapsed on April 28, and thanks to updated state and federal guidance regarding COVID-19 safety measures, summertime is looking bright in our community.

“The Community Fund is looking forward to a full calendar of fun in-person outdoor events this summer,” said Holly Etlin, co-president of the Ocean Beach Community Fund. Many of us will agree that the return of the Fourth of July wagon parade that Sunday at 11 a.m. is one of the happiest signs of our community’s recovery. Etlin requested that readers contribute to the Ocean Beach Historical Society’s special August exhibit, titled “100 Years, 100 Voices,” by sending personal recollections to obhistorical@gmail.com.

A grand milestone reached this year is the centennial of the incorporation of the Village of Ocean Beach, which will be celebrated with a ceremony in September. The Ocean Beach Association is creating a special publication in celebration of the centennial, and plans to dedicate it to the memory of longtime Ocean Beach Association (OBA) board member George Rehn. Articles and photos from members of the community will be mixed with memories from those who contributed the Historical Society’s exhibit.

OBA welcomed three new directors to their board in April: Beth Jacobwitz, Lori Marabella Bloom, and Ember Shmitt. Bloom is serving as art director for the Association’s centennial publication.

“After closing last summer and losing our beloved camp director, Ralph Scordino, the Ocean Beach Youth Group team is eager to welcome back staff and campers,” said Youth Group Directors Sophie Pollak and Caitlin Alfano. Campers aged 3 to 14 will enjoy eight weeks of activities starting June 28.

Our community’s places of worship have all reopened, with both synagogues and both churches hosting in-person weekend services.

“We look forward to getting back to what we do best – taking care of our loyal customers,” said Chris Mercogliano, co-president of the Ocean Beach Chamber of Commerce.

“We are all anxious to get back to what we love to do,” said Lynnette Vitale of Hanalei and Kula, a shop on Dehnhoff Walk that focuses on wellness of the mind, soul, and body. Lynnette and husband Pete feature exotic clothing and jewelry and fragrance oils made in-house.

“We look forward to a lot of peace and love all throughout beautiful Fire Island,” added Lynnette.

As we all walk together this summer down these beautiful walks where we live or visit, let’s all share a smile and a kind word.

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