Good afternoon and welcome to The Point! Today we’re mulling the Singapore summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Look for an editorial about it at newsday.com/opinion later today.
Did someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Forecast in Albany: Tense with 0% chance of Croci
It’s another day in Albany without a sighting of Tom Croci, the state senator who has forced the chamber into the paralysis of a 31-31 tie. As it sinks in that Croci, who is on active military duty, won’t likely return, other members of the Republican majority are not showing up, either.
Sen. Martin Golden, the Bay Ridge skydiver, stayed in Brooklyn Tuesday to give John Travolta a lifetime achievement award — celebrating the golden years of that borough. Nope, not the glory of today’s artisanal pickles or the suddenly glamorous Red Hook, Golden’s award celebrates the gritty 1970s Brooklyn of “Saturday Night Fever” and “Welcome Back, Kotter” as well as the new release of the mobster movie “Gotti.” You know, celebrating an era when Republicans had a 12-vote margin in the State Senate, not a funeral for a majority that might be slipping away.
More flame to the Gatsby fire
For two Connecticut filmmaker-writers staring wistfully across Long Island Sound, the distant, twinkling green light has turned out not be at the end of Daisy’s dock, but a flaming torch held by disgruntled former Congressman Steve Israel.
In a Newsday op-ed on Monday, Israel took umbrage at Robert Steven Williams’ and Richard Webb Jr.’s brazen assertion that large portions of “The Great Gatsby” were imagined via F. Scott Fitzgerald’s time living in Westport, Connecticut. When invited to respond for Point readers, Williams found Israel’s pro-Great Neck arguments unconvincing:
“Never mind that Great Neck has sold at least 25 different homes as Gatsby’s over the years or that Herbert Swope’s Lands End, thought by many scholars to be Scott’s source, was not built until 1927, two years after ‘Gatsby’ was published,” Williams told The Point in an email. “And of course Gatsby Lane was a real estate developer from the ’70s idea to sell more homes.”
Williams pointed out that in the book, cartoonist John Held Jr.’s map of Great Neck had Fitzgerald’s home in the wrong place, and that Held lived and worked in Westport, and met the Fitzgeralds there.
“I’m sure no one on the Island has heard of Frederick E. Lewis, either,” Williams wrote. “The Fitzgeralds lived in a cottage adjacent to this mystery millionaire’s 175-acre estate. Not to worry Long Island, none of the dozen ‘so-called’ Fitzgerald experts we interviewed had heard of him, either.”
Williams also invited Israel to join him at a fall screening of their documentary, “Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story,” in Great Neck, “when we invade your shores for what will most assuredly be an epic literary battle.”
Not easily swayed, Long Island loyalists will ceaselessly provide plenty of current against these filmmakers’ boats.
The horizon of history
East End tees up
For most Long Islanders, East Hampton Town lies on the other side of the U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton.
But while most of the traffic gridlock is caused by spectators who come from the west to Shinnecock and then return when the golf day is done, that doesn’t mean East Hampton isn’t feeling the buzz and a bit of the congestion.
“There are people here to take in the Open, renting homes, it does impact us from an economic standpoint,” East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc told The Point. “We’ll get people visiting, coming out for dinner.”
The Open was last played at Shinnecock Hills in 2004, and Van Scoyoc said the tony town already is seeing activity: “There are a number of large boats that have come in, the airport has been busy, [with] both players and spectators.”
Even Tiger Woods decided on a reverse commute. The title contender docked his enormous yacht, Privacy, in Montauk before moving it to Sag Harbor, which will be his base for the tournament.
East Hampton officials always worry about having too many tourists in the summer, but that’s not a problem with the Open. “The weather is not beach weather, per se,” Van Scoyoc said, so visitors provide welcome additions to the bottom lines of businesses.
“We’ll get some of the residual traffic and inconvenience,” he said, “but because it’s something that might happen once every 10 years or so, people are somewhat tolerant of it and even a little excited about it.”
That’s more than what can be said right now for motorists in Southhampton.