Thursday Styles feature in NYT a
compelling read brilliantly presented
The full-page layout of “The Architecture of seduction” on page E6 of Thursday Styles in the New York Times. It grabs the readers eye, before one even begins to read the jump.
BURIED DEEP INSIDE the national edition of the New York Times on Thursday was a rare jewel of journalism.
The story, images and layout of “The Architecture of Seduction” in Thursday Styles, Page E1, was a package that can best be described with the word “art.”
From the images one can learn another important lesson: in many ways the printed newspaper is superior to the online version, which you can see at the link above.
In this case the newsprint version is the one to see.
Possibly due to my inclination and training, it was the headline and story by Guy Trebay that first caught my attention.
All the “boldface” names in the first two paragraphs will grab any reader. But the headline is intriguing, too.
Architecture as sexy? What a concept!
Delving a little deeper, I began to read the detailed account of what is much more than an architectural critique. The architecture of the structures on Fire Island actually is only a small part of this remarkable 3,000-word account of an important chapter in the history of gay men in America.
FOUR PARAGRAPHS IN, Trebay reveals the central theme with this quote:
“It’s an inherently erotic landscape,” said Christopher Rawlins, the author of “Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction.”
Once you get this far, there is absolutely no stopping. This story is a totally compelling history of the giant sandbar that reaches half the length of Long Island, about 50 miles east of New York City.
After reading the portion on page E1 on Thursday morning, I set aside a half hour in the evening to read the jump. I am so glad I did.
Through the words of the central characters in the story, Trebay recounts the history of how a once barren stretch of sand was transformed in the mid 20th
The New York Times’ Guy Trebay.
century into a vacation haven for some of the most famous – and rich – gay men in America.
Calvin Klein, David Geffen, fashion designer Clovis Ruffin appear in the second paragraph. Are you hooked yet? I was.
After I turned to the jump on page E6, I paused before continuing my reading. The first thing that catches one’s eye is the full-page layout. Not only are the images themselves appealing, their entire presentation made me gasp.
IT IS IN THE FOURTH paragraph that Trebay gives us the news hook: why this historical account is relevant today.
“History is on people’s minds this season, as the Pines marks the 60th anniversary of its founding,” he writes about the noted resort at the heart of Fire Island.
According to its website, the “Fire Island Pines has been a jewel in the gay community for over 60 years, and continues to be the premier vacation destination for residents and vacationers.
“Located just 50 miles east of New York City, The Pines is home to the most expensive real estate in Fire Island.”
Indeed, as Trebay tells us, this summer marks a milestone in the revitalization of what had become a rather neglected neighborhood.
Its centerpiece, The Pavilion, was destroyed by fire in 2011. Now rebuilt, it features the famed Pavilion Nightclub, High Tea Deck, Welcome Bar, Gym and retail space.
In a news release dated March 4, 2013, the developers announced their plans:
“FIP Ventures, the group that owns the majority of The Pines’ commercial properties including the Pavilion Nightclub, restaurants Blue Whale and Canteen, the Botel, Pines Pool Deck and several retail spaces,” had just appointed Blesso Properties, led by founder Matthew Blesso, as the managing owner of the property.
“Blesso Properties tapped acclaimed design firm Hollwich Kushner (HWKN) Architects to design an iconic new structure from scratch.”
Do yourself a favor. Settle for second-best. Visit the online version of this story immediately.