I Want To Buy Shelter Island


Hey Shelter Island, I have decided I’d like to buy you.

Some may find this notion rather out of the blue or question, “Why do you want to buy Shelter Island? They don’t even have a Starbucks!”

It makes sense as you are an island of natural beauty just to the north of Sag Harbor and are vastly less populated than the South Fork. And I’m not just saying I want to buy you because Brooklyn and Rhode Island would also like to strategically have you. You are a place of vast natural resources: The Perlman Music Program, parking places, rosé for less than $15 a glass. I think this would be the real estate deal of a lifetime. The fact that I think you would be a lucrative outpost for my Heather’s Perfect Pie Crust empire is purely coincidental (although I can just see the giant apron with stiletto heels looking awesome next to the Sylvester Manor Farm Stand).

Some may think this is just a distraction from my unhappiness with the state of my muffin top but that is really the Fed’s fault. You have no idea how interest-rate anxiety increases binge eating. And no, I am not hormonal, nor was this a crazy tequila 3 AM “awesome idea” like putting a pony on a paddle board, or naked interpretive dance down Main Street, or buying all the live lobsters from King Kullen and setting them free in the bay.

Others have asked how I am going to pay for Shelter Island, and is it a good idea to add to an already escalating credit card debt? Come on, who would pay for Louboutin’s, guinea pig armor, or an island in cash? Or unless you had a ton of Amazon points?

I know that I could focus on things like the usurious price of health insurance in New York for independent contractors, lack of affordable housing or jobs that pay a living wage on the East End, or even could mount a petition to make texting while bike riding illegal. Or you know, just pay attention to my hair.

The problem is I am not sure Shelter Island wants to be bought by me. I asked the guy who takes the fares on the ferry, and he pretty much shrugged and said, “Why the f–k not? As long as I get a raise and some warmer foul weather gear.”

In my defense, there is a long history of how Shelter Island has been bought and sold. The Manhasset Indians originally had Manhansack-aha-quash-awamock “an island sheltered by islands.” In 1638, James Farrett came as an agent for the Earl of Stirling who had received land grants in America from King James. Farrett chose Shelter Island and Robins Island as his 1000-acre reward for service to the Earl. He negotiated with the Indians and hence Shelter Island was known as “Mr. Farrett’s Island.” It was then sold to various families with names like Sylvester, Nicolls, and Havens.

But, if I am rebuffed and there is no future for Shelter Island as Ms. Buchanan’s Island, I can either be bitter and refuse to ever dance on the tables at Sunset Beach again. Or I can come up with another idea for the island. Perhaps a really big, best ever, parade.

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