Starting summer on the beach

Island Park residents head to the water to beat the heat


Last Thursday, as temperatures approached record highs and a heat advisory went into effect for parts of Long Island, many chose to stay indoors and crank up the air- conditioning. A few, however, took to Masone Beach in Island Park to beat the heat, even before its official opening three days later on Saturday.

One regular, Bill Madden, came out to enjoy the peace and breeze off the water. He has a long family history in Island Park, where his grandfather bought a bungalow in 1910. Born and raised in the village, Madden has been coming to Masone Beach his entire life.

The water provides an unobstructed breeze that keeps the area cooler even a block or two away, Madden explained. He was unconcerned about the heat advisory and planned on moving up the beach and under the shade of the trees when the sun became too strong.

“On a day like this I wouldn’t go to Long Beach,” he said. “There aren’t any trees.”

James Joyce, like Madden, did not express worry over the unprecedented heat so early in the summer. He may share a name with the famous Irish novelist of the 20th century, but he had no literary advice to give. Instead, he noted the importance of wearing at least SPF 30 and drinking water while out in the sun.

“You got to stay hydrated,” he stressed.

Joyce grew up in Brooklyn before moving to Island Park, when he relocated his sunbathing spot from Coney Island to Masone Beach. He now comes down three to four times a week for a few hours each day, usually sharing the sand with local mothers, children and senior citizens.

“You can have a really nice day here,” Joyce said, pointing to the covered BBQ area where local families can hold parties.

Work was being done to fix the pier and dock before the start of the season on June 23. Summer passes, which must be worn on the beach at all times, may be purchased at the Island Park Village Hall, at 127 Long Beach Road. Passes for village residents are priced at a $10. For those residing in the Barnum Island or Harbor Isle passes are $15, and for those from out of town, they will cost $20.