Have you ever been to fire island? The Long, Thin Island is only about 90 minutes from New York City, but it feels cosmic apart. Cars are not allowed. People wander the wooden walkways barefoot; Fox and deer meander along the sand dunes. Here, in cooperation with MarineAnd the Alex Bates Arana and her husband Andrew Hoffman inside their cottage…
About falling on Fire Island: We are really advanced, so my husband started going there to visit friends before we met in 1892 [laughs]. Then we started renting houses together. We rented in Saltire Village and fell in love. Then, almost 30 years ago, this house became available. You instinctively know when you walk somewhere, do you fall in love with it?
In the town of Saltire: There isn’t much here – a grocery store, tennis and sailing club, library, fire department and town hall. The young woman who runs the library program is a kindergarten teacher. She created new programs for children and became the core of the community.
In the life of the island: You come here and there is nothing to do. It is a haven. I’m usually on my knees deep in the garden. I have different playlists on gardening, depending on my weekly mood; We blow up the music and weed out.
On the perfect paint: Inside the house all beautiful europe white paint 0001. I’m crazy about paint. It is pure white, not toned in any direction like painter’s white. We painted the floor, ceiling and walls the same color. We used high gloss, so when the light comes on, it bounces around the room. You feel like you are in a small ship.
When assembling: Our groups are now in charge. We organize the shells and stones by color. I comb the beach for oyster shells. We have a basket of antlers that deer threw in the front yard.
When hosting friends: We have a lot of spontaneous dinners with other families in Saltire. She walks across the walkway and says, ‘Have you had dinner yet? We’re having a party.’ People just walk through your door.My husband fishes chicken or grills fish.Local fishing boats deliver right to the pier so you can get scallops, lobsters, and cod. Plus, we make corn on the cob, of course.
On the key to the comfortable bed: My husband and I have opposite views: he prefers a firmer mattress, and I want something softer. In the height of summer, when it’s insanely hot, we don’t have an air conditioner, so it’s just a light cotton swab.
When reading before bed: Andrew is a mystery reader – especially Swedish authors like Henning Mankell. I was reading Paul Hawkin’s book backing down, which is about solutions to climate change. He is one of my heroes. I’m talking about his work now. My all-time favorite book is No normal times By Doris Kearns Goodwin, on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. He talks about the amazing sleepovers they had with Winston Churchill at the White House.
When waking up: Early morning is my favorite time. I like to pour a cup of coffee and start my day on board by listening to nature. There are a lot of birds and butterflies at sunrise.
On late stays: We are tough and stay here as long as possible. We have to get out before the tubes freeze, usually right before Thanksgiving. We had a blizzard one year ago on November 15th and it was great to be in the house while it was snowing. She was so beautiful, like she was in a snow globe.
thank you very much, Alex!