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2023-07-18 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine Amanda Burden's Love Letter to Bellport

Amanda Burden's Love Letter to Bellport

Home is where the heart is
HELLO MY DEER Four whitetail deer on the dunes of Bellport’s Ho-Hum Beach
Photo by Howie Guja

It’s informal and spontaneous, diverse and congenial, beautiful but not showy. Invitations to dinner or drinks generally come last minute. Dressing up is the exception.

Once I arrive, I immediately switch from four wheels to two. I can do all my errands on my bike. I love that when I bike into town in the morning, runners and walkers all wave “hi” or say, “Good morning!” It’s an exceedingly friendly place.

The main street is pretty small, just a little more than a block and a half, very charming and compact — but it has everything I need. The houses in the village are a mix of architectural styles. Hedges are the exception. Development in Bellport village has been constrained for the most part by a strong architectural preservation committee, the scale and building envelopes are usually kept in check. The breakout renegades are very annoying and the source of collective angst and irritation.

Bellport is not stuffy.

Every Saturday, for as long as I can remember, a group of about nine protesters gather on the main corner waving signs clamoring for world peace and justice. I love that they are there, an authentic staple of our lives.

I happen to love sports, and tennis and golf are both within five minutes of my house, and sailing is off my dock. What a luxury!

We all love our Bellport Bay, the center of our lives. We do everything we can to make it thriving and healthy, including planting more than one million oysters through Friends of Bellport Bay. A seven-minute ferry ride takes us from the marina to Ho-Hum Beach on Fire Island and from there we walk a boardwalk to the ocean in another couple of minutes.

On Saturday mornings, many of us drop by Early Girl Farm to pick up our allotment of produce grown by the eloquent and amazing Patty Gentry, who lets us know by poetic email the day before what treasures are in our bag and how to cook them. Many linger long at the farm into the morning, eating the fresh dosas Patty creates and making weekend plans.

Perhaps best of all, it takes only one and one-half hours, sometimes less, on a busy traffic day to get from the city to Bellport — and that is not an exaggeration. I open my front door and the stress of city life melts away.

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