PREMIERING JULY 6th! “Finding Fire Island” is a docu-podcast series which brings to life how a sleepy, 19th century beach town became a modern day queer mecca for artists and the New York City theater community.
We are introduced to the two oldest LGBT communities in the US -- Cherry Grove and The Fire Island Pines. Our cast of characters describe their Fire Island origin stories and we quickly see how what plays out here is like "gay adult sleep-away camp." We also observe how racial and socio-economic pressures are felt on the island.
We explore how Cherry Grove became the birthplace of Drag and Disco, contrast the quaint cottages to the Pines’ mansions, landmark venues of The Ice Palace and The Monster and the queer female population. Follow @jessxnyc on IG for everything Finding Fire Island!
We trace The Pines’ closeted past to its present day sex and party-forward atmosphere. We explore the architecture of Pines homes via Horace Gifford and the impact of Pines owner John Whyte who brought celebrity.
We focus on the legendary parties Fire Island is known for, beginning with the history of The Tea Dance and DJ Lina Bradford’s 10-year reign in The Pines. We detail The Morning Party, The Underwear Party and The Pines Party.
We experience the very first Invasion of the Pines in 1976 as told by its leader, “Panzi,” and how the annual July 4th event evolved over the years. We go deeper on the history and evolution of Drag in Cherry Grove and New York City via Lady Bunny’s Wigstock and Drag Race.
We illuminate tales of Liza Minnelli, Carol Channing, Andy Warhol, Jerry Herman, Calvin Klein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Truman Capote, Andy Cohen, Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna on Fire Island. Plus, the filming of “The Normal Heart” and cultural treasure troves discovered in Pines homes.
We trace the rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis alongside women having more earning power and buying homes in Cherry Grove. Plus, we explore the emotion around The Meatrack and Fire Island’s response to the crisis with The Morning Party.
“Another Winter in a Summer Town” - Grey Gardens We hear stories of fires and hurricanes on Fire Island which often threaten to destroy it. Plus — Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s and how to survive winter on the island with several year-rounders.
The Bonus episode! We discuss the “Black Out” weekend, more Provincetown vs. Fire Island, behind the scenes of the Fire Island movie and more anecdotes from our cast of characters. Follow @jessxnyc on IG for everything Finding Fire Island!
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