The 1984 comedy-drama The Flamingo Kid was shot largely at the Silver Gull Beach Club in Queens. With the sad news this week that we have lost the film’s director and co-writer, Garry Marshall, here’s one great way to remember and pay tribute to a storyteller who gave us so many TV and film pleasures.
Plan to watch or rewatch The Flamingo Kid, a wonderful movie, and read—before or after—“Summer at the Silver Gull.” Under that latter title, The New York Times is chronicling a season at the Rockaway Peninsula club, launching the series over the July 4 holiday.
The initial piece is crowned by a photo of 101-year-old member David Gelfman, who joined a few years after Silver Gull opened in 1963. Gelfman, whose wife passed away last year and who as a result no longer rents a cabana, survived five hold-ups at gunpoint at a liquor store he owned through 1978 in Brooklyn.
In the second article in the series, writer Corey Kilgannon focuses on how individual members customize their cabanas, which are still priced reasonably at around $5,000 per summer (plus a $530 club membership fee for each adult):
Members rent the cabanas from summer to summer, religiously submitting their deposits—currently $500—by Oct. 31 to hold onto their units for the next summer.
Each cabana comes with a shower, electricity, two lounge chairs and little else. Hurricane Sandy destroyed more than 50 of the units; 44 were reconstructed, and it is hard to distinguish them from the old structures. Eight others, which had occupied the terrace at the end of what is called Big Island, a block of cabanas on pilings over the sand, could not be rebuilt.
One longtime member mentioned in the piece, Randy Sachar, has a poster of The Flamingo Kid hanging in his prized cabana. Another, Linda Scarpati, has traded up over four decades through five different better-positioned cabanas.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
The Long Lineage of Garry Marshall and The Medill School
Steve Guttenberg’s Stupendous Studio Lot Tale
Image via: nysilvergull.com