“A Small Patch of Long Island Houses the Rich and Great of New York” Life announced in 1946 in a cover story on the North Shore photographed by Nina Leen, focusing on the sporting set. “It requires little more than an hour to drive from the sweltering summer heat of Manhattan to the cool comfort of the Piping Rock Club” in Locust Valley, the magazine noted. “But it can take a lifetime, if not several generations, of financial and social success to become one of its 700 members.” Nonetheless in the land of Gatsby they discovered there “a pattern of life that is ordered, gracious, and, amid great luxury, basically simple,” not to mention damned stylish.
How so? “At home a few friends will be asked over for tennis, followed by a swim, cocktails and lunch at the pool. Night life generally consists of small, unspectacular dinners…. Clubs like the Piping Rock and the Meadow Brook are fairly unpretentious and exist for specific athletic purposes.” Among other posh entertainments Life looked in on an alfresco luncheon with butlers in attendance; a match on the indoor tennis court at the J. Watson Webb estate; top-ranked polo players like Stewart Inglehart (above) and Laddie Sanford resting between chukkers; cocktails at the Aviation Country Club; and a regatta at the Seawanhaka Yacht Club. Looks like the perfect summer to me.
-Jared Paul Stern is the editor of DRIVEN.