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Nina In New York: My Own Private Island

Rat Island (in the foreground) is seen from City Island – Bronx, NY – Sep 27, 2011 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Rat Island (in the foreground) is seen from City Island – Bronx, NY – Sep 27, 2011 (credit: Alex Silverman / WCBS 880)

Summer Drinking

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
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By Nina Pajak

Oh, bully! Finally, a private island that makes sense.

I mean, you have positively no idea how long this search has been ongoing. It’s been positively glacial, I tell you. I’ve just been positively beside myself. What’s an aspiring frivolously wealthy landowner to do?

Luckily, Christine Svenningsen, wealthy widow, is selling two of her ten privately-owned properties in the Thimble Islands, which are located in the Long Island Sound off Branford, CT.

They’re both very small, the larger of the two being just over an acre, and both feature moderately-sized homes. I mean, we’re not talking Richard Branson here. But think of all the benefits to owning an entire teeny, weeny island! Here are some things you can do:

  • Sunbathe in the nude
  • Scream as loud as you like
  • Drink without worrying about driving anywhere
  • Vacuum whenever you damn well please
  • Justify a purchase of a golf cart which will never see a golf course
  • Hang a picture at 2 a.m.
  • Pretend you’re on an episode of Lost
  • Swim the circumference and probably not get eaten by a shark
  • Play your Celine Dion’s Greatest Hits album as loud as you like whenever you’d like (oh, wait, my neighbor already does that)
  • Sing all the parts of Les Miserables at the top of your voice
  • Let your dog run around without a collar or a leash
  • Yodel
  • Run through the sprinklers like you’re six years old
  • Throw a rager worthy of a John Hughes movie
  • Learn how to cartwheel without anyone coming by unannounced and saying, “oh my god, you don’t know how to do a cartwheel??”
  • Wait until 10 a.m. to retrieve the newspaper without worrying about one of your stupid, lousy neighbors stealing the stupid, lousy thing
  • Grow marijuana (not recommending, just guessing)
  • Practice archery

I won’t pretend it’s a perfect situation. There are some things that would never be possible on such a property:

  • Going out to dinner
  • Landing a helicopter (I think)
  • Horseback riding
  • Driving a car
  • Calling an ambulance or fire truck (????)
  • Ordering takeout
  • Training for a marathon
  • Practicing archery with flaming arrows (see above)
  • Start a menagerie
  • Grumble about nosy neighbors

That’s probably pretty much it. Or at least, that covers the important ones. Weighing out the pros versus the cons, I can’t see any other decision but to come out in strong favor of the weensy private island.

Ms. Svenningsen will only sell to a worthy buyer who appreciates her former homes for what they are and will treat them accordingly. So I just want to stress to her that I really wouldn’t grow marijuana. That was just a joke. I’m just saying a person probably could, because who is really looking down there, right? But not me. I’m more in the “sing Les Miz and yodel really loudly” group. I hope you don’t take offense to that sort of behavior, as it’s non-negotiable.

I look forward to doing business with you.

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Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

 Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

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