Growing Up In Port Washington: A Student’s Perspective

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The unique and exceptional qualities that Port Washington offers its residents and visitors is a privilege that is sometimes easy to take for granted. It was on a recent walk along Main Street, after my last final exam, that my mind was finally free to focus on the fact that I would be a senior at Schreiber next year and most likely leaving Port Washington for college after that. I began to reflect on my childhood memories and realized that Port Washington has played a large role in who I am and how I define myself. I am a proud Port resident and love so many of the facets of Port Washington life.

Port Washington’s physical beauty is unquestionable. Young families transitioning away from city life have flocked to our community for generations. As a real estate broker, my mom and her business partner say that a main attraction has been Port Washington’s beautiful landscape as well as the daily views of the Long Island Sound. If a drive through town to see the beautiful homes and waterfront are not enough to convince you of this, it is worth consulting Hollywood. Many famous and popular movies, television shows and novels have used Port Washington as their settings. Have you ever seen “The Wolf of Wall Street?” Sections of the movie were filmed in Sands Point. Many people recognize that Jordan Belfort’s beach house is really a house on Vanderbilt Drive. In case you haven’t seen The Wolf of Wall Street, how about Gossip Girl? Your favorite teen drama’s ‘Hamptons’ scenes were filmed in…(you guessed it) Port Washington. And if you think that Port is just catching on, F. Scott Fitzgerald was inspired by Port’s beauty when he described East Egg in “The Great Gatsby.” Fitzgerald discusses fictional locations, but he was inspired by real ones. Port Washington’s physical beauty is undeniable and enhances my life every day.

Port Washington also offers an amazing opportunity to learn about and interact with the local ecology. Whether exploring the trails of the Sands Point Preserve, fishing at the town dock or taking a walk on one of the many beaches, the opportunities to observe aviary and marine life are endless. Seeing the countless boats docked at the marinas as I drive by on my way to school each morning relaxes me. In the summer months, I can be found on a boat ride with my friends, paddle boarding or fishing at the town dock. Life by the water is always fun. Port’s close proximity to New York City means that town is filled with busy, fast-walking and talking New Yorkers but I believe that those of us who have chosen to make Port our home are also great at sitting back, relaxing and casting our reels. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

Diversity is the quality that I personally love the most about Port Washington. This is what I think makes Port the best place to live and grow up in. In this context, diversity means cultures, races, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds and political views. Although we have all chosen to live here, our differences are what makes Port multidimensional. Living in Port Washington means attending school with students who are the same and different from each other at the same time. It means exposure to restaurants with flavors and fragrances from different ethnic backgrounds. It means learning about countless religions and their holidays. It means teaching others about my family’s traditions and history. It means hearing different languages spoken at the supermarkets. It means sports teams for some students, drama programs for others and math, science, history and auto-tech for others. Everything goes in Port Washington, and everyone is welcome. I am proud of our heterogenous community and the differences that each and every community member brings to the table to make us one. PRIDE IN PORT is not just a day in October but a feeling that I have all year. I wouldn’t be me without Port.

—Zack Siegel is a student at Schreiber High School and a columnist for the Port Washington News

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks Zack Siegel for your wonderful essay on Growing up in Port Washington. As a Real Estate Broker’s son, you can appreciate all the fine qualities that our town has to offer, as well the fine educational background that has enabled you to so eloquently express your views. Thank you.

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