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Shelter Island: The secret of an Enchanted Island Retreat within 2 hours from Manhattan

By Judi Desiderio, Wednesday, August 19, 2009
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The island’s name provides the essence of this wonderful island get-away: Shelter.

Shelter from the elements historically, Shelter to practice religion for the Methodists in the late 19th century , but nowadays more importantly Shelter from the hassle of our daily life… The island has succeeded to escape the urbanization of the rest of Long Island, and, along with the North Fork, reflects more of the lifestyle of the New Englanders who settled the place, than of the typical Urban dwellers sprawlingly urbanizing the surrounds of New York City. Locals will frown upon divulging this secret in a blog. I am counting they are not online….

So how can you become a part of this special place? Let me divulge the secret of the state of the real estate market here later in this blog: its a great time to buy a piece of paradise…

Count on getting to know the 2250 or so locals who live on this 8000 Acre island, most of which is set aside as a Nature Conservancy Preserve (and Mashomack preserve), by name: if you do it right they will know your’s. Not to worry, New England privacy -maybe reservedness- is respected and developed into an art on Shelter Island. The island, maybe for that reason, is home to many a quiet celebrity, enjoy the natural beauty of this spectacular place.

The Ferries from Shelter Island to and from either Sag Harbor or Greenport jealously guard the privacy of Shelter Island – the only way to get on or off , protecting the likes of this golden oldie victorian overlooking Deering Harbor.

Summer Rentals provide a great way for people not from the island to get to spend some time. A room at the Rams Head Inn with its great lawn makes you a part of a Merchant Ivory movie scene.

In Summer you will meet Itzhak Perlman who leads a summer camp master class for the world’s most talented musicians-to-be. You can attend practice picknicking at his lawn or attend one of many regional concerts.

“Vine Cafe” and hangout for beautiful people, “Sunset Beach” at gorgeous Crescent Beach overlooking Southold Bay will provide entertainment and people watching, not quite as ostentatious as in the Hamptons, but much more refined. But do not be surprised to meet Grandma’s bridge partners having lunch while movie stars engage in romance at a table in the back….away from it all, protected from the paparazzi, the newst Shelter this Island now provides.

The town fathers have enacted laws making it very difficult to find Real Estate for sale on Shelter Island; no for sale signs can be placed by Realtors. Saturday Mornings you may be lucky to find some temporary Open House signs providing you with a glimpse of what could be your’s…before its really Beach Time. Realtors are not listing their properties on MLS in general. Values have not suffered from these practices, until now.

I personally have not seen value such as today’s on the Island of Protection, Shelter Island. From small shacks to brand new homes, from multimillion dollar waterfronts to a piece of land overlooking small creeks, opportunity is knocking loudly……

So talk to someone who knows the Island to help unveil its secrets. Now this is enjoyable house hunting. And become a part of Shelter Island, live longer, let Town and Country help you, providing you with Concierge service!