A John Steinbeck Waterfront Park in Sag Harbor’s Future?

Image of Sag Harbor sign

John Steinbeck liked Sag Harbor, the Long Island fishing village where he lived and wrote The Winter of Our Discontent, his last novel. He even set the story in Sag Harbor, which in Steinbeck’s time was still the kind of place—like Salinas, his home town—where neighbors stayed on speaking terms and the day’s news could be heard at the downtown coffee shop Steinbeck frequented when he finished his morning writing. Last week the East End Beacon, a Sag Harbor area paper, reported on plans to build a waterfront park named for the writer on property the town is considering condemning. Ed Hollander, the landscape architect hired to propose public use for the land when acquired, “envisions a literary trail, perhaps in collaboration with Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library, which would include references to Steinbeck’s work.” In his writing Steinbeck worried aloud about over-development and ecology. So does Sag Harbor’s mayor, Sandra Schroeder. “The village does not need or want more condominiums,” she said. “What we want and need is a transformative park plan that will build on our maritime heritage and protect it for our children, their children, and their children’s children into the future.” Letters of support are welcome.

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