Vintage Dinghies

For those of us with a Gatsby fetish, the prospect of a classic boat and yacht show with beautifully restored and maintained vintage boats from the '20s through the '50s is pretty thrilling. Sure, I got a little critical of conspicuous consumption elsewhere in this issue, but from a half-century's distance, that kind of opulence can be retroactively charming. The most ostentatious and vulgar display of wealth can grow classy and culturally important with time. In 1789, French Revolutionaries stormed the Palace of Versailles in response to its representation of aristocratic bloat and indifference. Now, it's a cherished historical landmark and tourist spot. Hummer owners, your time may yet come.

This weekend, the befouled waters of Long Beach will be host to a collection of vintage vessels, some of which are the kinds that tooled around Long Island while their passengers danced the Charleston, did cocaine and trimmed their bobs. Or perhaps you might see the type of craft upon which the Kennedys played grab-ass and sunned themselves. Guests will get to tour some of the ships and the first annual SYC Commodore's Cup will be awarded to the best classic boat in the show. While owning a yacht is a pleasure that few of us commoners will enjoy, for a little while this weekend at least, you can don your admiral's cap, buff your epaulets and use your best Yalie accent to order the cabin boy to prepare you a Gibson.

Classic Boat and Yacht Festival at Rainbow Harbor, 429 Shoreline Village Dr., Long Beach; . Sat.-Sun. All day. Free.

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