Fire Island: When Rich People Fight

Ascension Tea Dance at 236 Bay is one of the most buzzed about parties in Fire Island Pines. In 2011 the event had a dance floor built out into the bay. It was one of the most elaborate events of the season.

markatlarge Exclusive:

It’s just sad when poor people fight. But when rich people fight it’s fascinating.  After all Dynasty wouldn’t have been so fabulous if it took place in Bushwick with a bunch of baristas.

markatlarge stirred the pot just a bit when we published a gossip item involving one very hotly contested property on Fire Island, 236 Bay. For the past two years this property has been the location for the Ascension Tea Dance. Ascension is a weekend of parties that is run by the former owner of 80% of Fire Island Pines’ commercial real estate, Eric Von Kuersteiner. He and Seth Weissman (who is a part of an investment group that purchased the FIre Island properties from Kuersteiner) were both vying for 236 Bay this summer.

In 2011 the Ascension Tea Dance went well into the night capped off my a stunning fireworks display.

There are plenty of fabulous homes on Fire Island, but what is so special about 236 Bay? Why did Weissman want this particular property so badly? If I was Weissman’s PR person I would have told him, “don’t take the house – it’s going to give the appearance you’re trying to prevent one of the hottest parities of the season produced by your rival. This will especially look bad since you and your partners have made little to no progress on your temporary event site that burned down last year. So please pick another house on the island to prevent you from looking spiteful.”

The owner of 236 Bay, Jon Biondo Esq., contacted markatlarge explaining why he chose Weissman’s offer over Kuersteiner’s.

First off Mr. Biondo explicitly said Fire Island realtor Jon Wilner made him aware of all the offers. The reason Mr. Biondo chose Weissman was because he had unfruitfully negotiated with Kuersteiner for months. Kuersteiner only made the full share offer, as opposed to just the week of Ascension, late in the process, Weissman also agreed not have a party with over 75 people and Weissman would be “sharing it out” as opposed to subletting. It was for these reasons Mr. Biondo was leaning toward Weissman.

Eric von Kuersteiner flaked by super DJ Duo The Perry Twins

Eric von Kuersteiner flanked by super DJ Duo The Perry Twins who spun at the 2011 Tea Dance.

In the negations, Mr. Biondo confirms Kuersteiner did offer to match Weissman’s offer to paint the exterior of the building and replace the carpets. The only claim that Mr. Biondo disputed of Kuersteiner’s was he didn’t offer to fix the hot tub pump. According to Mr. Biondo, he didn’t want to nix his deal with Weissman because he negotiated in good faith, but if Kuersteiner sweetened his offer with a cabana at the Ascension beach party, he would have taken Kuersteiner’s deal. Kuersteiner has not responded to an email request regarding the cabana. Mr Biondo’s email states Kuersteiner did not offer the cabana and he decided to go with Weissman’s offer.

Mr. Biondo was quite thrifty. He personally painted his 7 bedroom house, had the hot tub pump replaced and new carpet laid for less than $10,000! For you folks who aren’t from New York that’s quite a bargain as it cost me $4,000 dollars just to have my 600 square foot studio painted.

Mr. Biondo did servile labor and gave up at least $10,000 in renovations for not getting a cabana at Ascension. Either (A) this in one hell of a party worth holding out for a cabana, (B) something else is up or (C) all of the above. I’m leaning toward (C), but since Mr. Biondo’s name ends in ‘Esq’ and he conspicuously concludes his emails with the address of his law firm, naturally, I take every thing Mr. Biondi says as fact–I’m a solid (A). Case closed, no need to serve any summons here!

UPDATE: Ascension just announced tickets will go on sale for all 4 parties, including the T-Dace on July, 5. Locations, DJs and special guests have not been announce–stay tuned! For more information visit 


Follow me on twitter to stay updated with the latest gossip. Forth of July weekend I will be on the island of turmoil for the first time this summer– tweeting live. Don’t miss it

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You have gossip? email me at or tweet it to me at @markatlarge.

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3 thoughts on “Fire Island: When Rich People Fight

  1. Pingback: Fire Island: War in Progress-No End in Sight! markatlarge

  2. Pingback: Fire Island: Clash of the Titans markatlarge

  3. Robert Feldman, Esq.

    This comment from the horse’s mouth so to speak completely corroborates what Jon Wilner has said both privately and publicly.

    In the interest of full disclosure I know and like all the parties involved but have no personal business or personal stake whatsoever in these issues.

    I will continue to trust Jon Wilner as he is an effective realtor.

    Robert Feldman, Esq.


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