JANUARY 2019 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 65
Downtown Great Neck Village Plaza is the heart of the Gold Coast (Long Island Press photo).
DESTINATION: GREAT NECK
BY BRENDAN MANLEY
The Long Island community of Great Neck is perhaps best known as the
setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic work The Great Gatsby, in which the
book's location was thinly disguised with the fictionalized name "West Egg."
Fitzgerald chose this pseudonym to directly oppose Great Neck's posh Gold
Coast neighbor, Sands Point, which was known as "East Egg."
But it wasn't always of Gatsby's ilk. Like many LI neighborhoods, the advent
of the railroad in the late 19th century brought major changes to Great Neck,
with its status as the railhead of the New-York and Flushing Railroad sparking
its evolution from a humble farming village into a New York City commuter
community. By the time of the Roaring ’20s, Great Neck was a decadent
playground for Manhattan elites, and served as home to celebrities like Eddie
Cantor, Sid Caesar and the Marx Brothers during the ensuing decades. It
retains much of its picturesque scenery and Gold Coast opulence today.
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