A Brief History of Montauk, NY

The Montauketts Native American tribe lived on the island of Montauk approximately 400 years ago. This peaceful tribe of hunters, fishermen, and farmers mark the beginning of Montauk’s rich history—a history that attracted New York holistic dentist Dr. Lewis Gross to the island while writing his novel Montauk Dental.

17th Century Montauk

The first white settler to arrive on the island of Montauk was Dutch explorer Adrian Block, but the first permanent resident of Montauk—land granted by King Charles I—was Lord Gardiner, who moved from Connecticut in 1639. Lord Gardiner developed a pleasant relationship with the Montauk Indians and often enjoyed the company and assistance of Chief Wyandach. Continue reading

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Tango: The Ultimate Couples’ Dance

Thanks to the growing popularity of ballroom dancing on television (Dancing with the Stars, anyone?), the Tango is one of the most popular couples’ dances around. Maybe that’s why it’s the perfect subject of dancing dentist Dr. Lewis Gross’ novel Montauk Tango.

The Origin of the Couples’ Dance

The first couples’ dance—a dance in which a man and woman face each other, with the man holding the woman’s right hand in his left hand and his right arm around her—was the Viennese Waltz. Prior to this European craze, which took place in the 1830s, couples’ dancing was formal and highly choreographed, with no more physical contact than holding hands. During the 1840s, the Polka became the second popular couples’ dance in history.

Then, the Tango came along and radically changed the way couples interacted on the dance floor. Introducing the concept of improvisation and playing into human sexuality, the Tango had an intense influence on couples’ dancing in the twentieth century. Continue reading

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Montauk: The End

Last week, we talked about how Montauk, New York, is the self-proclaimed surfcasting capital of the world. Today, Tribeca holistic dentist and Tango-dancing Montauk frequenter Dr. Lewis Gross wants to take a look at what makes Montauk such a great place for fisherman, families, and tourists alike.

Geography of Montauk

We’re talking about the geography, of course! Located on the eastern end of Long Island, New York’s South fork, the small town of Montauk is the furthest eastern point on Long Island. This position has earned Montauk the nickname “The End,” which can be seen all over bumper stickers, t-shirts, and around the city.

Just over 100 miles from New York City, Montauk is a frequent weekend getaway for New Yorkers, which—although convenient—can lead to some heavy traffic and delays on Friday and Sunday afternoons. According to the United States Census Bureau, Montauk is a hamlet, simply meaning a type of unincorporated settlement within a larger town. In total, the hamlet of Montauk has an area of 19.8 square miles, of which 17.5 square miles are land and 2.3 square miles are water. Continue reading

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The Surfcasting Capital of the World

Did you know that Montauk is the self-proclaimed Surfcasting Capital of the World? Maybe that’s why it’s the perfect setting for Dr. Lewis Gross’ novel Montauk Tango!

What is Surfcasting?

Also known as surffishing and beachcasting, surfcasting is the sport of catching fish standing on the shoreline or wading in the surf.

Surfcasting may or may not include casting a lure or bait, and the sport includes all types of shore fishing, whether done from a sandy or rocky beach, a rock jetty, or a fishing pier. Additionally, surfcasting is typically done in saltwater. Continue reading

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Fact, Fiction, or Pop Culture: The Montauk Monster

The Montauk Monster (Photo from wikipedia.com)

In 2010, Dr. Lewis Gross, also known as the Holistic Dancing Dentist, wrote a book called Montauk Tango that’s based in Montauk, New York. This fictional story follows Lewis and Tracy as they relocate from a post-9/11 New York City to their summer home in Montauk and open a restaurant. Montauk has been the setting of some of the most beloved stories, but many gloss over a bizarre event that happened in 2008. Continue reading

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Tango and the Married Man

“This story is really for all you metro, middle-aged men with working wives, weekend marriages, and wayward children, or at least two out of three. We are the Rapt Generation of husbands. It is no longer sufficient for me to bring home the bacon, mow the lawn, and slap the ball. Now we have to cook the bacon and slap the sausage, as the women are busy making the bread. Wake up, guys, and smell the doughnuts. The world is still round, but we’re no longer the center. We’ve become the hole in the doughnut.” Continue reading

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Montauk’s Story and Seduction

Located on the East End of Long Island, Montauk Village has a rich history. Legends abound about Montauk Village, from Captain Kidd’s buried treasure to government time-travel experiments in the 1970s. Whether the stories are true will probably never be revealed. Even without the folklore, Montauk’s past is riddled with interesting events and personalities.

The birth of Montauk Village: European settlers came to Long Island in the 1600s, and they found that the island was ruled by the Montauk Sacham and was home to several nomadic tribal factions of Algonquin Indians. The Montauk Indians lived on the Island’s natural resources of plants, fish, deer, and birds, and they also farmed crops of corn, beans, and squash.

Wyandanch, leader of the Montauk, allowed settlers to raise cattle in Montauk Village, as well. The amicable tribe also taught European settlers how to hunt whale, and whaling became the primary industry for Montauk residents through the 1800s. In 1686, Wyandanch sold Montauk Village to East Hampton settlers, who owned the village for about 200 years. During this time, Montauk became a hub for cattle events, including summer pasturing and yearly cattle drives. Continue reading

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The Power of the Tango

In his book, Montauk Tango, Dr. Gross explains how his main characters, Tracy and Lewis, used the Tango to tear down walls and build bridges between Montauk locals and their family restaurant, The 668 Gig Shack. How could a silly dance have such impressive power?

The Tango is no silly dance. In fact, the dance has its own music genre—tango music is a genre.

Tango’s Origins

With inspiration from the Cuban habanera, Argentine milong and candobe, and African dance, the Tango is thought to have originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the word “Tango” originated just before the turn of the 20th Century. Some historians believe that it was first practiced in Cuba and Spain years before. One variety of Tango, the flamenco, has roots from Europe’s minuet dances. The widespread popularity of the Tango comes from its fashionable Paris popularity in the early 20th Century. Continue reading

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The Perfect Setting: The 668 Gig Shack, Montauk, NY

In his book, Montauk Tango, Dr. Lewis Gross tells the powerful story of a family who owns and operates The 668 Gig Shack, a relaxing seafood restaurant in Montauk, NY. So just how great is this restaurant? Great enough for Dr. Gross to dedicate an entire book to it!

The 668 Gig Shack  serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to Sushi & Sake on Wednesdays and Fridays, and Tapas on Sundays and Tuesdays. The menu consists of seafood selections, as well as beef, pork, and chicken entrees. Whether you want a salad or a bison burger, The 668 Gig Shack can accommodate. Signature cocktails include Tiger Blood, Muddle Rebuttal, Cucumber or Jalapeno margaritas, and Bee’s Knees. Continue reading

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Montauk Tango Wins An Indie Excellence Book Award

Montauk Tango has taken home the prize for Best Book in the Men’s Issues category from the 2011 National Indie Excellence Book Awards. The book was selected as the winner of the category by a panel of experts in independent publishing, editing,  writing, book cover design, and copywriting.

Dr. Lewis Gross will be signing copies of Montauk Tango at Book Expo America on May 24th at New York City’s Javits Center from 4:00 – 5:00 PM, and will also be holding weekly tapas and book signing events on Saturday evenings at Montauk’s 668 The Gig Shack, as featured in Montauk Tango.

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