Last week, Radar Online reported that Taylor Swift's security had angered Rhode Island locals by forbidding them access to a beach wall within the boundaries of her beachfront property. The wall was formerly a popular hangout for young beachgoers and surfers. "I want her out," said Jerimy Taylor. "This is one spot that not a lot of tourists know about yet." This sentiment was echoed by Casey Fiola: "We grew up here and this is our home and this is our hangout spot where we make our memories". Emily Rubin was angered by rumors "that she's going to try to buy the (public beach) path and stuff like that."
However, a local official for the Watch Hill Fire District, a wing of the Parks Commission overseeing the area, told Radar that Swift is well within her rights. "There has been an ongoing problem with people climbing onto her wall. The public is allowed on the beach, but only below the high tide water mark. When it’s high tide, they can’t be on her beach at all. When the tide is out, they can legally walk on the beach below the high tide mark."
Additionally, Radar reported that Swift's property line “is at the path to the public beach and she always has guards patrolling the area. It’s making it such a hassle.” However, this was disputed when a local reporter from The Westerly Sun spoke to one of two security guards stationed on Swift's estate on Saturday. The guard present at Swift’s driveway wouldn’t offer any information about how many security personnel guard the estate. But, he said, there is “never” anyone stationed on the path that leads down to East Beach, which borders Swift’s property line. When approached by a local reporter from The Day, the security guards, "though friendly and even jocular, obviously couldn't and wouldn't say anything."
“They’re cool,” Colin Petrie, 18, of Stonington, said of the security guards. Petrie works at the Ocean House and surfs at East Beach. “She doesn’t want anyone getting hurt or getting hurt on her property.” Adam Lozyniak, 24, of Westerly, who also surfs at East Beach, said the security guard he encountered was friendly and told him he’d like to learn to surf. “He was actually being a cool dude,” said Lozyniak. Brian Carney, 22, and Mike Trubia, 23, both of Westerly, agreed with Lozyniak that Swift’s security’s presence doesn’t impede on their surfing at East Beach.
John Repoza of Charlestown, an associate broker at Lila Delman Real Estate in Watch Hill, said he thinks the “dust will settle” regarding Swift’s presence. Watch Hill, after all, has been a resort for the rich and famous for the past couple of hundred years, he said. He added that Watch Hill has “one of the most protected harbors on the East Coast,” so Swift’s security guards aren’t the only officials constantly on patrol in the Watch Hill area. Also, certain areas of East Beach have been off-limits to members of the general public even before Swift’s local presence. The area of beach behind the Ocean House, for instance, is off-limits to those not staying at the Ocean House.
As for Swift herself, whether buying a cone at Mel's Downtown Creamery in Pawcatuck or eating with her family in the Olympia Tea Room or stopping by with celebrity pals at PizzaPlace in Westerly - where one of her security guards, handling the check, left a 55 percent tip for her party - she's been friendly and polite.
“She is very sweet,” echoed Melanie Parciak Goggin of Mel’s Downtown Creamery in Pawcatuck, where Swift and a large group of friends ended up their Memorial Day meander through downtown Westerly-Pawcatuck. “She was very polite. She even said, ‘It was so nice to meet you,’ when she left. The first thing she said when she came in was, ‘This place is wicked cute,’” smiled Goggin as she scooped ice cream for a customer.
"It’s funny, but ever since she bought the house I’ve been saying that I wanted to serve her ice cream,” added Goggin. “My husband said to me, ‘I bet you didn’t think it would happen that fast. It’s been the highlight of my scooping career,” she laughed.
Swift’s cone of choice? “Classic Oreo in a waffle cone,” said Goggin.
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