As the travel editor for CBS News, Peter Greenberg spends much of the year outside of New York, where he has homes in Manhattan and Fire Island, the latter of which was built by his parents 55 years ago. “I love Fire Island,” he said. “It’s the Hamptons without the attitude.” During the summer, he takes up residence in Ocean Bay Park, on Fire Island, when he can.
For decades Mr. Greenberg, now 69, was a bachelor who was opposed to marriage. “As a journalist I was covering a lot of public figures who kept getting divorced,” he said. “Even my own parents, who should have divorced, stayed together for the kids. With that as my model it wasn’t something on my list.”
But in 2016, Mr. Greenberg met Hande Bayar, 47, a graphic designer, at a television premiere. “I didn’t know what love was until I met Hande.” In July, the two were married in Central Park.
BEFORE SUNRISE I only need four hours of sleep so I’m up at 4 a.m. This is when I do my best writing. I’m working on my next book and I’m doing magazine pieces, top editing my scripts, writing my producer for my radio show. I also return emails. I get about 450 a day. I don’t like coffee so I start the day with a ginger ale.
Mr. Greenberg spends his summer weekends in Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island.CreditMelanie Metz for The New York Times
PAPER RUN Around 7:30 I get on my boat to go shopping. I pull into the dock, run into the Seaview store and get as many newspapers as I can. Then I zip back.
HANDE At 8ish I make breakfast for my wife. In September 2017, a hole in my stomach that I didn’t know I had got bigger and became life threatening. When I got to Mount Sinai I gave the hospital my sister’s number and texted Hande, who I had just started dating, and who I was supposed to get together with that night, to tell her I wouldn’t be able to make it.
I woke up three days later with 15 tubes everywhere in the I.C.U. There were two people who never left my side, my sister and Hande. Our relationship grew from there. It was a life-challenging moment that became a life-changing moment. And when it came to marriage, “never” became “when.”
FRATERNITY We watch “CBS Sunday Morning” and read the paper. Then I go down to the firehouse for a one-hour meeting, presuming there are no fire alarms. Growing up, all the kids would run to the firehouse when the alarm rang.
On my 17th birthday, they told me I would qualify for certification the next year, which is what I did. Now I’m a firefighter with 50 years with the department. In a given year, I’ll respond to about 50 alarms, some are false; some are real. It makes you a true member of the community. It was and still is my coed fraternity.
BOATING While I’ve been at the firehouse, Hande has made a picnic lunch. By 1ish we’re on the boat. It’s a Pro-Line 30-foot Center Console. It takes 32-minutes for the ferry to go across the bay, I can do it in 11. We go out about five miles and once there we turn off the engine. There’s no radio. The only sound you hear is the water slapping up against the boat. It’s intoxicating.
We eat first, a salad with snap peas and green peppers and wine for her; maybe a grilled cheese for me. We swim, and then read on the bow. I would rent a boat as a kid for $5 an hour; my parents never knew. I had to earn every penny to buy my first boat, which I did at 14 because I had six different jobs. I still have that boat. It’s a restored 13-foot Boston Whaler. It’s a classic and a museum piece.
TIME TO GO By 4:30 we go back home to shower and change. Then my wife drives me to the airport. During the summer I don’t slow down, I redirect. I spend as much time as I can out here. I’ll get to J.F.K. around 7:30 for a 9:45 flight.
TRAVEL DEAL This time I’m going to Warsaw because I have a meeting the next day with the prime minister. I always leave on a Sunday and I’m usually back by or before Thursday. The deal is we are never away from each other for more than three nights. If we are, then she comes with me.
TWO KINDS OF LUGGAGE On the plane, I’m a window guy because I don’t want anyone climbing over me. I take a Spartan view of air travel, I’m not there for the food or the seats. There are two kinds of luggage; carry-on and lost. I’ve FedExed my bags to my destination for the past nine years. I get 16 newspapers and 35 magazines every day so I bring a small carry on and a huge blue duffel filled with reading material. The goal is to get off the plane with an empty bag.