Three more rainy weekends, and it’s Labor Day’s mass migration out of Amagansett, Sagaponack, Quogue and Hamptons Bays.
The season for clogging that highway heading East — bicycles strapped onto a car’s trunk, unused pontoons tied to its roof — is over. The exodus turns Westward Ho! Leaves fall, faces fall and it’s back home to their time-share studios in the outer boroughs.
In days of yore, those towns were potato fields. In days of now, its year-round potatoheads still won’t widen that lousy one-lane highway. The thing’s narrower than Bernie Sanders’ brain. And crowded? It beats NYC’s L train subway crush.
My friend was driving to Water Mill. His son was a high-school junior looking at college. By the time he arrived, the kid was a senior looking for Social Security.
And all try to prove how smart they are. Each knows the hidden, unused, unknown, untravelled, undiscovered back-road shortcuts. Yeah, right. I mean, please. These circuitous, unmarked, lonely dirt lanes were once pastures, so guess what’s on them. Besides that, maybe there’s only the missing James Hoffa or the hidden killer of Mrs. O.J.
The area’s pretty. Lovely pumpkin and corn fields. Flower fields. Great fresh vegetable stands. It’s just that the place has ticks larger than Hummers. Houseguests that stay longer than the leaves. And most dinner guests are deer.
True, it has many beautiful people. Christie Brinkley has a spread, Sarah Jessica Parker has a home, Alec Baldwin has a place, Steven Spielberg has his own ocean, Jerry Seinfeld has his own parking lot, Matt Lauer has (had) his own ranch, Gwyneth got a shop there and McCartney got a wife there.
The crowds go poof!
Question: Why do so many head for those dunes? Can it be because they can’t pronounce Connecticut, Massachusetts, Adirondacks, Alleghenies, Rockaway, Hyannis, Nyack? And the conversation. Standing on Main Street, the first question always: “So how long did it take you to get here?” And the guys’ first sentence? “Mine is bigger than yours” — which out there means they’re talking about cars.
Come September, Bridgehampton’s ice cream parlor, where that jitney unloads visitors, will seem lonely. Dwellers in city buildings that bar four-legged tenants will return their summertime rent-a-dog. Pop-up restaurants will pop down. And a geezer’s old, green-and-white checked golf pants will be re-packed for Florida.
Real old folks & their old money
Many summertimers are older than the townships. Forget tennis. A local sport is the retiree who grabs the dinner tab. Heavy lifting is hunting a seat close enough to see the screen at those endless movie premieres, art gallery openings, or Southampton Hospital fund-raisers. Plus there’s never ending cocktail parties for anyone hustling votes. Some are long over. Look, beside those stale pigs in the blanket, there are also those stale pigs in politics. Hamptonites are still sending out Save-the-Dates for Thomas Jefferson, and Tom hasn’t been in office for weeks.
I didn’t say that
Not that I don’t appreciate the country. I drive through it often to get back to the city. It’s just that people say the Hamptons have become overcrowded, outgrown. Me, I wouldn’t say that. I might think it, but I wouldn’t say it.
And let nobody say I’m cranky — just because nobody invited me out there for the weekend.
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