Monday, August 29, 2011

The Hamptons: Various

Ok, so obviously the Hamptons are in Long Island and not part of NYC.  However, I thought I could not let the entire summer go by without at least mentioning that many New Yorkers spend their summer weekends in the Hamptons.

As a Los Angelino, when I first moved to NYC, I thought this was ridiculous.  Who would pay the outrageous sums to share summer rentals (of varying degrees of disrepair or maintenance) and then drive (or ride in the Jitney bus service) 2.5-3.5 hours each way to spend some time by the beach?  Well, in the professional set, you'd be surprised.  Some claim that it is because all of the partying goes on out there in the summertime, and if you are single there is no one to hang out with left in the City on the weekends.  But families also partake of what the Hamptons have to offer.

I will say that the beaches are quite nice (not crowded, see right and below) and the dining is good.  There are quaint little villages of antique shops, coffee shops, and yoga establishments too.  And while not my venue of choice, there are fun bars as well.  You can also visit wineries if that is more to your taste.  Perhaps the variety and the space is really what the Hamptons offers to bedraggled New Yorkers--a little respite from an otherwise stiflingly hot and humid City packed with residents and tourists (although I wonder if regular year-round Hamptons residents think of the summer rental visitors as tourists with as much disdain).

I went as a guest of a friend who had a rental and had a lovely time.  We relaxed on the beaches, had good fresh food from the local farms sold at the many farm stands, dined at nice restaurants (like The Homestead, Paradise Cafe, and Nick and Toni's) and coffee shops, and I partook of the famous BBC at Cyril's.  My visit was cut short due to Hurricane Irene, but we packed a lot into our 4 day retreat.

As you can probably tell from my description, I am not a convert, but I think I understand the appeal for others.  Frankly, I like that many of the Manhattanites flee to the Hamptons, as that makes the City much more pleasant for those of us who remain (restaurants that are usually impossible to get into are available for reservations during this period each year).  So if you get a chance to go to the Hamptons, please do (but don't forget the insect repellant or you may be eaten alive by the mosquitos).

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