Many of you have heard of the Hamptons, that putative playground of the rich and famous, and think that summer must be glamorous yacht loads of fun in a place like this. Beach blanket bingo on a luxe scale. Yes, Kim K. and her entourage take over main street in Southampton whenever they swooooop in, and Sag Harbor shares its sidewalks with the likes of Kelly Ripa, her kids, and Matt Lauer, but we don’t skip a beat on our way to grab a fabulous cup of coffee at Sagtown café. It’s all part of life in New York.
TIME TO RELAAAAAAAAAAX
The inside scoop is that we locals look upon the summer season with a measure of apprehension as the super-charged A-Types from Manhattan descend on our otherwise tranquil villages in droves. Being a former New Yorker myself, I’m sure I emitted the same jangled energy when I arrived on weekends years ago. But I’ve had sixteen years to unwind into life on the east end and can watch now with rapt amusement, if not murderous annoyance, as these high-strung urbanites arrive, determined, come hell or high water, to find their centers, relaaaaaaaax, and attack the farmer’s market for locally-grown organic produce before anyone else does. (Hilarious, as long as you’re not trying to cross the street with your dog – or navigate village streets on a bike.)
BACK ROADS OR BUST
A touch of nostalgia sets the agenda for the first official event of summer. Memorial Weekend kicks off with Sag Harbor’s annual parade to honor veterans and our volunteer fire department. Everyone turns out for this festive gathering, to wave flags and reconnect with friends after wintering in points south and west. The parade signals the official start of the summer season and that brings with it the annual fandango of crowds and crazies, and the ever-entertaining kamikaze-parking-circus on main street in the village
Shopping for provisions is nothing short of bare-knuckled combat on Montauk Highway, so girding the loins doesn’t begin to describe what a person’s gotta do to set out to score some supplies. If good wine and fresh seafood were not absolute essentials, the culinary bottom line, I might settle for a bag of chips and watch golf. But that won’t do for the kick-off of Summer 2016, so the lobsters have been procured through stealth and back-roads maneuvering and the riesling is chilling in a bucket of ice as we speak. Daffodil’s willing to share the couch, so there’s just enough time for a little nap before the festivities begin. Will be dreaming of Marauder’s Maps and invisibility cloaks…..from Memorial Day to Labor Day.