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The Real Hamptons

July 31st, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

Whenever my coworkers ask what I’ve done for the weekend, I won’t mention that I’ve been to the Hamptons. They’d respond with an “Oh…..my! Well, aren’t you all that” kind of attitude which I’d rather not deal with. I have friends that live there and believe me, they’re not all rich and certainly not famous, except in my eyes. If you really want to see the Hamptons for what they are, you have to look past all the glitz and glamour. At the local Chicken BBQ in East Hampton you’re very likely to run into some celebrities but so what? They have to eat too. And who wants to see Alec Baldwin play baseball with Eli Wallach? They’re not that good. They’re just locals playing for charity proceeds. People – same as you and me, only…different. What sets them apart from the rest of us is obviously the difference in lifestyle but remember, they weren’t all born into aristocracy. Alec Baldwin was raised in Massapequa, NY – a hop, skip and a jump from where we live. In fact, we almost bought a house in his old neighborhood of Nassau Shores. A neighbor of mine grew up on the same street as the Baldwins; the brothers three who were the neighborhood bullies with Alec as the ringleader. I find this rather amusing – bullied his way right into Hollywood. Nice job.

But celebrity dulls in comparison to the real star – the gorgeous sparkling indigo ocean, the white sands and pristine beaches. Voted one of the top ten beaches in the U.S. was none other than Main Beach of East Hampton. Long before glamorous women in straw hats graced its shoreline, East Hampton was home to several tribes of Indians. In the late 17th century, Chief Wyandanch sold it to English colonist Lion Gardiner for “a large black dog, some powder and shot, and a few Dutch blankets”. Lots of things happened in between, the glory (or is it gory) of the Whaling days and stories of Captain Kidd along with many other historical events. But it wasn’t until Jackson Pollock made it his home along with Lee Krasner that it began to assume prestige in becoming a distinctive artists colony. Artists constantly commented on “the light” found there unlike anywhere else. You know how important lighting can be to artists if you’ve ever dabbled in paints. But here again, the real masterpiece is the actual scenery the artist has attempted to re-create.

To experience this majesty for yourself, my recommendation would be for you to bypass the Hamptons altogether and drive straight through to Montauk Point. The drive itself is lovely and you have no choice but to take in all the sights because of the overwhelming traffic from the time you enter Southhampton until you get to East Hampton. If you’re like my husband you’ll want to bring a good book although personally I love people – watching and taking in the boutique lined streets. If you must stop, be prepared to spend an exorbitant sum. There are many excellent restaurants and wineries from which to choose as well but if you stop you’ll never make it to the crowning jewel unless you make a weekend out of the trip.

You simply cannot get lost trying to find the Montauk Lighthouse. Just keep driving until you fall off the island. In truth, once you get there, the road continues to take you back the way you came if you’re not prepared to spend the $8.00 fee just to park your car so you’re left with little choice. If you wait until after 4 pm parking is free and the scenery really hasn’t changed much from before. It is however, gorgeous. Watch the boats and listen to a weak voiced rendition of “Sailing” by a local jazz keyboardist. He isn’t there to compete with the breathtaking view but simply provides very pleasant backdrop music. I found his flat notes very endearing.

So, for a lovely afternoon spent with a loved one, head out to Montauk Point and reminisce on the Memory Motel, a part of Andy Warhol’s estate made famous by the Rolling Stones. If you’re hungry, eat at Gosman’s Dock or for an even more casual dining experience, stop at LUNCH for a bite to eat for some of the freshest seafood you’ll find anywhere before dealing with the traffic – again. And be sure to stop for the sweetest corn at one of the farm stands. It’s a real taste of the Hamptons.

So………….. whadayathink? Which would you rather watch – some celebrity dribble BBQ sauce down his chin or the beautiful, beautiful sea? Hmmm…… I might want to get a gander at the sloppy chin and take a look at the sea later. You can do both when you’re in the Hamptons.

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4 Responses to “The Real Hamptons”

  1. cake boxes Says:

    Pretty impressive post. I have never been to the Hamptons, now I’m, going plan a vacation – so beautiful. I just stumbled upon your website and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your opinions. Any way I’ll be coming back and I hope you post again soon.

  2. magdalena Says:

    If you’ve never been to The Hamptons, you’re in for a real treat. Be sure to see the lighthouse at Montauk Point and climb up to the top of it. It will take your breath away!

  3. zennie Says:

    Water is breathtaking.

  4. air horn Says:

    Now that is beauty – Montauk point !

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