Photo: Saam Gabbay
I left NYC on an air conditioned train that was chilled enough to keep halibut from going bad. I wore a wool cap and aimed for Amagansett, a subset of the Hamptons (and a word I had only recently learned). At each stop, Hamptons patrons gathered by the train doors in self-selecting groups — seersucker and straw hats in Southampton; popped-collars and loafers (without socks) in East Hampton. By the time we got to Amagansett, there were less pochettes and more board shorts.My friend’s cottage was a 10-minute walk from the train station. We headed to a benefit that night with Ugg boots, heels, flip flops, an art auction, and a great DJ named Andrea to make it all work. The next day started with cold-pressed carrot juice at Jack’s where author John Pollack read the paper, his book about cork boats for sale on the shelf behind him.
The beach surprised me the most. Not because the water was perfect (it was), but because everyone was so fit. I’m talking ripped mums with six-packs and butts that defied gravity. I had never seen such a high concentration of healthy citizens anywhere, even at triathlon races.
Photo: Saam Gabbay
We headed to the lighthouse at Montauk that afternoon and drove past the old fish farm and a barge on the bay side which had been converted into an art school. Everything looked so right in this place. Next to the light house was a large Powerbar banner. It was the 16th annual Montauk Point Lighthouse Triathlon. There were a few art openings that night, and I ran into some West Coast friends who told us about a massive art show (complete with food trucks) at a hangar by the airport. High heels and sandals coexisted in peace, and all that mingling upstaged the art (even a hilarious sculpture of a young Christopher Walken on a swing).
When we drove back towards the NYC the next day, Amagansett’s uniqueness became clear to me. Even in Bridgehampton there was a frenzy of people on the streets. Packs of tourists always seem to have that consumerist hunger, but there’s very little of it in Amagansett.
Back on the West Coast, I miss the architecture of Amagansett. I miss what I can only describe as ancient energy. Amagansett feels like it’s been there a long time. It’s saltier. And 48-hours are simply not enough to get a good taste.
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