The Hamptons' Most Famous Handyman Shares His Summer 2012 Season Take Aways

maidstone southamptonThe Maidstone Club, Southampton

Photo: Cully/EEFAS

Every summer in the Hamptons is gorgeous and luxurious — it must be consistent with its allure, of course — but you can always learn a little something.And who better to learn from than handyman Joe Schwenk, a.k.a, HamptonsBorn. A Hamptons native with ‘citiot’ clients (he also refers to them as ‘Team 212’ or ‘212’), he knows exactly what changes (more Teslas, more Wi-Fi, more SoulCycling) and what stays the same (leaky roofs, pools to clean). This year, he shared those observations with Daily Intel’s, Kevin Roose.

Here are some of our favourite points, but you should head to Daily Intel for the whole piece:

  • Pent-Up Anger Against the Rich (PUAAR) …The schism and anger between the Über-rich and the not-so-Über, not-so-rich, continues to expand… My guys at the airport see a lot more hedgies in big rim hats, hunched over, staring at the pavement when they board their helicopters on Sundays, and a lot more household staff are now being given confidentiality agreements to sign. The rich want to go underground. At least the smart rich do.
  • Competitively Distressed Lifestyles Possibly in an effort to order to avoid PUAAR, lots of 212 folks are now trying (unsuccessfully) to adopt competitively distressed lifestyles: musty Montauk beach cabanas, over-restored vintage SUVs, and outfits that are stylised to look trashed and dirty, but actually cost more than a decent wardrobe…I even taught two members of Team 212 how to farm using their vintage Farmall Cub tractors. 
  • The Death of Sagaponack After spending years as the most expensive zip code and undergoing a questionable transition into village-hood, it was inevitable that Sagaponack would fall under its own weight…Simply put, in about fifteen years we went from tiny cute barns on expansive fields to 10,000-square-foot juiced-up houses on a one-and-a-quarter-acre lots, with plug-and-play landscaping jobs that are about as interesting as the hedgie lemmings who reside inside. Sagaponack has become Levittown for rich people.

You feel like a Hamptons insider already, right? Wait for the best line though…

So, in about two weeks, 212 will be out of here…Yes, I’ll have crisp fall weather, easy parking spaces, and reasonably priced restaurant menus, but there is a part of me that will miss the relentless ambition and sweaty desperation to be relevant that makes my customers so interesting to watch and to work with.

This guy knows Wall Street.


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