Entertaining story in the New York Times today about how the Hamptons are being battered by wealth, interlopers, drunken revelers, Uber-style helicopter companies, nightclubs run by city folk, etc. La plus ca change, right?
(And hats off to the writer, Jim Rutenberg, has come a long way from his days as our inexperienced sidekick at a Manhattan weekly and at a New York daily.)
We spent many summers (and other seasons) out East, starting in the sepia-toned days (1960s, 1970s, 1980s) when we could pick up a phone book to find the address and phone number of interview subjects, ranging from Juan Trippe and William Simon (Google them, kids) to Larry Rivers and Chuck Close. Celebrities and moguls might have had an unlisted number in New York City, but most never thought to do the same for their summer home.
But the point, and we do have one, is that in the same way that what made Greenwich Village appealing is slowly being destroyed, the same thing is happening in East Hampton, and a whole lot of other places.
Main St. and Newtown Lane in East Hampton is now DKNY Tiffany Ralph Lauren Marc Jacobs. Local businesses are a rarity. The quaint old movie place is now a multiplex. Dumpy old Ma Bergman's has for decades been the celebrity eatery Nick & Toni's (though they are actually good members of the community and the least of the problems in the Hamptons). The open space is being slowly eaten up. Hard to screw with the natural light that made the area a haven to painters from Pollock to deKooning to you name them, but can buildings like the behemoths that line West 57th St and cast a shadow into Central Park one day line Three Mile Harbor Road and cast a shadow over Accabonac Creek?
I hear you laughing at the absurdity of a 100-story building in East Hampton. However, it is not that funny. Zoning laws can change with enough financial power, as can most anything else. Some things should not be for sale, such as our collective history. Even Mr. Met isn't happy about it.