Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Are Short Term Rentals Harming The Hamptons... and I FINALLY got toTopping Rose!!

So the Hamptons are more crowded this year than last.  But yet, everyone from shop keepers and especially real estate agents (talking rentals) are saying that business is off.   One thing I always do when I take my stroll around town trying to look better dressed than the next guy, I always ask shop owners "how was your season?"   The response I keep hearing "not great."    But it's so crowded, which leaves me wondering what gives!?     Well some folks are blaming the increasing popularity of those short term rental websites for the problem.       For example, you can rent a house in Southampton from a website called Marquis for a nightly rate of $1,100 a night even though this is in violation of town code which requires a minimum of 14 days.     So, according to some there lies the problem.    You have a house which advertises an occupancy of 12 people each essentially paying $100 per person, they're not the types who are going to be spending money about town in the shops and restaurants.     By the way, I like that the Hamptons are becoming more accessible to folks who wouldn't normally be able to visit but by allowing overcrowding in houses it's more like a spring break location than quiet escape from city living.    What do you think?

Finally,  I got the chance to visit the new Topping Rose by Jean Georges last night and I can say is it was worth the wait.  Although the reservation lines need some fixing... about 45 minutes of holds, hang ups and transfers... the total experience was great.   The menu is unpretentious with everything from an amazing mini pizza to a terrific kale salad and a really solid cheese burger.    Service was solid and entrees arrived within a half hour of ordering.  I had the penne with meatballs and thought they were over the top awesome.   My dinner guests ordered the burger and the salmon, each earning a thumbs up from each.   I also recommend the heirloom tomato salad which right now is on the tail of being in season so go try it now.    This is a huge step up from last year's outing by Tom Coli

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

5 Hacks for Surviving the Hamptons... plus great beach music!!

The answer for crappy cell service!Click here to buy on Amazon! 
Well this is the home stretch folks and if you're like me,  the glass is half full.  We have a couple more weeks of summer!!!   Yes, there's more left of "Summergeddon 16" in the Hamptons and believe it or not, there are a few things you can make these next few weeks more enjoyable.  

Get a microcell for your cell phone - One of the biggest complaints people have about being on the east end is that their phones just don't work.  But it doesn't have to be the case.  You can go to your local service provider and buy a mini "cell tower" that hooks up to your internet for about $150.   You could also try calling them and see if they'll cut you some slack and send you one for free.   Sometimes they'll do that when you're in a zone with no "mapped" coverage.   It's bad enough for house guest but Lord knows even locals go nuts with the dead zones out here!

In Southampton behind Chase... plenty of spots!
Learn where to park - Going to dinner, lunch or just picking up a Lululemon shirt can be a nightmare during the height of summer.   Driving up and down main street hoping that you'll be lucky and be granted a gift by your parking angel.  But what if that Escalade isn't pulling out for your Mini-Cooper any time soon?   In Southampton Village, haul your four tires around the corner and use the village parking behind the Chase bank and West Main.    In Sag Harbor, during the day try the lot next to Dodds and Eder on W. Water St.   In East Hampton, the Walbaum's lot is always a nightmare so instead try the lot off Gingerbread Lane Extension (by the YMCA) and cut through Herrick Park to the heart of the village.

Coming and Going -  We all know you don't leave the Hamptons on Sunday afternoons at 4 pm and you don't leave the city on Fridays from 11am-5pm... so when are the "optimal" times to make your trek back and forth?  Well since I'm now a full timer out here I had to ask a few of my friends who are citidiot's to get an answer.  What is the best time to go back and forth to the east end?  The answer; Friday nights around 7pm departure from the city and Monday am at about 8 am departing the Hamptons.  That is of course if you can't catch the "cannonball" from Penn Station.

Handling Your Hot Car - I'm not sure where I read this but when your car is a 105 degrees and it's only 80 outside, there's a simple hack that will cool it off ASAP.  I'm not sure how it works or why but it does. Open the passenger side window and then open and shut the driver side door a few times for about 15 seconds.  I kid you not, your car will be a whole lot cooler.   I failed physics in high school so if there are any geeks out there to explain this, I'm all ears.

See You in September -  Hello, summer doesn't end till until September 23rd.   I'm letting you know the best kept secret in the Hamptons... SEPTEMBER IS THE BEST MONTH.  You have warm weather, warm water, less crowds and virtually ever shop in town is having a sale!     It's my favorite time of year out here.    It will be yours too... by the way, all the hotels are cheaper too!

Finally... it's my blog so suffer.  I want to tell you what I'm listening to this summer.   I can do that!   For some reason I stumbled on the new album from ABC (Look of Love and When Smokey Sings fame).  It's called The Lexicon of Love II and it's a "sequel" to their album of the same name which was huge in '82.   I personally think it's awesome and it's great pop music for grown ups.   Take a listen to the clip below.  Yeah they look older but we all do!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Finally... someone interviews Hamptons Chatter!!!

HAHA... CLICK BAIT... GOT CHA!     BUT DAMN IT... I'm upset
!!    Why do I keep reading all of these magazine profiles with everyone in the Hamptons but ME!    It's frustrating, I mean I'm more fabulous than the other guy you just profiled!   So rather than wait for some writer who doesn't really know me tell you how fabulous I am,  I've decided to tell you myself.   I mean it is the Hamptons and it is all about me!! So here is my interview with me about me...

So what brought you to the Hamptons?
I came out for a benefit to see my dear friend Christopher Rockefeller on a beautiful August day about 20 years ago.   I think it was a fundraiser for cats without tongues ("It's really a travesty they're the meow-less minority").  I am very involved in so many causes but I don't like to talk about them all, unless they honor me with a plaque. Anyway, I came out and just fell in love with the crowds that time of year.   It was so friendly and everyone just seemed to be enjoying themselves.  I mean how could I leave?

What don't you like about the Hamptons?
Oh I can't stand the McMansions.  They're horrible.   The one that I live in is not a McMansion at all, although some may think it looks like a really glamorous one.    I hate the McMansions look,  so I did some renovations to really make my house a home.  For example, when I moved in all of the dishwashers were Bosch, I switched them all to Miele.  Voila! The house feels so completely different now, it accents the granite counter tops in a whole new way!

Where is your favorite place for dinner?
My own house.    My wife, my boyfriend and my trainer found me the most fabulous private chef, Wolfgang Von Trapp.    His vegetarian chili served over his secret edel-rice is fabulous!   It's also gluten free, fat free and sodium free!    I mean who needs to go to a restaurant and see all those hungry people staring while you cut to the front of the line?    Eating at home is so much more civilized and when Wolfgang sings you'll feel like running to the top of our burm and start spinning!
It's an absolutely fabulous day when it's sunny!

What's your idea of the perfect summer afternoon in the Hamptons?
A warm sunny one.

How do you stay so fit?
I found this secret spin studio south of the highway off Georgica Pond which was started by a group of former Branch Dividians.   It's a whole new way of working out with bright lights, sleep deprivation and chanting.    I sometimes go three or four times a day!     It's reasonably priced too, just put them in your will and pay $50 for a 45 minute class.

What are you reading?
Right now I'm reading two books; "Being and Nothingness" by Jean-Paul Sarte and "Inferno" by Dan Brown.   I like to think when I read.

What's your favorite place to shop?
I like stores!  It's so incredible to go into a real building.  I know everyone else goes on and on about websites like Amazon and Zappos but you can't see how you'll look in front of other people on the Internet!  Besides isn't it a little weird to go to lunch after shopping on a computer?   There are no bags.

By the way, did we say you're charming, smart and good looking?!
You're welcome, I like to use Kiel's facial fuel.