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Friday, August 14, 2015

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SUMMER RENTERS... PLUS HOW TO PLAN FOR YOUR NEXT HAMPTONS BEACH PARTY!

Summer '15... few takers?
As we come to the end of the summer of '15, there seems to be a reoccurring topic of conversation among home owners, agents and pretty much everyone.    "Was it a good rental season?"   Well the answer in a nutshell is "no."    In fact, I have had a number of homeowners ask me, why their home didn't
rent.   If you're one of the many who've uttered those words you're not alone.   I'm not sure if it was because of all of those short term rental sites or more folks are buying and building.  I've heard both theories.  What I do know... in the opinion of this humble agent was it was not as active as years past.   But it wasn't just me.  In fact, I meet monthly with a group of about 25 top agents from a cross section of all the real estate companies and regions.   At our last get together someone raised the question, "who thought this was a good rental season?" Unfortunately not one person raised their hand.   What I think this means is next year, look for an adjustment in some prices and landlords being a bit more accommodating in cutting a deal.   If you found otherwise, feel free to let me know.

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to hit the beach in the early evening with some friends and enjoy the sand, the fresh air and the surf... and I don't mean on your smartphone.   You only have a few weeks left of Summer '15 so here's one way to make it special.     But before you lug your blankets, food and friends Wiborg or Fowler, make sure your know the rules.   Hello?!  Like you didn't think there were rules.... it's the Hamptons, there are rules for everything.

There better be a container under there!?
In case you haven't been paying attention, new laws went into effect that require beach fires in East Hampton town be lit in a metal container, similar laws were already in effect for Southampton and East Hampton village.   In Southampton Village, you need a permit  to light a bonfire.   For the most part no permits are necessary on the other beaches but as I said, you need to clean up... keep it contained... and have some buckets of water handy.   You're of course responsible for putting out the fire and cleaning up afterwards.   Also, don't try to light that fire before 6pm, it's a no-no.

As for a little Rose for that perfect summer beach dinner party, you'll need a permit if you're inviting over 50 people.    Also, open containers of alcohol are prohibited across the board but you can get a special permit for catered events and parties.   Pets are also allowed after 6pm at most beaches.   If you want more information for each local town... check out the links below and have fun.   But remember, not too much fun it's the Hamptons.

EAST HAMPTON TOWN
EAST HAMPTON VILLAGE
SOUTHAMPTON TOWN
SOUTHAMPTON VILLAGE



Friday, August 7, 2015

IF THIS SEEMS NORMAL.... YOU KNOW YOU'RE IN THE HAMPTONS!

I know it might sound shocking to some but I'm not originally from the Hamptons.  Yes, many think I'm the quintessential Hamptonite.  But here's my deep, dark secret....  I actually grew up in New Jersey.... but it gets worse... South Jersey!   Yes, a place where something called Scrapple (google it if you don't know - but don't say I didn't warn you) is considered gourmet, water is pronounced "worder" and the differences between peeing in the pool and into the pool are debatable.      Yet, after being here now for more than 20 years, I've become jaded.

Yet, while there are certain things that many on the outside already know about life in the Hamptons... the fun of a good star sighting... (You know sitting next to Jack Nicholson at The Grill - yep I did),.. $25.00 containers of guacamole or the insane price of real estate.. there are a few things that only those who really live here can understand.   Things that would make the average jaw drop in say, Ohio (are you reading Laura D?) that we here on the East End completely take for granted.  So here are a few of my observations that only people on the inside will understand as everyday life as we know it in the Hamptons.  

Valet Service at the Hospital - Where I grew up, the only valet I ever experienced for medical treatment involved an ambulance.   But here in the Hamptons we have valet service!   Yes, you can drop off your BMW or Tesla as your holding your blood soaked bandages on that gushing wound and get a free claim ticket!  I know, its just as glamorous as it sounds and almost as fancy as taking a "Blade" helicopter to Stony Brook.      

Oblivious Texting and Walking -  Perhaps the reason so many are using that valet service is because they were claiming their G*d given right to text and walk without looking.    Yes,  it doesn't matter if your crossing Main Street or 27 in the Hamptons, if you're texting and walking there is no need to look.   It's the drivers or bicyclists obligation to be on the lookout for you!  Ugh... I know I get it... pedestrians have the right away but there is a certain amount of responsibility we all need to take.     But only on the East End is this sort of behavior not only tolerated its commonplace and it's something I guess we're all kind of used to seeing.
Cancel all appointments... I'm getting my car washed.

Fistfights at Yoga -  Well in the parking lot to be more exact.  Why?  Because there's no parking... there's no parking... there's no parking!  I don't care if I'm there to find my center, if you take my space while I'm waiting you're toast!  It's a scenario that's more common than you think and is also a frequent scene at that other hub of zen, Soulcycle.    Now let's go to the Golden Pear and get an iced coffee!

Taking an Hour to Get Your Car Washed - UGH!  OK, it's a lot better in Hampton Bays but in Southampton it's like sitting through a Merchant-Ivory production.   SLOOOOOOOOOOWWWW. Now,   I don't think it's the fault of the staff but the simple fact they're the only game in town that makes this a most exhausting endeavor.    "I'm sorry, I'm not taking appointments on Wednesday.. I'm getting my car washed!"

Overdressed Ice Cream Stands - If you've ever been to Olaf's, Scoop Du Jour or Sant Ambroeus... especially the latter on a hot summer night, you know the Hamptons has it's own dress code.  This ain't no Dairy Queen in Idaho.... You'll stick out like a sore thumb if you dare wear a Harley T-shirt, Docker's shorts or even rubber flip flops.     It's designer duds for double dipping.   But don't think any trendy outfit will do.   Hamptonites have put the Blah in Manolo Blahniks... its more than just shoes... you need to be decked from head to toe when you order that Mint Chip no-sugar added lactose-fat free gelato.     Yes, consider it a dairy themed "Mean Girls."   

But everyone, please know living here hasn't changed me at all.   I'm still a softy at hearty.   Now, like everyone else out here I don't judge people by their race, religion or sexual preference.. I judge them by the car they drive (yes I stole that from Ellen Degeneres). 








Thursday, August 6, 2015

THEY HAD US AT MERLOT! WOLFFER KITCHEN AND GREY GARDENS AT BAY STREET!

So, it's been one of those mornings but here I am anyway.  Without going into details, I went to brush my teeth this morning and instead I ended up well lets just say, I doubt I'll have inflammation on my gums today.   But before I digress, I'm ready to recap the glorious life of the glamorous and irritated on the East End.

So, last night I had the chance to visit the highly anticipated Wolffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor.   So here's the good news and the bad news.  The good news is it's pretty good.   The bad news is it should have been better.    Since it's the first foray into food for the local vineyard, I'll give them time to let this potentially fine dine breath.   Located at 29 Main Street in the village, the restaurant opens with a series of folding doors that open up and make it a great place to dine and watch the world go by.    The menu on the other hand is a little more closed with a smaller selection of options.  The wine menu on the other hand is rather extensive and features of course Wolffer wines, numerous imports and this in addition to a few local vineyards including Bedell.

The service as I sat for dinner last night was on their game from start to finish.   I started my dinner with a small Greek salad which was absolutely fantastic, a perfect size with a delicate blend of feta, olives and greens.   Oh my god, do I now sound like a food critic? I have to stop!  Anyway, for an entree I had fresh tuna grilled over pasta which was nice and light but a little too light on flavor.    My dining companion (who you can figure out) had a vegetable platter with I believe some fava beans and he thought it was awesome.   Perhaps the comment that I'm more "suited for heavier flavors", i.e. bolognese is my favorite should be taken into account.   So what I'm saying is I liked Wolffer Kitchen, I just wasnt' crazy about it.   Perhaps I'll hit it up again once they get more time under their belt but I have no doubt it's going to get better!  Wolffer Kitchen is open daily at 5:30pm and takes reservations on their facebook page or by calling 631-725-0101.
Betty Buckley and Rachel York... The Edies.

I also had a chance to head over to Bay Street Theater last night and catch a performance of the musical "Grey Gardens."   If you don't already know the story, shame on you and go directly to Fire Island.  You should know the story!   But anyway, it stars Broadway veterans Betty Buckley and Rachael York as the highly entertaining and dysfunctional society duo.   This is the show that Bay Street was born to perform!    I know tickets are going fast so if you're thinking of going to see it, get your tickets now! It's a great show with great performers and a really enjoyable way to spend your evening in Sag Harbor.  It would be an even better night if you call me first and make an offer on the actual Grey Gardens... not that it's currently for sale but it's the Hamptons and you never know!


I'm sorry today's blog was like a review section from Junior Highlights,,, but hey, it's mine and I write what I want to write!