SAG HARBOR IS IN DANGER… COOKIES AND BROWNIES WITH NO GUILT!!!

I’m starting to feel like the Terence Malick of bloggers right now.    In fact, I feel I’m in my “Tree of Life” phase, minus Brad Pitt and with even less enthusiasm from the audience.   But as my fortune cookie said the other day, “you must try or hate yourself for not trying.”  So here I am trying to bang out my ever so entertaining latest installment of “HAMPTONS CHATTER.”   – crickets –

Anyway, what everyone seems to be really discussing in my part of the world is about how Sag Harbor has turned a corner.   I’ve been nestled in Sag Harbor’s Main Street for the better part of 12 years (more on that later) and enjoyed it’s sophisticated small town feel.   From the “five and dime” to home design stores to the Golden Pear coffee shop, it was “hello”… “good morning”…. “have a good day.”    But as Whoopi said in the movie “Ghost,”   – –  “Sag Harbor, you’re in danger girl.”

The main culprit from what I hear is that “new restaurant” that shall remain unnamed.   According to reliable sources, just because the place is empty doesn’t mean they want your unpretentious butt sitting at one of their tables.   More than a few of my city and local friends have gone in only to be told, “we’re full!”    Wow!   I actually was curious and went to YELP to read some of the reviews.   I swear I remember reading them and they were pretty much the same thing, rude staff that had more attitude than Katherine Heigle at a “Grey’s Anatomy” reunion.   But guess what?! I went back to re-read these reviews (I wanted to post them here) and now I can’t find them!  Now I don’t want to start any sort of conspiracy here but …. seriously… unless I’m totally losing it they’ve gone MIA.   Anyway, I will ask is the food really that good?    I’m not a masochist anyway and I doubt a serving of moules et frites will change my life.  So, for now I’m happy going to the Sizzler Steakhouse.

My advice – – guys lighten up!  The great thing about Sag Harbor is it’s a friendly town with not a whole lotta attitude.     Yes, you’re the new kid in town and lots of overdressed and socially insecure people are posting  tons of photos on Instagram, blah blah blah.     “Look I got in and you didn’t!!!”   But this stuff wears thin when most of us are busy worrying about more mundane things like our families, health and paying bills.  Believe me the folks who are getting in WILL care when they’re the only people in the place.   Otherwise, they wouldn’t be posting their dinners on line!    “Look I got in… and I’m the only one here – because nobody really wants to be here” doesn’t have quite the same sexy allure.     I’ve seen it before over and over in the Hamptons and it will happen to you too… too much attitude can be the kiss of death.

Meanwhile, I was getting my morning coffee at Goldberg’s in Wainscott – a friendly place but I don’t eat carbs (lying).    When I came across the most interesting and delicious looking brownie.   Now remember, I don’t eat carbs or sweets (lying again) but when I read the story about this amazing bakery I felt the need to eat… I mean contribute.   It’s called South Fork Bakery.   According to their website:

South Fork Bakery’s purpose is to provide meaningful and
supportive employment to South Fork residents
with ADHD, Auditory Processing Disorders, Autism and
Developmental Disabilities. Employees are immersed
in all aspects of the business, including baking, packaging,
sales, marketing, and business management.

SOUTH FORK BAKER
SOUTH FORK BAKERY GOODIES

What a great idea and the brownies and cookies are great too (or so I heard – as I wipe brownie crumbs from my mouth)!    If you want more information click here!  You can also order products online.   So do something good for others and enjoy.    This stuff is better than moules et frites any day!

 

After more than 14 years in Sag Harbor I’ve decided to make a change.     I am now so very proud to be a member of Sotheby’s International Realty in East Hampton.    Located at 6 Main St.     Make sure to note it in your yellow pages book extra page, rolodex and filofax.   Now pick up that princess phone and give me a call.   You can google the number.

 

CHIRPING ABOUT CHICKEN WITH THAT ROSE… SHOULD IT STAY OR SHOULD IT GO?!

When buying or selling a home one of the most common questions I get asked (other than “Where is the property line? Duh, look where the neighbor stops mowing the lawn.”)  is what stays and what goes in the transaction.   Yes, I get asked if, “are they leaving the coffee maker, what about the runner on the stairs, the original Hockney over the fireplace and the water-pick in the downstairs master?”   You’d be surprised what some folks think they get to take and what others think should stay.    So, if that Clash song is going through your head, “Should I stay or Should I Go”   (and hopefully not because of that awful commercial for Choice Hotels) look no further, I have a legal expert here to sharpen the fuzzy details.

Douglas Moliterno is the founder of Hamptons Law,  a boutique law firm located in Amagansett specializing in real estate and estate planning law.   I recently had a chance to discuss with him some of the finer points of selling a home on the East End.   Here’s what he had to say:

FLAT SCREEN TV
THE FLAT SCREEN TV….  SHOULD IT STAY?
Q1 – Hi Doug,   often sellers and buyers aren’t exactly sure what stays and what goes with a home sale.  I usually tell people, if it’s nailed, bolted-in or or otherwise permanently attached, it stays.   Is that a good rule of thumb?
Good rule of thumb. I also use the term “built-in” to describe items that stay.
 
Q2 – What about wall mounted televisions?
A good rule of thumb is that the wall mounts are fixtures and should remain but the TVs are personalty and can go – always best to be clear up front as this isn’t a straight forward issue and the buyer and seller might have a different understanding of it.
 
Q3 – I recently had an awkward situation with a swing set.   Do they usually get included with a sale? 

 The swing-set should be included if it is bolted or cemented into the ground. If it’s not “attached,” then it should likely be considered personalty and can be taken by the seller – again, always best to clear this up from since it’s not always clear to both buyers and sellers

 
Q4 – I’ve also had people try to take the washer and dryer.   That’s usually included in the sale with most contracts?   Do buyers need to make sure they’ll be included?
 
Unless specifically excluded up front by the seller, there should be no question about whether a washer and dryer (and other major appliances are included) – of course they are part of the purchase.
 
Q5 –  What about bathroom mirrors?
My typical rule with mirrors is that they can be taken by the seller if they are hanging on hooks or nails, etc.; if they are nailed in or bolted, then they should remain.
 
Q6 –  What do sellers and buyers need to do to avoid these sort of problems?  

Work with a good broker that knows what to look out for and knows which gray areas (wall-mounted TVs, swing sets) can cause problems/awkward situations down the road.  If not negotiated properly and clearly up front this can become an unneeded problem.

 

If you’d like to contact Doug he can be reached at his office in Amagansett.   631-267-2700 or via e mail at  INFO@HAMPTONSLAW.COM.
In the 80’s it was chicken wings, in the 90’s it was sushi and the 00’s it was cupcakes and Rose wine.   BUT WHAT DO DRINK WITH THAT CHILLED BOTTLE OF ROSE!?  What is the hottest food trend hitting the east end?  It might be hard to believe but the delicacy of the moment appears to be Fried Chicken!   I kid you not, in spite of the fact there is a line outside Soul-Psycho every week, those same spinners are are lining up and paying good bucks to chow down on Colonel Sander’s favorite dish.   But there’s no Colonel Sander’s in the Hamptons (thank god, it’s not as good as you remember) where is the proof?   Well don’t get your feathers ruffled and look no further than the lines at lunch time for Cromer’s Market in Sag Harbor.  Every Saturday the Fried Chicken is first to go and the hungry hungry hippos….err I mean Hamptonites are lining up to get their hands on this caloric delicacy.
Red Horse Market in East Hampton also specializes in a fried chicken that has become a favorite among some of the famous and non-famous locals.   No names mentioned but one is a late night talk show host.
EH GRILL
EH GRILL … FLYING CHICKEN!
For those with more epicurian tastes, the number one rated restaurant in the country Eleven Madison Park is offering a “Fried Chicken Feast” with coleslaw, rolls, potato salad, pickels, water melon and fresh baked pie all for the frugal price of $75 dollars a person.   By the way, reservations are required (hahahah good luck with that one) and shock of all shocks…. gratuity is not included.
East Hampton Grill which is arguably the most popular eatery in the Hamptons right now is also putting their feathers in the ring with their new “Flying Chicken” menu.   All summer long starting at 11 am, you can order their “Grandma Ding’s Cripsy Fried Chicken” to go.     Prices start at about $12 for 3 piece and buscuit lunches and go up to $48 for 12 pieces and 6 buscuits.    You can also get their famous cole slaw, tabbouleh salad and sodas and sparkling water to round out your poultry party pack.    The food is for take out…. and some limited seating in the restaurant.    Click here for more details.

 

FOOD FLASH: MAIDSTONE GETS A MAKEOVER AND VINE STREET ON COVE HOLLOW.

Well the Summer season is off and running in the Hamptons, although as I shovel the snow from my driveway you wouldn’t know it!     Yes, the sex scandals (Vasectomy Fever) and celebrity misadventures are already hitting the web and Page Six.   But other than real estate the only topic worthy of lengthy conversation is the new restaurants, at least in my humble opinion.

By now many of you know there are a slew of highly touted arrivals including, Eleven Madison Park and Le Bilboquet coming to the east end.    What you may not know is there are a few more new eateries that are also causing a buzz among the Hamptons regulars.

The first is the newly revamped Maidstone Hotel on Main Street.    Partners and Alchemy a boutique hotel and restaurant management group has taken over management of the

image1 (2)
The New Maidstone Inn.

village landmark and given it much welcome facelift. With a freshly trained staff and revised and diverse menu from Chef David Standridge of NYC’s Cafe Clover,  it’s a change for the better.   Gone are the Swedish meatballs and plethora of salmon dishes and instead you have more accessible menu dishes including local fare such as scallops, fresh fish, burgers and roast chicken.   Lots to choose from here.

Popovers
Say yes to the carbs!

But for me the biggest standouts from my dinner were the freshly baked popovers, butter lettuce salad with roasted beets and tarragon and the seared Montauk fluke.   Prices are pretty much on par with most places around town with entrees averaging in the $30 range.    Also worth noting is the huge shrimp cocktail.  Huge shrimp… that cracks me up! But i digress.   Between the fresh new atmosphere, attentive staff and diverse menu it’s really worth the trip!     Oh, and if you’re on a non-carb diet the popovers are worth a cheat day!  SERIOUSLY!

The other entry on this weeks blog is the newly opened “Cove Hollow Tavern.”    The owners of Shelter Islands hugely popular Vine Street Cafe have moved

image2 (6)
The sleek new look of Cove Hollow Tavern

into the spot of the former Cafe Max on Montauk Highway in East Hampton.     The menu features some interesting items including for ahi tuna crudo with watermelon and chilies; haricot vert salad; snail and squid ink spaghetti with snails and fennel.    While my gang ordered the Grilled Atlantic Snapper and Seared Diver Scallops, I was a little less adventurous and ordered the roasted organic chicken.   Now, while I’m a big fan of Vine Street I was a little disappointed in the “CHT.”   So were all of my companions.     It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great and there was nothing really compelling for me to advise running there anytime soon.  Granted it’s a brand new restaurant so give them time and hopefully they’ll get their game on. By the way, the interior while very intimate is spectacular and the bar space is inviting and spacious.   I have no problem heading to Vine Street which between the drive and a ferry is well worth the trip.   So here’s hoping “CHT” is as good as it’s sister restaurant in the near future.

 

 

 

HOW (some) BROKERS REALLY DESCRIBE YOUR HOUSE!!!

While you might be familiar with some of the more famous homes of the Hamptons, Grey Gardens, The Creeks or even the Orgy House, there are probably a few you haven’t heard of yet.    Why?  Because it’s what agents refer to certain homes behind the owner’s back…. and it’s not necessarily a compliment.     By the way, I won’t disclose any of the addresses but that doesn’t mean I won’t tell you when I see you.

First off, I knew of a listing a few years ago in Hampton Bays and the agents around town were referring to it as “Moscow on the Peconic.”  Apparently the décor was so unique the agents equated it to a “Russian bordello.”   Gilded faucets and ceilings, elegant

Russian decor
Yeah, it kind a looked like this!

patterned marble floors and chandeliers that would convince you that the interior

designer was Vladimir Putin.    It was as if you took the Trump Tower penthouse and put it on the water.    By the way,  I had my own listing that I used to refer to as the “bordello” a few years ago.    It wasn’t an easy sell.

 

Speaking of waterfronts, there is one in Sag Harbor that has some interesting qualities.    It’s dark, cavernous and overflowing with nautical touches.   Any guess how a few agents described it to me?   It’s like living in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disney World.     Wow!   I wonder if you could just say it’s where they actually filmed it and maybe get some p.r.?  I mean who would be the wiser?

But don’t think it’s all about movie themes in some of these homes.   Sometimes you can get the association with a store or restaurant.    One Southampton home which is overflowing with Asian accents, industrial grade carpeting and Formica countertops is affectionately known as the “Benihana” house.     I also know of another home in East Hampton that’s walls are so overloaded with posters, knick-knacks and flair it’s just referred to as “TGIFriday’s.”   Wow, why do I suddenly have a craving for some shrimp tempura and potato skins?

1313 mockingbird
The Original???

Finally, one of my favorites is a home I think I coined with the nick name “1313 Mockingbird Lane.”    Yes, if you’ve ever driven to or from Sag Harbor and East Hampton you’ve no doubt seen this lovely little ditty!       It’s kind of funny but who knew a cedar shingled beach house could look so sinister?      But everyone has their own style and once size doesn’t fit all.   I’m sure there are some folks out there who think my prominent oil based painting of Bella and Russell is kinda tacky.    I have no problem with that I get my own joke.    But don’t you ever dare insult my collection of Hummel figurines.

 

Well this Friday it’s Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of the Summer Season.  But before we take off our suits and ties for the season, a little advice for landlords and tenants in the Hamptons the season is about to begin.   Trash is not automatically picked up by the town.    You need to either drop it off at the

east hampton dump
This is how we… and you should do it!l

local dump or hire a trash service to come and pick up your refuse.  You know like Norsic or Mickey’s.    It is not recommended that you take your Hefty or Glad bags and throw them over the fence onto another person’s property.     Yes, this really happened to a landlord who discovered a years worth of garbage as they were prepping their property for summer tenants.     Ain’t the Hamptons just so glamorous!?