Five Faux Pas of 2011…. or the Scratchiest Head Scratchers of the Year!

Well to every ying, there needs to be a yang… for every Batman there needs to be a Joker…for every East Hampton Patch there is a Hamptons Chatter and for every U2 there needs to be a Justin Bieber. In other words, you have to learn to take the good with the bad. So in response to the good stuff that we had out east last year, there were some less than stellar moments in the Hamptons. So starting with number 5 and going to number 1, I’m counting down the biggest mistakes in the Hamptons, 2011!

#5 The Empty Red Horse Market in East Hampton – What a waste to let a prime piece of Hamptons real estate sit for over a year totally vacant. It was last fall when Tutto Italiano shuttered its doors in this prime location only to leave shop owners in the center collecting cob webs on their registers. Well the only reason this isn’t number one is because it looks as if they finally have a new tenant there. Prime Meats, formerly of the over cooked and newly scorched Hamptons Market (personally I like uncharred non-burnt markets) moving into the new location along with Gurney’s Bakery, a bread shop and a cheese vendor. Although, I heard it’s the former Pasquale of Tutto Italiano as far as I know that is an unconfirmed. Let’s hope they can stand the challenge if that Whole Foods really goes in the old Plitt Ford as rumored.

#4 The Carvel Drive Thru Window – Now, I love my soft serve and Cookie Puss Cakes as much as the next guy but I’m willing to park my Mercedees before I make a dash for a vanilla cone with sprinkles. Hey, it would have been ok if you called even! I mean, it’s in the store and it’s not melting yet, so relax. In all seriousness, luckily nobody was hurt in this race for the cone. But don’t you think Carvel should have just left it that way?!

#3 Rugosa – Ok, I checked in there once in 2010 and I was the “MAYOR” on Foursquare til the day they closed. Ok, so you’re telling me I’m the only one who ate there!? I know, it looked like it. The food wasn’t bad but the menu there was virtually impossible. While I don’t know who owned Rugosa, I have to ask did they really think there was a big demand in the summer for “squab in plum sauce?” But even if you found something you could eat on the menu, while the food was actually pretty good the service was enough to make you beg for a scrap of bread or a “Hungry Man” tv dinner. So essentially 2011 was a mistake.

#2 LIPA’s Hurricane Irene Recovery Plan – Ummmmm yeah, they’ll be there to fix uh… the.. um.. what do you call it.. the uh…the power lines….ummmm… sometime between… ummmmmm… uh… later today and next Saturday at 5pm! It was like they were getting their customer service playbook from Cablevision. But what LIPA screwed up this past year has been a boom for contractors on the east end. HOW? I have never met more people installing generators than I have in the past 3 months.

#1 THE MTK Festival or Music to Know – Ok guys, first mistake was did you ever look into how much it costs to rent a house or hotel room in the Hamptons during August?! Second, where were all these sort of Woodstockers going to sleep… pitch a tent on some lawn on Gin Lane? Third, the people who actually like Vampire Weekend for example (although I do but I’m very cool for my age) are probably working at the restaurants and stores in August and they can’t take off because it’s busy! DUH! My suggestion, skip the music to know and give me music I already know. I would have paid to see The GO-GO’s, The Pretenders or Duran Duran… or even Neil Diamond for G-d’s sake. But that’s just me and most of the 40 something friends I know. I’m forever stuck in the 80’s and the rest are too tired learn anything new.

Sometimes it feels a little backwards… but thank goodness for these 5 in 2011!

I was thinking back to last year and some of the happenings in the Hamptons, and I found myself dividing them into some of the best and worst moves on the east end (no, this has nothing to do with dancing). It was interesting to think about it…and as I did a recent incident kept coming to mind. While in Manhattan last week I met a former East End resident who referred to living out here like living in “Hooterville.” While I laughed, I have to disagree, there are enough good things going on out here to make us feel more like “Petticoat Junction!”

#5 – HARBORFROST – Kudos to Sag Harbor resident Benito Villa for picking up the stick so many have dropped before and putting together something to brighten the dull month of February in the Hamptons! From ice sculpting to fireworks and the Polar Bear Plunge, Sag Harbor was the place to be for that chilly wet weekend. Shops and restaurants were packed and it gave us all a little fun to go outdoors during those dark days of winter. If only they turned that PB Plunge into a hard bodies PB plunge, now that would be a ton more fun to watch. Yes, I know I couldn’t be included in that!

#4 LT Burger – Finally a good burger joint with great shakes and no attitude opens in the Hamptons. Restaurateur and chef Laurent Tourondel, who is behind some of the most successful steak joints in the country went out on his own and opened this new Sag Harbor favorite. It proves once again, if you know what you’re doing in the Hamptons they will come and find you! Hint to that other burger place, maybe you should have actually had restaurant experience!

#3 K-Mart’s MYGOFER.COM – While I never in my life ever thought I would be such a fan of K-Mart, I have to say their GOFER.COM is a god send on those busy summer weekends. It’s a simple as going to their website and ordering what you need online. Then VIOLA! It arrives at your doorstep, presto agitato! So to me, KMART does not suck! Take that Mr. Rain Man!

#2 East Hampton Patch – – Editor Taylor Vecsey has put together a smart, well organized and informative website for the Hamptons! It’s one of the few I regularly read and my favorite website…. well next to this clever blog of course!

#1 The East Hampton Grill – What LT Burger understood and made them successful, the EH Grill/Hillstone group brought to a whole other level. If you serve people good food, with great service in a comfortable setting, they will wait and deal with pushy crowds to eat there! Since the day they opened and even now in December, it’s the hardest reservation to get in the Hamptons. But unlike some other “hamptons hot spots,” you don’t have to grease the staff to get a table or friendly service. My only complaint is they don’t have the company signature dish of Spinach Dip at this location. Although that may now be a good thing, I want to be able to wear a Speedo at this year’s HarborFrost Polar Bear Plunge!

OK those are my top 5 for the Hamptons this 2011! Tomorrow it’s the five biggest mistakes from the past year! Yeah, I know this blog should be one of them