I feel it! Spring has finally arrived on the east end. How do I know? Because Round Swamp Farm has reopened. YES! Now, I no longer have to drive by longing and
slobbering in vain for my Mexican Layer Dip, Sour Cream Coffee Cake or Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad or cinnamon rolls or guacamole or Lisa’s Oatmeal Raisin cookies or Claire’s Lemon Pound Cake or BBQ chicken or … no, I must stop. Lucky for us they don’t publish the calorie counts on anything they make!
Another sign of spring is the Roses are in bloom! By the way, I’m not talking about the flowers I’m talking about Wolffer’s Summer in a Bottle. After a shortage last year when supplies went dry at the end of July, production has been upped and everyone will be able to enjoy their Rose for breakfast throughout the summer! The colorful
bottle which is a work of art itself hasn’t changed since last year but it is a new vintage. In case you’ve been out of the loop, Summer in a Bottle retails for about $25 and is available at Wolffer Estate Vineyard or virtually every spirit shop in the Hamptons. Remember, life may be a cabernet but rose is better!
After floating gossip it seems, Bagel Buoy in Sag Harbor is no longer sunk.
The Village staple shuttered it’s doors or rather the lox were changed earlier this week. A “notice of closure” was posted on the door and that had lips flapping all over town.
While I am not a huge fan of Bagel Buoy and the surly staff it’s always sad to see this sort of thing happen. Rumor has it a deal is in the works to bring Goldberg’s Bagels to the Bay Street location. If you take a look at what they’ve done with the nightmare that was “Twice Upon a Bagel” in Wainscott, we can all rest easy knowing we’ll still have a good place to nosh! But the story isn’t over yet, apparently the buoy was bobbing with business earlier today. So grab your popcorn this battle of the bagels has apparently just begun.
Meanwhile, the site of the former “Service Station” (loved the salads and sandwiches) has reopened as the Quiet Clam 2.0 earlier this week.
While I haven’t been in yet, my spies say it’s actually worth a visit. The menu is a throw back to when the establishment was “The Quiet Clam” before it was “Nichol’s” back in the last century. Yes, they have clams on the menu along with burgers, pizzas and more. I promise I’ll have more to come. But from what I’ve been hearing on social media the place will be getting a thumbs up.
UPDATE: I went in and it was “meh.” Right now there is no liquor license so it’s BYOB. The lunch menu was limited and there were NO clams but the dinner version seems a bit more promising. I’ll have to go back when they get their act together.
Finally, in case you missed it EMP House reservations went on lin
e earlier this week via an American Express website. Well if you snooze you lose and I apparently snoozed. After going live at 9am, by noon the only slots left available were at 5 pm or 10 pm. While this might not pose a problem if you’re 25 or 85 years old, the rest of us younger side of middle age folks (no comments from the peanut gallery) are S.O.L. While there still be walk-ins available for the picnic tables in the back, my attention is more focused on something called the “Taco Experience” for $95 – $125 per person. I’m just hoping that tequila is included with that number! Hahahahhahhhahhaahhhhahah. I know it’s the Hamptons!
Every now and then this blog is inspired by the muses. But first I need to clarify, I’m talking about that Olivia Newton-John kind of muse, not by the classic Greek muses. So what was my latest inspiration? Was it to quit my job and open an elaborately decorated roller-disco? No, it was to help you my friends! Help you turn your house into an actual Xanadu that people will want to rent this summer!
1- Make sure the house is uncluttered and neutralized. By neutralized I mean take all of those quirky little decorative choices you’ve made and turn them into a Pottery Barn dream! Floral patterns are a no. Besides, Laura Ashley has been dead since 1985. It’s time to move on. Think basic, basic, basic; monochromatic bed spreads, curtains and
carpeting. Also, put away all of those family photos that litter your foyer, bedroom and den. Yes, you can tell potential renters you’re going to put them away but it’s better to make it look like an easy task rather than relocating the National Portrait Gallery. Speaking of art, that thing on the refrigerator isn’t that good and your kid is no Renoir. Give it to Grandma. Besides, she loves that ####, go ahead and make her day.
2 – Now that your house doesn’t look like the before from an episode of “Horders,” call a photographer and have the home professionally shot. You get what you pay for and it’s worth it. You’ll get better money if the house shines and it won’t shine if you take photos from your iphone or Polaroid Swinger. Talk to your real estate agent and ask for suggestions. I’m sure they’ll be able to provide you with a few names.
3- Speaking of real estate agents… make sure they know you’re on the market for rent. That means get it into the local database and unless you’re living in the Taj Mahal it’s a good idea to make sure you keep it as an “open listing.” No agent is going to retire from the 10% you pay on the rental lease so at least make it an enticing proposition. More and more agents are putting listings into the system as “exclusive rentals” and that’s a mistake. You’ve just drastically reduced your potential showings. But if the idea of meeting agents or giving out keys makes you nervous, hire an agent and have them list your property at compelling split with the other agents. That means, you’re listing agent takes 20% and the agent who brings the tenant get’s 80% of the 10%. Think about it this way, agents are not doing this as a hobby, they want to make money. Make it worth it!
So once you get your house ready for rental, I’m sure a few of you out there would like nothing more than to relax with a nice round of golf. But if the idea of flying to Florida seems too daunting a task (I’m assuming you don’t want to golf with snow on the ground), you may want to just take your clubs and head to Toilsome Rd. in East Hampton for a visit with PGA Pro Eric Schultzel. His training facility there is completely indoors and weather is no problem. Click the video below to get a little preview.
Visiting Eric’s Golf Simulator Studio from Patrick Mclaughlin on Vimeo.
I know the weather outside is getting more and more frightful. In fact, the thought of shoveling driveways, cold wet feet and darkness at 3:30pm has you completely depressed and overwhelmed. I know! I know… I feel you! But before you call the doctor to “up” your daily dosage of “vitamin Z” (zoloft), read this blog. It will bring you comfort and joy. DISCLAIMER: please don’t go off your meds folks, while I’m a joy for my family and at least 2 of my friends, my suggestions here are not meant to be any sort of medical diagnosis so put down the phone. Jacoby & Myers have more important lawsuits pending.
Ok, so what’s my advice to put sunshine back in your life? Go visit flyfrontier.com and book yourself a flight to the sunshine state for as little as $35 dollars! Yes, you heard that right. For about the same cost as taking the jitney to midtown, you can instead haul you butts to Islip Airport (the easiest airport on the planet) hop on a plane and be in West Palm Beach, Miami or Ft. Myers in about 3 hours. So, the ride is about the same amount of time as a jitney as well. I will tell you the flights are no frills and you must pay for any additional baggage (checked, carry-on and emotional). In fact, while I was writing this I just got a quote for a flight from Islip to West Palm in January
for $108 round trip! Now, that doesn’t include taxes or my baggage from growing up as the youngest of 6 in suburban New Jersey. From what I gathered, these rates will likely go up in the not too distant future but in the meantime stop complaining about the weather!
If you’re not lucky enough to have the time or ability to hop on a flight to Florida and are instead heading to the Hamptons, you’re not alone. I call it the “Hurricane Harvey.” Because, for the first time ever, I had multiple rental inquiries for the week between Christmas and New Years! I’m not sure why Mr. Weinstein’s exploits have convinced peopl
e to “staycation” this holiday season but it’s kind of weird considering we also had a hurricane of the same name wipe out more than a few resorts in the Caribbean. Word to the wise here, if you’re planning on being out here the week between the holidays and want to go out to eat, MAKE RESERVATIONS! It’s going to be crowded. It’s traditionally a busy week but a few of my restaurant buddies have said reservations are up over last year.
Speaking of eating out. I mean really eating out. Like outside …. in the cold…
OUTSIDE. You might have noticed a food truck recently on the grounds of the Milk Pail in Water Mill. For those of you not brave enough to stop, I’ve done some snooping for you and discovered it’s a taco truck. It’s called AJI Authentic Mexican Food. Ok, they have more than tacos and the food is pretty good. The hours seem to have a lot to do with if the weather is good and traffic wasn’t too heavy. So if you’re driving east, see the truck and have a hankering for a good taco, burrito or nachos stop by. It’s not the best you’ll ever have but it won’t disappoint and it’s kinda fun!