17,500 Reasons why the Kardashians Kame to the Hamptons…. plus it’s Totally 80’s Time at the Talkhouse!

The Klassiest Kids in Town!?

In case you’ve been living under a rock the Hamptons are buzzing with the comings and goings … or should I say Komings… ugh… no … comings and goings of the Kardashians.   If you don’t believe me go to Google and search “Kardashian Hamptons” and you’ll get about 17,500 news articles come up.   Meanwhile search “Hamptons Deer Cull” and you get 2 articles.   I’m so glad we have our priorities straight! Anyway, while you read about “13 Hot Spots Too Classy for the Kardashians” or even “9 Things to Know about their Summer in the Hamptons,”   I’m going to add one more tid-bit to the mix.   I’m hearing via the grapevine that producers for the show….. are not only asking to see if they can shoot in local restaurants and get all the patrons to sign releases but that they’re also allegedly asking to get it for free!      Their claim is that their show has done a lot to help businesses increase traffic and everyone should be thrilled to have KK-K shoot in their restaurant.    SO, how is it going?   My sources say not so good.   The “K’s” are going after spots that are already hot and don’t need “Z” list celebrities to promote their business.   Think about it, do you really think the Hamptons A list need an endorsement from the Kardashians?    I’m sure Jerry Seinfeld and Gwyneth are both waiting with baited breath to see where they’ve decided to dine!   By the way, let’s also be real here.. .they’re living in NOYAC…. not Southampton… I’m dying to know if they’ve made it yet to Cromer’s for some fried chicken or mac and cheese!?

In honor of throwback Thursday, I’m doing a little plug for Stephen Talkhouse this weekend.  One of the best and underrated bands from the 1980’s is playing tomorrow night.   Yes, the English Beat featuring Dave Wakeling is coming to town.   I’ve seen the band here a few times over the past few years and in a way, it’s kind of a perennial.    Playing all their hits including “I Confess, Mirror in the Bathroom, Save it for Later” and even a few General Public songs (Wakeling was basically the heart of both bands), the show is amazing.  I think I’m too old to go to an arena and see anyone.     But the intimate setting of The Talkhouse makes for a really memorable night.    You can buy tickets here ahead of time and in case you don’t know the band, here’s one of my favorite songs by them… trust me you should go!

It’s D-Day #1 in the Hamptons… What it Really Costs to Operate on the East End!

Just in case you didn’t know, today is D-Day in the Hamptons for real estate agents (the second D-day is the first Friday in August).   It’s the day when most of the seasonal rentals move into their houses.    While many tenants get confused and call it “check in,” I’m here to remind them that renting a house is not like checking into a hotel and your real estate agent isn’t a concierge.   But while I’ll no doubt get a few calls this weekend complaining about broken toasters, lousy towels and confusing pool heaters… and yes I will try to answer them…  there is something I won’t have to deal with this season.   It’s the sticker shock from what it costs to operate a Hamptons home!    Why?  Because my mantra to every tenant is you’re essentially owning this house for the next few months and that means you’re going to have to pay for it!

So what does it cost to operate a home during the summer season on the east end?   I’m going bare bones here but let’s take a look:
They charge more to wear this!


1) Maid Service – most rental contracts require the tenant to hire a maid and clean the house once a week.   Some landlords insist you use their current housekeepers (aka spies) in order to keep the house in the same order as when the tenant walked in the door.  So let’s figure 8 hours once a week at an average rate for housekeepers of $20 per hour.  Add $160 to the weekly cost and we’re off and running up that tab!
2) Lawn Service – Unless you’re willing to pull that cord on your Briggs and Stratton you’ll have to fork over a few bucks to maintain that lush green Hamptons yard.   While some yards are bigger than others (not a Smith’s song), I’m going to put the weekly lawn maintenance at about $90 a week.   Some landlords will also require you foot the bill for the gardening but for the sake of erring on the side of caution, we’ll omit that pricey little point!
Hey, you like that guy from NCIS?

3) Phone, Internet and cable – I know a large number of my customers, clients and friends choose that “Triple Play” thing from Cablevision.   For the basic package you’re looking about $80.00 a month.  While it’s not the costliest expense for the summer, if you add those extra movie channels or rent an occasional “pay-per-view”  event or flick it adds up!

4) Pool Service – Sure you can throw some chemicals in the skimmer basket and call it a day but $150.00 per week.   Now, I know you’re saying “HOW MUCH?” but remember this is the Hamptons!  You want you’re pool to sparkle… sparkle… sparkle!!! Once again if you’re a renter this is usually required in the lease and you’ll be responsible to pay for the service plus supplies (chemicals).

5) The Electric, The Heat and the Rest – Now while this depends a lot on the weather let’s put this in a logical way.  If it’s hot outside, you’re not going to heat the pool and you’re going to pump the air-conditioning.   If it’s cooler outside, you’re gong to open the windows and crank the heat on the pool.   Either way you’re going to want to spend the money (unless of course you’re my father who would never turn on the air conditioning unless it was 95 degrees) Now I might be a little high here but I don’t think I’m totally out of the park.   I’m going to put this somewhere in the neighborhood of $800 a month and that’s based on a 3500 s/f house.

Benjamins are required!!!

Ok, so let’s tally this puppy up….. click click click click click click…. change the calculator battery… clack clack clack clack!   Our grand total to own or rent a house out east is about and I say ABOUT… no haters here….  about $2500.00 per month or about $620 a week more or less.     So there you have it and I didn’t even include the $100/person pizza dinner at Serafina (which I have a new respect for… went last night and it was really good).    This isn’t the Jersey Shore folks!

Speaking of which, the New York Daily News quoted me today and I want to clarify.  I love the Jersey Shore and I’ve been many times.   I grew up going to places like Margate, Long Port and Long Beach Island.  So when I say people don’t want the Hamptons to become the Jersey Shore, I’m talking more about the show then the actual area!      Now, will someone tell my friends from home to stop giving me grief over this!  REMINDER:  I just wrote about how to get rid of house guests (scroll down)!

Kardashian Schadenfreude and Summer Rental Warnings from the PeanutGallery… Volume 3!

If nobody wants them can we put them on Petfinder.com?

In case you were wondering, that giant retching sound you’ve been hearing lately isn’t from a new wave of salmonella poisoning on the East End it’s the reaction to reports there are new residents coming to town.  Yes, the buzz on social media this week is all about the Kardashians!!   Which is also  spawning something I’m calling “Kardashian Schadenfreude.”    Sorry Kortney, Kim and Klanapin the buzz for your impending arrival is not so good.     East Hampton resident’s are cheering they’re “going to Southampton” and Southampton residents are saying “uh-uh, they’re going to East.”   Either way, it could be a Katastrophe for Kourtney and Kompany.  So while only time will tell where they’re actually going, I would like to offer the ladies some advice: learn to spell your names Korrectly and see if Snooki has a share available in her house… you’ll be much happier

So, we are coming down to the wire for the summer rental season.  In spite of the snow this week, Memorial Day is still coming.    So in addition to my warnings for all potential renters about the danger of becoming Earhardt’s (HC  6/6/11)…. and making sure to use a camera or I Phone to record the condition of their house… I have a few more items they may want to double check before signing on the dotted line and sending that wire transfer!  So, why revisit this topic?  Because everyone is a critic.   So after reading a few,  “You forgot to mention, this, this and this.”   So being the professional whiner listen to-er I am, I decided to mention a few more.   Here are some of the top summer rental disasters than can easily be avoided!    And if the peanut gallery isn’t happy, go write your own blog!  (insert a mental happy face emoticon here!)


This is not a pool heater!

1) Hot, Hot, Hot!  – In case you weren’t aware, many times the agents who rent your home are not the agents who put the house into the listing system.  Mistakes happen and unfortunately when an agent rents a home saying there is central air when there isn’t (this one happens more often than you think) it get’s uglier than a “Mama’s Family” reunion movie!  For renters, look around for the vents for central air, check the thermostats and do a quick scan for window units.  If you’re a landlord, make sure you go online to the agency that’s renting your home and check the information they have on their website.    While I can’t say how it works at other companies, at Elliman.com, it’s as easy as writing your address on the search bar.  It’s also not a bad idea to make sure the heat is functioning for those early and late summer nights.  Come to think of it.. you may have rented house with a heated pool but it’s not such a bad idea to make sure there is an actual heater.  Sorry but coffee warmers do not constitute a pool heater.

2)  Tour Groups – Now I’ve been on every side of this equation and it really isn’t much fun for anyone involved.   The house is rented and a listing agent has to show it! Many of these tenants have paid top dollar to spend their summer out here sitting on Route 27…errrrr.. I mean enjoying the beach and fresh air of the Hamptons.  Imagine how they feel having truck loads of people coming in and out of their homes while trying to recover from the night before at Pink Elephant!   In fact, I showed a listing last year where my customers were contemplating a purchase only to be told by tenants, “the house stinks!”   It’s only too bad the listing agent wasn’t there to run interference.    So get an agreement before hand, it could prevent everyone from being perceived as nasty tenants, mean real estate agents, nosey buyers or crazy landlords.    Speaking of landlords, you may also want to make an agreement about when they can stop by as well to get that jacket out of the storage locker or their kids bike pump.   It’s good to keep everyone happy… happy… happy…. like that Pharrell song!

Sweaty summer sittin’

3)   Sittin’ and Grillin’ – Once again, it’s a good idea to have your agent get a list of what lawn furniture is included in the seasonal rental and if an outdoor grill is part of the deal.   Some leases include all of this others don’t… read your lease and find out!    In fact, if the furniture is yet to be purchased, I suggest making sure it’s indicated in writing what type of furniture will be made available.  I couldn’t think of anything worse than thinking of a nice teak set which instead turns into a strip nylon folding chair.    Landlords have been known to do it… and it’s a no-no…  an ounce of prevention!   Also, It would be a disaster if you had our daughter’s wedding at the house and there was only one lawn chair not as described! *
*obscure 80’s reference, if you get it let me know and I’ll owe you one!  No googleing!

4)  “Dah Plane Boss Dah Plane” – Yes, we know you come to the Hamptons for peace and quiet but we also have highways here and airports… and a train too!    Here’s two simple words I can tell everyone “Google Earth.”   Yep, check the address out and look at the aerials.  If you’re near an airport or a train or a highway, you know you’re going to hear things.    But remember, it’s not Queens so it’s probably not going to be as bad as you think but it doesn’t hurt to be forewarned.

Now, hopefully this is my last dire warning rental blogs.   I’m starting to feel like Chicken Little!


Do You Make the Cut?! Take the Quiz to See if You Qualify for The Hamptons “A LIST!”

When I was younger, I once asked my mother about one of my friends who always bragged about the  money his family had.   She told me, “real money whispers, it doesn’t scream.”    Hmmmmm….. “does that mean we have money?”  She then laughed and said “hardly.”    Anyway,  I kind of feel the same way about a lot of things.   I don’t trust the guy who always claims he’s “honest” and I don’t believe the person who brags about their social status.

If you booked it 20 minutes ago, you’re A List!

That being said, It was the late 80’s and I was living in NYC having fun, care free, poor and young.    I had no clue about how some people view the world.   So, it was a shock to me when one of my close friends at the time announced to me he no longer wished to hang the same haunts with me anymore because, “there are no “A” list people in this crowd.”   OK!   Who knew New Orleans (where this person lived before NY) was a training ground for New York’s elite.    Silly me.   Well low and behold that same person is here in the Hamptons and no doubt glomming where ever there is glomming to be done!  So that had me thinking.  How do you really know if you’re on the “A” list in the Hamptons?   After consulting with some of my fave’ Hamptons Chatter consultants I came up with the following quiz to help folks know where they rank in the hierarchy!    So take the quiz if you dare!    I’ll let you know how you did at the end!

Question 1:   It’s a Saturday night in July and you have 2 house guests.   There are 4 of you total and you all decide at the last minute to go out to dinner.   Do you…

A)   Not sweat it, there are like 5 restaurants you can call who will sneak you in!
B)   Run over a few minutes early and hope they remember you and get you to the top of the list.
C)   Go to the restaurant of choice and put your name on the list and wait.
D)   Suggest the Princess Diner.
E)   Burger bites to go from the Hess station in Wainscott.

Question 2:  When it comes to getting a beach sticker, you….

A)  Ask “what’s a beach sticker?  I just walk out my door! ”
B)  Get a new one and put it on your “beach car” next to the past 5 years of stickers!
C)  Don’t need one, we bike!
D)  Convince everyone Mastic-Shirley is still the Hamptons and hop in the car!

Yeah, Mariska is A list!

Question 3:  When discussing Hamptons Magazine or Dan’s, you remind everyone…
A)  “I’ve been on the cover.” (or in the case of Dan’s painted the cover)
B)  “Been profiled and or been on the “list” more than once!”
C)  you were once in party picture, because you “photo bombed Alec Baldwin.”
D)  you’ve “never been in Hamptons or Dan’s” but you’re a “regular in the Press police blotter.”

Question 4:  Location is everything and your home is …
A) South of the Highway and super close to the beach.
B) Village/Village Fringe and definitely a good hood.
C)  A 30 minute drive to town away from it all but really we don’t mind.
D) Can’t really say, they make us move the trailer every two weeks.

A “C” list event!

Question 5: My typical Summer Saturday night consists of…
A) Inviting everyone to a fabulous benefit and I’m on the host committee.
B) Going to a fabulous benefit and my friend is on the host committee.
C) Hiding a bottle of booze, grabbing dinner from Citarella and heading to a beach.
D) Going to a dinner followed by Kareoke at my real estate agent’s house.
E) I desperately remain at home, inventing lovers on the phone.

Question 6:  How would you best describe the interior of your home?
A)  I had a fabulous up and coming designer create a unique style.
B)  I had a fabulous up and coming designer help me from DWR/Restoration Hardware.
C)  I had a fabulous up and coming designer from Home Goods in Riverhead.
D)  I had a fabulous up and coming designer help me who was institutionalized in ’73.
E)  I had my mother give me her old furniture.

Question 7:  In the Hamptons being spotted with a celebrity is social gold!  Would you say you hang with…
A)  Madge, Jerry, J-Lo and we rotate hosting!
B)  My friend who won a Emmy/Grammy or Tony back in the 80’s/90’s!
C)  My friend who was a Real Housewife!
D)  Khloe and Kourtney … in fact, I found them their store location!
E)   My friend who was a guest on Jerry Springer!  But the kid wasn’t his.

Question 8:  When traveling to the East End in the summer do you…

Dan’s your gateway to A- List!

A)   Stay put at the beach till Labor Day.
B)   Have your driver take the back roads on Thursdays and Tuesdays.
C)   Take the Ambassador or Luxury Liner.
D)   Take the NJ Transit Casino bus to AC with the $15 in free quarters.

Question 9:   One institution in the Hamptons is Murph’s Tavern in Sag Harbor.    You ….
A) have been a few times with the nanny or tennis instructor so don’t tell my spouse.
B) Remark, “That bar on 114,  I went a few times.”
C) Get your mail delivered there!
D) Sniff “Never, someone might see me!”

Question 10:   A topic of conversation at dinner is …
A) The difficulty in finding a good personal chef!
B) The difficulty in finding a good caterer!
C) The difficulty in finding good take out food!
D) The A****** on the “B” weekend who keeps stealing your booze out of the refrigerator!

So here’s the key…. A answers are worth 10 points.  B- 8 Points  C- 7 Points   D-6 points
E – minus one point and if none of the answers apply 7.5 points.   Now grade yourself like you were back in High School!  If you scored…

90-100 –YOU ARE “A” LIST!!! You are Hamptons Royalty and probably shouldn’t be reading this blog.  Trust me it’s beneath you.

80-89–    You are definitely B-List.   I scored an 80 so I made B-List by the hair of my chinny chin chin!  So there you have it my friend had every right to dump me!  I’m soooo not A-List!

70-79    You are on the C list but loving life and I want to hang with you!

69 and below  Can I recommend Wildwood Crest or Seaside Heights?

FINAL SCORING: Minus 90 points if you took this quiz seriously you loser!    Otherwise, let me know how you did!  Post away!