A SUPER SUPERMARKET! PLUS, WHERE’S THE “CAN” FROM OUT “CANDIDATES?” YEAH, I KNOW THIS HEADLINE IS TERRIBLE!

No longer just coming soon.. now arrived!

Sometimes my inspiration for this blog comes from the strangest of places.   This particular posting is coming from a very unlikely muse, Marilyn Hegerty who is the restaurant reviewer at the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota.   At 85 years old she became an internet sensation with her earnest and insightful review of The Olive Garden which burst onto the Grand Forks culinary scene late last year.    So, if Marilyn can review The Olive Garden why can’t I review the latest entry into the East Hampton scene?You got it, I’m talking about the new Stop and Shop Supermarket on Newtown Lane.*

(*could also be substituted with the Stop and Shop nee Walbaum’s in Southampton)

After a lengthy wait for Stop and Shop to open in East Hampton*, the moment has finally arrived.  My visit occurred the other day on a busy Tuesday afternoon.    After a long day at the office, I figured a late shopping excursion would be both fashionable and just what the doctor ordered.   Apparently my doctor thinks shopping is good for me.
The parking lot was bustling with eager patrons as I arrived and while there were limited spaces.   Luckily,  the flow in and out of the store was so constant that it was only a few mere moments before I was able to find an ample space of my very own.   I could feel the excitement as I approached the SELF OPENING front doors that where both swift and convenient for a distracted shopper.
I was greeted as I entered into the market by smiling and friendly employees who were smartly dressed in purple and dark blue uniforms surrounded by lush, opulent and tempting looking produce. The lighting was bright and cheery and the aisles were clean and spotless, a definite improvement over the old Walbaum’s.   I asked one of the managers if they had any gluten free pasta to which he cheerfully responded, “of course in our new organics section!”   They have an or
ganics section!  I then knew I made the right choice to give this Stop and Shop a chance!
Finally with my pasta in hand I made my way to the check out aisles.   It was a pleasant surprise for me to now find many aisles opened with real human cashiers, also smartly dressed in purple with blue aprons.    The line was fast moving and the staff also told me about the savings I could receive if I filled out a form for a “preferred customer card.”   How lovely… I’m preferred and they just met me!
All in all, it’s the largest and best lit super market now operating in East Hampton.   It attracts vistors from out of town as well as people who live in East Hampton.    It’s a welcome addition to the community and will hopefully get better as they learn the preferences of the community.  So I have to heartily recommend Stop and Shop for your grocery shopping in our humble little hamlet.
Generic election sign .. so I don’t make and MORE enemies!

Speaking of our little hamlet, the election is finally over!   Now, I know it’s never a good idea to discuss politics I think it’s fair to express my general outrage over the littering…. and I do mean littering of signs everywhere. People always complain about real estate signs but these paper ones are wayyyyy worse.  Besides we can put the same sign every two feet!   If it were up to me, I would actually fine the candidates $10.00 for every sign they leave out after today.   Its bad enough my mailbox was full… and I mean full… like
more stuffed than if Frontgate, Orvis and Restoration Hardware both did  a double mailing for Christmas.  Oh the trees that had to die for such negative and prolific propaganda!   I’m glad it’s over and I now have room for my catalogs!

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

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).

RECON FROM HARBOR MARKET AND THE BEST OF OVERPRICED HAMPTONS!

The New Harbor Market!

Hi all, just remember Hamptons Chatter is not a daily, a weekly or any other type of regular anything.  I also refuse to take any sort of literary Metamucil!   I only speak when I feel inspired to speak, when the muses have touched me or when something around town really pisses me off.    So guess what? The muses haven’t touched me but I am a little…. wait no negativity here either.   I need to breathe.   Hmm.   OK now for the not angry edition of Hamptons Chatter or as Curbed.com editors have been known to call this “HC.”    I can live with that… HC!

Well, I finally had the chance to go the new Harbor Market and Kitchen in Sag Harbor to see if all the fuss and arguing was worth it.  Well, here I am to tell you it was much ado about nothing!   The place looks fantastic, beautiful barn doors, cedar shingles and the whole exterior of the place is totally in keeping in with the neighborhood aesthetic.     The food by the way, is also pretty good especially the pizzas but only order when you’re not in a hurry.   As for the much feared industrial sounds coming from the roof and the awful unattractive roof…. well it’s pretty damn quiet and its way more attractive than that house on 114 that looks like it’s being built for the Munsters or the hideous colors radiating from Yummilicious!   Not that I don’t love Yummilicious.

I don’t know the owners of the market but I can tell you they’ve had their hands full battling to open the market… remember this is the same street where panties were twisted over a huge pair of legs…. but there efforts have paid off.    The interior is beautiful and the sandwiches, salads and the macaroni and cheese are pretty good too!    So go, check it out and decide for yourself…. and decide if the world really changed that much on Henry Street!?

But you know different things find different things offensive.     What do I find offensive??????   Some of the prices we are forced to pay here around town in the Hamptons!  Here is my brief list of some of the worst offenders.  Now remember, I don’t mind paying big bucks for the guacamole at Round Swamp Farm because it’s amazing.   What I do resent is mediocre products at premium prices. But remember, this is not an angry blog.  I’m staying positive.   So here are some of the most positively overpriced items I can think of on the East End…. 2015 Edition!

No supersizing here – Sanscerre that is Sen-sationally expensive!!

Sen Restaurant – This Sag Harbor establishment is always packed and I get it.   The food is good but a dinner for two with a few glasses of wine and some sushi shouldn’t cost nearly $300 bucks!    Well, part of it might have been the very stingy pours of Sancerre wine, I’m convinced that I the owner or manager was inspecting before going to the waiting tables.  REALLY? It’s a $14 dollar glass of wine… you’re not going to lose money if they give some lucky diner an extra ouce!    It will be a long time before I go to Sen again, instead I’ll head to Zokkon in East Hampton which is a fraction of the cost and just as good.   It’s also never packed there…. but it should be… great food and friendly prices!

Any Taxi in the Hamptons – I recently went from the Hampton Jitney to BMW in Southampton.   How far was that?  What 300 yards?!  It cost me nearly $20 dollars because it was a flat rate. Apparently that is for all cabs across the board… or so I’m told   Now before you all go saying I’m lazy and should have walked, I had a ton of luggage.   But really… $20?!  I could have taken a cab from the Upper East Side to Midtown for less.   But hey, it’s the Hamptons where some take the motto “if you have to ask the price then you shouldn’t be here!”

Babette’s East Hampton –  How much would you pay for a Western Omelette?     How about $18.95 at this Village eatery.   There really isn’t much to say here… I mean it’s an omelette!    Instead of getting eggs here, how about getting the same dish at Princess Diner for $9.95.   By the way, what’s with the .95 cents, is it some sort of weird egg law or tax?   For crying out loud people, say what it is for real;  $10 and $19.

East Hampton and Southampton Parking Tickets – Go to the beach without a permit or park on one of the lanes and you’re going to get slapped with a $150 parking ticket.   Yup, that’s like getting two California Rolls and a glass of wine at a certain restaurant!  By the way, don’t try messing with any of the brownies – the kids that write the tickets… nothing to do with Tate’s or Round Swamp Brownies…. wait I’m hungry!   OH, don’t mess with the kids writing tickets in any of the villages, they may be taking their SAT’s in the fall but these kids do not fool around!

Well, I’m back to pure happy thoughts now!    So I’m done writing.