As the mercury rises and the allure of summer fun and relaxation beckons, New Yorkers are once again find themselves scurrying about as the put the final plans in place for their annual exodus from the oppressively humid cauldrons of the city to the fresh salt air of the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard and the Jersey shore.
The preferred method of travel for Manhattanites to their Hamptons respite is the Hamptons Jitney. A luxury coach bus (which happens to operate 365 days a year) that includes a panoply of amenities, brings Hamptons aficionados to the heavenly sandy beaches, the tasty brunches, the music festivals and other assorted glorious venues.
For the last two decades, Nikki Beach has been in the business of throwing the most fabulous tropical parties with live music and food. This year Nikki Beach (located in Southampton) is doing a Hamptons pop-up this summer. For one action packed week, they are taking over the Oreya at the Capri Hotel. Guests can expect sushi boats, table-dancing saxophonists, champagne, sparklers, DJs and all night dancing.
After all that excessive partying, it appears that many visitors to the Hamptons opt for a good workout at the gym to tone up the abs and generally stay in shape during the often hectic party circuit.
It has been reported that the wellness hub known as the Bridgehampton Barn has seen an expansion of sorts over the winter. According to a report on the Metro NY web site, its SoulCycle studio has designated extra space for bikes. There is also a new studio called The Class by Taryn Toomey, plus an outpost of Juice Press and more pop-ups to come all summer.
For those yacht club enthusiasts, we have learned that the Montauk Yacht Club Resort is now called Gurney’s Yacht Club. The new owners have injected more sophisticated vibes as a total renovation of its Beach Club has been finished.
They have added a full-service salon which is being operated by celebrity darling brand OUAI. Guest can look forward to three new infrared saunas by Higher Dose at the resort’s award-winning Seawater Spa, according to the Metro NY report. The report also indicated that they will host a beachside fashion series as well as wellness pop-ups. If that is not enough to get the endorphins in an uproar, the report said that there are lots more changes in store after the property undergoes another $13 million upgrade after the summer season ends.
Vogue reported that having just opened in time for Memorial Day weekend, another cool pop-up known as Aerin East Hampton offers shoppers the same luxury products as the by-appointment-only Manhattan location. The store has a selection of some of the brand’s very best, along with an edit of personal favorites of Aerin Lauder including perfect summer dresses by Three Graces and jewelry to match by Bibi Marini.
Metro NY reports that visitors to the city can now bundle in a weekend in the Hamptons with the Martinis & Montauk summer package. The package starting at $1,299 gets you two nights at the Loews Regency New York Hotel with a welcome pair of Brooklyn Gin martinis at the on-site Regency Bar & Grill, then transportation aboard the Hampton Jitney out east for a two-night stay at Gurney’s Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina (or you can do the Hamptons first, then come into the city).
One of the more different summer opportunities for fun is actually offered by a New York marketing company specializing in event and party planning in the city. Davidshapiro.net offers a special Hamptons summer getaway open to all wishing to apply. The group offers trips on most summer weekends where about 50 other people will come together to hit the beaches and restaurants of Suffolk County. The guests will stay in an oceanfront hotel with a private beach. Sharing a summer house can be cost effective but potentially illegal. Davidshapiro.net leaves a disclaimer stating that “we make sure that all our vacation destinations don’t break any local laws. In the Hamptons, we stay at a hotel and not a house. You may not realize it but ALL Hamptons Summer Shares are illegal and we don’t want any of our guests to ever risk getting an expensive ticket.”
Whether New Yorkers come as a group, individually, with family, or to join a summer retreat, the goals are more or less the same: to have a blast, cool off from the heat, and make some memories before heading back to reality at home.
New York Jews will all also need to figure out how to keep Kosher and honor the Sabbath while away from home. Sometimes these problems are all taken care of by preparations in advance, and other times, poor preparation could mean being stuck in a vacation hot spot with no Kosher food and no ability to use transportation on a Friday night. In finding solutions to these problems, places like the Hamptons can offer some special opportunities that will have island-goers spending the entire train ride home to New York Penn Station wishing they could turn around and go back.
The Chabad of the Hamptons already provides an array of services and a place to feel comfortable in East Hampton. Now Jews who are to the east of that location, but not quite so far east as to fall in Israel, have another location opening up this summer in Montauk. Musia Baumgarten, program coordinator for the Chabad, explained last May to 27 East why the addition would be a necessary smash hit with the community.
“Over the years, we’ve been getting requests from people for more Jewish programs and there’s always been the need for something more permanent in places like Montauk and East Hampton,” Baumgarten said. She added that Montauk Chabad will hold Shabbat and other events weekly.
“It’s out there, there’s a large Jewish population out in the Hamptons,” Baumgarten said.
The Jewish Center in the Hamptons offers everything a synagogue would typically have, and they make sure to take advantage of their surroundings. This synagogue will change up the normal Shabbat a vacationer may experience back home in the city by doing things like holding bonfires on the beach to break in Shabbat on Friday nights. The organization will let anyone who needs to pray come join any of the other services or even Torah study sessions. The center describes itself as “the Jewish spiritual and cultural oasis on the east end of Long Island, in Manhattan, and beyond,” continuing that “rooted in Torah, prayer, and acts of loving kindness, the Jewish Center of the Hamptons shares the joy of the Jewish traditions and deepens our connections to a rich heritage through progressive Jewish values and a diversity of Jewish voices.” The organization wants people to know they can “come find [their] center, here.”
The Jewish Center in the Hamptons helps create a home-away-from-home, or a synagogue-away-from-synagogue feeling for vacationers, but it’s not the only place that can make such an experience possible. The Hamptons Synagogue also offers breakfast forums, shiurim, and brings in guests for its Hampton Ideas Institute. Other events are held throughout the week like book forums and film series, along with the more traditional offerings like services and B’Nai Mitzvahs. The synagogue also features former Israeli Defense Forces member Netanel Hershtik, the current cantor. He toured with his father, Naftali Hershtik, in Austria and sang with him when he was 7 years old. He even performed with his dad as a child soloist in the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. If he doesn’t fully satisfy the musical ear, then there’s also the Hampton Synagogue Choir for those wanting more.
By: Michael Eric Rosenthal