The Hamptons started off Memorial Day swinging as thousands gathered for the beginning of what is sure to be the most crowded and exciting season yet. If you didn’t book the $35 Jitney a week in advance you were out of luck as nearly every bus on Thursday and Friday was occupied from morning until night. There are other ways to get to the Hamptons including chartering a private helicopter which takes 45 minutes to East Hampton with prices starting at $795 a seat. If you are too harried to carry your bags there is a courier service entitled “Tote Taxi” that will pick up and drop off your bags for the reasonable price of $39 for weekend bags and $49 for suitcases. Danielle Candela founded the company in 2016 with $15,000 seed money awarded on Shark Tank and has continued to expand at a record pace as guests participating in weddings, and bachelorette parties are able to get wares to their destination with minimal bother. I took the Friday afternoon Jitney and arrived in East Hampton four-hours-and-fifteen minutes later.
My first stop was to ice cream store Scoop Du Jour open from 7 AM to 11 PM on weekends with crowds down the block patiently waiting on line during the three-day-weekend. The flavors include Vanilla Peanut Butter, S’mores and Butter Pecan with an equally delicious option of fat-free yogurts such as Coffee Chip, and Heath Bar. While Scoop has started serving burgers and food how can you order a sandwich when you have dozens of magnificent flavors staring you in the eye. There are other new places opening with full course meals including Blu Mar and Silver Lining Diner in Southampton, Armin and Judy in Bridgehampton, Coche Comedor in Amagansett, Bostwick’s on the Harbor in East Hampton and Showfish in Montauk. Unfortunately a few of these restaurants including Blu Mar and Paola’s were unable to get their liquor licenses in time for Memorial Day Weekend which led to a loss of close to $125,000 according to owner of Blu Mar Zach Erdem. Since the rents have soared over the past year many eateries have emptied out allowing others to grab the spots at discounted prices during an eleven-day period in April. However, this was an insufficient amount of time to get licenses with Erdem acknowledging he is fearful he will be unable to recoup his $450,000 in annual rent.
Thankfully, the Great Rose Shortage of 2014 won’t be repeated this year as California wineries have amped up their production for the summer. Hamptonites still discuss in hushed tones the weeks before Labor Day in 2014 where empty shelves in multiple wine stores abounded. Rose sales increased 50% globally last year and the Wolffer Estate has taken advantage of this trend by marking up a $31 bottle of Grandioso to $54 as cars line up every Friday afternoon to guzzle the delicacy. The best place to imbibe your rose is a difficult choice as exorbitantly priced inns such as The Baker House 1650, The Maidstone and Baron’s Cove start at $800 with a three-day minimum. Enter “glamping”, which offers roomy tents with a full-service concierge at various locations. Along with 30 sleeping tents available at $300 on TerraGlamping.com, lounge tents, a dining tent and a fire pit for s’mores and grilling will be accessible along with bathrooms located in luxury trailers.
People frequently ponder why the wealthiest people in the world choose to plop down in Long Island during the most coveted part of the year-when an array of options exist. Speaking with Southampton broker Joe Piccininni was enlightening as he remarked that more than $1 trillion in wealth had settled into the Hamptons for Memorial Day weekend. After carefully contemplating the answer to why the wealthiest flock to this hotspot I have concluded the appeal of the Hamptons is largely due to its close proximity to New York, the unrivaled variety of restaurants and stores in East and Southampton along with Montauk and Sag Harbor, the magnificent and impeccably kept beaches and towns, and finally and most importantly the highly sophisticated and urbane clientele that continues to come year after year to this oasis located on the East End of Long Island.
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