I am reading this article on #TheGuardian website about the #Hamptons,NY, my former home space. The article is ridiculous. The obvious flubby fluffy ‘ad’ for a local realtor maybe the story’s singular value or stinky consequence – actually, it is nothing but more senseless noise on the #Net. Yet, what briefly blew me away was the Latina worker bee who washes the heads of hair of the rude and rich during the summer at a (is there anyone other kind) high tone spa/salon. She claims to be making over $650 per week in tips. Then she goes on to complain she has to live on nearly nothing during the winter.
Okay, so I have not lived in the Hamptons since July ’07, thus one can too easily conclude I am not up to date to debate details. But, I yammer a #Latina with zip education (an immigrant) to be hauling-in a crappy salary PLUS $650+ per in tips each week from late May until middle of Sept. is not shabby. Tip monies I am sure she does not pay income taxes on nor does she contribute to a local save the pet charity. Surely she supports her employed family. They appear to be living in a nice looking rental home in #Southampton, a truly classically beautiful and safe community. Yet, if par for the course, Western Union is visited regularly to forward bucks to those in her native land. I designed, built, and operated an organic espresso cafe at 49 Sunset Avenue, Westhampton Beach, and none of the staff ever made such tips. If they did, i never knew (probably a good thing, Martha). Can you confirm this Amanda Showers?
WTH? Most of those who inhabit the Hamptons during the summer season are either professional escapees from Manhattan looking to score with each other, lookie loos from Upwest cruising to see a celeb, or the revolving door mogul wealthy. There are the original blue bloods, but they are literally dying off in their chic dog-eared parlors and 2nd floor peeling paint verandas overlooking the field club, the #Atlantic, or #PeconicBay.
Now, as to the genre of locals, the dumb-nut who wrote this dribble for The Guardian quotes a couple of realtors (there is a giant herd of them and too many a greedy classless lot), a local elected official, and an immigrant Latino. This is a wearing and weak spread to draw conclusions, let alone tell a compelling story? There are in small numbers anglers, designers, builders, professionals, boaters, baymen, artists, writers, actors, gardeners, horse folks, teachers, neat family business owners, farmers, vintners, architects, retirees, and others of creative #BOHO-bent who reside on the East End of Long Island. These are the actual locals including those with familial ties hailing back to 1640 (right, Bill Pell ?). Yes, many of us bailed before the last real estate debacle – and fewer continue. Year-a-round folks who reside on the South Fork, North Fork, or Shelter Island are a special lot, no doubt about it, because the region is exceptionally historical, beautiful, and no lie isolated during the winter.
Occasionally, in a snarky mood, I pinned a button on my espresso apron, “Tell the Beautiful People I Won’t Miss Them.” The barely uttered benefit for the local world = the summer colony leaves, what my husband referred to as Tumbleweed Tuesday (day after #LaborDay). Nine months out of the year the East End is in a delightful state – no attacks of car alarms and no hotsy designer sales where sandals are half off at $2,000. Plus, most importantly, one can wet a line in the suds (surf cast) with the other five diehards along the Village of Quogue’s beach.
I truly miss boating the waterways, cozy autumn dinners with friends eating baked Striped Bass, writing commentary letters to the editor, and never sharing recipes for blueberry pies. Bags of Billy’s freshly harvested oysters waiting at the backdoor were like finding gold. Gardening perennial beds with ice crystals or sea salty sweat on my brow kept me semi-sane. Yet . . . life moves on. The status quo, even when dressed in cashmere and actual pearls, is the bane of fear.
Besides, I am positive God has new adventures in store for me in far away lands with more incredible birds in the company of classy gentle folks. Listen, living in #CostaRica, where I do, is neither boring nor stressful. Ya ‘all should be so lucky. I no longer have to keep three businesses afloat, nor pay out thousands of dollars in LIPA monthy bills (electricity), or have no mind space or heartfelt quiet time to write.
Finally (not too soon), my child-less artsy Auntie Bee, when bro and i as kids made faces into her overcooked veggies, would proffer, “Now, eat your greens, kids. Children are starving in India.” We actually took this to heart.
Photo: Summer “cottage”, #Westhampton, NY.