As autumn descends upon the Hamptons, it’s time to don fleece, sweatshirts, and sweaters. If you’re familiar with September in this area, you’re well aware that evenings can turn chilly. For those in their sixties and beyond, the urge to bundle up as the sun sets is even stronger. Of course, there are those who cling to their t-shirts, much like individuals who resist warm hats in winter snowfall.
Outdoor venues shutting at sunset now close even earlier. Eventually, they become weekend-only destinations or remain shuttered. During my time at Bridgehampton while residing in Montauk, the “Clam Shack” on Napeague served a hearty chowder that provided solace on cold afternoons. Devouring it while perched at the counter was a divine experience. Despite occasional gusts of wind, the chowder’s warmth endured. Nowadays, I enjoy homemade chicken soup courtesy of my wife, but that’s a tale for another day. In September, the east end’s farm stands burst forth with vibrant, fresh produce.
In September 2015, I unknowingly savored my final meal at Cyril’s before its permanent closure. A stuffed lobster with corn and shrimp was a delightful farewell. A decade earlier, I routinely enjoyed this dish every Monday during summer after turning in my “weekly-weekend” Dan’s Papers stories. Back then, my lobster feast was free, a tradition following my summertime write-ups.
Living oceanfront at the Montauk Trailer Camp, now boasting a $4M unit sale, was an experience. Off-season travel was traffic-free, a far cry from the summer gridlock. Ditch Plains witnessed a September transformation, as summer vacationers departed and dedicated surfers reclaimed the shore. The Sunday before Labor Day saw beach fires and parties aplenty, all vanished by the next evening.
September nights hold a serene silence during evening walks. I, along with my dog, reveled in nighttime beach strolls. The ocean’s stars on crisp nights captured my soul, as did the monthly full moonrise. Observing the full moon ascend over the ocean is a timeless tradition. Even my beagle stopped to gaze.
With dwindling daylight, the opportunity for evening enjoyment wanes. Yet, home fireplace usage surges. Lounging in front of a roaring fire is my personal paradise. The crackling wood, stacked high in cords over summer, heralds the seasons’ change. Autumn arrives on September 22, marked by the transformation of lush green leaves to autumnal hues, carried by ocean breezes.
Post Labor Day, the Hamptons adopt a more private atmosphere. The pace slows, resembling a solitary car at a traffic light or an empty road. Beach parking becomes a breeze. For many, the Atlantic remains a year-round retreat. It roars ceaselessly, unburdened by seasonal shifts, waves crashing on pristine sands.
As a sailor, Gardiner’s Bay holds September allure. Warm days linger, but sunset angles sharpen, casting captivating shadows. Sailing through September evokes the passage of time, the gears of the year shifting. Change is constant, swift or gradual. Children mature, generations evolve, and the East End’s enduring beauty stands as an everlasting, silent ode.