Before there was easily accessible internet and various movie streaming networks, there was always the East Hampton Library – that beautiful historic building located on the corner of the beginning of Route 114 and intersecting Route 27. My first year as an east-end writer I actually composed all of my articles in the basement of that library. They had primitive internet access computers there.
2004 was the eve of the ever world-changing iPhone and internet communications explosion that followed. When the iPhone came out some folks thought it was too expensive, starting at $300 and going up to $1000. Many in the editorial room passed on writing the story because they thought it would fail. I proudly proclaimed in the article I wrote for Dan’s Papers that week that the iPhone would, in fact, change the world.
Yet before that change, I used the library for books and DVD movies to get me through the winter until the sailing season. Many nights I sat squirreled away in front of a fireplace reading book after book. Especially the winter I spent at Roland Eisenberg’s Yankee Barn home on Barnes Lane in East Hampton Village. It was right behind the Golden Pear Café. Now it has been replaced with a huge new house. There I read mostly historical biographies.
For entertainment, I devoured the then whole Stuart Woods, Stone Barrington novels. From the first to the most recent in publication order. In 2009, when I met Mr. Woods while covering East Hampton Library’s Authors Night, he amusingly expressed his displeasure that I read them all but never actually bought one. He smiled when I said my mother bought them all. His latest book was something my mom and I would talk about on the phone, while she battled cancer.
Over the years, through the Library I saw a few movies and read some books about the Hamptons. Some reads were historical, like the Henry Hedges books, while others were for just plain joy. I checked out movies, too.
The movie that caught me by surprise was the 1988 film, Masquerade, starring a young Rob Lowe, a sizzling Kim Cattrall and Meg Tilly. Still, to this day it is my favorite Hamptons movie. I think it captures the locals and rich summer folks Hamptons dynamic better than any other film I have ever come across. Find it and see it, you will thank me. After seeing it, I was thrilled to know Kim Cattrall’s then husband kept his boat at a small Three Mile Harbor Marina very near my sailboat. Seeing her there was a thrill.
I actually watched the 2008-2009 filming of Paper Man, starring Jeff Daniels, while I lived in Montauk. Some scenes were filmed around my favorite spots. Locations like Camp Hero looking out at the Montauk Lighthouse. Like some Montauk folks, I really didn’t enjoy the movie as much as I thought I might.
I do enjoy watching, over and over again, the classic 2003 movie Something’s Gotta Give. This movie, starring Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves and Amanda Peet, is one I have repeatedly enjoyed seeing when it pops up on the TV. Many folks love this movie.
The book I believe every “Hamptonite” should read for various reasons is Further Lane, a novel by James Brady. I first met the famous newspaper columnist James Brady on the actual day that my first paid east end article came out in the epic Montauk Pioneer. I was reading it to then Blue Parrot bartender Ben Dollinger.
Ben and I first became friends playing chess on slow days at the Parrot. Unbeknownst to me, Mr. Brady sat next to me in the Parrot as I read it to Ben. Ben introduced me to Brady and he took the Montauk Pioneer article and read it. He said he actually had never been to Liar’s Saloon (the piece was titled “The Truth About Liars”) and would now go give it a lookover. After that he sort of mentored my early career many times, reading my early articles out loud to me at the Parrot. It was then that I decided to read his books. I believe his best effort is the novel, Further Lane.
It is a very entertaining name-dropping snapshot of East Hampton in the late 1990s. Although Brady’s book, The Marine, is his masterpiece for me, Further Lane was my favorite read of his collection for a host of reasons. I think for a long winter’s night it’s still a recommended read. It’s a murder mystery filled with laughs and inside stuff.