It’s almost mid-August and I feel elated. Then I also feel that summer is now quickly coming to an end. Eventually in August one does start counting the days to Labor Day. Over the six decades of my lifetime many amazing things have happened in August. Some out in the Hamptons. When I say August, I always just smile.
It is the high point, the apogee of every summer season for everyone, but especially on the east end. My wife believes that every month has a few days of weather of the previous month and a few days of weather of the next coming month. This means the temperatures in August on the east end can be in the nineties and in the fifties. However, usually they are sunny and in the mid-eighties.
It’s time for sailing, outdoor dining at fancy restaurants, tennis matches, bike rides, surf lessons, and nice walks. I remember my first summer in the Hamptons that included attending my first “polo match,” and then being invited to the Hampton Classic for the first time. As Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, I wasn’t in Kansas anymore!
For me there has always been a crazy fascination with watching folks who are in the Hamptons for the first time. I fondly remember my first full-time August in 2003. I was stunned by seeing so many people everywhere walking around in an array of various summer fashions. Back then the big thing was walking through town with a flip phone talking into the earplugs connected to the phone by a wire. People held the cellphone in their hands and had a pager attached to them as they walked around talking out loud about deals, law cases, or when they will be back in the office. There was no texting or getting emails on phones yet except for those expensive yet primitive BlackBerry phones.
Being a lifelong people watcher, I remember thinking there are just so many different affluent type people walking around. It was surreal, as if I was walking through a live movie scene being shot. There were kids with ice cream, women with fancy shopping bags and men looking at their expensive watches. It was always fun watching the kids exploding with energy and always in a hurry. There was lots of cigarette smoking on the sidewalks then. Nowadays not so much.
I have been in both California and the French Riviera in August; the Hamptons is the best of both. Now I nostalgically look at locations and remember where a favorite restaurant or friend’s house once occupied those places. Change comes to the Hamptons every year but it’s funny how the feeling in August remains the same. There is always a frantic whirlwind of activity happening both during the days and nights as if the clock is ticking down like on a TV game show. The clothes become more “high” fashion oriented as the calendar moves toward September 1st.
I truly hope that the magic of Hamptons summers goes on forever. Twenty years ago, I reveled in dancing at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett until closing time. After the Talkhouse closed I used go (at 2:30 a.m.) to buy the bagels actually being baked at the now closed East Hampton Bagels on North Main Street.
At the end of August, it was always sad to say goodbye to new summer friends who rented for the season and now were going back to where they came from. It was like a yearly “rite of passage,” amazingly I have watched some return to buy homes decades later.
My favorite August in the Hamptons memory has to be in 2010 on the night I went to an Oceania “Splash Party,” in Mecox Bay as a guest of hamptons.com. Sam Waterston presided and the entertainment was provided by Jackson Browne. He actually sang next to the pool with a very small amp and sound system for his guitar and electric piano. It was on this special August night that I dropped to one knee and asked Cindi Sansone-Braff to marry me. Luckily, she said yes. The amazing thing is the party still has two YouTube links and Cindi and I appear in both YouTube videos walking around before I proposed and afterwards.