Oh Say Can You See?
By: Pam Prince
If Robert Frost mused, “Good fences make good neighbors,” then living here, in the Hamptons, I should think, “Large windows make happy residents!”
Whenever I pass a new construction, I mentally survey the amount of glass used. Architectural style be damned! The only reason, I believe, to fight summer traffic and to survive the winter store closures is to be able to look out on our glorious landscapes, filled with the creatures and vegetation that inhabit it, and wallow in the beauty that surrounds us.
I will never understand houses built with small or heavily draped windows. Do that in Franklin Square, New Hyde Park, or Valley Stream. On60’x80’plots, houses need plenty of wall space to hang those inevitably purchased framed landscapes. Here, all you need are big windows and tons and tons of Windex!
While living in Nassau County I hardly ever saw people strolling, or better yet, fast walking for exercise. No, we stayed indoors on our treadmills and stairmasters, daydreaming and staring silently at those framed wall hangings. Sometimes we even got into our cars and drove to the gym (if admonished by our doctors, or to fit into a particular outfit that those darn cleaners kept shrinking). But, either way, it was the dreaded hour of exercise that we were compelled to submit to.
Here, however, past my front windows, every morning there is a constant parade of people happy to be communing with nature and neighbors while strolling at varied paces, immersed in conversations about their children (and if the smiles are really overwhelmingly luminous, their grandchildren), or who was seen at which restaurant last night.
Also in attendance on these sojourns, one can look out and see the most astounding array of familial pride, the jewel of the family crown, the most prized possession, the pet dog! A dog seems to be the necessary accessory to life in the Hamptons. A statement of who you are. Be it Puppy Palace, ARF (the preferred choice), or the breeder to the stars, almost everyone owns a dog. So each morning, bright and early, you can take a seat by the window of your own personal “reviewing stand” and watch some immaculately groomed dogs (with handlers to match I might add) walked proudly by their owners, and some others, just as proudly, pulling their owners down the road. There’s no guess work as to who missed their appointment with their dog trainer that week!
Truthfully, when I first moved to the Hamptons I couldn’t understand why the nightlife was relatively quiet here. “Let’s do an early dinner,” seemed the norm. Also, why did everyone rise with the sun in the morning? I thought this would be a great place to lounge around and breakfast at noon. But now, after spending some years here, I have come to understand the beauty one can look out on only during the day (due to our charmingly/dangerously unlit country roads – but that’s a whole other topic which would probably take me more than 1500 words!), and the urgency not to waste even one moment of it.
Viewing life from my window is like having a front row seat in a fabulous theatre which is showing a daily comedy or drama (depending on who or what is passing by) and you have the option to continue to relax and be an appreciative part of the audience, or to actually get up and join in.
“Allan, lace up your K-Swiss sneakers, Janet and Leon are walking Gingee. If we hurry, we can take Rosie and catch up with them!”