In the Hamptons, ‘Summer’ is a Verb
by Danielle C. Tworek
As a former Manhattanite, the allure of the Hamptons is unquestionable. It is the summer haven for everyone who is anyone, a certainty that your escape from the fast-paced life of the city will indulge a celebrity sighting and your opportunity to be clicked in a photo that just might make Page Six.
The Hamptons, this summer being my first venture – long after my years in Manhattan were behind me – was everything I expected, but with bold surprises.
My ride in from JFK on the Long Island Railroad gave me a peek into exactly what I imagined the Hamptons to be: young men in bright laid back button-ups paired with casual slacks rolled up at the ankle and yacht shoes to complete the attire. The girls on the train giggled endlessly, using the word “like” in every sentence as they gossiped non-stop. (If I were still a fashion intern, I am certain it would have been valuable scoop within the industry.) Some of these girls had adorned themselves in a fashion that reminded me of the Olsen twins – hardly elegant with smudged eyeliner and clunky heels – strutting about the train haphazardly, lacking confidence in every step and looking more like a little girl playing dress up in mommy’s shoes than anything else. Other girls chose more practical attire, legs curled up on the seat cozy in black tights and a Victoria’s Secret “PINK” sweatshirt for the two- hour train ride.
As these twenty-somethings flirted, I listened with envy of days past, wishing in my hey-day, I could have been among these privileged youth – given the opportunity to use “summer” as a verb – whiling away the hot days in the Hamptons. What it must be like to be armed with all the requirements for scintillating conversation over cocktails at the fancy restaurants: a well-known family name, the perfect internship in the city and an Ivy League degree.
Don’t get me wrong, my Texas upbringing was nothing to complain about and truthfully, I wouldn’t trade it (of course that is how we Texans are.) I adore my current residence in sunny South Florida, working as a writer – you can’t beat the weather. For all my travels, no city has stolen my heart like NYC and I can only imagine what life would have been like if I had grown up there.
Ten years after my own stint in Manhattan, I finally made my way to spend a few days as part of this historical land described by so many as the ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Amagansett train station did not give way to the true ambiance that is the Hamptons, but the youthful anticipation of my fellow passengers changed the air around me, making me feel as though I might be an extra in an old black and white movie that was all about them. The train poured out the throngs of summering young adults and I stood back on the platform, ingesting my surroundings. In the parking lot, a crowd of boys sat perched on the back dash of a white classic Cadillac convertible – hair swept forward like Justin Bieber, sipping beers and hollering with delight as their friends exited the train and hopped aboard the car without opening a single door.
Girls shrilled at the thrill of the weekend before them, quickly claiming the first cab that swirled into the lot – piling suitcases into the trunk and barely slamming the side door shut as the gravel spouted beneath the cab’s tires and out of the parking lot to the bars and shops lining Montauk Highway.
My husband and I rented a single room in a large, old home with a wraparound porch, art studio out back and neatly manicured garden. The creaks and groans of the doors and floorboards of the home gave life to the vintage feel of the town.
Compared to Florida, my first step out of bed the next morning was challenging – the brisk air chilled the wood planks as I padded down the hall to the bathroom, almost beckoning me to return and curl-up once more beneath the cozy blankets. A sensation lost in the daily warmth of Miami.