I'm certain of this: people from Montauk do not consider themselves part of the Hamptons. Montauk was an end of the line town filled with fishermen, artists and whoever else needed to escape the city and road the train to the last stop of Long Island and stayed there. Now the small homes of the common man have skyrocketed in price as the uber wealthy try to get their share of rugged oceanfront. The locals there still hold onto the fact that they are not the Hamptons, though they are beginning to look similar.
We stayed with Ed and Dawn, family friends of Jeff who had a modest house on one of the most prized pieces of land. Ed was a homebuilder, and a very desired one at that. Long ago he built a home on this property for the photographer Richard Avedon. Richard liked Ed and his family so Ed built his modest home on the property as well. What followed was years of celebrity encounters, late nights and a house full of memories.
Though Richard has passed away Ed and Dawn help maintain the main house for the new family as they live full lives in theirs. We were fortunate to partake in their full lives as they hosted several other people that weekend. We met their community and ate great food as we talked about New York, ecology and writing. All of the New Yorkers claimed that everyone must live in New York at some point. I think they need to stop making that claim or else they will never be able to afford rent.
My enjoyment that weekend came from talking with Ed. The only way I can think to describe Ed is as an sophisticated working man. Well educated, thoughtful, artful, and works with his hands. He was like a mix between Frasier Crane and Frasier's dad. (I recognize I'm taking a risk with a Frasier reference but sometime you've got to go for it).
I left Montauk with even more on my mind, longing for time to sit and process it before it's lost, but before I knew it we were arriving in Groton, Connecticut after 46 miles of riding and three ferries.
Photos: Exploring the beach by the house in Montauk // Ed and Dawn's house // Kyle playing at Ed and Dawn's house after a party, I failed to mention Paul Simon has a house two doors down from Ed and Dawn!!