Petticoat Junction, is a modern luxury bus. The Hamptons Jitney is the antidote to the problem of sitting behind the wheel for hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic the Long Island Expressway while you’re on your way to weekend fun. I can’t imagine Real Housewives taking it—they seem as if they’d go for stretch Hummers (insert sexual innuendo here) helicopters paid for with OPM (other people’s money).
The Hamptons Jitney is not at all like the Stone Harbor/Avalon jitney. That’s just an airport satellite parking area shuttle bus with a different paint job, no rack for luggage, and mood lighting.
The HJ is a full sized bus, and as buses go, it’s closer to a rock star bus than to a Greyhound. Each row is three seats across rather than the standard four. By making the seats larger and arranging them so, the impresario behind the HJ has attempted to solve two vital societal problems….manspreading into your neighbor’s seat and sitting next to someone with cooties.
|"I'm glad I took my ennui meds; this wait is killing me."
His wife, in the seat across the aisle from him, was bookish in that retired art historian sort of way. I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that she reads the now late Jackie Collins after the old ball and chain falls asleep at night. Out of habit that she picked up in graduate school, my guess is that she does a number on the sex scenes with yellow highlighter. She was wearing large paisley scarf/blanket sort of thing that probably turns into a spinnaker if the Jitney runs out of fuel and has to resort to sail power.
Though I accepted most of the drinks and snacks, entertainment wise, I stuck to looking out the window since I’d just finished The Power Broker, Robert Caro’s bio of Robert Moses and here we were cruising along on Moses-built highways, passing the site of the 1964 Worlds Fair and other Moses-era landmarks. I was hoping to see people who were still pissed off about an expressway going through their backyard. No such luck on that score.
After a couple of hours we got to Bridgehampton, de-bussed and walked the few blocks to S and S’s house.
|With Martha, David, Chris, and Bruce in our misspent early middle age. Back in the day when you took photos with a camera.
On this trip I’m more jaded, and officially older, even though I lie about my age in a dating situation depending on the light level in the room and whether the other guy is legally blind or not.
My hosts, S and S, have a fantastic house, handsomely designed and the polar opposite of one of those Jersey shore houses that incorporates every architectural element known to man. Those places tend to fill the lot like a guy squeezing into clothes he’s outgrown. S and S's house was just the opposite of that; designed thoughtfully and with just a touch of humor. Were Goldilocks an architecture critic, she would pronounce their digs as “just right”.
|My new best friend, Leo the Wonder Dog.
I got to demonstrate my central Pennsylvania sang-froid when an otherwise lovely dog mom of a certain age plus some who'd joined us took off her wrap in preparation for a dip in the ocean. While she was of the age and mileage for a black one piece suit, she was wearing a white bikini that didn’t leave much to the imagination. Technically, not anything. At all. Yowza!
But as fashion transgressions go, well, there were just four of us there, counting the distant (physically, dunno about emotionally) professional dog handler for an absent plutocrat whose dogs aren’t allowed to play with others. And none of us at that exact moment was on duty for Fashion Police. Yes, it wasn’t the suit I would have picked for her, but in a way I have to hand it to her for doing her own thing.
After our tip to the beach, we had an unexpected and delightful visit from Connie, my host of 18 years ago—she just lives down the street from S. and S. C. invited us to a surfing demo, but we opted for an outing that would not involve asking people if they had a woodie and did they wax it.
|The museum was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.
Madoo Conservancy, a stunning garden down the road in Sagaponack by “artist, gardener, and writer” Robert Dash.
brosé marketers. It wasn’t one of those parties where you needed to know a lot about sports to chat up guys, and had I been better at chatting up guys, I am sure I would have met some interesting folks who knew The Barefoot Contessa. My hosts did introduce me to an amusingly over the top ball gown designer and his partner the charming lighting and home accessories designer with a decidedly silent film star air about him. There was a brief speech by the director of the property thanking everyone for their support.
The standout outfit of the evening was worn by the guy in the three sizes too small fleece version of a rowing blazer…blue with contrasting trim topped off with Ray Ban Wayfarers. He looked like a great British sausage. Perhaps he was the Ambassador from Hormel-on-Thames, England? Apparently the person in his household in charge of saying “You’re not going out looking like that, are you?” was out of town that day.
After the reception, we enjoyed a tasty repast of burgers and farms stand corn, just as Leo was enjoying a meal of one of my flip flops. I think he agreed that Rainbow makes the best flip flops on the market.
Potemkin Hamptons, but the closest I saw to wretched excess was four stop signs at one convoluted intersection. It was flip-flops on the ground for 36 hours and didn’t see a single person drink Cristal out of a Manolo, Jimmy Choo, or even last season’s glass slipper. (If someone would like to invite me back for that, I'll clear my calendar pronto!)