My dears! Sag Harbor!

Trip Start Apr 27, 2010
Trip End May 05, 2010

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yesterday we ventured out to the Very Rich Part of Long Island, which is to say in the vicinity of Southampton, namely to Sag Harbor, which is wealthy though perhaps not as insanely so as the Hamptons.  Tidy little main street with striped awnings, no neon signs, tasteful beachy home furnishings shops, designer consignment stores, small restaurants, and many artfully done window boxes, brimming with pansies.   A lepidopterist pal of Jerry's lives in Sag Harbor in a charming small house, lots of art, a cardboard box of chicks in one corner under a heat lamp, and a dear golden retriever who is blind but very loving.  This man, Hugh, teaches at a private school called Ross, where his wife is headmistress, in East Hampton.  They have two small children and no television and lots of books and their house backs into a preserve with a view of a bay.

We met him at his house after his school hours, and he loaded us into a small 4-wheel drive vehicle, drove us to a ferry (or rather, ON to it) and for ten minutes we floated over to Shelter Island, one-third of which is a Nature Conservancy preserve.  Hugh does a lot of collecting at the Preserve and has discovered a new moth; Jerry wanted to see the habitat.  Off we went, down dirt roads with swaths of grass down the middle and elegant flowering dogwoods out in fields.  The land was a former hunt club rescued by the Nature Conservancy, with trails and beaches and forests.  We made two stops a localities where the moth has been found, and I wandered around looking at the unusual ochre-orange small rocks and amazing patterned seashells.  Then we drove to the "Manor House," formerly the hunt club headquarters, now the Nature Conservancy office, a "cottage" in the Eastern tradition of huge and turretted and brown-shingled-with-white trim. Had a tour of that, then floated back to Sag Harbor, collected our rental car at Hugh's house, and drove back down the Long Island Expressway (which is very LONG--an hour's trip) to our hotel.  Thank God for the seemingly endless supply of Chinese take-out we ordered the other night.  We have enough to take home to Berkeley (but won't).

I picked up a brochure for summer rentals in the Hamptons. Jerry and I were stunned: $100,000 for the month of July.  And $350,000 for Memorial Day to Labor Day ("MD to LD") for ocean-front properties with pools and guesthouses and home theaters.  Where on earth does all this money come from?

Hugh says many of his students at the private school are children of real estate agents!  Does this surprise anyone?

Off to Montauk today...
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ws on

ooo you lucky duck!! loved sag harbor most of all. (feels real, could imagine living. unlike any of hamptons.) Did you have lunch at the American Hotel in downtown S.H.?
sounds like a fab day, ferry to Shelter Is, personal guide-friend....THE way to go!!

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