Thomas James on the playground of the rich and famous that is The Hamptons
One of the most popular guest features on the blog that preceded The Steeple Times was this article by Thomas James. The summer may well have passed along with Sandy and her might but as the article continues to attract vast numbers of hits, we thought we’d share it with you again this autumn day.
The Hamptons is a beautiful coastal retreat with sandy beaches and vineyards, is home to premier pieces of real estate, and is known as the playground of the rich and famous.
Generally speaking, it is an area of concentrated Manhattan wealth, as many New Yorkers have second and third homes there that are most commonly occupied during the summer months. The differing hamlets that create this wondrous land of lush gardens and luxury real estate possess a distinct atmosphere and attract different types of individuals.
East Hampton is the most coveted hamlet as it is dotted with world-class restaurants, well-known art galleries, and boutiques such as Blue and Cream. It is also home to the Hamptons International Film Festival.
The residents of East Hampton are a culmination of celebrities, fashionable, and chic individuals such as Kelly Bensimon and Russell Simmons as well as those who are more traditional or preppy in nature – who tend to belong to the Maidstone Club. Models, celebrities, and socialites from Linday Lohan to Lauren Conrad flock to Lily Pond, a trendy nightclub in East Hampton featuring French crystal chandeliers and it becomes a massive VIP lounge for today’s youth to celebrate.
Art For Life is an annual benefit held at the home of Russell Simmons. The proceeds of Art For Life support art programs for New York City students. This soiree is a grand event as Russell Simmons has no limitations to his imagination and often amazing performance artists entertain guests. The event attracts celebrities, philanthropists and lovers of art.
As one strolls down Main Street after enjoying a memorable cup of coffee at Sant Ambroeus, one may bump into Ina Garten purchasing fresh vegetables at Citarella or a socialite shopping at Hermes.
Southampton is similar to that of East Hampton as it is home to many chic restaurants and boutiques such as Stubbs and Wootton. Southampton has many social events throughout the year and is very Waspy in nature.
The hamlet of Bridgehampton is known for the Hampton Classic, which is a highly anticipated equestrian riding event held annually. One may find solace venturing through Bridgehampton’s world-renowned vineyards in the early morning and later soaking up the fruity wines of Bridgehampton’s famed wineries.
Hamptonites often flock to Pierre’s with friends in Bridgehampton for ideal French cuisine. “The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, elegant but relaxed, a place to see and to be seen.”
Many artists, writers, and actors are drawn to the hamlet of Watermill. Watermill has many riding stables, golf courses, and a polo team. The Watermill Center is a haven for artists who are free to explore, experiment, and express their ideas. The glamorous Watermill Gala is an end of summer fundraiser where eccentric performance artists are on display as partygoers are sipping their champagne.
If one truly desires to step into the untouched beauty of the Hampton’s one usually ventures to Montauk. This hamlet is the farthest hamlet on the east end. The estates of prominent individuals line the shores of the Atlantic.
In 2009, Bernard and Ruth Madoff’s Montauk beach house was sold to an unidentified buyer. He and his former home penetrate one’s mind with an image of vulgar decadence. Surprisingly, the 4 bedroom, 3,014 square foot house, which sits on 1.2 acres, is a mere cottage amongst the typical mansions and estates. This classic beach house sits closer to the ocean than the neighboring homes of Ralph Lauren and Robert DeNiro, which was it’s major selling point as well as the unsurpassed views of Montauk’s untouched beauty. Bernie Madoff purchased the land and then built the home in 1979 for approximately $3 million but due to the exposure of his scam, the house was taken by the government in July 2009. Proceeds of the sale benefited victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. It is now estimated to now be worth around $8 million.
From Alec Baldwin, preserving the raw beauty found here, to local artists trying to capture the indescribable beauty of the east end, the Hamptons is a truly special place where lavish individuals harmonise beautifully with the lush nature found there.
For more information on The Hamptons International Film Festival, go to: http://hamptonsfilmfest.org
For details on The Hamptons Classic, go to: http://www.hamptonclassic.com
Read Niche Media LLC’s Hamptons magazine at: http://hamptons-magazine.com
To read a blog dedicated to the Hamptons, go to: http://bloghamptons.com