August 15, 2007
Kiss & Tell
Boiling Frogs, Musical Helicopters And CVS
They say if you put a frog in water and heat it up slowly enough the frog won't jump out even if it starts to boil (PETA clearly didn't exist in the 1800s). Unfortunately many of us don't realize we're in hot water until it reaches the boiling point.
While the Hamptons have certainly been changing over time, there seems to be an identity crisis pitting free enterprise growth against preservation. I had this epiphany as I was listening to the Fusion concert presented by the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. I was enveloped in a gorgeous night at the outdoor amphitheater of the Children's Museum of the East End listening to world class new music when the din of helicopters entered the auditory terrain. Even though this was modern music, which incorporated frying pans into its acoustic mix, the helicopters still didn't seem to "blend." Barbecues used to be planned around rain but now they're planned around air traffic patterns.
When the "for sale" sign showed up at the field for Pike's Farm Stand about the same time as the snap peas, I had that same sinking feeling as when I remembered I'd left the Barbie Camper in the driveway on trash day. After 20 years of tomatoes it couldn't possibly be that this one wooden stand with its richly hued produce and wildflowers – which is the epitome of all that is good about life here – could disappear.
I signed the petition to encourage a possible intervention by the Peconic Land Trust. Then next thing I knew I was signing another petition at the Sag Harbor Pharmacy to encourage local officials to see if there's a way to prevent a big chain drugstore from coming in by the bridge to the ferry. I never really thought of myself as a petition person, but I felt a call to action.
Just as we can look for the Made in the USA label we can all make choices to support Hamptons Homegrown. Instead of store-bought ice cream get the homemade kind from Candy Kitchen so there will still be at least one kid-friendly place left in the Hamptons. And the next time you pass up Napa and buy a bottle of wine from Wolffer Estate or Channing Daughters you will be investing your money in views of vines instead of subdivisions. Pair that with cheese from a working farm like Mecox Dairy so that there will be some bull **** in the Hamptons which is actually good for the environment.
Sure it's easy to shop on amazon.com but unless you want the ratio of real estate agencies to local book stores to look like long Vegas odds, buy books from Canio's in Sag Harbor and Barnacle Books in Montauk and Bookhampton. Then check out the local authors section and support them. You want us around I promise. We're usually home at the computer all the time watching out the window procrastinating and keeping an eye on things. Those hedge fund managers are never going to notice if your pipes burst or kitty got loose.
You can buy local from everything as major as an engagement ring from Southampton jewelry designer Jill Lynn to honey for your tea from the Hamptons Honey Company. Any time you are about to order something online or enter a big chain store, just ask yourself if there's any way you could support the local economy more directly instead.
All I can tell you is that I definitely think it's getting hot in here, and we'd all better start paying more attention before we end up in frog soup.
You can find more of heather's writings on HamptonsHeather.com or drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.