Pricy, crowded – and off-limits to plain folks

Ah, the summertime Hamptons, land of bottom-of-the-barrel wines served with thimbles of gazpacho at $500-a-head “benefit” bashes on tax felons’ manicured lawns! 

Maybe you’re crazed with envy that you weren’t invited to Michael Rubin’s “famous white party” in Bridgehampton, which was attended by Tom Brady, Kim Kardashian, J.Lo plus every boldface who ever lived. (But who the hell is Michael Rubin?) 

You can’t get into Montauk’s Close Maison either — a restaurant so hot that it actually burned down on Memorial Day weekend. (It’s back with outdoor seats but not likely for you.) 

You seethe in your seat on the sweltering, gridlocked Jitney while Liev Schreiber and Donna Karan laugh at you from the windows of their private jets to East Hampton airport. 

My friends: Let me tell you what the East End is really like for us without trust funds or formerly felonious friends like real estate mogul Michael Shvo, art dealer Helly Nahmad or Martha Stewart to keep us company. 

The hamlets that stretch like a 50-mile-long string of fake pearls from Westhampton Beach to the Montauk lighthouse aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. 

Celebrities such as Tom Brady, Usher and Kim Kardashian were in attendance to Rubin’s exclusive party in Bridgehampton.
Michael Rubin (Instagram: michaelrubin)

The traffic’s unendurable, the restaurants louder than a jet runway and the glam events on Page Six off-limits to mere mortals unless you score a gig parking cars. 

Peace out 

There are more “Real Housewives” — real and fake ones — in the Hamptons than there are on TV, their botox-balloon lips and mislocated ears making the scene at every trendy restaurant. 

The Hamptons are the world’s only “resort” area with almost no actual resorts — only overpriced former motels masquerading as “classics reborn,” creaky old inns, and the gold standard of East End freeloading, a friend’s spare bedroom with a leaky air conditioner. 

Easthampton fruit stand
Cuozzo claims the Hamptons isn’t as glamorous as many people may think.
Getty Images

So much for country peace and quiet.

A juke box in the downstairs bar kept us up all night at the Inn at Quogue. At Blake’s, a “quaint” B&B near East Hampton village, the LIRR ran through our room.

Well, it was actually a few feet away. 

As for celebrity encounters with the likes of Steven Spielberg and Gwyneth Paltrow: forget an old photo you saw of Drew Barrymore at an antiques shop on Newtown Lane.

Most A-listers shun us ordinary souls as if we’re COVID superspreaders.

They rarely venture beyond their hedgerow-barricaded retreats without disguises — or armed escorts. 

When they do deign to mingle, it can make for embarrassing moments.

I once watched a dissolute-looking Billy Joel wandering aimlessly at Bobby Van’s in Bridgehampton.

I saw then-troubled “Beverly Hills 90201” wild-child Shannen Doherty have a meltdown in the bushes outside Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton. 

Friendly but desperate-looking “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker came ashore to my friends’ Sagaponack beach house to beg them to let her use their toilet. “Watch us tonight, it’s a real good one,” she cheerfully thanked us, but declined to stay for cherry pie. 

Maison Close Montauk restaurant
Maison Close Montauk restaurant was a new Montauk restaurant-nightclub that burned down.
Maison Close Montauk

Montauk restaurant
The restaurant was burned to the ground a day before its planned Memorial Day weekend opening.

The Hamptons’ restaurant was suppose to be the establishment’s second location outside of Manhattan.
Debbie Kuntz

See, unlike at normal seasides such as Jones Beach or Coney Island, Hamptons beaches don’t have bathrooms.

“Flee to pee” is the watchword. 

The only saving grace is Sag Harbor, a village so charming, history-rich and full of atmospheric old stores, cozy small hotels, fine places to eat and a wonderfully walkable marina that it might be on a different island than other towns’ mall-like shopping zones. 

Wowee! Prada on Main Street in East Hampton, in case you couldn’t get to the ones on Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Broadway or in every Manhattan department store! 

And the food! All those “local” farm stands with corn and tomatoes trucked in from New Jersey!

Gourmet salads from Citarella, where the lines are exact replicas of those at multiple Manhattan Citarellas! 

By midsummer, even those who live or spend whole summers on Dune Road and Further Lane have had their fill of the place.

Most of my friends there are gone by late July, bound for Nantucket, Vermont or southern Europe to escape the horror show. 

What took them so long?

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