Sometimes the best things to do truly are the simplest. Last night, after all the guests at A Butler's Manor had left for their respective evening plans, Chris and I packed a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers and went to the beach to watch the sun go down. True, on Southampton's beaches you won't see a sunset over the water, nor--since our air quality is so good--will you get the brilliant oranges and reds of a Southern California sunset (which is, alas, caused by smog). Instead, the colors are pure blues and pinks, in wispy clouds over a steely ocean.
And almost nobody else is there. After the need for sunscreen diminishes, the beach is the quietest place in the Hamptons.
And the best part is that it's free, because after 5:00 PM, beach parking regulations don't apply. And at Cooper's Beach, the snack bar stays open until at least 6:00, so you can grab a burger or a wrap there.
Speaking of free, a visit to a farmers market is a great treat on a summer day. From late spring until fall, there are farmers markets somewhere in the Hamptons daily from Wednesdays through Sundays. Hamptons.com has a pretty comprehensive article that outlines who, what, when and where here: http://www.hamptons.com/Food-And-Wine/Food-News/17200/For-The-Freshest-Produce-In-The-Hamptons-Try-A.html
Of course, the farmstands out here are numerous and divine, and they're (mostly!) open every day. Closest to us, right around the corner on land that was once owned by the same family (Jagger) that also owned the property we now call A Butler's Manor is tiny Hank's Farm Stand, selling primarily berries...strawberries are just finishing up, and raspberries are coming up. At a farmstand you can't miss the connection beween the fertile land and the farmer who cultivates it. A good comprehensive list of area farmstands can be found here. Often, visitors to the Hamptons tend to forget its farming and fishing origins and are often only vaguely aware that both livelihoods are still very much in existence. (BSP [Blatant Self Promotion!] alert: It is precisely in that setting that my novel Blood Exposure is set, available now on Kindle. "Oh really, what's it about," you say? Check it out here.)
In fact, having made myself hungry, I'm off to pick up some fresh veggies for tomorrow morning's frittata. And I'm planning another picnic on the beach...
Quote of the Day: They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. --Ronald Reagan