I grew up on Long Island but rarely went out to the Hamptons, which is usually the first place non-New Yorkers think about when they hear “Long Island” (well, it was “Amy Fisher” for a while, too, but thank God that faded quickly.)
It just wasn’t something my family did; none of our friends had second homes out there, and it always seemed to me to be another state, practically.
But since moving back a few years ago I’ve been out here a few times; as I type this my wife, baby son and I are in Sag Harbor for a relaxing weekend “mini-vacation.” My bride’s uncle has a house here and he was extremely generous in allowing us to use it this weekend while he was out visiting colleges with his daughter.
So as always when I go places that are “foreign” to me, I’ve been taking mental notes all weekend, so here’s my usual “emptying of my head.”
— Sag Harbor is a very cool town; if you’re not familiar with it, think of it as a lower-key, off-brand Hamptons: Fewer crowds, fewer people “there just to be seen,” and a quieter vibe. It reminds me a little of Saratoga Springs, my beloved former stomping grounds in upstate New York. Lots of cool shops, great seafood restaurants (had a fabulous piece of Swordfish Saturday night at a place called the Dockside Bar), and lots of homemade ice cream shops.
— Driving around here, though, is a sometimes-scary adventure. Maybe I’m too used to city living, but between the frequent traffic circles and the pedestrians just kind of strolling wherever they want, I swear I almost had three accidents this weekend. Then there are the isolated streets with a double solid white line, where you pull up, expecting there to be a stop sign, there isn’t, but someone’s coming at you in the other direction and you have that three seconds of “are you going to turn, or do I go, or do we just sit here staring at each other?”
— Our 10-month-old discovered his new absolute favorite thing: Stairs. Living in Manhattan he’s never had the chance to crawl/climb anything like this, so at Shelley’s uncle’s house, with 12 hardwood floor steps leading to the upstairs, he was in baby heaven. He would climb up one, stand up, then look back at us like “Look what I did!” Then he’d do that for every stair. So cool to see the look of wonder on his face, with everything.
— I always am interested in cool boat names; so many of them are named “Ms.” something or other, probably because men do the naming. I saw a great one this weekend: “College Fund.”
I’m guessing one of that guy’s children is going to community college since Dad bought a boat. Or, the dude is planning to sell his yacht to pay for college. Either way, I laughed.
** So professional surfing can be a pretty dangerous sport, but I’m not sure this is part of what you expect. At a tournament over the weekend a surfer named Mick Fanning saw this while out in the water.
Pretty damn scary, huh? I think he should totally get extra points in the tournament for coming face-to-face with a shark like that.
**Finally today, a few words about one of America’s biggest disgraces, Dr. William H. Cosby. After reading this illuminating New York Times story Sunday, which quotes in great detail from a deposition Cosby gave in a rape lawsuit 10 years ago, I was trying to think of another American figure who was held in as universal high regard as Cosby, who sunk so low so fast in the public eye.
O.J. Simpson? Not sure he was ever as beloved as Cosby. Lance Armstrong? Allegations of cheating dogged him for years before it all finally came out and was no longer deniable by him; even at the height of Lance’s popularity there were many who were suspicious.
But Bill Cosby, America’s Dad? The man who single-handedly turned NBC around, who was as beloved a product pitchman and idol to so many up-and-coming comedians? How can any of us ever watch “The Cosby Show” again? A friend of mine was last week relating a comedy bit they loved and immediately threw in the disclaimer “There was this great Bill Cosby routine, you know, back when you could laugh at his jokes.”
I encourage you to read the NYT story for a bunch of reasons, but mainly to see just how shockingly cavalier Cosby is about drugging and raping women. It’ll be a crying shame if he never does any jail time for what he did, to dozens of ladies over the years (the woman in the NYT story, Andrea Constand, was 19 years old when Cosby seduced her. Nineteen!).
What a despicable, disgraceful person. He deserves to die a slow, lonely death. And be prosecuted for fraud by all of us.