Friday, 3pm. Computer shut down, office lights out, weekender bag in hand. Need to make it to the Hamptons by dinnertime? Here's a breakdown for transportation options from NYC to East Hampton for your 8pm reservation at Nick & Toni's. Will you make it in time? Let's check out the options..
By Rail: LIRR Hamptons Reserve Service [Cannonball Express]
Not the most glamorous of options, but fits the bill ($16.75 for a pre-purchased ticket) and is usually packed with 20- to 30- somethings with paper-bagged brewskis and the inevitable bathroom line snaking through the train after aforementioned beverages have been consumed.
Departs Penn Station: 3:58pm
Arrives East Hampton: 6:25pm
Total Travel Time: 2 hrs, 27 minutes
Enough time for a shower (you may want one after this ride) and a drink before heading out to dinner.
We recommend splurging (relatively..see below..) for a trip with the Ambassador Class Service, with comfier seating, outlets to plug in your en route entertainment, and even "enhanced" complimentary beverages. We hope they're not referring to Rufinol.
Departs 40th St. bet. 3rd & Lex (among other locations): 3:30pm
Arrives East Hampton: 6:30pm
Total Travel Time: 3 hrs (yeah, right..)
We think this is a highly optimistic view, considering the likelihood of bumper-to-bumper traffic during peak hours on Friday afternoon. The Jitney site lightly touches on the thought of delayed service, and washes their hands clean of all responsibility:
"Arrival times are estimates and can vary due to weather, traffic conditions, road construction, and day of week. Hampton Jitney is not responsible for delays beyond our control."
Well, geeze. Considering most of the above will likely be happening, oh, every weekend on the Sunrise Hwy/Cty Rd. 39/Montauk Hwy route, there's certainly no guarantees with this one. Especially considering consumption of "enhanced beverages" may lead to a lack of concern for all other obligations.
Arrives East Hampton Airport: 4:15pm
Though not for those trying to respect the current recession - a twin engine charter will cost you about $3,600..one way - this is certainly the most time efficient mode of transportation. And of course, adding this to your stock pile of society party conversations starters ("oh dear, wasn't the traffic just awful in the sky this afternoon?") is just an extra perk.
So no matter what your budget or time constraints, where there's a will there's a way...to get to the Hamptons.