[Cologne Schmidt and friends] This summer I lost my Hamptons virginity and discovered what the kids on this coast do when the sun is out and the water is warm. Being a Newport Beach native, summers at home mainly consist of riding bikes to the beach, surfing, cruising on boats, and driving down PCH. So when the city children warned me that New York summers meant sweat-smelling subways and concrete beaches—I wondered if I was going to be able to survive my absolute favorite season away from my beloved California dreamland. But, with a little help from some New York friends and the Long Island Rail Road, this has been some of the best months of my life, and I owe it all to the city and its summertime glory.
I had always envisioned the Hamptons as a long white beach, adorned with those illustrious skinny picket fences and long green grass, with one extravagant McMansion after the next. Well, I’ll say my vision was pretty accurate—just add a little more lush foliage and a few humble cottages into the mix. It is truly beautiful out there—a sharp contrast to our compact and chaotic city lives. And I must admit, I had no idea more than one Hamptons existed—Southampton, East Hampton, Bridgehampton, Montauk… where’s a city girl to go?
My first almost-amusing visit consisted of convertible BMW’s, massage rooms, cooks, and models. Don’t ask how I got my friends and I roped into this unlikely and lucky invite, I think I was accidentally mistaken for someone else. But as soon as we crossed the Brooklyn bridge, the damage was done, and they were stuck with three ‘non-models’, who occasionally like to drink, dance, do poolside gymnastics, and may accidentally drain your Jacuzzi (yes, I unfortunately did). Nevertheless, we met some life-long friends that weekend, and tell ourselves we were a refreshing change from their usual champagne sipping crowd. We’ll see if we get the invite back…
[That's Southside's James Willis on the floor...]
By now I have witnessed the Dune, the Pink Elephant, and the Lily Pond scene, but nothing, to me, compares to decks of the Surf Lodge and the Montauk Yacht Club—my absolute Hamptons obsessions. Over an unexpected and unforgettable Forth of July holiday, my orphan friends and I were rescued and taken on our dream weekend—one that included the Atlantic Ocean, surfboards, climbable trees, cartwheels, hammocks, and Montauk. Back and forth between dancing under the white tents at the Yacht Club and grooving in front of the old surf videos at Surf Lodge, my forth really couldn’t have gotten much better. Add the late night ocean dive and tree climb into the agenda and there you have it—dream weekend.
Some say the summer is rapidly reaching its end…I say lets wait until the brown autumn leaves rip the sunny season away from us. I still have a couple more beach visits in me before I retire my Long Island adventures and save the fun for Manhattan, when all the city children flock back to the urban island. But let’s be real, the city children can join me on the island I’ve really barely left this summer…minus a couple of fortunate Hamptons run-ins. But now that I know that Surf Lodge exists, it won’t be the last time you see me out there. And as a side-note, whoever said to avoid Manhattan summers was seriously mistaken. We are in love.