Norman Rockwell, Meet Your Match

It’s okay now. You can start wearing white.

Memorial Day Weekend in the Hamptons is upon us, and its gloriousness can be seen everywhere you go. It’s like watching the opening scenes to a movie you’ve been dying to go see. It’s like opening a present on Christmas when you were a kid and getting that toy you’d dreamed of. It’s like that first cold beer you drink after a long night shift. It’s like losing your…well, you get the idea.

It’s good.

It’s really, really good.

So what does Memorial Day mean in the Hamptons? There is a whole aura to it.

Almost like magic, in one fell swoop, all of the various towns, villages and hamlets out
here completely change pace. Stores that have been hidden behind “Closed” signs are suddenly open and loaded with customers. Getting from one end of Main Street to the other by car takes about a half an hour instead of 30 seconds.

Everything suddenly starts to look like a Norman Rockwell painting. Flags line Main Street. People walking up and down the street look almost like characters out of a movie. Two kids will be on the sidewalk eating ice cream, a police officer will be telling teenagers on skateboards that they need to move along, and restaurants will be packed to the brim with groups of women sitting at tables outside on the street, wearing big hats and drinking mimosas. You suddenly get a craving for homemade lemonade, backyard barbecues and bike rides. And then, in an almost surreal fashion, you’ll see Billy Joel drive down the street on his motorcycle, or Jimmy Buffett putting on a full wetsuit at the beach to go surfing in Montauk. You never know who will show up at your favorite watering hole.

Memorial Day Weekend can also be kind of a bummer, because the clock has suddenly been clicked. The moment that you picked up this issue of Dan’s Papers and thumbed your way to this column while sitting in your chair and drinking your coffee, a little click went off, and that click was a timer that is counting down the days until the end of summer.

We try not to think about that.

You’ve made it. You got to the East End from your hectic life in the city, or you got through the brutal winter that every year takes its toll on the locals, and you can let it all go. You can take a deep breath, breathe in the air that is officially summer in the Hamptons, taste that little hint of salt and sunshine that the rest of the world only dreams about, or hears about in whispers at parties in the city or in plot developments on television.

Now that you’re here, do yourself a favor this Memorial Day—go all-out Hamptonite. Throw on your Ralph Lauren clothes and your big sunglasses and bring your family and friends out for a stroll, go on a boat or to a beach, and then check out one of the fine restaurants for a meal that never tasted so good. Don’t hold back. This only happens once a year.

Read David’s blog about Hamptons life every day at DansHamptons.com.

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