Sunday, April 18, 2010

Long Island

Things are pretty busy around here... that's about the only thing I can say regarding my recent blog silence. I was involved in a conference here last week, and the two weeks leading up to it were a haze of thoughts-organizing and paper-finishing. It was a great conference though, so it was all worth it in the end.

In order to recover from said conference, however, Mike and I decided that a last-minute weekend away was in order. So we hired a car, found a B&B, and headed out to Long Island for a few nights.

Our destination was Montauk, a little town at the very end of the south fork of Long Island. To get there you have to drive through the Hamptons, the oh-so-posh summer hangout of the stars.
But fortunately, Montauk itself is pretty normal - it looks like any little beach oriented town - lots of restaurants (many of them closed now, in the off-season), loads of motels, a teeny mini-golf course, and the requisite tourist shops selling tacky souvenirs and beach accessories. It was pretty quiet this weekend, but you definitely get the feeling that that place is full of people in the summer season!

This weekend was a bit cold for proper beaching, but we still managed to get outside and wander up and down some beaches. On Saturday we started with a walk to the Montauk Lighthouse, by way of the cliffs on the south side of the point.
The soil out there is very sandy and structurally a little weak, so the cliff is slowly falling into the ocean. That asphalt trench in this photo looks like it used to be a drainage ditch of some sort, for what seems to have been the front edge of the parking lot (this photo is looking toward the West).
Here's another view of that same trench - looking East this time. If you look closely, you can see the other end of this trench, perched up there on the edge of the cliff, right where the ground drops off and across, and forms that first point of sand.
From this point, you walk a little further East, through some bushes, and eventually you get to the lighthouse.
The waves on the point beneath the lighthouse were just amazing. Frobisher was all set to go surfing, but we had unfortunately arrived just a few weeks too late.

After hauling Frobisher off the beach, we hopped back in the car and drove to East Hampton for a (rather overpriced) lunch at a cafe on the main street. We skipped the JCrew and Coach shops (I saw more Coach shops in the Hamptons than I've seen in Manhattan!), and headed up to Sag Harbour in search of some of the infamous Long Island wineries. Technically, most of the vineyards are on the North Fork, but that was too long a drive for the afternoon - so we instead ended up at Channing Daughters, one of the few places on the South Fork. This place (so we were told by a helpful woman in a wine shop in Sag Harbour) is owned by Stockard Channing's ex-husband... hence the name I suppose. We found the place without too much trouble, and partook of their wine tasting menu - but unfortunately, we were not impressed enough to buy anything. :(

So what else is there to do besides go back to the beach...
It was coming on to 5pm when we took these photos, and the wind was bringing big storm clouds out from the mainland - but the windy cool beach was more than made up for with that lovely sky to look at! :)
Today we spent the day driving through the ritzy Hampton suburbs, checking out the insanely expensive mansion-cottages - you know, so we know what's available next time we have a few extra millions lying around. Then we slowly made our way down the North Shore of the island and back into the city - sometimes its nice to get home in the late afternoon, to ease your way back into mid-week reality! :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those photos bring back many childhood memories for me - my Uncle used to be in charge of State Parks out there and lived in the house before the point - where I spend many of my summers. The north fork is also great - Greenport is worth a visit, along with their wineries. Thanks for sharing!