Post-Labor Day, 2010

And there you have it, the Summer of 2010, which came in with a shout: the best weather over Memorial Day (sunny and hot!) and exited with a whimper called Hurricane Earl on Labor Day. Except that Earl was a no-show, tiptoeing by 200 miles offshore on Friday night with only a little rain and wind in his backpack. It was, however, enough to spook many visitors to the area who would’ve otherwise made the holiday the last hurrah of the season. Pity, too, as the sun was back in full force on Saturday, and it was a spectacular day for the Grand Prix event on Sunday at the Hampton Classic.

Still, it was a nice weekend and guests enjoyed themselves, and the day after Labor Day it was immediately Autumn in the Hamptons…clear, sunny days in the low 70’s, with temps dropping in the evenings. The minute that sun drops behind the dune, you need your hoodie!

Chris and I had a chance to enjoy a picnic on the beach the other evening after all the guests had checked in, savouring an East Coast sunset (above) with our wine and smoked salmon. (How much better does Life get!?!) But the signs of the encroaching Fall are already upon us…I saw my first horse chestnut on Labor Day weekend, a chevron of Canadian geese honking their noisy way toward the south on Tuesday, and we’re all donning jackets to enjoy live entertainment on the deck at Tiderunners or at the North Fork vineyards, as we had a chance to experience again this past Sunday.

Caroline Doctorow (yes, THAT Doctorow, daughter of E.L., author of such classics as Ragtime) is a talented folk/blues musican who lives out here on the East End. On Sunday, she was the featured performer at Peconic Bay Vineyards, one of the North Fork wineries who we enjoy and recommend to guests interested in spending a lovely weekend afternoon listening to live entertainment on the peaceful grounds of a working vineyard. We like Peconic Bay’s La Barrique Chardonnay, which reminds me of California’s Napa Valley chards, and Chris of France’s Chassagne Montrachet. We met friends for a early dinner at the Frisky Oyster in Greenport, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a rare chance that we can get away as far as the North Fork until the off-season, and a great chance to be able to initiate or renew our acquaintance with locations old and new, so that we can better share them with our guests.

It is a marvelous time to come visit. The frayed tempers and traffic common in July and August have gone, the air is clear and the light beautiful, and all is far more calm and peaceful. Enjoy it with us!

Quote of the Day: Happiness is a wine of the rarest vintage, and seems insipid to a vulgar taste. –Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Tweets (not the Twitter kind)

June is popping out all over, to quote the old song from Carousel. All of the birdhouses around the garden are occupied with nesting families of varying types of birds, and several more who prefer “roughing it” to moving into a premade house are guarding nests in the shrubbery or trees. (One Papa Robin whose family is secreted in a yew bush outside our office, cannot seem to learn that he is not seeing a rival in the window, but his own reflection in the glass…even though we now have an entire window of little robin footprints to mar the clarity of that reflection.) Walk through the garden and you’ll hear the occasional chorus of little tweets and peeps as the baby birds let their parents know they are HUNGRY! If you look closely at the pictures above, you’ll see one of the baby starlings peeking his beak out, waiting for his next meal…and then home delivery of the meal by one of the busy parents. Sweet. They will be fledging soon.

And the roses are in bloom! Their scent is in the air over the whole garden, but especially as you walk across the grass and mount the steps towards the pool. I cut dozens of blooms for the guest rooms this weekend, set off by lemon-yellow sprigs of lady’s mantle flowers, which also proliferate this time of year. The peonies are just beginning to open.

The flora and fauna of the garden have enjoyed the rain showers we’ve had this past week…we humans were less appreciative. So far, the weather hasn’t been very cooperative for the guests who are looking for a relaxing day at the beach. It’s great that we have other options…Peconic Bay Winery, over on the North Fork, has a lively schedule every weekend of live music in the afternoons, with wine by the glass and even local cheese and sushi for sale while you enjoy! And closer to home, Wolffer Vineyards has added another event to its roster of things to do: Every Friday evening at their farm and wine stand on Rte 27 just east of the winery, they have a TGIF wine-and-jazz event from 5 – 7 PM, again, with free artisanal cheese and wines for sale by the glass. Chris and I haven’t made it up there yet to try it out, but I expect it is especially popular with visitors arriving from Manhattan and points east after what can sometimes be a long slog through traffic.

Yesterday, there was a Classic Car show and auction in Bridgehampton that drew a lot of traffic (yeah, pun intended)…Chris went off to enjoy it for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and I guess I’m counting myself lucky we don’t now own another classic car! (The deal we have is one at a time!)
Quote of the Day: There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before. —Robert Lynd