Friday, June 17, 2011
I am a native East Hamptoner whose roots go back many generations here and I love this place as much as anyone possibly could. But the traffic and the cost-of-living are so out of control lately that I admit to seriously thinking about life in a quieter place. A trip to Westhampton Beach this week makes me think it might be the best of both worlds: quieter than East Hampton yet so much the same in every other way. I was there on a Wednesday in June. In East Hampton the traffic on Main Street was horrid. In Westhampton Beach the street was nearly deserted. There was plenty of parking and many stores that I could actually afford to shop in. The wonderfully wide streets and sidewalks were clean and neat, with beautiful potted plants and hanging baskets everywhere. It's close enough to the ocean to smell it and we spent a couple hours just walking around, shopping, and enjoying a beautiful sunny day. We both remarked about how much it felt like East Hampton in the 1950s and 60s. It was peaceful and it was calm.
I'm quite sure the streets in Westhampton Beach are chaotic on weekends in June and probably most every day in July and August. But without Route 27 taking every truck, bus, and car down the Main Street there, it's more like a summer oasis than a crazy resort where you take your life in your hand trying to cross from one side of it to another.
I never thought I would even consider moving away from East Hampton where my roots are so deep. But I think Westhampton is close enough that the roots almost reach that far so maybe I wouldn't feel as though I was completely displaced there...