Thursday doors #57

Today we’re heading across the Atlantic and featuring some of the doors I photographed during our Thanksgiving trip to Long Island and New York.

Up first are those from Long Island then, in subsequent weeks, I’ll show those from New York.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Potted History of Montauk

This wasn’t our first visit to Long Island, we had spent a few days here in September 2015 when we stayed in Sag Harbor. I much enjoyed that trip and had been looking for an excuse to return. I decided it would be the perfect spot for a few days of R&R before a hectic time for my beloved at the Greater New York Dental Meeting.

This time I decided to stay in Montauk, a hamlet at the east end of Long Island, located on the Atlantic Ocean and Block Island Sound. I first heard about the place from one of my girlfriends who’d had a beach house here in the 1980s. It’s a well-known spot for beautiful beaches, like Ditch Plains; fishing; surfing; paddling; seafood restaurants; nature trails; music and art festivals. Montauk Point State Park is home to the national landmark, the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse (top left).

Around the turn of the century, Montauk caught the attention of two remarkable real estate investors, Carl Fisher and his predecessor Arthur Benson. Benson bought Montauk in its entirety in 1879 for a mere US$151,000 – you might just be able to buy a garage for that now. And years later, in the 1920s, Fisher bought up 10,000 acres and began to develop Montauk as the “Miami beach of the North”. Both men recognized the “magic” of Montauk and dreamed of turning it into a retreat for the rich and famous, but it was Fisher who really left his mark. He built a luxurious hotel, the Montauk Manor and Playhouse, polo grounds, a beach club, the Montauk Yacht Club, a golf club and among other places, his own office, the Montauk Tower, a unique seven story building that stands today in the centre of the village.

The Great Depression put a halt to the development of Montauk as a high end resort though today, nearly a century later, the dreams of those early investors have been realised as Montauk has become a veritable playground. Though not as upmarket as its Hampton neighbours, make no mistake, Montauk is still enjoyed by families and old timers, but it has truly become a high-end destination frequented  by celebrities, artists, musicians, and us!

Postcard from Long Island

My beloved is on a roll. He successfully navigated our way from Manhattan to Sag Harbor without GPS and has twice selected restaurants for lunch that have been truly magnificent. I can only conclude that after almost 40 years of intensive training he’s now close to perfect. If only he didn’t keep leaving stuff behind in restaurants and hotel rooms!

Signed by 2014 Tour de France winner: Vincenzo Nibali
Now that's what I call a beach - acres of soft, silky sand.
Now that’s what I call a beach – acres of soft, silky sand.

We’re currently chillin’ in The Hamptons. We’ve gone from life in the fast to the slow lane. A few days in New York was enough to catch up with some of our favourite museums and galleries and spend hours pounding the pavements just soaking up our surroundings.

Having watched the film “Woman in Gold” on the flight over my beloved wanted to visit the Neue Gallerie to see Adele Bloch-Bauer’s portrait by Gustav Klimt. I’d already seen the picture in the Belvedere in Vienna before it was returned to its rightful owner and acquired by Ronald Lauder for the gallery. It was well worth seeing again and a trip to the gallery’s typical Viennese coffee shop reminded me that another visit to Vienna might be in order. It’s been over 40 years since my last one – way too long.

No visit to the Big Apple would be complete without a trip to the Guggenheim which sadly was between major shows and the work of a Columbian artist who had mutilated furniture with concrete left us unimpressed. Our sensibilities were soothed by a quick trip to the Frick.

I’ve wanted to visit Long Island for a while largely as a result of watching Ina Garten’s cookery programmes. She lives in a wonderful house in The Hamptons with a truly magnificent garden. She’s a cook not a chef but her recipes deliver real crowd pleasers every time. I’ve not bumped into Ina but her cookery books are in all the book shops, surely the next best thing.

A little bit of France in The Hamptons
A little bit of France in The Hamptons

 

Renovated windmill in East Hampton
Renovated windmill in East Hampton

 

Impossibly cute fire station
Impossibly cute fire station

 

Old Colonial style Hotel in Sag Harbor
Old Colonial style Hotel in Sag Harbor

The Hamptons has lived up to the hype. It’s bigger than I imagined – but that’s the States for you. The property porn is spectacular with wonderful wood clad, historic and modern homes. I particularly love the older properties with a gingerbread trim. For a cool pad, without a sea view, don’t expect much change from US$ 2 million. Add at least another 10 million for a shore side location.

Acres of dunes and forest
Acres of dunes and forest

As we drove around we saw a veritable army of Latino gardeners maintaining the manicured perfection of many gardens. Landscape gardening is clearly big business, along with Pilates studios, organic food stores, art galleries and……bike shops.

Goin' fishin'
Goin’ fishin’

There’s been no problem sticking to my enforced regime. Organic juices, lobster, oysters, shrimp, striped sea bass, salmon and salads (no sauces or dressings) have been easy to source. I’ve even found some vegan, soy and gluten-free baked goodies to enjoy with my afternoon camomile tea. I’m writing this on the balcony overlooking Sag Harbor which is full of yachts – a bit of home from home. The weather’s been a balmy 27C and the season is surely winding down, meaning it’s easier to get tables in the restaurants.

And chill
And chill

If I lived and worked in New York, I too would escape to Long Island at the week-ends to indulge in a less frenetic way of life. Rested and relaxed, our next stop is the road race World Championships in Richmond Virginia.