A year ago, over Memorial Day weekend, Donald J. Trump’s campaign team was in disarray, Hillary Clinton had yet to lock down the Democratic nomination, and Peter Thiel was outed as the secret benefactor of a lawsuit against Gawker. What could well-informed Hamptonites possibly be talking about this summer? Here are six topics that are percolating on the East End. Talk amongst yourselves.
The war over the most precious of Hamptons real estate — the magazine coffee table — continues.
Cristina Cuomo (the sister-in-law of Gov. Andrew Cuomo) is starting a magazine, Hamptons Purist, devoted to health and wellness. Previously, Ms. Cuomo was the editor of Beach and Manhattan magazines, both published by Modern Luxury, until she was fired in November.
“I came up with the concept after Christmas break in Costa Rica,” she said of Purist. “I was sitting on my surfboard, and I was like, if I could capture this feeling in print, that would be great.”
Only problem is, her previous boss, Michael Dickey, the chief executive of Modern Luxury, said he was revamping Beach to focus on wellness, too. “For over a year, Modern Luxury has been working toward expanding Beach magazine’s focus on health and wellness,” Mr. Dickey said. “We wish Cristina the best in her new endeavors.”
How many articles about HIIT workouts and vegan yoga pants can the Hamptons sustain?
The first issue of Hamptons Purist is due out Friday and features Christy Turlington Burns on the cover. The 200-plus-page issue includes essays by Julianne Moore on gun violence and Arianna Huffington on the importance of sleep, and an ode to the ocean by Carolyn Murphy.
Ms. Cuomo, 47, who plans to publish additional issues in July and around Labor Day, says her magazine taps into what’s important to her affluent readers. “Look at your typical city street block,” she said. “It used to be a butcher, a baker and a hardware store. Now it’s SoulCycle, Juice Press and a meditation place.”
Meanwhile, the first issue of the retooled Beach hits the stands Thursday and features Padma Lakshmi on the cover.
Just when you thought it was safe to play nighttime tennis without earplugs, think again.
In 2015, after rising complaints about noisy helicopters and airplanes at East Hampton Airport, town officials adopted nighttime curfews and other restrictions for takeoffs and landings. For two summers, neighbors enjoyed the (relative) silence.
But in November, a federal appeals court in New York blocked the curfews, ruling in favor of a lawsuit filed by Friends of East Hampton Airport, which represents aviation businesses. The town of East Hampton has petitioned the United States Supreme Court to hear its appeal.
For now, that means aircraft can take off and land 24 hours a day. Some residents are already calling it a “summer from hell.”
“It’s going to be really bad,” said Kathleen Cunningham, the chairwoman for the Quiet Skies Coalition, a neighborhood group opposed to airport noise. “All you have to have is one aircraft in the middle of the night to wake you up.”
While the squabble over airport noise isn’t new, noise complaints have skyrocketed in recent years with the advent of ride-sharing apps like Blade and JetSmarter, which have made helicopter and seaplane rides to the Hamptons more accessible.
“The cheaper the rides, the more people will take them,” Ms. Cunningham said. “It used to be that only the well heeled could afford such a thing. But now with rides in the $400 to $500 range, all kinds of people will take them.”
That’s what aviation upstarts like Blade are banking on.
The Hamptons real estate market isn’t exactly sunny these days. Prices have flatlined, dragged down by the high end of the market.
The average price of Hamptons homes fell 8.9 percent to $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared with the year before, while luxury home prices plunged even more — 24.1 percent — according to the latest market report compiled by the appraiser Jonathan Miller for Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
But there are bright spots. The number of home sales rose 8 percent, which Mr. Miller attributes to the “pent-up demand” from last fall, when the uncertainty of the presidential election caused many aspiring home buyers to wait. “After the election, we saw this outpouring of activity,” he said.
Much of the uptick came with lower-priced condos and homes priced in middle, which, in the Hamptons, qualifies as $1 million to $5 million. Those homes had a 21.6 percent spike in sales.
“The market isn’t booming, but it’s not weak,” Mr. Miller said. “It’s somewhere in the middle. Maybe you could call it the Goldilocks housing market.”
Still, a few trophy properties have real estate watchers buzzing. On the market is La Dune, a 22-bedroom, 22,000-square-foot property on Gin Lane in Southampton owned by Louise Blouin, an art magazine publisher. It has an asking price of $145 million, which would make it one of the most expensive homes in the Hamptons.
The 3.7-acre property has 400 feet of beachfront and two separate residences; the original one, built in the early 1900s, has “links to architect Stanford White,” according to the Sotheby’s listing.
“It has a double bulkhead, which you’re not allowed to do anymore,” said Harald Grant, the listing agent. “When hurricanes and storms hit, the steel bulkhead breaks up the waves’ strength.”
After a two-year absence, Uber will be returning to the Hamptons this summer, much to the delight of carless Hamptonites and those who prefer to ditch their vehicles at night before hitting the town.
Uber became unusable from Sag Harbor to Montauk in 2015, after local officials began enforcing regulations that require taxi drivers to have a physical office in the town of East Hampton (which includes Montauk, Amagansett and much of Sag Harbor).
As a result, passengers had to scour Yelp for local cabs, often complaining of interminably long waits and sky-high prices. (Southampton was not affected, and riders could still hail an Uber from elsewhere, like New York City, and be driven to East Hampton.)
The reprieve came as part of the New York State budget, which removed ride-hailing apps from the purview of local regulations and instead placed them under the control of the State Department of Motor Vehicles. (So not only is Uber returning to the Hamptons, but it will also be available in upstate New York.)
Unfortunately for those hoping to get a jump on summer, the rule does not take effect until June 29 at the earliest for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing apps.
“Patrons can enjoy themselves without worrying about getting behind the wheel,” said Zach Erdem, who owns 75 Main and other Hamptons nightspots. “Some of the best stories and moments happen in the back of an Uber.”
It’s already booked through July 15. Eleven Madison Park, the temple to seasonal American cuisine that has three Michelin stars and (four from The New York Times), is opening a pop-up restaurant in the Hamptons this summer.
The owners, Will Guidara and the chef Daniel Humm, are closing their acclaimed Manhattan restaurant on June 9 for renovations. Instead of ceasing operations, they are temporarily moving the 125-person staff to a white farmhouse on 341 Pantigo Road in East Hampton (formerly Moby’s).
“We’re a New York restaurant,” Mr. Guidara said. “We should take this opportunity to do what New Yorkers do and go east for the summer and be with all of our regulars.”
The pop-up, called EMP Summer House, opens June 24 and will feature a more casual menu and atmosphere. Rather than a $295, 11-course tasting menu, the summer spot will feature fried chicken feasts ($75 a person), lobster boils ($125 a person) and other dishes.
The dress code will be more relaxed, too. Diners can show up in flip-flops straight from the beach and dine in a tented area with picnic tables. “Maybe it’s even more casual than that, and you want play some games in the backyard and have a beer,” Mr. Guidara added.
If you don’t have a reservation, no worries. Reservations for the next round of tables (July 16 through Aug. 15) will be released at empsummerhouse.tocktix.com on June 1 at noon.
Food festivals will be all the rage this summer, with eight foodie gatherings staking claim to nearly every weekend.
Kicking off this weekend is the Dan’s Rosé Soirée on Sunday, which will feature more than 25 rosé wines, craft cocktails and chef tastings at the Southampton Arts Center (tickets from $125). It is the newest culinary event from Dan’s Taste of Summer, the event-planning sister to Dan’s Papers, which is hosting five food festivals this summer, including GrillHampton on July 21 and Dan’s Taste of Two Forks on July 22.
“Everyone wants an experience and something they can’t get anywhere else,” said Eric Feil, the chief executive of Dan’s Hamptons Media.
After all, food is a social glue of the Hamptons, says Lee Brian Schrager, founder of the Food Network South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals. “What’s everyone interested in? Wine and food,” he said. “It’s a natural thing. It’s a common denominator. Not everyone is into fashion, the arts, sports, but everybody eats.”
Also returning this summer are longtime favorites like the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs & Champagne, which takes place July 29 at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard, and the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation’s 13th annual Hamptons gala on Aug. 5, which features food from about 40 restaurants.