Though there are small, increasing signs of the good life — a handful of blue-chip Manhattan galleries have opened outposts to show and sell work to quarantined collectors — the coronavirus pandemic has clearly changed the Hamptons’ summer social scene.
Nonetheless, the prestigious neighborhood remains a historic and well-known summertime playground for the world’s globetrotting rich and famous. Whether Sean Combs or Paul McCartney, Bill Clinton or Billy Joel, the Hamptons is where rappers and politicians, bankers and basketball players hobnob at ritzy summertime parties and/or entertain in their own sumptuous surroundings.
While some celebs and financiers are perfectly comfortable with — and eminently capable of — paying up to $500,000 per month during peak season for an immaculately furnished beachside residence, others invest their earnings in a coveted abode in the one of the almost two dozen small and casually swank seaside resort villages and hamlets that comprise the area — Westhampton Beach, Southampton, East Hampton, Amagansett and Sag Harbor among them. Of course, there’s none of the gaudiness you might find in other, less refined locales.
Long Island’s world-renowned East End famously attracts staid old and flashy new money alike, but there is a general understanding that the overriding aesthetic will be one of understated luxury, even if the so-called “cottage” measures more than 10,000 square feet. Manicured gardens, and cedar shingle sheathed mansions that hide behind fastidiously clipped hedgerows are par-for-the course, as are striking, low-slung and glass-walled contemporary pavilions.
As these are usually seasonal summer homes, most properties offer a plethora of outdoor leisure opportunities, including open-air pavilions with fireplaces large enough to keep a football team toasty in the off season. Oh –- and a massive outdoor kitchen that could feed them, too. Of course, it goes without saying that there will be a pool, probably limestone capped, and with it a pool house. There might also be a tennis court, the soft thwacking of a racket on yonder ball, the splash of water from the pool, or the hiss from the sprinklers, the only sounds that punctuate endless and wonderfully lazy afternoons.
Take a look at the Hamptons homes where celebs spend their carefree summers.