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  • It’s not our seascape, hills and dales,
    When I think Montauk, it’s fins and tails.
    Not Rita’s mare, or ‘The Affair,’
    Not the Light, or stars at night
    Not Gosman’s Dock, or Blackfish Rock
    Not summer’s sails, nor nor’east gales
    What is Montauk?
    It’s fins and tails.

  • Of cod, blackfish, black sea bass, winter in Montauk, One Million Years B.C., Christmas, and Susan Sontag:

    I was watching a documentary about Susan Sontag the other night, an extraordinary woman very much of her time in the ’60s, a feminist, philosopher, and essayist with what were, and to some still are, radical views. As it happened, I had caught the last half of “One Million Years B.C.” starring Rachel Welch on the Turner Classic Movies channel earlier in the day. It was one of those cold rainy days last week, so perhaps I can be forgiven.

  • I want to talk about beaches and why the Town of East Hampton should do everything in its power to purchase the former East Deck Motel property at Ditch Plain in Montauk and turn it into a park.

  • “After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back as Honored Guests”
    Ted Rall
    Hill and Wang, $26


    “After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back as Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan” by Ted Rall is the biggest small book I’ve come across in some time. It is at turns audacious, confounding, mesmerizing, infuriating, and disorienting.

  • “Like butter,” was Dalton Portella’s brief and, given the day, appropriate description of the surf as he watched a set of waves peel across one of Montauk’s moorland coves a week ago.

  • I keep a journal, not as consistently as I should, but enough so that I’ve trained myself to recognize and acknowledge events or experiences that might cause a particular week to stand out thematically.

  • It’s the smell, finest kind. When I first ventured to the East End in the late 1960s a community existed here that I knew virtually nothing about, yet I recognized them.

    This could be because my mother’s side of the family were farmers. As I’ve written here before, my grandfather was an apple grower in Nedrow, N.Y., south of Syracuse. My uncle Scott had a small dairy farm. Uncle Scott was a tall man with bowed legs and so walked with a strange rolling gate.

  • Who has seen the wind?
    Neither I nor you:
    But when the leaves hang trembling,
    The wind is passing through.
    Who has seen the wind?
    Neither you nor I:
    But when the trees bow down their heads
    The wind is passing by.

                                               Christina Rossetti

  • I admit it. Sunday night after “Homeland,” I watched the third episode of “The Affair,” which, in case you’ve been at sea for a month or so out beyond cable, is a soap opera based in Montauk, a place I have called home for nearly a half century.

    The next day, I went downtown to Paulie’s Tackle shop, always an interesting place to be, especially during this, the height of the fall striped bass surfcasting season, a shop that the writers of “The Affair” might have thought to visit.

  • I was returning from a dump run the other day, and for once did so without having plucked some doodad from the freebee table of claptrap, jettisoned painfully or not from a Montauk neighbor’s horde of bric-a-brac — gizmos with wires, romance novels, and a turkey-handled potato peeler that probably hadn’t skinned a spud in years. 

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