Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
August 28, 2014

After all these years I still don’t know the rules of anything really, and was somewhat tongue in cheek taken to task by a doubles opponent this past week for having served out of turn during a tiebreaker.

Janis Hewitt
August 28, 2014

If tourists didn’t want to be picked on then they shouldn’t give us so much material to work with. This summer out here in Montauk was a horror, and I do not exaggerate!

David E. Rattray
August 28, 2014

We pulled the car into the driveway the other night, Lisa, two of the children, and I, coming back from picking up a takeout dinner in Montauk. It was a dark night, no moon, no haze to catch the reflected light from the ground. Lisa hustled the youngest one inside to get him ready for bed. But, looking up, I told the other child to stop. “There’s the Milky Way,” I said.

“Where? Oh, yeah,” she said.

A clear band of dusty white hung from above the horizon to the south, all the way to straight overhead.

Helen S. Rattray
August 20, 2014

It’s been at least 10 years since people started asking me if I had retired. Even habitual readers seem surprised when I tell them I work a whole lot, and that the boss, my son David, finds plenty of jobs to assign me. I guess my title of publisher doesn’t make that clear.

Jack Graves
August 20, 2014

The Hamptons, as it were, have been described as a mighty unfriendly “city” in a recent Condé Nast poll, though I’d beg to differ. On the contrary, rather than brutish, I find people here, if not beatific, quite giving.

So much so that I think every now and then — when I’m not in traffic — that we’re an island of sanity in an insane world.

Bella Lewis
August 20, 2014

Part I: The Saga of Winter, 2011

Santa Claus managed to get two big red kayaks down our chimney. The grandeur of the boats in front of the fireplace, amid wrappings of varied shapes, was as beautiful as consumerism gets.  

Kayaks are a perfect present, except if it’s winter, when their use seems a little far off. It is actually not so far away, according to my mom, who has read about the wonders of wintertime kayaking online.

David E. Rattray
August 20, 2014

On my way home from the office a couple of weeks ago, I passed an elaborate lemonade stand set up at the Dunemere and Egypt Lane intersection. A classic Volkswagen bus sat on the side of the road with its doors wide open. There was a low table and a tall, impressive, hand-lettered sign. I didn’t stop.

Helen S. Rattray
August 13, 2014

We already suspected what the public perception of us was, but now we have something akin to hard proof: In a “readers choice” survey by Condé Nast Traveler, “the Hamptons” was rated as the eighth most unfriendly city in the United States among a list of 10. Newark, N.J., at number one, was the worst, and Miami just made the list, at number 10. Imagine! “The Hamptons” was only two slots friendlier than Detroit and — if that doesn’t make your hair stand on end — four slots better than Atlantic City. 

Jack Graves
August 13, 2014

Recently, I read of someone who was described as “a great herder of cats.” Leif Hope, a great ballplayer, by the way, who moves like a cat on the mound and bats like a lion, is one of those — an artistic manager of swing-for-the-fences egos in the service of the greater good.

Lucia Akard
August 13, 2014

There is no shortage of lettuce in my house. Or cucumbers or zucchini or string beans. And come fall, the larders will be laden with mounds of potatoes and squash.

No one is more committed to the farm-to-table ideology than my mother, which is why, on any given evening, my family can be found eating homemade, homegrown organic basil pesto, with a side of sauteed zucchini and lemon balm. Eternally present at the table is a salad that consists entirely of vegetables that can be found either in our backyard or at my mother’s plot at EECO Farm.

David E. Rattray
August 13, 2014

Sunday night I was out in my boat on Gardiner’s Bay as the moon appeared over the Hither Hills highlands. It was a still evening, no wind to speak of, and only a little ripple under the hull as I passed the bluffs at the old Bell Estate, where the Clintons are staying for a couple of weeks.

Helen S. Rattray
August 6, 2014

Fifty-four years ago this month — almost to the day, actually — The Star ran a review of a new musical that was running at the John Drew Theater of Guild Hall. The play was “The Fantasticks,” and I wrote the review, one of its first. Today, The Star is to publish another review I wrote of a new musical. This time it is “My Life Is a Musical” at the Bay Street Theater. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose? 

Jack Graves
August 6, 2014

Perhaps the gentrification of the Turnpike and its environs is inevitable — James Gambles, then the Bridgehampton Child Care Center’s director, said it was in an interview with The New Yorker’s Calvin Tomkins 41 years ago.

But if property values trump the other values we profess — neighborliness and good will, and the attentiveness to local history that strengthen those feelings presumably being among them — we will be the poorer for it.

Irene Silverman
August 6, 2014

Back in April at the height of the daffodil season, I wondered in this space whether hijacking your neighbor’s flowers — considering that the neighbor’s lot was just a gritty wasteland waiting for the construction of what would probably be yet another blight on the block — was really such a bad thing.

David E. Rattray
August 6, 2014

Some time in the next couple of days, former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton, herself perhaps soon to be a candidate for president, will arrive in Amagansett for an August vacation. Their visit is interesting to think about from where I sit in a second-floor office that has a bit of a view of East Hampton’s Main Street.

Helen S. Rattray
July 30, 2014

Summer as a child on my grandparents’ farm in the Catskills was fun. We played in a cold brook, picked blueberries on the hills, and invented fantastic worlds on the third floor of the barn, where a carriage had long been abandoned. Once, on a neighbor’s farm, I was allowed to attempt to milk a cow. 

Jack Graves
July 30, 2014

We had always thought of Warren Buffett as a warm and fuzzy ambassador for capitalism before he and three Brazilian billionaires took Heinz private last year — a deal whose announcement was made in the wake of what was found to be insider trading in call options through a Goldman Sachs brokerage in Switzerland.

Taylor K. Vecsey
July 30, 2014

Many may not take me for the type of gal who enjoys camping. After all, I was raised in Manhattan. Growing up, the closest I ever got to camping was visiting my cousins at Hither Hills during their extended stays there, but I always left long before dusk. Fast forward all these years later and I look forward to going to sleep under the stars, sitting by a campfire, and, yes, even as a decade-long vegetarian, waking up to the smell of bacon cooking at the neighboring campsite.

David E. Rattray
July 30, 2014

Brock, or Brick, or something like that, I think he said his name was, but it was difficult to pay attention the other day because I was on the beach chasing friends’ children in a runaway kayak as they drifted down the bay in the direction of Promised Land. He seemed a nice enough guy, probably in his late 20s or early 30s. He introduced me to his companion, a woman about his age, and said he was renting the house next door.

Helen S. Rattray
July 23, 2014

Back when summer was new, The Star sent out its interns to gather up all the free magazines they could find and put a brief rundown of them on our website. The interns came back with 13 glossies. Thirteen! A few, like Hamptons magazine, have been around a long time, but most are relatively new here and some are pop-ups (to use the term now popular for the sudden appearance of a shop or restaurant).

Jack Graves
July 23, 2014

I bought a new racket the other day and dubbed it Wonder Boy, and told the young guy who strung it, at 44 pounds, that I’d never lose again.

That was two losses ago. Amend that then to “Once it’s broken in, I’ll never lose again.” Reality is so boring — when it’s not horrific or beautiful, that is.

Mark Segal
July 23, 2014

In February 2004, I took the family to Mexico. Sort of the way Chevy Chase took his family across the U.S. in “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

David E. Rattray
July 23, 2014

Leo the pig has been in hog heaven these weeks as the bushes, grasses, and shrubs around our yard come into full, high-summer lushness. My wife, Lisa, has been reveling in produce too, although, unlike Leo, she does not waddle down to the edge of the lawn to munch grape leaves right off the vine.

Helen S. Rattray
July 16, 2014

Toys and toothbrushes may be turning up in peculiar places, but I wouldn’t trade this month for anything. It is said that grandparents have all the fun when it comes to child-care, but none of the responsibility, and I say, “Hurray.” I suppose that for those grandparents who are charged with caring full time for grandchildren, the fun can wear thin, but there’s no sign of that at our house, even though two of my grandkids are now into the third week of a monthlong stay.