The Mast-Head: See-Saw

I realized I was already lamenting the end of the cold months

    A friend in the real estate business told me the other day that the secret to showing a house on a north-facing beach here was to do it in the summer. “Try to show it when the wind is blowing, and you’re stuck. Do it when it’s summer, and they’ll think it’s the most beautiful place on earth,” he said. In a way, he was summing up the whole winter-summer, hard-soft thing on the East End.

    Funny, though, as he said this, I realized I was already lamenting the end of the cold months. Every year as the buds on the trees finally swell and open, I get a little sinking feeling that the seasonal crowds are nearly upon us. I knew what my friend was talking about and did not wish his business ill, but still.

    During the winter just past, as I killed time several nights during the week waiting for my daughter to finish her dance lessons, I got to know the scene at a couple of Bridgehampton and Water Mill restaurants. Most of the time, except at Christmas, maybe, there would be just a few other patrons and the ones I quietly shared the evening with were often people I knew by name, or at least had seen around.

    Now, the familiar faces are fewer, replaced by others I don’t recognize who are here for the season or new in town. It’s the same thing out on the street. I have to admit that I join those who have spent the cold months here wondering to ourselves, “Just who are all these people, exactly? Where do they come from, and what is it that they are doing?”

    This week, as it turned out, my real estate friend and his wife were at my usual Tuesday restaurant when I arrived. I wasn’t sure if that proved my point or contradicted it, but after they had finished their dinner and joined me at the bar I enjoyed their company either way.