Connections: Beach Reads

They all allege to know everyone and everything that is happening

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).

Fortunately for us here at The Star, these glossies pretty much compete with each other, and not with us. They lure advertisers from the corporate worlds of fashion and interior decorating, and, of course, they follow celebrities. They all allege to know everyone and everything that is happening. Real estate is also prime fodder. 

Ocean Home, which I hadn’t even heard of before the interns found it, offered what it said were the top 10 “most exclusive estates on the market.” (The word “exclusive” always draws my attention, by the way. What does that really mean, anyway? Most expensive? Most likely to be encircled by a moat?) The Real Deal, an oversize Manhattan magazine that concentrates on luxury apartments that are for sale, added a “Hot in the Hamptons” feature for July. There is Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, and Pulse, and Joan Jedell’s Hamptons Sheet, which have been around awhile.

I was a little amused when I belatedly cottoned on to the fact that there are two Beach magazines on the market. The Modern Luxury chain’s Beach magazine was inaugurated in 2012 and took a bead on Niche Media’s Hamptons. The other Beach is Avenue magazine’s Avenue on the Beach, which started up last summer. Although one has a much smaller format than the other, each has the word “Beach” on the cover in extra-large type. Could a little litigation be going on between them?

The interns also brought in a copy of Du Jour, which divides its content between the city and the East End. Its publisher is Jason Binn, who had launched but is no longer with Hamptons. More recently, I picked up a copy of Gotham, which is another Niche Media publication, and was pleasantly surprised that there was nothing in it about the East End, except for an advertisement for the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs and Champagne party this weekend. 

But the prize of the summer was picked up and brought home by my husband. It’s called Hamptons Dog, and it is about nothing but. Among the cover lines were: “Boating Safety for Canines,” “Flying Dogs: Learn Frisbee!” and “Summer Skin and Fur Care.” Its editor and publisher is Lisa Hartman, a dog trainer and crackerjack photographer of dogs. The issue featured a Paw List (names of dogs), an article on how to go paddleboarding with your four-legged friend, and quite a few photos of dogs cavorting handsomely on local beaches (although they showed happy golden retrievers or yellow Labs, not happy little blond children, these reminded me of the beachy family portraits you often see marketed locally).

I find Hamptons Dog quite brilliant in its special-interest focus. It certainly stands out among the other periodicals trying to make a buck with party pictures and wannabe society chit-chat. And who among us hasn’t complained that the Hamptons are going to the dogs?