Ottoman Empire

The new must-have for crowded summer shares

   Not too long ago an e-mail crossed our desk alerting us to the “Hamptons Summer Share Must-Have Item.” We couldn’t guess what it could be and doubt that you will, so here goes: It’s an ottoman that folds out into a single bed.
    “It is the new must-have for crowded summer shares and the constant flow of overnight guests at second homes,” a digital press release stated.
    Nothing against the manufacturer, or the ottoman itself, which, at $700, is undoubtedly very nice. However, it takes a certain chutzpah to pronounce it an East End necessity. It may be attractive, useful, and even “effortless to open,” as the release claims, but it is still an ottoman. Those who pay top prices for summer shares are going to be put out if they draw the short straw and don’t have an actual bed to sleep on.
    Under the covers (so to speak), a bigger problem is the tacit approval of cramming people into all kinds of houses. We’ve heard torrents in recent years about laborers and their families jammed into small houses, but haven’t paid much attention to crowding by those here for fun rather than work. Overcrowding is illegal from a zoning point of view, of course, but it can also create safety problems such as falling balconies and electrical fires. Just ask, for example, the Amagansett homeowners who discovered as many as 98 students deep into an end-of-year, beer-soaked party at a rented house last month. There will always be those, like the alleged promoter who put together this Amagansett bash — and as many as seven more in various locations — who try to cash out. As far as the ottoman goes, though, let’s think that those who buy them here have visiting friends or relatives in mind.