Perish the Crowds

It all seems a little too much, and too soon

Not to sound ungrateful, but we are hardly alone in thinking that there are some 14 long weeks before we get our town back. An Amagansett innkeeper of our acquaintance said that the weekend just past was the strangest he had seen in more than three decades in business. In Montauk by Saturday noon, there were scores of people drinking on the upper deck at one of the more notorious bars. Traffic was terrible — and dangerous. At a grocery checkout counter Sunday evening, the checker helping to load bags looked on in dismay as six young share-house women, obviously a little tipsy, packed a young man into a shopping cart and tried to wheel him out of the store. It all seems a little too much, and too soon.

It is far easier said than done, but the path toward reclaiming this place for those of us who simply live here is clear: Rein in overcrowded clubs and bars, clamp down on illegal group houses and new developments, and put the brakes on the short-term rentals that only add to the frenetic pace.

If this weekend showed anything, it was that even a good thing can be bad when there is too much of it. East Hampton Town already has too much of too many things. It is time to tip the balance back. Sucking it up until September rolls around again, as one former town supervisor once advised, is no longer acceptable.