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  •     East Hamptoners like to regale outsiders with how the village was once voted the most beautiful in the country, the consequence of its perfect storm of historic edifices, picturesque pond, and canopy of stately trees — most notably American elms.

  •     Ted Delano, who calls himself a “digital cartographer,” has founded an online guide to the Hamptons — both as a Web site and an app — that he claims, surprisingly, has not been done anywhere else. According to his research, no one has yet created a “magazine quality” visual forum in cyberspace to showcase local businesses that “maps an entire community and is hand-curated.”

  • On Friday a horde of bargain hunters descended upon an 11,000-square-foot mansion on Hedges Lane in Sagaponack. This wasn’t your average estate sale, but rather a “demolition sale,” an upscale free-for-all in which pretty much everything that wasn’t nailed down had to go.
  •    With the exception of Swedish meatballs and gravadlax, most Americans, no matter how culinarily sophisticated, have a limited knowledge of Swedish food.

       A lot of our ignorance is due to a concept of humility that informs the Swedish temperament called janteelagen, according to Andrew Reice, an American who lives in Sweden and mounted Swedish Culininary Summer, a marketing campaign to introduce South Forkers to both Swedish cuisine and culture this summer. “It’s hard to promote yourself when you’re not supposed to brag,” he said.

  • In a land known for over-the-top baronial manses and quaint Shingle Style cottages, there have been few, dare we utter the word, condominiums, east of the Shinnecock Canal, that is, or west of Montauk, where a preponderance of motels can relatively easily be converted into condos, and even more easily into co-ops.
  •     Virginia and Tom Hessler of McGuirk Street in East Hampton were alarmed when they saw a Long Island Power Authority stake on their front lawn. Rumor had it, so said their neighbors, that a pole was to be installed there.

  • Though slow to catch on, many agents now recommend that sellers stage their properties — both indoors and out. “Stagers are worth their weight in gold,” said Judi Desiderio, founder of Town and Country Real Estate.
  • When Jeffrey Collé was a kid, he worked as an apprentice carpenter with his grandfather, a Belgian immigrant, and father maintaining Gold Coast estates.
  •    Earlier this summer I was sitting with a couple of friends at the bar at the Topping Rose House and began to talk to the woman next to me. Why else go to a bar except to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t? In this case, both she and the conversation turned out to be well worth the next day’s hangover.

  • These days the quintessential Hamptons house requires certain amenities. Gym? Check. Wine cellar? Of course. En-suite bathrooms? Naturally.

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  •      That was a question asked on Colin Ambrose’s Facebook page this week when the chef-owner of Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor posted a picture of his hand, dressed in bandages. His right hand that is. The chef wondered aloud how he would cope in the kitchen with only his left hand.

  • When Linda Haugevik, an agent at Sotheby’s International Realty, put North Haven’s six-acre Strongheart estate on the market in July for $65 million, there were those who accused her of being on “hallucinogens,” she said.

    In other words, even though the property belonged to the actor Richard Gere and his wife, Carey Lowell (who have since filed for divorce, according to the tabloids), it was perceived by some as overpriced. Nine months later, the price has been reduced to $56 million.

  • Last week, when Stacy Ludlow was driving down Halsey Lane in Bridgehampton en route home to Mecox Bay Dairy where she and her family make cheese, she noticed that a lovely old farmhouse dating from circa 1720 was being torn apart.

  • The Arc House, a residence on Green Hollow Road in East Hampton that is a kind of glamorized Quonset hut will be featured Sunday on the Travel Channel.  Designed by Maziar Behrooz, an East Hampton architect who just opened an office in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, the nearly 5,200-square-foot structure is made of corrugated steel and held up by 14 “ribs.”

  • Move over East Hampton. That village was once voted the “most beautiful village” in America by National Geographic.

    Getting its day in the sun, Sag Harbor was ranked number 4 of America’s most romantic towns in January by readers of Travel and Leisure, behind Simons, G.A., Beaufort, N.C., and Amelia Island, FL.

    Where?

  • When Paul Rice, an architect who has designed houses throughout the South Fork with his partner, Ward Welch, for 25 years, purchased a house at 78 Meeting House Lane in Amagansett in 2008, he set to work gutting it and adding 1,200 square feet. The timing couldn’t have been worse.

    Plans were for a 4,500-square-foot, updated gambrel-roofed traditional but construction, which only extended to the exterior of the house, was stopped as the market dove south. The interior is framed, but unfinished. 

  • A nearly six-acre property with a Tudor-style 12,000-square-foot house built in 2005 for Richard Demato, who is a Sag Harbor gallery owner, and his wife, Harriet Sawyer, an artist, closed Tuesday for just over $31.7 million. Though the deal does not set a record for the most spent on a North Haven property — that honor goes to Tyndall Point, a 55-acre sub-dividable parcel with a main house built in the 1950s that sold for $36 million in 2011 – it does set a record in the hamlet for a single-family residence.

  • While we’ve all been snowbound these past weeks, some intrepid souls have made pilgrimages to BookHampton in East Hampton for diversion. Kim Lombardini, a manager at the shop, shared with us winter’s most popular reads.

    FICTION    
    “The Goldfinch,” Donna Tartt’s anxiously awaited third novel published last year about a boy who loses his mother in a terrorist attack in an art museum, takes its title from a painting of a bird the boy filches as he flees the wreckage. At a hefty 771 pages, it is selling like hotcakes.

  • The next time you grab a cup of joe or a Slim Jim at the 7-Eleven in Montauk you might want to congratulate Cecilia or Donovan behind the counter.

    The Montauk franchise, yeah the one that many locals thought would spoil the ma and pa feel of the hamlet, is the highest grossing of all 7,800 stores in the national franchise chain. With annual sales in the low millions, the Montauk store's owner, Chris Stephens of Syosset, said that he sells about $100,000 in beer and $50,000 in coffee monthly. Not to mention hundreds of brain-freezing Slurpees.

  • Not only did Bridgehampton National Bank, which displays pictures of local success stories in its branches, report total assets of $1.9 billion at the end of 2013, up $272 million (17 percent) from 2012, it has also swallowed up First National Bank of New York, a smaller bank based in Melville. This is not bad for a bank that began life in 1910 with $25,000 in capital and about $2,200 in deposits.