One Montauk resident might say to another, “I’ll meet you at the Circle,” and be understood. They and the U.P.S. delivery man would know that the non-descript address “the Plaza” was in fact the same as the circle of businesses located in the downtown section of their hamlet, the same circle designed by the developer Carl Fisher in the 1920s. So why not gussy up the address with a little history?
“This year we have five satellite tags.” Carl Darenberg, owner of the Montauk Marine Basin, said casually on Monday, with every expectation that I would understand what he was saying. How strange. The “satellite-tag” sentence speaks to our time, late June 2014, and this place, Montauk. Imagine explaining its meaning to someone prior to Oct. 4, 1957, the day the Soviet Union put the first satellite into space.