By Our Hamptons
There's another side of the Hamptons, not seen in the tabloids. The viewpoint that respects history, embraces preservation, and cherishes eastern Long Island's rich sense of place. OUR HAMPTONS are conversations between longtime East Hampton residents Esperanza Leon and Irwin Levy. We aren't Bonac (don't worry, we'll explain!) but do sing its praises. We invite you to eavesdrop.
Our HamptonsDec 19, 2022
Hamptons Glitterati; Salter, Matthiessen and the Sagg Main Set.
Esperanza and Irwin
The Visionary Jack Lenor Larsen of Longhouse, East Hampton.
Esperanza and Irwin both have a connection to Longhouse; Esperanza is Head of Education and Community Engagement while Irwin has been a Docent. Sure, Longhouse is a stunning physical property; 12 acres of gardens, pond, sculpture. But the true story of Longhouse is Jack Lenor Larsen, a 20th century visionary. Jack purchased the property, a former potato field of flat land completely overgrown with bramble, invasive plants and poison ivy. Jack's ability to conceptualize this transformation from a potato field is nothing short of extraordinary. A dunescape, created by re-using the soil dug for the foundation. A series of pathways of mystery, where you see the start, but not the finish. A series of structures, often built with things recycled from the property. Jack transformed the property much as he transformed the textile industry, with the ability to see things in three dimensions. We tried to provide insight into all things Longhouse, and Jack. But seeing is believing. Longhouse is worth a trip from anywhere.
Towd Point, Southampton and the Tupper Family Legacy
Esperanza and Irwin have a special visit with Charlie Tupper. The Tupper's presence at Towd Point started in the early 1920's. Charlie's grandfather (Frank Edwin Tupper) bought the property on Davis Creek in about 1917 or 1918. The land reminded him of his native Nova Scotia. When he bought it, the property cost $7500. The house, initially called "Ramblers Cottage" for the rambling roses growing along side, was built in about 1907, along with several other large "cottages" along the bluff on Davis Creek overlooking Little Peconic Bay. The house had a large master bedroom on the first floor off the living room and seven bedrooms on the second floor. It was a summer home so it wasn't heated or insulated. There was a huge fireplace in the living room. Electrics were from a battery-system (no idea how they charged the batteries, probably with a gas-driven generator), there was a small "battery house" behind the barn that was about 200 feet behind the main house, there was also a small 2 bedroom quarters for "servant staff". Some very early photos have the small servant house just behind the main house, but at some point it was moved back and attached to the barn and a 2 car garage with a small storage room was put behind the main house. The barn itself had 2 stables and an area to store a carriage or two and a large workbench, an upstairs with one finished off room and a big open area. Somewhere along the way (1930s or early 1940s), he built 3 cottages for rentals to the west of the main house on Davis Creek. Each cottage had a name. "Love in a Mist", then "Marshitern" and last "Flower House". Love in a Mist and Flower house were prefabs with Flower House being a present he bought for my grandmother from the NY Flower Show. Marshitern was a typical summer cottage assembled on cedar pilings right on Davis Creek. The houses were typically rented, like all summer houses, Memorial Day to Labor Day ... I seem to recall they went for about $1500 a season. A lot of the renters were repeat renters. Love in a Mist was rented in the late 50s by Southampton Insurance man Maurice Cunningham, his office was on Main Street. These 3 houses still exist and are extensively renovated and modernized. The main house was eventually called just "The Ramblers" but as kids, we called it "The Big House". Charlie regaled us with stories of growing up here, too numerous for this space. A not to be missed podcast. Special thanks to Artist and Friend Casey Chalem Anderson, whose series of paintings of Towd Point were a source of inspiration for this episode.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis of East Hampton
Esperanza and Irwin were surprised to learn Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis' formative years were spent on eastern Long Island. Born in 1929 at Southampton Hospital, the center of the Bouvier family life was at "Lasata", (meaning place of peace) the Further Lane estate adjacent to the Maidstone Club, where the family also had a cabana. When the Bouvier's first arrived in East Hampton in 1912, the place was far simpler than neighboring Southampton, a landscape primarily dominated by farm fields and simple salt boxes. Fast forwarding to 1953, Jackie married Jack Kennedy, and you know the story line over the next 10 plus years. Returning the story to East Hampton, we tie in the story of Grey Gardens, of Big Edie and Little Edie. Jackie and her sister Lee Radziwill literally rescued their Aunt and Cousin from the squalor they were living in, the subject of the cult classic "Grey Gardens" by the Maysles brothers.
Real Estate In The Day: Allan M. Schneider, Tina Fredericks and The Way It Was
Esperanza and Irwin look back on the way Real Estate was bought and sold on eastern Long Island, in the not too distant past. Before the internet, before Zillow, before Redfin, before Real Estate firms with national and world wide presence. As recently as the early 1970's, there were not many more realtors then in the early 1950's, and many were part timers. Sure, there was money to be made in the summer colonies, but those markets were dominated by Lyda Barclay in Southampton, and Condie "Boots" Lamb in East Hampton. But a couple of newcomers arrived, with very different styles and backgrounds. Allan M. Schneider and Tina Fredericks each found lane to make inroads in the eastern Long Island real estate industry, ultimately transforming it entirely.
Beach Hampton, Amagansett: Histories and Memories
Esperanza and Irwin look back on the history of Beach Hampton. In the 1920's, Richard B. Allen began accumulating land in Amagansett along the oceanfront, from Beach Lane to Napeague Lane. By 1936, the RB Allen corporation owned 200 acres, and began developing a community for the middle class, called Beach Hampton. Ultimately, Alfred Scheffer became Beach Hampton's resident architect, designing houses from 560 to 920 feet, with an eye on simplicity, and cost. Amenities were non existent. We talk about the Barbour Beach Hampton Club, completed in Spring 1938, only to be taken away in the Hurricane of September of that year. Lastly, insights, stories and folklore from past and current Beach Hampton residents Pam Keen, Jaine Mehring, and Margie Ruddick.
Hampton Bays Demystified! With Brenda Sinclair, Hampton Bays Historical Society
Esperanza and Irwin welcome Brenda Sinclair, third generation Hampton Bays resident, and executive director of the HB Historical Society. We admitted to being a bit mystified by this hamlet, and Brenda's hometown stories and memories brings it all together. Brenda tells us about the storied history and many lives of the Canoe Place Inn, now in the process of being reinvented again.
The Dunes: Frank Wiborg's Grand East Hampton Estate, 1912-1941
Esperanza and Irwin tell the story of East Hampton's grandest estate in the early 20th century. Frank Wiborg was a self made millionaire by age 40, establishing offices worldwide for the distribution of ink and lithograph products. Originally summer renters in Amagansett and East Hampton, Wiborg ultimately became a land baron, with holdings encompassing and astonishing 600 acres. In 1909, Wiborg hired the renowned architect Grosvernor Atterbury to design The Dunes, a 30 room stucco mansion that became the largest house in East Hampton. On the ocean, with stables, a dairy barn, sunken Italian gardens and servants quarters. But the grandeur of The Dunes was befallen by personal tragedy and illness, and didn't survive to see its 30th birthday.
Riverhead: Tanger/Big Box/Farmland/Suburb?
Esperanza and Irwin explore Riverhead's changes when the Tanger Mall arrived in the 1990s. Riverhead still lays claim as the Suffolk County Seat, despite most government departments moving to office space up island in Hauppague. Did Tanger, and the subsequent onset of big box retailers and chain stores help to offset that loss at the expense of ushering in a more suburban rather than rural feel for the community? For those on the North and South Fork's, the convenience of having these options within an hours drive was probably a benefit. It also helped keep large scale retail development away from the South Fork in particular, a fear we touched on in our episode about Bridgehampton Commons. But there were ramifications for Riverhead's historic downtown as well.
Bayberry Land, Southampton.
Esperanza and Irwin look back at the three lives of Bayberry Land in Southampton. In 1916, the banker Charles Sabin and his wife, Pauline Morton Smith Sabin purchased these 314 acres for a country home, naming it after the low growing shrub prevalent on the east end. The estate comprised 8 buildings, including a manor house, garage with chauffer's apartment, gatehouse, caretakers cottage, hunting stable...you get the idea. The Sabin's lifestyle was as grand as the setting, entertaining New York's Blue Book society, Southampton's summer colony, as well as senators, judges and members of congress. Come 1949, the property was sold for $131,250 to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3. The union president is a name familiar to anyone driving the Van Wyck Expressway, Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. A convalescent rest home, an education center for its workers, as well as a children's camp were just some of the changes made during the Union's 50+ years of ownership. In 2001, the IBEW sold the property for $46 million dollars to Michael Pascucci, who created a golf course on the property designed by Jack Nicklaus. Purchasing it at auction for the same price, but unable to consummate the deal was a second buyer, Donald Trump. Mr. Pascucci in his own words wanted people who were non glitzy, saying it wasn't a valet parking type of place. Those people however, did have a $650,000 membership fee.
Shelter Island Then and Now with Historical Society Director Nanette Lawrenson
Esperanza and Irwin
Have you ever heard of Midhamptons?
Esperanza and Irwin pride themselves on digging deep, and some of the episodes of Our Hamptons has been a bit off radar.
Club Swamp, Wainscott.
Esperanza and Irwin explore the rich history of the Swamp, the iconic gay nightclub. From the time Bill Higgins opened the Swamp in 1977 and its sister restaurant The Annex next door, he made his policy clear. This is a gay male club said the sign outside the door. The writer Steven Gaines said "Higgins thought having women around ruined things". But the history of gay nightlife on eastern Long Island goes back even further. Gay friendly night clubs in Wainscott dated back to the 1940's, including Out Of This World, a dance hall geared to the theater crowd. While the Swamp survived until early 2001, the AIDS epidemic took its toll. After Higgins death, partner Brent Newsom tried to admit more women and straight couples. But the Swamp never regained its former energy. Subsequent reincarnations to the Star Room and Swa did not have staying power. By 2018, the buildings were demolished and the property purchased via the Community Preservation Fund with a contribution from Friends of Georgica Pond. It's new life is as the Rick Del Mastro Memorial Park. Efforts by Hamptons Pride to memorialize the site as a homage to the Swamp are in the planning stages.
The Sea Spray Inn, East Hampton
Esperanza and Irwin discuss the multiple lives of the Sea Spray Inn. The Sea Spray's early days in the 19th century on Main Street, East Hampton led to its subsequent move in 1902 to the dunes near Main Beach, as the private home of E.D. Terbell. The Sea Spray's heyday was from the 1940's to 1970's. The Sea Spray had a capacity of 125 guests served by a staff of 55. Rooms went from spare to breathtaking, with rates from $15 to $100 a day by the 1960's, three square meals a day included! A fire on a February evening in 1978 destroyed the Sea Spray, but the cottages remain. The East Hampton Village Board purchased them in 1978 for 3 million dollars, and manages them as rentals to this day.
The Writer Tim Ferguson on all things East End.
Esperanza and Irwin welcome the writer Tim Ferguson for a free wheeling dialogue on all things East End. Tim's resume includes being a columnist and op-ed editor at the Wall Street Journal and editor for Forbes Asia. Impressive as his body of work has been, it is his present day writing and blog posts specific to eastern Long Island that caught our attention. We've actually touched on some of Tim's articles in past episodes of Our Hamptons, including the 50 Year Anniversary of Bridgehampton Commons, and the Halt The Highway Movement of 1972. This particular era, the 60's, 70's 80's has always been a sweet spot for us. Totally relatable and within our lifetimes, but still hearkening back to a very different eastern Long Island.
Montauk Shores Condominiums: From Rustic to Chic.
Esperanza and Irwin discuss the fascinating story of the Montauk Shores Condominium. From its beginning in the 1940's as a campground on the ocean, the evolution of Montauk Shores is yet another metaphor for eastern Long Island becoming the Hamptons. A trailer park overlooking the Atlantic, and adjacent to iconic Ditch Plains, Montauk Shores was within reach of everyone. With amenities like a pool, clubhouse, basketball, shuffleboard, Montauk Shores evoked a bygone era. But like all good things, Montauk Shores was discovered, and an Architectural Digest article entitled "Why are billionaires flocking to this trailer park?" We attempt to answer that and more in this episode!
Halt The Highway, 1972: The Bypass That Never Happened
Esperanza and Irwin go back 50 years to what may have been the brouhaha of the century on eastern Long Island. The proposed Highway Bypass was to go north of Route 27 through North Sea, Watermill, Bridgehampton, Sagaponack, Wainscott, East Hampton and ultimately ending in eastern Amagansett. "Build it and they shall come", was one perspective, saying traffic will be even worse. Farmland would be decimated. In a 1974 letter to the East Hampton Star, Tom Twomey, the Chair of the Halt The Highway committee claimed "the super highway will make our Town a bedroom community for migrants from Western Suffolk. They will skyrocket our taxes and make possible new giant shopping centers". But a 1974 Star editorial made the point that we can't turn back the clock, the people were already there garnered support from residents wanting the summer traffic eased. Hindsight is always 20/20. The writer Tim Ferguson's thought that "The protective impulse of 50 years ago just bought us more trouble today" is a point of view many believe. Let us know what you think after you listen!
Elizabeth Barlow Rogers: A Wainscott and Central Park Story
Esperanza and Irwin can barely contain their excitement for this podcast! Elizabeth Barlow Rogers is best known for her work as a driving force behind the resurrection of Central Park. 1970's New York City was a time of strife. Budget woes, crime, graffiti, defined NYC during this era, and the iconic Daily New headline, Ford to City: Drop Dead said it all. Central Park was in Ms. Barlow Rogers words, dying. In 1979, then Mayor Koch appointed her the first Central Park Administrator, and in 1980, she was one of the founders, and first president of the Central Park Conservancy. This non-profit combined public and private funding to rescue Central Park, and return it to its former glory. Great story, of course, and an essential part of this episode. But it's the Betsey Barlow circa 1965, buying a modest 1906 house in an unspoiled Wainscott that stole our hearts. Through Betsey's own words, reflections and observations, we'll share with you a Wainscott life spanning over 50 years, and a goodbye that very well may bring a tear to your eye.
A Visit with Oza Sabbeth Architects, Bridgehampton
Esperanza and Irwin welcome Nilay Oza and Peter Sabbeth of Oza Sabbeth Architects of Bridgehampton. Architecture is an art form that incorporates math, science and engineering. But it's also a business. Nilay and Peter generously share the delicate balancing act of sensibility to the site with the needs of the client. The familiar Our Hamptons themes of commodity vs community, and the mindset behind building (too?) big are discussed. While it is a regional issue, Nilay and Peter illustrate the challenges of working within the very diverse and different areas of the East End, overseen by municipalities whose codes don't often align. The role of AIA Peconic in all of this close a very spirited dialogue.
The Signa Gallery, East Hampton 1957-60.
Esperanza and Irwin travel back to 1957-1960 East Hampton. Despite the death of Jackson Pollock the year before, the Abstract Expressionist movement was thriving. Yet the East End was a more conservative place back then, and the Art displayed was more staid landscapes than abstraction. At least until the artists Elizabeth Parker, John Little and Alfonso Ossorio decided to change that. Taking over the space at 53 Main Street from the defunct Maidstone Market, the Signa Gallery was born. And in the course of four seasons, the Signa was instrumental not only in charting a new direction for Art and galleries on eastern Long Island, but amplifying the an American Art Movement arguably born in Springs.
Ice Boating on Mecox Bay, Water Mill
Esperanza and Irwin discuss the rich Ice Boating history on Mecox Bay. According to the Water Mill Museum, the sport itself originated in Holland in the early 1600's. The first known Ice Boat on Mecox was sailed by Daniel Hildreth and Charles Howell in 1837. The Mecox Bay Ice Yacht Club started with 12 members and 5 boats in 1927. Ice Boating was about speed, and the sport itself was physical, and very competitive. The racing on Mecox throughout the 20th century tended to be about one thing: winning. But changes in both climate and demographics has led to a decline in its popularity. The Mecox Bay Yacht Club closed down in 1990, and an effort 20 years later met with the opposition of newer residents concerned about the noise, traffic and "pollution" the Club and its non motorized Ice Boats would bring.
Gerard Drive, Springs
Esperanza and Irwin discuss the sheer beauty of Gerard Drive in Springs. Best seen on foot or on bike, Gerard Drive runs between Gardiners/Napeague Bay and Accabonac Harbor, and the vistas change depending on the direction you travel. But Gerard Drive's history is equally compelling. Daniel and Carolyn Gerard purchased the 250 lots for $125,000 in the 1930's from the Town, who constructed the road in exchange for 9 acres of parkland, named Carolyn Gerard Park. But the narrow strip of land was always plagued by flooding, and the Town has spent countless sums building revetments and culverts. But more importantly, Community Preservation Funds were used to purchase homes and remove them, returning Gerard Drive to its natural state. Impressive, in a region plagued by overbuilding. But it does lead one to ask, should Gerard Drive have been developed at all?
Margie Ruddick of onelandscape.org visits
Esperanza and Irwin welcome onelandscape.org founder Margie Ruddick. With a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard, Margie's projects have taken her from Shillim in Western Ghats, India to Queens Plaza in Long Island City, NY. With onelandscape.org, Margie's focus is the conservation of wild landscapes by integrating science, art, policy, and community. Margie lives part time in the Amagansett home purchased by her parents in 1957, and the east end has influenced and inspired her professional career. The farmland, forest, wetland, beaches, dunes, and bluffs from the village of Amagansett to the coastal Napeague stretch serve as a ONE LANDSCAPE “laboratory".
The Golden Anniversary of Bridgehampton Commons
Hard to believe, but 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of Bridgehampton Commons. Esperanza and Irwin dive head first into the writer Tim Ferguson's article "When A Shopping Mall Came To The Hamptons". One could argue that the Commons served as a metaphor for all the changes on the east end in the past half century. A shift in demographics, land use, development, the benefits of amenities and convenience at the cost of suburbanization. Are we grateful for it's presence? Was it the beginning of the end? Was there a grand anniversary celebration? We discuss all of that, and more!
East End Places We Miss; A Year End Look Back of Season One.
Esperanza and Irwin reminisce on the places and people they miss on eastern Long Island. As the conversation progresses, memories are jarred, and a bit of Holiday Season nostalgia prevails, including a brief "can you top this segment". We also reflect back on the past 18 episodes of Season One.
The White Family Farm Saga
Esperanza and Irwin reflect back on a haunting 2011 Vanity Fair article on the White Family Farm. Prior to becoming one of America's priciest zip codes, Sagaponack was primarily a farming community. And the White's, one of Sagaponack's oldest families, have farmed their land since the 1600's. The White's small cottages nestled in the Sagaponack dunes, were rented seasonally. The simplicity of the setting was one of a kind. But the story takes an unsettling and troubling turn. A different king of Our Hamptons Podcast you won't want to miss.
Watering Holes of the East End.
Esperanza and Irwin embark on a virtual Happy Hour back in time to the bars and taverns we love, and the characters that inhabited them. From the literati at the original Bobby Van's in Bridgehampton, with Capote, Matthiessen, Knowles and Plimpton to John Steinbeck at Barons Cove in Sag Harbor. Deep in the woods of Springs, Jungle Pete's had Pollock at the bar with baymen and Bonackers, while Pete's wife Nina cooked venison delivered to the back door by neighborhood hunters. The incredible daytime scene at Cyril's on the Napeague Strip with people 10 deep and a mile long created a rubbernecking logjam on the highway. And Murfs, the dive bar we love in Sag Harbor, referred to by a former Sag mayor as "a place we've all been thrown out of at least once". Yet another piece of the East End mosaic, the sense of place than has drawn so many for so long.
A 25 year Retrospective of Ira Rennert's Fair Field, Sagaponack
Esperanza and Irwin discuss Fair Field from the beginning to present day. The plan to construct a 100,000 square foot compound on 63 oceanfront acres sent shock waves throughout the East End. Fair Field had its own power plant, a 100 car garage and multiple outbuildings. Yet the compound violated no laws, in fact it taking up less than 10% of the property. While its sheer size was staggering, was it really any different than what occurred in the 19th century Gilded Age, or the grandeur estates constructed on Nassau County's Gold Coast in the early 20th century? Did it irrevocably change Sagaponack's character, or has Fair Field actually been a relatively quiet, off radar neighbor? Join as we reflect back, and ponder if Fair Field will remain a private residence long term.
Bridgehampton Auto Racing: From the Streets to The Bridge. Part 2
Esperanza and Irwin pick up in the late 1950's heyday of The Bridge. Can-Am races, The Vanderbilt Cup, Nascar races all were happening in this era, with the world's greatest auto racers. But unfortunately, economic challenges, Southampton Town rezoning, development pressures and changing demographics created problems for The Bridge. An unlikely alliance between The Bridge and environmental groups, particularly The Group for the South Fork (now East End) occurred. The Bridge was championed by Newsday, and found a guardian angel in Robert Rubin. But none of that was enough to save The Bridge. We're excited to bring this compelling story to what is for us, a heartbreaking conclusion.
Bridgehampton Auto Racing: From the Streets to The Bridge. Part 1
Esperanza and Irwin discuss Bridgehampton's prominence as a mecca for auto racing in the early to mid 20th century. Hard as it is to fathom, auto racing took place on the streets of Bridgehampton from 1915-1921 and again from 1949 to 1953. After the NYS legislature banned racing in the streets, a group purchased almost 600 acres to the north, off Millstone Road. There, a challenging, European inspired racetrack aptly named The Bridge became one of the most important venues in the sport. We are enamored by this incredible story, and excited to share it with you.
Build In Kind East Hampton founder Jaine Mehring visits
Esperanza and Irwin welcome Build.In.Kind/East Hampton founder Jaine Mehring. To “build in kind” means to renovate or rebuild a structure basically as it is—in the same form and existing footprint. To those of us who live, visit or even read about East Hampton knows this is rarely talking place. In fact, for years now, we’ve been seeing the opposite – it’s been mainly “all demo, no reno.” And mostly, it’s been all about…BIGGER. Houses, even not very old ones, are demolished and replaced with new structures, most often double to quadruple the size. Or new construction on previously undeveloped parcels clears and covers as much of the lot as possible, driving a rapid surge in density where there had been a sense of open space. This episode coincides with the October 8 screening of One Big Home, a film by Thomas Bena presented by Build.In.Kind/East Hampton and Wainscott Heritage Project. The film documents how citizens of Chilmark Town on Martha’s Vineyard came together and passed changes to their bylaws that limited house size in order to respect and protect the history, character, environment and quality of life of their community. The film screening will be followed by a Panel Discussion and Q&A with Thomas Bena and Special Guests. Our Hamptons Podcast was pleased to provide additional support and sponsorship for this event.
The Bell Estate, Amagansett.
Leisurama of Montauk! Part 2
Leisurama Part 2 brings Esperanza and Irwin to present day Montauk. While many of the original Leisurama's have been renovated beyond recognition, or replaced by larger homes entirely, the bones are still evident. Past and current real estate ads for Leisurama are contrasted to the original marketing plan, and the value of an intact Leisurama as a piece of history is discussed.
Leisurama of Montauk! Part 1.
Esperanza and Irwin explore the crazy history behind Leisurama of Montauk. The story starts with a piece of history: the 1959 "Kitchen Debate" between Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev and Vice President Richard Nixon taking place in a...you guessed it...Leisurama Kitchen in the American National Exhibition in Moscow. The cast of characters now include the architect Andrew Geller, Marketing Director William Safire and Montauk legend Frank Tuma, as the story moves to 1964 NYC, where Leisurama's were sold in Macy's flagship Herald Square store. Legend has it, you went in to buy a shirt, and came out with a house, furnished down to the toothbrushes. Tune in for part one of this only in America story!
S.A.N.S: Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest, Ninevah Subdivisions. Part 2
Esperanza and Irwin return to 1950's Sag Harbor, and continue the incredible story of the sisters Maude Terry and Amaza Lee Meredith that led to the Azurest subdivision. We try to take you back through the words and tales of past and present residents including the late William Pickens, a patriarch and pillar of the community. We bring it into the present day, the efforts to try and gain historic recognition from Sag Harbor Village. And of course, the familiar story line of how excessive development pressure threatens the fabric of this special community.
S.A.N.S: Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest, Ninevah Subdivisions. Part 1
Esperanza and Irwin touch on Sag Harbor's rich history as a whaling port, and the diverse workforce employed in that industry, and at the Joseph Fahys Watchcase Factory in the 19th century. It all leads into Eastville, a community ahead of its time as Native Americans, African Americans, Europeans lived together in apparent harmony. We close in 1940's/50's Sag Harbor, and the extraordinary story of the sisters Maude Terry and Amaza Lee Meredith. The vision, the foresight, the courage to pursue a dream led to the founding of Azurest, the first of the three communities along with Sag Harbor Hills and Ninevah, that make up S.A.N.S
The Shinnecock Nation Monuments.
Esperanza and Irwin discuss the Shinnecock Monuments in both real and metaphorical terms. The monuments were installed in 2019 and 2021 to bring a much needed source of revenue to the Shinnecock Nation; 60% of the Reservation lives below the poverty line. Yet despite being a sovereign nation, the Shinnecock's and their monuments drew the wrath of local and state governments, not to mention much of the east end community. After this episode was recorded, we discovered the Parrish Museum was opening an exhibition on July 23, Another Justice: US is Them. The museum activated the Monuments with digital billboards by indigenous artists, including Jeremy Dennis of the Shinnecock Nation.
Wainscott, An Eastern LI Town, Part 2
Esperanza and Irwin continue to delve deeper into Wainscott. The Wainscott Chapel, overlooking Wainscott Pond, and the Osborne homestead. The Wainscott Sewing Society, and their good deeds for the community. The Walker family, Wainscott's first African American family, the Conklin House, and of course, the iconic Georgica Association, one of the most unique enclaves on the east end, or anywhere for that matter.
Wainscott: An Eastern LI Town, Part 1
Esperanza explains why she is "all in" as a Wainscott resident, and why she feels it's so important to raise her children there. She then joins Irwin on a virtual walking tour of the hamlet. Stops include the former Wainscott Post Office on Main Street, the general store on Hollow Road, and farms, vistas and viewsheds that have stood the test of time.
Brooks Park Property, Springs. Preservation or Demolition?
Esperanza and Irwin look back on the abstract expressionist movement that thrived in Springs in the 1940's and 50's, and James Brooks and Charlotte Park's place within it. The abundance of art spaces with public access in Springs, including Pollock Krasner House, Duck Creek and the Lieber Collection. A virtual exploration of the 11 acre property replete with hiking trails, and the efforts to preserve and restore the Brooks Park home and studios, and reimagine it into an Art and Nature Center for all.
Georgica, The Apaquogue, Summer "Camps", A Brief Bonac Introduction.
Esperanza and Irwin discuss The Fulling Mill Farm, a dairy farm in full operation as late as 1959 in East Hampton's Georgica, now an underutilized nature preserve. A few short blocks away is The Apaquogue, an early 19th century boarding house with an extraordinary history and uncertain future. The lack of proper lodging in East Hampton in the early 20th century led to village residents renting and leaving their homes for summer "camps" on the shores of Three Mile Harbor. Finally a brief intro to all things Bonac!
Amagansett's Poseyville, and the foresight of Architectural Critic Paul Goldberger.
Esperanza and Irwin discuss development pressures in Amagansett's Poseyville. The conversation was inspired by architectural critic, writer and east end resident Paul Goldberger's recent letter to the East Hampton Star. The letter then led to a look back at Goldberger's iconic 1983 NY Times article, The Strangling of a Resort.
OUR HAMPTONS podcast trailer, launching mid May 2022.
The introductory trailer for OUR HAMPTONS. Neither Hamptons tabloid podcast, nor Hamptons news in review podcast, OUR HAMPTONS is dedicated to eastern Long Island history and folklore, an embrace of preservation, and an absolute celebration of our rich sense of place. Longtime East Hampton residents Esperanza Leon and Irwin Levy engage in conversations you'll want to eavesdrop on.