Even though I’m a North Fork girl, I absolutely love the Hamptons. They are beautiful in their small town simplicity and urban sophistication, and in the spring just before the official season begins, the locals enjoy the last sunny days before Montauk Highway is suffocated by city traffic. Today we started at the Parrish Art Museum, which is free on Wednesdays. I’ve been fascinated by this building since construction began a few years ago. The design is modern and minimalist, a rectangle in a field next to a vineyard.
The art was surprisingly wonderful. There is currently an exhibit by Alice Aycock that was mesmerizing to me. The pieces are very geometric in nature with lots of angles and three dimensional drawings with bright splashes of color incorporated into them. I was enamored. In fact, I had no idea that one of her installations sat on the riverbank in Nashville in 2007. I remember the piece and knew nothing about it when it was in the city, but I rounded a corner in the museum and there was the picture.
I wish I could have taken photos while inside. There isn’t a ton on display, but what is being shown is showcased very well with lots of spacing in between and tons of natural light coming in through the wide expanses of windows in the building. I will definitely be heading back for future installations!
Next, dad and I headed to Marders Nursery to look at gorgeous plants that I can’t take on the plane with me. Sadness abounds!!! This garden center is sublime. The place sells everything you could possibly want and the employees know their dirt, which is awesome. The gift shop/florist has lovely planters with all kinds of succulents, a wide variety of very hard to find seeds, and all sorts of incredible books that make you want to sit for hours and look at pictures of plants.
Then we were on to East Hampton to visit the Longhouse Reserve, which I believe is one of most well kept hidden gems on the South Fork. This 16 acre botanical garden could not be more beautifully done. I was so surprised we hadn’t found this place before and am so glad dad discovered it! There are sculptures scattered throughout the gardens, but the most glorious thing about this place at this particular time of year is the daffodils…there are literally thousands that put on a heart stopping display around every corner. The cherries were in bloom, the vinca were carpeting the woods in purple, and the ferns were starting to unfurl. We could not have picked a more perfect day to visit!
This was done by Yoko Ono apparently…or some poor bloke who had to pour the cement for a giant chess board she designed.
Who doesn’t love finding a happy elephant frolicking in the woods? Who?!
Chihuly. The guy gets around…
A trip to the Hamptons isn’t complete until you pay a visit to Martha Stewart’s house on Lily Pond Lane. I was reading her blog recently about how she was transferring some of her rose bushes to her Bedford farm, and well, it wasn’t too hard to figure out where she was considering that we love driving by Lily Pond. Her home is lovely, shielded by privet hedge and a pretty sea green gate. I can only imagine how gorgeous it must be on the inside.
Georgica Beach is such a lovely spot to view the ocean in the off season. From May 15 – September 15 a residential permit is required to park there, so we get our walks in when we can. Just a short jaunt down the beach are Steven Spielberg’s home and Calvin Klein’s former residence. I can see why they love this stretch of beach. I envy them the view, but feel so lucky to be able to drive down here and see it too.
The houses on West End Road line this beach and have insane amounts of massive chimneys, as in like ten chimneys on one house. Why? Do they still heat the rooms with fireplaces? Is it like Downton Abbey “Hampton’s style” with servants shoveling coal during the winter? Are they for show? Does the house with the most chimneys win? Santa must get so confused.
The Atlantic is a majestic powerhouse. The waves roll in slowly and crash as though the weight of world is swimming through them. With the freezing winds it’s hard to stand and look for long, but I love the feeling of smallness I get when standing in front of the sea. You can take a girl away from the water…and it may very well break her heart.