After a summer-long investigation by its Hamptons beat-reporter Jim Rutenberg, the New York Times has discovered that the Hamptons are no longer the sole domain of the gilded elite (and the various news reporters who are supposed to be covering them), but are now becoming pretty trashy. Like Jersey levels of sleaze.
While this summer has had its share of salacious major crimes, it's the gradual worsening of quality of life that has Hamptonites worried. There is now a "struggle to strike a balance between its increased popularity — which has brought a rowdy young crowd ever-ready to release the stresses of city living — and the high quality of life that made it such a draw in the first place."
It seems like the Hamptons, which has long been the home of financial elites who have already made heinous amounts of money, is now drawing younger financial bros, who have yet to bring in their first million, and are content to pass out in the street after a long night of partying, as opposed to politely smashing up their BMW's (like a civilized drunk).
But it is the smaller, rowdier, “quality of life” offenses that some longtime residents and lawmakers say has made the area seem slightly out of control at times, exacerbated this year by illegal share-houses and an expanding array of night spots catering to what appears to be a growing number of visitors.
“This is a place where people want to come enjoy our natural resources; they don’t want to see drunken people falling across the road,” Councilwoman Sylvia Overby told Rutenberg. “That’s where the politics comes in: Which definition of East Hampton do you want?”
Do you want the Hamptons of yore, where older people routinely got wasted and spent obscene amounts of money on monuments to their own wealth, or the new Hamptons, where young people reveal the resort for what it really is: rich people acting badly?
It's not like new ordinances or a checkpoint verifying executive-status on the Long Island Expressway would discourage the riffraff, anyway. The Long Island Rail Road is reporting record numbers of commuters to the Hamptons this year.
Some highlights of bad behavior include:
A 31-year-old New York City woman was drunk and disorderly near the Memory Motel on Aug. 25 and hit an officer with a bag containing a glass beer jug; a 39-year-old financial adviser climbed drunk into his Mercedes at around 1:30 a.m. in mid-July and crashed into the Gazebo in the middle of the grassy Montauk plaza; a 33-year-old woman drunkenly tailgated a police car in Napeague at 6 a.m. in mid-July, with no pants on, as the police discovered when they eventually pulled her over.
You were already trashy. Embrace it, Hamptons.