Montauk 2016

This extreme summer month continued last weekend with a 26 hour trip out to Montauk. I don't think I quite recovered from my Philly weekend coupled with lost sleep from watching the Democratic National Convention, and this was another well-earned drop in the bucket of sleep deficit. One of the Lee families rented a house in Montauk for the week and invited us up for the weekend.

We rose with the sun on Saturday morning and got on the road after dropping Huxley off with my parents. It was a smooth ride out (under two hours!), the end of which is always rolling through the sleepy Hamptons towns on the one lane road. We arrived, coffee in hand, to a just-arak house, bagels and lox, and freshly baked scones.

On the way out we made the sad discovery that our favorite Amangansett Market had changed from a roadside side shed brimming with summer's bounty, prepared foods, meats, cheeses, beers, and most of all such abundant produce, to a curation of artisan salts and spreads, a table of preciously selected produce in wicker baskets, and a juice bar. They didn't even have lemons or limes. This place had gentrified, and it was a feeling we'd feel and speak along a few times throughout our stay. 

Despite the absurdity of things looking the same but feeling so very different, we dipped our toes in both the new and the old. 

The new
We started the day at Montauk Brewing Co., across from the Soul Cycle studio that used to be a movie theater. After the morning yoga class finished on the patio, we sat at their bright aqua picnic tables and drank their watermelon session ale with oysters from the place next door. We brought a growler back for the beach and the house. 

The old
We went to the beach and played catch until we were hot enough to go into the ocean, then spent some rejuvenating time in the water - me trying my best to survive the strong Montauk waves and Kev calling over advice such as "jump higher!", "go under!", and "come this way!" 

After drying off, we walked down the road to Clam Bar, a long time favorite that distills the best of summer and serves it to you with a beer on a plastic plate over a bed of ice: yellow decor, outdoor dining, that road-side casual feed, seafood, and salt air. Even the crunch of the gravel on the lot is a happy memory.

Dinner was at a place called the Salt Box. It sits right on the traffic circle in the middle of town. Walking around after dinner you could see vestiges of the old mixing with lots of new. Someone pointed out that John's Drive-In, an ice cream parlor that's been there since I've been going, has a sign saying "under old management" as a nod to the changing scene. 

Later that night we drove into town to go to a bar and found $20 covers at Memory Motel and The Point, places we used to walk into and find 10% occupied on a good night. 

We ended up not going into a bar at all and drove back to the house. Those times spent indoors together were some of the best in our early twenties. For Kev and his cousins, they were some of the best while growing up too - the significant others still hear the same stories that originated in Montauk told over and over every year or so. 

Our time in Montauk throughout our twenties generated plenty of memories while playing drinking games with ridiculous stakes such as tumble-relay shots (the last time the summer Olympics were here) or mouthfuls of Sriracha race with red wine (this past weekend). 

We left Sunday after slow coffee drinking and made leisurely stops along Route 27: at Wolffer Estate for tastings and glasses of wine as well as bottles to take home, an organic market where we brought a basket of cherry tomatoes and a nasturtium plant we've named Bertram from a soil-crusted young farmer, and then at a cafe for more (iced) coffee for the ride. 

A touch of traffic and, of course, a bathroom break for me later, we were back at home with the little Hux. Gooooood weekend. 

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