We wondered how the economy would effect the crowds out here in East Hampton this summer and now that we're well into July I think I can safely say that we know the answer: it hasn't. Oh I suppose there are houses that haven't been rented and I'm sure there are others with "For Sale" signs on the front yards as a direct result of financial fortunes but from the looks of things around town you would certainly not call this a slow year here! The roads are as crowded as they've ever been and the sidewalks are plenty busy on weekends. There are more than enough people here right now.
The thing I find most amusing about the summer crowds is that the people who seem most annoyed by them are not the born and bred locals who've been dealing with this their entire lives and who rightfully claim more ownership to the streets and sidewalks than anyone, but rather its the "johnny-come-lately"s who raise the loudest cry. They seem to have far less patience and are much more aggressive in their annoyance than anyone. It reminds me of a friend who relayed the following conversation had at a cocktail party one summer a few years ago:
Lady: "Oh the crowds are horrible. We must do something about all these people out here! Can't we stop them from coming? Before you know it there will be no farms left at all and the traffic will be unbearable!"
My friend: "Well tell me, how long have you been living out here?"
Lady (proudly!): "Over ten years now!"
Friend: "Ah - well you're part of the problem!"
I find it interesting that the most vocal among us when it comes to the cry for stricter zoning codes and more restrictive building rights are those who are newcomers to town. They don't seem to realize that the feelings they have about that big house going up near them (which is blocking their view of the nice open field) are the exact same feelings we had about their house when they built it back in 1985.
It's all about perspective.