Monday, October 25, 2010

Discovering Long Island - Part 2

We awoke at the Hyatt Regency Long Island At Wind Watch Golf Club intent on getting our $11.95 worth of WiFi. I used Yelp.com to compile a list of restaurants in the Hamptons, though I secretly craved to return to the sublime Mama Sbarro’s. We ascertained that the Hyatt Regency Long Island At Wind Watch Golf Club’s breakfast buffet would set us back $16 apiece, scoffed at the idea, and set out in search of a diner recommended on Yelp, only to settle for another we encountered before we could find it. Our waitress addressed us as hon, spelling it properly, and we agreed on the cruel irony of a cruddy little diner offering WiFi while the Hyatt Regency Long Island At Wind Watch Golf Club made you pay for it. We shut up on realizing that though it was free, it didn't get us on line.

We stuffed ourselves on eggs and home fries, and headed east. I revealed, as we drove, that my ambition was to find the home of P. Diddy (or, as Claire prefers, Diddy Poo), or whatever he calls himself these days, and advise him that I regard him as the black Donald Trump — as that fervently self-aggrandizing — and thus am no fan at all. I anticipated his being devastated, but no one told him it would easy.

We stopped, by and by, in Southampton, whose main commercial street makes clear that it is patronized primarily by the very deep-pocketed. We went into a gift shop so that Claire could stalk a fridge magnet. I predicted that the proprietor would want to be snooty in the face of such a request, but be unable to because of Claire’s middle-class London accent, which sounds just like Her Majesty the Queen's to the unsophisticated American ear. In this case, the proprietor turned out to be a she, and to lack fridge magnets.

We proceeded through other Hamptons, and made our way by and by to Montauk, at the island’s southeastern tip. There Claire was able at last to buy a fridge magnet, from a young woman with multiple piercings and an unpleasantly jaded manner. There too we nibbled leftover Mama Sbarro’s pizza in view of the famous local lighthouse before collecting notable stones and shells on the beach.

Claire hankered to glimpse some of the famous wineries of the North Fork, but to get up there, we had to take a couple of ferries, and how very pricey they proved to be — $12 for the first, and then $11 for the second, and in the first case you could have dogpaddled from one shore to the other in about 30 seconds. We actually reached the North Fork too late to sample any wines, although not to late to use one winery’s beautifully appointed restroom.

We drove west again through blinding late afternoon sunlight, listening to Accidental Billionaires, got tarted up, and headed once more to Mama Sbarro’s, where things were very different from the previous evening. Our server this time was a preoccupied-seeming young woman who first failed obstinately to notice the plaintive come-hither looks I kept giving her, and then, after deigning at last to ascertain what we craved, delivered our main courses and salad simultaneously. We had her take the former back, and she apparently placed them under a heat lamp, but they were still delicious.

We returned yet again to the Hyatt Regency Long Island At Wind Watch Golf Club, and this time both of us went into the spa, in which no fat men were reading the New York Times. I removed myself when I felt my lovely, recently blow-dried hair beginning to frizz, and we were upstairs in time to watch the Yankees’ season end. We agreed they’ve got to do something about their starting pitching, and retired, though only in the sense of going to bed.

The following morning, we had breakfast sandwiches at Panera, where we enjoyed getting on line. Heading home, we resumed listening to the audiobook version of Accidental Billionaires — and to cringe now not only at the author’s dreadful purple prose and malapropisms (people don’t get cut off at the throat, chief, but at the knees!), but at how the voice actor’s clueless reading made it all seem even worse. When I went to the gym, and opened a book full of Scott Spencer’s mostly glorious prose, I could still hear the voice actor misguided inflections in my mind’s ear, and it ruined the first couple of pages. Don’t let this happen to you!

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