We’ve figured out why the Hamptons work.
They’re filled with all the beautiful, young and/or wealthy New Yorkers who want to get out of Dodge but have developed that chronic, nagging feeling they’ll miss something if they do.
But the Hamptons, as it turns out, allow us to recreate our dear city in a more rural setting. We get to smell the sweet salty sea air from the welcome confines of an already-established social network that has simply been relocated two hours east.
So it was with no small sense of pleasure that we awoke in Southampton Saturday morning, having arrived late Friday just off a full day of work and a long drive in drizzle and darkness. The weather: Sunny, with a slight east wind. Coffee at Golden Pear Café in the village. Locals there with kids, mostly. And a few artists reading the news.
This weekend we’d be staying at The Capri, typically noted for its restaurant (Nobu) and shopping opportunities (Cynthia Rowley) we found ourselves most drawn in by swimming pool beckoning us in. Before we could spend too much time soaking up the scene, we whisked away to polo in our drop top Ferrari California.
The polo in question was Peter Brant polo, and it appeared to be opening day at the Bridgehampton Polo Club – a fine one at that. The lawn was a smidge wet from all the rain, which shortened the match to a 20-minute skirmish, but spirits weren’t diminished on the pitch: “It’s a good day for polo, ideal actually,” Nacho Figueras, the Argentine star and erstwhile Ralph Lauren model, told us before he suited up. He wore white pants, por supuesto, and a RL Polo shirt emblazoned with neon pink polo pony front and square. The man must be 35 and hasn’t aged in years. He stays in the Hamptons all summer to play the polo circuit. Been playing competitively since he was 14, and getting paid for it since he was 17, he says.
Hanging with Nacho, we talked cars, polo ponies, the British (they play a bit hardier on the lawn – Nacho says they’ll play come rain or snow, and relish the draught, too) and bracelets. He wears a wristful of woven leather and thread talismans that he bought with his daughter in Argentina. “She feels close to me when I wear them,” he said. His son, 12, is already a better polo player than Nacho was at his age.
Nacho likes cars, sure, but he’s more into horses. Not so Peter Brant. The gentleman was practically drooling over a red 1966 Ferrari GTO resplendent on the lawn.
“I used to have one!” Brant told us, ruefully. The obvious question: Why’d he sell?
“It was 40 years ago and I needed the money,” Brant said. Easy come, easy go, we suppose.
As the sun faded behind the salt grass and sea scrub, we hit the Surf Lodge, which appeared to be in its stride as we rolled up. Cars were parked by the dozen in either direction along the road while Apache Relay remained more than audible from afar; as they should be.
Jayma Cardoso was there in all her glory, flowing gown and mane, “It’s a beautiful night!” she said between air kisses. Seems like Surf Lodge gets more than its fair share. Steven Rojas, birthday boy, festive in board shorts and Kurt Cobain tee was in full celebration mode with Naomi Thomas on his arm, pretty as ever in grey cutout slouch. And between you and us, dancing on tables did happen.