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COME BE MY NEIGHBOR here in Springs (East Hampton), Long Island, NY, where what I think of as the Hamptons’ best-kept secret — Maidstone Beach on Gardiner’s Bay, above — is located. Have you ever been to the Greek Islands? This long crescent beach, with its clean, swimmable waters, gives Skiathos a run for its money. It’s never crowded — ever, even in summer, since most visitors to the Hamptons prefer the pounding Atlantic, five miles to the south. Good. Let them go.
An interesting property has just popped onto the market, an easy-peasy two-minute walk to that beach. It’s a pair of ten-year-old cottages — a two-bedroom, above, with a one-bedroom behind, each with its own deck and outdoor shower — that would make a fine rental property and/or weekend getaway. They’re a bit small for full-time living, but they are winterized, so it’s not an impossibility. The listing doesn’t disclose the size of the property. It’s long and narrow; a quarter-acre or less.
Back of front cottage
Back of rear cottage
Layout provides decent privacy between the two
Lovely backyard behind the rear cottage
You’ll find a few interiors shots here. The place appears in great shape, move-in or rental ready.
As for that beach, you can see a sliver of it from the front of the property, above (yes, you can, on a clearer day than the one on which this photo was taken). As for the 550K ask, which probably seems outrageous to those living in other localities, I’m afraid it’s reasonable for these parts. I know I’m sounding a lot like a realtor in this post (I’m not one, by the way — see the disclaimer on my ‘About’ page), but this property really will not last!!!
THIS LISTING FOR A 1950s BUNGALOW in the Maidstone Park section of Springs (East Hampton), N.Y., surprised me. I thought I knew every house in the area, not just because of my real estate interests, but from my frequent walks down to the bay.
This one had completely escaped my notice. And yet it’s a house that, were I now in the market for a starter home in the area, I might give serious consideration. It’s the kind of fixer upper that gets my juices flowing. It’s small and manageable, it’s got an interesting shape, it’s one of a kind, and it’s set back on a bit of a rise, off a quiet street.
Couple of red flags: possible mold and/or mildew issues. I walked in (the back door was open) and it had the dank feel of a house that had been closed up for a while. Also, while the neighbors on either side and across the street seemed OK, the house on the other side of the back fence seemed to have a bit of a hillbilly vibe, with junk in the yard. But that’s how it goes in the “real” Hamptons.
As an asking price in this neighborhood, a short walk to Gardiner’s Bay and to a lovely marina, 356K is not a terrible place to start. The listing, with a dozen photos, is here.
Am I nuts, or does anyone else see potential here?
None better, IMHO: Maidstone Beach on Gardiner’s Bay, L.I.
ALL I CAN SAY IN MY OWN DEFENSE (to myself, mainly, but also to readers who may have noticed I’m headed for a record low number of monthly blog posts since starting this endeavor almost four years ago) is that I’ve been in a state of suspended animation for the past few weeks. The thing I really want to blog about, the thing I really want to have happen, is well on its way to happening but hasn’t happened yet — the purchase of an un-winterized 1,200-square-foot house in Springs (East Hampton, N.Y.) that started in the 1940s as a fishing cabin and had an early ’60s add-on that gives the whole a modernist look. Quirky, naturally.
Lawyers are on board, a house inspection has been made, a survey ordered, and a contract of sale drawn up. A few days ago I signed that contract and delivered it, along with a down payment that represents all the bread I’ve ever managed to stash away (and I’m glad to use it for this purpose, because I believe it represents the best investment I could possibly make with the funds). I’m now waiting for the seller to execute and return his copy of the contract — and then, and only then, will I believe this is for real.
Elephant ears of autumn
Meanwhile, sitting here in limbo has drained my motivation for fall planting at my present house (and also apparently for blogging), though I spent September in near-bliss. The perfect weather! The cloudless sky! The peace of it, with the summer hordes gone! I swam in the bay and read on the deck and puttered just a bit in the garden. And wrote an article or two and a column or three.
For the record, I’m illustrating this post with some of the few photos I took of the events and non-events of fleeting September.
Above, Just a few (hundred) people showed up for a massive Women for Obama yard sale in East Hampton, which raised $3,000. I held my own copycat Obama sale the following Saturday
The mob scene at East Hampton’s Main Beach for taschlich, above, the ritual tossing of bread into a body of water (in this case, the Atlantic Ocean) to signify the letting go of unwanted habits at the Jewish New Year. The seagulls were very happy
Offerings of the season at Wittendale’s Nursery, East Hampton
Late summer at Louse Point
Photo: Caren Sturmer
IF EVER THERE WAS ANY QUESTION that Springs, N.Y., in the East Hampton ZIP code, was an arty neighborhood, take a look at this cottage in the Maidstone Park section. This place is historically a problem for its neighbors. At one point, it was condemned, with major trash in the yard and police tape around it.
Now, channeling Jackson Pollock, the area’s most famous resident, the homeowner has taken an abstract expressionist approach to exterior decor, and made it a community endeavor.
Not what springs to mind when one thinks of the Hamptons, is it?