SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LAUGH. Like the time my sister and I were having lunch at Babette’s in East Hampton, home of the unremarkable $18 omelette, where the menu of ‘extras’ includes a side of raw organic phytoplankton for $60. You can also choose any fresh herb you want to jazz up your bland food, at $4 per sprinkling.
Or the time I went into General Home Store, a housewares shop that bills itself as “style merchants,” looking for a cheese grater. They had three, including a work of art in teak wood, for $110. The least expensive was $20. Thank god for Target.
I’ve had $19 hamburgers at East Hampton Point and 1770 House. The going rate for blueberries is $7.99. And just try to find a pair of rubber flip-flops under $20.
That makes bargain-hunting, one of my favorite sports, all the more fun here. This is end-of-summer sale time. Last week, my friend Mary-Liz and I hit Roberta Freymann in Southampton, a store selling lovely Indian-made clothes in exuberant prints that I love to look at but find hard to wear outside the house. (We bought gorgeous cotton kimonos for $25 apiece.) The next day we checked out the legendary annual Shoe-Inn sale, held in a vast American Legion Hall in Amagansett. From tables lined with shoe boxes three deep, and more on the floor, I chose a pair of open-toe suede flats by Francesco Morichetti. Even on sale, they were $70, but I love them.
Yesterday, because of the rain, there were fewer yard sales than usual, but I made it to a couple. When you’re at a yard sale, you generally assume things like the laundry detergent atop the washer/dryer and opened bottles of booze are not included. That was not the case here. Someone picked up a bottle of Bombay gin and was told “Five dollars.” At that point, a half-dozen other people, including myself, made a beeline for the liquor cabinet. I got a half-full bottle of Grey Goose vodka for $2 and a brand new pad of Rhodia graph paper for a buck.
Here in the Hamptons, you take your bargains where you can find them.
You might also like this post, “The 99 Cent Banana.”