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GREAT, RAW, OPEN SPACE, hefty wood columns and white brick walls make up this quintessential urban loft, converted to a home for two by Ensemble Architects of Brooklyn. Read all about it in my weekly column, The Insider, on Brownstoner.com.

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THE MONTH OF LONGEST DAYS is drawing to a close, and I feel compelled to celebrate it with a blog post before it fleets by. The alliums, lush purple just two weeks ago, are already browned on their stalks. Those are not my alliums, above, though I have a few, or my lily pool; they are attached to an East Hampton oceanfront estate I toured as part of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program on June 21.

Young men in straw hats were stationed to direct mortals like myself through this sensational south-of-the-highway estate, pointing the way to wildflower meadow, cottage garden, woodland walk, vegetable garden, parterre and croquet green (pool and tennis court go without saying). Have a small look:

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It was a month of yoga on the beach, lobster in Montauk, sunsets from the jetty, and the humble satisfactions of my own half-acre compound shaping up (as I type, two men are working by night to finish the transformation of shed to guest cottage; photos to follow).

I introduced two friends to one of the oddest and most photogenic places I know of on the East End: Multi Aquaculture Systems, an Amagansett fish farm, below, the last on Long Island. Besides tanks of striped bass and other fish, it has ducks and dogs and a cafe selling Provencal pottery and picturesque decaying buildings and wildflowers in abundance by the bay.

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I swam a couple of times at my local beach, below. It was exhilarating, and that’s how I know it’s really summer.

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THE TWO POLES OF MY EXISTENCE are the immensity of nature that is the East End of Long Island and the intensity of humanity that is New York City. Which do I prefer? There’s no contest; it’s the former.

But with a couple of hours to kill in Midtown recently, while waiting to join a friend for Skylight on Broadway, I found much in the West 30s and 40s to command my attention.

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Emerging into Times Square after the performance, the visual stimulation was an assault. There’s something undeniably exciting about it, I admit, but… get me back to the country ASAP.

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‘THE INSIDER,’ my weekly column for Brownstoner.com, ventured outside of the Brooklyn for the first time last Thursday, featuring a Jersey City loft-apartment by some new kids in town: The New Design Project, a collaboration between Fanny Abbes and James Davison. I like their fresh and arty attitude. To see and read more, go here.

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THE REVELATION HERE IS HOW WELL classic mid-20th century furnishings by Vladimir Kagan, Milo Baughman, Jens Risom et al, along with contemporary high-end craft furnishings from local makers City Joinery and BDDW, work in a c.1910 Park Slope row house. The sensitive mix was pulled off by Brooklyn-based architects Delson or Sherman and interior designer Kiki Dennis.

See and read more here, in this week’s column for Brownstoner.

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