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UPDATE, SPRING 2015: If you’re looking for a Hamptons beach house to rent for summer 2015 (by the full month for July and/or August), the one in this post is no longer available — I’ve sold it — but no worries, I have another! See some photos here (these are dated and the house is now fully furnished), but you’ll get the idea). Contact me at for more info and current pricing. thanks!


SPRINGS near bay. Vintage 2BR writer’s cottage, tastefully furnished, comfortable, bright. Private backyard, woods, gardens. Nov-May $1,800/mo or year-round.


SPEND SIX MONTHS OR MORE in my 1,000-square-foot 1940s cedar-shingled cottage on a wooded 1/2-acre in Springs (East Hampton), N.Y., a 10 minute walk (2 minute drive) to magnificent Maidstone Beach on Gardiner’s Bay.

Cathedral ceiling living room with skylights; two bedrooms, one with double bed, the other with two twins. Screened porch, huge deck, great outdoor shower. Open kitchen/dining with new appliances (no dishwasher), washer/dryer in basement. Tiled skylit bathroom. Flat screen TV, DVD, microwave, linens, dishware, cooking utensils, etc. included. Just move in!

The fine print: One month’s security deposit required. Utilities (heating oil, electric, cable/internet) extra. Year-round lease also possible at $2,200/month. House can be delivered furnished, semi-furnished, or unfurnished for longer-term rental. Email for more photos and info.

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More About the Neighborhood…

Enjoy the Hamptons off-season, when it’s quiet (but not isolated) and peaceful (but not boring). The hamlet of Springs is more rural than suburban, with a historic district including the Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner House & Study CenterAshawagh Hall, and the beloved Springs General Store.

Long Island’s best ocean beaches are 5 miles away. The new Parrish Art Museum in Southampton opens November 10; there’s opera and theatre at Guild Hall, live music at Stephen Talkhouse. Join the EH Rec Center (pool, gym); do yoga at three great local studios; hike with the East Hampton Trail Preservation Society. Take advantage of off-season happy hours and prix fixe menus at dozens of uncrowded bars and restaurants. Drive to East Hampton (10 minutes), Amagansett (10 minutes), Sag Harbor (20 minutes), Montauk (25 minutes) for restaurants, movies, shopping, art galleries, historic houses, great libraries.

There’s more: art courses, bird watching, writing groups, knitting groups, photography workshops, live jazz… you’ll find some details here, in my “East Hampton Winter Survival Guide.”

Got a book to write? Or books to read, for that matter? Music to compose, or listen to? Want to give the area a trial run while you look around for a house to buy? Rent mine, and get to know the Hamptons like a local.

For more photos and info, email … and please spread the word to anyone who might be interested. Thanks!

IT CAME TO MY FULL ATTENTION ONLY RECENTLY that I am living a brushstroke away from a significant cultural landmark: the bar where artist Jackson Pollock, this area’s most illustrious resident, frequently got soused with friends like Willem de Kooning and got into famously violent fights. It’s well-documented that Pollock spent almost every evening here in the late ’40s and early ’50s, biking over from his farmhouse down the road (now the Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner Study Center), sometimes not making it all the way home but falling asleep in the woods by the side of the road.

The place was then called Jungle Pete’s and famous even up-island (that is, in parts of Long Island not the Hamptons) — a baymen’s gathering spot which gradually (especially after World War II, when the creative and working classes served together) accepted the artists as hard-drinking fellow locals. Jungle Pete’s is now known as Wolfie’s Tavern and it’s still a dive bar, noisy on Saturday nights with motorcycles roaring in and out. It’s got paneled walls, neon beer signs, and a pool table, but no cultural cachet or apparent awareness of its heritage.

Jungle Pete’s features largely in Seek My Face, a John Updike novel I happened to listen to recently on my commute between Brooklyn and East Hampton. I’m a rabid Updike fan but this 2001 novel had somehow escaped my notice. Its main character is an elderly woman who reveals the story of her life to a young interviewer, a life which included a long hard marriage to a character clearly and closely modeled on Jackson Pollock. It slowly dawned on me that ‘The Flats’ in Updike’s novel is a stand-in for The Springs (we’ve since dropped the ‘The’) and ‘The Lemon Tree,’ the character’s favorite watering hole, is Jungle Pete’s.

Updike evokes an era when this area was more rural. I became intrigued and began to Google (not intrigued enough to go have a beer in Wolfie’s, though; I’ve peered in but have yet to actually sidle up to the bar). Here’s a description by Dan Rattiner, a longtime local  journalist/publisher, from 1962:

“I made a left on Fort Pond Boulevard and began to look for a tavern named Jungle Pete’s, which I had read somewhere was one of Pollock’s hangouts. The road here was straight but very narrow, with small fishermen’s homes on either side, set in the heavy foliage that marked that area. About a half mile down, I came to it. It was the only commercial establishment on the street. Set in, well, the Jungle.”

A 2004 article in the East Hampton Star, describes how Jungle Pete’s burned down sometime in the ’40s but was rebuilt. It eventually became Jungle Johnnies, Vinnie’s Place, the Boatswain, the Frigate, the Birches, Harry’s Hideaway, and finally, Wolfie’s, in 1988.

A friend who has lived nearby since 1979 remembers the Frigate as a place with holes punched in the walls, and the Birches as an attempt to do something more upscale, with white birch trees in place of the now-asphalt parking lot (I mourn the loss of those trees). I told her I thought someone should buy it and turn it into a bar/cafe called Pollock’s, with Abstract Impressionist wallcovering. She said that sounded like “a city idea.”

In fact, Wolfie’s is presently on the market for 299K. <- Click for the listing, which is just for the business and not for the land or building (I’d be interested if it were!) I hope someone buys it. It doesn’t even have to have a Jackson Pollock theme — just good food.

What do you think? Does it deserve a plaque, at least?

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?


WANT TO RENT my bright and comfortable 1940s cedar-shingled cottage in Springs, N.Y. (5 miles north of East Hampton village) August 1-31? It’s on a landscaped half-acre with a view into peaceful woods from the back deck.


The house is half a mile – a 10 minute walk, 5 minute bike ride, or 2 minute drive –from the beautiful, unspoiled, never-crowded Maidstone Beach on Gardiner’s Bay.


– 2BR (one full bed, two twins), 1 bath

– High ceilings, skylights, screened porch, huge deck, best outdoor shower ever


– ½ mile to Maidstone Beach, 1 mile to Louse Point (another spectacular beach on Accabonac Harbor). Superb swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, etc.

– 5 miles to ocean beaches at East Hampton and Amagansett

-Under 1 mile to Springs Historic District, including Jackson Pollock-Lee Krasner House and Springs General Store

– 10 minutes East Hampton Village, 10 minutes Amagansett, 20 minutes Sag Harbor, 25 minutes Montauk (restaurants, bars, stores, art galleries, historic houses, movies, etc.)

– 2-1/4 hours from NYC, barring traffic

– Washer-dryer in basement

– Flat-screen TV, DVD player, Wi-Fi, printer, iPod dock

– A/C in living room, ceiling fans in LR and MBR

– $7,000 August 1-31

To see more photos, go here. Email if interested in renting, or for more information. Thanks!

27874hhTHIS COTTAGE, of indeterminate age, is on Neck Path, where old farmhouses date back to when the winding road between Amagansett and Springs was called a highway. It’s near the Green River cemetery where local icon Jackson Pollock is buried, and a short way from legendary Louse Point, one of the most beautiful bay beaches in the area, and the best kayak launch.

Above: Rear of property, with former garage converted to artist’s studio at left

And it’s still on the market after a year, like many of the houses around here. The price has come down $80,000 from last year’s listing.

What that says about the market is, well, not good. Even worse is the fact that last year, the asking price of 599K didn’t seem unreasonable to me. Today it seems high. This worries me as a homeowner always interested in the possibility of selling my present place and trading up.

But it’s still a cute house with a vintage vibe, in top-notch condition and in a pleasant spot.

Go here to see the current listing with more pics, and here to read my enthusiastic post of a year ago. It was a buyer’s market then as now, but apparently, buyers are not buying.

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