Log In   ·   Become A Member

Sixty-Something: Happy New Year Starting Over In The Hamptons

T.J. Clemente

The East End of Long Island is unique as a landing spot for a soft landing for many who are starting over. (Photo: TJ Clemente)

Every year the world celebrates the coming of the New Year. With every New Year comes change. Sometimes we choose to change, other times other people make decisions that bring change to our lives. Many times the change may mean starting over. Change can happen via one's relationship, career, or even health situations, or in the case of sixty-something folks' retirement due to age realities.

The East End of Long Island is unique as a landing spot for a soft landing for many who are starting over. I know I never planned on coming to the East End to start over. I sort of landed on the shores of the East End on a sailboat I just bought, and never really went back to my NYC life. It wasn't the plan; it was just how it played out. Amazingly, so far, seventeen years later it has worked out very well. Sadly, I have seen situations where for others it has not. However, mostly I believe it does end well when one comes to live permanently on the East End going back to those Lynn, Massachusetts folks of 1640 who also came by sailboat and landed at Conscience Point in Southampton. They took great risks and must have had great doubts, especially during their first winters. We can only imagine what they felt their first New Year's Day on the East End. I remember mine.

I was invited to Gurney's to cover the event for the now defunct Montauk Pioneer by Gurney's social director Ingrid Lemme and CEO Paul Monte, as were perhaps ten other members of the East End press. Back then there were only a handful of reporters since it was just before all the creation of the "news websites" that now exist both independently and as parts of the East End papers. East End media is a tight group, only back then there was just less of it.

It was a lavish gala with the crème de la crème of winter Montauk Society. Lots of tuxedos - even I somehow had one on too. Even though I was given a plus one I attended alone, but Ingrid sat me next to a few other singles at a media table and we talked shop. I remember being one of the last to go and having the DJ close the night with Frank Sinatra's In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, a song that delighted Paul Monte, a fellow Italian.

It's not easy to start a life over brick by brick in a new place, but the Hamptons being such a beautiful place makes it easier. If you are respectful to the social norms of the locals it makes it easier. Although it can be expensive with local help there are deals and good housing situations. It you have lots of money I suppose it gets easier, but my starting over was not well financed. A divorce, a tumultuous end to a long successful family business with assets tied up in real estate that took over ten years to sort out had me living paycheck to paycheck from writing, delivering papers, working as a bar doorman, being a substitute teacher, and delivering flowers. For a short while I was doing all those things at the same time! It was crazy literally going from one job to another and sleeping but a few hours a day. It was hard, it was tough, and looking back it may have been the best period of my life, except perhaps when my children were young and growing up. The crazy schedule put me into an orbit to where I met my wife. That too was a starting over. A starting over that's been wonderful. Happy 2020 and if you are planning on starting over somehow in the Hamptons, best of luck!

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a firetruck?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

New York Title Abstract Services, Inc.
We are a title insurance services company dedicated to promptly delivering fully compliant and accurate reports, and title insurance, for residential and commercial real estate throughout New York State. Headquartered in the Hamptons, our professional team has extensive real estate experience and understands the business from all sides including title insurance, legal, sales, governmental, banking, and lending regulations.

Hamilton Hoge
As the owner’s representative our practice encompasses all aspects of a project from pre-purchase property due diligence, program development iterations, advisement on systems, analyze contracts/vendors, critical path analysis, feasibility and schedule. The strength of our approach is in facilitating organized communication. We strongly analyze all representations and warranties for the protection and benefit of our client.

The Citarella Standard. We’re passionate about sourcing and selling the world’s best seafood. When you order our fresh seafood online, what you receive always reflects the unrivaled standard of our markets. It’s hand-prepared, never frozen, and shipped overnight. 631-283-6600.