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Sixty-Something: My Post-COVID-19 Top Ten Hamptons To-Do List

T.J. Clemente

The Montauk Lighthouse. (Photo: TJ Clemente)

For too long I have been focused on what I cannot do during the COVID pandemic. Channeling the idea of positive thinking, I decided to dwell on what I am going to do when this pandemic is finally over. This last weekend, I drove across the Hamptons to the Montauk Lighthouse - passing many places that I missed going to in 2020. The idea being when it's safe to resume normal patterns of behavior post-COVID-19 there are things I am going to do. I decided to share my top ten.

First on the "to-do" list is to go dancing to live music with my wife. Perhaps after a glass of wine, or a cocktail at The Surf Lodge, or the Talkhouse I am going to take her to the middle of the dance floor and twirl her and dance to live music. Dancing in public with others is celebratory, it's intimate, it's magical and it's been sorely missed. This includes dancing to all the local bands I love and support.

Second will have to be taking in some local East End live theater at Bay Street, Quogue Community Center, North Fork Community Theater, Guild Hall and Southampton Cultural Center. There were so many shows canceled last year it was tragic. When the curtains finally go back up, and the stage lights come back on, I want to be in the live audiences applauding.

Third will have to be a nice meal at the American Hotel on a Saturday night, followed by some socializing at their famous bar with Vinny mixing the drinks. Perhaps even some chess with a patron.

Last year I had to cancel a few annual vacation trips so fourth on the list will be getting on a plane to fly away to somewhere else - like Mexico, the Caribbean, Paris or Rome. No doubt I would love to get to London to see my daughter and first grandchild, or even drive to Washington, D.C. to see my other daughter.

Now in the last few years I really haven't gone to see that many movies on the big screen, however after driving past the temporarily closed United Artist Theater in East Hampton Village so many times this last year, fifth on the "to-do list" will have to be to see some movies on the big screen. I definitely am going to take my wife on a movie date, including purchasing a large popcorn for us to share. I am really looking forward to attending the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Hamptons Doc Festival, the North Fork TV Festival, along with going to some of their wonderful parties too!

Sixth, yet knowing this truly belongs higher up the list, is getting together with our friends and dining either at our homes or at a wonderful indoor Hamptons restaurant! There are just so many people I need to reconnect with.

Seventh will be to get my official East Hampton Visitor Beach Pass. I never did make it to any of the town's ocean beaches last year, instead swimming off my sailboat privately in Gardiner's Bay. This would include a frozen lemonade at the Beach Hut at Atlantic Beach.

Eighth will be sailing from East Hampton to Sag Harbor and then tying up on the town dock and coming ashore to have a lobster roll inside the Dock House on the table facing the yachts. It was only open for takeout in 2020.

Ninth will be singing some karaoke. I plan on singing at Liar's Saloon in Montauk, at the Talkhouse, at North Sea Tavern and a few other places that will host live karaoke!

Tenth will be to attend 4th of July fireworks and celebrate not only our country's birthday, but also the chance to do it with everybody safely!

It will happen, safely, hopefully sooner than later!

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