Thursday, January 14, 2010

Can Summer Be Far Behind?

A photographer named Michael Dweck took all but one of these pictures in Montauk in the summertime. There is snow on the sand in January and the earth is now frozen solid. Fireplaces are best friends. Mr. Dweck's pictures bring back July memories.

Mr. Dweck is driving the Caddie and it's his surfboard.

Throw on another log.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Apres 'The Blizzard of Ought Nine'

The Montauk Alp.

Montauk slot canyon.

Where did the Montauk Bake Shoppe go?

A scarecrow keeps vigil.

The Yellow Bucket House weathers the storm.

Homer and Harry head indoors.

What all good dogs do.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Shad Bush berries, blizzard snow, blue sky.

Batons Rouge in the snow.

Good Morning Sunshine

At 7:10 a.m. on Monday, December 21, 2009 after two and more feet of drifting snow.

Homer gives in to the natural male mammal's instinct to command the couch in a blizzard.

Polly primly poses in a chair.

Harry, who thinks he's so damned smart for finally getting off guard and inside the house, poses a la Albert Einstein.

P-Man tells quite eloquently how much snow actually fell.

The Blizzard of Ought Nine

Good dogs love blizzards.

Harry is a blizzard dog. Two feet of drifted snow is marshmallow pie to him. His big paws leap over the top crust, his muscular body and thick fur lets him land strong and he leaps again. When the wild wind is howling Harry finds himself the lee of a holly or juniper bush and weathers the blow. He is always willing to do guard duty, and when the blizzard is over, he is ecstatic to be invited inside, where luckier dogs take refuge in a storm.

In a blizzard a stack of dry firewood is worth a kingdom.

The start of a blizzard is always with tiny snowflakes, the smaller the snowflake the deeper and longer the blizzard is going to be.

A 1738 Cognac was distilled to be sipped during a blizzard. Other blizzard foods include beef Burgundy, brioche, beets, vodka, blintzes, chocolate and oysters.

What lilacs look like in a December storm.

Mr. Whistler and Mr. Weber join for a study in black and white.

Morning after.

Out in the snow thinking poetic thoughts. . The Algonquin tribes believed that blizzards are concocted by the gods to slow the minds of the Algonquins down from a maddening pace and to reacquaint their spirit with the simplest fact of life: We may canoe in a sea of serenity but we are always at the mercy of the storm.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Psychic Fair

Like Montauk, Gurney's Inn is a place where unnatural extraordinariness is an everyday thing. It's the perfect venue for a psychic fair. After all, Montauk was recently ranked on a top psychic opinion poll as the most supernatural spot on Earth. A recent headline on the vast psychic web cried: "Satellite Data Confirms Big Psychic Bubble Right Over Montauk!"

At a small table just inside the front door of the big psychic fair meeting room sat Tommy Thanos, a “psychic and intuitive” who oozes oddness from the top of his bald head to his big, soft, pale hands. He deals Tarot cards. Once you have spoken for a while to Tommy Thanos, you will be clued in on the immense irrational world you are missing while it exists right beside your own cherished rational one. Tommy is proud, even on a slow business day, just to be alive in Montauk, the place of so many psychic dreams.

Tommy Thanos (516.439.1930) is not a Montauk resident, but he speaks of Montauk with reverence.

“I am a believer, aren’t you?” he says, with his eyes riveted on yours. “You must know about the Montauk Project. Both the invisibility and the anti-gravity sides. It’s the secret anti-gravity experiments going on six stories down under Montauk that probably makes the psychic bubble. But there isn’t any doubt about it now. They can deny it, but nobody believes them any more. Everybody feels it when they get to Montauk. It’s in the air, it’s everywhere. I live up-island, but I’m always happy when I can come to Montauk and feel what’s happening here.”

Suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere, Tommy said, “You know a Jerry. Who is Jerry? No. Not Jerry. Gerard. You know a Gerard.You got to get in touch with Gerard or Gerard wants to get in touch with you. You know I know what I’m talking about.”

He was flabbergastingly correct.

Chris Murphy (516-909-9539) calls himself a Tarot card reader. He is a psychic with a kind Turkish uncle’s observational powers and understandings.

Isabella Randazzo ( is a Scotswoman who reads cards but is mostly a gentle and sensible listener who can detect almost any fear in a heartbeat and suggests countermeasures to control it.

The Chinese have long believed that pottery and boxes contain the good and malevolent spirits that animate our lives. Phyllis Lomitola selected these spiritually charged vases, pots and statuettes from her voyages to China. Ashley keeps track of the collection.

Zoe Jade & Co. headed by Melissa Mahoney (917-902-2626) of Montauk has successfully psyched out what people want in these financial times: The highest quality of cheap available. Melissa has selected a jewelry line that is chic for being the best you can buy almost anywhere at between $10 and $20. She does an amazing job of finding cool designs at a difficult price point.

Stringman is what they call David Kucak. He can make art from twine. He strings picture frames, chair legs, canes, the entire ceiling of living rooms. Stringman (631-276-5779) is so far out that he makes String Theory look like kindergarten. Some Montauk merchant ought to give this man 15,000 feet of twine and see what he can do inside a store or in a window. Montauk is starting to nurture some artists who rate consideration and Stringman is one of them.

The Lady with angel hair is Carolyn Bistrian (631-324-4592), whose Earthfire Studios manufacturers raku and stoneware pottery that is glazed with Montauk black sand (also carmine and rusty red) that she collects at certain unnamed beaches on the north bay shore. She also runs the Bend in the Road Guest House in Easthampton.

No Hat collects psychic waves better than a stunningly subtle, hand-crocheted wool bowler in Equadorian mountain fashion created by Charango Crafts (347-776-9207).

The Montoids ( are prepared to celebrate Christmas. What are Montoids doing at a psychic fair? Montoids are creatures of the Montauk Psychic Bubble. Montoids are also supremely "Green" because they breath in methane and exhale pure oxygen.

Icy Gale winds and teeming rains cause all prescient psychics to repair to one of the coziest restaurants on the East End, Manucci's, where you can sit near the stove or on the heated summer porch and listen to the rain drum on the beamed roof and watch the storm through raindrop covered windows.

Serenity. The serene spirits of Phyllis's Chinese collection bring contentment and peace.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

When the Surf's Truly Up

At Ditch Plains on September 1, 2008, the photographer Blair Seagram was there to capture an astonishing day for surfers. His remarkable photographs are for sale at Tulla Booth's friendly and fascinating gallery in Sag Harbor. These are wide, artful, exquisitely printed images that clearly illustrate why Montauk is, when all the conditions of tide, swell, wind and waves are just right, one of the best surfing venues on Earth.