Sunday, October 25, 2009

Media Genius Finds a Home in Hither Hills

Matt Nye and Jann Wenner

THE SCOOP for those who know about the boldface celebrities in this hamlet is that Kathleen Beckmann, the graceful and smart real estate broker, has closed the deal on a Montauk house for perhaps the most interesting media genius ever to settle in the Hither Hills.

Jann Wenner ~ the creator of Rolling Stone magazine among scores of other editorial ventures, and arguably the best editor in America for the past quarter century ~ and his partner Matt Nye, a fashion designer, will live near Cleveland Street along with their three children. The property is about a five-minute stroll down the dune to the beach. The sale includes the regal luxury of two separate dwellings (one over a garage) on the land.

To read Jann's flamboyant personal story, simply Google [wiki “Jann Wenner”] and enjoy the exquisitely edited prose about his 63-year-old life and career. Even if you know the man, the outline of his many adventures will flabbergast you. There are already a half-dozen biographies of Wenner in print or about to be. One is by a noted poet. Wenner is probably the most successful media mogul never to have graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and for that distinction alone he is a welcome addition to the Montauk neighborhood.

What gratuitous advice does Montauktheend have for a new neighbor in the Hills?

1) Watch out for speeders on the Old Montauk Highway, the road you must cross to get to the pathway to the beach. The posted speed limit is 30 miles per hour and that is, give or take five miles an hour, just about safe in an emergency. Children and dogs must be on the constant lookout when crossing the asphalt. Nine out of ten times the speeders are driving cars costing $55,000 or more, and if they are in a business-minded hurry with an iPhone glued to their ear, they’ll arrogantly pass at 70 miles an hour across the double yellow lines. So stay alert.

2) The best beach days in Montauk are from the Tuesday after Labor Day until July 1. In fall and winter the beaches are as private as deserted islands. There is immense beauty and Kabuki drama in walking on the lonely strand beside the ocean in a January snowstorm.

3) If you are not entirely familiar with poison ivy and ticks, do some catching up. Except in sub-freezing weather, ticks are lurking in the grass and hanging on tree leaves hungering to suck warm blood. Inspect your body carefully each day, especially in hairy locations, and pull the critters off of before they find a place to dig in. If you find a blood-swollen tick on somebody don’t simply yank it off. Remove it gently with tweezers and alcohol or iodine so that its head is not left to rot in the wound. Some purists say a lighted cigarette or cigar applied to the tick’s tail end will persuade it to let loose.

4) There are herds of white-tailed deer in Hither Hills and most of them are wary of but not intimidated by humans. The deer are noble beasts and, if you drive too fast at dusk or dawn, or on dark, wet days, they are also dangerous. Many deer are killed every year on the Old Montauk near your house, and many cars are damaged by the collisions.

5) Get hold of an authentic Djilyan Australian boomerang and fly it on the beach when the wind is very light or calm. It’s a thrill to be able to get a boomerang fly away and then to return to your hands. When it's windy (Montauk is one of the windiest places on the East Coast) locate an Into the Wind brand Hata fighter kite and fly it, too.

6) Take a tour of the old oak trees in the Hither Woods. There are some royal ones.

7) If you are in urgent need of a supremely professional sound studio nearby, call Dr. Stern, whose profile is drawn in an earlier post under the headline, “Montauk Is A Muse".

8) In the Hither Hills there is a secret lake, a meteor crater (called “the Judge”), a superb state park, a colonial graveyard, the weird and fantastic “Walking Dunes” and Gurney’s Inn, a daily teatro buffo of fabulous characters by the sea (with a big swimming pool and spa facilities). Call Phyllis Monte-Lomitola at Gurney’s for unpretentiously intelligent suggestions.

Montauktheend is always available for questions and suggestions and we hope that Mr. Wenner and Mr. Nye & Family will find friendship, joy and contentment in their new home.

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