Monday, March 24, 2014

By the way, your parade sucks...

After our busy, exhausting day in New York City (see previous), Sean and I decided to have a light day yesterday. We planned to sleep in, go get some breakfast, drive out to Montauk to see the lighthouse, go see "Divergent", and get some dinner.

Sleep in: Mission accomplished! We didn't get out of the apartment until close to lunch time, and even then it was slow progress.

Breakfast: Mission accomplished! Sean took me to a nearby diner, where I had delicious pancakes and bacon cooked exactly as crispy as I specified. Diners get kind of a bad rap sometimes, but I've never understood this. I've never, ever had to send my bacon back at a diner.

Drive out to see the lighthouse: Mission accomplished, but this turned out to be a little more adventurous than the quick drive we planned.

Along the way, I finally got to see the rich part of the Hamptons that they claim to show on "Revenge" and other TV shows, except that those depictions continue to be not quite accurate.

"This street, right here, this is where Jack's bar is."

"Wait, what? That can't possibly be correct. The bar is on the water, and there are boat docks behind it, and Emily/Amanda can walk there from her house..."

Television, you continue to be a harsh, disappointing mistress. Now that I've seen the Hamptons K-Mart and the track where the school bus races are held, I kind of feel like I'd really rather watch a version of "Revenge" that actually is set in the Hamptons, where Emily/Amanda and Victoria exchange seething repartee over a slice of "Fudgy the Whale" from their local Hamptons Carvel and then struggle to the death in a dramatic finale atop the local historic windmill, which seems ubiquitously located in the center of every town here.

As we got closer to the end of the island, where we would find the Montauk lighthouse, we suddenly came upon a roadblock:

montauk st. patrick's day parade

The town of Montauk was having a St. Patrick's Day parade, a week after St. Patrick's Day. We cut around it, and continued to the lighthouse:

montauk lighthouse (1)

Doesn't it look exactly how you would expect a northeastern Atlantic lighthouse to? We went to get tickets to visit the lighthouse, which you must be this tall to climb:

must be this tall

and where, for reasons that were never articulated, cell phones are banned, and that's when we ran into the surly lighthouse keeper.

"You boys go to the parade?"

In a technical sense, yes, since we drove through it, but Sean answered, "No, we didn't know about it."

"Didn't know about it? What kind of a rock have you two been living under?"

I guess they don't give out a lot of customer service training at surly lighthouse keeper school.

"Well, I'm from South Hampton, and he's visiting from Tennessee, and..."

"EVERYONE knows about the parade. Everyone."

I bet there's a good reason why you work alone at the tip of a rock that's slowly eroding into the ocean, lighthouse keeper. As for that parade, let me just tell you...

"Let's go see the lighthouse!" Sean suggested, derailing my combative train of thought.

The lighthouse has, I guess, everything you want to see in a lighthouse. There are memorials:

memorial at the lighthouse (1)

memorial at the lighthouse (2)

ocean views:

ocean view (1)

ocean view (2)

ocean view (3)

ocean view (4)

(I like that picture a lot)





Wait, no, actually. Nobody wants that in a lighthouse. I was kind of amused, though, that the tick warning signs were all behind the fence, as if the grass we were standing on four feet away was free of ticks because they wouldn't dare cross the fenceline.

There's also the lighthouse itself:

montauk lighthouse (3)

which contains a small museum and which you can climb.

And by "you" I mean "other people who are not me", because there's no way I'm climbing a spiral staircase with metal steps that you can see through where the only "railing" to hold onto is a rope that moves when you touch it. Even if forced at gunpoint, I guarantee that I would be about halfway up the lighthouse before I huddled in the fetal position on the staircase and wailed for someone to come carry me back downstairs. Sean climbed it, though, and I climbed to the first window (five steps up) because I thought it would make a good photo:

lighthouse interior window

After Sean climbed back down, we headed to the gift shop, where we were again asked if we attended the parade.

"No, we didn't."

"Really? It's the second largest St. Patrick's Day parade in New York."

Lady, are you kidding me? I don't mean for this to come out the wrong way, but do you expect me to believe that more people truck out to the ass-end of Long Island in the off season to see a parade a week after the holiday than go to the parades in Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, or, hell, even Watertown or Rochester? I've seen more people at the Cortland County Dairy Parade, and at least at that there's more than a parade. You know what I didn't see at the Montauk St. Patrick's Day parade? ANYTHING OTHER THAN A PARADE. No crafty booths, no Irish dancing, no corned beef and cabbage stands. Just a bunch of drunk people with red cups (not even green ones!) walking around getting drunker and a parade with only one marching band. And that one marching band was in kilts. KILTS. And it had bagpipes. Presumably because Scotland is so close to Ireland. Your parade sucks, gift shop lady and surly lighthouse keeper, and I'll not be judged by you for not attending.

Rather than say any of that, I bought some magnets and a bag of taffy, and we left.

But the sentiment still stands.

Go see "Divergent": Mission accomplished! It's a long, long movie. So long that I'm no longer sure I want to read the books.

Eat dinner: Mission accomplished!

Then we came home, where I watched half of "Revenge", a television show that takes place in a mythic version of the Hamptons where all of the stores look like boutiques and everything is very fancy and right on the water, and where none of the characters attended or even mentioned the St. Patrick's Day Parade.


Marcheline said...

Well, what part of "The Hamptons" were you in? I used to work for a carpenter in Southampton (one of
"The Hamptons") and it is indeed a town full of boutiques and expensive coffee shops and organic-fucking-everything where food is concerned.

Also, regarding surly lighthouse workers and people in small towns at the end of the world thinking they are the only game in town: Ever been to a small town in Ireland? Scotland? England? France? .... yep, small towns all over the world think they are The. Shit. And that everyone knows/cares about their celebrations/existence.

I'm glad you guys got out to see the lighthouse, even though you drove right past me twice and didn't let me take you out for the best burgers on L.I. *sniff*


Joel said...

I've been in Southampton all week. There are about three streets that look like the "fancy" Hamptons, and the rest looks like rundown suburbia.

Wall-O-Withnail said...

Welcome to Long Island. 8-) What, California all looks like Malibu and Florida all looks like "Miami Vice", right?