Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gone Local in Amagansett

My Aunt Dorothy recently joined me on a marketing caper to the charming town of Amagansett.

A lovely place on Long Island, New York, Amagansett is located east of the chic town of East Hampton, yet miles before the long strip of sometimes boring highway that leads to the end; Montauk Point. 

Amagansett has also been referred to as Skiphampton because of Skiphampton Road, but I have my own theory about the vicinage; when naming the town, the officials simply forgot that it was indeed a Hampton and thereby neglected to name it accordingly.  Whatever the bona fide reasoning was, I've elected to refer to Amagansett as:  “The Organic Hampton.”

Amagansett/The Organic Hampton, was the precise Hampton that my mind’s eye pictured when incorporating farmers markets in my juvenile, semi-fictional story, The Big Bad Rain Monster.  Yes, it’s true that Sag Harbor has a thriving farmers market on Bay and Burke St., and Bridgehampton has one at the Hayground School on Mitchell Lane, but Amagansett was supporting fresh, locally grown produce from the get-go, or as long as I can duly remember.

Along with the crops grown and sold in Amagansett, well-known celebrities living or vacationing in The Organic Hampton have been associated with organic eating habits and/or practicing holistic or macrobiotic diets.  Case in point:  On one particular excursion to The Organic Hampton, I was thrilled to find myself shopping alongside the very lean and living-the-organic-lifestyle, Gwyneth Paltrow. Rumors circulated that the starlet ate basically only 100% natural foods, therefore shopping in The Organic Hampton was a no-brainer for someone like Gwyneth.

I recalled clearly how the lovely Ms. Paltrow was dressed that particular summer day; a bit incognito - clad unobtrusively in jeans and T-shirt, designer shades, and wearing one of those rather popular Fedora hats.  Ms. Paltrow was accompanied by her two young children, and when she inadvertently glanced over at me, she smiled pleasantly and continued shopping.  Respecting her privacy, I reluctantly squashed the notion of asking if I could take her picture. 

Later, regretting the I-respect-your privacy-policy, the image of Alec Baldwin came to mind.  That same summer, my daughter and I had ogled Mr. Baldwin sitting front and center at a Sag Harbor restaurant, facing the glass windows and the tourist-lined sidewalk.  His apparent openness to walker-bys, cell phone cameras and anyone who had the gumption to request an autograph, made me realize that Mr. Baldwin, without a doubt, wanted to be seen, whereas Ms. Paltrow might have desired a pleasant and uninterrupted excursion with her children.  In retrospect, I made the right decision; I think.  

Approaching the storefront, I parked the borrowed Lexus and pointed out to my aunt the novelty shop that was at the root of our caper.  I explained that although logically it’s beneficial for my book to be sold at bookstores, novelty stores with owners who heartily welcome such creativity can result in being my best opportunity.  Why?  Well, I figure that in a bookstore, unless my book is prominently displayed at all times, it will ultimately get lost among the scores of other worthy titles peeking out from the shelves.  Whereas, in a novelty shop, oftentimes the selection of books are few; chances that my book will stand out increases. And here I agree with the British when they say: “Brilliant!” 

The store targeted on our caper was called Gone Local - a Hamptons Goods and Gallery Shop.   I had shopped there successfully in the past, and in fact had visited the fairly capacious specialty shop the week before when I had the opportunity to mention my book to Susan, the proprietress.  Unfortunately, I was minus the book or any related paraphernalia that day, and consequently could not, in due diligence, engage in a full discussion.  Susan suggested that I stop by at a later date; thus the jaunt with Aunt Dorothy to Gone Local.

As my aunt browsed around the shop admiring the handmade colorful tutus; creative pieces of shell jewelry; toys and gift baskets; food items; boots and other articles of clothing; along with a dozen or so books by local authors, I anxiously waited while Susan scanned the interior pages of The Big Bad Rain Monster

Would The Big Bad Rain Monster grace the shelves alongside of Gone Local’s limited and exclusive books?  The seconds ticked ……….before Susan exclaimed that the illustrations were lovely and the storyline cute.  She affirmed her delight to display The Big Bad Rain Monster at Gone Local.  Oh, joy, another successful caper!

After that, it was a matter of minutes before The Big Bad Rain Monster had Gone Local in Amagansett.

Aunt Dorothy Gone Local
The Big Bad Rain Monster


  1. Jeralyn, I read this with great interest! As always, it is so well written and your description of the area is fascinating. Makes me want to take a trip there! And your Aunt Dorothy sounds lovely. "The Big Bad Rain Monster" is taking on a character of its own and becoming a much loved addition to special places and with special people.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, and favorable at that! It's good to know that it was of interest. And, yes, My Aunt Dorothy is lovely.