As I sit here writing this Anton is next to me on his computer tracking the path of the hurricane. Each hour since yesterday morning he updates me; "It's moving more west", "Now, it's headed more east", "East Hampton is in line", "East Hampton is looking a bit safer", well now it's headed farther east than before and East Hampton is looking a bit less safe. If you're wondering where I'm writing this, well I'm in East Hampton. Why not the city? We have a place here, a beautiful place that needed to be secured. Too much stuff all around it can go flying so we came out to do our best to limit the rockets. Now everything is put away, food and water has been bought along with gasoline for the never-before-used generator from several storms ago. I wonder where we should sit this out considering the place is almost all glass, huge sheets of it. I look out and see the woods and garden and big old trees that surround us and try to imagine how it might change. Will the giant oak that grows out of the deck change position and move to the cozier confines of the living room? Will the spectacular weeping hemlock that was just installed in the front decide it would rather nestle in our neighbor's back yard on the opposite side of this cul-de-sac? Will the 3 twenty foot cedars that border the pool reconsider their positioning and decide the deep end of the pool is a better spot? These thoughts and more are racing through my head since our drive out last night.
The LIE (Long Island Expressway) was a curious sight with the westward lane jammed with cars and our side heading east was almost empty. The town on a Friday night was almost ghostly. No wait for a table for dinner, no pushing, shoving, elbowing or Birkin bag swinging to use the rest room.
I have to say the grocery store where we stopped after getting a text from Fresh Direct informing us that they would NOT be delivering food and supplies this morning (f%&k) was a different story. The place was stripped of most everything. At the deli counter I was behind this girl who looked suspiciously like Lindsay Lohan, but wasn't. She was in black leggings, a little cashmere cardigan on backwards buttoning half way up a skeletal back with a container of what appeared to be spam salad she'd just ordered and couldn't wait to get home to inhale, asking for cheese that looked like Swiss. She wasn't familiar with it and kept pointing and calling it something that the guy helping her couldn't make out. Her speech was garbled with her mouth full of that foul feed. After minutes of this pointing, grunting and chewing he gave it to her and she coyly purred,"Think Yow-a". Do you know what that means? I didn't and neither did he. Oh well, that's young, blond and making it in the Hamptons. Actually, to be ruthlessly precise: That's making it in Manorville.
I'm less afraid for myself here than my mother who's alone in Massachusetts which is also right in line with the storm's path. She's very zen about this and has set up a beach chair in the basement with a lantern, her Kindle and Daddy's ashes. Yes, I know that's a bit strange but she explained that it didn't seem right to take shelter in the basement and leave Daddy upstairs, so he's keeping her company in the basement. This is the first time he hasn't been there to wait out the storm with her and this way she feels less alone. It makes me cry, but there you have it. Grief is a real mama jama. Still I have faith we'll all get through this.
The big question is what to wear for a natural disaster. I have my shoes picked out but the rest of the look is nagging at me. I don't want to look like some annoying weekender in regulation Ralph: weathered chambray shirt, red washed chinos and a Macintosh carrying a Bottega tote full of duck tape, batteries and Pellegrino. I thought my titanium linen djellaba that John Bartlett did would be cool. I LOVE how it looks in wind, like a sail. It's floor length and not the easiest to run from falling glass or trees so I'll probably opt for my Levi's with stretch, a t-shirt from Ralph Lauren in wide faded stripes, very Opie, that shows off my gym kissed upper body and a baseball cap with my old logo on it. In times like these it's the simple things that matter most. Driving down Main Street just about every shop is boarded up. That is every shop with the exception of Ralph Lauren. I guess he didn't get the memo that God doesn't have a favorite retailer. Even Elie Tahari got that memo and he's usually oblivious to wisdom and good sense.
That brings to mind all the pressing news of late regarding the love lives of super models: Natalia Vodianova having left her billionaire husband only to fall desperately in love with Bernard Arnault's son, Junior. My favorite is Linda Evangelista and her paternity suit against Mr. Pinault. Why another clueless billionaire would accidentally impregnate a woman who is known to not get out of bed for anything less than 20 bucks is madness. Couldn't Natalia find a nice boy with millions from her neighborhood? Why wasn't Salma Hayek enough woman for Mr. Pinault? These guys and gals swim with sharks and then seem surprised when they get mauled. The real tragedy is that we, innocent sun worshippers on the beach of life have to read about it. The fashion press that spoon feeds this garbage as though its pressing news should be tossed into the hurricane churned sea. Daphne Guinness was "too shy" to meet "Lee" [Alexander] McQueen... This from a girl who's whole life is lived in public for the public. It's as rich as she is. These and other more sordid musings go through my head as I await the cyclone. Tape Worm [Carine Roitfeld] and her off spring and their ascendancy to the status of First Family of Fashion is another conundrum. A Barneys ad with them hiding behind ratty hair and smokey eyes does not inspire me to shop there. I'll make do with my humble wardrobe when the rains come. Its absolutely still outside. Weird bugs are flying and crawling which has to have something to do with the theater of weather bearing down on us. The parking lot of Home Depot at exit 64 was home to a swarm of flying, biting ants at 10 last night. It was like some B movie about pestilence. We had to get out of the car after having raced to escape them and brush them off. They were all over our bodies and in our hair, biting through our clothes and crawling everywhere inside the car. No joke. You can't make this shit up.
One thing is abundantly clear to me in all of this. I wouldn't trade that other pair of sensible shoes facing my up to the moment Tretorn puddle stompers for anything. So good luck everybody. Be careful, wear something appropriate and look out for one another. If you can help someone who's alone or in need, do it. I'll do the same.
On the Street…Viale Strozzi, Florence
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