summer rolls

Clean food.  Soft lettuces bound beside sticks of carrot in a white translucent skin that resembles some variant on rubber.  Lobster rolls, on pull-apart yellow bread with powdery tops.  My summer roll is The Hamptons.  All my summers there have rolled into one summer memory.  It’s what I miss most in New York lately.  The long drives, the sighing when we see the first gas station, signaling we’re getting closer.  The smell of grass.  The music in the car, the way we grip each other and squeal.  We have arrived. Possibility is the brass lettering nailed into the hickory oak paneled doors.  I miss my girls and our plans, our meals, our outfits and "can I try on your shoes?"  I miss the shallow moments, the unpacking in our room before we feel really settled, rushing for our cups of coffee from the general store and Starbucks.  Sitting pool side with the radio and a host of magazines, sharing the sun, lotion, and summer moments.  I miss sharing a bathroom, which I’d never think to miss.  Having to remove my hair from the drain, borrow her H2O facial cleanser, share our perfume so we’re all even more the same. 

I went out last night with two new friends who seem to have that, share those moments with each other.  And I liked them both straight away because of it.  They remind me of what it’s like to be around my sisters, my closest friends.



  1. Aww, on Tuesday I cried all day because I missed exactly this, with my life-long friends. Six years later I still haven't found their stand-ins/replacements (for lack of a better term, not a better mind-set). I hope you have better luck Stephanie.

  2. Exactly why I miss my first year of college. It made me realize how much I miss my friends. I cannot wait to go back in September and share clothes, toothpaste, perfume, shoes, and just simply take care of one another. Friends become family from living and learning with eachother.

    Excellent post!

  3. I would your tips on meeting new people so fast. I have lived in this city for two years and still find it tough. I am constantly "interviewing" potential friends – sounds terrible, but at times, it is worse than dating.

    Help! You seem to have it mastered!

  4. Lately I haven`t had time to go out with my friends. Thanks for reminding me of all the crazy fab things we have done and shared :)

  5. It's crazy what you miss once its gone, isn't it? Those types of friends are so valuable, glad you seem to have found some more..

  6. LOVED this post. Made me think of the trip I took last summer with my three closest girlfriends- we went to Toronto for the Carabana. Different kind of vacation than what you're talking about, but we had so much fun! It was like Spring Break all over again. Thanks for making me think about that trip.

  7. This brings back so many great memories of summers spent at the beach with all my cousins. Six of us girls hanging for the summer. I remember the drive up, all the landmarks that let me know how much farther and when we'd arrived. Those were such great times. Makes me want to fly back to RI.

  8. I wrote something about this recently and equated it to the girls on SATC. I miss this too, and somehow feel I've never even had it. Love the roll image. So hungry now!

  9. Do you miss the fake noses? The 50 year old men hitting on the 20 year old girls at Jet East? The people who are 200k in debt but manage to rent a BMW for the summer and a share in East Hampton so they can gallavant around DellaFemina? The anorexic yentas? The limosouine liberals? The farm land turned into vacation plots for the rich and spoiled? Yes I miss the hamptons as well.

  10. that made me miss my group of university girlfriends…the best part of it all is that even when you've been apart for a long time, you get together and it's like time hasn't passed (well except for all the news you have to share!).

  11. Cat Balou's….I think that was the name of it…the only bar I ever went to in The Hamptons, when I was younger. I wonder if it's still there.

    I miss girlfriends on a daily basis. I was trying to recall that "silver/gold" saying about friendships, but I cannot remember it.

  12. I can really only handle one girl at a time. Quilting bees aren't my style, but I do understand longing for some part of a lifestyle that you let go for another one. Everything seems to be more than a bit of a sacrifice.

    Do you miss using that razor in the shared shower that everyone pretends to ignore, but uses anyway?

  13. Thanks for that post, Lynn. I've never really traveled in packs either. I'm better one-to-one, or even (often) just plain one–being around a lot of people (even ones I like) wears me out. All my life I've seen/heard about/known groups of girls who hang out together all the time and do girly things, or even sisters or female cousins who are the best of friends, and neither of those has been my experience. There are a handful of people, women and men, who I consider close friends, and each of them is someone I could call in the middle of the night if I needed to. I just wouldn't call them all at the same time. :)

  14. I'm headed for East Hampton tomorrow and dreading it. Strategizing what time to leave to try and avoid the unavoidable traffic. Figuring out what to pack for a packed long weekend. But, once I'm there, that will all go away and I can relax and enjoy with friends I've known forever. And nothing is better than that.

  15. It makes me think of Vegas. Seeing the lights from a distance, making out the different casinos as you get closer. Reminiscing about which casinos we stayed at, got drunk at, which are gone now, etc. Ahh, the good times.

  16. Stephanie – Found you in Elle magazine, spending the day catching up on your life. Love this post…having just moved to NYC and away from all my family and friends, I can completely relate to your fond remembrance for the past. I miss most the silent communication between friends that results in hysterical laughter and everyone else around you thinking you're totally insane. Which in life, in youth, and in frienship, you often tend to be, but only in the greatest of ways.

  17. Have you ever been to PF Chang's? It's a high-end Chinese restaurant chain… I think you would like their chicken lettuce wraps… seasoned chicken with water chestnutts and other things that you wrap in a crisp leaf of lettuce. :)

  18. I wish I had friends like that during university. I didn't live in residence, so I think I missed out on some of that bonding. It's so hard to create that type of closeness outside of university, in the working world. The great thing about your post is that it encourages us to imagine all that, to daydream a little…not quite the real thing, but a good substitute. Thanks Stephanie.

  19. Don’t forget about the sand on the side of the road when you’re driving closer to your destination. The little shrubby trees that means—-THE BEACH! The only thing I hate is the LI traffic! Ugh!

    I love the Hamptons and my girlfriend and I rent out a beach house every year this time. It’s calm, and it’s ‘home’… (Too bad I can’t afford to live there.) But to me, if I had my choice to live anywhere, it would definitely be the Hamptons…preferably in the Montauk area.

    I’m glad you have that same comfort from your friends where you live now. Treasure it!

  20. Oh by the way, have you ever gone to "The Lunchbox"? It's in the Hamptons on that long long road (I believe 6?) and a lot of celebrities have dined there. It's a great little 'comfort food' place where they serve fish & chips along with burgers and sandwiches. It's certainly not a five star, but it rates high in my book!

  21. Deb: The name of the restaurant is the Lobster Roll, but it has a large sign that says LUNCH on the roof. It is on the Old Montauk Highway. Back in the 60's it used to be just a little pull up roadside lunchstand that served lobster rolls.

    And yes, Montauk is the BEST. Much prefer it over East Hampton.

    And a question for Stephanie: Why the pool when there is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACH IN THE WORLD?

  22. Sigh. I just can't understand the appeal of The Hamptons at all. It seems like a bunch of nasty, Rich White People all being demanding, Jappy, WASPy and drunk, on the beach instead of in the city or inside their gated communities in the suburbs. I imagine it to be where the people who were mean, gossipy and shallow in high school go to be mean, gossipy and shallow as adults. But The Barefoot Contessa is there, so perhaps that's one redeeming quality. I would love to be convinced that the Hamptons is otherwise, but I couldnt go anyway. They don't allow the lower classes like me anywhere near there, unless its to work.

  23. I moved to Texas 4 years ago and still find it almost impossible to find true "girlfriends" Going home this weekend and can not wait to see all my girls. Simple things like shopping are not so simple when you need a true friend to tell you what they REALLY think about those jeans! :) To bad you live in Austin and not Dallas!

  24. Wide Lawn,

    Talk about stereotyping! What gets me is you didn't even attempt to "be convinced" that the Hamptons are a beautiful, serene, quiet and quanit place to relax. Your "nasty, rich, white people…demanding, jappy, WASPy, drunk…mean, gossipy, and shallow" statement is limited.

    Check out Stephanie's photos or her posts on the Hamptons. None include ANY of what you state.

  25. I miss your summer Hampton trips, too. No photos this year, what am I to do? And yes Katherine, PF Changs' lettuce wraps rock.

  26. Ok James. The pictures are REALLY pretty. I loved the food and flower ones especially. I think I may have seen some rich white people in there though! Just kidding! Im sure its lovely in the Hamptons, but alas, I will never get to see it except on the pages of Ina Garten's cookbooks, and plus, the people I work for all go there anyway, so I definitely dont want to vacation anywhere near anything work related.

  27. Widelawn-

    It's been my experience that nice and nasty people can come in any gender, religion, or economic strata. I do not really know many rich people, but the few that I know seem to be about as nice as most other people. You seem to have an extremely jaded view of people. And one shouldn't stereotype others if they wish to not be stereotyped themselves.

  28. Despite the fact it's somewhere in the high 80's (with humidity exceeding that much) in NYC these days, I've been walking more than usual. And what weirds me out — sometimes in a good way, sometimes bad — is that the smells of the City are intensified. Some of them are god-awful — two-day-old garbage baking in the sun, leaking pipes, musty basements — and some are good, like the smell of perfume in the air, the scents wafting from a bakery, or the smell of warm pretzels at the 96th Street entrance of Central Park.

    In many cases, these smells remind me of prior experiences, and as the smells and the heat intensify, the deja vus pick up exponentially. A month ago I walked into an outdoor restaurant with friends and caught the scent of perfume that reminded me of Kaia; pretty soon my mind was back in San Francisco with her sitting outside on a bench near the Presidio.

    Even when little reminders recall sad events or people I miss, they make life worth living and make it worth walking rather than hailing a cab, especially if said cab reeks of rarely-showered cab driver.

  29. Wide Lawn,
    to put in my $.02 as well, whether you're right or not it isn't really fair to judge if you haven't been there, and it's not true that you're "not allowed in" .. I've spent many weekends out there in inexpensive hotels and found everyone incredibly nice. And even if someone is a spoilt JAP/WASP, that doesn't mean that they aren't interesting, intelligent and fun as well, and that stereotype only becomes an issue if you make it one by judging so strongly…
    Fire Island is far superior to the Hamptons anyway, but give it a try… it's not such a bad place. If you go there and see, you might be surprised.

  30. Wide Lawn, I tend to blanche when I hear/read about "the Hamps" too- I always think of them as the place where Lizzie Grubman ran a bunch of people over with her Range Rover, i.e.- the playground of the rich and spoiled- but my college roommate and best friend has always vacationed at Montauk with her family- a big, loving, happy Italian family who hardly fit the profile of "rich and spoiled"- so I think the Hamptons' reputation might only apply to that small sliver of Hamptonites that make the gossip column, and not to the place at large or everyone there.

  31. Widelawn:

    Like Noisette's college roommate's family, we CAMPED each summer in Montauk, surrounded by an amazing mix of all spectrums of society from lower middle class to upper class, from the less educated to the very educated. There was little pretention, but rather the camping attitude where everyone is equal and everyone helps and looks out for everyone else.

    Don't dismiss the "Hamptons" (including Montauk) because of misconceptions (some of which are correct and some of which may be projected.) I spent a day at an East Hampton Beach and it described what you speculated . . . a beach full of CYT's (Cute Young Things) yacking on cell phones, disregarding beach rules of no dogs with Paris Hilton type dogs in purses, etc. It was enough to make me drive immediately to my favorite beach in Montauk and never, ever go back. Much better to deal with the cranky children at the end of a long day in the sun than the CYT's.

    But know that you can find a wonderful experience in the Hamptons (Montauk) (though not inexpensive by any means anymore) on the most beautiful beach in the world. I went to the beach in Hawaii that was billed as the best beach in the world, and I was SADLY disappointed . . . it was just this little cove. In Montauk, I can walk hours in each direction on the most pristine white beach. It's heaven for me. Mostly, I am by myself except for the surf, sand, shells, seaglass, and fellow walkers who nod and say hello. You just have to find your space.

  32. I miss that I don't have any fond memories like yours. I am sitting here trying really hard to think of something that I miss … something that I would love to repeat .. yeah, not so much. Isn't that sad?

  33. Ok, so it sounds like it just depends which part of the Hamptons you visit. You have to understand, the people I work for are not the sort of people I want to vacation with, so I would tend to avoid wherever they say they are going, and they all tend to congegrate en masse in their favorite locations, which sounds to me like an absolute nightmare. Also, my impression of The Hamptons is exactly what Noisette said – the place where a bunch of people got run over by some socialite. But Im keeping an open mind. The pictures WERE very pretty. Still, I dont know if I will be able to ever afford to go there, as my traveling is limited to only being able to spend money going to see family members who live out of state. I really hope I havent terribly offended anyone. I had no idea it was such a sensitive topic to so many people.

  34. Steph-
    We were missing you terribly last night at Angelo's…Justin asked where the missing Charlie's Angel was?? Reminded us so much of the Hamptons. XO

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