The lost magic of the Hamptons

Southampton, Long Island They’ve honed the skill of attracting attention by building some of the largest and ugliest houses this side of the Russian-owned Riviera ones, yet the luminous little village still retains signs of a bygone civilised era. A few grand houses built a long time ago are proof that not all Americans are nouveaux-riches, and some even have good taste in decoration – you know the kind: wicker chairs, yellow and white umbrellas, and long green lawns. I used to own a house like that, with swimming pool, tennis court and a cellar full of wine, but I sold it because of its proximity to a relative of

The healing power of the Hamptons

Southampton, Long Island These are peripatetic times for the poor little Greek boy, up to the Hamptons for some sun-seeking among Wasp types, and then down to the nation’s capital for the memorial service of that wonderful humorist P.J. O’Rourke. By all means take the following with a grain of salt, but even 800 million years ago, when only micro-organisms slithered around the beaches, belonging to a private club was all-important, especially in the Hamptons. Never have I seen more chest-thumping, bandy-legged, bearded louts trash-talking as they pollute the beaches in this beautiful town. Southampton was once a luminous little village that served as a seaside refuge for New York’s

Cuomo, Trump and the secret of eternal political life

There are many in Donald Trump’s inner circle who have tried to read his mind these past four years, together with a class of journalists who, on a daily basis, have catalogued his whims and outrages. But perhaps my attention to the former president, after writing three books about him, is unique. I now regard him as my own character, with an ever-so-fine line between what he actually does and what, in moments of inspiration, I imagine him doing. I am not always able to tell the difference in the Twitter of my dreams. We have a cottage in Amagansett, the most unHamptons Hamptons town (making it, in fashion’s dialectic,

Island life is not for me

Island of Serifos Let’s get one thing straight: island life is not for me. Island life off a boat, jawohl, but island life without a boat, nyet! Family czars insisted that living in tight quarters with Covid-ignoring sex-starved sailors would not be conducive to the health of my four grandchildren. Better safe than sorry and all that, but from now on, Covid-carrying and sex-starved or not, I’m spending my summers in the company of sailors going from isle to isle like a drunken Flying Dutchman. Serifos is an island in the western Cyclades that once upon a time was a place of exiles. Roman emperors banished criminals there, probably because