If you’re like me, a refreshing weekend out of the city has become a routine hobby. The spring, full of weddings and festivals, I noticed a fair amount of friends were dipping out more and more frequently. And now that summer is very much underway, like those around me, I’m not sure when my next weekend in NYC actually is.
Busy hustling up and down the east coast, there was one particular trip that really did ignite that heat for summer getaways: a trip to the end of the world – Montauk. A tiny hamlet situated at the eastern most end of Long Island celebrates life in the most amazing way. With just over 3,000 year-round residents, that population swells to exponential numbers during the summer months. I had visited once a few years back in mid-autumn and I think I was one of two rooms booked a tiny seaside motels. Geared up for a completely different trip this year, I headed out for the last weekend of May with a group of friends who shared a house from Memorial Day through the 4th of July! I received an invite to pop out for two nights, and couldn’t turn them down. Growing up a year-round townie on a tiny point in Connecticut, I was eager to see how the communities compared seasonally. Plus my buddy who invited me along has been going to Montauk since he was a kid, so I had an official tour guide at my dispense.
With good tunes blasting in our ZipCar rental, great conversation, and many pizza slices later, we had gotten from Brooklyn to Montauk in just over three hours. Expecting the worse, planning for terrible traffic, we were pulling into the driveway just after 9:00 PM and the trip felt like a breeze. The fog quickly descended over the East End, and we were covered in mist as we walked up the house’s wrap-around deck to drop off our bags. With a massively quick turnaround, we then made the four-minute walk down to Ditch Plains beach to get inspired for the weekend. Albeit difficult to see the waves through the moonlit fog, you could absolutely hear them crashing against the shore. I couldn’t help but notice the very tall lifeguard chair standing watch over the empty beach as we headed back to the house, highly anticipating a well needed early morning surf.
Before gearing up for dreams of head high waves, we decided to stop by the ever popular Surf Lodge for a night cap. A boutique hotel with a trendy restaurant attached, The Surf Lodge boasts a booming outdoor area for concerts, movie screenings, etc., scattered with plenty of funky furniture all over. With a cooler evening, we entered to find a rather minimally filled bar. I thought it was a good turnout, but hearing from my friend that the amount of people there was “nothing,” I could only imagine the vibrancy of the space on a clear sunny evening – aka our dinner reservations there the following night! After a few refreshing cocktails and local brews, we came in hot to Pizza Village, and ordered the largest pie we could get our hands on. And it did the trick.
Before I knew it, we were pulling up our suits, and headed out to the beach. The sun hadn’t even made a crack through the clouds, as the fog had settled in even thicker than the night before. We could barely see 50 feet in front of us. I peered out into the misty sea as we paddled out, and my buddy exclaimed, “If you float out, just follow the crashing of the waves and you’ll make your way back to the beach!” It had been a hot minute since I was out surfing, so my adrenaline was pumping and I was honestly ecstatic to be back in the ocean. Just over an hour of being out there, and a good handful (for me!) of solid rides, I made my way back to shore with chilled toes and a much better attitude. Escaping from the city and falling right into the sandy sea was just what the doctor ordered.
After a quick pit stop for iced coffee and the infamous jelly croissants from the Montauk Bake Shoppe, we made a new friend on our drive back to the house. The plumpest piggy I’d seen in sometime, just running the streets, crushing life.
As Saturday progressed, the sun put in some serious effort to burn off the fog, but even by midday overcast skies still loomed high. That didn't stop our crew from being outside. The house went their separate ways and got in some tennis, yoga on the beach, SUPing, and of course more surfing. Finally in the early afternoon, as if someone took and rag and wiped away fog from over our heads, sunny blue skies shone bright across the ocean. Suddenly, you could actually see the surfers scattered in the waves. We witnessed some very impressive rides, including the hugely-talented Montauk native, Quincy Davis.
Back at the house before dinner, we threw down some serious yard games, including a vengeful game of croquet and some intense Polish horseshoes. Shit got real. Before you knew it we were back en route to The Surf Lodge, except this time with a dinner reservation for nine. The weather couldn’t have been more opposite than the night before. With clear skies and a slight breeze just enough to keep you cool, but not cold, we were seated a table outside overlooking Fort Pond. A picturesque site to be seen, nine rum-filled coconuts clinking cheers over lobster rolls and fish dishes galore.
The evening rolled on as we carried out onto the grand patio and we randomly bumped into professional surfer Luke Davis. We discovered he was there for work, and it was actually his first time out here. I then quickly realized how cool the night was about to get. The incredibly talented Brooklyn-based band, Avan Lava, kept the crowd bumping into the night as the sun set over the pond. We caught up with them after their set, so stay tuned later this summer for an exclusive interview when the pop sensations sits down with Scrimshaw Collective!
All of sudden, having danced our faces off, I was back on the train (unfortunately rather early) the next morning to make it back into the city for another event. As I sat on the top of a double-decker car, I realized I could get used to being out there - not just for a weekend, but any time during the year. Montauk is a very special place if you get the chance for a quick (or ideally long) trip out there, take it, and enjoy!