south fork

THE SOUTH FORK is very close to the North Fork of Long Island. From Orient Beach State Park, you can look out over the moving waters and see its sands and trees, and sometimes you can see boats sailing along its coast. But one glimpse in the free, weekly Dan’s Papers will remind you of how very far away the South Fork is. Southampton resident Howard Stern is holding a birthday party. Amagansett’s Matthew Broderick is filming in New Mexico. East Hamptoner Alec Baldwin will be contributing money for a new children’s addition of the East Hampton Library. {And wouldn’t it be great if he had his own story hour?}

My fondness for Dan’s Papers‘ people column {“Montauk’s own Ralph Lauren …”} had given me the false impression that I operated within the same tier of existence as these notables, just because we happened to be within close physical proximity to each other. I even boasted about it as we drove north from Bridgehampton to the Children’s Museum of the East End. “Do you think they have a cafe there?” asked Epp. “OF COURSE!” I really did exclaim. “It’s the Children’s Museum of the East End! Don’t you think Paul McCartney needs access to a cappuccino when he takes his daughter there?!” “He has a young daughter?” “OF COURSE! Oh, man, you really need to read Dan’s Papers more often.”

The Children’s Museum of the East End is a fine place. Cozier and cheerier and more colorful than the Long Island Children’s Museum, with a touch of Stockholm’s Junibacken about it. I saw a pretty Shinnecock woman wearing feathers in her ears, and two Latin mamas speaking español, and a freckly lady calling out to her sons in a CNN-worthy American accent, “Giuseppe! Alessandro! Come here!” And yet Paul McCartney wasn’t there. Nor was his daughter. And there was no cafe serving frothy cappuccinos. Just some vending machines dispensing veggie sticks and organic milk.

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