Trouble in the Hamptons?

Monday, May 26, 2008 | 09:15 PM

Hope you had a relaxing 3 day weekend. Mine was filled with disturbing signs of economic malaise. (How about yours?) Granted, these are all anecdotal, and possibly explainable by  other factors, but -- you be the judge:

We headed out east Saturday with very little traffic considering this was a long holiday weekend. Got last minute dinner reservations Saturday night at one of our favorite restaurants, no problems. At 8 pm, there was no wait -- indeed, there were 3 or 4 empty tables after we were seated. Last year, there would have been a 20-30 minute line at that hour on Memorial day weekend.

On the way to the beach, I count 14 homes for sale -- same amount as last year. A lot of For Rent signs out also.

On Sunday, Ponquogue  beach was only partly filled -- no need for the overflow parking lot. At 2:30pm, there was still 3 rows of spots left. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, but only low 70s -- so perhaps we can blame the weather. Monday was even sparser.

We go to dinner at one of our favorite lobster restaurants -- on the early side, so as to not get home too late. We finished after 7 -- the place was still empty.

On the way home, there was some traffic -- so we take a favorite back road. Its a not very secret route  that on holidays is usually jammed. We fly home with hardly any traffic slowing us down.

I speak to my brother, ask about his weekend -- he comments (unsolicited) that he was surprised at how light the traffic was. I guess the "Staycation" phenomenon is real. 


What a strange holiday weekend -- how was yours?


UPDATE II: May 27, 2008 4:57pm

 WSJ's Real Time Economics  sees the same thing, calling the Hamptons ‘Magnificently Quiet’


UPDATE: May 27, 2008 8:57am

The consensus on the train in was that West Hampton (considered déclassé) and Hampton Bays (considered working class) are feeling the hit much more than East Hampton (jammed) And Amagansett.

Not surprising that the top tier is somewhat insulated from the worst of it.

The rich are different -- they have more money, and spend it more freely . . .

Monday, May 26, 2008 | 09:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (81) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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no doubt, br. just posted to the gas tax posting, but we drove from chicago to sw michigan and saw no traffic there or back. none. no back ups, no slow downs, nothing.

the three day holiday, three couples and misc singles talking about how f'n expensive everything is. good times, but man it didn't seem to bode well...

Posted by: a guy called john | May 26, 2008 10:01:08 PM

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