Last month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began the work of raising the railway tracks above the much-battered trestles at North Main Street and Accabonac Road in East Hampton Village. For neighbors Down Hook, it has become something of a sport to wager when the next overambitious driver will wedge a too-tall truck under the bridge. This has its humorous side, it’s true, but the potential damage to the tracks and trestles from repeated strikes by drivers who ignore warning signs isn’t really a laughing matter.
I’ve been known to complain that those who bought second homes here in the last few years are not like those who arrived earlier, in, say, the 20th century — who, I liked to insist, made an effort to learn East Hampton history, meet remarkable locals, and discover native flora and sometimes even fauna. Lately, however, I’m beginning to think I’ve been wrong.
One cold winter’s night about 26 years ago, two friends and I shivered on West Third Street, craning our necks and peering in the large window of the Blue Note Jazz Club, straining for a glimpse of Ray Charles. We were barely employed musicians then, sharing a small apartment in Hoboken and busking in the subway when times were especially tough (they usually were).
The most important work in the recent push to improve water quality on the South Fork has been done not by local government, but by a private organization, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, which has taken a science-first approach for more than four years.