A couple weekends ago, a close friend from grad school came to the US for a visit. One of the highly anticipated visits of the summer. Because my Stateside grad school friends are scattered across the East Coast- I live in Boston, our other friends live in DC, and yet another in NYC, we once again all met up in New York for a reunion. This time, however, our host decided that she would invite all of us to her family home in the Hamptons for a beach weekend. Wohoo!
Because I have Fridays off in the summer, I was able to go up on the bus from Boston on Thursday night, so that we could give our friend from London a tour of Manhattan (he had never been) before taking the Friday after-work Hamptons train. We did a whirlwind tour of New York City: Brooklyn bagels in the morning, the High Line, Chelsea Market, Times Square, Bryant Park, then dashed back to Brooklyn for our bags, and away again to Penn Station to catch the train to the Hamptons. Our host warned us that it might be a bit of a zoo, and she was right! It was absolutely mad, but in an exciting “it’s the weekend and we’re going on a trip!” way. We ran through the station, trying to get to the trains quickly enough to get seats, with my London friend wheeling his
bludgeon rolling suitcase behind us. We looked like maniacs, but so did everyone else.
In the confusion, our host ended up on an earlier train than us, and gave us detailed instructions on the sprint we were going to have to make to get to the connecting train and have seats for the two-hour ride. As the only one with a backpack (i.e. the only mobile person), I was the designated sprinter of our group. Poised and ready, I dashed from our train across the platform to the next train, to carriage two, where our host was waiting. Ahead of the pack, timing good. Except as it turns out I got the train backwards…I was on the second to last carriage, not the second carriage. I waved my trailing friends, and we began running again like maniacs. Our host, an experienced Hamptons commuter, managed to hold seats for all of us, which we squeezed into before anyone else attempted to nab them. The train was definitely a party train, with commuters spilling out onto the floor, cracking beers, and getting the weekend started.
Once we arrived to my friend’s house, we were absolutely spoiled. It was an amazing weekend full of home cooked meals from her lovely parents, spectacular weather, a glorious day at the beach, fun night out at a beach bar, and another day spent by the pool. The vibe of the Hamptons was surprisingly similar to home. I guess surprisingly, because I’ve never been and wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve heard that the Hamptons is where New Yorkers go to get away in the summer and Cape Cod is where New Englanders go to escape in the summer, and I can see why.
The location was admittedly amazing, but the absolute best part of the weekend was spending time with my dear friends, who I do not get to see nearly as often as I would like. We were collectively nostalgic for the days when we all lived in the same city together, the days spent in the library toiling through our dissertations together, energized and excited by our research, the unforgettable nights out in London, and the lazy weekends where we met at the coffee shop with grand plans of productivity, but only managed to gossip and laugh together for the afternoon. Life moves on, we know this, and we all feel lucky to be able to enjoy each others company as often as we do, but I think there is a small part of all of us that wishes we could preserve that moment and that place, at least for a little while.
I didn’t manage to snap too many pictures because I was mostly just soaking up the short amount of time I had to spend with my friends, but here are a few of the ones I did capture (or at least the ones I think my friends won’t murder me for posting. I think.)
What did you get up to this weekend?