The ocean doesn’t like you

This beach is in Sagaponack somewhere. photo b. young
This beach is in Sagaponack somewhere. photo b. young

Sand fleas. BMWs stretching to the horizon. Sandy bottoms. Dirty feet. Stinky bathrooms. Rancid hot dogs. Rip currents. Disinterested lifeguards.

And you think the ocean likes you?

It’s time once again for the media’s annual glorification of the East End’s beaches. This whole phenomena came about, in part, because a guy named Dr. Beach, who sometimes hangs out on the East End, routinely lists Main Beach in East Hampton as “America’s Best Beach” on his website.

I haven’t been to Main Beach in years, primarily because, after years of parking at ocean beaches to chase down stories about drownings, rumors of shark attacks and beached whales, I’m sick of paying the parking tickets. But last time I was at Main Beach, say, um, three years ago, the beach was just, well, eh. There was sand and a lifeguard stand and a parking lot and the sun was too hot.

Lucky for me, former East Hampton resident and current man-of-the world Justin Martin recently went to Main Beach so I wouldn’t have to. This is what he said on Facebook last week:

“This Dr. Beach guy doesn’t know his ass from his wallet. MAIN BEACH IS HORRIBLE. It’s full of lecherous old men and used syringes and broken rum bottles and gum that’s already been chewed and a guy named Stan hangs out near the pavilion and offers to give you a towel but he doesn’t even HAVE any towels, that prick. Seriously, for all that is holy, DON’T GO TO MAIN BEACH.”

Yep.

Nick's Beach
Nick’s Beach

So, if you’re still reading, I guess you want to know where the best beach is on the East End. Here’s my scientific study, conducted just after dawn on June 1, before they started giving out tickets.

We begin at Nick’s Beach in Montauk. At least, I thought this beach was called Nick’s Beach. Some smart alecks on the East Hampton Town Board decided a couple years ago that it should be called “Edison Beach” because it’s at the end of South Edison Street. The name never stuck.

It doesn’t really matter anyway, because Nick’s, the restaurant that gave the beach its name, isn’t there anymore. In its place is some place called “The Sloppy Tuna.” I don’t know what goes on there because there’s a big wall around the place, and behind it I heard the sounds of hung-over people waking up and making hot summer morning hung-over noises. Yuck.

Anyway, the good news about Nick’s Beach is that you can walk there from downtown Montauk. And they have plenty of garbage cans where you can dispose of your used hypodermic needles and beer bottles. You can also apparently drive on this tiny strip of sand, too, because, hell, who tells anyone in East Hampton that they can’t drive on the beach. Just don’t come to me asking to be bailed out when your house falls in the ocean. Sheesh.

Atlantic Avenue Beach, Amagansett
Atlantic Avenue Beach, Amagansett

I didn’t go to Indian Wells because the New York Times already spun enough yarns about that place this week. As far as I’m concerned, the Hamptons could use a good dose of Snookie this year while they rebuild THE SHORE. Besides, Indian Wells is just another place with sand and water and a lifeguard stand.

Atlantic Avenue’s beach is also just another place with sand and water and a lifeguard stand. I went to a few other beaches and took pictures that looked exactly like this one, so you might as well go here as anywhere.

So, you say, we’ve neglected THE BAY.

Of course we have, The Bay doesn’t drive search engine traffic. Besides, on the North Fork, almost all the bay beaches are run by park districts and you have to live in the park district to park there. Who needs that?

Let me just say this: Hurricane Sandy was not kind to the bay beaches. Sure, they’ve still got sand on them, but who wants sand when all you can see in the distance is 40-yard roll-off containers filled with the possessions of beachfront homeowners whose houses became junk piles. Not to mention all the rebar sticking out of the sand where the bulkheads used to be.

Here are a couple pictures of bay beaches:

Louse Point's parking lot in Springs has been falling into the Accabonac Harbor inlet for years. Deal with it.
Louse Point’s parking lot in Springs has been falling into the Accabonac Harbor inlet for years. Deal with it.

 

Long Neck Boulevard road end, Flanders. There was no sand here until the county dredged a canal nearby and dumped the dredge spoil here a couple weeks ago. Yay!
Long Neck Boulevard road end, Flanders. There was no sand here until the county dredged a canal nearby and dumped the dredge spoil here a couple weeks ago. Yay! But you can only go to this beach if you live here, so STAY AWAY! (Full disclosure: I live here. My dog isn’t allowed on this beach either. He deals with it and so should you.)

I hope this article was an informative help to you in choosing the best beach the East End has to offer. If not, no worries, the more confused you are about where to go, the more room there’ll be in the parking lot for the next sap.

In the meantime, enjoy this parting shot of paradise:

Indian Island County Park picnic area. Free if you can get there by bike.
Indian Island County Park picnic area. Free if you can get there by bike.

Did I mention I stuck my foot in the bay? The water’s still too frigging cold! GO HOME! Summer doesn’t start until June 21, ok? Sheesh.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

4 thoughts on “The ocean doesn’t like you

  • June 2, 2013 at 10:52 am
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    Very lovely informative article. A beach is a beach. I like Cupsogue. What about that? Anyway, thanks!

    Reply
  • June 2, 2013 at 9:48 pm
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    Yes, the OCEAN has typically similar beaches. What I like most about Long Island, though, is the unique combination of at least THREE different kinds of beach: the ocean, the bay, and the Sound. Of the three, my personal fave will always be the Sound – rocks and all. But, then again, your story is ’bout the ocean…. and the Sound deserves its own story!

    Reply
  • June 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm
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    I have been swimming all weekend and it was glorious. But I won’t say which bay beach because then people will start driving on it and leaving the diapers and bottles of rum.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm
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    Anytime I’m stuck in a crowded subway car or sweltering LIRR train, I think of a particular spot on a Bay beach and everything seems better for a little while. My sons prefer the ocean, for obvious youthful reasons, but I’ll take my little slice of bathtub anytime. I personally think the beach off of Indian Head Rd is the nicest out there.

    Reply

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