It’s hard to believe that two weeks have passed since our visit to the Hamptons. After ten years of gracious invitations from our dear friends who own a stunning modern house in Bridgehampton, we finally took them up on their offer. It’s not that we don’t love the beach, we absolutely do! But we are so heavily entrenched in our country life when we aren’t in the city, that there never seemed to be a “right time”. Yes, yes, I know, excuses excuses. The list of excuses was endless until…our friends came for dinner in the country after dropping off their younger daughter at camp last month, and we finally set a definitive date for a visit.
I’m not sure they actually believed we were coming. Just days before I received a reminder email that our visit was less than a week away. I had to laugh, but the truth was, I’d only made a handful of day trips to the Hamptons since the summer of 1979, when I rented a share in West Hampton: Several lifetimes ago. Irwin had been out intermittently to work with clients (our friends included) over the years and we had politely passed so many times that I have to admit, I almost didn’t believe it.
What we all knew that a visit was long overdue. So Irwin and I headed back to the city on a sleepy Monday morning ( yes Monday- midweek is the best time to visit the East End), dropped off Charlie with the boys and headed out to Long Island. We arrived on our friends’ doorstep exactly two hours later and after dropping our bags and taking a house tour, we changed into bathing suits and headed straight for the beach.
The beach, what can I say- there is nothing like it; the smells, the sounds, the shades of blue and green reflected in both the sea and sky, the smooth white sand. It is a transformative experience.
By this time it was early evening, our favorite time to be on the beach and the weather was perfect. We set up camp and were immediately enveloped by the tranquility and beauty of the moment. The memory of four hours of driving quickly dissipated, swept out to sea with the tide.
But this wasn’t just any beach on any evening. It was Monday evening on Sag Main beach, in Sagaponack, and the Brazilian “Drum Circle” was about to begin.
People of all ages began to arrive replete with dinners, dogs, surfing gear, hula -hoops, sand toys, and, of course, percussion instruments. Then, much like a mirage in the desert, a group of drummers suddenly appeared, and the revelry began.
The drummers & percussionists were lead by Richie Siegler, a local musician and founding director of Escola de Samba Boom, an East End drumming school. From what I have gathered from my friends and from doing some basic googling, this is a regular event that happens almost every Monday evening during July & August, and has been happening since about 2003.
It seemed that many of the drummers were “regulars” and were familiar with following Mr. Siegler’s lead, but the group appeared to welcome any and all percussionists that joined in, melding seamlessly with the group.
It was a veritable feast of the senses and everybody, young and old, became entranced by the hypnotic beat. It was simply magical.
As the sun began to set, the drummers walked towards the ocean, picking up new members along the way and the party continued.
As the sun continued to drift into the horizon, the drumming came to a close and a feeling of relaxation and renewal washed over us. It hardly seemed possible that our day had begun in the Hudson Valley.
We spent two more wonderful days with our friends, swimming, cycling and relaxing. By the time we left on Wednesday evening, we felt positively rejuvenated and vowed to return for another visit in the fall. But until then, the memory of the beat goes on-