Did you ever think the Hamptons had a soul?

Not me, but the New York Times seems to think so. Or maybe the headline was slightly provocative, causing people like to me to say, “Did you ever think the Hamptons had a soul?” And yes, this story does concern lawsuits. Quite a few of ’em:

This summer, a particularly aggressive gold-rush mentality is transforming sleepy enclaves of the East End into redoubts of McMansions and party zones.

Source: The Battle for the Soul of the Hamptons

The article by Jim Rutenberg has a terrific opening:

More than 150 years ago, Manifest Destiny drove American pioneers westward. A horde of speculators and moguls staked claim to everything before them as they pressed onward to the Pacific, their mission being to “overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions,” as the journalist John L. O’Sullivan wrote in 1845.

The last year has seen a form of reverse and truncated manifest destiny, as a new horde of speculators (moguls, nightclub impresarios and their yearly multiplying conspicuous consumers) drives and flies ever eastward from Manhattan toward that beguiling jewel of Long Island, the Hamptons.

Where their predecessors came on horseback and covered wagons, this modern breed travels by helicopter, black S.U.V., Land Rover and Porsche. As with its antecedent, the migration has its impediments, in the form of local laws, citizen groups and politicians fighting to protect “the heart and soul of this community,” as Larry Cantwell, the East Hampton town supervisor, put it in an interview this month.

And a really enticing, very red, sort of devilish photograph:


Patrons outside of the Sloppy Tuna in Montauk, where local authorities are trying to enforce noise ordinances. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times
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