Henry Uihlein (pronounced “You Line”) sat behind his desk at Uihlein’s Marina, taking one phone call after another. “Yes, the fishing’s good, we can rent you a boat. If you have experience and the weather’s good you can go to the lighthouse,” he said. “Yes, we have bait.” Another phone call. “We have jet skis, water skis, wake boarding….”
A soft pink glow settled over the water at Harvest on Fort Pond, enchanting diners from almost every window at 7 pm one Wednesday in May. We could tell this large yet warm restaurant in Montauk was popular as even mid-week there was about an hour wait.
My dining partner and I cruised through a cozy cocktail area outside the main bar where people sat on high tables eating, or drinking. The bar had a lively crowd in this sophisticated dining spot. The manager, Brienne, seated us at a table for two in the back facing the amazing Fort Pond landscape. Part of the beauty of Montauk is its magical lighting. We watched the last rays of sun slip behind the watery horizon, leaving only streaks of lavender and pink. So far so good.
A respectable selection of a rather niche product is incongruously displayed behind the counter in Jimmy Martell’s quaint, nostalgic store on Main Street, which for decades has supplied Montauk with a broad range of traditional staples such as stationary, gifts, greeting cards, newspapers, beach chairs, umbrellas, maps, hiking books, candy, toys, games and nautical gifts. Enter cigars, and Cuban ones at that.
The Montauk Airport was constructed in 1957 to improve access to the hamlet by Perry Duryea Jr, who often piloted his own plane between Montauk and Albany while serving as a member of the New York State Assembly.
Today, the airport, which is out near the end of East Lake Drive, is used by recreational pilots, weekenders, beach day trippers, sport fishermen, golfers… and yes, a celebrity or two, who fly in to enjoy our beautiful hamlet in season. KMTP mainly serves the local community and its seasonal visitors, much like the small airports of Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod.