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Critics’ Choice: The Best Way to Arrive Out East Is…

No one goes to the Hamptons more often than the Hampton Jitney. The most popular way to arrive Out East, the Jitney has long been synonymous with pop culture and is often prominently featured—in various media—as a defining aspect of the summer enclave.

From magazines to movies, everyone has a Jitney story. Even fictional characters. Television and entertainment often feature the Jitney when key players head to the Hamptons for weekend jaunts.

Sarah Jessica Parke
Sarah Jessica Parker
Photo credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Thinkstock

Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, played by East Ender Sarah Jessica Parker and the alter ego of many a Manhattan woman, rides the Jitney in an episode that premiered in 1999. She describes the motor coach as being “like the bus to summer camp, only instead of singing songs, everyone speaks on their cell phones and ignores each other.” Manhattanites. Of course, cell phone calls on the Jitney have long since been banned. Without a cell phone, Carrie would have instead been more inclined to speak to her seatmate, perhaps finding love sooner than the six seasons it took her to realize Mr. Big was “the one.”

Something Borrowed Film Promo

In Something Borrowed, a New York Times bestselling novel by Emily Giffin, protagonist Rachel White cuts her Hamptons weekend short, depressed that her love interest will never choose her over his fiancée. (The fiancée, in typical dramatic East End fashion, also happens to be Rachel’s best friend.) The Jitney is cited as the best way to escape the awkward situation at a whim, and she takes advantage.

In print advertising, Apple opted to use the Jitney in an ad for the iPhone 5c. Four of the colored iPhones are showcased, each named for an iconic part of New York City culture. The blue phone with yellow cover is labeled “MetroCard;” the green phone with green cover is Central Park’s “Sheep Meadow;” the pink phone with white cover is “Chinese Take-Out;” And, the green phone with black cover is “The Jitney,” a term so engrained in New York colloquialisms that the word “Hampton” was not deemed necessary for the ad. Though the ad, which ran on the back cover of The New Yorker’s March 10, 2014 issue, is very New York–centric, it works nationally. The Jitney services JFK, LaGuardia and Islip airports, opening up the East End to travelers from cross-country or international destinations.

Hampton Jitney New Yorker cover
New Yorker cover from July 22, 2013

The green bus has become so synonymous with Hamptons culture that The New Yorker also featured an artistic interpretation of an amphibious Hampton Jitney on its July 22, 2013 cover. The painting, by former East Ender Bruce McCall, depicts a car ferry in Jitney green unloading vehicles onto a beautiful white sandy beach. Prominently displayed on the ferry’s left side is a rendering of the Hampton Jitney logo.

Clearly, The New Yorker recognizes that the Jitney is the best way to get from Midtown to Montauk; Brooklyn to the Beach; Horace Harding Expressway to the Hamptons. And after the fleet’s 40 years of service, locals and visitors recognize that, too. Here’s to many more years of memorable journeys.

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