Keep Fit: On Achieving Balance in the Hamptons

Kelly Laffey with Michael Symon
Kelly Laffey with Michael Symon, Photo: Courtesy K. Laffey

I think the followers of feng shui are onto something.

I’m not exactly the neatest person in the world, but I’m very quickly realizing the importance of taking time to do less glamorous things for the sake of mental clarity.

On Sunday evening, I spent hours cleaning my apartment. I emptied out my car, cleaned all of the nooks and crannies, scrubbed the bathroom, did the floors…not exactly what most would dub a crazy night in the Hamptons, but when bedtime rolled around, I felt an immense sense of relief of having got so much together for the start of the week. Coming home to a neat apartment has quickly become almost as satisfying as a night out.

Summer in the Hamptons has to be a study in moderation, but a fabulous moderation at that.

This past Friday and Saturday night, Dan’s Papers put on two of our three signature events—GrillHampton on Friday and Taste of Two Forks on Saturday.

I got ready for Taste of Two Forks thanks to a fantastic makeover from Glamsquad, a new service that provides on-call makeup and hair. Alyssa Valentino and Cherise Loren Miller showed up at my house and immediately got to work, turning my rarely made-up face and often air-dried hair into something much more appropriate for the event. I went with red lips for the night, something I’ve never done before, and I felt like Hamptons-fan Taylor Swift—so much so that it prevented me from overindulging during the event, at the risk of ruining the look. This was a good problem to have, as all of the food looked amazing! Among my favorites were a crab cake from 668 the Gig Shack in Montauk; local fluke ceviche from Canal Café; and the lobster roll from Tillie’s at Gurney’s Montauk. I’m making a mental note to check out all of the new restaurants at Gurney’s, as the on-site Beach Bar won the people’s choice award at Friday’s GrillHampton for their charcoal-smoked short rib sandwich served with fresh pickled cucumber and shallots, charred jalapeno vinegar BBQ sauce and charred baby leeks.

Though we were allotted a “plus-1” for the night, I ended up flying solo, which may have been the best decision. Attending parties on your own breeds socialization, and it was amazing to see so many people in the community out at one time. Bringing together such talented chefs, vintners, celebrities and media personalities made for an incredible night under the tent. And yes, chef and Taste of Two Forks co-host Michael Symon is just as nice as he appears on television.

Dan’s Taste of Two Forks ended in the best way possible, with all of the Dan’s staff members still on-hand squishing into the photo booth in the back for a big group picture. #coworkerlove.

As I left the event to meet up with a friend, I was overcome with total exhaustion, but not so much so that I couldn’t rally. It was a good decision, as the night quickly filled itself with even more fabu memories, but when I woke up Sunday morning, I was spent.

I’m so thankful to live close enough to the ocean to head there whenever I want, and that’s exactly where I went later that afternoon. The water is blissfully warm right now. I floated in the Atlantic for quite awhile before packing up to head to my apartment and get ready for another week of work and play on the always-exciting East End.

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