A series of peculiar explosions have rocked the Hamptons during the last few weeks.
The first occurred two weeks ago Tuesday at a small lingerie shop on Jobs Lane in Southampton called Pretty Bear and was reported by a Mrs. Sondra Dee, a resident of Manhattan who was walking down that lane carrying some shopping bags when suddenly the shop she was just passing, Pretty Bear, made a popping sound and disappeared in a cloud of white smoke.
“There was no loud noise or anything,” Mrs. Dee told the police officer who found her wandering around dazed in Monument Square. “It just left me with a little headache and a ringing in my ears. I’ll get over it.” Her makeup was smudged, however.
The officer went up Jobs Lane to investigate after he talked to Mrs. Dee but couldn’t find the Pretty Bear shop. He knew it was there somewhere and asked some people in another shop nearby if they knew the Pretty Bear shop, and when they all went outside to look all they could see where Pretty Bear once was stood was an empty lot with a dusting of pink dust on the ground. Nearby, many of the leaves had been knocked off the trees. But there was nothing else out of whack.
Similar explosions, or popping sounds, continued to occur during the next few weeks on Newtown Lane in East Hampton, on Sunset Lane in Westhampton Beach and on Main Street in Bridgehampton. In every case, according to Chief Warren Harris of the Hamptons Police Department, the explosions seemed entirely to be kind of a vanishing—that is to say there was no debris where the stores had been and there was no damage to adjacent properties. There were also no reported injuries, at least any more than had happened to Mrs. Dee.
“The one thing all these stores have in common,” said the Chief, “is that they are all ‘pop-up shops.’ These stores are planned ahead of time to open just before Memorial Day and then close just after Columbus Day. Apparently, all of these pop-up shops have simply ‘popped down.’”
Mayor of the Hamptons Bill Hildebrand has announced that all these “pop downs,” as his team has called them, be investigated to see if any have violated any ordinance.
“We can’t have these pop-ups just go popping down all willy-nilly like this,” he said. “If they are set up to pop down, then the town should be notified ahead of time and this information passed along to the general public. My team and I are working on a whole slew of new ordinances that we hope to put into effect over the winter to deal with the pop-up problem. Meanwhile, step lively in the Hamptons, look both right and left, and if you hear a kind of ripping sound—these things apparently are preceded by a ripping sound—hang onto your hats.”