As 2019 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the stories that touched your hearts, piqued your interest and compelled you to share with your friends. These are our top 10 stories on DansPapers.com.
A Monumental Issue
“The Shinnecock Monument: Hamptons Outrage Always Fades”
The single most controversial addition to the Hamptons’ long list of landmarks was the Shinnecock Monument, standing 62 feet tall over the Hampton Bays stretch of Sunrise Highway, land that the Shinnecock Nation claims to rightfully own. The electronic billboard garnered attention from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, which poked fun at the angry Hamptonites who labeled it an eyesore, and from the National Tribal Council, which declared their support as the case of ownership worked its way up the federal court system. During Dan Rattiner’s 60 years in Hamptons journalism, he’s seen the same response over the Rennert Mansion and Bridge Golf Club, and he knows the opposition never lasts.
Rising from the Ashes
“Sag Harbor Cinema Sign Lights Up Main Street on Memorial Day Weekend”
The devastating fire that felled Sag Harbor Cinema in 2016 brought the community together in a powerful way, with supporters raising millions of dollars to rebuild the façade. In 2019, a crowd gathered around the movie theater on Memorial Day weekend to witness the iconic neon Sag Harbor sign re-lit. Now, we eagerly await its grand re-opening in 2020.
“The Great Artists & Writers Game Heist of 1988”
Every year, Oliver Peterson and the rest of the editorial team brainstorm exciting new ways to raise awareness of the annual Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game, but in 2019, Peterson took us back to 1988, when his 11-year-old mind had a different plan in mind for the game. After swiping a sheet of “tickets,” he and a friend made a small fortune selling them in the Reutershan parking lot, and then went on a shopping frenzy before a very angry Peachy gave chase. The full story is right out of a coming-of-age movie and offers a unique look into the wild youth of Dan’s Papers’ longest running editor.
Cooking with Claudia
“Celebrating the Superlative Claudia Fleming’s ‘Last Course’”
North Fork Table & Inn owner Claudia Fleming isn’t the doyenne of North Fork dining for nothing—with her recently re-released cookbook, The Last Course, showcasing 175 of her famous creations, and her restaurant claiming multiple Dan’s Best of the Best awards year after year. For Fleming, it’s not about the fame or accolades, though—it’s about fun. In the interview, she discusses her journey, her cookbook and her love of parsnips.
From Loss, Springs Hope
“East Enders Offer Veterans Path to Healing at Strongpoint Theinert Ranch”
This Veterans Day, we discovered a retreat in New Mexico serving vets across the country that was started by a Shelter Island family looking to turn the tragedy of losing a son and brother into a mission of hope and healing for the warriors who do make it home. In this powerful piece, Jimbo Theinert shares about the incredible work Strongpoint Theinert Ranch is doing and about his late brother, 1st Lt. Joseph Theinert, who inspired the program.
A Wonder-fowl Donation
“The Big Duck: Pouran and Kia Eshghi’s Gift to the East End”
Few East End landmarks are as immediately recognizable as the Big Duck in Flanders, and were it not for former owners Kia and Pouran Eshghi generously donating it to Suffolk County, the roadside oddity might have been lost to history. We sat down with the Eshghis to discuss the overwhelming joy and nostalgia they felt when they purchased the Duck in the ’80s, their original plans for it and the pain of giving it up.
“Gina Bradley Helps East End Women Find Their Inner Paddle Diva”
Based in Springs, Gina Bradley has evolved her Paddle Diva stand-up paddleboarding (that’s what’s SUP) operation into a successful East End lifestyle brand with a clothing and product line, a new book and a wealth of sage advice for women looking to pursue a life of fitness and empowerment.
Looking for Riches in All the Wrong Places
“How to Hunt for Treasure on the North Fork: A Tale of Peril”
Always on the hunt for a good story, as soon as Lee Meyer learned of a mysterious treasure map vending machine at Greenie Supply & Tackle in Southold, he was on the case. Recruiting his family for the adventure, he attempted to follow two different maps to their respective buried booty, but ultimately wound up stumped. On a totally unrelated note (*wink*), Greenie Supply & Tackle has since added a map hints page to their website.
Love Worth Fighting For
“LGBT History in the Hamptons: Edie Windsor’s Heart and Soul”
In celebration of LGBT History Month, we kicked off a series of stories about the heritage of the gay experience on the East End, starting with the tale of the late Edie Windsor, whose landmark Supreme Court case United States v. Windsor overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, and her second wife Judith Kasen-Windsor. The series gave queer East Enders the chance to share their truth and make keen observations about the gay social scene today versus its heyday.
Our Unique East End
“Summer Superlatives 2019: East End Icons”
In June, we released an extra special list of the 100 must-see, must-do and must-know scoops on food, arts, lifestyle and icons of the Hamptons and North Fork. We determined the Most Misattributed Street Name, Premier Place to Watch Shooting Stars, Most Difficult-to-Find Public Art, Heaviest Slice of Pizza and a wide variety of other categories showcasing deep-cuts in your own backyard.