Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by Betches, because Montauk just was. “10 Reasons We’re F*cking Over Montauk” was the title of an article that came out this week on betches.com. The first sentence reads, “It’s time to face the music and finally admit it: Montauk f*cking sucks.”
The article references a Montauk that the author loved six years ago, and states that, “Before Montauk (in basic bitch term) ‘blew up,’ it was only by word of mouth that you knew about Navy Beach (and where the hell it was).”
Montauk actually “blew up” when all of Williamsburg, Brooklyn migrated east, over 10 years ago. I remember going to Surf Lodge on a Sunday — you could walk in and Ziggy Marley would be playing. No line, no list. And that was fun, but it caught on quick, and the floodgates opened . . . for better or for worse. I also remember the days of getting denied at Lakeside with a fake ID, but I digress.
So now it appears, according to Betches, the group of people who invaded Montauk in droves, are now “over it,” and insulting it every step of the way.
There are truths to this article. The train is overcrowded. (I took a Friday train once last summer to work in East Hampton and, yes, it was torture!) Montauk as a tourist destination has grown. Ubers are expensive and so are the hotels and probably your check at dinner. I also agree that it’s no place for velvet ropes or stilettos. But that’s not the majority of venues. Spoiler alert: You don’t have to go to anywhere you don’t like. You can, in fact, take your “talents” elsewhere. For me, I like to highlight the positive.
Here is my list of 10 reasons I’m not over Montauk.
1. The natural beauty. From the sunset at the Montaukett to the Montauk Lighthouse, the scenery is unparalleled. Let’s celebrate all of the Instagrammable moments Montauk gives us. Yes, we get it, you’ve been to Duryea’s, but I’m also not mad at you for taking the picture. Because that golden hour sunlight and fresh lobster never gets old. Montauk has some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. You can still find that slice of heaven if you know where to look.
2. Culture. Film, art, and music history are a positive thing, and Montauk has them. In Montauk, it’s more Andy Warhol and the Rolling Stones and less Bravo’s “Summer House.”
3. Montauk on a weekday. Because Montauk on a weekday is greater than July 4th weekend. And there’s also nothing better than a September day after the crowds have left.
4. Nostalgia. While the Betches author may wax nostalgic for the Sloppy Tuna, for me it’s John’s Drive-In after a Little League softball game. Or picking out a lobster from the tank at Gosman’s as a kid. While the writer’s Montauk glory days may be over, Montauk has provided an abundance of glory day memories for generations and will continue to do so. I loved Montauk long before 2009, I loved it right after, and I will continue to love and respect it. Times change, people change, towns change. Yes, you can find Van Leeuwen ice cream, but John’s is still there too. And is it really a problem if I like both ice creams?
5. Wellness. There are so many options for health and wellness, from retreats to yoga studios. Do I wish Soul Cycle was still a movie theater? Sure. But you can also skip it and hike Camp Hero. Or go to Soul Cycle. Whatever. It’s all healthy.
6. Live music. Although my last live music experience in Montauk didn’t end so well (read my column about being trampled by 50 Cent), there’s nothing better than live music at sunset overlooking the water.
7. Local business. Yes, there has been an influx of Manhattan business owners, but many businesses are still Montauk run. Let’s celebrate those. From restaurants to retail, local is key in Montauk. In every tourist town, you will find places looking for the quick money grab, and those that value quality and community. In Montauk, you’ll always find a more of the latter.
8. Tradition. There’s the Blessing of the Fleet, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Turkey Trot, and the Shark Tournament. This is community. Montauk locals have kept these traditions alive for years, and that’s something to be celebrated.
9. Nightlife. If you’re saying RIP to Pink Elephant, maybe bottle service at the Memory isn’t going to be your thing. But that doesn’t mean it’s not somebody else’s turn. There’s nightlife for every speed.
10. Dining. Is it pricy at times? Yes. But can you really put a price on the freshest seafood around? (You can, it’s called market price). I also have no problem paying $20 for calamari at Navy Beach. And while I’m on the subject, let’s give Navy Beach a big thank you for raising $25,000 for the Navy Seal Foundation in 2019.
So, basically, my response to this article was, “She doesn’t even go here!” Betches, I’ve followed for a long time, and the “Mean Girls” references are also so six summers ago. (But that doesn’t mean I don’t still love them.)