Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of April 24–20, 2020

Hamptons Subway station sign
What's in a name? Photo: ViewApart/iStock/Thinkstock

A very old speakeasy and a new platform tenant are in the news this week in the Hamptons Subway Newsletter.

We are preparing to resume our service as soon as social restrictions are lifted, whenever that is. President Trump however has assured Commissioner Aspinall that he will be among the first to know. Alec Baldwin was seen in Amagansett on the sidewalk, looking longingly down the stairs to the subway platform below and apparently hoping the service would reopen soon. That was on Wednesday afternoon.

As reported last week, Hamptons Subway is leasing the platform space at all its stations while the hunkering-down situation continues. As reported, one tenant, the Great Lakes Art Gallery from Duluth, Minnesota, has leased the Southampton platform to show its sensational array of paintings of the Great Lakes. Also, the East Hampton platform has been leased by Giuseppi Figaro, who is operating a barber shop there with the barber chairs set six feet apart and the haircutting done remotely. Giuseppi uses a special flying drone scissors he invented to cut hair via his TV remote control from the safety of his home in Hampton Bays.

Now a third tenant has leased space on a platform. Franklin Barkley Obtuse, the peanut butter billionaire from the Upper East Side, has rented the Water Mill platform to store the 3,000 rolls of toilet paper he purchased at King Kullen in Bridgehampton two weeks ago. This will keep his oceanfront Mecox mansion in toilet paper for an infinite number of years, or until the sequester order is lifted.

Because the Hamptons Subway system was constructed by builder Ivan Kratz in 1928 but then never opened because the Crash of ’29 wiped Kratz out (and sent him to jail), our  maintenance staff today is occasionally finding old artifacts in previously locked storage rooms along the walls of the tunnels between the stations.

Last Thursday, for example, they discovered a complete classic speakeasy. Prohibition was in effect in those days, and this speakeasy stood behind a never-opened unmarked heavy steel door with a peephole between Water Mill and Bridgehampton so hopefuls could say “Joe Sent Me” to gain access. Inside, our maintenance crew found a 50-foot-long bar with a mirror and shelves along the back wall, stocked with all sorts of non-alcoholic beverages such as old bottles of apple juice, prune juice, orange juice, Coca-Cola, ginger ale, club soda and tonic water. However, in a secret locked drawer under the bar facing the bartender, bottles of Scotch, rye, rum, vodka, gin, bourbon and bootleg hooch were found. All was removed and transported to the safe in the oceanfront home of Commissioner Aspinall in Southampton.

Because subway trains left standing for long periods of time can develop fuel-pump-hose trouble and busted pistons or carburetors, the Hamptons Subway trains are being taken out every day to run them at 10 miles an hour along the entire Hamptons Subway system circuit, from Montauk to Westhampton Beach and back, every hour on the hour to keep them fresh. So the Commissioner says if you really need to get from point A to point B on any given day, you are welcome to come down to any platform—the turnstiles can be jumped—and just hop on board any train as it passes through any station. It’s free of charge and he won’t tell anybody.

If you are one of my friends, be sure to stop by my oceanfront Mecox manse this Saturday night beginning at 11 p.m. for a little six-foot-distance celebration. Just say “Bill sent me” at the door and you’ll be let in immediately.


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