Salt covers the trees like frost. Or is it the frost that covers them like salt? This question accompanies us for a while, as does Route 27. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the right, marshland to the left, and the road stretches out before us. The colors vary only in nuances. And the Agate Gray Metallic paint on the
Off-season for the soul.
The storm that was forecast is now whipping across the peninsula, occasionally triggering gentle but firm resistance on the part of the Lane Keep Assist to keep the
The promise of empty roads, the joy of deserted beaches, and the riches of a changed world.
The white fluff on the storm-battered trees soon turns to brittle ice on the branches. The empty houses seem to blend into the background. We take the road leading up to a dune. Photographer Richard Phibbs, who is fascinated by great people and great landscapes alike in his search for beauty, gave us this insight for the trip: “The beach allows me to close my eyes and see again.” Thanks to sophisticated systems such as PASM, PTV Plus, and PSM, the
An elementary road movie: wind, water, highway.
To use an idiom currently common in Manhattan, just two and a half hours away by
“Soul-driving” is one of the most refined levels of experiencing a
That is why the yearning for unbridled freedom can be fulfilled even better and more easily in winter. To be alone with yourself, with the road, and with nature. Nearly every
Driving is so much more than just covering distance. It is the smooth running before the storm.
We arrive. Only to set off yet again.
The journey continues on to the lighthouse in Montauk, following in the path of Swiss author Max Frisch, who wrote a novel late in life entitled Montauk. In reality, however, it is more of a journey to oneself, to one’s inner Lane Keep Assist. There are different ways of interpreting what that system does: Does it guide you into the lane, or does it keep you in the lane? Presumably both. Montauk and its cliff known as “The End” are said to be rich in spirituality. That has something to do with the location at this most remote point of New York, stretching out into the Atlantic. But realists should not be put off; they just have to let in this feeling of letting go. Max Frisch also deviated unusually sharply from chronology in his book Montauk. He surrenders to the flow of his thoughts, to scraps of memory, and to reflections on his surroundings. Take a deep breath. And recharge.
Live your true nature.
The bookshop on the main road of East Hampton has banished The Social Climber’s Bible to a shelf at the rear and given The Art of Silence the place of honor near the cash register. The flip-flop shop around the corner has cleared out its window, reversed its “Always open” sign on the door, and added the hopeful albeit programmatic message “See you next summer!” Nevertheless, Sylvester & Co., a “modern general store” in Sag Harbor, offers steaming coffee not only on its promotional sign. The swing in the yard behind the building, which looks straight out onto Block Island Sound, answers only to the wind. It all sounds like a sentimental journey. Which it is, in a way. And why not? But it is anything but sad. It is far more refreshing than that. For nature lovers, the leaden sky is a virtually radiant gray. In somewhat less glorified language, we could say that the place has special light. Later on in the afternoon, there will even be an hour of icy blue.
If there should be a Zen of driving, then that which the
Henry David Thoreau, who left his job as a teacher in the nineteenth century to live in the woods and is celebrated by city dwellers today as a visionary in the back-to-nature movement, provides the quote of the day: “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” In the modern world of sports cars, the canvas is replaced by the front windshield.
Wild or romantic—why not both? The future lies in the approximate.
By Elmar Brümmer
Photos Steffen Jahn
Stroll on the beach
Northeast of Manhattan, Long Island lives up to its name. The main villages in the Hamptons are Bridgehampton, Southampton, and East Hampton.
Sleep by the sea
Gurney’s Montauk Resort can boast 80 years of hospitality. A sand castle is the only place where you can live closer to the ocean than here. The complex includes a swimming pool, terraces, and restaurants. Guests can live in cottages or a chic new building. www.gurneysmontauk.com
View the sea
The hilly nature reserve leading up to Montauk Point Lighthouse, which was authorized in 1792 by the second United States Congress under George Washington, is an interesting route with many views of harbors, marshland, and the ocean.
Drive along the sea
There may not be secrets behind the hedges, but there certainly is wealth. Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton is one of the most prestigious addresses. Private property is private, of course, but just driving down the main road will give you an idea of why the area attracts so many affluent individuals. Madonna, by the way, owns a horse ranch in Bridgehampton.