Living the Hy Life
by Savas Abadsidis on 2012-05-10
“If you want to feel 100 years old, go to the Surf Lodge in Montauk. Montauk has not seen the likes of this happening hipness since the Rolling Stones checked into the Memory Motel. Or since Andy Warhol was in residence. Love it or hate it (and many love to hate it), it is what it is. Motel. Outdoor bar overlooking the gleaming, tranquil Fort Pond. Restaurant so bathed in turquoise blue it could be underwater. But what it mostly is is IT. I understand vans come in from Southhampton, peopled with young women in Pucci sundresses and Havaianas flip-flops, 20-somethings paying something like $200 for the trip to hip. In search of what? In search of NOW…” From Hy Abady’s : Back In The Star Again: True Stories from the East End.
Hy Abady has been an advertising writer/creative director for over 40 years. He began his career at legendary advertising agency Scali, McCabe, Sloves where he innovated iconic campaigns for everything from Perdue Farms ("It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken") to Isuzu Motors (remember Joe Isuzu?) His other writing career involves some fiction, but mostly, non-fiction pieces that have appeared over the years in the East Hampton Star. And the pieces that have appeared in the Star have been compiled in this new collection, and then some: Back in the Star Again: True Stories from the East End. He lives with his partner of 23 years in Amagansett and Manhattan. A sly wit and a constant flirt, Hy’s enigmatic personality and charismatic presence makes him the kind of indispensible companion you dream of traveling to destinations known and unknown.
What's your favorite getaway destination?
It's remote, although close enough to home. It has wonderful food, as it's a French island. And it has the sexiest people--men, women of all ages. The beaches are beautiful; the island is small and scenic, with stunning views and perfect weather. And after 20 years of travel there, it's ultimately familiar and doesn't change from year to year. No McDonald's. No Home Depots; lots of phenomenal high-end shopping.
What's your favorite way to entertain when you're away?
My partner cooks and we always get a beachfront 'bungalow' with a kitchen. We have some friends who live there year round. And, at times, we travel there with friends. I like to pretend we're at home, so I play my music on the iPod, light some candles, and David makes a simple, but yummy meal. And we invite people over.
What are your favorite activities?
I write for a living. There is no better place to write than the beaches of St. Bart's. I write long-hand, and then I spend the evening transcribing on my 11" Mac Book Air. I also read--can spend all day with a paperback or my Kindle. Rose wine goes nicely with either of these activities.
What is it about the local culture that you love?
The culture, derived from us tourists, is one of wealth and style. The locals seem there to cater to the clientele who travel there, some for as long as all winter, and some for multiple long weekends through the year.
“Is the easiest thing. Shorts and flip-flops and tee shirts. cheap Havainas will do. On a splurge, Gucci tee-shirt. Women tend to get more dolled up on the island--stilettos, even. Pucci dresses... But guys, especially like me that don't partake in late-night partying, tend to wear the most casual stuff all day and even into dinner. Maybe with a button down shirt over it.
“None for me. I don't do water sports, I just sit by it. I do, however, bring workout stuff as there's a gym at the highest point on the island and I start my day there…. Hahaha just kidding. Again nothing fancy there. Carry-on from Barney's decades ago. I do take along my small and thin white Leica digital camera, but wind up taking more pictures on my iPhone. One less thing to carry around.”
Text to Tan By:
“Lately Haruki Marukami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”