Getting Out of Dodge
Having traveled out to the wiles of Long Island the past two weekends, and sitting here pondering the madness that must be the L.I.E. on this sweltering summer Friday (at the height of rush hour, in a raging thunderstorm) we couldn't help being distracted by the seaplane that lands and departs from the East River at 23rd Street every couple hours.
After watching and wondering for two summers now, we finally investigated. It turns out that the plane is actually the fastest way from Midtown to the Hamptons, for those of us with an extra $790 (per-person, round-trip) jingling around in our pocket.
We're certain that someone will (correctly) point out some turbojet helicopter service from East 34th Street, but frankly, the Donald Trumps and Rupert Murdochs that inhabit the steady stream of robochoppers aren't really humans; they're more like Montgomery Burns - lovable, evil cartoon characters there for our entertainment. So the 'copters don't count, ok?
But we digress. The seaplane service is operated by Shoreline Aviation, whose website also offers "Other Seaplane Flights from 23rd Street to any lake, river, harbor or airport in the Northeast." The nine-passenger planes get you to Easthampton in a brisk (though hardly neck-snapping) 45 minutes, and baggage is limited to 20 lbs. per person. So you'll need to have your assistant haul your dozen pairs of shoes and Dean Koontz hardcovers out there in the Mercedes SUV - which you'll need for backing over those annoying clubgoers at the Conscience Point Inn, anyway.
Great 2003 post from LICNYC.com profiling the pilots and occupational hazards