These horses aren’t here anymore. But you might remember them? They used to live at Cove Hollow, gamboling and grazing in the green meadow of the farm on your left as you drive into East Hampton Village, a glimpse of an agricultural past that some of us make a point of quickly turning to glance at — a split-second hit, a micro-respite from the modern day — before we turn back to cursing the crowds and the nagging of the iPhone alerts and the price of gas.
If “the Hamptons” have any running themes and obsessions, in our opinion, they are these: status-seeking and nostalgia. This isn’t a magazine devoted to the accrual of status symbols, but we know a few things about pining for the past. Social observers (that’s you, reader) notice how what “used to be there” crops up constantly in conversation — those favorite places and things that have been lost to gentrification and the simple passage of time. Cavagnaro’s Bar. The Hamptons Drive-In. The potato fields to the south of Montauk Highway at Wainscott, so unsullied you could see all the way to the ocean.
This image was taken a few years ago by Dalton Portella, an interdisciplinary artist, musician, and surfer who lives in Montauk, as a fund-raiser to help their caretakers provide them with food. They are long gone, but we still expect to see them there, somehow, just as we haven’t given up believing we could drop in for a chat with Mrs. Marley (who died 24 years ago) as we bought a Hershey bar at Marley’s Stationery (which closed in 1988).