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The "Not so Bad Out East" 2020 Moments

Rachel Feinblatt | December 31, 2020 |

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We can all agree that 2020 was not the year we expected. While some of us may be excited to leave this hell-of-a-ride behind us, let's not forget some unique experiences that made 2020 unforgettable. With the lows came few highs, and here is a shortlist of what we are looking back to celebrate.

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Hamptons Holiday Shop

To support local businesses, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and the new East Hampton Emergency Department teamed up to launch the ‘Hamptons Holiday Shop’. Some of the participating partners included Hamptons favorites like Urban Zen, Tutto Il Giorno, Tenet and Ed’s Lobster Bar to name a few. This initiative made it simple to do charitable deeds-- the purchases went towards both Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and a new East Hampton Emergency Department.

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ARF Adoptions

A ton of us came home with a new furry friend this year. Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, better known as ARF, had one of its busiest years yet. Hundreds of dogs found a new place to call home after awaiting adoption. We can thank quarantine for the extra time to train our new four-legged friends as they entered their new families. ARF is still open for adoptions by appointment only.

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Real Estate Surge

The real estate profitability has been through the roof, pun intended! Nearly $1 billion worth of Hamptons real estate has been sold in the span of three months, according to Brown Harris Stevens' market report. Yes, you read that right. New Yorkers have fled to escape the urban scene during the coronavirus pandemic and have adjusted to the new reality better than they thought they would. Sure, the lines got longer and the traffic is no longer a summer problem, but the local economy has certainly enjoyed this unexpected boost.

Drive-in Comeback

Drive-in movies were at their peak in the 1950s but seem to have made a reappearance in in 2020. Sag Harbor Cinema and other local organizations put on some of our favorite classic films in a COVID-friendly setup, including Grease, Shrek and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. This drive-in concept was executed in more ways than one. Artists teamed up to launch a Drive-By Art exhibition, where they captured isolation through their pieces from Hampton Bays to Montauk, not to mention some amazing TV shows premiers thanks to the brilliantly orchestrated events by Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict's Cinema Society.

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Wellness Kick

The concept of health and fitness has become a theme du jour for everybody, kicking off a collective surge to a better and healthier lifestyle for anyone with access to the numerous online streaming platforms, IG accounts, and supplement providers. From Tracy Anderson to Isaac Boots to LYMA, an uber-chic vitamin purveyor, health was indeed wealth and Hamptonites showed up for it.

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Appreciation of Nature

Come on...admit it. You have never taken more walks on the beach, hikes through the woods, or bike rides through the trails than you have since March. Are we right? These outings have likely increased your awareness of nature's bounty and your good fortune to benefit from all of her splendor. Indeed, the pluses of being surrounded by the abundance of natural distractions have proven to be exactly what the doctor would order. Hopefully, we can all reciprocate in kind and take good care of our environment.



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Photography by: Pexels, Eric Striffler, Will Yennie, Richard Taverna