Living & Eating on Long Island's East End 
            The Joys of Summer and Lavender Lemonade

My name is Monique.
I'm a 2-time Emmy Award winning TV Producer.
Having been in the business for over 20 years,
I always wanted a website where I could share my thoughts and interesting information, so 
here goes.

Last year when I got married, I moved out of New York City to the East End of Long Island, to ...wait for it...The Hamptons.

Now before you roll your eyes, there's more to the Hamptons than mansions and celebrities.

The Hamptons have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, miles of productive farmland, plus a rich clamming history that continues to this day.

When I moved out east and realized I was surrounded, not just by the bounty of the sea, but also local farms and vineyards, I couldn't wait to explore and sample my new environment.

That's what this blog is about.  Living, exploring, discovering, news, food, history and sharing those experiences.

You'll notice that my blog is a little of this and a little of that, kind of like a potluck meal.


What does Summer mean to you?  Lazy days at the beach, family barbeques, homemade ice cream, sleeping late, backyard fireworks, flip flops, cut-off jeans, homemade lemonade.
The season means so much to so many people. Just saying the word conjures up happy memories of summers gone by.

For me as a child it meant open-ended days ready to be filled up like an empty drawing pad. Each morning began with the potential of the day and ended with that evening's memories.

As a child, going to the beach was the high point of any summer day. Growing up in New York city and getting to Riis Park Beach was a long slog. It meant taking two different subways, then a bus to get there. But oh, the smell of the air and the sun on your skin when you did get there made it all so worth it. Even packing up and making the long trek back home was tolerable, because you knew a warm bath and hot dinner was waiting for you.

Summer also meant playing in the city parks. Besides grassy fields and playgrounds, there were water sprinklers to run through and sand lots to dig in.  City parks and playgrounds in the 1960s were clean and safe havens for children and adults.

Other options included strolling the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which was just a few blocks from our apartment, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to Chinatown, going to the movies, playing at a friend's house, taking a drawing class at the Brooklyn Museum, or a visit to the Central Park Zoo. The possibilities were endless and it was truly a gift to live in a city that offered so much.

My mother was a master organizer when it came to planning our days. Even going to the playground was an event. First we would play on the swings, then run in the water sprinklers with the other children. When the Good Humor truck pulled up, we would all get some change and run as fast as we could to buy our own ice cream.

In the evening we had dinner with my father when he came home from work, then we would all watch television. Oh, the magic to be allowed to stay up past your bedtime and watch a late movie or tv show. To stay up late during the summer was a delicious luxury as a child. Even as I struggled to keep my eyes open, it was still so much fun and of course you could sleep late the next morning.

Summer fun changed when we moved out of the city and up to Connecticut. I was 11 going on 12 and instead of organized trips to parks and museums, our activities were now entirely up to us, as we had this amazing new arena to explore -- the entire neighborhood!

Instead of an apartment, we now lived in our own house with a yard that allowed us to come and go as we pleased. My mother finally had time to herself, as we ran in and out all day long. The backscreen door noisily banged behind us, as we came and went. I could now ride my bike by myself, walk downtown on a whim and look in shop windows or go play with the neighborhood children. 

Summer days were now spent playing tag in the yard, climbing trees and jumping through sprinklers attached to the garden hose. Then at night our backyards would turn into these mysterious places, as we chased after fireflys, played hide and seek, star gazed and told ghost stories.

While summer today doesn't hold the same power it did as a child, it is still a glorious luxury to be enjoyed. The warm weather beckons with outdoor activities like parties, barbeques and bonfires. Shorts and flip flops are my go-to wardrobe as I enjoy the feel of the sun on my bare skin and the grass between my toes. Winter ...finally feels very far away indeed.

Living on the East End of Long Island, with the South Fork beaches just a mile away and the vineyards and farm fields of the North Fork a short drive, summer is truly a gift here. There is so much to explore that it can at times be overwhelming and sometimes the best thing to do is just to sit back and enjoy the season for its simplicity.

Summer can still be magical, even for adults. Events like full moons and meteor showers help retain our childhood curiosity about the world around us. Enjoying the simpler things like swinging in a hammock, eating an ice cream cone or making homemade lemonade also evoke memories of our childhood, plus they're also just plain fun. And isn't that what summer is all about anyway?  Just plain fun.

                               Lavender Lemonade

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons lavender buds
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
cold water and ice

1. In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, and lavender to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Allow to cool. Strain the lavender liquid into a pitcher.

2. Add in lemon juice with ice and about 4 cups of water. Refrigerate til ready to serve.

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