We moved from my hometown a little over three years ago. It saddens me that we became so frustrated with prices, crowds, attitudes and government that we felt almost 'driven' to go. But, that was the reason.
Sometimes people ask if I am homesick for the place. I usually answer that I am not, and that is true, for I do not miss those things that caused us to leave. However, I miss the East Hampton that I knew while I was growing up there. I miss the people I grew up with, many of whom have left the area as well, for their own reasons. I loved the 'old feel' of East Hampton, when the streets were quiet, the air smelled of sea, when the faces on the street were all friendly and well known.
Changes came as I was raising my children. New faces arrived and a new feeling came with them. Storefronts began to change, and certainly what was offered within their walls was different. Shop owners were no longer those who welcomed us as local patrons. We began to realize that we were going to have to shop elsewhere for our wardrobes and everyday items.
Other things began to happen. Rents were rising. Small homes were being purchased by those who began to transform them into larger and more 'elegant' places. Vacant land was being built up with very large second homes. The streets were no longer crowded for just the summer months, as they were when I was younger, but more of the year was showing heavy traffic on roads and sidewalks too. Some thought all this was good for the economy. That may or may not have been true, and my question would be, " for WHOSE economy?" Now it appears that many of those who've caused these alterations to the area have decided to move on to another playground, leaving East Hampton a virtual ghost town.
Local government changed along with everything else. Who are those people who sit in the Town Hall offices now? The majority are people I've only heard of in the last few years. What happened to those who care about the well-being of the town of East Hampton?
It will be a very long time, if ever, before things can get back on track. Local people cannot afford to rent the empty stores, nor does their employment allow for the renting or purchasing of luxury homes. What will become of my beloved home town and those who remain there?
Yes, yes, life brings many changes to us...in our every day, in our bodies and in our surroundings. I wish with all my heart that some were not so severe.