Montauk Community Notes, September 5

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Have you ever had the sensation of very nearly having had an extremely bad experience?

Early Monday morning a week ago, I’m on the train from Montauk to Southampton. As we stop at each town the train becomes crowded. Many stylish and attractive people step aboard, returning to the city, or, judging by their luggage, transferring to flights to far away. I live at the tip of Long Island, yet I sense I’m not cut off from the rest of the world.

In Southampton I push assertively through the advancing line waiting to board. A few move aside politely as they notice I’m older. At the ticket machine one guy frantically waves his arms to catch the attention of the conductor, who stands impatiently half in and out of the train, to signal the engineer to wait.

I adjust my backpack to be comfortable on my walk up to town. I hear the train whistle. I cross the station parking lot in the direction of the Catholic school. No one’s around because it’s early, it’s summer and people are still asleep.

I’m alert, not lollygagging or daydreaming. I hear birds and crickets. School’s not yet in session. There aren’t any cars moving on this narrow street near the Catholic school. I walk briskly, glancing in at the young man behind the counter at Hertz Rental Cars. I’m aware of my surroundings.

I’m just about to cross a small alley by Hertz when a car stops short and rocks on its chassis, one of those quiet new boxy cars, in a dark color. The alley is lined by tall hedges. I didn’t see this small vehicle or hear it coming as it zipped down the alley toward the street at a pretty fast clip. The driver, older than myself, gets out, slams the door, scratches his head and walks around the car as though puzzled. I walk on.

Later, I asked my husband who would have been at fault if the car hit me. “What difference does it make?” he asked. “If you’re dead, you’re dead wrong.” He advised me to be more careful.

Montauk School opened for students on Wednesday. All good Montaukers are careful drivers, but still, remember that children are small, dart fast and typically wear sneakers so you may not hear them. Be extra careful, please.

Montauk Library children’s librarian Ms. Korpi, reminds parents and caregivers that Monday story times will change to an 11:45 a.m. start. However, please note there’s no story time September 2, 9 and 11. Story time resumes Monday, September 23. As always, all are welcome to listen. Be advised the crafts are most appropriate for preschool age children.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 15, when the Montauk Library presents “Chinese Culture, A Treasure the World Can Share,” by speaker Dr. George Wei. He’ll provide an overview of one of the world’s oldest cultures. The slide lecture presents the vast artistic, literary, and philosophical legacy of China’s complex past. This talk had been rescheduled due to adverse weather conditions on February 10 this year. I look forward to this quick refresher course on what I gleaned about Chinese history at Binghamton University.

I recall a time when Don and I returned to Montauk from San Diego for a visit in 1976. We couldn’t find canned chiles to make chiles relienos, let alone tortillas, anywhere in Montauk.

Congratulations to the proprietors of La Brisa, pleased to announce the restaurant will stay open throughout the year. The plan is to continue featuring their traditional Sonoran style tacos, local caught fish tacos, ceviches, chilaquiles verdes and fresh Mexican style lupita juces. According to their press release, La Brisa is one of the few restaurants in the area (as well as in New York City) making fresh homemade corn tortillas. Their culinary highlight is an in-house tortilla machine. Don and I know what real Mexican food is supposed to taste like and now that the crowds are thinning, we’ll just have to check out La Brisa.

September 6 is the Friday after Tumbleweed Tuesday when we can all make left turns, fly right past Cyrils, and go to the Talkhouse for a rockin’ good time! Montauk’s own Sarah Conway and the Playful Souls are back at the Stephen Talkhouse this Friday at 8 p.m. Look for Klyph Black on bass, Dan Koontz on keys, Johnny Blood on guitar, Dave Giacone on drums, plus special guests. There’s a $10 cover. The show runs til about 9:45 p.m. See you there!

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