As is so often the case, whenever I find myself strolling through the village, I and whoever is my walking companion at the time end up wishing aloud that there were more than just a Starbucks or BookHampton to beckon us in out of the cold. The memory of our village when nearly every storefront was familiar and fun to browse in, and purchases were possible for the average person, is bittersweet for so many of us. Sometimes, I can feel like a stranger in the town that has always been my home. I so miss Marley’s, the Five and Ten, Whimsey’s, Victoria’s Mother, and all the places I loved to look in while growing up. I remember buying my first camera, a polaroid, at the Reed’s Photo Shop on Newtown Lane with birthday money I received from relatives. I don’t know what happened to most of those much-missed business owners, but I do know what happened to the last owners of Reed’s … and that’s where I will leave the village and return to where I always feel at home, the Springs.Denis Carr, a Springs resident and photographer, worked at Reed’s from 1992 until he and his wife, Lori Miller-Carr, purchased the business in 2007. They opened up shop in Amagansett Square for three years, and then moved to a more affordable storefront on Railroad Avenue in the village. Like so many, they heroically hung in, despite the vast challenges of a declining economy, and the growing reality that digital technology has replaced the need for one hour photo. In 2013, they closed down that store and Reed’s Photo joined the ranks of businesses past. It’s starting to sound like a sad story, but in fact, the opposite turned out to be true.
Denis’s roll with the punches attitude and ability to adapt and adjust to the changing times has allowed his private photographic and printing services business to thrive from his home office space. Without the high overhead, he now has the flexibility to work with a select clientele of artists and photographers. “I had felt a strong sense of responsibility to the community to try to keep Reed’s Photo up and running,” explained Denis “It was just a sign of the times that the call for small printing dropped off.”
Armed with a state-of-the-art large printer, Denis now enjoys making a living with what he loves to do from the comfort of his Springs home, and smiling, he admits “It’s much less stressful.” He has commissioned large print jobs for the East Hampton and Amagansett historical societies, Walter Iooss, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editor, and many noted artists like Laura Benjamin. Stories like these exemplify the strength and determination that so many locals manage to demonstrate in order to persevere and continue to thrive here in the Hamptons. Please visit his website Hamptonsphotos.com.
Meanwhile, Denis has kindly shared with us a few of his favorite shots capturing the serene beauty of our hamlet. As we approach spring still covered in icy snow, holding on to to these images in my mind’s eye reminds me that it won’t be too much longer until we can enjoy all the splendor of the Springs’ special places.
Rescheduled due to inclement weather last month, The Artists Alliance of East Hampton will present its Members Winter Art Exhibit this weekend at Ashawagh Hall. On display will be paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photography by the vastly talented artists who belong to this special group, which was originally started in 1984 to honor the memory of the famous abstract painter, Jimmy Ernst. A reception will take place this Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. Gallery hours are Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It should be a show well worth the wait. Hope to see you there!
If you haven’t yet indulged in that delectable breakfast served up by the Springs Fire Department located on Fort Pond Boulevard, don’t delay. Their members’ generous spread of breakfast favorites will be offered only three more Sundays from 7 to 11 a.m. through March 22. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. At $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for children 10 and under, it is definitely a bargain.
Until next time, happy week all!