Never mind Quality of Life Crimes!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Never mind Quality of Life Crimes!

How 'bout the "Quality of Driving" infractions, the kind one can readily observe riding or walking along Westhampton Beach's Main Street in the Summer after Noon on a Friday!

(That is, unless one is a uniformed Traffic Control Officer... they never seem to see anything other than a good lookin' gal in a halter top and shorts.)

The actions of the vehicular (and foot) traffic is, in a word, maddening...

  • 120° turns right in front of on-coming traffic and a "No U-Turn" sign to zip into a diagonal parking space;
  • Standing/double-parking behind legally-parked cars while waiting for a passenger to "just run in and out" of one of the shops, mindless of the re­sulting bottleneck in traffic flow they are causing;
  • Pedestrians crossing everywhere but in a crosswalk with a "Hey!, we're in the Hamptons" attitude while recklessly discarding decades of NYC-honed street survival skills;

I think the word which best encapsulates the whole megillah is "thoughtlessness."

"Here come the Goddamned Summer people!"

It quite directly inspired the most celebrated tee-shirt I ever produced, circa 1974:

"Here come the Goddamned Summer people!"

...short-formed as "Gloria's" since the graphic depicted a pair of folks sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch of a building with that name on the front, while high overhead a cargo plane expelled resort-attired parachutists.

The reaction of the estimable Miss Seeley to being even further immortalized by that tee-shirt is a story for another time, probably best related sometime in the off-season.


1. EastEnd68 said...

I agree that the Traffic Control personnel never see anything. The amount of U-Turns is unbelievable and as for double parking and stopping, the uniformed patrol should put an end to it immediately.

Are you suggesting that, after dispensing with the two senior-most dispatchers, the Traffic Control personnel should be the next to go?

2. Ben Dover said...

Try rude and self-centered.

It's the "me me me" attitude.

"Rude?" Absolutely! And you're probably correct about the "self-centered" part as well. I fear that my lexicon, privately, came up with something stronger.

3. Jeanne Speir said...

Ahhhh, I HEARD about that tee-shirt from other sources – it was the stuff of legend; the old folks are/were tickled pink with it – bought them by the dozens for their friends and families.

Guess we'd best tackle the attic as soon as the humidity drops, Dean. One of those shirts might still be up there!

Yes, dear... except that I haven't anything of mine in that attic since you and Louie arrived in '02.

4. Scarlett said...


And I would LOVE to see that T-shirt design resurrected....

"Entitled" implies some sensibility... most of these people are senseless!

I'm in negotiations with Jim Flood for him to license the original artwork (which was itself "lifted" from an old The New Yorker cartoon. It will cost him some rum at Kara's, and he's okay with that if I can just find the damned artwork!

5. Michael Jacobs said...

See here.

Yup, that was the inspiration.

6. Tugboat Bertha said...

Let me place my order early for some of those T-shirts when you find the artwork. But the Mr. over here says it's only eight weeks and we should have patience. Easy for him to say.

7. Dune Mind said...


You wag!
– Dean

8. EastEnd68 said...

No-traffic control should just enforce the rules. Here's another I saw tonight, twice, parking in the crosswalks while the wife runs into the bakery.

Yeah! "It'll just be a second...."

9. Ben Dover said...

Imagine how much money could be made from jay walking tickets.

10. Baby Huey said...

These are really minor infractions when compared to the speeding taking place all over the Village. Try walking down Hazelwood, Rogers Avenue. or the East Side of Sunset. You will be lucky to not be road kill!!!

I'm hoping the 30mph speed limit may actually be enforced some day! If not 30 then perhaps just stop the 55 on residential streets.

I agreed to an extent... and I see that Chief Dean has the speed display device on the West side of Beach Road today in an attempt to make drivers more aware of how fast they are actually traveling. But there's nothing like actually issuing a couple of traffic citations to make people even more aware.

And as for walking on the East side of Sunset, that's why there's a sidewalk along the West side from Montauk all the way down to Main... use it!
– Dean

11. Girly Girl said...

How about the "lady" who came out of the post office, walked over to her car parked by Rite Aid and washed off her chalk mark before walking on to shop.

12. Seeker said...

Close down Main Street to all vehicles between Mill Road and Sunset on weekends and station traffic-control at either end. (And issue water pistols and tin badges to locals for making citizens' arrests!)

13. Eliza Doolittle said...

I remember a few weeks back when I was traveling down Main Street and someone was crossing outside of one of our many cross walks. I was slowing down, and the "gentleman" smacked the hood of my car and yelled, "Dude, I'm crossing the street." After I got over the initial shock of being called "Dude" I let him cross and reminded him that we have crosswalks, they are painted white, and look like ladders laying down according to my little one in the back seat.

Um, I don't know because I wasn't there, but I don't think that was any "gentleman."

14. UsuallyQuietOnQuiogue said...

I'll second the concern about speeders, walking the dogs on Brook Road by the pond is worth your life these days!

One of my most memorable encounters with a Summer person happened early one morning when a lady who was driving East on Brook Road stopped me while I was walking the dogs and asked how to get to the train station. I told her to turn at the next corner then make a left on Montauk Highway. Apparently she didn't believe me. She puffed up indigently, curled her lip and snarled, "A left! A left! I shouldn't have to make a left!" To which I replied "suit yourself" and she sped off toward the rising sun.

15. Tugboat Bertha said...

Seeker has a point: close off Main Street between Mill and Sunset on the weekends. Another point is that more signs are needed to alert people of the empty parking lot at the end of Glover's Lane. Saturday night cars were milling around like sharks on a feeding frenzy looking for parking but that parking lot where the Farmer's Market is held on Saturday morning was empty. It is just as close to walk from there to Main Street on nicely lit Glover's Lane as it is to schlep from the far end of the south parking lot next to Starr's.

From the municipal parking lot at the end of Glover's Lane to Main may be a short walk, but that's not the perception... and as we knowm perception is everything!

16. Jerry Steiner said...

Some dilemma you South-side folks have. Now us progressive folks In Historic Beautiful Downtown Riverhead are always ahead of the curve. We have a Zero Tolerance Zone marked out with signage. You get out of hand, we shoot you. Problem solved. See, you South-side people think too much. Simple solutions for complex problems.

You get working on those pies yet, Hank?

Feel the love... ice cold beer... Jerry

Are you serious?!? We can't even shoot the damned deer here, and they not only out-number the parking/traffic violators two-to-one, but they run rampant on a year-'round basis!
– Dean

17. EastEnd68 said...

Deer deserve better treatment then rude Summer people.

18. Seeker said...

Your comment about deer "running rampant" brought to mind the running of the bulls in Spain - maybe we could try that as a tourist attraction, but with deer... or, maybe we could use the tourists and run them through the streets... I'm getting confused - too many images running rampant through my mind....

Keep saying to yourself, "it's only a blog post."

19. EastEnd68 said...

Tonight I saw a new infraction: car driving south on Oak Street approached the oval and made a left turn to get to the movie theather instead of going 3/4 of the way around the oval.

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