The Blue Train Tobacco Company in East Hampton. Oliver Peterson, a big guy with tattoos on both arms wearing a black T-shirt (“Live and Let Live”) stepped out from behind the register. He said The Transom had just missed actor Robert Downey Jr. He’d come in for—what else?—a pack of smokes.
Mr. Peterson, 28, is a columnist for the local Dan’s Papers and an aspiring novelist—he’s 200 pages into his first attempt, a “fictional” account about a young junkie who leaves New York City for the East End to clean up but soon finds himself immersed in the Hamptons’s underbelly, particularly the crack and heroin scene.
“It’s disgustingly crazy out here and nobody knows how to drive,” he said. “Which makes sense: some people only drive two months out of the year, when they’re out here to fill their empty houses. It’s insane. I work and I hide and I don’t go to town because it’s too crowded. I’m feeling a little cynical about the Hamptons. I’m getting married in September, I’d like to buy a house and it’s not an easy place to buy a house at this point. It’s almost like the lower and the middle class are getting priced out, there’s nowhere to go, because even the crappy places are getting bought…you know, Waldbaum’s buses people in from an hour away because no one can survive here on seven dollars an hour.”
Mr. Peterson went on some more about the high cost of living but admitted that so far this summer he’s been loving the Hamptons. “It hasn’t been too bad yet,” he said. “There haven’t been that many pricks coming in.”