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The Hamptons may appear to be the perfect getaway for those looking to escape New York City, however, dozens have taken to social media to reveal the popular celebrity vacation spot isn't exactly all it's made out to be and rather than experiencing a celebrity experience they were met with outrageous prices, overcrowded beaches and hour long waits.

Located in Long Island, New York, the Hamptons is well-known for its wild night life, luxurious mansions, and endless beaches, and has become the go-to place for many stars to spend their free time in, many of whom have purchased summer homes in the area - including Beyoncé and Jay-Z, actor Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris, Julianne Moore and Robert Downey Jr.

Between its delicious food, stunning shores, and exclusive parties, the hotspot has transformed into an exclusive club with middle-class people from NYC dying to get into it. 

And while celebrities' Instagram make the upscale beach town appear lavish, the average person doesn't have a private helicopter to get them to and from the summer getaway and are welcomed with overcrowded beaches, long lines, and hours spent sitting in traffic. 

Many flock to the celebrity hotspot to get a dose of the glitz and glamour, but the vacation spot doesn't live up to the hype for the average person. 

This summer social media was flooded with users complaining that celebrity experience many sought out for when traveling to the Hamptons for the weekend was just an illusion. 

One user was TikToker Grace Hagan, 27, from New York City, went to the upscale beach just a few weeks ago and despite rushing to the Hamptons for a dose of a lavish lifestyle, she was met with overpriced food, 'horrible' traffic and even took to TikTok to describe Montauk as a 'scam.' 

The Hamptons is said to be the perfect summer getaway, and while many visit the hotspot, it's not as glamourous as Instagram makes it out to be (Hamptons beach pictured in 2013) 

Many of Manhattan's wealthiest take the 94 mile drive to the elite beach town, which is located on the shore in Long Island, on summer's weekends

Grace Hagan, 27, from New York City, went to the upscale beach just a few weeks ago and took to TikTok to describe Montauk as a 'scam' due to the outrageous prices, traffic and more

@greyzindacity

and i forgot to mention that no one goes to the beach #montauk #montaukbeach #hamptons #nyc #fourthofjuly

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey  

'Horrendous' traffic: Vacationers sit for hours in bumper to bumper traffic due to hoards of cars trying to get to get to the beach destination but only one road in and out 

The Hamptons is one of the most popular spots to visit for those who live in New York City since it's conveniently located within driving distance from the Big Apple.

It takes about two-and-a-half hours to get there when the roads are clear - however, driving during popular summer weekends can often take hours longer due to heavy traffic.

The drive from Manhattan to the Hamptons stretches across 94 miles, and during peak travel time, the route can be filled with bumper to bumper jams, sometimes turning the trip into an all-day thing. 

Grace took a trip to the Hamptons with her friends on Thursday and left Sunday, she  told DailyMail.com:  'The traffic leaving on Sunday afternoon was horrible because of the one lane on the Montauk Highway.'

Many people have taken to twitter to share their frustration over the traffic - with one writing, 'Nothing grinds my gears more than Hamptons traffic! It really takes me a hour and a half to get home and I live 10 mins away from my job.'

Others called it 'horrendous' and 'ridiculous,' with another person adding, 'Hamptons traffic is BRUTAL my GOD F**KING KILL ME.'

Another user said: 'Traffic in the Hamptons is horrible! How do regular people do this?' 

And once you finally make it to the destination, you're met with even more traffic as there's only one main road that goes in and out of the town, which is often clogged with hoards of cars trying to begin their weekend getaway. 

The traffic has gotten so bad that some rich New Yorkers have even resorted to getting pricey prostate surgery and Botox on their bladders to to avoid having to take bathroom breaks on the long drive. 

With little places to stop and use the restroom along the route, many people are turning to Dr. David Shusterman, a New York City urologist who offers surgery to help those hold their bladder longer - which he advertises using the tagline, 'Race to the Hamptons, not the bathroom.' 

Shusterman offers two different procedures - a prostate artery embolization (PAE), which reduces the size of a man's prostate, and a 'bladder Botox,' which decreases urinary frequency for women. 

He previously revealed that he has seen a 20 per cent spike in people looking to go under the knife since May, revealing that he's performed roughly 10 PAE procedures and one or two bladder Botoxes a week over the last two months. 

Others have opted not to sit in the traffic at all, but instead, take a lavish helicopter ride to the Hamptons. Blade offers a ride to the beach area for $1,025 a seat and takes about 40 minutes.

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And while it's not that far from the city, about two and a half hours without traffic, getting there often takes a lot longer during popular summer weekends due to traffic jams 

Those escaping to the Hamptons should prepare to spend most of their weekend waiting in large crowds and even longer lines (seen above is crowd at restaurant Surf Lodge in Montauk)

The average person resorts to overcrowded public beaches, desperately trying to get the perfect photo for their social media feed (Hamptons beach pictured in 2017) 

Grace added that the prices of the upscale beach town were 'ridiculous,' revealing she paid $30 for a vodka soda 

 

'Ridiculous' prices: Partiers forced to pay $1,000 to enter exclusive clubs, while restaurants charge double 

 The nightlife of the Hamptons is one of the perks to the vacation spot, however, the lines for bars and clubs are often over the top, stretching along multiple blocks.  

Those determined to experience the party scene spent as long as four hours waiting in line to get into the popular Amagansett bar Stephen Talkhouse, while others spent over $1,000 to get into Surf Lodge, an exclusive bar and restaurant. 

How much the top five hotels in The Hamptons charge to stay in the upscale beach town
  • Topping Rose House - $3,095 per night 
  • The Roundtree, Amagansett - $1,286 per night
  • The Reform Club - $1,150 per night
  • Surf Lodge - $1,100 per night
  • Gurney's Hotel - $1,025 per night with a 3-night minimum stay  

Grace added that the prices of the luxurious beach town were 'ridiculous,' revealing she tries 'not to go out to eat in Montauk.' 

'As sad as it sounds, I survive off Cliff bars or Fiber One bars that I bring from the city. I'll splurge and hit up Goldberg's Deli and get a bagel or sandwich, which comes out to about $10-15.'  

And Grace isn't far off, the average price of a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich in New York City is $2.50, while the price for a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich in Montauk is $5.

And the Instagram famous lobster rolls come at high price tag as well, costing $42 a roll, despite the meat coming from Maine. 

She added she went to popular seaside restaurant Scarpetta for dinner and 'paid about $100.' 

And while the food is outrageously expensive, Grace admitted the drinks were the 'most expensive part.' 

'A vodka soda in NYC is fifteen or so dollars, while a vodka soda in Montauk is about twenty five (BEFORE tip).'

Others called the Hamptons 'white money expensive' and 'the most expensive zip code in New York.' 

According to a survey by NewYorkHotels.org, the Hamptons is one of the most expensive places to vacation in New York State.

Grace paid $1,000 per night for her hotel and shared: 'I stayed at The Royal Atlantic, which is considered a MOTEL, and one of the cheaper options'

In the past two years the price of spending a weekend in the Hamptons has increased by over 30 per cent, making it one prices are over 30 per cent.

Although you don't need to worry about gas prices when you're considered elite in both NYC and the Hamptons, the average person spends upwards of $5.63 per gallon on gas. 

To avoid the soaring gas prices in the Hamptons, Grace said she always made sure to 'fill up outside of Montauk.'  

With East Hampton listed as the most expensive vacation spot followed by Montauk and Southampton, the average person looking to join the most wealthy beachside, can expect to drop a hefty amount.

 

 Surging Uber fees: People struggle to find ride homes after nights out due to a lack of ride shares, forcing them to bring designated drivers 

To avoid the long drives, 'extremely expensive' gas prices and the 'packed' parking lots, many visiting often opt to Uber around the Hamptons instead, but soon learn, it's even more overpriced. 

The average price of a base fare, or flat fee for every ride in NYC totals around $2.50, while weekend visitors can expect to pay a flat fee of $4.50 per ride. 

Although she was met with costly Ubers, Grace explained she found an alternative to getting around while vacationing in the Hamptons. 

'There is also a local named Brianna who started "Breezy Rides"—her own, all-women driver, car service. They are great, shout out to them! 

'I usually call her and she sends one of her drivers, and you just Venmo them. The cost depends on distance. Probably $10-25.'

According to Uber, rates often vary from place to place but are consistently higher in beach destinations such as the Hamptons. 

The peak times for Uber drivers in the Hamptons are three pm Fridays to two am Saturdays and three pm Saturdays to two pm Sundays. 

Uber recommends avoiding any celebrity hotspot areas such as The Crow’s Nest Inn and Restaurant, Duryea’s Lobster Deck, Solé East Resort, Surf Lodge and Grey Lady Montauk to avoid higher fare charges. 

The driving service added that people should avoid visiting the Hamptons during peak holidays or major events such as July 4th, and Labor Day weekend.  

One Twitter user shared that the Hamptons have little to 'no Ubers' and that you need a 'dd' or designated driver if you want to enjoy the nightlife while saving money on outrageous Uber prices. 

Another used said: 'The Hamptons are experiencing hyper-inflation. $12k tables at Surflodge, $5 chobanis at IGA, and $462 Ubers at 4am. Good luck out there.'

Others complained that there were 'zero Ubers' in the Hamptons and in the summertime when the car service picks up, riders 'spend $1,000 on Ubers.'

 

Overcrowded beaches and even longer lines: Travelers are left spending hours in line along the boardwalk  

Many head to the area to experience the stunning beaches, but most of them were only available to residents - which lead to the public beaches becoming overcrowded.  

Those who flock to the white-sand beaches to post seaside snaps are often disappointed when they're met with mostly private beaches available to residents or wealthy people only.

And while there are a few public beaches, they don't provide vacationers with the same lavish experience. 

The average person resorts to overcrowded public beaches, desperately trying to get the perfect photo for their social media feed. 

One Twitter user made it clear the beaches in the Hamptons were not worth the hype when he said: 'Surprised no one has mentioned the fact that the actual beaches are below average, even for the region.' 

Those looking to escape the city are often faced with bumper to bumper traffic and spend over three hours waiting to enter to the elite spot (traffic in the Hamptons is pictured in 2020)

Many head to the area to experience the stunning beaches, but most of them were only available to residents - which lead to the public beaches becoming overcrowded. A Hamptons beach is seen in 2001 

Grace added that she and her friends spent hours waiting in line to get into 'cheugy' bars in large crowds of people 

The bars and clubs in the vacation destination of NYC's elites are overcrowded as more travelers hope to have the celebrity experience (popular spot Beach Bar pictured in 2022) 

Another user said: 'Never thought I'd say it but the Hamptons are slowly becoming not fun. Far too overcrowded, too many plebs have figured out the scene. Used to be able to go there to get away from everyone else, now everyone else is there anyway.' 

While others called the beach town 'overcrowded' and 'overpriced.' 

Grace added that she didn't even get a chance to go to any of the beaches as many times as she 'hoped.' 

And while many people, Grace included, hope to see the lavish homes when driving through the eastern hotspot, most of the houses are sounded by private fences or hidden behind large bushes.

'The luxurious homes are ALWAYS hidden. We did pass one of the largest mansions in Montauk that wasn't hidden, and I stared at it for so long that I almost crashed into a deer on the road.'

Not only should those escaping to the Hamptons not expect to view the extravagant houses, but the TikToker noted they should also expect to spend most of their weekend waiting in large crowds and even longer lines. 

'Surf Lodge is most notably the "celebrity hotspot" of Montauk. It opens at 5pm. People get in line at 4pm. 

'We had a table that Friday (July 15) and we got there at 4:45pm, because even with a table, you still wait. It's all a game of politics. There was already a MASSIVE line forming. I was like, does no one work anymore? It's nuts.'

And since many other restaurant don't take reservations, weekend visitors are left waiting in lines that wrap around blocks and in large crowds for hours. 

Photos of the infamous influencer hotspot Surf Lodge have been shared across social media and guests can be seen crammed into a relatively small deck alongside hundreds of other average people wanting to fit into the lavish lifestyle.

TikToker Grace Hagan pictured in a white dress while on the phone waiting in line outside of a popular dive bar called ShagWong in Montauk 

Those determined to experience the party scene spent four hours waiting in line and over $1,000 to get into Surf Lodge (pictured above), which is an exclusive bar and restaurant

Grace said she stayed in 'one of the cheapest' hotels, which many locals would consider to be a 'motel'; despite being the 'cheapest', Grace still paid $1,000 per night to stay in the 'motel'

In addition to the overpriced nightlife, the food in general was nearly double than NYC prices, Rachel said, especially the famous Lobster roll which costs $42 a roll (pictured)

 

Property prices are up: Vacationers are shocked by the soaring prices of homes in the Hamptons as the rich don't appear to have any problems 

Since the average joe doesn't have a vacation home for summers in the Hamptons, everyday people can expect to pay at least $445 per night at Hampton Ocean Resort, which is the cheapest hotel in the Hamptons at the moment. 

And those rich enough to buy a home in the Hamptons aren't experiencing any handouts either.

The price of homes in the Hamptons have skyrocketed due to demand from those those looking to escape the city for a weekend or to spend their time at a seaside restaurant with dramatic views of he Atlantic.

According to an Elliman Report in 2022, the median sales prices of homes in the Hamptons have jumped 87.5 per cent above pre-pandemic levels and single family median sales prices have rose 10.4 per cent annually to  $1,650,000, which is a new record. 

The report adds despite the increase in supply, listing inventory was 64 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. 

One user said: 'The prices in the Hamptons are insane even by trophy property standards.' 

Others described that the vacation destination of NYC's elite property prices had 'surged' and 'soared.' 

Rachel noted it isn't as dreamy as it's made out to be, and many social media users agreed with her, with one writing on Twitter that the Hamptons 'suck'

While the Hamptons may be the perfect place for celebrities or those who own one of the many luxurious homes the town is filled with, many social media users have said it isn't as dreamy as it's made out to be for the average joe.

'The Hamptons suck. One road and three hours, no Ubers/need a [designated driver], everyone trying to compare [penis] size, cost per night is more than Ritz/Four Seasons,' one Twitter user shared recently. 

Another added that although it 'sounds cool in college,' the Hamptons actually 'sucks.'

'Surprised no one has mentioned the fact that the actual beaches are below average, even for the region,' said another user.

One person wrote: 'You're forgetting the best part though, you get to tell everyone you're vacationing/vacationed in the Hamptons.'

Read more:
  • Disappointing Photos Show What It's Really Like to Visit the Hamptons
  • The most expensive summer destinations in New York State 2021
  • Driving in the Hamptons this summer | Uber Blog
  • HOME | hamptonoceanresort
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  • Rich New Yorkers Getting PAE Surgery to Avoid 'Hamptons Bladder'
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Scientists Are Unraveling the Origins of the Southwest’s Monsoon

Gene Lower/ZUMA Press

This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

On an evening in late June, Alex Jimenez, Tucson Water’s artist-in-residence, hosted an outdoor art installation designed to “call the rain through sound.” The Santa Cruz Sound Experience, held underneath one of the bridges that crosses the dry Santa Cruz River, featured a three-hour sensory compilation of the region’s seasonal summer rains. Toward the end of the event, the skies answered the call, and attendees celebrated as raindrops fell.

The monsoon season has come to the Southwest again. But this season is different from past monsoons: It’s the first since scientists demonstrated that North America’s monsoon —which drenches Sonora, northern Sinaloa, and northeastern Chihuahua in Mexico, and the southern fringe of Arizona and New Mexico—differs from seasonal rains in the rest of the world. And, unfortunately for Southwesterners—who welcome the precipitation and need a break from the summer heat—the phenomenon is likely to weaken as the climate warms.

Monsoons, which exist on every continent except Antarctica, are continental-scale wind patterns that transport water vapor and cause seasonal rains. In general, they occur when intense sunlight during summer causes the land to heat up. Warm air rises and draws in water vapor from the ocean, creating a “thermal contrast between the land and the nearby ocean, and an air circulation between the two,” William Boos, a climate scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, explained.

Scientists and lay observers alike have long thought that the North American monsoon was also caused by this “thermal forcing,” with cooler water vapor being pulled in from the Pacific off the west coast of Mexico. To Boos, however, something about North America’s monsoon, which is smaller and more oddly shaped than its peers, was “always a little peculiar.”

In 2021, Boos and Salvatore Pascale, who researches climate dynamics at the University of Bologna in Italy, published an article in the journal Nature that showed that the Southwest’s summer storms were not caused by the typical thermal forcing. Rather, they were caused by something that scientists call “mechanical forcing,” which has to do with terrain. When the mid-latitude jet stream—the band of eastward winds that circle the entire planet—collides with the Rocky Mountains, the range deflects the winds southward, to Mexico. As the winds move east, they push over Mexico’s Sierra Madre, after collecting water vapor from the tropics of the eastern Pacific and Mexico. Then, when the jet stream lifts, forcing moisture-laden air up over mountainous terrain, the vapor condenses into “orographic rain” that falls on the western side of the mountains, creating the monsoon.

“The orographic effect is critically important, especially in terms of what’s going to happen with climate change,” said scientist Agustin Robles of the Technological Institute of Sonora’s Laboratory of Environmental Modeling and Sustainability. “We’ll see the bulk of the changes there.”

There’s a simple reason why scientists hadn’t already figured out geology’s role in creating the monsoon: The technology to do so didn’t exist. Whereas the Tibetan Plateau is so large that it could be modeled for its effect on climate starting in the 1980s, the Sierra Madre was too small and too fine for computers to render accurately until recently. Boos and Pascale used a cutting-edge supercomputer to compare a model of the region’s topography with a version in which they set all the landscape’s elevations to zero. Since that version in effect flattened Mexico, they called it “FlatMex.” In FlatMex, the monsoon all but disappeared, leading to their conclusion that the North American Monsoon is created by wind going over the Sierra Madre.

The recent research built on previous studies of the North American monsoon. A few years ago, Pascale, Boos and six other collaborators published a study that challenged the idea that climate change will increase precipitation across North America.

“There’s a classic idea that as the air gets warmer, it can hold more water vapor, so it will deliver more water to the continent,” said Boos. While that may be true for other monsoons — including the southeast Asian monsoon, which has already become wetter — it’s different in regions like the Southwest, where most of the rainfall comes from thunderstorms and the cumulus clouds associated with them. Thunderstorms are caused by a difference in the temperature and humidity of the air near ground level and the air higher up in the atmosphere. Once the difference between the two air temperatures reaches a certain level, they turn over, switching places. The hotter, less dense air rises and the colder, denser air sinks, because of gravity. But as the upper levels of the atmosphere warm, there is less of a difference between the two temperatures—and that means fewer thunderstorms and a weaker monsoon.

Communities in the Southwest, which is already facing increasing aridity and extreme heat, will need to improve both air quality and the infrastructure that ensures their access to water, and they’ll also have to find ways to cope with more days at high temperatures. Unfortunately, there “aren’t a lot of options” to address the declining summer rainfall, said Dan McGregor, natural resources services manager for Bernalillo County, New Mexico. His agency mainly encourages water users to conserve water, maintain their wells, and to harvest rainwater.

In the Southwest, these effects will disproportionately affect those who rely directly on the rains. Sheryl Joy, Acting Seed Bank Manager at the organization Native Seeds/SEARCH in Tucson, said that for Indigenous communities in Arizona who have developed agricultural systems organized around the summer rains, “continued declines in monsoon rainfall could have devastating effects” on the communities who continue to use these practices.

In Sonora, Mexico, where most of the monsoon’s precipitation falls, there is less infrastructure in place to address water shortages than there is in the U.S. Southwest. “Unlike Arizona or California, which have long-term planning and responses such as the Tier 1 shortage announcements, here our institutions have not anticipated the effects of the weaker monsoon,” said Robles. “They tend to blame drought, when it’s really a modification of the monsoon over the last 30 or 40 years.”

Jonah Ivy of Tucson’s Watershed Management Group focuses on helping residents use the water that falls, rather than waste it as runoff. “What does a weaker monsoon matter if right now we’re pushing all the water off our landscapes?” he said. “Even with a weaker monsoon, we still live in the wettest desert in the world. We still live in abundance.”

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  • Scientists Are Unraveling the Origins of the Southwest’s Monsoon