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My Hamlet

Author Jay McInerney shares his favorite picks in and around his home hamlets of Water Mill and Sag Harbor.

“The town of Sag Harbor, for all its gentrification in recent years, maintains its precarious balance between charming and funky. Still visible, in layers, are the whaling town of the 19th century; the blue-collar hamlet of the 20th century; and the literary community that has included Steinbeck, Nelson Algren, Spalding Gray, E.L. Doctorow and Alan Furst, among others. Their books can be found at Canio’s bookstore.”

SagTown Coffee in Sag Harbor: perfect coffee, hippie vibe, local bulletin board.” 78 Main St., Sag Harbor

Bob Hand, though ailing, is still carving his beautiful award-winning decoys from his home on Madison Street in Sag Harbor. Bob carved a loon for Doctorow in honor of his novel Loon Lake some years ago, and he is pleased to show visitors the picture of it in a yellowing copy of People magazine. You can see his work on display in his windows as you drive past.” Madison Street, Sag Harbor

The American Hotel remains one of the great landmarks of the East End: a genuine community watering hole, a beacon of warmth during the long winters and a reliably excellent destination for food and wine.” 49 Main St., Sag Harbor

The Parrish [seen at left] is always great; so is Glenn Horowitz’s East Hampton Gallery, which has some fascinating exhibitions as well as a selection of rare books and manuscripts.” 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill; 87 Newtown Lane, East Hampton 

Photo by Mattu Placek

“The Southside is the classic Hamptons drink. You don’t have to be a WASP to drink them.”

Photo by Pavel Gramatikov/Stocksy United

“The Clam Bar at Napeague is my sentimental favorite, the fried whole clams there being the dish that encapsulates summer to me. I spent summers as a kid in Wellfleet on Cape Cod, and fried clams were my favorite meal.” 2025 Montauk Highway, Amagansett

“My favorite beach is Town Line because my first years in the Hamptons were spent in a little rental house a few steps from the beach.” Town Line Road, Wainscott

Photo by MariadaDesign/ iStockPhoto