Note to North Fork Visitors
Note from the North Fork
Sorry to have to tell you this.
I have been taken by surprise by the number of people that have accessed the post North Fork Best Beaches + Special Spots. “Insiders’ Secrets. Welcome to the North Fork.” Several hundred since July! I am thrilled!! Readers come from near and far, with many from across Long Island and the NY Metro Area. It’s great. We truly do love sharing what is special about the North Fork. But I, and I likely speak for most of us who live here, have to get something off my chest. I apologize in advance if you are the obnoxious visitor who was driving a white SUV, I believe it was an Infiniti, and my words that follow hurt your feelings.
To North Fork visitors: Can you try to be a little nicer and kinder when you are here?
The North Fork has a laid back sensibility. The bucolic countryside, serene waterways, delicious food, and the low-key attitude of the people who live here all contribute to making the North Fork such a great place to visit.
I would like to recount something that happened to me last Sunday afternoon. We are helping our daughter with some updates to her home in Jamesport. It is located north of Sound Avenue, and their community has a long driveway entrance/exit between Herricks and Manor Lane. Are you able to picture it? Harbes agri-tourism extravaganza is just west of the community and Patty’s Berries and Bunches AND Jamesport Farm Brewery are on the other side of the road just east. Need I say more? The traffic bottles up there and you inch along. It could be a nightmare if you let it get to you. But we try to take it in stride. So, Sunday at about 4:00 p.m., when the traffic is HEAVY, the road laden with day trippers heading west, we were leaving to go to our home in Southold—which requires a left turn to drive east. Seriously, it should be easy because the traffic is going so slow that a car could stop momentarily to let us out, and we can then hope that the traffic coming east will break long enough to make the turn. The westbound car would not even lose a minute, as they would be stopping as they inched forward anyway. I made eye contact with the approaching westbound driver to make sure he saw me pulling out … and he SPED UP! Mind you, this would only result in his vehicle blocking the driveway completely because the traffic was stopped dead at Harbes. Since he saw me, I decided to go ahead, and he stopped and gave me the hand and facial gestures which translate to, “What the “#*x!” are you doing?”—you know the one when the hand is turned parallel to the ground on a raised arm, and the eyes are popped open wide. Aside from being ridiculous, this was infuriating, as this visitor, and the others that exhibit this type of behavior (and there are MANY) fail to recognize that “we” —first and second homeowners alike, are trying to get in and out of our communities as we go about our day, running our errands that take hours longer because you are here. Of course also failing to recognize that we are the ones that support the beauty and special nature of this area through our investment and our taxes. We welcome you because we are proud of our beautiful region, and also because we know that the local businesses need these few months of frenzied activity to carry them through the long winter when visitors and sales slow to a trickle. I mean really!
While I am on my high horse, I would like to suggest a few common sense rules to follow when you visit.
Let people make turns into and out of our residential areas. You can see that they are residential communities. No one is trying to get ahead of you in traffic. And even if one person did get ahead of you, would it be that bad—you came here to chill right? You can also let people in and out of local businesses.
If you miss a winery or farm stand on the road, don’t slam on your brakes. It’s dangerous. You can catch it on your way back, especially if someone allows you to make your left turn!
If a driver doesn’t get off the line at one of our few traffic lights as if they are a race car driver, DON’T HONK. Just don’t.
If you are driving slow, well below the speed limit because you are sightseeing, and you notice a long line of traffic building behind you, you can pull over into the nice wide shoulder for a moment to let the building traffic pass, and then safely pull out and continue on your way.
Try to be less aggressive in stores and restaurants. No one is trying to “cut” you in line, and if someone does inadvertently move ahead of you, you can use your “nice” words, you know—the ones you learned in kindergarten.
Thank you. And come again. ☺