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Irrational Exuberance in East Hampton

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This is The Savvy Traveler. I'm Rudy Maxa. You heard it here first. Surely the end of this long cycle of economic prosperity is nearing its end. How do I, a mere travel guy, know this? Because I traveled this week to East Hampton, where the old and new rich have nearly obliterated the remaining potato fields by building million-dollar mansions that would sell for a tenth the price any place else.

But it's not the skyrocketing real estates values. It's the price of going out at night! My daughter waitresses weekends at a hot dance club there called Conscience Point. In case you think it's some flashy place, think again. It looks more like a big barn painted black inside. There are a couple of rooms, two bars, and a very slightly elevated seating area near a dance floor.

So listen to this. It costs $20 to valet park a car, $20 to get in the door. Then, if you want to actually sit down, you must order two bottles of alcohol. The young investment bankers, dot-commers and hip-hop artists who frequent the club usually get a bottle of champagne. Moet that costs $30 retail goes for, hold on to your black Amex card, $250 bucks! Then, of course, there's the 20 percent service charge. Hey, my daughter has to live, too!

This is the place to go if you have the urge to run into Ivanka Trump or Puff Daddy. I gotta tell you, when this many people are spending this much money for a night out, you don't have to be Alan Greenspan to wonder about irrational exuberance.


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