If burgers and barbecues represent the best the Hamptons have to offer, then clubs like the Star Room, Dune and the Pink Elephant represent the Hamptons at their wondrous and strange worst. These nightclubs remind us of the beginning scenes of the Warriors when all the gangs gather in Van Cortland Park. Amelia Bauer caught the glory and the agony on film.
There a group of young men in striped shirts and Pumas; On the other side of the velvet rope, lurk the young men in t-shirts with gold block letters and woolen skicaps. In one corner, wearing flared jeans, fedoras at rakish angles and boxy bright white shoes are the Ambiguously Gay Long Island Crew. In the center of it all, the D.J. is playing an Organica remix of Billie Holiday's version of "Summertime" and shouting, "Can you dig it? Can you DIG it?"
We hit Star Room a bit before midnight on Saturday night. Turning off the highway into the parking lot of the Star Room is to enter into an eternal sunshine of the mindless spotlight. Suburbans, Escalades and Mercedes' pull in to the blinding parking lot and spit out girls in short, short dresses. Also one guy in a pink silk ascot. Depending on the size and affect of the group, they'll wait anywhere from zero to 20 minutes for the privilege of entering the Star Room. The extraordinarily kind and lovely head of security, a gentleman by the name of Gino, was nice enough to lead us inside.
The Star Room is actually made up of two rooms but no stars. The bouncer did say that Adrian Grenier had stopped by some days earlier. Bottles of champagne sat in melted ice on the low tables surrounding it. On the floor itself—a floor the camera's flash exposes as stained and scuzzy—couples ground. It was all very high school and a bit innocent.
In the main room, a two-story barn-like structure, the crowd was more dense and a bit older. Here the mental calculus of the ladies seemed written on their made-up faces. Booze, libido, and fiduciary considerations determined how close she would cuddle and how much he could touch. The upstairs is the VIP area—a place, in the words of the bouncer, where ladies often "experiment" with each other—just like Laura Palmer and Ronette Pulaski!
It was cold out. Soon the drunken patrons would climb behind the wheel of their shiny new cars. How many fenders would be dented that night? It's a Catch-22, isn't it. To get there you have to drive and to stay there you have to drink.