The refuge of New York’s rich people amid Covid-19

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec5,2023 #Covid #refuge #York
The refuge of New York's rich people amid Covid-19 3
The refuge of New York's rich people amid Covid-19 3

Robert Moore, a digital entrepreneur with salt-and-pepper hair, has been `nesting` in his villa in Amaganseet, a few dozen meters from the coast since March 13 when Covid-19 began to rage throughout New Zealand.

The 58-year-old man decided not to return to the city where he has lived for the past 26 years.

`If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have to be in New York so I wouldn’t want to be there,` Moore said.

A cyclist in Southampton, Long Island, in September. Photo: AFP.

When New York became the first epicenter of the outbreak earlier this year in the US, the city’s wealthy flocked to Long Island, an island about a two-hour drive from New York.

`When Covid hit hard in mid-March, the rental market exploded,` recalls James McLauchlen, a real estate agent.

McLaunchlen said some homes have sold for $30 million or more and demand is outpacing supply with prices rising 15%.

The Hamptons, an area of golden beaches and quaint harbor towns, has long been a haven for New York’s elite, but usually only during the summer period from June to late August.

However, on a Wednesday in September, Southampton restaurants were still packed at lunchtime, much to the delight of the owners.

`There were clearly more people here at the end of September than usual. I hope this continues,` said Don Sullivan, owner of Southampton Publick House, the pub he opened 24 years ago.

British auction house Phillips recently opened a branch in Southampton, as did art gallery Hauser & Wirth, as it chases the wealthy who have fled New York.

The refuge of New York's rich people amid Covid-19

A family sunbathing on the beach in the Hamptons in September. Photo: AFP.

Retirees, young professionals, families, all ages are here as long as they have the means to live in this upscale bubble where celebrities like Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lopez and Calvin

Ross School, a private school with tuition of more than 40,000 USD a year, welcomed 100 new students to the new school year this year from kindergarten to grade 4. This number last year was 16 students, according to Andi O’Hearn,

Our Lady of The Hamptons, a Catholic school in the Hamptons, has 30 students on its waitlist and `still gets calls every day,` according to principal, Sister Kathryn Schlueter.

`We will accept as many students as we can,` she said.

Orson Miller, a 24-year-old French student, was staying with friends in the Hamptons while completing his master’s degree at New York University online.

`Until New York completely resolves everything and the situation remains unstable, I think people will continue to stay here,` Miller said.

Natalie Simpson has been living in a house in the Hamptons since the spring and will move to Connecticut instead of returning to New York.

`It was no longer the place we wanted to raise a child, even though we had that intention,` Simpson explained.

With tennis, horseback riding, golf and beach sunsets, those in the Hamptons are experiencing the pandemic differently than those who remain in New York.

`I feel sorry for my child, I feel sorry for the children, I feel sorry for families who don’t have the same conditions as us,` Moore said.

The refuge of New York's rich people amid Covid-19

A restaurant in the Hamptons remained crowded until the end of September, something rare in previous years.

When cultural life in New York stagnates and restaurants operate at a leisurely pace, many people fear that New York will change forever.

`It will never be the same again, it’s sad,` Moore said.

But not everyone is ready to give up the world-famous metropolis nicknamed `the city that never sleeps`.

`I miss New York and I’m looking forward to spending more time there,` said Lori Reinsberg, 61, an art dealer who has lived in the Hamptons since late May.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *