I just spent last week in Montauk for the first time–and found it very relaxing. I checked out to the Montauk Point Lighthouse and loved its history and the care that the local historical society has taken in its upkeep and splendor. I can see why a few brave Manhattanites staked claim in Montauk many years ago. The town still functions as an unspoiled fishing village–all the locals are connected to fishing–which rings true of my childhood home in Virginia, also a small town of 11,000 people, many of them watermen.
In Montauk, I loved the local haunts like The Dock (instead of Gosman’s) and Clam Shack (and yes, I had breakfast at Joni’s every day!). It may sound simple but for me it was an epiphany that every town will have a touristy Times Square section and then fab neighborhood finds. And really I never needed a guide book because the locals, if you engaged them, loved telling you where to go because they love their town so much.
When I got back to the city, it made me realize that even though I have lived in the city for 15+ years and I really am a local, there is no reason to not engage other locals–I think sometimes we New Yorkers (admit it!) don’t want to ask for advice since we are all so knowledgeable–but it is a boon that we live in a city filled with so much knowledge.
Earlier today I read a piece on Forbes.com about the three myths of networking–one of the big ones being that all networking is sleazy and inauthentic. But we network all the time and don’t even realize it–it is just letting yourself be curious about your surroundings and another person’s perspective. That is exactly what I was doing when I was asking our waitress at Clam Shack about where we should have breakfast and where we should have drinks when I learned about what a fight it was to put the 7-11 in town and how lovely Montauk is in September. It made me want to come back in September which I probably will which is the best kind of networking–win-win. I will (in a small way!) support the economy in the off season and have a lovely time.
Right before I went on vacation I was in a discussion about why we help others from a business perspective. And there are clearly two camps, Camp #1 thinks that you help someone because eventually they will help you but Camp #2 thinks that you help someone because you want to and maybe not through that person directly but the good deed will come back to reward you. This vacation made me think I am a proud member of Camp #2–maybe I should go on vacation more often…