A Weekend out East, in winter

We rarely spend time out east during the winter after spending so much time out there in the winter months of Covid. Now, getting out there for a few nights of reprieve and movies is a treat. We could not go to the Sundance Film Festival this year due to— a wedding, so I got the streaming pass that allows us to watch whatever films we want from January 25- 29th.

On the way out of town, we stopped by Katzs, one of the premier food institutions in NYC. It is one of our favorite things to do. The lines are always long, the place is always packed, and the food is always good. I would love to know how many pastramis on ryes they make a year.

We watched two films on Friday afternoon/evening and did dinner at Nick and Tonis, a local spot that has always reigned supreme but now there is a bit of competition. Good for us, not so good for Nick and Tonis. Our meal was not that good, although it looked beautiful and sounded delicious. Perhaps it is time for a new chef? The whole fish was dry and tasteless.

The one film worth mentioning from the evening is Persian Version. An Iranian woman navigating her world of “American” life vs. what society expects her to be, particularly in the Iranian culture. Great film.

The morning was a stop at Goldberg bagels to get the day started. Dare I say the best bagels, hands down?

We headed for lunch to Hampton Chutney, a fixture out east that moved from Amagansett into East Hampton. I have never understood why they have not taken this place on the road. Similar to Katz, you know exactly what you will get and what it will taste like.

Before we settled in for the movies, a quick jaunt to the beach.

Our afternoon was chocked with more films: Scrapper, a British film set in northern England. A 12-year-old girl loses her mother and lives alone without anyone knowing it until her father shows up; he had her at 18 and hasn’t seen her since then. It is an endearing film. The other winner is A Thousand and One, set in 1990’s Harlem. A young, single, previously incarcerated Mom who has lost her kid to foster care decides to kidnap him from the system, stay out of jail, raise him, and give him the life she never had. Great writing and an excellent film. Another Iranian film, Shayda. A film about an Iranian woman living in Australia with her daughter that finds herself in a women’s shelter to protect herself against her husband and his desire to take his daughter away to Iran. A fantastic film.

We made our way out to Sant Ambreous, finally opened in East Hampton. One of our local favorites in the West Village. They now have twelve locations in and around NYC, the Hamptons, and one random in Florida and Milan. They have grown incredibly from the first location in Milan in 1936 to Madison Avenue in 1982. Well, run, and always good. I am a fan.

We dipped back to the city early for a few things, including a few more movies, before the festival ended. We are fans of Sundance, but the experience online is something to be desired. Not everything is available, the app is slow and frustrating, and the beginnings of each film give too much information about Sundance. AI should be able to figure out that you have already seen that info. Like all movies and where they will be seen in the future, Sundance is begging for an upgrade.