Well, I'm back from The Hamptons. It's upscale, yes...but it's mostly a down-homey place with abundant trees and deer crossings. Plenty of roads are impossible to decipher a name, and yes, I nearly ran into a deer looking for one.
The Hamptons is like New England in New York, and in one particularly annoying repeat from something I noticed in JohnB's neck of the woods in Vermont: they have a bunch of crosswalks where it is the law to stop if anyone has their toe dipping into it, no matter how far away they are from your vehicle. The street in which I stayed (the bending, twisting, sometimes-a-highway Route 27) in Bridgehampton was constantly swarmed in two-lane traffic. And The Hamptons was an awful place in which to find something quick to eat. While the lack of McDonald's, Taco Bells, Wendy's, et al might be comforting to some of my anti-mainstream friends, I found the lack of, say, anywhere to eat at all making me wish for some greasy mainstream food. If you want something to eat, you are likely finding a grocery store.
And stuff closes so early, too. Getting out late at night, my only real comfort was a 24-hour grocery store known as King Kullen. Different parts of the world always have their different chains of grocery stores...it's strange. You never see something familiar when you enter a new region. I enjoyed the King Kullen, though: such a huge store...something you will not find in NYC.
As for the festival: I spent 57 hours or so at this one theatre, mostly encased in a small projection booth with two projectors and usually two other guys, both from Connecticut. I got to know them pretty well, but I'd like you to take any thoughts of Brokeback Mountain out of your head, please.
Very few celebrities were out and about as far as I could see. Our little booth showed some pretty heavy-hitters, too. The only famous people I could manage was from a distance through a small glass window, and they might not even be people you've heard of: Kate Mara, who is probably best known as the woman in Shooter, and the aformentioned Brokeback as Heath Ledger's daughter at the end of the film, was there to basically say, "Hey," before her film Stone of Destiny. And Chiwetel Ejiofor, who has been making his living as a character actor in stuff like Inside Man, came to introduce his short film Slapper, which played before The Wrestler, a movie I have reviewed on nymoviereviews.
Due to my colleagues and I's dedication, we didn't really get yelled at that much by festival organizers and foreign filmmakers. Occasionally we'd forget to hit the lights, or something annoying, but we displayed films quite professionally as should be expected. There was more film than I was expecting here. I'm just glad it's over. It was long, boring, sometimes fun...and there were parties that had a definite end-time, which sucked...but I was able to slightly booze it up while it lasted. Nothing serious.
I left none too fond of The Hamptons. I probably need a different experience there to judge, but on my last day I was very glad to get out of there.