Fresh morels. JANEEN SARLIN
February 22 -- Authorities say a joint police task force has taken down a heroin distribution ring in Riverhead that was selling heroin marked with the “Hollywood” brand throughout Southampton Town and across the North Fork. In total, nine men were arrested by members of the East End Drug Task Force on various dates between October and February, and now each faces multiple drug-related felonies.
Two local artists mounted a “guerrilla art installation” at a small oceanfront cottage in Bridgehampton this week—without the owner’s permission—to protest its planned destruction to make way for a larger house.
The artists—who contacted The Press by email but would not reveal their names or speak on the phone, saying they realize “what we did was not particularly legal”—said they had wanted to showcase “the inherent beauty of a small footprint created in tandem with the natural landscape.”
“We hope that our message will be heard, by Realtors and potential buyers, that this house, and the land it sits on, is worth saving,” the artists wrote. “A completely new house, with an expanded architectural footprint into an extremely ecologically sensitive area, is dangerous and unnecessary.”
The exhibit consisted of textile and ceramic works—including a tapestry noting how many storms the house had survived—temporarily displayed on the outer walls and deck rails to evoke “our childhood memories, during the 1970s, of these now vanishing timber-frame houses.”
The artists, who said they live in Sag Harbor and on Shelter Island, also invited about 40 friends to view the installation and join them at a party on the beach near the house. Then they dismantled the installation, leaving the tapestry on a storm door and a painted plank, inspired by the work of the textile artist Jack Lenor Larsen, that symbolically “bridges the gap between the inhabitants of the house and the landscape.”
The vacant two-bedroom cottage is on a half acre on Dune Road in Bridgehampton with more than 65 feet of waterfront and a private path to the beach, according to a listing with Sotheby’s International Realty that asks just less than $9 million. The listing notes that the property comes with plans for a 4,000-square-foot new home with a pool, two-car garage and more than 1,000 square feet of decks on multiple levels—or a 2,700-plus-square-foot residence that would not require zoning variances. An application for variances to accommodate the first plan has already been filed with the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals.
Carla Cadzin of the marketing department at Sotheby’s, to whom a phone call to the listing agent was referred, declined to comment.
Southampton Town records indicate that John R. Tozzi, CEO of Cambridge Investments, bought the house for $7.5 million from representatives of the late literary agent Rosalind Cole, who’d used it for more than 40 years and reportedly was the longest resident guest at the Waldorf Astoria, staying there 53 years. The only purchase of 77 Dune Road listed in town records before the one in 2015 was in 1973—for a price of $75,000.
“It was important to us to honor this beautiful house and spotlight the unsound trend of tearing down these shingle beach houses to build gigantic ones in their place, the artists wrote. "And we were willing to risk being caught to do so."
Barring any damage to the property, the charge in such a case would most likely be criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor, said Southampton Town Police Lt. James Kiernan, when asked hypothetically.
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