Pay Attention - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1787255

Pay Attention

I came here in 1978, and I worked at the Corner Bar. Bill King, the artist from East Hampton, told me, “Whoa, you were here then? I would never come here in the ’70s after dark!”

Yes, we have changed — boy, have we changed. And yet we are here. We, this brilliant accepting and almost perfect community of artists, writers, fisherman, firemen, gypsies, tramps and thieves, all cherished members of equal standing in Sag Harbor.

And now, as we change again, we face some major challenges. We have the opportunity to rise as an arts destination, a unique place where the arts lead the community in vision and planning.

But as people discover our community, so do the developers.

I left Sag Harbor in the 1980s and lived in New York and had the misfortune of working in commercial real estate there. It was a boilerplate ruse to fund an arts organization to build them to behemoth size and then use that building as the zoning example to sue the town and force them to allow equal building sizes all around them.

This whole deal smells of the same ugly business as usual of commercial real estate.

Bay Street Theater can exist with us and without Friends of Bay Street. We need to pay attention and remember that no money is free, and this money to build this big building of Bay Street Theater comes with a very dear cost — a cost to all of us, and the face of our town.

Friends of Bay Street are banking on the thought that we won’t fight them, we won’t grasp their long-term goal. Let’s prove them wrong and create a reasonably sized home for Bay Street Theater and continue on the blessed path Sag Harbor, without corruption.

No to the Bay Street Theater building.

Julie Keyes

Sag Harbor