SAN FRANCISCO HAS ITS DAINTY NEIMAN MARCUS BUT WHY NOT SLIP OFF TO SAG HARBOR

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BY JAMEE GREGORY

Why is the end of August always dull and rainy? Everyone waits to take vacations at the beach, but it’s better for shopping than sunning. Monday dawned, grey and damp but drizzle free, perfect for a trip to Sag Harbor.

No traffic on Noyac Road, as my friend Lisa drives us past some popular summer restaurants off the beaten track, like The Coast Grill, Thyme and Again and Armand’s. We arrive, ready to explore the wonders of Sag Harbor, the Un-Hampton, as it likes to be known.

THE ALL AMERICAN WORKING TOWN

Main Street is a charming mix of old-fashioned emporiums like the hardware store and grocery shop, now threatened by the arrival of a large CVS. Sag Harbor, with its beloved, if dingy, movie theater, which always shows wonderful foreign films, resists change. The engaging American Hotel with its flower-filled porch and Sen will always draw serious food fans.

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Straw-covered console with woven baskets at Beach Bungalow.

Main Street still looks like a stage set for the early American whaling village that is still Sag Harbor. Gingerbread house still line the streets and boats dock all along the wharf. A day spent here is truly a pleasure!

THE RED AND GOLD

EVA CASSIDY

We begin at the aptly named Beach Bungalow, filled with tasteful furnishings all appropriate for seaside living. Sea horses, shells and sand dollars are the motifs of choice. Next we look for slim-fitting rash guards, worn by surfers under their suits as well as by ladies who aerobic walk and want sun protection. Multi-colored surf boards, wraparound sunglasses and wildly printed surfer shorts capture our attention. We stroll past antique shops and admire windows filled with memorabilia. A small courtyard holds a book store, The Black Cat, Privet Cove, frustratingly filled with treasure but closed, and a tea shop.

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Clockwise from top left: Beach Bungalow’s umbrellas with thatch: Just the thing for your turning your pool into a Polynesian paradise; Terrific prints, beautifully framed sand dollars, just thing for your beach house; Need a knick-knack? Everything from hands, heads and sailboats can be found at Our Gig Two; Emporium Hardware for all your home needs; Flying Point famous for surfers needs. Everything from boards to rash guards.

Our next stop is Australian Femininity; we’re not sure what that means but adore the mix of costume jewelry and hats, leaving with some of each. I’m seduced by a coral heart ring for twelve dollars that goes straight on my finger. Who could resist? Next we visit In.Home, a stylish shop offering French guest soaps in Green Tea, perfect for male houseguests and miniature white colanders, just right for rinsing breakfast berries.

In Fishers Lisa finds a pink and white striped rug for her daughters’ room and a turquoise cotton throw for an afternoon nap at the pool. We’re captivated by the street side display at Annyx, matched by the treasures inside. We stock up on clear boxes of pastel chocolates and sunflower seeds, meant for hostess gifts but too pretty to give away.

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Clockwise from top left: Stop at Black Cat Books to browse or Privet Cove for great gifts, but not on Monday when it’s closed!; Try Australian Femininity for bracelets that look like Dior and multicolored heart and flower rings. I found a pink cowboy hat!; Striped rugs, cotton, in all sizes can be found at Fishers Home Furnishings along with unusual sheets; Annyx, filled to the brim with great gifts. Stop and admire the charming outside display (Inset); .Inside you’ll be torn by heart-shaped porcelain dishes, big enough for rings, to pastel candies and raffia-wrapped candle holders; In.Home a great stop for sleek, modern gifts and French soaps, fluffy white mats.

Starving, we head for Bay Street, unable to resist a visit to Sag harbor Florist, known for its extraordinary orchids. Stopping next door, at Bella Casa, for a quick peek at its ceramic planters then parking ourselves at an outside table at Tutto IL Giorno, this summer’s new hotspot. The bread, pea soup, pasta and grilled shrimp sustain us.

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Calypso Home’s brightly patterned Indian table cloths, cushions and square wax candle holders inlaid with gold coins will keep you shopping.

Heading back to Main Street we pop in Candy and Flowers and the ever-chic emporium, Sylvester & Company before hitting Blooming Shells and admiring twisted corals and rows of shimmering shells.

Calypso Home hits a home run with metallic pillows, Indian print table cloths, and silk cushions, not to mention a pink leather pouf.

Bloom, a sophisticated and well-edited store is filled with everything in navy and cream from espadrilles to jackets.

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Clockwise from top left: Sag Harbor Florist sits in a charming gingerbread house covered with unusual planting (Inset). Inside you’ll find hundreds of orchids of all varieties and a grand selection of cut flowers from pink Snapdragons to rare yellow Hydrangeas, ready to be arranged; Satisfy your sweet tooth at Candy and Flowers, try Hampton’s Popcorn; Sylvester & Co. has gifts galore along with boxers in blue and white. This general store is very sophisticated; Blooming shells, tucked on Washington Street, stuffed with nature’s bounty from butterflies to starfish and in between.

Heading home, I suggest we try Scuttlehole Road and we miss the turn, taking us to Bridgehampton by mistake. But what a detour! We fall in love with multicolored bowls and French polka-dotted cutlery at Loaves and Fishes cook store and adore A Mano, the chicest new store in town. Trays, hand painted with coral motifs, hand bags with your choice of grosgrain ribbon and monogram, napkins in rainbow-hued linen and straw placemats embroidered with bright red lobsters capture our fancy. I leave with pink and yellow patterned placemats and napkins to match. I can’t wait to set the table for breakfast with my new finds!

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Clockwise from top left: Check out the display in front of Sag Harbor Antiques: flags, antlers, quilts, jockeys: an all-American mix; Try Bloom for austerely elegant selections in navy and cream, from espadrilles to shirts and jackets; Lisa and I stop to admire A Mano’s garden, filled with glazed pots; Lisa and I stop to admire A Mano’s garden, filled with glazed pots; A Mano’s was dynamite! Great placemats with lobsters and crabs, shell-encrusted candles, linen napkins in all colors; The shop’s windows filled with hand painted platters.

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