Not enough thermite and bourbon on Earth for me to deal with this.
As Memorial Day approached, Hamptons residents girded themselves for seasonal headaches: traffic jams, guys in tank tops, the Kardashians. For the next few weeks, at least, another irritant will remain: helicopter noise. The East Hampton Airport, long a haven for discreet private planes, recently imposed restrictions on “noisy” aircraft, which aviation interests have sued to block. Last week, a judge delayed ruling on the matter until June. Much of the controversy revolves around new air services such as Blade, which allows people to crowdsource helicopter flights.
Blade works like Uber. You download an app, and when you find yourself needing a chopper you press a button to launch a charter flight, splitting the fare with other passengers. The system has brought the cost of helicopter travel from around thirty-five hundred dollars—C.E.O. territory—to six hundred dollars for a one-way forty-minute trip to or from East Hampton. Blade has been downloaded by twenty thousand users, and it advertises with slogans like “Beat your boss to work!” Locals hate it. Patricia Currie, a consultant, lives in Sag Harbor, close to the airport’s flight path. “It’s like the apocalypse is descending on top of your house,” she said. “It’s an ill bird that fouls its nest. And that’s what’s happening here. These people are coming out to Paradise. And then they’ll foul the nest and leave.”
If there are any supervillains reading, I’ll look the other way if you “fix” this. I’ll even throw in plenty of time to monologue. And before you ask, yes, this is absolutely real and yes, this is why we cannot being having the things that are nice.
You may be ultra wealthy one day and need this invaluable service — just look at it that way.
Thermite and bourbon … Hmm. That sounds like an interesting cocktail.
Just like all good capitalists everywhere, love free market solutions until it allows the proles to get a little *too* close to their betters.
It’s a problem in my neighborhood as well.
See Stop the Chop
These are tourists flying up the Hudson and back, turning around at Spuyten Duyvil .
Horrible for Brooklynites as well.
Do you want to “fix” the Hamptons, Blade, or both? I think most people would be down with both.
WTF? How does this even make sense?
I paid $160 for a ride in a Cobra Gunship three weeks back! The asking price is $500 but I was the winning bid in a scholarship auction!
Unlike with Uber, with Blade’s software you can also select from regularly scheduled flights.
Gin & Tonic
This is the Hamptons, where you can spend $1.6m to *rent* a house *for the summer.*
Always the bigotry towards flying machines.
They just need to monotize it. Alameda will send you a ticket if you violiate noise abatement procedures departing out of Oakland.
Has anyone broken out the world’s tiniest violin yet for these poor suffering multimillionaires?
I was going to ask the same question.
Honestly I’m not sure why I should be worrying about a bunch of rich assholes screaming NIMBY at another group of rich assholes. Other than rooting for a meteor, I suppose.
“These people are coming out to Paradise. And then they’ll foul the nest and leave.” File under “First World Problems.” In related news, the NYT ran a story the other day on the latest trends in “safe rooms” for the paranoid percentiles, and it included this gem:
Yeah, well, these “people of means” are probably incapable of imagining how scary a place the world is for people without means. Sheesh.
Just activate Whisper Mode.
Villago Delenda Est
Well, is Blade playing “Ride of the Valkyries” at 11 as they fly over the cottages of the Hamptonites?
The problems of the rich. They are solved, quite easily, with tumbrels.
disaster waiting to happen, me thinks.
also: the fact that this article was even written makes me despair for humanity.
Hell, if I had money, I’d use the service to fly helicopters all around the place just to aggravate these fuckers.
(See previous thread.)
@Corner Stone: Your boss drives or takes the train Sunday night. You fly. Monday morning. And get there before his suspenders bound behind makes its way in.
on the opposite end of the spectrum, of why we can have nice things, in reading about Chuck Johnson’s Twitter ban (he’s apparently had 7 (seven!) accounts suspended, possibly permanently), I’ve read that he’s going to do a Reddit AMA. The shenanigans possible there are just too immense.
@Corner Stone: I’ve had some bosses that I wanted to beat so they would do their work. but I’m guessing that’s not what they mean.
The people who actually live in the Hamptons year-round aren’t multimillionaires — they’re locals, many of whose families have lived there for hundreds of years, and who work as farmers, contractors, bartenders, plumbers, store clerks, nurses, etc. etc. The multimilionaires are the city folk in their helicopters who descend like the plague of locusts they are.
No one has actually worn suspenders to a NYC office since about 1999.
@Villago Delenda Est:
That would seem to make sense, however you’d only be adding to the problem you see. All that nasty aftermath of blood and botox everywhere. It’s just more of the fouling of the nest. Then who would pay the proles to clean it all up?
OK, I’m going to put in a word for the long-time residents. I lived for 10 years in a middle-low middle-class neighborhood in Long Island and met and worked with people who lived in Sag Harbor, Sagaponack, and other places nearer to the city but still in “rich areas.” They hadn’t bought with their millions, their parents or grandparents had bought with their dollars. This was their home before the great invasion. Even the wealthiest Hampton person I met lived in the house he inherited from gramps.
I’m not going to stand here and say they were egalitarians or any such thing but this was home to them. Having the Kardashians and their publicity juggernaut, and some of the same ilk descend en masse must be horrifying.
(edit) and as someone mentioned above, year-round residents aren’t likely to be really wealthy to begin with.
Ah, but would you pay $1200 weekly in order to do it?
I just think the idea of helicopter operators outside of regulation does not bode very well.
Then again since I will never in my life take a helicopter on Blade….
@Rand Careaga: that’s who they’re scared of. That people without means are about to wake up and get some retribution.
Free markets mean that negative externalities are born by the public don’tyaknow.
Yeah – that quote brings out my inner Wicked Stepmother, wanting to say, “I’ll give you something to feel cornered and threatened about!”
The Pale Scot
Could a braver soul than me wade into the “Bob Woodward: Bush Didn’t Lie About WMD” wafting thru the airs and share about it.
@Villago Delenda Est: I like your thinking, but it’s Madame Guillotine that does the problem solving. Tumbrels just provide the ride.
@The Pale Scot: Charlie Pierce has it covered, and yes, it’s as bad as you think.
” when you find yourself needing a chopper”. Words I can’t imagine ever coming from my mouth.
Similar: In the early days, back when Orange County was predominantly bean and tomato fields we had Orange County Airport.. As the story goes, house and condo fever hit the Southland in the 70s-80s until there was nary an empty patch of land left. Property values soared in the flightpath as Newport Beach became SoCal’s Riviera and the fight to move the airport grew. The jets which were flying overhead while the houses were being built had now become a nuisance. It was as if the airport suddenly appeared sometime during the 80s.
Mid-town Manhattan to JFK in 7 minutes of your choice? You might use it yet!
Well, Blade does not fly its own choppers. It uses only carriers certified by the FAA; and other service-providers licensed by the NY Department of Transportation. (When they started out, if your flight was grounded by inclement weather, Blade would refund your money and arrange to have you driven to your destination. They may still do this, but I think they’ve switched to a different contractor/fleet.)
Anyhow, those very helicopters have been flying for a while, noisy as ever, operated by the very same companies. Blade’s angle is the Uber-like software. It would be interesting to know how that software has affected the total number and path distribution of flights. From what I can see at the moment, Uber is crushing the conventional taxi business.
@The Pale Scot:
Even if the W Bush administration didn’t flat-out lie about Saddam had WMDs, they were bullshitting to that effect. And like Professor Frankfort says, bullshitting is worse than lying.
They made their choice. The 1% could choose to be fantastically wealthy in a thriving First World nation with a strong safety net so that the classes would feel safe and secure and would not want to rock the boat. Or they could choose the South American model, where they are slightly more fantastically rich but have to ride around in armor plated limos accompanied everywhere by armed security and put panic rooms in their houses to ward off potential kidnappers.
I’ve often wondered: between Bel-Air and the Hamptons, which will be the first to be burned to the ground when the revolution comes.
@Cervantes: nah. I’m retired and live on the West Coast. I actually enjoyed the half hour taxi ride to La Guardia the last time I was in that part of the world. Gave me a chance to look around.
@Citizen Alan: bel Air is easier to set alight.
Honestly, I don’t have much sympathy for rich people upset that their wealthy homes are getting “sullied” by helicopters. If rich people didn’t want to travel there on the weekends, they wouldn’t have moved there in the first place. I live in Manhattan and have to deal with regular traffic noise and emergency vehicle sirens. No one listens to my complaints about it. Instead I start consulting with window companies to improve the soundproofing.
I’m actually starting to miss the inane Hillary Clinton posts.
What a perfect use for the Kardashians — siccing ’em on the residents of the Hamptons. What’s not to love about this story?
I can’t hear you over the terrible din of all of those tiny violins playing “Cry Me A River”.
I’d like to introduce you to the concept of “pillage”.
Once again, most people who live out there aren’t rich — they’re long-term locals with middle-class or lower-middle class jobs. The people who cause the image of the so-called Hamptons (a term which few locals use) as a decadent playground are mainly wealthy Manhattanites. Otherwise, it’s a solidly middle and working-class community.
Yes, if they own a home out there they’ve seen their homes vastly increase in appreciation, so some of them are now house-rich — but if they cash out, they, and their children, can never afford to live in their community ever again. And their kids can certainly never afford to buy a house in the area where they grew up.
@Corner Stone: well there was one that I’d’ve had to think about for that amount
Broken record here, but the actual residents of the “Hamptons” are fishermen, farmers, postal workers, contractors, cooks, home, vet techs, pharmacists, barbers, hairdressers, small store owners, etc. Why would you want to sic anyone on them?
To be fair, the Kardashians probably wouldn’t be spending most of their time interacting with the majority of the people you mentioned.
Sure they would — they just wouldn’t acknowledge it, or look them in the eye. They’d certainly enjoy the fruits of the labor that the local contractors, landscapers, drivers, cooks, waiters, drycleaners, police etc. etc. had put in.
Not sure about that. Consider this from Harry:
This must be a slow news day – didn’t Hillary Clinton draw breath today and wasn’t she so heroic for doing so and didn’t somebody complain about it?
Even if everybody in the Hamptons isn’t rich they for sure aren’t poor, and the “consultant” quoted for double sure isn’t. Not to say I am for the Blade thing, the noise for sure stinks.
gosh can i say “for sure” more? for sure
In fairness, it’s a good bet that the frequency of flights was increasing rapidly as people were moving in. That’s a real problem with things like airports. They may be tolerable when there are a few flights of small planes, but they rapidly become intolerable when there are more and more flights of bigger planes. That’s why, for example, Burbank/Bob Hope bans flights between 10 PM and 6 AM. It’s also why my sister’s house has double double-paned windows and extra insulation; retrofitting every nearby house with extra sound-proofing was the price of SeaTac expanding operations.
Okay. I stand corrected. Darn. I was so excited at discovering a use for the Kardashians. Back to the drawing board, I guess.
I’ll get my son on it.
When the Bush cabal – in 2002 – dictated to the British high muckamucks that instigating war was a done deal no matter what and the only possible dickering was over the date of commencement, they lied by simultaneously mouthing the opposite to the U.S. public.
Among a plethora of other shameless, blatant, outright lies.
Andrew Keen covers this in “The Internet is not the Answer”.
More ways for the rich to be separate from the poors.
Ain’t the intertubes great?
And did anybody read Maureen Dowd on her Uber experience? What an idiot.
Where’s Frankensteinbeck when you really need him?
There were 7 F/A 18 jets flying close patterns all over Boston today.
@raven: I’m sure a Cobra gunship with a full payload could remedy the problem in the Hamptons very nicely.
“The median income for a household in the town was $53,887, and the median income for a family was $65,144. Males had a median income of $47,167 versus $32,054 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,320. About 5.3% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.2% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.”
Maureen’s brain seems to be made of swiss cheese, but more to the point: What idiot of an editor accepts the tripe that she puts forth and deems it worthy of publication?
@Rafer Janders: Honestly, though, I’ve lived year-round in a summer town, and bitching about summer people is just what townies do. They’re annoying, they take up all the parking, they crowd up the stores and the beaches, and they dress funny. They also spend money. Lots and lots of money, without which our summer town would dry up and blow away because townies are cheap bastards who don’t actually support their local economy. And I’ll bet you a box of overpriced salt water taffy that if you took the helicopters away, the melodramatic Ms. Currie would switch to monologues on how the plague of out of state drivers descending on the land would cause one thousand years of darkness in her soul.
@Rafer Janders: 5% wow, what hard times have befallen them.
wwuzzat – Best Post of the Day Award sir/ma’am
8& to be fair sorry
You could ask the same about everything by Brooks and Douthat, and about some of Kristof’s more clueless work.
I’m of two minds on this. One part of me — the part with class consciousness — really wants to see a bunch of pissed-off rich people eat each other. The other part — the aviation geek — is going “Waaaaohhh, COOOL!” and trying to figure out how I can arrange a helicopter ride to the beach too.
Likewise in Santa Monica, where suddenly a few years ago a bunch of people woke up, looked out the window, and saw an airport that they swear wasn’t there when they bought the house. It’s not easy to build a functioning airport in the middle of a single night, but I guess that’s what happened.
If you’re ultra rich you’ll have your own helo. This is for the merely rich, and they’re annoying the ultra rich.
Y’all aren’t going to listen, are you? Just like Republicans are invested on their moocher narrative, you’re invested in your narrative about all Hamptonites being despicable rich people, facts (as mentioned above) be damned.
Twenty thousand people downloaded this app?????!!!!
That is depressing. That is a huge number of people in NYC who are thinking maybe they’ll need this sometime over the summer.
I, too, lived in Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor. Over a span of years starting quite young. When there were potato fields everywhere.
Yes, the Hamptons are blighted now by Masters of the Universe craziness. But it is so spectacularly beautiful. Miles and miles and miles of perfect beach. The most remarkable light quality.
I tried to go back there in the late 90’s. But it was impossible. Cost wise, emotion wise. It was turning into LA then. (Where I have also lived.) NYC had always been a place where talent earned you your position. And money wasn’t the most important part of who you were.
But that was changing.
On Wall Street, money fell from the sky on people not by their actually earning it, but just because. Like happens in the movie biz. And money becoming the barometer of “worth” created no prettier results on the East Coast, then the West.
I used to live near that airport (though on the low-rent, LA/Mar Vista side) and I think the turning point was the pair of fatal crashes in 1994 where people’s homes were damaged. Noise is one thing (and IMO the noise was pretty minimal), but it’s the possibility of having a Cessna crash through your roof that’s freaking people out.
The most recent house damaged was in 2011, but there have been several on-runway crashes since then, including one this March that killed 4 people. Inexperienced pilots + small airport + heavily populated area is not a good mix.
DM: OK Zandar, you’re on 5th avenue and the couple dozen hipster zombies are milling about. They haven’t seen you yet, you don’t think. What are your next actions?
Zandar: (pulls up Blade app) I CAST GREATER SUMMON COPTER
“Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.” — Schiller.
@Downpuppy: The Blue Angels aren’t flying over Boston several times a day, every day. You can tolerate certain noises if they are not very frequent.
When my complex put in new windows, it cut the noise from airplane traffic considerably. Understand I live under the bad weather landing zone for LaGuardia. The airport was there a long time before Big Six Towers was built.
Yeah, but it’s not just the airport per se, it’s the frequency of flights. There was a heliport down by the East River at Wall Street for years, but up until about ten years ago there were less than 50 flights a day out of there, so if you lived on or close to the water, it was bad, but not that bad.
Come Bloomberg, and the rate went up to over 300 helicopter flights a day, or about one every two minutes. That becomes not just a quantitative but a qualitative difference. Suddenly the helicopter noise goes from being an occassional disturbance to something that JUST NEVER STOPS.
Definitely falls under the category of “Rich People’s Problems.”
Well, it’s largely a working and middle class people’s problem, since they’re the ones who actually live there, but yeah, sure, whatever story makes you more comfortable with the narrative in your head….
This is, once again, a story about a well-funded company screwing over the larger community in order to make money. But because that community has been the problem of unfortunate branding — largely done at the hands of out-of-town Manhattan sophisticates — suddenly the people here can’t see past that, despite the clear evidence staring them in the face.
Cognitive shutdown is not just a problem on the right, it seems.
That’s more in line with my view of that crowd — a view developed over four decades, at least.
I go out to Montauk every summer (not so much the past few years, but I’ve probably spent a good quarter of my life out there) and this is all true. This is an area that relies extensively on summer tourism, so the people who live there year-round basically form the foundation of what keeps the tourist economy functioning. It’s them and various immigrant groups (traditionally its been Irish laborers, but recently there has been a shift to the Caribbean) that come just for the summer and work in the restaurants and as store clerks.
The locals on the east end of Long Island have long had a conflicted relationship with summer tourists – its what keeps the local economies going but the place gets absolutely mobbed during major Spring/Summer holidays – but their ire has traditionally been reserved for fellow middle-class people coming out and spending the weekend. People not wealthy enough to own or rent a house, but wealthy enough to prefer their car to a bus or the LIRR. And that’s the root of this ire – car traffic – and this ire has gotten more pronounced as that tourist army has gotten bigger and the roads have gotten more and more congested.
There is a stretch of one-lane highway running about 30 miles from Southampton to Montauk Point – in some places its really the only way to get to neighboring villages – and it gets bumper to bumper during every Summer holiday weekend. And this can get absolutely frantic when dealing with emergency services.
The crowd-sharing helicopters do nothing to ameliorate this, because its still too expensive for most of the tourists and you’re still going to need ground transport from the East Hampton airport to your final trip. It just adds to the inconveniences of living in a tourist-based economy in an area that can’t really accommodate it.
I can’t decide who I hate more in this story, the Hamptonites appalled at being inundated by the less rich, or the type of people who would pay $600 for a 40 minute helicopter ride in order to avoid the unwashed masses.
Also, for those insisting the locals complaining are working “on the Downeaster Alexa,” this is not the quote of a working class Long Islander:
Patricia Currie, a consultant, lives in Sag Harbor, close to the airport’s flight path. “It’s like the apocalypse is descending on top of your house,” she said. “It’s an ill bird that fouls its nest. And that’s what’s happening here. These people are coming out to Paradise. And then they’ll foul the nest and leave.”
Well, (A), why can’t it be? Many locals can speak in full sentences and use proper grammar. Many have even read a book! Just how dumb do you imagine an East Ender has to sound like before you’ll accept her as authentic enough….?
(B) What, you don’t think the locals have ears too? Even if Currie isn’t local, don’t the locals live under the same flight path? Don’t they don’t get drowned out by the same helicopter noise?
Major Major Major Major
@Zandar: @Zandar: Do you have the material components?
Yeah WTF fellow liberals?
They may damn well be land rich, but the locals on LI’s East End are not wealthy people on average. It’s not Malibu or montecito; the summer people are some of the most spectacularly wealthy on the planet but the year round folks are just like they are in Maine, or on the Cape, or wherever. Working construction or running a bar in East Hampton is a fine living, but it’s still squarely middle class.
BTW I say this as someone who is seriously contemplating buying a place out on LI (not in the Hamptons or Montauk; still out of my price range) and I can promise you that even a decent house in one of the non-beach towns costs less than a one-bedroom closet in NYC. And I’m sure the difference was even more pronounced twenty years ago. My friends who grew up in the Hamptons or the North Fork are from fourth- and fifth-generation families with dominant professions like fisherman, schoolteacher, public sanitation worker, and plumber.
Cue the chemtrails conspiracy nuts.
@Rafer Janders: I grew up in NY. Spent plenty of time on “The Island.” If you honestly think local fishermen and bartenders would go on about “fouling the nest” I question whether you’ve spent time there yourself.
Yeah, I’m sure the local blue collar population isn’t thrilled with more choppers. The tone of this story is not addressing that particular population.
Sigh. I “won” a bet with my boss about this, once it became clear to everyone that it was a done deal. I bet that the overt invasion would begin after Valentine’s Day 2003. (Always bet on schedule slip, even if you’ve taken schedule slip into account.)
For me, although it is undiagnosed because I haven’t bothered the VA medical people with it, my PTSD takes the form of creating great muscular fear in my body when I hear helicopters flying nearby. I know, and I knew, that helicopters only attacked “the other,” but they still cause this in me. Immense power over mere two-legged mortals.
Richard M Daley, Hero of the Revolution.
Um, isn’t that the meaning of “monetize the service”?
Feature, not bug.
I live 2 blocks from a very large regional trauma center with helipads on the roof. As well, Pasadena seems to have more than one police helicopter. Add in the county fire, sheriff, news, etc and it seems rare that I can’t hear one flying over head. I hear a great deal of IGMFY coming from the Hamptons. And I’m shocked, shocked I say that rich folks would complain about not having the perfect life.
I’d bet you can imagine my next sentence.
Fuck rich, pompous assholes. With large, powered tree cutting tools. Preferably with some oxide on there somewhere.
Working and middle class folks can afford a $600 helicopter ride to and from work? (I’d bet round trip is $1200) I’m not middle class but I do fall into the working class level pretty well and I couldn’t afford that on a holiday.
@Interrobang: I grew up in the flight path of Teterboro Airport, jet-port to NYC among its general aviation. I was always looking up.
Now I live in the flight path, heck, on the final approach, to Groton-New London Airport, and again am always looking up to watch the planes. Bonus: an ANG helicopter repair depot at the airport, so weekends we get choppers, up to and including Chinooks, flight-testing (lucky crew!). Look up– and wave!
Grew up there. Went to school there. Have friends who are the sons and daughters of local fishermen and bartenders who — gasp! — went to good colleges, run book clubs, read literary fiction, play in bands, and write poetry.
Jesus, this kind of reverse snobbery that assumes that working or middle class = stupid and ignorant, coming from supposed liberals, is appalling.
Um, poor reading comprehension much? Working and middle class folks are the ones living out on the East End complaining about the people paying $600 to ride a helicopter over their homes. The ones PAYING $600 are the bankers and lawyers and consultants who work in Manhattan and only come out to the East End to play.
I’d be heartily in favor of a different kind of app. Come the Revolution, and “here comes a chopper to chop off your head,” when the line of assholes like Dick Cheney gets too long, someone can press the Chopper app on their smartphone and get the guy with the big axe dispatched to that location right quick.
I’d say it’s eye-opening, but it’s not. It’s old.
Except … what’s “reverse” about it?
Well, reverse from supposed liberalism, I suppose.