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Pissing On Montauk

from The New York Times

The Legend of the Ridiculously Long Montauk Bathroom Line

It was a quirky rite of passage, until the queues at Surf Lodge spilled onto the street and its septic system leaked into a pond.

By Alyson Krueger

The new bathrooms await the summer people.
The new bathrooms await the summer people.
Credit Johnny Milano for The New York Times

Last summer, on a typical weekend at Surf Lodge in Montauk, Jaden Smith performed Saturday night while the surfer Evan Valiere cheered him on and Tiffany Trump and Naomi Biden posed for photos — with each other. The next day, the rapper Lupe Fiasco would draw almost 400 people at a packed, outdoor performance; some guests showed up on kayaks to watch from nearby Fort Pond. It was so crowded that the guest list ceased to make a difference. 

“Last year it was politician year, all the kids,” said Alan Rish, a spokesman for Surf Lodge. “Malia Obama comes every year over the Fourth of July for her birthday.”

The Surf Lodge, a casual-chic hotel and lounge known for free concerts and its outdoor deck, attracts celebrities like Rosario Dawson and Jon Bon Jovi, as well as local fishermen and weekenders.

But in recent years, Surf Lodge has also been known for something else: Its ridiculously long bathroom lines. The queues for the four tiny women’s stalls were the stuff of local legend, curving into the lobby and at times out the main entrance, creating fire hazards. V.I.P.s with security details would have to notify a staff member in order to be escorted to a “secret bathroom” (which a lot of people seemed to know about) in the manager’s office.

“So much of my daily job involved people needing to pee,” said Jonny Lennon, a bouncer who has been with Surf Lodge since it opened 11 years ago.

There were also environmental concerns. The few overused bathrooms relied on an old septic system that hadn’t been renovated since the 1940s. “Nitrogen from waste was leaking into the pond,” said Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, deputy supervisor of East Hampton, referring to Fort Pond, the 181-acre body of water behind the lodge where the concertgoers on kayaks sometimes congregate.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on June 16, 2019 by Editor

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