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EDITOR'S LETTER

Time to Celebrate

The Hamptons have changed so much just in the past five years that it's hard to picture what the area was like 230 years ago, when our nation's founders declared their independence from England. As you'll see in this issue's Neighborhood Report, back then the East End was thoroughly English—East Hampton, in fact, was originally called Maidstone, after a town in Kent, and Southampton (covered in our last issue) was the oldest English settlement in New York State.

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These days, the Hamptons, like the rest of America, is teeming with people from all over the world—Brazil, France and Germany, among many other countries—who are investing in the area for its great beaches, hot cultural scene and still scintillating real estate market. (Doubters should consult Deeds & Don'ts for news about Jay Furman's recent purchase of Ted Forstmann's estate and a Lake Agawam waterfront listing in Southampton for $48 million.) So, as we gather with family and friends to commemorate America's birthday, we also celebrate the rich and ever expanding diversity of our communities.

How, you might ask, can you celebrate? We've made it easy with an exhaustively researched Season Planner highlighting scores of galas, concerts, lectures—and yes, fireworks—happening from now until Labor Day. Pull it out and take it with you—we've designed it small enough to slip into a pocketbook or beach bag.

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