Last summer, fears of another market crash — or worse, that the vindictive government might snatch away their bonuses and leave them high and dry — forced many wealthy Wall Streeters to scrimp and save. Some were even forced to deny themselves the basic pleasures of life, such as their yearly renovations. But this year, after instability in the markets enabled many institutions to declare record earnings, big-ass bonuses once again rained down upon the parched industry, and now that the sun is out, they are free to frolic and spend again.
Not that they're being over-the-top. Most people are just buying the basics.
"There's a real sense of confidence — at least out here," said Adrian Berger, a saleswoman at Tennis East on East Hampton's main street.
A year ago, Berger said, "people got by with last year's tennis outfit." This year she's seeing a renewed willingness to gear up for the courts.
And it's only May!