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At Jackson Pollock's House

Our Holiday expert Lake hangs out in the Hamptons. It's cold, wet and dark and not much fun. No wonder Pollock crashed his car.

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by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: August, 2006
you can look at, but not sit on, the Pollock toilet

The Hamptons are kind of like Disneyland; every house has little picket fences and hand-painted mailboxes just like Minnie Mouse's house in Toontown. Except instead of foam-suited characters ambling around you get to see "celebrities" – Uma Thurman at the deli counter, Diane Keaton at the coffee shop - and most of the men wearing pastel shaded polo-shirts and looking like Bill Gates or Edward Norton smiling smugly under Ralph Lauren umbrellas.

After a dismal stay in Manhattan where it rained like it rained in the movie Seven without any respite for 72 hours solid it seemed like a few days at the beach might save me from sodden depression. So I drove the length of Long Island to get to see Jackson Pollock's old house and studio which is pretty damn near to being the last house on the whole island. Go to East Hampton, turn left at the windmill.

It didn't ever stop raining and it never even got bright enough for the automatic headlamps in the hire car to switch off. It was like living in a twilight world.

But the radio was good – Garage Rock on Xm-Sat - Sonics, the Clash, Ramones, New York Dolls, Shangri-Las - driving at 14 mph behind a wagon of corn-on-the-cob through 8" deep puddles for hours at a time.the radio had to be good.

The place that Pollock shared with Lee Krasner houses some of their old furniture, Pollock's record collection, a few paintings. You can go up the stairs and peer into the bedroom - you can look at, but not sit on, the Pollock toilet. The best part is the barn out across the yard. This is where he painted some of his great works.

On the floor and up the walls are the remnants of Pollock's paint. You have to wear foam slippers but other than that you can pretty much dance around and act out the old Action Jackson jazz painting crab-dance if that was what you wanted to do.

Thinking about it now it seems to be a good place to visit. For me, at the time, completely soaked through from just a 50 yard dash from house to barn in the grey and in the rain well I just wanted to get back into the hire car and listen to music by mostly dead people.

Rating my trip from one to ten I'd put it somewhere between 0 and 1.But probably closer to 0.

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Lake
Editor, London

the first journalism Lake ever had published was a history of Johnny Thunders for Record Collector magazine, since then he has written for publications including the Guardian, Dazed and Confused, the Idler and more recently, outsideleft.com as you have just seen.

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