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Holiday Traditions

Originally Posted: December 06, 2006

Nicole B. Brewer

Amy Ernst and Rebecca Cooper at the opening of Dada's Daughter. Photo by Katrina
Lovett

With the holidays and the end of the year speeding towards us, its tempting to stay bundled up inside with some cocoa and friends and family. We couldn't resist heading out to some local art galleries and family events, and even a chance to visit with Santa to get our requests in a few weeks early.

Starting at The Gallery in Sag Harbor, we stopped by to see their opening reception for 'Dada's Daughter,' the works of Amy Ernst. The quaint building just before the hustle and hassle of trying to park on Main Street was glowing warm and inviting on Friday evening. Champagne and hors d'oeuvres kept guests warm on the inside while the vibrant abstract pieces and collages warmed the room. We spotted Ruth Appelhoff, Michael Waldman, and Michelle Kidwell taking in the show. Up the narrow staircase, we paused to chat with Cuca Romley about her scenic portrayals of towns across the East End. Even the building itself was a conversation starter with Cuca, who invited us to come back for the grand tour. We can't wait!

Santa was really busy this weekend making stops in all the villages and towns to check out first hand who's been naughty and who's been nice!

His first stop near as we could tell was a morning visit to East Hampton for the annual Santa Parade with this year's theme of "Candyland". Early bird crowds thronged the village streets eager to catch the first glimpse of the jolly red man in the fur trimmed suit!

Dylan Motz, Kim Covell, Carol Covell, and Jack Motz at the Southampton Parade of
Lights. Photo by John Wegorzewski

In Southampton, the eagerly anticipated Parade of Lights featuring firetrucks from Southampton, Agawam, Sag Harbor and more chugged down Main Street bedecked in dazzling lights. Led by Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer truck, the shimmering display drew oohs and auhs and open mouths from the tots. Several of our wonderful volunteer firefighter and emergency folks were walking Christmas trees with hundreds of gaily colored lights over their uniforms. Some even handed out candy treat to the kids.

While Santa might have been the guest of honor, Congressman Tim Bishop with his family and Mayor Mark Epley lent a hand to light the giant tree in Agawam Park.

Frosty the Snowman as did Winnie the Pooh made an appearance but it was clearly Santa that was the main draw. As the truck bearing Old St. Nick rounded the corner at Job's Lane there was a roar from the crowds jamming the sidewalks.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Following Santa down Job's Lane, the crowd gathered in Agawam Park for mercifully short speeches and thank-yous and the big draw "Turn on the Lights" and soon - well almost with a 5 second delay - the giant evergreen was ablaze.

Christmas carolers from the Eastern Psalmist Gospel Choir sang for the hundreds of parents and grandparents leading the children for an up close encounter of the best kind at the handsomely redesigned Southampton Cultural center. Inside the Hamptons Chamber Orchestra was filling the air with yuletide carols. The line to see Santa was already wrapping around the room by the time we got there. Sadly we didn't get the chance to express our wish for that new pair of Louboutins, maybe we'll try a letter.

Having the requisite handful of home baked chocolate chip and gingerbread cookies - and we confess pocketing a handful for later munching - and some warm cider, traditions faithfully adhered to by our gang, it was off to fulfill another holiday tradition a toast at The Driver's Seat. Given the clear, bracing weather the place was packed to its proverbial rafters.

Ken and Irma Herzog, Anne DeBrigard, and Edward Callaghan in Southampton for
the Festival of Lights Parade. Photo by John Wegorzewski

Celebrating street side we saw scores of friends and neighbors in this almost annual reunion first including: Justine D'Anni, Caroline Winston, Hamptons.com's Kim Covell with sons Dylan and Jack and her sister Carol Covell, Kimberly McSparran, Irma and Ken Herzog, David Nadal, Anne De Brigard, John Green, Michelle from Barrister's, Barbara Warner with her gorgeous chow Dorothy, and Susan Madonia.

Further over in Westhampton the ecumenical Westhampton Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting on The Village Green in Westhampton Beach in a setting straight from "It's a Wonderful Life. There were songs by choral groups from Westhampton High School and The Hampton Synagogue with Santa making his last stop in the Hamptons 'til Christmas Eve.

Kudos and special thanks to the Southampton, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, and Westhampton Chambers of Commerce for filling our streets and our days with holiday cheer!

A special tip of the hat for our brave firemen, rescue workers, police and all the folks who participated in making this one of the most memorable country holiday happenings in recent memory.

orothy Frankel and Karin Sanders at the Karin Sanders Gallery. Photo by Katrina Lovett

Heading back to Sag Harbor, we stopped back at the Karin Sanders Gallery for their year end retrospective. Some of our favorite pieces from prior shows were back, as well as the artists as we visited with Cecil Brunswick, Dorothy Frankel, and Karin Sanders. Despite the wide array of styles with the pieces, the spacious gallery grouped them without overwhelming the eye when you moved from one piece to the next. Champagne kept the conversation flowing as guests stopped by. If this season and the retrospective are any sign, we can't wait to visit for their next show of the New Year.

The night was crisp yet clear, the perfect setting as the Ross School invited guests for their Fourth Annual Starlight Ball. Benefiting the Steven J. Ross Scholarship fund, the Ball was truly a family affair as host Christie Brinkley graciously circled the room several times chatting with guests. Daughter Alexa Ray Joel was the headliner for the evening's entertainment, and we spotted Sailor Lee and Jack showing their support helping out with the t-shirt sales for their big sister.

Alexa Ray Joel and Christie Brinkley at the Starlight Ball. Photo by Katrina Lovett

Silent and live auction items ran along one wall, including golf and travel packages, a couture gown by Morgane Le Fay and Liliana Casabal, clay artwork from Ross students, and several items for the younger crowd to enjoy including tickets to the Kid's Choice awards, and the chance to be the Ross School Principal-For-A-Day. Plentiful passed sushi and hors d'oeuvres kept guests including Courtney Ross, Peter Cook, and emcee Angela LaGreca satisfied through the lengthy cocktail hour, though some of those servers were quick - we spotted someone practically chasing the tray of spicy tuna rolls through the room for a bite.

After Christie stopped to give interviews to the local press and for a few pictures, everyone headed in for a scrumptious dinner and dancing with the sultry sound of Alexa's singing. We noticed Peter Cook making an early exit before dinner, perhaps not wanting to stick around in case she played "Now It's Gone" in her set.

With such a big crowd, we're sure the scholarship fund got a huge boost this year. We're looking forward to stopping back for next year's ball.

On November 29, 2006, Maurice Villency's prestigious Roslyn heights showroom was the spot for an evening of food, spirits, art and conversation. Artist Steven Colucci and the Villency family discussed the methodology and technique behind creating their art. A portion of proceeds from the reception were donated to the Port Jefferson Lions Club. Sponsors for the event included Trump Vodka, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Bove Wines, Chivas Regal, Glenlivet, and Demarco Catering.

Gary Vegliante, Mayor of Westhampton Dunes, with wife Claire at Maurice Villency.
Photo by Rob Rich

Thanks went out to honorary host Gary Vegliante, Mayor of Westhampton Dunes and proprietor of The Port Jefferson Lions Club, for his participation and contributions. Shepard Smith and Lee Illickal produced and promoted this event.

Establish in 1932, Maurice Villency is a family run operation which is now the largest home contemporary furniture retailer in the United States. Their name is synonymous with luxury, expert craftsmanship and innovative design.

Celebrated visual artist Steven Colucci's work was recently featured at the National Arts Club in Gramercy Park, the prestigious Grant Gallery and the Belenky Gallery in Soho.

The evening was a collaboration not realized in more than 70 years or 3 generations of the Maurice Villency family. The charitable event drew distinguished politicians, celebrities and personalities from all levels of the art and entertainment world.


Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com HamptonsOnline NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer




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