After a long cold rainy winter, we've been waiting for this chance to take advantage of everything the Hamptons has to offer and the weather was on our side for a change. Our intrepid team of reporters, photographers, gossip diggers, and bon vivants were out in full force and finery. From delightful garden fetes to beach parties to all the best openings, launches, gallery shows and celeb packed clubs, we were there.
Michael Wudyka and Destiny Masouras at the opening of Regulars. Photo by John
Hamptonite Michael Wudyka
has expanded his hospitality and entertainment empire with a new night spot up on North Sea Road in Southampton. No velvet ropes here, the new nightclub is called Regulars Music Café and that is exactly whom Mike and partner John Maguire
hope to attract. Judging by Tuesday night's opening for family and friends that is just what the café will do. Serving up old-fashioned comfort food, live music and a warm and friendly staff, Regulars will certainly become a "regular' on our night life crawls. Toasting John and Mike were good pals Lynda Passaretti
, Davis Saia
, Kristen Emery
, Michael's sons Tucker
, Destiny Masouras
, and artist Paton Miller
We couldn't ask for a better way to begin our summer revelries than a visit to the lush gardens of Robert Dash
on Friday evening, better known to all as The Madoo Conservancy
. Robert opened his beautifully landscaped Sagaponack preserve for a kick-off cocktail for The Group for the East End
, an organization at the forefront of protecting our beautiful habitat.
Robert De Luca
Robert De Luca, President of the Group for the East End, at Madoo Conservancy.
Photo by John Wegorzewski
, President of the Group for the East End, shared a cautionary tale in reminding the assembled crowd of the enormous carbon footprint that would result once the population here doubled with summer vacationers. A chilling thought that made us all vow to take their conservation efforts a little more seriously.
Sipping wine and nibbling on tasty hors d'oeuvres from the Canal Café were Susan Ecker
and Basil Carter
, Melinda Novak
, Barbara Hair
Estates Sue Calden
, Paige Mantel
, Donnell Brown
, Alice Whitmore
, Dorothy Frankel
, Dallas Ernst
, Marcus Stinchi
, Kyle Riedsel
, Maryanne Robinson
, Goldine Eismann
, David Schieldrop
, Catherine Grant
, Marcy Moerman
, Elisa Nevel
, Valerie Justin
, and the very convivial Lynda
and Ralph Confessore
Later that night, the Springs Improvement Society (SIS) hosted its 25th Annual SIS Members Art Show at Ashawagh Hall
, which runs for just the holiday weekend every year. Karyn Mannix
, both a participating artist and the Arts Administrator for SIS stated, "That this is my first year being responsible for this show, and we are featuring the works of 109 artists." Mannix further stated, "This show focuses mostly on local artists, however, we are pleased that there are so many young, new faces that have joined SIS and are participating in this year's show."
We hit our first beach party of the season - the kick-off for Miracle House
's summer gala - and it was a blast even if we weren't actually on the sand but inside the recently refurbished Bridgehampton Surf & Tennis Club which is definitely going to be THE place for private bashes.
Gerry Logue, Michael Selleck, Richard Bekins at the Miracle House cocktail party.
Photo by John Wegorzewski
The sold-out cocktail fete and auction to benefit the organization's caring work in providing housing for families of those battling AIDS and cancer is always a great party and this year was no exception. As haute caterers Robbins Wolfe
Eventuers has the exclusive contract at the club, guests are always fed sumptuously and as usual at their parties, the staff from bartenders to waiters is savvy and professional - and good looking!
Miracle House Chairmen of the Board Gerry Logue
and Executive Director Jennifer Dupont
were the gracious hosts of the event which attracted a chic crowd all decked out in brightly colored summer finery including uber
agent Lionel Larner
who counted the legendary Bette Davis
in his star-studded client roster. Also in the mix was the handsome Bill Kapfer
(VP and publisher of Genre Magazine
) with Eric Baker
, composer Keith Pruitt
, events guru Joseph Pasquino
, sculptor Dorothy Frankel
, Nanette Shaw
and Isa Goldberg
, and Modelbartenders honcho Marc Levine
. Others in the good looking swarm included Michael Selleck
, Richard Bekins
, Carl Swanson
, Todd Minken
, Ike Osaki
, Tom Korakis
, Carl Swanson
, Joe Raccuglia
, Drake Asklar
, Jeff Gearheart
, and Brian Parente
with top coiffer Kevin Maple
Reluctantly leaving the beach, we popped over to Wainscott for the launch of Shawn Bell's
exquisite new high luxury lifestyle emporium, Bellhaus. This toast to the savvy fashionista was hosted by Kelly Ripa
and Mark Consuelos
. Hard to believe that the elegant boutique with a real California feel - airy and light - was once a surf shop.
Shawn Bell and shoe designer Courtney Crawford at Bellhaus. Photo by John
Bellhaus is a one-stop shop for all things luxurious stocking Carolina Herrera
, Vincent Longo
, John Galliano
, Alexander McQueen
for the ladies and men's fashions from Carlos Campos
and Bottega Veneta
. Luxe accessories, beauty and fragrance products, and goods for the home round out the store. Exclusive is the motto here and it's the only place you can get the cherry red patent leather Walter Steiger
shoes featured in the "Sex and the City
" movie. Talking shoes you'll fall for Courtney Crawford's
high stepping patent leather stunners - I'll take one in every color! Get the smelling salts! In fact, there is much to make the high-end shopper swoon at this store.
Channel 7 anchor, the beauteous Sade Baderinwa
went ga-ga over the shoe display as did Sarah Padob
and Liz Lighton
, both of Trump Magazine
and of course our own Hamptons.com style setters.
Chandon Champagne and munching on tasties from Shiraz NYC were "Dancing With the Stars
" Christian Perry
and Annette Nicole
magazine's Alexandra Mack
with fellow fashionistas Emily Bobel
and Lyndsay Erickson
, hot young designers Courtney Crawford
and Nicolas Petrou
, gossip guru Willem De Vries
of TMZ, Bridgehampton Fire Commissioner John Muse
with his lovely wife Kristina
, best-selling author Martha McUlly
, Beata Sobresiak
, Eric Apple
, interior designer Jared Clark
, Good Morning America
's Sam Champion
, Dimitri Aletras
, Tina D'Erasmo
, Jessica Joyce
, Andre Keller
, Nancy Marcus
, Michael Qamar
, Lori Ianniello
, Laura Weir
, Justin Harris, Esq.
and even more of the glamorati.
Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa at Bellhaus. Photo by John Wegorzewski
On to the galleries, as you may have heard there was a show for Steven Klein
at the Vered Gallery
in East Hampton. Beyond all of the hoopla about the raid and the arrest there was an art show that opened. Polaroids from photo shoots, in which the subjects ranged from Brad Pitt
, Angelina Jolie
, Justin Timberlake
, and Britney Spears
to a series of disturbing 'cut throats', were displayed along the walls. Large scale voyeuristic images of Brad and Angie on a bed were the crowd favorites. Alas - the party ended before we could snap a few photos and get the names of the notables that were there.
Over in Southampton some 350 art lovers flocked to Stephan Kezsler's
handsome Main Street gallery to get a first-hand look at the work of controversial British artist Banksy
. For those who don't know him, he is the most written and talked about artist in London, and is a household name in the UK. Yet, his identity is unknown. This much is certain: around 1993 his graffiti began appearing on trains and walls around Bristol. By 2001 his blocky spray-painted signature had cropped up all over the United Kingdom, eliciting both complaints and comparisons to Jean-Michel Basquiat
and Keith Haring
. His work soon started appearing on the continent in Vienna, Barcelona, and Paris San Francisco followed, along with forays into pranks and more traditional painting.
has never given up the graffitist's habit of operating under a handle. His anonymity is said to be born of a desire - understandable enough for a "quality vandal," as he likes to be called - to elude the police. For years, he has refused to do face-to-face interviews - instead answering questions via email. No surprise with all this mystery, and many say great talent, the masses flock to his rare shows and such was the case here in Southampton. If the artist was in attendance we didn't know it - kudos to a great show!
Michaela and Stephan Keszler at the opening of Banksy at the Keszler Gallery. Photo
by John Wegorzewski
The sold-out show of works by Ross School art teacher, and Sag Harbor resident, Christopher Engel
, were on view at a reception presented by the Romany Kramoris Gallery
in Sag Harbor on Saturday. The exhibition entitled "Madrigals" represented the third segment of a cycle based on Jungian principles from previous works entitled "Alchemy" then "Ancestors" to finally "Madrigals" - where "all these substances and personalities come alive and sing with independent voices."
Sylvester & Co. in Sag Harbor hosted an opening reception featuring the Venice photographs of noted playwright Joe Pintauro.
The show, "Photographs - Venice - The Canals, by Joe Pintauro" featured numerous color photographs "taken over at least five visits to Venice in both 2007 and 2008" as stated by Pintauro.
During Saturday's opening reception, amid his many well-wishers and admirers, Pintauro further elaborated that, "There is a tremendous connection between both writing and photography, and I enjoy the physical distance of photography from writing." Pintauro stated that, "Writing is so internal and myopic, and I enjoy going out to capture moments and scenes to hold still. The different use of focusing and variety with photography helps me not to 'go stale' - I miss the exterior world if I sit and write too long."
Mentioning that he has visited Venice on numerous occasions, Pintauro said, "Many people feel the canals in Venice are dirty - sitting water, and that the canals have been abused by the locals, but that is not always true." Finding "the water can be clear; light will go through and perforate the water into depth, and sometimes I see certain kinds of flora that intrigues me" have afforded Pintauro the opportunity to take striking photographs. Commenting that the "Canals are tides and the water moves" Pintauro hinted at an influence of Monet, and indicated that he plans to do a black and white photographic depiction of the canals as well.
Joe Pintauro and Laura Sillerman at his opening at Sylvester & Co. Photo by Eileen
A selection of new works by Joe Chierchio
featured drawings, watercolors and pastels were shown at the opening reception at The Gallery Sag Harbor. Chiercio studied art at the School Of Art and Design, Pratt Institute, and The School of Visual Arts. These studies led to a career in advertising where he worked as an art director at Grey Advertising, Bates Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi and Young & Rubicam. After a successful career in advertising, Chierchio made a transition to fine art in both sculpting and drawing.
The Tulla Booth Gallery
in Sag Harbor hosted an opening reception entitled "Water." This photography show will run through June 30, and features the works of Jane Martin
, Susan Pear Meisel
, Jake Rajs
and Blair Seagram
. Gallery hours are Friday through Monday, from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
As always Memorial Day weekend in the Hamptons is a time to reconnect with old friends and mix it up with the hottest celebrities. We made the rounds starting at Social Life Magazine's
Publisher Justin Mitchell's
fabulous fete for "The Hills" star Whitney Port
, who graces his magazine's June cover.
Hundreds turned out for the party at the mag's private estate. Among those in attendance were Devorah Rose
of Social Life
, Jill Zarin
of "The Real Housewives of New York City
" with husband Bobby Zarin
, "Making The Band" winner Donnie Klang
, former Miss USA Susie Castillo
, actor Todd Rotondi
, model Jodie Fanelli
and her husband Sal Strazzullo
, philanthropist Allison Weiss Brady
who was just honored at last week's ARTrageous gala and her husband Chip
The after-party for Whitney was held at David Sarner's
new hot-spot La Playa in Southampton, which was formerly the Tavern. Nicole Richie's
hubby Joel Madden
spun for the packed house after dining with friend and SKY Group co-founder Alan Philips
at Madame Tong's. Joel's brother Josh
joined him in the DJ booth where he manned the turntables for over three hours.
Whiteny Port and Justin Mitchell at the Social Life party. Photo by MatrickMcMullan.com
Whitney was spotted earlier that day at a celebration at Blue + Cream in East Hampton and left with a fabulous signature hoodie. The event marked the fifth anniversary of the boutique and was hosted by model Maggie Rizer
. The handsome Sean Avery
dropped by and stocked up on outfits for the weekend.
French Connection hosted Molly Sims'
birthday party at The Estate, the private home of Eugene Remm
and Mark Birnbaum
, in Sag Harbor. The model/actress pulled-up in a Cadillac
Escalade and danced the breezy night away with boyfriend Justin Chatwin
. We spotted Jaslene Gonzales
of "America's Next Top Model" in the mix along with Gina Glickman
and author Jasmin Rosenberg
Things were Oscar caliber over at Dune in Southampton when Academy Award nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio
and girlfriend Bar Rafaeli
, as well as a crowd of gorgeous friends, came by to kick-off their summer in the Hamptons. While Leo stayed low profile in a baseball hat Stella Keitel
and Dave Zinczenko
hit the dance floor till the wee hours.
A word about party etiquette, it is never in good taste to be a party crasher. You're either on the list or you're not. Until next weekend - Happy Summer!
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