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Unique Evenings

Originally Posted: July 02, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer

The LongHouse Reserve Garden Committee and founder Jack Lenor Larsen welcomed over 300 Garden enthusiasts to view a very special exhibition "On & Off the Ground: An Invitational Container Exhibition". For this unique display of the magic that one could create they invited the Hamptons' top landscape designers, artists, designers and garden professionals to participate by creating a unique garden container. Twenty-four such containers were displayed in the lush setting of the Reserve.

Double Blue Ribbon winner Jonathan Wright and Martha Stewart at LongHouse
Reserve. Photo by John Wegorzewski

Martha Stewart, a garden enthusiast and long-time friend of Larsen's, spent the whole day before the show examining and photographing each display. So seriously did she take her role as judge, she drove all the way to Amagansett to download her photos so she could examine them properly! But even Martha had a hard time limiting the blue ribbons. Two creations were deemed so creative by the Domestic Goddess that she awarded them two Blue Ribbons each. They went to Jonathan Wright of Chanticleer Garden and Geoffrey Nimmer of East Hampton's East End Gardens.

Blue Ribbon winners were Scot Medbury of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, P. Allen Smith, Eve Suter, Fredrico Azevedo of Unlimited Earth Care, and Peter Olsen of Munder-Skiles, Inc. Erika Shank and Harvey Bernstein each received Honorable Mention.

This exhibition preview was followed by a wine reception on the LongHouse grounds. During the reception Min Xiao-Fen's Blue Pipa Trio played a beautiful special concert. Enjoying wine and cheese while gazing over the gorgeous lily ponds were artists April Gornik and Eric Fischl, Toni Ross, Jim Fredrikson, Cali Cole, Kathryn Graham, Joan Sternbach, Jan Milne, Ralph Pellecchio, Jim Wernz, Brita Le Vas, Lys and Skye Qi Marigold, Henry and Karen White, sisters Holly and Heather Buchanan, Selena Rothwell, Anthony Coron, filmmaker Carlos Sandoval, artist Kathleen Bifulco, garden columnist Irene Virag and her husband Harvey Aronson, artists Curtis DeForest and his wife Susan Haynie, and scores more floral fanciers.

We wouldn't miss a chance to see what painter and author Paige Peterson was up to, so we headed over to the Spanierman Gallery just down the road to see Paige's new collection. The gallery was packed with well-wishers and collectors who were all just thrilled to view Paige's seaside reveries with their anonymous human forms that lured one in to imagine what was going on. Ira and Helen Spanierman were of course on hand to welcome the art scenesters. The red dot was up on a number of pictures, clearly a great sign!

Following the exhibition, the crowd moved on to a ginormous mansion in the Georgica Woods for an old-fashioned down home barbecue of pulled-pork on homemade rolls, grilled sausage and creamy cole slaw all washed down with Taittinger Champagne. That's true Hamptons style.

Allison Becker, artist Paige Peterson, and John Brancati at Spanierman Gallery.
Photo by John Wegorzewski

We caught up with legendary choreographer Patricia Birch who was just tickled that she had scooped Paige's lovely sailboat painting which everyone had their eyes on. With Pat was her daughter Allison Becker of Allison's Restaurant fame who told us she is in love with her new home at the historic Maidstone Arms overlooking the town pond in East Hampton. Throughout the elegant home and all over the verandas and lawns folks chowed down with great comfort.

In one of the drawing rooms, the literary crowd held sway with East End Books' affable John Brancati playing host and introducing all and sundry. At the table were humorist Christopher Cerf, Paige's collaborator on the wildly popular illustrated book "Blackie The Horse Who Stood Still", Lena Tabori co-founder of the estimable publishing house of Stewart, Tabori and Chang and now head of Welcome Books, Franco Rehor and a whole slew of bookie types conducting fascinating conversation. Elsewhere in the sprawling manse, we spied Paige's family - her two children Peter Cary and Alexandria, her sister Laurie Everson and her mom Corinne Wiley. Clearly the good looks gene is spread throughout this family. Also seen around the party were Douglas Steinbrech, John Josephson, Liza Lerner, Carrie Livingston, Kirby Redding, Catherine Gray, Brett Williams, Louis Henley and scores more.

Around the corner on Georgica, we visited the annual kick-off party for the Hampton Designer Showhouse to benefit Southampton Hospital held once again at the exquisitely decorated home of Lorraine Schact and Sherry Mandell of Lorin Marsh, two of the most gracious and welcoming hostesses in the Hamptons. Their yearly poolside lawn party on their beautifully landscaped property is always a highlight of the summer soiree scene.

The fete is famously known for coaxing out all the top architects, designers, and artisans and the most fashionable of their fans and supporters. The Hampton Designer Showhouse, now in its eighth year, is a showcase for America's premiere design talent. Approximately 25 top interior designers and decorative artists will participate in a decorating masterpiece. And as always at a Lorin Marsh do, the Taittinger Champagne flowed like the Seine thanks to Taittinger's generous National Director Jerome Jeandin who is a major sponsor of Southampton Hospital.

Hampton Designer Showhouse Summer 2008 officially opens on July 19 with a gala preview party in a lavish shingle style mansion donated by Richard Gherardi and William Landberg in Sagaponack, NY. The house will run for six-weeks until Sunday, Aug. 31. Mrs. Alessandro di Montezemolo and Mildred Brinn are the Honorary Co-Chairs of the Showhouse. Mario Buatta is Honorary Gala Chair. Gary Crain is Honorary Design Chair and James Alan Smith is Decorative Arts Chair. Showhouse Management is provided by Tony Manning, Journal Management by Kay Gilman, and Showhouse Operations by Mary Lynch.

Tom Lampson of Lorin Marsh and Taittinger Champagne National Director Jerome
Jeandin at the cocktail party for the Hamptons Designer Showhouse designers. Photo
by John Wegorzewski

Saluting the committees efforts and eagerly anticipating what decorating wonders are in store for visitors to the 2008 Showhouse were Lorin Marsh's Tom Lampson and Naz, David Scott and Stefano Antoniazzi, Tita de Laurentis, Dennis Basso, Scott Currie and Rob Banning, Bruce Biierman, Angela Susan Anton, Scott Sanders, Ken Nolan, Steven Byrne, Randy Kemper, J.J. Salem, Michael Braverman, John Brodersen with Jeffrey Brodersen, Heather Moore, Spencer Schander, Gary Zimberg, Timothy Brown, Sun Lee, Paul Bernstein, Judi Roaman, Jane and Michael Lawrence, Roy Cohen, Arthur Dunnam, Katherine MacDonald, Kevin Hart, Lori Beppu, Emmanuel Faccio, Regina Kraft, and the most sartorially splendid duo of Dennis Dubas and Guy Lawrence wearing bold Madras plaid jackets.

Going from party to party through the quagmire of Hamptons traffic on a Saturday night can be challenging but when you're headed to Stan Simon's Diamond Ranch in Water Mill you know you're on your way to a fabulous time. Hundreds were on their respective ways over to the First Annual Denim and Diamonds Gala to benefit the American Cancer Society and a wonderful evening with Master of Ceremonies, and our own Main Street Series host, Gina Glickman.

The inaugural event honored Congressman Tim Bishop as he received the Linda Jasper Award for his work for the fight against cancer in Congress, the G.E.M. Award was given to Count and Countess de Lesseps, the Doctor of Distinction was awarded to Southampton's dedicated breast surgeon Edna Kapenhas-Valdes, MD, and a Memorial Award was given to Roy Scheider and accepted by his widow Brenda Siemer.

There is so much to tell about this fabulous event - click here for all the details.

The fog and clouds didn't put a stop to the Hampton Bays Historical & Preservation Society from celebrating their Second Annual Good Ground Gala. Taking place in the beautiful St. Joseph Villa grounds, the Sisters of St. Joseph offered their estate for the great cause of preserving the beauty and history of Hampton Bays. Guests got the chance to enjoy the great view of Shinnecock Bay and the wonderful surrounding landscapes. Many of the gifts donated for the silent auction were from local restaurants, vineyards, and artists including Atlantis Marine World, Reniassance, Scotto's Pork Store, Van Gogh Vodka, Wildflower Florist, The Hampton Maid, Duck Walk Winery, Bradford Photography, and Barristers.

Camille and Kelsey Grammer at the Denim and Diamonds Gala. Photo by Sam Rivers

Among the guests was Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot with husband Lance Kabot whose presence was significant and outstanding for the continuation of the preservation society. Throughout the evening local guitarist Adam Rose gave his support by entertaining guests with his eclectic choices of music. Many enjoyed the cocktails, at the same time through this great villa many saw the beauty preserved in the hamlet of Hampton Bays.

Guests included Gala Committee Chairwoman Brenda Sinclair Berntson, Pat Babor, Geri Brogan, Beth White, Barbara Moeller, Dorothy Donahue, Frances Oldeack, Rosemary Schofield, Joseph Giaquinto, Jamie Holthaus, Walter Jackson, Cathy Goldfarb, Diane Knappe, and Merle Mason.

Once again the Pott's family rolled out the red carpet at their "Sandacres Estate" in Quogue to support East End Hospice. This year's theme, "The Golden Age of Hollywood: The Roaring 20's" included a casino as well as a silent auction during cocktails. Many revelers arrived dressed to the nines in 1920s inspired costumes. Benefit Chairpersons Carolee Lee Nespole and Nancy Sander, as well as Master of Ceremonies John Roland, welcomed guests and bestowed the Ninth Annual Dorothy P. Savage Good Samaritan Award to Philomene Gates and introduced Honorary Chairpersons Matthew and Susan Blank.

The night was full of fun, music by The Sean Flemming Band, delicious food by Starr Boggs, and gambling. The funds raised from this year's auction will help send a child who has lost a parent to a summer camp at Camp Good Grief. Live auction items included a week in France, a trip to Ireland, and a foursome at Sebonack Golf Club. Silent auction items ranged from VIP passes to the Hampton Classic, a Weber barbeque, New York Mets tickets, a shopping extravaganza, to wine tasting at Martha Clara Vineyards, and a one-year membership to New York Health & Racquet Club.

Kimberly Goff, Davis Gaffga, and Dede Gotthelf Moan at the Elaine Benson Gallery
at the Southampton Inn. Photo by John Wegorzewski

The opening of the new - old - Elaine Benson Gallery at the Southampton Inn was an afternoon for both celebration and remembrance of two great legacies, Elaine Benson who for four decades served as art dealer, gallerist, and den mother for some of the leading lights of the East End art scene. Since her passing and the sale of the buildings on Montauk Highway that housed her eponymous gallery and the community center for artists and activists of every stripe, the gallery has been a free floating affair kept alive by Benson's daughter Kimberly Goff, a builder, painter, photographer and a catalyst on the arts scene. Kimberly was lucky to have connected with Dede Gotthelf Moan, owner and proprietor of The Southampton Inn and an art lover who knew of Elaine. Thus a new collaboration was begun.

Interestingly, Kimberly's first show entitled, "Legacy", showcased the works of a father and son, the late Bertram Alper and one of his sons, Leland Alper. The senior Alper painted for many years in his Noyac studio integrating his renditions of works by such masters as Degas, Renoir and Lautrec into the background of his still life paintings. The effect is both delightful and a lesson in art history. Son Leland is showing a series of landscapes and seascapes of brilliant vibrancy and simplicity. Particularly appealing to those who cherish our disappearing pasture and farm land is his red barn painting that looks as if one had just turned a corner in Sagaponack and there it was. On hand to offer insight into both gentlemen's work was Bertram's widow and Leland's mother the acclaimed sculptor Eva Kupencow Alper who will see her latest massive work, "Horsing Around, The Arrows of Time" installed in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza near the United Nations.

Needless to say scores of the old Benson crowd and Kimberly's friends and clients turned out to toast her on this maiden effort including Pat Shield and Doris Toumarkine, Blossom Gluck, Carole Perez de Montanari, Isabel Sepulveda de Scanlon, Dolores and Frank Berrafato, Bozenia and Alex Massey, Warren Strugatch, Cindy Smith, Kim Hovey, Frazier and Eleanor Leonard Dougherty, Ira and Maureen Tanzer, Laura Berland, Mosel Katzter, Tim Kochie, Linda and John Capello, Montague Perry, Anne Cohen De Pietro, and newly engaged Jenny Swift and sculptor David Dalva III whose work adorns the foyer leading to the patio of OSO restaurant.


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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