The treacherous weather didn't put a damper on The Artists Holiday Exhibition and benefit hosted by Daria Deshuk
at her new space, The Gallery on Maple Lane, in Bridgehampton this week. Scores of art scenesters, arriving with toys and games for the Toys for Tots drive, filled the former garage that was warm and toasty with its radiant heat flooring.
Daria Deshuk and Pamela Willoughby at The Gallery on Maple Lane. Photo by John
Super curator Pamela Willoughby had put together the show which featured new works by many of our local favorites including William Falkenburg, Daniella Franz, Dennis Leri
, Scott Palterow, Blair Seagram
, Pamela Topham, Amy Zerner, and Daria herself.
Zerner who is famed for her wearable art - jackets, sweaters and accessories had several of her gorgeous embellished textiles framed to great effect. Pamela Topham's small mixed media works utilizing string and sherbet like colors were intriguing. Sculptor Scott Palterow who never ceases to fascinate us with his abstract whimsies was represented with a twisting, turning wood piece that was interpreted differently by viewers.
Among the stalwart troopers who braved the elements were Martin and Blossom Gluck
, Amanda Hunter, Dianne Ryan, Joe Strand, Richard and Harriet Demato, Margo Su-San, Jakes Van der Watt, Judy and Michael McDowell
, Dennis Murphy, David Kushnir and Gideon Stein who recently opened a new gallery on Montauk Highway in the heart of Bridgehampton.
Returning to Southampton, we were able to catch the last few sets of Brazilian songstress Ludmilla
and her husband/accompanist Marcello at Le Chef. The intimate French bistro was packed to the rafters as several local businesses were partying there. As always, Ludmilla delighted the audience with her sensuous boss nova and gentle samba tunes holding the attention of even the hardest partiers!
Our Main Street neighbors, the folks from Engel & Volkers, were merrily toasted the end of yet another great year for the team which will be expanding even further. We had a chance to chart with Jennifer Wisner, managing director Laura Bennett
and company founder Franz Volkers.
Over at 75 Main
the action was hot and heavy. The Main Street hot spot has become the place to be on weekdays' thanks largely to new owner Tim Burke
's commitment to the local community to run throughout the year - everyday. In the know residents filled all the tables, and the bar area was packed. What a treat on a bleak Thursday! We caught up with a number of pals including Caroline Lieberman
, David Smith
, and Nina Kaminska. We're always thrilled to see action on Main Street after hours.
On Saturday, the day began early with the ever growing holiday tradition - the Polar Bear Plunge at Cooper's Beach to benefit Human Resources of the Hamptons
with hundreds turning out for a dip in the frigid Atlantic
Mayor Mark Epley
was front and center in the crowd that included plungers dressed in everything from wetsuits to mermaid costumes to drag! At precisely 10 a.m., WLIU radio host Bonnie Grice
led the countdown and Bam! They were off flying down to the surf with shrieks, squeals, whoops and hollers and dashing through the water. For many it was a less than 10 second dunk while the hardy splashed happily around for some time.
Following the Great Dunk, it was up to the beach stand for the usual after plunge Survivors Breakfast. Warming tea, coffee and hot cocoa, hot and spicy chili, doughnuts, hot dogs, and treats thanks to generous local businesses were on hand for all.
Clearly everyone was thrilled to help an organization that is always there in the community's time of need. Human Resources of the Hamptons (HRH) serves as the nexus for support groups operating in the Town of Southampton. HRH connects people in need with resources and counseling (public and private) in the areas of health care, child abuse, drug and alcohol dependency, job loss, bereavement, personal crises and depression. We provide guidance, advocacy and a helping hand.
They also operate the largest food distribution program on the eastern end of Long Island, with over 950 families enrolled. The pantry also provides toiletries, diapers, and other daily necessities. Most of the food and supplies are purchased, but they rely heavily on supplies from LI Cares, community food drives, private donations and especially the Polar Bear Plunge. At the end of the day the big splash raised $80,000 for HRH.
Manager Michael Infantolino and Joe Scilla at Wild by Nature. Photo by John
Exhilarated we headed over to Hampton Bays to Wild by Nature, the enormous organic and health food emporium for their first Holiday Festival. As soon as we arrived we were touched by the soft strumming of master guitarist Herb Levine who was playing songs of the season under the Christmas tree. Santa was also on hand for the good little - and not so little - boys and girls, and store manager Michael Infantolino and assistant manager Joe Scilla were on hand to greet shoppers.
Throughout the store, food tables were set up and manned by specialty foods experts from dozens of natural and organic food suppliers. Our first stop was Reed's All Natural Ginger Ale where Mark McCabe poured us the zingiest, gingery-est soda we have ever tasted. Onto to Mama Lombardi
's table where Chris Avallone was ladling up the all natural tomato pasta sauces that have made the Mama Lombardi's in Holbrook and Port Jefferson the place for all natural aficionados.
At every turn in the mammoth store we were tempted by such healthy treats as gluten free pastries, locally farmed cheeses and produce, deli snacks - an amazing array of healthy versions of simply any product you would find on your local supermarket shelves and at reasonable prices.
Not surprisingly the innovative Wild by Nature is an independent subsidiary of King Kullen
Grocery Company, who's founder Michael J. Cullen developed the very first supermarket in the country in 1930. This full-size, full-service natural food marketplace keeps with the understanding that the production of food should support life, promote well-being, and protect the world's natural resources. Wild by Nature has developed product standards for the foods they sell.
In addition to groceries, produce and all natural hormone, antibiotic free, and nitrate free meats and poultry, they also offer hot and cold foods including sandwiches, healthy combination lunches and dinners entrees to go including: fresh garden green salads, soups, grilled chicken, tofu, or an array of grilled veggies. As well, they stock a global selection of teas and coffees, fresh carrot juices, soy protein smoothies, fruit smoothies and of course Wild by Nature's famous Wheat grass shots!
We were also delighted to see they carry vitamins, supplements, and a full range of homeopathic remedies and healing herbs and a complete line of shampoos, soaps, skin care, essential oils, aromatherapy, massage oils, all natural cosmetics and believe it or not natural hair coloring in all the colors to help you look and feel your best naturally. Holiday Festival notwithstanding, Wild by Nature is a must for East End shoppers.
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