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The Sound Of Something New

Originally Posted: September 05, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer
Angela Williams

One of the most relaxing and enjoyable early events this summer was the PalmCares Brunch to benefit Dress for Success held at the Huntting Inn in East Hampton. Hosts Lauren Rae Levy, Linda Calder, Patricia Dugan, and Elana Kiam along with Director of Special Events Carri Farrand worked with the community to make this day a success. PalmCares is the philanthropic outreach of the Palm Restaurant Group. It is a reflection of the Palm Family's commitment to generosity, the cornerstone of hospitality.

A switch this year was to create a child-friendly event and the children seemed to be having a ball painting and doing several other activities offered for them. The all women-filled room was very interesting and the auction items caught our eye very quickly. Among the raffle prizes and auction items were gift certificates for manicures and pedicures, Palm gift certificates, all day cruises, and an event at the Wallace Gallery. Several women left this event with smiles on their faces, happy about their winnings.

Ellie Manko Libby, Amanda C. Ross, and Karen Bocksel at the CTREE event at Silas
Marder Gallery. Photo by John Wegorzewski

We sat down and joined one of the hosts, Lauren Rae Levy for brunch, and might I say what a great meal it was! Lauren filled us in on the details of the event and Dress for Success, a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged women achieve economic independence. One of the ways to do that is by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in both the workplace and in life. Dress for Success has helped more than 450,000 women work towards self-sufficiency. More than 10,000 women have received career coaching, mentoring services and professional development support. Dress for Success has more than 80 locations in cities across the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

As Lauren stated, "The best accessory you can have is your confidence! I couldn't find a better charity that suited me more perfectly!"

Heading west to Bridgehampton, Amanda Ross, President and Founder of Center for Therapeutic Riding on the East End (CTREE), Executive Director Ellie Manko Libby, and Program Director Karen Bocksel hosted a cocktail gathering at the Silas Marder Gallery to introduce their friends to the extraordinary work of the organization in helping children with special needs. The Sagaponack-based CTREE offers therapeutic riding lessons and equine assisted activities to children and young adults with developmental disabilities, each summer.

The Gallery, housed in a huge barn on the Marder Nursery acreage, has become a popular setting for events with guests drawn by the art or the magnificent rural setting complete with hay bales for seating. Indeed, that night, as is the Gallery's tradition, a classic film was being screened outdoors for picnickers in another area of the nursery.

Amanda, who has a distinguished career as a journalist and as a consultant for an investment banking firm, has been riding since the age of six with formal training in dressage and stadium jumping. Her understanding of the great affect working with horses can have on the handicapped led her to become a certified instructor with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. Indeed, several of the young participants Amanda worked with were at the party to attest to the sense of empowerment they have when riding.

Nacho Figueras, Marc Delamenardiere, Elio Pacheco, Larry Austin, and host Michael
Borrico at "A Taste of Polo" by Evian. Photo by PatrickMcMullan.com

Among those admiring the current exhibition of horse images by Charlotte Dumas or strolling around the gardens were Sara Herbert Galloway, artist Lynn Matsuoka, Glen and Cynthia McKelvey, Clair Fitzgerald, Roysi Erbes, Erik Muller, April Gallo, Dru Frederick, Gregory Belmont, Chip Dineen, Lisa Bytner and popular New York Times columnist Harry Hurt, III who will soon have his new book released, a compendium of his 'Executive Pursuits' columns, "In Executive Pursuit of Action, Danger and A Decent Looking Pair of Swim Trunks!"

For at least six weeks this summer Two Trees Farm in Bridgehampton hosted the Mercedes-Benz Polo Challenge. This annual event is where hundreds gather to network, socialize, and occasionally watch the brilliant match. This weekend we were invited to an exclusive "Taste of Polo" by the folks from Evian at Michael Borricos' lavish residence in Water Mill that just happens to have its own polo field. Only in the Hamptons folks!

Busloads of fabulous young socialites came in from NYC for the day to enjoy a lovely match and a special chef's tasting menu from some of the most delicious restaurants around - Mr. Chow, Four Seasons Restaurant, Bagatelle, and Surf Lodge. Overseeing the preparations were celebrity chefs Michael Chow, along with Julian Niccolini (Four Seasons Restaurant), Sam Talbot (Surf Lodge), Nicolas Cantrel (Bagatelle), Peter Thomas (The Lodge), and Michael Gluckman (The Lodge/Bamboo).

Lounging by the pool was a great spot to catch a bit of shade in a cabana while sipping Pisco Punch crafted by the folks from Macchu Pisco or Taittinger Champagne. Katie Lee Joel was signing copies of her latest book and laughing with friend Beth Ostrosky. Closer to the field Hugh Grant slipped in with a lovely blonde on his arm to enjoy the day without fanfare. Prior to the match Nacho Figueras and polo stars Martin Pepa, Larry Austin, Naco Taverna, and Nick Manifold mingled with guests and explained the game to the uninitiated. We also spotted Elio Pacecho of Evian, Brittny Gastineau, Morris and Jaci Reid, Michael Wudyka, Eugene Reem, Devorah Rose, Justin Miller, Alison Brod, and Delfina Blaquier lounging on hay bales enjoying a light afternoon lunch.

We couldn't help but notice a few film crews milling about and discovered that Bravo is taping yet another show in the Hamptons, this one spotlighting young heiresses and socialites. Tentatively titled "Social Heirs" the show is sure to be loaded with over-the-top parties, catfights, and young people behaving outrageously. Set the TiVO now for your next guilty pleasure!

Chris Hoffman and Krisse Mansfield at Shecky's Girls Day Out In The Hamptons.
Photo by Angela Williams

Where can you go in the Hamptons, during the day on a beautiful Saturday and get the best deals on designer clothing and accessories? Well that answer, just for this past Saturday at any rate, was the Southampton Historical Museum on Meetinghouse Lane. The annual "Girls Day Out In The Hamptons" event sponsored by Dove, Baileys, Chambord, Hampton Classic Horse Show, Glowelle, and X-Rated Liquor, was very successful from what we noticed.

We spoke with Chris Hoffman, the Founder and CEO of Sheckys.com, and got a bit of history on the event. In 2001 Shecky's held its first event, a book launch party. Since then it's grown as a shopping extravaganza and has become known to many in the Hamptons and all across the United States. "This is the second year in the Hamptons for Sheckys.com, and the second event of this season in this area. "It's been a great success," said Hoffman.

We walked around and admired the many styles of clothing and accessories available for purchase. Krisse Mansfield, who has been working very closely with Hoffman in organizing this event, encouraged us to taste one of the many signature cocktails of the day, which were absolutely amazing! From bangles to bags, makeup to minis, Shecky's girls shopped the day away and also brought home goodie bags full of great gifts from brands and products such as Aquafresh White Strips, Clairol Beauty Products, Johnson and Johnson skin care, discount tickets for the Hamptons Classic Horse Show, Shick Intuition supplies, Redken 5th Avenue, and Lindt Master Swiss Chocolatier sweets!

Currently Shecky's hosts Girls Night Out shopping events in New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Southampton, and Washington, DC.

After a wonderful Saturday of polo and shopping, we had to take a ride to Sag Harbor to catch Long Island's very own celebrity daughter Alexa Ray Joel headline a concert to benefit Save Sag Harbor held at the Whaling Museum on Main Street. Dressed in black and beautiful as always she wooed the crowd with her piano skills, along with her captivating voice! Alexa has been rocking since she was a toddler, standing backstage at her dad's concerts. She also performed her song "Now It's Gone", about her mom's split from Peter Cook and allegations of his infidelity.

Alexa Ray Joel at the Save Sag Harbor concert. Photo by Angela Williams

When speaking with Christie Brinkley, who showed up with her two younger children, Sailor Lee and Jack, and friend Jill Rappaport, it wasn't hard to notice how proud she was of her oldest daughter. A proud Barack Obama supporter she got on her own political soapbox and spoke about the days when she was pregnant with Alexa, and she and then husband Billy Joel made the decision to live out here. "Sag Harbor is great! This place is amazing and so beautiful! I've lived other places before but I never stay away for very long. This place deserves to be saved!"

We spoke with fan and dad Billy Joel about his daughter's accomplishments and he smiled and said, "She is an amazing singer and songwriter. She wants to make a living as a musician and I'm not surprised because it's a genetic gift in our family." We noticed him walking with a cane and he mentioned he was suffering from a herniated disc and could possibly need surgery. Even in pain, Billy still managed to make it to his daughter's concerts with his own mother, Rosalind.

This benefit for Save Sag Harbor was sponsored by Donna Karan's new Urban Zen store in Sag Harbor and included a silent auction where beautiful artwork was up for bidding. Guests sipped on wine by the Wolffer Estate and enjoyed refreshments by Cavaniola's Cheese Shop and Amber Occasions of Sag Harbor. Surprisingly, the tickets for this event were only $30 making it very easy for a crowd of about 300.

Shaking things up we headed over to Westhampton for what we heard was going to be the 'blow-out' party of the summer and we weren't disappointed. Manhattan Motorcars of the Hamptons cleared out most of its luxury car showroom and hosted a fabulous cocktail party complete with performance artist Chris Yerlig and contortionist Marsha Volgyi, music by Digital Soul, and delicious hors d'oeuvres by Annona Restaurant.

As we weaved our way around a few of the truly special cars left inside we couldn't help but gush over the Iconic GTR, an All-American made roadster with 800 horses under the hood. "I have wanted to build a car that combines the latest innovative technologies with the most exquisite detailing, design and all out performance since the day I began reading car magazines as a kid," said Claudio Ballard, the inventor and visionary behind the GTR Roadster. "Everything from the custom-built, heated and cooled carbon fiber seats to the computerized gas cap that slides open like the glass on a moon roof embodies my vision." He clearly delivered and for the low, low price of $600,000 it can sleep in your garage.

Always a scene-stealer, the Lamborghini Murcielago RT-G was center stage near the band as guests took turns admiring the car and the tented outdoor areas of the event. "You would have never known this was a car dealership," noted one guest as she planned to have a holiday party in the space.

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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