The Hamptons has entered Phase III of reopening and that means summertime activities are back and it’s game on!! PLEASE wear masks for indoor dining + shopping though so we can keep moving forward! We’ve been counting our lucky stars that OUR beaches opened and remain open…and we’ve been doing outdoor bbqs first with family and then a sprinkling of friends too. Heck, we can even have micro weddings now! We’re blaming this all on Leap Year which seemed to ring in the new age of whatever we call this…so just wear your mask with your own style + play it cool + we’ll just make this a happening summer : )
Let’s be real…May didn’t really count much for parties…OR the past 3 months for that matter! So we’re picking up where summer was SUPPOSED to start…Memorial Day Weekend 2020!! Intead of the usual SUMMERTIME opener, this season has really been more of “a collective” celebration with a new kind of six degrees of separation measured in feet(?) or maybe “hollering” distance? Honey, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOWWWW? or that familiar demand of a child’s impatient voice seemingly ruling the roost on more than one occasion? ; ) Soooo, yup that would put us all in the same boat but thankfully we do see A LOT of warmth with smiles galore amidst the heartache of those who have suffered the most because of this pandemic. Some of us have actually had more time to be with our loved ones while others couldn’t but the sunshine always comes out after it rains so we’re thinking positively about our new kind of summer out here in The Hamptons!! More room at the beach between umbrellas, more space for conversation at outdoor restaurants, more turns for waves to take off on in the ocean when surf’s up, more bbqs in the backyard and even some new themes for outdoor entertaining with proper protocol : ) Who doesn’t love the idea of drive-in movies making a comeback? Southampton Arts Center hosted a “Drive-In” movie at Cooper’s Beach in Southampton on Saturday night MD weekend and it was sold out barely before they got the word out!! It was local filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s classic Raiders of the Lost Ark that kept families and friends alike entertained. So popular, that Southampton Arts Center is going to make a summer of it on a regular basis : ) Next night, The Surf Lodge out of Montauk encouraged people to hang with them for a very special virtual performance – The Sun Still Sets presented by Bumble X Gov Ball X featuring RUFUS DU SOL (DJ Set), Bob Moses (Club Set), DJ Snoopadelic, SOFI TUKKER and more – to benefit Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen which is making sure there is always a warm meal, an encouraging word, and a helping hand in hard times. The party started with “grab your virtual crew and come dance with us!” using 3 ways – Twitch, FB + youtube to participate and donate. Now we have driveup concerts up the road too. Other than trying to keep on keeping on with what we got, there was no shortage on private BBQs and hanging with your besties!!
HamptonsFilm introduced a new way to carry on with “Friday Flashback” with unique conversations + intros by delving into their archives for superb films that included the likes of HamptonsFilm Co-Chair Alec Baldwin doing an intro with Alfre Woodard. At last fall’s Hamptons International Film Festival, they had presented Chinonye Chukwu’s riveting new film CLEMENCY, featuring the incomparable Alfre Woodard. The Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe-winning actress then sat down with Vanity Fair’s Chief Film Critic Richard Lawson for one of their signature conversations. It was a nice opportunity to be able to see it if you didn’t get the chance at the last festival. Every Wednesday, HamptonsFilm recommends a film that the whole family can watch and enjoy that’s for all ages…and yes, we’re all doing a lot of that now too…but now that the weather is warm enough they too have introduced the HamptonsFilm Drive-In. Throughout July, there will be movies under the stars on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Hayground School in Bridgehampton. HamptonsFilm and Hayground School are thrilled to offer a summer of Drive-In events as two local non-profit organizations coming together + giving back to our community. Their NOW SHOWING series features acclaimed first-run art house, independent, and world cinema screenings weekly across the South Fork with partners Guild Hall, Bay Street Theater and Southampton Arts Center. Board Co-Chair Alec Baldwin has celebrated documentaries for the past eleven summers with award-winning films and post conversations with the documentary directors and the subjects in their films with their SUMMERDOCS series. You can still follow along with these virtually now. Fingers crossed maybe by October there could possibly be a festival? Think positively – covid BE GONE grrr : ) To celebrate Memorial Day they had a free, special Saturday release of DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY about the James Beard-winning master of Mexican cuisine, a virtual Q + A will take place with director Elizabeth Carroll, chef Alice Waters (Chez Panisse), restaurateur Gabriela Camara (Contramar, Cala), and The New York Times food writer David Tanis.
Ok ZOOM rules favorably right now as we know…and so it was that June opened the high season on the same note with The Retreat’s first virtual gala! They came together to share stories, cry, heal and celebrate at this remarkable ALL Against Abuse benefit in support of families affected by violence and abuse…and ALL proceeds went to it. Soon you too can watch the show as a recording is in final edits right now and they’ll be sharing the link shortly knowing fully well how much more urgent their mission has become given current circumstances. An online auction offered a vast array of super cool items and experiences…a private session with celebrity trainer Isaac Boots, Anastasia Ganias of The Fancy Peasant and her Greek Cooking Class, Amagansett Beach + Bike, Gurney’s Montauk, Gurney’s Star Island and lots of other terrific, special offers! Carl and Gail Icahn were contributing sponsors. Appearances from Mariska Hargitay + Ali Wentworth, Kelly Ripa, Joy Behar, Don Lemon, Leslie Morgan Steiner, Jaret Martino, Kathy Najimy, Madame Gandhi and performances by The Lynn Blue Band plusÂGloria Gaynor + Friends made for a truly memorable virtual benefit this year! So ya see? There is still plenty of opportunity and fun to find while helping the worthy causes of our usual jam packed summer calendar of charitable events. Now THIS is how you do it and still pull off a fabulous event in crisis mode!!
Making the best of it – The Hamptons Heart Ball in its 24th year also went virtual…honoring Ingrid Arneberg, Community Impact Honoree and Arthur Klein, MD, President of the Mount Sinai Health Network as our Medical Honoree. Susan Lucci emceed the event and Cristina Civetta – as 2020 Hamptons Heart Ball Chair – enthusiastically encouraged virtual attendees to dress in their “Hamptons” chic and post pictures + videos documenting their activity, using the hashtag #HamptonsHeartBall tagging the American Heart Association across all social media platforms. They did their absolute best to make it a fun and meaningful way to celebrate the mission of the American Heart Association with friends and colleagues from NYC, Long Island and The Hamptons. They too had a super online auction for bidding on some great items. The funds raised from the Hamptons Heart Ball went towards research, advocacy, CPR training and to promote better health. The American Heart Association is also investing $2.5 million in research about COVID-19 and cardiovascular diseases, offering free oxygenation and ventilation courses to health care workers, and creating a data registry of COVID-19 patients through our Get with the Guidelines program.
We love that East Hampton Library has The Digital Long Island CollectionÂas part of New York Heritage Digital Collections. Included areÂ searchable scans of deeds, drawings, etchings, inventories, letters, maps, paintings, pardons, patents, photographs, plans, postcards, prints, sculptures, sketches, textiles, tiles, yearbooks and more to come. The East Hampton Star Archive is a fully searchable, online digital archive of our local weekly newspaper, that features each complete issue of the paper from 1918-1968, exactly as it appeared in print. Visit the archive online, for a tour of our Town’s history that will fascinate both the amateur and professional historian! The Local Artist Research Archive is a collection of over 19,000 items digitized from Guild Hall, containing materials including personal letters, photographs, news clippings, and art catalogs concerning artists of theÂEast End. Patrons are capable of searching this archive by collection, title, or keyword search.
On the restaurant scene, it’s been an evolving and creative expansion based upon what phase New York State has been in like everywhere in our country. A lot of restaurants were happy to get the ok with Phase II allowing them to offer curbside pickup. T-Bar in Southampton didin’t waste any time opening for takeout. Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack offered pick-up at their popular wine stand on Montauk Highway and also takeout at both Wolffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor and Amagansett. Ian Duke and the entire team at Union were one of the first restaurants to open inside promising safety along with “a fantastic experience” to assure people it would be safe to come back a sociably acceptable distance and following proper protocols. At Union Burger Bar they are encouraging reservations as to reduce the possibility of people congregating while waiting and if it takes a little while for a table, grabbing a cocktail to enjoy outdoors. Foodies around The Hamptons were just not going to give in to freakin’ covid…oh no…and so by the 4th of July it was a welcome sight to see Main Streets in Westhampton, Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Sag Harbor + Montauk packed to the gills as much was apropos by new + safer guidelines…even if it was only for the one and half hour seating allowance…but those limits gave more people a fair chance at heaven on earth again when it comes to elegance, farm fresh, ambience, gayiety and good ole relief from months long cabin fever. The New York Post did a pretty darn good job of capturing the essence of summer fare in Phase 3 so we’ll share it! Even the Wall Street Journal is writing about dining in The Hamptons! Their article “New York City Restaurants Open Outposts in the Hamptons This Summer” – well, we got that memo too ; ) Other news on the restaurant scene here…Ian Duke and partner David Hilty who own the Southampton Social Club and Union Burger Bar, are debuting this summer with a new twist on classic steakhouses but on a coastal note – Union Sushi + Steak at the famed Bowden Square. The T-Bar in Southampton is up to snuff and ready to please your taste buds with new sensations on the menu. T-Bar Southampton is following the strict CDC and Health department guidelines as are ALL the Restaurants in The Hamptons. To comply with these guidelines, T-Bar Southampton’s outside patio dining is adequately spaced to maintain social distancing, and for those still nervous going out to eat, T-Bar Southampton is also offering takeout options. With Tony Fortuna, Derek Axelrod, and Executive Chef Segundo Pelaez leading the way, T-Bar Southampton builds on the well-earned reputation of its New York City namesake. The menu features a wide range of dishes, ranging from well-cooked renditions of classics, to refined and inventive plates, providing the ultimate dining experience. For those who don’t want to wait in lines or put limits on their seating arrangements, there’s always Elegant Affairs who moved over from their usual event catering to a more creative and handy helper – the Memorial Day BBQ Box + Family Dinner – which was perfect to bring to SAC’s drive-in movie at Coopers : ) They’re even willing to pick up your wine and spirits! They had another AMAZING selection for July 4th weekend holiday celebrations so add this one to your fave go-to list. Over the past few months, the Long Island Wine community banded together to make up for the closure of their popular tasting rooms. They assured us that Spring + bud break had officially kicked off the 2020 growing season which happens simultaneously with the bottling of the prior vintage. Thankfully considered “essential” by the state of New York, they are going to showcase their final product in their tasting rooms at that point. So we’re super thrilled that both the South Fork + the North Fork are going to pleasure our palates with local wines come harvest season this year too.
There’s more…Tom Edmonds, Executive Director at the Southampton History Museum, took a gradual approach for a soft reopening by putting together some splendid programs. One of them was a special screening of the “Conscience Point” film and a live Zoom Q + A session with director Treva Wurmfeld on his documentary the last weekend of May. The Carriage House Thrift Shop JUST opened for its second year of business this last week of June in time for the Carriage House Flea Market. Getting creative is his forte so July 4th holiday weekend so came up with an exciting idea – Cooking with the Countess which will be streamed live on Zoom at the illustrious Port of Missing Men, one of the last private Gilded Age estates in Southampton. The Countess von Salm-Hoogstraeten and her private chef, Brian Hetrich will be making The Countess’ Coleslaw using some ingredients from her organic garden so RSVP online. This 4th of July marked 32 years that the Southampton Fresh Air Home has provided Grucci fireworks celebration as part of their signature American Picnic fundraiser but this year had to cancel on the picnic portion but still put on the fireworks to raise both funds and awareness about their ongoing programs for physically disabled children at The Fresh Air Home giving them “some time in the country”.
SO many galas have been cancelled like East End Hospice’s Annual Summer Gala held at The Jeffrey’s gorgeous waterfront estate in Quoque and also their Shelter Island Cocktail Party that’s always so beautiful too. They would like to encourage donations regardless as theirs is a cause near and dear to so many local families. Since Governor Cuomo announced that camps in New York can reopen, Camp Good Grief will be held in-person July 20-23, 2020 at Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck in Center Moriches. The number of campers will be limited and NYS Guidelines for Day Camps will be strictly followed. East End Arts Summer Camps offer small groups and large outdoor areas and also has multiple large studios with tons of room for social distancing during rainy days. Fun is key so creative programs offering art, music, theater, dance, and outdoor fun and focusing on the environment through children’s literature is a popular one.
Artistically speaking…Parrish Art Museum is presenting a new online series of short videos by East End artists living and working in the age of COVID-19 continues with Eric Dever, Eric Fischl, and Judith Hudson. More than 40 videos, ranging from intimate studio visits to emotional statements, will be posted on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Longhouse Reserve in East Hampton sent out a lot of beautiful press releases about upcoming opening and reminders of what Jack Larsen had orchestrated out of love for art and our community. They opened their gardens with a timed ticket reservation and have 100% pure cotton face coverings by dogOdog Organics if you forget to bring your own. In the world of art here in The Hamptons, TAKEOVER! 2020 ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE is Back! Galleries re-opened mid June during Phase II. Conceived and curated by Artistic Director Amy Kirwin, TAKEOVER! 2020 is sponsored by Ingrid Arneberg with additional support from the Long Island Community Foundation and Suffolk County. Artists include Jodi Bentivegna, Michael Butler, Isadora Capraro, Franco Cuttica, Esly E. Escobar, Melinda Hackett, Erica-Lynn Huberty, Dinah Maxwell Smith, Miles Partington, and Kerry Sharkey-Miller. Now open both inside + out, they have the Outdoor Sculpture & Art Installation which just opened to and is on view through September 13, 2020. Artists include Eric Fischl, Saskia Friedrich, Alice Hope, Bryan Hunt, Laurie Lambrecht, and Steve Miller. This special installation on the east end west lawn of SAC is a collaboration between Artistic Director Amy Kirwin and Artist Eric Fischl and reflects both nature and the new normal of life during a pandemic. The intention is not only to offer an open-air experience that welcomes guests to roam freely and safely, but to draw attention to artists that use nature and humanity as an inspiration for their work. So while strolling down Jobs Lane, drop in and treat yourself to both culture and a visual + mindful experience : )
HOPE…Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) is hosting a festive drive-by luncheon in Southampton mid July kicking off the Virtual Race of Hope that will take place on Sunday, August 2, 2020 with a virtual corral and broadcast. Thank HDRF Founder Audrey Gruss for that! The Evelyn Alexander Foundation – Eastern Long Islands ONLY Wildlife Hospital is hosting a A Wildlife Virtual Baby Shower. The Children’s Museum of the East End will host a A Virtual Trivia Night fundraiser on July 23rd at 7:30pm. East Hampton Historical Society is holding their Virtual Antiques + Preview Cocktail Party on July 17th (a ticketed event), followed by an online auction from July 17 through July 24, sponsored by Doyle Auction House, the world’s foremost auctioneers and appraisers of fine art, jewelry, furniture, decorations, coins, Asian works of art and a variety of specialty categories. The Ellen Hermanson Foundation is celebrating 25 years of changing lives and saving lives with a virtual Summer Gala on Saturday, July 25th at 6:30pm. The Chainsmokers are set to perform at a drive-in fundraiser at Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill on July 25th which is being hosted by JAJA Tequila and In The Know Experiences and proceeds are going toward No Kid Hungry, the Children’s Medical Fund of New York, Southampton Fresh Air Home and other local businesses in and around #TheHamptons.
Coming up in August, Peconic Land Trust has partnered with Wolffer Estate Vineyards and putting on Through Farms + Fields – A Celebration of Our Local Bounty as a virtual gathering, video presentation with a special toast honoring YOU + OUR FARMERS! Also in August, Last Chance Animal Rescue is holding their 6th Annual Golf Outing Fundraiser with contests/prizes, free beverage carts, a door prize, lunch to grab during golf play and more including our famous Murph’s Bloody Mary check in! Then there’s “North Meets South” for the 2nd Annual Farms, Food, & Drink Festival which gives Long Island families a place to meet and mingle with farmers, craft artisans, food trucks, restaurants, breweries, vineyards, cider houses, MLM markets, artists, children’s entertainers, and many other categories of business from all over Long Island. Downtown Riverhead – where the farm meets the table – is the place to celebrate and promote local-to-local Long Island business, encourage networking, promote economic development, and Downtown Revitalization. The 45th Hampton Classic Horse Show which usually caps summer as we go into wine harvest season and this year we are sad to say, it’s been cancelled BUT that doesn’t mean it won’t be back in 2021…
Enjoy our archives of parties in The Hamptons the way it used to be because we have faith that it’s all coming back better than before – don’t you? We’re getting TONS of press releases coming our way every day and word on the street keeps coming in…so ya see?! There’s PLENTY coming down the pike and we’re posting our Social Events Calendar around that as it all unfolds in phases…but hey, at least we’re still in it together to enjoy life, give to those who need it and make our world a better place for ALL. “Give peace a chance.”