On Saturday, Aug. 23, several hundred people gathered at Stone Meadow Farm, an estate in East Hampton where Mariah Carey recently got hitched, to celebrate the 125th birthday of the American Red Cross. Russell Simmons, whose eponymous jewelry line was one of the evening’s sponsors, told us that it had been the summer of Barack Obama, as well as yoga, the environment, PETA, the Humane Society and fund-raisers (his July 19 Art for Life event raised $1.7 million).
Liam McMullan, the 20-year-old son of photographer Patrick McMullan, and Stephanie Wei were sitting nearby. One night earlier this summer, the two were hanging out at 2 a.m. and getting pretty high.
“And we decided that we wanted to be even higher,” Mr. McMullan recalled. “And I said, ‘Let’s go sky-diving!’ Stephanie was like, ‘I don’t know. I’ve never done it before.’
“We didn’t go to sleep the whole day, making it very crazy, and it was like 10 a.m. before we actually jumped and the sun was in the middle of the sky and you could see all the way across Long Island—it was a crystal-clear day—and all the way to the city almost.”
“I know all these people now, they’re like, ‘We’re going sky-diving tomorrow!’” said Ms. Wei. “We started a trend. It was really fun.”
After declaring it the summer of debauchery, decadence and absurdity, she said the Hamptons feel forced this summer, like Disney World.
“It’s just that everything is a little bit over-the-top,” she said. “I walk into parties sometimes and it’s like, did they import these people? Did they hire these people to come to this party? Like the Gossip Girl party last weekend. I walk in, it’s their premiere party, everyone is dressed the same, everyone looks like they’re one of the Gossip Girls … and it was weird because everyone looked the same.”
“And it’s like this summer, we’re like in a recession,” Ms. Wei continued. “People are losing their jobs. People don’t have money, people are unemployed, there’s like other issues. And like literally I come out here to come to the beach and relax.
“Everything is so like contrived. Why can’t we just be natural?”