Isn't that Rich?
The Month In...
It was opening weekend in the Hamptons.
There I was at a Memorial Day party at a stunning manse “on Goldman Pond,” as some now refer to the body of water formerly known as Sagg Pond. Now home to some of the most expensive waterfront Hamptons properties, it has become a coveted location for financial-industry types in search of deepwater docks.
With Labor Day, we said goodbye to August, the Sunday of months, the last chance to relax until easing back into normal life. But if you’re Alec Baldwin, you never slowed down—not for a minute. Tracking the actor’s every move via Twitter, gossip columns and party photos (because how can you not?), we found that even in his leisure time the man is unstoppable, mixing work, play and philanthropy in a way that would exhaust mere mortals.
Click through our slideshow for an illustrated tour through Alec’s August, or click here for a large image.
After some time spent roving the idyllic Hamptons lanes last Saturday, The Observer found ourselves at a charity gala honoring the music of Billy Joel. The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Team Fox had teamed up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to put on the snazzy soiree.
Onstage, a Billy Joel tribute band was playing at considerable volume. We asked the brave souls seated near the front how they felt about the idea of setting up a tribute band.
M.C. and host for the evening Gina Giordan was keen to point out that she did not choose the band, and was unconvinced that anyone could compare to the legendary Billy Joel.
“This is insane…it’s like a Fellini film,” The Observer overheard one guest murmur as we arrived at the Southampton Hospital gala last Saturday evening. The theme of the evening was Grand Prix Monaco, though many of the high-paying donors didn’t seem to have gotten the memo—or known what it meant, perhaps. Women wore colorful dresses in every conceivable hue and style, while the men ranged from casual checkered shirts to top hats and tails.
Though this was a charity event, there was a measure of self-interest on the part of the attendees: after all, the Jenny and John Paulson Emergency Department of Southampton Hospital is the only emergency room facility for 50 miles. As opposed to say, giving money to Haiti, this was clearly a cause that could potentially affect donors directly.
“This benefit is considered sort of the social benefit of the season,” gala chair Laura Lofaro Freeman told The Observer. “It’s really to update and upgrade the equipment in the emergency room, make sure it’s cutting-edge…et cetera.”
Occupy the Hamptons
“Pretty much every gay man in fashion is here,” a guest remarked at the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America’s “Cocktails at Sunset” benefit on Saturday evening.
And so it seemed. The air was heavily perfumed, and well-fitting white jeans abounded in the backyard of Ross Bleckner’s Sagaponack residence. Despite some wild weather earlier in the week—a smothering heat wave followed by a severe summer storm—the sky had cleared and the beach breeze was cool.
Photographer Stewart Shining expressed his relief at this, telling The Observer that, as the vice president of ACRIA, he’d been running around all day getting things ready and having nightmares about the rain. And with good reason—Kelly Klein told us that she’d attended the annual kickoff at the Bridgehampton Polo Club earlier that day, only for it to be canceled because of Friday’s harsh weather. “But everybody still showed up, so it was a bunch of people with nowhere to go,” she explained, a little exasperated.
But the grass was dry as Jeffrey Bilhuber, Tomas Maier and David Kleinberg milled around the tented lawn, sipping champagne and taking in the silent auction featuring Robert Mapplethorpe’s Fang (1987) and a Robert Longo portrait of Cindy Sherman, which sold for $9,000 and $11,000, respectively.
Of Lawsuits and Living Rooms
On Sunday, with temperatures hovering around 85 degrees, the Occupy Wall Street movement headed Out East to protest Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s $50,000 a plate dinner at the Southampton home of billionaire David Koch— one of three local fundraisers expected to raise a cumulative $3 million over the weekend.
Shouting “Election for sale” and “For $50,000, you could be a Koch whore too,” the crowd of approximately 150 people assembled with signs and music behind a banner reading “Mitt Romney Has a Koch Problem,” the event’s unofficial slogan. A similar banner was flown above the nearby beach, towed behind a MoveOn-commissioned plane. That organization also brought its Romney Mobile, complete with fake dog strapped to the roof and company logos such as UBS and Bain Capital Ventures on the side.
More than an anti-Romney protest, the focus was on Koch and the influence of wealth on the electoral system. Signs read “Romney is All Koched Up” and “End Corporate Personhood” while a balloon was scrawled with “Romney = Koch Sucker” (the protestors apparently wanting it both ways, pun-wise, when it came to Mr. Koch’s surname).
LIFE'S A BEACH
Doesn’t a 6,459-square-foot Hamptons manse with seven bedrooms, an outdoor pool, tennis court, carriage house and four-car garage sound like the perfect place to spend the holiday weekend?
But alas, apparently the former home of power broker Dolly Lenz is not perfect, as the new buyers are suing Ms. Lenz and her broker for breach of contract, reports The Real Deal.
Wall Street’s having a rough summer. And how do we know this? We know this because they can’t spend as much time on the beach as they used to.
The sweltering pre-summer heat has begun to settle upon our fair city. In the season during which New York’s every nook and cranny teems with sweaty tourists, true city folk gather their kaftans and swim trunks, and head for the hills. The sandy hills of Main Beach, that is.
Fetching our long-hibernating car, we were pleased to find it still filled with the detritus of last summer. A slightly deflated sunhat, a beloved pair of flip-flops, a tube of now suspect sunscreen. We smiled, remembering with sandy fondness of our time Out East. Yes, while the city has its undeniable boons, nothing can quite compare to the Talkhouse late, late on a Saturday night, nor the peculiar shock of seeing endless George Hamilton clones strolling the bucolic streets.
Top Chef second season third-place winner Sam Talbot has seen the high tide at The Surf Lodge, who he’s been with since opening. He’s apparently moving on to opening something in the Caribbean, reports Grub Street.