Monday, August 20, 2012

Debbie’s Hamptons Diary

Dr. John Anton's annual birthday dinner for Serena.
by Debbie Bancroft
Monday, August 20 , 2012

The shadows are longer and our time together shorter. The things that drove me crazy all summer — Mom's (that's me) shuttle service, deviled eggs 4x a week, carrying tortoises to the side of the road, only to find them back, the next day — all seem charming now, and I ache to see summer go.

My son just drove 18 hours alone to Nashville, and now that I am breathing again, it is registering that school begins Monday. And we just got Serena’s haul of new comforters, pillow and binders. Don’t these kids reuse this stuff?

And the very best parties come later, when everyone is back from yet other homes and destinations, and of course those are the folks who still throw fabulous parties.

There were two such parties this weekend, to which I have sworn omertà, but suffice to say it was a delight to toast our favorite Prince’s birthday at one of our favorite couple's home, and the next day, to celebrate a union of two beloved people who, perfect as they were individually, are even more so, together.
Nicole Miller and Kim Taipale's North Haven house.
Nicole Miller and Kim Taipale, no slouches in the couple department (they still give anniversary dinners ... how many people do you know who do that?), hosted their eagerly awaited, annual summer dinner. The dinners are themed — Mexico, Ecuador, and this year, we went to Italy.

Nicole supervises the meal. She could, and does cook for smaller groups, but with 36 guests, and an interest in speaking to them, she got help. She tie dyed the napkins in the colors of Italy (at my home, they are stained with the color of dinner).
Nicole's Italian-themed table.
Tuscan place card.
Nicole's hand died napkins in Italian flag colors.
Risotto — the comfort food of Italy.
Kim toasted the group with a toy dog that sang 'O sole mio.' He said 2 years ago, Real Housewife, LuAnne de Lesseps, sang to them so this was his attempt to follow that. I'm going with the dog. Murmurs of approval of the asparagus risotto and zuppa de pesce emanated from gourmands like Eric Fischl, Debbie and John Loeffler (who dish up their own gourmandise at Desmonds), Howard Blum and Ivana Lowell, Curtis Bashaw (who is developing the Bulova Watch building in Sag Harbor), Richard and Marcia Mishaan, Jay and Tracy Snyder.
View down from cocktail terrace.
Nicole checking on us, including Howard Blum.
Kim and singing dog.
Godzilla, their new Ridgeback puppy, listening.
Rick Hilton and me.
Kathy Hilton, Nicole, and Anne Hearst McInerney: 'Deb — we're too tired to dish' ...
Deb!!! No dish!!!
We hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
Lest you think I do nothing but imbibe, well ... sometimes I learn too. The Lighthouse for the Blind came to Margo Nederlander’s swell Southampton home, to teach us a thing or two about eye disease — the kind that starts in your fifties and rolls from there.

Dr. Michael Cooney got our attention. There was a certain, expressive gal in the midst who hollered I’ve got that, and that!” whenever he’d mention a symptom.  Well ladies, I actually had the thing itself — a detaching retina. I was due to have dinner with Dr. John Anton (who hosted Serena’s birthday this week, as you can see). I called him that a.m., and said, "John, I’ve got a map of Indonesia in my right eye — should I worry?" He said, "Run, don’t walk," to his pal, ophthalmologist Peter Michalos, and within 2 hours, I was in emergency surgery ... in Riverhead. I would’ve been blind the next day.
The lunch scene around the pool.
I blab about this so you will know, if you see mondo floaters and or flashes, run, too. Hosts Somers Farkas, Laura Lofaro Freeman, Jesse Araskog, Gayle Atkins, Sharon Loeb, and guests Clelia Zacharias, Marianna Kauffman, Anne Sitrick, Patty Raynes, Dana Stubgen, Leila Heller, and others, paid rapt attention, then relaxed a little around the pool for an elegant lobster lunch.
Lunch Chairs Margo Nederlander and Somers Farkas, with Patty Raynes.
Jesse Araskog and Mark Ackermann, CEO and president, Lighthouse International.
Before the lecture ended, I ducked in to the kitchen to visit Katherine and James Nederlander, Margo and James’ impossibly beautiful 9-month-old twins. I guess the group heard me squealing with them, because a waitress rushed in to tell me to keep it down.

You can’t take me anywhere.
Katherine and James Nederlander's 'Broadway' pianos. Odds are, no dental school or CPA studies in this duo's future.
Back at the table, conversation included stories of an enterprising female masseuse, who markets her services by handing out her card outside Rite Aid, in Southampton. One friends husband and adult daughter were both approached — “I work nights too," she whispered. Hmmm ... personal trainers and masseuses. But that’s another column.