Thursday, September 5, 2013

Jill Krementz's Sagaponack Summer 2013, Part I

Mantelpiece in Sagaponack kitchen.

My husband, Kurt Vonnegut, and I co-purchased the 1740 house in 1979. We bought it from the artist Frank Stella.

Seen here: Kurt's beer, Nanny's violin, KV's 1999 Stubby Award, photograph of KV and JK on Sagg beach, and an antique lantern. The small camel was a table decoration at Georgia Tapert's wedding.
Sagaponack Summer, Part I
June 12-September 8, 2013

It was a summer of simple pleasures: Occasional houseguests included Sarah Reinertsen and her husband Brooke, Sean Yule with his husband Gui Dodd, my niece Jessica Kent and Michael Nesmith, Cheryl Rossum who brought Sugar, a yappy but adorable Chihuahua formerly owned by her daughter Emmy, and  the artist Zilvinas Kempinas with his family: Angela, Andrius, and Mantas. The best visit was by my daughter Lily Vonnegut who wanted to show off her tummy — she and her husband Brian are expecting a baby boy at the end of January.

I rarely left my house and when I did it was to walk with Lulu, my Maltese, to Marilee Foster's food stand of fresh flowers and produce.  It was there that I hung out on an almost daily basis with my neighbors Steve Harvey (an Egyptologist), artist Celia Gerard, and Mary Roesser Calderone.

What is a summer without yard sales. I bought this for $35 on a rainy Saturday morning in Wainscott.
Other visits on Sagg Main included tea with Maria and Peter Matthiessen (and their houseguest Victor Emanuel, the renowned birder), and meals with Maily and Peter Smith, their children now grown with children of their own. We've all been friends enjoying summer get-togethers since 1979 when Kurt and I bought our 1740 shingled house.

Bridgehampton is a small town with The Candy Kitchen as its hub, many wonderful shops, the great family-owned Thayers Hardware store, and my favorite gallery owned by Mark Borghi.

I finally got to The Parrish Museum and liked it a lot. Having heard so much about Sara de Luca and her new gallery Ille Arts in Amagansett, I braved the traffic out to Amagansett not once but twice and was glad I did. Dinners out were rare but I had a great evening at Merko's with Eric Brown, Jane Freilicher and Ian Spencer Bell. Lily and I went to Nick &Tony's as well as Almond, and I dined twice at The American Hotel thanks to generous houseguests.

Mostly I fixed up the house, hung a lot of my own photographs as well as two beautiful posters by James McMullan and an inscribed one from The Monkees with whom I spent an evening when they rocked and rolled in Westbury.

The yard sales were great. I'm looking forward to Memorial Day.
My Sagaponack summer started as it always does with a new beach sticker, plants (from Lynch's Garden Center in Southampton) hung and potted, an orchid on the window sill and fresh flowers in the foyer.
Hanging plants on the front porch.
Fresh flowers by the front door.
Every summer for as long as I can remember, an orchid has thrived on this windowsill.

The bird made of twigs is from the Bronx Botanical Garden. For my coverage of Emily Dickinson at the Gardens, click HERE.
The plate is from Dresden, a gift from my husband. The watercolor is by Morley Safer, a frequent guest (with his wife Jane) of ours over the years.
VISITORS
My first visitors — the wonderful gang from Blue Light Energy, a family business headed by Bob Schiavoni.

The basement had flooded over the winter and I needed two new hot water heaters. I also needed to repair a gas leak undetected by Pulver, my previous gas supplier. What a relief to not only have an alternative provider, but a much better one.
HOUSEGUESTS
My first houseguests were Sarah Reinertsen and her husband, Brooke Raasch, who is a graphic designer. They live in Mission Viejo, California. She arrived with her bag of 8 legs having visited her prostheticist in Long Island for adjustments.

I had attended her annual fund-raising gala the previous night at the Waldorf. In addition to being Ironman Hawaii, Triathlon, a Nike spokesperson, a frequent competitor, and a motivational speaker, Sarah is always helping to raise money for amputees.
Sarah Reinertsen, age 14, from my book, How It Feels to Live With a Physical Disability.

Sarah was just seven when she had her leg amputated above the knee because of a congenital birth defect. She was told that she would never be able to run. In 2004, at the age of 29, Sarah became the first female with a prosthetic leg to enter the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii that involves a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. She recently competed in The Amazing Race series on television.
We went to Sag Harbor and after dinner at The American Hotel we strolled on the dock where all the fancy yachts are anchored. Paul Martin from South Africa tends to one of the boats and we talked about Oscar Pistorius. Three years ago when I went to the Waldorf benefit I sat with Oscar, and of course Sarah has known him a long time. It will be interesting to see what happens. The double-amputee Olympian from Johannesburg, known as the blade runner, will go on trial in early 2014, about a year after shooting dead his girlfriend.

For JK's previous NYSD photojournal on Sarah Reinertsen, click HERE.
Next houseguest was Sean Yule (who visited with his husband Gui). Sean is my editor at Knopf and handles all my reprints and e-books.
June 29-July 1st: My niece Jessica Kent and Michael Nesmith.

Jessica runs The Gihon Foundation, a non-profit for the performing arts established in the early '70s by Nesmith's mother, Bette Nesmith Graham. Mrs. Graham, a former secretary, invented the correction fluid Liquid Paper.
Portrait of Jessica with her new haircut.

It was through Jessica that I recently met Nez, as he's known, and have become an unabashed Monkees fan.
The three of us went to The American Hotel for dinner where a large rendering of this Town & Country caricature by Victor Juhasz is on the wall behind the Maitre d's desk.

That's me and Kurt on the lower left. Other familiar faces include John Steinbeck, George Plimpton, Seamus Heaney, Truman Capote, Cindy Sherman, Jimmy Buffet, Billy Joel, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Larry Rivers, Lanford Wilson, Queequeg, and Herman Melville.

Nez ordered caviar and lobster. Those rock stars rock.
Jessica as she appeared in 1985 on the cover of my cookbook, The Fun of Cooking, (Alfred A. Knopf).
The opening pages of Jessica's chapter on how to make teddy bear bread.
One of the several layouts of Jessica with her mother Nathalie, who now lives in Sante Fe and is the owner of the popular store, "Nathalie."
Jessica out by the pool in the new hammock my daughter Lily sent to me for Mother's Day.
Michael and Lulu, my adorable Maltese rescue dog. Guests mean one thing to her: tummy rubs. This is her third Sagaponack summer.
Nez and Lulu Skyping with Jessica's husband and young daughters back in Carmel. This was Nez's idea.
Michael checking with his tour people.
July 19th: Michael Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz, and Peter Tork.

I accompanied Michael to Westbury for the 4th concert of the group's 24 city "Midsummer's Night" tour. You can click HERE for my NYSD coverage: Jill Krementz rocks and rolls with the Monkees.

Nesmith will soon embark on a solo tour (Nez Fall 2013 US Tour Information).
My daughter Lily visited but because she is pregnant this is the only photograph she's allowing me to use.

We had gone into Southampton for a hamburger at Barrister's Restaurant. Michael Ferran, the manager, joined us.

The baby, a boy, is due the end of January.
THE 4TH OF JULY
Kurt and I always hung out a flag on the 4th. When Lily was young we we would go into Southampton for the annual parade.
Gallerist Mark Borghi and his wife Marissa hosted their annual clambake on Gibson beach in front of their house.
A long table with flowers and a tablecloth was set up.

I loved not having to sit on the sand. It's a long way down and getting up gets harder every year.
The evening was catered by East End Clambakes in Southampton. That's Freddy West with more than forty lobsters, a lot of clams, and, behind him, a grill with hamburgers and hot dogs. The kids made s'mores on the wood fire.
The centerpieces on the table were beautiful: mason jars and stones anchoring the flowers. That's Mark's assistant Sarah Kennedy who is getting married on October the 5th.
Joanie Borgi, aged 3, with her aunt, Cristina Mele. Ms. Mele is Marissa's sister; she works at Bloomberg in New York.
The Borghi family: Mark, Rocco, 7, Luke, 5, and Marissa.
AN OUTING TO WATER MILL
July 26th: I rarely leave Sagaponack if I can help it, but I was happy to go to Water Mill for dinner at Merko's with gallerist Eric Brown, painter Jane Freilicher, and choreographer Ian Spencer Bell.

Eric, who co-owns Tibor de Nagy on Fifth Avenue, has represented Jane for many years and the gallery recently presented a solo show of her work (which you can see at Jill Krementz covers Jane Freilicher.)

Eric, with Ian (his partner, as in romantic partner — not the co-owner of Tibor), had driven out for the day to show Jane a proof of a limited edition of a print run he's planning to publish of one of her works. Ms. Freilicher has spent her summers for decades in Water Mill where she has a house and studio.

In addition to being a gallerist, Eric is a Monday morning painter. That's the day he has off from his gallery.
Ian and Eric were my houseguests that night. The following morning they headed back to the city in an Audi owned by Eric's brother Dana.
MARILEE FOSTER'S FARM STAND ON SAGG ROAD IS A SHORT STROLL FROM MY HOUSE
Customers are often given a bag of the homemade potato chips by Augustus Nye.

An art student at Hunter, Mr. Nye has the salesmanship technique of a crack dealer: "Here, let me give you a complimentary bag of these great homemade spuds." In his own words: "The first bag is free, the second is triple."

It's the end of life as you knew it.

You're hooked.
Sagaponack Tiger Spud and potato chips from Foster's Farm.
Customers, i.e addicts, include Steve Harvey, my neighbor on Sagg Road. Steve Harvey, a Yale graduate, is a legendary Egyptologist. Tobin is his ARF rescue dog.
Next summer Marilee will be adding homemade potato vodka to her farmstand treasures.
Marilee can't even pick the tomatoes fast enough to satisfy her growing fans.
Assorted tomatoes and carrots.
Zucchini, squash, and radishes.
Shallots.
Heads of garlic.
Daniella Nolan, 16, is a student at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor.
On her way home from Marilee's, my neighbor Mary Roesser Calderone with Kenzie, her new puppy.

The Calderone family has a beautiful house directly across the street from ours. It is situated on what was once a potato field. That was in 1979 when KV and I co-purchased our 1740 farmhouse. It was back in the day when too many insecticides were used and the toxic spraying gave us terrible headaches.
SAG ROAD AT SUNSET
Michael J. Newmark with his son Michael, aged 6, and their Jack Russell named Riley.
Mr. Newmark is a developer who is building the first sustainable LEED certified spec home in the Hamptons. It is a modern structure in Sagaponack.
MY FRIENDS MARIA AND PETER MATTHIESSEN LIVE JUST EAST OF THE FARMSTAND
Peter Matthiessen, a founder of The Paris Review and the author of novels and non fiction. The Snow Leopard, Killing Mr. Watson, and At Play in the Fields of the Lord are among his many books.

A naturalist and wilderness writer, Matthiessen, a Zen Buddhist, is a prominent environmental activist.
Peter, who is on his way to Mecox for some birdwatching with his friend Victor Emanuel, one of the top birders in the world. Victor, who lives in Austin, Texas, was staying with the Matthiessens. He runs the Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and was about to go off to Brazil with a group.
The birders with their binoculars.

For JK's previous NYSD photojournal on Peter Matthiessen, click HERE.
Maria's daughter Sarah Koenig, Sarah's husband Ben, and their children Ava and Reuben.
ALSO ON SAGG MAIN, BETWEEN THE FARM STAND AND THE MATTHIESSENS: THE SMITH FAMILY
L. to r.: Camilla and Alix with their daughter Sophie, Maily Smith with Henry, and Bettina with her husband Jamie.
Alix, Sophie, and Maily.
Phoebe (Sophie's Yorkie) and Sophie lead the way.
Bettina and Henry. Bettina Prentice is a top notch PR person for many art galleries, including Acquavella.
Alix, aged 6, making her apple cinnamon muffins.
"Whenever you bake something, you have to preheat the oven so the temperature will be right when you start cooking whatever it is you're making. I always peek in first to make sure it's clean and there's nothing inside — like another pan. Mommy lights the oven for me because I'm not allowed to yet."
"What I love most about cooking is baking. I like using mixes because it's quicker and I get to eat the results sooner. Sometimes we cook applesauce or popcorn at school, but mostly I cook with Mommy, especially during the summer when we're on vacation. We always try to have a party when there's bad weather, which is a good idea because instead of being scared of thunderstorms I almost look forward to them My Daddy says my apple cinnamon muffins make him feel happy all day, rain or shine."
The same kitchen.
Alix heading across Sag where she and Camilla spend weekends with Sophie. Their Yorkie Phoebe travels in style.
The artist James McMullan dropped by for a visit and brought me a small framed poster of Waiting for Godot that he even hung on the wall for me. He also brought me a very large rolled-up poster — the one he did for Carousel, measuring 2 feet by 4 feet — that I had told him I'd be happy to have framed.

While Jim was visiting, Alix and Sophie dropped by to say hello. I'm only a stroller-ride away.
Beneath Jim's Godot, is a Guild Hall poster by Paul Davis.

Paul and Jim are friends and neighbors in Sag Harbor.
On the wall is a painting by the late Richard Merkin.
The cover of Jim's latest book.

McMullan, 79, has done three posters a year for Lincoln Center since 1986 when he did John Guare's House of Blue Leaves. He has now done posters for a total of four Guare plays.

Jim has just completed a memoir Leaving China, "about the war years — and leaving China when I was a kid." It will be published by Algonquin Books on March 11, 2014.

For my photojournal on Jim McMullan's exhibit a few years ago at Lincoln Center click HERE.

Inscribed by Jim. He is referring to a trip to Paris that we all took back in the '60s when I was on the staff of Clay Felker's New York Magazine. Milton Glaser was the magazine's art director and we all flew over to Paris on a chartered plane for an exhibition by Pushpin Artists.
Some of the posters by Jim has done over the years for Lincoln Center.
Bye bye.
Maria Escalante hangs the framed Carousel poster on third floor, just under Waiting For Godot.
Installation complete! On the back wall, a pastel by Paul Davis of Lily and me. Lily is Kurt's youngest daughter.
MORE HOUSEGUESTS
Cheryl Rossum has been my friend for over 50 years. Her daughter Emmy is an actress and singer-songwriter. Her Chihuahua is Sugar.

Emmy has starred in movies including The Phantom of the Opera, Songcatcher, Beautiful Creatures, and Mystic River.

Her series Shameless is on Showtime.
There's only one place to be when it starts to thunder. Sugar takes cover.
FOUR MORE GUESTS AND A VISIT TO WATER MILL
Artist Zilvinas Kempinas, his wife, Angela Okajima-Kempinas, and their sons, Andrius, 8, and Mantas, 7, visited after returning from a holiday in Lithuania.

They spent some time here two summer's ago. We met at MoMA where I photographed his magnificent installation in conjunction with the museum's exhibition "On Line." Click HERE for my coverage.
Last year, and again this year, we visited art collector Stanley Cohen in Water Mill.

Stanley is on the board of The French Foundation that runs "Atelier Calder," a residency program in Calder's studio in France. The organization is celebrating its 25 years.

Zilvinas was the #2 recipient of the Calder Prize. Half of the money is given by Mr. Cohen and half by the Calder Foundation.
Zilvinas's installation, "Tripods," on Stanley's front lawn. It is made of aluminum rods and is an edition of three.

Zilvinas will have a similar piece on exhibit in an upcoming exhibition this year in Dusseldorf.
Off to the nearby Parrish Museum which I was visiting for the first time.

Designed by Herzog & de Meuron Architects, the East End museum opened in 2012.
Oh lucky me!

Scott Howe, Deputy Director, with Director Terrie Sultan.

They were both at the museum because there was a concert on the outside lawn.
Installation shot of East End artists (from left to right): John Chamberlain's Tambourninefrappe, (2010); Donald Sultan's White Poppies with Flocked Centers (2002); Jack Youngerman's Conflux II, and Mary Heilmann's Narrow Lane #3 (2001).

Obviously, space dictates that this is a very edited version of all that is on display. I have shown only a few of the East End artists.

The museum is worth a visit.
Eric Fischl, American, b. 1948.

Scarsdale, 1986
Oil on canvas
Detail of Eric Fischl's Scarsdale.

The security guard told me that he had overheard a young boy's comment to his mother: "Mommy, that woman is smoking a cigarette. She must be trying to kill herself."
Billy Sullivan, American, b. 1946. Max, Sam, and Edo, 2011; oil on linen.
April Gornik, American, born 1953

Light Before Heat,
1984; oil on linen
Alan Shields, American, 1944-2005

Devil, Devil, Love, 1970

Cotton belting, acrylic, thread, beads, and wood.

Security guard Joseph Kolarik told me that Mr. Shields used to work on the Shelter Island Ferry until he died in 2005.
The museum's cafe is fantastic.
The outdoor concert on the Terrace: "Sunset with Bach."
Click here for Part 2 of Jill Krementz's Sagaponack Summer 2013.
Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved. Contact Jill Krementz here.