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Debbie’s Hamptons Diary

The frog I saved, twice, from my pool.
by Debbie Bancroft
Monday, August 27 , 2012


Well, here I am, one week out, and I must admit,
my tender nostalgia for the end of summer has turned to an exhausted cry for the respite of the simple, healthy life in Gotham. As of this weekend, I have now seen everyone I have ever wanted to see, at least once. I have consumed every kernel of pearly white corn, every ruby red, bursting tomato, and most taxingly, every last drop of rose. I need to come home to the gentle, peaceful valleys of Manhattan.

By Saturday afternoon of this weekend, I was so depleted, that I regretted 2 cocktails and a dinner, given by a dear, and understanding friend, and tucked into a 6:30 grill on my porch, with house guests who spurted tears of appreciation, over their grilled summer sausage.

Before then, while still ambulatory, I went to a lovely Lanvin sponsored lunch, at Dayssi Kanavos's house, with a percentage of sales (and there were many) going to Save Venice. Girls like Caryn Zucker traveled from yonder Amagansett (a not- insignificant trip). "I'd go anywhere for Nathalie," she said. Kaplan, of course, a co-host and beloved and exceptional organizer.
Lanvin flag.
All in the details ... Lanvin fan.
We milled through Dayssi's dramatically beautiful, home, which I wish I could show you more of, but another (shelter) pub has first dibs — read all about it soon. Simone Levinson told us about her new lecture series for the Southampton Center, planned for the Parrish Art Museum site, next week, featuring Chris Cuomo and Bob Woodruff. Ashley McDermott and Mary Kathryn Navab bonded together since co-eds at SMU, recalled weeping at graduation, "we'll never see each other again!" they sobbed. Now they have houses across the street from each other in Southampton. Jamee Gregory and I, with schedules to keep, and columns to write, dove into the buffet line first, and exited together, too. "Would you like a goody bag?" the sweet event staffer asked. "Has anyone ever said no, I asked?" in the nicest way. I meant it. "Only when it was cupcakes," she told me. Really?
Dayssi, at home. Nathalie Kaplan, organizer extraordinaire.
Ashley McDermott and Mary Kathryn Navab ... since SMU.
Caryn Zucker, me and Heather Mnuchin. Patrick McMullan watched me fumbling, took my camera, and this.
Leslie Schulhoff and Simone Levinson.
Mini croque monsieur, one of Peter Callahan's perfect sized morsels.
Jamee Gregory — with me, the first on the buffet line.
Donna Zilkha and Melissa Bradley.
Next up, Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney's Wednesday night dinner. Yes, you have read about them here before, because they are gracious, generous, and exceedingly good at entertaining, and their guests include people as compelling as their fare — Ken Auletta, Ross Bleckner, Roger Waters and so on. This evening, they were welcoming our friend CNN commentator and Democratic spokesman Robert Zimmerman, back from a glam Italian cruise. Jay asked him to begin a non-partisan political discussion, and well ... ain't no such thing. The issue of 'choice' demonstrated there is none — we have all made up our minds, and so we moved on to neutral territory, like food and wine. Le Bernadin's Eric Ripert toasted Jay's wines and cuisine, Jay toasted right back, and we fell in to the happy, full lull that dinners create.
Jay McInerney and Anne Hearst McInerney's table on the porch of Ashgrove Farm.
Jay toasting Eric Ripert. Eric returning the compliments.
Jay and Eric whispering what they didn't say in their toasts.
Anne Hearst McInerney and Richard Tuggle, screenwriter pal from L.A. Jay and daughter Maisie, who lives in Nashville. Guess who she's meeting?
Political dude Robert Zimmerman and surfer dude Chris Clark.
Glamazon Sandra Ripert with Liese Evans.
Jamie Figg, who christened Anne and Jay's home, 'Anne Simeon.' Din, the magnificent, who runs the show.
Bean the dog, waiting for the guest whose seat he has placed his slippery ball on, to throw it.
My Bean bite wound, after I tried to pet him, instead of throwing the slippery ball.
Funny little pygmy dog, but he didn't bite me.
Friday brought a triple header, though I'll tell you about only two. Ivana Lowell, her beau, Howard Blum, and Christopher Mason hosted a cocktail in Ivanna's wonderful, historic Sag Harbor home. It was Chester Arthur's (our least distinguished President, according to Christopher) summer White House.
Ivanna's Sag Harbor home, formerly her mother Caroline Blackwood's, and much more formerly President Chester Arthur's summer retreat.
With period furniture and art, it felt like we had stepped back in time ... till we moved outside, where a rollicking party, with literary, art and media types, like Stephen Gaines, Michael Stone, Vanessa von Bismarck, and Ahn Duong sipped and nibbled Christopher's delectable hor d'oeuvres (yes, he cooks, too, while humming his lyrics, with his crime show on in the background).
Hosts Ivana Lowell and Howard Blum. Host and remarkable chef, Christopher Mason, with his delicious, fresh from the oven Pissaldierre.
Ahn Duong and Maximillian Weiner.
Mark Gilbertson ... inside.
Curtis Bashaw, Will Riccio, and Greg Unis. Inset: Greg Unis's broken hip, suffered when thrown from his horse.
Dinner was divine, and elsewhere, then before I could sink my fork in the desert, it was back in the car, and off we went to Jeff Sharp and Doug Steinbrecht's, for coffee (well, actually more rose). Clever and compelling folks like Fern Mallis, Jane Friedman and David Kleinberg made me wish the night was longer, but my body said, "No, it is not."

And so, my quiet wrap to a torrid start, and a bit of mending before the last Labor Day gasp. And I saved a frog from my pool today, twice, actually, which was curiously more satisfying, than most anything else.
Doug Steinbrecht and Mark Gilbertson, with his dog Easy (not).
David Kleinberg. We share the Gershwin duplex, though now divided. Jane Friedman, literary maven and car collector.
Keith Langham, Leslie Klotz, Jeff Sharp, and Doug Steinbrecht.




© 2013 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com