There were no armored tanks rolling down Southampton’s Main Street to celebrate our beloved country’s birthday, just marching bands, fire trucks, veterans and flag waving children.
There were also fireworks in every town, sparklers at home and a great excuse for the hot dogs we only eat, this day.
Cristina Greeven Cuomo launched the week with a chic lunch for the jeweler, Vhernier, benefitting Southampton Hospital. Topping Rose served their signature farm to table delectables (no dogs) and Patricia Duff, Ann Barish, Margo Nederlander, Charlotte Assaf and Candace Bushnell compared notes for the festive week, many overlapping.
My boy, Will, flew in from L.A., ahead of the quakes, and joined me for Mary and Howard Frank’s 4th annual 4th lunch. Mary, the President of The Parrish Art Museum, assembled collectors and artists including Larry Milstein who just launched his Gen-X marketing co. and told me that at Soul Cycle that morning, the National Anthem was played and hands left the handlebars and were placed over their hearts.
I sat next to artist Dan Rizzie, who showed me his beautiful paintings, married to Roxanne Cash’s words in his new book. Mary reminded us that the Midsummer Party is July 13th … oh right. I’m Co-Chairing. Today’s long tables were festooned with flowers and poppers, and my son nabbed the hot dog headdress (and wouldn’t give it back). Hot dogs, aka ‘franks’ were appropriately part of the theme. Brooklyn Hot Dogs — the winners of their taste test, were offered at two frank stands, along with groaning plates of lobster salad, hamburgers, followed by a sparkler topped birthday cake.
Art is the firmament of the East End, and no artists are more engaged in the community, than Eric Fischl and April Gornik. April, Head of the Board of the Sag Harbor Cinema, is credited with restoring and expanding the Cinema after it was almost destroyed by fire in 2016. Eric and April opened their Sag Harbor home and studios to celebrate their great friend, eBay President and CEO Devin Wenig, and his generous offer to host the Cinema’s first auction (plus make a $50,000 contribution). “April runs the world,” he reminded us. We know, and are grateful.
This relentlessly jubilant day was not done with me; in fact it spilled me into a dinner that will be hard to top this summer. Yes, Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney’s dinners are legendary — the best wines, food and most interesting people. But this night, after our sumptuous dinner, Neil deGrasse Tyson, rock star astrophysicist, author and science communicator, beckoned us outside, where in this sparkling clear night he revealed a long, super powered pointer and guided us through the starry sky. Sigh. We felt personally introduced to The Big Dipper and its neighbors in a way we never had been, nor will again.
There was more that weekend — a lovely, family 4th celebration at a gracious, private, East Hampton spot, same idea, the next day in South, and we eventually limped back to New York where it’s quiet and dull; and we can recoup.