And so we are here, technically, at the end of summer. But for those lucky enough not to have desks, classes, empires beckoning, Autumn in the country is the loveliest. The weather is crisply perfect, the crowds abate, and the locals celebrate ‘Tumbleweed Tuesday’ – the first day without us.
But before we left, we celebrated, as if in tribal ritual, the end of summer. The Parrish Art Museum and Kim Heirston led us gently into the Labor Day drumbeat, with a smart and savvy tour and lecture to celebrate that other cool chick, Helen Frankenthaler.
The celebrated exhibit, Abstract Climate, shows her work from her summers in Provincetown, which was of course, informed by her time out East with Hans Hofman and Jackson Pollack. The show runs till October 27th and is well worth seeing, according to less biased (I am a trustee) and better informed people, i.e. the Times.
Kim, no slouch in the art department (she is an accomplished advisor), led a tour with The Parrish’s Director, Terrie Sultan, that captivated ladies (gender specific, for some reason) including Debra Black, Nancy Silverman, Roberta Amon, Liz Thompson, Dayssi Kanavos, and Audrey Gruss.
Clever Kim carried the perfect and true colors of Helen’s ‘Window’ onto the table, through the flowers and even into a mini painting/cookie. It was an enlightening and special respite before the weekend slam.
Later that day, I took (no longer ‘dragged’ – he actually enjoys my life) my boy Will in from L.A. to The Southampton Arts Center’s 6th Annual SummerFest. We were greeted by the Executive Director Tom Dunne especially proud of the important Joel Sartore photo exhibit, compelling in the artistry of the animal shots, and more so, by the threat of extinction they all face.
Fittingly the Champion of the Arts honoree was Diane Tuft, famous for her photography that also captures the urgency of climate change. Many local restaurants offered up a taste of their menus, and we carefully paced ourselves to leave room for our proper dinner. We dashed early, but know the SAC stalwarts were there: Simone and David Levinson, Peter Marino (whose own museum will open soon, next door), Jane Holzer, Nina Garcia and Annie Faulk.
Off we whisked to an anonymous, but lovely cocktail. The Sea Star jeep is your clue, if you care. Half a rosé and a jaunt around the corner for a very summer, family lobster dinner.
Friday, we prepped for 7 guests and a dinner for multiples of that. I went to a gentle, candlelit dinner in town and envied their hot and cold running help, and realized my guests (technically, my son’s) would have to be my staff.
Saturday, I ground, mixed and blended until I had a flotilla of sauces –chimichurri, tzatziki, Thai, Green Goddess … to spruce up your basic grill. Said guests, did in fact help. Tablecloths were unfurled, Southsides mixed, many veg and meats sacrificed to the grill, and a glorious dinner party happened. Note: there were vats of sauces left over. My theory is it was too dark to see all those beckoning bowls. Yeah, must’ve been that.
Sunday, the last hurrah day began with a beautiful beach side lunch that included my daughter Serena and her pal, Yaya’s (hostess) granddaughter, which as you may be able to tell, are my happiest moments.
And so the last, perhaps most festive, opulent of the summer is always Amelia and Bayo Ogunlesi’s. Constructed in the back of their beautiful Great Plains Road home, it is a transporting experience. Saundra Parks, event designer, creates an atmosphere so chic, it made some of the green whale pants look sexy.
It was also a wonderful mix of Wall Street titans, friends and family from Ghana and Nigeria, Amelia and Bayo’s home, school connections, golf buddies, Southampton neighbors and my favorite, many pals of their sons Geoffrey and Carl.
Both boys are in the music biz, and Bayo gave a proud shout out to Geoff, whose discovery and client, Young Thug, is #1 on the Billboard Hits list this week. You may not have his album, but everyone under 35 does. Music reigned, and folks who probably didn’t shake a leg much this summer, did lots of it, to the 15-piece band.
This little berg has now quieted, but I suspect that village to the west, will offer up a bit, too.