Make Strides Against Breast Cancer


Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the American Cancer Society and Main Street Agency are partnering now to bring awareness around the issue of breast cancer with a “Paint the Town Pink” initiative coming up in a few weeks. Those interested in learning more should head to the Sea Star Ballroom in Riverhead on Friday, September 23, at 1:30 p.m. to find out how to become involved. Attendees will be educated about the importance of the mission of the American Cancer Society and how they can get involved in the Main Street goes pink effort, which will launch on October 9, 2016.

Additionally, the American Cancer Society is hosting a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k walk at Suffolk County Community College, Riverhead Campus on Sunday, October 23. Register to walk and fundraise by calling (631) 300-3455, via email at or online at http://www.makingstrideswalk/easternlongisland. There is no fee to register, though contributions and donations are greatly appreciated.

Funds raised through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer enable the American Cancer Society to invest in groundbreaking research; provide free, comprehensive information and support to those touched by breast cancer; and help people take steps to reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it’s most treatable. For additional details, sponsorship opportunities, to form a team, register to walk or volunteer, please visit or call the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345.


Southampton Town Buys the Farm


Not the Densieski Farm, but pretty nonetheless.

Straight from the Supe’s office:

The Town of Southampton has purchased the development rights to 86 acres of the Densieski Farm in East Quogue for $5.4 million, through the Community Preservation Fund. Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and the Town Board held a news xonference on Wednesday September 21, 2016 at 2 p.m. to announce the transfer. The 86 acres are split by Lewis Road and CR 104.

The Densieski family, which has been farming the land for 90 years, retains the development rights for 6 acres of the property. The current owner also farms the adjacent 150-plus acres of protected farmland. That helps complete the largest block of protected farmland west of the canal.

“By protecting this beautiful farm, we make sure farming remains an important part of our community for this and for future generations,” said Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “It’s what the Community Preservation Fund was created to do.”

“This purchase helps support locally produced foods, which could reduce the trucking costs, that reduce carbon emissions, that in turn helps our environment,” said Councilwoman Julie Lofstad.

The Community Preservation Fund was established in 1999 and comes from the 2 percent real estate transfer tax. To date the Town of Southampton has spent over $565-million in land preservation.


Summer Reading List


Since tomorrow is the fall equinox, I’m technically not out of time for this summer reading list, though I am not very timely as it relates to practicality. Apologies. It’s been a busy season.

Even though the autumn is upon us, there’s still plenty of time to head to the beach with your favorite book. Just pack a layer or two in case it gets slightly chilly. Since Labor Day, I’ve been doing my best to catch up on my stack of summer reading. I’ve managed to not just plow through a bunch of books by local authors/novels with East End connections but also to discover a few really, really great reads.

Here’s what’s been on my bedside table of late, in reading order. Thanks and apologies to the authors and press people who have been kept waiting.

“Living with Lexington” by Kristina Lindhe. I browsed through this beautiful coffee table book by one of our favorite frequent visitors from Sweden who also spends tons of time in East Hampton (yes, there are, surprisingly, a few of them) when I got it earlier in the summer. But then I revisited it the second I could, actually diving in the night of what was supposed to be our big tropical storm Hermine, right after my duties were completed at Grand Prix Day at the Hampton Classic. This book is gorgeous. And Kristina Lindhe, the Founder/CEO/Creative Director of The Lexington Company, is an absolute doll. The book is a perfect blend of her simply elegant style. Love it! So glad I own it.

“The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club” by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin. Hand-delivered to me by Bonnie Grice, our friend-in-common–who absolutely raved about this book–it became immediately clear to me that Ms. Bruce-Benjamin did her homework about the Hurricane of 1938, the history of the East End and the people who inhabited it at that time. The novel, a slow-burn thriller of sorts with a dash of Edith Wharton thrown in, really transported me and I enjoyed it immensely. Can’t wait to read what Ms. Bruce-Benjamin writes next.

“Bright, Precious Days” by Jay McInerney. Oh boy oh boy was I ever thrilled to dive in to this one. Having read and loved his two previous stories about the lives of Russell and Corrinne Calloway (as well as most of his other work in books and magazines too) I was champing at the bit to learn every little facet of these fascinating character’s lives. This third installment most definitely did not disappoint. Jay, please write more. And then more. And then more. Bravo!

“Learning From LongHouse” by Jack Lenor Larsen. Those who know me know how much I love LongHouse. I will treasure this book always. It’s a wonderful picture story interwoven with the genius of Jack Larsen, who is, in my opinion, the most significant textile designer gracing this planet today and a heck of a personal inspiration.

“Seinfeldia” by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. I’ve always been a huge fan of the show, and still watch it when I can. What I like about this book is that it tells the story from inside, with lots and lots of great stories from the writers. It’s less a fan’s book about the actors, though there are plenty of interesting details there too, than it is a story about the people behind the scenes. Definitely not a book about nothing. I ripped through this book on the plane headed to a wine country trip to California and thoroughly enjoyed every page. I also read “The Inseparables” by Stuart Nadler and “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins on that trip and highly recommend both, though neither has a Hamptons connection that I know of, besides being on the shelves at our local libraries and bookstores.

I’ve still got a handful to read, including “Rembrandt’s Shadow” by Janet Lee Berg. That one’s on the top of my list, especially since Janet was the host of my old writing group years ago and I adore her. Plus, the based-on-a-true-story novel about stolen artwork and the Nazis looks to be absolutely riveting. After that, I’m diving in to “Shrink: The Autobiography of a Psychotherapist” by Dr. Martin Obler, with Jed Golden, and “Without a Head” of th “Dying To Be Beautiful” series by M. Glenda Rosen. Cheers to cracking open a good book or two.



Who Doesn’t Love a Tax Break?


Another reason to call Southampton Town Jay Schneiderman the man!

On Monday afternoon, he delivered his proposed budget to Town Clerk, Sundy Schermeyer. Said budget calls for a nearly 2-percent drop in the current property tax rate, the largest reduction in the tax rate in many years.

“We’ve looked back over the past ten years and this is by far the most significant reduction in the tax rate that has been seen,” said Supervisor Schneiderman.

Here’s the rest of the information contained in an email sent straight from the Supervisor’s office this afternoon:

The 10-page Budget Message contained in the document details the approach to the budget development.  The Supervisor worked to stay within the Governor’s tax cap which allowed for less than 1% growth in the amount collected by the town in property taxes.  This budget not only came in below the cap but actually decreased the tax rate by 1.6%.   According to the budget message the Supervisor focused on public safety and quality of life issues as well as improving town infrastructure including roads and park facilities. The Supervisor called the budget, “structurally balanced and responsible”.

Supervisor Schneiderman thanked Town Comptroller Len Marchese for his assistance in developing the tentative budget. “This budget, as offered by Supervisor Schneiderman, continues the conservative budgeting of past administrations, while addressing some of our most valuable assets including employees, Town infrastructure and park facilities,” said Town Comptroller Len Marchese. Earlier this year, Moody’s Investment Services increased the Town’s credit rating to the highest level citing the strong financial management team at Town Hall among other factors.

The proposed budget offers several new positions; including one police officer and one public safety dispatcher paid from additional sales tax revenue secured from the County during Mr. Schneiderman’s tenure as Suffolk County Legislator for the region.   The budget also calls for a Director of Public Safety and the Director of Housing and Community Development.

The proposed budget calls for the consolidation of Code Enforcement, Animal Control, the Fire Marshall and Emergency Preparedness into a newly created Department of Public Safety. In addition, the proposed budget creates an Office of Housing and Community Development as a division of the Department of Land Management.

The Supervisor said that both changes were needed to address quality of life complaints. The new Department of Public Safety will focus on addressing housing code violations while the new Housing Office will focus on creating code compliant affordable housing opportunities for our workforce.

The proposed Town budget provides $3.2 million in capital borrowing for road improvements and $1.4 million for park facility upgrades. The budget also proposes $1.3 million in major technology upgrades in town-wide computer networks. Although the budget calls for this additional borrowing, the overall level of outstanding town debt is actually being reduced by over $7 million. The budget maintains surpluses in every account, with a cumulative increase in surplus funds of over one million dollars above current levels.

The 800-page budget document is bound by a binder with a rendering of Good Ground Park on the cover.  Good Ground Park, reflecting the original name of the Hampton Bays community, is scheduled to open on October 15th of this year and be fully operational by May 2017. The 36 acre park located north of Main Street features a 600 seat amphitheater and will offer a children’s playground and walking trails. The budget provides for the additional resources needed for the maintenance of the park facility.

The budget document will be formally presented to the Town Board at a Work Session scheduled this Thursday, September 20th at 10am. The Town Board will hold two works session on the budget October 6th and October 20th. Two public hearings on the proposed budget will be held on October 25th and November 9th. The budget may be amended through the budget process. However, it must be adopted by the Town Board or before November 20th. The full budget document can be viewed online at .


Hey Hamptons, Get Out There and Do Something!

It’s not too late to sign up for the Neo-Political Young Cowgirls Workshop at Guild Hall in East Hampton, which starts TODAY, Tuesday, September 20, and runs through October 20. The workshop meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Girls ages 8 through 12 will explore issues they care about through exercises, journaling and theater games to create their own mini-dance theater pieces that they will direct and perform. A safe, fun, and free environment to support girls in their unique voices and creative expression. Anything goes! Email Jennifer here to register.

latin-dance-salsa-partyDanceFusion at the Southampton Cultural Center is presenting free Latin Dancing instruction tomorrow night, Wednesday, September 21, at 5:30 p.m. at Rogers Memorial Library in the village. The class will help you prepare for a fun Salsa Party on the Southampton Arts Center grounds on Sunday, September 25, from noon to 2 p.m. Fun! Fiesta! Danza!!


As part of the Thinking Forward Lecture Series, “Well Well Well,” presented by the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center and the Eastern Long Island NAACP, Dr. Katrina Meachem will talk about hypertension at the BHCCRC on Wednesday, September 21, at 7 p.m.

The Parrish Art Museum is inviting members of the community to apply for its Docent Program, the first time it is being offered in four years. Docents are volunteer educators and Parrish ambassadors, serving the Museum and its community by bringing art to life for hundreds of visitors each year. Those interested are encouraged to apply before September 30, and are asked to commit to eight months of training and two years of volunteer service. No prior experience in the arts or public speaking is necessary, and the Museum requests a minimum of only 35 hours of service per year. Applicants may review the docent program and download the Parrish docent handbook and application at


The Alex Ferrone Gallery on the North Fork has issued a Call for Artists for its National Juried Small Photographic Works Exhibition on the theme of “The Circle.” Judged by Charles A. Riley II, PhD, art critic, curator and historian, submissions must depict how the circle(s) plays an integral role in composition, form, design and/or subject matter of the PHOTOGRAPHIC image. Prizes from Olympus and Berger-Bros Camera, Duggal Visual Solutions, Abbot Art Framing, and Abatelli Realty. Submit entries here at CallForEntry.orgClick here for more information.

Lastly but certainly not leastly,  in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Retreat in East Hampton is accepting monetary donations to go towards new clothes and shoes for victims of domestic abuse. Held in association with Goodcircle, the drive has been kicked off with generous support by DJ Hart in Sag Harbor. Click here to donate. 

Group of five happy children jumping outdoors.

Hamptons Hot Picks: September 16-18

Cheers from the Paso Robles wine country. After an amazing and incredibly informative trip, I’m heading back home just in time for lots and lots of terrific weekend activities. Here are a few of my favorites.


The Southampton Historical Museum is hosting a Late Summer Cocktail Party on Saturday, September 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rogers Mansion Museum Complex.



Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project is coming to Sylvester Manor on Saturday. Photo by Christina Kiffney. 

Sylvester Manor is bringing Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project to Shelter Island on Saturday, September 17, at 5 p.m. Bring a blanket or low chair for the outdoor concert.


In addition to hosting an open house this weekend, the Watermill Center is holding its final brunch of 2016 with guest chef Jason Weiner of Almond on Sunday, September 18, at noon.  Also slated: artist talks with Noel McKenna on Saturday at 1 p.m. and with Zainab Shahidi Marnani at 2 p.m., and an open rehearsal with Alvaro Restrepo/El Colegio del Cuerpo on Sunday at 4 p.m.

The annual Old Whaler’s Church Yard Sale will be held on Saturday, September 17, from 9 a.m. to 3p.m. in the basement of the Presbyterian Church in Sag Harbor. Proceeds will benefit the “Community Church Fund” which allows the church to continue to provide facilities for programs such as the Food Pantry, AA, Weight Watchers, GLBT and community concerts as well as maintaining the historic building for generations to come.


I took this picture of Patrick Christiano, right, Barry Gordin, and their adorable doggies at the Laurie Anderson Concert for Dogs at LongHouse Reserve about a month ago. How cute are they! Dawn Watson photo. 

On Sunday, September 18, our friend Patrick Christiano will perform his “My Lessons from Dogs” at Guild Hall in East Hampton at 2 p.m. His inspirational tale, directed by Kate Mueth, is about his 22 years with Norfolk Terriers. The motivational story includes short vignettes about life with his his dogs, his loves, following your bliss and confronting death.Tickets are a suggestion donation of $20. For reservations, call (631) 434-5493 or email



On Sunday, there will be a “Cross Pollination: Art & Gardening with Mary Heilmann and Edwina von Gal” conversation at Halsey McKay Gallery in East Hampton at 3 p.m.

Plus more:





HarborFest is Happening Today and Tomorrow


In the name of all that is maritime in Sag Harbor, it’s time for the annual HarborFest celebrations to begin.

The annual event kicks off this morning, Saturday, September 10, at 9 a.m. when merchants and artisans share their wares for a Sidewalk, Arts and Crafts Fair, which will be held throughout the village.

At 11 a.m., the Sag Harbor Community Band plays on the wharf. And there’s a Children’s Tug of War on the beach.

At noon, it’s time for the Whaleboat Races.

Starting at 1 p.m., John Corr will play nautical music at the windmill, fire juggler Keith Lief will stroll the wharf and there will be a Kids Corn Shucking Contest on the beach.

At 2:30 p.m.,  there will be Children’s Potato Sack races on the beach, followed by Hula Hoop fun at 3 p.m.

Tonight, the live music begins at 5 p.m. and continues on ’til 10 p.m. on the Long Wharf, hosted by the SHFD Ladies Auxiliary.

Sunday brings more of the same.

Merchants and artisans begin at 9 a.m. again. At 11 a.m., it’s Children’s Tug of War on the beach and nautical music at the windmill with Tim Fitall of Sampawams Creek.

The Whaleboat Races start again at noon, plus there’s a Clam Chowder Tasting and Contest at the Sag Harbor Food Pantry booth on the Long Wharf.

At 1 p.m, the Vine Brothers will play on the wharf, the Junior Whaleboat races begin and another Children’s Corn Shucking Contest will take place.

Hula Hoop Fun starts at 3 p.m. and the famous Lobster Roll Eating Contest happens at 4:30 p.m., thanks to Bay Burger.

And don’t forget — the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, which is also participating in Harborfest, has their fundraiser on Saturday night! It’s at the Boardy Barn in Hampton Bays from 6 to 10 p.m. Cheers to this great organization for doing their part to help homeless dogs and cats (and for always keeping me in the loop)!