Get Your Good News Gossip

Regular readers, and practically anyone who’s ever met me, know that I’m not a big fan of the snark. There are plenty out there who are, but I prefer to be more of a celebrator of the good things in life. Heck, that’s pretty much the founding principle of this blog. It’s also the impetus behind one of a series of columns–Hamptons Habitues–that I’m now writing for Hamptons Real Estate Showcase, for which I’m thrilled to be an Editor at Large. Yay! Hope you enjoy reading this column as much as I enjoyed writing it. If so, please also also check out my Haute Spot interview with Jill Rappaport and Long Distance Love  featuring PJ and Joe Delia, Lucette Lagnado and Doug Feiden, and some tasty morsels about Ina and Jeffrey Garten in the Presidents Day issue, now on newsstands all over the East End.

 

 

Hamptons Art News & To Dos

Congrats to our friend Durell Godfrey, whose next great book has officially happened! Durell will be signing copies of her adult coloring book, “Color Your Happy Home,” which she created with Barbara Ann Kipfer, at Book Hampton in East Hampton on Saturday, February 4, at 4 p.m.

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I pulled this image from Laurie’s website. Go visit it, you’ll be glad you did. 

Cheers also to Laurie Lambrecht, whose Artists & Writers Night dinner at Almond tonight sold out swiftly! Bummer that we’re missing this talented lady but no fear, there will be plenty of chances to view her fantastic photography soon enough. And of course, there will be more of these terrific events scheduled at the Bridgehampton restaurant before we know it.

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Jimmy Buffett, who is not a friend but could be if he asked nicely, is fulfilling a big personal dream. His “Escape to Margaritaville” musical is coming to Broadway in spring 2018.  Good for him! The show is kicks off in La Jolla, California in May and then takes a pre-Broadway tour to New Orleans, Houston and Chicago in fall 2017. I’m sure that East End Parrotheads wouldn’t mind catching a more intimate preview at the music legend’s North Haven home. Can we make that happen?

Speaking of East Enders out and about in the world, have you taken a ride on the new Second Avenue Subway in Manhattan yet? If you get the chance, be sure to be on the lookout for art by Chuck Close, including portraits of the artist and of the late, great Lou Reed.

Chuck is one of only four fortunate artists–the others are  Sarah Sze, Vik Muniz and Jean Shin–to have work permanently grace the four stations on the line, which is currently the largest permanent public art installation in New York State history. That’s pretty freakin’ sweet! The stations opened on January 1 and connect via Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street, Second Avenue and 72nd Street, Second Avenue and 86th Street and Second Avenue and 96th Street. It’s taken decades, and billions of dollars,  for the work to be finalized and there’s still more afoot. Once completed, the Second Avenue line will run a total of 8 1/2 miles, Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan up to 125th Street.

Lastly, just for funsies. Did you know that Simon Doonan, a Shelter Islander, isn’t the only East End notable who’s made his mark on the art of window dressing. Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns were at the forefront of that particular type of artistry way back in the 1950s. According to this interesting feature in the New York Observer, the two Hamptons habitués created work at Tiffany & Co. that “helped revolutionize the art of window display as we know it today.” Well that’s pretty darn cool.

 

 

 

 

Four HBO Docs on Famous East Enders

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“Nothing Left Unsaid,” about the relationship between Gloria Vanderbilt and her son, Anderson Cooper, airs on HBO in April.

First up is “Becoming Mike Nichols” on February 22. The doc paints an intimate portrait of the director, producer and improvisational comedy icon through a set of final, historic interviews with friend and fellow director Jack O’Brien. The footage was filmed four months before Nichols’ death and it explores his first two films, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “The Graduate,” his direction of stage classics “Barefoot in the Park” and “The Odd Couple” and his work with Elaine May.

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“Becoming Mike Nichols” airs on HBO on February 22.

Next, Nora Ephron documentary, “Everything Is Copy,” will air in March. The film, co-directed by her son, Jacob Bernstein, features interviews with her former husband, (and also a local) Carl Bernstein, and her three sisters, plus Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Rob Reiner, Barry Diller, Meg Ryan, Amy Pascal and Mike Nichols.

The famously funny and sometimes caustic Ephron gave the world her roman a clef, “Heartburn;” and crowd pleasing movies such as “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Julie & Julia;” the play “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” which she wrote with her sister, Delia, based on the book by Ilene Beckerman; and the best-seller “I Feel Bad About My Neck.”

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“Everything Is Copy,” a doc about Nora Ephron, airs in March.

On April 9, “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper” comes out. The film highlights the relationship between mother and son (who sold his house in Quiogue last year) in candid reflections on their extraordinary family history.  Directed by Liz Garbus, the film is said to capture Vanderbilt as she’s never been seen before, as she and Cooper discover how family stories of loss and survival repeat themselves in the most unexpected ways.

Lastly, it’s Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” on April 25. This documentary film of love, death and language, tells the story of her beloved rat terrier, Lolabelle, who died in 2011. Mixing childhood memories, video diaries and philosophical musings on data collection, surveillance culture and the Buddhist conception of the afterlife, the critically acclaimed film offers heartfelt tributes to the artists and thinkers who inspire her.

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“Heart of a Dog” by Laurie Anderson, pictured her in a photo with her late husband, Lou Reed, (WHICH I TOOK AT LONGHOUSE RESERVE AND SOMEONE ELSE HAS GRABBED AS THEIR OWN!!), and beloved doggie, Lolabelle, airs on April 25. 

 

 

Killer Hamptons Grammy Moments

Killer Hamptons Grammy Moments

Love, love, loved this year’s collaborative approach at the Grammys.
It seemed is if the theme for the songs up for awards this year and the actual awards show itself were tailor-made for one another–a whole lotta peace, love and acceptance were going on. Who doesn’t stand behind that?
My personal favorite moment was the “Get Lucky” collaboration between Hamptons everywhere man from this past summer, Nile Rodgers (I took this photo of him at East Hampton Library’s Authors Night and he also was instrumental in the success of the rockin’ All For the East End concert), Stevie Wonder (mentor to Sag Harbor’s own Dylan Jenet Collins, who was also at the Grammys–yay for her!), Pharrell Williams and Daft Punk. That was cool. Congrats on the Album of the Year.
Little known fact. Everyone knows that Nile was the man behind Chic but did you know that he also played guitar in The Honeydrippers. Yep, look it up.
Of course Sir Paul McCartney (Amagansett–and next-door-neighbor to one of my good friends) also won another Grammy (with Dave Grohl, et al for Best Rock Song). His performance with Ringo Starr was highly anticipated, though I wish he would’ve sung a ballad.I’m a fool for silly love songs.
Did anyone else catch another East Ender, G.E. Smith, (at least I’m pretty sure it was him) sitting next to Nancy during that performance? Need to confirm that …
Meanwhile, I can’t wait for the Grammy tribute to the Beatles on February 9. That should be awesome.
Congrats to Jay Z for winning for “Holy Grail.” He and wife, Beyoncé, opened the show with “Drunk in Love.” Not my thing but it seemed to be a real crowd pleasure. Why does she have to look like a stripper on the stage and he’s wearing a three-piece suit? And am I the only person who doesn’t get the whole “surfboard” and seeming random spoken and oft-repeated words? Oh well, I’ll admit that I can be an old fuddy duddy.They are both extremely talented and definitely bring a breath of life out here to the Hamptons.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed that Katy Perry (she hung out here this past summer, riding her bike to and fro) kept her clothes on while performing. The gothic set and imagery were worthy of Broadway.
It was also cool to see that Gary Clarke Jr. won a Grammy for “Please Come Home.” He brought down the house when he played the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center in 2012.
Def Jam’s Russell Simmons (he sold his East Hampton house this past year for $7 million) got a quick shout from host LL Cool J. Hard to believe that the label that pretty much created hip hop is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
The Lou Reed tribute (he lived in Springs with his beautiful and talented wife, Laurie Anderson) was too brief but Jared Leto rightly said that “the world lost a genius” when he died last year.
Lastly, I’m so glad that Water Mill’s Madonna didn’t do anything controversial during her time on stage with Queen Latifah, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert. The “Same Love” performance and wedding ceremony brought tears to my eyes. Job well done.
Good night and good Grammys.

Sending Love to Laurie Anderson

Sending Love to Laurie Anderson

One thing that we can all forget when an icon dies is that as much as the loss touches us as fans, and sometimes even as friends, the personal grief felt by those in the legend’s inner circle can be compounded by all the well meaning interest. The flip side of that is that it’s that same outpouring of emotion that can also buoy their spirits. It can be nice to know that your loved one was loved by so many.
These last two days I’ve been thinking of Laurie Anderson, a wonderful lady, who just lost her husband. After having seen her and Lou around at various events here in the Hamptons, I was able to interview her this summer. She was so lovely, so interesting, curious and upbeat. A real breath of fresh air.
Sending positive thoughts your way Laurie.
Dawn Watson photo, at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton.
http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/East-End/28954/Laurie-Anderson-Storyteller

RIP Lou Reed

RIP Lou Reed

I just learned that rock icon Lou Reed has passed. He was 71.
I’ve photographed Lou a handful of times, most notably at LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton (pictured here in a photo I took of him and his wife, Laurie Anderson–she was being honored that day) and at Guild Hall in East Hampton.
The last time I saw Lou was at Guild Hall this summer, where he made an appearance at the Chuck Close exhibit. The Velvet Underground frontman had posed for one of the artist’s large-scale tapestries and he showed up on opening night to support his friend. I spotted him alone in one of the galleries and escorted him to the giant image of himself, which Chuck was parked in front of. Then, not surprisingly, there was a press onslaught as the other photographers noticed the rock legend and the artist who had captured his visage. I’m happy to say that on that summer night, he appeared to be in better health than he had when I had seen him so many times in the past, due to receiving a liver transplant this past May.
I’m sad to see Lou go. Condolences to Laurie, his friends and family and his legions upon legions of fans. Do, do, do, do, do, do, do to you Lou.

Interview with Laurie Anderson

Interview with Laurie Anderson

The first time I met Laurie Anderson she was getting ready to perform at the annual LongHouse Reserve benefit in East Hampton a few years back. She was dressed in a white button-down shirt, black tie and black pants and (to my later chagrin) I thought she was a waiter. Especially because she was walking with a socialite-looking type and also had a cute little dog on a leash.
The dog was such a charmer that I asked to take a photo. Of course when I asked her to give her name for the photo caption, I realized that I was talking to one of the most renowned performance artists off all time.
And then I looked past her, to where she and the dog were walking, and it was to a front-row seat beside her husband, Lou Reed. Boy, did I feel like a dope.
I got the chance to interview the talented Ms. Anderson recently, though I failed to mention that I was the idiot who mistook her for a waiter. Nice lady. Should be an interesting show at Guild Hall. Here’s the link:
http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/East-End/28954/Laurie-Anderson-Storyteller