The long Memorial Day weekend began with a bang before turning into two days of rain — but nothing stopped my joy!
Dan’s Papers launched the summer season with a party at Capri Hotel in Southampton under crystal clear blue skies and warm weather. The joy of not wearing masks — for those who are fully vaccinated — in the spacious outdoor facility seemed contagious. So many people were happy to be out after our forced COVID-19 containment.
With a huge smile, powerhouse Julie Ratner told me, “Vicki this is my first party in a year-and-a-half. I’m so happy to be here! Thanks for hosting this!”
The celebration was my chance to thank our advertisers for the record-breaking 350-page editions of Dan’s Papers and Behind the Hedges, our new “breakout” real estate supplement. It was also an opportunity to pay tribute to my award winning team of writers and professional associate publishers for helping clients grow their businesses.
I felt the flow of good will in the crowd as Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren greeted the crowd. Upper East Side Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright and her brilliant husband Jay Hershenson, the vice president of Queens College, also added their well wishes. What a night!
From our party I was invited to the Blu Mar Hamptons restaurant to help Zach Erdem celebrate his new club Buddha Bar. He is also the owner of 75 Main, just down the block. What a way to end the night!
Then came the rain!
But I wouldn’t let it damper my joy because bursting into my house was my beloved son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. What energy they brought to my home that had been bereft of guests! They now felt safe enough to visit and the lid of loneliness was lifted as I squeezed them with all my might!
The rain didn’t stop us from going to town and visiting our favorite store in Westhampton: SHOCK. Elyse Richman, a decadeslong businesswoman in town, runs SHOCK (a women’s clothing store), Baby Shock (a children’s clothing store) and Toy Shock (a toy store) and Shock Ice Cream (a destination ice cream parlor), all on Main Street in Westhampton Beach.
Needless to say, the ice cream shop, which also offers toys, was the No. 1 destination for my grandchildren! Each of them knew they could get one toy. Negotiations began quickly, with 5-year-old Sloane asking, “Can’t I have two? I love this one, too,” with her big eyes in a begging position. I folded. What fun to see her be a negotiator at such a tender, young age.
After many minutes of “critical” decisions, all three left the toy store with wide smiles as we made our way toward the ice cream store.
There, they were all very decisive — Sloane asked for a Dippin’ Dots ice cream cup, Hudson (now 8 years old and getting ready for his first year at sleepaway camp) immediately said, “I’d like a cookies n’ cream cup, please,” and 9-year-old Addy wanted a vanilla swirl cone. And I asked for my favorite: chocolate ice cream with mounds of whipped cream!
We ate it together inside to avoid the rain.
Then, with the rain calming down to a drizzle, we all went back to the house and the kids changed into their bathing suits and jumped into the heated pool.
I love to swim, but it was too cold for me, even if the water was heated! But the kids must have a different thermometer in their body, because they lasted an hour before they called for the towels laughing all the way to the shower.
The next rainy day was similar to the previous one, but we decided to have an early dinner at one of my favorite restaurants: Union Burger Bar in Southampton, owned by talented and innovative Ian Duke.
We chose to go there because the kids are not yet vaccinated and the restaurant has “protected” outdoor seating with heat lamps in the ceiling.
My daughter Elizabeth joined us to take Addy home.
My favorite dish at the terrific eatery is the turkey burger served with delicious and crispy sweet potato French fries. We also indulged in their delectable guacamole, which was paired with the crispiest crackers, as well as carrots and celery. We also tried some of their crunchy chicken wings!
But the pièce de résistance is their desserts. We screeched when Addy’s strawberry float topped with a surprise mound of blue cotton candy and an enormous lollipop on a stick with colored sprinkles around the lip of the glass arrived at the table. What a treat!
One night, I had a “grown-up” dinner with my new best friend, the marketing guru Mitchell Modell. He invited me to dinner with his two friends to Le Bilboquet Sag Harbor. Little did I know, it’s a celebrity magnet that Donna Karan often frequents.
But the night I was there, we entered the “holy grail” of celebrities by literally bumping into “Foodgod,” who was previously known as Jonathan Cheban and has a close friendship with Kim Kardashian. After taking a few photos on our phones, we waited at the large, circular light wood toned bar for our table.
As I shifted into my seat, two seats away was the immensely talented renowned architectural landscaper Frederico Azevedo and his husband Alex Cohen.
It was so dear of them to introduce me to their friend, who is opening a Ferragamo store in Montauk.
Designer pop-up stores can be seen now on the East End with a Christian Louboutin in Southampton, Gucci in Easthampton and now another Ferragamo in Montauk!
But back to dinner. Yes, the food was good. But “the scene” was better.
As we were leaving the restaurant, Mitch recognized Jill Zarin, formerly of “Real Housewives of New York City” fame, who recently lost her beloved husband. And then appeared respected CBS News Anchor Chris Wragge.
That place was buzzing!
What a way to end the weekend!