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Victoria’s Secrets: A champagne and caviar weekend

KINGFISHER
Chris Wasserstein, Adele Fuchsberg and I on the Kingfisher dinner cruise.

OK, I admit it. My favorite wine is champagne and this weekend, my friends Ted Vasilev and Simona Petrova, whom I met in Palm Beach, came to visit me in the Hamptons.

House guests often bring gifts, but Ted and his wife went overboard. In addition to bringing their brilliant selves, they arrived with several bottles of their favorite caviars and wines. 

I was thrilled to have them join me on my weekend adventures!

On a sun-filled day on the picture-perfect waterfront backyard of Nancy and Michael Burner’s home, I met people at her fundraising party held to help save Moriches Bay

Nancy and Michael Burner with their family.
Dan and Kim Shaughnessy

The party was to raise awareness and funds for the Moriches Bay Project, a nonprofit whose mission is to improve the quality of the water in the bay and return it to its natural state of health. To accomplish the goal, they are doing oyster farming, eelgrass planting and community education.

As a bonus, I met writer and author Isabel Vincent, who is about to release a fascinating book, “Overture of Hope: Two Sisters’ Daring Plan that Saved Opera’s Jewish Stars from the Third Reich.” Raoul Wallenberg is well known, but these women also saved lives and no one remembered them. But I’m sure now their names will dominate the list of the heroes of the Holocaust era.

Then I went to a house party in Quogue near my home to raise funds for St. Thomas Aquinas College, which is now home to Tom Flood (formerly the Vice President for Development at St. Francis College) and Ken Daly (former President of KeySpan, who is now the college’s president).

I always find joy in going to these events, as I have the opportunity to meet old friends, and make new ones, too.  

My new friends are the hosts of the evening, Jim Gaffey and his wife, Lydia. Jim has a video production business and had previously been with CBS and Fox News as an anchor. Jim, Lydia and I had a lot to talk about!

Spectacular Saturday 

As I mentioned, Ted Vasilev and his wife Simona Petrova visited with me for the weekend.

Ted belongs to the Barton & Gray Mariners Club that operates around the world. So off we were from the Hampton Bays Marina to traverse the Peconic Bay en route to the exclusive Robins Island.

Jane Hanson with her daughter on Ted Vasilev’s yacht.

The captain docked his boat facing the remarkable 435-acre privately owned island. The closest we got was to drop anchor and swim overlooking its serene surroundings.

The island was bought by financier Louis Bacon 20 years ago. Ever since, he’s been devoted to preserving many endangered species on the property and keeping it private. Trespassers have been known to disappear — only kidding!

The salty waters felt good against my body as I paddled around, always staying close to the yacht! What fun to come out of the water and relish the caviar and champagne my guests brought from Manhattan!

It all ended too soon!

Meeting the governor

Father Alex, Michael Pitsinos, Dr. Pete Micholas and Bruce Mosler
Dennis and Karen Mehiel hosted the governor.
Anita Baumann, Caroline King from the Nature Conservancy, and Donna Guizado

After a busy morning on the yacht and a power nap, we were off to see Governor Kathy Hochul at a private party held at the stunning home of Dennis and Karen Mehiel, who had recently hosted Vice President Kamala Harris.

The governor spoke proudly of the reduction in crime and I was startled when she shared that the governor of California wanted her advice on handling the homeless. In New York City, we have about 3,500 people still needing homes, but remarkably, California has 90,000 homeless citizens. 

Governor Hochul’s cooperation with Mayor Eric Adams has helped lower crime incidents and the amount of homeless people in New York City. That is the power of their working together!

Then we were off to visit the Julie Keyes Gallery in Sag Harbor.

Sag Harbor is a hopping town and Julie has held down the fort at her gallery next door to The American Hotel for decades.

It was my pleasure to introduce Julie to Ted, who owns multiple art galleries in Palm Beach, Washington, D.C., Manhattan, Boston and Nantucket. They chatted extensively about the Georges Braque piece in her back room, as well as the Willem de Kooning and Larry Rivers pieces.

Julie Keyes with an early Braque painting.
Walter Bobbie with Ted and Simona.

As a bonus, we were invited for dinner in the gallery’s backyard with the artists who are featured in the show. It was my treat to be sitting next to sculptor Carol Ross, whose attractive piece is in the show, standing brightly in the backyard garden — a fitting site for the sculpture!

We sadly said our goodbyes and a glorious weekend had come to an end!

Kingfisher at Sag Harbor

After our sunset cruise on the Kingfisher

One of our clients at Dan’s Papers, who owns the yacht Kingfisher, invited me and a few friends to a dinner cruise out of Sag Harbor.

It was a breathtaking night under a full moon, with the warm air surrounding and engulfing us. What fun! 

Visit yachtkingfisher.com for more information. 

Try it and you, too, will love it! 

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