Category Archives: New York

Booking it in East Hampton

Lauren Visits Authors’ Night in East Hampton.

East Hampton Library's Authors Night 2013

Marcus Samuelsson (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz))

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Gwyneth Paltrow (photo by danielgonzalezphotography.com)

I recently had the pleasure of attending one of the best summer events in the Hamptons— Authors Night. If you don’t know, this is when authors, most with local ties, show up to sign their books and chat with fans to benefit the East Hampton Library. I just couldn’t stop rubbernecking there were so many celebs! Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband—Chris Martin of Coldplay, chef Marcus Samuelson, Nelson DeMille, Nile Rogers, Dr. Ruth, Phillipe Petit, Kelly Bensimon, Lynn Scher and, of course, Alec Baldwin. It was a swell evening with good food and drink. I actually got to talk to these authors about their recent works and buy an autographed copy of their latest tome. DJ Bonnie Grice was interviewing for the local station. Fun was had by all!

After the signing, authors were invited to dinners hosted by local fans. Boo hoo! I wasn’t invited to that, but I did have an awesome time and it was all to benefit the library in East Hampton.

East Hampton Library's Authors Night 2013

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly (photo by Sonia Moskowitz)

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Nelson DeMille (photo by danielgonzalezphotography.com)

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Writers and readers filled the tent in East Hampton. (photo by danielgonzalezphotography.com)

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Nile Rodgers (photo by danielgonzalezphotography.com)

I have always loved going to the library. Reading a book can transport you to anywhere in the world. I have to give kudos to the Amagansett library and my peeps that work there! I’m always demanding that they get me this or that. And they cheerfully do. Ah well, I don’t have to wait a whole year to read anything. I’m just going to my library.

Chefs & Champagne

A Great Night for Food and Fun in the Hamptons

lauren is feelin’ the love at wofflers

Andrew Zimmern does not think Lauren is Weird.

Andrew Zimmern does not think Lauren is bizarre. All photos by Gemma Kahng.

 

Today I was so feelin’ the love on Long Island. I’m talking about the passion displayed at the James Beard Foundation Chefs and Champagne New York event at Wolffer estate in da Hamptons. The chefs so tenderly presented their creations. They were lovingly displayed and prepared with care. Many “hot” chefs were represented their from the tri state area including Masaharu Morimoto with his tuna trio, Eric Miller from Madison & Main with his grilled Montauk pearl oysters, and Stefan Karlsson from Sweden with his salmon tartare.  I had a hard time working because it was difficult not to spend all my time stuffing my face with all the goodies available. I also got to take a photo with the JBF award winner Andrew Zimmern star of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods

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Masaharu Morimoto lovingly created and served a Tuna Trio to appreciative guests at Chefs & Champagne.

Besides feeding me—and hundreds of others— the Foundation does stellar work giving students scholarships that honor and nurture America’s diverse culinary heritage.  They educate and inspire the young to be creative and learn their craft whether it’s food, wine, champagne, or whatever. They also had very cool items and travel opportunities to bid on both online and in person. All and all it was a fun time had by me —and all. I think everybody gained at least five pounds!  The only problem is I have to wait a whole year for such fine food grazing. In the meantime, I’ve just have to visit some of the restaurants that were represented there.

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Wofflers in Sagaponnick was the scene for Chefs like Stefan Karlsson

Chef Stefan Karlsson from Fond restaurant in Sweden served Tuna Tartare.

B. Smith and her man enjoy the evening.

B. Smith and her man enjoy the evening.

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Rosa Ross from Scrimshaw in Greenport.

Rosa Ross from Scrimshaw in Greenport.

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For the Love of Ivy

Yum yum gimme some…..more Ivy restaurant! What a feast I just had. Lobster tacos layered shrimp and avocado sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon and onion covered in cheese. Generous appetizer portions with fair prices. It’s mostly bar food but a bit more upscale than most. My friend had a pomegranate drink and was feeling no pain. I highly recommend this restaurant on 56 and 8th if you are ever in the hood!

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Love, Marilyn

Lauren Loves the New Film “Love, Marilyn” at the HIFF.

Hamptons International Film Festival

Another film tries to solve the mystery that was Marilyn Monroe—and does it very well.

Just when you thought there was nothing more to learn about Marilyn Monroe comes Liz Garbus, revealing new documentary, “Love, Marilyn”. A treasure trove of recently found letters, poems diary entries, and other correspondence provides a new and intimate look at the film icon. Archival footage traces the beginning of the legend to her untimely death. Featuring a host of famous actors reading parts of this new-found resource just gives you another peek into someone whose story you thought you knew but really didn’t. I thought the film was very well done.

Hats Off to Jack!

Friends Salute Jack Lenore Larson on his 85th Birthday

When you get to be an octogenarian, I imagine you like to think you’ve made a contribution to the world. Well, there’s no question Jack Lenore Larson has. In more than one field. Jack has made a name for himself as a one of the world’s preeminent textile designers. His books are masterworks on the art and craft of textile design. But that’s not enough for him.

Jack has made it his mission to share his good fortune with the world in general, and the East End of Long Island in particular, though his spectacular public garden: Longhouse Reserve.

Jack used the occasion of this 85th birthday party to unveil two new art installations:three new pyramids in the Ginko Allee and Chinese Contemporary Warriors, 2005 by Yu Minjun. this is a fascinating display of 25 bronze lifesize sculptures.

an installation by Yue Minjun

25 bronze lifesize sculptures at Longhouse Gardens

Jack Lenore Larsen's 85th birthday celebration

Lauren Ezersky congratulates Jack Lenore Larsen at his 85th birthday celebration

Sotto Sopra Scores

 Worth a Visit in Amagansett

Sotto Sopra

Sotto Sopra offers fine dining in Amagansett.

The owners of Sotto Sopra (who also own Bobby Van’s) are bold and courageous. Brave and true. They have opened a classy restaurant in a spot where nothing ever lasts that long, even though it’s right on Montauk Highway in the heart of Amagansett. This new incarnation, Sotto Sopra, should change the fortunes of that location. There are a lot of reasons why it should succeed… from the welcoming light and airy space to the thoughtful menu, to the food itself.

We stopped in  for a late Saturday lunch recently and snagged a table in the pleasant and quiet back terrace. Of course, it’s the staff that presents the first, and lasting, impression of a restaurant, and here we were greeted by a cheery and attractive hostess who turned us over to our solicitous waiter. He didn’t miss a beat in delivering a basket of fresh bread and bowl of olive oil. We each ordered a glass of wine for the nifty wine list, Pinot Noir for Lauren and Riesling for me. We were given the choice of ordering from the brunch or lunch menu. We weren’t feeling very brunchy so we opted for lunch.

Portrait of Lauren with Pinor Noir

Lauren enjoys a glass of pinor noir at Sotto Sopra

The first (and only) disappointment of the afternoon occurred not long after we were seated. Lauren was bummed  to learn that the lobster roll was sold out.

No matter, we started with a crostini for Lauren and a arugula salad for me. I swear, I had never seen a bigger heap of arugula. With match sticks of fresh apple and a few delicious cherry tomatoes, with truffle dressing on the side, it was a great start.  Lauren enjoyed her steak sandwich with aoli. While I fell in love with my Linguine Mollusco: tender little neck clams in the shell or pasta with a lovely garlic sauce dotted with chiles. I emptied the breadbasket, sopping up the sauce after the clams were gone.

insalata fresca  with arugula, tomatoes, and apples.

The insalata fresca at Sotto Sopra is a magnificent heap of aruglua.

On to desert. We had a crazy layered crepe kinda thing and some knock-your-socks off chocolate mint gelato.

It turned out to be a wonderful, relaxing meal. We’ll be back.

Sotto Sopra

231 Main St.

Amagansett, NY 11930

(631) 267-3695

 

 

 

It Is No Dream

The Life of Theodor Herzl

This is no dream

Theodor Herzl as he appears in the documentary, "This Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl"

Lauren Ezersky reviews a striking new documentary

The new  movie “Ii Is No Dream: The Life of Theodore Herzl” is a fascinating tale. Being  a devout Jew (not. I am Jewish by heritage, not by religion.), I was so captivated by the story of this man. Herzl was the father of Zionism, but started out as an assimilated Jew who rarely went to synagogue or believed in the tenants of Judaism.  He never even had a bar mitzvah but instead had a conformation. The movie, narrated by Sir Ben Kingsley, follows Herzl’s early years from an unsuccessful playwright to a successful journalist. Herzl covered the Dreyfus affair—a notorious scandal in France in which a very decorated French army captain was falsely accused of spying for Germany. He witnessed mass rallies in Paris where people chanted “Death to the Jews!” It was this incident that spurred his desire to create a Jewish state where there would be  no anti Semitism and Jews could feel free to pray and be themselves.For all you history buffs this one is not to be missed! It also has some great old footage of Europe in the !800′s.

The film contains some great old photos and footage, which shows you the European cities as they used to look. He met with the top leaders of the day including some of the wealthiest Jews of that time—most of whom thought he was nuts. This may be the movie’s main lesson: persistence pays off.  For all you history buffs out there, this one is not to be missed.

It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl
Directed by Richard Trank
Moriah Films
Quad Cinema

“True Wolf” is a Great Tale

A Wolf as You’ve Never Seen One

The new movie “True Wolf” by Rob Whitehair and Bruce Wade is a revelation. It’s the true story of a couple, Pat and Bruce, raising a baby wolf from cub ‘til death in Montana. The wolf, Koani, was hand raised—but never domesticated—and became an ambassador for the breed.

The couple was completely dedicated to raising the wolf and changed their lives to suit her needs. Wolves have been hunted almost to extinction in the U.S. and when the Wild Sentry organization tried to reintroduce them there was much opposition as, you will see. The film makers combine old footage with new to tell the story of the past and present attitude toward these awesome creatures.

Koani had a great life,  enjoying long, two-hour walks every day with Indie, her canine companion. In the end, the movie raises the question as to whether this dedicated couple did the right thing by raising her in captivity. Even though they loved her, they questioned their actions themselves.  See the movie and decide for yourself.

It opens in New York City on August 17 at Cinema Village.

“This Time”: A Poignant Music Documentary

This Time chronicles the struggles of singers

This Time chronicles the career of singers, including the Sweet Inspirations

This Time” follows singers’ struggles

This Time“, the new documentary from Victor Mignatti shows the bleak and sometimes tragic side of the music industry. The movie profiles five musical artists—four who were once on or near the top, and one who has been trying to make it for over a decade.

The group Sweet Inspirations (originally with Cissy Houston) sang backup with Elvis Presley for several years, as well as Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklyn, Dusty Springfield and even Jimi Hendrix. Unfortunately, very little recognition has come their way. One of the more poignant scenes shows them singing back up for Elvis impersonators in Las Vegas.

Then there’s Pat Hodges. She’s an awesome singer who wound up homeless in L.A.  Despite her travails and her life on the street, she keeps the faith, as do all of the singers in the film. Even though they have faced failure, they pick themselves up and keep on going. They have learned the hard way that talent doesn’t guarantee success.

The movie follows music producer Peitor Angell who tries to revive the careers of the Sweet Inspirations and Pat Hodges—with minimal success. In the meantime, cabaret singer Bobby Belfry tries to makes it in New York. and manages to land a gig at the fabulous Feinsteins at Loews Regency.

I would have liked to see more background info and interviews with some of the celebs they worked with or who knew them. The film was  a bit long and edited erratically, but it is an interesting story and a cautionary tale about how fickle fame can be.

 

Martinis for Mutts in Water Mill

No, It Wasn’t the Mutts Drinking the Martinis

 

At Martinis for Mutts in Southampton

Lauren arrives in Southampton for a pet rescue benefit

It was a sultry Water Mill  Saturday night as pet lovers from all over the East End and beyond descended upon the lovely estate of Marcy and Michael Warren for Martinis for Mutts.

The event was a benefit for Last Chance Animal Rescue. “This non -profit organization rescues dogs and cats from high kill shelters down south. These puppies and dogs are still being killed with a heart sticks and being gassed, in such inhumane ways,” Marcy explained. “There are pure breeds and mixes, all waiting for their forever homes.” And in fact, a number of the pets present found homes that evening.

Water Mill Benefit

Marcy Warren and guests at Martinis for Mutts

Wendy Diamond and Dina Manzo were among the guests at the event. Everyone enjoyed the tasty hors d’oeuvres from Insatiable Eats and cocktails, compliments of Ketel One and St. Germain.

One of the stars of the evening was Roscoe the Mutt who was their with his sponsor. Rosco clearly enjoyed the attention as he frolicked with other dogs.

 

Last Chance Animal Rescue Benefit

Wendy has taken Roscoe into her home until he can find a permanent family.

 

 

Last Chance Animal Rescue is a 100% volunteer run non-profit organization. To date, they have rescued more than 5,000 animals. To adopt a pet, volunteer, or donate, contact Last Chance at PO Box 1661, Southampton, NY 11969 or call 631-478-6844.