Dispatch: East End Problems; Group for the East End Benefit; and Heart of the Hamptons
June 26, 2012 | Talk of the Town
Hilaria Thomas with Alec and Ireland Baldwin
East End Problems: A Priceless East End Bakery
Are we summer people tough customers? On Saturday afternoon, on my way to the opening of Chaise 23 (15 Lumber Lane, East Hampton), a workout studio that uses a modern update of the Pilates chair with pulleys above your head and a bench seat with hydraulics, my young son Declan and I stopped at Wainscott’s BreadZilla for a snack.
To be fair, BreadZilla uses Saturday afternoons for cleanup. Declan, who loves lemon squares, chose a palm-sized lemon tart. I wanted to try the iced coffee. There were two cups left in the freezer with ice (one appeared used). Meanwhile, the iced coffee thermos only had a few drops left. So I used hot coffee with the ice. I set the tepid cup on the counter with the lemon tart. “That will be $12,” the young man behind the counter said sheepishly.
“What? How much is the coffee?”
“And the tart?”
I didn’t take the tart, and then it took what felt like ten minutes to get my change. I mentioned that the encounter didn’t feel entirely normal, and my son started crying in the car. "Dad, why do you have to be so difficult?" He likely had his heart set on the tart. Yes, I had been a prisoner of a priceless East End bakery.
It was the old Round Swamp Farm gambit. They can charge what they like for an item. But if they simply marked the prices on their wares, they likely wouldn't sell. Apparently, one time when Lauren Bacall got her bill at Loaves & Fishes, she just yelled out for everyone in the store to hear, "That's crazy!"
Alexis Roderick and Billy Joel
Group for the East End Anniversary Benefit
That night, I stopped at Group for the East End’s 40th Annual Anniversary Benefit at Wölffer Estate Vineyard. As I drove up, my buddy Claire Mercuri, Billy Joel's publicist, arrived and was fretting that she was about to run out of gas. Of course, both pastry sticker shock and enormously successful people about to run out of gas are East End problems.
At the event, Alec Baldwin was also enduring an East End problem. He and his young, attractive bride-to-be, Hilaria Thomas, in a hot orange dress, had drawn every party photographer in the Hamptons. The charity had all the photogs line up on a step and repeat, which Baldwin, wearing cargo pants, an elegantly cut blue blazer and a white shirt with a large open collar, studiously avoided. Billy Joel chatted with reporter or two. But Baldwin, who had recently gotten into a dustup with a photog, no longer feels charitable about doing press.
Also on Saturday, I brought my family to Longhouse Reserve, for a gardening contest: Planters on and off the Ground V, on view through July 28. I spotted Jack Lenor Larsen, who owns the estate, riding a golf cart. He’s getting on in years, but he still manages to zip around the grounds at an impressive clip. Matko Tomicic, executive director of Longhouse, had to beg him to try the cart when they first got it. And now they can barely get him off of it. The East End problem? How to negotiate your sprawling estate at an advanced age?
Heart of the Hamptons
Next stop that night was the American Heart Association's 16th Annual Heart of the Hamptons Ball. I spotted the behemoth tent on Mitchells Lane in Bridgehampton, but the sign out front was for Taste of Hamptons, an event that takes place later in the summer. So Dispatches saw the tent and knew there was a party, but no one was quite certain if they had arrived at the correct tent. East End problem.
Sharon Bush (Lauren’s mom) was wearing a bright pink dress and had a snappy date on her arm. "Is this Heart?" he asked after Bush introduced us. My sentiments exactly.