Quogue Community Notes

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The James Beard house has gained renown from coast to coast for the elaborate meals served there by the nation’s top chefs. But this week the humble hamburger was front and center as the subject of a James Beardian celebration at the Beard Burger Bash on February 3.

And when the best in burgers are on the table, there’s always a good chance that “Hamburger America” author and filmmaker George Motz, son of our village mayor, will be on hand to talk about the best burgers in America and the regional folkways that gave birth to them.

At Quaquanantuck is just sorry that word didn’t get out about this sooner, so that a correspondent could be dispatched to the city on Tuesday in order to check out this tasty event, and the informative talk offered by our own resident burgermeister.

It’s time once again for another Full Moon Night Hike at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, this one offered on Monday, February 9, at 6:30 p.m. A Refuge staffer will lead a nighttime excursion through the forest up to North Pond as hikers look and listen for nocturnal creatures and enjoy some night vision activities. This free program for adults and families with children over 11 will last approximately 90 minutes, and reservations are required 24 hours prior, as space is limited. Call 653-4771 for details.

In a reversal of the traditional model, youngsters age 6 to 12 who aren’t going away during the Presidents Week school recess are the lucky ones, with plenty of options for having fun while gaining exposure to all kinds of interesting experiences. For nature lovers and outdoorsy types, there is the Winter Wildlife Camp at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, and for aspiring thespians, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is offering an opportunity to be cast and perform in a production of “Hansel and Gretel.”

Of course, young people from Quogue tend to be exceptional in every way and may be equal parts actors and naturalists, hikers and hoofers. For these kids, it may be tougher to decide which way to go.

The Winter Wildlife Camp at the Refuge runs from Tuesday through Friday, February 17 to 20. Campers age 6 to 12 will join Refuge staffers from 9 a.m. to noon each day for what is being billed as “an awesome wildlife experience.” Topics will include orienteering, wildlife in the winter, tracking animals, and some fun outdoor games, and children will be able to participate in feeding and handling the indoor animals.

Campers, or more likely their parents, can call 653-4771 to sign up for one day ($30) or all four ($100); reservations and payment are required ahead of time.

The “Hansel and Gretel” theater camp at the Westhampton Beach PAC will be offered from February 16 to 20, with children arriving on Monday to be cast in their roles and performing on Friday evening. When campers are not rehearsing, they can take advantage of other activities with Missoula Children’s Theatre teaching artists, including daily classes in acting, improvisation, singing, movement, theater games, the ever-popular “Talent Show” and more.

There are still spaces available for children age 5-16 in the “Hansel and Gretel” school vacation theatre camp; registration forms and information can be found online at www.whbpac.org, or contact Cheryl Wheeler at 288-2350, ext. 102, or cherylw@whbpac.org for details.

The Teacher Center of the Western Hamptons is offering a workshop, facilitated by Amanda Wellman, to establish a forum for discussion between parents and educators about the challenges and issues faced by adolescents. Topics for debate may include drugs and alcohol, eating disorders, relationships, bullying and stress, just to name a few.

The seminar will be held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, beginning on February 7 and running through March 28 in the Westhampton Beach High School library. (The group will not meet on March 14 and 21.) The cost is $50 for parents/guardians and $95 for teachers earning credits. For more information, call Susan Kearns at 288-3800, ext. 264, or send her an e-mail at kearnss@whbschools.org.

The February art exhibit at the library will feature bold interpretations of fruits and vegetables in oil paintings by Anne Derasmo St. John. An artist’s reception open to all is scheduled on Saturday, February 7, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Ms. St. John, a Quogue resident and high school art teacher in the Westhampton Beach School District, is a member of The Studio Group, a diverse collection of 10 accomplished artists who meet regularly in the studio of Dan Gilhooley, distinguished artist and psychoanalyst, to critique the work and direction of their peers. She has also co-chaired the annual High School Art Contest in the Art Gallery of the Quogue Library for the past four years.

Ms. St. John’s flower paintings are metaphors for family relationships, optimistic alternatives to the family portraits she has painted in the past that dealt with the painful issues of aging parents.

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