Beachcomber, June 13

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The season is off to a great start, and it’s only June! I can’t believe how busy our beloved little summer playground is this year. During the week, I have been spending my time catching up with friends and enjoying the fact that you can still get a table at your favorite restaurant without having to wait forever.The signs are up on County Road 39A to pick your own strawberries, which is exactly what I did. This year, rather than strawberry shortcake, I sliced them up and made old-fashioned biscuits and homemade whipped cream—it was delicious.

Thursday, late afternoon, I got in the car and drove into New York City for that night’s event. It was the Wildlife Conservation Society’s annual Gala, which was held at the Central Park Zoo. This is without a doubt one of the best events I have the pleasure of going to each year.

The theme this year was “The Wonders of Southeast Asia,” and the décor, by Preston Bailey, was over the top. Floral arrangements of monkeys and cobras dotted the tables, along with large trees filled with orchids. A large tiger floral arrangement was set at the entrance to the sea lion tank.

It had started to rain just as the guests were arriving, but that did not put a damper on the evening. It let up just long enough for the guests to watch as the sea lions were being fed and performed, much to everyone’s delight.

Seen: Nancy Jane and Jeffrey Lowey, Sean Bruns, Allison Morrow and husband Jon Cohen, Jean Shafiroff, David Granoff, Joe Kundrat, Martha Baker, Debbie Nielsen, Barbara and Donald Zucker, Allison and Leonard Stern, Sharon Kerr (wearing a stunning red pleated Elie Tahari gown), Lisa and David Schiff, and Joan Jedell, publisher of Hampton Sheet. (You can catch Joan to get the Hamptons scoop every Friday and Saturday on 1010 WINS.)

Afterward, we all went into the tents for a dinner that was fit for a king. An incredible tasting plate first course was followed by red snapper and topped off with a warm chocolate ganache cake, enough to make any foodie happy. The entire meal was prepared with sustainable seafood and local organic farm produce. A very big thank you to Creative Edge for an incredible job.

The evening honored Ward Woods, the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Cristián Samper, the president and CEO, gave out the award and talked about the job that this amazing organization does. The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places around the globe.

Seen listening: Helena and Roman Martinez, Susan Whipple-Wald, Priscilla Woods (Ward’s wife), Serena Tufo (chair of the junior after party), Melanie and John Wambold (Melanie in a knockout fringe printed Roberto Cavalli), Linda and Arthur Fraser, Robin Avram (in a beaded floral Carolina Herrera), her sister-in-law Kristi Avram (in a vintage black-and-white beaded Bob Mackie), Sandi and Gary Simpson, Jennifer Gould-Keil (from Page Six of the Post), Katie Couric (who looked great in a black-and-white striped dress, but I never got the chance to find out who the designer was), Bertina Ceccarelli (in a very classic plum Morgan le Fay gown), and Eleni and Randall Gianopulos. Eleni was kind enough to make her famous cookies for everyone at our tables, with our names attached. They were the perfect placecard!

Afterward, the juniors started to arrive, and since it was only Thursday, I decided to behave and head back to my friend’s apartment where I was staying.

Friday morning, as I was driving back out east in the rain, I was regretting my decision to drive into the city, but I finally made it home and spent the rest of the day indoors, keeping dry.

With the return of the sun on Saturday morning, I went to Lynch’s Garden Center to buy some plants for the garden. A full car later, I was back at the house trying to get them all planted. It felt so rewarding to work in the garden, and I am very happy with the end result.

That evening, it was off to Sagaponack and the incredible oceanfront home of Richard Schimel for the Landscape Pleasures cocktail party to benefit the Parrish Art Museum. In keeping with the theme of this year’s lectures, the home is an interesting modern design with large windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The landscaping, which was done by Jack de Lashmet, was the perfect look for this home and included an amazing driftwood sculpture garden. Seen on the deck: Ann and Donald Calder, Nina Madison, Terrie Sultan (the museum’s director), Debbie Tanger, Nancy O’Sullivan, Blaze McKoid (the home’s architect), Liz and Peter Haveles, Greg Gonzalez, Linda Fischbach, Linda Hackett, Gary Lawrance, Zita Davison, Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder, Marty McLanahan, Kay Van Doren and husband Robert Reed, and Cristina Albino.

It was such a pleasure to see Delaney Oser, owner of Thyme and Again, working in the kitchen making the most delicious appetizers for the guests to enjoy. I give her credit, since the open design of the home made it impossible not to be seen. I would not want my guests watching me prepare dinner! But she made it look effortless.

Sunday morning, it was back in the garden to finish planting all the flats of annuals. I finished early enough to make it to the farmers market on the lawn at the old Parrish Art Museum. Fresh veggies, cut flowers, local cheese, homemade fudge and balsamic vinaigrettes in assorted varieties—the market is a wonderful place to stroll around and pick up a few things for the kitchen.

There is a large market like this in West Palm Beach every Saturday during the season that is just packed with vendors. I hope everyone comes out to support the market—it is a nice addition to our village.

Afterward, I went over to the corner of Main Street and Jagger Lane to browse the antiques fair that takes place at the old white house. It never fails that I find something that I just can’t live without. The antiques fair is every other Sunday.

Then, it was back to more flowers for the garden and finish planting around the front door. That evening, I was invited to cocktails at a dear friend’s home.

This Saturday evening is the 13th annual Midsummer Night Drinks cocktail party to benefit God’s Love We Deliver. This year, the event is being held closer to home, at Villa Maria in Water Mill, and is always one of the season’s must-go-to parties. GLWD is the leading provider of meals for people living with severe illness. You can go on their website to get your tickets—you won’t be disappointed.

Nicky and Simone Zimmermann, Samantha Yanks, Jesse Warren, and Avis and Chloe Richards are having a bash on Saturday night to Celebrate Sydney in the Hamptons. The event will take place at Avis and Chloe’s home in Southampton.

The Southampton Hospital will host a kickoff party for the 55th annual Summer Party this Saturday night as well. This event starts the countdown for the big gala on the first Saturday in August. The theme for the party this year is “Forward to the Future.”

Also on Saturday evening is a kickoff party to Celebrate Art Southampton. The event is being held at Gallery Valentine’s new location at 33 Newtown Lane in East Hampton, from 5 to 8 p.m. I realize that it is a bit of a trek in season to drive out to East Hampton, but this will be worth the wait in traffic. Last year was Art Southampton’s inaugural debut, and it was so successful that they will be back again this year.

Four major parties all on the same night—I will need jet-propelled roller skates to make it to all these events! I hope to see you there.

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