I hope everyone reading this is coping with the crazy weather we’ve been having this month. We’ve finally had several evenings with clear skies without bone-chilling, teeth-rattling temperatures, allowing me to play outdoors with my new telescope. I’ve been concentrating on learning to identify the stars that make up the Orion constellation which is especially visible this time of year. I’ve also had a couple of good peeks at the planet Jupiter. But after an hour or two of sky-watching it feels really good to get back indoors.Speaking of indoors, on Saturday, January 18, at 10 a.m., the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons will be hosting a roundtable on berry-producing plants during fall and winter. This will be an informal study and discussion event, moderated by Pamela Harwood. It will take place in the Horticultural Library, ground floor of the Bridgehampton Community House. Admission is free. For more information call (631) 537-2223, or visit their website at www.hahgarden.com.
On that same Saturday, the Bridgehampton Museum will be hosting singer Vanessa Trouble in its continuing parlor jazz concert series held in the museum’s Archives at 2539-A Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton (right next door to the Nathaniel Rogers House, east of the monument). The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and finishes up by 8:45 p.m.
Vanessa Trouble has been described as a jazz singer with bounce and snap, and in Saturday’s program she will present a program of Hollywood film music. Pianist Jane Hastay and bassist Peter Martin Weiss, who facilitate the museum’s concert series, will also be performing along with violinist Bob Stern.
If you haven’t been there, the Archives Building is an intimate listening room with a well-tuned baby grand and a jazz speak-easy ambiance. Advance tickets (strongly encouraged) can be had by calling (631) 537-1088 or via PayPal at bhmuseum.org. Tickets cost $25 ($15 for BH Museum members). The last two concerts in this series have been standing room only.
In other music news, Marya Martin, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival Artistic Director, has announced the appointment of Michael Lawrence to the position of Executive Director. Mr. Lawrence, who for the past six and a half years has served as Director of Artistic Planning and Initiatives of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, begins his tenure on January 20, 2014. He succeeds Derek Delaney, who stepped down in November after serving in the position since 2007. This summer the Chamber Music Festival is scheduled to perform, for the eleventh straight year, their free concert on the grounds of the BH Museum’s Corwith House.
Restoration work at the Nathaniel Rogers House, on the corner of Ocean Road and Montauk Highway, is scheduled to resume on March 1st. The BH Museum’s architects and structural engineer, the museum’s Board President, Walter Miller, this writer, and Southampton Town representatives last week met with potential bidders for the completion of phase one at the house, where they all had a tour of the structure. The project will include, among other tasks, restoration of the front foundation, some interior carpentry, and exterior painting. Sometime this spring, after this phase is under way, the museum expects the town to begin the process of soliciting bids for a contract to complete all of the remaining exterior and interior restoration work. In the meantime the museum is busily fundraising.
Another proposed construction project continues to be a topic of discussion in Bridgehampton and Sagaponack. Many residents have pointed out that they like the bridge on Bridge Lane just the way it is, although the consensus seems to be that repaving the roadway, replacing the seawall and dealing with drainage, erosion and sediment issues would be fine.
But there seems to be some sharp opinions about plans to widen the roadway on the approaches and over the bridge, thereby allowing vehicles to speed up, and preventing local folks from fishing and crabbing off the side of the bridge. Several decades ago members of the Bridgehampton and Sagaponack communities successfully fought against such a plan, citing their opposition to anything that would change the historic and rustic character of the bridge and the surrounding communities. It will be interesting to see how the town responds to local opposition to the proposed construction.
One final note. Back in December, Dick Hendrickson, our local weatherman, reported that we had had a very pleasant month of November. I suppose everyone knows that old folk saying that “a warm November is the sign of a bad winter.” If a bad winter consists of blizzards followed by fifty degree days followed by blistering temperatures below 10 degrees, followed by fifty degree weather, and so on, then that old folk saying must be right. Stay warm, everyone, or cool, as the weather of the day may dictate.