On and Off the Deck
Volume 49, Issue 6
By Jon Wilner

It was the Great Gatsby, no it was a Cole Porter opening night, no it was Albert LePage’s summer party at Maison Mer. Among the 200 or so guests last Saturday night, the one thing that stood out the most was Albert’s graciousness. Oh yes, one could say it was the lobsters being served 10 feet from his fabulous dunes on the ocean, or one could say it was the oysters, little necks and gigantic shrimp on either side of the oceanfront hot tub, then one could argue it was the filet being served in Albert’s new guest quarters that now are combined with the main house. There was that sumptuous vegetable platter being served just east of the swimming pool. But truly it was none of those elements that made you feel so welcome and happy to have been invited. It was Albert’s smile and incredible ability to welcome us all to his spectacular home. The new addition, his guest quarters that have three bedrooms, a gym, and a gazebo, in addition to his sumptuous main house on the ocean, was open for all of us to spend Saturday night sipping champagne and enjoying our friends and neighbors as Albert brought new elegance to the Pines. Harold and Suzanne Baer, Barbara and Ira Sahlman, Mike and Laura Hartstein, Glen Wielgus and Ed Lewis, Kenny and Jeannie Lesser, Doreen and Bill Katen, Alan Brockman, Paul Mendela and Tony Consentino, Peter Cinelli and Michael LiPuma, Robin and Shelley Byrd, Arnie Guior and Atilano Gimenes, Ralph Gilmartin and Bill Herbst, Dave the massage guy, Wayne Adler and Bill Mayer, Fern Lee and Lori Zeller, Eric Winick and Joe Little, Ron Chereskin and Howard Goldfarb, Tony Roncalli and Eric von Kuersteiner all were in their best whites and linens with no need of a designated driver under the startlit summer sky.

For many of us that was the second party of the evening. Earlier, fresh off the success of Dancing On the Bay, the previous week, Joshua McKinney and Ken Zarrilli opened up their newest bayfront home that is in the process of being completely restored and renovated in unbelievably record time. “He has no faith” proclaimed Kenny just one week earlier as he invited us to his newest creation. Both Ken and Josh have this incredible knack to get things accomplished as others merely dream. Art Collins and Joey Mendoza were visiting Ken and Josh before returning to their home in late July. Mark Blackwell and Eric Reinitz, Andrew Zobler and Manny, Doug Chadwick were among the many of us who toasted the new home that is truly a Pines landmark.

That’s Ariadne Villareal and her husband Juan in the harbor everyday selling tickets, tending to every last detail, schmoozing the dancers and coordinating every single element of DANCERS RESPONDING TO AIDS, the annual Broadway Cares benefit that will be performing all this weekend at the bayfront home of Beau Clarke. This is a once a year event that sells out immediately and is remembered all year long. As long as your checkbook is out in the harbor, there’s LAMBDA and EMPIRE STATE PRIDE benefits you won’t want to miss in addition to the PINES PARTY 2005 on July 30th. Tickets for PINES PARTY are soaring with 15, count em, 15 tents sold. FIPAP is presenting AS THE WORLD GOES ROUND starring our own Pines talent and let’s not forget the FIPAP Art Show coming up in August.


Dean Speaks Out

Once again, Brandon Fradd graciously opened up his bayfront home for Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. There must have been over one hundred of us at $100 a head, proving that we do make a difference and that the future is indeed in our hands. Laurence Isaacson, Kevin Roon and Simon Yates, Richard Winger and Andrei Treivas, Ed Schulhafer and Crayton Robey, were among the guests for Howard’s fourth visit to Fire Island Pines.

You’ve heard of STOP THE PRESSES, well this is CONTINUE THE PRESSES. Restauranteur Stephen Bruce’s SWEET SERENDIPITY is into its fourth printing for Rizzoli Books. Stephen, whose famous SERENDIPITY Restaurant has been one of New York City’s hotspots for over half a century, along with Bill Brusca, Ken Brusca and Lynn Dubal, is one of my favorite Pines residents. And where does Stephen dine when he’s in the Pines? You can see him and he’ll be happy to autograph your copy of SWEET SERENDIPITY at the Blue Whale every weekend. I personally enjoy his special one of a kind humor. And Bill Brusca, what can I say, he laughs at all of my jokes and always brightens my day when he comes to the harbor.

Everyone is talking about the new shrubbery and gardens in addition to the new pond and waterfall in Eric Land. Our newest landscape artist, Ryan, who works for Eric von Kuersteiner, has created a beautiful addition to our harbor. Please, whoever has the dog who tramples through the new shrubs, leash him. Which brings me to another topic. Even though a pet is considered one of the family so to speak, I have been to a number of parties where people feel free to bring their dogs. If everyone brought their pet to a luncheon or a cocktail party or even a dinner, it would be chaos. Unless your pet is personally on the invitation, leave the darling home.

Well it’s almost election time coming up. Ed Lewis has been named nominating chair for FIPPOA’S election of directors in September. Alan Brockman, Jack Lichtenstein, Cheryl Jimerson and I are all up for reelection and we are sad to see Morty Newburgh stepping down after many many years of devoted service. If anyone would like to run for the board, please contact Ed Lewis at 597-6754.

For my weekly chronicle of “A Pool Being Constructed,” things are going swimmingly well. The platform has been completed and the metal sides and steps are finished in a record two weeks. This week I’m promised that all the construction will be completed with the liner going in next week, plus the deckwork the following week. We’re still on schedule for bathing suits for August.

That’s it for this week. Maybe even Andrew Kirtzman will be my guest columnist this summer. How about it Andrew?