Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Southampton: How The Other .0005 Lives

On Saturday evening, Liz D. and I went to a private birthday party in Southampton that was so extravagent, it was like Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, Rosh Hashanah, Halloween and New Year's rolled into one exquisite celebration. Liz's friends recently completed construction of their new estate—where socialite and entertainer Magda Gabor, elder sister of Zsa Zsa and Eva, used to reside. That 16,000-square-foot house burnt to the ground in 2004 and, according to Newsday, was replaced with the current 28,000-square-foot Italian Mediterranean villa.

As Liz and I drove through the gate, it was clear this wasn't your average residence—even for the ultra-posh Hamptons. For one thing, you simply couldn't see from one end of the house to the other without backing up a good 500 feet from the entrance (top photo). As we parked, a convertible Rolls Royce pulled up to our right. I immediately arched my back; posture is going to be of importance this evening, I reasoned.

Guests were all instructed to wear white for the affair, two days before summer 2010 commenced. I was amused when our hostess insured she stood out in the crowd by wearing a full-length fuschia gown... Inside, the massive entry-way is decorated with stunning mini Italian tiles... as we made our way into the entertaining area, there was an open living room with a generously sized bar, another seating area to the right and an "intimate" parlor to its right.

To the left are a splendid marble tiled dining room that looks out onto a pristine manicured back garden, the kitchen (no fewer than four refrigerators) and a heated indoor pool.

Outside, there is a separate six-car garage; four more beautifully adorned gardens on all sides; and to the right of the main residence, an 8,000-square-foot five-bedroom guest house, itself larger and more stately than any 5th Avenue mansion.After the cocktail hour, the 100 or so guests were invited to the kitchen for a buffet-style dinner, followed by a desert bar that included a kitschy Chanel-inspired chocolate cake, blueberry pies, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. All the while, a photographer traipsed the premises (as did I with my humble pocket Nikon) to capture all of the glorious mayhem. What a jaw-dropping event... I'm still sitting with my back arched.