Recent Stories: Habitat

Judy D’Mello
May 25, 2017
Andrew Geller’s uninhibited, angular houses of the 1950s and 1960s were cut from a playful mold. He was known as “the architect of happiness,” having designed the prefabricated Leisurama houses marketed for middle-income families by Macy’s, which came fully furnished.

Andrew Geller’s uninhibited, angular houses of the 1950s and 1960s were cut from a playful mold. He was known as “the architect of happiness,” having designed the prefabricated Leisurama houses marketed for middle-income families by Macy’s, which came fully furnished. For as little as $590 down and $73 a month — or somewhat more if you splurged — you could take your toothbrush, buy groceries, and enjoy the summer, even at Montauk, where some 200 were built. To his detractors, Geller was an outsider, but it was a concept he relished.

Mark Segal
May 25, 2017
From Kips Bay to Pasadena, designer show houses across the country afford opportunities for interior designers to display their talents while at the same time raising money for a wide range of charitable causes.

From Kips Bay to Pasadena, designer show houses across the country afford opportunities for interior designers to display their talents while at the same time raising money for a wide range of charitable causes.

Star Staff
May 25, 2017
The 1894 oil painting above, by Mary Nimmo Moran, is an imaginative rendering of a long garden she planted along the south border of the Moran House property on East Hampton’s Main Street, where she and her husband, the painter Thomas Moran, lived in the late 19th century.

The 1894 oil painting right, by Mary Nimmo Moran, is an imaginative rendering of a long garden she planted along the south border of the Moran House property on East Hampton’s Main Street, where she and her husband, the painter Thomas Moran, lived in the late 19th century. 

April 13, 2017
Passover, like all Jewish holidays, floats around on the calendar. It’s never early or late, but always the same time on the Hebrew calendar, which follows a more lunar trajectory. Passover always occurs in the Hebrew month of Nissan, on the 14th. This year that will be the evening of April 10. It takes me over a month to prepare my house for Passover.

By Cantor/Rabbi Debra Stein

Carissa Katz
February 16, 2017
From playhouses and knitting to a well-stocked pantry and the perfect crafts room, Durell Godfrey’s second coloring book, “Color Your Happy Home” (Harlequin, $15.99), written with Barbara Ann Kipfer, is a celebration of all things cozy, comforting, and . . . well, homey. Things like coloring on a cold winter afternoon while your daughter is home sick from school, or pulling out the markers at the coffee table while a blizzard rages outside.

From playhouses and knitting to a well-stocked pantry and the perfect crafts room, Durell Godfrey’s second coloring book, “Color Your Happy Home” (Harlequin, $15.99), written with Barbara Ann Kipfer, is a celebration of all things cozy, comforting, and . . . well, homey.

Christine Sampson
Durell Godfrey
November 23, 2016
Maria Matthiessen of Sag Harbor found herself in a pickle that will probably be familiar to many grandparents: She had not planned to adopt pets, but her granddaughter, Ava, finagled her into it. Two cats, to be precise, from the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons. And that is when the trouble started.

Maria Matthiessen of Sag Harbor found herself in a pickle that will probably be familiar to many grandparents: She had not planned to adopt pets, but her granddaughter, Ava, finagled her into it. Two cats, to be precise, from the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.

Christine Sampson
October 6, 2016
Tom Dakin considers himself an ordinary gardener, but for more than 30 years the part-time North Haven resident has cultivated an extraordinary tropical flower — the canna lily.

Tom Dakin considers himself an ordinary gardener, but for more than 30 years the part-time North Haven resident has cultivated an extraordinary tropical flower — the canna lily.

September 1, 2016
Blackberries are one of the great culinary joys of late summer. They ripen at a time when most other berries are finishing, and though they tend to be a little sour when eaten fresh, they have fantastic flavor as well as a rich dark purple color when cooked. They are also great in that they are relatively easy to pick, since the berries are large and sturdy, with a central core that makes them far less fragile than raspberries.

Blackberries are one of the great culinary joys of late summer. They ripen at a time when most other berries are finishing, and though they tend to be a little sour when eaten fresh, they have fantastic flavor as well as a rich dark purple color when cooked.

September 1, 2016
Way back in 1999, I lived in the servants’ quarters of an “antique” cottage on a tiny one-way lane, hidden on the east side of Georgica Pond. As I worked as an architect from its hot, spidery second-floor apartment, I heard the rumblings of something going on next door. New construction. Should be interesting to watch, I thought.

Way back in 1999, I lived in the servants’ quarters of an “antique” cottage on a tiny one-way lane, hidden on the east side of Georgica Pond. As I worked as an architect from its hot, spidery second-floor apartment, I heard the rumblings of something going on next door. New construction. Should be interesting to watch, I thought.

Abby Jane Brody
August 24, 2016
Mile-a-minute vine has established a foothold in East Hampton. It grows six inches a day and 20 feet in one season, can smother and kill anything in its wake, and can even cover phragmites, itself a rapacious invasive weed. Unlike other invasive plants, it would be fairly easy to contain or eliminate manually and with biological controls, if only we had the will and organization.

Mile-a-minute vine has established a foothold in East Hampton. It grows six inches a day and 20 feet in one season, can smother and kill anything in its wake, and can even cover phragmites, itself a rapacious invasive weed. Unlike other invasive plants, it would be fairly easy to contain or eliminate manually and with biological controls, if only we had the will and organization.

Abby Jane Brody
August 11, 2016
What’s the point of having the luxury of a long view into the garden if it’s blocked by a conventional flower border?

What’s the point of having the luxury of a long view into the garden if it’s blocked by a conventional flower border?

This conundrum illustrates that the tension between change and tradition, being manifest in all aspects of society, is playing out even in gardening and garden design. 

August 4, 2016
Summertime is berry-picking time, and for those of us lucky to have berries in our gardens, it is also a time of challenges: getting to the ripened berries before the birds do, picking the berries before they rot or fall, and — in the case of the weekend gardener — remembering what weekend the berries will come in, so that we can clear our schedules and devote ourselves full-time to gathering them, processing them, and putting them up as jams for the coming year. One berry, however, makes all of this easy for me: the gooseberry.

Summertime is berry-picking time, and for those of us lucky to have berries in our gardens, it is also a time of challenges: getting to the ripened berries before the birds do, picking the berries before they rot or fall, and — in the case of the weekend gardener — remembering what weekend the berries will come in, so that we can clear our schedules and devote ourselves full-time to

Mark Segal
Photos by Durell Godfrey
August 4, 2016
The work of Hans Hokanson, the Swedish-born sculptor who lived in East Hampton from 1961 until his death in 1997, is in many notable public and private collections, but a massive work that would be at home in a museum or a sculpture park such as the Storm King Art Center, where his other work is represented, has remained out of view in a secluded East Hampton house for 45 years.

The work of Hans Hokanson, the Swedish-born sculptor who lived in East Hampton from 1961 until his death in 1997, is in many notable public and private collections, but a massive work that would be at home in a museum or a sculpture park such as the Storm King Art Center, where his other work is represented, has remained out of view in a secluded East Hampton house for 45 years.

August 3, 2016
Combine equal weights of fruit puree and sugar in a large heavy pot, one that allows several inches of headroom between the mixture and the top of the pot.

Combine equal weights of fruit puree and sugar in a large heavy pot, one that allows several inches of headroom between the mixture and the top of the pot.

Cook the mixture over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Star Staff
July 21, 2016
Yes, the only person who cares about grandmother’s collection of needlepoint-slogan pillows may be grandmother, but it is still fun to spot some old bit of her bedroom furniture or her favorite egg-beater at Hamptons prices at a summer antiques show.

Yes, the only person who cares about grandmother’s collection of needlepoint-slogan pillows may be grandmother, but it is still fun to spot some old bit of her bedroom furniture or her favorite egg-beater at Hamptons prices at a summer antiques show.

Abby Jane Brody
July 14, 2016
A forest glade with a thick carpet of ferns, etched in dappled sunlight cast by the shade of trees, has been a recurring dream since I first saw the island bed by Hollis Forbes’s driveway in East Hampton.

A forest glade with a thick carpet of ferns, etched in dappled sunlight cast by the shade of trees, has been a recurring dream since I first saw the island bed by Hollis Forbes’s driveway in East Hampton. 

June 30, 2016
There are certain plants that any gardener interested in eating well will want to have, and among them, strawberries top my list. Unlike most vegetables, which can take all summer to grow and need to be replanted each year, strawberries ripen from late spring through midsummer. Once established, they need minimal care. And they are particularly good plants for the casual or weekend gardener, since a well-planted strawberry bed will produce generously for years without much fuss. Strawberries are easy, happy plants, well adapted to our climate, thriving in full sun and free-draining soil — and we have plenty of both out here on the East End.

There are certain plants that any gardener interested in eating well will want to have, and among them, strawberries top my list. Unlike most vegetables, which can take all summer to grow and need to be replanted each year, strawberries ripen from late spring through midsummer. Once established, they need minimal care.

June 28, 2016
An hour before they are needed, wash, hull, and slice the strawberries into halves or quarters. Toss a quart of the sliced strawberries with a half a cup of sugar (or to taste), along with an ounce of kirsch (optional).

Strawberries With Whipped Cream

Abby Jane Brody
June 23, 2016
If you’ve been entranced by the bountiful crop of flowers on the kousa dogwoods this spring and have been tempted to add one to your garden, now is the time to act. Head right to your favorite garden center and pick one out while they are still in bloom — what you see is what you get, is what I was told years ago by a nurseryman.

If you’ve been entranced by the bountiful crop of flowers on the kousa dogwoods this spring and have been tempted to add one to your garden, now is the time to act. Head right to your favorite garden center and pick one out while they are still in bloom — what you see is what you get, is what I was told years ago by a nurseryman.

Abby Jane Brody
June 9, 2016
This past winter appears to have been more difficult for hydrangeas than the winter of 2014, with its extended period of deep cold and a single cold snap in April that put paid to most of last summer’s flowers.

For the first time since they were planted in 1982, there will be no blue mophead hydrangeas flowering on my front lawn this year. And I’m afraid I will not be alone.

Joanne Pilgrim
May 25, 2016
Six rooms designed and outfitted by top interior decorators at the Animal Rescue Fund’s Thrift and Treasure Shop in Sagaponack will be on display at a designer showhouse, cocktail party, and sale on Saturday that will benefit ARF’s work on behalf of animals.

Six rooms designed and outfitted by top interior decorators at the Animal Rescue Fund’s Thrift and Treasure Shop in Sagaponack will be on display at a designer showhouse, cocktail party, and sale on Saturday that will benefit ARF’s work on behalf of animals. 

Laura Donnelly
February 15, 2016
Nancy Hollister, the co-owner and chef of Breadzilla (now in its 20th year!), is self-taught. She and her business partner and ex-husband, Brad Thompson, used to be marine biologists. They work side by side at Breadzilla, where he does the baking, and are the best of friends.

Nancy Hollister, the co-owner and chef of Breadzilla (now in its 20th year!), is self-taught. She and her business partner and ex-husband, Brad Thompson, used to be marine biologists. They work side by side at Breadzilla, where he does the baking, and are the best of friends. So much so, that when she hosts her bimonthly pizza parties at home, he is often a guest.

Jennifer Landes
February 5, 2016
Southampton Hospital announced that this year’s Hamptons Designer Showhouse netted a $100,000 check to support its programs.

Southampton Hospital has announced that this year’s Hamptons Designer Showhouse netted a $100,000 check to support its programs. 

Christopher T. Cory
Photos by Durell Godfrey
November 26, 2015
Well, it’s not a shoe box exactly. But Barbarajo Howard’s one-room Montauk condominium certainly is small — officially, 483 square feet, or 683 if you count the balcony deck that runs the entire width of her top-floor apartment in the 30-acre Rough Rider Landing development.

Well, it’s not a shoe box exactly. But Barbarajo Howard’s one-room Montauk condominium certainly is small — officially, 483 square feet, or 683 if you count the balcony deck that runs the entire width of her top-floor apartment in the 30-acre Rough Rider Landing development.