Recent Stories: Habitat

Photos by Durell Godfrey
October 5, 2017
Around 30 years ago, I designed an exhibition titled “Long Island Modern” at East Hampton’s Guild Hall. Curated by Alastair Gordon, the architecture critic and historian who at the time was a columnist for The East Hampton Star, the show was a celebration of the early modernist houses built on the East End in the post-World War II period, principally in the 1950s and beyond.

Around 30 years ago, I designed an exhibition titled “Long Island Modern” at East Hampton’s Guild Hall. Curated by Alastair Gordon, the architecture critic and historian who at the time was a columnist for The East Hampton Star, the show was a celebration of the early modernist houses built on the East End in the post-World War II period, principally in the 1950s and beyond. These houses were experimental in design but also modest and lightweight, employing conventional building technologies.

Laura Donnelly
August 31, 2017
“Signs and Seasons” is an astrology cookbook by Amy Zerner, Monte Farber, and the chef John Okas.

“Signs and Seasons” is an astrology cookbook by Amy Zerner, Monte Farber, and the chef John Okas. The book teaches you about the various foods that “feed your sign,” and describes the various ways we entertain, cook, and eat, according to our signs. For instance, Leos do not like to be seated next to someone who won’t listen to their stories, and they really like corn, peaches, mozzarella, and saffron.

Taylor K. Vecsey
August 31, 2017
In the 1950s and ’60s, pressing a button on an intercom to talk to someone in a different part of your house was considered a technological score. Now, nearly every imaginable household device can be controlled remotely, whether you don’t feel like getting off the couch or are halfway around the world. The average homeowner is in control, thanks to the advent of smart home technology.

In the 1950s and ’60s, pressing a button on an intercom to talk to someone in a different part of your house was considered a technological score. Now, nearly every imaginable household device can be controlled remotely, whether you don’t feel like getting off the couch or are halfway around the world. The average homeowner is in control, thanks to the advent of smart home technology. 

Temperature, lighting, window blinds, audio/visual equipment, and security systems can all be controlled and customized. And smart home technology is practically a given in new, high-end houses on the South Fork, where many are second homes and owners want to be, and sometimes need to be, in control from afar. 

Irene Silverman
July 27, 2017
“I am one of the only people in town who can do almost anything,” Bob Linker said the other day. “You bring me your brass, bronze, your grandfather’s knickknack, and I’ll fix it.”

“I am one of the only people in town who can do almost anything,” Bob Linker said the other day. “You bring me your brass, bronze, your grandfather’s knickknack, and I’ll fix it.”

Bryley Williams
July 11, 2017
The grounds of the historic Mulford Farm on Main Street in East Hampton Village will be jammed with antiques and art from 50 dealers — and with shoppers hoping to find objects they just cannot do without — starting July 21 at the 11th annual East Hampton Antiques Show sponsored by the East Hampton Historical Society.

The grounds of the historic Mulford Farm on Main Street in East Hampton Village will be jammed with antiques and art from 50 dealers — and with shoppers hoping to find objects they just cannot do without — next weekend at the 11th annual East Hampton Antiques Show sponsored by the East Hampton Historical Society. 

Everything from Ikat textiles to vintage sunglasses will be available among the rattan, bamboo, Art Deco, Moderne, and country-decorated furniture, light fixtures, garden ornaments, wrought-iron accessories, paintings, vintage jewelry, weathervanes, and mirrors. 

Isabel Carmichael
June 29, 2017
Fireplace Farm, where Paul Hamilton grows produce and flowers and keeps bees and chickens, is a rural place right near Gardiner’s Bay, with hardly any houses to be seen.

Fireplace Farm, where Paul Hamilton grows produce and flowers and keeps bees and chickens, is a rural place right near Gardiner’s Bay, with hardly any houses to be seen. On two acres off Hog Creek Lane at the northern end of Springs-Fireplace Road, he plants enough vegetables, berries, and lettuces to sell at a farm stand and at the Springs Farmers Market, which he runs. In early June, he told a visitor that strawberries, which were beginning to ripen, thrive in the farm’s sandy, dry soil but that as a result of the cool, wet spring, were coming in later than usual.

Jennifer Landes
June 1, 2017
There are plenty of garden tours to enliven the summer and provide sneak peeks behind the hedges, but few allow participants past the front door.

There are plenty of garden tours to enliven the summer and provide sneak peeks behind the hedges, but few allow participants past the front door.

Each June, the Southampton Historical Museum gives its supporters that unique opportunity by offering a mix of historical and contemporary structures whose residents open their doors and floors to the curious eyes of their next-door and regional neighbors.

Now in its eighth year, the Southampton House Tour Insider’s View will offer sprawling oceanfront mansions and quaint village cottages, some on properties that date back to the 17th century and the early colonial days of the South Fork. Each residence can be relied upon to demonstrate the best in design and architecture from colonial chic to beach house modern.

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.