No Mo’ Snow, Please

There may be those who see yet another photograph of the ocean at the top of this column and say to themselves: “Really? Has At Quaquanantuck no imagination? Must we be bludgeoned with one seascape after another? Is there nothing else of visual interest that can be photographed in our beautiful village?”

March 13 beach
After March 13 nor’easter, wind from the west.                                               –A. Botsford Photo

Ordinarily, I would defend the practice of showing the many different faces of the sea week after week after week, waxing rhapsodic about how its surface movements, like a billion snowflakes, are never exactly identical in any two moments, how the waves over the whole range of sizes both capture and break up the light in a million different ways depending on the wind and weather, the season, the time of day, and the shifting tides and contours of the bottom at the moment the shutter snaps. How the ocean can reflect the mood of the observer or, by turns, project a mood of its own that alters the viewer’s perception of everything she or he sees around them or experiences, both internally and externally.

But not this week.

This week it came down to this: there was nowhere I could point my camera, other than the surf, that didn’t have some snow, in greater and lesser amounts, as part of the composition. And, like many readers, At Quaquanantuck has had enough of snow for this year. With every other indicator, even on cold days, demonstrating that spring is aching to, well, spring: to burst forth, to push out the buds, wash green over brown and bring new life to our sere landscape, At Quaquanantuck will not be a party to celebrating the icy whiteness of snow or discouraging the stirrings of the nascent season by focusing on winter-tinged landscapes.

Have done with your winter wonderland turned wasteland, say I. So, if the seemingly surreal prediction of yet another nor’easter with more snow on the first day of spring next week, March 21 (starting with the equinox at 12:15 p.m.) should prove true, you know what to expect: No snowscapes here. 

Instead, perhaps you’ll see another beautiful submitted photograph, like the one below from Florrie Morrisey, with no snow in it.

Great Blue
Great blue heron captured taking shelter from the wind on a duck blind. –Florrie Morrisey Photo

Fortunately, although it was quite chilly and windy, there was no snow for the parade in Westhampton Beach last week, and both the marchers and the spectators acquitted themselves well in the annual event.

This coming weekend, of course, has the day itself: St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 17. If in doubt about how to celebrate, get a copy of—and spend some time reading—Quogue resident Roger Rosenblatt’s funny, touching and affecting novel, Thomas Murphy, for a wonderful ration of Irish charm and spirit.

Pipers in full regalia are always a popular contingent at the St. Patrick’s parade in Westhampton Beach. And who doesn’t love a man in uniform, like Tyler Morgan
of the Quogue Fire Department, giving a white-gloved thumbs up
to spectators. –Nina Lawson Photos

“Boys Next Door” Opening March 22 at Quogue Community Hall

As noted last week, members of the cast and crew of the Hampton Theatre Company production of Tom Griffin’s “The Boys Next Door” took time off from rehearsing to march in the parade last weekend. The touching and tender comedy, which opens at the Quogue Community Hall on Thursday, March 22, and runs through April 8, looks at the trials and the triumphs of four men with various mental disabilities living in a group home.

In brief vignettes over a roughly two-month period, the play offers humorous commentary on the lives of the four men and their chief caretaker, the social worker Jack Palmer, who is struggling with the decision of whether to move on to a new job.

Hyperactive Arnold Wiggins is an obsessive compulsive, practically non-stop talker who works as a janitor at a movie theater. Norman Bulansky is a middle-aged man with mental disabilities whose job at a doughnut shop has contributed to a weight problem. His would-be girlfriend Sheila lives in a different group home.

Lucien P. Smith is an African-American man who faces extremely debilitating mental disorders. Despite the fact that he cannot read, he insists on checking out armloads of books from the library. The fourth member of the household is Barry Klemper, a 28-year-old man with schizophrenia who believes he is a pro golfer and gets highly agitated over small things. A turning point in the play revolves around a visit from Barry’s long absent abusive father.

Called “a funny and touching play” by the Theater Mirror, “The Boys Next Door” was described in New York Times reviews as “emotionally appealing” enriched by “revealing, deeply sympathetic portraits.” In a Times review of the 1988-89 Studio Theater production in New York, critic Leah D. Frank wrote that “the play offers us a chance to see the lives of people who are struggling to get along and who are, in that respect, not all that much different from the rest of us.”

The cast of “The Boys Next Door” features HTC veterans Matt Conlon as Arnold Wiggins and Jessica Howard as Sheila. Scott Hofer plays Norman Bulansky, Dorian M. O’Brien is Lucien P. Smith, and Spencer Scott has the role of Barry Klemper. Social worker Jack Palmer is played by Paul Velutis.

The role of Barry’s father is played by Mike Boland. Two other HTC veterans, Catherine Maloney and Bob Kaplan, play three roles each.

“The Boys Next Door” is playwright Tom Griffin’s most successful work; in 1989 it was the most produced play in America. Other plays by Griffin include: “Amateurs”; “Einstein and The Polar Bear”; “Pasta” and “Mrs. Sedgewick’s Head.”

HTC board vice president Ed Brennan directs. Set design is by Sean Marbury; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

Performances of “The Boys Next Door” will be on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2:30. There will be no performance on Easter Sunday, April 1. On Saturday, March 31, there will be two performances: at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. An additional matinee performance will be offered during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, April 7, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening.

BND parade
Left to right, “The Boys Next Door” cast members Matthew Conlon, Catherine Maloney, and director Edward A. Brennan at last Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

There may still be time to sign up for the Quogue Library dinner and theater package on Friday, March 30, with dinner at the Quogue Club at the Hallock House at 5 p.m. and a ticket to the 7 p.m. performance of “The Boys Next Door” that night at the theater just down Jessup Avenue. The cost is $70 per person (non-refundable) due upon registration; all payment forms accepted. For more information or to register, call 631-653-4224, ext. 101.

Offered in association with the Quogue Club at the Hallock House, there will also be a special lunch and theater package available for the Saturday matinee on April 7. For information about all packages and available discounts, visit or email To reserve tickets, visit, or call OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.

Library Film Feast Features Movie from New Zealand on Saturday, March 17

On Saturday, March 17, it’s time once again to join friends, neighbors, and other cinephiles for an evening of fine food and a terrific film at the monthly Film Feast at the Quogue Library. This month’s selection is the 2016 independent feature film “Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”

The film, which was shown as part of the 2016 Finest in World Cinema series at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, tells the story of the  defiant city kid Ricky (Julian Dennison), raised on hip-hop and foster care, who gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella (Rachel House), the cantankerous Uncle Hec (a terrific Sam Neill), and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush.wilderpeople

In her review in The New York Times, Manohla Dargis wrote that “‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ takes a troika of familiar story types—the plucky kid, the crusty geezer, the nurturing bosom—and strips them of cliché. Charming and funny, it is a drama masquerading as a comedy about an unloved boy whom nobody wants until someone says, Yes, I’ll love him. Much of the humor comes from the child, who’s at once a pip and a gloriously expressive ambassador for the director Taika Waititi’s cleareyed take on human nature and movies.”

The feasting begins at 6:15 and the film will be screened at 7:15. As always, admission is a beverage to share and a dish that serves at least six. Best to call the library at 631-653-4224 to let them know you’re coming and what food you’re planning to bring.

Tasting of Spring Fare from Hampton’s Farms at Library on Tuesday, March 20

Yes, the spelling, or punctuation, of the name is puzzling, but there’s no denying that Hampton’s Farms, now operating on the site once occupied by the popular Station restaurant, has brought some fresh ideas to the local fine dining scene.

Now, local residents will have a chance to sample what’s new for spring at Hampton’s Farms at the Quogue Library on  Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. All are welcome to BYOB, and for a fee of $10 enjoy a taste of some of the dishes that will be on the restaurant’s menu this spring. There will also be chances to win a gift certificate in a special ingredient guessing game, so cultivate those taste buds before you head over to the library.

Call 631-653-4224, ext. 101 to save a seat and register.

Save the Date, and Your Appetite, for PTA Pancake Breakfast March 24

The Quogue School PTA will be hosting a Pancake Breakfast at the Quogue Firehouse on Jessup Avenue on Saturday, March 24, from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

In addition to the delicious breakfast fare and cups of fresh Hampton Coffee, the morning will feature basket auction, fun crafts for kids. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and free for children under age 3. All proceeds will benefit the wonderful cause of Arts in Education.

Services Set for Peter Frelinghuysen

As many Quogue residents learned on Wednesday, one of Quogue’s colorful and well-loved patriarchs, Peter Frelinghuysen, age 76, died on Sunday, March 11, at his home in Manhattan. A good friend to many and married for more than 54 years to Barrett Brady, Peter is survived by, in addition to Barrett, his children, Peter, Bess, Cyrus and Anson; their spouses, Lisa, George, Leah and Emma; and grandchildren, Electra, Peter, Diana, Linden, Blix, Ozzy, Teddy, Jasper, Harley and Edie.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 4, at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Peter’s memory to: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023;

At Quaquanantuck joins the many families in our community extending sincere condolences to the Frelinghuysen family.

At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email and ask to be put on the mailing list, or just to visit and feel free to follow.

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