Now this is more like it. It’s beginning to feel like summer around here.
The beginning of June in 2020 was a time of buttoning up, shutting down, settling in and keeping apart, putting on masks and gloves, crossing off one event or planned gathering after another on the calendar.
Summer 2021 has a delightfully different feeling. Sure, there are still some restrictions and limitations, but this June is much more like the start of summers of yore: the Village election is back on schedule; the school and library budgets were approved but there’s a runoff vote for school board member on June 22; people are getting together for drinks and dinner parties; Quogue Chamber Music is offering its traditional June concert under a tent this Saturday; live theatre is back, with the Hampton Theatre Company production of “Sylvia” wrapping up on Sunday and the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe taking over the Community Hall on June 20 in preparation for productions of “Pippin” and “Frozen Jr.” in August; the newly renovated and expanded Quogue Library—which can only be described as amazing—will host a Grand Re-Opening on June 26 and open for business on June 27; the Wildlife Refuge has a pre-Father’s Day sale on Saturday, June 12, as well as Private Family Paddling sessions June 12 and 18, and an important Zoom talk by Doug Tallamy on June 15; the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is bringing back its summer film series starting June 15.
Get the picture? Read on for the details on a summer that’s raring to go. The weather’s fair; track clear: let’s get started.
Village Election June 18
Knocked off kilter by the Covid pandemic and associated shutdowns and calendar shuffling, the Quogue Village election is back to its usual schedule this year and will be held on Friday, June 18, with voting from noon to 9 p.m. at the firehouse on Jessup Avenue. Incumbents Randy Cardo and Ted Necarsulmer are running unopposed for two-year terms as Trustees, which means they will only be opposed by any write-in candidates. Which means it’s still important to come out and cast your vote.
School and Library Budgets Approved; Runoff Vote for School Board
While turnout was only a fraction of what one might hope for in our generally civic minded village, it was still gratifying to see that village voters showed overwhelming support on May 18 for the budgets of two institutions that provide the foundation and the backbone for education and enrichment for all ages in our community. The Quogue School budget was approved by a vote of 145 to 22; and the Quogue Library budget was approved by a vote of 135 to 23.
The election of a school board member to fill the position held by Tim Carbone, meanwhile, was a dead heat, 75-75, which might seem to indicate that the two candidates, Holly Degnan and Deborah Disston, are essentially equally qualified. A special run-off election has been scheduled at the school on Tuesday, June 22, from 2 to 8 p.m. For complete details, visit the Quogue School website at www.quogueschool.com.
As has been noted in this column many times, both the school and the library have faced whatever challenges came their way over the years and still maintained the highest standards of excellence in their dedication to their respective missions and service to the community. Then came Covid.
Beyond health care, probably no other sector was as hard hit by the pandemic as education. But in Quogue, thanks to the efforts of Quogue School Superintendent Jeffrey Ryvicker, the willing teachers, dedicated administrators and support staff, the 2020-2021 school year has been as close to “normal” as possible for the students and parents while still observing the necessary safety restrictions and protocols.
The Quogue Library, meanwhile, was already embarked on perhaps the most ambitious renovation and expansion in the facility’s history when the coronavirus pandemic effectively stalled forward motion on all building projects all across the country. Not only did the library make an almost seamless—and instantaneous—shift over to an astounding array of virtual programs, the tireless members of the Building Committee—chair Lynda Confessore, Sally McGrath, Paul Mejean, and Barbara Sartorius—with help from IT Director Russell Weisenbacher, the board of trustees, and, for the past year, new library Director Jenny Bloom, somehow managed the gargantuan task of keeping the multi-tiered project on track. And now the new library and all its many wonders will be unveiled at a grand re-opening party on June 26, and the new business as usual will begin on June 27. (See below.)
All residents are urged to remember that voting to approve a budget is only one way to express your appreciation for what the women and men of these two institutions have accomplished—in both cases for no other reason than a desire to provide the best possible resources for our community. They should be thanked, applauded and saluted at every opportunity for their miraculous achievements, all on our behalf.
On June 26, the Big Reveal
So much to celebrate in this June of reawakening, with the Grand Re-Opening of the Quogue Library on Saturday, June 26, near the very top of the list.
The official invitation went out this week, with the library trustees and staff urging patrons to “bike, hike or share a ride” to this come-one, come-all celebration from 1 to 5 p.m.
On tap are an opening ceremony, with local Eagle Scouts helping to raise the flag and guest speakers Assemblyman Fred Thiele and Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman offering remarks, and an official ribbon cutting at 1:15 p.m.
Also on the schedule are tours of the renovated and expanded facility and lots of activities, with the Mambo Loco band providing musical accompaniment and the library offering refreshments under the tent. Kids (of all ages) are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite book character, and the library trustees are asking all patrons to “come masked” for activities inside the library “so we can protect each other.”
Members of the community are also being invited to contribute a message to a time capsule that will be sealed at the conclusion of the re-opening celebration. Residents who are interested in submitting an item to the time capsule are asked to email a description of their proposed contribution to library staff at firstname.lastname@example.org and inquire about the particulars.
Before It Can Re-Open, the Library Has to Close
The Quogue Library will close its Midland Street location on Saturday, June 12, at 1 p.m. and will re-open in the spectacular new Quogue Street location the day after the big celebration, at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 27. Patrons are asked to stop in at the Midland office or call staff before 1 p.m. on June 12 for help reserving books or having holds sent to a neighboring library in the interim.
Starting June 27, the Quogue Library will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Tuesday, and closed on Wednesdays.
Library Programming Is Virtually Continuous
While the Quogue Library will not have a physical, brick and mortar operation running for the two weeks between June 12 and June 27, the wide array of virtual programs for body, mind, spirit and palate will continue uninterrupted. Courtesy of library staffer and frequent At Quaquanantuck correspondent Elizabeth Caputo, a sampling of these offerings is listed below.
In the fitness department, Leisa M. Taylor is leading a “Powerhouse Pilates” series on Mondays at 10 a.m. through July 5, dedicated to learning about and strengthening specific muscle groups. On Tuesdays at 10 a.m. through June 29, Ms. Taylor will be helping participants “Learn How to Balance Your Body and Mind.”
In “Chakra Yoga” on Fridays at 10 a.m. through July 16, Jillian will guide participants through an hour-long energetic yoga class focusing on one chakra or thought/feeling/area of the body per class.
In programming for adults, this Friday, June 11, at 7 p.m. “The Lost Boys of Montauk” will feature author Amanda Fairbanks in conversation with Henry Osmers, the Montauk Lighthouse Historian; and the Adult Fiction Book Club will meet on Zoom on Sunday, June 13, at noon to discuss “Interior Chinatown” by Charles Wu.
The library sponsored monthly Cancer Talk on Wednesday, June 16, at 4:30 p.m. will feature scientist Sonam Bhatia of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory speaking about new techniques in the study of breast cancer, with a Q&A to follow.
Also on Wednesday, June 16, at 7 p.m. the library will play virtual host to a Facebook Live presentation by “Simply Creative” chef Rob Scott, “The Summer Is Bursting with Flavor.” Participants will learn how to make grilled shrimp with feta cheese, tomato, and orzo salad; grilled jerk chicken with a watermelon Fire and Ice salsa; and a summertime red, white, and blueberry shortcake. Sounds tasty.
Patrons who pick up the kit with all necessary supplies at Midland before Saturday, June 12, will be able to take part in a Virtual Paint Class focusing on seascapes with Marie Camenares on Friday, June 18, from 7 to 8 p.m.
In these days of hacking, phishing and ransomware, it’s more important than ever to understand what kinds of security are available. On Wednesday, June 23, at 3:30 p.m. the library’s SeniorNet program will examine “Internet Security,” with the discussion centered on antivirus software, firewalls, malware, phishing, private browsing, and security settings for MS Edge, Firefox, and Google Chrome.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, author and “Great Gatsby” scholar Richard Webb Jr. will present a Zoom discussion of his book, “Boats Against the Current: The Honeymoon of Scott and Zelda.”
Teen programs include a Virtual Paint Party on Friday, June 11, at 7 p.m.; and Dungeons and Dragons for seventh grade and up on Saturdays at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Tweens (age 8 to 11) can turn an old t-shirt into a tote bag by tuning in to the Fabric and Fiber Inventions program on Wednesday, June 23, at 3 p.m. And there are a number of programs geared to younger children as well.
For more details and to register for any of the programs sponsored by the library, visit the quoguelibrary.org website and click on the flier on the home page.
And, in all the excitement swirling around the library these days, don’t forget to mark the calendar for this summer’s Conversations with the Author series, which will feature Sarah Penner, author of “The Lost Apothecary,” on July 11; Paula McLain, author of “When the Stars Go Dark,” on July 18; Karin Tanabe, author of “A Woman of Intelligence,” on July 25; David S. Reynolds, author of “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times,” on August 8; and Alexandra Andrews, author of “Who Is Maud Dixon?” on August 22.
Foreign Policy Association Taking Stock of Brexit
The next installment of this year’s Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program will examine the possible end of globalization as we have come to understand the term. Hosted virtually by the Quogue Library and presented by moderator David Rowe and facilitator Susan Perkins on Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m., the topic for the June 12 discussion, following a brief video on the subject, will be “Brexit: Taking Stock & Looking Ahead.”
After years of contentious debate and awkward negotiations, the United Kingdom formally left the European Union at the start of 2021. Saturday’s program will consider what the future of Europe and the UK looks like. Will the UK survive a possible Scottish vote to leave? Who will step up into a leadership role in the EU now that Angela Merkel is out of the spotlight?
The Great Decisions discussion series, America’s largest program on world affairs, involves reading the Great Decisions briefing book and meeting in a Discussion Group to watch a DVD and discuss the most critical global issues facing America today.
A limited number of discounted briefing books are available for sale through the library; email email@example.com. To purchase a digital copy of the 2021 briefing book, click here. The E-book version of the briefing book is also available at Amazon/Kindle, Rakuten Kobo, Nook (Barnes and Noble), Apple Books , 24symbols.com, and Scribd.
To sign up for Saturday’s virtual program, click here or visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the FPA Great Decisions flier on the home page. As always, the library is hosting or sponsoring a wide array of virtual programming for all ages and interests. To find out more and to register for any of these programs, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the fliers posted on the home page.
Refuge Makes Father’s Day Shopping Easy
Although 2021, sadly, will be another summer without a Wild Night for Wildlife, there are still plenty of ways to support the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Take this weekend, for example: An outdoor pre-Father’s Day t-shirt and hat sale with proceeds supporting the QWR will be held on Saturday, June 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Shoppers also have the option to place orders online and schedule porch pickup, or call 631-653-4771 to arrange a time to stop by for front porch shopping.
Another way to support the Refuge and enjoy some quality family/friends time into the bargain would be to sign up for a Private Family Paddling slot this Saturday, June 12, or next Friday, June 18.
Those who register for a private time slot with family and/or friends can enjoy exploring Old Ice Pond via kayak or canoe. Paddling will be partially guided by a naturalist, with some time set aside to free paddle as well. Paddlers will observe the various species of freshwater fish, turtles, and birds that live in and around this 100+ year old pond that was originally created for ice harvesting for the Quogue Ice Company.
Each time slot is limited to six people. Options of single and double kayaks or canoes will be determined prior to arrival based on the individuals in the party. The $250 fee must be prepaid, and refunds are possible only with seven-day cancellation notice. To check on available time slots for June 12 or June 18, click here or visit quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on Private Family Paddle Days on the Events Calendar page.
Message of Hope for Planet Earth
You know the topic is important when the Leo S. Walsh Foundation, the Peconic Land Trust, and the Quogue Wildlife Refuge team up to offer a free Zoom program on “Nature’s Best Hope: A Conversation with Doug Tallamy,” on Tuesday, June 15, at 7 p.m.
As the announcement on the QWR website reminds us: Recent headlines about global insect declines and the loss of three billion birds in North America alone paint a bleak picture about how ineffective current landscape designs have proved in sustaining the flora and fauna that sustain us. Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue anything like our current standard of living on Planet Earth.
The good news, according to the QWR, is that none of this is inevitable. Mr. Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can—and must—take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we humans are nature’s best hope.
To register in advance for this meeting, click on https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvcu-uqjorHdOUSFWypDyCbMeXN5Jbf657, or go to quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on Nature’s Best Hope on June 15 on the Events Calendar page.
After registering, a confirmation email will provide details on joining the meeting.
While visiting the Events Calendar page, be sure to check out the Full Moon Night Hike on June 23, and a special Painting for Pollinators program for adults and teens on June 24.
“Go Native” Update for Quogue Backyards
In line with Mr. Tallamy’s “Nature’s Best Hope” message, Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis, self-described “co-motivators-in-chief” of the Go Native initiative in Quogue, don’t want to slack off on their push to engage Quogue homeowners in efforts to protect pollinators, increase biodiversity and practice conservation. They continue to emphasize the following points:
—“Two Thirds for the Birds”: plant two native plants for every three plants on your property, thus supporting the life cycles of birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife in our area.
—Cut back, or better yet eliminate, use of pesticides and herbicides.
—Listen to Doug Tallamy speak, either live in the QWR June 15 Zoom talk, or in a YouTube video of his standard talk on the importance of native plants in building “conservation corridors” throughout the country. The important thing to remember: every homeowner can make a very real difference with just a few changes to their backyard.
In addition, village residents should be aware that—in line with information in an interesting article on honey bee swarms in last week’s Southampton Press—if you see a honey bee swarm, please do not call an exterminator. This kind of swarming is a natural phenomenon in which a colony decides to peel off some of its members to create a new colony for the queen.
The bees are very vulnerable at this stage, but with no babies or food to protect, they have no incentive to sting. Sometimes, if they don’t find a home, such as a hollow tree, they might move into the wall of a house. In this case, call Long Island Beekeepers Club to relocate them (longislandbeekeepers.org/report-a-swarm). There is currently a bill pending in the Suffolk County Legislature which would ban the killing of swarms of honeybees.
More on Terrapins
In case the photo of a tiny turtle in the last At Quaquanantuck got any readers interested in finding out more about diamondback terrapins, QWR Associate Director Marisa Nelson sent along this flash from the Seatuck Environmental Association:
“One of Long Island’s more iconic coastal species is the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), the only turtle in the world that inhabits brackish water habitats such as salt marshes, tidal creeks, and shallow bays and harbors. Individual terrapins can be seen with their heads bobbing at the water surface, basking in the sun on mud banks, and, most excitedly, occasionally encountered when a female comes ashore seeking a nesting site to lay her eggs.”
Most excitedly indeed.
“Terrapins face myriad threats that jeopardize their long-term survival [on Long Island] such as motor vehicle and boat collisions in addition to increased habitat loss. To address these threats and other basic aspects of terrapin ecology, Seatuck and a coalition of governmental entities, other nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions have formed the Long Island Diamondback Terrapin Working Group, which first met in 2018. Seatuck and our partners are seeking volunteer community scientists to join “Terrapin Watch,” which seeks to identify important diamondback terrapin habitat across Long Island, as well as potentially dangerous road crossings.”
Readers can learn more about the Terrapin Watch project and how to get involved during the Community Science LI webinar series (https://seatuck.org/community-science-webinars) program on diamondback terrapins on Wednesday, June 16, from 2 to 3 p.m.
The event is free and open to everyone but registration is required. At this event, you will learn all about diamondback terrapins ranging from their natural history, ecology, and how to submit sightings of them by using the free online submission form (coming soon).The webinar will be recorded and posted on Seatuck’s website shortly after. To learn more about diamondback terrapins and the work Seatuck is doing to protect them, visit the Seatuck website seatuck.org/diamondback-terrapins.
Quogue Chamber Music “Tenting Tonight” on June 12
Quogue Chamber Music will launch its 2021 season on Saturday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. with members of the Manhattan Chamber Players—piano and strings—performing works by Brahms and Chausson under a tent at the Quogue Elementary School at 10 Edgewood Road.
With an eye to patrons’ safety during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, masks will be required; there will be no reception following the concert; and no tickets will be sold at the box office on the night of the performance.
HTC’s “Sylvia” Wraps Successful Run; QJTT Up Next
After a successful run, the long-delayed Hampton Theatre Company production of “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney—a romantic comedy about the impact of adopting a stray dog on an empty-nest marriage—will offer its final performance on Sunday, June 13.
The happy news is that essentially all available seats were filled for almost every one of the 15 performances. The not so happy news is that only some 60 seats were available for each performance under New York State guidelines for small theaters issued at the time when tickets first went on sale.
Even so, the Hampton Theatre Company, cast, crew and audiences and supporters were thrilled to be the first to bring back live theatre joy to the East End after some 15 months of dormancy due to Covid.
Next up in the return of live theatre at the Quogue Community Hall will be the two 2021 productions of the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe: “Pippin” for the older cast (14 – 19) with performances August 3 to 6; and “Frozen Jr.” for the younger cast (9 – 13; must be entering fourth grade) with performances August 24 to 27.
Summer Film Series Returns to Performing Arts Center
After a 2020 summer of a dark theater, tickets are on sale now for the 2021 Rose and Don Ciampa World Cinema summer series at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, starting almost a month earlier this year on Tuesday, June 15.
As in the past, films will be screened on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30, with Andrew Botsford of Quogue introducing the films on Tuesday evenings and discussing them afterward, often with guest commentators, followed by an informal audience discussion.
The lineup for June begins with “Undine” (German/English) on June 15 and 16. According to the intriguing PAC description, “Undine works as a historian lecturing on Berlin’s urban development. But when the man she loves leaves her, the ancient myth catches up with her. Undine has to kill the man who betrays her and return to the water.”
Review blurbs are equally intriguing: “The film questions the fixed nature of human behavior in a world whose borders are constantly shifting.”—Slant Magazine. And “Christian Petzold’s optimistic romantic tragedy ‘Undine’ is a ciné-conundrum par excellence.”—The Arts Desk.
On June 22 and 23, the film will be “Summer of 85” (French) and on June 29 and 30, the film will be “Werewolves Within” (English).
In accordance with state guidance, the PAC is capping attendance at 250, and there will be no physical tickets. Moviegoers will check in using the last name of the original ticket order. For more information about PAC protocols and to purchase tickets, visit whbpac.org and click on Films.
Quogue Gallery Opens Norman Carton Show This Week
“Norman Carton: Lunar and Organic Abstract Expressionist Series” is the title of the next exhibition coming up at the Quogue Gallery. On view from June 10 to July 6, with an opening reception scheduled on Saturday, June 12, from 5 to 7 p.m., the exhibition will feature 15 oil paintings on canvas from the late artist’s epochal Lunar and Organic Abstract Expressionist series of the 1970s.
A release from the gallery describes Norman Carton (1908-1980) as “one of the most fascinating figures of the Abstract Expressionist movement.” Writing about a 2020 exhibition at the Quogue Gallery focused on Carton’s works on paper painted in the 1950s and ’60s, art historian and critic Charles Riley noted that “Norman Carton, with his academic training, his love of studio process and materials (he ground his own vivid pigments) and his mastery of art history, stuck to art as part of life. As these wonderfully painterly, quite often large and substantive works in gouache triumphantly show, there was plenty of room left to operate in the Abstract Expressionist style, especially when it came to color.”
The 2021 exhibition of Carton’s paintings opening on June 10 builds on this important historical association. In his comments on the genesis of these paintings, the artist emphasized that they were “inspired by late 1960s and 1970s advances that see our natural world in new ways.” Referring to these works in oil, Mr. Riley, the director of the Nassau County Museum of Art, writes: “What you see in these chromatically rich paintings is an expansion of Carton’s gesture, an opening of space in sweeping curves that certainly conjures the Einsteinian vision of curved space-time, which Carton understood so well.”
Norman Carton was an Abstract Expressionist painter who was critically regarded as possessing a painting style of superlative action and a unique talent as a colorist. He exhibited at the prestigious Stable Gallery, New York City, and founded one of the first artists’ cooperative galleries in lower Manhattan, a group of like-minded artists who laid emphasis on color, texture, and the materiality of paint. Carton was known as a “painter’s painter” who produced a large body of work while continuing to devote his life to education and lecturing in the arts.
During a long artistic career, he showed in more than 135 group exhibitions and more than 20 one-man shows. Awarded numerous awards, prizes, and fellowships, he also founded a fabric design firm and production company that was featured in such magazines as Interior, Harper’s Bazaar, Women Wear Daily, and Vogue. His work is represented in more than 200 public collections throughout the world, including the Whitney Museum of Art; the Albright-Knox Gallery; the Norfolk Museum of Art; the Chrysler Art Museum, the Jewish Museum in Paris; the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and the Museum of Art in St. Denis, France.
As many readers know, the Quogue Gallery is dedicated to presenting a program of artistic excellence by showcasing the work of prominent, mid-career and emerging artists in the modernist tradition. Its core focus is on discovering and exhibiting figurative and abstract expressionist painters who are recognized historically as well as those of great promise whose reputations and achievements have fallen through the cracks of history. Since its founding in 2014, the Gallery’s growing presence in the modern and contemporary art world has been acknowledged by the press. The gallery has been featured in many publications, including the New York Times, Dan’s Paper, Beach Magazine, Hamptons Art Hub, Artnet News, Southampton Press, and others. The gallery also has been recognized for the quality of its exhibitions by Hamptons Art Hub, Artnet News and other outlets. Quogue Gallery is at 44 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959. quoguegallery.com
Bridge Building Continues on Write America
At Quaquanantuck continues to be amazed by—and very grateful for—the seemingly endless roster of extraordinarily talented, sensitive, and insightful writers who have happily signed up to be on the ongoing weekly program Write America: A Reading for Our Country.
The brainchild of the prodigiously gifted writer, teacher and Quogue boulevardier Roger Rosenblatt, Write America offers beautiful readings and stimulating discussions aimed at mending some of the rifts roiling our nation, airing on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by Book Revue, the wonderful, community minded gem of an independent bookstore located in Huntington.
Even as in-person programs resume, the virtual Write America series continues to put together writers in far-flung locations for engaging discussions that can be accessed by anyone around the world, live in real time or in a recorded version.
To catch up on what the series is all about, At Quaquanantuck recommends a visit to the Book Revue website, bookrevue.com/write-america-series, where you can access recordings of all the readings and conversations of the series up to now.
Coming up on Monday, June 14, will be New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer and novelist, social worker, poet and activist Lora Tucker. The June 21 program will feature author, editor and professor Lou Ann Walker, Quogue’s own Whiting Award-winning author and professor Genevieve Sly Crane, and short story writer Jeordie Chou. On Monday, June 28, emerging writer Suchita Nayar, short story writer Amy Cacciola, and writer, editor and photographer Cornelia Channing will read from their work and join the discussion.
Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.
Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com.
News Items and Photos
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—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.