Posts Tagged ‘art’

Get Art Smart in Philadelphia

Philadelphia invites you to explore the city as you take in some of the city’s most creative and beloved art landmarks. A welcome change to counter Zoom and virtual reality tours, artists and organizations have found new ways to move you out of your home and onto the streets (or into the air) to view their beautiful creations. Before you start complaining that it’s too cold outside, take a walk to see these wonderful arts both on land and in the sky.

Liberty Bell Photo courtesy Art Production Fund

With the Museums Without Walls AUDIO tour of public art throughout Philadelphia, sponsored by the Association for Public Art, you use your smartphone to wander the city as you learn about the more than 75 sculptures on the streets. Just as you might do with an audio tour inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art or the Barnes Foundation, this tour lets you tune in on your own… but outside. Narration is by a variety of people from all walks of life, each person explaining the story behind the artwork and their personal connection to it.

Photo Alec Rogers © 2018 for the Association for Public Art

A sample meander might be to start at the famous LOVE Sculpture near City Hall in LOVE Park. Designed in 1976 by Robert Indiana, LOVE is a massive four-letter red piece, with an iconic tilting O and clashing green interior and blue-sky exterior. The sculpture is part of Indiana’s LOVE Project that incorporates more than just sculptures. Starting with a poem some 20 years before the Philadelphia installation, Indiana also gave birth to LOVE sculptures around the world, translated into many languages. A second sculpture, AMOR, recognizes the Hispanic population in Philadelphia and is located a short walk from LOVE Park in Sister Cities Park.

El Gran Teatro de la Luna Photo © Association for Public Art

A fun stop on the tour is a Fairhill Square visit to view Rafael Ferrer’s El Gran Teatro de la Luna. Repainted and reinstalled after a 14-year absence, the sculpture evokes a range of emotions with the colorful acrobats and performers moving blissfully yet frenetically. The action-filled tableau is set atop a pergola framing an outdoor stage in the park and is a source of pride to nearby residents, many of whom feel a connection to the artist’s Caribbean upbringing.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

If your sojourn takes you near South Street, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens are a true surprise. You might think you’ve landed in Gaudi-crazy Barcelona. But, instead, this garden, completely covered by mosaics made of glass, mirrors, bicycle wheels, bottles and tiles started off as an effort to beautify the walls, buildings and vacant lots of South Street by artist Isaiah Zagar. When developers threatened to dismantle Zagar’s “artworks,” residents fought back. As a result, the space remains to this day as a non-profit organization, allowing Zagar to continue to excavate and create, and is visited by those “in the know.” Choose to spend some socially distanced time in the indoor galleries, or just stay outdoors in the enchanting magic garden. Please note that the gardens are closed until April, but this is a don’t miss, so plan to go when the weather warms up.

An Art Stroll in Boston

Boston’s many historical markers and statues, the Freedom Trail, and the beautiful park system with its fountains, ponds and gardens are all familiar to locals and visitors. But the city also profits from the many educational institutions and creative residents who gravitate to the Greater Boston area, with opportunities for art explorations both in Beantown proper and outside of the city.

Downtown is a wonderful starting point for an art stroll with both permanent and changing exhibits designed to keep you stimulated and curious, and outdoors.

Mrs. Mallard with her eight ducklings created by sculptress Nancy Schon

Robert McCloskey’s beloved children’s book, “Make Way for Ducklings” is honored in the Boston Public Garden with a family-favorite sculpture of Mrs. Mallard with her eight ducklings created by sculptress Nancy Schon. Celebrating 33 years as a fixture in the park, the bronze ducks inspire on-site birthday parties not only for the visitors but also for the ducks themselves. Today, the ducklings sport masks, encouraging visitors to maintain social distancing and wear their face coverings.

Rose Kennedy Greenway - Wind Sculpture

Cross the street from the Public Garden, strolling through the Boston Common towards Government Center and Faneuil Hall, and you will reach one of the prides of the Boston Big Dig construction project. By removing the John Fitzgerald Kennedy expressway, two areas of the city that were previously disconnected were brought together and beautified with gardens, flowers and art paralleling the waterfront. Named the Rose Kennedy Greenway, this mile-long area connects Chinatown, the Financial District, the Waterfront and the North End.  Since its opening in 2008, the curvilinear park has hosted a changing gallery of themed public art and light installations ranging from pigs celebrating the Year of the Pig, to historic neon signs from Massachusetts and the permanent Harbor Fog water feature sculpture. The Greenway, as its known, welcomes artists to submit their ideas for installations and the rotating gallery of murals.

HarborArts - Liz LaManche

Across the Harbor towards Logan Airport, Boston HarborArts has been welcoming visitors to their outdoor shipyard-turned-gallery for more than a decade.  Located at the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marine in East Boston, the outdoor art park sits in Jeffries Point across from the Seaport. The “museum” is 100% outdoors and free of charge. Featuring local and international artists, the outdoor gallery is a rotating art gallery covering 14 acres. A bonus: as you meander through the gritty industrial area, along the Boston HarborWalk, you’ll have many instagrammable moments of both the art and the city skyline across the harbor.

Walking around the Seaport itself affords many opportunities to see public art. Winter and spring are prime times for major installations but art peppers the area year-round. Walk along the waterfront by landmark boats and new restaurants, with a view of the burgeoning Fort Point neighborhood in the background, and you’ll see many thought-provoking sculptures.  The changing collection has included interactive and kinetic pieces as well as statues from local as well as international artists.,

North of Boston Mural Map - Cat Witch

The North of Boston Mural Map leads you on a colorful voyage through the Greater Boston towns up the coast and inland. With no crowds to distract you indoors, this is a perfect social distancing way to absorb some local color and culture. On more than 100 murals, local topics like witchcraft in Salem are given a distinctive spin with the “Cat Witch” mural by Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel, a Boston favorite known for his multi-colored geometric sculptures in the Seaport.  Other murals with more global themes of poetry and love grace buildings in 14 towns from Saugus to Salisbury.

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum - HOMEWRECKER

For another art-filled trip from Boston, drive west to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln. The park is open with controlled attendance and viewing to effect social distancing. Timed passes can be purchased online. A visit typically takes two hours and no touching of the sculptures is allowed. A favorite among visitors are the three colorful sculptures by Aaron Curry located on the front lawn. Reminiscent of Alexander Calder works, these very contemporary pieces also allude to science fiction, cartoons and stagecraft. UGLY MESS seems to be a sad person with two large tears dripping from its cutout eyes. In the second, HOMEWRECKER, a similar character embraces a bright red creature. The third, BLUBAT, looks like a children’s drawing of a person, but with wings hanging from its arms.

Road Trip: The Hamptons

Those in the know understand the draw of the East End of Long Island. The Hamptons, sitting on the South Fork of the island, are a group of hamlets, villages and towns lying along the Atlantic Ocean. The area is a perpetual playground for the rich and famous, and for city dwellers who appreciate a beach escape in a rural setting within a short drive of New York City.

The holidays are a special time in the Hamptons. Picture-perfect towns are dressed up in their holiday finest, with homes and trees adorned with shimmering lights. Beaches take on a different cast, with the icy-blue sky and ocean making a vivid contrast to the white sand and dunes. And art galleries and museums put on events to excite even the most casual viewer.

Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

The Hamptons are especially conscious of the safety and health of its visitors. Masks are required in restaurants, shops and during tours and are requested to be worn in all public places. Be sure to check changing requirements and schedules when making reservations.

Dining In The Hamptons

The pandemic has extended the variety of Hamptons restaurants staying open through the fall and winter season. Many have created both indoor and outdoor dining experiences as well as additional takeout options where seasonal menus are enhanced with local beer and wines.

Main Street Tavern, Amagansett

Main Street Tavern Photo By: Ronan Lev

Newly opened, Amagansett’s all-American Main Street Tavern has an expansive beer garden, indoor sports bar and small-town hominess. Menu ingredients are locally sourced and find their way into small bites and comfort food faves like steak sandwiches, lobster rolls and chicken parm. Plan to watch your gridiron giants do combat while munching on Main Street’s superb chicken wings and sipping a classic cocktail or glass of wine from a list smartly curated by Parcelle, the well-known boutique wine shop.

Elaia Estiatorio, Bridgehampton

Elaia Estiatorio

The authentically Greek Elaia Estiatorio restaurant offers dishes made with locally sourced ingredients and an extensive Greek wine list. The restaurant’s quintet of dips (smoked eggplant, cod roe, Greek yogurt, whipped feta and pureed fava beans) is a perfect way to start any cold-weather meal. For simple perfection, the lightly dressed horiatiki (Greek salad) and whole grilled fish will transport you to warmer climes in an instant. Elaia is also offering a take-out Thanksgiving feast, mixing traditional American turkey and ham with Greek favorites.

Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor

Baron’s Cove

The harborview restaurant at Baron’s Cove resort offers a “Chef’s Table” culinary series with holiday-themed dinners for Thanksgiving weekend, Winter Harvest, Christmas weekend and New Year’s Eve weekend. Part of an all-inclusive three-day hotel package, each meal features what is seasonally best from local farms and purveyors, with personal attention from Chef Nick Vogel. Guests will enjoy accommodations in the resort’s variety of nautically themed rooms, some allowing dogs.

Kissaki, Water Mill

Kissaki Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

A favorite among New York City foodies, Kissaki is all about elegant sushi and distinctive sake. The décor matches the quality of the cuisine with clean lines, stylish Japanese minimalism and creative expression. The unusual futomaki (fat rolled sushi), beautifully presented omakase sets, and creative nigiri taken to a new level with chef’s choice of toppings are crowd pleasers. Non-seafood choices are available, and Kissaki’s menu of chiffon cakes is a welcome and unusual surprise. Socially aware seating includes indoor podlike areas and a chic open-air patio.

Bistro Eté, Water Mill

Bistro Eté

A year-round go-to for Hamptonites, Bistro Eté goes all out for the holidays with seasonally inflected dishes and home made desserts. Chef Arie Pavlou prides himself not only on his French culinary prowess but also on his facility to create dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. His smoked pork chop is a sculptural feat, topped with a pumpkin cup filled with greens. Seasonal pumpkin flavors also appear in homemade ice cream. Cocktails similarly reflect the season – try the truffle martini if it’s available.

Calissa, Water Mill

Calissa Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

Dining at Calissa is like a quick trip to the Greek isles. Whitewashed and airy, the restaurant offers a menu of all-time Greek menu hits. An expansive garden area is beautifully lit and invites lingering. Gracious service and a perpetual “on vacation” feel set the tone throughout. To keep your spirits light, there’s live music on Thursday evenings. For the holidays, Calissa is taking pre-orders for family-style takeout dinners as well. Create a new holiday tradition with their luscious souvlaki platter, tender cubes of pork with a rosemary confit glaze.

Highway, East Hampton

Highway

Re-opening in time for the holidays, Highway invites a limited number of diners to enjoy their menu of New American favorites made with ingredients from nearby farms and purveyors. The popular East Hampton restaurant serves hearty, seasonally inspired dishes including miso-glazed salmon and spit-roasted chicken with sourdough stuffing, perfect for cold-weather dining. For a sweet finish, the Milk Pail apple crumble is truly drool-worthy. Takeout is available for those unable to secure an indoor reservation, but, don’t worry – cocktails in adorable Highway mini-bottles are included on the to-go menu.

Bamboo, Southampton

Bamboo

Hidden behind Jobs Lane’s many shops, Bamboo satisfies with affordable Asian fusion cuisine, prepared by chefs trained at top sushiyas like Nobu and Blue Ribbon Sushi. Newly opened this summer, the restaurant offers a choice of sakes and an extensive menu of sushi and sashimi complemented by popular dishes like Bang Bang chicken, Mongolian beef and chicken lemongrass dumplings. Indoor seating as well as an expansive covered patio are available year-round.

T Bar, Southampton

T Bar

Popular Manhattan steakhouse transplant T Bar is a sleek yet cozy choice for Black Angus Porterhouse steak, Long Island duck, seafood and delicious desserts. Lighter fare includes a raw bar menu and crispy sushi, salmon burgers, chopped salads and yellowfin tuna tartare. The wine list is extensive as is the choice of craft cocktails. The restaurant’s beautiful terrace and garden add pure romance for warmer evening dining.

Union Steak and Sushi, Southampton

Union Steak and Sushi

Perfect for those who can never make up their mind, the new Union Steak and Sushi offers an elegant setting for steaks and inventive sushi creations. Local ingredients feature on the menu including duck egg rolls with Long Island duck confit. A must-order, the Union Roll is an unexpectedly harmonious combination of lobster and avocado, topped with marinated skirt steak, eel sauce and yuzu mayo. Evenings are enhanced with live piano accompaniment and an extensive cocktail and wine list. For a lighter meal, sibling Union Burger Bar shares the building and offers additional seating on an enclosed deck.

Things To Do
Tastings

Sagaponack Farm Distillery Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

In addition to wine tastings at Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Duck Walk, a new distillery featuring ingredients from down the road, Sagaponack Farm Distillery, offers tastings indoors and outdoors of their truly artisanal spirits. Be sure to try the unusual rhubarb liqueur as well as their aquavit and potato, wheat and cucumber vodkas.

Shopping

Shopping is more than a casual pastime in the style-obsessed Hamptons. Held on the first Friday of every month, First Fridays bring the community out to enjoy shopping, entertainment, dining and more. Small Business Saturday®, sponsored by American Express, takes place two days after Thanksgiving and invites visitors to explore the boutiques and one-of-a-kind shops that pepper the towns of the South Fork.

And do plan to visit the Artisan Market at the Southampton Chamber of Commerce for handcrafted works from locals.

Arts, Tours and Walks

One of the Participating Destinations - White Fences Inn

28th Annual Hamptons B&B, Inn, Restaurant & Attraction Holiday Tour

For two days on December 5 and 6, a privileged few are invited to enter beyond the decorated doors of some of the most popular destinations in The Hamptons. Upon registration, guests will select their preferred location. All tours are guided and limited in number. Tickets are required and can be purchased online.

The Parrish Art Museum

The Parrish Art Museum

Beautifully decorated and lit during the holidays, The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill offers socially distanced galleries with exhibits by local artists and works about local subjects. Of note this season, Lucien Smith’s large-scale Southampton Suite reflects his distinctive paint spraying technique with oeuvres inspired by his new home in Montauk. Pre-purchase a timed entry allowing a ninety-minute visit.

LongHouse Reserve

LongHouse Reserve

LongHouse Reserve invites you on a personal exploration of the 16-acre reserve and sculpture garden in East Hampton where notable pieces by Yoko Ono, Buckminster Fuller and Willem de Kooning are on view no matter the season. Fall and winter schedule and time slots vary so be sure to check the website where you can purchase timed tickets

Southampton Arts Center (SAC)

The Collectors Sale

A benefit for the SAC, The Collectors Sale presents art pieces donated by more than 180 artists. You’re invited to view the collection and purchase online. A select number of works will be displayed in the back gallery of the Southampton Arts Center (SAC) to help you with your decisions.

For the little ones, SAC offers Zoom Bedtimes Stories, read by the authors themselves. Advance registration is required:

November 29 – Mr. Moon & Paint Your World with author/illustrator Michael Parasekevas

December 20 – Enzo and the Christmas Tree Hunt with author Garth Stein

Hiking

The Hamptons has a range of hiking opportunities including an unusual walk along the dunes, cranberry bogs and beach in Napeague. Appropriately named Walking Dunes, the hike changes frequently as the dunes themselves are in constant motion.

South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO)

South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO) - Nature Walk

SOFO’s nature walks encourage visitors of all ages to work off their holiday indulgences with a program of guided tours. Social distancing is required and masks and gloves are provided. Be sure to register in advance as spaces are limited.

Day After Thanksgiving “Walk It Off Walk” – Friday, November 27 – tour the Long Pond Greenbelt on a moderately fast-paced hike.

Annual Thanksgiving Celebration and YES! Walk – Saturday, November 28 – all ages are invited to tour Vineyard Field, right behind SOFO, with SOFO environmental educators. The YES! Young Environmentalist Society has their own walk for ages 10-16.

Full Frost Moon Hike – Monday, November 30 – join a leisurely one-hour hike in Vineyard Field to soak up some conversation and moonlight.

For additional hiking information, visit:

East Hampton Trails Preservation Society

Walking Dunes Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

Southampton Trails Preservation Society

Shelter Island trails

Shadmoor State Park

Where To Stay In The Hamptons
The Baker House 1650, East Hampton

Baker House

The elegant Baker House embraces the winter season with ‘Intimate Moments at Baker,’ a focus on togetherness and family. A striking bed and breakfast with architecture inspired by 17th-century Cotswolds, the Baker House was originally built in 1648 and has a storied history. Serving first as a residence for a sea captain, it later became a tavern, a meeting hall and a site for religious services before its transformation into a lodging establishment in 1996. Baker House provides a mix of refinement and comfort with indulgent amenities including an onsite spa. Popular during the colder months, Baker House’s fire pit is a go-to for guests to enjoy hot beverages while wearing inn-provided pashminas.

Baker House Guest Room

Southampton Inn, Southampton

Southampton Inn

Bring the whole gang to the Southampton Inn for a Thanksgiving mini-holiday with a special overnight package and a four-course turkey dinner at Claude’s Restaurant. But you’ll probably want to stay longer than one night at the family-friendly Inn which offers the personal attention of a bed and breakfast with the services of a hotel. The 90 guest rooms each have a slightly different décor. The inn’s restaurant is popular for its signature weekend brunch which features locally sourced ingredients. Bikes and helmets are available for guest use.

Southampton Inn Guest Room

The Ram’s Head Inn, Shelter Island

The Ram’s Head Inn

If you’re longing for an island getaway but don’t want to worry about changing quarantine requirements, the Ram’s Head Inn is the right place for you. Take your vehicle on the ferry, or hop the inn’s complimentary shuttle and go car-less. Shelter Island’s 17-room waterfront inn is distinguished by its relaxed yet luxurious accommodations and polished service. This season, the Ram’s Head has added four heated outdoor dining igloos and a heated cocktail igloo, available for two-hour bookings.

Ram’s Head Inn Guest Room

New American cuisine is featured with brunch on Sunday. A children’s menu is offered with early dining hours to accommodate families. Live music in the lounge on Friday and Sunday adds a festive touch.

Fall Art Installations in New York City

After a long, hot summer, it’s refreshing to stroll around the city, particularly when the streets are dotted with exciting artwork, some permanent and some temporary. While museums are slowly opening, these exhibits will help you get your art fix.

Harlem presents a new monument celebrating multiple African kings. Titled The Boulevard of African Monarchs, the piece was designed by New York artist Kenseth Armstead and is located at 116th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. A three-dimensional piece standing 10’ x 10’ x 10’, it was unveiled in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Boulevard of African Monarchs

Celebrating women for the first time in Central Park, the new Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument honors three New York women: Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony on Literary Walk at the Southern end of the Mall. The monument was unveiled in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The three women are shown seated around a table with Susan B. Anthony holding a “Votes for Women” pamphlet, Stanton holding a pen and Truth in the midst of speaking.

Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument

Also honoring women, a preview of the IF/THEN She Can exhibit is located at the Central Park Zoo. Starting with six, the exhibit will ultimately have 122 3D printed statues of notable women scientists. The pop-up preview includes Kristine Inman (wildlife biologist), Rae Wynn-Grant (ecologist), Dorothy Tovar (microbiologist), Jess Champ (shark researcher), Earyn McGee (herpetologist), Kristen Lear (bat conservationist). The project is a collaboration between the Central Park Zoo and the IF/THEN organization.

IF/THEN She Can

In Between is a new concept of video art exhibition where continuous artwork is displayed for 15 seconds every two minutes on a large digital billboard in the heart of Times Square. Starting with artist Ben Hagari, the first video is part of his pandemic-inspired “About Face” video series. Filmed in his home in NYC, the image shows a character, constrained by limited expression and space, trying to navigate daily routines. As conceived by Hagari, the faceless protagonist reflects the concealed images of people today wearing masks as they go about their business.

Ben Hagari “About Face” video series

King Kong has met a worthy rival with the new reclining gorilla sculpture by Gillie and Marc Schattner. In partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the artists hope to bring awareness about the diminishing population of gorillas in the world with their sculpture in Hudson Yards. King Nyani is based on the head of a silverback gorilla family and is the largest bronze gorilla statue in the world. Visitors are invited to sit in his hand, socially distanced of course. The sculpture sits in Bella Abzug Park.

King Nyani Photograph: Courtesy Gillie and Marc Schattner

NYC’s community gardens are fast becoming locations for some of the city’s most innovative and colorful art. As part of GreenThumb’s Art in the Gardens – Shed Murals project offering artists a means to display their art, the Flora_Interpretations mural by Rose and Mike DeSiano reflects the beauty of Manhattan’s Clinton Community Garden by two native New Yorkers with input from local residents.

Flora_Interpretations mural by Rose and Mike DeSiano

Also part of the GreenThumb’s Art in the Gardens – Shed Murals project, The Bronx shows off Vincent Parisot’s red, green and yellow wall painting of an agave americana plant, known as Athanatos in Greece, the home of the artist.  The name means without end, an allusion to longevity and to the love shared by the couples whose names and hearts are often inscribed on the leaves of the plant. Together, Athanatos for ever is in Jardin De Las Rosas.

A second mural in the Bronx, at the Jackson Forests Community Garden, Lady K Fever, Celebrations shows a group of people rejoicing over the creation of the garden with other images indicating planned garden features such as a pumpkin patch, a flowerbed and foliage displays.

Brooklyn has its fair share of murals in community gardens as well. Open to the public, Eden’s Community Garden is designed to educate neighborhood children about the benefits of growing your own food through gardening. The ArtisticAfro imagery on the shed shows a person holding a potted plant with a seedling inside supporting the garden’s theme of “Together, we will grow.”

Along the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Reverberation is a new large-scale installation by Davina Semo made up of interactive bells. Visitors are encouraged to ring the bells, calling up the city’s maritime history when bells were a key form of communication among ships and sailors.

Reverberation by Davina Semo

Queens has one of the city’s most intriguing art pieces, located at Beach 98 St. at Rockaway Boardwalk. A fascinating Corten steel sculpture standing 35 feet tall, Mother Earth by Kris Perry reflects architectural elements from temples, mosques, churches and Classical Greek buildings. Visitors can stand in the central space of the sculpture and look upward and outward in a moment of contemplation.

Mother Earth by Kris Perry Photo: Angus Mordant

Designed to reflect our changing times, the animated, augmented reality drawing Liberty Bell is being presented in six cities simultaneously, New York, Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia, Selma and Washington DC.  New York’s setting is Beach 108 St. at Rockaway Boardwalk and the Rockaway Ferry Landing. “Liberty Bell” was inspired by Philadelphia’s actual, cracked Liberty Bell and is a soundscape in 360 degrees that sways to the sounds of bells tolling in changing tones and rhythms. The full experience uses Baker Cahill’s free 4th Wall app with the viewer’s smartphone or tablet.

Liberty Bell

Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City is a favorite for cutting-edge outdoor art. Another timely tribute to today’s world, the art park’s MONUMENTS NOW exhibition seeks to address the role of monuments in society and commemorates underrepresented populations, cultures and histories. The exhibit evolves in three phases. Opening with commissions for new monuments by Jeffrey Gibson, Paul Ramírez Jonas, and Xaviera Simmons, the next two parts continue into the fall and winter with sculptures by additional artists as well as high school students.

MONUMENTS NOW

A timely visual nod to the country’s immigrant communities, The Immigrant Journey Past Meets Present in Staten Island also pays homage to New York Harbor. The mural and fence installation are located in Arrochar Playground. Artist Lina Montoya worked together with Sundog Theatre at the adjacent public school focusing on Ellis Island history and cultural immigration to create the yellow and blue design which features waves, mountains and stars.

Lina Montoya The Immigrant Journey Past Meets Present

A Weekend Away from NYC: The Hamptons

You may have missed last month’s premier foodie event in the Hamptons, the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs and Champagne tasting showcase, but there’s still much to sample for a weekend in the Hamptons at the tip of New York’s Long Island.

Starting with Art and the Great Outdoors

Peconic Land Trust

The Hamptons have perfected the art of the garden. And while most of the mansion have theirs hidden away behind their unfriendly privets, the Peconic Land Trust has created one that’s open to the public at any time. Bridge Gardens on Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton is the kind of oasis among the Hamptons scene that will make you rethink your plans, even on a sunny beach day. In this decidedly uncrowded setting of multiple flower and vegetable gardens you might feel that you’re in an English garden, one hidden and exclusively yours. In fact, you might have the gardens entirely to yourself, a rarity for New Yorkers. It’s a beautiful place to Zen out and ignore the Hamptons traffic.

Take Me Indoors, It’s Too Hot

The Parrish Art Museum

Museums also offer a respite from the summer heat.  The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill is one of the country’s finest, with a collection of art from local artists. The permanent collection is enhanced by frequently featured exhibits. This summer’s “live” Light Waves exhibit projects videos on the outside of the museum’s distinctive building.  A café and bookstore are welcoming and creative as well.  If you’re in town on August 21, a special Solar Eclipse program in conjunction with the Montauk Observatory will be hosted from 1-4pm on the museum grounds. In Southampton, the Southampton Art Center offers changing exhibits as well as other performing arts programming.

So You Must Be Hungry

Shinnecock Lobster Factory

Dining is one of the pleasures of the Hamptons.  Each town has its local favorites, some with outdoor dining.  For a quick lobster fix, the Shinnecock Lobster Factory in Southampton,  Bay Burger in Sag Harbor, and Canal Café in Hampton Bays have the best lobster rolls around.  At each, you can choose to enjoy your sandwich outdoors or indoors.

Manna in Water Mill

If you like Italian food, you can try secluded Manna in Water Mill or go family-style at La Parmigiana or the casual Paul’s Italian Restaurant in Southampton, where the heroes are large enough to be shared and pizzas by the slice include interesting versions such as Buffalo chicken. Yearling Doppio la Spaggia in Sag Harbor, and this year in East Hampton as well, serves up crudo, pasta, carpaccio and other Italian favorites, each with a special farm-fresh twist. Note: sit outside if you’re sensitive to noise. The North Fork has two Italian eateries worth traveling for: Grana in Jamesport is a rustic, inventive trattoria which plates whatever vegetables are freshest of the moment. Chef Marco Pellegrini of Caci has brought his Umbrian savvy to Southhold to a setting on a farmstead. Here, Chef has a kitchen entirely devoted to pasta making. His green basil tagliatelle is as close to Italian perfection as I’ve ever eaten. Wines, if not from Italy, are all from the North Fork and menus proudly list the local purveyors of the proteins and produce.

For breakfast, two standouts are Hampton Bay’s The Hampton Maid, an inn with a restaurant that only serves breakfast; nearby Orlando’s adds a bit of Costa Rican spice to the dishes at this homey restaurant. Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor is a popular choice for breakfast and lunch as well with Mexican-inflected dishes.

For a restaurant experience that’s more sophisticated, lunch at Sant Ambroeus, Le Charlot or Silver’s in Southampton is casually elegant with Italian, French, and American cuisines respectively.

Calissa in Water Mill

Among the newest restaurants in the Hamptons, Calissa in Water Mill and Kuzo in Southampton will keep you satisfied with their Mediterranean and Japanese-Peruvian flavors, respectively. Save these for a splurge, as the prices are as high as the quality. Book late for Calissa so you can dine to live music.

Wölffer Estate Vineyard

If you love wine, the Hamptons are New York’s answer to the West Coast. The North Fork has 43 vineyards, many of which offer daily tastings. Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Channing Daughters Winery on the South Fork offer two gorgeous settings where you can tour, taste, or enjoy an open-air yoga class.  Pick up a bottle of Wolffer’s acclaimed “Summer in a Bottle Rosé” at their new Drive-thru Rosé Stand if you’re short on time! Wölffer also has two restaurants, Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor and a new one in Amagansett, where you can sample their many varietals as well as enjoy their farm-to-table expertise.

The Maidstone Hotel

Don’t feel like driving? Have a taxi bring you to The Maidstone Hotel in East Hampton. The hotel offers a charming Scandinavian-influenced setting on the town’s historic mall. Here, you can spend the night, drink some fabulous wines and Aquavit, and enjoy the cozy hotel restaurant, all without worrying about joining the car parade on Montauk Highway.

Where to See Free Outdoor Art This Fall

Just because summer has sadly ended doesn’t mean that you still can’t enjoy some colorful outdoor art along with the soon-to-fall colorful leaves.

Many of these art installations currently dotting Manhattan’s streets continue through 2011:

More on Where to See Free Outdoor Art This Fall

Planning a trip to NYC?