Hamptons Spotlight


Hamptons Spotlight Congressman Tim Bishop:
Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook, lead Correspondent for Hamptons Mouthpiece, interviews Hon. Tim Bishop. Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook took time away from her incredibly busy speaking schedule to have a conversation with Congressman Tim Bishop on October 22, 2014 at his Patchogue, New York office. Topics of discussion included, Women’s Heath, Obamacare, Ebola concerns, LIRR Light Rail, Economic opportunities for Long Island and much, much more….
click on Video to view entire interview

Hamptons Spotlight: Ronald McDonald House of Long Island Project Design 2014 Last week I was invited to a special Bloggers day to see The Industry’s first permanent show house. Many designers from around the country volunteered their time, talent and resources to Phase II of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, Project Design 2014. The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island gives comfort and shelter to families experiencing the pain of having a sick child in local hospital facilities. A “home away from home”, the House provides the parents and siblings of these children with a temporary haven in a secure and comfortable environment among other families sharing a similar burden.

Project Design 2014 is a groundbreaking initiative in the design community created by KRAVET and Anthony Baratta, the original designer of the house and creative director for the project, New York Cottages & Gardens gave their support in this project for the house to receive a top-to-bottom makeover by leading design taste masters. There are many sponsors that made this project possible, some of those sponsors included Stanton Carpet, AERIN, Kravet Inc, Planet Fitness, Ralph Lauren, Accents et details, Avanti Furniture, Benjamin Moore Paint, Behr’s Furniture, New York Design Center,Serena & Lilly and many many more…

The Project Design program is the largest redesign RMH-LI has seen in its 28-year history. The interior design-led initiative began through a partnership with global fabric provider Kravet Inc. and NYC&G magazine. The goal was to provide a calm and restful healing environment for families experiencing the pain of having a child in area hospitals. More than $4 million in design, labor and materials were donated to complete the makeover of 42 bedrooms, eight kitchens, several common areas, laundry rooms, fitness center and meditation room. DSC_8498

During my tour of the showhouse, each room I visited I felt the love,compassion and complete joy that each one of these very talented designers poured into the redesign of their room. The passion and attention to detail was so prevalent that it brought tears to my eyes. It was wonderful speaking with many of the designers and listening to their reason for participating in this project was so emotional. To hear them tell me about their design and what they were seeking to achieve for the family that would be staying in their room was beautiful. One of my favorite rooms was designed by Input Creative. This room was designed for the inquisitive mind, the designer tells the story of an old japanese fable that shows a child going through a journey and coming out victorious. The room was full of bright bold happy colors, full of wonder to escape into a world of make-believe. There was so much creativity put into the design and I knew any family staying in this room would feel at ease after a very long day at the hospital. click on the video…

Libby Langdon’s Outdoor Lounge was of course breath-taking, it is colorful, happy and joyful. I felt relaxed and comfortable and the landscape design was perfect.

Libby Langdon, Outdoor Lounge
Libby Langdon, Outdoor Lounge

The collaboration of ideas are cohesive throughout the house. Each room is unique and has its own character. There is a room for every mood and that is what makes it so special. The organizers and designers really put their whole heart into this project, and you could feel it in each space you visited from the Laundry room to the Rooftop Lounge.

Rooftop Retreat..Suzanne Costa
Rooftop Retreat..Suzanne Costa

The Tower Lounge nicknamed the “Rabbits’ Run” designed by designers Danielle Colding, Drew McGukin and Young Huh was exactly what they intended the space to be, a place where families could bond and share in their healing process together. Both Children and adults can safety access a wonderland where everything makes complete sense. The designers created a setting not only vivid but also thrilling different from imagined places with each mise en scene delineated by surfaces painted and papered.

Dcdny, Young Huh,Drew McGukin Interior Designers,
Dcdny, Young Huh,Drew McGukin Interior Designers,
Their goal was to create a child-friendly, warm and hopeful environment for children to play and families to gather in a kind of sanctuary transcending time and place where loved ones share in the healing process.
Dcdny, Young Huh,Drew McGukin Interior Designers,
Dcdny, Young Huh,Drew McGukin Interior Designers,

The Ronald McDonald House will sometimes house families from other countries and designer Bonnie Steves had that in mind when she designed her Hello New York room. The colors were vibrant, bold and the room just made you joyful. The bathroom was playful and designed for both a child and the parents… Bonnie love of bright bold colors is displayed throughout the entire suite, from the lime green toilet tissue to the bright bold blue walls. She brought the NYC attractions in her art design on the wall to share with the families who might not have time to visit these attractions during their visit. What a beautiful gift to share with these families to help them escape from a gloomy long day and relax in this fun and playful place.

Bonnie Steves Interior
Bonnie Steves Interior

The stunning kitchen & dining area transformation at the 2014 Project Design Ronald McDonald Show House was created by Long Island designers Vasi Ypsilantis, owner of Poggenpohl Long Island and Margreet Cevasco contemporary space features several design and architectural details that accentuate the room and offer a dramatic outcome: the enhanced coffers created to offset low drop ceilings, energizing green wall color, whimsical chandeliers, cerulean sliding pantry doors that make a bold statement alongside classic white European frameless cabinetry and state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances.
Photos courtesy:Margreet Cevasco & Vasi Ypilantis36376597b70211a43305c6e26573f585
The kitchen layout functions to support both cooking, storage and eating at any hour of the day or night and multiple integrated appliances complete the design. Additional shelves were built-in to the expanded pantry so each family can store grocery items.The adjacent dining area with cozy banquette seating offers a soothing home-like setting that helps guests unwind and offers a moment of relaxation. “If we can allow families caring for their children in the neighboring hospital some comforts of home and a living space that supports them, then we have achieved our goal,” said Margreet Cevasco.b4fd0bde2800dbcba0d2a374577a0964

The Designer Showcase Open House is open to the public until Sunday October 19th 2014. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students and children under 12. The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is located at 267-07 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY. The proceeds of this fundraiser will ensure that RMH-LI’s programs and services continue to assist families in need, regardless of any financial constraints they may have. After the 19th of October, these rooms will be occupied with families and I wish I could be there to see the look on their face when they open the door to these beautifully designed rooms. May God help them through this very challenging and difficult time in their life. I pray that when they open the door to these rooms they feel the love and compassion that went into the design.

How can you help? Everyone can do something, kids can draw pictures for those children who are having a difficult time right now. The Ronald McDonald house could use donations either financially or volunteer. Please visit the website for more information.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Incredible Dads…I would  first like to say Happy Father’s day to all the Dad’s who are AWESOME Dads…many many men are unaware how to be a dad and miss out on critical years in their children life. I was blessed  to have met my husband, he exemplifies what a dad is. He is kind, loving, a strong disciplinarian, funny, childish, and affectionate dad. He is the dad that I wanted growing up, he never judges and loves unconditional. He communicates with our girls and subsequently they are so open with him about everything and never uncomfortable approaching any topic with him. He challenges their minds and makes them work to their full potential, there is no slacking in our home. Our girls are who they are today because of both of us.

Fathers Day is so much more than buying a gift, however if you must then make it mean something, it should say I was thinking about you and thought that you would like and appreciate this small token of my love for you. A Father’s day gift does not need to be grand or expensive, parents don’t expect that or require it. The reason why men never have the same drama with other men like women have with other women is because they keep it simple and stupid….This is the same philosophy that should be used when buying that gift for your Dad, Brother, Friend or Husband….SIMPLE & STUPID….Do you notice that commercials for men are always simple, stupid and funny…..they like that, it appeals to them….
Here are a few idea’s if you are in the Hamptons this weekend:KHL_1632

  1. I love the Kite and Toy Store in Sag Harbor..Kites of the Harbor, they have some of the funniest and unique items that I am sure a dad would love….
  2. Some Dads love video games: try the Game Stop in Bridgehampton
  3. Dads love sports try Olympia Sports in Bridgehampton or Gubbins in East Hampton or Southampton
  4. How about getting dad something for his bike: Many bike shops in every town
  5. Kayat tour for you and Dad…call Amagansett Beach & Bike see if you could buy a gift certificate
  6. Dads love Pizza…How about a gift certificate to a local Pizza Shop
  7. TJMaxx in Bridgehampton always has really great gift ideas for Dads: trying sticking to simple, funny and stupid…I promise you it will be a hit with dad
  8. bag of oreo cookies and Milk

Some websites for other crazy ideas:

I personally think dads just want to be appreciated for the day, a card, breakfast and spending time with the one he loves..

I am sure many of the restaurants will be open to accommodate for Father’s Day….I think we might venture out to dinner to see a movie and eat out today, with dad paying of course…..

I wish you all a great Day!!!

What would you do to study abroad? Read what this college student is doing to raise funds for her study abroad to France.

We all love our children and I am sure you are like me and would do anything for child, but at what point do we cut the cord. For my husband and I we pay the tuition, the car insurance and the cell phone bill and our Daughter Danielle pays for her school supplies and any living expenses she incurs. We help her if she really tells us she needs help. In January she presented this compelling letter to us with her interest in doing a study abroad for her major, we asked why this could not be done during a semester and she indicated that her major did not allow for a full semester study abroad. We explained to her that we did not have the funds to pay for this trip and thus she must seek new and creative ways to find funding for this trip if she really wanted to go. Dani was very open to taking suggestions and doing the uncomfortable and asking for help. Even if she does not raise all of the funds for this trip, the experience that she has learned from this process has been invaluable. Just because parents may have it to give to their children does this mean you give it to them without allowing them to put forth the work to carry out the goal.

Please help support this young woman…every little bit helps, even as small as $1

My name is Danielle Leggard and I am a Graphic Design major in my junior year of study at Purchase College. I would like to go to France for many different reasons but the most important is studying art in Antibes, a place where a vast amount of famous artist such as Matisse worked. When I was junior in high school I had the opportunity to spend ten days in France, six days in Paris and four in Nice. That trip was what inspired me to go on to study art in college. We visited the musée d’Orsay and the musée Rodin, both of which were awe-inspiring. When I returned home from my trip, all I could think about was returning to France once again to study more of the great artists I had come to respect and love. France is more to me than a beautiful country; it is a place of learning. This opportunity will provide me the chance to understand and delve more into the background of art that means so much to me. That first trip to France changed me into who I am today and I could not be more grateful.

Aside from the obvious love I have for the richness of the art, I have a fondness for the French language. I’ve been studying French since I was in the 7th grade and have never fully mastered the language. I firmly believe that being in an environment that immerses you in the language is one of the most helpful ways to learn, said language. Learning French is also something that would aid me in further developing my career as an artist. Art is a medium that transcends language barriers and social boundaries but if I could speak a language other than English, not only would that make me a versatile artist, it could open doors to allow me to work in other than English speaking countries.

Traveling is an expense not many can afford directly after college and the possibility of working in another country would be unbelievably exciting. This trip would be an incredible experience because even though I have been out of the country before, it was only for ten days. With the exception of my High School trip, I’ve never truly been able to see the world outside of my town and my life at college. College has shaped me and helped me grow because I have been placed out of my comfort zone and in an environment I had to adapt to. I’ve always loved who I am but I’ve grown to appreciate myself more because I’m shaping into who I’ve envisioned myself to be.Port-Vauban-Antibes-France

Antibes would be another growing experience, one I know would continue to help me develop and understand life outside my current experience. It’s a chance to learn about a culture that I’ve only glanced upon. I had been looking into being a Cultural Care Au Pair while living abroad as it was a new and exiting way to learn more cultures. While graphic design may not seem to directly correspond to painting, it does so in more ways then most people would know. Developing into a better graphic designer is not only based on how well we can use the tools we are given, (i.e. Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.), it is also contingent upon how creative we are. Creativity is a trait most designers have as well; to design something to be visually stimulating to create the impetus why someone would chose one product over the other. I am convinced that creativity derives from fantastic experiences. This trip would qualify as a great experience. I’ve learned in my past three years that for me to become a better designer I needed to study things outside my focus on graphic design. Not only does it make me a better designer to be able to weave design into my art, but it makes me a better artist as well.

People seldom think of designers as artists but we are vigorously trained just like painters and we apply similar techniques in different ways. I believe that being able to take the painting class that is offered for this study abroad will not only help define me as a designer but improve my functionality as an artist. This trip to Antibes, France has so much to offer me and I truly believe that taking this trip will structure me in a beneficial manner. I’ve dreamed of going back to France and once again feeling the terrifying exhilaration of being in the unknown but understanding that it will only affect me in a positive way.

What would you do to study abroad? Maybe you will gain some ideas from this creative College Student.

            Hamptons SUPER DAD….Last week I had an experience that I have to share with you, when I became Super Dad. I was on a line with 1000 teenagers. Literally. Let me explain how I arrived at that nightmare. On Friday, my youngest daughter, Allura and her two friends, Ana and Gabby were going to a concert in NYC. Something called HYPERGLOW. Say what???? I didn’t know what a Hyperglow was but Allura was excited beyond belief. Somehow, she had hoodwinked me into actually buying her ticket sometime ago. My more than frequent senior moment did not allow me to remember when I had actually bought the ticket but I knew I could use this generosity to my advantage sometime in the near future.


I am usually in the city during the week and Allura knows this. She was getting driven in by  her friend Gabby’s mom, Lorraine and somehow she assumed that they were running late. I got a call from Allura around 5pm and in her best TEENAGER FRANTIC ‘The World Is Ending’ voice pleads with me. “Dad, can you go to the concert and wait on the line for me, we’re running late.” Say whatttt????

So I replied in my best, ‘I’m not going to let her know I am rolling on the floor in laughter and disbelief’ voice say…. HECK NO!!!!! I’m not waiting on anybody’s line. ‘Aw Dad, Come on, PLEASEEEEEES!!!!” I stand my ground to the onslaught of pleads and empty promises. “No, I’m not going to wait on that line.’ Now before you cheer or call me a hero or a beast, I have to tell you it was a cold night. And I don’t wait on lines for anything anyway. Not Jet, Met or Knick’s tickets. I hear you snickering back there. Why would I wait on line for those tickets anyway, right? But I digress.

After the concert Vanessa and I were staying in the city anyway and during the time the girls were going to be occupied, Vanessa, Lorraine and I were going to have dinner and meet up with friends for some drinks. I decided to go to the city early and scout out where the concert was being held. Hyperglow, I found out, was this MAJOR concert that the kids like to attend because it showcases up and coming DJ’s. a major party ensues. OK, I have gone to a few of these in my life and I had already given Allura the Dad talk about what not to do and how to look for all the exits in case something happens, to avoid dangers, blah, blah, blah….. What can I say? She’s 14 and has to get her experiences in early before all the crap begins. I did my part.1560385_546797988769409_992134305_n

I drove up to 48th St. between 11th and 12th Avenue and saw the beginnings of a major line, snaking from the North-West corner of 48th St. around and up 11th Avenue. Oh, Oh. Allura may have been right that she and her friends were going to be in trouble. The line was forming fast. As I drove down 48th St., Lo and Behold I saw a parking spot. There is NEVER parking spots at this time of night. Now let me tell you; it was about 6:15 and parking begins at 7 but I kind of knew I was safe to park there without too much fear of a ticket or tow. Now if there was no parking, I could have gotten away scott free…..but nooooooo. There it was, ample room to park. As I got out of the car I glanced up to the sky and asked God…REALLY??????? This spot just had to be there, right? I knew the dye was cast. I was going to do it. I was going to be a KING SIZED SUCKER. I was going to try to wait on line.

I went up to one of the bouncers who really didn’t want to talk to me and asked him if I could wait on the line. Almost dismissively he looked at me giving me an ‘are you CRAZY’ look and said. The line isn’t here, as I looked at more than 100 insanely dressed and overly loud teenagers. ‘The OVERFLOW line is down the block.’ Oh, Oh. Did he say OVERFLOW?????? What the heck does that mean? Then I found out. Up 48th St., past the UPS entrance, there was some barricades set up and there were about a 100 more kids waiting on-line. Oh GREAT! As I made my way back to that line, I saw that it wasn’t that bad. It was close to the entrance to the concert and if I got on line, Allura and her friends would get in fairly quickly.

I asked another bouncer/security if I could hold a place in line, half of me hoping that he would say no. He said I could, so I took my place in line. There was a lot of security, all big men and no-nonsense. Some of the biggest humans I have ever seen. That made me happy. Security was pretty well-organized and well prepared for crowd control. It was 6:30 now.

The kids in front of me turned to look at me with that, ‘ are you kidding me look.’ I quickly told them ‘I’m not going in there, I’m holding a place for my daughter.’ I somehow felt the need to justify my being there to a teenage boy, who was taller than me, with acne on his face! I know I could take him in a tussle, if it lasted less than a minute, I knew I could. I don’t know why that thought crossed my mind but I felt defensive. My daughter was going to be around guys like this ALL NIGHT. I felt protective. The kid laughed and was really good-natured and said ‘ok, dude.’ DUDE! He went back to talking to his friends. The line started to form very quickly behind me. I had not called Allura to tell her I was on-line, just in case I wanted to bail out. Better to keep her in the dark. It was getting colder and I was not a happy camper. 6:45. Why am I on line with a bunch of POPULAR girls next to me. Every kid that walks by they know and it is an immediate eruption…“DUDE, you’re here, what’s up??? yadda, yadda, yadda.” Oh Boy!!! I called Allura to let her know I was on line for her and she screamed! ‘You’re the best, Dad’ was the nature of her  immediate response and I knew it to be true. As I basked in the glow of her love, the wind whipped up and I started to feel like I had made a bad decision.

The smartest thing I did was bring my Playstation Vita with me. I was able to play tennis and baseball to help me keep my sanity and my mind off the cold, cold wind. The girls next to me were talkative (well duh!) and I saw them past a inquisitive glance my way as if to ask, ‘what the heck are you doing here?’ I kept on playing. The funniest thing I overheard (and I heard some very funny things) was how teenagers use curse words. I started thinking… that curse has never been used in the form of a verb before but after considering it, I could see the usage. Teenagers curse every chance they get. It must be a status symbol or something, maybe a contest, who can curse the best, the most and without taking a breath! Too funny. I saw hook ups, cuddling but mostly I saw kids having fun. I didn’t see anyone drinking or smoking weed but I know it was abundant. I overheard the deals being made for distribution and how to get home safely. I heard girls critiquing what other girls were wearing or not wearing as they had on the skimpiest shorts I have ever seen in my life. And it was COLD!!!!! Ah, youth, you got to love them.

Finally, the girls that were right behind me couldn’t bear not to ask me why I was there. When they asked if I was holding the place for someone and I said my daughter….. DA, DA, DA DAHHH! I became an INSTANT celebrity. I transformed from grumpy, sketchy questionable grandpa to SUPER DAD!

“REALLY, you’re here in line for your daughter??? You are the SH-T!!!!”, I was told. I didn’t even mind that I was being referred to as a curse because it was a term of endearment. “My Dad would never do this” (maybe because he is sane). “Your daughter is the luckiest girl in the world” (I think I’m liking this now). “I want you to be my Dad” (don’t push your luck and be careful what you ask for, just ask Allura). The kids were really animated now and asked me where I was from. When I told them Sag Harbor, they really got excited because they were from Hampton Bays. We were neighbors and now they knew the depth of my ‘SACRIFICE.’ When I told them I work in the city and my sacrifice wasn’t so great, they looked at me like I was crazy for going to the city almost every day. Never-the-less, I was a full blown hero now. When I called Allura at 7pm for an update where she was at, she let me know that they were out of the Midtown Tunnel and coming up 12th Avenue and about 40th St. I knew my ordeal was about to come to an end but then the Hampton Bays girls asked whether Allura played any sports and when I told them she ran track and played field hockey, the girls screamed. These girls were on the field hockey team and maybe knew Allura. I asked them to talk to Allura on the phone and they commenced to tell her what a cool Dad I was. Street Cred! Laughing, they handed me back the phone and I could hear my daughter laughing hysterically. A miserable night had suddenly become a classic.

I saw my chance. I became Super Dad and I started talking to the girls and guys about the Do’s and Don’ts of hanging out at a concert (full parent mode but without the lecture overtone). They appeared to listen as I told them how to do things in moderation and safely. One girl said her father told her to never take anything synthetic. I told her that was a good start! They were all good sports to listen but I knew my presence had almost reached it’s expiration date. Quickly, I did what any self respecting Super Hero would do before he changed back into his secret identity, I took a selfie with the kids.kurt selfie

Allura really had a great time at Hyperglow and came back to us safely. I hope all the kids got home safely too. Especially the Hampton Bays girls. They were really great and fun to be around. It made me remember what I sometimes forget. This is the time of our kid’s lives and they must do the things they do. Fun is a key element to their growth and development, so is excess. In order for us to see the fun they should have it is important to step outside of what we normally would do and walk in their shoes. Maybe even, stand in line.