August Fun

August 9, 2010 | Leave a Comment

At Justin's
Click here for recent pictures !
We’ve been enjoying the quietness after the Clinton madness in town. Orla and Eoghan have been hanging out with their friends Kayla and Isaac, and spending more time at the local swim club. One night there was a clambake there, and they had a fun time trying the different foods, and entering the karaoke competition. We’ve also been hitting some movies, with the most recent being “Despicable Me” which they saw with their babysitter, Jenna. (10/10 was their rating).
On Saturday we went to a party that Justin hosted at his house to raise awareness for The Anderson School and its mission of autism care. It was great to see some friends there, including Morgan and Jenn, and the fact that it was for a good cause made it even better. Seamus, Ivana and Barbara weren’t able to make it on Saturday but came to us instead on Sunday, when we all had a hilarious afternoon.




August 4, 2010 | Leave a Comment

I added some pictures from our 10th wedding anniversary party, last July. Click on the photos link on the right, or the July 2009 link on the left. I’ll add some more photos to the photo collection page, so keep an eye out on it…

The lads in the courtyard

Kevin and Roberto were some of the folk who joined us last July



A Damp Squib

August 2, 2010 | Leave a Comment

Thankfully town is pretty much back to normal. From Tuesday last week through Sunday Rhinebeck was mobbed with reporters. At first they were desperate to drum up a story until, by virtue of their mere presence, they had artificially created one. Then, by the weekend, they were searching everywhere for celebrities. As it turned out, there were almost none to be seen. On Friday afternoon Bill Clinton came into town for a short stroll, followed by lunch at Gigi’s. Rumor has it that he’s friends with the restaurant’s owner, Laura Pensiero. Personally, I think Gigi’s went downhill after the original owner, Gianni Scappin (he of ‘Big Night’ fame), who had named it after his father, cut his ties, and I eat there only very rarely nowadays, but there you go. It’s clearly good enough for Bill Clinton, but as for me, I prefer Terrapin.

After Bill’s walkabout, the media were on tenterhooks – who would they get to see checking in at The Beekman Inn ? Would it be Oprah ? Stephen Spielberg ? Bono ? Alas, no. The assembled journalists and news crews, it seems, were wasting their time. All they managed to see was a bunch of B-listers. Ironically, none of the reporters or photographers appeared to notice a white limousine that drove by slowly, en route to the Astor Court, where the wedding was to be held. As the limo swung around the corner by the Beekman, I could see a blonde girl, who I am pretty sure was Chelsea Clinton, sitting behind the lightly tinted window and waving her fingers out through a crack at the top. I guess it would have been a newsworthy shot that day, given the lack of other sightings…

Speaking of the B-listers, I suspect that, if they had been expecting a happening weekend, many of them would have found the trip a complete letdown. For starters, they weren’t exactly brought to Rhinebeck in style. Instead, they were reportedly shipped in by…Peter Pan buses ! As for those who didn’t make the cut for the rehearsal dinner, well, at least they had a party at the Beekman to look forward to. It sounded like a lot of fun – hanging out with the prospective bride and groom, and the bride’s father, a real-life former President of the USA. Things must have been getting going, everyone all excited and happy – until Bill arrived with his secret service handlers. It turns out that he headed straight for the bar, and didn’t deign to mingle with the B-lister guests who were in another room. It appears that even Chelsea didn’t turn up, preferring, it seems, to remain hanging out with her friends, reportedly in nearby Rhinecliff. Still, at least those B-listers got to enjoy a selection of appetizers and some ice-cream ! That made the trip well worth it, I’m sure. Meanwhile, God only knows if there were any A-listers in town at all ! Maybe all would become become clear on Saturday…

Well, Saturday saw the actual wedding, but again there were no celebrity spottings – unless Ted Danson and his wife, or Madeleine Albright, get your juices flowing. Some of the B-listers joined us for breakfast in Pete’s Diner, where they left the impression that their spouses hadn’t been invited to the wedding. There may have been 400 invitees, but given that there are only 73 rooms in the Beekman and its sister, The Delameter Inn, they sure as heck weren’t staying in town. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there were only a couple of hundred guests at the wedding.

Eoghan and Orla, meanwhile, had had a great time in the run-up to the wedding. They spent several mornings hanging out with the news crews, making friends, having their picture taken, and being interviewed. Their Grandma Sue, too, was a trouper, taking them into town, and sitting with them for lunch at the Beekman on Friday in case they saw anyone famous, so that they could get more autographs. Unfortunately, the kids had to make do with TV personalities.

One ironic touch was that on Thursday Jenn had casually mentioned to a reporter that there might be a fireworks show, since her brother Justin had recently seen a barge, of the sort often used for pyrotechnic displays, on the river. The reporter called over her producer, all excited, and that evening reported that there was to be such a display. The next day, all the networks were carrying that story, and, on Saturday night, were reporting that it had taken place. Of course, the firework display never materialized !

It was a fascinating experience watching the media at work. There was no story until they manufactured one – well, they and the Clintons, who in their paranoid secrecy had whetted the appetites of the media. It was amusing to see a story in the New York Times late on Saturday, after the wedding, filed by a reporter who claimed that the people of Rhinebeck ‘shouldered’ their way into the wedding. Apparently, selling a few tee-shirts was unseemly, even if it was some slight recompense for the disruption these clowns had caused in town. It seems to me that his story was filed in a fit of pique since, in the end, there was nothing else he could report ! It’s interesting that there was no such hysteria over the wedding of Jenna Bush, also a ‘first daughter’. Could it possibly be that the media interest arose because so many in that industry, overwhelmingly liberals, are besotted by Bill Clinton and the Democrats ?

Finally, in the interests of journalistic accuracy – that $3 million number. Given that the venue was provided by a friend of the family, the transportation was by bus, there seemed to be far fewer guests than initially reported, and there was no fireworks show – well, I think that number can be haircut. A lot !