Story By: Edward Callaghan

The Builder To The Stars

Kelly Ripa

In the Hamptons when it comes to superstar builders the first name that comes to mind is high-end builder Joe Farrell who founded his Bridgehampton-based Farrell Construction in 1996 and has built homes for talk show host Kelly Ripa and hubby Mark Consuelos, actor Kelsey Grammer and his soon to be ex-wife Camille Donatacci and former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. Last year he made headlines when he completed construction on "Sandcastle," a 30,000-square-foot home he built on Halsey Lane in posh Bridgehampton, which is on the market for $59.5 million.

Unable to snare that price in the current economy, he put the gargantuan residence up for a very hefty rent. For a while there was a lot of buzz that the Jonas Brothers, the pop music superstars, were eager to move in. But despite the downstairs two lane bowling alley, a squash court, a professional spa, and a rock-climbing wall, among other amenities, the boys passed. Luckily, he found a taker willing to cough up the big bucks for a two-week stay this summer but quiet Joe wasn’t letting on who his high flying tenant was.

Thanks to the New York Post’s intrepid real estate observer, Jennifer Gould Kiel, we now know that the renter is a gorgeous, blond, single mom from Tampa, Florida, Cheryl Mercuris, who is not really all that interested in lolling on the beach or shopping in the chic boutiques. Rather, she’s on a real live man hunt and figures The Hamptons offer a few more choices than the Sunshine State. With all the investment bankers and hedge fund managers making the scene at the high end galas and restaurants like Nick & Toni’s, she figures her odds are pretty good. And even if she doesn’t connect this time around, the self made millionaire who grew a tiny direct marketing business into a mega company has plenty to fall back on. Besides she has her young son, nephew and her parents to keep her company and use some of those 14 bedrooms!

Winner Hillary Dobbs

Lou Dobbs With James Edstrom Recently

Making news of her own is Harvard grad equestrian Hillary Dobbs who as daughter to former CNN host Lou Dobbs is no stranger to the limelight, The 22-year-old native of Sussex, New Jersey, has become a major star on the Grand Prix circuit and it seems that every time she canters into the show ring, she walks away with a blue ribbon. Dobbs made Hampton Classic history by becoming the youngest ever to win the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix. She won the Grand Prix qualifier as well and kicked off last year’s show by successfully defending her title in the $20,000 Nicolock Time Challenge, which she also won last year. She won the Antares Style of Riding Award as well as both the National and International Open Jumper Championship at last year’s show. Winning the Grand Prix—which is a World Cup Qualifier—helped Dobbs earn her spot in the FEI World Cup Finals, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Despite competing in the highly competitive show for the first time and being the youngest competitor in the field of accomplished riders from around the world, Hillary finished in the top 20 in a field of more than 60 riders. Now the famed broadcast journalist’s daughter has the distinction of being the youngest horse-show rider to win a million dollars on the circuit. Over the weekend, 22-year-old Hillary Dobbs won the $30,000 Grand Prix at the Vermont Summer Festival. She snatched the title from Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward, who in 1999 had earned $1M by the age of 23. Needless to say, the horsey set is looking forward to her returning to this year’s Hampton Classic where she is one of several daughters of celebs who compete in the world class event – Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s daughter Georgina is a fixture at the event. Other proud parents who sit in the stands for two weeks include Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw cheering on daughter Destry and Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa rooting for daughter Jessica.

On Target

Bethenny Frankel

Ever since Target did a pop up store on a boat at Christmastime some years ago, I - like every New Yorker - have been awaiting the arrival of a Target in the city. Finally it has happened with the opening of an East Harlem location the other day. And boy, it was more like a red carpet gala then a hip discount store debut. Rich Hamptonites such as Russell Simmons, Jerry & Jessica Seinfeld and Real Housewives of New York’s Bethenny Frankel and such bargain hunting city folk as Gossip Girl's Michelle Trachtenberg , Kelly Rowland, 30 Rock's Katrina Bowden, Doug E. Fresh, Elizabeth Banks, Tyson Beckford and-Kelly Rowland trekked to East Harlem for their super-sized bundles of Bounty paper towels

In addition to the many celebrities that decided to shop around, those from the local area also dropped in to stock up and see the new Target. The draw was the limited-edition designer collaborations on offer for the opening by designers have Harlem ties. Target is donating 5% of its proceeds from the collaborations to local non-profits. The lines which will sell like hotcakes include apparel designed by local names Stephen Burrows and Isabel and Ruben Toledo and Spanish and Ebony greeting cards.

What took them so long!!

Big Money In The Hamptons

David Patterson

The Hamptons, in an election year, has always been a big old ATM since the days of Bill Clinton. No surprise that Republicans, Independents and Democrat's are flocking to the only place left where over golf or barbecue one can leave with a nice fat check. Unjustly embattled New York Governor David Paterson was working the private home set at intimate gatherings looking not just for money but for some solid morale boosting - ditto House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who has been receiving quite a drubbing from Tea Party activists. Pelosi spoke at a fund-raiser at the Bridgehampton home of author Domna Stanton attended by Paterson. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, an independent for the Senate stayed with one of the "Real Housewives of New York" stars while Crist and his wife, Carole, met with rich conservationists unhappy with BP's response to the oil spill which has not only spoiled the beautiful beaches, wrecked the livelihoods of the commercial fishermen but has taken a devastating toll on the wildlife in the region.

Carole, who was famously divorced from Blue Star Jets owner Todd Rome and quickly married Crist, is no stranger to raising money on the East End. She and Todd’s fabulous Southampton estate was the setting for numerous fundraisers for charities like the Red Cross.

The Obama's Support Broadway Talent

Barack Obama

President Obama and his wife, Michelle are among Broadway’s most prominent advocates and continue to do their part for the New York theater by showcasing Broadway’s brightest talent at The White House. This week East Hampton’s Nathan Lane hosted a concert series that featured award winning artists including Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald, Brian d’Arcy James, Chad Kimball, Tonya Pinkins, Karen Olivo and Assata Alston, and Westhampton Beach’s Marvin Hamlisch, preceded by remarks from the president. The concert will air on PBS in the fall.

Miracle House Cocktails

Joan Allen

Miracle House, a New York City charity that provides temporary housing, meals and advocacy to caregivers and patients coming to the city for critical medical treatment, will have its 10th Annual Cocktails by the Bay event hosted by Tony-winning and three time Oscar nominated actress and ardent Miracle House supporter, Joan Allen. The event will be held on July 31, 2010 at the home of Miracle House Board President, Gerry Logue, in Sag Harbor, New York.

The summer sunset cocktail party will feature cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music by Ludmilla Brazil, as well as exciting silent and live auction packages including fantastic trips and unique experiences. The evening’s emcee will be Fox News Entertainment Reporter, Bill McCuddy.

“Cocktails by the Bay is my favorite event of the season. It’s a fun night with family and friends on the beautiful bay in Sag Harbor where we celebrate the important work of Miracle House, New York’s quintessential hospitality house,” said Joan Allen.

Miracle House provides temporary housing, meals, and advocacy to caregivers and patients coming to New York City for critical medical treatment. Founded in 1990 by a small group of friends responding to the AIDS crisis, Miracle House now supports over 1,000 people annually coming to New York City for critical medical treatment. Many families that stay at Miracle House would not be able to afford to come to New York for medical treatment if not for our vital services.

For more information about Miracle House, please visit

Baby Boomers

Richie Havens

All you baby boomers and Woodstock veterans take heed, The NOFO Rock and Folk Celebration will take place at Peconic Bay Winery in Cutchogue on the North Fork (NOFO< get it !) July 31 - August 1. The lineup is straight ‘60s with Richie Havens, Mountain, Jorma Kaukonen and Devon Allman among others. Bring a blanket – there’s wine, beer, great food, vendors and even a fine arts & crafts area.

Deals & Steals Guaranteed to NOT Make Your Hamptons
Visit a Budget Buster

Dockers Lobster Platter

Everyone assumes that because it’s the Hamptons you’re always forking over big bucks – Not true. One of my longtime favorite hangouts has been Dockers Waterside on Dune Road in East Quogue. Beside its innovative outdoor “living room” (the brainchild of event organizer Sean MFK Bruns), great food, rockin’ music and the most glorious sunsets on the East End, Dockers is easy on the wallet.

Dockers very popular Lobsterbake Platter Special is one of the few bargains in The Hamptons. A two course dinner, it features house chopped salad followed by a ginormous platter of 1-1/4 lb lobster, clams, mussels, steamers, shrimp, corn on the cob and steamed sea-salted new potatoes. All for only $27.95! Local faves such as Paul Mahos and New Life Crisis provide the musical backdrop.

This year the owners brought back the "Original" Summer Friday Happy Hour. $5 drinks and $5 appetizers! What a way to kick start your weekend. The lounge is open, the deck bar is open, live music and a great deal for food and drinks! All drinks are $5 including beers, wines, mixed cocktails, margaritas, martinis, cosmos, and on and on........

Starting at 7:30, live music by Steve Strecker and Mean Machine continues the fun. If you have never seen Steve and his band perform, you're in for a real treat. Steve plays a wide gamut of material from Sinatra to contemporary to pop to dance. Steve is a showman like no other.

Throughout the week Dockers offers amazing specials making it the ideal apr├Ęs beach stop or a destination for a sunset dinner overlooking the water. Check it out! Check out their special promotions, dining options and music schedule at

Photos By: RD/Kabik/Eckstein/Walter McBride/Dziekan/Retna