Not gonna lie: We love Marders in Bridgehampton because, well, look at the place. Strolling through this gardening center is a bit like wandering through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, except there’s a lot more wisteria, heliotrope and Tuscan rosemary. Perhaps we gush a bit too much — we’re trying, really trying to be objective journalists — but seriously now. The one thing we can complain about: The pricetags! For every $6.95 little plant, there’s a $38,000 tree to match. That probably suits some Hamptonite’s exorbitant landscaping needs — just not ours.
Now, funnily enough, with all this talk about art…there actually is an art gallery on the premises: The Silas Marder gallery, started in 2005 by the oldest son of Marders owners Kathleen and Charlie Marder. This weekend, the gallery hosts The Big Show, which essentially will be a whole bunch of tiny paintings. (Is it just us, or does this sound a bit like the Springs Mystery Art Sale, minus art by 5th graders?) Some 52 artists were commissioned to make 8-inch by 10-inch paintings for the exhibition. The show’s opening is tomorrow (Saturday), from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., with music by the Peter Watrous trio from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. If you go, do NOT knock over any $38,000 trees.
Speaking of live music…
The sixth annual Montauk Music Festival is upon us. We like that this event, started by Montauk Sun publisher Kenny Giustino, involves the local business community. The opening party was last night at Gurney’s Inn, and 300 free performances are scheduled throughout the weekend at Zum Schneider, Gosman’s, the Sloppy Tuna, Montauk Manor and more (see full list of venues here.) The crowds that come to hear the music are a boon to the shoulder-season economy. Remember when the season didn’t start until Memorial Day weekend (or even Fourth of July)? Not anymore. “We have gotten to the point where the hotels are having a hard time sparing their rooms, because they’re booked,” Giustino told the East Hampton Star. “It’s all worked out, it’s a good formula — we had over 3,000 bands submit to be in it this year.” Local musicians Jim Turner and the Montauk Project are taking part, as well as out-of-town acts like Swamp Cabbage and Zebra.
When you need to fill your beach tote
The Haven Montauk hotel has a new shop called RM 09, which will carry “an eclectic assortment of apparel, beach accessories and even health & beauty aids,” according to publicist Steve Kasuba. Also, because we often find ourselves complaining that we don’t have enough cacti in our beach bags, the store will feature succulent plants from NYC’s Plant Shed. The boutique is owned by Eric Mourkakos (whose Greek family started Plant Shed), and is named after the reconfigured guest room it occupies. Among the brands it will carry is Indego Africa, which benefits female artisans in Rwanda. The store opens Memorial Day weekend.
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Correction: This post was updated to correct the beneficiaries of Indego Africa. They are female artisans in Rwanda, not Uganda.