For the July 4th weekend, offManhattan chose to brave the crowds at the beach rather than on the banks of the Hudson River this year. And while the three wimpy fireworks that we managed to see in the Hamptons were disappointing, the setting at Social Life Magazine’s Gatsby Under the Red, White, and Blue soirée was anything but.
Poolside, with Peronis in hand, we chatted up celebrities like Twilight star Kellan Lutz and 90210’s AnnaLynne McCord while MJ songs blared through the speakers. In the backyard of a 10,000-square-foot pink mansion in Watermill, we found out who used to bring a whip to set and the best place—we verified—to get breakfast in Southampton.
Read on to find out what guests had to say.
“This is my first time in the Hamptons, which is so beautiful and a great escape from LA. I’d recommend Georgica for dinner; the white truffle ravioli was the best thing I’ve tasted in a long time. I also lived in the city for four years, Williamsburg for a year and half—they have the most amazing sushi restaurants. There is one off Bedford and 7th that I think is called Mizu. And on the subject of being green, I’m obsessed with recycling, I think it’s one of the easiest things we can do. On the set of 90210, I run around and take bottles out of the trash cans. Initially, they didn’t have recycling at all. I started bringing garbage bags like I was homeless. People know they’ll get it from me if they don’t recycle. Last year I had a whip. We are creating the environment our children will live in. So think about that.” —AnnaLynne McCord, actress, 90210
“Hamptons is a great weekend getaway to the beach, but it’s also a relaxing place to tour around and be anonymous—most of the time. And yes, I think being environmentally conscious is incredibly important. I do want to get more involved in charity work. I was just in Cape Town for a project, and it really opened my eyes to a lot of things.” —Kellan Lutz, actor, Twilight
“We are here in the Hamptons throughout the summer maybe four or five weekends. Seth Levine at Georgica is doing a great job there and you can’t miss places like 75 Main. We’ve been on the show for two seasons, and people say, ‘Why are you on the Real Housewives of New York City if you live in Brooklyn?’ And we have to say ‘Well, look, Brooklyn is part of New York City.’ Inner city Brooklyn areas are like the 21st century Westchester. People aren’t escaping now to the suburbs, because they don’t need to. There are great private schools, fabulous houses, great French restaurants, mom and pop stores, and the quality of life is really improving as it should. Brooklyn, in a way, is going through what Tribeca has gone through and the other neighborhoods [in Manhattan]. Williamsburg is either Hasidic Jews or young, hip, trendy designers living in lofts and so on. Brooklyn has so much to offer.” —Simon van Kempen, Real Housewives of New York City
“People in Manhattan never go to Jersey City. In downtown Jersey City, we’ve got Marco & Pepe, we got the Sand Bar, a brand new beer garden, where I got a ginormous jug of great beer for ten bucks. All of it’s right there. Take the Path train, costs half of everything else. It’s $1.75 for the PATH train, running every half hour, especially in late night. For the Manhattanite who doesn’t want to go to the Hamptons for the weekend, they should go to Central Jersey. Take the train to New Brunswick and for $75 dollars, guarantee it’ll be a great time outside the city. It’ll be like the whole town of SoHo—and you don’t need a car.” —Marcus “DJ Marvilous” Malloy
“In NASCAR, we work on a lot of technology to help increase fuel mileage. The transfer to full green technology won’t happen for a while, but we’re trying to do what we can now. I actually don’t like driving in the Hamptons because people don’t have patience. On the racetrack, people have more patience, seriously. I say go for a nice bike ride. One of my favorite places to go in the morning is go to The Village Cheese Shop in Southampton. I get a full wheat wrap with egg whites, turkey, avocado and low fat Swiss cheese and then they grill it. I get a cup of coffee and sit on a bench outside and watch the cars drive by.” It’s sentimental to me because I grew up going there.” —NASCAR Development Driver, Tim George Jr.
The co-founder and editor-at-large at offMetro, Lauren is a sustainable travel specialist and freelance journalist with frequent bylines in National Geographic, Bicycling Magazine and Shape. Follow Lauren’s adventures at @laurenmati.