Super Saturday in the Hamptons: I Missed Kelly Ripa

I missed Kelly Ripa. After driving nearly three hours to a large field in Southampton with my best friend and a bag of trail mix to attend Super Saturday, I missed the most revered guest at the Hampton’s most charitable annual summer event.

Super Saturday is what it says it is: it’s a Super event on a day called Saturday where celebrities (like Kelly Ripa, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member (and Paris Hilton’s aunt) Kyle Richards, and Tiffani Thiessen) and a bunch of very charitable folk descend upon a lawn and shop, eat, and mingle for several hours—and then tweet about it later.

The best part. Well, wait, there are two parts:

1. Top designer clothes are sold at heavily discounted prices, à la Loehmann’s. Sant Ambroeus caters.

2. All the money raised via luxury raffle, expensive entry tickets, and on-site spending benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. This year, Super Saturday raised $3.6 million. 

But anyway, back to the main point: I missed Kelly Ripa. Most likely because I was too busy eating my second plate of Sant Ambroeus bow-tie pasta and/or surveying the line for psychic readings with Betsy Wahmann and/or devouring a corn husk.

The downside was that a lot of the designer clothes, such as Free People, alice + olivia, Diane von Furstenberg, and Intermix, nearly sold out within the first hour, and by hour we mean “ the secret hour,” when the people with VIP tickets were able to get into the tent at noon—60 minutes before everyone else—and snatch up all the really good clothes, leaving the ordinary guests with the not-as-good-but-still-fashionable clothes.

But that’s okay, because what’s one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure or whatever. Just when I thought I couldn’t find anything to buy amid the soggy, muggy weather in the middle of this field—I did. Hanging on a rack at the Junk Food booth was the perfect t-shirt: a bright blue Batman t-shirt.

And suddenly, all of my cares faded away. Like the fact that it was raining and we were going to drive back in it. Or that we were probably going to have stop at a gas station bathroom to pee on the way. Or that we ran out of trail mix. But most of all, I didn’t mind that I missed Kelly Ripa. And that made my Saturday a lot more super.

‘Real Housewives’ & ‘Gossip Girl’ Cast Spring for the Cure

One should never turn down an open bar for a good cause. On Friday, fixtures on the New York social scene turned out to the Chelsea Art Museum to celebrate Spring for a Cure, a philanthropic event benefiting the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. Gossip Girl cast members Connor Paolo and Yin Chang fraternized with host and Real Housewife of New York City Bethenny Frankel and cancer survivor Joey Smith (who delivered a moving speech about his battle with the disease). We didn’t only talk to attendees with their own TV shows, but check out conversations with Bethenny and Yin after the jump.

Bethenny talked to us about her new book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, and shared some words of wisdom of making it in the Big Apple and surviving the dating scene:

Is the book a huge success? The book was launched six weeks ago, and it’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week. Skinny Girl Margaritas, mentioned in the book, are launching in June in stores. I’ve already finished the second book, so I have three more to do for the moment. The second book will also be in the weight loss section, but it’s more recipes, and more of a cookbook. I thought about the way that you go into your closet and you think that you have nothing to wear, and this is what to do in your refrigerator and your pantry and how to build a kitchen, like you build a wardrobe. Most recipe books give your unrealistic recipes like coq au vin, or something that you’ll never want to cook. It’s really healthy, classic recipes, like lasagna, baked ziti, turkey for Thanksgiving. There are really basic steps, and they’re really accessible so anyone could do it.

What’s one piece of advice you could give to young, working women in the big city? You don’t have to know what your destination is as long as you keep moving forward. So you’re on the road, and it’s about the journey, not the destination. I didn’t know that this was going to be my life, by any stretch of the imagination. It all evolved, and I’m still in the journey.

What’s going on with you personally? I’ve been dating a lot. If I only focused as much on my personal life as I do on my professional life, I would be in love and have a child. It took awhile for me to get to a point where I was independent, and I couldn’t pay my rent two years ago. Now that’s all taken care of, I need to focus on my personal life. I have my press tour now, and I’m still traveling around the country for the book and the Skinny Girl Margaritas, so once one thing stops, the next thing picks up. The one thing I’m hoping for is to try to find some balance and perspective.

One piece of advice about dating in New York? The least interested party always wins. You have to be able to walk away from the deal. In business, you always have to be able to walk away from the deal, and it’s the same thing with dating in New York. And then you win.

Despite our attempts, Yin Chang (who plays Blair Waldorf’s underling Nelly Yuki on Gossip Girl) kept her lips sealed on the arsenal of GG gossip:

What qualities do you share with the adorable Nelly Yuki? When I was in middle school, I looked like Nelly Yuki. I had braces and glasses in eighth grade. Nelly is meant to show that you can still be cool and stylish and have glasses. There are those stereotypes about if you have glasses, you’re a nerd. Thanks to Gossip Girl and costume designer Eric Damon, he made the nerd look in. There are a lot of people now with big glasses.

Tell us about your favorite outfit on the show. We just finished filming the finale and the prom episode, and I love my prom dress. It’s apricot dress. Leighton Meister wears this beautiful one-of-a-kind black gown that I just loved. I also love the schoolgirl outfits, and how he adds color subtly.

Do you hang out with the cast? We hang out and go to parties together … we get ready at each other’s places. We have an amazing cast and an amazing crew, and we’re all like a second family.

Who’s the cutest boy on Gossip Girl? They’re all cute. I can’t choose. Penn is very sweet, as is Chase. He has this macho attitude, but he’s very sweet inside. Connor is so wonderful, and he’s the youngest guy. He’s cute in that little kid way. But I guess I look at all of them like brothers.

How do you deal with Blair the Viper? Leighton is an amazing actress, and as soon as they call cut, boom, all the jokes start. There’s no animosity whatsoever.

Do we ever find out the identity of Gossip Girl? That’s a little surprise in the season finale, but I can’t tell you if we do or we don’t yet.

Anyone you hope will make a cameo on the show? I’d love to have Sigourney Weaver on the show. She’s such a solid actress.

Dishing with Bethenny Frankel of ‘Real Housewives’

“There are rules!” warns Bethenny Frankel, as a waitress approaches our booth at the downstairs bar of Bandit’s, just across the street from her Park City home-away-from-home, Harry O’s, where her ChefDance dinner parties have been the top event in town for four years running. In case I forgot, we’re in Mormon country. “You have to order something to eat if you get a cocktail in a restaurant,” she explains.

We avoid the extra calories and settle on tea and a club soda with lime for her — fitting selections as we’re sitting down to talk about her new book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinny Girl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, her ChefDance rivals, and the oil-and-water drama on the upcoming season of Bravo’s addictive guilty pleasure, The Real Housewives of New York City.

How does this year’s ChefDance compare to years past? Has the profile risen after your stint on Real Housewives? It usually is 10 nights, but this year because I have a book coming out and my TV show, it’s only 5 nights. The concept is the same. Each night is a different celebrity chef. It’s a 4-course meal with 250 guests, and everyone is a VIP. Well, not everyone. You’ll have Paul Allen or Paris Hilton sitting next to a ski lift operator. This is the hottest ticket in Sundance by far. We had to turn away Slash. Last night, Andy McDowell and Cuba Gooding Jr. stopped by. And Woody Harrelson just stopped by. We’ve had Robert Redford, which is unusual because he’s not into Sundance for what it’s become. Eddie Murphy celebrated his Oscar nomination. Sharon Stone had a party with Tom Arnold on the same night that Mischa Barton celebrated her birthday. Kerry Simon was there from Rock n’ Roll Chef.

Give us the skinny on your book. It’s a no-nonsense, no-BS book that talks to every person. If Oprah and Britney can’t keep their weight down, how is a person at a Wal-Mart checkout supposed to do it? It’s ten rules, such as: Your diet’s a bank account so eat like the way you invest. If you decide to invest in a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast — it’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just that at lunch you account for that. In every situation, there’s a tool to use. If you’re at a Superbowl party, the tool to use is the “taste everything, eat nothing” rule. And it’s not that you shouldn’t drink, but it’s about what you should drink.

What should you drink? The Skinny Girl Margarita. It’s clear tequila, four limes, and a tiny splash of citrus. It’s going to be in stores in May. I did a deal with the people who built Skyy Vodka. Why should we take your advice? Well, I’m a natural food chef, I went to school for it. I was always the girl who would eat the steamed vegetables and would deprive myself and then eat everything in sight. So the more intelligent that we become, the stupider we become with dieting. The book is so stupid that it’s smart.

Real Housewives is back on the air on February 17. What can we expect this year? It’s a lot of drama. It’s not like Orange County and Atlanta drama, because we’re all seemingly a little more intelligent. We’re just really different from them. I don’t see myself going to someone’s house and slapping them, or having some bitch fight. It’s still five women, so you’re still going to have a lot of cattiness, but it’s just in a different package. You can’t write this stuff — it happens.

What’s the deal with the couple from Brooklyn? Alex and Simon? They’re like aliens — amazing to watch. But to their credit, they’re the only ones on the show who never said a bad thing about anyone else.

What’s the juiciest drama this season? I have a definite person that rubs me the wrong way. I have a moment with oil and water. I also have an argument with Jill, which is really unusual, because Jill and I are like family. I have it out with her. And I’m single this season. So that’s news. I’m sure a lot of people will have things to say about the fact that I’m 38, and I don’t have a child yet, and all I’m doing is working, and I’m probably too tough to have a relationship, and all that stuff. Which might be true.

Is that all stuff that you’re afraid people are going to say? Or people are already saying? I’m not really afraid. I don’t really give a crap about any of those things, ever. I am like, “Go big or go home.” This season, everyone knows who we are, so you don’t have to catch them up. It’s just like — GO. And it’s also double the episodes. So it was 6 last time and now it’s 12. You get a lot more bang for your buck this time.

How did the show change your life in New York? I was very nervous to do the show, and I kept turning it down for two months, and they kept coming after me. I mean, I could understand why because I understood what they saw in me as a person who is battling career and love. And you need that one, sort of, extra Sarah Jessica Parker character to identify with. Doing it, everything just exploded for me. It was the best thing that happened to me in my entire life. Do you see a spinoff show? I’ve been approached by a couple people about a couple of different shows. I can’t really talk about it. There is something in the works.

What’s the best part of being on the show? Being able to be totally yourself and honest and realizing that really is the best way to be. People that don’t come off well are people who try to manufacture who they are on TV. Or they get upset because they are not self-aware. They think it’s in the editing or they think, “That’s not me.” The viewer is really intelligent, so don’t underestimate that.

It’s real and it’s you. It’s like being on a blind date. You sit down on a blind date, and in five minutes, you pretty much have a good idea about who the other person is. People want to say, ‘Well that’s not my life, I do other things.” Of course that’s not everything. I drank 19 margaritas when I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, on someone’s boat. And I don’t normally do that, but I did it that time, and that’s true.

What’s the worst part about being on the show? That’s it’s totally toxic. Resting and doing yoga is not interesting to anyone. Things that sell are things that are dramatic. It’s literally like having a flashlight right on you when you’re crying or down, but you sign up for this.