From Behind The Mic

Gianna Volpe
Photographer and RN Linda K. Alpern is seeking nurses to feature in her new book.

The Artists have beaten the Writers, the equestrians are chasing Sunday’s $300,000 Grand Prix, politicians are playing propaganda games with the Earth’s lungs, and this Southampton disc jockey is somehow successfully holding it together between half-hour interviews and 20-minute naps.

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying Tumbleweed Tuesday — that glorious Day after Labor when the East End traditionally receives a breather from the tourist swell — burns brightly on this brain.

There is never enough time for anything in August. But the amount of local art it holds is unbelievable.

On Monday, August 19, The Heart of the East End on 88.3 WPPB FM began with Full Moon Arts Center’s Ronnie Wiener, as well as Full Moon Art Collective power couple Jonathan and Ellen Pearlman, who had come on-air to promote FMAC’s first group show on view noon to 6 PM Fridays and Saturdays through September 14. I’d recalled seeing Jonathan’s work in an East End Arts show several years back and sat transfixed before we went on the air as he regaled us with stories about an idol of mine — and personal friend of his — high-wire wonder, Philippe Petit. How he’d watched Petit perform with Marcel Marceau in Washington Square; how Petit pens wires across mountain ranges in landscape coffee-table books; how he’d used a mixture of disguises and charm to gain access to military bases and other places Petit shouldn’t have been.

I recalled my father pointing out his signature on the outskirt edges of the Twin Towers’ top in 1999. It was a fleeting thought I’d have two years later as the iconic New York City skyline fixture fell into a mass of rubble, flames, and death, dawning a dystopian new normal.

On Tuesday, Sag Harbor registered nurse and photographer Linda K. Alpern flaunted a Rolleiflex in the studio and an impressive portfolio of black-and-white-film photographs that touched me deeply as a photojournalist. She showed painfully raw portraits of patients and even some of Tripoli Patterson as a tyke. I’d met him covering a story for the Sag Harbor Express as he opened his East Hampton gallery and felt wowed and cowed by his accomplishments, but mostly just inspired. “Add to Cart,” as a mentor of mine would say.
Alpern is searching for registered nurses to photograph for her upcoming photo book. You can become one of those nurses by shooting her an email at [email protected]. I sure recommend doing so.

East Hampton’s Eva Growney of Ensouled Hearts touted her mindfulness series, which she will be continuing at the Amagansett Free Library, when she stopped by WPPB on Wednesday, August 21. Joe Lauro and Gene Casey of the Hoodoo Loungers and Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks, respectively, came by Thursday to promote the August 25 Bash at Mash fundraiser for Sag Harbor’s Mashashimuet Park, as well as the season finale of Greenport’s Dances in the Park in Mitchell Park & Marina, plus the bands’ rare double-billing at “My Father’s Place” at The Roslyn Hotel.

Their interview was followed by a market talk visit with Hampton Bays farmer Rachel Bristel Stephens of Sweet Woodland Farm, and her 13-year-old daughter, Rayna, who makes gluten-free treats with her company, The Witching Well, as well as Modern Primal Soap Company’s Carly McCallister, all of whom can be found at a number of local farmers markets, including the Good Ground Farmers Market on Thursdays between 3 and 7 PM in Hampton Bays, across the street from the fire department. Since The Heart of The East End is brought to listeners, in part, by that market, I’ve invited vendors to stop in for the last three Thursdays the market is scheduled to pop up this season.

Friday’s Media Mavens discussion had a surprise guest in William Ris Gallery’s Mary Cantone, who joined the conversation with Indy’s own Bridget LeRoy and the East Hampton Star’s Chrissy Sampson Nower, before “Last Comic Standing” finalist DC Benny, aka Ben Wartofsky, stepped into the studio to promote the first of several comedy performances he hopes to bring to the North Fork at Erik’s Breakfast & Lunch in Southold. James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Erik Brown made Saturday night’s event dinner for a show with stand-up comic Kendra Cunningham where Wartofsky previewed material for a new comedy album.

North Fork Promotion Council president and local hotelier Duncan Kennedy, of The Duncan Inn in Jamesport, as well as gallery owner Alex Ferrone of the Alex Ferrone Gallery, also stopped in Friday, August 23, to talk about the first of three events sponsored in part by WPPB, the North Fork Art District Tour, which included a dinner and art auction at Southold’s A Lure Chowder House & Oysteria. The next one is set to occur September 15. Tickets can be purchased online at

[email protected]

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