It was a cold and rainy night.
Pardon the trite attempt at storytelling, but it really was a cold and rainy night. Fall was performing at its worst on Thursday, October 3, when The Independent launched its “Tabling Time” storytelling series at Rosie’s in Amagansett. Despite the bad weather, community members turned out to eat, drink, and listen to stories about birth and rebirth, the assigned theme for the evening. Inside, the atmosphere was warm and sunny.
Chefs Leo Mamaril, formerly of Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Josh Cohen, formerly of New York City’s Flower Shop, offered a three-course prix fixe menu, which included a choice of appetizers (blistered shishito peppers with lemon; an heirloom tomato panzanella; and a massive Bhumi Farms kale salad), entrées (brick chicken, served with chive pancakes and an herb salad; swordfish with local vegetables; and roasted cabbage with gribiche), and desserts (ganache with hazelnut cookie and Joe and Liza’s ice cream; a caramel-poached pear with a quenelle of whipped cream). The menu, which included one drink, cost $55. Rosie’s will offer this prix fixe option for The Independent’s other upcoming storytelling nights, which will take place every Thursday in October.
Lynn Blue, of the Lynn Blue Band, shared a story about rebirth as a performer after a career in advertising. Blue talked about how she had always wanted to be a singer, and how a left-turn into a successful career as a copywriter had finally been righted in her later-life career. Bridget LeRoy, associate editor of The Independent, offered a humorous vignette about the birth of her first child, Georgia, and saving the afterbirth for posterity, a story that combined the passion of motherhood with the humor for which LeRoy is known. Actor Georgia Warner, LeRoy’s daughter, shared a work of fiction about caterpillars preparing to transform into butterflies, an apt metaphor designed around the theme.
While there were three assigned speakers for the evening — Blue, LeRoy, and Warner — a sign-up sheet was available for anyone interested in participating. Future events will operate much in the same manner, with assigned speakers covering a theme and time available for members of the audience to share their stories, too.
Montauk-based writer Laura Euler spoke about life after her divorce. “I miss my husband,” her story of empowerment began, which described the hardship after the end of her marriage, and how she was able to transform it. Spoiler alert: Euler no longer misses her husband. A member of the audience named Emma talked about her first experience using psychedelics, and how that experience had fomented in her a love for nature (she currently works as a farmer in Sagaponack). I read a story about the birth of my second child, which nearly cost me my life.
The intimate gathering felt like an evening among friends, even though many in attendance were perfect strangers. Over the din of clinking glasses (the pineapple-basil daiquiri offered at Rosie’s is irresistible), community members talked, ate, applauded, and sat in rapt silence as they listened to stories from their peers. It was a little bit of fall magic on a cool October evening.
Upcoming storytelling series themes and speakers include “Wisdom” with Alec Sokolow and Minerva Perez on October 10, “Love” with Monte Farber, Heather Buchanan, and Fred Raimondo on October 17, “Sacrifice” with Angela LaGreca on October 24, and “Death and Fear” with Taylor Berry and Gianna Volpe on October 31. The sessions begin at 6:30 PM, and the price, $55, includes a three-course dinner and a drink. Guests can get tickets at www.bit.ly/IndyStorytelling.