Amber, the Media Star and Hamptons Socialite
Our Pomeranian Amber was a media star and a socialite. And her career started all because her Daddy was hungry.
In 2007, Plum TV was on the air in the Hamptons. Every Saturday and Sunday morning during the summer, it filmed a program on the grounds of the Bridgehampton Historical Society called the “Morning Noon and Night Show.” The show, which was modeled on “Good Morning America” and “Today,” was an outdoor salon of some of the most fascinating people in the Hamptons and was open to the public. Authors, artists, musicians, chefs, politicians, journalists, fashion designers, philanthropists, financial experts, newsmakers, and athletes all came on the show to be interviewed by the hosts, and then stayed to mingle with the audience.
Enticed by a sign on the Society’s grounds advertising “free food” at the filming, Amber’s Daddy brought her in her doggie carriage to watch the filming of the “Morning Noon and Night Show” during Memorial Day weekend. Thereafter, Amber and her Daddy attended the show every Saturday and Sunday morning, and they soon became regulars. Amber’s picture was featured on the Plum TV website and the Plum TV cameras often filmed her in her signature carriage during the show’s intermissions. The Plum TV crew treated Amber as if she were a celebrity, and virtually every one of the show’s guests paid a visit to Amber sometime during their stay on the set.
Amber met many celebrities at the show that summer, ranging from Carl Bernstein to Judith Miller to Sir Ivan. After she had finished her interview with the Plum TV host, Dylan Lauren brushed aside a number of people just so she could say hello to Amber. Unless there was a distraction, such as another dog or loud music or the guest who brought birds of prey to the set, Amber sat quietly in her carriage watching the show. With few exceptions, Amber treated everyone equally, whether they were a famous author or a blogger on the internet.
Possibly with Amber in mind, Plum TV sponsored a “dog of the month” contest. All of Amber’s friends voted for her, and she won in a landslide. As her prize, Amber was featured in a “dogumentary” in which she modeled clothing at her Aunt Pat’s store, Little Lucy’s Canine Couture in Southampton. The filming occurred on the hottest day in August, and Amber was a trouper. As Plum TV repeated the summer’s Morning Noon and Night Show programs throughout the winter, people would tell Amber’s Daddy the following March that they had just seen Amber on television.
For some reason, Amber’s media career took off after her dogumentary. She appeared in a You Tube video for Mickey Paraskevas and was filmed eating at Pierre’s in the opening of each episode of Dylan Richards’ series “Dylan’s Lunchbox.” Amber’s Daddy wrote a book about Amber, which earned her an appearance on a local television show about animals hosted by Jewel Morris. Amber was also filmed for a segment of “The Real Housewives of New York City” at an ARF Stroll to the Sea, and her photograph could be found both in Newsday and Page 27 of Dan’s Papers. She was photographed on a bicycle at c/o The Maidstone for dog trainer Lisa Hartman’s book “Hampton Dogs,” a Patrick McMullan photographer took her picture at a cocktail party hosted by Chuck Scarborough at his Southampton home, and Amber was in a photograph that was part of an exhibition of dog photographs at Hampton Library. Southampton mosaics artist Linda Purrazzella created a larger than life mosaic portrait of Amber, and another artist painted Amber in oil from a photograph shot in Southampton.
Following her summer on the Plum TV set, Amber’s social schedule also grew more hectic. Amber was a fixture at many East End walks, Halloween parades, parties, and photo shoots, and especially those hosted by ARF, Southampton Animal Shelter, Bideawee, and Kent Animal Shelter. Indeed, Amber’s Bark Mitzvah was at the ARF Stroll to the Sea last year. Amber loved horses and horse events, and saw the Olsen twins at the Hamptons Classic and Donald Trump ride in a Mercedes in front of her at a polo match in Bridgehampton. She attended many art exhibits, crafts fairs and cocktail parties, celebrated a birthday party at a short-lived doggie sorbet shop in East Hampton, rode in an electric boat on Lake Agawam, was part of a dog-friendly communal dining event in Bridgehampton that set a record in the Guinness Book of Records, went to the movies at Coopers Beach and Marder’s, and even attended the Food Truck Derby at the Hayground School.
Inspired by her time spent on the Plum TV set, Amber had a nose for finding celebrities on the street. Among the people she got to meet were Jonathan Adler at his pop-up store in East Hampton, Judith Ripka at 75 Main, and Anne Hampton Callaway at The Frisky Oyster, not to mention Isaac Mizrahi, who was at her Bark Mitzvah.
Amber enjoyed walking the grounds of the Village Latch, and she also stayed at c/o The Maidstone, the Topping Rose Inn, the Montauk Yacht Club and, surreptitiously, the Montauk Manor. She was aware of every store that handed out free dog treats, and regularly visited Hildreth’s and J. McLaughlin in Bridgehampton which always had cookies. Amber’s taste in restaurants in the East End was eclectic, and she was just at home at Sant Ambroeus in Southampton as she was at the Dock in Montauk. Amber probably visited every dog-friendly restaurant from Montauk to Westhampton Beach, and was invited to eat inside of two of those restaurants.
While Amber was largely a Hamptons socialite, she enjoyed the North Fork as well. Amber loved visiting the animals at Martha Clara Vineyards (and especially the emu at which she always screamed), conversing with the goats at Tea Time Cottage in Riverhead, telling Santa Claus at his Christmas Tree Farm in Cutchogue what she wanted for Christmas, and eating her favorite cookies baked by Junda’s Pastry Shop in Jamesport. She also loved Montauk before it became chic, and Gosman’s Dock and a now-defunct store named Willow were always on her agenda there.
Although she was a media star and a socialite, Amber was not a social snob. One of her best friends was her Daddy’s barber Leo of Bridgehampton, but she wanted nothing to do with a prominent magazine editor she met on the Plum TV set.
Amber was the perfect media star and socialite. She never made any bad headlines, appeared at most of the dog-friendly charitable events, and was never thrown out of a restaurant for any reason other than for her being a dog. Even when she was not permitted to eat in a restaurant by a dog-unfriendly restauranteur, she never complained. She was never found inebriated in public, and she never ran over anyone with a vehicle. She wore the finest, most stylish dog clothing. She always smiled and posed for photographers and never shouted an obscenity at a paparazzi. As far as it was possible to tell, she never said a bad word about anyone in public.
Amber knew she was special and beautiful. Last year, she was in a Christmas photo shoot at the Hotel Indigo in Riverhead sponsored by the Kent Animal Shelter. She wore a frilly dress, and sat on a couch peering down at the other dogs as if they were her subjects. She had style and presence and she knew it.
Amber passed away earlier this year. As her Aunt Pat wrote on her Facebook page, Amber lived a “spectacular life.” And much of her “spectacular life” started when her Daddy decided that he wanted some free food on the grounds of the Bridgehampton Historical Society.