The weather in the Hamptons might have been quite cold for the 2013 Memorial Day weekend, but a special bash at the East End hot spot Ruschmeyer’s (16 Second House Rd., Montauk, 631-668-2877) made things incredibly “cool” in a completely different way.
Hip gatherings at the hotel, restaurant and party locale are nothing new -- and on Sunday, hospitality guru (and a designer of Ruschmeyer’s) Robert McKinley threw a successful, season-opening soiree -- but this one was not just to entertain the many urban dwellers who have been migrating to this venue every summer since 2011. Instead, the focus was on supporting the Rockaway Plate Lunch Truck (RPLT), a charity McKinley helped develop.
A concept intended to provide relief to the Rockaways after the destruction caused by superstorm Sandy, the truck originally brought hot, free food to residents of the devastated region – but is now transitioning into a nonprofit enterprise that employs people from that area, while also acting as a food industry mentoring program. The truck was in attendance during the Ruschmeyer’s event (which was completely open to the public; no cover charge or reservations were necessary), as was McKinley and his partner in developing the RPLT project: Mike D of the Beastie Boys.
Mike (aka Michael Diamond), a legendary MC, Grammy Award winner and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, didn't put on any sort of celebrity airs – instead, Diamond mingled with the crowd, mixed with many guests, helped host the event (which included several long moments of him speaking on a microphone, giving fans of his music a dose of the “Beastie” sound and style) – and furthermore, he actually donned a wet suit and took a long turn as the target of a dunk tank carnival game. For $5 a throw, attendees could attempt to sink Mike .?.?. and many managed to do so.
In all, it was a day filled with the buzz of conversation, the eating of meat and vegetables cooked by the ‘Lunch Truck, Ping-Pong and craft beer -- as well as lots of reggae, funk and old school hip-hop music spun by the renowned DJ Stretch Armstrong. Portions of the proceeds went to both the RPLT and Waves for Water, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works globally to provide clean drinking water where it isn't readily available.