Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Velvet Rope
VIP scene with Freddie Wyatt and contributing writer Holidae Hayes

The summer began like a kiss from your aunt - too long and too wet. By July 4, the weather had turned steamy and so had the parties. In East Hampton, P.Diddy declared it was time to "Take Back the Hamptons" and he did in a big way. His party was the official declaration that summer had finally begun. Among the VIP-only packed house were Kelly Ripa, Kim Cattrall, Bruce Willis, Jared Leto, Carson Daly, Star Jones, and Washingtonians John Mason, Mike Saylor and Carolina Saez.

The next big weekend in the Hamptons began with the VH1 Save the Music Foundation party, hosted by D.C.'s own Jaci Wilson Reid and her husband Morris at their home. Jaci was as stunning as the sunset view. Fred Schneider from the B-52s clapped loudly as Hootie and the Blowfish band member Darius Rucker received an award for his work. The next night, Russell Simmons and his knockout supermodel wife, Kimora Lee, hosted the party of the season: a sold-out charity event that had people begging for $5,000 tickets just to be part of the scene. This event was set amid the amazing grounds of Russell's spectacular Georgica Estate home. Cedric the Entertainer and "Sex and the City'"s Cynthia Nixon emceed a crowd that included Kristen Davis, Chicago Producer Marty Richards, Al Roker, Blair Underwood, Holly Peet, Tommy Hilfiger and many more.

This year, the Hamptons were back bigger than ever. Friday nights at Cabana, Saturdays dancing in the all-VIP club Boutique with photographer Peter Beard enticing the crowd, and Sundays at Sunset Beach. The pilgrimage to St. Tropez and the South of France continues to enchant-especially late nights at Jimmy's and Cave de Raj, but this summer the U.S. held its own!

For urbanites who preferred to swelter in the city, there were some signs of life in a typically slow period. In D.C., we finally got a new club, "Air," an ambitious open-air project located in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Air has enjoyed a nice success, which we hope continues into the fall.

In Manhattan, Cielo reigns supreme in the meatpacking district, while Sesso also continued to pack them in. For those looking to recreate some good times at the old Spa, it recently reopened as Plaid. For New Yorkers in search of a good legal smoke, the Deck at Chelsea Piers provides some nicotine relief and chainsmoking models galore. In L.A., the voyeurs and celebrities alike continued to enjoy the visual feast at Forty Deuce. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Ashton Kuchner and Demi Moore were all regulars at Koi, Macional and the Lounge. But White Lotus emerged as the hottest star in Tinseltown.

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