Sunday, 6 August 2017

Swanning Through the Hamptons (and Talking Trump) With Alec Baldwin

alec baldwin and his wife hilaria  at a party for the Hampton Film Festival

Saturday in the Hamptons, the hedgerows are trimmed, the hydrangeas are bushy, and the sun is at peak performance. Outside Jack's Stir Brew Coffee in Amagansett, a group of men and women in luxury sportswear are gathered, and the air fills with the soothing sound of high-end gossip. Chappaqua … We stayed there … His first wife … Adirondack chairs … The best … Chappaqua.

But all is not right with the world, one is reminded, as a new figure trudges up the path. It's Alec Baldwin, clad in a navy-blue blazer, a grim look on his face. The smooth jazz of conversation slows, then stops.

As in the city, the unspoken rule out here is that celebrities are to be left alone, but as Baldwin approaches the door, one of the women leans over and addresses him with profound urgency. "Saturday Night Live," she blurts wildly. "It needs to come back early. We need you!"

An eternal second passes as everyone registers the breach of protocol. Probably it will be okay, they hope. Out here, Baldwin isn't a celebrity. He's one of them. A figure in the community. A player of charity softball games, an actor in local theater productions, a supporter of Guild Hall and other area cultural institutions. This very night, in fact, he's attending an event for the Hamptons International Film Festival, a cocktail party and screening for Trophy, a documentary on lion and rhinoceros hunting. Then again, he is also known for his irascibility, especially when it comes to his privacy. He once wrote a letter to the local paper decrying "vermin" who "casually invade the privacy of people out in public" by taking constant photos. At 59, he's not unlike a rhino: cute from a distance, but up close, prone to goring.

Not today. Baldwin manages a half-smile and a nod before beelining into the coffee shop. This is something he gets a lot, he says as he studies the bagel selection, people imploring him to impersonate Trump like it's his patriotic duty, especially these days, with Saturday Night Live on hiatus and the world where Donald Trump is president maddeningly continuing to spin. "It's a narcotic for people," he says. "Not just me but anyone who does anything that mocks Trump. It kind of assuages their fear and anxiety."

Baldwin's tone suggests he may not entirely approve of this kind of soporific indulgence. "The amusement factor, that's gone now," he says sorrowfully as he moves down the line, bagel in hand. They're out of lox; he opted for the Mediterranean tuna salad.

"It's just a nightmare, a living nightmare." At the register, Baldwin picks up a paleo cookie. "He's like a guy who is, like, 'I would rather crash the plane into the ground than have the wrong people get their hands on it,' " he says of Trump. "It's like a suicide mission, but the government is the vehicle." He grabs a second paleo cookie. Why not? We're all going to die anyway.

Baldwin has threatened to quit playing Trump in the past, citing, among other things, the physical toll the lip-puckering has taken. But he's signed up to make several appearances this fall season. It's a "yuge success," he says. (He's also writing — with Kurt Andersen, former editor of Spy — a satirical book in the voice of Trump.)

Plus, he points out once we're seated at a picnic table, he doesn't have to dig deep into his bag of acting tools. "It's not some finely etched rendering," he says. "It's like a Patrick Oliphant or Barry Blitt caricature." It's the kind of reference you might make if you were doing a caricature of Alec Baldwin.

Given his antipathy for the 45th president, it feels awkward to mention it, but one reason Baldwin might find it easy to slip into the soul of Trump is that they have a lot in common, starting with their pronunciation of the word yuge. Two New Yorkers who found success in Manhattan in the '80s and became creatures of tabloids, thanks to their marriages to and messy divorces from glamorous blondes. Like Trump, Baldwin is a blusterer, a brawler, whose willingness to take on even the puniest of enemies (he recently got into it on Twitter with, as he put it, a "bitter and obscure" Trump impersonator). He seems to feel perpetually misunderstood, particularly by The Media, which on the whole adores him but to his mind invariably fails to treat him with respect. I end up mumbling something about how Baldwin must have an understanding of Trump's milieu. Manhattan is a small island; the one they reside in is even smaller.

But according to Baldwin, they barely interacted. "No one knew him," he says, tearing open a paleo cookie. "I always say Trump survived in New York because no one was close to him. He was never a dinner guest; he was never a tablemate. You never sat down and talked to Trump about what was on his mind. He was a drive-by figure. He had the tux on, photo, photo, photo. Then he was gone. And he could do that, because making money in New York matters."

He's animated. "Many people I know feel with Trump that something is wrong with him neurologically, psychologically. That may be so.
But I think more than anything, he doesn't think things through. He ran for president out of spite, and he won because it's rigged. And now he's miserable." He unwraps the second cookie. "Now people spit on him and mock him, and his supporters are not his crowd. What is he going to do, go to a barbecue in West Virginia every day with a bunch of unemployed people?"

Over the years, Baldwin has threatened to run for various political offices, but it hasn't happened. In his memoir, which came out this spring, he suggests that shame over some of his behavior — specifically, an audio recording of a nasty voice-mail he left his older daughter, leaked to the press in 2007 by, he claimed, his ex-wife and her lawyer — may have been a reason.

Now that recent events have indicated unflattering leaked audio recordings are no barrier to the highest office in the land, will he change his mind? "I'd consider it if I thought I'd win," he says. "But I think Trump is going to slam the door on nontraditional candidates." A bigger obstacle is his new family. Like Trump, Baldwin ended up marrying a younger brunette, Hilaria, a now-33-year-old yoga instructor with whom he has three children under the age of 4. "She has already told me she doesn't want to put our kids through that," he says.

His phone buzzes. Hilaria's picture appears on FaceTime, and while I can't be positive, I think I see Baldwin sneak the cookie wrapper off the table before answering. They make arrangements to pick her up for the Film Festival event, where most people, he expects, will want to talk to him about Trump. "I don't think he's going to make it till the end of the year. I think he can't take the ridicule. I think he'll resign."

Come fall, he'll be doing his part to make that happen, but to his fans, it's not nearly soon enough. At the party that night, I see a woman approach him. "I'm really glad to see you," she says. "But I wish you were on Saturday Night Live tonight."

*This article appears in the August 7, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

*Washington Township is a township in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 687[8][9][10] reflecting an increase of 66 (+10.6%) from the 621 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 184 (-22.9%) from the 805 counted in the 1990 Census.[18] Washington was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on November 19, 1802, from portions of Evesham Township, Little Egg Harbor Township and Northampton Township (now known as Mount Holly Township, New Jersey). Portions of the township were taken to form Shamong Township (February 19, 1852), Bass River Township (March 30, 1864), Woodland Township (March 7, 1866) and Randolph Township (March 17, 1870, reannexed to Washington Township on March 28, 1893).[19][20] The township was named for George Washington, one of more than ten communities statewide named for the first president.[21][22] It is one of five municipalities in the state of New Jersey with the name "Washington Township".[23] Another municipality, Washington Borough, is completely surrounded by Washington Township, Warren County. Contents 1 Geography 2 Demographics 2.1 Census 2010 2.2 Census 2000 3 Government 3.1 Local government 3.2 Federal, state and county representation 3.3 Politics 4 Education 5 Transportation 6 References 7 External links Geography According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 102.706 square miles (266.006 km2), including 99.522 square miles (257.761 km2) of land and 3.184 square miles (8.245 km2) of water (3.10%).[1][2] The township borders Bass River Township, Shamong Township, Tabernacle Township and Woodland Township in Burlington County; and Egg Harbor City, Hammonton and Port Republic in Atlantic County.[24] Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Batsto, Bear Swamp Hill, Bridgeport, Bulltown, Crowleytown, Friendship Bogs, Green Bank, Hermon, Hog Islands, Jemima Mount, Jenkins, Jenkins Neck, Lower Bank, Mount, Penn Place, Pleasant Mills, Quaker Bridge, Tylertown and Washington.[25] The township is one of 56 South Jersey municipalities that are included within the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, a protected natural area of unique ecology covering 1,100,000 acres (450,000 ha), that has been classified as a United States Biosphere Reserve and established by Congress in 1978 as the nation's first National Reserve.[26] All of the township is included in the state-designated Pinelands Area, which includes portions of Burlington County, along with areas in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Ocean counties.[27] Demographics Historical population Census Pop. %± 1810 1,273 — 1820 1,225 -3.8% 1830 1,315 7.3% 1840 1,630 24.0% 1850 2,010 23.3% 1860 1,723 * -14.3% 1870 609 * -64.7% 1880 389 * -36.1% 1890 310 -20.3% 1900 617 99.0% 1910 597 -3.2% 1920 500 -16.2% 1930 478 -4.4% 1940 518 8.4% 1950 566 9.3% 1960 541 -4.4% 1970 673 24.4% 1980 808 20.1% 1990 805 -0.4% 2000 621 -22.9% 2010 687 10.6% Est. 2014 673 [11][28] -2.0% Population sources:1810-2000[29] 1810-1920[30] 1840[31] 1850-1870[32] 1850[33] 1870[34] 1880-1890[35] 1890-1910[36] 1910-1930[37] 1930-1990[38] 2000[39][40] 2010[8][9][10] * = Lost territory in previous decade.[19] Census 2010 At the 2010 United States Census, there were 687 people, 256 households, and 177.9 families residing in the township. The population density was 6.9 per square mile (2.7/km2). There were 284 housing units at an average density of 2.9 per square mile (1.1/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 93.89% (645) White, 1.89% (13) Black or African American, 0.00% (0) Native American, 0.15% (1) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 3.64% (25) from other races, and 0.44% (3) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 9.02% (62) of the population.[8] There were 256 households, of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.5% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.16.[8] In the township, 18.3% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.5% from 18 to 24, 21.7% from 25 to 44, 33.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.9 years. For every 100 females there were 106.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.[8] The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $96,250 (with a margin of error of +/- $21,869) and the median family income was $108,239 (+/- $9,762). Males had a median income of $19,946 (+/- $15,879) versus $41,250 (+/- $4,961) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,808 (+/- $10,822). About 0.0% of families and 21.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 0.0% of those age 65 or over.[41] Census 2000 As of the 2000 United States Census[15] there were 621 people, 160 households, and 112 families residing in the township. The population density was 6.2 people per square mile (2.4/km²). There were 171 housing units at an average density of 1.7 per square mile (0.7/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 83.57% White, 2.90% African American, 0.32% Asian, 12.08% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.07% of the population.[39][40] There were 160 households out of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.3% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.27.[39][40] In the township the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 24.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.[39][40] The median income for a household in the township was $41,250, and the median income for a family was $42,188. Males had a median income of $32,000 versus $31,719 for females. The per capita income for the township was $13,977. About 8.0% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.4% of those under age 18 and 13.9% of those age 65 or over.[39][40] Government Local government Washington Township is governed under the Township form of government. The governing body is a three-member Township Committee, whose members are elected directly by the voters at-large in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one seat coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle.[6][42] At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor. As of 2015, the members of the Washington Township Council are Mayor Dudley Lewis (R, term on committee ends December 31, 2016; term as mayor ends 2015), Barry F. Cavileer (R, 2015) and Daniel L. James (R, 2017).[3][43][44][45][46] Federal, state and county representation Washington Township is located in the 2nd Congressional District[47] and is part of New Jersey's 9th state legislative district.[9][48][49] New Jersey's Second Congressional District is represented by Frank LoBiondo (R, Ventnor City).[50] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark, term ends 2021)[51] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus, 2019).[52][53] For the 2014-15 Session, the 9th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Christopher J. Connors (R, Lacey Township) and in the General Assembly by DiAnne Gove (R, Long Beach Township) and Brian E. Rumpf (R, Little Egg Harbor Township).[54] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[55] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[56] Burlington County is governed by a Board of chosen freeholders, whose five members are elected at-large in partisan elections to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year.[57] The board chooses a director and deputy director from among its members at an annual reorganization meeting held in January.[57] As of 2015, Burlington County's Freeholders are Director Mary Ann O'Brien (R, Medford Township, 2017; Director of Administration and Human Services),[58] Deputy Director Bruce Garganio (R, Florence Township, 2017; Director of Public Works and Health),[59] Aimee Belgard (D, Edgewater Park Township, 2015; Director of Hospital, Medical Services and Education)[60] Joseph Donnelly (R, Cinnaminson Township, 2016; Director of Public Safety, Natural Resources, and Education)[61] and Joanne Schwartz (D, Southampton Township, 2015; Director of Health and Corrections).[62][57] Constitutional officers are County Clerk Tim Tyler,[63] Sheriff Jean E. Stanfield[64] and Surrogate George T. Kotch.[65] Politics As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 536 registered voters in Washington Township, of which 85 (15.9% vs. 33.3% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 271 (50.6% vs. 23.9%) were registered as Republicans and 180 (33.6% vs. 42.8%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were no voters registered to other parties.[66] Among the township's 2010 Census population, 78.0% (vs. 61.7% in Burlington County) were registered to vote, including 95.5% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 80.3% countywide).[66][67] In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 221 votes (59.2% vs. 40.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 142 votes (38.1% vs. 58.1%) and other candidates with 7 votes (1.9% vs. 1.0%), among the 373 ballots cast by the township's 533 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.0% (vs. 74.5% in Burlington County).[68][69] In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 250 votes (57.9% vs. 39.9% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 168 votes (38.9% vs. 58.4%) and other candidates with 11 votes (2.5% vs. 1.0%), among the 432 ballots cast by the township's 545 registered voters, for a turnout of 79.3% (vs. 80.0% in Burlington County).[70] In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 272 votes (62.1% vs. 46.0% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 160 votes (36.5% vs. 52.9%) and other candidates with 4 votes (0.9% vs. 0.8%), among the 438 ballots cast by the township's 558 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.5% (vs. 78.8% in the whole county).[71] In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 156 votes (66.4% vs. 61.4% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 61 votes (26.0% vs. 35.8%) and other candidates with 10 votes (4.3% vs. 1.2%), among the 235 ballots cast by the township's 509 registered voters, yielding a 46.2% turnout (vs. 44.5% in the county).[72][73] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 186 votes (62.4% vs. 47.7% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 91 votes (30.5% vs. 44.5%), Independent Chris Daggett with 17 votes (5.7% vs. 4.8%) and other candidates with 2 votes (0.7% vs. 1.2%), among the 298 ballots cast by the township's 552 registered voters, yielding a 54.0% turnout (vs. 44.9% in the county).[74] Education The Washington Township School District serves students in public school for pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade at Green Bank Elementary School. As of the 2012-13 school year, the district's one school had an enrollment of 37 students and 4.7 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 7.81:1.[75] The school's $5.4 million building opened in September 2006.[76] Since the 2007-08 school year, as part of an agreement with the Mullica Township Schools, Washington Township receives teaching support from the Mullica district and shares its superintendent, business administrator and other support staff. Washington Township students in grades five through eight attend Mullica Township Middle School as part of a program that has expanded since it was initiated in the 2007-08 school year.[77][78][79][80] Students in ninth through twelfth grades attend Cedar Creek High School, which is located in the northern section of Egg Harbor City and opened to students in September 2010.[81] The school is one of three high schools operated as part of the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District, which also includes the constituent municipalities of Egg Harbor City, Galloway Township, Hamilton Township, and Mullica Township, and participates in sending/receiving relationships with Port Republic and Washington Township.[82][83] Cedar Creek High School is zoned to serve students from Egg Harbor City, Mullica Township, Port Republic and Washington Township, while students in portions of Galloway and Hamilton townships have the can attend Cedar Creek as an option or to participate in magnet programs at the school.[84][85] Prior to the opening of Cedar Creek, students from Washington Township had attended Oakcrest High School, together with students from Hamilton Township, Mullica Township and Port Republic.[86] Students from Washington Township, and from all of Burlington County, are eligible to attend the Burlington County Institute of Technology, a countywide public school district that serves the vocational and technical education needs of students at the high school and post-secondary level at its campuses in Medford and Westampton Township.[87] Transportation As of May 2010, the township had a total of 54.31 miles (87.40 km) of roadways, of which 29.32 miles (47.19 km) were maintained by the municipality and 24.99 miles (40.22 km) by Burlington County.[88] The only major roads that pass through are County Road 542 and County Road 563. Limited access roads are accessible in neighboring communities, including the Atlantic City Expressway in Hammonton and the Garden State Parkway in Galloway Township, Port Republic and Bass River Township.
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