Gallery owner Ruth Vered was taken into custody by East Hampton Village police officers on Saturday night. Police apparently shut down the Vered Gallery in East Hampton, citing consumption of alcohol in a public space. (Photo by Janet Lehr / May 24, 2008)
I've heard of such problems with the NYPD occasionally from Chelsea galleries, but this one is pretty ridiculous. Via Newsday.
About 200 art aficionados were sipping Veuve Clicquot Champagne and chilled white wine at an East Hampton gallery this weekend when the police arrived.
It was a soiree like many others for Vered Gallery, which twice a month invites guests to drink, nibble cheese and view its latest show.
But this time, gallery owner Ruth Vered was led away in handcuffs.
East Hampton Village police declined to comment Sunday except to confirm in a written statement that the gallery owner, who is widely known as Vered, was charged with selling alcohol without a liquor license.
Vered said the Champagne and wine -- donated by the Bridgehampton winery Channing Daughters -- was free, as always. Vered said she's offered alcoholic beverages at her gallery for more than 30 years and has never been questioned by police.
She said she spent about two hours at the police station. "It's absolutely ridiculous," she said. "They're sabotaging the life of our small business. Everybody does parties and gives Champagne. It's East Hampton!"
By the way, the winery that donated the wine and Champagne, Channing Daughters is one of my favorite long island vintners, along with Wölffer Estate.