Oh pooh! The moneyed slobs of the Hamptons are feeling the pinch of the recession this summer! Tiffy's gala will be positively ruined! "Trustees of the Children's Museum of the East End rejected a dinner dance at a rented farm in favor of a cocktail party on the museum grounds here, replaced a five-piece rock ‘n' roll cover band with a teenage jazz combo and slashed ticket prices to $150 from $450, but still only drew about 150 guests, half the number that turned out for the benefit last year... And there are still hundreds of tickets left for the annual Art for Life gala, also scheduled for Saturday night, at the East Hampton estate of Russell Simmons, the rap impresario." People, won't someone please think of the rappers?!

"All along the East End of Long Island, a string of beach towns that represent a sort of New York version of the French Riviera, fund-raisers and their topiarists are suffering through a limp summer, with the rising price of oil and falling value of the Dow combining to cast a pall over the party-hopping set.

"Some fund-raisers say that it may not help either that the number of charity galas seems to keep increasing each year. 'In the past we've sold out pretty quickly, but this year we're scrambling,' said Tangie Murray, director of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which was founded by Mr. Simmons and his brothers to expose children to the arts and is putting on the Art for Life event. While 850 or 900 people have typically paid the $1,500 minimum to attend in recent years, Ms. Murray said that this year, 'we're hoping we can reach 700; it's a different economic climate.'" [NYT]