Andrew Farkas Celebrates Excess, Saves Marriages

Some people are toning things down because of the recession. Then there's Andrew Farkas, the real estate heir and yaching aficionado who purchased the Montauk Yacht Club in 2007 and has since presided over a multi-million-dollar renovation of the property. Farkas is hoping "to lure the mega-yacht crowd into his slips and turn his club into a nightlife destination," reports Vanity Fair's Jessica Flint, and to drum up interest in the M.Y.C.—as well as celebrate the club's 80th anniversary and his own birthday—Farkas hosted a Great Gatsby–themed party last weekend:

But in true Manhattan fashion, the real throwdown—in this case, Farkas's Roaring 20s–inspired birthday bash—was taking place behind closed doors in the M.Y.C.'s farmhouse ballroom, a hidden space with drippy chandeliers hanging from the high, vaulted ceiling. Following dinner, cigarette girls dressed in naughty flapper dresses passed out treats—Chiclets, candy cigarettes, Three Musketeer bars—to a group that ran the gamut from billionaire investor Carl Icahn and New York state attorney general Andrew Cuomo to William and Karen Lauder and NBC boss Jeff Zucker and his wife, Caryn. Meanwhile, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps tried her hand at the faux casino that was set up on the deck, and her reality-TV pals Frankel and Bensimon dropped in, too (minus Housewives cameras). It was a lavish soirée, but it was no Steve Schwarzman $3 million 60th-birthday celebration.

Okay, fine: Farkas is no Schwarzman. But he did manage to reunite cosmetics mogul William Lauder with his wife (ex-wife?) Karen, who reportedly split up last month. Given Lauder's alleged crimes, Farkas may be nothing short of a miracle worker.

How the Great Recession Could Save Montauk [Vanity Fair]
Montauk Yacht Club [montaukyachtclub.com]