Sixty-year-old Alec Baldwin (born April 3, 1958) was in the news this week but not for a good reason. Once again he lost his temper on the streets of New York City, this time over a poached parking spot. When I lived on 83rd and 2nd Ave I had a few moments of parking space drama, but never totally lost it like Alec did.
East Hampton Village folks seem to know Baldwin as a hometown presence (truly a Long Islander as Baldwin grew up in the Amityville/Massapequa area) yet the truth be known he resides in Connecticut, SoHo-NYC, and of course a presence in L.A. besides his spread in Amagansett. His SNL portrayal of Donald Trump has been widely applauded and lauded, however his episodes of bad behavior have also shown a dark side.
If you cover events on the East End as I did for a decade, you will find perhaps no one, except the now deceased Ben Krupinski, supports/supported as many entities as Baldwin. He not only sends his checks, he gives his time to various Hamptons charities. He goes to the events, often headlining or acting as Master of Ceremonies – always for no charge.
Does all this excuse his bad behavior; of course not but luckily for most of us the New York Post does not catalog our worst moments. I have seen Baldwin at his worst and it is not a pretty picture, but I have seen him at his very best interacting with young children, even before his most recent new young family of four (plus Ireland Baldwin from former wife Kim Basinger whom he divorced in 2002. He married Hilaria Thomas in 2012.)
What is not reported is that Baldwin is often provoked by people paid to get a reaction to make news. In the photo above, which I took, I heard one person saying outrageous stuff to provoke Baldwin on the red carpet at Guild Hall in East Hampton. That evening he was with Billy Joel and they both looked at each other after the rude remark but then continued the meet and greet before going into the screening of Last Play at Shea.
I have seen Baldwin at Atlantic Beach with one of his baby sons in his arms and a daughter holding his hand, a scene as Long Island as it gets. I have seen him in the Village playfully bantering with tourist. He has always been sweet to my wife Cindi, the few times of interaction she has had with him, but most of all he has remained genuine. You can take the boy out of Long Island but you can’t take the Long Island out of the boy. This last event will cost Baldwin some money. In the end, I hope Baldwin continues to share his amazing talents on the screen, and the stage, in front of a podium and at charity events because quite frankly I enjoy who he really is. A regular guy, who happened to have made it big.