On Saturday, June 20th, the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) hosted CMEE Author’s Night to celebrate the launch of Dr. Wednesday Martin’s new memoir, “Primates of Park Avenue.” Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before hearing an excerpt from the book, read by Dr. Martin herself.
The book details the author’s drastic move from Manhattan’s West Village to the Upper East Side. Readers will find an eclectic collection of stories from Dr. Martin’s pursuit of a Birkin bag to the exhausting application process involved with getting her kids into the top-notch public schools of the area.
“I realized that what was really special was motherhood on the Upper East Side,” said Dr. Martin. “It was very glamorous, it was very different from anywhere else. I decided right away that I wanted to figure out what made them tick.”
The author, who has worked as a writer and social researcher in New York City for over two decades, employed a number of research methods for the memoir. A social scientist, she first turned to sociological and psychological literature, but living in the environment she was studying gave her the opportunity to partake in fieldwork as well. “I just asked the people around me, ‘Can you please help me? I want to understand your life and your culture,'” she said of her field work. “The women who participated told me amazing stories that you can read about in the book.”
Among the notable guests was actress Debra Messing, who described Dr. Martin’s book as a “mocking satire.” When asked who would be perfect to play the main character, Messing replied, “There are a lot of great actresses who I think could be the every woman who walks into a fish bowl where she’s a complete outsider.”
The author concurs, saying the perfect actress to fill the role will have to be “a dorky outsider.”
Dr. Martin, an active contributor to the CMEE, spoke about the Head Start program offered by the Museum, which she holds near and dear to her heart. “Head Start gives children in need a leg up, but the program at CMEE is very special and important,” shared Dr. Martin. “There are only two Head Start programs housed in museums in the entire United States.” All proceeds from sales of her book were donated to CMEE’s Head Start program.
As for what Dr. Martin is most excited to see during the film adaptation? “The scene of all the women exercising and how crazy and kinky it is, I want to see that on the big screen.”
Children’s Museum of the East End is located at 376 Bridehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike in Bridgehampton. For more information, visit www.cmee.org.