Yesterday’s front pages of the Post and Daily News dealt with a raid on an East Hampton gallery opening. Ruth Kalb threw a tantrum Sunday when cops raided her Vered Gallery because she was serving alcohol without a permit. The defiant Kalb yelled at the cops, “I’ve been serving liquor at my openings before you were born. So don’t tell me to stop now.”
Today, we get more on Kalb’s background from the Daily News. She was once a New York City cab driver and has served in the Israeli military as a paratrooper. The paper describes her as “one tough cookie.”
Still, the question remains, “Why the big to-do over a $31 permit?” While Kalb argues that the cops were excessive in force when they took her away, East Hampton police insist that if Kalb had just kept her mouth shut during the routine inspection, she wouldn’t have been carted away to jail. Part of what makes this story so appealing is the “let them eat cake” attitude of Kalb, who thinks that she’s doing nothing wrong by serving alcohol in a commercial space without a permit.
Maybe she needs to move her gallery to Southampton, as the cops there seem a little more forgiving. Southampton Police Sgt. Darren Gagnon tells the Post that what Kalb did is “like serving alcohol in your house — no big deal.” A State Liquor Authority spokesman tells the News that “it doesn’t matter whether they are giving or selling alcohol…It’s a violation.”
Kalb has vowed to fight the charges and will appear in court on June 25.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 27, 2008