Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Palm Beach Social Diary

Bougainvillea on Via Mizner on Worth Avenue. 12/3/07. 10:00 PM.
Everybody adores a small dinner where you can all sit at one table, really talk about everything, and catch up with new and old friends. Well that may sound “down home" and un-glam, but in Palm Beach everything sparkles and has ... pizzazz. Earle Mack, our former Ambassador to Finland, Chairman of the New York Racing Association and Chairman of the NY state Council on the Arts and his beauteous wife Carol asked us over for a small cozy, no tie, very casual dinner in Palm Beach.

Carol and Earle Mack on a dressier occassion
As we stepped in the door of their oceanfront palazzo we were greeted by half a dozen mariachis serenading us just for the fun of it. We headed into the pale blue and white living room dotted with Picassos to find our 'best dressed' glamorous hostess and pals such as David and Julia Koch, Kimberly Du Ross, Maria and Bruce Bockmann, Robert Janjigan, Ashton and Margaux De Peyster.

After just the right amount of time for cocktails, (say thirty minutes) it was into their beautiful dining room set with a long table and lush flowers, accented with blue sea coral and mirrored pieces of furniture. The menu was a scrumptious dinner of pasta, fish and chocolate mousse and ice cream, yummy!

Speaking of food I have to mention my favorite restaurants in Palm Beach as there are quite a few terrific choices. Palm Beach Grill is the most popular spot in town, so plan ahead and make a reservation in advance. Some Palm Beach Grill regulars: Don and Muffy Miller, Audrey and Marty Gruss, Alfy and Raysa Fanjul, Mary and Lewis Schott, Maggie and Allan Scherer, Howard and Michele Kessler, Annabelle and Denis Coleman and more. It has an American menu and is very casual, you will always see people you know even mid July when the town is half empty.

There is also Chez Jean Pierre which has terrific French bistro food and a lively group. On any given night you can find Rand and Jesse Araskog, Pepe and Emilia Fanjul, Dixon and Arriana Boardman, Bill Finneran, Bob Meister, and last weekend Conrad and Barbara Black. If you are in the mood for something a little fancier, sit outside on the terrace at Café Boulud and you will never want to leave this beautiful spot with a superb menu as only world renowned chef Daniel Boulud can pull off.

— Hilary Geary Ross
And this past Sunday night in Palm Beach, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra String Quartet gave a private recital at the home of Michele and Howard Kessler.

Michele and Howard Kessler
The evening’s attendees included American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Board member and Honorary Chairwoman Diane Belfer along with Gala Co-Chairwomen Sara Fabrikant and Sydell Miller. Together with 100 lead donors they gathered to hear two Ambassadors from Israel — Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman and the IPO String Quartet.

The intimate evening was the first of its kind held in four years for members of the IPO in Palm Beach; and if the interest and support generated from this evening is any indication, a bevy of annual events is sure to follow to raise more awareness and local support for the IPO.

After a reception on the Kessler's terrace overlooking the ocean, guests were ushered inside the Pool Room to hear the IPO String Quartet perform Borodin’s String Quartet no. 2 in D major.

Sara Fabrikant welcomed and thanked everyone in attendance and reminded them about the IPO's upcoming gala on February 13th at the Kravis Center, explaining that while the concert was sold out, benefit tickets were still availlable -- so for those who wish to join this group and support the Orchestra, this is your chance.

She then introduced Ambassador Gillerman who spoke optimistically about the future of Israel and the IPO's important role in representing the rich cultural heritage of Israel. The Ambassador did the honors of introducing the IPO String Quartet and they took over from there (further appeasing the guests by playing a Schubert encore, after receiving a standing ovation). See for yourself by clicking on the video below.
Cocktails on the terrace of Michele and Howard Kessler's
The String Quartet — comprising violinists Ilia Konovalov (IPO concertmaster) and Shmuel Glaser, violist Roman Spitzer, and cellist Felix Nemirovsky — was founded in 2006 where they made their debut in May at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. Established through a proposal by devoted friends of the IPO and members of the IPO International Board of Governors, Judith and Jacob Richter, the Quartet's intention is to continue the great tradition of string quartets which have been an integral part of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s artistic activity.

Among the many wonderful quartet’s in the Orchestra’s history are the Tel Aviv String Quartet led by Chiam Taub; the Israel Piano Quartet with the legendary Pnina Salzman; and the String/Piano quartet led by Menahem Breuer.
Click for a video of the IPO String Quartet performance of Borodin’s String Quartet no. 2 in D major.
Among the guests on this balmy Palm Beach night: Ruth Albert, Arlene Kaufman and Sanford Baklor, Diane Belfer, Malka and Robert Beren, Joan and Robert Eigen, Sherry Endelson, Gail and Alfred Engelberg, Annette Eskind, Elaine Fabrikant and Reese Polkowitz, Sara and Charles Fabrikant, Judie and Howard Ganek, Lori and Bruce Gendelman, Ambassador and Mrs. Dan Gillerman, Harriet and Merv Hartman, Rochelle and David Hirsch, Harriet and Ashley Hoffman, Ellen and Bob Jaffe, Sandra Krakoff and Barbara Miller, Bernice Lieberman, Ellen Liman, Sydelle Meyer, Sydell Miller and Philip Zieky, Carol and Mel Newman, Nancy and Harold Oelbaum, Ruth and Ray Perelman, Suzanne and Christopher Ponsot, Cobey and Robert Rapaport, Lyn and George Ross, Joan and Alan Safir, Fiona and Michael Scharf, Ruth and Carl Shapiro, Avi Shoshani, Michelle and Kelly Spaulding, Jane and Peter Strasser, Bonnie and Thomas Strauss, Marlene and Harold Strauss, Nassrine and Norman Traverse, June Ugelow, Violet Werner, Harriet Zimmerman, and Rhonda Zinner and Jonathan Segal.
Harriet Hoffman, Ray and Ruth Perelman, and Sydell Miller
Avi Shoshani and Janice Gillerman
Michael and Fiona Scharf
Merv and Harriet Hartman (parents of IPO musician Miriam Hartman) with Beatriz and Harold Jacobsohn
The Lehman Group
Linda Streit and Shulamit Katzman
Jane and Peter Strasser
Sherry Endelson and Diane Belfer
Ambassador Dan Gillerman and Arlene Kaufman
Mel and Carol Newman with Christopher Ponsot
Judie Ganek, Diane Belfer, and Joan Safir
Janice Gillerman and Gail Engelberg
Sara Fabrikant, Nassrine Traverse, and Rochelle Hirsch
Sydell Miller with David and Rochelle Hirsch
Cobey and Bob Rapaport with Sara Fabrikant
Ellen Liman (right) and friend
Suzanne Ponsot with Robert and Malka Beren
Bob Jaffe, Rhonda Zinner, Jonathan Segal, Ruth Shapiro, Ellen Jaffe, and Carl Shapiro
Bob and Cobey Rapaport


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