Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Palm Beach Social Diary

Dinner at the Floyds’ house on the Intracoastal Waterway with wide sparkling views.
I popped up to brrrr cold NYC for a couple days, then bolted right back to PB, quick as a bunny, back to the sunshine to bask in the heavenly flawless weather. One might think that things slow down a bit after the New Years and they sort of do (NOT).

First thing off the plane we headed to the Paul Fisher gallery to check out the show of one of my favorite artists, adorable Edwina Sandys, a real talent who also happens to be Winston Churchill’s granddaughter.

Edwina Sandys in front of one of her creations
“Temptation” is the name of her show and it is filled with her big, bright paintings and whimsical sculptures. Do yourself a favor and take a peek.

What could be more heavenly than a quiet, cozy dinner with Chinese food after all the hoopla surrounding New Years? So when I got a call from Maria Floyd asking us over for a low key Chinese dinner, I was thrilled. This is a casual Chinese food dinner in glam PB, however, so let’s start with the setting. The Floyds’ house sits right on the Intracoastal Waterway with big, wide sparkling views. It somehow manages to be very beautiful, yet cozy thanks to the talented hand of their decorator Scott Snyder.

You probably know that Maria’s husband Raymond is the legendary golfer, golf course creator, a hall of famer and world famous. He has won zillions of tournaments including the Masters in 1976, two PGA championships in 1969 and 1982 plus the breathtaking victory at the 1986 US Open at Shinnecock, which made us all say Wow!

Back to the dinner, his beautiful wife Maria greeted us at the door of her spectacular waterfront house in a very chic Chinese jacket. After chatting away and devouring all those yummy Chinese hors d’oeuvres, we sat down to a scrumptious dinner and had the very best time. How could you not, with the best food, wines in this heavenly setting with such a wonderful group.
Our hostess Maria Floyd Percy Gibson and Joan Collins
Among were two stars of the stage and screen Joan Collins and George Hamilton. George has just come out with a book, Don’t Mind If I Do, a memoir that is a must buy, filled with extraordinary adventures and marvelous tales. Joan is writing another book too.

Also there was former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and his gorgeous wife Mila and my pal Kate Ford, who took most of the photos of the dinner with famed lawyer Frank Chopin, hedge fund legend Stevie Cohen and his wife Alex, Wilbur Ross, Percy Gibson, Don Soffer, owner of Turnberry Associates, which has the Fountainbleu hotel etc. Andrew Rosen of the clothing line "Theory" with British fashion designer Jenny Dyer, Nelson and Claudia Peltz, Joanne and Roberto de Guardiola, Pauline Pitt, also lookin’ great in a Chinese jacket with Jerry Seag, Marjorie Fisher, Dr. Barbara Sturm, Terry Kramer and Nick Simunek and Robert Floyd.
Raymond Floyd, Percy Gibson, Joan Collins, and George Hamilton George Hamilton and Nick Simunek
Joan Collins and Terry Allen Kramer Kate Ford and Nick Simunek
Frank Chopin ,Mila Mulroney, Nick Simunek, and Joanne de Guardiola Joan Collins and Brian Mulroney
Everybody in Palm Beach showed up at the Policemen’s Ball as we all wanted to show our appreciation for the superb work the police do in this little town. At least 500 fans appeared to toast the guys in blue at the Mar-a-Lago Club. I spotted the evening honoree's Bill and Bridget Koch, Donald and Melania Trump, the attractive newly weds, Palm Beach Police Chief, Michael  Reiter with his bride Janet, Eileen and Brian Burns, Winston and Luce Churchill, Siri and Tony Mortimer, Lucy Musso, Lady Jane Churchill houseguesting with Pauline Pitt and Jerry Seag; Michelle and Howard Kessler, Tom Quick, David and Sondra Mack, former Mayor Lesly Smith, Tina Fanjul, Kate and Hashem Khosavani, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Eric and Whitney Bylins, Felix Mirando, Boaz Mazor, Robert Forbes and his wife Lydia who just wrote a terrific book, Year of Dancing Dangerously, with photos taken by Robert and more.
Winston and Luce Churchill Tina Fanjul and Jim Walsh
Cocktails were served by the pool with the full moon lighting up the sky when we were urged into the ballroom by bagpipers. The completely sold out ballroom looked wonderfully tropical all decorated by Tom Mathieu with 6-foot-tall palm trees with monkeys placed on the navy blue sequin tablecloths with sparkling “police “lights, and more.

After a quick auction with all kinds of trips, goodies, etc. snapped up by bidders such as Rush Limbaugh, we dined on a delicious dinner then danced away to the “Soul Survivors.” Ahh, another slow night in PB!

— Hilary Geary Ross
Bill Koch and John Scarpa Tom Quick and Hilary Geary Ross
Eileen Burns and Winston Churchill Michael and Janet Reiter
Pauline Pitt and Jerry Seag Wilbur Ross and Lady Jane Churchill
Tony and Siri Mortimer with Winston and Luce Churchill Brian Burns and Michelle Kessler
Tom Quick and Kate Khosavani Boaz Mazor and Audrey Gruss
Palm Beach is a resilient kinda town. Much like the windswept trees from which it draws its name, even the most devastating blows such as the Madoff Massacre, a veritable tsunami of destruction, eventually ebb to reveal the survivors. Along with those clinging to whatever “once was that still is” are the many cultural, health and social service organizations that have flourished for decades — and now need support more than ever.

One newcomer to the area, just in time for Madoff and the economic downturn, is the Cleveland Clinic, which has opened a stunning health and wellness center in downtown West Palm Beach.
Patrick Park's home at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter.
Also among those still standing is Patrick Park, a great big teddy bear of a guy with a heart and a fortune to match.

Indeed, it was probably a relief for many PBers to leave the island and its endless “smile when your heart (and wallet) is aching” gatherings that can’t help but border on the macabre.

And so they trekked north, to the luxe enclave called The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, where Park has just completed a house that defies description in scale and opulence, except to say that the only thing missing is a sled named Rosebud.
Dr. Laurence Beck, Sydell Miller, and Phil Zeiky Diann Scaravilli, Patrick Park, and K.K. Sullivan
Park, a proud Clevelander, is the local drumbeater and major benefactor for the Cleveland Clinic, along with hair care mogul Sydell Miller and Diann and Victor Scaravelli. And he spared no expense to kick off the upcoming “Breakthrough!” gala at the Breakers in February — with a Mariachi band, cocktails and hors d’oeuvre, bars and buffets galore. But he could have given his guests water and saltines, since most were too preoccupied oogling the museum quality Boteros, Chagalls and Riveras along with each and every room of the spacious mansion that was open for inspection. Doesn’t everyone have a grand piano, with pianist, in their master bedroom?

There, Park’s stunning gal pal Nathalie Fernandez de Lavelle, Ruth and Raymond Perelman, Iris and Carl Apfel, Wally and Betsy Turner, Kenn Karakul, Phil Zieky, art expert Michel Witmer, Helen Abel, Shannon Donnelly, Bunny Whitaker, Suzi Goldsmith and scores more.
Mark Zahedi, CeCe Farris, and Darren and Kelly Hardersen Nathalie Gutierrez Fernandez De La Valle and Patty Myura
Ruth and Raymond Perelman Kenn Karakul with Diann and Victor Scaravilli
Adria de Haume, noted jewelry designer and her husband George Roush MD hosted a cocktail party for Palm Beach mayoral candidate Gerry Goldsmith at Club Collette on Peruvian Avenue in Palm Beach.

Supporters gathering to meet and greet Goldsmith included Muffy Miller, Nancy and Walter Raquet, Steven Stolman, Mai Harrison, Gabriel Ramos, Sherry Scott, Paulette Koch, Marcia Chellis Kay, Luc Petre, Jill Gladstone, Merel Cayne, Bill Quinn, Carol Hogan, Joan Genser, Julia Tate Gladstone, Carol Hogan, Ellen Kiam, Christine Tate, Carla Canedo, and Joanne Cutner.
Gerry Goldsmith and Mai Harrison Walter and Nancy Raquet
Gerry Goldsmith is a highly successful entrepreneur in the financial industry and has already served as a Town Council member and zoning commissioner. He has a 30+ year history of civic and philanthropic involvement in Palm Beach and a deep interest in the protection and preservation of the island. The town election is on February 3rd. Goldsmith’s opponent is incumbent Mayor Jack McDonald, also a 30-year Palm Beach resident, who is seeking a third term.

Dr. Roush introduced Mr. Goldsmith, noting that “In a sense, this is the most important political office on earth, where else is there a Mayor of a Paradise! … Palm Beach must be preserved and nurtured for future generations and Gerry Goldsmith is the man to do this. He has already given selflessly on behalf of protecting this special island and is eminently qualified to be its Mayor.”
Jill Gladstone and Joanne Cutner Paulette Koch, Joan Genser, Merel Cayne, and Ellen Kiam
Steven Stolman and Sherry Scott Sherry Scott, Gerry Goldsmith, and Adria de Haume
Julia Tate Gladstone Merel Cayne George Roush MD and Muffy Miller
Bill Quinn, Carol Hogan, and Gabriel Ramos Marcia Kay and Luc Petre

Photographs by Hilary Geary Ross, Lucius Capehart, & Ann Watt

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