Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Palm Beach Social Diary

40-foot-high tree on Worth Avenue, generously donated by Rush and Kathryn Limbaugh.
by Hilary Geary Ross

Back to Palm Beach where the sun is shining
and the town is rockin’ as the “season as begun. It has been especially upbeat this year with the very attractive refurbishing of Worth Avenue, completed on time, so I must add, bravo! The street looks prettier than ever with new landscaping, palm trees, fountains, benches, a clock tower and more. Let me tell you what a real pleasure it is to take my morning walk down this beautiful street. Plus, making the Avenue really shine are the Christmas decorations, more dazzling than ever, thanks to the gorgeous 40-foot-high Christmas tree, very generously donated by Kathryn and Rush Limbaugh.
Sunny day at the beach in Palm Beach.
The newly renovated Worth Avenue.
A new bench on Worth Avenue.
Dog Bar on Worth Avenue.
Newly refurbished Hibiscus ave with fountains and more, adjacent to Worth Avenue. A vintage Aston Martin convertible parked under a palm tree on a sunny day.
Sun came out on South County Road, so out came all the pooches for their walk.
My (windy) morning walk on the bike trail. The fabulous tree on the bike trail.
The newly renovated Worth Avenue at night.
Royal Palm Way all lit up.
But, you really know the season has begun when of course, yes, yes, the round of parties start. They come in all sizes but my fav are the small cozy ones like the divine dinner Maria and Raymond Floyd gave at their house beautifully decorated by Scott Snyder sitting right smack on the water.

Their heavenly house feels like a real island house almost like one in Lyford Cay or Mustique as it is open and airy with chic yet casual decoration punctuated with lovely blue and white porcelain everywhere and major artworks by such masters as Rosenquist. But speaking of masters, you all know the host Raymond is a superstar, a world champion golfer, a hall of famer having won the Masters amongst other major tournaments. We were called for 7:30 pm and no jackets or ties so all the men were thrilled and the menu was everybody’s favorite: Chinese, heaven!
"Chinese" dinner at Raymond and Maria Floyd's. Left to right: Brian Mulroney, newlyweds Kirsten and Greg Norman, and Maria Floyd.
Greg Norman with his new bride Kristen and Raymond Floyd.
George Hamilton and Anne Fisher.
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, with famed lawyer Frank Chopin.
Raymond Floyd, Mila Mulroney, and Jerome Fisher.
My placesetting at the Floyd 's cozy Chinese food dinner.
Amongst the cozy group were another mega star golfer Greg Norman with his beautiful new wife, the former Kirsten Kutner, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and his wife Mila, Australian cover girl Kristy Clark and her husband Jim Clark of Netscape fame, Anne and Jerome Fisher, Kate Ford and Frank Chopin, Terry Kramer and Nick Simunek, star of stage and screen George Hamilton, my husband Wilbur Ross, and the Floyd's daughter and son in law, newlyweds Christina and Emmanuel di Donna.
Dessert at the Floyd 's.
Another night in PB and another fabulous little dinner, this time given by ever generous Michele and Howard Kessler for the one and only shoe designer, Christian Louboutin. All the gals jumped into their Louboutins and raced to the Kessler's grand and beautiful house sitting directly on the ocean as they could not wait to meet superstar Louboutin. I sat next to him and he is an absolute charmer, a lovely gentleman!
A fountain on the Kessler's driveway.
Not only did I have a great seat but the menu was yummy too! We dined royally on baby lettuces with sundried cranberries, candied pecans, chevre and Citrus dressing, Meyer lemon chicken picatta with jumbo asparagus and capellini noodle galettes, topped off with a dessert of homemade profiteroles with a trio of ice cream fillings with bittersweet chocolate sauce and fresh berries (where each plate was garnished with a black leopard chocolate shoe with a red sole, a la Louboutin of course).

Amongst the fans were Mark and Mary Freitas, Patrick Park and Nathalie Fernandez, John Mashek, Talbott Maxey, Dan Ponton, Karin Luter, Tom Quick, Jerry and Darlene Jordan, Beth Pine, Marilyn Connor and more. How fun was that!
The Kessler front door the night of the Louboutin dinner.
Michele and Howard Kessler at their PB house hosting the dinner for Christian Louboutin.
Piano player at the Kessler's.
Nothing but Louboutins!!
Tom Quick, Michele Kessler, and Dan Ponton.
Beth Pine, Christian Louboutin, Darlene Jordan, and Hilary Geary Ross all in our Louboutins flanking Mr. Louboutin.
Mark Freitas and Wilbur Ross.
Karin Luter, Darlene Jordan, and Jerry Jordan before dinner. Christian Louboutin with our dinner host Howard Kessler.
Hilary Geary Ross, Nathalie Fernandez, and Christian Louboutin.
Talbott Maxey, John Mashek, and Darlene Jordan. Talbott Maxey, in purple Louboutins, with Dan Ponton.
All the gals put on their Louboutins to meet the great man himself!
Host Michele Kessler and Christian Louboutin.
My "seat." Talbott Maxey showing the Louboutin red sole on the mini "shoe" pastry.
Michele Kessler's dining table in Louboutin "red."
Dessert with a mini Louboutin shoe.
More wonderful events ... Philanthropist Tom Quick had a big seated dinner at his dazzling house in honor of Carol Mack, honorary chairman and chairman Katy Dew Amling, Susan Malloy, and Ross Meltzer of “the Jingle Ball“ benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County.

The dinner was so unbelievably glamorous with round glittering tables covered in glowing silver lame with silvered manzanita branches hung with crystal icicles all reflecting light from the votive candles created by Tom Mathieu and Steven Stolman, all placed by the terrace overlooking pool. To top it off there was a full moon lighting up the sky and this pretty scene was pure magic!

Anne Bass
Jamee and me in New York Parties: Private Views(Photography: ©Eric Striffler).
The benefit will be held on December 17th at the Breakers with a silent auction of holiday wreaths and trees decorated by local designers and celebrities, so mark your calendar for this terrific party. Before Tommy's dinner most of the guests had been to Jamee Gregory's festive book signing at Neiman Marcus, also in honor of the Boys and Girls Clubs benefit. Jamee's Private Parties, Private Views is a roaring success already in its third printing and a must buy as it is a perfect Christmas present.

Amongst the guests at both events were Tim Malloy, award winning architect Tom Kirchoff and his wife Carol, John Kahn, Beth Pine, Betsy and Wally Turner, Brett Price, Franny Scaife, Tom McCarter, Penny and Keith Williams, Polly Onet, Sylvia and Daniel James, James Berwin, John Grand, David Grand, Eva O'Neal, Kenn Karakul, Minna and Herbert Hyman, Barbara and Michael Crimi, Stephen Mooney, Laura Evans, Mary and Marvin Davidson, Michele and Howard Kessler, Mary and Mark Freitas, Boys and Girls Clubs President Mary O'Connor and her husband Tim, Steven Stolman, Jerry Seag and Pauline Pitt.

Speaking of adorable Pauline, that very same weekend she and her daughter Julia Nye were co chairman of the Palm Beach Opera benefit featuring a matinee performance at Mar-a-Lago of the opera Hansel and Gretel, a real holiday treat for kids of all ages.

Amongst the group there were Hans and Sigrid Bauman, Emilia Fanjul with her daughter Emilia Pfeifler, Ross Meltzer, Mary and Mark Freitas, Karin Luter and many more.
Paul Kasmin, Jane Holzer, Claude Lalanne, and Wilbur Ross at the Kasmin dinner in Miami.
In between all these fun activities, we popped down to Miami Art Basil to take in the terrific fair. We also stopped in to Paul Kasmin's dinner for french artist Claude Lalanne.
Princess Firyal of Jordan wearing a Lalanne necklace. Beth De Woody and Jane Holzer.
The next day after taking in the fabulous art fair we motored down to the Fairchild Botanical Gardens at Coral Gables to see the Lalanne sculpture exhibition. It is open though June and certainly worth the trip!
Lalanne sheep and fountain at Fairchild Botanical Gardens.
More Lalanne scenes at Fairchild ...

Photographs by Hilary Geary Ross