All aboard the NYSD

Aboard The Highlander for an evening hosted by the Junior Council Vice Chairs of American Ballet Theatre.

Last night over at Lincoln Center Paula Zahn was honored by the New York City Opera at their Fall Gala concert. Led by the incomparable Carol Vaness, the special evening featured some of the City Opera’s most exciting voices including Pamela Armstrong, Elizabeth Futral and Vivica Genaux with the New York City Opera orchestra conducted by Music Director George Manahan. The evening also featured Samuel Ramey and Vinson Cole with the Company’s former General Director Julius Rudel returning to the podium after a 25 year absence. There were also special messages from Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo.

Co-chairs for the Gala evening were Mary Sharp Cronson, Richard and Jennie DeeScherer, Mark and Lorry Newhouse, George and Joan Schiedle and Pamela Thomas-Graham. After the concert there was dinner and dancing on the Grand Promenade with music provided by none other than Peter Duchin and his orchestra.

I missed the opening of the opera, having gone down to the Forbes (magazine) Gallery at 60 Fifth Avenue where a former employer of mine, Judy Price was holding a Gala Preview of her National Jewelry Institute’s latest exhibition at the Forbes.

The exhibit is “Masterpieces of the 20th Century; French Jewelry from American Collections.” The categories are Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco, Postwar 1940s and 1950s, contemporary. Lenders to the exhibition which was curated by Ralph Esmerian, included Dina Merrill, Corice Arman, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Iris Cantor. Christopher Forbes, Mica Ertegun, Roz Jacobs, Gloria and Fred Leighton, Joel Arthur Rosenthal and Pierre Jeannet of JAR, Andre Leon Talley, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Stanislas de Quercize of Van Cleef and Arpels, Michael Kowalski of Tiffany, Fernanda Kellogg of the Tiffany Foundation, Sloan Barnett and Freyda Lindemann. Among others. It’s a big fascinating collection. The show runs from September 22 through December 31 when it moves to the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

Judy Price

Henri Barguirdjian and Peter Price
Henri Barguirdjian, Diana Hunt, Frederic de Narp, and friend
Above, l. to r.: Marcia Levine; Pierce MacGuire and Fernanda Kellogg.
Right, top to bottom: Fernanda Kellogg's Schlumberger brooch; Masterpieces of French Jewelry.
Clockwise from top: Opera Glasses, LeSache, c. 1900, 18K gold, ivory, enamel; Boucheron bracelet c. 1920, diamonds and sapphires, property of Dame Elizabeth Taylor, a gift from her mother Sara Taylor; The famous Chanel Verdura bracelet, one of Verdura's original models using real stones. Designed by Chanel and made by Verdura in 1935 with silver, 18K gold, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and other hard-stones and enamel.

Clockwise from below: Art Deco necklace, once owned by Marjorie Meriweather Post, Cartier and De Sedles, 1936-1937. Platinum, sapphires and diamonds; Sea Urchin clock by JAR 1990, diamonds, urchin shell, sand (Diameter 10 cm, Depth 7 cm.); Landscape Brooch c. 1885, gold silver, diamonds, pearls, enamel, once owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (Early Art Nouveau).

From the Forbes Gallery, still traffic anxious, I hoofed it over to the subway on 14th Street and Union Square, to head uptown for a book party for Paige Peterson and Chris Cerf at John and Joan Jakobson’s Park Avenue apartment. You’ve already read about the Peterson and Cerf collaboration for this child’s book called ”Blackie: the Horse That Stood Still.”

I got there about eight o’clock, fairly late for a party that began at 6:30. There were about eighty guests. A lot of these people are real friends, part of a great New York network which includes writers, lawyers, business people who share times at benefits, at social gatherings, private parties and in the Hamptons in the summertime. Many have brought up their kids together, gone through the whole process of New York life and come out whole and still thriving. A little more comme il faut than the so-called power brokers who like the most highly polished dinner tables, their connections, friendships and family (ex’es, etc.) reaches far, high and wide in metropolitan and even national life.

So it is at a party like this that the hostess (Joan Jakobson) and one of the co-authors, Chris Cerf can team up at the piano after the books are signed and the hors d’oeuvres are gone and do a little doo-wop and Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, and a really good time down Memory Lane and the Old Days which now actually do seem Good. And not really that old either. Time plays tricks, no?

I took a few pictures and then ducked out, hungry and not far from Swifty’s, with a night’s work ahead of me. Swifty’s was teeming with diners and talktalktalk. I saw Anne Slaterand John Cahill entertaining friends. John, who is a lawyer, is also a deep sea diver. He’s the only deep sea diver I’ve ever known. And he’s traveled all over the world having his swim-and-looks. He just returned from Fiji. He’s swum the sardine flow with the sharks off South Africa (that IS interesting) and anywhere else you can think of. His explanation of life among the marine life is fascinating, insightful and thought-provoking. Anne stays home when John takes these trips. She’s a landlubber and one of the most glamorous New York has ever had and continues to have.

Paige Peterson and Chris Cerf

John Jakobson, Jeff Flug, and Ellen Brockman

Paige Peterson, Dr. Elizabeth Beautyman, Michael Schultz, and Susan Calhoun

Chris Cerf and Nancy Missett

L. to r.: Paige Peterson and Nancy Collins; John Creamer and Gretchen Kimball from Belvedere, California; Joan Jakobson.

Annie Gwynne-Vaughan and Nick Jakobson

Wendy Lehman
Suzanne Maas

In town. I got a quick table for one, had the chilled asparagus vinaigrette and then the meatloaf served on a bed of mashed potato and topped with a layer of haricot verts. And a glass of Sancerre. It was kind of fun to eat in a crowded restaurant by myself watching everyone else. I couldn’t hear a thing anyone was saying but there were so many different conversations going on. Gerry Fabrikant of the New York Times was a couple of tables away. I know Gerry likes to talk about what’s going on in the world (she’s a business reporter) and she knows a lot. That would have been a good table to be a fly on.

A couple over Barbara Uzielli was dining with a Mrs. Manovici. Barbara might have been talking about decorating. Or what she really thinks! At the next table a party hosted by Averell Meyer, a granddaughter of the late great Joan Whitney Payson. Next to her Zibby Tozer in from Palm Springs and Sun Valley was entertaining and next to her was Heather Cohane and Frances Hayward, both bigtime dog lovers and home from summer in the Hamptons. Frances leases Grey Gardens, the legendary Bouvier house now owned by Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee. Across from them Marc Rosen and Arlene Dahl entertaining a friend. And next to them Barbara Carroll (who’s opening again at the Algonquin on Sundays) with Mark Stroock, her steady.

Outta town. And next to me were a couple of girls from Little Rock, Gayle Rule and her daughter-in-law Nancy Rule dining with Bernice Lewis who is a Swifty’s regular. I mention this because (and probably because I was solo), Mrs. Rule asked me about the various diners at the other tables. She, being from out of town, was interested but unknowing. First there was the sight of Arlene Dahl “and the man she was with.” Her husband, I told Mrs. Rule who wanted to know how old he was. “Twenty-two years,” I said. “Twenty-two years younger?” she asked real curious. “No,” I said. “Twenty-two years of marriage.” “REALLY?? Well, you’re definitely the man to sit next to.”

Among the crowd: Kay Meehan with Anne Hearst and Jamie Figg, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Tilney, Laura Codman and John Terwiliger, Geoffrey Bradfield and Ada Hersham, Martha Glass and Nancy Knox, and scores more of that ilk.

Home by nine-thirty, ready for this ...

Diane von Furstenberg hosted a private screening at the Tribeca Grand Hotel of Columbia Pictures "Marie Antoinette" directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Kristen Dunst. Afterwards DvF hosted a star-studded buffet dinner at her studio.

Anh Duong and Diane Von Furstenberg

Andre Leon Talley
Brad Gooch, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Shelly Wanger

Barry Diller

Rufus Albermarle and friend
Drew Fry and Bronson Van Wyck

Gemma Ward and Jessica Gomes

Mary Ellen Mark
Martina and Fabian Basabe

Fran Lebowitz

Lauren Bush and David Lauren
Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie

Last Thursday night the Fabiola Beracasa, Blair Husain, Amanda Meigher, and Junior Council Vice Chairs of American Ballet Theatre hosted an Evening Aboard the Forbes Yacht "The Highlander.” They all met down at Pier 60 of Chelsea Piers on West 24th Street and the West Side Highway.

Among the guests: Gordon Thompson (creative director of Cole Haan, the leading sponsor of ABT’s Junior Council), Meredith Gilmor, Peter Lyden, Ellie Berlin, Michael Schwalb, Nancy Sambuco, Eric Masella, Kristin Koch, Raul Barreneche, Britt Moen, Shannon Kennedy, Daniel Cappello, Asha Talwar, David Lawrence, Suzannah and Peter Smith, Avery Broadbent, Chris Jorge, Katherine Kim, Lance Reinhardt, Paige Hardy, and Ben Glover.

Peter Lyden, Eric Masella, Mike Schwalb, and Lance Reinhardt

Kristin Koch and Ellie Berlin

Ben Glover, Chris Jorge, Peter Lyden, and Jameson McFadden

Daniel Cappello, Asha Tallwar, and Raul Barreneche

Ian Fitzpatrick and Katherine Kim

Mohamed Ali Gam and Andrea Lawn

John Banta and Katie Diamond

Caroline Deluca and Caroline Zerah

Hedy Gold and Richard Klotz

Ashley Malone and Danielle Mastrangelo
Jonathan Henken

Raul Barreneche, Amanda Meigher, and Daniel Cappello

Peter Lyden, Fabiola Beracasa, and Gordon Thompson

Alexandra Landegger, Suzannah Smith, and Peter Smith

Joselyn Fine, Avery Broadbent, and Emily Reifel

Photographs by Chance Yeh/©Patrick McMullan (Marie Antoinette); Scott Rudd/©Patrick McMullan (Highlander).


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/