Winter Wonderland on NYSD ...

Peter Jacobsen, Tim Landi, Whitney Fairchild, Nathalie Gerschel Kaplan, Alexandra Lebenthal, Pauline Joerger, Lawrence DeParis, Cristina Greeven Cuomo, Zani Gugelmann, Tinsley Mortimer, Alexis Bryan, and Coralie Charriol Paul

The New York Botanical Garden is one of great gems of New York City. It is so special that it remains an undiscovered treasure for many of us, especially those of us who are not gardeners or don’t have small children.

It’s an old and very well known secret. Maybe it’s the name. You think whaddu I care about botanical? In the upper-reaches of the city where the Bronx turns into a kind of paradise. 

The people who support the Botanical, however, and the people who run it, design it, create it, maintain it, know how many of us feel, that we often forget to opt for paradise. They know that there are a lot of us who have to be sidled up to, nudged a little, reminded and shown the way.

The people of the Botanical know this. And so they make it inviting for those who’d like a good time, some kind of a party, to have fun with.

During cocktail hour of the Winter Wonderland Ball — one of their important gala benefits which was held two Fridays ago at the Botanical Garden, the kind of “junior” ball of the season — the air was aclatter with voices along with the toy trains chugging over a mile's worth of tracks.

This was a very glamorous young New York crowd. This Ball is one of the places where we first hear of them, those who will take their positions on the boards, in the fashion commentary, business (and marital) spheres, in the heart of the city.

Many of the young women that night wore Escada, who was also the evening's main sponsor. It was a goodlooking, well turned out crowd.

Dining on filet mignon and mashed potatoes and shedding the calories on the dance floor, dance, dance, dance. The perfect party amidst the woodland and pastoral setting of the Botanical Garden.

Alexa Bryan and Zani Gugelmann

Adelina Wong Edelson, Alexandra Lind Rose, and Coralie Charriol Paul

Alex Kramer and Zani Guglemann

Alexandra Lebenthal and Lawrence DeParis

Alex Lind Rose and Christian Leone

Amy and Nezil Dwek

Atoosa Rubinstein

Blair Husain and Adelina Wong Edelson

Caroline Owens and Kristin Klonoski

Cristina Greeven Cuomo and Chris Cuomo

Cristina Greeven Cuomo, John Duffy, and Jennifer Duffy

Claude Shaw and Lara Meiland

Edward and Bettina Mirsepahi

Erika Christensen and Kerry Washington

Eden Williams and Matt Palmieri

Eleanor Ylvisaker and Maggie Katz

Cynthia Srednicki, Alexis Bryan, and Coralie Charriol Paul

Gillian and Sylvester Miniter

Helena Lehane and Eric Javits

Joe and Nazee Moinian

Kim Hicks and Kristina Zimbalist

Lela Rose, Alexis Clark, and Gillian Miniter

Pauline Joerger and Tim Landi

Tinsley Mortimer, Christian Leone, and Natalie Leeds Leventhal

Sarah Cristobal

Sara Ayres and Struan Coleman

Tatiana Ahlers

Cristina Greeven Cuomo, Zani Gugelmann, Tinsley Mortimer, Kerry Washinton, and Erika Christensen

Alexandra Lind Rose, Lee Kaplan, Whitney Fairchild, Pauline Joerger, Amy Dwek, and Jennifer Creel

Sara Ayres, Helena Lehane, and Tara Rockefeller

Rohit Pursram, Lara Meiland, Claude Shaw, and John Fasticelli

Tamaraand Josh Luechtenburg

Tamie Peters Thomas and Rich Thomas

Valerie Ohrstrom and Susan Shin

It was a hip evening for the glitterati who gathered at the Tribeca Grand Hotel for Cinema Society’s special screening (followed by a dinner in the Soho Grand Gallery) of Candy starring Heath Ledger. The film, which also stars Abbie Cornish and Geoffrey Rush, is a powerful and harrowing depiction of a couple hooked on heroin.

Cole Haan partnered with the Cinema Society in hosting the evening. Cinema Society evenings are authentic Noo Yawk glitterati, great people watching as well as movie watching.

Mr. Ledger was on hand, along with Cinema Society Founder Andrew Saffir. The star received accolades from a starry crowd which included Claire Danes, Ron Howard, Helena Christensen, Margherita Missoni, Beth Ostrosky, Fisher Stevens, Mamie Gummer, Ben Shenkman, Kiera Chaplin, Liya Kibede, Carson Kressley, B-52’s Fred Schneider, Lydia Hearst, Irina Pantaeva, Richard Meier, Stefano Tonchi, Daniel Benedict, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, Elettra Rossellini Weidemann, Bettina Zilkha, Dennis Basso, Douglas Hannant, Marjorie Gubelmann Raein, Carlos Souza, Meredith Ostrom, Olivia Chantecaille, Jamie Johnson, Peter Davis, Jackie Astier, Eleanor and Jon Ylvisaker, Ferebee Bishop, and Cole Haan CEO Jim Seuss.

Heath Ledger

Lydia Hearst

Ron Howard

Ben Shenkman

Andrew Saffir and Helena Christensen

Carlos Souza

Beth Ostrosky

Bettina Zilkha

Carson Kressley

Elettra Wiedemann

Claire Danes and Mamie Gummer

Frederick Anderson, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, and Douglas Hannant

Eleanor Ylvisaker

Kate Schelter

Margherita Missoni

Dennis Basso

Jackie Astier and Daniel Benedict

Fred Schneider

Keira Chaplin

Fisher Stevens

Richard Meier

Marjorie Gubelmann Raein

Cole Haan's Jim Seuss and Annie Taube

Olivia Chantecaille

Liya Kibede

Ferebee Bishop

Stefano Tonchi

M Missoni hosted a cocktail party at the SoHo boutique to preview photographer Douglas Friedman’s latest work in his first ever public exhibit. The photographs document a road trip from Saigon to Hanoi and into Halong Bay during a three week period in the summer of 2006.

The excitement surrounding Douglas’ debut exhibit brought an enthusiastic crowd to the M Missoni store to offer their congratulations. Allison Sarofim, Martha Stewart, Bronson Van Wyck, Derek Blasberg, Melanie Charlton, Blaire Clark, Carrie Cloud, Celerie Kemball, Bonnie Morrison, Ellen Niven, Olivia Palermo, Byrdie Bell, Melissa Berkelhammer, Claire Bernard, Lily Rafii, Miles Redd, Kate Schelter, Peter Som, Vanessa Von Bismarck, Eleanor Ylvisaker, Bettina Zilkha, and Jessica Zirinis made their way around the crowded store to see the oversized color photographs of Vietnam which were hung high above the crowd.

Graziano de Boni, President and CEO of Valentino Fashion Group USA, was thrilled with the success of the evening and promised there would be more "things"in 2007. As a brand, M Missoni will continue to support talented young artists and the SoHo store is an ideal location to display their work", says de Boni.

Douglas Friedman lives and works in Manhattan as a photographer and is best known for his work in Wallpaper, Elle Décor, Tatler, V, Domino, InStyle, and New York magazine.

Ellen Niven and Jessica Zirinis

Melanie Charlton and Jennifer Ireland

Martha Stewart and Kevin Sharkey

Bridgete Helene

Douglas Friedman

Outside Missoni

Graziano de Boni, Bettina Zilkha, and Matthew Marchak

From Douglas Freidman's latest collection

Jamie and Frank McCourt, the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers were honored by American Friends of the Hebrew University at their annual Scopus Award Gala a week ago Sunday at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom. 

The McCourts join a distinguished group of past Scopus Laureates including Steven Spielberg, Ted Turner, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Larry King, Merv Griffin, Elie Wiesel, Zubin Mehta and Billy CrystalVin Scully, Hall of Fame Broadcaster and Voice of the Dodgers, was emcee.The Honorable Al Gore was the Keynote Speaker.

Dinner Chairs are Beth and Joshua Friedman, Mary Hart and Burt Sugarman, and Daphna and Richard Ziman

The Scopus Award, the highest honor conferred by the American Friends of the Hebrew University, is awarded to outstanding community leaders who have maintained an active involvement in humanitarian causes of local, national and international scope.

Scopus Award Gala Honorees, Dodgers, and Dinner Chairs

Throughout their lives, the McCourts have focused their philanthropic efforts on educational initiatives believing that educational opportunities provide the building blocks for future success. The funds donated from this event go to providing educational opportunities for students at Hebrew University.

Upon joining the Dodgers, the McCourts rejuvenated the Dodgers Dream Foundation and launched the $1 million “Team 42” scholarship fund in honor of legendary Dodger and civil rights pioneer, Jackie Robinson.  The program provides college scholarships to 42 Los Angeles-area minority students each year.

Al Gore, Tipper Gore, Jamie McCourt, Frank McCourt, and Tommy Lasorda

Sandy Koufax with Jamie and Frank McCourt

More wisdom of pearls. "Pearls have occupied a very, very important place in not only the history of jewelry but in the history of art, the history of fashion... and the history of Palm Beach," says Tiffany's longtime design director, John Loring at a recent visit to Tiffany’s Worth Avenue store in Palm Beach. Loring was there promoting his new book “Tiffany Pearls” (Harry N. Abrams $50) in which he details the world’s history of celebrated pearls. (see  NYSD Shopping Diary/ Passionate Shopper).

John Loring has written a number of books on Tiffany Design. Jackie Onassis edited the first six.

In his talk, he pointed out that pearls historically “were far more valuable than diamonds for most of history.” At the New York World's Fair held in 1939, the Tiffany diamond was priced at $200,000, the Tiffany pearl was $600,000.). They are also the greatest jewel in the history of portraiture. “When you go to a museum,” he pointed out,  “the only jewel that you see that (looks like it should) is the pearl because it was the only one that could be rendered accurately." The same with black-and-white photography, “Before colored photography came in in the 1930s ... what do you see in those portraits? You see pearls or diamonds. So the public had the impression the only fashionable thing to wear were pearls or diamonds but pearls showed up better."

"We have a great example of pearls in the portrait of Mary Lily Flagler in the Flagler Museum in the music room," said Loring. "She is wearing her (60-inch) opera-length strand of fine Oriental pearls, which Henry Morrison Flagler purchased from Tiffany & Co. for the cool sum of $2 million."

Loring  doesn’t know what happened to the pearls of the third wife of Mr. Flagler but if it hasn't been made into several smaller necklaces, he estimates its current value at close to $40 million.

Robert and Mary Montgomery and friends

John Loring, Frances Scaife, and Tom McCarter

John Loring, Diane Burn, and Val Selleck

Lesly Smith, Jeff Bateman, and Stockard Channing

Robert Janjigian and Maggy Scherer

John and Carol Ann Stiglmeier

Katie Vecellio, Mike Reiter, and Janet Pleasants

John Loring with Victoria and Minot Amory

Bill and Maura Benjamin

John Mashek, Kit Pannill, Pauline Pitt, and Bill Pannill

Photographs by Lucien Capehart (Loring); Patrick McMullan (Botanical Garden & Cinema Society).


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/