The season in full swing
Looking north from the Christmas Bazaar at Union Square. 8:00 PM. Photo: JH.
It was cold in New York yesterday, right on the edge of a wintry day where your ears, the tip of your nose and your fingertips (if you weren’t wearing gloves) were biting-icy.

After lunch at Michael’s I went up to Melonie de France, a little shop at 746 Madison, right next door (on the north side of) to La Goulue to get a little birthday gift for a very chic lady I know who really does have everything. I first noticed the shop when I was walking by a few months ago because of the potted fresh roses in the doorway. I wondered how long the roses would last on the vine in a small pot. No problem, they’re silk! But look so real.
Nazee Moinian
Melonie de France is the creation of three sisters Nazee Moinian, Mahid Ishaghoff, and Sohaila Adelipour. Nazee was the sister whom I met. Their products are mainly from Provence – dried flowers, silk flowers, fragrances, soaps, pottery, decorations – and they have two others shops right here in Manhattan also: 41 East 60th, between Park and Madison and at the New York Hilton. They also have a shop at the Tropicana in Atlantic City and next summer they’ll be in Southampton on Jobs Lane.

Blanc d’Ivoire
I went back for that little gift today for something Nazee (pronounced Nah-zee) had recommended to me for the freshness of its scent — a fragrance called Blanc d’Ivoire. She says to her it smells like freshly mown grass. To me it smells a little like the scent of a rose as you pass by — subtle yet outdoorsy.

I like these things because they take a little bit of the scent-o’-the-dawg off my place (which I actually only notice when coming in from outside). I keep the bottle on a bookcase shelf next to the sofa and one day my housekeeper, unbeknownst to me, discovered it while dusting, and she must have liked it too because when I got home that afternoon, the place smelled like a lovely garden was just outside my windows. Which it is not.

There were a number of things that Nazee sells that intrigued me if I were gift-buying. JH got a good look with the Digital.

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The season in full swing. Tuesday night in New York. I went over to Mona Ackerman and Richard Cohen’s cocktail party at Mona’s Fifth Avenue apartment that once belonged to Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton. Mrs. Ackerman is a famous hostess in New York, famous for her ebullience, exuberance and her Chinese chef so that the moment you step off the elevator you are greeted by the aroma of brilliant gourmandise. Mr. Cohen, who is not to be confused with the current much-publicized Mr. Richard Cohen (husband of Paula Zahn) who lives several blocks down the avenue where they evicted the famous redtail hawk Pale Male. Last night's Richard Cohen is the famous Washington political pundit whose column can be read locally in the New York Post.
Mona Ackerman, Ari Ackerman, and Richard Cohen
Nicholas, Olivia, and Warren Hoge
The Cohen-Ackermans drew a big crowd and naturally lotsa media and media-oriented individuals in New York: Mort Zuckerman, Joel Klein and his wife Nicole Seligman, Patricia Duff and her daughter Caleigh Perelman (who are leaving for ten days in India this afternoon), Joan and John Jakobson, Gil Shiva, Faye Wattleton, Boaz Mazor, Steve Rattner and Maureen White, Mitch and Sarah Rosenthal, Casey Ribicoff and Peter Rogers, Alice Mason, Marie Brenner, Jim and Cathy Hoge, Nancy Collins, Warren and Olivia Hoge and their son Nicholas Hoge who is finishing up at Brown; Mort and Linda Janklow, Peter Allen, Joe Armstrong, Lynn Nesbit, Alice Mayhew, Toni and Jim Goodale, Jason Epstein, Ken Auletta and Amanda Urban, Frank Rich and Alex Witchel, Maureen Dowd, Don Hewitt (who was celebrating his 82nd birthday) and Marlyn Berger, and Dominick Dunne to name only a handful of the guests.

I stayed long enough sample some of the irresistible hors d’oeuvres and take a picture of the host and hostess and the hostess’ son Ari Ackerman, as well as the Hoges and their son Nicholas. Then I was off to “21” where Peter Rogers was having a little birthday dinner for his friend Casey Ribicoff, attended by this writer and Adolfo.
L. to r.: Taking the cake; Adolfo, Casey Ribicoff, and Peter Rogers.
When I finally got a cab, he warned me it would be a hike for the thirty blocks down the avenue but it turned out to be a quickie. “21” was jammed to the product-bedecked rafters, just like the days of yore, as if they’d never left, without an unbooked table left in the house. I saw Kitty and Bill McKnight at a table for eight, Bill Rollnick and Nancy Ellison dining with Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Bricusse, in from Los Angeles, Alex Hitz and Lisa Fine with George Farias, Joan and Ron Linclau with Ann Barish and Jim Power

There will be a memorial for the great American baritone Robert Merrill, one of the Opera world’s leading lujminaries, as well as a beloved son of Brooklyn, a top recording artist and devoted Yankees fan, at The Juilliard School (155 West 65 Street) today at 2 PM.

Photo: Mark Lennihan / AP file

Mr. Merrill passed away on October 23 at his home here in New York City, due to natural causes. He was 87 years old.

The memorial for the beloved singer will be hosted by Sherrill Milnes and will feature speakers: appearances and performances by: Van Cliburn, who has not performed in New York in more than a decade; Bruce Crawford, the Honorable Rudy Giuliani, Skitch Henderson, Marion Merrill, Juilliard President Joseph W. Pelosi, Leontyne Price, Barry Tucker and the NY Yankees, among others; some of whom will perform.

In recognition of the great artistry of Robert Merrill, and the generosity of his family and friends, The Robert Merrill Voice Scholarship Fund has been established at The Juilliard School. The Robert Merrill Voice Scholarship Fund will allow Juilliard to make scholarship grants, in the name of the great baritone, to students of the vocal arts, with need and merit being the only qualifications. Tax-deductible contributions payable to The Juilliard School for The Robert Merrill Voice Scholarship Fund can be mailed to Ms. Victoria Brand, Manager of Scholarship Development, The Juilliard School, 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, New York 10023, or call (212) 799-5000, ext. 692.

Limited public seating is available for the memorial is open to the public on a first come first serve, basis. Depending upon availability, doors will open at 1:30 PM. For more information please visit

December 15, Volume IV, Number 195
Photographs by JH & DPC/


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/