Very warm for late November in New York with grey skies overhead promising rain that came in fits and starts after dark
The snowflake suspended above the junction of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street with Louis Vuitton (left) and Tiffany & Co. (right). 8:25 PM. Photo: JH.
Michael’s, now resplendent with its holiday decorations of swags of evergreen and big red bows decorating the rooms, drew a big luncheon crowd including LA matrimonial lawyer Peter Bronstein, New School president, former US Senator Bob Kerrey; uber-editor Alice Mayhew talking shop probably with uber-agent Binky Urban. A table away, former uber-editor/literary agent Joni Evans probably talking some kind of shop with National Television Academy (Emmy Awards) Peter Price; Columbia University’s Miller Theatre executive director George Steel with Anita Jaffe; Beverly Hills realtor Kay Pick, Jim Reginato with Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel; Marc Rosen holding forth at a table of eight, Broadway producer Fran Weissler; mag editors, Good Housekeeping’s Ellen Levine and Newsweek’s Dorothy Kalins; Lorna Graev, Mike Strohl, Beverly Camhe; former Paramount exec and film colony scion John Goldwyn; Bway producing partners Terry Allen Kramer and Liz McCann; Manolo Blahnik president George Malkemus with the Times’ premier fashion critic Cathy Horyn; Barbara Walters at the corner table; Quest’s Chris Meigher with Rubenstein’s Lori Bodor; Robin Melanie Leacock, Rob Weisbach, and at the table next to mine, the queen of “Can We Talk?” that glama-puss herself, Miss Joan Rivers.

At six-thirty I was in black tie on my way to the 2005 Food Allergy Ball
benefiting the Food Allergy Initiative where they were honoring umber-chef Mario Batali and Julia and David Koch. Sharyn Mann started this charity six years ago because she and her husband Steve have a daughter with a serious allergy to peanuts. More than once they came close to losing her to the frequently fatal allergy. Sharyn got the bright idea of putting epi-pens in every public place imaginable – restaurants, buses, airplanes, ambulances, schools, etc. Since its inception, the idea that some thought was not big enough to rate a full fledged philanthropy, has raised $21 million for the cause.

The Mann family
The business of food allergy is relatively new to our community. Monday’s headlines drove the matter home seriously with the report of the 16-year-old girl with an allergy to peanuts, died after kissing her boyfriend who had just eaten some peanuts!

Last night they raised more than $3 million.
David Koch, one of the honorees, and a frequent contributor to the cause developed a serious allergy to shellfish when he was in his fifties. Mary Richardson and Robert Kennedy Jr., who were Benefit Dinner Chairs along with Patricia and James Cayne, have two children with serious food allergies. Corporate Dinner Chair, bringing in hefty financial support was Ron Perelman, chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes. Sharyn Mann and Todd Slotkin were Gala Dinner Chairs. In the crowd: Ben and Elke Gazzara, restaurateurs Julian Niccolini, Sirio Maccioni, David Burke, Drew Nieporent, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, as well as Cece Cord, Julie Slotkin, Roslyn and Elliot Jaffe, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Ruth Ann Swenson, Ellen Barkin, Dean and Rosanne Palin, and Lynette and Howard Gittis.
Greeted by the entertainment upon entering the Pierre
Todd Slotkin, Sharyn Mann, and Ronald Perelman
Mario Batali and Drew Nieporent
Mary Richardson Kennedy, Robert Kennedy Jr., and Julian Niccolini
Simone Levinson, Patricia Cayne, Howard Gittis, and Sharyn Mann
Ilan and Linda Kaufthal
Harvey Sloane
David Koch
Lord and Lady Parry
Elke and Ben Gazzara
Sharyn and Steve Mann
The decor and period costumes en route to the cocktail portion of the evening
Julian Niccolini inspects the living statues
An overview of the ballroom and a detail of the table setting
The Christmas tree at the Pierre

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Farther down the avenue, Cartier was hosting a party in their mansion in honor of the Centennial Anniversary of the National Audubon Society as well as unveiling their holiday windows and their famous Christmas bow which neatly wraps the entire façade of the famous house. More than 225 were in attendance, with the ladies having their pictures taken sitting on Santa’s lap wearing one of two Cartier diamond necklaces – one priced at $650,000 and the other at $1.2 million.

They unveiled their holiday windows and unveiled the famous Cartier bow. Among the stellar throng: Mark Gilbertson, Jill Roosevelt, Nancy Sambuco, Heather Cohane, Chad Ritchie, Jonathan Farkas and Somers, Jennifer Powers, Eric Javits, Hilary Block, Emma Snowdon, Chris Meigher, Liz and Jonathan Eliott, and Doug Hannant and Fred Anderson.

Meanwhile Fifth Avenue by eight-thirty in the evening was teeming with foot traffic, as the raindrops were threatening (but only) to turn torrential, taking in all the holiday decorations. JH and the Digital caught the famous (and newly replaced) shimmering snowflake which is suspended above the avenue at the junction of Fifth and 57th Street shining down on Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Van Cleef and Bergdorf’s and Bulgari.

From there he moved on to some of the fantastic windows in Bergdorf’s (see below). Linda Fargo, the display director of the store produces what are now consistently the most imaginatively chic fashion windows in New York. I was particularly amused by the Delft window which is astounding in its play on punk, couture and randomly witty detail, adding a “Delft-ness” even to the coiffures of the manniquins. Bergdorf’s changes their windows with amazing frequency and I doubt these displays will be there through the holiday season, so hurry on down to get a glimpse of what brilliant imagination can transform a retailer’s object into a dream of a million fancies.

Bergdorf’s windows ...

November 30, 2005, Volume V, Number 199
Photographs by Jeff Hirsch/


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/