Last night in little ole New York
Looking northwest across Central Park from a Fifth Avenue apartment. 8:50 PM. Photo: JH.

Wednesday in New York. Hot. What else is new? I came home this afternoon to find the latest New York Review of Books in my mailbox. One of the lead pieces is John Hansen’s piece “The Threat to the Planet” which is a review of three books on the environment including Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Mr. Hansen says that all of the animal kingdom know what’s going on and are acting accordingly to survive except for us’ns who simply readjust the thermostat. There is a prevailing opnion among the non-believers (as well as many of the believers) that the problem is beyond our lifetimes and so therefore ... whattayagonnado aboud it? Leaving the real question: what is it gonnadoabout it to us? We shall see, shan’t we? Proceed with caution.

Meanwhile back to the Manhattan animal kingdom. Kathy Steinberg, the tycoon-ish private residential broker for Edward Lee Cave, gave one of her rare but very talkfested cocktail parties at her Fifth Avenue penthouse for a hundred friends (or maybe more; I’m guessing). Her daughter Liz Lange, the maternity tycooness was there, as was her brother- and sister-in-law Gayfryd and the now legendary tycoon Saul Steinberg, as well as her nephew Jonathan Steinberg and his wife Maria Bartiromo, as well as Steve Schwarzman, the Blackstone Group tycoon who bought Saul Steinberg’s 740 Park Avenue apartment brokered by Kathy. You with me?

When Mr. Schwarzman bought the apartment a few years ago, he paid somewhere in the vicinity of $31 million (Mr. Steinberg had bought it from Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s estate for a price in the low six figures.) Very recently a much smaller apartment (2 bedrooms) in the same building, was bought from the estate of Annenberg heiress Enid Haupt by John Thain, the current head of the New York Stock Exchange for $29.5 million. You still with me?

I digress. Meanwhile Kathy Steinberg has this penthouse apartment which has views and views and views (“just picture a penthouse way up in the clouds ... ”) and a lot of the guests were out there on the terrace taking it all in. One guest said to me: “If I had this apartment I’d have my coffee on a table out here every morning.” So would I. In fact, if I had the apartment I would spend the weekend on the terrace. I might even sleep out there on a warm summer night. Dreams are made of this.

Kathy Steinberg on her terrace with its stupendous views.

At Mrs. Steinberg’s I met with my old friends Marianne and Steve Harrison (they own Rhett House Inn which advertises on the NYSD) and we went up to Swifty’s for an early dinner.

Swifty’s was booked up to the ceiling. In the backroom there were three birthday parties going on (besides the rest of us): Barbara Hawkins was being entertained by three friends at one table. At another Jones Yorke was celebrating his 75th with a dozen long time (notice I didn’t say “old”) friends, including his significant other, Betsy Bartlett, Joy and Jonathan Ingham, Dr. John Espy, David and Lisa Schiff, Joe and Nancy Missett, Hilary Califano, and Barbara Carroll and Mark Stroock.

Jones Yorke

Joe Missett and Btesy Bartlett

Lisa Schiff and Jonathan Ingham

Joy Ingham

Jones Yorke blowing out his birthday candle

David Schiff and Nancy Missett
Dr. John Espy and Hilary Califano
And then right next door at a table for sixteen, they were celebrating the 50th of Ms. Liza Pulitzer. Ms. Pulitzer is mainly a Palm Beach denizen although she knows New York like the back of her hand. Liza is one of the all-time favorites of a lot of people. You can see it in her face. Her mother invented “the Lilly” dress which is named after herself. Liza looks like the new 30 although we know she’s accumulated some wisdom in the meantime that belies that number. Meanwhile she was surrounded by her two sons, Bobby and Christopher Leidy and their father, her former husband, Bob Leidy.
Liza Pulitzer celebrated her 50th birthday with Bobby and Christopher Leidy and their father, her former husband, Bob Leidy.
Phil McCarthy, Jim Brodsky, and Nina and John Richter finishing up at Swifty's.
On our way out, we ran into Chappy Morris and Debbie Bancroft catching up over din as well.


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June 22, 2006, Volume VI, Number 103
Photographs by DPC/


© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/