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Warm and sunny Memorial Day Weekend

Looking east towards Manhattan. 7:50 PM. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Warm and sunny Memorial Day Weekend marking the beginning of summer for many New Yorkers. City very quiet. Monday morning thunderstorm brought a downpour for an hour, washing the streets and sidewalks.
Looking towards Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway. 7:45 PM.
Before we get started: earlier this month Carnegie Hall celebrated its 120th anniversary with a special concert featuring the works of Beethoven, Dvorak, Ellington and Gershwin with special guests Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, violinist Gil Shaham and Audra McDonald with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert. This was a great concert, and if you missed it, it’ll be, in its entirety, on PBS tonight (check local listings).

Concerts there have an extra ingredient for me because of the history of the place – the great, now even legendary talents of the past two centuries who have played there. When you think of the performances that have graced its stage and filled the vast auditorium, and the New Yorkers (and all the distinguished visitors) who have attended those concerts, it’s impossible not to get a thrill being in, witnessing, hearing a concert in this historical New York monument that speaks to the world.
Carnegie Hall.
Having also watched many on Great Performances, I realize that the televised version gives you something that you don’t get at the “live” concert. You get to see what the performers see when they are standing on the stage -- the magnificence of the entire great hall itself – with its horseshoe rings rising up six stories. It also gives you the close ups of the Philharmonic musicians. You’re looking at tens of thousands of hours of concealed practice that has made them great, and all for the thrill of it.

Tonight’s anniversary program begins with Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in C major, Op. 56, a selection of Ellington songs sung by Miss McDonald – who never looked more beautiful and glamorous – including “Sophisticated Lady,” “Solitude,” “On a Turquoise Cloud,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing.”
Alan Gilbert, conductor of the New York Philharmonic, at the 120th Anniversary Concert on May 5th.
Then the orchestra played Antonin Dvorak’s “Carnival Overture.” The Czech composer first played Carnegie Hall in 1892. His famous “New World Symphony” was first heard at a “public” rehearsal at Carnegie Hall on December 15, 1893.

The final piece on the anniversary program is George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” which made its debut at Carnegie Hall on December 13, 1928. Gershwin had traveled to Paris earlier that year, then the zenith of Scott Fitzgerald’s “Jazz Age” when the city was the bustling center of modern art and culture.

Gershwin was by then a famous Broadway composer. He aspired to greater heights, however; and asked Maurice Ravel if he could study with him. Ravel suggested he study instead with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Boulanger was famous (and still is) as the teacher of many great composers and performers (pianists) of the 20th century.
Audra McDonald singing Duke Ellington at the concert.
In March, he went Paris where he had an appointment with Boulanger. After playing ten minutes of music at her request, she told him she had nothing to teach him.

From that Paris visit, however, came what he had in mind when he made the voyage – to write something that reflected the magic and allure of the city that so fascinated the Americans who were drawn to it: “An American in Paris.”

He later recalled that his “purpose was to portray the impressions of an American visitor in Paris as he strolls the city, listens to the street noises, and absorbs the French atmosphere.” And so it remains: just listen tonight, and it’ll take you there, guest of the composer.
Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Gil Shaham.
El Museo del Barrio held its annual Gala this past Thursday at Cipriani 42nd Street, and honored fashion photographer Mario Testino with a lifetime artistic achievement award celebrating his 30-year career.

600 attended and they raised $1,000,000 for the Museum. The glamorous fundraising benefiting New York’s leading Latino museum was chaired by Yaz and Valentín Hernández with Alex González and Raúl Martínez.

This is traditionally a very dressy affair. It is because Latin women (and men, for that matter) have a sharper, more festive sensibility about formal affairs. They enjoy the pageantry of the dress. With the best of them it is an art. With those who are less interested, they have a guide to reflect the tradition of “dressing” for the occasion.
42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue looking east on Thursday night at 8:15.
However, fashion today in New York dictates anything goes and so anything (and everything) is what you see. Pageantry and pedantry, the designers’ confections are lively, dramatic, elaborate, pared down, gussied up, chic, and not-so. The wearers are covered, swathed, barely covered, uncovered, and often worn by – the dress. And so it goes mid-way through 2011.

Grace Coddington was there with her flaming tresses pulled back from her beautiful face. Ms. Coddington’s fashion is basic integrity. Her colleague, Ms. Wintour, fashion’s ultimate salesforce to the masses, was dressed for a chic summer night in New York, looking glamorous and certain.

Hollywood actresses today, while beautiful, or shapely or sexy or sweet, do not have Ms. Wintour’s glamour or certainty. Nor Ms. Coddington’s integrity. But then, they’re movie stars, so who needs it? Kate Winslet, simply stellar in her presence, presented El Museo’s lifetime achievement award to Mr. Testino, and gave a charming speech proclaiming the friendship of the photographer with his subjects.
Kate Winslet arriving. Anna Wintour, with Billy Norwich, waiting.
Grace Coddington. Sharon Hoge, Paola Rosenshein, Felicia Taylor, and Ivana Lowell.
The award, created by Asprey of London, was a sterling silver tray engraved with the signatures of 35 of Testino’s friends and colleagues including Christopher Bailey, Hamish Bowles, Naomi Campbell, Graydon Carter, Lucinda L. Chambers, Grace Coddington, Francisco Costa, Oscar de la Renta, Victoria Fernandez, Tom Ford, Alex Gonzalez, Tonne Goodman, Yaz Hernandez, Carolina Herrera, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael Kors, Andre Leon Talley, Blake Lively, Raul Martinez, Sienna Miller, Demi Moore, Julianne Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sasha Pivovarova, Candy Pratts Price, Julia Roberts, Narciso Rodriguez, Carine Roitfeld, Claudia Schiffer, Alexandra Shulman, Charlize Theron, Donatella Versace, Natalia Vodianova, Kate Winslet, and Anna Wintour.

In accepting the award, Mr. Testino said, “They say that a prophet is never recognized in his own land but an award from El Museo is like saying I am recognized by my own community .... My profession is all about who you work with—editors, actresses, stylists, models—people who understand what they are going to give you. Anna Wintour gave a party for me and it was like the ad, ‘Before it’s in fashion, it’s in Vogue.’ Well, before I was in fashion, I was in Vogue. She decided I was a good photographer and it took thirty years to prove that. Thank you for this award.”
Pre-dinner.
Dinner in full swing.
Attending guests included Hamish Bowles, Sharon Bush, Claudia Cisneros, Jackie Weld with Angel Sanchez, Alexandra Loeb and Tom Driscoll, Fe and Alessandro Fendi, Stephen Gan, Sylvester and Gillian Miniter, Cat Greenleaf, Agnes Gund, Prabal Gurung, Sharon Handler and Ambassador John L. Loeb, Josh Hartnett, Lazaro Hernandez, Alexandra Lebenthal and Jay Diamond, John Legend, Courtney Love, Carolyn Murphy and Jeremy Diamond, Felicia Taylor, Jack McCollough, Tamara Mellon, Susan Magrino and Jim Dunning, Nicole Miller and Kim Taipale, Enrique Norten, Matt Raimo, Alexandra Richards, Carine Roitfeld, Alejandro Santo Domingo, Joan Smalls, Candice Swanepoel, Carmen Ana and Joseph Unanue, Donatella Versace, Allegra Versace, Diane von Furstenberg.

Additional attendees included U.S. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, New York State Senator William Perkins, New York State Senator José Gustavo Rivera, New York State Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, New York City Comptroller John Liu, New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Pedro R. Pierluisi.
Mario Testino
Mario Testino.
Guests danced to music provided by DJ Alexandra Richards, daughter of Keith, and the band Spam Allstars, which blended improvisational electronic elements and turntables with latin, funk, hip hop, and dub.

El Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading Latino cultural institution, welcomes 250,000 visitors annually to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures. Their richness is represented in El Museo’s critically acclaimed exhibitions and wide-ranging collections, film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations, and educational programs.  A dynamic artistic and community gathering place, El Museo is a center of cultural pride on New York’s museum mile. For additional information, go to www.elmuseo.org.
Alenis Sosa
Alenis Sosa
Kara Davis, Yoly Davis, Mark Davis
Kara, Yoly, and Mark Davis
Josh Hartnett
Josh Hartnett
Alexandra Lebenthal, Alexis Clark, Yaz Hernandez, Gillian Miniter, Claudia Lebenthal, Matthew Moneypenny
Alexandra Lebenthal, Alexis Clark, Yaz Hernandez, Gillian Miniter, Claudia Lebenthal, and Matthew Moneypenny
Jorge Vergara, Angelica Fuentes, Carlos Seco
Jorge Vergara, Angelica Fuentes, and Carlos Seco
PJ Pascual, Satya Twena
PJ Pascual and Satya Twena
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada
Donatella Versace
Donatella Versace
Raul Martinez, Martha Christiana
Raul Martinez and Martha Christiana
Michel Heredia, Omar Heredia
Michel and Omar Heredia
Jacqueline Weld Drake, Angel Sanchez
Jacqueline Weld Drake and Angel Sanchez
Tracey Riese, Phillip Riese
Tracey and Phillip Riese
Jessica Garza, Frederico Garza
Jessica and Frederico Garza
Lauren Dudley
Lauren Dudley
Tamara Mellon
Tamara Mellon
Paola Rosenshein, Arnold Rosenshein
Paola and Arnold Rosenshein
Marife Hernandez and Joel Bell
Fabiola Arias, Jieun Wax
Fabiola Arias and Jieun Wax
Andy Unanue, Marie O'Mara
Andy Unanue and Marie O'Mara
Encarnita Quinlan, Robert Quinlan
Encarnita and Robert Quinlan
Crystal Renn
Crystal Renn
Kiki Rocha
Kiki Rocha
Rolando Santana, Natasha Huang
Rolando Santana and Natasha Huang
Felicia Taylor, ?
Felicia Taylor and friend
Prabal Gurung, Joan Smalls
Prabal Gurung and Joan Smalls
Agnesa Foygel, Peter Navey
Agnesa Foygel and Peter Navey
Hanaa Ben Abdesslem
Hanaa Ben Abdesslem
Astrid Redmond, Maria Eugenia Arria
Astrid Redmond and Maria Eugenia Arria
Barbara Regna, Chele Upton Chiavacci
Barbara Regna and Chele Upton Chiavacci
John Legend
John Legend
Suzanne Diaz, Brad Kroenig, Harley Viera-Newton
Suzanne Diaz, Brad Kroenig, and Harley Viera-Newton
Stephen Gan
Stephen Gan and friends
Lucy Danziger, James Danziger
Lucy and James Danziger
Alejandra Cicognani
Alejandra Cicognani
Nazira Handal
Nazira Handal
Lee Fryd, Robin Cofer
Lee Fryd and Robin Cofer
Juan Ruichealy, Patricia Ruichealy
Juan and Patricia Ruichealy
Jean Shafiroff, Martin Shafiroff
Tony Bechara and Yaz Hernandez
Jay Diamond, Alexandra Lebenthal
Jay Diamond and Alexandra Lebenthal
Luigi Tadini, Carolina Andraus-Batista
Luigi Tadini and Carolina Andraus-Batista
Caio Fonseca, Andre Balazs
Caio Fonseca and Andre Balazs
Esther Herrero Gaffron, Eduardo Gaffron
Esther Herrero Gaffron and Eduardo Gaffron
Michelle Harper
Michelle Harper
Blair Husain
Blair Husain
Tony Bechara, Christian Cota
Christian Cota
Courtney Love, Mario Testino
Courtney Love and Mario Testino
Noah Mills, Karmen Pedaru, Heidi Mount, Simon Nessnan
Noah Mills, Karmen Pedaru, Heidi Mount, and Simon Nessnan
Paula Carlotti, Lauri Salermo, Tamaris Vazquez
Paula Carlotti, Lauri Salermo, and Tamaris Vazquez
Chris Griesel, Agnesa Foygel
Chris Griesel and Agnesa Foygel
Whitney Wolfe, Louis Wolfe, Sarah Wolfe
Whitney, Louis, and Sarah Wolfe
Nazira Handal, Vilma Brennan
Nazira Handal and Vilma Brennan
Emily Smith, Paul de Leon
Emily Smith and Paul de Leon
Lisa Yom, David Lipke
Lisa Yom and David Lipke
Michael Safir, Anna Safir
Michael and Anna Safir
Josh Harnett, Courtney Love, Sophia Lie
Josh Harnett, Courtney Love, and Sophia Lie
Sharon Handler, John Loeb, Tom Shiah, Patricia Shiah
Sharon Handler, John Loeb, and Tom and Patricia Shiah
Kara Davis, Michelle Harper, Yoly Davis
Kara Davis, Michelle Harper, and Yoly Davis
Carly Cushnie, Michelle Ochs
Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs
Eleanora Kennedy
Eleanora Kennedy
Alessandra Codinha
Alessandra Codinha
Carlos Campos, Eglantina Zingg
Carlos Campos and Eglantina Zingg
Hamish Bowles, Ana Wintour
Hamish Bowles and Ana Wintour
Federick Anderson, Sharon Bush, Douglas Hannat
Federick Anderson, Sharon Bush, and Douglas Hannat
Maria Ferrer, Carmen Unanue
Maria Ferrer and Carmen Unanue
Joan Smalls, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem
Joan Smalls and Hanaa Ben Abdesslem
Emily DiDonato
Emily DiDonato
Jim Dunning, Susan Magrino Dunning
Jim and Susan Magrino Dunning
Argie Tang, Oscar Tang
Argie and Oscar Tang
Peter Regna, Barbara Regna
Peter and Barbara Regna
Guests
Raul Suarez and friends
Kelly Talamas, Sarah Gore Reeves
Kelly Talamas and Sarah Gore Reeves
Benjamin Le Hay, Tia Walker, Jacob Spies
Benjamin Le Hay, Tia Walker, and Jacob Spies
Grace Coddington
Grace Coddington
Tom Techeux, Carine Roitfeld
Tom Techeux and Carine Roitfeld
Courtney Love, Josh Harnett, ?
Courtney Love and Josh Harnett
Bennett Marcus, Alexis Clark
Bennett Marcus and Alexis Clark
Christine Cachot, Fuad Sawaya
Christine Cachot and Fuad Sawaya
David Wax, Jieun Wax
David and Jieun Wax
John Rigas, Darcy Rigas
John and Darcy Rigas
Patricia Hartenek, Laura Koch
Patricia Hartenek and Laura Koch
Tony Beshara, Yolanda Santos
Tony Beshara and Yolanda Santos
Maria Eugenia Arria, Irene Zingg, Astrid Redmond
Maria Eugenia Arria, Irene Zingg, and Astrid Redmond
Sylvester Miniter, Gillian Miniter
Sylvester and Gillian Miniter
Donatella Versace
Donatella Versace
Carmen Unanue, Joseph Unanue
Carmen and Joseph Unanue
Fe Fendi, Alessandro Fendi
Fe Fendi and Alessandro Fendi
Maria Luisa Ferre, Carlos Betancourt
Maria Luisa Ferre and Carlos Betancourt
Alexander Shoong, Candice Swanepoel
Alexander Shoong and Candice Swanepoel
Laura Pardo, Luis Pardo
Laura and Luis Pardo
Elizabeth Kabler, Jeffrey Laurence
Elizabeth Kabler and Jeffrey Laurence
Chuck Price, Candy Pratts Price, Alex Gonzalez
Chuck and Candy Pratts Price, and Alex Gonzalez
Tarajia Morell, Sebastian Sergeant
Tarajia Morell and Sebastian Sergeant
Kate Winslet, Mario Testino
Kate Winslet and Mario Testino
Anna Wintour, Mario Testino
Anna Wintour and Mario Testino
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