|Sunset. 7:06 PM. Photo: JH.|
|Friday, September 16, 2011. Cloudy and grey with a strong breeze yesterday in New York, the final day of Fashion Week (see Ellin’s Fashion Diary), leaving a touch of Autumn in the air.|
|The begonias on the Park Avenue island at 79th Street looking south.|
|After lunch at Michael’s, I took a walk up Fifth Avenue to check out the Bergdorf Goodman windows – always so creative and clever – where I spotted this young woman on the sidewalk, leaning against the building, book in hand, her sweet little dogs secure and comfortable under their little blankets, and the sign ...
“7 MOS. PREGNANT BOYFRIEND LEFT ME "HERE" 3,000 MILES FROM HOME. NEED TO GET A TICKET BACK!! GOD BLESS!!”
|Yesterday on Fifth Avenue on a spot next to Bergdorf Goodman, in front of Van Cleef and Arpels.|
|Something so familiar, I was reminded of a similar situation which I wrote about last January 11th, also on Fifth Avenue, but then a few blocks down near the Olympic Tower. Same sort of situation, young woman, well-dressed, with cute little pekes, well cared for and groomed, and reading a book in her lap.
When I saw her last January (NYSD 1.11.11), I was immediately concerned with her “plight” – 7 months pregnant with the little dogs. I passed her by that day but all I could think of was the “unborn child” she was “carrying,” and those cute little dogs (who were, as you can see, protected by their quilted coats) because it was an especially cold winter’s day and the weatherman had forecast a snowstorm.
And so I went back to talk to her and to give her some money. It so happened that after the picture and the story appeared on the Diary, we got quite a bit of mail about her. Evidently others had seen her, and seen her in other parts of midtown, at other times. A reader who does a lot of volunteer work with people who are homeless wrote to tell me that there was a “fashion” (wrong word but right idea) among some young people – including college students well housed in dorms and apartments here in downtown Manhattan – who did this panhandling/ begging as a kind of lark. And no doubt for the extra dough. The New Cynicism.
|The same girl nine months ago (almost to the day) on January 10th near the Olympic Tower.|
|After receiving those letters, the questions I had when I initially saw her, returned. Why would a person so well and expensively dressed, be in need of bus or plane fare “home”?
So yesterday, with my digital handy, I wondered, could it be the same “pregnant” woman? I took a picture. I couldn’t see her face because she’d bowed her head, just as I was passing by.
As I moved on, passing by the brilliant Bergdorf’s window, only yards from the “7 months pregnant,” there was this young couple, leaning against the same wall, with a more artistically designed sign about being homeless and having no money and needing a ticket to ride. These two kinda looked like they might have been in the cast of “Gossip Girl.”
|The poor things with their 'lucky" dog.|
|Hilary Ross and her son Jack Geary.||Mary McFadden and Edgar Battista.|
|Lined up before speaking before the guests: Wilbur and Hilary Ross, Diana Taylor, and Vikram Pandit.|
|The crowd listening to the group talking about the work of Accion now in its 50th year.|
|The sunset on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 57th Street, 7:20 pm|
|This past Wednesday night, I went over to the New York School of Interior Design on East 70th Street to hear Duane Hampton’s lecture on her recent book (last year) Mark Hampton, An American Decorator. We covered this book when it was published and Sian Ballen and Lesley Hauge interviewed her while JH photographed her apartment for our HOUSE series.
I know Duane personally, but I had never heard the lecture she does on this book and her late husband (who died 13 years ago at age 58).
A bright-eyed, milk-fed kid from a small town in Indiana, he grew up in a picturesque all-American white clapboard two-story house with shutters. He was one of those boys brimming with curiosity and creative talent. He drew and painted all the time – all kinds of things, especially houses and cars (he always said if he ever came back as a car he wanted it to be a 1941 Lincoln Continental — a beauty, I agree).
He had a huge zest for life, a joie de vivre, if you will, and an unerring eye for beauty.
What stands out, although the book and even the lecture, is about Mark Hampton and the development of his career, is the marriage. They were a kind of karmic couple, like Fred and Ginger, just right for the world they would dance in. Duane was wife and mother (two daughters, both flourishing today).
They had a strong family life, and a brilliant social life exposing them to all the great wonders of the world that money can -- and always could -- buy, including connoisseurship. And they had fun. Living well is the best revenge.
|Duane at home, photographed by JH for HOUSE.|
|Duane at the rostrum looking at the screen of photographs about her husband Mark Hampton and their life together, Wednesday night at the New York School of Interior Design on East 70th Street.|
|Duane’s lecture with images tells the story of that marriage (they married in 1964, very much a couple of their generation, and looking every inch of it) just through the visual content. She still laughs and chortles at some of the memories.
It was a golden moment for both, and although cut short by Mark’s early demise, the memory obviously lingers on with charm and beauty, despite the bittersweet disappearance of the man himself. If you ever get a chance to see and hear Duane’s lecture, don’t miss ...
|A magazine ad of five of the top interior designers in the 1990s -- Mark Hampton, Bunny Williams, Albert Hadley, Chessy Rayner and Mario Buatta.|
|The young Hamptons with Dominick Dunne.|
|Mark Hampton's caricature of two dames smoking and having a good laugh.|
|Mickey Hargitay, his wife Jayne Mansifeld, and a starstruck college student from Indiana, Mark Hampton.|
|More parties, more books. Also Tuesday night at the Lambs Club, author Michael Gross celebrated the re-release of his book “Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women.”
In the crowd: Dana Hammond and Dr. Patrick Stubgen, Nancy Gillon and Jock Spivey, Coerte Feiske, Susan and Chip Fisher, Barry Kieselstein-Cord, Matthew Settle, Carmen Dell’Orefice (who is celebrating her 65th year as a top working model), Hunt Slonem, Gay Talese, Bonnie Pfeifer, Liliana Cavendish, Anthony Haden-Guest, Rita Shrager, Nicole Miller, Couri Hay, Sharon Bush, Debbie Dickinson, George Gurley, Roy Kean.
|While a few blocks away, down on the the corner of 57th and Fifth Avenue at Tiffany, John King and Margaret Russell hosted a reception in honor of the article in the October issue of Architectural Digest featuring the home of Richard Lambertson and John Truex.
They transformed the fourth floor of Tiffany’s Flagship store into a chic, autumnal space with dramatic lighting and seasonal florals. Votive and pillar candles added a warm glow for the many notable guests from the New York design and social scene. DJ Kiss provided an upbeat soundtrack for the event.
Among those attending: Anne Monoky, CeCe Cord, Alexandra Lebenthal, Muffie Potter Aston, Gillian Miniter, Robert Ruffino, Steven Stolman, Geoffrey Bradfield, Marjorie Gubelmann, Peter Som, and of course the gents themselves, Lambertson and Truex.
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