Monday, March 26, 2007

Tales of Manhattan ...

Soho Sunday scene. 1:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Tales of Manhattan ...

“What I like about rich people, is their money.”
Nancy, Lady Astor.

Once upon a time, not that long ago, in little ole Manhattan, there lived a man of a certain station, and distinguished pedigree, what used to be called a blueblood. He was also married to a wealthy heiress with a background only slightly less-distinguished than his, but she was far, far richer. The marriage was long and successful (his second), producing issue to carry on the distinguished name.

So distinguished was the name that he lived the life of a gentleman, what used to be called a club man, one whose daily labors often took him to his club for a glass and a rub, or perhaps a swim or a lunch or a game of cards. Reflecting the beauty of having a wife who also was heiress to a substantial fortune.

Another beauty in the man’s life was a mistress, whom we shall call Lady Love. Lady Love was mistress of long standing – very long -- fifteen, twenty years – and married herself to a popular gent who for reasons of his own ignored his wife’s extra-marital interests. An “arrangement,” or at the very least, “an understanding.”

These were all sophisticated, worldly people, these people, the kind who populate the beach clubs and golf courses in Southampton/East Hampton, Palm Beach and Hobe Sound appearing to not having a care in the world. Except maybe their golf game. Their images, as portrayed in the social and fashion magazines, are glamorously leisure-oriented.  Although truthfully, their lives, while luxuriousy appointed, are often quiet, even dull. Except for those little ... Moments, those ... peccadillos.

Anyway, so the story goes, our Manhattan Man had Lady Love for many years. It was common knowledge in their set. Whether the Man’s wife was aware, was not so common knowledge. And, as we know, the wife is often the last ... to know.

Although this particular lady must have had some very provocative clues – like one weekday evening after dinner when the Man announced that he was going to take “Rover,” their adored purebred, for a nice long, long walk. Which he did.  And on his way to wherever he just happened to pay a visit to his Lady Love. With whom he dallied away a couple of lovely hours by her fireside. 

But when he returned home, it turned out he’d forgotten the dog. Omigod.

“Where’s Rover?” the Wife, asked with alarm.

“Oh, well,” fumbled the Man, embarrassed by his forgetfulness but unable to give a straight answer, “well, I don’t know how to tell you this but as we got to the Park, Rover’s leash slipped out of my hand and he ... ran away!”

Desperate, the Wife called the police. And because she was who she was, the police came to call almost immediatley. The Man repeated his story,“his leash slipped out of my hand….” as they entered the park, “and he ran away.”

So the police asked the Man to take them to that place in the Park where the dog ran away. Embarrassed, the man complied, and off they went.

Now, of course there was no such place as the Man hadn’t gone near the Park with his dog but had gone straight to his Lady Love's apartment. So he showed them some place anyway and, charade over, the police drove the Man back to his apartment. Where what should they find but a very angry yet happy Wife, holding their beloved Rover and glaring at her husband.

“My god,” the Man said in front of the police, “Rover is so smart he knew exactly how to find his way home. Now that’s what comes of fine breeding.”

Heathcliff Rellie, Euan Rellie, and Lucy Sykes
“Well,” said the wife, “I don’t know about that but I do know that what you also get with fine breeding is a liar and a cad. I had the doorman take a photo of the blonde who returned Rover to his home, and her name was (Lady Love)!”

And while on the subject of fine breeding, New York Social Diary congratulates Euan Rellie and Lucy Sykes on the arrival of their second son, Titus Jasper Jake Icarus Rellie, (yes, really),  weighing in at 9 pounds, 3 ounces, on the 21st of March at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York. Father just celebrated his birthday (see NYSD) last week. Mother is a designer and manufacturer of baby clothes called Baby Sykes.  TJJIR has an older brother Heathcliff.

Last Thursday night was opening of the International Asian Art Fair to benefit the Asia Society, with a Gala Preview Reception at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue and 67th Street. The Fair runs through this coming Wednesday, March 30th.

This is Asia Week in New York and there are exhibitions and sales going on all over town. However, the International Asian Fair which first brough Asian to the fore in New York, is the crème de la crème  in terms of art and objects.
Walking through the International Asian Art Fair
One of my favorites is Goedhuis, the gallery that first brought contemporary Chinese painting and sculpture to New York. This gallery alone is worth the price of admission.  But there are many beautiful stalls showing art, jewelry, sculpture, porcelains, and furniture. All of it giving off that Eastern elegance that was also very much in the room amongst the crowd who’d come for the Asia Society.
Daniel Cappello, Asha Talwar, Lynette Yen, and Andre Zejlawn
The Chinese Porcelain Company
Alison Minton and Kimberly Thomsen
Paola Isabella Tornito and friends
Ingrid Yonke and Eiko Assael
Rosena and Tony Sammi
Zang Toi and Ling
Ling with a favorite item
Evelyn Tompkins
Janis Gardner Cecil of the Marlborough Gallery
Marcia Levine surrounded by Geena Rocero and Stephen Redler
Charles Rockefeller, Charlie Schlangen, and John Ackerly
Christopher Mason and Richard Schurkamp
Lucia Hwong Gordon

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