|Sunset, 7:15, overlooking the roof of the Gugg, with the Jacqueline Bouvier Onassis Reservoir to the right, the Met just beyond, and looking down to Central Park South and Columbus Circle. Photo: DPC.|
|Tuesday, 9/16. It was a warm and beautiful day in New York yesterday. Traffic was light when I took a cab to midtown and Michael’s restaurant where I was having lunch with Judy Price. The topic on everyone’s mind was the news about Lehman and Merrill Lynch, two historic Wall Street investment banks that will disappear because of the financial upheaval that is rolling through the Wall Street community and over hill and dale. The forecasts are dire. If you read Nouriel Roubini, the NYU Stern School of Business professor of economics who has been forecasting all of this for several years now, you will see an analysis that is alarming. Roubini is also founder of the RGE Monitor. http://www.rgemonitor.com. See for yourself.
Jewelry, or rather the presence of jewelry in the psyche of men and women, fascinates this writer who thinks of it principally as décor. Although Judy Price asked me if I were wearing any jewelry; and knowing it was a trick question (answer would be yes), I said: “yes, a watch.” Aha! That’s right, she exclaimed with a laugh. She also told me that men were the biggest buyers of jewelry and it is often for investment purposes the way a collector would buy paintings.
“But gems are much smaller and easier to store,” she explained. She also told me how Cartier had once made a ring for Jack Dempsey, the prize fighter in the 1920s, a diamond ring commemorating his winning the World’s Boxing Championship. That piece is owned today, she told me, by a well known American man, who bought it and keeps it in a vault. His vault. With other valuable pieces he’s acquired along the way.
When I told her that it still seemed like a limited market, she informed that last year QVC alone sold over $2 billion in jewelry.
|Necklace with Cross Pendant. Byzantium, 6th to 7th century C.E.; Gold, oriental pearls, emerald, sapphire, gamet, spinel, amethyst, colored glass. Private Collection.
||Top: Ring, Middle East 9th to 10th century C.E. Gold, lapis lazuli. Private Collection. Above: Seal Ring. Middle East 13th century C.E. Gold, camelian. Private Collection.|
|Anyway, all of this has led to her new book for which the author Barbara Goldsmith gave a cocktail reception last week at the Knickerbocker Club. The opening lines of the book, Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry are: Men and women have adorned themselves with jewelry from the earliest times of nomadic life when wild animals were first domesticated and land cultivated.
Next Tuesday at the Forbes Gallery in the Forbes Magazine building on Fifth Avenue and 12th Street, Mrs. Price is hosting an opening cocktail reception for Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry: Exquisite Objects from the Cradle of Civilization. The 132-piece collection has been culled from the Louvre, Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Princeton University Art Museum. The exhibition will run through December 31st.
Michael’s itself was in the news last week when Frank Bruni, the restaurant critic for the New York Times reviewed it after breakfasting, lunching and dining there. Mr. Bruni, who is not known for going gently into that dark kitchen, so to speak, lambasted parts of the Michael’s menu (although he loved a breakfast omelet that I’d never had and which sounded delicious) and generally let the chef have it.
|The view from DPC's table at Michael's.|
|I am not a gourmand although I have a large and ongoing appetite. However, unless something is giving me attitude when I’m eating it, I tend to like what I am eating when ordered in a restaurant. Occasionally at one restaurant or another, I’ll have something that speaks to me, sings to me, but otherwise I am not persnickety. I rarely go to a restaurant for the food, but for the company.
The company keeping at Michael’s at this time at the beginning of the new Century, is as the Brits would say, quite brilliant. The staff matches that with congeniality, service and courtesy. Ahh, Courtesy, remember her? From Loreal and Joanna at the reception to the busboys, to the waiters and waitresses, to the wise-cracking Millington, the GM, to Mr. McCarty himself when he is in from Santa Monica (twice a month for a week or so at a time), the reception and service at Michael’s is not only first rate, but a pleasure.
Furthermore it is a hub of media attention. That’s why anybody would go there, at least at lunchtime in New York. That means authors, agents, columnists, publishers, bankers, studio and network heads, actors, actresses, even Caroline Kennedy from time to time. They come and go, as Mr. Eliot once wrote, “speaking of ...” New York, New York; why are we here/why we are here.
Lincoln Center came into being as part of a neighborhood urban renewal project in the late 1950s. Imagine, that was once a down-at-heels neighborhood decaying.
Today it is a great cultural campus, famous throughout the world. It serves as home for 12 arts organizations and has an enormous impact on the cultural life of the city and the country. Now the jewel has reached the age where it too needs refurbishment which is going on right now.
In May of next year, Lincoln Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary with the “spectacular” reopening of Alice Tully Hall. This December 8th, however, there will be a special sneak peek given to the patrons of Lincoln Center.
|Ann Ziff, Laurie Tisch, Dolly Lenz, Cheryl Milstein, and Josie Robertson|
|Toni and James Goodale||Jennet signing away|
|Mrs. Smith and son Chris||Joe Armstrong and Peggy Siegal||Hannah Pakula and Toni Goodale|
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