Friday, April 23, 2010

A Thursday to remember

The sun sets after a busy New York week. 7:40 PM. Photo: JH.
April 23, 2010. Yesterday was another beautiful Spring day in New York with temperatures rising into the 60s.

I went down to Swifty’s for lunch with two writers: Erica Jong and her daughter Molly Jong-Fast. Three writers sitting together at lunch can’t talk fast enough – there is so much to say – and it’s all fodder for someone’s memoir or so we are inclined to think.

Then there’s the world to discuss, the world around us, then the gossip that rises out of it, and finally back to the writing, the work, the way.
Outside Swfity's.
After lunch it started to sprinkle. Then suddenly cooled with some brisk breeze, and the skies turned that soft charcoal grey, and the light turned white. For a minute there we thought we were in for a deluge. Nope. A few more sprinkles and the skies still grey but this time only grey-ish. And the storms passed over till another day. That’s New York; you never know what to expect.

Last night I started out at Archivia, one of my favorite bookstores on Lexington between 71st and 72nd. Archivia specializes in Art and Architecture and Social History, Photography, Design, as well as out-of-print titles from all over the world.

I only go there once a week because it can turn me into a compulsive book-buyer and I don’t have the money. I stopped in earlier in the day, after lunch with Erica because we’d been talking about memoirs and I’d recommended she buy the new Evelyn Waugh biography, Mad World. If you liked the Brideshead series on PBS, this is the very pleasing dessert and coffee and you’ll finish feeling well-fed and real.

Then when we were there I urged her to buy Wendy Burden’s memoir, Dead End Gene Pool. Cynthia told me they were selling out of it and thanked me for recommending it to her.

Then Erica said: I’ve got a pile of books by my bed that I haven’t read.” I was glad to hear her say that because so do I. Then I told her: read the Burden book first and then the Waugh. They go fast even if you don’t have time, and they will both take you to another world – very different worlds but not really. Families. The lot of us.

Ike Kligerman and Barkley. Are you still with me? Yes. It was a beautiful night and there were so many people on the sidewalk when I arrived at 7:30! It started at 6! That is unheard of in the booksigning world in New York. 71st and Lex is neighborhood.

There were a lot of the art and architecture professionals and their agents and their lawyers and their mentors and their followers, their wives, their boyfriends, their whatnot.

I was in black tie – the only one – because I was going on to something else. Then Beth DeWoody came in with her friend Craig Starr, the art dealer. She was dressed up in a red silk coat with embroidery. It occurred to me that she was going to the same party. She was. We mingled for a few. I took more pictures. I met Mr. Monicelli who publishes these books (Monicelli Press). He looks like an art book publisher. Talk, nattily but formally dressed; urbane, an strong Italian accent to his English. Charming.

Beth picked out several beautiful books on architecture and design – houses, interiors, New York, across the world. Then we got into her car and went down to the Sherry Netherland.
Barkley, Kligerman, and Ike signing their book, with Cynthia Conigliaro, proprietor of Archivia behind.
Thomas Jayne and Susan Zevon. Beth DeWoody and Craig Starr.
Elizabeth White, Nick Rojas, Andrea Monfried, and Jill Cohen.
Julie and Will Rogers, of Archivia.
Sara Vass and Richard Mauro with friends.
The tables holding the books in the window are an Ike Kligerman Barkley design.
From the sidewalk outside Archivia, 7:50 PM.
Arriving at Doubles, 8 PM.
It was Alison Mazzola’s birthday. I think it was a big one – or what some people who are very young would think is a big one. Maybe the Four Oh. Or the Three Five.

I say this only because when we arrived at the Sherry, Beth’s brother and sister-in-law, Billy and Ophelia Rudin arrived with their daughter Samantha and a friend, and the girls were all in red.

Oh! the lady in red, the fellows are crazy
For the lady in red.

You don’t know that one? Xavier Cugat played it with that Caribbean beat.

She’s a bit gaudy, but lawdy,
What a personality.
Oh! the lady in red, is fresh as a daisy
When the town is in bed.
Dancing and dining and shining
With originality.
She is very proper.
She’s nothing more than a pal,
But oh me! and oh my!
You’d never stop ‘er,
She’d be a dangerous gal,
If she should ever meet the right guy.
The personalized menu. The Birthday girl with Pamela Fiori.
That actually went through my head, I swear. (I love that song. If you ever know it and it gets into your head, it’s hard to get rid of it. You have to go to sleep.)

The party was at Doubles, the soigné private club in the Sherry run by Wendy Carduner. I’d been there the night before for the Bingo Party – if you’re still with me.

George Farias and Anne and Jay McInerney were hosting. David Monn was decorating. Talk about oh me oh my! Red. I took several shots of it so you could see. Doubles is the only club I know in New York that maintains that nightclub glamour atmosphere that was popular from the 1930s through the 1960s. It’s a very plush and sumptuous interior and very red in many places. The staff are in black tie and are smart and thorough. And it’s red.
Ophelia Rudin arriving at the Sherry Netherland.
Jay McInerney and Anne Hearst. Joe and Edith Tobin.
In the lobby of Doubles. The "A" ... ... and its owner as a young one.
The Stoli with a twist and the serviette.
The placement card and envelope.
The dining room before the guests descended from the cocktail reception. 9PM.
The David Monn creation of roses, carnations and something that looked like clusters of diamonds in the shape of grapes. That's without my glasses and just as good.
Tom Finn provided the music. The dance floor was mirrored and Mr. Monn had taken us to Oz. Manhattan style of course. The women were in red, the men in black tie. The Tom Finn repertoire was 70's rock, some 60s, some standards. He moves his music around the occasion. Cocktails, dinner, dancing. By the time the first course was served people were getting itchy to dance. After the main course, the dance floor was jammed. Late 70's early 80's disco. Everybody can go there, and they did. These are the best parties anywhere.

Our birthday girl was flashing soigné in red. There was the cake with the A dashed across the top in luscious red. The dancing shoes stopped dancing for the birthday salute. Patrick’s flashes went off. Applause applause. And the dancing shoes turned back to the dance floor, and the party went on. Happy Birthday Alison and thank You for a fabulous evening in New York.
Katharina Otto-Bernstein and Victoria Amory. Charles Askegaard and Sharon Bush.
Jamee and Peter Gregory. The brand new grandparents of a granddaughter born yesterday, 4/22/10 in Los Angeles. George Farias and Chip Conlon.
Lisa Anastos and Hunt Slonem. Shelly dArcambal and Carmen Dell'Orifice.
Wendy Carduner. Lisa Fine and Robert Couturier.
Ms. Iverson, Patrick McMullan, and Bettina Zilkha. Amy Mazzola Flynn.
Susan Fales-Hill and George Farias. Luigi Tadini and Amanda Hearst.
The dining room with a flash. The man on the lower right is John Mazzola, father of the Birthday Girl, and the now retired President of Lincoln Center.
The tables, taken without a flash.
Centerpiece detail.
The birthday cake. Liliana Cavendish, lady in red on the left, and hosts George Farias, Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney.
The "red" velvet birthday cake. The perfect dessert for a very red birthday evening in New York.
Patrick McMullan and Bettina Zilkha ....and below: Prince Dimitri and Sharon Bush
The birthday girl with DPC, Brooke Shields, and Patrick McMullan.
Last night Christie’s completely transformed itself to conduct a charity auction to benefit the environment for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

With lowered lights, candles aglow and bowers of lush greenery set amid several bars, the place resembled a nightclub. There was even disco music to get people pumped up before the sale, and dozens of beautiful girls in skimpy dresses and very high heels milling about.

Celebrities from the world of film, fashion and society walked the green carpet as dozens of unruly photographers clamored to photograph them. Salma Hayek, the actress, received the most intense shouts, but there was plenty of enthusiasm for Sam Waterston, Ted Danson, John McEnroe, Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr, Miss Universe Stefania Fernandez, “Sex and the City” actor Willie Garson and Candice Bergen.
Matt Lauer. Sam Waterston.
James Lipton.
Lester Holt. Valarie L. Whiting.
Well before the silent auction ends on May 6 (on Charitybuzz), the live auction raised well over $1 million for four charities: the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, Oceana, Conservation International and the Central Park Conservancy. The bidding on the 21 lots began after a welcome by Christie’s CEO Ed Dolman (who waved all fees and commissions for the night) and talks by Susan Cohn Rockefeller, a filmmaker, and her husband David Rockefeller, Jr., the founder of “Sailors for the Sea,” who together co chaired the evening (there was sponsorship from Deutsche Bank, Target, NBC and Barneys).

Artists Jenny Holzer, Damien Hirst, Olufar Eliasson, David LaChapelle and Kenny Scharf all donated works for the event, and most of the pieces sold for relative bargains. Fancy watches did very well, selling for over $100,000, as did special trips: one 12 day trip to Bali followed by a cruise ($55,000) and a luxury photo safari to Botswana with the editor in chief of National Geographic, which went for $150,000.
Ann Curry. Joseph Farrell and Jo Champa.
Ted Danson.
Harrison Ford donated $100,000 to help the Kayapo tribe in the Amazon, threatened by deforestation, and an enthusiastic bidder spent $60,000 for tickets to the 2011 Oscar Awards and after party.

Chevy Chase worked the crowd with his charm and humor, and personally donated $25,000 to the Central Park Conservancy.

John McEnroe had the best line of the night. When asked what people could do to save the environment, he quipped, “Use wooden tennis racquets.”

— Wendy Moonan
Keith Addis. Susan and David Rockefeller Jr.
Alina Cho.
Bob and Suzanne Cochran. Bravo's Andy Cohen.
Salma Hayek, surrounded.
Johnnie Sapong and Julie Gilhart.
Peter Seligmann. Stefania Fernandez and Kristen Dalton.
John McEnroe talking the talk.
Willie Garson. Al Roker.
Michel Witmer.
Darryl Dawkins Chuck Thomas and Linda Fargo.
John McEnroe and Ron Meyer.
Natalie Morales. Ulla Parker and Mark Gilbertson.
Chevy Chase, Coppy Holzman, and Ted Danson.
Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann and Nick Steele. Doutzen Kroes. Almudena Fernandez.
Lauren Zalaznick. John Tisch.
François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek.
Salma Hayek and John McEnroe. David Meister and Alexandra Lebenthal.
Glenda Luft, Jennifer Coughlin, Coppy Holzman, and Peter Borish.
Eleanora Kennedy. Daphne Guinness.
Dianne Morris, Adria de Haume, and Dr. George Roush.
Eleanor Acquavella and Eliza Bolen. Dayle Haddon.
John McEnroe and James Lipton.
The auction begins.
Chevy Chase entertains the crowd.
The downstairs bar.
The crowd.
Bidding on The Green Auction's companion silent auction, powered by Charitybuzz.

Click here
to access a further range of art works and celebrity experiences (The online auction runs through May 6).
The American Museum of Natural History held its 20th annual Spring Environmental Lecture and Luncheon yesterday at noon at the museum. I missed this with great regret because it is one of the great forum lectures in the city, and very important. Its messages are crucial and trenchant. And they are being delivered in that great institution of learning overlooking Central Park West and the Park.

Lynn Sherr was moderator as she has been since I’ve been going. The subject was Green Design for the Urban Home. The panelists were Rob Watson, chairman, CEO and chief scientist of EcoTech International, a leader in the green building movement, Joshua Wiener, CEO and founder of Silverlining Interiors, a general contracting firm specializing in high-end renovations for apartments and townhouses in New York; and Robin Wilson, a nationally recognized eco-friendly and healthy home interior designer focused on the “foundation to the furniture.”

All the proceeds from the luncheon support the Museum’s scientific research and educational initiatives, including important work in biodiversity conservation.
Chairs Kitty Kempner, Mary Solomon, Connie Spahn, Moderator Lynn Sherr, Museum President Ellen V. Futter, Suzanne Cochran, and Catherine Sidamon Eristoff.
Panelists Robin Wilson, Joshua Wiener, Rob Watson with Moderator Lynn Sherr.
Chair Kitty Kempner and Joanne Prager. Susan Rudin (on right) with friend. Chairs Mary Solomon and Connie Spahn.
Moderator Lynn Sherr, Panelist Robin Wilson, President Ellen V. Futter, and Panelists Joshua Wiener and Rob Watson.
Nina Patterson, friend, and Katama Eastman. Carolina Herrera and Museum’s Chief Philanthropy Officer Peter Lyden.
Catherine Sidamon Eristoff with Trustee Anne Sidamon Eristoff and Constantine.
Panel discussion in the LeFrak Imax Theater.
Moderator Lynn Sherr with Panelists Joshua Wiener, Robin Wilson, and Rob Watson.
Chair Mary C. Solomon greets guests and shares the event made over a half of a million dollars.
Lunch in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. The dessert.
Amy Griffin (second from left) with friends.
Veronique Pittman (second from left) and Mary Richardson Kennedy (middle) with friends.
The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services honored Russell Simmons, David F. Everett and John A Herrmann at the Annual Spring Benefit, Made in New York—seen amongst the crowd mingling at Guastavino’s included WNBC’s DeMarco Morgan, model Katie Rost, Ralph Lauren model Chris Collins, Rabbi Marc Schneier, and socialites Jean Shafiroff, Ann Rapp and Sharon Bush.
David F. Everett, John A Herrmann, and Russell Simmons. John A Herrmann and David F. Everett.
DeMarco Morgan. Rabbi Marc Schneier, Russell Simmons, and Katie Rost.
Katie Rost. Sharon Bush. Chris Collins.
Tony Mann and Paul Levine. Jean Shafiroff and Ann Rapp.
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Moon over the Hudson. 2:25 AM.
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Photographs by ANN WATT (Christie's); D. Finnin (AMNH)
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