Blue skies, warm Sun, cool zephyrs

Class trip to Riverside Park. 2:10 PM. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011. Another beautiful mid-Spring day in New York. Blue skies, warm Sun, cool zephyrs.

I went to lunch at Michael’s with Caroline Weber, the professor of French Literature at Columbia, author of What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution.

Caroline is a newer friend (years now, although), an example (in its most ideal form) of the advantages of city life where we are exposed, have access to people whose meetings are like discoveries. Caroline and I have the ideal form going. And there isn’t a moment of verbal silence between us.

Aside from our own conversation about people we know, have met, knew, Michael’s is a conduit for that sort of thing. For example, across the way Sir Derek Jacobi was lunching with his friend Micky Ateyeh. Across the room, Richard Leakey, the guest of honor at a dinner I went to last week, was lunching with a friend.
Spring greenery via JH.
Two enormously accomplished men who have enhanced our lives immeasurably, and even unknowingly. As they were leaving Micky and Sir Derek stopped at our table (after I called out to them). Sir Derek is playing Lear at BAM six times a week. Caroline asked him what he did to restore himself after he finished such a long and demanding task. Answer: Goes to a monastery for 10 days. Someplace where no one speaks. Then returns to real life (or, that is, the life of an actor).

Richard Leakey (see NYSD 5.3.11) passed by our table with a greeting. I told him it was reported to me that his talk last week at the American Museum of Natural History was a sell-out, and that he was fantastic (a friend who attended told me). I had no doubt as Mr. Leakey is one of those mountains of knowledge and developing wisdom that you very only occasionally meet among true explorers. Like the great actor, they pursue the genesis of being. His reaction to my remark about his success, incidentally, was to shrug it off with a smile and an ironic, “oh, it wasn’t that much.”

Let there be giants.
Just in time for the Horsey Set: Buck House Moment #20.
The silver hare in the window at Treillage.
It was another busy day in New York on the social calendar. A Champions of Choice 2011 luncheon at the Mandarin Oriental honoring Senator Kristin Gillibrand and Dr. Laura Berman.

Last night at Hunter College, the college’s president Jennifer Raab and the Writing Center Director Lewis Frumkes hosted a private reception with Jane Smiley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, followed by A Private Conversation with the author.

Up at the Frick, The Board of Trustees and Anne L. Poulet, Director hosted their annual Spring Party for Fellows, a black tie affair beginning at 8:30 and including desserts and dancing with nearly 350 guests.
Guests enjoying the Fifth Avenue Garden of the Frick Collection.
It’s their annual benefit for membership and one of the most elegant ways to experience the Frick collection and its mansion which was originally the family residence.

Guests had full access to the galleries, where one had a last look at the special loan exhibition of paintings, drawings, and prints by Rembrandt and his School (running just through May 15). Not too far from Rembrandt’s Self Portrait -- which was recently cleaned; 9 layers of yellowed varnish were removed!

In the Music Room, bandleader George Gee and his Jump Jivin’ Wailers treated guests to a swinging mix -- from Count Basie’s Jumpin at the Woodside to Motown and contemporary hits. Outside in the Russell Page Garden, a jazz trio played by the lily and lotus pond while guests relaxed at cocktail tables enjoying the evening air and light.

Among the guests: Irene Aitken, Cetie and Anthony Ames, Charlotte Armstrong, Colin Bailey, Peter and Sofia Blanchard (Peter is a great grandson of Henry Clay Frick), Lesley Blume, Margot and Jeremiah Bogert, Carter Brady, Larissa Buchholz, Stephen Bury, Edward Lee Cave, Helen Clay Chace (great granddaughter of Henry Clay Frick) and Minturn Chace, Annika Connor, Mimi Crawford, Claire and Paul Cruickshank, David W. And Mary Dangremond, Michael and Caitlin Davis, Judith Dobryznski, June Dyson, Jean-Marie Eveillard, Kate Falchi, Juliet Falchi, Lydia Fenet, Keeli Fink, John French, Emily Frick, Agnes Gund, Michelle Harper, Faith Harty, Henry P. Johnson, Sarah C. Johnson, Bruce M. Kaplan, Nathan and Julia Kiel, Fred Koch, Megan Kultgen, Lucy Lang, Martha Loring (great great granddaughter of Henry Clay Frick), Clare E. and Robert McKeon, Jeremiah and Caroline Milbank, Benton Moyer, David and Elizabeth Moyer, Donald and Susan Newhouse, Ann and William Nitze, Sloan and Alexander Overstrom, David Owsley, Tiffany Phipps, Anne and Francois Poulet, Barbara and James Reibel, Elisabeth Saint-Amand, Georgina Schaeffer, William R. Schermerhorn, Roberta and Irwin Schneiderman, Allison Schrager, Elizabeth and Stanley Scott, Lacary Sharpe, Cator Sparks, Elizabeth M. Stafford, Philip A. Thomas, G. Jarvis and Coke Anne Wilcox, and Linnea Wilson.

Everywhere you went, there were flowers (themes devised by Frick Horticulturist and Special Events Designer Galen Lee -- the Garden Court teeming with yellow, orange, red, and purple tuberous begonias, and white orchids and lilies. Pink peony and lilac arrangements were in the alcoves and on the yellow-covered cocktail tables. The Russell Page Garden was filled with red tulips above a bed of purple-blue pansies. (backing up, guests were greeted in the Entrance Hall with fragrant white hydrangea flanking a bust of Henry Clay Frick). This is the Frick.
Linda Fargo. Ms. Fargo, Amy Fine Collins, and Kim Campbell were honored as Posh Lifetime Visionaries.
Same night, down at the Plaza, the Lighthouse International held its kick-off dinner benefit for The Hottest Sale in Town “POSH At the Plaza.” Tomorrow is the Sneak Preview Benefit and then on Thursday, the Public Sale opens and runs through the 15th in the store in the shopping galleries of the Plaza.

I’m not a shopper so I don’t follow these things but I’ve been told over and over by people who do that this is one of the great great bargain-of-bargain sales of the year in New York.

All of the merchandise has been donated, much of it by the great designers and luxury brands, as well as “gently used” designer clothes. Last Tuesday Michele and Larry Herbert hosted a cocktail at their apartment along with Somers Farkas and Muffie Potter Aston where guests were asked to part with some of their most favorite treasures.

It opens at 9 a.m. and it’s a serious sale to those in-the-know. A word to the wise.
Ralph Rucci, Iris Apfel, and Somers Farkas. Rosanna Scotto.
Debbie Bancroft. Yaz Hernandez, Alexandra Lebenthal, and Sharon Bush.
Susan Magrino and Richard Turley.
Marc Rosen and Iris Apfel. William Ivey Long.
At the dinner last night they honored Amy Fine Collins, Kim Campbell and Linda Fargo as Posh Lifetime Visionaries.

Carolina Herrera introduced Collins, and presented her with a designer’s sketch of her. As the world knows, Amy is one of the most stylish women in New York today. Although she has a writing career and a husband, and a daughter (Flora – who shares her mother’s passion for fashion), fashion is her art and she pursues it with the eye and appreciation of an art historian (which she is also).

Kim Baker Campbell, an Englishwoman (whose sister was the late actress Kay Kendall), who has lived in America most of her life, was one of the original founders of POSH out in Locust Valley. The first year they raised $35,000 for the Lighthouse. Mrs. Campbell, who was married to George F. Baker, Pauline Pitt’s father, used the night to tell us about the conception of POSH, and to send a Mother’s Day greeting to all her children, grandchildren, stepchildren, step-grandchildren and extended family members. She reminded me of my late friend Lady Sarah Churchill in both manner and content. I later told her and it turned out she knew Sarah most of her life. Mrs. Campbell was introduced by her step-daughter – who was also drafted into the charity by her – Pauline Pitt.
Iris Apfel.
Linda Fargo and Mark G. Ackermann.
Rosanna Scotto.
Linda Fargo was honored and introduced by New York’s grande dame of contemporary fashion and style, Iris Apfel. Mrs. Apfel’s apartment is featured in the latest Architectural Digest, if you want a treat (or a feast), or at least a powerful point of view.

The honoree, as you can see, is not without her style also. The windows at Bergdorf of which she is chatelaine are designed to amaze and intrigue. And they do. I like to look at them because they say so many things and stick the merchandise in the middle as the reference point. And they’re beautiful.

In her brief acceptance, Linda told the us that she got that job at Bergdorf Goodman at a point in her life when she hated what she was doing and took a chance and made a phone call. Almost as if on a whim. Result: she got the job and Bergdorf’s got a winner. Off-camera, this very stylish lady is a very down-home, sincere self-made New York woman. Last night she thanked the people who hired her and she thanked the people who are her partners in her achievement.
Debbie Bancroft and Amy Fine Collins.
Nazee and Joe Moinian. Kim Baker Campbell.
Carlton Varney and Francie Whittenburg.
Rupa Mikkilineni. Andrew Solomon, Betsy de Lotbiniere, Mrs. Gerry Imber, John Habich, and Flora Collins.
Not Who You Think.
That first year in Locust Valley to fight vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment has turned into a major fundraising benefit in New York.

A lot of well-known New Yorkers work to put this together and make it successful. POSH Hosts were Hamish Bowles, Michael Bruno, Lorry Newhouse and Pauline Pitt. Dinner hosts were Frederick Anderson, Gayle and Charles Atkins, Robert Burke, Robert Couturier, Stacey Bendet Eisner and Eric Eisner, Alex Hitz, Mort Janklow, Ranjana and Naeem Khan, Margery and Ted Mayer, Nazee and Joe Moinian, Lizzie and Jon Tisch, Laura Weil, Francie Whittenburg. A great evening.
Carolina Herrera. Hamish Bowles.
Amy Fine Collins and Reinaldo Herrera.
Robert Zimmerman, Felicia Taylor, and Eliott Eshaghia. Adelina Wong Ettelson and Stacy McLaughlin.
After leaving the POSH party last night, I walked across 58th Street to Bergdorf Goodman to get some shots of their latest windows. They were an exhibition of Alexander McQueen. They're brilliantly lit but unfortunately their brilliance defies the lens of my camera. So it's only an "idea" of the actual visual experience.
For your calendar: Tomorrow at the Metropolitan Club, City Harvest is presenting their annual “On Your Plate” luncheon, featuring Jill Kargman, the author as guest speaker. This is a great luncheon for a very important cause (feeding those of us who are in need).

The highlight is the speaker. I first saw Mehmet Oz speak there. Jill Kargman is a New York Times bestselling author including her recent Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut, which is now in its third printing. A born-and-bred New Yorker, a child of parents – Arie and Coco Kopelman – who were (and still are) very involved in the city’s fashion, culture and philanthropy. A Yale graduate, now a wife and mother, she brings a fresh, definitely-New York uniqueness to her work.
The cover of the invitation to El Museo’s 2011 Gala.
Also: This beautiful photograph by Mario Testino is the cover of the invitation to El Museo’s 2011 Gala where the Peruvian-born photographer will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The black tie gala will be held on Thursday, May 26th at Cipriani 42nd Street. This party has become one of the most glamorous benefits on the annual social calendar. Latins from all over the country, and from South America and Europe attend; and so it is a splashy fashion parade. In recent years its style has made it a main attraction. It benefits El Museo del Barrio, the city’s leading Latino museum. More than 250,000 visitors a year discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American art and cultures.

This year’s Gala Chairs are Alex Gonzales and Raul Martinez and Yaz and Valentin Hernandez.
Mother’s Day at The Historic Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

Text and Photographs Jill Lynne

Founded in 1910, the glorious Brooklyn Botanical Garden is adjacent to the celebrated Brooklyn Museum of Art – just 20 minutes from Manhattan via Subway. Being a true Manhattanite, I must confess that I am stubbornly attached to the perimeters of our island, but this trip is most definitely more-than-worthy of the ride.

Entrance to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
The affordable entrance fee to the Garden, as well as its spectacular collections, ensures a diverse group of visitors annually – 900,000 NYC residents and globetrotters.

Specialty Collections include the resplendent Cherry Trees – in which the Japanese Festival of “Sakura Matsura” is celebrated. The first of these was given to the garden by the Japanese Government following WW I.

There is also a Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, the 1927 Cranford Rose Garden, the Louisa Clark Spencer Lilac Collection, Daffodil Hill, specific Fragrance Gardens, and the Bonsai House.

The Garden also hosts an extensive Research Center, the Herbarium housing 300,000 specimens of preserved plants (some dating back as far as 1818), a Gardener’s Resource Center as well as an extensive Educational Program. The beautiful glass Beaux Arts conservatory hosts an array of special events.

On Mother's Day the oasis of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden offered up a tapestry of brilliant florals, aphrodisiac scents and a cheerful parade of families, children, and happy individuals, contemplating and frolicking in, the midst of Nature’s magical beauty.
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