Wednesday, September 28, 2011

By Sea, Air, and Land

Taking a breather high above the town. 4:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011. Partly cloudy, partly sunny days with temperatures in the 70s and humidity to make you think otherwise. Autumn is here in name only; otherwise it’s still summertime, languishing without the vacation.

Last night I went over to the West Side where some friends were hosting a small party for an evening cruise on their boat docked at one of the piers. I’m a landlubber by definition but a sailor at heart since I was a kid reading the adventures of Joshua Slocum who ran away to sea at sixteen. This kid grew up to be not such an adventurer but the romance and the thrill still tantalize my imagination.

The weatherman had predicted showers but the weatherman was wrong -- although from the looks of the sky when I arrived at the pier, it did look ominous.
Private yachts and entertainment boats docked at the Chelsea Piers last night about 7 PM.
It was nightfall by the time we cast off on a cruise down to the tip of Manhattan and out into New York harbor past Ellis Island, within shooting (photograph-wise) distance of the Statue of Liberty.

The Lady Liberty, designed by French sculptor Frederic Bartholdi, and a gift of the people of France to the United States, was dedicated 125 years ago this month. She remains an awesomely majestic figure. I would guess most of us aboard last night have ancestors who experienced their first glance of her as they arrived on American soil for the very first time. One man told me that his father, emigrating from his European roots early in the last century, burst into tears on sight of her. I’m sure that was a common experience, as well as a common experience of American travelers returning stateside back in the day when all international travel was done by boat.
Lady Liberty shining her light through the haze of Mother Nature's rainclouds, looking west to the Jersey shore about 7:45.
A view of Jersey City.
Moving past the statue, we then cruised up the East River channel. Even New Yorkers aren’t sure what they’re looking at when they look at the city from the water at nighttime. All land sides, be it New Jersey, Brooklyn, Staten Island or Queens, are populated with huge, tall, lighted buildings – both commercial and residential.

The waterways at night are still busy -- with tankers being pushed or pulled by tugs, with the large brightly lit ferries moving back and forth between Staten Island and Manhattan, to smaller ones making their way upriver; to large private yachts moving down channel, presumably from the Long Island Sound into the Atlantic heading south.
The Whitehall Ferry Terminal at the foot of Whitehall Street where the Staten Island Ferry arrives and departs carrying more than 60,000 passengers a day (not counting weekends) on the 25 minute, five mile ride across New York Harbor.
Downtown Manhattan with One World Trade Center rising high above the night sky.
Traveling north, you pass under the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as the Manhattan, the Williamsburg and the Queensboro bridges. Of course the island of Manhattan remains the most majestic sight, its thousands of shafts of lights illuminating the low flying clouds above the city with an orange-pinkish-grey hue. All magic to behold.

When we returned to our ship’s berth on the West Side, there was an enormous white cruise ship docked just a couple of piers north of the Intrepid, dwarfing the enormous aircraft carrier/now museum. The gleaming white floating structure looks like a medium sized city ten or fifteen stories high. Too large to ply the imagination, commanding wonder only. Another beautiful evening in New York, no matter the weatherman’s forecasts.
The mammoth 14-story cruise ship, the size of a small city, to the far right (with the purple line above it), the aircraft carrier/now museum, Intrepid.
The Autumn social season has begun again. I was going through invitations to openings, to cocktail receptions, to kick-offs, to galas, to museum dinners, filling up the October calendar many times over. For some reason October 5th is a popular moment, with seven different events on my calendar.

Although September has had a bit of a respite this last week (after UN Week), things are already stirring.

Last night between 6 and 8 at the Palm Court at the Plaza, Evelyn Lauder, honorary hostess, and Liza Minnelli, Hamish Bowles, Harold Koda and Shane Krige, General Manager of the Plaza, hosted a reception to celebrate the publication of Glamour Icons; Perfume Bottle Design by Marc Rosen, the dean of fragrance packaging and design.

After the reception many of the guests crossed the avenue over to Doubles, the private club in the Sherry-Netherland where Arlene Dahl Rosen, Suzanne Mados and Thomas F. Schutte continued the celebration, hosting a dinner dance for Marc.

Besides his prolific career in marketing and design for the billion dollar international fragrance industry, Marc is a seven-time winner of the FiFi award, the international award honoring the fragrance industry’s creative achievements, presented annually by the Fragrance Foundation.

His new book Glamour Icons recognizes perfume bottle design as an art form. Marc calls them “small pieces of glass architecture.”

As an alumnus, faculty member, and longtime trustee of Pratt Institute, Marc has always shared his experience and know-how generously. He teaches the only course in existence worldwide on fragrance packaging at Pratt Institute, as well as raising millions annually to help aspiring artists and students make their way in the industry. Proceeds from the sale of Glamour Icons benefit the Marc Rosen Scholarship and Education Fund for Packing Design.
Sharon Bush, Amy Fine Collins, Michele Herbert, Beth Rudin DeWoody, and Somers Farkas
Later on this month’s calendar, the 28th Annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala, this one themed “Hollywood Glamour” will take place on Tuesday, the 25th of October at the Waldorf-Astoria. This year Somers Farkas will be honored with the Rita Hayworth Award.

Led by Founder and General Chair, Rita’s daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, along with Gala Chairs Jay McInerney and Anne Hearst McInerney hosted a kick-off cocktail party this past Monday night at Yasmin’s apartment.
Michelle Fix, Paola Quadretti, RoAnn Costin, Sharon Bush, Amy Fine Collins, and Katherine Nolan Brown
Rick Friedberg, Francine LeFrak, Louise Kornfeld, and Stephen Kornfeld
Richard Turley, Somers Farkas, Anna Bergman, and Joel Rosenman
Van Cleef & Arpels Models
Since its inception, the New York gala has raised more than $31 million for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. The evening is and has been faithfully underwritten by Rolex Watch USA, but its great success of almost three decades is the result of Yazzy (as she is known to her closest pals) and her loyal band friends and supporters, who year after year turn this party into a tremendous success and a lot of fun.

To learn more call 212-843-1712 or email
Somers Farkas and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan
Martha and Peter Webster
Lisa Lori and Lauren Thayer
Patty Smyth McEnroe and Nicolas Luchsinger
Jim Freeman and Chele Chiavacci
Nicolas Luchsinger and Gadi Behar
Louise Abruzzo and Briony Davies
William Thuraya, Baroness von Langendorff, and Dr. Ramesh Babu
Liliana Cavendish and Felicia Taylor
John Catsimatidis, Marlyne Sexton, and Margo Catsimatidis
Marcia Levine and Cynthia Friedman
Bettina Zilkha and Dr. Stephen Gullo
Somers Farkas and Margaret Nederlander
Melissa Berkelhammer and Rachel Heller
Marlyne Sexton and Jeffrey Slonim
Judith Ripka and Ronald Berk
Anne Hearst and Deborah Norville
Carla Lamont and Nancy Ragovin
Alexandra Lebenthal, Lynn Carey, and Karyn Kornfeld
Baroness von Langendorff

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