Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hot, overcast

Riding on the tram to Roosevelt Island Looking east towards the The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge from 60th Street and 2nd Avenue. 4:50 PM. Photo: JH.
Thusday, July 7, 2011. It was a very hot, often overcast day in New York. The kind of heat where people stay inside as much as possible.

Down at Swifty’s, where it was sunny and cool, they packed them in at a birthday luncheon that Palm Beach based interior designer Scott Snyder gave for his friend Audrey Gruss. Mrs. Gruss is always one of the best-dressed women in New York, so you can be sure the ladies and the gents attending came looking the part.

There were peach colored roses in silver vases and pink champagne to toast the birthday girl. The menu for the guests offered a choice of: Chilled Pea Soup or Arugula Salad with Parmesan; Chilled Poached Salmon or Cold Curried Chicken Salad with Sliced Avocado, Banana and Almonds; and the cake – Swifty’s Vanilla Merengue Cake with berries.

Frequent readers of the Diary already know I’ve eaten there so often and can imagine that I know all the items on the menu (I don’t; preferring out of habit, certain ones). But I’d have chosen anything on that menu (I had two of them Tuesday night – the curried chicken, and last night --- the poached salmon). The merengue cake, however, is always everybody’s choice for birthday meals there. It’s covered with about three feet of merengue and another foot of filling. It takes the cake, as they say.

There were twenty including the host and his honored guest plus Kitty McKnight, Sharon Handler, Carole Guest, Bennett Liefer, Margo Langenberg, Muffie Miller, Christopher Mason, Ellen Graham, Hunt Slonem, Cornelia Bregman, Dane Bailey, Karen LeFrak, Sharon King Hoge, George Lewis, Victoria Wyman, Richard Zieglasch, Kim Heirston, and Jose Carlinos.
Last night, leaving Swifty's I stopped to look in the window of Treillage (73rd and Lexington), the Bunny Williams-John Rosselli emporium of chic and style.
Yesterday afternoon JH and I went over to Roosevelt Island for a business meeting. It was the first time in my life that I have ever been on Roosevelt Island although I look at it every day and have for a good part of my life. New York is like that; you can live in one part and never visit another.

We also took the tram over, another first. And kind of a thrill. And sensational from the vantage point over the East River and Right Next to the 59th Street/Queensboro Bridge -- as JH and his digital attest. It’s like becoming a New Yorker all over again.

It was a little cooler on the island with a strong breeze moving the heat along and tall ancient trees majestically providing shade along the walk. With Manhattan now just across the water, you’re reminded, as if for the first time, how awesome and massive it is. On the other side of Roosevelt Island, the part we never see from Manhattan, is the other channel (the East River is not a river but connecting channel with the Atlantic and Long Island Sound) with its Queens shore. There’s a lot of big building going on by the water in Queens.
The tram heading toward Manhattan as we head to Roosevelt Island.
The view from the tram looking upriver toward the Triboro Bridge. The large limestone complex of buildings mid-left, including the tall flat one, is the New York Presbyterian Hospital including the Cornell-Weill Medical Center at 68th and York. On the right is the west side of Roosevelt Island.
View from under the bridge looking toward Manhattan. The brick apartment buildings on the left are on Sutton Place north, and the smaller brick building in front of them are town Houses along Sutton Square.
Another view under the bridge looking north. You can see the FDR Drive running along the riverside under the bridge.
A better view of the FDR's relationship to the East Side, running under this very prestigious neighborhood. The brick and limestone building with two wings (with a cluster of trees on the right side) is No. 1 Sutton Place South, one of the most beautiful residential buildings in New York. The land along the river belonged to the Phipps family who built One Sutton in 1927 as part of the re-development of the area which was formerly a gritty business area with breweries, slaughterhouses and working class neighborhoods.
Looks west and south across the river to the low 50s, Beekman Place, and the UN, with the FDR running alongside. The giant black slab is Donald Trump's 90 story cooperative apartment building across First Avenue from the UN General Assembly Building.
View from Roosevelt Island looking east to Queens. JH was not happy with any of these pictures because the light not only reflected the cloudiness but also the smog and dirty air of the city's heat.
Last night I went to Swifty’s for dinner with Nikki Haskell. Frequent readers may remember her StarCaps ad and product. She has a new one, StarShape.

Nikki lives on both coasts. A dinner conversation with her is a little like reading an entertainment column because she lives the Hollywood life and has for years. It’s her version of neighborhood. She is in the midst of writing her “memoir” (she has miles to go) but she’s known them all, as they say, and been a friend to many. She has the gift of friendship, something very rare especially in communities of power and ego, fame and fortune, of which Hollywood is prime.

Also among last night’s Swifty’s crowd, Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen with Suzanne Mados; Sisters Joy Ingham and Hilary Califano with Betsy Bartlett; George Farias with the award-winning Broadway director/choreographer Susan Stroman and Joe Armstrong. When Nikki and I finished dinner, she joined their table for more (and adding as well), and I returned home to get this Diary out and continue the New York is Quiet right now.

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