Thursday, September 29, 2011

Several stops along the way

Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s sculpture of William Tecumseh Sherman in Grand Army Plaza. 4:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, September 29, 2011. Overcast and slightly humid, yesterday in New York. Rain maybe; maybe not. Not.

It was an unremarkable day in the city.
The Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah started at nightfall. Everything quiets down a bit.

On my way down to Michael’s yesterday noontime, I stopped off at the Valentino boutique on 65th Street and Madison Avenue where they were hosting a ladies luncheon for the Director’s Council of the Museum of the City of New York. There must have been fifty or sixty women attending (and a coupla guys including Mark Gilbertson who organizes all of these activities very successfully). I got a shot of some girls in the Val’s.

The occasion was the kick-off of the Council’s upcoming New York After Dark (“cocktails, light fare, and dancing”) in the Pool Room at the Four Seasons Restaurant. All benefiting the Museum of the City of New York. The “dress” on the invitation: jackets (ties, your choice). That’s like “black tie optional.” Duh. Anyway, it’s always a good party and in a great venue. Then I had enough time to hoof it ten blocks down and two blocks over to Michael’s.
Yesterday at Valentino (and all in Valentino): Tara Rockefeller, Sara Ayres, Shafi Roepers, Alexia Hamm Ryan, and Jill Roosevelt.
Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Courtney Moss, Amy Hoadley, and Bettina Zilkha. Calvert Moore, Mark Gilberston, and Ros l'Esperance.
There was a good crowd at Michael’s where I went to lunch with Liz Peek, who heads the Couture Council of the Museum at FIT. Liz and her team have in just a few years raised the public profile of the Museum with their Couture Council activities, one of which has now become the opening act of Fashion Week in September with their fundraising luncheons honoring a major fashion figure. This year you might remember, if you care, that it was Valentino, the man himself.

The luncheon event was soon followed by the opening of the Daphne Guinness Collection which is running now through January 7th at the Museum. There is an excellent piece on this and the lady by Rebecca Mead in last week’s New Yorker. Ms. Guinness is in no way like your next door neighbor Mabel. Which is obviously the point. Her self is unconcealed, as it were, and can generally be described as “eccentric” which we Amurricans know the Brits to be good at (although it’s beginning to seem like we’re fast closing in on them). But very vulnerable is Daphne Guinness’ image, no matter. Refreshing, no matter.
Micky Ateyeh's lunch yesterday at Michael's, l. to r.: Fern Mallis (partly), Fran Weissler, Suzy Kovner and Cindy Lewis.
Dr. Alice Pisciotto, Barbara Cutler, Fern Mallis.
She tells Mead she doesn’t consider herself an artist. Not that it matters; when you were a child it was called attention. After that it is show business, no matter how you slice it.

The exhibition is a big draw and has been another feather in the cap of FIT and its Museum. All this from lunch with Liz Peek.

Michael’s seemed quieter too but when I looked down at the list at the tables nearby, it was very busy.
Ruth Shuman, Micky Ateyeh, and Laurie Tisch.
Diane Clehane and Lisa Starkey (who's a little on the shy side around DPC's camera).
Michael himself was in from Santa Monica for a couple of days (he alternates every ten days or so between here and there), lunching with Mort Hamburg. Today he’s back in Malibu where they are “picking the grapes” on this day in the vineyard surrounding his house. (see NYSD 3.1.05).

At the tables. Peter Brown, Jamie Niven and Leonard Lauder; Barbara Tober and Donna Solloway, Randy Jones, Joni Evans, Steven Stolman and Bill Crittenden, Paula Wagner, the famous Tom Cruise producing partner; Michael’s very own Brenda Starr, Diane Clehane with HarperCollins’ Lisa Sharkey; Liz Wood; David Sanford of the WSJ; Jack Kliger of TV Guide, Deb Shriver with Rita Jammet; Micky Ateyeh hosting a luncheon for several friends: Fran Weissler, Fern Mallis, Cindy Lewis, Barbara Cutler, Ruth Shuman, Laurie Tisch; Stan Shuman, Martin Gatins; Scott Pippen of the Chicago Bulls; da boyz: Dr. Gerry Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman.
Tonight (Thursday) at Archivia on Lexington Avenue between 72nd and 71st Streets, there is a book signing for David Kleinberg's new book Traditional Now. It's shaping up to be quite a party and always very cozy at Archivia, with its great street viewing and vice versa. Kleinberg's book was running out the store yesterday after they devoted both windows to it.
Last night Ann Ziff held a book signing at her precious jewelry salon Tamsen Z on Madison between 66th and 67th for Tim Page and his new book Carnegie Hall Treasures.

It’s a kind of pictorial history of the institution. As Page said in his book’s preface: “The longest walk in the world, it has been said, is the one from the wings of Carnegie Hall to the center of its stage.” The world of the greats have played there from Tchaikovsky who conducted on the opening night one hundred ten years ago, May 5, 1891 to Horowitz, Judy Garland, the Beatles, Rubinstein to k.d. lang.

It became the American mecca for the great performing musical talent of the last century. Page also points out in his preface that “the most charged and musical silence imaginable can be found in the auditorium, surrounding the listener after the show is over and most of the lights are out.”
Author Tim Page (click to order). Page and his hostess, Ann Ziff at her salon Tamsen Z on Madison between 66th and 67.
One of the Tamsen Z windows. Mrs. Ziff, the designer, is also a great fan of opera and the most major individual supporter of the Metropolitan Opera.
I’ve thought that many times sitting in that great hall waiting for the performance to begin. For the musician, as Page writes, “No matter what else happens in the course of a lifetime, having appeared at Carnegie Hall will be among the last things a musician forgets.” It is boggling to think of the great treasures who have graced its stage and thrilled audiences with their performing power. It’s one of those hallmark places in New York, one which defines What New York is.

I didn’t get a copy last night although I got a look at one, and I’ll get it before the week is out. Page said he planned the book to be driven by the images (my words for it), that “if you believe in ghosts, this would be the place to find them.”

“Great conductors waving batons, singers in the midst of a performance and pianists in reverie; ticket stubs construction plans, snippets from old newspapers, orchestral players biding their time in backstage chess games, magicians, hypnotists, and explorers.” Carnegie Hall treasures.
When I left Tamsen Z, I took a walk a few blocks up Madison. The Jackie Rogers boutique, a few doors up.
And Frette. Never fret with Frette, no?
And Bonpoint for the wee ones already very chic.
Lanvin. Your dog as a shoe. Or vice versa.
Praaaaahhh-Daaaaaa, no?
Passing by the Explorers Club on 70th Street between Madison and Park. The mansion was built in 1912 by Stephen Corning Clark, the Singer Sewing Machine and real estate heir. The family maintained the house for about 50 years when it was sold to ill-fated stock market investor Eddie Gilbert who did not make his final payments. The family then sold it to the Explorers Club and it has retained its original interiors, such as what you see peering through the late night window ...

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