Thursday, April 28, 2011

Warm and sunny Spring day in New York

Flowering Dogwood in Central Park. 3:25 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, April 28, 2011. Yesterday was a beautiful, warm and sunny Spring day in New York.

I had lunch down at Michael’s with Judy Price and Beth DeWoody. We were celebrating Beth’s birthday (which was last Saturday). Beth is an old friend of both Judy and me, although I’ve known her since she was a kid, or rather, a very young adult.

That was quite some time ago and she remains all these years later, mother of her own wonderful grown-ups, Carlton and Kyle, very active in philanthropic and art circles, and longtime keeper of friends. Beth has friendships going back to her schooldays here in New York, and somehow it is she who manages to keep in touch and re-connect with many of us. In New York lives this is often challenging as we move around and about in our pursuits, be they business or pleasure.
DPC and Beth DeWoody at Michael's.
So what did we talk about? We talked about the personalities and the politics of “social” New York. As we all know by now, New York, despite its size, is a small town to the various social subcultures that make up the personality of the city.

Social New York is like a village with more than one postmaster as well as tabloids keeping tabs. Of course, there’s the local court of public opinion, with its own self-appointed judges and impeccable moral stature.

Buck House Moment #18.
If you live as close to it as do the three of us who were at lunch yesterday, there is never a loss for words, or for new information about the passing parade, as well as the parade that passed before this. The future, of course, is always the riddle. I was all ears.

The Michael’s Lunch. Wednesday. Michael Douglas strolled in to lunch with Dennis Miller, looking great and looking like the movie star that he is. Gil Schwartz of CBS was celebrating the publication of a new book on Table 1 in the bay with Matt Hitzig and David Hershey. Next door table was occupied by Peter Brown and then Steven Rubenstein. Next door to him Aryeh Bourkoff was lunching with Harvey Weinstein. And next to them Charles Grodin, whose signature baseball cap has the same incognito effect that dark glasses have. Even moreso: you don’t recognize him. Until of course you begin to recognize him by his cap.

Moving on: Stan Shuman and guest at the next table; across the way John Sykes with Andrew Fisher and Dennis Crowley. Also: at separate tables with guests, Henry Schleiff, Stephen Swid, Tommy Hilfiger, Jerry Inzerillo, Pamela VanZandt, Lloyd Grove, Sarabeth Shrager; Joan Gelman and Lisa Drew; Jim Abernathy, Gerry Byrne, Peter Price; Lisa Linden with Elliot Spitzer and Diane Clehane; Terry Agins with Julie Macklowe. The flowers filling the corners now are the pink cherry blossoms. I think they’re cherry blossoms. They’re gorgeous.
Blossoms falling on the tulips at 820 Fifth Avenue..
More tulips at 820.
After lunch Beth and I walked a few blocks up Fifth Avenue. President Obama was in town and there were extra policemen everywhere as well as metal sidewalk barriers being set up along the avenue.

Evidently he was making a speech somewhere, or meeting with somebody. But before that he was going up to Barbara Walters’ apartment on Fifth Avenue. I don’t know the occasion, although Walters is a woman who knows everybody who is anybody. Part of the reason, besides the obvious, is because she gets around. I think the only real competition she has in that people department is Martha, and Barbara’s got the seniority.

So Mr. Obama will have been meeting with some pretty prominent, probably famous, undoubtedly rich people at the lady’s private residence last night. I’m sure you’re thrilled to know that. I know I am.
A large phalanx of NYPD congregated, obviously waiting for further orders, on the west corner of 60th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Metal sidewalk barriers further up the Avenue.
Presidential visits to New York are a nuisance to New Yorkers. It doesn’t matter the President for it’s not his fault. It’s the now-behemoth of a bureaucracy that manages what they called “Security.”

It wasn’t until John F. Kennedy that they started beefing up Presidential security to the imperial level. Harry Truman used to come to New York, put up at the Waldorf Towers, and take a daily stroll up and down Park Avenue with two Secret Service men. And Harry Truman had an attempt made on his life also.

For some reason John F. Kennedy’s entourage grew, and the growth expanded for Lyndon Johnson, after Dallas. That, combined with the increased public demonstrations against the War in Viet Nam, and then the attempt on Ronald Reagan’s life, we now have publicly elected people riding around in fortresses kept far from the madding crowd. Jonathan Swift would have loved it.

However, Presidential traffic aside, the Springtime in the city is a gift. Just ask JH.
JH took in an afternoon sampling of Flowering Dogwood and Pear trees in Central Park.
Last night over at the Park Avenue Armory was the inaugural Art and Antique Dealers League of America Spring Show. There are 65 galleries and dealers presenting. Last night’s preview opening benefited the ASPCA where there are wonderful dogs and cats waiting for a loving home that they can fill with love for you. Last night’s sponsor was 1st The Show runs through next Monday.

Clinton Howell,
whose gallery is on 72nd Street and Lexington Avenue (northeast corner), is the President of AADLA. He told me that the marketplace for art and antiques today is at the fairs and on the internet. The customer varies with the venue because most serious collectors (and designers) want to actually see the merchandise up close. This new fair enlarges and enhances the dealers opportunity to show their wares. These avenues of creative splendor are really a palliative to the day-to-day of city life, having both the pleasure a museum provides and the intrigue that commerce creates around them. The Spring Show runs through this weekend and closes next Monday, May 2. To learn more about it visit

I toured the aisles for a couple of hours getting a look at the booths. I couldn’t get them all so I just did what caught my eye as I moved through (while also gnoshing at the buffet tables and chatting with friends along the way). A respite for your better senses. Try it.
Touring the aisles at last night's Art and Antique Dealers League of America Spring Show.
Alexander Cohane opening the door of his armoire. He calls his collection, "where the timeless meets the eclectic."
L'Antiquaire & The Connoisseur, New York, NY.
Painting by Janet Fish, Abby M. Taylor Fine Art, Greenwich, CT.
Oscar Jacques Gauthier, Un Voyeur, 1948. $58,000. Thomas Crawford, A Commemorative Work. $48,000.
Abby M. Taylor Fine Art, Greenwich, CT. Abby M. Taylor & Holster Fine Art, Greenwich, CT.
N.P. Trent Antiques, West Palm Beach, FL.
N.P. Trent Antiques, West Palm Beach, FL.
Philip Colleck Ltd., New York, NY.
Foster-Gwin, Inc., San Francisco, CA.
Dalva Brothers, Inc., New York, NY.
George Subkoff Antiques, Westport, CT.
Rehs Galleries, Inc.
O'Sullivan Antiques, New York, NY.
O'Sullivan Antiques, New York, NY.
An English Pearlware Pottery Equestrian Group of William III, Enoch Wood/Woody Family, Circa 1790-1810. Earle Vandekar of Knightsbridge, Inc., White Plains, NY.
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, Dillsburg, PA.
Jayne Thompson Antiques, Harrodsburg, KY.
Jayne Thompson Antiques, Harrodsburg, KY.
Alexander Calder, IXE, Vojtech Blau, New York, NY.
Kevin Conru, Brussels, Belgium.
Geoffrey Diner Gallery, Washington, DC.
Michael Pashby Antiques, New York, NY.
Lost City Arts, New York, NY. Nature's bounty: color coordinated.
Clinton Howell Antiques, New York, NY.
Drawing of a 1936 Lincoln convertible, V-16. Donald A. Heald Rare Books, New York, NY.
Catherine and Donald Heald with Evelyn Tompkins. Wood sculpture of an English Terrier dog, England, 19th Century, Circa 1870; $30,000. RM Barokh Antiques, Beverly HIlls, CA.
Vallin Galleries, LLC, Wilton, CT.
Jon Eric Riis, Atlanta, GA.
National Antique & Art Dealers Association of America, New York, NY. Spencer Marks, Southampton, Mass.
Yew Tree House Antiques, New York, NY.
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