Thursday, December 20, 2012

A familiar scene

Beauty everywhere. 3:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, December 20, 2012. Sunny and chilly on the mild almost-winter day in New York yesterday.

I didn’t make the Michael’s lunch, the last one of the old year. But I was curious and called to see what the rez list was like. Like old home week is what it was. A bit of sentiment for this cold, hard, slick media crowd, showing their soft side. People wearing a bit of the spirit.

So many familiar faces: Jim Abernathy, the understated high public relations with Tim Arango of The New York Times; Steve Ratner, Fred Shuman, brother of the oft-spotted Stan, also in the investment business; the May-yah of Michael’s ole Texas Joe (Armstrong) with Dave Zinczenko; Ms. Mickey Ateyeh, girl on the go, about to travel somewhere, don’t ask, I can’t keep up; hedge fund manager James Chanos who founded/runs the largest exclusive short selling firm Kynikos; private investor Marshall Cogan; nearby his former business partner, private investor Stephen Swid; Cosmo’s  Joanna Coles with Leslie Sloane Zelnik (BWR PR); Lisa Linden with Joseph Spinnato; Simon & Schuster’s executive editor Alice Mayhew; vBeaute’s Julie Macklowe; my hostess this past Tuesday night, Manuela Hoelterhoff of Bloomberg Muse (rhymes with news); Betsy Perry with her mother Marjory Berkowitz, her two brothers, Hugh Freund, Tim Berkowitz, and his wife Amy, having a pre-holiday family lunch.

Wednesday Martin witha copy of Stepmonster.
Betsy told me that she wanted to celebrate the fact that they could all be together with their mother who recently celebrated her 90th (feeling like 40).

Continuing around the rooms: Wednesday Martin. I don’t know Wednesday Martin, but could you forget her name? And she often lunches at Michael’s on Wednesdays. She was with author Liz Welch. Continuing…nearby, Joan Jakobson was holding forth; so was Sue Perla (separate tables); and the gregarious, garrulous and thorough charming Scotsman Euan Rellie, Ron Mwangaguhunga; PR man Steven Rubenstein; Sherrie Westin; the stunning Crystal McCrary with Star Jones; Steven Stolman of Scalamandre with his CEO Louis Renzo and design director Albert Sardelli; mega-agent Boaty Boatwright; another mega – PR guru Paul Witmot with designer Reem Acra; producer David Picker; Jock Reynolds; Patricia Shea; former DA and governor Eliot Spitzer; political PR consultant and political commentator Robert Zimmerman; Robert Wise; Stu Zakim; Bruce Lazarus.

At Table one in the bay: former assistant DA and prosecutor and best-selling and very prolific Linda Fairstein who was entertaining her former colleagues from her courthouse days: Melissa Mourges, Kerry O’Connell, Audrey Moore, Karen Friedman-Agnifilo, New York Supreme Court Judge Ann Donnelly, and Martha Bashford, who is head of the Sex Crimes Unit that Linda started back in the day.

Last night at the Park Avenue Armory
they were hosting a holiday reception that featured designer David Monn’s festive creatios decking the halls. In the Wade Thompson Drill Room was Visual artist Ann Hamilton’s  large scale installation commissioned by the Armory, “The Event of a Thread.”
The completely restored Louis Comfort Tiffany room in the Park Avenue Armory with David Monn's holiday decoration.
Peter Heywood, Shirley Lord Rosenthal, and George Farias.
The work combines reading (to homing pigeons, caged for the actual event — about two hours), being read to, as well as sound and a field of swings, as you can see. Visitors are invited to use them to “connect to the action of each other and the work itself.” It’s one of those moments where you’re mesmerized by the “natural” beauty  in the environment that was once a former drill hall. The brief video I took shows you.
It opened December 4th.

Roberta Smith
of the New York Times put it succinctly: “…encompasses experiences both active and contemplative.” It runs through Sunday, January 6th, so go, and take the children.

Elihu Rose
, one of the two men behind the redevelopment and refurbishing of the Park Avenue Armory as a cultural center and destination along with the late Wade Thompson, told me that on a Saturday afternoon, thousands will come by to see it. I can imagine even then the sound in the crowd will be subdued by the experience of being present at the event. Check it out.
Entering the Ward Thompson Drill Hall where Ann Hamilton's "The Event of a Thread" installation awaits ...
The homing pigeons being read to. I don't know the significance of that in the installation, but you'll figure it out. Barbara Tober, who was there with her husband Donald, told me that there were a number of people in New York who "collected" and kept homing pigeons.
On the swings ...
The swings are moving the fabrics as if they were blowing in the wind.
The brief video I took last night of Ann Hamilton’s "The Event of a Thread.”
From the Armory I went up to the apartment of Grace and Chris Meigher who were hosting their annual “Quest” party – for the staff and friends of the magazine that Chris publishes.

The great thing about a “holiday” party is that no matter the business, the atmosphere is without agenda. It’s over.

This is it, the time to relax and enjoy the company and the no-other-purpose to it.

There were the Swifty’s menu of canapes, the sugar-coated bacon strips, the mini-cheeseburgers, the pig-in-the-blankets, cheeses, champagne, cocktails and lots of people moving into the holidays mode, with Grace Meigher’s beautiful tree to enhance.
The tree in my lobby. The Meighers tree. Santa has already appeared, evidently ...
Mary Hilliard, Mario Buatta, and Armene Milliken.
Amanda Meigher massaging the family pooch. Joy Ingham modeling her brand new "pearls" by Clive Kandel, with Wendy Vanderbilt, who picked up her "diamonds" from a sale at the Asia Society.
Half-moon rising over East End Avenue, 9:30 PM.
Jill Krementz reports: On Tuesday night, Leonard Cohen performed to a sold-out crowd of 20,000 at the Garden.

Cohen, 78, in his trademark fedora and black suit, is in fine form. The Canadian-born poet/singer performed for three and a half hours, including an intermission.

The courtly septuagenarian, who went from kneeling to standing and back again to kneeling, was accompanied by his trio of back-up singers (the Webb sisters — Charley and Hattie — and his longtime song writing collaborator Sharon Robinson).
Leonard Cohen photographed by Jill Krementz at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.
Contributing to a great evening were six fine musicians (also wearing fedoras), virtuosos on acoustic guitar, keyboard, drums and percussion, and violin. The play list included all the classics — "Suzanne", "I'm Your Man," and, need I say, "Hallelujah."

Don't miss this legend. He was telling the truth when he wrote the lyrics: "I was born like this, I had no choice / I was born with the gift of a golden voice." And he was also telling the truth when, at the beginning of the concert, he said: "I don't know when we'll meet again, but tonight I promise I'll give you everything I've got."

For all you Leonard Cohen fans, there will be another concert on Thursday night (December 20th) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Leonard Cohen photographed by Jill Krementz at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.

A new biography about the soulful singer, "I'm Your Man" by Silvie Simmons, has just been published by Ecco Press.

Contact DPC here.