Thursday, November 8, 2012

First of the snow

First snow day. 11 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, November 8, 2012. The weatherman forecast a Nor’easter leaving many concerned that it could wreak more havoc on those of us who have already been harmed by the hurricane Sandy. Mid-afternoon it began to snow. It didn’t stick, but it kept on until finally about 6 PM it began to stick. At this time (midnight) it’s begun to let up and now it is cold and slushy underfoot.
East End Avenue from my living room window with the snow just beginning to pick up about 4 PM.
And on JH's side of town.
Her House Is Her Art. Precipitation had begun when I started the day at a luncheon at the Carlyle hosted by Karl Wellner and Deborah Norville for Ann Getty and Diane Dorrans Saeks, and Saeks’ new book published by Rizzoli, “Ann Getty Interior Style.”
Both women are from San Francisco. Mrs. Getty’s husband Gordon, is a  son of J. Paul Getty, a California boy himself (L.A.) who made a vast fortune in oil. Mrs. Getty is an interior designer and the Gettys are serious collectors of rare antiques.

Ann Getty, yesterday at the Carlyle, holding a copy of the book on her work. Click to order.
Eva Lorenzotti and Diane Dorrans Saeks at yesterday's lunch.
Part of this book is about their house on Nob Hill and its amazing contents. Author Saeks who often writes about style and interior design, catches not only the details of the Gettys’ sensational collection (and house), but Ann Getty’s thoughts about it all.

This is the way the Queen of England would live if she were the Queen of France (if there were a Queen of France). It is also the way a guest lives when they go to stay with the Gettys.

Imagine! I didn’t have much time yesterday to go through this beautiful volume but I couldn’t resist a few intense glances when I first got home.  The collections, the décor, the colors, the gold, the art, not to mention that California light and climate just outside the windows, are the quintessence of luxury.

Mrs. Getty appears in more than one photograph in the book in one of her stupendous rooms, in which she is wearing a simple shirt and jeans. The contrast between the costume and environment is oddly harmonious. Yesterday in the Carlyle restaurant she was wearing the idea in a casual cotton suit in an ivory shade. This is a California woman, an artist.

She has an eye and an intense affinity for details. She runs between the 18th and 21st century in sensibility in the same space. This is how the Queen of France would have lived if she lived on the West Coast. Now.

You’d have to be more than very very rich to live there, and in that grand fashion and style. I was reminded of San Simeon and Mr. Hearst and his castle. It occurred to me that this sense of luxe is neither European nor East Coast but specifically California. Wonder is its charm. Craftsmanship, artisanship, artistry is its obsession.

The snow had begun when I left the Carlyle about 2:30. By 6 – when it was time for me to leave the house again  – it was snowing hard. The kind of thing where you think you should have boots.
Gaining intensity by 6 PM.
Over at the Park Avenue Armory, the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club was hosting a benefit Preview Party for the Salon of Art & Design. Sanford Smith and Associates have collaborated with the Syndicat National des Antiquaires, the largest and most prestigious association of art and design dealers in France, the producer of the Paris Biennale, to create a new fair, The Salon of Art and Design.

Fifty-three leading international dealers are participating, with modern art and design from the 1890s to the present along with major works of ethnographic art. More than half the dealers are members of the Syndicat, and many are exhibiting in New York for the first time. The Show runs through Monday, the 12th. You can spend hours there. It’s the perfect weather for perusing.

There were more cancellations on the calendar last night including the Rockefeller University Parents & Science. Celebrating Science Benefit. Over at the New York Marriott Marquis, the ALS Association of Greater New York’s Chapter’s 18th Annual Lou Gehrig Sports Awards Benefit.

The night’s honorees included former professional tennis player and sportscaster Mary Carillo, New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey and Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes.  The Jacob K. Javits Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Columbia University Medical Center Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics Dr. Tom Maniatis. Bob Costas was a presenter, with Jeremy Schaap serving as emcee. The evening’s Chairs were Alan Griffith, Jeffrey Loria, David Lubars, Lawrence Rand, and Claire and Leonard Tow.

The weather outside was frightful, but the crowd was so delightful, so let it snow, let it snow ... Over at the Mandarin Oriental, Phoenix House was holding its 2012 Fashion Award Dinner honoring Diane Von Furstenberg, Jim Gold and Andrew Rosen.

Phoenix House began as an idea in 1967 when six heroin addicts came together at a detoxification program in a New York hospital. In helping themselves through the rough days ahead, they moved in a West Side brownstone and lived as a community. Phoenix House was born.
Sarah and Mitch Rosenthal.
Tory Burch being interviewed.
It was the structure and approach to treatment that made it work. This was the creation of psychiatrist Dr. Mitchell S. Rosenthal along with counselors from New York City’s Addiction Services Agency. Mitch Rosenthal made it the model for a citywide treatment network.

In 1972 it became an independent non-profit. In the last twelve months, Phoenix House provided 1,084,050 days of residential treatment, 46,230 hours of one-on-one counseling, and 26,964 family counseling sessions led by trained therapists. And that was just last year.

Phoenix House is now the nation’s largest provider of alcohol and drug abuse treatment and prevention services operating in more than 123 programs in ten states with a current population of more than 6000 men, women and adolescents.
The table centerpiece.
The eminence grise of fashion retailing Burt Tansky.
I’ve known Mitch (as he is known by friends and and associates) and his wife Dr. Sarah Syms Rosenthal (who is also a therapist) for a number of years now. He is a very known figure in social and philanthropic circles in New York because of the great success of Phoenix House and his life long devotion to its growth and development. The Rosenthals have a lot of friends and are good friends to many.

This dinner is an annual affair although I’d never attended before. They got a big crowd of several hundred enthusiastic guests. The storm scared off a few but very few. They raised a record $1 million for Phoenix House.

Tiffany & Company and Diane Von Furstenberg underwrote the evening. Instead of an auction, Tiffany donated dozens of gifts that were distributed in a raffle-like fashion. For $150, you could buy an elastic bracelet in Tiffany blue, and after the main course was served staff members came around with hundreds of boxes on silver trays. Each bracelet got a box (a “Mystery Blue Box”). Some people bought several. Among the items were two diamond necklaces, two men’s watches and a variety of Tiffany items. The necklaces and the watches were of course the grand prizes and it was the luck of the draw.
The Phoenix House and Tiffany girls selling the bracelets ($150 each).
The Tiffany "raffle" bracelets last night modeled by Sarah and Mitch Rosenthal.
Olivier Theyskens' Theory dress .... One of the Tiffany men's watches in the special "raffle."
Some of the gifts that were found in the Mystery Blue Boxes.
Ricky Roer (my dinner partner) opening hers.
The evening opened after cocktails with Rosemarie Bravo subbing as emcee for Ali Wentworth who was in absentia (or in storm traffic). She introduced Howard Meitiner who is President and CEO of Phoenix House. Bravo introduced Mitch who spoke briefly about the work of Phoenix House. Then came dinner (filet mignon).

Shortly thereafter Wentworth appeared. A dynamo with a quick wit and in for a laugh (fun). She brought on Olivier Theyskens, the fashion designer who introduced the honoree Andrew Rosen, founder and owner of Theory, the fashion house whom Theyskens designs for. Tina Brown introduced Von Furstenberg and then came Jim Gold, President, Specialty Retail, the Neiman Marcus Group.
Howard Meitiner, President and CEO of Phoenix House.
Rosemarie Bravo.
Andrew Rosen of Theory.
Ali Wentworth.
Tina Brown paying tribute to Diane Von Furstenberg.
DVF recalling the first time she met Mitch Rosenthal back in the late 60s.
It was an entire evening of speeches and awards and the room felt collegial – everyone was enjoying the guests and the camaraderie. It was the cause that Mitch Rosenthal created all those years ago. We were all there for a good reason. And surrounded by those vast windows overlooking Columbus Circle and Central Park South, you could see the snow falling in gusts while inside the cause and its supporters warmed the room.
Central Park West on the way home about 10:15 last night.

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