Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Holiday weekend in the City

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Monument in Riverside Park at 89th Street and Riverside Drive commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War. It was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1902. 12:00 AM. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012. Very warm (and humid) holiday weekend in the City. In the late night on East End Avenue, the massive hum of hundreds of air conditioning units mimic sound of a wind tunnel filling the otherwise traffic-less silence.

On Sunday night, I dined out with JH and his wife Danielle Rossi Hirsch at one of her favorite East Side restaurants – Sette Mezzo, Lexington between 70th and 71st. No objection there. JH had his camera handy. Delicious.
Linguine Alle Vongole.
Eggplant stuffed with Ditalini.
Penne Sette Mezzo.
Before we get to the weekend. Last Thursday night, international interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield hosted a reception to celebrate the publication of his new book A 21 Century Palace.

Click to order A 21 Century Palace.
I think Geoffrey Bradfield might have been Florenz Ziegfeld in a previous incarnation. He’s definitely, besides being one of the most prominent interior designers in the world, a showman par excellence.

I mean, look at the venue – the Basildon Room in the Waldorf.  If we told you it was in some European palace, you’d believe it. Then there are the men in white tie and tails all in a row like Fred Astaire’s famous “Top Hat” number.

Puttin’ on the Ritz or what? This is Geoffrey’s signature. You see it in his house, in his car (a Bentley – with driver); in his cocktail and dinner parties, and in his work – which is what this book is about. Always something to see.  This time the subject is Someone’s palace. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Geoffrey Bradfield will show you Something Else, which is What this is.

The evening – 6 to 8 – drew a big crowd – the Waldorf a perfect (central) location for an early Thursday evening for UES New Yorkers. The champagne flows and the canapés are never far from reach and whim, and everyone’s always happy to see a crowd of familiar faces and ... oh ... who is that over there with Debbie?
Janna Bullock, Frederick Anderson, Liliana Cavendish, and Debbie Bancroft
Justina Watorek, Tina Krivoshein, Geoffrey Bradfield, Roric Tobin, and Jenny Gonzalez
Some hosts and hostesses are nervous wrecks in a crowd of their guests, worried about every little detail coming off right, are people enjoying themselves, etc. Not Geoffrey. You can see in the pictures. He’s unflappable, enjoying the show and enjoying all the company enjoying the show. Set everyone up for a great weekend disposition.
Ratna Sari Dewi Sukarno
Roric Tobin, Lynn Westcott, Helena Lehane, and Geoffrey Bradfield
June Haynes and Melissa Berkelhammer
Robert Caravaggi and Grace Meigher
Geoffrey Bradfield and Wendy Diamond
Angela Chen and Roy Kean
Edmundo Huerta and Monique van Vooren
Chiu-Ti Jansen and Michele Gerber Klein
John Viscardi and Fiona Hutchison
Gillian Miniter, Richard Turley, and Helena Lehane
Amy Hoadley, Alexander Cohane, and Heather Cohane
Kathleen Giordano, Joy Marks, Victor de Souza, and Dr. Penny Grant
Barbara de Portago and Geoffrey Bradfield
Garet Hill, Jan Hill, and Nicholas Stern
Geoffrey Bradfield and Yanna Avis
A Dog’s Life. I have three right now. You know that if you read the diary regularly. Rescued, is the term of endearment. Shih tzu is the breed, although I love all dogs all the time. Living here in New York where you see so much of life on the streets, the dogs and the children are what catch my attention – and mainly the dogs – because they are answerable without protection to our whims and misplaced anxieties and rages at the moon. The children I pray will survive the turpitude and turbulence of these times, one hopes, through the care and love of their parents. The dogs (and cats), however, are really at our effect, no matter what.

I talk to my dogs frequently as do many dog-owners. And they talk to me just as frequently. As do many dog owners’s dogs, I have learned. People eavesdropping could think that I’m nuts, of course. But I don’t care. The love of the dog is worth any price of another’s perception.
Mr. Byrone.
I’ve had pets all my life. There was a dog around the house when I came into the world, a beautiful, loving mutt named Brownie. And there have been many cats too. (I took five cats with me  -- and a dog, Rex -- when I moved to California back in the late 70s).

I see now in retrospect that I am more thoughtful about my animal friends than I was when I was younger and often took their ability to adjust for granted. I am also more patient with myself too, which might have something to do with my attitude about my furry residents. Or it could be that their presence has taught me, conditioned me, to enjoy the patience and pleasure they surround us with. I mention this because those creatures who live closest to us often suffer, or are victims of, the damnation that tortures us as well as others around us. They don’t deserve it, that’s for sure.
They were celebrating that this weekend out East at the Animal Rescue Fund’s (ARF) preview cocktail party at the ARF Thirft and Treasure Shop at 17 Montauk Highway in Sagaponack. The shop was transformed into 11 rooms of Designer Showhouse, the work of some of the most talented interior designers in New York including Nancy Corzine, Gary Crain and James Alan Smith, Gigi Mahon, Jeff Pfeifle, Scott Salvator, Jeffery Howard Brodersen, Rob Southern, Tony Urrutia. There was a general admission and a special “preview” ticket ($300) for First Looks.

ARF is a wonderful support organization for dogs and cats who need a home and need love. They might just rescue you; you never know.
Rob Southern.
Emilia Saint-Amand. Lisa McCarthy.
Dorothy Frankel.
Jeff Pfeifle and Tom Samet. Donna and Richard Soloway.
Peter Hallock and Jeff Pfeifle. James Alan Smith and Gary Crain.
Wendy Peterson, Sara Davison, Susan Bond, Jackie Falkowski, and Phyllis Landi.
Sara Davison and Jamie Berger. Sandra McConnell and Betty Sherrill.
Which speaking of: A couple of weeks ago at Kimpton’s Muse Hotel on 130 West 46th Street, Wendy Diamond, the enterprising animal rescue advocate and founder of Animal Fair magazine hosted a “FairyTale” (teas, tails and Tiffany-theme) bridal shower of her Maltese Lucky Diamond (I hope to God she’s been spayed!) to benefit the Humane Society of New York. The bridal shower was in anticipation of Lucky’s upcoming wedding which will take place on July 12th at the Jumeriah Essex House. Harriette Rose Katz, the famous New York wedding planner, planned this one.

This “bridal shower” was a room filled with “stunning light blue and soft white décor." Dylan’s Candy Bar set the tables with sparkling blue and white crystal rocks, chocolates (not for the dogs!! Chocolate is fatal) and gumball candy. For the guests. The canine guests mingled and barked about while drinking water and eating their own Pupcakes. The ladies sat at the elegant table and helped themselves happily to the cupcakes with the Tiffany Blue icing sent by Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis of DC Cupcakes. Mr. Byrone, who lives here on East End Avenue, came to us via the Humane Society several years ago and brought infinite amounts of joy with him. I do know he would have loved the Pupcakes or anything else you’ve got to eat.

When a wag of the tail is enough. The dogs were also “dressed” for the occasion. I’m not big on “dressing up” animals. They are truly only fashion victims and naturally have no hankering for it. Better you should buy a couple of Barbies and go in that direction and leave the poor pets to their own peace (and snoozing).
Harriette Rose Katz with Zoey, Wendy Diamond with Lucky Diamond, and Dylan Lauren.
Dogs and cats are perfectly happy to accommodate their crazy owners, but ask yourself: how would you like it if your mother or your husband or your wife or your big brother or anybody dressed up you in a tutu and tiara and marched you down to some cocktail party filled with cupcake consuming bipeds? Enough already, no?

Whatever the situation, Wendy Diamond might just be the re-incarnation of Phineras T. Barnum because she knows how to get us to meet the dogs. The Humane Society of New York brought along Dylan, a Dachshund/mix, and Hope, a Terrier/mix, to the party. Both dogs are up for adoption and a loving home. Instead of gifts Lucky requested that all guests sponsor a dog (or cat) at the Humane Society of New York! Thank you Wendy.

Support the Humane Society, adopt a dog or a cat, or preferably two, so they have company when we’re off consuming our cupcakes in another part of the forest. When you get home, no matter how much you’ve eaten (or “quaffed”), they’ll still look at you with love, the kind of look we all always need and often don't get nearly that much of otherwise.
I’m going to close with a story about dogs and the Humane Society that a friend (and a friend of animals and birds) Alison Minton sent to us last week:

I was at the Humane Society yesterday and there was a women there with a very thin dog. I asked if he was a rescue and she told me an unbelievable story.  I wanted to take a photo, but didn't want to bother her or explain why I was taking a photo. The woman (who lives in Connecticut), and her mother had been looking online to adopt a dog because her daughter (the granddaughter) wanted a dog.

Thursday night the woman's mother (the grandmother) saw someone had posted online that they had a dog they didn't want anymore, and if no one responded to their ad within a few hours, they were going to tie the dog to a tree at First Avenue and  20-something street in Manhattan, and just leave it there. 

The grandmother told the daughter who then jumped into her car and drove to the location, and indeed, found this poor dog tied up. She said it was right next to an apartment building and no one had bothered to take it or call for help. Maybe passersby assumed it belonged to someone who was shopping nearby, or in the building. She took the dog and the next day, Friday, was at the Humane Society getting it checked out. They tested for a microchip, but of course, there was none. It is the sweetest dog, looks like a yellow lab mix, might have a little pit in it.  It was very thin, but looked pretty clean. She named him Charlie and is going to keep him.

I was horrified at the story. But, thought of you with the dog tying up issue. Thankfully this had a happy ending.