Monday, March 11, 2013

Friday, Saturday, Sunday ...

Saturday in Central Park. 3:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, March 11, 2013. Quiet weekend in New York for this cave dweller. Over here at NYSD, the weekend starts late Friday morning after we’re certain everything’s operating online, and ends on late Sunday morning when we’re going to work on Monday’s Diary.

Friday’s weather was grey and not so cold but looking like rain (not). Saturday, however, was sunny and mild enough for people to leave the heavy jackets at home and go for a walk in the Sun. Saturday night we set the clocks ahead an hour – the confirmation in this writer’s head that Spring is just around the corner, thankfully.
Last Tuesday I had lunch with Emilia Saint -Amand. Emilia, wearing her first leather dress — which she loves — used to buy clothes from me when I was in the schmatte business back when we were children. Lately Emilia has been spending a lot of time down south in Hobe Sound where she is honing her skills at championship golf. Although she'll be back in town for the upcoming annual On Your Plate City Harvest luncheon with special guest honoree Martha Stewart.
That same day at Michael's, I saw these two women chatting next to all these bags. So I asked the woman on the left, as I was taking a picture of the scene, if she always shopped like this. It turned out, they were all shoes because: Her name is Melanie Blum. She is representing Charles Philip Shanghai -- maker of smart looking slippers for men and women. Milano, born Charles Philip, has been living in Shanghai's French District for several years and is now splitting his time (with his line, and his design partner Sheila Pitigala) between Shanghai and Milan. She didn't have a pair big enough for me in her bags of goodies. Better luck next time ...
The slippers on Melanie's feet.
Friday afternoon, there goes our favorite entrepreneur, having diligently and methodically acquired and transported eight massive bags of exchangeable goods, traveling north up East End Avenue.
Looking south on East End, all snow washed away. New York is not pretty at this time of the year and so now it's a waiting game. The group of five-story buildings have been the subject of real estate development for several years. When they were first acquired the ground floors were occupied by a deli, a restaurant, a nail salon, a gift shop and the liquor store (still standing on the end). The RE boys got rid of the businesses, all of which were prosperous and welcome in the neighborhood, leaving empty rundown storefronts. Nice. The last word on them is that they have been acquired by one of the local private schools which, rolling in dough, plans to raze the apartment buildings and construct a combination school and residential tower. Once upon a time, when this was known as Avenue A uptown (beginning at 79th Street) before Vincent Astor changed the name to East End Avenue and built his luxury co-op apartment at 120 East End and 85th Street, almost all of the buildings were of this size and architecture. This area near the East River was the periphery of what was known as tYorkville, or Germantown, a neighborhood of working people and their families. But that was more than a half century ago, although there are still many of those earlier families still living in the area. When I first moved into my apartment in 1996, there was another cluster of these old buildings across the avenue from me on the north corner of the block on the right. Gone, replaced by a smart looking luxury condo tower.
Friday night my friend Joy Ingham invited me and Gillian and Sylvester Miniter to dine at Sistina on 81st Street and Second Avenue.

Sistina is a longtime favorite of Upper East Siders, kind of an under-the-radar, well-known secret because it's just plain good northern Italian cuisine with a wine list to accommodate everyone, including the big-name tycoons, bankers and rock stars who patronize this small but smart restaurant. It was packed on Friday night.
I had the Arugula with pear and Pecorino Salad; Sylvester and Gillian both ordered the Artichoke salad, and Joy had the Globe Artichokes with Fava Beans, Pecorino Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar Salad. Of the main courses below, Joy had the Soft Shell Crabs, Gillian had the Lamb shank, I had the Grilled Wild King Salmon, and Sylvester ordered the mushroom and truffles risotto.
Then Giuseppe, the owner and host, insisted on the sliced apple tart with coffee sorbet and the tart with the lemon sorbet.
Over on the Upper West Side JH and the digital took a pre-storm (Friday), mid-storm (Friday), and post-storm (Saturday) stroll ...
Thursday night’s fete: John Demsey, Alina Cho and Marilyn Gauthier celebrated their 4th annual Pisces Birthday Party at Mr. Demsey’s Upper East Side townhouse with a cast of thousands.

John Demsey, who is Group President of the Estee Lauder Companies, is also a consummate host at home. He is a low-key kind of guy whose parties, always given in honor of a friend or friends, are welcoming, and packed with people from the social, entertainment and media worlds. He is also, like his pals CNN anchor Alina Cho and Marilyn Gauthier, the modeling agent, born under the astrological sign of Pisces. And what better reason to give a party for all your friends?

New York doesn’t have a lot of parties anymore that aren’t promoting something or someone. Even John Demsey has a few of those. But Thursday night it was all just for the fun of it – an opportunity for people to mingle with old friends and new people in a comfortable and cozy atmosphere.
Marilyn Gauthier, John Demsey, and Alina Cho.
So in that way it was a dazzler, abuzz with howjado’s and have-ya-heard’s, and of course the social photographers to catch all those smiling faces. On that score it was a tidal wave of fashion designers and style gurus -- Bobbi Brown, Rachel Roy, Fern Mallis, Dennis Basso and James Kaliardos. Kelly Rutherford chatted with Julie Macklowe,  Matthew Settle andVanity Fair’s photographer of the rich, the chic and the shameless, Jonathan Becker who has a new book out “Jonathan Becker 30 Years At Vanity Fair” a must-have for your collection of fashion and celebrity of these times.
Marilyn Gauthier, John Demsey, and Alina Cho.
So in that way it was a dazzler, abuzz with howjado’s and have-ya-heard’s, and of course the social photographers to catch all those smiling faces. On that score it was a tidal wave of fashion designers and style gurus -- Bobbi Brown, Rachel Roy, Fern Mallis, Dennis Basso and James Kaliardos. Kelly Rutherford chatted with Julie Macklowe,  Matthew Settle and Vanity Fair’s photographer of the rich, the chic and the shameless, Jonathan Becker, who has a new book out “Jonathan Becker 30 Years at Vanity Fair,” a must-have for your collection of fashion and celebrity of these times.
Emily Smith, Maurice DuBois, Alina Cho, and Stephanie Smith.
Many of Alina’s fellow anchors and reporters dropped by to celebrate with the birthday girl (and of course to check out the crowd), including Co-Host of Good Day New York Rosanna Scotto, Maurice DuBois, and Robert Zimmerman. Even John Demsey’s mother Renee and his daughter Marie-Helene were there to wish him a happy birthday.

Hors d’oeuvres served on fish-shaped platters from Demsey’s friend Cornelia Guest’s Cornelia Guest Events. Then there were those schools of marine creatures: handfuls of Swedish Fish, gummy sharks, and multicolored gummy octopi waiting helplessly like chickens of the sea in small fish bowls around the house.
Robert Zimmerman, Rosanna Scotto, Greg Kelly, and Samantha Yanks.
International models navigated (it was packed – another plus about Demsey parties) -- around the patio and the upstairs terrace -- Tiiu Quik, Michelle Buswell and Heidi Mount; interior designers Howard Slatkin, Milly de Cabrol, and Bibi Monnahan, artist Will Cotton and Rose Dergan sipping cocktails, chatting with Jennifer Creel, Debbie Bancroft, Andrew Roosevelt, Ann Dexter-Jones who now has a line of jewelry and is writing a book on her life in the fast lane of rock and roll and international society.

Moving around the room: Bettina Zilkha, Warner Music’s Rob Wiesenthal, Alison Mazzola, George Farias, Janna Bullock with Couri Hay, Laura Slatkin, Kelly Bensimon, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, and Bobby Fomon and Jill Fairchild, Liliana Cavendish, Caryn Zucker, director James Signorelli, Tim Schifter, Pamela Gross and Jimmy Finkelstein.
Tim Schifter, Celine Rattray, Matthew Settle, and Fern Mallis.
Journalists and media moguls could resisting stopping by just to see who was in the swim including Hearst Magazine’s President, Marketing and Publishing Director Michael Clinton, Elle Décor’s Michael Boodro, Vanity Fair’s Edward Menicheschi, DuJour’s Jason Binn, W’s Jane Larkworthy, Glamour’s Cindi Leive, Self’s Elaine D’Farley, Beauty Fashion’s George Ledes, Page Six’s Emily Smith and Stephanie Smith and Gotham’s Samantha Yanks, and Patrick McMullan capturing the entire evening with his ubiquitous lens. You get the picture: everybody and even his mother ... having a New York good time.

The party was scheduled from 6 to 9 and it was long after that the last of scores of guests disappeared into the night. They just couldn’t tear themselves away from the Piscean pool of New York social life, and a happy birthday to all.
Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker.
Jamie Figg and Rachel Roy.
Jennifer Creel and Miguel Fabregas. Michelle Buswell and Teke Busk.
John Demsey, Marie Helene Demsey, and Renee Demsey.
Laura Slatkin and Howard Slatkin.
Tiiu Quik and Ryan Gentles. Annemarie Iverson, Caryn Zucker, and Bettina Zilkha.
Alison Mazzola and Will Cotton.
Patrick McMullan, Jonathan Becker, Pamela Gross, and Jimmy Finkelstein.
Dennis Basso and Michael Cominotto.
Jennifer Zuccarini, Edward Menicheschi, and Kelly Bensimon. Ann Dexter-Jones and Kelly Rutherford.
 

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