Thursday, January 24, 2013

Real Feel

Smith and President Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. 2 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, January 24, 2013. Fuh-reeeeezing in New York, with the Real Feel again at Zero.

But in the morning, ‘no.’  That’s the title of an old Cole Porter song, if you didn’t know, written for Ethel Merman and Bert Lahr in the 1939 show “DuBarry Was a Lady.” (“Are you fond of mountains, dear? Kindly tell me if so?” “Yes I’m fond of mountains, dear. But in the morning no .... "Do you like to climb Pike’s Peak? Kindly tell me if so.” “Yes I like to climb Pike’s Peak. But in the morning, no-no, no-no, no-no, no-no ... no!").

Bert Lahr and Ethel Merman on the cover of Playbill for Cole Porter's "DuBarry Was a Lady," which opened at the 46th Street Theater December 6, 1939.
I thought of that very lyric – I’ve been meaning to write about it – the other day when someone Who Knows These Things told me about another couple – quite prominent although not as much as were old Louis and Madame du Barry, or even Bert and Ethel. These two are professionally a couple. On the air, sort of like Dorothy and Dick or Kilgallen and Kolmar (back in Cole Porter time). A team.

However in real life this couple are also “another” couple --  with a spouse in the house.  For quite some time.  But it is said, what’s been magic for the camera has taken on its own life, a real one, away from the camera. I know, I’m being obtuse. This happens when writing about Love and Marriage. Because from the outside, far outside, it’s funny. But from the inside, it can be very tough. I understand it’s very tough for the “other couple” – the spouses.

I went to Michael’s for lunch. It was Wednesday, after all. I was most interested because Michael launched a brand new menu yesterday. I’m not a gourmand and menus are basically only interesting to me when I’m looking at them. But this is a big deal. Michael is famous in the foodie world. He’s like a Jesuit priest of the restaurant business. Or maybe a cardinal in the kitchen.

I’ve been lunching there for years as you may have read here before (and before that). He’d change his menus with the seasons. Eighteen or nineteen items and one soup per. Now there are 42 or 45 items. Smaller portions, but great variety. A little of this, a little of that. I had lunch with Pax Quigley. We both ordered the Korean Steak Tacos – three for $16. Pax ordered a side of brussels sprouts – $8. I ordered a Margherita pizza (8”) – $16 and the Iceberg Lettuce Salad with Bacon, Shaved Baby Vegetables and Blue Cheese Dressing – $12. Plus two iced teas (the Barbara Bush) and a bottle of plain water; plus two cappuccinos. Total $104 with tax. Did we eat less, or did we eat more. It might have been both because it was “enough,” but a lot of it. All of it delicious.

Something new. Plus there was sharing, which I am told is the new serving style. Not the your-fork-on-everyone’s plate sharing. Smaller portions, lower price, and sharing. Some people say it’s not new. It is for me.  So I’ve only tried three of the items, with a lot more to look forward to.
Our choices at yesterday's Michael lunch from part of the new menu.
Michael gave an interview to the Times that was in yesterday’s edition. He said this wasn’t “new” but it was the new paradigm in dining, attributing it mainly to his children’s generation (twenty-somethings). They are more knowledgeable about food because of the popularity of the cooking shows.  I learned this a few years ago when I learned that JH – who is not an aspiring chef, but loves to eat – loved watching these shows. So it was with a lot of his friends (thirty-somethings).

It was Wednesday so it was busy. Mayor Joe Armstrong was there with David Zinczenko, Herb Siegel was lunching with John Mack of Morgan Stanley; Manuela Hoelgterhoff of Bloomberg’s Muse  was there with one of her colleagues, Dan Billy. Tony Hoyt was lunching with Paul Tsigrikes of the WSJ, and Arlyn and Ed Gardner, one of the smartest, most gracious and sophisticated couples in New York. Desiree Gruber with Anne Fulenwider, Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire; Kay Koplovitz; Fern Mallis with Micky Ateyeh. Right next door in the bay, Bonnie Fuller of  was hosting her weekly Wednesday get-together with her colleagues Penske Media’s Vice Chairman, Gerry Byrne and publisher Carlos Lamadrid, and a Real Housewife, Aviva Drescher, Patrick O’Keefe of Matrix, Serena Kodila of Sirius XM, Activate’s Michele Anderson, Island Def Jam’s Laura Swanson, Julian Brodsky of Comcast.

Michael McCarty with the television personality Patti Stanger (Richard Perry/The New York Times).
Around the room: Cynthia McFadden was lunching with Joni Evans and Lesley Stahl; Jason Binncreator/publisher of the new DuJour magazine; Judy Price with Christine Miller Martin, senior managing partner of Warburg Realty. Judy proudly told me that she had introduced Ms. Miller to her fiancé.  In the corner, Steve Rubenstein (public relations); Deborah Grubman, Hilary Gumbel and Margo Winkler; Diana Beiderman with Diane Clehane, Frances and Deacon Webster; Connie Anne Phillips, publisher of InStyle; Chris Meigher of Quest with Jamie McGuire; Elihu Rose, the cultural impresario behind The Park Avenue Armory was with Ken Rendell who opens tonight at the Winter Antique Show with his booth at the Winter Antique’s show. Ken has that shop on Madison in the Carlyle where each day there is a new collectible autograph in the window. His main headquarters are in Wellesley where he houses a great collection of World War II memorabilia. Elihu (Elly to his many friends) is a professor of Military History.

Ken Rendell’s collecting interests run toward the historical, and the (hand)written word. He’s a bibliophile extraordinaire. A great deal of his business is creating libraries for wealthy collectors. The kind of libraries Ken Rendell puts together for a client include rare items, such as a handwritten letter from Napoleon to whomever, or first editions or original manuscripts. His shops have the same appeal as a museum: you’re fascinated and you learn. Wonder evolves.

Meanwhile back at Michael’s ... Kathryn Ireland, the British interior designer who lives in LA and is famous from Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators,”  Louis Renzo, CEO and owner of Scalamandre; Pam Wagner; Wednesday Martin with Jennifer Macklowe; Judith Bresler of Rogers & Cowan; Jack Kliger of TV Guide; Ellen Perry; Tom Goodman with Arthur Sando, V-P Communications with Hustler, Maryam Banikarim  of Gannett, and I’ve just touched the surface.
The Ross' living room last night where they were hosting a book party for Annie Falk and her Palm Beach Entertaining; Creating Occasions to Remember.
Last night out in the New York cold. My cabdriver told me that although it was too cold for people to be strolling the streets yesterday, and there were far fewer out of town cars on the roads, business was brisk, like the weather. Like a rainy day, people like the warmth of a car for getting around the city.

At 6:30 I went over to Wilbur and Hilary Geary Ross’ penthouse apartment overlooking Carnegie Hall where they were hosting a book party for Annie Falk and her Palm Beach Entertaining; Creating Occasions to Remember.

The Ross orchids.
This is a book about Palm Beach entertaining and visits several dinner parties, lunches, brunches of its denizens. The flowers, the light, alluring menus and tropical drinks: it looks like what you might think would be the best of Palm Beach.

In the opening pages, Falk reveals that the book was inspired by “the mothers and infants of the Transitions Home and dedicated to all the children, teens, and families served by Children’s Home Society of Florida.”  Much of the entertaining in Palm Beach goes on in private homes. They’ve refined it to a point where there are fundraising dinners where guests pay to dine with their gracious hosts, and the revenue is donated to one’s charitable cause.

This has become a very successful method of raising a lot of money. Annie Falk’s book – which is full of beautiful place settings, lawns, poolsides, flowers and food, as well as various host and hostesses’ favorite recipes – has been created to benefit the Children’s Home Society. All royalties will go to it.

The Rosses had a big crowd at their elegant Mario Buatta-designed aerie high above the town. Very much the classic New York cocktail party. Great evening; good works.
Annie Falk and her book "Palm Beach Entertaining" (Click to order). CeCe Cord and Hilary Geary Ross.
Nicole Miller and Beth DeWoody. Mark Gilbertson with Mario Buatta.
The three Debbies: Bancroft, Loeffler, and Norville -- speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil? Oh really ...?
Catching up. I don’t know how this one got buried under the calendar detritus on this desk, but last month, just before the holiday, Jim Mitchell hosted a lovely dinner in honor of Brazilian fashion designer Alessandra Mesquita at Primola. Mesquita, who lives in New York, was joined by Matthew Marco, Joan and Ron Linclau, Mai Harrison, Kay Pick, in from Beverly Hills, Frannie Scaife and Tom McCarter; Regina and Rainer Greeven, Ada Zambetti, Gloria Sidnam. They dined on the restaurant’s famous pasta and veal piccata followed by a dessert of cake and lemon sorbet.
The table at Jim Mitchell's pre-holiday dinner at Primola.
Regina Greeven, Matthew Marco, and Alessandra Mesquita. Joan Linclau and Rainer Greeven.
Regina Greeven, Matthew Marco, and Gloria Sidnam.
Ada Zambetti. Mai Harrison. Frannie Scaife.
Felix Perrera, Kay Pick, and Jim Mitchell.
And down Palm Beach way about that same time a hundred American Cancer Society supporters an survivors gathered at a reception at the waterfront home of Stephen and Petra Levin. Mrs. Levin is the Gala Chairman of the upcoming “Celebration of the Century,” the AMC’s 55th Annual Palm Beach Gala which will be held on February 1st at Donald Trumps Mara-a-Lago Club. Guests included Board Chairman Tommy Quick, board members Arlette Gordon, Mark Cook, Dr. Margaret LaManna, Leigh Lamoye, as well as Honorary Chair Patrick Park. For more information about the gala, contact Michelle Jaminet, at 561-655-3449, or
Front Row (l-r): Junior Chairman Crissy Poorman, Helen Bernstein, Patsy Spero, Chairman Petra Levin, Darlene Grace, Pam Dupuis, Anne Marie Haymes.
Second Row (l-r): Donna Skeen, Entertainment Co-Chairman Carol Jenkins-Jaeger, Debra LeVasseur, Margaret LaManna, PR Chairman Aime Dunstan.
Top Row (l-r): Robert DeForest, Hillary Matchett, Entertainment Co-Chairman Susan Furman
Chairwoman Petra Levin and Stephen Levin
Chairwoman Petra Levin and Board of Trustees President Tom Quick. Honorary Chairman Patty Myura and Board Member Mark Cook.
Carol Jenkins-Jaeger and Douglas Jenks.
Alex Floyd, Debra LeVasseur, Danny Miller, and Sonia Langenvacher. Gala Entertainment Chairman Susan Furman and Bob Holuba.
Gala Junior Chairman Crissy Poorman, Robert Reveley, and Patsy Spero.
Leigh and Chris Larmoyeux. Helaine and Eddy Cantor.
Pam and Peter Dupuis.

Photographs by LILA PHOTO (ACS).

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