Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Autumn cool

Fresh, cool autumn sky. 6:15 PM. Photo: Jeff Hirsch.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014. Beautiful, sunny day, yesterday in New York. And Autumn cool with some rain passing through in the late evening.

On the second day of UN Week, and coupled with the construction all over crowding many roadways, the city was besieged with traffic. On my trip to Michael’s, figuring I’d spend a lot of time sitting in traffic, I decided to take a taxi from East End over to Fifth where the side streets were mainly moving smoothly, and then walk the 29 blocks (which is roughly a mile and a half) to Michael’s. On a beautiful, sunny day, it’s a rather beautiful walk  along side the East Side edge of Central Park, and I kept a brisk pace to see if I could make it in twenty minutes.

There were some brief stops for the lights on 72nd and 66th and 60th on down but otherwise, I made it in a little more than 20 and much to my surprise I made it there before my lunchdate. Michael’s was packed, also surprisingly considering the traffic.

Another surprise was that the traffic was moving right along from the 80s until the lower 60s when the avenue turns from residential to commercial. I could have taken the bus and been there faster. However, better that I get the exercise.

However, on my way, I saw this:
Evidently they are all over town. HOW did that happen? They know a “couple” took the dog from the dog park? Where were they when it happened? This is always the question we need to ask ourselves about our relationship to our animals. They are so precious to so many of us and yet there exists a casual and uninformed attitude about the lives and safety and healthy of these greatest friends of ours. If you see this dog, the sign speaks for itself. It must be deeply troubling to know that their friend has been abducted. Whoever would do that is not a dog lover (unless it’s a rescue). That’s a given.

Click to order “Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can Do About It.”
Last night I went down to the Four Seasons restaurant where Jeanne and Herb Siegel were hosting a reception for Steve Forbes and his new book “Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can Do About It.” Mr. Forbes wrote the book with Elizabeth Ames.

Most of us have no idea what that means “destruction of the dollar,” and it is something that everyone should know about because it is upon us. I don’t even know what that means as I say it, except it means something very dire in our everyday lives. So Mr. Forbes’ book is a start, if you don’t know. It should be said that this is a widely discussed and debated topic among those who are in the financial business or have vivid interest in the markets and the economy of this country.

That said, the party last night was called for 6. At 7:15 Mr. Forbes hadn’t arrived. I understood: it took me 45 minutes in what ordinarily would have been a ten or fifteen minute ride, because of the traffic jams in the East 50s. And it was rush hour. I finally got out of my cab and walked the several blocks to the restaurant. There were a lot of people who were late or hadn’t arrived. Out on East 52nd Street and Fifth Avenue it was a jam of people, motorcycle policemen, buses and teeming civilization.

The thing about New York is when you walk down an avenue in midtown in good weather, at the end of the day, you see the world. The Diversity is beautiful; something for all of us to bear in mind at all times these days. One of the exciting things about New York for everyone who lives here and visits here is just that. The Diversity. A blessing.

Also, before I forget. For lovers of art, collectors of art, weekend city people who love to take in the street life, this coming Saturday, September 27 and Sunday September 28th from 10 to 5, they are holding the 42nd Gracie Square Art Show. The show is set up right on the avenue in the wall of the Park. They close off the blocks from Gracie Square to 86th Street for the artists’ booths. If it’s a beautiful day, it’s a beautiful time to visit the nabe with Carl Schurz Park in its glory and the beautiful river and Roosevelt Island and Queens just beyond. Admission is free. And Gracie Mansion just next door.

Catching up. Last Tuesday September 16th, I missed the luncheon that the American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet (AFPOB) and Lalique hosted to celebrate the exhibit “Dance and Fashion” at the Museum at FIT where extraordinary pieces from the Paris Opera Ballet were exhibited.

The luncheon was hosted by Chairman of American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet, Olivia Flatto and President & CEO of Lalique North America, Maz Zouhairi. Olivia is French, married to an American, Adam Flatto. Whenever she invites me I’m flattered because she’s charming and she’s chic and has that “je ne sais quoi” (as the French would say….I think they would say) that I’m always flattered by. However, it was one of those days.

Meanwhile, the newly opened exhibition features ballet costumes and high fashion pieces in an enchanted setting. Guided by curator Dr. Valerie Steel, guests were shown several dazzling pieces including two exceptional costumes from the Paris Opera Ballet: an “Esmeralda” (from the ballet “Notre Dame de Paris") by Yves St Laurent and a “Bolero” outfit designed by Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy.
Olivia Flatto thanks the luncheon guests.
The luncheon guests thank Olivia.
The luncheon took place in the LALIQUE Interiors Showroom, between crystal chandeliers and unique art pieces. As they greeted the guests, Zouhairi and Flatto celebrated the partnership of AFPOB and LALIQUE, two great French-affiliated organizations who share the core values of pursuit of perfection, patience, passion, commitment, and research of beauty and balance in all things. (This is the public relations consultant talking but it’s true.)

Among the guests: Corice Arman, Adrienne Arsht, Dina Deluca Chartouni, Graciela Dauhajre, Fe Fendi, Yaz Hernandez, Serena Lese, Lisa Lori, Helen Marx, Cindy Moross, Muna Rihani, Susan Rose, Sana Sabbagh, Patricia Shiah, Donna Soloway, Valerie Steele, Laurence Stip, Felicia Taylor, Laure Vienot-Tronche.
Corice Arman, Valerie Steele, Laurence Stip, and Donna Soloway.
Maz Zouhairi and Helen Marx.
Helen Marx, Fe Fendi, and Muna Rihani.
Felicia Taylor, Lisa Lori, Cindy Moross, and Serena Lese.
Graciela Dauhajre and Yaz Hernandez.
These are strange difficult days in the world. The news is bad and all around us we can see troubles a-brewing. There are many who don’t seem to notice, I know, but nevertheless. The city right now, with its massive injection of traffic and traffic manipulation for security purposes drives the point home to anyone who is looking and who has lived long enough to have seen another kind of atmosphere to our world. On top of that we have the dilemma of the cell phone which has almost instantly and dramatically changed the behavior of many of us of all ages. Staring at that pad walking down the street, wheeling the children, crossing into oncoming traffic, walking into people and oblivious to the invasion. I’ll leave it at that.

I mentioned this because while putting together today’s Diary, I was looking through Patrick McMullan’s photographs of the opening night at the Met this past Monday, and I was taken by the guests photographed at the step-and-repeat (which diminishes all photos of people despite its omnipresence). The women were all turned out in new fashion and looked fantastic. It was just a moment that could only please the eye and calm the angst, but it’s a good way to end the day of the Diary.
Anna Netrebko. Chloe Malle. Katie Lee.
Beth Stern. Christine Baranski. Jemima Kirke.
Salman Rushdie and Topaz Page-Green. Vera Wang.
Patricia Clarkson. Amy Ryan. Jill Hennessy.
Marisol Thomas. Nigel and Cristen Barker. Renee Fleming.
Grace Coddington and Didier Malige. Rob Howell and Phyllis Posnick.
Gillian Miniter. Julie Macklowe.
Jean Shafiroff. Erin Richards.
Anita Rachvelishvili. Sophie Theallet. Jennifer Esposito.
Ralph Rucci, Daisy Soros, Tony Danza, and Brad Simon. Kelli O'Hara.
Susanna Phillips. Lucia Hwong Gordon. Zani Gugelmann.
Zac Posen and Tao Okamoto. Gina Gershon.
Maggie Grace.
Here is my great friend and a great friend to many, Boaz Mazor attending the opening night gala of the San Francisco Opera Season (on September 5) attending with Dede Wilsey (in Oscar de la Renta) and her son Trevor Traina. The evening was a new production of Bellini's "Norma" sung by Sondra Radvanovsky, soprano, and Maroc Bertie, tenor. It's the biggest night in San Francisco annually, when all the ball gowns and important jewels appear in perfect harmony. Jeanne Lawrence will be covering it in full this Friday on her San Francisco Social Diary.

Contact DPC here.