Monday, October 27, 2014

Dos and more Dos

The view of the Hudson and the Catskills from A Private Estate in Germantown, NY. 3:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, October 27, 2014. A sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, slightly rainy (late Saturday night) weekend in New York with temperatures falling into the high 40s at night. It was a lovely, quiet weekend for this writer with dinner with friends on Friday and Sunday and otherwise time to read. JH and his wife Danielle traveled up the Hudson to Rhinebeck to attend a wedding of his cousin. More about that in a minute.
It was a warm Saturday morning in the bright sunlight and I caught this picture of three boats moving down river towards the Atlantic.
The cruisers left this guy in their wake but I had the idea he was paradise-traveling in his beautiful little sailor.
Every weekend when I go over to Zabars, I now check the sidewalk in front of the second-hand bookstore on the other side of Broadway. This was the artist’s latest quote creation.
There was so much going on last week that I finished up feeling like I’d left a lot out. For example, last Wednesday the World Monuments Fund (WMF) hosted their 27th annual Hadrian Gala at the Pierre, and honored artist Ellsworth Kelly and interior designer and philanthropist Mica Ertegun.

The Hadrian Award.
The Hadrian Award has been presented annually by the WMF since 1988. The award honors international leaders whose patronage has greatly enriched the appreciation and conservation of art and architecture around the world. The award was inspired by the Roman Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 76–138), a great patron of the arts, who demonstrated a concern for the survival of outstanding artistic treasures.

The honorees, both patrons and supporters of the world of art and culture and longtime supporters of WMF, were recognized for their “commitment to heritage preservation projects around the world notable for community engagement and training in both traditional skills and modern conservation techniques.”

In a world that seems to be moving faster and faster where the past is quickly lost
from memory, it is easy to lose sight of heritage which speaks to us of the civilization whence we have come. The World Monuments Fund, since 1965 has been “racing against time in more than 90 countries, applying proven techniques to preserving important architectural and cultural heritage sites. They achieve this through partnerships in local communities, with funders, and with governments.

The evening featured tributes to the honorees by Agnes Gund (for Ellsworth Kelly) and Father Alexander Karloutsos (for Mica Ertegun) and musical performances by Peter Duchin and Members of his Orchestra including my favorite songstress/ guitarist Roberta Fabiano.
Ellsworth Kelly and Agnes Gund.
Ellsworth Kelly has made significant contributions to cultural heritage by donating works to the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies and by supporting World Monuments Fund’s projects and training programs, including at Mughal gardens in Agra, India; the Church of St. Trophime in Arles, France; and Mount Lebanon Shaker Village in New Lebanon, New York.

Mica Ertegun has a worldwide reputation in her interior design business. What is less known except to those who are close to her is that she has led heritage preservation efforts in her Romanian homeland and throughout Eastern Europe. She is the tireless champion of the work of sculptor Constantin Brâncusi, whose Endless Column ensemble in Târgu Jiu, Romania, was restored by World Monuments Fund. Since the death of her husband, the great music tycoon Ahmet Ertegun, she had made large and significant contributions to education and to cultural organizations.
Bonnie Burnham, Mica Ertegun, Ellsworth Kelly, and Mary McFadden.
The award is presented annually by World Monuments Fund since 1988, the Hadrian Award honors international leaders whose patronage has greatly enriched the appreciation and conservation of art and architecture around the world. The award was inspired by the Roman Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 76–138), a brilliant commander and great patron of the arts, who demonstrated a concern for the survival of outstanding artistic treasures.
Sir John Richardson, Kenny Lane, Aileen Mehle, Gary Pudney, Boaz Mazor talking to Bill Cunningham.
Meanwhile, this weekend farther up the Hudson where autumn has made a more dramatic and colorful appearance than anything we’ve seen from our perch in Manhattan, JH and Danielle (Mrs. JH) went up to Rhinebeck where they stayed at The Beekman Arms, America's oldest continuously operated hotel, to celebrate his cousin Adam Hirsch's wedding to Jessica Sylvester.

Adam and Jessica held their wedding at A Private Estate in Germantown, which has remained relatively unchanged since it was first developed in 1856 by members of the Livingston family (Robert R. Livingston, Jr. swore in George Washington as the new nation's first President).
The custom place cards.
Cocktails were held at the barn which once housed the horses and cows, and stored the hay that fed them, as well as the equipment used to tend their orchards, and the boats used to fish in the Hudson. The wedding ceremony was held on the grounds with a breathtaking view of the Hudson and the Catskills as backdrop. A bald eagle flew by during the ceremony which only added to the majestic scenery. Dinner was held in a heated tent and everyone went home very happy, especially the bride and groom.
The bride receiving guests in the barn.
Guests gather before the ceremony on the grounds.
The bride accompanied by her parents.
The bride and groom under the Chuppah overlooking the Hudson.
Under the tent for dinner.
And while we’re on the subject of love and marriage, it seems like an appropriate time to report on another recent wedding of our friend, former prosecutor and the detective novelist Linda Fairstein who married Michael Goldberg six weeks ago.

I had known there was a romance going on with Linda and Mike although she’d never told me anything specific. I saw her one day a few weeks ago having lunch at Michael’s with some girlfriends and someone told me they were celebrating her wedding. Still not a word from Linda, so I asked, and this is what I learned:

Linda and Michael on the town.
The couple first met forty-five years ago in a classroom at the University of Virginia Law School on the first day of classes. (There were 11 women in a class of 350.) Linda was seated next to Mike by virtue of alphabetical order. Mike had just married. Linda and Mike became best friends that year, and remained so, without interruption, thereafter. Linda went on after graduating to become an Assistant District Attorney. In 1976, she was tapped by District Attorney Robert Morgenthau to become chief of the two year old sex crimes unit.

A self-made kid from Florida, Michael Goldberg came to New York from law school where he became a partner in Skadden Arps. The two remains friends and Mike also became a close friend of Linda’s husband Justin Feldman, a prominent lawyer and political adviser. After practicing law for 18 years, Mike briefly ran the Mergers and Acquisitions division of First Boston, after which he left to become partner at the private equity firm of Kelso & Company.

In 2011, Justin Feldman died at the age of 92. Two years later in 2013 Mike was divorced, and he and Linda began dating a few months later. In late August, the lifelong friends decided to get married - and to do it quietly at Linda’s home on the Vineyard. The week after Labor Day, on Sept 6, Mike’s yacht Twilight, crew of 5, came to the Vineyard with plans to head out to Nantucket to elope. The couple gave a dinner party on Saturday night but didn’t tell their guests about their plans to marry. There was no bridal shop on the Vineyard, so Linda mail-ordered her veil ($26.99) and a garter, stopped off at the grocery store to buy some roses for a bouquet. The Justice of the Peace agreed met them Linda’s house on Sunday morning at 10 am.  Back at the house, Linda changed into her whites (Mike wore fishing shirt and baseball cap) - and the Justice of the Peace married us in my garden. Afterwards the newlyweds stopped to pick up a wedding cake to take to celebrate with the Twilight crew (who were totally shocked them), and then they cruised off for a honeymoon on Nantucket. And something old became something new!
Linda and Michael say their "I dos."

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