Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Visionaries in their fields

The rain that never really came. Photo: Jeff Hirsch.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014. Overcast all day yesterday as if promising rain (none); with temperatures dropping into the low 60s on the very last day of September in New York.

Last night in New York at Doubles, the private club in the Sherry-Netherland, Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen celebrated their 30th anniversary and Marc’s birthday with a celebration themed “An Evening at Trader Vic’s” with sixty-five friends and family members including Arlene’s daughter Carol Holmes de Louvrier and her sons Stephen Schaum and Lorenzo Lamas.

Wendy Carduner, the clubs directrice, provided a Trader Vic’s menu including their famous dessert, the Toasted Coconut Snowball with sauce chocolat.
Not all New Yorkers today know that Trader Vic’s in the Plaza Hotel was a mecca for many on Sunday nights, as it was also in Hollywood. Last night Rex Reed, an old friend of Arlene’s, was telling us that the very best of the Trader Vic’s was the original one in San Francisco. They were all good, however, and very popular.

Cocktails began at 7, with dinner at 8. After the first course, Randy Jones in the role of host for the evening talked about that year –1984 – when the couple married and how they said it couldn’t last (Arlene had been married five times before and the groom as several years her junior and marrying for the first time). Then he introduced the cabaret entertainment beginning with a surprise guest who flew in from Los Angeles without letting his mom know – Lorenzo Lamas. Lamas sang a Spanish love song.
Lorenzo Lamas recalling growing up in his mother's house in Pacific Palisades where there was always music around, and then he sang to her a song he knew she loved. David Staller first told the romantic legend about Irving Berlin's marriage to Ellin Mackay and then sang the song, now classic American songbook, "Always."
After everyone had served themselves at the Trader Vic’s buffet, the show continued with Anna Bergman who sang Harold Arlen’s “Right As the Rain” and then an aria from “La Boheme” by Puccini. Yanna Avis, the chantouze, who also happened to be on the ship for the Rosen-Dahl wedding lo those thirty years ago, sang a medley of songs about their relationship. Then David Staller, actor, producer and director, sang Irving Berlin’s “Always” (“I’ll be loving you Always ....”) After his rendition he got everyone in the room to sing it again together (“.... With a love that’s true, Always ....) Then Ronnie Whyte, who recently recorded a CD of songs by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby – hit songwriters of the 1920s, '30s, and '40s, including the tune “Three Little Words,” also the title of their MGM bio-pic that starred Arlene with Fred Astaire and Red Skelton.
Yanna Avis, the chantouze sings some classic words of love and advice.
Cabaret performer Ronnie Whyte singing songs from "Three Little Words," a film starring Arlene with Fred Astaire and Red Skelton.
Soprano Anna Bergman singing Harold Arlen's "Right at the Rain." And the lady herself, Arlene took to the floor and for the first time in a long time, sang, Kalmar and Ruby's "Thinking of You."
And then Arlene herself made a very rare appearance singing Kalmar and Ruby’s “Thinking of You.”  Before she sang she told us that she had, in marrying six times, married six different signs in the Zodiac, but Libra was the keeper. Arlene, also a professional astrologer, wrote a syndicated column for several years on astrology, as well as a couple of books on the subject.

After Arlene’s song, they brought out the cake, and everyone sang Happy Birthday to Marc who almost ignored it, telling the guests they married on his birthday so he wouldn’t forget the date in the future (“it’s true,” he confided). It was a beautiful evening full of song and tender words among family members and friends for the couple and their lifetime achievement.
The bride and groom thirty years later while the guests sing Happy Birthday.
Marc telling the guests that they picked this day to get married because it was his birthday and that way, he'd never forget.
The Anniversary cake.
Iris Love and Ann Jones cracking up and then getting serious for the photographer.
Yanna Avis with Rex Reed.
And while we’re on the subject, last week Marina B flagship boutique and Lighthouse Guild teamed up to recognize Arlene for all she’d contributed to the Lighthouse at an intimate luncheon held at the store.

Guests included Muffie Potter Aston, Debbie Bancroft, Amy Fine Collins, Somers Farkas, Audrey Gruss, Carol DeLouvrier, Lorry Newhouse, Beth Rudin DeWoody and Bettina Zilkha.  Arlene has been a dedicated supporter of Lighthouse Guild for more than four decades and serves as the organization’s International Ambassador at Large and Honorary Chairwoman of its POSH New York and Palm Beach events.
Arlene Dahl and Susie Elson.
Guests enjoyed light refreshments and couldn’t help admiring the Marina B collection before sitting down to a lunch of pea soup and lobster salad. Somers Farkas chose necklaces from Marina B’s Cardan collection, while Muffie selected Marina B’s Karine hoop earrings, and Amy Fine Collins accessorized her look with the House’s Mitzouko earrings.

Important: Twenty percent of purchases made at the boutique through October 31 will benefit Lighthouse Guild, which provides vital programs and services to people of all ages with vision loss and other disabilities, through research, advocacy, prevention, treatment and empowerment.
Sharon Loeb and Audrey Gruss. Helen Marx and Catherin Adler.
Catherine Bove and Cornelia Bregman.
Somers Farkas, Sharlon Loeb, and Dana Hammond Stubgen.
This past Monday night at the newly refurbished and re-designed Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller Center, The Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation held its annual Gala Dinner and Presentation of Honors. Every year the Soane Foundation celebrates Sir John Soane’s singular contributions as an architect and educator, by bestowing Soane Foundation honors “on remarkable professionals and collaborators who are ardent advocates for excellence in architecture, design, architectural education or conservation, and are influential visionaries in their fields.”

The Rainbow Room has been closed for the past three or four years since the Cipriani group vacated. Tishman-Speyer, who managed the complex, decided to revive the space and hired the architectural design firm of Gabellini Sheppard to do the job. The firm also did the restoration of the room for Cipriani before they first opened the room.
Looking south (the Empire State Building on the left) from the Rainbow Room terrace.
Looking north -- the very tall building is the in-construction 432 Park Avenue building at 56th Street and Park Avenue, soon-to-be the second tallest building in Manhattan with 89 floors.
The Rainbow Room originally opened exactly 80 years ago this week on October 2, 1934 as Rockefeller Center was being completed. It is amazing to realize that the great village complex is more than 80 years old and yet remains refreshing in its classic newness. I rarely visit the building – where NBC Studios also are – but even as a landmark, it still exudes the energy of the new and innovative in its design both interior and exterior.

The John Soane’s Museum Foundation supports the London Museum which is the favorite museum of, and a mecca really for many designers and architects all over the world. The dinner on Monday night was a large group of devoted supporters who are also prominent and very successful in their businesses in that field. Soane’s Museum is an authentic icon to those connoisseurs of art and design as well as the professionals who create it. These are the real mavens of culture in our time, as was Soane in his.
Her Highness, the Empire State.
This year honored Phyllis Lambert and David Adjaye. Mrs. Lambert is the daughter of the late Samuel Bronfman, who built the House of Seagram. She was very influential in the building of that now great landmark by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and is highly regarded in the profession for her knowledge and support, and her dedication to the architect’s work.

They also honored David Adjaye OBE, a London-based architect whose first is currently working on the design of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. Mr. Adjaye recently completed an affordable housing complex in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem, as well as introducing his first line of furniture for Knoll.

There were about three hundred attending. Thomas Kligerman welcomed the guests. There were “remarks” about their work and progression by Abraham Thomas. Robert A. M. Stern presented Mrs. Lambert with her award. Thelma Golden and Adam Lerner presented Mr. Adjaye with his award. And  Michael Boodro, editor-in-chief of Elle Décor and Guy Elliott made the toast.
Phyllis Lambert and architect Belmont "Monty" Freeman.
Gail Wingast and Adam Lerner, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.
Guy Elliot, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Soane Museum London, Kimberly Sheppard, and Chas Miller III.
Guy Elliott, Erin Kuykendal, Curator, Tudor Place, Washington, D. C., Abraham Thomas, Director of the Soane, and Chas Miller, Executive Director, Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation.
David Adjaye and friend.
Chas Miller, Michael Boodro of Elle Decor, and Thomas Kligerman.
Beth Webb, interior designer from Atlanta and Jeff Dungan, architect from Birmingham, Alabama.
Tom and Kristin Kligerman. The architects of the Rainbow Room refurbishing and re-design, Sheppard and Gabellini.

Contact DPC here.