Thursday, January 22, 2015

Brushing up

Car Wash on 10th Avenue. 10 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, January 22, 2015. Another grey winter’s day in New York yesterday with the weather again predicting snow (not a sign of it) and then snow last night (no) and now snow on Saturday. In the meantime dull grey days of mid-winter.

The Michael's List

• Marshall Brickman with Larry Spangler
• Lord Foster
• Charles Spencer, Diane Clehane, and Judith Twersky
• Paul Williams and Tracey Jackson
• Luke Janklow with author Glenn O’Brien
• Barry Frey
• Ed Adler and Scott Singer
• Chris Meigher
• 3 of Da Boyz: Jerry Della Femina, Dr. Gerry Imber, and Michael Kramer
• David Steinberg with Bob Costas and Alan Zweibel
• Star Jones
• Michael Berman
• Fred Wilson
• Dan Lufkin
• David Peterson
• Ron Dozoretz
Since it was Wednesday, it was Michael’s for me, which was jammed as expected. I had lunch with two friends who were meeting each other for the first time as well as lunching at Michael’s for the first time: Joan Schenkar, author of biographies of Dolly Wilde (“Truly Wilde; The Unsettling Story of Dolly Wilde, Oscar’s Unusual Niece” and “The Talented Miss Highsmith” about author Patricia Highsmith who wrote “The Talented Mr. Ripley”); and my other guest Christopher Walling, the jewelry designer who has salons here in New York and in Aspen.

I introduced them because of a common interest they shared. Joan lives here and in Paris, and Christopher’s late mother was born in Paris as was he. During WWII, his mother had been arrested by the Nazis who accused her of being a British spy, and imprisoned her in Ravensbruck where she was near the end when the prisoners were freed.

Christopher told us how he knew Janet Flanner who for years wrote a “letter from Paris”  (which is the name of Joan’s new column) for the New Yorker under the nom de plume of Genet. Flanner told Christopher that she was present when the freed French women from Ravensbruck returned to Paris by train. There was a vast crowd out to greet them but there was utter silence in the Gare du Nord (“or Gare de l’Est”) as the train arrived, and then, as the women began to disembark, the entire place broke out singing the “Marsellaise.” Flanner, he told us, described the moment so realistically that he felt that he was absolutely there. His mother was on that train.
DPC, Joan Schenkar, and Christopher Walling at Michael's.
Michael's List, Continued ...

• Montel Williams
• Andrew Stein
• Peter Price with author Ed Klein
• Mitch Kanner
• Jack Kliger
• Ed Herlihy
• Lisa Linden with Adele Malpass
• Tad Smith of Cablevision
• Bonnie Fuller, Gerry Byrne, and Janice Morris (Twitter)
• Robin Monheit
• Jon Steinberg (Daily Mail) and
Jonathan Lefkowitz
• Laine Siklos
• Allison Arden (Advertising Age)
• Genevieve Gorder (HGTV)
• Michael Atmore
• Joe Armstrong with Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager
• DPC with Joan Schenkar and Christopher Walling
A few tables away there was another interesting conversation going on which I was not privy to of course, but had to be interesting. And that was Charles Spencer, Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, who was lunching with reporter Diane Clehane and publicist Judith Twersky. Spencer as you may know has written a book called “Killers of the King; The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I” and is in town publicizing it, which I mentioned on yesterday’s Diary.

Lord Spencer is known to most of us because of his world famous sister, but in fact he is a prolific historian, a thoroughly modern British aristocrat, who manages the family estates and pursues his work as a writer/historian.

Surprisingly he lives part of the time at his home in London, at Althorp, the ancestral seat of the Spencers for the past 500 years, in Northamptonshire, and part of the time in Los Angeles in Pacific Palisades with his wife Karen, who is a native. It’s not really surprising in that LA has long been a popular spot to settle for the Brits. Many of them are drawn to it by the entertainment industry, but the climate and way of life quickly becomes irresistible.

Diane reported that “Killers” has been a big hit in the UK. Julian Fellowes, author and creator of “Downton Abbey,” who is a friend of Lord Charles, describes the story of betrayal and revenge and the execution of King Charles I,  as “History with the pace of a thriller.”

Charles Spencer signing "Killers of the King." Click to order.
Our friend and one-time columnist Susan Silver was at the talk and booksigning on Tuesday night at Christie’s. She wrote me about it yesterday morning, still swooning. I asked her if she’d share the moment with us and she was happy to.

Well, it’s been a while since my “Search for Mr. Adequate” in the New York Social Diary.  Alas, I hadn’t found him ... until Tuesday night. So I thought I’d let you know first. Unfortunately, he is taken ... by a lovely lady. He is not a prince, but is a Lord! Which is good enough ... definitely more than Adequate!

I went to a book signing and lecture by Lord Charles Spencer, from one of the great aristocratic families in England ... and, oh yeah, brother of the late Princess Di.

He is charming, handsome, very accomplished ... historian, journalist. Written five books. But when we were introduced, by his PR Maven Judy Twersky, who was kind enough to give my Mary Tyler Moore Show credit (ed. note: Susan was one of the original writers of “Mary ...”) Lord Charles was eager to tell me he watches all the reruns when in his home in Pacific Palisades, when he is not at Althorp, the family ancestral home. We ‘bonded,’ she said blushing.
Charles Spencer giving a slide presentation Tuesday night at Christie’s.
He was actually an on air correspondent at NBC from 85-95, primarily The Today Show which served him well as he did a slide presentation, without notes, of his new book. A best seller in Britain called ‘Killers of the King,’ it recounts the bloody chapter in England when sixty plus were hunted down and executed after conspiracy against Charles 1 by his son who then reigned.

He tempted us with both fascinating and gory details, but the amusing moment to me was how he found the topic in the first place! He looks on a site called “Executedtoday.com, which tells stories and that triggered his search into this topic.

What a treat to meet him and when his wife Karen told me they actually had been fixed up on a blind date, four years ago ... well it should only happen to me! Off to read the book now.
Karen and Charles Spencer. Cullen Newton, Charles Spencer, and Olivia Droney.
Linda Axelrod and Liz Penkin. John Mastroianni and Gideon Lewin.
Isabel Carden and Emily Smith.
Sheila and Logan Beirne. Susan Silver and Charles Spencer.
Elizabeth Belfer and Clare McKeon. Georgina Schaeffer, Jennifer Argenti, and Clare McKeon.
Jeffrey Banks, Doria de la Chapelle, Kip Forbes, and Jim Tiberg.
Claudia Munro Kerr, George Cates, and Terry Keaney. Eric Widing and Marc Porter.
Everything is beautiful at the Ballet. Last night at Alice Tully Hall, the American Ballet Theatre's Board of Trustees and the 75th Anniversary Committee held a celebration party. Guests saw the first showing of excerpts from filmmaker Ric Burns' film "American Ballet Theatre: A Documentary."

Big Turnout for the reception and showing: ABT dancers Misty Copeland, Julie Kent, Isabella Boylston, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, James Whiteside; ABT's Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, Rachel Moore, ABT's CEO; Muffie Potter Aston, Amy Fine Collins, Cristina Cuomo, Caryn Zucker, Leslie Ziff, Valentina Carlotti, Linda Allard, Kathy Hilton, Julia and David Koch, Julie Macklowe, Alina Cho, Sarah Arison, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Bettina Zilkha, Debbie Bancroft, Susan Fales-Hill, Gigi Grimstad, Yaz Hernandez, Nina Rennert Davidson, Diana DiMenna, Tiffany Moller.
Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes celebrate ABT's 75th Anniversary. (Gene Schiavone).
The New York Ceramics & Glass Fair at Bohemian National Hall.
This week is ablaze with art and antiques fairs opening their doors all around town, and the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair kicked off the frenzy at the historic Bohemian National Hall on Tuesday night.

With more than 35 international dealers coming from as far as Turkey and the Republic of Georgia, this fair, now in its 16 th year, has become a beloved destination for anyone interested in (what else?) ceramics and glass! This year a new section of contemporary ceramics and glass has also been added to the mix.

And don't miss "It's Always Teatime in Wonderland," the loan exhibition of contemporary Czech ceramics presented by the Czech Center.

Some of those who stopped by to cast their eyes on the offerings were: Max Berry and Pamela Thompson, Nick Dawes, Alice Frelinghuysen, Amy Dehan, Dennis Rolland, Lark Mason, Lark Mason, Jr., Joanne De Palma, Stephanie Stokes, Jennifer Watty, Geoffrey Bradfield, Roric Tobin, Leigh Keno, Marjorie McGraw, Thomas Jayne, Harry Heissmann, Vanessa Noel, Christina Prescott-Walker, Derek Ostergard, Sharon King Hoge, Paul Scott, Susan Schoelwer, Carol Cadou, Sumpter Priddy, Jonathan Clancy, Robyn Henry, Alfred and Jackie Schlosser, Meg Wendy, Liz Lees, Mel Schwimmer, Steven Bowers, and Jeannine Falino.
Marcia Moylan.
Robert Walker.
Cliff Lee.
Sylvia Powell.
Pamela Thomasand Max Barry.
Alan Kaplan and Suzie Jacobson.
Leslie Ferrin, Ferrin Contemporary. Cathy Pereira and Jennifer Watty.
Lark Mason Jr. and Lark Mason Sr.
Thomas Jayne.
Harry Heissmann and Meg Wendy.
Lynda and Emily Willauer.
John Pagliaro.
Michael Hill, Paul Vandekar, and Ron Bricke.
Carol Cadou and Susan Schoelwer.
Adam Brown and Andrea Zemel. Abby Modell.
Elizabeth Lees and Meg Wendy.
Lark Mason Jr., Lark Mason Sr., Suzanne Harrison, Nick Dawes, and Robert Prescott Walker.
Luke Beckerdite, Jim Glazer, Nancy Glazer, and Peggy Scholley.
Elizabeth Stageman and Joanne De Palma.
Roric Tobin and Geoffrey Bradfield.
Hannah Carpentier, Vanessa Noel, Stephanie Stokes, and Gail Karr.
Dennis Rolland. Marjorie McGraw and Leigh Keno.
Martin Cohen and Jose Arias.
Linda and James Haggerty.
Jeffrey Brown and Polly Latham.
Catching up. Last Wednesday, a week, at the Hilton Hotel New York, African-American leaders in the human services industry  and their colleagues turned out for the 38th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon.

The luncheon was hosted by Black Agency Executives (BAE), an organization comprised of executives of major human service agencies in New York. The theme this year, “We Can’t Breathe: Shifting the Paradigm on Inequality. Former Mayor David Dinkins gave the Keynote speech.
The Honorable David N. Dinkins (Mayor City of New York), Jennifer Jones Austin (2015 Honoree), Danielle Moss Lee (BAE President), Lowell Hawthorne (2015 Honoree),  and Carla D. Brown (Luncheon Chair).
“Black Agency Executives members are standing in the gap on every socioeconomic and political issue facing people who look like us – even when the cameras aren’t rolling, even when nobody is watching, even when the credit for our contributions is hard to come by.” said Danielle Moss Lee, President of BAE.

Each year, the BAE recognizes individuals and organizations with an outstanding track record for serving the community. This years honorees included: Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO/Executive Director - Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies who received the Member Agency Award; Vivian Manning Fox, Executive Director - 1199 Childcare Funds; and Lowell Hawthorne, Co-Founder, President & CEO - Golden Crust Bakery & Grill.
Carla D. Brown, Jennifer Jones Austin, Danielle Moss Lee, and Maria C. Willis.
Since its first event in 1977, the organization has continued to grown steadily and continues to honor the life and achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bringing together thought-leaders for an afternoon of thought provoking discussion, the event is designed to inspire social change and make a difference within the black community. 

The Luncheon is supported by a number of partners and sponsors including; Harlem Children’s Zone, American Express, Colgate Bright Smiles, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and Bright Futures IBM.
Pat Battle (Anchor, NBC 4 New York) and Michael Jack (President of NBC).
Bobby Watts, The Honorable David N. Dinkins, and Danielle Moss Lee (BAE President).
Jessye Norman.
Jennifer Jones Austin (center) with staff from the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.

Photographs by Annie Watt (NY Ceramics & Glass Fair).

Contact DPC here.