Thursday, June 25, 2015

The books we’re reading

Midday reading. 12 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, June 25, 2015. Yesterday was a warm, sunny day in New York with less of the humidity/heat that came the day before.

The city seemed quieter – maybe because of the heat, where there were fewer people on the street because of the high temperatures. I went down to Michael’s to have lunch with my friend Barbara Tober.

Michael's List:

• Bisila Bokoko
• Diane Clehane
• Adam Sandow
• Jessica Kleiman
• Nanc Labadie
• David Sanford
• Lewis Stein
• Drew Schiff
• Jon Bren
• Jeff Langberg
• Debbie Bancroft
• Will Bancroft
• Lisa Linden
• Joseph Spinnato
• Shirley Lord
• Kacey Hoge
• Will Manuel
• Chris Meigher
• Tony Guernsey
• Shelly Palmer
• John Paton
• Paige Peterson
• Max Schapiro
• Andrew Stein
• Robert Stillman
• Beverly Camhe
• Tomas Maier
• Robbie Myers
• George Ledes
• Christine Schott
• Roger Friedman
• George Malkemus
• Michael Atmore
• Patricia Duff
• Alex Witt
• Lynn Nesbit
• Vicky Ward
• Alan Zweibel
• Don Baer
• Jon Bren
• Barbara Tober
• John Rossant
DPC with Barbara Tober.
This was a lunch talking about the books we’re reading, the places and events we’ve been to lately, and theatre. Barbara and her husband Donald who really make an effort to get around the city, have been seeing a lot of Broadway shows. Actually, it seems like they’ve just about everything that’s playing right now. It is a phenomenon that there are so many great shows on right now. 

Most recently they saw “It Shoulda Been You.” What was it like? Well, there were moments when they were sitting there thinking: “what is this, nothing’s happening. And then suddenly they’d find themselves laughing so hard tears were streaming down their faces. Needless to say, they loved it.

Barbara and Donald Tober are two very active philanthropists in New York. When I say “active” I mean they are involved in several major charities in which they are not only principals in terms of financial contributions but also players in terms of hands-on participation.

Donald, for example, was in on the founding of CityMeals-on-Wheels with James Beard and Gael Greene. Donald was the guy who had the corporate connections that could contribute to this fantastic organization that delivers tens of thousands of meals annually to the elderly, to the ill and infirm and people in need. It’s a perfect charity to describe their personalities: helping  in the quality of life of their fellow citizens in the community.
Barbara and Donald Tober.
Another major project of theirs has been the Museum of Arts and Design. They’ve been involved in it for years. It started long ago when one Saturday they were taking a walk up Madison Avenue and they stopped by a window of an art gallery, saw something they liked by an artist they never heard of, bought it, and began a small collection. I’m not quite sure how that led to their involvement with MAD but its headquarters on Columbus Circle has become one of the most popular museums in the city. I love it not only for its exhibitions but because it is a museum of art that children can visit and discover inspiration (without knowing that’s what inspiration is).

There are three major exhibitions there right now, all of which are drawing the crowds:  The Ralph Pucci exhibition: The Art of the Mannequin which runs through August 30th; Photorealism artist Richard Estes’ “Painting New York City” which runs through September 20th; and “Pathmakers; Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today” which runs through September 30th. Check it out, if you’re in town. And if you have children, take them too. No one will be bored or disappointed. MAD has a great restaurant for lunch too, with spectacular views of Broadway from Columbus Circle north, and of Central Park from the southwest tip of the park.
Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin.
Richard Estes: Painting New York City.
Pathmakers; Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today.
Catching up. This past Monday at the restaurant Indochine, the French-Vietnamese restaurant on Lafayette Street downtown, they hosted a book launch for noted landscape architect Edmund Hollander and his new book “The Good Garden.” Mr. Hollander and Maryanne Connelly are the principals in Edmund D. Hollander Landscape Design here in New York.

They have created hundreds of breathtaking landscapes for clients, both public and private, mostly within 200 miles of New York as well as for many of the most distinctive summer houses on Long Island’s East End (more commonly known as The Hamptons, etc. Mr. Hollander is well known by his clients for creating lush estate spacers that are meticulously thought-out and beautifully executed, filled with unexpected textures, colors and sounds to appeal to all sense.
Edmund Hollander outside Indochine on Lafayette Street.
Edmund Hollander with a copy of "The Good Garden." Click to order.
The book contains more than 300 color photographs which show glamorous estate gardens in the Hamptons, Connecticut and upstate New York. Each photograph is accompanied by detailed captions explaining the reasons behind each plant selection based on what each species contributes to the landscape as a whole. The focus includes scientific plant names to assist home gardeners in choosing appropriate species for similar terrain or effect, allowing owners of gardens of all sizes to enjoy their land to the fullest.

Hollander Design projects have been involved with environmental planning have appeared in various publications including The New York Times, Architectural Digest and House Beautiful, as well as in numerous books on landscapes and gardens.
The bar scene inside Indochine.
For the evening at Indochine, more than 100 guests attended including many of Mr. Hollander’s clients, colleagues and friends. Mr. Hollander even created a contemporary garden scene outside the restaurant to greet the guests and put them in the mood. Among those attending were many of Mr. Hollander’s clients and colleagues including Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, architects Tom Kligerman, Oscar Shamamian and Lee Mindel.
Denise Shirly, Pat Neely, Edmund Hollander, and Wendy Powers.
Petra Mason and Ramiro Fernandez . Elizabeth Kopelman and Oscar Kolodzinski.
Walter Lorenz and Oscar Shamamian.
Lee Mindel and Lloyd Blankfein.
Mickey Ateyeh and Hedi Kim. Towny Swiggett and Hannah Conant.
Rig Maxfield, Victoria Ashley, and Asmus Leonard.