|Thursday, June 11, 2015. Beautiful weather, yesterday in New York. Sunny, bright, and warm. With more in the forecast – in the 90s today and just about the same on Friday.
The weather changes everything. Well, almost. The mood turns up, a little extra energy from the Sun adds optimism to the soup of the city.
When we first met Sassy was working at Halston, running his couture department. I didn’t know Halston although I knew who he was in the social scheme as well as the fashion world. At that point in his life, he was the willing prisoner of the fast life of sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. Anyone who was within six feet of him got the picture.
Sassy kept a Diary of those days back in the office/showroom when all the great fashion ladies, like Jackie O, Babe Paley, Elizabeth Taylor were regular customers. It was a fasten your seatbelts time. I didn’t ask her about it yesterday but I do know she’s working on turning it into a book about life with the Old Boy before the roof caved in.
Then last night I had dinner with another old, close friend, Philip Carlson. Philip and I met about 49 years ago (!) when we were both cast in a play by de Ghelderode (an avant-garde Belgian playwright), called “Christopher Columbus,” an off-Off Broadway production in a church (since demolished) in Brooklyn Heights.
Wilson and Mason went on to create Circle Repertory with Tanya Berezin and Rob Thirkield, and then on to Broadway. Philip went on to a Hollywood contract, and later a remarkable career as a talent agent, and I went on in search of myself in a variety of pathways, ending up where I am most at home on this Diary.
I tell you all this because Old Friends – and we are amused as well as shocked that the word applies to us – Old Friends are, like the song says: Gold. And the gossip is always first rate, too. There’s always gossip if there’s old friends.
So that was my very nice almost-summer day in New York.
|Last Thursday, a week -- June 4th, The New York Botanical Garden hosted its annual Conservatory Ball with more than 500 attending, alongside Gala Chairmen Carolina Herrera, Ann Johnson, Alexandra Lebenthal, Gillian Miniter, and Deborah Goodrich Royce, as well as Honorary Chairmen Friederike Kemp Biggs, Maureen K. Chilton, and Caroline Williamson. The event was sponsored by Carolina Herrera and additional support was provided by Mercedes-Benz Manhattan.
|This is an old-fashioned ball in New York, full of custom, tradition, reverence and a distinctive cause – the Botanical Garden. The evening is black tie. There is a cocktail hour in the gardens of the Conservatory Plaza where they were serenaded by a 10-piece all-female mariachi band (celebrating the Garden’s ground-breaking exhibition “ Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life – in the Enid Haupt Conservatory. Exclusive tours of a rare display of 14 original Kahlo paintings and drawings were also offered during cocktail hour.
This was followed by a dinner dance in the large tent erected footsteps away. The attire is long dresses/gowns for the women, and black tie for the men. The dinner, created by Stephen STARR Events, and the dancing to Soulsystems Orchestras, and the tent, the atmosphere created by DuJuan Stroud whimsically decorated with vibrant Mexican papel picado banners strewn over the dance floor, elephant ear leaves, cacti, and multihued floral arrangements throughout each table.
|Among the guests: Carolina Herrera de Baez, Patricia Herrera Lansing, Merilee and Roy Bostock, Isabella Boylston, Janna Bullock, HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Di Mondo, Patricia and Eric Fast, Yvonne and Jay Fielden, Alessandro and Fe Fendi, Claiborne Swanson Frank, Cosby and Timothy George, Jamee Gregory, Pilar Guzman, Anne Harrison, Constance Jablonski, Hanneli Mustaparta, Pamela Ocampo, Alexandra Pethtel, Connie Anne Phillips, Marc Porter, Ariana Rockefeller, Emmy Rossum, Barbara Cirkva Schumacher, Michelle Smith, Vanessa Traina, Nicole Warne, and Dave Yowan.
More than $1.6 million was raised to support the Garden’s internationally acclaimed programs in children’s education and plant research and conservation.