Monday, August 10, 2015

When Everything is Beautiful

The pinkish hue that covers everything at sunset. Photo: JH.
Monday, August 10, 2015. Beautiful weekend of sunny, fair weather in New York, with a breeze in the air here and there. The days are a little shorter now and there is a moment before sundown when there is a pinkish hue that covers everything, and everything is beautiful.
Heading to the West Side in my Mini convertible on Saturday noontime. The corner of 81st Street and Park Avenue looking west. If it weren't the trees, you'd see the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the distance.
The corner of 81st and Madison. The building on the right is the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home. Many of the most famous people in the world have had their funeral here (although they weren't around to know it).
Waiting for the light on the corner of 79th Street and Broadway. That's the Apthorp apartment house on the left. Built between 1906 and 1908, designed by Clinton & Russell, the building occupies the entire block between 78th and 79th/Broadway and West End Avenue. It was named for the Charles Apthorp Farm which made up about 300 acres in the late 18th century. Over the years it has been the home of many famous New Yorkers including Al Pacino, Nora Ephron, Cyndi Lauper, Conan O'Brien, Steve Kroft and Jenny Conant, Rosie O'Donnell, and Boaty Boatwright.
Deep inside the edge of Carl Schurz Park, Saturday at 4 p.m.
Sunset at 7:30 p.m., looking south toward 72nd Street (building in the distance). I was trying to capture the "pink" of the light of the sunset that cast a lovely glow on everything.
Sunday noontime. Big clouds moving in in advance of the rain predicted for today.
Water traffic on the East River at the same hour. That's the RFK Triboro Bridge in the background (the red bridge is the railroad track that runs up the coast of Connecticut to Boston). I'm watching that tiny motorboat on the lower left hand corner.
As that motorboat got closer I noticed that the guy at the wheel was looking at his phone. What else is there?
On Saturday out in East Hampton at the Library they were holding their annual Author’s Night – a night of booksignings. This is an annual event, and East Enders have the distinct advantage of having lots of artists and writers in the general neighborhood. So it is a community event. My friend Jesse Kornbluth was there signing his new novel “Married Sex; A Love Story” (Open Road Integrated Media, publishers).

Jesse is a friend of mine; a good friend, I should add, with whom I have had many hours of pleasure of the verbal kind – phone, email and across the table. He is an exceptionally bright person, a very hard working writer, a fulltime observer of the passing parade and now the adoring father of an only child whose welfare and benefit are his chief objectives at this time in his life. Many readers know him through his website headbutler.com. Longtime New Yorkers know him for his perspicacious profiles and interviews in New York Magazine’s golden era, as well as Vanity Fair.

Jesse Kornbluth at Author’s Night. Click to order “Married Sex; A Love Story."
I have not read his book yet but he did do an interview, a self-interview as it happens, written especially for “reviewers/ editors. Under the circumstances I would tend to interview him myself, except knowing him, and having looked at this self-interview, I realize I couldn’t have done it better.  Here is the first Q & A, for your edification:

Q.“A novel about a threesome. Told in the first-person by the husband. Written by a married male writer. The question is obvious…

A. Yes, I have been in a threesome, for several years, often for ten hours a day – in my head. Or, more plainly: “Married Sex” is fiction. The sex? I made it up, all of it. But if readers think this is a disguised memoir, I’ll be flattered. I like fiction that reads as if it’s truth. It delights me when friends read the book and say, “I can’t look you in the face.”

More, I cannot tell you. The official pub-date is in a couple of weeks, but it’s available right now.

However, I have another friend whose book’s pub date is tomorrow:  You probably know who I mean especially if you’re one of her legions of readers. I’m talking about Linda Fairstein whose new book, “Devil’s Bridge,” officially comes out tomorrow. Although Amazon has already chosen it as one of the “best thrillers” of August.

This is Linda’s 17th novel in her series featuring New York sex crimes prosecutor Alex Cooper. Linda, as a matter of fact, was a sex crimes prosecutor in NYC, so she knows. This installment on Coop’s life makes some big changes. All the books have been written with her point of view.
Linda Fairstein with her latest and greatest, "Devil’s Bridge.” Click to order.
Alex/Coop also had, since the beginning, a professional partner and best friend, an NYPD  homicide detective, Mike Chapman. In the last book, their relationship “transitioned” (my word for it) and took on a romantic hue (and cry). Now, in “Devil’s Bridge,” Alex gets into a cab after a dinner one night and ... disappears. Which means she’s gone from the story (for a few chapters) while her longtime friend now swain Mike takes you through the investigation with all its drama.

Linda and Mike on their wedding day.
Linda begins her national tour for “Devil’s Bridge” today or tomorrow. She’s been up in Martha’s Vineyard where she’s had a house for years with her late husband Justin Feldman. Justin passed away four years ago, and last year Linda married Mike Goldberg, a fellow law student of Linda’s back in the day, and also a longtime friend of her and of Justin. I wonder if that somehow inspired the plotline.

Linda’s Alex Cooper mysteries are always located mainly in New York City. This time it’s the landscape of the Hudson River from the Statue of Liberty to the George Washington Bridge. (Did you know that when the GWB was in the planning  -- even before it was officially named after our first President -- the original location was at the end of West 57th Street? Someone had the common sense to point out that it would make midtown Manhattan a traffic catastrophe (even before someone, in the words of Cole Porter “monkeyed with ole Broadway ...”). So they put it way up there (which is where there used to be).

Besides being a (sorta) newlywed, and embarking on a nationwide book tour for the next two or three weeks, Linda is also now working on a new series of “middle-school” books, a modern day take on Nancy Drew  a 12-year-old New York City girl with attitude and access to all things forensic because her mother is the first woman police commissioner (actually back in the 1980s, Linda had her eye on that possibility for herself). The kid in the series is Devlin Quick. She wants to be Alex Cooper when she grows up (or something like that). (I made that last sentence up.)

Meanwhile, two Saturdays ago out at Lake Tahoe, Saks Fifth Avenue and The League to Save Lake Tahoe welcomed Peter Copping who presented the  2016 Oscar de la Renta Resort Collection at the League’s annual lunch and fashion show.
Arriving on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.
It’s a beautiful show for starters because of the spectacular location and the bright California light that shows the Oscar fashion line at its quintessential.

About 600 guests attended the event which was held at the Schumacher Family estate on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.
Heather Henri, Alyssa Rapp, Marissa Mayer, Shirin Oskooi, and Jamie Cross.
Dede Wilsey, Daisy Traina, and Todd Traina. Barbara Brown, Robert Arnold-Kraft, and Heather Preston.
Jean Larette. Komal Shah. Sally Debenham.
Jonny and Malia Moseley. Libby Leffler.
Robert Arnold-Kraft and Peter Copping.
Lora Dubain, Carolyn Chang, Cheryl Baxter, and Mary Beth Shimmon.
Boaz Mazor and Peter Copping. Stephanie Marver, Heather Preston, April Isaacson, and Nancy Kukacka.
Alex and Eliza Bolen. Alex Bolen, Philip Bolen, and Eliza Bolen.
Lynn and Edward Poole.
This is the 46th year for this luncheon which was started back in the late 1960s when Bill Blass started showing his collection to a few loyal clients and friends at Lake Tahoe. It has evolved since then into the widely anticipated fundraiser for the League to Save Lake Tahoe.  Chairs for this year’s were Barbara Brown, Edith Tobin, Jessica Hickingbotham, Heidi Cary and Hillary Marble.

This is Peter Copping’s inaugural year attending the show, and as Creative Director of Oscar de la Renta. The occasion included the sit-down luncheon, a full scale fashion show of the Resort 2016 collection, a live auction, and a backstage shopping opportunity after the show.

Photographs by Drew Altizer (Oscar de la Renta).

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