Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A story to go with it

The New York Public Library from 41st Street. 9:15 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016. It was raining yesterday, from early morn until early afternoon, washing the streets and sidewalks and plastering the autumn leaves against the pavements everywhere. I happen to love Mother Nature's artistry. My dogs are not crazy about the rain so we waited indoors (wee-wee pads) until it had subsided enough that they wouldn't mind.

I always carry my camera with me when we go out because you never know what you'll see that will amaze or charm you. Entering the park, on one of our favorite routes passing the children's playground (empty yesterday) and the dog runs (small and big), as you can see, the paths were all plastered with the newly fallen leaves soaking.
We took our walk through Carl Schurz Park. I had already seen from the terrace the winds and the rains decoration of the sidewalk below. Then inside the park our paths were strewn with Mother Nature's divine artistry. Farther down the walk, nearer the river and onto the plaza at 86th Street, the steps, the lawns and the trees were rife with the foliage at Autumn's end.
But then back up on the Esplanade by the river I spotted a cluster of bright pink in one of the park's terrace gardens. This inspired me to look for more, which I found just as we were exiting the Park onto Gracie Square. And then the Autumn cabbages which have replaced the begonias that formerly dwelled through Summertime around the trees on the curbsides. Beauty everywhere, precious and an eternal antidote to our current state of mind. Mother Nature's son.
I had dinner last night with Gigi and Harry Benson at Sette Mezzo. Gigi and Harry are just back from Los Angeles where they attended the screening of Harry Benson; Shoot First,” a documentary on Harry’s fabulous career which will premiere here on December 1st at the Beekman. Screened already at several film festivals, the film is getting standing ovations for the man who has photographed more famous individuals of the last fifty-odd years across the world. Ask Harry if he’s photographed any famous name you can think of, and he has. And he has a story to go with it.

Truman Capote photographed by Harry Benson, 1980.
Last night he was telling us about Truman Capote, whom he liked and had a good time with especially since Truman had the dual ability to charm and/or drive people from the room. Norman Mailer, Harry recounted, ran from the room if Truman came in because the Tiny Terror, as Aileen Mehle/Suzy used to call him, would call out Norman and his work.

The rain had stopped and Sette was full to the brim. Broadway and Hollywood’s Scott Rudin dining with the Shubert’s Phil Smith. Taki Theodoracopulos was hosting table with Michael Mailer (Norman’s son) and a bevy of (two, actually) beauties. Across from them, Carl Spielvogel and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel were hosting friends. Also Antonia and Spiros Milonas and David McCallum and friends; premier private residential real estate broker Serena Boardman and husband Johnny Theodoracopulos (Taki’s nephew) with friends, and dozens of others just like ‘em.

Meanwhile, out there in the land of galas and the city that never sleeps ... Monday night at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library Laura and Stafford Broumand, Heidi and Tom McWilliams, Josie and Ken Natori, Alex Papachristidis and Scott Nelson, Daryl and Steven Roth, Ophelia and Bill Rudin, Gayfryd Steinberg and Michael Shnayerson, Ann and Andrew Tisch, Merryl and James Tisch, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch and Alice and Tom Tisch hosted a book party for DAVID MONN and his new book “The Art of Celebrating” in the Library’s Gottesman Exhibition Hall.
David Monn with a copy of David Monn: The Art of Celebrating. Click to order. Gayfryd Steinberg and Maria Bartiromo.
This may have been the biggest (attendance-wise) book party in the history of the city since David, an event designer extraordinaire can turn any room into a fascinating theatrical set and has the ability to both amuse and behave, is a beloved friend (real) to many. The party which ran from 6:30 to 9:30 was attended by hundreds of his closest friends and acquaintances and anyone else who could prove invitational. Here's a little taste of what it looked like, courtesy of JH. We'll have the guests to show you later this week.
David Monn with friends and fans.
Also this past Monday night at the Morgan Library, Colin Bailey, director of the Morgan, and the Trustees hosted a black tie “Evening Benefit.” Guests entered through the iron gates on 36th Street, past Edward Clark Potter's Assyrian lionesses that sit diligently on the steps, and into the marble Rotunda. The cocktail hour was held in the Library, Study, and Rotunda which lent a festive start to the evening.

For dinner, guests moved from the historic spaces into Gilbert Court, part of Renzo Piano's 2006 expansion of the Library and Museum. Gilbert Court was lit in a wash of purple, with special objects from the Morgan's collection and exhibitions projected across the room. The tables were ornamented with tea roses, orchids, pomegranates and more. 
Colin B. Bailey, Lucy Ricciardi, and Lawrence Ricciardi
Director Colin Bailey shared words on the successful season of Fall 2016 exhibitions including Charlotte Bronte: An Independent Will – including the novelist’s personal effects, correspondence and original manuscripts, mounted two centuries after her birth; Dubuffet Drawings – 1935-1962; Hans Memling: Portraiture, Piety, and a Reunited Altarpiece; and Word and Image: Martin Luther’s Reformation (“Long before Twitter, Martin Luther was a media pioneer” – the key theme of the show).
Jamie Niven, Beatrice Stern, and Robert Couturier
After dinner David Aaron Carpenter, Lauren Sarah Carpenter, and Sean Avram Carpenter of New York's electrifying string ensemble, the Salome Chamber Orchestra performed. The siblings played a diverse repertoire. A highlight moment was a special connection between the performance and the Morgan's collection: David Aaron Carpenter noted that they were inspired to play Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5 after seeing the original manuscript on view in the Treasures from the Vault display, an ongoing rotation of items from the collection.

Among the guests: Annette de la Renta, Nonnie and George Freylinghuysen, Emily Frick, Gail Gilbert, Agnes Gund, Linda Lindenbaum and Herbert Kasper, Jamie Niven and Beatrice Stern, Kathy and Billy Rayner, Lucy and Larry Ricciardi, Elaine Rosenberg, Didi and Oscar Schafer Anne and Jim Sitrick, Gillian and Bob Steel.
Paisley Kadison
Rachel and Alex Stern
Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen and Jackie Drexel
Caroline Nype and Adam Parker
Anne Sidamon-Eristoff and John Sare
Peter Pennoyer, Katie Ridder, and Gillian Steel
Anne Nitze and Katharine Rayner
Billy Rayner and Catherine Heald
Sophia Feldman-Schultz and Lisa Cohen
Agnes Gund and Jack Shear
Hannah Motley
Catherine Orne and Jere Thomson
Donald Heald, Catherine Heald, and Alain Goldrach
Diana Burroughs, Marina Kellen French, and Buffy Easton
Ann Goldrach, Sidney Babcock, and Ines Elskop
Lindsay Levine, Chelsea Laverack, Adam Savaglio, and Rose Filler
Look back. Wednesday night last week, the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Associates Committee and Valentino hosted the annual Fall Party at the Metropolitan Club. The glamorous evening was co-chaired by Mollie Ruprecht Acquavella, Amory McAndrew and Anna Burke Patterson. Ron Wendt Design created the décor for the dazzling evening and the music of DJ D-Nice inspired the more than 300 guests from the worlds of fashion, art, philanthropy and society to dance into the night.
The sold-out event of cocktails, dinner, and live fundraising led by Christie’s auctioneer Lydia Fenet to benefit the Associates Committee’s newest initiative to fund research for Clinical Genomic Profiling for Pediatric Cancer Patients. The program can help identify gene mutations that lead to the development of cancer. The event raised money to help MSK researchers and clinicians create a new paradigm of diagnosis and treatment based on specific molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis. For more information, visit
Allison Aston
Among the guests: Tabitha Simmons, Charlotte Ronson, Mollie and Alexander Acquavella, Jamie and Veronica Beard, Wes Gordon, Olivia Chantecaille, Jennifer Fisher, Valerie Boster Macauley, Chelsea Leyland, Jordan Foster, Molly Howard, Kate Foley, Jessica Sailer and Mark van Lith, Rickie de Sole, Jane Keltner de Valle, Allison and Jay Aston, Emilia and Brian Pfeifler, Meredith Melling, Brook and Ferebee Taube, Corbin and Beth Blake Day, Annelise Winter, Joanna and Peter de Neufville, Nick and Travis Acquavella, Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton, Erin and John O’Connor, Meredith Melling, Amory McAndrew, Anna Burke Patterson and many more.
Amory McAndrew, Anna Burke Patterson, and Mollie Ruprecht Acquavella
Beth Blake Day, Ali Wise, and Mae Grennan
Blair Trader, Jeanann Williams, Kate Foley, Allison Stein, Jennifer Fisher, Dani Stahl, Charlotte Ronson, Chelsea Leyland, and Mona Swanson
Allison Aston, Anna Burke Patterson, Dr. Neerav Shukla, Lavinia Branca Snyder, Amory McAndrew, and Mollie Ruprecht Acquavella
Tabitha Simmons
Veronica Swanson Beard
Kate Pickett and Andrew Davis
Lauren Kenny, Melanie Fowler, and Janine MacMurray
Christian Cabanillas and Neusa Evora
Olivia Chantecaille
Charlotte Ronson
Ferebee and Brook Taube
Vienna Pharaon and Breanna Sabo
Jessie Hillsberg and Dr. Neerav Shukla
Chelsea Leyland
Elizabeth Kurpis
Joanna de Neufville and Alexandra Amorosi
Meredith Melling
Bettina Prentice, Annelise Peterson Winter, and Coralie Charriol Paul
Emelia Fanjul Pfeifler
Jane Keltner de Valle and Alexandra Michler
Jennifer Fisher
Laura Santos
Shabnam Henry and Marcie Pantzer
Shirley and Michael Weil
Spencer Cherry and Katie Fischer Cherry
John and Erin O'Connor
Valerie Boster Macaulay
Kate Foley
Blair Trader and Allison Stein
Charlotte Ronson and Dani Stahl
Rickie de Sole and Jessica Sailer van Lith
Meredith Melling, Rickie de Sole, Jessica Sailer van Lith, Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton, Jane Keltner de Valle, Bettina Prentice, and Valerie Boster Macauley

Photographs by Patrick McMullan (Morgan Library); BFA (MSKCC)

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