Thursday, February 11, 2016

Diarists, critics, and similar roe

An early morning dusting earlier in the week. Photo: JH.
Thursday, February 11, 2016. A bright, sunny and fairly cold day, yesterday in New York with temperatures in the high 30s, dipping in to the 20s late night. Snow has been forecast throughout the week although very little has touched us in the city.

This is still the quiet time in the city. What does that mean in this book? They’re not heading out to black tie galas and dinner parties night after night. There will be enough of that coming soon. If they are going out at night, it’s to a movie maybe, or dinner. I had dinner Sette Mezzo on Monday night with close friends. The place was packed. I had dinner Tuesday night at Caravaggio Jeanne and Herb Siegel and that too was packed.

Immi Storrs.
On Tuesday I went to lunch with Immi Storrs, the sculptress who has two pieces in exhibition in a sculpture show in the gallery of a private club here in New York where we also had lunch. I’m not being coy when I don’t tell you the name of the club but it is another one of those – 19th century clubs here in town  -- that have a rule: no mentioning the name in the press.

It’s an absurd rule and often ignored by book publishers and media when talking history. Organized in the mid-19th century, it sits in a landmark building designed in 1891 by McKim, Mead and White for this particular club. It’s a wonderful organization and loved rightfully by its membership which is varied. And they are not stiffly restricted in terms of heritage, financial background and gender. Many of its membership are prominent members of the community involved in all aspects from culture and the arts, to business, to education, and it has been thus since its founding in 1867.

Writing those words, for some inexplicable reason, this poem by Dorothy Parker popped up in my head. It’s hardly relevant to the previous paragraph, in the main, but it is New York and I couldn’t resist:

Authors and actors and artists and such
Never know nothing, and never know much.
Sculptors and singers and those of their kidney
Tell their affairs from Seattle to Sydney.
Playwrights and poets and such horses' necks
Start off from anywhere, end up at sex.
Diarists, critics, and similar roe
Never say nothing, and never say no.
People Who Do Things exceed my endurance;
God, for a man that solicits insurance!
Immi Storrs, Afternoon, mixed media.
Immi Storrs, Spring and Winter, mixed media.
But I digress. This club not only has a magnificent clubhouse, a New York City landmark, but it has a roster of members, past and present that represent a great cross-section of culture, finance, law and education not only in the New York and the United States, but in the world. Many of their portraits are hanging in the hallways, the reading rooms, along the staircases and in the meeting rooms, along with the works of many artist members such as my luncheon hostess. Right at this moment, there is exhibition of sculpture, many beautiful and compelling pieces, works of members of the club.

After touring the exhibit, we went up stairs to the dining room, made up of a group of two story wood paneled spaces with a good menu of classics. A number of tables were occupied mostly by men in business suits, and several women. I was told it was also a very popular choice for dinner and they have a before-theater menu, being only couple of city blocks west of Broadway’s theatre district. And a member can always get a table. An invitation by a member to lunch or dine there is not only a privilege but also a pleasure on many levels. It is a side of New York that feels grounded, rock solid, and permanent. Such is the allure.

As quiet as the city has been these past few post-holiday weeks, there, nevertheless, a lot of cultural and charitable activities actively raising funds for their organizations. 
Immi Storrs, Dark Bird, bronze. Gift of the artist, 2004.
Around the town. This past Monday night, the American Ballet Theatre dancers Skylar Brandt, Zhong-Jing Fang, Jamie Kopit, and Calvin Royal III joined Youth America Grand Prix supporters at New York City Center, in a private rehearsal studio, for The Making of a Pointe Shoe.

YAGP Chair Emeritus Barbara Brandtled this lecture and demonstration exploring the relationship between the anatomy of the dancers’ foot and the construction of a pointe shoe. Joining Barbara was Grishko representative Judy Weiss, and Capezio representative Anitra Keegan, who demonstrated on 13-year-old ballet dancer Aliana Grieco's feet. 

Later, questions were taken from the audience and even former ABT Principal dancer, Irina Dvorovenko, answered a few from her seat. An intimate reception at a YAGP supporter's home followed.

Among the guests were Maxim Beloserkovsky, Gary Brandt, Suzanne Dance, Linda Fell, Joan Firestone, David Fox, Sarah Frank, James Goldschmidt, Kim and Mason Granger, Cathy Hardwick, Brian Heidtke, Judith M. Hoffman, Latifa Kosta, Margot and Allen London, Tara Milne, Ellen Mondshine, Board Chair Linda K. Morse, Richard Osterweil, Howard S. Paley, Elizabeth Papadopoulous, Robert A. Shulman, and John L. Sills.
Judy Weiss and Aliana Grieco.
Calvin Royal III, Linda Morse, Linda Fell, and Shari Siegel.
Calvin Royal III, Taylor Brandt, Barbara Brandt, Gary Brandt, and Skylar Brandt.
Calvin Royal III, Zhong Jing Fang, Judy Weiss, and Anitra Keegan.
Diane Kuhl and Linda Fell.
Brian Heidtke, Melissa Barak, and Blair Hartley.
Tova Dalmau, Joan Rosasco, and Diane Kelder.
Maxim Beloserkovsky, David Fox, Tara Milne, and Irina Dvorovenko.
Kim Granger, Mason Granger, and Judith M Hoffman.
Vicki Rose, Zhong Jing Fang, and Dr. Donald Rose.
Sarah Frank, Joan Firestone, and Vicki Weiner.
Leslie Curtis, Melissa Barak, Michael Popkin, and Carolyn Ewing.
Margie Becker Lewin, John Lewin, Elizabeth Papadopoulus, and John Sills.
Paul Ross, Natalia Ross, Kathleen Crawley, Tamara McCarthy, and Arlene Novick.
This past Tuesday night, the Young New Yorkers for the Philharmonic gathered at a private venue – yet another one of those private clubs that have “that rule” -- on Park Avenue in New York City for their annual Winter Benefit. About 150 attended. The evening began with a chamber music recital at 8:30 p.m. followed by cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dancing.

Chairman of the Young New Yorkers for the Philharmonic Sarah Jane Gibbons welcomed guests and introduced Philharmonic musicians violinists Quan Ge, Shanshan Yao, and Elizabeth Zeltser; violist Rémi Pelletier; cellist Nathan Vickery, and Acting Associate Principal Bass Max Zeugner who gave a delightful chamber performance featuring works by Rossini, Berio, and Vivaldi. The musicians of the Philharmonic introduced and shared insight about each piece performed that evening.
Lindsay Shapoff, Edward Shapoff, Phillip Gaucher, Stefan Nowicki, Katherine Braham, and Joey Carey.
Adrienne Gaines and Thomas Anderman. Barbara Regna, Linette Semino, and Bettina Bennett.
Matthew Ailey, Michael Lorberg, and Greg Zaffiro.
Barbara Bispham and Gerardo Ubaghs. Fatima Sanandaji and Linette Semino.
NYP Musician Max Zeugner, Randolph Adler, Katrina Dibbini, NYP Musician Elizabeth Zeltser, NYP Musician Shanshan Yao, and Ross Millhiser.
Timothy McCabe and Sasa Mikavica. Melissa and Chappy Morris.
NYP Musician Nathan Vickery, Sarah Jane Gibbons, and NYP Musician Remi Pelletier.
Randolph Adler, Katrina Dibbini, Monika Plocienniczak, and Marc Lewinstein.
Whitney Krahn, Rebecca Gross, and Sara Perry.
Also this past Tuesday evening, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering hosted the Bi-Annual “Dream Team” dinner at Michael’s restaurant on 55th Street.

The event was co-chaired by Mary Davidson, Stephanie F. Griswold, Ashley McDermott and Barbara and Kevin McLaughlin. More than 110 guests enjoyed cocktails and a seated dinner at this special evening dedicated to celebrating making dreams come true.

Mary Davidson, Chairman of The Dream Team, welcomed the crowd and introduced Dr. Evan Matros of the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering who spoke about the important work and impact of The Society’s Dream Team, a small volunteer group that seeks out anonymous donations to fulfill the dreams of adult patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Ashley McDermott, Dr. Evan Matros, Stephanie F. Griswold, Mary Davidson, Kevin McLaughlin, and Barbara McLaughlin.
The Dream Team has completed more than 1,700 dreams, since the committee was founded in 1988. It is different from similar organizations that grant wishes in a few distinct ways. First, the Dream Team is dedicated to fulfilling wishes of adult patients over the age of 18, a population often underserved in this type of work. Secondly, while the Dream Team fulfills wishes for terminally ill patients, they also fulfill the dreams of patients who have achieved positive milestones in their journey, such as the completion of a round of treatment or the news that they are in remission.

For the Dream Team, it is just as important to celebrate survivorship. The Dream Team has reunited families for special celebrations, sent countless families on memorable vacations, arranged dinners at some of New York's finest restaurants, reserved tickets to the hottest Broadway shows and sporting events, and more.
Lavinia Branca Snyder, Lori Griffith, Mary Davidson, and Anne Keating.
Celebrity visits are also a popular request. The Dream Team has arranged for patients to meet with superstars, including Paul McCartney, Magic Johnson, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffet, Carolina Herrera, and Stephen Colbert.
The Dream Team works quietly and under the radar but its efforts leave a very permanent inpression on MSK’s patients, imiparting compassion and joy when they need most. This year’s dinner raised more $130,000 to enable the Dream Team to continue its important work.

Guests Included: Dayle Haddon, Patricia Herrera Lansing, Shoshanna Gruss, Rebekah McCabe, Colin McCabe, James de Givenchy, Gina de Givenchy, Lavinia Branca Synder, Mary Davidson, Stephanie F. Griswold, Ashley McDermott, Barbara and Kevin McLaughlin, Chris Meigher, Drew Schiff, Martha Sharp, Annie Taube, Dr. Evan Matros, Virginia Tomenson, Mary Darling, Hilary Dick, Lisa Errico, Christopher Errico, Leslie Jones, Anne Keating, Christian Leone, Chappy and Melissa Morris, Shelley and Michael Carr, Anki Leeds, Frederic Bancroft, Cliff Brokaw, Amanda Taylor, Philip W. Warner, Jr., Martha Kramer Fox, Nancy Jarecki, Martha and Peter Webster and more.
Chappy Morris, Anki Leeds, and George Tsandikos.
Dayle Haddon and Dr. Philip Stieg. Kimberly Flaster and Christian Leone.
Caroline Dean, Lavinia Branca Snyder, and Shelley Carr.
James de Givenchy and Gina de Givenchy. Logan Horne and Martha Kramer Fox.
Nancy Jarecki, Ashley McDermott, Kalliope Karella, and Monique Richards.
Martha Webster, Peter Webster, and Mary Darling. Annie Taube.
Mary Davidson and Chris Meigher.
Penny Damaskos and Elizabeth Peabody. Lisa Errico and Ferebee Taube.
Virginia W. Tomenson, Patricia Herrera Lansing, and Jennifer Creel.
Shoshanna Gruss. Caroline Warner and Philip W. Warner, Jr.
Kevin McLaughlin, Dr. Kathryn Beal, and Bruce Beal.

Contact DPC here.