Friday, March 4, 2016

Fellowship and Friendship

A late morning game of football in Central Park. Photo: JH.
Friday, March 4, 2016. Sunny and cold, yesterday in New York, with some snow in the late night hours, long before we put this Diary to bed.

Last night at the Tomas Maier boutique on Madison Avenue and 76th Street, Tomas and Architectural Digest EIC Margaret Russell held a booksigning for Firooz Zahedi, the photographer for his new book "My Elizabeth," a photo chronicle of Elizabeth Taylor's life with dazzling images of the legendary star and Firooz' details of working with Taylor as well as sharing a friendship of 35 years.
Firooz Zahedi signing his book last night at the Tomas Maier boutique. Click to order.
Lisa Immordino Vreeland. Andrew Preston and Tomas Maier.
Firooz first met Elizabeth in Washington when he was in his late 20s and was romantically linked with his uncle Ardeshir Zahedi, who was at the time Iran's Ambassador to Washington. That meeting led to an introduction to her life and her friendships. It's a fabulous book photographically because Subject and Photographer as friends opened up a world of images never seen before, most often made for the fun of their shared company, and also eventually for business.

There was a big turn-out at Maier's very chic boutique, and afterwards many of the guests moved over to the Carlyle where George Farias took over the main dining room and hosted a dinner in honor of the photographer and his wife Beth Rudin DeWoody.
As it always is with Farias, the dinner was beautifully organized, and engagingly presented with each place card a photograph of Taylor taken by her friend as well as a small bowl of one of Taylor's most favorite dishes accompanying the salad starter, the Chasen's Chili, reproduced in the Carlyle's kitchen strictly according to the original recipe which the California restaurant often messengered to her in quantity all over the world, wherever she was visiting or shooting a film. Delicious, like the evening.
A view of the dining room before the dinner.
The tables were adorned with bouquets of fresh gardenias, Taylor's favorite flower.
The place setting.
This past Wednesday's Michael's lunch was the regular eclectic list of media moguls, publishing executives, bankers, writers and fans of Michael's, altogether, such as: Frederic Bloch; James Chanos; Diane Clehane with Ryan D’Agostino and Cameron Connors of Popular Mechanics;  Nathan Christopher; Bobby LeBlanc; Marty Peretz of the New Republic; Steven Rubenstein; the FT’s Gillian Tett; David Zinczenko; Mickey Ateyeh with Deborah Block;  Peter Brown; WSJ Weekend’s Anthony Cenname with James LaForce; Paul Wilmot; Gary Zarr; Marshall Cohen with Bill Livek; literary agent Freddi Friedman with Valerie Salembier; Regina Goodman; Steven Greenberg; Ed Klein with Ed Kosner; Lisa Linden with Michael Carey; Stuart Manger; Alice Mayhew with Tim Duggan; Chris Meigher; Michael Taubman;  Keith Meister; Stanley Moger; Sarabeth Shrager; Stan Shuman; Andrew Stein; David Stern; Michael Tannenbaum; Bob Towbin; Peter Price; William von Mueffling; Barbara Liberman and art dealer Cecily Langdale lunching with this writer.

This past Tuesday night, Housing Works Design on a Dime co-chairs George Oliphant, James Huniford, Nicole Robbins and ELLE DECOR Editor-in-Chief Michael Boodro helped kick off the 2016 Design on a Dime benefit at Desiron in the New York Design Center.

The event welcomed the more than 60 of the world’s top interior designers who will create unforgettable room vignettes with new merchandise for this year’s benefit. Designers include Ellie Mroz, Robin Baron, Carl Barnett, Tim Croneberger and Doug Jones.
Michael Boodro and Nicole Gibbons. George Oliphant and Ellie Mroz.
This year’s benefit will take place April 20-23 at the Metropolitan Pavilion on 125 West 18th Street. The merchandise displayed in the room vignettes is donated by the designers and available to guests at 50 – 70% off retail pricing, to benefit Housing Works.

Proceeds from Design on a Dime fund Housing Works’ newest supportive housing development, the Hull Street Residence. Hull Street is a from-the-ground-up housing development project transforming a vacant 6,000 sq ft. lot, into a beautiful and safe home for 28 single, formerly homeless adults living with HIV/AIDS. For more information on Housing Works and Design on a Dime, visiting
Rio Hamilton, Henry Durocher, and Byron Cordero.
Meanwhile, down in Palm Beach, Hilary and Wilbur Ross threw open the doors of “Windsong,” their exquisite Bunny Williams-designed home, for a sunset drinks party in honor of the Kips Bay Palm Beach committee and the upcoming 44th annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House, which will open in New York on May 12th.

On hand were Jim Druckman, president of the board of trustees of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, executive director Daniel Quintero, and several Kips Bay Show House designers, including Ellie Cullman Jennifer Garrigues, Larry Laslo, Stephen Mooney and Gil Walsh. The evening was sponsored by KOHLER, who is also returning for the second year in a row as a major sponsor of the show house.
Widely recognized as the finest designer show house in America, this New York springtime institution is also the largest single fundraising event for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, an organization which serves more than 10,000 New York City at-risk kids. In existence for more than a century, Kips Bay now offers programs ranging from educational tutoring and athletics to computer science and the visual and performing arts. Notable alumni include Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, and countless others in the worlds of government, medicine, law, finance, sports, media and entertainment.

For more information, visit
Jim Druckman, Ted Donahue, Virginia Mortara, and Pamela Fiori.
Hilary and Wilbur Ross. Gil Walsh and Nazira Handal.
Dennis Miller, Stacey Stolman, Bram Majtlis, and Nick Gold.
Jennifer Garrigues. Danielle and Daniel Quintero.
Rich Wilkie, Annette Pankrac, and Joe Stolman.
Ellie Cullman. Gloria Stolman and Steven Stolman.
Back in New York on Leap Day, down in Lower Manhattan, Poets House, a 60,000 volume poetry library, hosted Make a Sudden Leap: A Benefit for Poets House. 100 guests attended the event at Poets House and North End Grill where over $70,000 was raised to benefit Poets House's diverse programs for adults and children, which keeps programming free or low cost.

James and Ellen Polshek, John Patrick Shanely, Phil Jackson and Signor Luigi Anania were among some of the guests for the evening.
Christie Platt, Frank Platt, Roger Platt, and Ivan Chermayeff
North End Grill Chef Eric Korsh designed a three-course meal that was paired with the wine selections of importer Neal Rosenthal. Between courses, reading from Poets Eliza Griswold, Cornelius Eady, Daniel Halpern, Mary Karr, Monica Youn and Vijay Seshadri explored the themes of leap year and time.

Poets House is a 60,000-volume poetry library, national literary center, and creative space that invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry. Founded in 1985 by two-time Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz and legendary arts administrator Elizabeth Kray, the library has created a home for all who read and write poetry. In 2009, Poets House moved into its permanent home, at 10 River Terrace in Battery Park City, on the banks of the Hudson River. Last year, 70,000 people visited Poets House, and over five million were introduced to Poets House via its new website and national partnerships. For more information about these events and Poets House in general, visit
Monica Youn, Neal I. Rosenthal, Daniel Halpern, and Cornelius Eady
Phil Jackson and Mary Karr
Linda Earle, Daniel Halpern, and Eliza Griswold
Vijay Seshadri, Monica Youn, and Daniel Halpern
Margo Viscusi, Ellen Polshek, and Warrie Price
Lee Briccetti, Jacqueline Terrassa, Linda Earle, and Photios Giovanis
[Left, front to back] James Price, Anthony Viscusi, and James Polshek
[Right, front to back] Margo Viscusi, Ellyn Polshek, and Warrie Price
[Left, front to back] Lee Potter, Nicholas Potter, and Amy Bird
[Right, front to back] Adam Bird, Lorraine Weinberg, and Howard Ellin
Luigi Anania
Lee Potter, Nicholas Potter, and Amy Bird

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