Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Flecks from a distance

Park bench. 2:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, March 24, 2016. It was a sunny day, yesterday in New York, with temperatures hovering around 70 midday. The buds are slightly visible as flecks on the trees from a distance. The daffodils and crocuses and forsythia are already out here in the city.

I went to lunch with Barbara Tober and Jon Marder at Michael's. This was a business lunch although both Barbara and Jon are friends after all these years of our working together on various projects.
Barbara Tober and Jonathan Marder.
The subject was the Museum of Art and Design's upcoming gala. I'll call it the LOOT gala because it involves an annual tradition where MAD shows the world of jewelry designers and makers all over the world. It's also a sale (you can buy the stuff), but more than that it is Art and Design. This annual occasion is in its 16th year, and has become a very popular event with collectors as well as women and men who love all kinds of jewelry.
The invtation for Loot 2016 designed by Ruben Toledo. Barbara Tober is in the middle (with glasses).
Barbara Tober has been involved with the organization forever. If not from the beginning, then the day after. She's been a force behind its development and its wonderful home on Columbus Circle. Barbara is a media executive by background. She ran a magazine (Brides) as editor for three decades. When she left that, she went out and gave herself over to philanthropies of both art and culture.  

Although she is not one to refer to herself as a philanthropist, she and her husband Donald are Out There, involved in a number of charities, attending and supporting public events such as the opera, the ballet, the theatre. They are, without question, one of the most active couples in New York. It wouldn't surprise me to learn they are out every weeknight, and at major events.  Weekends they're up in Millbrook where they keep horses and ride, and entertain houseguests, and go out. In the meantime, both are inveterate readers of books – new, classic, biographies, novels. I don't know about Donald, but Barbara does it like all an executive. Go out and get it; make it happen, next .... So it's a pleasure to work with her.
Barbara and Donald out on the town.
Jon Marder is an urbane sort of public relations and publicity man. Soft-spoken, but enthusiastic, he has no yen for public attention (unlike many in his profession). He's polished and sophisticated, and quietly very aggressive about getting things done for his client. But he's so reasonable and even ironic in his approach to objectives (or so it seems at the time), that you follow, that it just seems like you might find it interesting.
LOOT: MAD About Jewelry takes place from April 11-16, 2016, where more than 40 emerging and acclaimed international jewelry artists will be featured. Now in its 16th edition, LOOT has become known as the ultimate pop-up shop for contemporary artist-made jewelry. Here's a sampling of some of the artists and their creations ...
Melanie Ankers.
Kristine Bolhuis.
Myriam Bottazzi.
Andreina Brengola.
Nuria Carulla.
Niklas Ejve.
Tomoyo Hiraiwa.
Ching-Chih Wu.
The conversation inevitably moved into the area of Philanthropy since it now is a notable aspect of the so-called Society in New York, as well as the service and hospitality economy of New York. All these galas and fundraisers and kick-off parties and auctions and special sales are revenue producing projects including the ticket sales, not to mention the hotel ballrooms, the waitstaff, the chefs, the food, the drinks, the entertainment, the publicity/public relations, the limousine and taxi services, the tailors, designers, and ad infinitum. Aside from the hundreds of millions raised for the great variety of charities located here in the city, every year hundreds of millions also are spent in the industry of social events, commercial and/or philanthropic. This is New York.

The women of the Gilded Age of the late 19th century wielded their power from the gilded hearths with their entertainments and dinners at their various houses according to the season, but barely left the house.  The women of the New Gilded Age are greatly liberated and out in the world, unlike their great-great-grandmothers. The greatest power in today's women lies in their executive abilities to raise millions for the charities of their choices.
These forces who -- with enormous assistance and leadership with the men of the community -- create institutions, fund hospitals and schools, and parks, and feed the hungry, very often women do not regard themselves as philanthropists  -- which often they technically are not. These are women with a mission, often very personal, to get the job done. A lot of them you've never heard of, or have heard little about, and yet they move mountains, plant forests, feed the hungry and inspire the madding crowd to make a better world. They are not out to impress with their achievements and accomplishments, or to gain personal publicity. They are simply interested in making a difference.

This is another example of the emergence of women as power in our society. They aim to take care of things, and indeed they do.

The Michael's lunch: Jon Steinberg of MailOnline; Mitchell Konske; Matt Blank of Showtime; Peter Brown; Erika Corsetti; Suzanne Dawson; Larry Dunn; Paula Furman; Joan Hamburg; Paul Healy; Dr. Gerry Imber with Michael Kramer, Jerry Della Femina, Andy Bergman;  Michael Kempner; Lisa Linden with Gary Zarr; Jim Abernathy with Mitch Rosenthal and Hamilton South; Andrew Stein; David Stern; Alexandra Trower of Estee Lauder; Robert Zimmerman; Tyler Morse, CEO OF MCR Development; literary agent Lynn Nesbit; Brooke Hayward with Alex Hitz; Bill Lambert, founding partner of Wasserstein Perella; Literary agent Binky Urban; Avenue Magazine's Randi Shatz celebrating Susan Kramer's birthday.
Meanwhile, it is Easter Week in Palm Beach and there are big vans seen all over the town ready to take the cars north after the mass exodus after Easter.

Before, of course, there were non-stop parties Frannie Scaife gave a big dinner for 100 at private club on St. Patrick's Day; Emilia and Pepe Fanjul gave a dinner at their home for Mila and Brian Mulroney, the former Prime Minister of Canada who also spoke at Nancy Reagan's funeral last week. Among the guests, Fernanda Niven, Nicole and Derek Limbocker, Donald and Muffie Miller, Gail and Harry Theodoracopoulos, Jim Mitchell. This past Tuesday, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera arrived to join the Fanjuls on their yacht to spend Easter in the Bahamas, returning to Palm Beach this Sunday.
The table settings at BrickTop's.
Jim Mitchell also hosted a dinner at BrickTop's. Guestlist included Marianne and John  Castle, Frances Scaife and Tom McCarter, Susan Keenan with Bob Nederlander, Antoinette  Guerrini-Maraldi, Hans Kertess, Maureen Donnell, Jimmy Clarke, Mai Hallingby Harrison, Marquessa Barbara San Damian, Michael Harris, Linda Rossbach, Virginia and Freddy  Melhado.

There are big Easter lunches at the Everglades Club, the Sailfish, and the Bath and Tennis. And then the mass exodus begins, and the season is over.
Marquessa Barbara San Damian and Jim Mitchell.
John and Marianne Castle.
Jim Mitchell and Linda Rossbach.
Virginia and Freddy Melhado.
Jim with Tami Lydel and Thos Vernon.
Frannie Scaife and Tom McCarter.
Bob Nederlander and Maureen Donnell.
Michael Harris and Marquessa Barbara San Damian.
Girls at BrickTop's — Andrea, Sara, Tami, and Lauren.

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