Friday, October 20, 2017

A heavy week on the Social Calendar

Canine photo shoot. 2:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Friday, October 20, 2017. Mild, sunny Autumn day, with temps touching 70, although it didn’t feel summery at all. Traffic was horrendous. The roads were jammed, often in gridlock. You read this from me often, I know; and often it is true. Nevertheless the town was out yesterday from dawn till dusk and thereafter. And the streets in midtown were jammed with crowds moving at all speeds -- at least three-quarters of whom were on their cell phones (at all speeds).

Finishing that sentence I was thinking how I’d feel if I read it on someone else’s page. A complaint? Yes. True? Yes. Highly irritating at times? Yes. But with all that going on, yesterday was still another exciting day in New York City, tourist or not. That’s because of The People. All of The People, open to life.
Just another day on Park Avenue.
I had a reunion lunch with an old friend Tom Huth whom I see only every couple of years when he comes to town from Santa Barbara. Tom is a writer, longtime travel writer although the longtime caring for his wife Holly who has been afflicted with Parkinson’s for more than twenty years has kept him close the hearth. He wrote an interesting memoir which I am going to write about when I can take the time to tell the story.

Then last night Joy Ingham invited me to join her and another friend, Joe Pugliese at BID, the City Harvest tasting event. City Harvest is a very impressive charity, gathering the (good) food and re-distributing it around the city to those in need.  It was one woman’s idea, started in the 1980s and today they distribute millions of pounds of vegetables, fruit, breads, rice, pastas throughout the city. It is Common Sense at work with Brotherhood and Community.
The BID greeters at the entrance to the Metropolitan Pavilion.
. And just inside this enormous room, a virtual cornucopia of New York's finest chefs and restaurateurs. There were several of these long bar/counters throughout the room with dozens of stalls offering all kinds of bites of great fare.
I loved it. It was fun, it was a pleasure and the food was fantastic. Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin heads up the committee of 40 contributors and four mixologists. The mere idea makes people happy once they’re in the room.

This past week has been an event-heavy five days. It is the “Season,” and has been for more than a century. The philanthropic activities now dominate the Social scene, if not the culture. Hectic is a fair word for the activity if you’re keeping track, but again it provides the sense of energy of the city.

Speaking of: BOB SCHULENBERG: THE SECRET CINEMA exhibit at the Patrick Parrish Gallery in TriBeCa was extended and will end today, Friday, Oct 20, from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
This past Wednesday night, NYSD covered not one but two major events. JH and wife Danielle took in the American Ballet Theatre’s celebration of their 2017 Fall Season at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. The evening featured the World Premieres of Songs of Bukovina by Alexei Ratmansky, The Gift by choreographer Jessica Lang, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions featuring Misty Copeland. Following the performance, guests enjoyed a multi-course dinner and dancing to music by DJ Jason Fioto
Taking their bows following Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions featuring Misty Copeland.
It was a hugely successful evening with a sold out attendance, and they raised a record, more than $2 million. Among those attending were Maggie Gyllenhaal who was a co-chair of the evening; Sofia Coppola, Liev Schreiber, Michael Kors, Susan Fales Hill, Marc Jacobs, Paul Andrew, Fernando Garcia, Cicely Tyson, Marina Abramović, Amy Fine Collins, Deeda Blair, Ariana Rockefeller, Vanessa Friedman, Diggy Simmons, Alexandre de Betak and Sofia Sanchez de Betak and models Liya Kebede and Constance Jablonski; ABT chairs Star Jones, Karen Phillips, and Sutton Stracke; co-chairs Lisa and David Klein, Sarah Arison, Amy Astley, Hamish Bowles, Anh Duong, Cynthia Erivo, Rachel Feinstein, Allison Sarofim, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer and Victor Cruz.

De GRISOGONO and Estée Lauder served as the Fall Gala sponsors.
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Fernando Garcia
Liev Schreiber
Alexandre de Betak, Sofia Sanchez de Betak, Victor Cruz, Amy Astley, Liya Kebede with Raee, and Chris Astley
Kevin McKenzie, Valentino Carlotti, and Andrew Barth
Susan Fales-Hill, Cicely Tyson, and B Michael
Suzanne Hall, Valentino Carlotti, Julie Granger, and Daniil Simkin
Emeka Okafor and Ilana Nunn Okafor Amy Fine Collins and Deeda Blair
Umindi Francis, Sutton Stracke, and Star Jones
Aerin Lauder, Michael Kors, Cynthia Erivo, Lance LePere, Amy Astley, and Marc Jacobs
Misty Copeland, Valentino Carlotti, Cynthia Erivo, and Star Jones David and Lisa Klein
Amy Astley, Allison Sarofim, Marc Jacobs, Sofia Coppola, James Whiteside, and Rachel Feinstein
That same night, I was over at the Park Avenue Armory for their annual Gala. This was a black tie event and it is always held in the vast Wade Thompson Drill Hall where the New Impresarios mixed culture, the Arts and Theatre, new and old, and have created a spectator experience unlike anywhere else in the city and possibly in the world. That sounds like a big idea, and it is. And so is the Park Avenue Armory, which was built more than a century ago for big ideas of another sort.

So. Their Gala in the Wade Thompson Drill is not entirely  unlike their productions, all of which stretch your imagination, engage, maybe enchant, and take you away whence you came, and into another place. Again, a Big Walloping statement but nevertheless true.
During the cocktail reception, there were several performances around the parameter of the Hall, such as this live sculpture.
I’ve written about this gala before because it is stupendous. It fills the vast hall and no matter what you think, you’re definitely in a different world. This is Theatre. This is what happens at the Park Avenue Armory all year round. Not surprisingly it has become a kind of mecca for the young creative imaginations around us. A good thing.

Wednesday night’s production did not disappoint. I took quite a few photos of it but I felt my results were inadequate. However, I show you a few to give you an idea of the vastness, the light(s), the stage where there were brief presentations about the evening (they raised more than $2.1 million) and then musical performances. But it’s one of those things where you almost have to be there to get it. Because besides the uniqueness of the presentations, there is the vastness the space allows which is as much a part as the presentations. Again, you are taken away, however momentarily, to another plane in your own imagination. A hit. A real hit.  I’ll show you more next week.
During the cocktail reception and performances, the light of the room took on different shades.
The Lady and her Parachute at odds.
The guests observing the performances with the dining area still concealed at the center.
Raising the curtain for the placement of dinner for more than seven hundred guests (a delicious and beautifully presented dinner was served).
Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Producer of the Park Avenue Armory.
Elihu Rose, who with the late Wade Thompson (with whom the idea of redevelopment and restoration of the Armory originated), actualized the idea to distinguished reality.
And on Tuesday night at the Plaza, the Casita Maria Center for the Arts celebrated their Fiesta 2017. Each year at Fiesta, the Casita Maria Gold Medal of Honor is awarded to outstanding individuals in recognition of their contribution to the worlds of arts, education, and philanthropy.

This year, Casita Maria honored three exceptional women: Rosaura Henkel, the Mexican philanthropist extraordinaire for her work with “Duerme Tranquilo” and service to numerous hospitals; New York’s own Elizabeth T. Peabody for her dedication to mental health and compassionate leadership to The Maria Droste Counseling Services, and Julia Salvi, the co-founder and visionary behind the renowned Cartagena International Music Festival.
Elizabeth Peabody and Jacqueline Weld Drake
Jacqueline Weld Drake and Julia Salvi
The evening’s host was FOX TV’s Audrey Puente, the daughter of the great Latin percussionist Tito Puente, himself a Casita alumnus and former honoree. Dinner Chairmen were Jacqueline Weld Drake and Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia. The Gala Co-Chairmen were Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera. 

Casita Maria’s annual benefit is an elegant, festive evening that begins with cocktails, followed by seated dinner, music and dancing to The Bob Hardwick Sound. This is always a fun evening, a real dinner dance New York style.
Dinner Chairman Jacqueline Weld Drake, Honoree Julia Salvi, Dinner Chairman Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Honoree Elizabeth Peabody, and Executive Director Haydee Morales
Moataz Refaie and Sissi Fleitas Jose Parla, Pepita Serrano, Rachel Valdez, and Ben Rodriguez-Cubenas
Geoffrey Bradfield and Craig Dix
Mary McFadden Barbara and Bruce Winston
Mayte Allende and Alida Boer
Tina and Simon Beriro Vanessa Tricoche, Victor Robette, and Ben Rodriguez-Cubenas
Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Carolina Herrera, Jacqueline Weld Drake, and Reinaldo Herrera
Will Sheehan and Allegra Crespi Mary Snow and Joachim Bader
Kathy Sloane, Ernesto Plata, and Nora Jaime
Christine Schwarzman and Jeanne Lawrence Haydee Morales and Audrey Puente
Ed Lobrano, Jeanne Lawrence, Jeff Hirsch, and Barbara and Donald Tober
Ann Rapp and Roy Kean
Honoree Rosaura Henkel Pietro Cicognani and Carolina Herrera

Photographs by BFA (ABT); Aurora Rose/PMC & Lieba Nesis (Casita).

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