Wednesday, October 4, 2017

On the cool-ish side

Signs of fall in Central Park. 4:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, October 4, 2017. Sunny and 71 degrees yesterday in New York. But on the cool-ish side.

I went to lunch at Michael’s with Tracey Jackson and Paul Williams, both of whom I haven’t seen in sometime. Paul lives in California but is also President of ASCAP which frequently requires meetings in New York and Washington.
The walk home from school through Central Park. 3:30 PM. Photo: JH.
I asked him why he didn’t do more cabaret shows like the one he did a couple of years ago at the Café Carlyle. He said he wasn’t crazy about performing every night. Age, maybe (he’s a very young 77 last September 19); but it sounds like he loves his work with ASCAP. And he’s a songwriter by mentality. He won an Oscar for “Evergreen,” the Streisand hit he co-wrote with her (his lyrics, her music) for A Star Is Born.

Three years ago, he and Tracey published a book – “Gratitude & Trust; Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life.” Paul himself is 27 years sober and has long been working in the recovery movement “healing both himself and others.” The book has been very helpful to many many people. They were guests twice on Oprah’s show talking about it . It is said that she regards her interviews with them about their work as two of her most successful.
Paul and Tracey.
Meanwhile, both Paul and Tracey are headed up to Winnipeg, Canada in two weeks for An Evening with Paul Williams and Tracey Jackson at Grant Park in the Atrium on September 19th. The following day they are doing a reading and book signing at McNally Jackson, one of the great bookstores in Canada.

Then, the following night coincidentally, Paul is actually performing for a local annual event that draws thousands from all over Canada and the States. It is the Phantom Palooza, an event also runs his only one film, “an over the top glam rock musical, Brian De Palma’s 1974 cult film Phantom of the Paradise.”

The picture bombed in the US when it came out – which was the same year as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, And while it lasted only a week in both Vancouver and Calgary, Phantom… played for more than four months in Winnipeg, and outsold Jaws. And now they celebrate it annually. Paul’s made the trip twice before in 2005 and 2006.  He’s treated like the last-major-celebrity living, plus he performs and everyone has a good time.
Which, speaking of movies and movie stars – two weeks ago on Monday, September 18th (Greta Garbo’s 112th birthday), over at the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) here in New York, they hosted a discussion in person between the great French film star Gérard Depardieu and Candice Bergen about his new book, “Innocent.”  

“Innocent” abounds with the actor’s fervent observations on friendship, cinema, religion, politics, and more, offering intimate insights into the mind of the man considered one of the world’s most mercurial and impassioned actors. The book is also the account of a man in search of faith and includes passages about Depardieu's explorations of Islam, Buddhism, and other religions.
Candice Bergen, Nicholas Elliott, and Gérard Depardieu.
Candice Bergen, Nicholas Elliott, and Gérard Depardieu.
After the discussion, guests had the pleasure of a cocktail reception in FIAF’s Le Skyroom which included M. Depardieu, Ms. Bergen, Marie-Monique Steckel (President, FIAF), Rainer Hanshe (publisher, Contra Mundum Press), Lili Chopra (Executive Vice President and Artistic Director, FIAF), Giosetta Capriati, Catherine Malandrino (designer), Marie Nugent-Head (philanthropist), Annette Insdorf (author and film professor at Columbia University), Stéphane Ormand (Air France), Charlie Rose, Gregory Speck, Caroline Weinstein, Jane Levere (of Forbes), Daniel Gold (editor, The New York Times), Jean Rognetta (Editorial Director, Forbes France), Olivier O’Mahoney (Paris Match), Laura Skoler (collector, founding member of the New Museum, New York and the Daniel and Florence Guerlain Foundation, Paris), Delphine Selles-Alvarez (film curator, FIAF), and Adrienne Halpern (Rialto Pictures).
Lili Chopra, Candice Bergen, Gérard Depardie, and Marie-Monique Steckel.
Younghee Kim-Wait and Lee Elman.
Marie Nugent-Head,Younghee Kim-Wait, Charlie Rose, and Lili Chopra.
Lili Chopra and Stéphane Ormand.
Catherine Malandrino, Olivier O'Mahony, Nicole Devilaine, and Marie-Monique Steckel.
Julia Peker, Rainer J. Hanshe, and Audrey Singer.
Gérard Depardieu and Annette Insdorf.
Delphine Selles-Alvarez, Adrienne Halpern, and Nicholas Elliot.
Cecilia Duprie, Renée Ketcham, and Mary Hardy.
Giosetta Capriati, Gregory Speck, and Marie-Monique Steckel.
On the road down to the sheltering palms ... Marianne and John K. Castle were the guests of honor at Jim Mitchell’s big Palm Beach dinner at Primola before everyone heads south for the winter season.

On hand for the merriment were Frances Scaife, Tom McCarter, Margo Langenberg, Virginia Burke, Bill Levy, Joan Chorney, the sister of the late Marvin Davis, who was leaving for Beverly Hills to attend a big family reunion; and Frayda and George Lindemann, who just returned to New York City after three months on their yacht in the Mediterranean. The Lindemanns recently sold their Palm Beach house and are building a beautiful new domicile on an island off Miami Beach.

Also at the party, Diana Feldman; party planner and floral designer extraordinaire Felix Perez, Bryan Huffman, Pia Lindstrom and her husband Jack Carley. The Carleys are off on a Yale University culture trip to Iran.  They’ve bought a place on the West Coast of Florida. Everyone raved about endive salad, pasta and veal scaloppini topped off with chocolate cake, lemon sorbet and lots of Italian red wine.
John K. Castle and Marianne Castle.
Pia Lindstrom, Margo Langenberg, Diana Feldman, and Frances Scaife.
Ginny Burke and Jim Mitchell. Jack Carley and John K. Castle.
Thomas McCarter and Frayda Lindemann.
Every day I and millions of others I'm sure receive requests for help, usually in the form of money. There have been so many tragic events in a very short period of time thanks to Mother Nature as well as come of her citizens. I don't have the funds to make a difference but I know that every little bit helps all kinds of situations, people, animals and the land. I got this invitation in the mail yesterday. Mexico. The earthquakes. Two. More death and destruction and people driven from their homes. I decided to share this message. Any amount all adds up to giving SOMETHING to help our fellow man.
Photographs by Maria Baranova (FIAF); Matthew Carasella (Primola)

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