Thursday, April 6, 2017

Privilege and luxury

An intimate moment in Central Park. 3:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, April 6, 2017. Partly sunny, slightly warmer (mid-60s) with more rain in the forecast (“April Showers bring May flowers”).
A magnolia blossom in Cental Park.
Across the Atlantic, in London, Italian Ambassador to London, Pasquale Terracciano and his wife Karen Lawrence hosted a glamorous party at the historic Grosvenor Square Italian Embassy in honor of Italian beauty/wellness entrepreneur Lucia Magnani, President of the famed Castrocaro Spa, who has just launched her Lucia Magnani Skincare line at Harvey Nichols, the famous Knightsbridge store.
The Italian Embassy Ballroom and Drawing Room
Lucia Magnani, Karen Lawrence, and Italian Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano
Lucia, in a white Ralph Lauren tuxedo, welcomed guests; Gruppo Villa Maria President (they own Castrocaro) Ettore Sansavinni, film star Luca Calvani, designer Marc Rosen, who created the beautiful packaging, Joan Collins and Percy Gibson, Sacha Newley, Seymour and Carolyn Druion, Massimo Leonardelli, Luca and Maria Vegetti,  Dr Carlo Ventura, and Donatella Flick.

A private dinner for forty guests was held afterwards at Mayfair’s chic Beaumont Hotel.
Ettore Sansavini, Pres. Gruppo Villa Maria, Lucia Magnani, and Marc Rosen
Mariana Guerra and Luca Calvani
Mariana Tokareva and Luca Vegetti Roberta Farinola and Dr. Nicola Castaldini
Felipe Sena and Marc Rosen
Isabella Mazzitelli, Giorgio Martelli, and Bruna Rosi
Lucia Magnani, Marc Rosen, and Joan Collins
Marc Rosen and Lucia Magnani next to the Lucia Magnani display.
The party in full swing
Dinner party at Beaumont Hotel
A busy Tuesday on the social calendar, and mainly literary. The Board of  Directors of God’s Love We Deliver  hosted its 14th annual Authors in Kind  luncheon at the Metropolitan Club, with author and former Asst. D.A. Linda Fairstein as emcee. The honored guests were authors David France (“How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science tamed AIDS”); Daphne Oz (“The Happy Cook: 125 Recipes for Eating Everyday Like It’s the Weekend”); and Jacqueline Woodson (“Another Brooklyn”).

Linda, whose best-selling “Killer Look” is her 18th book in her series featuring the crime-solving Manhattan prosecutor, Alexandra Cooper, will be coming out with her 19th (!) in the series in July.
Cocktails in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Club
God’s Love is dedicated to cooking and delivering the specific, nutritious meals that a client’s severe illness and treatment so urgently require, without charge, without fail, without pretense, and most importantly, with love.

God’s Love cooks 6200 of these meals each weekday and delivers them throughout the five boroughs of New York City, as well as in Westchester and Nassau Counties, as well as Hudson and Newark Counties in New Jersey.
Jacqueline Woodson, Daphne Oz, David France, and Linda Fairstein
Michael Sennott and Linda Fairstein
I started out the evening at a book signing party hosted by Louise Grunwald for her friend Sally Bedell Smith and her latest biography “Prince Charles; The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life.”  Born as the heir to the throne of England, son of Queen Elizabeth II and Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Charles, the Prince of Wales, will be 70 in November 2018, and has spent his entire life in anticipation of his succession. His “waiting” has been historically the longest in British history, exceeding the record “wait” of his great-great-grandfather Edward VII who succeeded his mother Queen Victoria’s sixty-four year reign, in 1901. Charles’ mother as of this year, has broken that record this year, her 65th year of reign.
Sally Bedell Smith holding a copy of her new book "Prince Charles." Click to order. Sally and her hostess Louise Grunwald.
To the public, the Prince has lived in the lap of privilege and luxury from birth. However, his purpose, his life, his “career” if you could call it that, has been naturally challenged by his mother’s longevity. The biographer’s story of this “heir to the throne” provides in fascinating detail how he has dealt with, made the most of, The Wait. Reading the story (I’m a third of the way through), one can’t help imagining what life might have been like for this remarkable man if his life path had not been encumbered by his legally historical obligation.
A closeup of the Chrysler Building tower on Tuesday night at 7:30 pm.
Leaving the book party, I made my way down to Cipriani 42nd Street where The Paris Review  was hosting its annual Spring Revel. This annual fundraiser for the quarterly English language literary magazine which was founded in Paris sixty-four years ago (1953) by Harold Humes, Peter Mattiessen and George Plimpton, who served as its editor from the beginning until his death fifty years later in 2003.
Cocktail hour before the Paris Review Revel at Cipriani 42nd Street. 7:50 pm.
It had a ground-breaking beginning, literarily, in its first five years publishing Jack Kerouac, Philip Larkin, V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, Terry Southern, Adrienne Rich, Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett, Nadine Gordimer, Jean Genet, Robert Bly. Its remarkable “Writers At Work” series included interviews with hundreds of writers including  T.S. Eliot, Pablo Neruda, William Carlos Williams, William Faulkner, Thornton Wilder, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Ralph Ellison, Vladimir Nabakov. The very first interview was with E.M.Forster who was an acquaintance of George Plimpton from his days at King’s College, Cambridge.

Twenty years after its founding, the quarterly magazine moved to New York where it set up in the first-floor and basement rooms of George Plimpton’s apartment on East 72nd Street and the East River.
Typewriters loaded with flowers were the centerpiece of each table.
With several hundred in attendance Tuesday night, they honored poet Richard Howard who first began publishing poems in the Paris Review in 1956 and served as poetry editor from 1992 to 2005. As translator, Mr. Howard introduced contemporary French writers — including Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault — to American readers. Last night Mr. Howard received the Hadada Award, which is presented to a distinguished member of the writing community who has made a strong and unique contribution to literature. Among those who’ve received the award are Joan Didion, Philip Roth, William Styron, Norman Mailer, Paula Fox, Robert Silvers.

The Plimpton Prize for Fiction, which comes with $10,000 and given to a new voice published by the Paris Review was awarded to Alexia Arthurs, a Jamaican-born New Yorker now living in Iowa City. Her story “Bad Behavior” appeared in the Summer 2016 issue.
Diana Taylor, who was the Chairman of the evening.
The Terry Southern Prize for Humor recognizing “wit, panache, and sprezzaturea”was awarded to Vanessa Davis, author of “Spaniel Rage” and “Make me a Woman. Her eight-part column “Summer Hours” and “Autumn Hours” was published in the Paris Review Daily. The award comes with a $5000 grant.

The evening was chaired by Diana Taylor. Among the many  writers hosting tables were Toni Bentley, Michael Cunningham, Nick Laird, Kristin Dombek, Walter Mosley, Katie Roiphe, Zadie Smith, Norman Rush, Gay Talese. Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review, welcomed the guests and made closing remarks.

This is one of the rare evenings where the guests listen to the speakers and are otherwise engaged in a camaraderie at the dinner tables that makes it memorably pleasant for everyone.
The distinguished Richard Howard, poet who received the Hadada Award for his work and former poetry editor of The Paris Review.
Loren Stein, Editor of the Paris Review, summing up the great evening before the close.
Also Tuesday night. Ward Landrigan and Nico Landrigan of Verdura held a kick-off party  in their Fifth Avenue gallery for the annual upcoming HCPF Benefit Weekend (September 29 – October 1, 2017) at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.

The Castle, which was built between 1919 and 1947 by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and architect Julia Morgan, was donated to the state of California in 1957, making the estate available to the public, as Hearst himself had intended.
Beth Rudin DeWoody, Ward Landrigan, and Liliana Cavendish
In attendance were Hearst’s granddaughters Patricia Hearst Shaw and Anne Hearst McInerney, with her husband Jay McInerney. Among those attending were Brooke Shields, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Liliana Cavendish, George Farias, Jeanne Lawrence, Barbie Bancroft, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Jay and Tracy Snyder, Alex Papachristidis, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Sharon Handler Loeb and Cathy Graham. Also enjoying the champagne were Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, editor Gary Fisketjon, Caroline Dean, George Spogli, Jamie MacGuire and Michelle Coppedge, Chris Meigher, Laura and Harry Slatkin, Marcia and Richard Mishaan, Bettina Zilkha, and Debbie Bancroft.
Candace Bushnell, Jay McInerney, Anne Hearst McInerney, and George Farias
The primary mission of the HCPF is to help preserve and restore Hearst Castle’s 25,000 artifacts. Rich with history and cultural significance, the Castle is home to the vast collections of the legendary magazine and newspaper  publisher including French and Italian furniture, Renaissance tapestries, Persian carpets, Roman mosaics, carved ceilings, and marble and stone sculptures. Over the years, it has become one of the largest sources of revenue for the entire state park system.
Gary Fisketjon and Cathy Graham
Patricia Hearst Shaw, Brooke Shields, and Anne Hearst McInerney
Stellene Volandes, Debbie Bancroft, Alison Mazzola, and Caroline Dean
Ward and Kim Landrigan with Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia

Contact DPC here.