Thursday, September 14, 2017

The message is respite

Subway scenery. 1:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, September 14, 2017. Yet another beautiful late Summer day, yesterday in New York with temperatures in the high 70s and some humidity but not distracting and uncomfortable. I went over to the Metropolitan Museum to lunch with Michael Thomas in the members' restaurant on the top floor overlooking the Park and the Central Park West. This is a beautiful restaurant – light and airy and spacious with the north wall of glass overlooking Cleopatra's Needle and the treetops beyond. The message is respite. It's quiet, yet busy, with a great menu and excellent service. There's a sense of solace about it. Even the walk inside the museum to the elevator is uplifting, passing through just a few of the fabulous collections.

After the lunch, it was impossible not to slowly make my way out of the museum. There is so much to see, so much to look at, so much wonder. As I do every time I visit the Met, I was chastising myself for not going more often — only a mile and a half down the same 83rd Street from my apartment.
The view east on 82nd Street at Fifth Avenue taken from the top of the steps of the Metropolitan Museum. The mansion on the right is the Benjamin Duke House, built between 1899 and 1901.
Exiting the Met from the top of the steps I took a picture of the Benjamin Duke House on the corner of East 82nd Street. The mansion was built between 1899 and 1901 as a spec house for one family – eight stories high and 20,000 square feet. It was designed in the Beaux-Arts style. The interior was French Renaissance, and it was decorated mainly with Louis XV style furniture.

Duke's brother James B. Duke, father of Doris Duke, bought the house six years later in 1907 and lived there until his own mansion at 1 East 78 Street was ready for occupancy in 1912. After James moved out, Angier Buchanan Duke, son of Benjamin, moved in until 1919 when his sister Mary Duke married A. J. Biddle Duke Jr. and they moved in. Later their daughter Mary took occupancy.
This photo dates from around 1916 and includes Benjamin Duke standing behind the bouquet on the table. It was taken at the house next door to Mr. Duke’s mansion at 2 East 82nd Street. The folks over at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University think this scene is of a birthday party for Mr. Duke’s grandson (and future U.S. ambassador), Angier Biddle Duke.
Different members of the Duke family owned the house until 2006 when it was sold for $40 million to Tamir Sapir who sold it four years later to Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire. Slim paid $44 million. Five years later he put it on the market for $80 million. Both Duke houses are New York City Landmarks, thankfully, and will remain standing with their original exteriors.

Walking home, I had to stop and get a shot of the Park Avenue islands with the flowerbeds dazzling red in the Sun. That inspired continuing my record of the flowers along East 83rd Street.
A bower of flowers on Park Avenue.
A tree grows on East 83rd Street Just a few doors down from there.
East End Avenue at 83rd Street, looking north at that rainclouds that passed by after a moment's spritz.
Meanwhile, across the sea, on Tuesday, Prince Amyn Aga Khan celebrated his 80th birthday at a great party with an outstanding cake, as you can see. Amyn, as he is known to his friends across the world, is the younger brother (by a year) of the Aga Khan IV, and the half-brother our Princess Yasmin Aga Khan (Yazzie to all her friends), the daughter of Rita Hayworth and Aly Khan, father of the brothers. To learn more about this interesting man, highly liked and respected by many, we wrote a longer piece on him ten years ago on his 70th birthday.
Prince Amyn Aga Khan taking in the wonder of his 80th birthday cake at a party in his honor at his brother the Aga Khan's Chateau of Aiglemont, near the Chateau of Chantilly. 600 guests attended the festivities.
Among those attending the Prince's birthday dinner were the Aga Khan, Princess Zahrea Aga Khan, as well as a number of Americans including Lynn Wyatt, Judy Auchincloss, Alexis Gregory, Steve Berkowtiz, Carolyne Roehm and Simon Pinniger, Christopher Walling, Renata Adler, Kip Forbes, Ashton Hawkins, Carole Thibaut-Pomerantz, John Scharefenberger, Ira von Furstenberg, Micky Wolfson, Yanna Avis, Edward Cabot, Brad Geist and Catherine Warren, Maria Snyder, Princess Maria Pia de Savoie, as well a wide contingent from the Continent and the UK including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Princess Marina of Greece, Alexandra de Borchgrave, Countess Christina Pucci (widow of Emilio), Francoise Gallimard, Philippe Mendes, Mme. Hubert Guerrand Hermes, Emmanuel Ducamp, Michael York, Infanta Pilar of Spain, Baroness Helene de Ludinghausen, Princess Jeane-Marie de Breuil.
Something’s Coming. 60 years ago this month West Side Story opened at the Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 1957. on Broadway to become one of the best-loved musicals of all time. To celebrate this historic event, Dancers Over 40 will assemble a spectacular “once-in-a-lifetime” panel of original cast members nearly to the day of their 1957 debut on Wednesday, September 27th at St. Luke's Theater on 308 West 46th Street at 8 p.m.

The 60th Anniversary and Reunion Eventwill be hosted by Matt Rodin and also feature live performances by Drama Desk winner Jay Armstrong Johnson (On the Town, Sweeney Todd, PBS) as well as surprise guests, plus video and plenty of photos on display. Special music arrangements are by Ross Baum with music direction by Curtis Reynolds.

Eleven of the original actor-singer-dancers of West Side Story will share their stories and what it was like to work with Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins and Peter Gennaro, particularly in the days leading up to opening night.

Taking the stage will be Martin Charnin (Big Deal), who will moderate the panel, Grover Dale (Snowboy), Marilyn D’Honau (Clarice), Carol Lawrence (Maria), Ronnie Lee (Nibbles), George Marcy (Pepe/Bernardo), Liane Plane (Marguerita), Tony Mordente (A-Rab), Chita Rivera (Anita), Jaime Sanchez (Chino) and David Winters (Baby John).

Producing partners with Dancers Over Forty are Broadway and film producer, former dancer and Tony Award winner Dennis Grimaldi (On the Town, A Gentleman’s Guide, Angels in America, Other People’s Money) and Award-winning producer and actor Joey Dedio (Tio Papi, Musical Chairs, Downtown). Grimaldi and Dedio are currently working on a documentary on the making of West Side story with the 21 remaining original cast members and creators. Emmy and Tony Award-winner and original cast member Martin Charnin directing.

Dancers Over 40 was created in 1994 as a not-for-profit organization to provide a community of support in response to the needs of mature dancers, choreographers and related artists. Carol Lawrence and Chita Rivera have been long-time Advisory Board members.
Bernstein rehearses with members of the cast for West Side Story. Lyricist Stephen Sondheim is at the piano and Carol Lawrence (Maria) stands at Bernstein's left. Rehearsal Photographs, 1957 Friedman-Abeles, photographer. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (25) Made available online with permission of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Their goals include seeking educational opportunities, presenting seminar and panel discussions and social events geared to topics relevant to mature dancers, whose present-day concerns are focused on their ability to continue to live and work in a creative environment, and continue that legacy to the younger generation about to begin their journey.
Crowds gathered outside the Erlanger Theatre in Philadelphia to see West Side Story, during its two week out-of-town tryout before it opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957. The production ran for over 740 performances on Broadway before going on tour, then returned to Broadway in April of 1960 for an additional 249 performances. Leonard Bernstein Collection, Music Division, Library of Congresss
Tickets for this special celebration are on sale now, offered at $25 for members of Dancers Over 40 with discount code and $45 for non-members ($65 for premium seats). For non-member reservations, call Telecharge at 212-239-6200 or visit DO40 members can call 212-947-8844 or go to with their discount code.

Tickets may also be purchased at the St. Luke’s Box Office from 2 – 6pm daily, at 308 West 46th Street. For more information on DO40 and this event, call the Hotline at 212-330-7016.
This past Sunday at the Nassau County Museum there was an event and exhibition to celebrate Glamour Icons, a retrospective of fragrance designs by Marc Rosen, recognizing cosmetic packaging as an art form. The Champagne and High Tea party was hosted by Juliana Terian, President of Rallye Automotive Group, and the Museum's Board of Trustees. 

Highlights of the exhibition included Marc’s designs for Elizabeth Arden, Karl Lagerfeld, Chloe, Burberry, Perry Ellis. Jill Stuart, Elizabeth Arden, Ellen Tracy, Nina Ricci, Lucia Magnani, P&G Beaute, Joan Rivers, and Christiana Aguilera.
The Nassau County Museum facade. In 1919, Henry Clay Frick purchased the property for his son, Childs Frick. The architect Sir Charles Carrick Allom was commissioned to redesign the facade and much of the interior of the home which the Fricks named Clayton. The younger Frick and his wife Frances lived at Clayton for almost 50 years. Following Childs Frick's death in 1965, the estate was purchased by Nassau County which then converted it to a museum, now the Nassau County Museum of Art.
Gallery view of Glamour Icons.
There is also the extraordinary, multi-faceted glass orb bottle he designed for the perfume of his wife, film star Arlene Dahl. The exhibition also presents two of the porcelain collections he created for Elizabeth Arden Christmas at the beginning of his career. These were based upon his collaborations with the Royal Pavilion at Brighton and the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, two of the world’s most elaborate monuments to ornament.

Along with a rich trove of photos, memorabilia and personal items from his collection, the exhibition includes a selection of vintage perfume bottles that have inspired him on loan from the collection of Ken Leach.
Vintage Perfume Bottles.
"Dahlia" Parfum for Arlene Dahl.
"Fendi Uomo."
"Lucia Magnani" Skincare.
"IL BACIO" Borghese.
"KL" by Karl Lagerfeld.
Elizabeth Arden "Red Rood."
Fifi Awards, Oscars of the Cosmetic Industry.
A capstone to Rosen's career, the exhibition is slated to travel to other museums around the country. Among the guests attending were; Arlene Dahl and Marc Rosen, Arlene’s daughter and son-in-law Carole and Philippe Delouvrier, Juliana Terian, Charles Riley, the Museum’s Director, Peter Bacanovic, Yanna Avis, Mark and June Ackermann, Ruth Woolard, Catherine Adler and Alan Grubman, Nancy Tsai, Lucia Magnani, Massimo Leonardelli, Annette Green, Robert Zimmerman, Eric Vanin (sponsor), Boris Zilkovic (sponsor), Mitchell Kaneff (sponsor), Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Sydney Weinberg, Scott Corzine and Anna Bergman, Susan Beer and Henry Bismuth, Shannon Donnally, Susan Lloyd, Theo Spilka.

The Tea was sponsored by Rallye Automotive Group, the exhibition by Arkay Packaging, Pochet du Courval and Qualipac.
High Tea at the Nassau County Museum.
Tea sandwiches and scones.
The exhibition runs through November 2nd. The Nassau County Museum of Art is a Beaux Arts mansion in in Roslyn Harbor. It was originally built as a private house by Henry Clay Frick for his son Childs Frick who lived there for the first half century, after which it became the beautiful museum that it is today. It is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:45 p.m. For information on programs and exhibitions at the Museum, please visit or call (516) 484-9338.
Juliana Terian, Tom Suozzi, Marc Rosen, Charles Riley, and Helene Suozzi.
Tom and Helene Suozzi. Terence Mack.
Carole Christine Holmes, Coco Han, Keming Riley, and Arlene Dahl.
Celine Schira and Boris Zivkovic. Lucia Magnani, Marc Rosen, and Arlene Dahl.
Mario Rinaldi, Nazareth Rinaldi, Ian Jarvis.

Contact DPC here.