Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Always the place

The scene outside The Paris Theater for the opening night screening of Always at the Carlyle. Photo: JH
Tuesday, May 15, 2018.  Sunny and warmer yesterday with temperatures in the low-70s and a pleasantly warm week forecast, after a weekend of off-and-on rain and temps in the 50s.
This was the roadway on Mother's Day on East End Avenue. It could have been last Tuesday or next Wednesday. And this is only one of the four trucks that deliver packages daily, seven days a week, morning, noon and even night, on this short block, This is what people used to buy in stores that are closing all across town and even across the country.
And this is a midnight look at the fabled Gracie Square on Saturday midnight just before more rain. Quiet as a church mouse. There are only four building entrances on this end of East 84th. I'll guess that many of its residents were away for the weekend. On the other side of the short street is the Carl Schurz Park.
And this is on the same corner on the other side of 84th and East End, again taken at the midnight hour, glowing in the mist lighted by the entrance to the building in front of it. It's the quick dog walk hour for me, and on days like Mother's Day, especially in the warmer weather, there's often nary a car on the road. To some New Yorkers, it's "almost out of town." To me it's heavenly, like the tulips before us.
More excerpts from the last few days. Last Tuesday night I went with JH and Joy Ingham down to The Paris Theater for the premiere screening of Always at the Carlyle, Matt Miele’s new documentary film about the hotel on Madison Avenue and 76th Street that has been a mecca for more than 70 years for the rich, the chic and the shameless, not to mention politicians, international envoys, movie stars and even writers. It was a residence that gave everyone class just from being there.

Our friend Blair Sabol lived there for a few years when her parents kept an apartment there as did many well-heeled out-of-towners. Even Joy Ingham lived there for a couple of years when her father divorced her stepmother Dorothy Hirshon.

To those of us who were coming of age in the 1960s, the Carlyle represented the upper-crust of cool. Before and during the Presidency of John F. Kennedy, he and many members of his family stayed there. It had a gilded quality that other hotels could not match.

It was often said that there was a tunnel which led from the hotel across the street to a restaurant where he was joined en privee with Marilyn Monroe. There’s a vague reference to that in the film because JFK was staying there the night they celebrated his birthday at Madison Square Garden where Monroe sang “Happy Birthday Mr President.” Marilyn was staying at the hotel that night. Just by chance, of course.

The possible tryst is referred to vaguely by our friend Joy who explains how she – then a sixteen year old – came to find out about it in the film. Joy also went to the Birthday Party along with her stepmother and another friend.
Justin Bare/Good Deed Entertainment and Quixotic Endeavors
The Paris Theater was a full house for this film, including many well known New Yorkers and movie stars who were interviewed in it including George Clooney who appears frequently throughout telling us about his adventure staying there. He was joined by a raft of stars and celebrities including Anthony Bourdain, Angelia Huston (who used to stay there with Jack – Jack Nicholson), Harrison Ford, who enjoyed the irony of having paid $1100 a night for a room with a peeling radiator. Sofia Coppola first stayed there with her father Francis Ford Coppola; Roger Federer, Mick Jagger, Naomi Campbell, Lenny Kravitz (who revealed that someday when he was “ready” he wanted to live there) and Elaine Stritch who lived there and gave her last performances there; as well as royals such as Prince William and Kate the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as William’s mother Diana the Princess of Wales.
Joy Ingham used to keep her car there because they even had a gas pump to keep everyone’s tank full. One afternoon having driven back from Long Island where she had a game of golf, she arrived in the garage just as Princess Diana was disembarking from her limousine on arrival to stay. The Plaza was her preferred hotel. Amazed to be suddenly face to face with Diana, much to her great surprise, she shot, “Well, you certainly look a helluva lot better than I do!” The Princess of Wales was very amused by this sudden encounter by the golf-besotted New Yorker.

Matt Miele’s documentary has all kind of encounters like these, and often from first hand. There are also the fascinating stories told by the staff on what they do, how it works, who was there, who they could not reveal stayed there, what they could not reveal happened there, as well as Jon Hamm who – after sitting for an interview in the hotel talking about its luxurious virtues – admitted that he’d never stayed there. Good for a laugh, that one; no doubt somehow he got comped as reward.
Always at the Carlyle is a complete almost encyclopedic tour of this legendary hostelry that encapsulates the glamour and reverie of New York at its ne plus ultra.  If you know the hotel already, you’ll be fascinated and amused and riveted just the same. If you don’t know the hotel already, you’ll be fascinated and amused and riveted. It’s that kind of movie. An UP!

Not surprisingly the audience on Tuesday night was rapt with attention. After the screening many of the guests moved up to the Carlyle for the after-screening party including many of the boldfaced names.
Scott Donley, Matthew Miele, Jennifer Cooke, Anjali Lyngdoh, Radha Arora, and Anthony McHale
Matthew Miele and Sara Gore Mac Edgerton and Monica Crow
Iris Apfel Lynn Wyatt
Dwight Owsley and Dawn Jones Geoffrey Zakarian Margaret Anne Williams
Helmut Huber and Susan Lucci Joy and Regis Philbin
Marilise Huyot Flusser and Suzanne Huyot Matthau Buster Poindexter and Mara Hennessey
Guerline Henry-Charles, Kim Riley, and Yvetta Chancy
Emilio Taveras Loston Harris
Alexa Ray Joel and Caitlin Monahan
Nina Agdal, Christie Brinkley, and Sailor Lee Brinkley-Cook Justin Bare and Veronica Beard
Frank DiLella, Judith Light, and Scott Campbell
Jill and Harry Kargman
Last Thursday night at another legendary establishment, El Museo del Barrio, the nation’s premiere Latino and Latin American cultural institution founded by the Puerto Rican community, celebrated its 25th Annual Gala at the Plaza, with nearly 400 attending. This is the museum’s most important fundraising event of the year.

Four individuals who have distinguished themselves in the fields of fashion, arts and cultural patronage were honored: artist Marta Minujín for Excellence in the Arts; fashion designer Esteban Cortazar for Excellence in Fashion; collector César Reyes, Outstanding Patron of the Arts; and music producer Maestro Julio Reyes Copello, as Cultural Pioneer.
The evening included a silent and live benefit auction, in partnership with Paddle8, featuring works of art selected by El Museo’s Executive Director Patrick Charpenel,and Trustee Clarice Oliveira Tavares and generously donated by the artists, including Francis Alÿs, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Carmen Herrera, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Liliana Porter. They raised more than $900,000 in support of El Museo’s ever-expanding Permanent Collection, acclaimed exhibitions, innovative programs, and renowned bilingual education initiatives.

Maria Eugenia Maury, Chair of the Board of Trustees, was the gala chairman. The Host Committee was: Eduardo Almirantearena, Deputy Consul General of Argentina, Fabiola Beracasa Beckman, Diego Gómez Pickering, Consul General of Mexico, Carla Fernandez, Marina Larroudé, María Isabel Nieto, Consul General of Colombia, Jorge Pardo, Isabel and Ruben Toledo. Curators and Fashion/Art/Design Luminaries attending included: Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, Andrew Bevan, Miguel Enamorado, Henrique Faria, James Lindon, Liliana Porter, Mari Carmen Ramirez, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Ricardo Seco, Thelma Golden, Jessica Morgan, Gabriela Rangel, Gabriel Perez Barreiro, Carla Stellweg, Ines Katzenstein, Alejandro Cesáreo, Danny Baez, Derrick Adams, and Haegue Yang.
Marta Minujin, Caterina Toscano, Patrick Charpenel- Maria Isabel Nieto, Tony Bechara, Monika McLennan, Diego Gomez Pickering, and Maria Eugenia Maury
The gala and Museo is supported by a partnership with 11th generation master tequila makers, Maestro Dobel Tequila. Maestro Dobel supports museum events throughout the rest of the year looking to foster new creative conversations around Mexican art and culture, and its influence on international trends.

After the evening’s program, guests celebrated with a spirited dance floor lead by Avenida B Salsa Dura Band, an 11-person salsa band based in New York City.
Cesar Reyes, Marta Minujin, Esteban Cortazar, and Maestro Julio Reyes Copello
Bertha Gonzalez and Yolanda Santos Dayssi Kanavos and Maria Eugenia Maury
Tony Bechara and Raphael Montanez Ortiz
Gabriel Rivera Barraza and Fabiola Beracasa Beckman Ileana de la Cruz and Maria de la Cruz
Jean Shafiroff
Margot Aisiks and Cecilia Picon

Photographs by Getty for Moet & Chandon & Getty for Always At The Carlyle

Contact DPC here.