Friday, June 29, 2018

Around the town

After the rain on Fifth Avenue. 7:45 PM. Photo: JH
Friday, June 29, 2018.  The weatherman has predicted that we are in for a hot and humid few days up to and around the Fourth of July which is in the middle of the coming week. It was in the high 80s midday yesterday with very high humidity, and a brief but very heavy rain shower in the late afternoon. They’re calling it “dangerous heat” for the next few days with Real Feel over a 100. The city should be very quiet for the next few days what with people taking their vacations mixed with the holiday travelers.

Cathy Graham and Alexis Clarke holding a copy of "Enemies in Love." Photo: Gina Fuentes Walker
Around the town. Last Wednesday night a week, Cathy Graham hosted a cocktail reception for Alexis Clark and her new book “Enemies in Love.” The “enemies” in the story are a couple who met during the Second World War when the man — Frederick Albert, a German Nazi soldier who was an American prisoner of war encamped outside Phoenix, Arizona — met the woman, Elinor Powell — a young woman from New England serving as an American US Army nurse in the prisoner of war camp.

Ms. Powell also happened to be a woman of color. “Happened to be” is putting it mildly for those times 75 years ago: black/white relationships were practically verboten with the “Jim Crow” attitudes prevailing. Most people today, even those who shout “racist” about others than themselves, have no idea what people of color had to deal with just to get by in the Jim Crow era. It was openly, deeply oppressive 24/7. As bad as it is today in these harried times, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought us out of Jim Crow and closer to real world of All as One.

However, Ms. Powell and Herr Albert had the natural fortitude and became a couple and eventually a family. The road to, and along the way, was predictably difficult, but you have to read Alexis’ book to find out what happened when “love conquers all.” (when it does naturally is in so many, if not all relationships, for the duration).

From the outside looking in, they were a courageous and admirable pair, for being willing to take the chance of going up against the Zeitgeist of those times. And it’s a compelling story on how they got there, because like any couple entering a marriage relationship, two different points of view do not always conjoin copacetically.

Click to order "Enemies in Love."
I’ve known the author for several years.  I first met her when she was an editor at Town & Country under Pamela Fiori.  She is one of the most beautiful editors that ever served on the magazine. She’s also a Texas girl and like so many of those New Yorkers from down deep in the heart of ... she exudes a quiet and gracious (and sophisticated) presence. She’s clearly a dynamic and ambitious young woman, also a graduate of Columbia Journalism, has a Master’s in Government from UVA, and a BA in Political Science from Spelman College, but in getting to know her you meet that kind and gentle disposition that is also her charisma.

Alexis began the project multiple grants from the Ford Foundation for her research on African-American nurses in World War II. She first wrote about the topic in 2013.

Some of the guests who came to Cathy Grahams for Alexis were: Susan Fales-Hill, Deborah Roberts, Boaty Boatwright, Tracey Jackson, Amy Fine Collins, Karen Phillips, Jacqueline Decter, Olivia Flatto, Charles Fagan, Elizabeth Peabody, Carlos Picon, Maurice and Andrea DuBois, Charles Atkins and Shirley Madhere.

Also that same Wednesday evening, the Royal Oak Foundation gathered designers, writers, and supporters of historic preservation, a kick off of the Royal Oak’s upcoming 45th Anniversary Celebration Dinner which will be held here in New York on October 18th.
Emily Eerdmans welcomed the Royal Oak’s Gala Host Committee with a glass of rosé in her chic Village gallery, Eerdmans Fine Art on 10th Street. Guests mingled around her topiary homage to Bunny Mellon.
Among those attending were Follies Co-chairs Caleb Anderson of Drake/Anderson, Emily Collins of the New York Design Center; Robbie Gordy of Christie’s; Philip Rieser and Nicki Clendening from Rizzoli; Art and design journalist Wendy MoonanJames Reginato, writer-at-large for Vanity FairAustin Mill of Architectural DigestMichael Diaz-GriffithWilliam RutledgeEileen McCombJonathan Tait; Lydia M. JohnsonJustin Kegley, and his wife Renee; Representing Royal Oak were Board members Betsy Barbanell and Tracey Dedrick; David Beal, Royal Oak Fellowships Chairman; and David Nathans, ; Greg Joye and Jennie McCahey.
Greg Joye, Caleb Anderson, Eileen McComb, and Emily Eerdmans
Austin Mill, Robbie Gordy, and James Reginato
Zac Rozen, Wendy Moonan, Rebecca Jones, and William Rutledge
Betsy Barbanell, Tracey Dedrick, Renee Kegley, and Justin Kegley
Phillip Reeser, Wendy Moonan, Tracey Dedrick, and Jennie McCahey
Michael Diaz-Griffith, David Nathans, James Reginato, and Greg Joye
anniewatt_70905-Betsy Barbanell, Tracey Dedrick, and David Nathans
David Nathans, Caleb Anderson, Eileen McComb, and Austin Mill
Bruce Shostak, Emily Collins, David Kelleher-Flight, Lydia Melamed Johnson, Erik George, Robbie Gordy, and Michael Diaz-Griffith
Meanwhile out in L. A. last Saturday night, Project Angel Food hosted their contemporary art auction at NeueHouse in Hollywood. The evening’s honorary chair China Chow and executive director Richard Ayoub kicked off the auction. Marianne Williamson, Project Angel Food’s founder,  ignited 350 guests to remember that in trying times like today, food is love and Project Angel Food leads the way in California in caring for and providing love to those in need.

David Hockney, Van Gogh Chair (Black), 1998, which sold for $22,000.
Hollywood Game Night’s Jane Lynch presented iconic artist and Project Angel Food volunteer Catherine Opie with the 2018 Angel Artist Award. In her acceptance, Opie recalled delivering Project Angel Food meals from its first kitchen in a West Hollywood church. “I and my friends delivered meals to the very sick and I remember their gratitude, the fight goes on.”

Among those attending were Charlie Sheen,  Julia Stambler, Sharon Lawrence, Stuart O’Keeffe and Thomas Dekker  as buyers generously bid. The works of Catherine Opie, Herb Ritts, Sage Vaughn, Alexandra Grant, Anthony Pearson, David Hockney and Ed Ruscha were the live auction highlights, helping raise $420,000 for the cause.

Since the very first year of Angel Art, internationally celebrated artists have created and presented works for auction with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Project Angel Food’s free meal delivery program. This year more than 60 works were auctioned off.

Angel Art, the preeminent contemporary art auction in Los Angeles has raised more than $10.9 million for Project Angel Food, helping to provide millions of meals for thousands of men, women and children facing life threatening illnesses.
Founder Marianne Williamson
Catherine Opie receiving Angel Artist Award from Jane Lynch
Executive Director Richard Ayoub and Jane Lynch
Charlie Sheen and girlfriend Julia Stambler
Auctioneer Gabriel Butu with Sharon Lawrence  Thomas Dekker
Carol Higgins Clark
China Chow and Alex Israel
Bob Cohen, Lauren Francis, and Board Member Tim Robinson
Meanwhile, back here in the East last Monday a week, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England, New York and Westchester Properties celebrated the launch of their exclusive partnership with NetJets. The event was held at the private NetJets hanger at Westchester County Airport.

This new alliance offers Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices agents and clients access to luxurious private aviation experiences and distinctive benefits, providing exceptional service, ultimate flexibility and the unmatched opportunity to explore global destinations.
Cocktails at the NetJets hanger at Westchester County Airport
You might remember JH and I had a lunch conversation a few months back with Ellie Johnson and Katharine Riggle of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New York Properties. It really captured how they do things differently, what makes them stand out, and how they are trying to change a sometimes-misunderstood industry in a positive way. In other words, if I were in the market to buy a house or an apartment, why would I go to them specifically.
Amy Curry, Ellie Johnson, and Iris Kalt
Beth O'Callaghan, Candace Adams, and Lee Prince
Brenda Maher, Iris Kalt, Dana Fead, and Maria Stevens
Candace Adams, Eric Bjork, Maria Stevens, and Jeanne Howell
Darcy Sledge and Michael Jalbert
Elayne Jassey
Gaynor Brennan, Debbie Brennan, and Charlie Lynch
Giselle Gibbs and Dominic Longcroft
Kathryn Redican, Candace Adams, David Lawrence, and Katharine Riggle
Margaret Grasso, Mark Nadler, Candace Adams, and Maria Stevens
Mark Nadler, Ellie Johnson, Candace Adams, and Eric Bjork
Mary Crist and Eric Bjork
Mike Decker and Erich Walsh
NetJets Team
Dena Zarra Dominic Longcroft and Peter Faucetta
Roberta Jurik, Julianne Ward, and Erich Walsh
Paula Waldman Peter Janis and Nancy Pantoliano
Tatiana Nikichina and Suzun Bennet
Veronica Meola and Lorenzo Signorile
Suzun Bennet, Dominic Longcroft, Tatiana Nikichina, Ellie Johnson, Katharine Riggle, Peter Faucetta, Agnes Goldberger, and Barbara Wye

Photographs by Annie Watt (Royal Oak)

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