Friday, September 28, 2018

Common culture of life

Paley Park. 9:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Friday, September 28, 2018. Rain, rain and more rain, but the weatherman says it’ll be a dry, mild weekend in New York.

This hasn’t been an especially “busy” month, as September usually isn’t in New York. It’s the transition from one season to another month. Last night at Doubles, Chris Meigher of Quest magazine and I hosted a cocktail reception that has become an annual back-from-summer gathering. Just a plain old cocktail party with a wide variety of New Yorkers (of all ages), the kind where the women dressed up a bit for the occasion, great hors d’oeuvres from Wendy Carduner’s incredible kitchen staff, and people just enjoy the company. It was crowded. That’s the best kind of these parties because everyone feels like they’re a part of it even if they don’t know everybody. 

Blaine and Robert Caravaggi.
We’re going run photos of the evening on Monday but in the meantime, I had to include this one of Robert and Blaine Caravaggi, just so the neighborhood could see their familiar faces. For years Robert and chef Steven Attoe were partners in Swifty’s on Lexington and 73rd Street, across from J. McLaughlin’s store. It was written about here all the time because the tout New York dined there night after night. They closed after a 15-year run a couple of years ago and people have been missing them ever since.

There have been some remarkable and enjoyable times/events on the calendar. This past week’s musical evenings – the American Theatre Wing gala honoring Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, and John and Jenny Paulson’s evening with Lang Lang performing for their 50+ guests. Concert was followed by dinner for the guests in the dining room of the residence which a century ago was a mecca for New York Society, presided over by the then social arbiter-at-large, Elsie Woodward.

The two events were on the same night. I attended the Webber gala and Jeff and his wife were guests at the Paulsons. Both conveyed the magic of the City’s charisma. It’s far from the day-to-day of many of us, but it’s existence, its out there-nessis what draws the creative minds to the world of New York -- from which possibly beautiful things come to all of us. I know this sounds highly idealistic thought but it’s the truth. New York’s full of that, like the tribulations of any large, dynamic family moving on in life.

Otherwise, to get back to my point: there’s still a lot of always-somethin’ going on all over the town.

For example, this past Wednesday at the Asia Society,  there was a new book launch and interview for Alexandra de Borchgrave and her “Love & Wisdom: 37 Timeless Reflections.” 
Alexandra de Borchgrave signing copies of “Love & Wisdom: 37 Timeless Reflections.”
The reception was hosted by Josette Sheeran and Lulu and Anthony Wang President and CEO of Asia Society. There was an intimate conversation and tea where the author was interviewed by President Sheeran.

Click to order.
The book contains timeless reflections that have survived through space and time, offering inspiration. David Ignatius of the Washington Post wrote:

"These beautiful words and images gathered by Alexandra de Borchgrave are a reminder of what is precious and eternal in our common culture of life."

The uplifting, inspirational quotes, that are as relevant today as they were centuries ago, are framed by an extraordinary combination of exquisite sixteenth century art from the Smithsonian Institution's Freer|Sackler Gallery, and stunning contemporary images of the heavens, many from National Geographic Creative.”

Then on Tuesday, Ruth Shuman hosted a reception for the Landmarks Conservancy and the 2018 Living Landmarks who will be hosted and toasted and awarded  at its annual gala, November 2 at the Plaza. They are: Stephen Lash, Lynden Miller, Liz and Jeff Peek, Thomas Sculco MD, our hostess that night, Ruth Shuman, Michael Sovern, Peter Stangl and ... the now legendary still vamping til’ ready, Miss Chita Rivera!!

Readers may recall that I was honored with the title last year at the benefit for the Landmarks Conservancy – whose galas I’ve covered for several years. It’s a lovely evening that again is “New York, New York” in a black tie. The guests learn more about the life that makes up the city, and the Landmarks being the archive of its culture. 
A reception at Ruth Shuman's for the Landmarks Conservancy and the 2018 Living Landmarks.
It was also one of Liz Smith’s favorite philanthropies and for years she hosted it with Peter Duchin (like Liz, a Living Landmark) on the Steinway. This year, they’ve asked me to serve as host. I’m not letting it make me nervous right now. Liz presided and loved singing a song to go with the show – some Broadway standard (she wasn’t a singer which was her charm). I love to sing – at home with no one else around but the dogs. But not for an audience!

Then there was the opening for the first edition of Le Salon Art and Design hosted by the Russian State Library and Art Courier Russia. The organizers Valentina Vassileva, Benoit Sapiro and Alexander Zaretskiy selected the most prestigious art and design galleries to exhibit their impressive collections at the unique space of Ivanovsky Hall. The exhibition opened on September 25th and runs through September 30th. Helmut Koller, the world renowned "peintre animalier," created the buzz at the opening with his new works drawing a crowd to his Siberian tiger and the five zebras in red presented by Franck Laverdin.
Valentina Vassileva and Franck Laverdin
Among the guests: Natalia Samoylenko, Sonya Bekkerman, Marc Ivasilevitch, Anastasia Kokoulina, Tatiana Grabovitch, Ilgyz Fazulzyanov, Pavel Rudanovsky, Dina Nasirova, Julia Kyshtymova, Alexey Ananyev, Anabell Sand, Johanna Mayer, Liudmila Glukhova, Elena Rudovskaya, Graf Henri de Monspey, and Alexei Volobaev.
Ivan Ananyev, Daria Ananieva, and Alexey Ananiev
Maria Zaslavets
Alexey Cherny and Ksenia K.
Irina Bezrukova, Natalia Antipova, and Andry Antipov
Margarita Goita and Simon Mraz Benoit Sapiro, and Anatol Bekkerman
Anna Peskova and Dmitry Pristanskov
Anna Akimova and Anastasia Kozak
Alexander Zaretskiy, Julia Kyshtymova, Franck Laverdin, and Lidia Zaretskaya
Tatiana Voyonova and Alexey Voynov Inna Bazhenova and Pavel Rudanovsky
Sixtine Crutchfield-Tripet, Frederic De Weck, Irita Vaganova, and Evgenia Logvinenko
Lusine Petrosyan and Mikhail Opengeym
Franck Laverdin and Tatiana Makeeva Andrey Vorontsov and Natalia Vorontsova
David Joseph
Valentina Vassileva, Sophie Jacquemoud, and Alexander Zaretskiy
Alena and Boris Grif Nikolsky Igor and Andrey Marudenko
Olga Ismailova, Ekaterina Dolgova, and Anna Savitskaya
Lucas Ratton
Yelena Moldovskiy and Vera Tarlykova Nikolay Egorov and Svetlana Egorova
Hom Le Xuan
And mid-month, Leonard Lauder and Rosemary Bravo hosted a tea in the Estee Lauder Headquarter Salon to celebrate the launch of Annette Green’s new book Spritzing to Success With the Woman Who Brought an Industry to Its Senses. The inspirational love story that eventually changed the fortunes of the American fragrance industry.  

Recognized as one of America's leading fragrance authorities and futurists, Ms. Green was Executive Director and President of the Fragrance Foundation, a non-profit, educational organization, for 40 years. In 1991 she was elected Secretary of the Board of Directors on which she has served since 1984. Her new memoir, Spritzing to Success With the Woman Who Brought an Industry to Its Senses, focuses on the concepts she instituted to help drive the small six-figure industry to its current multi-billion dollar stature. Incidentally, all net proceeds from book sales will go to support scholarships at FIT and FIDM/LA.
Rose Marie Bravo, Annette Green, and Leonard Lauder
Jane Hudis Hertzmark, John Demsey, Annette Green, and Rose Marie Bravo
Felicie Balay and Carmen Dell'Orefice
That same night, J. McLaughlin, “the classic American clothing and accessories brand for women and men,” hosted an event at its Lexington Avenue store in partnership with Project ALS to celebrate the latest collection and toast to the new season.

A crowd sipped wine, enjoyed chips and dip from William Poll (the best, take my word!), listened to tunes by DJ Kinue, and shopped. Debbie Wilpon and Marcie Fleck of Project ALS hosted the evening. 15% of sales during the event were donated to the organization, devoted to funding and finding a cure for ALS.

Established in 1998, Project ALS identifies and funds scientific research that will lead to the first effective treatments and a cure for ALS. The organization recruits the world’s most specialized scientists and doctors to work together and obtain a better understanding of ALS, including the disease process and treatment options.
Debbie Wilpon, Mary Ellen Coyne, Marcie Fleck, and Glynis Karp
Barbara and Kevin McLaughlin with Grace and Chris Meigher
Amy Rosenblum, Mary Ellen Coyne, and Drew Auer
Tyler Boston, Jack Lynch, and Kathleen Mizii Susan Thomson and Ellen Grayson
DJ Kinue
Mary Ellen Coyne and Webb Egerton Melanie Seymour Holland, Melissa Wolmoth, and Kathy Prounis
Marcie Fleck, Leann Waldron, Susan Thomson, Maria Pargac, and Debbie Wilpon
Jenna Everhart and Josh Bell Claudia Lebenthal and Byron Hero
Mary Ellen Coyne, Beth Bauer, Glynis Karp, and Marcie Fleck
Glynis Karp, Debbie Wilpon, and Mary Ellen Coyne Julia Perit and Jack Lynch
Mereith Estess, Valerie Estess, Debbie Wilpon, Barbara McLaughlin, and Glynis Karp
Kathy Prounis, Barbara McLaughlin, Webb Egerton, and Martha Glass Lauri Weitz
Pamela Taylor Yates, Jack Lynch, Kathy Prounis, and Greg McCarthy

Photos: Annie Watt (Le Salon); Patrick McMullan (J. McLaughlni)

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