Monday, October 22, 2018

Long story short

A cool autumn day in Central Park. 12:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, October 22, 2018. Sunday was a beautiful sunny day in New York. Chilly and windy too, with temps reaching up to 48. My terrace garden has gone away until next year.
This year's garden put in commission in June, Removed October 13th, leaving me with the avenue for my "garden" of New York humanity.
Long story short. We ran a photo yesterday on our Instagram taken in 1988 at the Met Ball of Elaine Kaufman and a forty-ish Donald Trump taken by Mary Hilliard.  The photo reminded me of  series we ran almost nine years ago of me in conversation with Elaine at Elaine’s one night almost nine years ago.
The insta post.
It so happened that Paige Peterson was taking photos of the place while we were gabbing. It looks like me “tellin’ her..” and then Elaine “tellin’…” me. Elaine was definitely a person who knew what she thought about anybody. She could be one tough customer, even with her customers. But she loved her business, and she had an almost religious respect for writers, all writers. You couldn’t not like that, at least if you are a writer.

I looked the moment up in our archive: it was nine years ago in January. The photos made me laugh because they look like an intense conversation is going on between us, and I  have no recollection of what that conversation was or might have been. Now I’m only reminded of the great feeling of camaraderie that often filled her place, with Elaine at the center of it all; a force to be reckoned with. She died the following December 3rd. Here is that part of the Diary that day:

January 18, 2010. Martin Luther King Day. Fair weather for mid-January in New York. The rains came to the Northeast on Sunday and New York got its share.
Friday Night I went to Elaine’s with Paige Peterson. This wasn’t a special occasion although I tend to think of a trip to Elaine’s as that. I’ve been going to Elaine’s longer than a lot of us have been on the planet. Elaine, however, is ageless and so is Elaine’s. What it is is pure Noo Yawk. Literary New York too, I might add. I doubt there’s anyone of that tribe who still doesn’t find it a bit of a thrill being there, at some time, and with the lady presiding.

It’s like that. The room is a monument to literary and creative New York. It is also a club. It is also a neighborhood pub. It is also the domain of its chatelaine, and it’s chatelaine is from Brooklyn, boys. It’s one of the only watering holes I’ve ever known where there’s always business. And a lotta talk.
The guy with his back turned away, looking towards the bar is Tony Danza.
On this night Elaine came over to sit with us. There’s always a lot to talk about with her because she loves New York and she knows it, and she knows the players. And then some.

While we were talking Paige went off with the digital, which I always think is a good idea. The result: if you’ve never been to Elaine’s, this is what it looks like and what it feels like. 

I love talking to Elaine because she’s part of New York history at the center of nighttime New York for ... a very long time. She’s knows. I talk. As you can see from Paige’s pictures. And talk and talk.
Elaine and me having a serious conversation about whatever.
I tell her what I don't like. She hers me, but ...
When I get into it, she's got her own thoughts about it ...
And now she's letting me know about it, while I defend ... A good night was had by all, always at Elaine's.
That was then, this is now. Among the events reported here last week was the dinner Katherine Bryan gave for her friend Carolyne Roehm and her new book at a private club here in town. Before that dinner Susan Gutfreund, another of Carolyne’s good friends, hosted a cocktail reception for her and the new book at her very grand and welcoming apartment overlooking Central Park.

Click to order.
I didn’t make the party but Sharon Hoge was there, being another old friend of Carolyne’s, and she wrote the following about it:

After a dozen luscious books on fashion,
gardening, entertaining, and decorating, Carolyne Roehm has drawn together her influences and style in an elegant new memoir “Design and Style: A Constant Thread.”

Friends and colleagues assembled Wednesday night at the home of Susan Gutfreund to launch the volume which traces themes Roehm has embraced since childhood — flowers, polka dots, black and white stripes, red-white-and-blue. Enhancing the photographs is lively, thoughtful text which follows her career  from a mid-Western upbringing, through her work with Oscar de la Renta, her influential fashion line, her homes and chic entertaining.  

Among those congratulating the author were Sylvie Becquet, Katherine Bryan, Pietro Cicognani, Cece Cord, Robert Couturier, Kendell Cronstrom,  Pamela Fiori, James and Toni Goodale, Sharon Hoge, Paige Lee Hufty, Jesse Kornbluth, Jonathan Marder, Elizabeth Mavroleon, Keith Langham, Memrie Lewis, Simon Pinnegar, David Roselle, Frances Schultz.  Also present were Lisa Schiek and Peter Speliopoulos who had worked on Roehm’s fashion line, and her goddaughter from Paris Volga Wolkoff.
Carolyne Roehm signing her book.
Carolyne Roehm and Cece Cord.
Volga Wolkoff and Robert Couturier.
Volga Wolkoff, James Goodale, and Randy Jones.
Guests seated beside a classic Roehm floral arrangement.
Also early last  week, while I was at the Park Avenue Armory Gala, the Casita Maria 2018 gala was taking place. The ubiquitous Sharon Hoge was also there, and this is what she saw:

Billed as a "Fiesta," Casita Maria’s yearly gala is always a lively party and on Tuesday night over 350 guests in colorful finery and sparkles gathered at the Plaza. Assembling on the Terrace for champagne and cocktails, everyone sampled the mini lobster rolls and Beef Wellington bites before ascending to the Grand Ballroom where they were welcomed by the evening’s host Cuban actress Sissi Fleitas who introduced Executive Director Haydee Morales.
350 guests in colorful finery and sparkles gathered at the Plaza. 
Cheers greeted Board of Directors Chair Jacqueline Weld Drake, a supporter for over 30 years, as she took the podium to thank her dinner co-chairmen HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and Carlos Moto and honorary chairs Elizabeth Peabody, Christine Schwarzman, and Lynn Wyatt.  Three honorees, luxury retailer and developer Daisy Olarte de Kanavos, writer and philanthropist Mary Snow, and photographer and Valentino Worldwide Ambassador Carlos Souza accepted Gold Medals of Honor citing their contributions to arts, education, and philanthropy.

Clustered around the dance floor, colorful tables were done up in vivid “ole” orange décor which could have been an unintended tribute to the late Mario Buatta, who had died the night before. Mario had been a longtime supporter, perennially hosting and emceeing the event which he teasingly referred to as “Casita Mario.”
Mary Snow, Jackie Weld Drake, Carlos Souza, and Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos
After dining on smoked salmon polka dot carpaccio and grilled filet mignon, guests were serenaded by American-Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto before the Bob Hardwick Sound lured them to the dance floor where rock and Latin rhythms kept the Plaza festive until well after 11 pm. 

Among the guests: Casanova, Pippa Cohen, Amy Fine Collins, Suzi Cordish, Francisco Costa, Sofia Sanchez de Betak, Ann Dexter-Jones, Bella Eastham, Madeline Eastham, Moataz El Refaie, Joanna Fisher, Brian Fisher, Sissi Fleitas, Stephen Gaines, Ellery and Marjorie Reed Gordon, Zani Gugelmann, Giorgio Guidotti, Susan Gutfreund, Ashlee Harrison, Rachel Hovnanian, Johannes Huebl, Elizabeth Jacoby, Michèle Gerber Klein, Margo Langenberg, Princess Astrid Von Liechtenstein, Ambassador John Loeb and Sharon Handler Loeb, Annabella and Alberto Mariaca, Mary McFadden, Dimity Giles and Horacio Milberg, Lara Meiland-Shaw, Malu and Sergio Millerman, Emily Mohr, Haydee Morales (Executive Director, Casita Maria), Carlos Mota, Fred Negem, Ann Nitze, Ann Rapp, Nell Rebowe, Nicky Hilton Rothschild and James Rothschild, Marc Rosen, Cole Rumbough, Allison Sarofim, Sana Sabbagh, Olivia Palermo, Elizabeth Peabody, Natalya Poniatowski, Yolanda Santos, Christine Schwarzman, Martin and Jean Shafiroff, Adrienne and Gianluigi Vittadini, Christine Witker, and Sabrina Wirth.
Valesca Guerrand-Hermès, Zani Gugelmann, Carlos Souza, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, and Olivia Palermo
Adrienne Vittadini, Muffie Potter Aston, and Amy Fine Collins
Michele Gerber Klein Giorgio Guidotti and Elizabeth Peabody
Ann Dexter-Jones, Carlos Mota, Allison Sarofim, and Carlos Souza
Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl Alberto and Annabelle Mariaca
Margo Langenberg, Edgar Batista, and Jean Shafiroff
John and Sharon Loeb Suzi Cordish
Olivia Palermo and Nicky Hilton Rothschild
Simon and Tina Beriro Joanna and Brian Fisher
Tony Bechara, Susan Gutfreund, and Simon Beriro
Malu and Sergio Millerman Jacqueline Weld Drake and Haydee Morales
Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Carlos Souza, and Mary Snow

Photographs by Gonzalo Marroquin/PMC & Annie Watt (Casita)

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