Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Now and Then

Spring is coming. Cleopatra's Needle, Central Park. 3:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018. A mild, sunny day in New York yesterday with temperatures reaching up into the mid-40s and heading to the mid-30s by late night. Nevertheless, three weeks before the Spring Equinox, we can say it has been one of the mildest winters I’ve ever seen.

The social season in New York is beginning to take form, judging from the invitations coming in. Tomorrow night at the Rainbow Room, the National Audubon Society is hosting its annual Audubon Gala. They are honoring Sir David Attenborough, the naturalist, author and premiere documentary filmmaker about nature, and Peggy Shepard, Co-founder and Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Sir David will receive the Audubon Medal. Ms. Shepard, who is a past member of the Audubon New York Board, has received many honors including the Women in Conservation Rachel Carson Award. This year’s recipient of the Dan W. Lufkin Prize for Environmental Leadership is Dave Morine, who has spent nearly two decades leading the Nature Conservancy in its efforts to secure land for the long term health of habitat, ecosystems and biodiversity. These people are all doing us a Big Personal Favor if we care to notice and stay alert. We’re still in it together.
That’s tomorrow night, the first night of the month.  Also, same time, same town, The New York Common Pantry, dedicated to reducing hunger throughout New York City, while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency, is celebrating their 10th Anniversary “Fill the Bag Benefit” at the Ziegfeld Ballroom on 141 West 54th Street. NYCP works toward the reduction of hunger and food insecurity through an array of programs that help establish long-term independence for those it serves. They serve up to 2000 families a week. They served more than 6,000,000 meals in 2017.  The Corporate Partner Award  will be presented to Morgan Stanley. The Spence School will receive the Estee Lauder Companies Distinguished Volunteer Award. More Big Personal Favors for us all.

That’s just tomorrow, and by standards, that’s not unusual. Looking into the rest of the week, on Saturday the New York Junior League is hosting its 66th Annual Winter Ball, this year’s theme being “Riviera Romance.” Black tie, at the Pierre Grand Ballroom Honoring Outstanding Sustainers Nancy Houghton and Wendy Wade; Outstanding Volunteers Mary Catherine Burdine, Katie Cook, Nicole Ferrin, Elizabeth Fabsits Pavone, and Kim Essency Pillari.

Then on Monday The Young People’s Chorus of New York City is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with a concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center. This is a thrill. I’ve been to two of their concerts. Not only are they awe-inspiring (on what can be done to give children and young people the boost in self-regard that will take them through a successful life), but the musicianship of these scores of young performers, along with the choreography (yes!), and the delight of their centeredness and the pleasure they experience and share with the audience is awesome. A YPC concert is an excellent antidote to what ails all of us!  And a thrill to see young people getting a boost to self-reliance and self-respect. I’m going; so I’ll let you know more later.

On Tuesday, March 6th The New York School of Interior Design is hosting an annual Gala at the University Club. Alexa Hampton, Betsey Ruprecht, Maria Spears, and Newell Turner are dinner co-chairs. They are honoring Suzanne Rheinstein with the  Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award; Jorge Sanchez with the Thomas N. Armstrong III Award in Landscape Design; and Edwina von Gal with the Green Design Award.
Moving along into the coming days. One Thursday, March 8th at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, the Paul Taylor and Paul Taylor Dance Foundation will host their annual Gala with cocktails, dinner and dancing, preceded by a program of three pieces: “Arden Court,” “Esplanade,” and “New Work” by Bryan Arias, with music performed live by the Orchestra of St. Lukes. Black tie.

The following Monday, March 12th, also at the David Koch on the Promenade, the School of American Ballet will host their annual “Winter Ball.” This is a beautiful evening.  Cocktails at 7, Dinner at 8. At 9, a Piece d’occasion created by Alec Knight and performed by students of the School. Again, the benefits for the youth.
The same night at Gotham Hall on Broadway and 36th, the Citizens Committee for New York City is holding their annual gala New Yorker for New York honoring Vernon Jordan with the Osborn Elliott Award for Community Leadership; Ken Lipper with the New Yorker for New York Award; Stephen Savage with the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for Public Service and Denise Cosom and Brenda Duchene with the Marietta Tree Award for Public Service. Followed by dinner and dancing to Peter Duchin and his orchestra including Roberta Fabiano. With a special tribute to the organization’s founder the late, great Os Elliott!

Wednesday, the 14th, Literacy Partners’ Evening of Readings and Gala Dinner Dance at Cipriani Wall Street. Liz Smith and Arnold Scaasi and Parker Ladd founded this organization. Liz personally raised $40 million to teach American adults how to read. They’re honoring Randy Falco, and Joni Evans with a reading from Junot Diaz and a special tribute to Liz, Arnold and Parker; with the evening hosted by Cynthia McFadden.

The following night, the 15th Jennifer Raab, President of Hunter College, and Lewis Frumkes, Director of The Writing Center at Hunter, are hosting in honor of Gay Talese to celebrate the 8th Anniversary of the Writing Center –CE at Hunter College. At Doubles, in the Sherry.

The following Friday night I’m staying home. Wouldn’t you?

Yesterday afternoon while I was putting this Diary together, I was also amidst organizing our vast array of party pictures that go back twenty years and more. Coincidentally most of them were representative of the kind of New York social life the calendar above reflects. Except it’s only images of the attendees at such affairs.

In those photos were so many familiar faces (including my own) from twenty years ago that I was enjoying taking in the nature of progression and progressing.  It was a little like being briefly mesmerized by the familiarity with an earlier time that seems like only a moment ago. Although. This will give you the idea ...
Jane and Aerin Lauder.
Jamee Gregory,
Carmen Dell'Orefice, Paris Hilton, Kathy Hilton, and Arlene Dahl.
Felicia Taylor and Dylan Brown.
Gayle King.
Bianca Jagger.
Liev Schreiber.
Marisa Berenson, Chappy Morris, and Debbie Bancroft.
Casey Ribicoff.
Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor.
Julian and Josie Robertson.
John Malkovich and Francis Ford Coppola.
Beth DeWoody. Hilary Califano.
Anne Slater.
Charlie Rose and Amanda Burden.
Martha Stewart and Tom Brokaw.
Elizabeth Rohatyn and and Oscar de la Renta.
John and Nina Richter with Mark Gilbertson.
Dr. Gerry Imber and Amy Fine Collins.
Mai Hallingy, Barbara Bancroft, and Hilary Geary.
Rebecca Prageon and Eleanora Kennedy.
Muffie Potter Aston, Karen LeFrak, and Andrea Stark.
Claudia Cohen and Ivana Trump.
Stephanie Seymour and Peggy Siegal.
Marjorie Gubelmann and Jim Brodsky.
Roffredo Gaetani, Ivana Trump, Laurence Graff and Anne Marie Graff.
Countess Pier Arrigo Braschi, Contessina Francesca Braschi, Carmen Dell'Orefice, and Count Pier Arrigo Braschi.
DPC and Carroll Petrie.

Contact DPC here.