Thursday, June 9, 2022. Another beautiful late Spring day in New York with temps touching 80 in the bright sunshine.
I went down to midtown to meet a friend for lunch at Michael’s. The traffic in midtown midday midweek is jammed. Nearly stationary on the streets. And there are less lanes for this more traffic.
Someone a few years ago decided to re-design the streets, full of no-nos including one lane on the right hand side of the avenue roadways was painted a pinky-red and intended for buses only. The idea everyone would take a bus and they could move fast. Uh-huh.
This isn’t the first time in the history of this city that traffic has been disrupted or re-directed for a variety of reasons. The presumed intention is of course to make it easier on the citizens. Of course. Sometimes it works well, other times it’s a nuisance.
However, it being a beautiful day there were a lot of people, including tourists taking in the city. In my cab ride sitting there waiting, it is a wonder just to take in all of the architecture that surrounds us in any spot. The message is the same (old) New York message: a great wonder, a fantastic place for the imagination and serious hard workers, as well all the nationalities of the world present and working and hoping and doing together, like it or not.
Michael’s, for you curious fans, was very busy with many of the familiar faces from before. There’s lunching and dining outside as well on West 55th Street. However, they are presented with the same smart and colorful style that is Michael’s interior.
Michael McCarty was there. He and his wife, the artist Kim McCarty, leave tomorrow or thereabouts for their annual European summer jaunt. A week in London, a week in Paris, a week in Capri, etc. Michael besides being a master chef is also a master tryer-outter of the universal competition’s bill of fare. He actually got his start in still in high school when he took a summer semester in cuisine in Paris. He and Kim also take in the art world over there. Otherwise, they lead a specific California lifestyle of work and enjoyment of their environment.
Which speaking of, this past Tuesday night, as noted here yesterday, our friend and contributor Paige Peterson hosted a book party for Louis Nelson, the industrial designer and artist who created the Korean War Memorial in Washington and has written a book about it. I have not read it yet so I cannot say exactly what it is about. However, it’s at the top of the list in terms of positive reviews on Amazon.
Mr. Nelson is married to Judy Collins, as you read here yesterday if you didn’t already know. I love Judy Collins’ work. Her life as a singer arose from folk and jazz and rock and roll that its purity of sound still gets to many of us emotionally. Off-stage, away from the mike and guitar (or piano), she’s also a very kind, down-to-earth modern woman of her generation who has the ability (or talent) for relating the time and the feeling for all of us. A messenger.
She and Mr. Nelson have been together for quite some time, like maybe decades, although married only 30 years ago. Paige, who loves giving parties and having guests to her apartment was delighted to celebrate this special event for them. The guestlist came from Louis and Judy.
There were forty in attendance including: Gigi and Harry Benson, Roger Friedman, Sarah Kovner, Pia Lindstrom, Rowen Kahn, Katrina vanden Heuvel, David Black, Heather and Len Cariou, Ken Waissman, George Banford, Jennifer Bassie, Jim Hart, Lane Soigner, Daren Khairule, Liz and Geoff Brookman, Dr. Jim and Nancy Talcot, Toby Olds, Ralph Wolfe, Emily Cerone, Orli Brodie, Priscilla Rattazzi, Richard Conway, Mort Sheinman, Linda Amster, Mary Stengel, Sandra Del Monaco, Alaina Monblatt, Christina Haag, Tyler Beatie, Emma Lively, Stevie Phillips, Regina Weinreich, Tyler Beaty, Bill and Sally Kelly, Harold Holzer, Sarah Simms Rosenthal and Georgette Bennett.
The party was from 6 to 9. The guests, obviously delighted to see Nelson and Collins, as well as to congratulate him on his book MOSAIC, must have been delighted with the hors d’oeuvres and simple crudités – red, yellow, orange peppers, small cherry tomatoes, small carrots; cucumbers. There was also homemade spicy cheese coin cookies, cheese straws, a basket of assorted crackers. Plus: Humboldt Fog, Jarlsberg, creamy Camembert, jalapeño Pepper Jack cheeses, red and green grapes, bowls of assorted nuts, sliced chorizo, pigs in a blanket, hummus and vegan tzatziki. Petrossian caviar with blinis.
Mr. Nelson spoke about his book to the guests and Judy Collins sang a song for the guests. And aside from being a book party, it’s always useful and often interesting because of Paige’s attention to the details of making her guests comfortable. Many arrived at the official time of arrival, and stayed right up to 9 p.m. I’ll bet that buffet was a kind advisor to many also.
Photos by Paige Peterson