A little Doubles will do ya!

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Jennifer Pinkos and friends at one of the Christmas luncheons at Doubles.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023. The temps rose to 62 yesterday, albeit briefly. It was ushered in by a very light rain — following a  big rain the night before which washed everything including the last of the leaves of the trees in front of my building.

We’re now five days from Christmas Eve, and the weatherman is saying maybe a touch of snow before the day is out. Just to remind us what used to be winter around these parts.  I don’t know why I miss it. When I lived in LA at this time of year I always celebrated the lack of snow and the beauty of the sunshine.

If you read us regularly, you may remember ten days ago I ran a Diary about a holiday lunch at Doubles, the private club in the Sherry Netherland. It’s a great club, as you can see from the photos. Its Director Wendy Carduner, a native New Yorker, grew up in an apartment across the hall from Walter Winchell and family. In New York lore, Winchell was the last word.

Doubles’ directrice Wendy Carduner giving Santa some advice.

I mention that because Wendy has basically created the club that marks the 21st Century New York. Private, it has an excellent restaurant set up by day. By night it is a repository, the scene, the set of New York Social Life, including different categories to meet all ages — single, couple or family. And all within keeping with a New York Fifth Avenue private social club.

Wendy is a brilliant director. If you see her somewhere about during an event, she’s just enjoying the presence of everyone, and moving along. The backstory is this ease and chic and family and friends world about the place that Wendy has achieved. But with a genuine New York touch, a glamorous, flattering, comfortable and relaxing touch.

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to one of the Doubles Christmas/Holiday luncheons by Karen Klopp and Hilary Dick, whom you may know for their popular columns on Fashion (and Beauty) on the NYSD. The luncheons are famous to anyone who’s been there, for their “restaurant.” I should add that I’ve lunched and dined there over the years, although never for the Christmas/Holiday luncheons. Nor would I ever think to go to.

Austen Cruz and friends.

I’ve been going to Doubles to dinners, lunches, private parties, receptions for years. And even co-host one for Quest magazine with Chris Meigher. In other words, it’s an environment that I’m thoroughly familiar with. But this lunch ten days ago was a big surprise. The club was jammed!! Mobbed (comfortably, and well/perfectly set and lighted so the guests could see all around. And the two main rooms are large and have balconies).

It was the holiday in décor, and brilliantly lighted to accommodate those who prefer it. I could only think Wendy, who created and runs this private enterprise, is the real star in the room. Doubles under her direction has grown in diversity, in membership, and in their kitchen. A kitchen crew who’ve been working together for 25 years producing a daily menu for a buffet that rivals the very best (chefs’) home cooking. This was a Holiday Lunch but it also had all the spirit of a celebration.

Ashley Bernhard’s table.

Each year Wendy Carduner welcomes thousands of members and guests to marvel at the Decorations and take advantage of the many events at Doubles including these Christmas luncheons, and a Christmas dinner dance; as well as Jingle Bell Buffets, as well as Santa Comes To town, and Holiday Buffets & Carolers. And you’re always comfortable taking it all in.

Among those enjoying the festivities included: Sharon Bush, Margot Nederlander, Ashley Bernhard, Hilary Geary Ross, Joan Schnitzer, Dennis Basso, Sharon Handler Loeb, Mark Gilbertson, Noel Momsen, Paige Rustum, Cece Black, Brooke and Oliver Kennan, Meghan and Adam Klopp, Lee Robinson, Kate Davis.

Margo Nederlander’s table.
Christina Rose’s table.
Sharon Bush and Bonnie Pfeifer Evans.
Hilary Geary Ross and Joan Schnitzer.
Lee Robinson, Bethany Ewing, and Janna Dowds.
Dennis Basso and friends.
At the bar.
Sharon Handler Loeb and Mark Gilbertson.
Noel Momsen, Paige Rustum, Stephanie Hessler, and Nadine Iskenderian.
Joan Schnitzer’s table.
Jamie de Roy and Anki Leeds.
Kate Davis table.
L. to r.: Paul and Haley Trethaway, with Ali and Ben Cooley; Ashby Bonds and Nick Reece.
Brooke Kennan and Meghan Klopp’s table.
CeCe Black’s table.
Heather McAuliffe and Sarah Snyder’s table.
Topsy Taylor, Anne Ford, and Diana Feldman.
Betsy Smith’s table.
L. to r.: Meghan Klopp; Sana Clegg and friends.
Meredith Townsend and Michael Kovner.
Sherry Stevenson and Jean Doyen de Montaillou.
Oliver and Brooke Kennan.

The dessert table with rocking horse.

Photographs by David DuPuy & Stephen Smith (AnnieWatt.com)

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