Anatomy of a dinner party

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DPC and Alex Papachristidis meet and greet at Sette Mezzo where Alex was having a dinner for 24 to celebrate his newest coffee table book, The Elegant Life: Rooms That Welcome and Inspire.

Wednesday, October 4, 2022. The same weather we’ve been having for now seems like weeks (ten days? Eleven maybe?). Rainy, windy, cold with temps dropping to the low fifties with a Real Feel in the 40s at night, with more today; much thanks to the hurricane that pulverized south Florida.

Nevertheless, the autumn is here and New York is back in town, and working it, storm or no storm. For example, Monday night I went to dinner at Sette Mezzo with Paige Peterson who’s been away in California for the past three months tending to family business.

The table waiting for the guests.

We arrived on time for a 7 o’clock reservation. The place had already begun to fill up although across from where we sitting, on the opposite wall was one long table with 24 place settings. And took up almost one half of the dining room.

When I asked who had reserved the table, I was told it was for a dinner for Alex Papachristidis, the prominent interior designer who was at that very moment just around the corner for a booksigning (The Elegant Life: Rooms That Welcome and Inspire) at Creel & Gow, a popular interior design boutique on East 70th just off Lexington Avenue.

I was reminded that Alex, who is a friend, was hosting the dinner après the signing. Since graduating from Parsons School of Design in 1987, he’s been in business with clients all over America and other parts of the world. His taste is classic, beautiful and elegant, even on the simplest terms.

Naturally we were curious to who his guests would be since we know many of them. It was a wait. By 7:30 guests had begun to gather, a few at the time although no Alex. Then Scott Nelson, Alex’s long time partner, arrived followed by more guests, but still no Alex. Finally about 8:15 the man arrived. Paige and I had just been finished up our dinners and I had the bright idea of photographing the table with guests just to give you a taste of social life in New York today.

The man arrives with Cooper and his book, The Elegant Life: Rooms That Welcome and Inspire. Click to order.

Paige had already photographed the table settings and with the host’s arrival guests began finding their seats. I explained to Alex that we wanted to photograph it seated. He’s a man with a naturally sunny disposition. He also loves dogs and his pup Cooper goes everywhere he can take him, even to dinners. Cooper always remains on Alex’s lap.

Guests taking their seats with the host waiting till all are seated.
That’s Oriente, the maître d’ pointing a customer out to a waiter. That’s me talking to the couple who were seated next to our table. The man is David Walentas who created DUMBO, a regeneration of riverside real estate on Brooklyn side of the river.
Guests giving their dinner order to the waiter.
The easternmost end of the table. That’s designer Dennis Basso (white hair) seated next to Tracy Snyder.
The man in the middle taking a drink is Scott Nelson, Alex’s long time partner.

Alex listening intently to antiquaire Louis Bofferding.
And then turning to face Paige’s camera.
He’s evidently referring to me but I have no idea of what he’s talking about., and I am about to leave, wishing everyone a great dinner and the good time Alex provides for his guests.
Another busy weeknight in New York.

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