Friday, August 23, 2019. It was hot in New York on Thursday with the temps up in the 90s; sunny but lots of beautiful clouds passing over. And humid. The weatherman said we were going to get a little bit of rain and some of that cooler weather that will remind us of what’s just ahead season-wise. Then about eight o’clock last night, it started, coming down in torrents and rained and rained. And cleaned the streets and sidewalks, washed the trees and plants and cooled us down to the hight 60s. Nice way to end the day.
This week coming up will be the quietest of the summer in the city, with Labor Day following the long weekend. A lot of people get out of town for the whole week, or most of it.
Around the globe, and around the block. I never left Manhattan this season and I have to say that’s a pleasure. Because when it quiets down traffic-wise, you can really look at this amazing place. It evokes all kinds of feelings and thoughts that are pleasure itself.
I tend to take my camera with me wherever I go. You never know when you’re going to get a scoop or at least something interesting to look at. When I’m out in my car I love to get a shot of the sky while I’m waiting for a stoplight to change.
This past Wednesday, I did the Michael’s lunch. It was busy although quieter than usual as I expected. This coming week will probably reflect the last of the quiet. I was meeting Brooke Hayward who came in from her home in Connecticut on her once-a-month trip to town. We talked about Peter Fonda who died last week.
Peter and Brooke grew up together. Brooke’s mother Margaret Sullavan, a famous stage and film star of the 1940s and 1950s, was married first to Henry Fonda and then briefly to the film director William Wyler, and thirdly to agent and producer Leland Hayward. When Sullavan and Hayward were married, he was the producer of Mr. Roberts when it was first presented on Broadway. Its star was Henry Fonda who was then married to his second wife Frances Seymour Brokaw, mother of Peter and his sister Jane Fonda.
While performing on Broadway, Fonda, who was already a film star, moved to Greenwich with his family where the Haywards were also living. It was a close relationship for all with the children of the two families growing up together.
Peter Fonda, as the world knows, was the producer and co-star of Easy Rider with Dennis Hopper, whom Brooke was married to at the time. It’s one of those classic Hollywood lives that always arouses the curiosity of this writer.
Brooke’s not one to talk about the past, however. If you should ask a question about it, she might be inclined to tell you to read her best-selling book Haywire which was published back in the mid-1970s. It remains the classic Hollywood memoir and still a great read.
Curious as ever, I had been asking her some details about the Hayward-Fonda connections when Steve Millington Michael’s GM came over and asked if he could take this photo. I agreed. Brooke was decidedly indifferent, as you can see, with the photo-taking as well as my curiosity. “Read the book!” she reminded.
Back to business: Out in Southampton, Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) celebrated its first annual Summer Soirée at a fabulous poolside party hosted by Elizabeth and John Sills at their residence.
New York City Ballet dancer Lauren Lovette was honored, attending with her boyfriend Matthew Tolstoy. ABT’s Gabe Stone Shayer was also on the invitation. Co-hosts included YAGP board members Suzanne Hall, Judith M. Hoffman, and Joy Sabella. YAGP’s Sergey Gordeev toasted in memory of the late Howard S. Paley, who was a great friend of dance and a longtime supporter. Before dinner was served Irene Fong serenaded guests with her electric violin.
Among the guests: Suzanne and Andrew Dance, Carlos dos Santos, Jr., Linda Fell, Irene Fong, Phyllis Hoffman, Andrea Karambelas, Diane Kuhl, Wendy Moonan, Victoria Lasdon and Donald Rose, Fred and Robin Seegal, Shari Siegel, Billy Wright.
YAGP is the world’s largest global dance network, connecting dance students, teachers, schools, companies, alumni, sponsors, dancers and choreographers with audiences around the world. Their 20th anniversary season saw more than 12,000 talented young students (from ages 9 to19) auditioning around the globe – in Brazil, South Korea, Peru, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Canada and more than 25 U.S. cities.
In the last twenty years, more than $4 million in scholarships to the world’s leading dance schools have been presented, and now as much as $350,000 is now awarded annually. Since YAGP’s founding in 1999, over 100,000 young dancers have participated in YAGP’s international workshops, audition classes, and dance awareness events.
There are now more than 450 Youth America Grand Prix alumni dancing with 80 professional companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet and many others. More than 100 of these alumni are soloists and principal dancers. Many reasons to celebrate at the Sills poolside on a beautiful day in Southampton.
One of the Hamptons’ senior fundraising events, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital hosted its 61st annual summer party on a Saturday night on Wickapogue Road to benefit the Jenny and John Paulson Emergency Department at the hospital, with more than 200 guests attending. For many supporters, the evening is a natural obligation to the community and they have been highly successful in their goal. The honorees were Jean and Martin Shafiroff who have been longtime supporters. The Chairs were: Cindy Willis and Laura Lofaro Freeman.
I first heard about the evening (I was right here in little ole Mannahatta) from our friends over at Peruvian Connection because they donated to the gift bag. That fascinated me because I’ve acquired a lot of giftbags in this gig of mine but never seen any garments, and they have beautiful things. So I asked Kay Moini, who’s their Exec VP Retailing.
She told me the “gift” was their “bestselling, all-season Long Tank which is a wardrobe building block in pima (95%) and Lycra (5%). To be worn long and lean or scrunched to suit your needs.”
Aha! But what was that? A Long Tank? So I asked Kay again and she sent me this photo. Aha! Very cool. “…long and lean or scrunched to suit your needs.”
Photographs by Richard Lewin (YAGP)