Back in gritty, ‘ole Gotham

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The spectacular view — my first from high up on the West Side, that made a lot of the East Side guests wonder why we are over there.

As sweet as my L.A. sojourn was, I was kind of happy to get back to gritty, ‘ole Gotham. But I was just as happy to exit, two days later, for Southampton.

My daughter Serena just graduated from UVA, and was launching from Westhampton to Nassau, for a family boat trip, sans this family member.  I drove a batch of them and managed to be jealous and happy at the same time.

I like the slow summer simmer in June-time to catch up with old friends, without the social slam that July and August bring.  Friday was just that — simple supper with a great pal from my Institutional Investor days.


A Hamptons House built to withstand the grandchildren.

Saturday I visited Laurie Durning in her house bursting with guests, their kids and her brilliant daughter Amy, who is producing the much discussed Leonard Bernstein biopic with Scorsese, Spielberg and Bradley Cooper (who is also directing and starring, bien súr.)

That evening Clelia and Tom Zacharias welcomed the Parrish Art Museum’s Landscape Pleasure patrons to their beautiful gardens, originally designed by Hal Goldberg, past President of The Rose Society.


Th entrance to the Zacharias home.
Taking a peek at the house.
The entrance to the beautiful garden.
Landscape Pleasure patrons enjoying the garden.


Sunnyland Swing Band.

Not to be outdone by the blooming peonies, blue phlox and ballerina roses, Jamee Gregory sported a necklace that was a decorative event in itself. John Zacharias, their handsome son, told us he was getting married on the 4th of July, in Italy next year, perfect timing so there will always be fireworks on their anniversary … and, so he won’t forget. There was a ‘how to’ seminar the next day but I passed. I can’t keep moss alive.


Clelia and Tom Zacharias.
Jamee’s colorful necklace.
L. to r.: John Zacharias; Terrie Sultan, Director Parrish Art Museum.
Guests enjoying the peonies, blue phlox, ballerina roses … and passed hors d’oeuvres.

Back to Gotham and off to a lunch for what Stellene Volandes, Editor in Chief of Town and Country called ‘perhaps the most important jewelry sale of the century’ — Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence. Christie’s hosted the lunch in their boardroom so we could get an early goggle in — and goggle we did. 500 lots representing 500 years of Indian artistry and those they inspired-dazzling diamonds, your basic turban ornaments, objets dripping in emeralds and rubies. And I thought a Mughal was a private equity titan.


Dennis Basso, Debbie, Beth DeWoody, and Christopher Walling at Christie’s.
Maharajas and Mughal Magnificence jewels.

We mingled with Aerin and Dennis, heard more about the history and were teased by the upcoming portrait series by Claiborne Swanson Frank, of yet unnamed models. Beth DeWoody and I exited the otherworldly, smack into the all too ‘of the world’ terrifying sirens, police and fire trucks careening by — all a result of the tragic helicopter crash that had just happened.

That night, my dear pal, film producer Jeff Sharp was toasted for his new position as Executive Director of the Independent Filmmaker Project, the organization that supports independent filmmakers, creates internships, provides educational outreach and more for aspiring storytellers. They also bring us The Gotham Awards, sometimes called film’s Iowa Caucus as it’s the first major awards show of the season. Board member Kai Falkenberg hosted lots of clever film folks like Katharina Otto-Bernstein, producing partnerFred Berner, and HBO’s Nancy Abraham. And just fans, like me.


L. to r.: Kai Falkenberg toasting Jeff Sharp at her home; Jeff Sharp with his dad, Rod Sharp.
Debbie with her pal, Jeff Sharp.

I went to a lovely cocktail, the next night, that will remain anonymous, but I did snap a picture of the spectacular view — my first from high up on the West Side, that made a lot of the East Side guests wonder why we are over there.


Now here’s a funny little small world story: Last week, on my return from L.A., I decided to try the AirTran from JFK to Manhattan (it was a speedy, breeze). On the train, there was a beautiful, young blonde couple, reminiscent of my blonde kids. I discreetly watched them, enjoying their loveliness. 

Thursday night, my cousin Lisa Woodward took me to our fave spot, Sette Mezzo.

As we settled into our table by the window, whom should I spy next to us, but the beautiful, young, blonde couple. I couldn’t resist, and asked ‘Were you by any chance on the AirTran on Monday?’


Scandinavian new friends at Sette Mezzo.

I held my breath, hoping I was right and that I didn’t seem a crazy old stalker. ‘Yes!’ they beamed, as only gloriously magnanimous Scandinavians would do, and we proceeded to discover friends and family in common in Gstaad. And to add to the joyful serendipity, she was celebrating her acceptance into Columbia’s MBA program, with a focus on sustainability. Of course. 

I ventured to Vestry Street, for a tasting at Olivier Cheng, who is catering The Parrish Art Museum’s Gala that I’m co-chairing. I wish I could do this professionally. But I’d be an awful food critic – I love everything. And I introduced doggy bags left overs to my committee members, some of whom have never heard the term.


The David Chang tasting. These plates were licked clean.

Back to the Westhampton airport on Friday to fetch the returning, bronzed family members. Saturday out East, was overloaded with worthwhile events such as Planned Parenthood, Madoo. I stayed on First Neck Lane, close to dinner, and went to God’s Love We Deliver, the noble organization that brings meals to people too ill to cook for themselves, at the historic Samuel Parrish house (current resident unknown if any).


Boys, boys, boys and the girls that love them, at God’s Love We Deliver.
Canard’s version of chicken and waffles, via a cone

Jamee didn’t disappoint, in her chartreus sweater and matching earrings and sunglasses. Frances Currey Briggs was my stalwart companion and we had classic nanosecond sound bites with friends we wish we had more time with, like Richard Mishaan, Fern Mallis, Jim Reginatto and Margaret Russell.


L. to r.: Jamee with Frances Currey Briggs; Design double threat Margaret Russell and Richard Mishaan.
Patrick get HIS picture taken.

We crossed the street to dinner at Ann Barish’s with the ocean pounding the shore, sun setting, and Aldo serving us the best food on Gin Lane … and beyond.


Sated girls Nancy Silverman, Jane Murray, Ann Barish, Frances Currey Briggs, and Debbie.

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