Getting together with your neighbors, Manhattan style

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The crowded scene at at Tuesday night’s book signing reception at John Rosselli’s Gallery for Bunny Williams and for the NYSD house trio’s new book.

Thursday, April 2018, 2019. It was a beautiful day, yesterday in New York, with bright sunshine and temps in the low 60s turning much cooler into the low 50s after sundown.

I went down to Michael’s for the Wednesday lunch with a friend. I hadn’t been to Michael’s in a couple of weeks (rare for me). I also usually there via the Q subway and arrive on the Seventh Avenue side of town. 

Although yesterday, after leaving the restaurant, I walked over to Bergdorf Goodman to pick up something for a friend. I realized I really hadn’t been in that part of midtown during the day in quite some time, because there’s so much “change” going on. The blocks off the avenue have changed – with new retailers and other businesses.

Red grasshopper sculptures greet shoppers on the first floor of BG.

A La Vieille Russie, which has been in the 59th Street corner location for as long as I can remember — for decades — is gone. I learned it had moved to a fourth floor gallery a block south at 745 Fifth where Verdura is located. A La Vieille Russie, which was founded more that 150 years ago in Kiev, is a legendary antiques gallery. Many of its patrons and resources are the stuff of fame and legends. Specializing in European and American antique jewelry it also deals in imperial Russian works of art, 18th century European gold snuff boxes and objets art.

Their former storefront at 781 Fifth Avenue. Carl Fabergé (as in the “House of”) was a client.

The Apple store on the avenue is still undergoing renovations and next to it on the plaza is an enormous white tent. I have no idea what’s inside. It’s all surprising and yet not surprising because New York is like this now: construction everywhere.

The sidewalks were very busy with all kinds of people — tourists, mothers and children, shoppers and business people, including those taking the afternoon Sun sitting by the Plaza fountain.

The avenue of course was jammed with a barely moving gridlock, thanks to less traffic lanes because of the construction. That’s true all over town these days, too — lanes inoperative because of construction (usually of tall high rent apartment buildings for future millionaires and billionaires); or because they’ve been eliminated by the geniuses who changed the traffic in Manhattan, an encumbrance for the inhabitants, to put it very mildly.

The Bradford Callery pear trees in Grand Army Plaza do help take your mind off the traffic woes.
And there’s the tree in front of my apartment beginning to bud …

When I arrived back on the Upper East Side and my block, the two girls schools — Brearley and Chapin — were letting out and three of the blocks had been emptied of parking cars for some filming about to occur in the mid-evening.

Last night was the second film-making venture this week in the nabe. On Monday and Tuesday, the Promenade along the East River and Carl Schurz Park was a location for an HBO series that Nicole Kidman is executive producing and starring in. JH caught a shot it in his neighborhood at another location for this series a few weeks ago. He got a great shot of Ms Kidman walking through a “crowd” on Park and 92nd.  When we ran it, many NYSD readers didn’t believe it was she, because her hair is auburn-red. Actually it flatters her, aside from her great natural beauty. It gives her a kind of “real-life” substance. Great actors can do that.

JH’s pic of Nicole Kidman,  in case you missed it …

Last night’s filmmaking was going on right under my building’s canopy where they were shooting a scene with the beautiful Issa Rae, the amazing writer/director/producer/star of the famous HBO series. That’s all I know about it, except with Ms. Rae, who at 34 is enormously successful as a creative entity in the film business, it’s got to be an important venture. Perhaps they were shooting a (segment) from her famously successful HBO series “Insecure,” which will return next year.

Setting up for the shot …
L. to r.: Around the corner walking along East End Avenue at 10 p.m.; The star/director/writer and another player in the story.
A snap of DPC gazing down on the film shoot, taken by his neighbor David Williams.

Meanwhile, Tuesday night with Bunny Williams and John Rosselli, we co-hosted a book signing party at John’s Gallery on East 61st Street for Bunny’s new book — and NYSD’s first book of pieces from the HOUSE section which is produced by Sian Ballen, Lesley Hauge and Jeff Hirsch photographing the homes of 31 prominent interior designers here in New York.

The NYSD HOUSE team: JH, Lesley Hauge, Sian Ballen, and DPC
Bunny Williams signing autographs in support of  her newest book, Love Affairs with Houses.
Click to order  Making Rooms Your Own: Lessons from Interior Designers (yes, a shameless plug but we would encourage fans of the column to please buy the book).

There was a big turnout — close to 300 — for the 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. reception. John Rosselli’s “parties” not only draw that, but unlike a lot of these local 6-to-8ers, guests stay for awhile, and even for the entire evening. It was almost 9 o’clock before the place had emptied out. There’s always wine, water, and a beautiful table of canapés to fill in for the lulls in conversations, and more people than you could see because of the crowd. JH, Sian and Lesley were on hand, of course; and it was just a nice way to spend the pre-dinner part of the evening in New York; like getting together with your neighbors, Manhattan neighbors. And to sell a few books. We’ll have more pics on Friday’s Party Pictures pages, but here’s a good look at the scene of the party …


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