Great New York parties

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Mark Gilbertson gives this cocktail party every year. He’s been giving cocktails as long as I’ve known him, beginning in his cozy apartment on East 81st Street. A few years ago he moved this “annual” one to a private club in the East 50s (one’s not supposed to mention the name – it’s a Big Secret).

Mark Gilbertson and Jennifer Creel

The guest list runs into the hundreds. I think 350. The room is big and welcoming, like someone’s gigantic living room. There’s a good bar and a big crowd of people, many of whom know each other and probably someone or someones who knows every person in the room.

I like to stand on the sidelines and just watch. Cocktail party conversation is much more interesting to overhear than to listen to. Because all kinds of cheerful drivel pours into the room with such density that occasionally you hear something fabulously mysterious, like the “… did you hear about Mindy’s appointment? …” That’s all you hear but it’s enough to ply your imagination. Mine, anyway.

It’s a really great New York party and if it seems like I’m exaggerating, I’m not. Cocktail parties are rare these days. Parties in stores with drinks are not the same thing. Fund-raisers are not the same thing. A cocktail party where the only reason to go is to see some old friends or someone you haven’t seen in ages feels like a big class reunion. Everyone’s happy to be there and pleased as well.

Mark’s in the business of seeing that things like this go well, so it probably has its “commercial” advantages. After all, it’s the time we live in. Nevertheless it was fun just being there and watching everyone apparently enjoying themselves.

Lara Trafelet, Marina Rust Conor, and Larry and Dana Creel
Anne Colley, Karen Klopp, Alexia Hamm Ryan, and Shirin Fekkai
L to R.: Nathalie Gerschel and Alexandra Lind Rose; Lara Meiland Shaw, Ken Cohen, and Zani Gugelmann
Blair Husain, Ritchie Howe, and Karen Klopp
Jean Doyen de Montaillou, Barbara de Portago, and Michael Kovner
L to R.: Eric Javits and Kamie Lightburn; Alex Papachristidis and Lisa McCarthy
Simone Mailman, Jack Lynch, and Claudia Overstrom
L to R.: Emilia Saint-Amand and Allie Hanley; Helena Lehane and Geoffrey Bradfield
Elizabeth Belfer, Whitney Donhauser, and Zibby Tozer
L to R.: Carlos Souza; Keith Langham and Cece Cord
Jackie Drake with Gianluigi and Adrienne Vittadini
L to R.: Karl and Deborah Wellner; Libby and Jerry Fitzgerald
Muffy MIller, Hilary Geary Ross, and Anne Eisenhower Flöttl
L to R.: Mark Gilbertson and Mary Katherine Navab; Peter and Kara Georgiopoulos
Bettina Zilkha, Michael Cominotto, and Leslie Stevens
L to R.: James Fallon and Jill Fairchild; Carolyne Roehm and Simon Pinniger
Alastair Clarke, Marjorie Gubelmann, Marco Scarani, Jamie Tisch, and Jamie Creel
L to R.: Zibby Tozer and Chuck Scarborough; David and Kathy Obolensky
Valentin and Yaz Hernandez with Daisy and Paul Kanavos
L to R.: Chris and Grace Meigher; Ros and Fran L’Esperance
Leslie Stevens, Gigi Mortimer, and Jamie Tisch
L to R.: Kristin and Charlie Krusen; Helen Schifter and Arriana Boardman

Speaking of great parties … on Tuesday, October 23rd, The Horticultural Society of New York hosted its 25th Annual Fall Luncheon at the Metropolitan Club. This year’s event honored Melissa Biggs Bradley, the Founder and CEO of Indagare, for her influence in encouraging travelers to explore and appreciate the natural world. Jared Goss, Chairman of the Board, and Alatia Bradley Bach, Vice-Chairman, led the luncheon, which raised over $200,000 for The Hort’s vital programs and services such as the GreenHouse Horticultural Therapy Program at Rikers Island that was highlighted during the event.

Jane Scott Hodges, Mary Nelson Sinclair, Melissa Biggs Bradley, and Mary Louise Sinclair
L to R.: Holly Hunt and Gloria Fieldcamp; Nicole Whidden and Annie Lodge
Lisa Wolf, Laurel Barrack, and Heidi McWilliams
Kate Hemphill, PJ Pascual, and Cristiana Vigano
L to R.: Jini Cho; Liliana Cavendish
Jared Goss, Leigh Lauder, Frederica Lauder, and Alatia Bradley Bach
L to R.: Tia Mahaffy, Heather Georges, and Amanda Tapiero; Sharon Casdin and Rosemarie Lennon
George Pisegna, Nancy Hodin, Sara Hobel, and Mark Gilberston
L to R.: Jane Scott Hodges and Mark Gilbertson; Huguette Hersch and Joan Marlow Golan
Melissa Biggs Bradley and the Indagare Team
L to R.: Alatia Bradley Bach and Melissa Biggs Bradley; Amanda Grove Holmen and Barbara Page Glatt
Barbara de Portago, Mary Van Pelt, and Kristen Krusen
CeCe Black and Jean Shafiroff
Diane van Amerongen and Lindsey Pryor
Elizabeth Cabot and Cecilia Owen
Jane Scott Hodges, Charlotte Moss, and Lisa Fine
Jenny West, Andie Kully, and Marlaine Olinick
Jeremy Webb, Michael Kovner, Suzanne Clary, and Nat Chandler
Jill Roosevelt and Kate Bellin
Kyle Kahriman, William Blundin, and Sheila Smyth
Mark Gilbertson, Barbara Cates, Barbara de Portago, and Jared Goss
Marty Breheny and Elisabeth Saint-Amand
Patricia Sovern, James Druckman, and Betsy Smith
Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Kirk Henckels, and Fernanda Kellogg
Sarah Boston and Elizabeth Belfer

Photographs by Cutty McGill (Mark G.); Owen Hoffman/PMc (The Hort)

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