Hoots, barks, and birthdays

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Waxing Crescent moon over the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo: JH.

Thursday, December 13, 2018. A grey day, yesterday in New York with temps in the high 30s, low 40s, but not the see-yer-breath cold.

Michael’s was its Wednesday-self. At the table next to mine, Mickey Ateyeh was lunching with Dan Scheffey. Dan’s client, photographer Betsy Pinover Schiff was at another table being interviewed by Diane Clehane about her beautiful new book “Tis The Season – New York.” At the table next to them Joe Armstrong, back from the heart of Texas to see friends before the holidays, including David Zinczenko.

Betsy Pinover Schiff’s latest photography book. Click to order.

Across from us Tracey Jackson was lunching with Paul Williams; and on the other side of us Tracey’s husband Glenn Horowitz was at his regular table. At regular table under the Hockney, Stan Shuman; Michael Kassan with Ken Auletta; Barry Frey; Couri Hay; Morris Levy with Julian Schlossberg; Ambassador William vanden Heuvel; artist in residence Kim McCarty; Matt Rich with Jean Shafiroff; Quest’s Chris Meigher telling friends that the magazine’s January 2019 issue – Palm Beach – will be its biggest issue ever.

Around the room. Gerry Byrne; Francine LeFrak; Jamie Frankfurt; Nancy Berger Robi Ludwig, Herve Offredo, Tom Rogers, Sheila Cutner, Louis Gerstner Jr., Robert Rodriguez, Anait Bian.


DPC with Brooke Hayward and Alex Hitz.
Bloomberg’s David Westin and his team had the bay on Tuesday.

The birthday boy and Phoebe Tudor.

Yesterday, as you may know (or read here on NYSD) was Frank Sinatra’s birth anniversary. It was also the birthday of our friend, prominent New York interior designer Alex Papachristidis who was born 47 years after Ole Blue Eyes in 1962.

Last night he was honored at a dinner for at least a hundred guests at Mr. Chow’s. Black tie. Cocktails started at 7:30 and everyone was assembled for the seated dinner at 9:15. If you’ve never been to Mr. Chow’s (I hadn’t), the menu was several scrumptious, irresistible courses that just kept coming and the guests kept devouring.

A good time was had by all and by midnight, most of the “all” were still seated and enjoying the evening with one of their favorite pals.


The room before dinner.
The dining room.
The menu.

This past Tuesday night, New York City’s Animal Medical Center honored Broadways’ Bernadette Peters at their annual Top Dog Gala held at Cipriani 42nd Street. They also honored canine honorees from the US Coast Guard Canine Teams, and Fred, a stray down from Afghanistan and his Marine rescuer/master.

The evening was co-chaired by Robert Couturier, Nancy Kissinger, Elaine Langone, Elizabeth Monaco McCarthy and Annette de la Renta. Among the guests: Mandy Patinkin, Elaine and Kenneth Langone, Dr. Henry and Nancy Kissinger, Katharine Rayner, Lisa and David Schiff, Donna and Bill Acquavella, Barbara and Bobby Liberman, and Emilia Saint Amand Krimendahl. In the spirit of the evening, Mandy Patinkin surprised the crowd with a rendition of the Dog Song from Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George.” Brilliant but you had to be there just to get Patinkin’s mastery of dog hoots, barks and behavior exuded in song.

David Monn created a wonderfully festive décor, enhanced by his bespoke dog and cat centerpieces produced in South Africa using a traditional pattern of dyed preserved cotton fabric. The evening raised $1.75 million.


The dining room as guests began taking their seats.
The table.
The centerpiece, another of Monn’s touches, were enhanced by his bespoke dog and cat centerpieces produced in South Africa using a traditional pattern of dyed preserved cotton fabric. We had a cat at our table. That’s Ann Tisch looking at the beautiful, fabricked feline.
Bernadette Peters, recipient of the AMC’s Brooke Astor Award.
Kathryn Coyne, Chief Executive Officer at the AMC with Bobby Liberman, chairman of the AMC board and the honoree. Ms. Coyne in presenting the award to Peters said: “Throughout her life, Bernadette has committed time, energy, and her own voice to support the cause of animal welfare.”

Peters’ “pet project”: Broadway Barks, co-founded with Mary Tyler Moore, is an annual, star-studded dog and cat adoption event that benefits shelter animals throughout the New York City area. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Broadway Barks, which has resulted in over 2,000 adoptions since its founding. She is also a New York Times bestselling author who has penned three children’s books: Broadway Barks, Stella is a Star, and Stella and Charlie: Friends Forever. All proceeds from the sale of these books benefit Broadway Barks. Ms. Peters resides in New York with her rescue dogs, Charlie and Rosalia.

After Bernadette Peters’ award, AMC also honored the U.S. Coast Guard Canine Teams, including K9 Ryder, a Belgian Malinois and his handler, Nick Antis and K9 Ruthie, a Malinois, and her handler, Richard Barone from the Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team in New York.

The Coast Guard canine teams regularly deploy throughout the country in a maritime capacity. Both K9 Ryder and K9 Ruthie are some of the busiest canines in the Coast Guard. Some notable deployments where Ryder and Ruthie have excelled are Super Bowls L and LII, major recent marathons in New York City, Boston, and Chicago, the 2016 Presidential Inauguration, annual United Nations General Assemblies, and even international training trips to Panama.


Next they honored US Marine Craig Grossi who met Fred on a battlefield in the Sangin District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan in October of 2010. The Marines weren’t supposed to approach stray dogs and up until he saw Fred, Craig hadn’t had a problem following that rule. However, he and Fred developed a true bond.


Fred’s journey to the US began when he was placed inside a duffle bag and taken out of Afghanistan by helicopter. It ended when Fred passed through customs at JFK Airport, where Craig’s sister and father were waiting. Four months later, Craig returned home, and it was Fred’s turn to rescue the Marine. Craig and Fred’s story has become their mission. It is a story of resilience, love, and a philosophy of “stubborn positivity.”

Their unforgettable story is captured in Craig Grossi’s first book, Craig & Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other. Today, Fred and Craig travel the country spreading that message. It was a very sweet and tender example of a dog’s life affecting the goodness of a man.


And closing the honors was the great Mandy Patinkin showing us what Stephen Sondheim intended when he wrote his song for a dog. Funny, touching, canine aria.

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