Mother Nature’s events

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Central Park forest floor. 3:00 PM. Photo: JH.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018. It was a sunny day, yesterday in New York with the thermometer reaching up to the low 50s and nary a sign of that horrendous snowstorm last Thursday. JH checked out the results (and detritus) of Mother Nature’s stormy visit.


The great American Elm at Central Park East 97th Street entrance, November 18th.
The tree at peak foliage 10 days earlier.
Central Park, November 17th.
Same view, November 7th.

This week belongs to Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day. It was already a little quieter in midtown. I went down to Michael’s to lunch with Judy Price.

Mother Nature’s events. Michael’s was its busy weekday self. Michael McCarty (Michael’s creator and owner) and his wife Kim live in California where there exists the original Michael’s in Santa Monica. I was very curious to know about the effects of the Great Fire on their lives.

They have a wonderful property in Malibu on the hillside above the Colony, with a magnificent view of the Pacific. They had had another house on the same plot that they lost to one of those horrendous firestorms in the early ’90s.


Kim McCarty in her studio

Kim had told me that back then she was at home with her children when she got word to evacuate her house immediately. She grabbed her box of silver settings and drove away. Minutes later the house was hit by a massive fireball propelled by the winds, and completely destroyed, leaving them with nothing but the silver. Or so she had thought, until she later opened the box only to see that it was empty — her housekeeper earlier that day had removed the silver to clean it.

My first question when I got to the restaurant was: did they survive this past week’s fire? Answer: yes.


Michael McCarty in his kitchen holding a glass of his Pinot Noir from his Malibu Vineyard.

Lunch with Judy. Mrs. Price is a natural entrepreneur, as is her husband Peter. Back in the ‘70s after working at Time magazine she got the idea of starting her own magazine, and Avenue magazine was born. Still publishing today, after 25 successful years, Judy sold the magazine and launched a new project — the National Jewelry Institute — with the long term objective of creating a museum for jewelry.

She’s published at least two coffee table books on jewels and jewelry and has created several museum shows – here in town at the Museum of the City of New York, and elsewhere, as well as staging an annual gala in Paris bringing together leading jewelers. The most recent gala took place in Paris last month at the Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres – the French Foreign Ministry known as Quai d’Orsay.


The dining room at the Academie Beaux Arts.

The evening honored the Academie des Beaux-Arts — the French Academy of Fine Arts, and its Secretaire Perpetual Laurent Petitgirard. The Chef for the evening was 2 star Chef Arnaud Faye of the Restaurant Chevre D’or.

The guest list were an eclectic crowd of creative professionals, including director Jean-Jacques Annaud, singer Alain Chamfort and jeweler Lorenz Bäumer, all gathered in the in the brilliant early 19th century reception rooms of the Quai d’Orsay.

Before sitting down to dinner, attendees toured the upstairs reception rooms of the 19th-century building, where one cheeky guest posed for a selfie in the gold mosaic bathtub of an Art Deco bathroom built in 1938 for the visit of Britain’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, parents of the present Queen Elizabeth II.


L to R.: Chef Arnaud Faye of the Restaurant la Chevre d’or; Miles Rosedale, Marcy Miller, and Nicole Weiss, Global Head of Client Relations Louis Vuitton
Judy Price with H.R.H. Princess Camilla of Bourbon- Two Sicilies and her husband Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro, surrounded by their children
Ines and Jean-Christophe Jourde, President of Estee Lauder Companies France, Laura Whaby of Armani, and Luciana Pasquon President of Armani Prive
L to R.: Brian Frasca of VF Global, with his wife Alina Frasca; Judy Price and Marie-Claude Pietragalla
Laurent Petitgirard, The Secretaire Perpetual of Academie Beaux Arts Paris, with Mrs. Jean-Yves Le Drian, wife of the Foreign Minister
Philippe Lamy, Managing Director of Loro Piana, LVMH, and Mrs. De Cesare
Bryan York Colwell of LCN Partners with Veronique de Brouwer
Chris Sheppard President Kenneth Jay Lane, with Artistic Director of Burma, Alexandra Zarcate, and President Burma Bruno Zarcate
Maria Paola Maino, Michele Oka Doner, Mitchell Wolfson, and Victoria Wyman

Photographs by Francois Goize (National Jewelry Institute)

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