Party Time is Back

Featured image
Looking southwest across Central Park from Fifth Avenue. Photo: JH.

Tuesday, July 12, 2020. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day in New York with temps touching the low 80s and the perfect Summer day.

Today we’re running some photos from Mark Gilbertson’s annual late Spring cocktail party which he’s been hosting for years — more than 25 years ago at his Upper East Side apartment, and for the past 20 or so years at a private club here in Manhattan. He made the move to the club, I’m assuming, because his apartment wasn’t big enough to accommodate his list which is somewhere between 275 and 300 guests. The reception room in this club is enormous and it was overflowing with guests so much so that they had to open up a room next to it.

Toasting Mark in 2016.

Cocktail parties have different personalities, depending on the host or hostess, the guest list, and the space allotted. Mark is a long time great party host here in New York and his guest lists often accommodate large numbers for the charity events that he organizes for a variety of philanthropies.

Cocktail parties are different experiences for different individuals. Some of us love them; others hate ‘em. Many of us are indifferent to the event, depending on our relationship to the guests — friends, neighbors, mutual supporters and individuals supporting a charity. So a guest enters the room with a variety of feelings about it. Do they know others; or are they basically strangers supporting an event?

A gaggle of girls at Mark’s in 2010 including Mai Harrison, Katherine Bryan, Cece Cord, Carolyn Roehm, and Jackie Weld Drake.

Mark’s annual party is so big and relaxed that any guest can enjoy him or herself even just standing there and watching people meet and great, even if they’re strangers. And at Mark’s many actually know each other, often don’t see much of each other over the course of a year, and the visit is always a treat. Plus there are so many in attendance that it’s physically impossible to connect or even see a good number of those attending at the same time.

That’s a big part of the fun of it. That and just the simple people watching. I always enter and rarely get no more than ten or twenty feet into the room and never move any farther because the action there is always changing, and it’s fun just to say hello and “see” old friends and acquaintances.

This year was a resumption of the custom after a two-year hiatus because of You-Know-What (C-19). Initially there was the worry that people wouldn’t show but then of course people were anxious to get out and see and be seen especially after that long hiatus; and so it was fun. And as usual, Cutty McGill captured many a fun moment.

2019’s version.

It was was scheduled from 6 to 8 on a Wednesday, the last day in May. I got there early because I had a dinner at 7. It was crowded when I arrived and crowded when I left but I later learned that there was still a mob scene at 8:45 and 9. Too much fun to leave; that’s the secret of Mark’s party always.

L. to r.: Rachel Hovnanian; Andrea Dale.
Duane Hampton, Mark Gilbertson, and Nicole Miller.
Jamie Tisch, with Matthew and Marisa Brown.
Jennifer Creel, Susie Bancroft, and Debbie Bancroft.
John Paulson and Alex Roepers.
Peter Rockefeller, Hall Rockefeller, and Anne Marie and Doug Bratton.
L. to r.: Mary Snow and Bill Manger; Betsy Pitts.
Bill McKnight, Francis L’Esperance, and Joe Rudick.
Erik Oken and Marina Rust.
Karen and John Klopp, Anne Colley, and Shirin von Wulffen.
L. to r.: Dayssi Kanavos and Marisa Brown; Hilary Dick, Guy Harley, and Polly Onet.
Richard Mishaan, Charlie Ayres, and Jay Snyder.
Grace Meigher, Emilia Saint Amand, and Liz Peek.
L. to r.: Kathy and Othon Prounis; Patricia Duff.
Susan Burke and friend.
Geoffrey Bradfield and Barbara Tober.
L. to r.: Richard and Cessa Johnson; Kate and Andrew Davis.
Heidi Holterbosch-Gimbel and Tom Gimbel.
Bruce Addison, Neal Sigety, and Chris Spitzmiller.
L. to r.: Patty Raynes; Matthew and Marisa Brown.
Mark Gilbertson, with Hilary and Wilbur Ross.
Chris Brown, Nicole Miller, and Philippe Bigar.
L. to r.: Kamie and Rich Lightburn; Grace and Jonathan Garrity.
Doug Steinbrech, Mayme Hackett, and Stewart Manger.
Tom Gimbel, Sherry Grace, and Andrew Roosevelt.
Chuck Scarborough, with Clelia and Thomas Zacharias.
Amanda Essex, Marina Rust, and Marjorie Gubelmann.
L. to r.: Juan Montoya; Kara Ross and Natalie Gerschel.
Marisa Noel, with Thorne and Tatiana Perkin.
Katherine Bryan and Alex Hitz.
Jill Roosevelt, with Louis and Alex Rose.
L. to r.: Bill Manger and Elisabeth Saint Amand; Fred Bancroft and Mary Darling.
Grace and Jonathan Garrity, Blake Reiter, and Anne Van Rensselaer.
Caryn Zucker, with Larry and Dana Creel.
Liz Peek, Clelia Zacharias, Chuck Scarborough, and Gail Hilson.
L. to r.: Pepe Fanjul; Blakely Griggs, and Claudia Overstrom.
Blake Reiter, Ryan Hoffman, Isabelle Marino, and Grace Garrity.
Nina Richter, Amanda Taylor, and Tiffany Dubin.
L. to r.: Helena Lehane and Eric Javits; Courtney Moss and Tom Scheerer.
Frederic Fekkai, Vanessa von Bismarck, and Max Weiner.
Christina Murphy, Stephen Roesler, and Celerie Kemble.
Grace and Chris Meigher, with Amanda and Ted Mariner.
Libby Fitzgerald, Lisa McCarthy, and Mary Hilliard.
Anne Colley, Helen Schifter, and Debbie Bancroft.
Dmitri of Yugoslavia, Vanessa Noel, and Amy Fine Collins.
Mark Gilbertson and Charlie Ayres.
Amanda Essex, Lara Trafelet, and Parker Gentry.
David Monn, Mary Hilliard, and Richard Mishaan.

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