The evolution

Featured image
Looking north from 94th Street off Park. 5:15 PM. Photo: JH.

It’s 26 degrees as I write this at ten minutes to midnight on Monday. It was cold all day with temps touching the upper 30s. It was sunny (but not warm). It’s the dullest time of the year in the city – if you’re looking for nightlife excitement. Although each day stays lighter for a little longer, which is one of my indicators for hope and anticipation of the months ahead.

Last year was earlier than the year before by more than two weeks. This year, I noticed yesterday, the sprouting of the tiny buds about the same time as last year.

The evolution: another item of change that I look for at this time of the year is the tree in front of my apartment. I’ve photographed its blooming process each Springtime from the first buds to the full foliage. Nature celebrating. Yesterday I noticed that the branches nearest to my terrace are already beginning to develop buds. I’ve been watching them begin every year for the last four. Last year was earlier than the year before by more than two weeks. This year, I noticed yesterday, the sprouting of the tiny buds is at the same time as last year.

Last night I had dinner at Sette Mezzo with two girls, old friends. Ladies, you might say because they’re old enough, but I’ve known them since they were girls, and they’re still the same except for the numbers. Sort of.

It so happens that both women keep a place in Palm Beach to get away from the cold weather. The part that’s not “girls” anymore. So we talked about Palm Beach and the clubs and the different social groups that are definable. It wasn’t dish but just the basics, which club has the best food; who goes to whose house. One group, they said, is rife with daily dinner parties which evoked the name of the florist that does big business because of it. I didn’t get the name so I can’t recommend.

There was some talk about a once celebrated woman, celebrated because of her marriage to a very rich heir that left her very rich upon his death. Her name came up because now, all these decades later, her once celebrated life had been destroyed by poor health. One of the girls at table showed me a photograph: an aged woman in a hospital bed, face mottled, red and swollen, head wrapped in white around her skull, tubes attached to her.

It was she, I was told — the sexy beauty who attracted her wealthy much older swain all those decades ago. The prognosis now is all the more dramatic because the patient’s closest relationship is a man in charge of her enormous “estate.”. Her daughters by a previous (to the “heir”) marriage have not been allowed by their mother’s boyfriend to see or even speak to their mother. Such is this man’s power over her life right now. More lawyers will be involved.

The great irony of this tale, which did not come up in the conversation, is that the woman in her youthful allure when she married her rich husband gained that kind of control over his relationship to his children by a previous marriage. The motivation was identical.

Meanwhile back down among the sheltering palms, there is a great social life. This is the season and the community has grown and changed over the past two/three decades. West Palm, the city that Henry Flagler developed for the “help” who would staff the mansion of the island, is now a very hot area for a lot of men and women who keep winter houses. Its socio-economic compatibility; and everyone gets to enjoy the weather, although it was 54 degrees in PB last night (my friends looked it up on their phones). That’s not warm for the tropics.

No matter the weather, the social calendar loads up. Last Wednesday January 23rd, Nancy Goodes, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) Board of Governor’s member, and Hope on the Horizon Palm Beach Luncheon Co-Chair, hosted an evening “Sip & Shop” event for the benefit of ADDF at the J. McLaughlin store on Worth Avenue. Among the guests viewing the Spring Collection were Dora Baer, Anushka Blau, Jill Botnick, Evelyn Brandt, Jayne Chase, Brooks De Blois, Georgia Forconi, Amy Hoadley, Vicki Kellogg, Brandy Lowe and Joe Hall, Jennifer Myerberg, Shannon and Peter Reed, Mary Maya, Linda Rochez, Faren Silverman, Krystian Von Speidel, Janice Worth.

L to R.: Jill Botnick, Evelyn Brandt, and Nancy Goodes;  Jayne Chase

ADDF was founded twenty years ago in 1998 by Leonard Lauder and Ronald Lauder. Because of the brothers’ commitment, it is the only philanthropy solely focused on accelerating the development of drugs to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. Its venture philanthropy approach and scientific expertise allows the ADDF to support the most promising ideas around the world. And 100% of donation funds research programs.

To learn more, visit

L to R.: Dora Baer and Brooks De Blois  Linda Rochez and Mary Maya
Brandy Lowe and Joe Hall
L to R.: Vicki Kellogg and Nancy Goodes;  Jennifer Myerberg and Pamela Williams
L to R.: Janice Worth Anushka Blau    Faren Silverman and Krystian Von Speidel
L to R.: Jack Lynch and Nina Reeves Georgia Forconi

Then there was the Silver Fund Hosting Sterling Reception for the upcoming Lighthouse Guild’s ‘Visionary Evening’ where they are honoring Tom Quick. The Silver Fund on Worth Avenue, which is known for exceptional 20th century furniture, hosted the cocktail reception for supporters and friends of Lighthouse Guild’s upcoming annual dinner dance at Club Colette on February 21, 2019.

Michael James of The Silver Fund welcomed guests. Marc Rosen, who organized the Palm Beach Friends of Lighthouse Guild, thanked committee members and supporters and formally announced the 2019 Dinner Dance Chairs: Grace Meigher, Mary Quick and Patricia Quick. Arlene Dahl is Honorary Chair.

Lighthouse Guild, based in New York, is the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. They address and prevent vision loss by coordinating care for eye health, vision rehabilitation, behavioral health and related services. Its goal, to reduce the burden of living with vision loss, is the cornerstone of its mission. For more information, visit or contact Mona de Sayve at (561) 828-1522 or email

Felicia Taylor, Eames Yates, and Beth de Woody
L to R.: Harry and Gigi Benson;        Julie Hayek and Gregory Speck
L to R.: Michael James, Susan Lloyd, and Tom Skilken; Kit Pannill and Frannie Scaife
Mona de Sayve, Ron Cavalier, and Maribel Alvarez
L to R.: Natallia and Nicolas de Sayve;  Linda Dweck and Pamela Fiori
David and Jennifer Fischer with Wally and Betsy Turner
L to R.: Sharon Sondes and Geoffrey Thomas;  Marc Rosen and Jackie Weld Drake
Steven Bush, Shelby Herry, Mikayla Brown, and Josh Myers
L to R.: Anka Palitz, Beth de Woody, and Kathy Bleznak; Mary Quick, Tom Quick, and Grace Meigher
Cesare Barro, Robin Baker Leacock, and Robert Leacock
L to R.: Amy Hoadley and Diane de la Bergassiere; Dorothy Torresi and Linda Thompson
James Clarke and Stephen de Angelis

Then on last Wednesday here in New York, January 23rd, the French Heritage Society Young Patrons Circle convened at a private residence for a cocktail reception and “safe-sabering” demonstration by Kobrand Luxury Brand Specialist Bernard Sun, featuring Taittinger Champagne. FHS Chairman Elizabeth Stribling was in attendance, as was FHS Events Chair CeCe Black.

Bernard Sun
Taittinger Champagne and Saber

The Young Patrons Circle Co-Chairs, Johnsonie Casimyr, Elizabeth Hartnett, Maureen M. Nash, Victoire de Vaugelas, and Natalie Williamson, along with FHS Executive Director Jennifer Herlein welcomed guests who enjoyed a fascinating presentation on Champagne Taittinger, the Exclusive Official Champagne Sponsor of the Young Patrons Circle. The evening proved a warm and lively celebration of the New Year, Taittinger et al.

Jennifer Herlein, CeCe Black, Maureen Nash, Elizabeth Stribling, Johnsonie Casimyr, Elizabeth Hartnett, and Victoire de Vaugelas
Edward Johnston III, Sharon Royce, and Barbara and Peter Regna
Lee Black, Guy Robinson, Julia Shannon, and Bret Shannon
L to R.: Samer Hamadeh and Alison Harmelin; Alexandra Pappas and Whitney Wolfe
Justin Kuyper, Delia Folk, Anastasia Adruzova, and Blake Funston
Kate Hemphill and Geoffrey Gwin
Julien Laurent and Nicholas Bisiaux
Guilhem Martinez, Delia Folk, Sebastian Vallin, and Julien Legeard

Photographs by Capehart Photography (ADDF & Lighthouse) & Annie Watt (French Heritage)

Recent Posts