The Flora Has Arrived

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Looking south towards Central Park South from Sheep Meadow in Central Park, 6 PM. Photo: JH.

Monday, May 6, 2019. A beautiful, sunny Saturday, following Friday night’s rains; with temperatures in the low 70s. Perfect. Yesterday was rain and rainy with very brisk, almost chill winds and temps in the low 50s which was not warm with the wind-chill factor.

However, the flora has arrived. It’s tulip time all over town. I took some shots to show you what the better side of it all looks like. Some of the tulips are very tall. They have that fashion model look. Dovima. Others, like those surrounding the trees on Gracie Terrace are neat and orderly to perfection.  Then there’s my pointillist tree on the corner of 82nd and East End. A work of (Mother Nature’s) art. Also along the exterior wall of Carl Schurz Park, there’s Mother Nature’s detritus. And just on the other side are the flowering bushes. And one tall orange tulip.

Gracie Terrace.

The tall fashion model tulips on East End Avenue.
Mother Nature’s Impressionism on the corner of 82nd and East End Ave.
Mother Nature’s detritus.
Flowering bushes just inside the park.

One lone fashion model tulip.

Last Thursday night was the opening night of TEFAF New York Spring at the Park Avenue Armory. As it is with these fine art and furniture fairs, the opening night benefits a specific charity. It makes a big difference to those organizations who are all doing something for the community. The TEFAF  opening was “hosted” by The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSKCC). The opening night is a big ticket event and it draws the notable collectors, the philanthropists as well as the fashionables and the design world. 

What they get is a first dibs of the exceptional and sensational pieces, presented in visually attractive booths, buffet tables strategically places in the aisles serving totally tempting canapés, hors d’oeuvres and way beyond. In other words, it’s a great (not long) evening in a majestic environment of – in this  case – modern and contemporary art and design. The very best of the best on display in 92 internationally acclaimed art galleries and dealers. Women dress for the special occasion; men in suits. It’s a respite for anyone, collector or not; a pleasure.

Patrick van Maris, Caryn Zucker, Travis Acquavella, Jamee Gregory, Indré Rockefeller, Sofie Scheerlinck, and Nanne Dekking.

The evening was generously underwritten by Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller and sponsored by Prada. And it drew a big crowd – more than 2000. And among the happy throng were many you might know or may have heard of, such as Jamee and Peter Gregory, Travis Acquavella, Indré Rockefeller, Lauren Santo Domingo, Caryn Zucker, Scarlett Johanssen, Princess Eugenie of York, Marc Jacobs, Andy Cohen, John McEnroe, Aerin Lauder, Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder, Jane Lauder, Alejandro Santo Domingo, Beau Wrigley and Sue Hostetler, Paul Arnhold, John Demsey, Peter Marino, Emilia Pfiefler, Jennifer Oken, Brent Winston, Shabnam and Tom Henry, Marigay McKee, Leon and Debra Black, Annie Taube, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Virginia W. Tomenson, César Giraldo, Topper Mortimer, Charles and Nathalie de Gunzburg, Marcie Pantzer, Aby Rosen, Beth Blake Day, Gretchen Fenton, Jamie Niven, Elisabeth Jones-Hennessy and Kilian Jones-Hennessy, Eugenie Niven Goodman, Elizabeth Miller, Robert Stilin, Eleanora Kennedy, Nicholas Varney, Muffie Potter Aston, Kate Allen,  Shelley and Michael Carr, Yosun Reza, Judy Gordon Cox, Amory W. McAndrew, Meghan Hortsman, Geoffrey Bradfield, Nanne Dekking, Patrick van Maris, and many others who prefer the anonymity.

The show runs through tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7th.

Virginia Tomenson, Jamee Gregory, Travis Acquavella, Caryn Zucker, and Lauren Santo Domingo.
L. to r.: Patrick van Maris, Jamee Gregory, and Nanne Dekking; Annie Taube, Marcie Pantzer, and  Eugenie Niven Goodman.
L. to r.: Paul Arnhold and Indré Rockefeller; Nicholas Varney and Eleanora Kennedy.
Aerin Lauder, Jane Lauder, Ronald Lauder, and Jo Carole Lauder.
L. to r.: Maria Villalba; Marie-Josée Kravis.
Brent Neale Winston and Amory McAndrew.
L. to r.: Tom and Shabnam Henry; Fiona Druckenmiller and Alessandro Sabbatini.

Judy Blue Eyes. This past Thursday night Paige Peterson hosted a small birthday dinner for her friend Judy Collins. I could say “My” friend Judy Collins, too. Because just to know the lady is to be her friend. I was always a fan who always thought of her as a friend. A potential friend. You know: the way you imagine you know someone because their performance is so affecting. I’m sure many of her fans and admirers over the decades, have felt that way about her.

I did get to meet her. I can’t remember where or why. We had lunch at Michael’s, and we talked. She is just like her performance. What you see (and hear) is what you get. And it’s a joy just to think of it.

Judy Blue Eyes at the piano on the eve of her 80th birthday celebration.

Last Wednesday, May 1st marked Judy’s 80th birthday. I’m laughing to myself as I write that because to me, who actually knows her, she’s still that woman I first heard on a recording in the 1960s. The purity.

I’m not quite there yet myself, but getting closer and closer by the day (month, years). Naturally I have many friends and acquaintances of my generation. We joke about the oddness of aging. What you see in the mirror (for most of us) is not what you feel inside. The child learning is still present and active. Judy’s child is still working hard at her art.

Around the dinner table.

About ten days ago there was another party marking her birthday. It was a “surprise” party that was hosted by her granddaughter Hollis Taylor. Among the guests (Judy’s friends) were Joan Baez, Erica Jong, Susan Cheever, Robert Caro, Gloria Steinem. There were speeches, recollections of Judy’s generosity and compassion, her unbelievable work ethic, and the wisdom she’s gathered from the hardships and challenges life brought her. There was lots of laughter too.

Blowing out her birthday candles.

Work-wise, she’s put out three albums in the past four years. Everybody Knows brought her together again with her long ago love, Stephen Stills. Strangers Again has her with Jackson Browne and Willie Nelson.  She’s got another two albums she’s working on. Beginning this month she embarks on a 29-city tour, from May through November.

Photographs by Kelsey Stanton (TEFAF)

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