The here and there

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An artist painting Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's Madame Jacques-Louis Leblanc, 1823, at the Met. Photo: JH.

December 6, 2023. Waiting for Winter. Cloudy yesterday and in the 40s; cloudy today, and cold. I see more and more knitted caps on everyone, just in the past couple of days. Most of the beautiful leaves have fallen; the trees are bare, although the holiday lights and decorations are bright and full of charm for our (better) imaginations. This is the week that the holiday parties begin.

Marc Rosen hosted one — a cocktail reception and concert at his Fifth Avenue apartment on behalf of the Lighthouse Guild, to thank its major supporters for their unwavering support and generosity. Their reward, as arranged by the host for his friends. Cabaret stars Billy Stritch and Seth Sikes performed songs from the American songbook.

Marc Rosen, Jennifer Fischer, and Dr. Cal Roberts.

Marc introduced Lighthouse Guild President and CEO Dr. Calvin Roberts who thanked everyone for their continued support and told them about the state-of-the-art tech solutions being offered to the many individuals who are blind or visually impaired, and the future of vision health.

Before their “concert” began, by way of introduction, Marc shared with everyone that the Steinway that would accompany Stritch and Sikes was a gift to Marc and his late wife Arlene Dahl by Van Cliburn.  He added that Van would have loved to hear Billy play on it.

Billy Stritch on the Steinway gifted by Van Cliburn.
Enter Seth Sikes.

It turned out, of course, that everyone attended loved hearing Billy Stritch play and Seth Sikes, who doesn’t look like he’s old enough to give the brilliant performance from the American Songbook that he gave. I’d read in passing about his exceptional performance at Feinstein’s/54 Below, but had never seen him at the time. If you’ve never seen him perform, as I hadn’t before this past Tuesday night, you can see his Star talent on this video, accompanied by Mr. Stritch:

Some of the lucky guests of our generous host included: Andrea and Dr. Calvin Roberts, Denise and Bernard Schwartz, Susan Gutfreund, Jennifer Fischer, Saundra Whitney, Juliana Terian and Jack Donohue, Linda Filardi and Gary Talarico, Maria Cristina Anzola, Mai Hallingby, Helen Little, Elizabeth Kabler, Dudley Stevens, Brian Dever, Kathy Bleznak, Shelley Zacharia Brier and Norman Brier, Tom Quick and Ann Thivierge.

L. to r.: Andrea Roberts and Dr. Cal Roberts; Saundra Whitney, Elizabeth Kabler, and Denise Schwartz.
Kathy Bleznak and Juliana Terian.
L. to r.: Mai Hallingby, Marc Rosen, and Denise Schwartz; Gary Talarico and Linda Filardi.
Billy Stritch, Kathy Bleznak, Jennifer Fischer, and Seth Sikes.
Seth Sikes and Billy Stritch.

Before we forget. There was a kick-off Cocktail Party Friday, November 24th , welcoming the highly anticipated East Hampton House & Garden Tour. The annual event — now in its 38th year, was held at the historic Maidstone Club — ringing in the East End holiday season in style!

It was well attended by history buffs, local dignitaries, architects, interior designers, home enthusiasts, and design aficionados. Everybody loves a good look inside and around the houses of history and of the rich, or those fortunate to have found residence out in the beautiful area.

Pamela Eldridge and Sabina Streeter.

Distinguished guests included Media Sponsor HC&G’s Publisher Pamela Eldridge, sponsors from Groundworks including Linda and Andy Silich and Kim Hren, homeowners who graciously placed their East Hampton estates on the tour – including Mary Jane and Charles Brock, Lucy and Steve Cookson, and Michael Novogratz, as well as interior designers including Marshall Watson and Barbara Ostrom.

The East Hampton Historical Society was represented by Executive Director Stephen Long, members of the Board of Trustees, including President Hilary Osborn Malecki, Treasurer Coco Shean, and House & Garden Tour Committee members including James Blauvelt, Dale Ellen Leff, and Lysbeth A. Marigold.

Mary Busch, Hilary Osborn Malecki, and Barbara Borsack.
Ray Kennedy, Robert Caruso, and Marshall Watson.
Faith Popcorn, Dianne Benson, Lys Marigold, and Ayse Kenmore.
Marshall Watson, Dale Ellen Leff, Robert Caruso, and Paul Sparks.
Dale Ellen Leff and Steve Long.
Kate and Andrew Davis.
Mike Clifford and Anne Clifford-Levy.
Susanne Kelly and Tiffany Wagner.
Steve and Lucy Cookson.
Charles Brock, Mary Jane Brock, and Jim Blauvelt.
Annette Cumming and Jim Blauvelt.
Victoria and Makenna Eidman.
Kaitlyn Buckley and Lief Anne Stiles.
IMG_7487-Kim Hren, Linda Silich, Pamela Eldridge, and Lynn Stefanelli.
Mary Busch, Mardie Gorman, and Coraline Gorman.

The following day, the East Hampton Historical Society hosted the 2023 House & Garden Tour, showcasing some of the finest examples of architecture in the East End. This year’s tour of Five Spectacular East Hampton Properties — offered a one-time-only glimpse inside some of East Hampton’s most storied residences.

The terrace of Windy Dune, Devon Colony, one of five houses on the 2023 East Hampton House & Garden Tour.

The tour drew and was enjoyed by hundreds of attendees. This year’s East Hampton House & Garden Tour sold out earlier than ever before in its 38-year history.  It was dedicated to the memory of Joseph Aversano, a beloved member of the East Hampton Historical Society’s Board of Trustees.

“Joseph chaired the House Tour for over a decade, putting his inimitable stamp on the festivities so that now it’s one of our biggest fundraisers of the year,” said Steve Long, Executive Director of the East Hampton Historical Society. “All proceeds will support the East Hampton Historical Society’s museums and vital educational programming for hundreds of students each month.”

9 West Dune Lane, East Hampton.
9 West Dune Lane, East Hampton.
9 West Dune Lane, East Hampton.
9 West Dune Lane, East Hampton.
10 Cross Hwy, Amagansett.
10 Cross Hwy, Amagansett.
10 Cross Hwy, Amagansett.
117 Main St, East Hampton.
117 Main St, East Hampton.

We’ve Got announcements: The New York Junior League (NYJL) just announced the selection of the 2024 Outstanding Sustainers and Outstanding Volunteers, who will be honored at the 72nd Annual Winter Ball. As the organization’s highest honors, the Outstanding Sustainer and Outstanding Volunteer awards are reserved for those women who exemplify a superior standard of excellence in volunteerism. These exceptional women are dedicated to serving the New York City and NYJL communities, living the NYJL’s core values, and leading by example.

The NYJL Sustainer Nominating committee selected the two 2024 Outstanding Sustainers: A. Gale Kroeger and Elizabeth Timberman.

2024 Outstanding Sustainers Elizabeth Timberman and A. Gale Kroeger.

The NYJL Nominating committee selected the five 2024 Outstanding Volunteers: Mona Kelly Lopez, Moriah K. Lutz-Tveite, Susan Timmons Marks, Elizabeth Ann Beller Staryak, and Megan Zuckerman.

2024 Outstanding Volunteers Elizabeth Ann Beller Staryak, Megan Zuckerman, Moriah K. Lutz-Tveite, Susan Timmons Marks, and Mona Kelly Lopez.

“These seven women embody the New York Junior League’s humanitarian spirit and their compassion and commitment to serving their community keeps us at the forefront of meeting the needs of women, children, and families in New York,” said NYJL President Serra Eken.

NYJL President Serra Eken and Winter Ball Co-Chair Savannah Thomas congratulating the Outstanding Sustainers and Volunteers.

The Outstanding Sustainers and Outstanding Volunteers will be honored at the NYJL’s 72nd Annual Winter Ball: Glamour in Gotham: Celebrating New York City’s Historic Past and Vibrant Future, on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at Cipriani South Street. Since 1952, the Winter Ball has helped raise essential funds for the NYJL’s community programs while bringing together volunteers, family, friends, and supporters for presentations of the award recipients.

Winter Ball Harriman Circle Benefactor VIP tickets are available for $900, Advance Dinner Admission for $600, and Dessert & Dancing Admission for $275.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Photos by John Sanderson/ (Lighthouse Guild)

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