Sharing the Love

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11-year-old Asher Sokol's stunning photograph of last week's blue supermoon looking east from an Upper East Side rooftop. Great shot, Asher!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023. Very hot yesterday in Manhattan, as the weatherman warned (and was right for a change). With temps in the mid-90s and Real Feel touches 100, it was the kind of day where you stayed in if you didn’t have to go out with the dogs. Even the dogs (mine anyway) weren’t that interested.  Although even outside it didn’t feel that temperature.

But weather-wise, we’ve been very fortunate here in New York so far this year. What has been noticeable is that people on the street aren’t uncomfortable with the temperature. Mainly because it’s not been muggy. 

Our friend Irwin Cohen captured this gem of a pigeon staying cool by The Pond in Central Park.

A lot of New Yorkers who’ve been away used the  actual holiday to move themselves back to the city. It will be interesting to watch and see how things pick up. Because the last two or so years have reflected a change in the overall mood of us as a People.

Today is the annual Couture Council Luncheon which is held at Lincoln Center in the lobby of the David Koch Theater. I’ve covered this a number of times. Every year they honor a person in the fashion business including the major designers, etc. — this year’s honoree is Gabriela Hearst — all to benefit The Museum at FIT. I’m always seated (a guest) at the table of the same hostess and she’s always placed me next to Martha which I always like because I’m endlessly impressed (and therefore curious) just to know her. And it’s always a pleasure; brief but New York.

It’s a lunch lunch in New York, all business but all showing up to see who shows up. For a long time this one has been the hallmark for opening up home-from-the-summer in the city.  It’s very popular and draws a good socially active crowd. It is important to understand that “socially active” always includes something philanthropic. It’s a reflection of the changes in our world, a serious one and rather a hopeful one.

Julie Macklowe, 2022 honoree Maria Grazia Chiuri, Pete Nordstrom, Dr. Valerie Steele, and Kara Ross at last year’s Couture Council Luncheon.

Once upon a time, a generation or so ago, social luncheons were social luncheons, like the annuals balls were celebrated for existing. Now we’ve graduated, maybe grown up a little (notice I said “a little”). Philanthropy is not new but its general nature has become more widely involved in helping keep the society together. The challenge keeps growing.

Fashion, to me, is always a reflection of our state of mind (generally speaking of course). It’s individual but we are all in this thing called Life together. You can actually see it in the current fashion trends. 

They are more relaxed and casual, and in the chic-er corners everything has gone big floral and cheerful. And casual. It’s a different sensibility that reflects our world right now. The “right now” part is the key.

All of this year has been noticeably quieter. In the winter months many of the social crew who had the time and the access  (and the money) left town for warmer climes. You could assign the “quieter” to lots of things including financial and of course, political. But it’s all that and more.  I tend to think it’s simply Man and Nature like everything else that falls under that category.

Nevertheless for this resident, the city has been a pleasure all through the season. That’s partly because much of even the business activity is lessened in the mid-Summer months.

A can’t-miss event on Park Avenue — Begonias as big as your head!

And now, back to the social aspect of the Summer just a couple of weeks from leaving us. Even in the quiet, news comes out from all corners about people’s activities, as you can see …

Amy Green and Gary Green hosted the inaugural Footprint of Life Gala at their residence in Bridgehampton. The family-run The Green Vision Foundation curated a star-studded night to bring together like-minded organizations to collectively support and bring much-needed awareness raising in excess of $600,000.

The glam night had many captivating aspects including cocktails, curated food stations, a live auction, musical performances by JAN BLOMQVIST, Grace Vanderwaal and DJ RUCKUS. Additionally, work by David Yarrow, recognized as one of the best fine art photographers in the world, was prominently displayed.

Gary Green, Amy Green, and Andre Berto.
Charlie Mayhew stands next to a work by David Yarrow.

Discussing the importance and impact of the event, Amy Green was passionate in her commitment, “The footprint of life gala was not just about raising needed funds dedicated to the preservation of our planet, antipoaching, rainforest protection, education, improving livelihoods and climate change around the world, It was also about raising the universal vibration.”

The philanthropic causes that will benefit included an array of well-recognized global organizations. Tusk for more than three decades has produced innovative conservation action in Africa. Under the Royal Patronage of HRH Prince William, The Prince of Wales, the charity has raised over $130 million for conservation and community livelihoods programs.  The African Community & Conservation Foundation provides a gateway platform to connect citizens of the world with a strategic and sustainable community and conservation programs underway in Africa. The latest ACCF expansion projects include Karingani in Mozambique, the Rwanda Project – Volcanoes National Park, and The Malilangwe Trust in Zimbabwe.

The inaugural Footprint of Life Gala at the Bridgehampton residence of Amy and Gary Green.

Sponsors for the event included Nobu, Macallan, Ferrari, The Brady Hunter Foundation, Flech Azul Tequila, Sip Channé, Deluxe Crystal Vodka, Casa del Sol, Kosmos, Xin and Voltaire Cocktail Sorbets, Adamas Reserve, Faith Tribe, Chef Meze, Princess World Jewelers and Hamptons Magazine. The event was produced by Tatiana Byron of 4PM Events.

Chairs for the evening: Global Ambassador Amy Green, Gary Green, Bob Zangrillo, and Danny Armijos. The Host Committee included Carolyn Rafaelian, Charles Mayhew, Kunal Sood, Brady Forseth, Maria Buccellati, Judith Kasen-Windsor, and CEO of the Deepak Chopra Foundation, Poonacha Machaiah.

L. to r.: Grace Vanderwaal; Dr. Christina Rahm and Clayton Thomas.
L. to r.: Elton Ilirjani; Kavita Channe.
Bertan Erguc, Cagri Kanver, and Yilmaz Guney.
L. to r.: Cynthia Ott; Jean Shafiroff and Rebecca Seawright.

Then two weeks ago, The Hamptons turned out in full force when American Jewish Committee honored Marjorie Kuhn, the outgoing president of its New York region, for her many years of service to the leading global Jewish advocacy organization. 

The soiree at the Kuhn residence in Quogue was attended by more than 150 people and raised $335,000 for AJC.

Rob Skolnick, Bonnie and Mitch Rudin, Marjorie and Jim Kuhn, with AJC CEO Ted Deutch and his wife Jill.
Sam Goodkind and Emma Fastenberg.
Quogue Mayor Bob Treuhold and his wife Nancy with Marjorie Kuhn.
Marjorie, with her sons Joey and Jake.
Marjorie with Bari and Neil Goldmacher.
Elizabeth and Rose Kelso, with Chip Porter.
Marjorie, with Jen and James Marden.
Rob Skolnick, Cindy Scheinfeld, Robin Dracos, and Ted Deutch.
Steven Scheinfeld, Mark Wesley and Eileen Glaser-Wesley, Cliff and Marcie Goldstein, and Cindy Scheinfeld.
Josh Kramer, Craig Unterberg, and Marjorie Kuhn.
Joey and Jake join Jimmy’s band Square Feet for a few songs.
The party in full swing.

Mommy’s Heart Summer Soirée. Actress Julianne Michelle hosted a dinner at the Water Mill residence of Leslie Barrett to benefit Mommy’s Heart, a 501(C)3 supporting abuse survivors facing retaliatory lawfare, with Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jean Shafiroff, Count Joseph Di Palma and Joycelyn Engle, My Unorthodox Life’s Ra’ed Saade, and Farzana Neimann.

Billy Bob Thornton, Sally Kirkland, Michael Madsen, Myles von Trapp, Florence Anthony, Charles Matthau, Katlean De Monchy, Lorraine Silvetz, Jane Scher, Michael Golia, Tabber Benedict, Kemi Areke, Nellie Scuitto, and Natalie Merkle served on the Host Committee.

L. to r.: Carolyn Maloney, Rita Cosby, and Julianne Michelle; Leslie Barrett and Myles von Trapp.

Speakers included former Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Charles Guria and NYC Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright. Emmy-winning TV host and Host Committee member Rita Cosby emceed, and comedian Dan Nainan served as live auctioneer. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney received the Mommy’s Heart 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award. The evening included cocktails, dinner, auction, dessert, with performances by Lauren Frazza and Jon Weber, and DJ Remniqe.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and NYC Assembly member Rebecca Seawright pledged support of the Mommy’s Heart bill for transparency and accountability in court.

Dan Nainan, James Pecora, and Irene Norton.
Lorraine Silvetz, Donna Sousa, Ra’ed Saade, Heather Savoie, Ronnie Golden Engle, Farzana Neimann, and Jeannie Randell.
L. to r.: Joycelyn Engle and Count Joseph Di Palma; Charles M. Guria.
Eliza Guzman, Donna Sousa, Nafisah Carter, and Yasmeen Gumbs.
Luciana Pampalone and Katlean de Monchy.
L. to r.: Jean Shafiroff and Cuba Gooding Jr.; NYC Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright.
Rob Weber and Lauren Frazza.
DJ Remniqe.

Photos: PMC / Jared Siskin / Marsin Mogielski (Footprint of Life Gala); Annie Watt (Mommy’s Heart)

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