The Street Scene and the Social Scene

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Late afternoon cloud coverage. Photo: JH.

Monday, October 18, 2021. A bright, sunny Sunday morning in New York with temps in the cooler 60s almost 50s. Not cold. Turned cloudy in the late afternoon, just like Saturday. It’s been a gentle Autumn weather-wise here in New York. Lots of rain frequently torrential. The green is greener.

I went to dinner on Saturday with Shirley Rosenthal and Peter Heywood who depart this week for a visit to Europe, especially Italy and specifically Sicily where Peter has a farm, an olive orchard where it is bottled. Very good. It’s outside the village of Noto.

An English girl who started out in life as a journalist with natural ambition and curiosity, there is always conversation when Shirley is around. It’s been a long and interesting life. Shirley has the youth of a student; she’s always learning. Because if no one else is talking Shirley will ask a question. The naturally curious kind; a matter of one’s facts, all of which led to multiple conversations between the three of us. Her dinner parties are like that too. Lots of conversation, much to discuss; all kinds depending on the guest list. Always interesting for the curious.

The city has a surfeit of motor vehicles these days. New York has always had a lot of cars going back more than fifty years. But this is different. Parking spaces are hard to find in any neighborhood. Parking garages are full up. I’ve been told it’s the result of the Covid and people are not as inclined to take public transportation.

Talking traffic.

That may be one reason. But there are often less lanes on the avenues and streets because of the restaurants’ outdoor business. It is a result of Covid, but it turns out people like eating by the sidewalks. It reminds of Paris, and it also brings people closer together. After dark, the streets and avenues are often very quiet in midtown and the Upper East and West Sides. But the restaurants set up outside are a pleasure to visit or even passing by.

Our obsession with having everything delivered is also to blame for our traffic woes.

The Social Scene. The restaurants are playing a big part but the “social” part — the clubs, the openings, the fundraisers (very important) — are back on the calendar. Last week at Doubles, the private social club in the Sherry, had their annual Associates Party. All were dressed to Sparkle & Shimmer & Shake (shake it baby, shake it). This is all a grand production of the club’s direction — Wendy Carduner. Wendy’s kitchen is the ultimate in terms of delicious as well as temptation. The mood was upbeat; again people glad to get out and be about people.

Wendy Carduner thanked everyone for coming and gave a special toast to Mark Gilbertson “for always helping to make it all happen.” And that he does, and efficaciously.

Mark Gilbertson, Marcia McCabe, and Roland Schulz.

The tables set for the dinner sparkled with silver star confetti and the menu included Chicken Milanese with Fennel and Baby Kale and a Blackberry and Peach Crumble with a Brown Butter Gelato Torte. No regrets in the happy crowd.

Those ready to dance included: Margo and Randy Takian, Kate and Andrew Davis, Anastasia and John Coleman, Alexandra and Louis Rose, Regis and Johs Worsoe, Paige Rustum, Shannon Henderson, Noelle Momsen, Kathy Reilly, Polly Onet, Hilary Dick, Georgina Schaeffer, Adam Brenner, John Fondas, Cornelia Ercklentz, Kitty Cook, Bill Manger, and many, many more.

Grier Eliasek, Wendy Carduner, and Keith Lockwood.
Miles Spencer, Gardenia Cucci, and Jonathan LeWinter.
L. to r.: Paige Rustum and Shannon Henderson; Shannon Henderson, Noelle Momsen, and Kathy Reilly.
Randall Gianopulos and Chele Farley.
L. to r.: Polly Onet, Hilary Dick, and Nancy Pearson; Lisa Bytner.
Adele Bernhard, John Fondas, Keith Carrol, and Isabelle Rattazzi.
Adam Brenner, Georgina Shaeffer, Laura Ceppi, Andrew Young, Kate Cassirer, and David Scoroposki.
L. to r.: Regis and Johs Worsoe; Louis and Alexandra Rose.
Erin Malone, Ben Pike, Buck Fletcher, and Teresa Fletcher.
L. to r.: Danielle Mantage, Henry Wilson, and Jay Paul Meyer; John and Anastasia Coleman.
Hilary Dick, Bill Manger, Bryan York Colwell, and Susan Burke O’Neal.
L. to r.: Kate and Andrew Davis; Margot Takian and John Fondas.
Henry Wilson, Kitty Cook, and Virginia Cook.
L. to r.: Cornelia Ercklentz and Randy Takian; Mark Gilbertson and Suzie Aijala.

Then on a Wednesday the week before, The Fresh Air Fund invited guests to celebrate 145 years of sharing the magic of summer with New York City children, at a cocktail reception at Tavern on the Green. The reception was presented by Bloomberg Philanthropies. With special thanks to Michter’s Distillery.

More than 150 Fresh Air friends and supporters gathered to socialize and learn more about how, last summer, The Fund provided New York City children with safe outdoor experiences and enriching virtual programming.

William Lauder, Chairman of the Board, said, “In 2021, The Fund continued its commitment to Fresh Air children by developing and implementing programs that made an impact on their lives, their families and communities.”

Amanda Starbuck Hanlan; Mike Sodikoff; Wendy R. Flanagan, Fresh Air Board President and Interim Executive Director; Fatima Shama, Former Executive Director of The Fresh Air Fund; Isabelle B. Krusen, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Georgina Bloomberg; and William P. Lauder, Chairman of the Board of The Fresh Air Fund.

On behalf of The Fund, Mr. Lauder expressed his gratitude to the guests for their unwavering support. Other speakers included Fresh Air Board President and Interim Executive Director, Wendy Flanagan, and Fatima Shama, former Fund Executive Director, along with young people who participated in summer programs.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit organization has provided free summer experiences in the outdoors to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877.

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, The Fund continues to provide safe, fun, engaging and enriching experiences for New York City youth to keep the magic of summer alive through virtual and outdoor programs. Fresh Air children also participate in year-round leadership and educational programs. For more information, please visit

Wendy R. Flanagan, Fresh Air Board President and Interim Executive Director; and Kimberly E. Steward, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund.
Donald L. Hawks III, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Greg Rosica, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Hugh Wrigley; and Stephanie Lynch.
Richard D. Thomas, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Isabelle B. Krusen, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Tamie Peters Thomas; and Amanda Starbuck Hanlan.
Alexis F. Maged, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Laura Maged; LizabethAnn Rogovoy Eisen, Vice President of the Board of The Fresh Air Fund; and William P. Lauder, Chairman of the Board of The Fresh Air Fund
L. to r.: Kathy Mele and Joe Mele; Kimberly E. Steward and LizabethAnn Rogovoy Eisen.
David S. Perpich, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; Wendy R. Flanagan, and Ahmed Deria, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund.
Amanda Starbuck Hanlan, Isabelle B. Krusen, and Georgina Bloomberg.
Steven M. Wolf, Board Member of The Fresh Air Fund; and Heather Wolf.
Benjamin Nwachukwu, with Richard D. Thomas and Tamie Peters Thomas.
David Faber, Jenny Harris, Wendy P. Flanagan, and Chris O’Malley.

Same week, next day, The Alzheimer’s Association hosted a lively soiree to kick off its upcoming Imagine Benefit, built on the legacy of the Rita Hayworth Gala, which will take place at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Monday, November 15.

Guests mingled at Arte Café on the Upper West Side over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, including Deanna Rockefeller, Barbie Bancroft, Toni Bloomberg, Janna Bullock, Sharon Bush, AJ Catsimatidis, Lilianna Cavendish, Michele Herbert, Brooke and Oliver Kennan, Alan Kornberg, Robin Meltzer, Lauren Roberts, Peter Thomas Roth, Kara Ross, Nicole Salmasi, Lucia Hwong Gordon, and Nicole Sexton.

Greg Smith and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan welcome guests to the Arte Café for The Alzheimer’s Association’s kick off event for its upcoming Imagine Benefit.

Imagine Benefit Chairs Princess Yasmin Aga Khan and Gregory Smith gave remarks on how special it was to be together again to raise awareness for the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, and shared a sneak peek on what to expect at this year’s event.

Smith spoke about the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, “A fact that always stands out to me is that between 2000 and 2019, deaths from heart disease have decreased 7.3%, while deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 145%. Unfortunately, it really is hard to find someone today who doesn’t have a connection to Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. I’m very honored to Chair this year’s Imagine Benefit as we advance our pursuit for a world without this devastating disease.”

Toni Bloomberg, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, and Carol Moran.
Molly Fisher, Amy Silva-Magalhaes, Virginia Mckenna, Greg Smith, and Brian Geyser.
Toni Bloomberg, Lonnie Wollin, and Carol Moran.
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Andrea Catsimatidis, Prince Dimitri, and Sharon Bush.
L. to r.: Chele Farley and Jenn Wollin; Robin Meltzer and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan.
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Olivier Kennan, and Brooke Kennan.
Nicole Salmasi, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Prince Dimitri, Sharon Bush, and Victoria Wyman.
Alex Soffer, Michael Soffer, and Wendy Blattner.
Andrea Catsimatidis and Justin Roberts.
Peter Thomas Roth, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Lauren Day Roberts, Anna Rothschild, and Nicole Salmasi.
Bill Sclight, Cheri Kauman, Sheikha Paula Al Sabah, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Lilliana Cavendish, Prince Dimitri, and Chele Farley.
Jamaar Harald, Beryl Harald, and Deanna Rockefeller.
Paola Rosenshein, Michele Herbert, Janna Bullock, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Jean Shafiroff, and Robin Meltzer.

For the first-time, this year’s Imagine Benefit will be a dinner featuring music and storytelling, tied to one of show business’ most prolific entertainers, Rita Hayworth, through her daughter Princess Yasmin Aga Khan who founded the Rita Hayworth Gala.

The event will feature live performances, art and music from artists in the local arts community, including Krystal Joy Brown, Tamar Greene, Oliver Kennan, Meghan Picerno, Caitlin Sullivan along with musicians from classical, jazz, and rock.

Photographs by John Sanderson/ (Doubles); Jenna Bascom Photography (Fresh Air Fund); Jill Nelson (Alzheimer’s)

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