The town’s around

Featured image
A full plate. Photo: JH.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Yesterday in New York was a beautiful, sunny day with temps around 70. The mood changes.

I had dinner with friends at Sette Mezzo — which was crowded inside and out. A lot of New Yorkers now love eating outside. Aside from the health aspect, it reminds of Paris amidst it all.  Our conversation was about how New York is back. Or coming back.

The weather helps, but the group activities — like last Wednesday’s Hat Lunch in the Park and many cultural and charitable events are booming, and raising much needed funds to help, to feed, and to care for so many of us in need. People are enjoying each other’s company. This is normal normally, but it has been missing for many of us for quite some time. It is returning with pleasure.

My friends at dinner are big supporters of the ballet and were raving about Tiler Peck, the prima ballerina from Bakersfield, California who has a million Instagram followers and is inspiring to her generation. Good news! It’s also drawing a growing audience of the younger seeing their own generation up there thrilling us. Last week’s opening benefit raised more than $700,000 for the Ballet.

Tyler Peck at the New York City Ballet Spring gala.

It’s catching. On Thursday, May 5th female entrepreneurs, mothers, and good friends Sabrina Rudin and Anastasia Ganias-Gellin hosted a delightful Mother’s Day brunch to celebrate their circle of mothers, entrepreneurs and friends.

Among the notable attendees: Rebecca Minkoff, Eden Grinshpan, Melissa Wood Tepperberg, Arielle Charnas, Maria Duenas Jacobs, Pamela Tick, Tali Magal, Carolyn Angel, Rachel Blumenthal, Madison Rae, Joanna Hillman, Elissa Lipsky and Violet Gaynor and many more.

Sabrina Rudin and Anastasia Ganias-Gellin.

Sabrina Rudin founded Spring Café Aspen in Aspen, Colorado nine years ago. After much success in the popular ski town, she brought her concept to her hometown, this town, New York City. The focus is on top-tier organic ingredients whilst being mindful of the environment, from cookware and even down to the materials used when building their restaurants.

Fancy Peasant founder Anastasia Ganias-Gellin, a first-generation Greek American, started it by sharing her stylish, modern spin on traditional mountain cuisine from her family’s region of Greece. Fancy Peasant Olive Oil is made from hand picked olives, sourced on a single-estate in Greece. Fancy Peasant Greek Mountain Oregano Blend is made with Greek Mountain Oregano, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Crushed Chili Pepper, Parsley, Mediterranean Sea Salt, Black Pepper. What, you didn’t know that?

Brunch guests were treated to a delicious assortment of healthy fresh pressed juices and indulged in the cafe’s organic and nourishing new vegetarian spring items.

The menu included chickpea shakshuka, coconut pancakes, and avocado toast in addition to Fancy Peasant’s signature dishes, oils, and spices.

Everyone took home goodies that included Fancy Peasant olive oil, Fancy Peasant Greek mountain oregano blend, spanakopita, and Spring Café Aspen Golden Juice. A donation was made in each guest’s name to World Central Kitchen which is currently working to provide critical meal support to refugees fleeing Ukraine.  So you see, that’s New York business as usual and spread the word to the world.

Lesley Vecsler, Marcella Guarino, Anastasia Ganias-Gellin, and Sofia Karvela.
Eden Grinshpan, Tali Magal, Carolyn Angel, Joanna Hillman, and Elisa Lipsky.
Melissa Wood and Pamela Tick.
Pamela Tick, Rebecca Minkoff, Eden Grinshpan, and Sabrina Rudin.
L. to r.: Zara Tisch and Jessie Rudin; Madison Rae.
Melissa Wood and Sammi DeChiaro.
Marcella Guarino.
Rachel Blumenthal.
Maria Duenas Jacobs.
Tali Magal.
Sabrina Rudin and Anastasia Ganias-Gellin.

Also last Thursday, most important, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), the only nonprofit solely focused on accelerating the development of drugs for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, hosted their 15th Annual Connoisseur’s Dinner honoring Beatriz Illescas Claugus and Tom Claugus, Foundation For A Better World (FFBW). FFBW, founded in 2013, funds numerous organizations worldwide fighting to find cures for neurodegenerative diseases, improving access to quality education, and supporting major global development initiatives to reduce health inequities.

It was a black tie evening which was held at Sotheby’s, and featured for guests that night an exclusive preview of Sotheby’s upcoming Macklowe Collection before the auction sale begins on the evening of May 16th, 2022.

Randal Sandler, Tom Claugus, Beatriz Claugus, and Ronald S. Lauder.

Guests could view 30 pieces of work from the celebrated collection, like Gerhard Richter’s painting, Seascape, from 1975, estimated to sell between $25-$35 million.

Among the notable guests were Judy and Leonard Lauder, Ronald Lauder, Josh Lauder and Katherine Chan, Ghislain d’Humieres, Jane and Clifford Hudis, Deborah Krulewitch, Tad Smith, Barbara Tober, Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper, and Dick Parsons.

ADDF, founded in 1988, was the creation of the Lauder brothers, Leonard and Ronald. They are committed to finding a cure, a solution, and they are getting closer and closer to it. They are dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease.

Ronald and Leonard Lauder.
Julia Shanahan, Kevin Shanahan, Judy Lauder, Tom Claugus, Beatriz Claugus, Leonard A. Lauder, and Paula Zahn.

The ADDF is the only public charity solely focused on funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s’ employing a venture philanthropy model to support research in academic and the biotech industry. Through the generosity of its donors, the ADDF has awarded more than $209 million to fund over 690 Alzheimer’s drug discovery and biomarker programs and clinical trials in 19 countries. To learn more, visit:

L. to r.: Ginger Feuer and Larry Leeds; Sharon Sager and Charles Cangro.
Frank Longo, Miranda Orr, Roberta Diaz Brinton, and Dr. Howard Fillit.
L. to r.: Yuta Powell; Dr. Howard Fillit and Mark Roithmayr.
Josh Lauder, Katherine Chan, Judy Lauder, Clifford Hudis, and Jane Hudis.
L. to r.: Kiera and Chris Johnson; Lisa Dennison.
Keven Shanahan, Julieann Shanahan, Sharon Sager, and Mark Roithmayr.
L. to r.: Ghislain d’Humieres and Daisy Soros; Charles Stewart.
L. to r.: Randal and Liz Sandler; Judy Lauder and Emily Braun.
Nicco Fonda, Isabelle Cadena, Adam Hoffman, Beatrice Schwank, Fernando Schwank, Greg Claugus, Tom Claugus, Beatriz Claugus, Andy Heyman, Melissa Heyman, Mimi Claugus, Elizabeth Connor, Michael Claugus, and Thomas Claugus II.

And in keeping with the spring theme, LongHouse Reserve, the 16-acre nature reserve and sculpture garden in East Hampton, opened its 2022 season this past weekend with hundreds of visitors and nearly a million blooming daffodils.   

New work on view include a commissioned installation by William and Steven Ladd and sculptures by Moko Fukuyama and Alexander Polzin, joining permanent installations by Buckminster Fuller, Yoko Ono, Willem de Kooning and many more.

On Saturday evening William and Steven Ladd participated in the first of a series titled LongHouse Talks with Director Carrie Barratt who explained, “Conversations with artist and thinkers have a long history at LongHouse—Jack was one of the great conversationalists—and LongHouse Talks continue this tradition.”

Over the summer, LongHouse will offer a series of talks on with artists, architects, designers, dancers, musicians, gardeners and other thought partners in living with art in all of its forms. Coming up soon are Lee Skolnick, Glenn Adamson, Moko Fukuyama, Edwina von Gal, Marren Hassinger Fitzhugh Karol, Abdul Latif, Alexander Polzin, and Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner, all of whom are presenting their work and practice at LongHouse this season.

Carrie Barratt with Steven and William Ladd, LongHouse Reserve Talk.

Following drinks and hors d’oeuvres served in The Pavilion, friends of LongHouse marched to the installation by the Ladds for the talk on the site of their work Right Here, Right Now, a largescale bridge-like environment constructed out of disks of cedar branches collected from the artists’ property in Germantown, NY.

“We’ve been wanting to create a large-scale outdoor sculpture for years and to have the opportunity to install one in such a prestigious and immaculate environment gave us a high bar to aspire to” said Steven Ladd.

El Colegio del Cuerpo Dancers.

“The connection with nature, craftsmanship and community at LongHouse was a natural fit for us. At the opening when the community came and celebrated, we could feel the energy of LongHouse come to life and embrace us and our work.” They were joined by their parents and extended family, who helped them construct the artwork on site.

Starting this past Saturday May 7th, Horticulturist Holger Winenga began weekly garden tours (12:30pm and 2:30pm). And on Mother’s Day, they began weekly Walking Meditations and Gentle Movement with instructor Jason Amis.

Still to come to Longhouse this season includes artworks by Bjorn Amelan, Byung-Hoon Choi, Niki de Saint Phalle, and a commissioned work by Cheng Tsung Feng.

Ayse Kenmore, Dianne Benson, and Lys Marigold.
William Ladd, Peter Olsen, Matilda McQuaid, Craig Konyk, Steven Ladd, and Carrie Barratt.
Mark Fichandler and Paul Travis.
Peter Olsen and Nina Gillman.
L. to r.: Janak Melvani and Pooja Adhar; Emily Whorton and Erica Ferraro.
Emma Clurman and Richard De Rose.

Photographs by Lanscine Janneh/ ( Spring Café); Rupert Ramsay/ (ADDF); Richard Lewin (Longhouse)

Recent Posts