What social life in New York looks like now

Featured image
Cocktail reception and musical performance in front of the Château de Chantilly at the Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly's third annual gala dinner.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Nice weather, yesterday in New York, after all that rain on Sunday. Comfortable around 60 degrees by day, cooler by night.

Before we get started, our friend and contributor Paige Peterson was walking across the Park on her way to her apartment when she came up on this young man standing on the edge of the Great Lawn and playing his Sax. Everything about it — the man, the music and the beautiful park — inspired her to film it.

Today is a Party Picture day on the New York Social Diary. Party Pictures are the one item that few can resist. Doesn’t matter if you know them or not. We like to look at pictures of people for a million reasons including vulgar curiosity. However, because of the cell phone, the selfie culture has turned us into camera ready crew. What’s most interesting now is what people do with it.

Not everybody likes having their picture taken. I’d rather not. Others are camera shy, and others have serious particular reasons for not wanting their picture taken. Nevertheless in Party Pictures, you see it all in ourselves.

Today’s features, however, are also excellent examples of what social life in New York looks like now. Remember those black and white photos of an earlier era of socialites in nightclubs, women in jewels, men in black tie or well tailored suits looking like “socialites”? Not anymore.

We don’t look like that anymore, just as they didn’t look like the Victorians who came before them. The costume has changed, as it always does. And the events have changed. We’re living in a philanthropic culture that is identifiably social. It’s about purpose. It’s about ideals. It’s also about getting out and going to a party and having your picture taken. And seeing something or meeting someone. That’s New York today.

For example, last Wednesday, more than 100 members of New York’s philanthropic community came together to celebrate the children of Culture For One at its Fall Lunch, held at Inside Park at St Bart’s. The luncheon raised $35,000 to provide the city’s children in foster care with access to the arts.

CFO Board President Harold Koda, along with COO Sal Favia, announced a new partnership with Sesame Street in Communities. 

CFO Board Chair Harold Koda.

Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop, spoke. The collaboration will seek to help engage, facilitate healing, and provide developmental and encouraging opportunities designed to produce brighter futures for youth coming out of foster care.

To kick off the partnership Culture For One will promote and distribute Sesame Street in Communities materials to help children and caregivers better cope with the trauma of separation and boost visibility of the needs of youth in the child welfare system. 

One of the organization’s devoted foster parents, Nawanna Snipe, shared the story of her foster child Deanna. Deanna and Nawanna are bravely working through extreme trauma and hardship. Nawanna shared how the arts and Culture For One continue to be a positive influence throughout this process. 

Host Committee members included Lenore Cohen, Jeri Cohen, Sean Davis and Eric Menkes, Penny Grant, M.D., Harold Koda and Alan Kornberg, Randi Rossignol and Eileen Schein.

CFO Board Chair Harold Koda, Jeri Cohen, Lenore Cohen, Randi Rossignol, Penny Grant, Eileen Schein, Sean Davis, and Eric Menkes.
COO Sal Favia, Culture For One Board Members Lenore Cohen, Pam Sinderbrand, Eileen Schein, Bethany Brichta, and Board Chair Harold Koda.
Susan Kasarsky, Beverley Jordan, Pat Kaalund, Robin Abbott, Jermina James, and Nawanna Snipe.
L. to r.: Foster Parent Speaker Nawanna Snipe and Beverley Jordan; Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop.
Bernice Kwok Gabel, Jessica Glasscock, and Cynthia Russo.
Culture For One COO Sal Favia, John Wetzel, Robert Abel-Malak, Dawn McKenzie, Lynne Honkanen, and Frank D’Alessio.
Sarah Scaturro, Michèle Gerber Klein, Stephen Petronio, and Bernice Kwok Gabel.
Standing, l. to r.: Nic Marrone, Cheryl Chase, McKenna, Susan Kasarsky, Randi Rossignol, and Jenny Soderquist. Seated, l. to r.: Amy Tuller, Dean Schomburg, Marilyn Blackstone, and Khadijia Adulah.
Standing, l. to r.: Lori Cohen, Chris Heid, CFO Board Member Lenore Cohen, Joan Axelrod. Seated, l. to r.: Jeri Cohen, Susan Cohen, CFO Alumnus Palvi Manhas, and Amy Fabrikant.
Standing, l. to r.: Nancy Jerome, Eileen Schein, Amy Sokal, and Phyllis Barell. Seated, l. to r.: Linda Genereaux, Karen Baker, Laura McSherry, and Leslie Plotkin.

Also, last Monday night God’s Love welcomed 800 guests to the 13th Annual Golden Heart Awards at Cipriani South Street. The Awards are presented annually by God’s Love to honor the contributions of individuals, corporations and foundations to the organization’s cause.  It is an important fundraising event. Funds raised “help ensure that no person in the metropolitan area suffers the dual crises of hunger and life-altering illness.”

They make a major difference in people’s lives. This year’s dinner celebrated the remarkable contributions of three generous people: the mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg; John Demsey on behalf of his work with MAC VIVA GLAM Fund; and supermodel, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Iman.

John Demsey & Winnie Harlow.

The sold-out evening raised $2.9 million in support of the urgent mission of providing life-sustaining meals and nutrition counseling for people living with severe illness. It began with an Italian Market Experience curated by Eataly. Cocktails were followed by dinner and a live auction.

Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish started off the night welcoming guests. Playwright and screenwriter Matthew Lopez presented Mr. Buttigieg with the Award for Outstanding Leadership and Public Service. Fashion model Winnie Harlow presented John Demsey and MAC VIVA Glam Fund with the Award for Outstanding Volunteerism and Community Leadership.

Matthew Lopez.

After dinner and an auction, God’s Love President & CEO Karen Pearl spoke to the guests, and auctioneer Harry Santa-Olalla led a “rousing” auction. Then Michael Kors took the stage to present Iman with the Michael Kors Award for Outstanding Community Service.

Honorary Chairwoman was Anna Wintour, and Co-Chairs Michael Kors, John Idol, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Aerin Lauder, Jordan Roth, Blaine Trump, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness, and Cynthia Erivo were among those who made the evening a great success.

Anna Wintour, Pete Buttigieg, Karen Pearl, Tiffany Haddish & Danny Shea.

If you didn’t know: God’s Love We Deliver cooks and home-delivers nutritious, medically tailored meals for people too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Founded in 1985 as a response to the AIDS pandemic, they now serve people living with more than 200 different diagnoses. To support the health and well-being of their clients, they provide ongoing nutrition assessment, education, and counseling, and advocate for food and nutrition support.

God’s Love is non-sectarian. It serves individuals living with illness, and their children and caregivers. With a community of more than 15,000 volunteers, they deliver 1.9 million meals annually. All services are free to clients and full of love. For more information, visit godslovewedeliver.org.

Alethea Hannemann, Terrence Meck, Katy & Greg Williamson, Karen Pearl, Will & Sandrine Lee and Josh Cohen.
L. to r.: Jess & Zach Nash; Allison Chiaramonte, Danielle Segal & Samantha Lasry.
Karen Elson, Halima Aden, Iman, Michael Kors, Ugbad Abdi, Imaan Hammam.
Brad Learmonth & Jon Gilman.
L. to r.: Nancy Mahon & John Demsey; Matthew Yee & Vicente Wolf.
Denise Wagner Furman, Karen Pearl & Claudia Wagner.
Fern Mallis & Ruben Toledo.
L. to r.: Mindy Dubin & Chef Mike Anthony; Barrett & Joey McIntyre.
Harry Santa-Olalla & Michael Sennott.
Lester Gribetz, Blaine Trump & Paul Wilmot.
L. to r.: Anna Wintour & David Ludwigson; Jordan Roth & Richie Jackson.
Lupita Nyong’o, Iman, Michael Kors, Esperanza Nyong’o & Karen Elson.
L. to r.: David Burtka & Neil Patrick Harris; Ryan Tarpley.
Mike Moran & Jeff Gates.
Royce Pinkwater, Julie Pinkwater, Bill & Kristi Ribbecke and William Metzger.
Joanna Groarke, Anjuli Nanda Diamond, Isabelle Phelps, Christina Sardone, Chloe Kelley, Jonathan Lau, Alexandra Idol & Justin Sperling.

Back to the book. On another night earlier in the month at the Bloomberg Philanthropies headquarters (which a century ago was the mansion of Mamie and Stuyvesant Fish) Michael Bloomberg, hosted the New York launch of Kohn Pederson Fox founder Gene Kohn’s new book “The World by Design: The Story of a Global Architecture Firm”.

Michael Bloomberg.
Gene Kohn.
Michael Bloomberg, Gene Kohn, and Barbara Kohn.
Hugh Fremantle, Dr. Arnold Melman, Barbara Kohn, William Coleman, May Louie, and Bill Louie.

Mr. Kohn’s book is a professional memoir. He draws on landmarks of his personal and professional life, of how he and his partners Bill Pedersen and the late Sheldon Fox built one of the largest and most successful architecture firms in the world.

Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) has 8 offices circling the globe and projects throughout the U.S., Europe and the Far East.  Of the world’s eleven tallest buildings, KPF has built 6 of them.

Theodore Kurz (Debevoise & Plimpton), Gene Kohn, and Addie Kurz.
Susan Sussman, Gene Kohn, and Jeffrey Sussman.
Steve Kohn, Laurie Kohn Parkinson, Gene, and Brian Kohn.
Gene Kohn, Byron Wien (Blackstone Advisory Partners), and Anita Wien.
Patricia Harris (Bloomberg Philanthropies(, Barbara Kohn, and Ruth Lande Shuman (Publicolor).
Barbara and Diana Taylor.
Clifford Pearson, Sam Lubell, and Claudie Bardenburg.
Bill Pedersen, Gene Kohn, Bill Louie, and James von Klemperer (KPF).
L. Jay Cross (Related Hudson Yards) and Gene Kohn.

Late last month (it’s never too late for a party like this): Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly held its third gala dinner in presence of its Chairman Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Board members Nathalie Brunel, Betty Eveillard, Alice Goldet, Maryvonne Pinault and Daniel Thierry; Gala Chair Katharine Rayner, and Honorary Committee members Eric and Caroline Freymond, Their Highnesses Prince and Princess Fugger-Babenhausen, Achille and Judith Murat Guest, Amin Jaffer, Susan Kendall, Ambassador and Mrs. Earle Mack, Ambassador and Mrs. Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, Prince and Princess Poniatowski and Baron and Baroness Seillière, among others.

Château de Chantilly.
Paintings Gallery.
Psyche Gallery.
Table decoration by Eric Chauvin, Meissen Manufactory and Options.

Guests were welcomed with a champagne reception by Laurent-Perrier while Le Concert de la Loge performed an 18th-century program devised by Julien Chauvin in the gardens. They then dined in the Château’s most beautiful rooms decorated by Eric Chauvin, Meissen Porcelain Manufactory and Options. The menu was designed by Guillaume Gomez (Elysée Palace) and Guy Krenzer (Lenôtre) with wines from Château Canon and Château Rauzan-Ségla.

Le Concert de la Loge performing during dinner in the Paintings Gallery.
Le Concert de la Loge musicians.
Guests in the Stag Gallery.

This elegant evening raised funds for a major show on Chantilly and Meissen porcelain which will open in September 2020 at the Château de Chantilly with a spectacular design by Peter Marino. It will be the first time a large-scale exhibition will bring together historic pieces produced by the two famous manufactories. 

Almost 300 art lovers, philanthropists, cultural notables and dignitaries as well as porcelain collectors and experts from all over the world attended this gala dinner to celebrate and contribute to the upcoming show. To read the full article or support Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly: fodchantilly.org.

Institut de France Chancellor Xavier Darcos, Katharine Rayner, and Prince Amyn Aga Khan.
L. to r.: German Ambassador to France Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut and Mrs. Meyer-Landrut; Maryvonne Pinault and Frédéric Mitterrand.
L. to r.: Betty Eveillard and Nathalie Brunel; Dr. Susan E. Kendall and Chantilly curator Dr. Mathieu Deldicque.
L. to r.: Baron Seillière, Ambassador and Mrs. Howard Leach; Katharine Rayner.
L. to r.: Sarah-Katharina Andres-Acevedo and Alfredo Reyes; HRH Princess Béatrice de Bourbon des Deux Siciles, Count and Countess Louis-Jean de Nicolaÿ.
L. to r.: Prince and Princess Poniatowski; Carol Mack and Tracey Amon.
L. to r.: Mr. and Mrs. Achille Murat Guest; Dr. Amin Jaffer, Alfiya Kuanysheva, and Prince Mubarak Al Sabah.
Guests in the Sanctuario Gallery surrounded by masterpieces.
The Chefs with Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Arlette Jasper-Kohl, His Highness Hubertus Prince Fugger-Babenhausen and Brigitte Meyer-Landrut.
Guests in the Tribune Gallery.

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