Women of note

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The full moon as seen from Providenciales in Turks & Caicos. Photo: JH.

Thursday, March 28, 2024. Mainly sunny day yesterday in New York, with temps reaching up into the low 50s and down to the high 40 mid-evening.

At noon, I went down to Michael’s, invited by Paige Peterson and Ann Dexter-Jones.  The traffic getting there was predictably massive everywhere; the kind of traffic that moves a block a light, mid-day. Which is why I don’t get to Michael’s as frequently.

Nevertheless, it was good to be home; and Wednesday’s at Michael’s is and was full-up. I’m told that it’s also full up for the dinner hour these days.

DPC with Paige Peterson and Ann Dexter-Jones at Michael’s.

I’ve known Ann for a long time, although as it is in my life — and maybe for many New Yorkers — I see so many people regularly and then other matters and issues to investigate and write about vary widely and frequently. 

I did see her very briefly a couple of weeks ago at a cocktail party Paige had for her friend Katrina vanden Heuvel and her late husband’s book “Russian Fate/PYCCKAR/CYABBA” from the archives of Stephen F. Cohen.

Yesterday for Ann and me was a set of memory years ago, except for those passings in the night. Ann’s husband is Mick Jones, a legendary songwriter, musician, producer, performer, to whom she was married twice (with a divorce in between).

Ann Dexter-Jones having an animated discussion with Richard Aborn at the book party at Paige’s for Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Ann also has a business – jewelry design. During lunch I noticed that she was wearing some beautiful pieces on her hands, wrists, earrings and on her blouses. I mention it because sitting at table with her and knowing her personality – very open and outgoing – it didn’t surprise me to see she loves beautiful jewelry and loves wearing it all the time. And it was impressive and expressive. 

I’d just assumed that “when you’re married to a rock star,” you can have masses of beautiful jewelry. And wear it. And she did. And does.

Paige and Anne clasping hands each wearing one of their beautiful aquamarine and gold consort Ann Dexter-Jones rings. For more of Ann’s designs, visit anndexterjonesdesign.com

When we met a number of years ago, Ann was living in a townhouse on Second Avenue and about 15th Street which had been designed and built by the fabled architect Stanford White for a very young – mid-teenage – impossibly alluring girl Evelyn Nesbit. Miss Nesbit was looked after by her mother who was protecting her daughter, and her own interests. 

If you don’t know the classic crime story that ensued into the eventual murder of Stanford White in 1906, it’s been reported and told many times in magazines, books, on film and onstage for decades.

Naturally we talked about the house Ann and Mick Jones bought during their first marriage. Talking about its fabled history, she recalled the time a woman she knew who was naturally psychic happened to visit Ann at the house when she first bought it. 

During the visit, her guest told Ann that there was a ghost in the very room where they were sitting whom she described as a very young woman who seemed to be looking for someone. Ann explained to her guests that the house had been designed and built around 1900 for Miss Nesbit and her mother.

Only a few years thereafter, Stanford White was murdered by gunshot at his table in a crowded rooftop nightclub at Madison Square Garden (which White himself designed) by Harry Thaw, a young millionaire from Pittsburgh who was married to Miss Nesbit. The murder trial of Mr. Thaw was heralded as the “Trial of the Century.”

Evelyn testifying at her husband’s murder trial, 1907.
The convicted murderer in prison at the Tombs. Although from the looks of it, none the worse for wear.

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