|On a loose leash. Photo: JH.|
|Thursday, June 14, 2012. Fair and sometimes sunny, yesterday in New York with rainclouds occasionally all around and temperatures in the comfortable mid-70s. This month, so far, has been a rainy one, or at least one that looks to be promising rain. I love the rain. It often cools us off, and cleans the streets and the flora and fauna.
It was Wednesday. Midtown traffic was horrendous. There is a plethora of traffic cops in that area now. I’ve seen corners with as much as four at the same time. Plus the traffic lights. It would seem that the cops might be able to move traffic along more smoothly. Although in my observation, if there’s a logjam it’s either an accident having just occurred, a narrowing of lanes because of double parked trucks (and occasionally cars), or ... a traffic cop?
I ask myself, why should that be? The traffic cops intend to fulfill their objective: to keep the traffic flowing smoothly. Yet it does not seem to flow any more smoothly, and often it seems like the traffic directors slow it down. I wonder if perhaps it is because the drivers are having to interpret two messages at the same time – one from the lights, which we have been conditioned to for decades, and one for the traffic cops whose directions are often contrary to the lights.
|Reminding me of that eternal question: How can you be in two places at one time when you’re nowhere at all?
I went down to Michael’s, surprise surprise. It was to lunch with Mary Horner whom as you may have read a few weeks ago, I had a kind of reunion lunch with, and an old friend of hers whom I had never met but had heard much about, Midge Richardson who was editor-in-chief for 18 years of Seventeen magazine. Midge who has been retired for sometime, was there when the magazine was the property of Enid Haupt (after whom the Conservatory at the New York Botanical is named). Mrs. Haupt was born an Annenberg, a sister of Walter Annenberg, the American press lord and Ambassador to the Court of St. James under Nixon. Annenberg greatly enhanced his already large inherited fortune by expanding the press empire begun by their father, Moses (“Mo”) Annenberg who owned the Daily Racing Form, among other lucrative titles.
I asked her if she knew Enid Haupt (wondering if Mrs. Haupt actually “worked” on her publicaton). “Oh yes,” was the answer. And Seventeen was very very popular, a real money-maker. (Walter Annenberg’s TV Guide was even more of a money maker. It was sold to Rupert Murdoch four years ago as part of his purchase of Annenberg’s Triangle Publications – for $3 billion).
I asked Midge where she grew up and that explained it: Los Angeles.
Back “when it was a small town.” Where New Englanders had a “stiff upper lip”-ness to their personalities, L.A people obviously had a “laid-back” quality to theirs. With a little more sense of conduct than now of course. As a child she first lived in an area that is now called Downtown L.A. (with a variety of revived title locations as it has become residential destination with the younger and hipper sets, including many artists). Then her family moved to the San Fernando Valley (always referred to as “The Valley”). That was in the days when just driving over the Cahuenga Pass (pre-freeways), the fragrance of the citrus farms literally filled the air like a sudden, billowing spritz of the sweetest perfume. Paradise. At least in your head.
After she finished school Midge entered a Catholic order and became a nun. She worked as a teacher; she still likes to work on projects that help children learn. For eighteen years. Then she left the order (still in L.A.). I can’t remember her reason but it wasn’t an unhappy or regrettable departure or transition. She came to New York. Somewhere in there she met a guy named Ham Richardson, a tennis ace, and she married him. They stayed married, although Mr. Richardson died a few years ago. I don’t know how she got into the magazine editing business, but just from talking to her, I could tell she loved and still loves the venue for editing and writing. And writers – a lost art in itself. Her 18 year tenure at Seventeen was memorable for its length – even then. Today she’s a long time New Yorker and continues to work on projects that help children in education.
Michael’s rez list reflected the midtown traffic: Peter Brown, Desiree Gruber, Nikki Haskell, Gillian Tett – the brilliant managing editor of the American edition of the Financial Times. Gillian’s frequent financial column is the only one in the mainstream media that is really about The Way Things Are and What Exactly Are We (NOT) Doing About It. She has a very leveling, and incisive voice. She started out life as an anthropologist, not an economics major; maybe that’s way.
Moving right along: three of Da Boyz – Bergman, Imber and della Femina; Paul Wilmot; Vin Cipolla of the Municipal Art Society, with the beautiful and glamorous Kitty Hawks; author Greg Lawrence (“Jackie As Editor”); Howard Rubenstein and Gil Schwartz; Marshall Cohen; Dennis Basso and Michael Cominotto with Star Jones; Jean Doumanian; Elizabeth Harrison; David Poltrack; Larry Bernstein, publisher of New York magazine; Michael’s very own Brenda Starr Diane Clehane with Holly Whidden and Jay Fielden, e-i-c of Town & Country; Harriet Weintraub; the WSJ’s David Sanford and Lewis Stein; Henry Schleiff with the two Sternbergs, Scott and Scott who produce On The Case with Paula Zahn.
|John Demsey's garden last night at the party for Cornelia Guest.|
|Last night, John Demsey hosted a book party for his friend Cornelia Guest at his East Side townhouse. John is one of the great welcoming hosts of the fashion/media/young social world of New York. Soft-spoken, unassuming in presence, people love going to John’s house because it’s a home, up close and personal and comfy. Incidentally, between his and Cornelia’s guest lists, the place was jammed and I never saw John. I don’t even know if John was there. Among those I saw moving through quickly (with another reception on the calendar too): were Boatie Boatwright, Jill Brook, Chris and Grace Meigher, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Aileen Mehle, Christopher Mason, Susan Silver, Todd Romano, Leslie Stevens, William Ivey Long, Eleni and Randall Gianopoulos, Mark Gilbertson, Iris Love, Leonard Lauder, Christina Green Gerry, Alexis Graham, the most dapper Hassan el Garrahy – Hassan to thousands of New Yorkers and Euro-New Yorkers– of Bar Italia and Orsay, and his beautiful wife; and what seemed like a cast of thousands upstairs and down.
The book’s author is a horsewoman, animals activist, events planner/caterer, cookie baker/distributor, handbag designer (animal-free materials) and a proponent, devoted, dedicated to healthy diets. The book is about that, full of vegan recipes. One look at what Cornelia does with those vegetables, and you might be too. Otherwise, it’s about her life, her house, her surroundigs, her resident animal friends – dogs, cats, horses – and her gardens. A beauty, an inspiration, and very practical, like its author.
|The author. Click to order .||Randall and Eleni (of Eleni's Cookies) Gianopoulos with Mark Gilbertson.|
|Courtney Reidy and Brooke Jaffe.||Kristina Stewart Ward and Melissa Berkelhammer.|
|The author signing.|
|Hassan and Andree Elgarrahy.||Iris Love and Christina Green Gerry.|
|The books for the guests.|
|Diary Notes: Jill Lynne writes about the Hudson River Park.
Water! We who live on the island of Manhattan are extremely fortunate, not only to have the clear cool clean drinking waters that originate in our beautiful upstate New York reservoirs – Ashokan, Croton, but also to be surrounded by rivers especially the mighty Hudson.
Way back then, the Hudson was clear and proud. It was the Shad capital of the world, the oyster capital (Staten Island), the North American sturgeon capital. Three generations ago, New York boys would dive off the piers for both an East and West Side swim.
The industrial progress of the 20th century, along with the ever burgeoning growth in population changed all that, and not for the good. The Hudson was deeply polluted. We’ve been on the road back, however. The Hudson River Park is a treasure – not only for Manhattanites, but also for visitors worldwide.
The Hudson River Park is the longest waterfront park in the United States, attracting 17 million visitors annually. Through The Friends of Hudson River Park, the park plays a critical role in contributing to the sustainability of the Hudson ecosystem.
|Attendees view future plans for HRP.|
|HRP's visualization of future plans.|
|Among myriad recreational and educational activities, it provides glorious waterfront access for meditating, reading, dog-walking, bicycling, skating, picnicking, kayaking, sailing, strolling, and possible participation in an array of free summer activities. All of this is featured in “2012: Take Me To The River” – from River Flicks (free films), through River Rocks (free lively concerts), MoonDance Sundays (free Dance Instructions & Dancing with Live Bands), a Blues BBQ, Fitness Classes, and Play and Learn Programs for Children. It has become the go-to-destination for lower-“key” sunset gatherings.
So it was with unbridle enthusiasm, I braved the ever-darkening skies and preceded to Pier 26 for the sold-out The Hudson River Parks Spring Gala Benefit. Thunderclouds threatened but did not open up until the outdoor cocktail party was over, and the 830 guests were dining beneath the tent. At that point, the rains came along with the lightning.
The evening attracted prominent New Yorkers from supporters in government, business and entertainment, and netting more than $1.6 million for support operations and programming.
|Kayakers continue to paddle despite the impending storm.|
|At the cocktail reception, guests gather beneath threatening skies on Pier 26 for the Hudson River Park's Spring Gala.|
|Bartender attempts to pour drinks midst winds of impending storm.|
|Gayle King, Co-host of CBS This Morning emceed. There were remarks by Diana Taylor, Trust Board Chair, Friends Board Member and Gala Co-chair, Madelyn Wils, President and CEO, Hudson River Pak Trust, and the Honoree Glenn Dubin, Chairman Highbridge Capitol Management.
The Hudson River Park’s 550 acres is only 70% complete. Future plans include a fourth non-motorized boathouse in Tribeca for kayaks, paddleboats and outriggers, along with a restaurant with harbor views, a 650-foot pier at 57th street, and in the Meatpacking District, Pier 57, a commercial market, restaurant, cultural and educational spaces, as well as a rooftop park programmed by the Tribeca Film Festival. Rents generated will be used for the upkeep of Hudson River Parks.
|Former New York Governor George E. Pataki.||Leonard Steinberg and Quentin A. Reynolds.|
|Bill Zwart, Abigail Trank, Ben Korman, and Vince McGowan, Director and CEO, Battery Park City Parks Authority, Founding President of the United War Veterans Council, former VP Management and Operations, Hudson River Park Conservancy.|
|MAD's Chairwoman Barbara Tober chats with friends.|
|Sharon Cohen, Robin Kaplan, and Jane Wagman in colorful dresses.||Cherrie Nanninga with Reno Cappelli in his self-designed pink suit.|
|John Gomes, Holly Parker, and Fredrik Ekland.|
|Emily Gershon, Anna Lynn Oppenheimer, and Erica Martina in Lela Rose.||Hilary and Stanislas Neve de Mevergnies.|
|Mike and Melissa Stewart.|
|Julie Menin, Chairperson Community Board #1.||Architect Richard Meier.|
|Madelyn Wils, President and CEO Hudson River Trust, addresses the crowd at the HRP Spring Benefit Dinner.||Honoree Glenn Russell Dubin, Chairman and CEO Highbridge Captal Management.|
|Friends of Hudson River Parks Executive Director, A. J. Pietrantone.|
|Emcee Gayle King, Co-host CBS This Morning.||Trust Board Chair, Friends Board member and Gala Co-chair Diana Taylor with avid Parks supporter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.|
Contact DPC here .