In The Magazine

A Most Social Summer

by Debbie Bancroft Photographed by Hilary Swank== The Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Most Powerful People in Media 2015== Four Seasons Restaurant, NYC== April 8, 2015== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo - Nicholas Hunt/PatrickMcMullan.com== ==
Thursday, May 21, 2015
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Spring hasn’t exactly sprung—really, it eked in. Nevertheless, the season rages, albeit with fur wraps one day and sleeveless chiffon the next. We are an adaptable lot.

The new Whitney opened, with weeks of welcome events. Hil, Jeb, Ted, Marco and Rufus (I made that one up: just testing you . . .) came to town to kick off the next year and a half of fundraising and feuding. Sigh. Here is a tiny smattering of the flurry of events that are spring on the Avenue.

I’m not sure what’s happening with our beloved Four Seasons restaurant, but I knew I wanted to be there for perhaps the last annual Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People in Media party. So much so that I knew the only way I could make it after a seven-hour drive back from Virginia would be to change in our car. As my daughter drove, I contorted from one outfit to another, and at a light, on 36th and Broadway, I looked out the window and into the eyes of one of our most prolific social swans. Of course, she was at the party, and after her red carpet strut, I asked her if she wondered why I was sitting in my bra on 36th Street. She sighed, “No. I’m really in my own world.” And that is what it takes to be a true social x-ray. But I delve. All ends of media power were represented—subject, reporter, and boss—including Roger Ailes, Monica Lewinsky, Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Arianna Huffington, Hilary Swank, David Muir, Charlie Rose, Barbara Walters, editor Janice Min and Ronan Farrow, with whom we sat and to whom I showed pictures of my son, because I thought they looked alike. Hmmm: a little Mia and Ol’ Blue Eyes? Don’t see much Woody there.

Geoffrey Bradfield, who is working on two 215,000-squarefoot homes in China (!), among other projects, also had time to design and publish a book titled A 21st Century Palace, about the magnificent penthouse in the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem. And what more perfect venue in which to celebrate than the dramatic, chic and oh so hot Baccarat Hotel? After cocktails on the second floor, we descended to the private room at Chevalier, under Charles Masson’s expert care. Among the lucky guests: Tony Cointreau, Michael and Tara Rockefeller, Sharon Handler-Loeb and Ambassador John Loeb, Helena Lehane, Roric Tobin and Justin Concannon, and Mark Gilbertson. Later this week, Geoffrey will be honored for his philanthropy by the St. George’s Society of New York. And the morning after his dinner, he flew to Japan. And what did you do this week?

Ashley and Jeff McDermott, two of NY’s best and most gracious hosts, gave a cocktail for Maria Bello, Ashley’s brother’s ex-fiancée and the mother of their teenage son (follow closely), for the publication of her book that explains her “modern family.” After Maria, an accomplished actress, wrote a Modern Love column for the New York Times about her discovery that she was, in fact, in love with her female best friend, she realized it should be a book, and it now bears a title coined by her son, Jackson, when she told him about her new partner, Clare Munn: “Whatever . . . love is love.” Amen. Maria greeted everyone with more warmth than some of our best friends would. Among the readers and pals: hosts Mario Batali and Mariska Hargitay, Nancy and Andrew Jarecki, Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, Dennis Basso, Rachel and Ara Hovnanian, Bettina Zilkha, Dermot Mulroney, and Jill and Harry Kargman.


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