February Chronicles

Monday, February 1, 2016

Perhaps the only redeeming moments in February are the Oscars, Valentine’s Day (but it could go either way), and, this year, a culling of all those very worthy presidential hopefuls. Sigh. So perhaps you will understand why I will harken back to our very best season in town for my little report.

Maybe you have seen Lee Radziwill, regally strolling her Upper East Side neighborhood. Thin, elegant, her fine features and grace essentially unchanged. But she has lived many decades of a rarefied and fascinating life, with stories about Nureyev and Capote among others, and that is why we celebrated her second volume of anecdotes and photos: Lee. “I actually have enough to fill a third and fourth volume,” she told us, so stand by. This volume was feted by Reinaldo Herrera and Jay Fielden, editor in chief of Town & Country magazine, at a private club that will, in deference to the rulebook, go unnamed, but know that it often follows “babbling.” And what a beauty that spot was—fire roaring, leather chairs warming, surrounded by books and Lee’s fans . . . a lovely vignette that the pictures will only suggest. The line for an autograph wound through the library, as Lee would rise to greet, thank, and often hug her guests. Peter Beard, who wrote the foreword, was first to be hugged, followed by her publisher, Prosper Assouline, and a gaggle of other glamorous fans, including Sofia Coppola, André Balazs, Cornelia Guest, Kenneth Jay Lane, Carolina Herrera, Jamie Creel and Marco Scarani, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Howard Blum, Priscilla Whittle, Ralph Rucci, Judy Taubman and Tiffany Dubin.

The literary crowd continued to celebrate at Anne Hearst McInerney, Jay McInerney and George Farias’s (he’s in finance, but reads a lot) annual, beloved Christmas party. Anne murmured something about holiday burnout, and suggested they might skip a year, but was met with a “riot.” We are a gentle community. So, one of the most beloved holiday parties again closed out the season at the most festive spot in town—Doubles. “Wendy [Carduner] is the greatest. She oversees all like a champ, and makes sure all runs smoothly. And you can’t beat her holiday decor.” True that. The already red rooms are festooned with all things glittery and festive, and mounds of food lie within. Because that just wasn’t enough, they invited Santa to come and receive us on his generous (thank heavens) lap. Then I spied a mistletoe balloon on Candace Bushnell’s wrist, and simply had to have my own. The balloon artist (Brooklyn Balloon Company) was happy to comply, and off I floated to receive kisses from their almost entirely kissable crowd, including: Eric and Sandra Ripert, Bill Bratton and Rikki Klieman, Nicole Miller and Kim Taipale, Katherine Bryan, Carolyne Roehm, Steve Kroft and Jennet Conant, Donna Tartt (I’m reading The Secret History and love it perhaps more than The Goldfinch), Hilary and Wilbur Ross, Danny Meyer, Muffie Potter Aston, Zang Toi, Robert Zimmerman, Ann Barish, Rudolph and Judith Giuliani, Ken Auletta and Amanda Urban, Gay Talese, Rufus Wainwright, Stephen Petronio, Alex Papachristidis, Alex Hitz, Carol and Earl Mack, Laurie Durning, Dennis Basso, Leila and Henry Heller, Deborah Norville and Morgan Entrekin. And we went into the balmy night, feeling very socially satisfied, and ready for a little hibernation.


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