On The Avenue

Happy Birthday To Us: Avenue Celebrates 35 Years!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nightlife is being reborn uptown. Sure, the Boom Boom Room, The Bunker (the latest it-spot) and Kenmare still attract hordes of hipsters and celebrities, but the Upper East Side is becoming a major disco destination. Heralding this return to the days when Park Avenue princesses partied at clubs like Au Bar, Le Club, Regine’s and the Surf Club is Lavo (which happens to occupy the old Au Bar space). So naturally, when AVENUE decided to throw a 35th anniversary blowout bash, we took over Lavo for dancing, drinks, food and lots and lots of friends—some who weren’t even born when the first issue of the magazine was printed.

“I haven’t seen this space since it was my favorite club, Au Bar,” observes designer Liz Lange. “I was here every night with Jenny Stein. Her dad owned it. I think she has since changed her name to Taylor. Those days were so fun. And being at Lavo is bringing back so many memories.”

Interior design master Mario Buatta is thrilled to have a new night spot nearby. “Lavo is a great re-do of Au Bar. Plus the finger food is very tasty,” he says, nibbling a little morsel. “I also think the uptown girls will like being in the nabe.”

Tinsley Mortimer (who is writing her first novel) arrives with her constant companion, sister Dabney Mercer, and the socialite gets snapped like crazy by the photographers. Mortimer remembers the first time she saw her name in AVENUE—on the coveted Best-Dressed list. “I was so flattered to be included. In the picture, I was wearing a beautiful gold Oscar de la Renta tulle and sequined dress that I adored.”

Mortimer has since appeared on two AVENUE covers. “Photographer Thomas Whiteside took some of my favorite pictures of me for AVENUE. My favorite one was with my bangs teased and swept back, my hair in a bouffant and I was wearing a Chanel skirt. It is now framed in my living room.”

It’s a family affair, and Nylon’s Style Director and Lia Sophia jewelry designer Dani Stahl brings her mother Joan Israel as her date. “Whenever I am in AVENUE, my mom tags the page and leaves it for me to see. She always gets the magazine first in her building. It’s so fun being at Lavo with my mother. It’s not often we go clubbing together. We’re having a blast.” Stahl lives nearby and mentions that brunch at Lavo is a must-do. “It’s like you’ve been instantly transported to St. Tropez. The restaurant upstairs is so good.”

Graziano de Boni, who was just named the Chief Executive Officer of Giorgio Armani Corporation, declares, “AVENUE is such a New York institution. It’s the inside track about New York, combined with great fashion and chic American style.”

The music gets louder and more guests fill the room, like Natalie Leeds Leventhal, Nina Griscom, Liz Lind, actress/artist Meredith Ostrom, Bettina Zilkha, Carlos Souza and Anna Rothschild. Henri Barguirdjian arrives with his daughter Delphine, and legendary society photographer Mary Hilliard takes a (well-deserved) night off from snapping socialites.

Richard Mishaan huddles with a few close friends by a small bar away from the dance floor. “I had my first design project on the cover of AVENUE,” Mishaan tells me. “I love being part of the AVENUE family. It’s a monthly year book for our little community in New York City.”


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