In The Magazine


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How I wish I could give you all the pithy info and the well-deserved, detailed accolades for all the fab events that crammed themselves into what felt like the busiest spring season ever. But much like speed dating (I would imagine), I can only give you frustratingly quick snippets.

Let’s start with love—the beginning of one marriage and the celebration of a very long one. Both were held in the same venerable (unnamed) men’s club that nimbly converted into a very coed, music- and joy-filled love nest. Amanda Ross and Zack Bacon were married in a small family service, then welcomed their legions of friends to the nightclub converted by Antony Todd into a sleek, chic space with nods to their southern and fashionable backgrounds. Their first dance was to Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel” as hundreds of Ladurée Marie Antoinette cakes were nibbled and DJ Nick Cohen turned up the tunes. Later that month, Jamee and Peter Gregory celebrated 45 years of marital bliss, held at the same spot, but with a mariachi band—an homage to Jamee’s choice of Mexico for their honeymoon, over what would be the last crossing of the SS France—Peter’s choice. He forgave her—big-time.

The Fountain House presented its Symposium and Luncheon, about the tough but important subject of suicide. Presenter Rosie O’Donnell introduced Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, as “the person I want to be when I grow up.” Chairs were Lorna Graev, Podie Lynch, Patricia Begley, Kitty de Chazal, Caroline McKenzie, Anne Mai and Alexandra Herzan.

One of my favorite spring lunches is Rockefeller University’s Women & Science Annual Lecture and Luncheon. This year, Cynthia Kenyon, Ph.D., vice president of Aging Research at Calico (a venture launched by the founders of Google), discussed breakthroughs in slowing the aging process. Attendees included Julia Koch, Sydney Schuman, Jessica Hart, Marnie and Blair Pillsbury, Nancy Kissinger, Dr. Samantha Boardman, Eliza Bolen and the president of Rockefeller University, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D., who has announced he will be the president of Stanford University; he’ll be replaced by Yale’s Dr. Richard Lifton.

I think we have all spent more time at the iconic Four Seasons in the last six months than the last six years! The Lighthouse Guild for the Blind held their POSH Affair and honored philanthropist Margo Catsimatidis, designer B. Michael, artist Kim McCarty and her hubby, restaurateur Michael McCarty. They were introduced by Blythe Danner, Jay McInerney and Cicely Tyson.

A few nights later, Pete Peterson, from his longtime perch on the banquettes at the Four Seasons, feted his daughter Holly Peterson and her new book, Smoke and Fire: Recipes and Menus for Entertaining Outdoors, with pals including Perri Peltz, Ali WentworthAlexandra Styron, Charles Fagan, Peter Manning, Danielle Ganek and Liz Smith.

I finished my season at the intimate Boys’ Club of New York’s Annual Awards Dinner, which raised almost $1.2 million to go toward their outstanding work. They honored Jacqueline Williams for her almost 30 years of dedication to the organization, and Bill Tyree, who has been appointed president of the board after his 26 years of service as a trustee. Many of the ladies, including Amy Griffin, Sara Ayres, Betsy Pitts and Kitty Sherrill, sparkled brightly in sponsor Nirav Modi’s dazzling diamonds. We all received keys—three of which would open the jewelry chest at their Madison Avenue store and reward the right person with a very special piece of jewelry. Then we descended on the store for breakfast the following Tuesday and, in a scene reminiscent of the wicked stepsisters each unsuccessfully cramming a foot into Cinderella’s lost slipper, we tried our keys . . . but alas, no fit yet!

Photos by Julie Skarratt and Sylvain Gaboury/PMC.


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by Debbie BancroftPhotographed by Griffin Lipson and Hunter Abrams/