AVENUE November | December 2021

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NICKY HILTON ROTHSCHILD Home for the Holidays


461 Park Avenue at 57th Street, New York, NY 10022 Harrods, Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL www.richard-james.com

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463 Park Avenue, New York, NY (646) 905-8670 805 Third Avenue, New York, NY (212) 796-5366 14 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8LB Also at Harrods harrysoflondon.com

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463 Park Avenue, New York, NY (646) 905-8670 805 Third Avenue, New York, NY (212) 796-5366 14 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8LB Also at Harrods harrysoflondon.com

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LE MERIDIEN DANIA BEACH AT FORT LAUDERDALE AIRPORT ON THE DCOTA CAMPUS 1825 Griffin Road Dania Beach, FL 33004 T +1 954 920 3500 lemeridiendaniabeach.com

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N 26° 03’ W 80° 09’ DESTINATION UNLOCKED

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STYLING BY MARISSA PELLY; HAIR BY ERICKSON ARRUNATEGUI; MAKEUP BY JACQUELINE ADEVAI; IMAGE RETOUCHING BY VALERIYA SHEVTSOVA. CAPE BY ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER, JEWELRY BY CARTIER. PHOTOGRAPHY BY CODY RASMUSSEN. STYLING BY MARISSA PELLY. HAIR BY ERICKSON ARRUNATEGUI. MAKEUP BY JACQUELINE ADEVAI. PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT BY RUSSELL CORDEIRO. FASHION ASSISTANT BY TAYLOR WOOD. RETOUCHING BY VALERIYA SHEVTSOVA. PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE TOWERS OF THE WALDORF ASTORIA, NEW YORK WWW.WALDORFTOWERS.NYC. NICKY HILTON ROTHSCHILD SITS AT COLE PORTER’S PIANO IN THE LOBBY OF THE WALDORF ASTORIA WEARING A DOLCE & GABBANA DRESS, AND JEWELRY BY BOUCHERON

CONTENTS

–DEC. 2021 VOL.44 NO.6

FEATURES 56

THE SUITE LIFE

Nicky Hilton Rothschild’s grandfather once owned the Waldorf Astoria, where she lived as a teenager. Now a mother of two, she returns to share memories of family traditions. By Aria Darcella. 64

MUSTIQUE PICNIC WARS

As new money competes with old in this Carib-Eden, a once genteel tradition has become the new social blood sport. By Brandon Presser. 70

HIGHLIGHTS, BIG CITY Nicky Hilton Rothschild photographed in New York City by Cody Rasmussen for Avenue.

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DANCE OF THE COCONUTS

Inside the Palm Beach New Year’s Eve party everyone wants to attend, but nobody wants to be caught talking about. From our archives, by Christopher Lawrence.

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VERNISSAGE

Avenue’s insider preview of all that’s new and noteworthy. BY HORACIO SILVA, ALEXIS SCHWARTZ, AND BEN WIDDICOMBE

WRAPPED ATTENTION

IVORY TOWER The director James Ivory photographed in his 19th-century home by Julian Dufort for Avenue.

Gifts to delight everyone on your list this holiday season. BY HORACIO SILVA

28

THE TYRANNY OF CHOICE

In an effort to evade decision-making, our restaurant critic experiences some of the city’s best tasting menus. BY JOSHUA DAVID STEIN

38

THE GOLDEN HOUR

48

Coffee-table books covering couture, craftsmanship, the Carlyle, and more.

CULTURE 32

THE GLOSSY POSSE

82

BY HEATHER HODSON,

Inside conceptual artist Glenn Ligon’s brilliant and unprecedented solo debut at Hauser & Wirth.

CATHERINE TALESE AND

BY JUDD TULLY

NOTORIOUS NEW YORKERS

Jimmy Walker, a mayor of Jazz Age New York, is one of the most colorful rogues in the city’s history. BY AMBROSE MCGAFFNEY

ANGELA M.H. SCHUSTER

42

STACKED

52

Handpicked new book releases to wrap up in ribbon, or enjoy yourself.

Legendary filmmaker James Ivory discusses his candid and touching memoir.

BY HEATHER HODSON

44

THE PICASSO CHÂTEAU CAPER

54

CHELSEA LATELY Three contemporary art shows not to miss this season.

ON THE AVE.

From fashion week to Central Park, New Yorkers had plenty to celebrate this season. 88

SOCIAL SKILLS

Our holiday credit score calculator will determine if you’ve been naughty or nice. BY POSEY WILT

BY ANGELA M.H. SCHUSTER

LIVING

BY DANNY MOYNIHAN

76

COVER: Illustration by Petra Eriksson

84

BY ANGELA M.H. SCHUSTER

The night John Richardson broke into a château to “steal back” paintings from an ex, and other tales of the renowned Picasso biographer.

RAISE A GLASS 52nd Avenue South, one of the house cocktails at Les Trois Chevaux.

WHY NOT HAVE SOME FUN? Salon Art+Design’s 10th anniversary offers a feast for the eyes.

BY TOM SHONE

8

SEX, RACE, & NEON

A SENSE OF PLACE

In a city where some neighborhoods feel the need to roar their status, Sutton Place merely purrs. BY GEORGE RUSH Visit our website at avenuemagazine.com

LES TROIS CHEVAUX: WILLIAM HEREFORD

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AVENUE MAGAZINE | NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021

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W Holiday

ith its emphasis on gratitude, family, and celebration, Avenue’s holiday issue is always my favorite of the year. And having just celebrated our 45th anniversary, this year we have even more than usual for which to be thankful. In this issue, we take a look at holiday customs both old and new—from a beloved Palm Beach New Year’s Eve tradition to how modern hostesses are outdoing each other on the beaches of Mustique. Our neighborhood spotlight—an Avenue feature now in its fifth decade—takes a look at Sutton Place. And for anyone still on your holiday shopping list, may we suggest a $130,000 reproduction Apollo moon capsule? You’ll meet several old and new friends in these pages—including diplomat and spy Frederick Vreeland; Nicky Hilton Rothschild; artist Glenn Ligon; filmmaker and memoirist James Ivory, and Iris Apfel, the indefatigable style icon, whom Avenue joined at her hundredth birthday party. We hope you enjoy what you find inside these covers, and as always, thank you for making Avenue part of your year. Warmly, BEN WIDDICOMBE

Editor-in-Chief 10

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AVENUE MAGAZINE | NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Ben Widdicombe CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Rory Simms

DANIELA G. MALDONADO is an artist, photographer, and Avenue’s deputy photography editor. She grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, and graduated from the International Center of Photography in New York. As a photographer, she uses portraiture to explore the nature of identity and relationships. “As a photo editor I’ve been lucky to combine my love for photography, design, and New York City,” she says. SANDRA K. PEÑA (Vernissage, page 14) is a New Jersey–based illustrator, animator, and graphic artist. Her fashioninspired designs have been commissioned internationally for animation, editorial illustration, and packaging design. For Avenue, she was inspired by “Freck Vreeland’s exuberant life, his style, personality, the importance of his mother, Diana, in his life, and Iris Apfel’s charm, love of life, and fashion.” CODY RASMUSSEN (The Suite Life, page 56) is a New York–based photographer whose work has appeared in publications such as L’Officiel and Elle. For Avenue, he photographed Nicky Hilton Rothschild at the Waldorf Astoria. “Nicky and the team were up for anything,” he recalls. “Hands down, some of the sweetest, most talented, willing people I’ve shot with.” GEORGE RUSH (A Sense of Place, page 76), is a writer and reporter who notably cowrote the Rush & Molloy gossip column at the New York Daily News. For this issue, he upends Sutton Place’s austere reputation. “You’ll find warmth and courtesy in its older shops and restaurants,” he says. “I especially enjoyed chatting with saloonkeeper Jimmy Neary, whose Sligo charm can subdue the burliest egos.” 12

DEPUTY & MANAGING EDITOR

Angela M.H. Schuster FEATURES DIRECTOR

Heather Hodson PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR

Catherine G. Talese PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

Jessica Lee STYLE EDITOR

Horacio Silva DIGITAL FASHION EDITOR

Aria Darcella DEPUTY PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR

Daniela G. Maldonado LONDON EDITOR

Catherine St Germans CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Constance C.R. White, Joshua David Stein, Tom Shone, Judd Tully, Brandon Presser, Alexis Schwartz CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Anders Overgaard, Richard Kern, Landon Nordeman, Rainer Hosch, Johnny Miller, Martin Vallin, Nick Mele © 2021 by Cohen Media Publications LLC AVENUE MAGAZINE 750 LEXINGTON AVENUE 16TH FLOOR NEW YORK, NY 10022 EDITORIAL@AVENUEMAGAZINE.COM

MEMBER OF ALLIANCE FOR AUDITED MEDIA

PUBLISHER

Spencer Sharp COHEN MEDIA PUBLICATIONS LLC CHAIRMAN

Charles S. Cohen

DANNY MOYNIHAN BY DAVID M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES FOR SIMON LEE GALLERY; DANIELA G. MALDONADO BY BODI DU; SANDRA K. PEÑA BY RADHAMES PEÑA; CODY RASMUSSEN COURTESY OF CODY RASMUSSEN; GEORGE RUSH BY MARK MAINZ/GETTY IMAGES

DANNY MOYNIHAN (The Picasso Château Caper, page 44) is an artist, editor, and author of the novel Boogie-Woogie, inspired by the ’80s and ’90s New York art scene, when he shared a SoHo apartment with Damien Hirst. For Avenue, he writes about the Picasso biographer John Richardson, who was lifelong friends with his mother, the artist Anne Dunn. Moynihan lives in Manhattan with his wife, the film director Katrine Boorman, and is curatorial director at the Kasmin gallery.

AVENUE MAGAZINE | NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021

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F I N D L AY GAL L E R I E S

THREE CENTURIES IN ART

P A L M

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Walls in the Wind | oil on canvas | 68 x 60

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VERNISSAGE

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Why Don’t You Write a Fabulous Memoir?

Illustrations by Sandra K Pena

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I

t’s hard to imagine that Frederick “Freck” Vreeland, 94, was any good at avoiding notice as a spy. In addition to having the most translucent of covers—publicly, the longtime CIA officer was a career diplomat, rising to become ambassador to Morocco— he just looks the part of a suave, Cold War secret agent, with his aquiline angles, patrician bearing, and impeccable tailoring. Then there’s the name—made famous by his mother, the fashion editor Diana Vreeland—which is also likely to leave an impression. But if that ever got in his way, at least he now has someone to commiserate with: It was only recently that Freck learned his older brother, the architect Thomas “Tim” Vreeland Jr., 96, also worked for the CIA. Undercover is no longer Freck’s style, however. He recently joined Twitter and Instagram as @freckvreeland, where he serves wisdom and lewks, and is shopping a memoir about his remarkable life. “We’re just coming out of a year of total craziness, and I think now is the time to publish,” he told Avenue from his apartment in Rome, with his third wife, Sandra, by his side. Visible behind them were mementos from their lives: a white plaster bust of Voltaire, acquired in a small French village; a bas-relief of his late second wife, Vanessa, with whom he shared a mansion in Marrakech, riding a camel; and a black-and-white-print of a tree, a gift to Sandra from Freck’s firstborn son Nicholas, who is a Buddhist monk and an accomplished photographer. “Originally, my older son was a useless guy who ran off with mistresses beginning at the age of 15, and was out every night in New York, whooping it up in black tie. Whereas Alexander, the younger son, was out preaching something

called the Inner Peace Movement. And then at a certain moment the two of them crossed, and the one who’d been a playboy became a Tibetan monk and the other one became a serious businessman,” Freck said. “And neither of them believed that I was pleased with the way they were turning out, but I was.” Approval was not always easy to come by in the Vreeland family. “[My mother] looked down on anything I was doing,” Freck said. “If she had lived until I got the rank of ambassador, then she would have for the first time been pleased with the second son. But until she died, as far as she was concerned, I was wasting my life. It was painful.” Among Freck’s duties in Marrakech was to squire then First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy around the city. Sandra recounts an anecdote from his memoir: “At one point Jackie is taking a picture of him, and he notices that her fingernails are bitten. And Freck says to Jackie, ‘Yes, I’m a nail biter too,’ and they laughed. She said, ‘Well, we both have obsessive mothers, and maybe that’s why.’” Another Kennedy memory is accompanying JFK to his famous 1963 speech in West Berlin. Moments before taking the lectern, the president inquires about the provenance of a historical quote he is scripted to utter, and is horrified to learn that it came from the godfather of Protestantism himself, Martin Luther. “He said, ‘Me, deeply Catholic, to think that I would ever conceive mouthing anything like that!’ So I had 30 seconds to dream up a phrase in German.” And that, as Freck tells it, was the origin of the famous line “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

“UNTIL [MY MOTHER] DIED, AS FAR AS SHE WAS CONCERNED, I WAS WASTING MY LIFE. IT WAS PAINFUL.” FRECK VREELAND

To be fair, this version is disputed: Kennedy’s speechwriter, Ted Sorensen, also claimed to have coined the phrase. Freck sniffs in response: “Having written every other last word of that long and important speech, he felt entitled to steal credit also for those four.” (For good measure, Freck also accuses Sorensen “indirectly of being responsible for Bobby Kennedy being shot.”) But enough politics! Enquiring minds want to know: In "Why Don’t You?," his mother’s quirky Harper’s Bazaar advice column, she once famously wrote: “Why don’t you rinse your blond child's hair in dead champagne to keep it gold, as they do in France?” Did she ever practice this on Freck? He laughs at the suggestion. “Not as far as I can remember,” he said, “so probably no.” —ben widdicombe NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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Big Apfel Circus

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our ears pop three times,” said the elevator attendant at Central Park Tower one night in the early fall, on the way up to the 107th floor. Party guests—including Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Katie Holmes, Linda Fargo, Bruce Weber, Victor Glemaud, Fern Mallis, and Halle Bailey—each of whom had just undergone a mandatory Covid-test nasal swab, rolled their jaws to relieve the pressure as the elevator display ticked into triple digits. The doors opened onto a fresh-paint-smelling fantasia of celebratory kitsch: red velvet divans in the shape of giant lips; overflowing vases of fuchsia-dyed pampas grass; a baby grand piano next to a tower of champagne coupes; and tabletops covered with frosted cupcakes, chocolate gateaux, and every kind of dessert. Such an overthe-top setting could only make sense for one woman in New York City: the interior designer and latter-day fashion icon Iris Apfel, who was celebrating her 100th birthday. Just before nine o’clock, as guests were taking in the views—only on 57th Street can you be on the 107th floor and still be looking directly into the neighbor’s apartment across the way—Iris made her entrance, in Big Bird-yellow slacks and giant ruffled top from her forthcoming collaboration with H&M, accessorized with her signature layered chunky necklaces and owlish round glasses. From the piano, Michael Feinstein serenaded her with “Happy Birthday” as she settled onto a white throne to receive well-wishers, pose for pictures, and dispense one-liners. “I’m surrounded by a bunch of 50-year-olds,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d have to babysit on my birthday.” From the kitchen, servers emerged with trays of brownies held aloft by large helium balloons. As another a nervous-looking young waiter ascended a stepladder to fill the champagne tower from magnums of Pol Roger, Iris took the microphone. “People ask me, ‘What’s it like to be 100?,’ ” she said. “But I’ve only been 100 for a couple of days. Stick around, and I’ll tell you!” —bw

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Remembrance of Bling Past

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ime is the ultimate luxury— especially when you’re writing about the subject. Just ask Jill Spalding. “I’ve been a bit of a laggard,” says the seasoned journalist and author, drolly referring to spending the past 30 years on her latest book. “But very often luxury takes a lifetime to achieve.” She should know. The result of her protracted deadline, Luxur y: A Histor y, published on November 2 (Parameter Press, $95), is a sweeping look at the centuries-long global pursuit of the maddeningly rare and ineffably sublime. At 432 pages and more than 300 images, Spalding makes a convincing case for our quest for luxury being not only a cultivated embodiment of our aspirations, but also something innate. “You see it in some species of animals,” she explains, with the gentle conviction of a fine-jewelry saleswoman. “They gather fabulous glittery things and build structures that are far too complex to be simply functional. And their plumage!” A former Vogue editor, Spalding knows from ornamentation, and her encyclopedic survey of the superfluous includes a celebration of turbaned voluptuaries and glittering characters from

“THE ENEMY OF LUXURY IS BRANDING.” JILL SPALDING

the past. Her Auntie Mame levels of enthusiasm for the “tralala” (fancy trappings) of Emperor Qianlong, Cleopatra, and assorted maharajas, whom she refers to with the familiarity of old friends, is infectious. Not that it’s entirely an obituary to dead decadents. Spalding also records the efforts of latter-day sybarites, including the retired couturier Valentino, whose three-day retirement party of sorts in 2007, she exclaimed, was époustouflant, using the French for breathtaking. Just don’t get her started on the jargonspeaking barbarians at the gate. “The enemy of luxury is branding,” she says, lamenting the logofication of heritage brands and today’s manufactured VIP “experiences”—before pausing (“Oh shush, Alexa!”) to scold the smart speaker reminding her to exercise. “The middlemen have made it all rather unattractive and unappealing,” she continues, returning to the subject at hand. “Branding has demeaned luxury.” —horacio silva

Id, Dot-Com

T

he anonymous author of AsleepThinking.com, a blog that lays bare the id of the modern New York finance bro, lives at one of Tribeca’s most chichi addresses. On a recent visit, the elevator opened directly into his apartment, revealing two men, one boyishly handsome in his mid-thirties. He was sweating, his fair hair ruffled as though he’d been in a fight. Had he been attacked? He certainly enrages plenty of readers, with provocative posts like “Evolutionary Biology and Russian Gold Diggers” and “What Beautiful Single NYC Women Have in Common with Mass Shooters.” But no. The tanned, compact man with him turned out to be his coach for Brazilian jujitsu—a sport the blogger likes because it emulates “the exhilarating affair of being killed and killing.” In that combative respect it is much like his writing, which relentlessly targets “the political orthodoxy that pervades New York City and mass media thinking.” In other words, Asleep is the opposite of woke. The blog can be amusing and perceptive, like its analysis of “Shaman Bros”—“adult men who dress like wizards [with] colorful capes and tunics and crystals”—a type who seems to have taken over 1 OAK and is infuriatingly successful with women. In a detailed taxonomy, he ruefully admits the Shaman Bro has superseded the Tech Bro, who himself earlier displaced the Finance Bro, as the city’s sociosexual “Apex Bro.” So far so good. But scroll a little further, and it becomes apparent why its author, who is a managing partner at a successful investment fund, admits he’s staying anonymous “so it doesn’t jeopardize my day job.” Asleep Thinking, which launched ten months ago, prides itself on the unvarnished perspective of a persecuted species: the

straight, white, Ivy League-educated Wall Streeter. Its author is in favor of combat sports, but against the WNBA, on the grounds that the women’s basketball league loses money. Nor does he like the recent pivot of Victoria’s Secret away from male-gaze-optimized glamazons to more diverse models who “represent different kinds of progressive causes, or whatever.” Some readers might detect in that an oldfashioned misogyny. But in certain corners of the finance community, these views have made the blog an underground hit. “Someone needs to start calling a spade a spade and this post does that,” one commenter wrote below “The New Spectrum of Hookers,” a post which details the different ways (designer handbags; Venmo allowances) in which beautiful women may be compensated for the time they spend with successful men. “I was at a card game the other night with a bunch of guys who are extremely successful, some of them are famous finance guys,” the blogger told Avenue. “And what they said to me was, ‘We all agree with you. The problem is, we have our kids in these fancy private schools in New York, and we don’t want them to get in trouble with their school or have them not getting admitted to college because we had a view that was deviant from this orthodoxy.’ And so I think people silently agree.” In addition to his anti-woke tirades, the author also seems obsessed with criticizing both attractive women and his male rivals for them.

ASLEEP THINKING PRIDES ITSELF ON PRESENTING THE UNVARNISHED PERSPECTIVE OF A STRAIGHT, WHITE, IVY-EDUCATED WALL STREETER. Sometimes the commenters notice; one left a broadside implicating him as “a self-loathing f *** boi who makes fun of other f *** boys while having successively short-term relationships with increasingly younger girls to satisfy his fragile ego.” Does that have any truth to it? “I’m one of the few who really hasn’t settled down yet,” he admits. “Now, people spend their twenties having all these Instagrammable experiences, some of the girls are on this spectrum, and the guys end up sort of becoming incapable of figuring out how to commit to something. So, I’m, I’m definitely…” His voice trailed off. “Yeah. This is sort of a self-critique on myself.” —alexis schwartz NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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AVENUE MAGAZINE | NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021

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THE AVENUE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

WRAPPED ATTENTION SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST BY HORACIO SILVA

GUTTER CREDITS TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK;

PHOTOGRAPH BY JENS MORTENSEN

Clockwise from top: Antique diamond bow brooch set in platinum, $28,000; antique emerald-cut aquamarine ring set in platinum with diamond shoulders, $19,500; goldmounted malachite and onyx table box, $25,000; vintage sapphire, emerald, and diamond cluster earrings, $32,500; antique chased gold box with diamond-set cipher of King Louis Philippe, $48,000. alvr.com NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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Chanel “Boyfriend” watch. $4,600; chanel.com

Tom Ford “Padlock 105mm” sandals. $1,91l; farfetch.com

For Her

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HEIGHT OF CHIC

Tiffany “Knot” double-row hinged bangle in yellow gold with diamonds. $20,000; tiffany.com

Dale Hernsdorf Paraíba tourmaline “Juno” ring. $85,000; dalehernsdorf.com

Fendi “Peekaboo Iseeu Medium” crocodile leather bag. $38,000; fendi.com

Oscar de la Renta embroidered tulle minidress. $8,990; modaoperandi.com

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PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE BRANDS

Alaïa camouflage lace bustier dress. $6,900; maison-alaia.com

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For Him

H. Moser & Cie “Streamliner” perpetual calendar 42.3mm stainless steel watch. $54,900; mrporter.com

Balmain two-tone double-breasted blazer. $5,395; farfetch.com

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE BRANDS

Fendi black wool coat. $5,200; fendi.com

Cartier vintage pink enamel and diamond cluster dress set. $42,000; alvr.com

HOMME IMPROVEMENT

Christian Louboutin spike-embellished patent leather Derby shoes. $1,095; matchesfashion.com NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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BUY CURIOUS

Louis Vuitton “Horizon” light-up speaker. $2,890; louisvuitton.com

Timothy Oulton “Apollo 11” lunar module space lounge. From $130,000; timothyoulton.com

Vonnegut/Kraft for Weft “Depaysement” lacquered ash and woven fabric screen. $11,200; 1stdibs.com 22

Poltrona Frau and Loro Piana bouclé alpaca throw. $1,450; poltronafrau.it

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE BRANDS

Sohyun Yun translucent acrylic shelf. $4,750; 1stdibs.com

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Chanel checkers set. $6,200; chanel.com

CHAIR: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND SALON 94 DESIGN, NEW YORK. © MAX LAMB

Max Lamb “Silver Surfer” chair. Price on request; salon94design.com

Blue Green Works slumped glass and steel palm floor lamp. Price on request; bluegreenworks.com

For the Home

Linda Horn terracotta shepherd dog. $6,950; lindahorn.com

GIVE ’EM SHELTER NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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Dr. Howard Sobel tumescent liposuction touch-up for the jawline, ankles, and places in between. $3,000–$12,500; sobelskin.com

Byredo limited-edition “Vanity Box” (designed by Bihar-based artist Mamta Devi). $1,350; byredo.com

Dr. Andrew Jacono outpatient lip lift for youthful kissers without the exaggerated volume. From $20,000; newyorkfacialplasticsurgery.com

Penhaligon’s “Halfeti” eau de parfum. $258; penhaligons.com 24

Angela Caglia “White CellReturn LED Mask,” $2,100; angelacaglia.com

PRET T Y ON THE OUTSIDE

MODEL: LAMBADA/GETTY IMAGES; LIPS: PLUME CREATIVE/GETTY IMAGES

Omorovicza “Blue Diamond Cabinet,” including eye wand, gua sha, and mask brush. $839; omorovicza.com

For the Body

BUY CURIOUS

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PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE BRANDS

Maybourne Riviera on the Côte d’Azur, a “gastronomic destination” led by chefs Mauro Colagreco and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. maybourneriviera.com

NOLA home for the holidays at Maison de la Luz in New Orleans. Twonight buyout, $185,000; maisondelaluz.com

Tokyobike “Bisou” bicycle. $750; tokyobike.us

Leica SL2_s Body with a Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70 f/2.8 ASPH Lens. $7,195; leicacamerausa.com

T. Anthony duffel bag, $595; shave kit, $175; tanthony.com

Hermès fly-fishing kit. By special order, around $29,000; hermes.com

For Wanderers

BUY CURIOUS

UPGR ADE LIST

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“Tee-Shirt” by Narciso Rodriguez and Cindy Sherman supports Planned Parenthood of Greater New York. $65; ppgnyshop.com

Sponsor a van for the angels at God’s Love We Deliver. $70,000; glwd.org

Become a William Cullen Bryant fellow to support the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing. $12,000; metmuseum.org 26

GREAT GIFTS FOR GOOD CAUSES

Dedicate a chair in the Rose Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library. $5,000; nypl.org

WIND TURBINE: JAN-STEFAN KNICK/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES; VAN: JESSICA FRANKL/COURTESY GOD’S LOVE WE DELIVER; PAINTING: FREDERIC EDWIN CHURCH (AMERICAN, 1826–1900). HEART OF THE ANDES, 1859. THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, BEQUEST OF MARGARET E. DOWS; CHAIR: TARA FEDORIW-MORRIS/NYPL

Offset your footprint with a subscription to a Terrapass carbon-emission reduction package. From $19.99 per month; terrapass.com

For the City

This limited-edition film still from Land of Dreams, 2021, by artist Shirin Neshat, supports the Center for Human Rights in Iran. $3,000; artforchange.com

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2021 XMAS-AVENUE-LINDA-HORN 2_Layout 1 9/23/2021 10:35 AM Page 1

SANTA’S COMING

available at LindaHorn.com . 212.772.1122

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VERNISSAGE

The Tyranny of Choice Does the prospect of selecting from a full menu fill you with existential dread? Restaurant philosopher Joshua David Stein finds freedom in limited options

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PRIX FIXE OR FREE WILL? Jean-Paul Sartre contemplates the specials.

was obfusc. The plates arrive with sauces so airy it’s a wonder they don’t float away like yesterday’s dreams. The walls are white plaster; the chandelier, which once hung in the Waldorf Astoria, is crystal; the flowers are profuse; and there are but 37 seats, with an additional 9 at the bar. There is no steak on the menu. It’s a brand-new Mar. Even before one enters the ethereal empyrean of this culinary chameleon, one begins to shed choice, starting with what one wears. In a world of Michelin stars and T-shirts, Mar is a refusenik. Les Trois Chevaux requires gentlemen to wear jackets. (However, I did espy an unjacketed and unmolested diner during my visit.) After a year and a half of forsaking blazers (and often shirts and pants), this itself was, for me, a significant act of submission. More saliently, the menu is

JEAN-PAUL SARTRE: DOMINIQUE BERRETTY/GAMMA-RAPHO/GETTY IMAGES

“N

ous sommes nos choix,” wrote JeanPaul Sartre. We are our choices. But what of when we are deprived of choice? Who are we when our freedom is abrogated? Many bristle at the idea—as half the country has spent the year telling us in Covid-laden spittle rants. Sometimes, however, we would be wise to submit. These three new restaurants have, to varying degrees, preempted their clients’ once sacrosanct choice of what’s for dinner, and offer a case in point. Angie Mar gained fame for her facility with meat at the Beatrice Inn, a basement in the West Village during its later years as an actual restaurant. (Previously, it had been known mostly as where celebrities went to get soused.) After being constrained by the minuscule kitchen and manifold tables of the Beatrice, then being edged out by the cost of rent, Mar cheekily opened its antithesis next door in the heat of summer. Les Trois Chevaux is a study in lightness where Beatrice

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prix fixe, which means each occupant of those 37 seats will be shelling out, at a minimum, 185 clams for three courses, including service but without drinks. That’s a lot of clams. And what is the payoff for such supplication? For lovers of French cuisine such as I, the meal at Les Trois Chevaux is like opening up a pack of Pokémon cards and finding they’re all Charizards. If one is, perhaps, a birder, it’s like seeing a wood stork, a brown booby, and a roseate spoonbill on a single walk. In short, it’s the jackpot. The menu consists of seldom seen French classics like terrine de canard and cuisses de grenouille and quenelle de cervelle de veau. Mar has been on the record with her admiration of bygone French mainstays like Lutèce and La Côte Basque. Her friendship with Jacques Pépin has been well chronicled. But this would all be nostalgic culinary cosplay if not for her technical virtuosity. Take for example, the terrine de canard, which is presented à table by a white-jacketed server. (The uniforms are by Christian Siriano.) Visibly suspended within a jiggling, shimmering, pear-shaped, orange-hued aspic: a perfect rectangular corridor of foie gras. Within that lurks another darkly rosy coil of cured and cooked duck, though this is only revealed when, a few moments later, one’s very own tranche of terrine

arrives, accompanied by a half dozen slices of dehydrated Cara Cara orange. The preparation is maniacal, a five-day festival of curing, cooking, setting, assembling and more. And, as Mar tells me later, made possible only by her foreknowledge that, as opposed to the Beatrice, where an impecunious customer could get out for less than $50 with just drinks and an appetizer, she can rely on every seat to financially support her herculean endeavors. Aspic the truth when I say it’s worth it. Bursting with citrus and flavor—thanks to the suspended kumquat and a Lillet Rosé infusion—the terrine is tremendous. A few moments later—for the second of the three courses—an even deeper cut of Escoffier arrives in the form of a crab pithivier. A pithivier, which looks like a large muffin top, is an arcane pastry from a small commune in north-central France. Often sweet, here Mar stuffs hers with more Dungeness crab than in the New York Aquarium and binds the meat together with a savory scallop frangipane. The whole thing is encased in laminated pastry dough, then doused with an Oloroso sherry sauce and then served like a mystery box crab cake. Gout is all but assured and one is only saved by a mid-meal salad, a few bright greens that arrive after the savory courses, à la manière française, to cleanse the palate.

Les Trois Chevaux

WILLIAM HEREFORD/COURTESY OF LES TROIS CHEVAUX

For lovers of French cuisine such as I, the meal at Les Trois Chevaux is like opening up a pack of Pokémon cards and finding they’re all Charizards.

HORSE D'OEUVRE Clockwise from top: Angie Mar and her team; the Les Trois Chevaux dining room; fire- roasted abalone and squid brushed with chartreuse vert with a vermouth mousseline.

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VERNISSAGE

Joomak Banjum

It is, in this diner’s opinion, one of the best pasta dishes in New York today.

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J

SIGNE BIRCK/COURTESY OF JOOMAK BANJUM

KOREAN BEAUTY Above: The Joomak Banjum dining room; left: blueberry-cured sea bass, pistachio, green apple, and celery.

ackets are, thankfully, not required at Joomak Banjum, the new restaurant from chef Jiho Kim, formerly of the Modern; chef Kelly Nam, ex-Frenchie pastry chef; and chef Sarah Kang. As opposed to LTC, where the French accent is as heavy as Gauloises smoke on Rue Chabon, the culinary vernacular here is spectacularly novel. Though described as a Korean-Chinese fusion restaurant—joomak means tavern in Korean; banjum means Chinese restaurant—Kim is catholic in his interests and lofty in his goals. In fact, Joomak Banjum is as much like a tavern as the Inn at Little Washington is a Motel 6. Each of the four choices for each of the four courses is so alluring one struggles to choose between them. Like Mar, Kim says the prix fixe format— and resulting predictable check average—has allowed additional resources to be allocated to each course. For the first course, should one select the lamb tartare, hidden beneath a tangle of gochujang-flavored daikon, or the charcoal-grilled mackerel, atop a bracingly fresh colloquy of cucumbers, studded with sunflower seeds and a touch of mint? It’s a Morton’s fork, a Buridan’s ass, as the dark side of choice is the choosing. In later courses, the choice is easier. The jajangmyun, a Korean noodle dish and one of the most famous in the Chinese-Korean canon, is bound together with chunjang, a sweet black sauce made darker by squid ink. It comes with clams folded into it, and in a shimmering parmesan foam. It is, in this diner’s opinion, one of the best pasta dishes in New York today. Would I have even known to order it had my choices not been narrowed? No. Sometimes we are as the simple child in the Four Sons parable in Exodus, who doesn’t know enough to ask a question, even when that question is “May I please have...”

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A

t Sixty Three Clinton, a restaurant from two alumni of the lauded Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, Samuel Clonts and Ray Trinh, there’s nothing amiss with the concise tasting menu. Unlike at Joomak Banjum and Les Trois Chevaux, which offer an element of free will in the form of a prix fixe, the choice here is whether to take the seven-course tasting menu or leave it. At its best, the food is transcendent. But nothing scotches a transcendent experience like being told you are going to have, are having, or just had one. Let’s all agree to abolish phraseology such as, “What Chef has decided to do here is,” as in “What Chef Sam has decided to do here is present tomatoes three ways,” or “The X ingredient is actually [insert some slight specifying adjective] X ingredient,” as in “The cabbage is actually Caraflex cabbage.” I don’t think that is what “actually” actually means. One needn’t be constantly alerted to the fact that one is at the altar of genius. I like being fed, not spoon-fed. But though I resent, frankly, being told Clonts’s work in this Lower East Side basement kitchen (of what used to be Speedy Romeo) is superlative, at times it is just that. A blue crystal prawn, for instance, comes with its head smoked and body raw. One sucks the head, savors the smoke, then enjoys the silken body, accompanied by sweet corn and Calabrian chili. The “it’s actually Caraflex cabbage” is layered with Comté cheese and topped with hazelnut. No, I don’t need to know that the savory nori on which it sits is an example of how Chef Sam always likes to have something a little unexpected in each dish; it is self-evidently unexpected (and welcome.) Although the last course, a blueberry peach pie, supposedly from Chef Sam’s mother, is sweet indeed, the constant accompaniment of low-key hype threatens to leave an astringent aftertaste. But Sartre has the answer to that too: “Être libre, ce n’est pas pouvoir faire ce que l’on veut, mais c’est vouloir faire ce que l’on peut.” To be free is not to be able to do what you want, but to want to do what you can. And when served a delicious slice of pie with a dollop of puffery, what you can do is savor one and disregard the other.

LAYING IT ON Above: The barroom at Sixty Three Clinton; below: its breakfast taco and housemade bread.

GIADA PAOLONI/COURTESY OF SIXTY THREE CLINTON

Sixty Three Clinton

But though I resent, frankly, being told Clonts’s work in this Lower East Side basement kitchen is superlative, at times it is just that.

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“There were three very sexy people making these films all along.”

LIFELONG PARTNERS Ismail Merchant and James Ivory in the ’70s.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, PRINTS & PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION; FROM THE COLLECTION OF JAMES IVORY, COURTESY OF FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX

The Golden Hour At 93, James Ivory—one half of the legendary filmmaking duo Merchant Ivory–has written a candid, no-holds-barred memoir about his career and love life. From his home in upstate New York, the director talks to Tom Shone about the birds and the bees

A ROOM WITH A VIEW James Ivory at home in New York’s Hudson Valley. Below: the 19th-century mansion in winter.

Photography by Julian Dufort

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he re we we re t h i n k i ng of Merchant Ivory as the avatars of starchy propriety, making films as decorously well-behaved as a governess, clutching their inhibitions like pearls. And then along comes James Ivory with a poignant, unbuttoned memoir of his life and career that reads like one long roll in the grass. “If you can go back to a film like Shakespeare Wallah, there’s a couple in bed and they're necking all the time, and that was my second film,” says the 93-year-old director on the phone from his 19th-century mansion in New York’s Hudson Valley when I confess his book made me blush. “Or you go to Bombay Talkie, there’s another one. There’s lots of sex in that. Or think about Maurice. They repressed their emotions, definitely in The Remains of the Day, of course they did. But in Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, when Mr. Bridge is looking out the window and he sees his daughter putting on suntan lotion down below through the window, and this obviously excites him. And at that moment, Mrs. Bridge comes into the room and he grabs her and pushes her down. What is that? “There were three very sexy people making these films all along,” he continues, referring to himself, producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. “Ismail was a highly sexed man, and it wouldn’t be right to go into Ruth’s sexuality. She was certainly very much aware of sex, and I have always been a sexual person. So it’s always going to come out in the movies.” His forthcoming memoir, Solid Ivory, is a loose-leaf album of reminiscences, inset with some beautifully observant thumbnail portraits of Ivory’s close friends, lovers, and collaborators over a nearly 50-year career. Here is Daniel Day-Lewis on the set of A Room With a View with too-long fingernails which Ivory dared not ask the actor (famous for his immersion in roles) to cut for fear it would break his concentration: “It’s better to have long nails and wonderful performances.” Here are Raquel Welch

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CULTURE

TRIPLE THREAT Friends and collaborators Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, James Ivory, and Ismail Merchant.

BOYS ON FILM James Wilby and Hugh Grant in the iconic 1987 Merchant Ivory film Maurice. Top: Daniel Day-Lewis in A Room with A View, released in 1985.

and Vanessa Redgrave in The Wild Party and The Bostonians respectively, prompting thoughts on “the intense relationship, tinged with lunacy, that a film shoot forges between director and star.” Here is Hugh Grant, quipping of the stingy pay he got for Maurice: “I did it for the curry.” (Ismail cooked a mean rogan josh.) And above all, here are Ismail Merchant, the restless, energetic dynamo from Bombay who was also Ivory’s partner until his death in 2005; novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, private and preternaturally observant; and Ivory himself, relaxed, easygoing, and comfort-seeking in his Brooks Brothers seersucker jacket. “I do feel we were a little bit like aliens in a way—from outer space,” he writes of the Merchant Ivory “brand,” as distinctive amid the dust-ups and din of ’80s and ’90s cinema as the hood ornament on a Rolls-Royce. “You feel like an alien, particularly when you mingle in Hollywood. Less so in England; you could be more weird in England and get away 34

with it,” says Ivory, whose blend of refinement and outsiderishness can be traced to his upbringing in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where his father built a successful lumber business during the Great Depression. It was a life of highballs, limousines, and foxtrots beneath the dome glass and crystal chandeliers of San Francisco’s Palace hotel at Christmas, which acquired a dreamlike texture with the news, received at aged 10, that James was adopted. He began collecting cased daguerreotypes, assembling “a group of virtual ancestors. I preferred family groups of well-dressed people—pretty girls with lively, intelligent faces…and handsome waistcoated young gentlemen in stiff collars.” His adaptations of E. M. Forster and Henry James would do the same. A similar cinematic echo can be detected of Ivory’s sexual awakening as a teenager during a time when homosexuality was criminalized in the United States. “That sort of thing, while imaginable in fantasies, was

indeed unspeakable,” he writes, poignantly, and you can’t help but wonder how much that radar for the unspoken has enhanced Ivory’s dramas. Anthony Hopkins’s awkward conversation with Lord Darlington’s godson (Hugh Grant) about “the birds and the bees” in The Remains of the Day echoes a similarly stilted chat Ivory’s father had with his son about circumcision. “So much drama is what was not spoken of suddenly coming out in an explosion,” he tells me. “My father really couldn’t talk about emotions. I mean sex, never. I learned about sex from my mother. My father never gave me one scrap of information. You couldn’t talk to my father about emotions of any kind without him tearing up. Today, of course, we're all over the place, aren’t we? But that’s good. Thank God.” Did his father know that his son was gay? “I think my father must have probably, because he made a trip in Europe with Ismail and me. We were all traveling together and it was not upsetting to my father

A ROOM WITH A VIEW: MERCHANT IVORY/GOLDCREST/ALBUM/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO; MAURICE: MOVIESTORE COLLECTION LTD/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO; MERCHANT IVORY COLLABORATORS: RONALD GRANT ARCHIVE/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

“You feel like an alien, particularly when you mingle in Hollywood.”

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CALL ME BY YOUR NAME: PICTURELUX/THE HOLLYWOOD ARCHIVE/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

SCREEN TIME Above: Ivory relaxes at home. Left: Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet in 2017’s Call Me By Your Name; Ivory won an Oscar for the screenplay.

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CULTURE

that we were, and he liked Ismail very much. And at one point even he even said something like, ‘Well, when I’m gone, at least you have Ismail to take care of you.’” In fact, tragically, Merchant died of a hemorrhaged ulcer in 2005 at the age of 68, while the pair were shooting The White Countess. “It was a terrific shock,” Ivory says. “I had the feeling, though, that as we went on, we might not have made that many more films. I feel that he was beginning to feel, ‘Well, I’ve had enough now.’ ” Ivo r y s t i l l s p e n d s e a c h Au g u s t a t a 650-square-foot Oregon cabin his parents bought when he was a boy. The 19-room mansion in the Hudson Valley, which he bought in 1975, in whose tiny kitchen Merchant once cooked his famous lamb curry, on whose lawn actors like Helena Bonham Carter and Gwyneth Paltrow picnicked, and where Vanessa Redgrave once gave readings of Chekhov, is home to a collection of objets, heirlooms, and antiques rescued from various film sets over the years, although he regrets having sold an 18th-century figure of the winged Hindu deity Garuda, an acquisition 36

of Merchant’s, as part of a sale through Christie’s in 2009. “If I could find out where it went, I would try to buy it back,” he writes. These days he is friends with a young generation of filmmakers like Wes Anderson, who used a couple of pieces of music from Ivory’s Indian films in The Darjeeling Limited, and Luca Guadagnino, who supplied Ivory’s career with its coda in the form of 2017’s coming-of-age film, Call Me By Your Name, starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. Ivory scripted and won an Academy Award for the film, at age 89, making him the oldest Oscar-winner ever, even as the film drew criticism in some quarters for Guadagnino’s cutaways to trees during the sex scene. Ivory’s script was more explicit. “The irony is that both Luca and I have had a lot of male frontal nudity in our films,” he says. “Think of A Room with a View or Maurice or Quartet. But the actors wouldn’t do it. American actors just don’t like doing that, whereas in Europe, they’re happy to throw off all their clothes and run around, that’s fine. But that’s not true in this country. It didn’t exactly mess up the film, but I

thought when you had two directors who never shied away from that in the past now being told you couldn’t do it by the actors, that’s the irony.” But even if young Hollywood isn’t always keen to strip down for art, the birds and the bees can still be visited in James Ivory’s garden—and now also his book. Solid Ivory: A Memoir will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on November 2.

COURTESY OF FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX

THE WRITE STUFF Ivory at his desk in upstate New York.

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CULTURE

Christian Mingle A showstopping book and retrospective shine a spotlight on the House of Dior and its American fan base ALL ABOUT YVES Chat Noir, the little black dress created by Yves Saint Laurent for his Haute Couture Fall–Winter 1960 “Souplesse, Légèreté, Vie” collection, his last as Head Designer for the House of Dior.

When Marlene Dietrich was negotiating her contract for the 1950 film noir Stage Fright with Jack Warner and Alfred Hitchcock, she gave an ultimatum: “No Dior, no Dietrich.” She got her way, along with a clause that stipulated she could keep her entire Dior wardrobe from the film. A photograph of Dietrich, smoke unfurling from her cigarette, the Acacia suit from the Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring–Summer 1949 collection fitting her like a glove, is just one of the showstopping images in Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, a treasure trove of photographs of exquisite dresses, original design drawings, rare documents, and excerpts from archival films, published to accompany a major retrospective of Dior at the Brooklyn Museum. Both book and show chronicle the connection between the French couture house and America, which began when Christian Dior debuted his New Look collection in Paris in February 1947—virtually mobbed by Hollywood stars—and continued with his six successors, from Yves Saint Laurent up until today’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female designer to helm the house. The chapter on Dior through the lens of American fashion photographers, including Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, and Irving Penn, is particularly riveting. An invaluable resource for fans and fashion historians alike. —heather hodson The exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is at the Brooklyn Museum until February 20, 2022. 38

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATERINA JEBB, COURTESY OF RIZZOLI ELECTA

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams (Rizzoli Electa, $55)

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Raising the Bar A glossy paean to New York’s beloved Carlyle hotel The Carlyle (Assouline, $120)

PARTY PEOPLE Guests departing the Carlyle to attend the Met Gala, as illustrated by Kera Till.

ILLUSTRATIONS © KERA TILL, COURTESY OF ASSOULINE; BOOK SPREAD: COURTESY OF TASCHEN

Frank Sinatra has a Cold (Taschen, $70)

In 1965, Harold Hayes, the editor of Esquire, the groundbreaking magazine of the period, commissioned Gay Talese to write a cover profile of Frank Sinatra. It was a pairing made in journalistic heaven: Talese (along with fellow word slingers Tom Wolfe, Terry Southern, and Joan Didion) was an enfant terrible of New Journalism, while Sinatra was a 20th-century entertainment icon and the leader of the Rat Pack, looking down the barrel of his fifty-first year. The only problem was that Frank Sinatra was unavailable, on account of having a cold. The riveting piece that resulted, as Talese pursued Sinatra to Hollywood, Las Vegas, Manhattan, and Beverly Hills in search of his interview, is a sui generis piece of New Journalism, and arguably the greatest long-form magazine profile ever written. In this new edition, Talese’s final piece is published alongside notes and correspondence from his archives, with photographs by the late, legendary Phil Stern, who took arguably the best portraits of Sinatra, with whom he enjoyed a friendship of sorts. —heather hodson

“From the moment its doors opened in 1930, the Carlyle has been in a class of its own, the definitive lily that needs no gilding,” writes James Reginato in his introduction to an eponymous new volume on the storied Upper East Side haunt, which has played host to presidents, princesses, actors, and rock stars for nearly a century, as well as serving as a stunning backdrop for films such as Sofia Coppola’s 2015 flick, A Very Murray Christmas, starring Bill Murray—who plays himself but as a washed-up nightclub act, propping up the bar in the Café Carlyle—and, most recently, Always at the Carlyle (2018). Drawing from the Carlyle’s vast archive, the lavishly illustrated “scrapbook” celebrates not only the rich and famous who have held court at the hotel such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Princess Diana, Mick Jagger, and Lenny Kravitz, but also the very people who have welcomed them and burnished its sterling reputation over the years— most notably the late, great cabaret star Bobby Short, who for more than four decades serenaded guests in the Café Carlyle. —angela m.h. schuster

The Tissue Papers The definitive account of that time Ol’ Blue Eyes had a runny nose

TO BE FRANK Sinatra kids around with Ocean’s 11 director Lewis Milestone (in jacket) and Billy Wilder (in glasses), with Angie Dickinson and Sammy Davis Jr. in the background. NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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New Romantic The whimsical imagination of industrial design master Tord Boontje

Enchanted World (Rizzoli, $75)

Tord Boontje’s melding of traditional craftsmanship with emerging technologies has made him the romantic industrial design master of our time. For example, Midsummer Light, a 2004 botanical paper cutout lightshade made from the synthetic material Tyvek, exemplifies his design philosophy. Working with advanced technology and using motifs inspired by nature and myths, he created an intricate, delicately crafted work which gives a sense of movement, asymmetry, and the patina of time, evoking both fairy tales and the splendor of Art Nouveau. Organized by theme (plants, animals, the elements, light, memory and so forth), Enchanted World is a timely exploration of the Dutch-born artist and industrial designer as well as an up-to-date catalog of his mesmerizing projects. It even includes an original Boontje fairy tale. —catherine talese

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANNABEL ELSTON; PHOTOGRAPHY BY STUDIO TORD BOONTJE, COURTESY OF RIZZOLI

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL Clockwise, from left, Tord Boontje’s Happy Rocker, manufactured by Moroso; his collaged image designed for the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands; and his new book, out this winter.

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COHEN MEDIA GROUP PRESENTS

A FILM BY DOMINIK MOLL

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Stacked

Ghost stories, family sagas, and true tales of courage to wrap up with ribbon. By Heather Hodson

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Books PONY by R.J. Palacio (Knopf)

R.J. Palacio’s debut, Wonder, the tale of a ten-year-old with a facial deformity, was one of those rare novels that appealed to both adults and children with its themes of friendship and loyalty, suffering, and overcoming public opprobrium. In this tale of a young boy’s quest to find his father by traveling across the vast landscape of America, she has produced another. SANKOFA by Chibundu Onuzo (Catapult)

The literal translation of the word sankofa, an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana, is “It is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.” With her third novel, the award-winning Londonbased Nigerian writer examines themes of identity, home, race, and belonging through the compelling story of Anna Bain, a woman in her fifties who goes in search of the African father she has never known. APPLES NEVER FALL by Liane Moriarty (Henry Holt)

The Australian novelist sells books in the tens of millions, such is her talent for noirish thrillers about contemporary middle-class life. Her latest offering is a creepy, intricately plotted whodunit set in the prosperous Sydney suburbs that turns on the sudden disappearance of Joy Delaney, a recently retired tennis pro, the wife of Stan, and the mother of four adult children.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JENS MORTENSEN FOR AVENUE

CROSSROADS by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Franzen’s dazzling new novel takes place over the course of one day in December 1971 as members of the Hildebrandt family each find themselves at a point of moral crisis, with the counterculture movement of the new decade humming in the background. This is the first volume of Franzen’s trilogy, A Key to All Mythologies, the name a sly allusion to Middlemarch, and like George Eliot, Franzen’s use

of the novel to examine the way we live now is nothing short of genius. THE SENTENCE by Louise Erdrich (Harper)

Tookie, an Ojibwe woman recently released from prison, an experience she survived by nonstop reading, works at a small bookstore in Minneapolis during the pandemic. There she and her colleague have to contend with being haunted by the ghost of the store’s most irritating customer. This profound, emotional, and extremely funny ghost story is the latest from Erdrich, whose The Night Watchman is the most recent recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. BURNTCOAT by Sarah Hall (Custom House)

Hall, who has emerged as one of Britain’s most influential and inventive literary voices, began Burntcoat on the first day of national lockdown in England. The result is a strange and hypnotic fable of a celebrated sculptor, with only weeks left to live, sheltering in her studio from a deadly pandemic and remembering the erotic life she forged with her last lover. BURNING BOY: THE LIFE AND WORK OF STEPHEN CRANE by Paul Auster (Henry Holt)

The author of the acclaimed The New York Trilogy has been described as East Coast meets Left Bank, such is his accessible intellectualism. So it’s not surprising that Auster’s biography of The Red Badge of Courage author Stephen Crane, whose brief life lit up fin de siècle America like a meteor shower, is both gripping and illuminating. THE EVERY by Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s)

The editor of literary magazine McSweeney’s and author of the bestselling The Circle revisits themes of mind control and the destructive power of monopolies with this tale of a tech skeptic named Delaney

Wells, who tries to bring down an e-commerce-meets-social-media entity called The Every. Eggers, who views Amazon with enmity, has ensured that the novel’s hardcover will only be sold through independent bookstores. BEAUTIFUL WORLD, WHERE ARE YOU by Sally Rooney (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

What happens when a literary author turns into a household name before she’s even 30? Rooney’s latest novel, written in the aftermath of her teenage romcom phenomenon Normal People, is an answer of sorts. While the plot is propelled by the love quadrangle of twentysomethings Eileen, Simon, Felix, and Alice, it is Alice, a prize-winning author given to ruminations on the point of literature and the guilt that accompanies success, who occupies the center of the novel. MISS DIOR: A STORY OF COURAGE AND COUTURE by Justine Picardie (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

A haunting and engrossing account of the little-known life of Catherine Dior, the sister of the French couturier and a Resistance fighter, who survived Ravensbrück and later inspired the family atelier’s first and most beloved perfume. Picardie, the author of a biography of Coco Chanel, moves deftly between the horrors of wartime and the creative explosion of postwar Paris, making the case for fashion as a force for renewal.

Madness of George III, or the figure of fun of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, the last monarch to rule America has had a bad rap ever since Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson persuasively portrayed him as evil. After poring over hundreds of thousands of pages of previously unpublished correspondence, the awardwinning historian Andrew Roberts makes a compelling case that George III was in fact a humane monarch besieged by mental illness and brilliant enemies. THE MORNING STAR by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Penguin Press)

In the Norwegian author’s first new novel since his epic six-volume autobiographical work My Struggle, a strange new star appears one Scandinavian night, a portent of metaphysical things to come for the book’s nine characters. All the ingredients of the best of Knausgaard are here—the existential fears, the mundanities of domestic life—but with a delightful dose of magical realism. THE MAGICIAN by Colm Toíbín (Scribner)

Toíbín’s magnificent new novel about the life of Thomas Mann, author of Death in Venice and The Magic Mountain, whose permanent exile from Germany began in 1933 when he fled Munich with his Jewish wife, Katia, and their four children, is a compulsively readable tale of flawed genius and a culture in decline.

THE LIBRARY: A FRAGILE HISTORY by Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen (Basic Books)

Antiquarians and athenaeum obsessives, philanthropists, manuscript thieves, and rival private collectors—such is the cast of characters in this fascinating history of the library, in its many gold-leafed, frescoed incarnations both ancient and modern. THE LAST KING OF AMERICA by Andrew Roberts (Viking)

Whether the raving porphyria sufferer of Alan Bennett’s play The NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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John Richardson—the late art historian whose magisterial fourth volume of his biography of Picasso drops this fall—had a dazzling, mischievous life of his own. Writer and artist Danny Moynihan recalls the night his mother and Richardson broke into a French château to “steal back” valuable Picasso works from a sinister art-dealer ex

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were making a tour of the south, visiting John’s old friends, grand friends, or useful friends. My mother was introduced to John after the war by the author and future literary editor of London’s Sunday Times, Francis Wyndham. She and John were to remain the greatest of friends for the rest of their lives. At the time, and rather against her ideals, my mother was “coming out” as a debutante. But frugal postwar deb balls soon gave way to the infamous Gargoyle Club in Soho, where the aristocracy, art world, and demimonde collided. It was here that John and my mother, now a student at the Chelsea School of Art, left the drab, food-rationed London to drink and dance the night away. Francis Bacon threw a days-long wedding party for my mother and her first husband, the painter Michael Wishart, at his studio in Cromwell Place. Its licentiousness would become a legend of bohemian London, spoken of for decades afterward. “I would stay for eight hours, then go home and collapse and sleep it off and then rejoin the party,” John later told Bacon’s biographers, Annalyn Swan and Mark Stevens. David Tennant, the not-easy-to-impress proprietor of the Gargoyle, observed that it brought about “an alteration in the marital arrangements of a surprising number of the guests” and the “prolonged ruby-lit nuptial bacchanal was the first real party since the war.” In fact, my mother and John were to have many more adventures to come.

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ANNE DUNN: PHOTO BY DAILY MAIL/SHUTTERSTOCK; JOHN RICHARDSON: FRANCIS GOODMAN © NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON

The Picasso Château Caper

ooking like a pirate at a fancy-dress party, John Richardson, arm in a sling, with eye patch and head bandaged, sprang out of a battered postwar ambulance that served as the local taxi service. It was the summer of 1967 and John, along with his then boyfriend, Lyn Parker, had been staying the week before with my parents, the artists Anne Dunn and Rodrigo Moynihan, in their converted monastery near Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. In those days my parents were usually painting in their respective studios for some exhibition or other, and were never to be seen during the day except at lunch and dinner, so it was left to whomever was around to entertain me. John fulfilled the role perfectly. While Lyn, a languid, handsome, blond-haired Texan, drank copious amounts of gin and tonics by the pool, John patiently kicked a football back and forth over the parched earth in the midday sun. Finding in John a willing accomplice, I managed to persuade him to play every conceivable pool game and field game. Apart from football there was also badminton, cricket, and boules. He never tired, and apart from the siesta I let him have, he always seemed to be willing to entertain me. He was always the most gregarious, amusing, and mischievous man in the room. The week before their accident, John and Lyn had arrived in a red convertible Mustang, an extraordinary novelty car in those days. They

JACQUELINE ROQUE/PICASSO, COLLECTION OF JOHN RICHARDSON

CANNES DO John Richardson, left, photographed by Pablo Picasso's second wife, Jacqueline Roque, over lunch with Douglas Cooper and Picasso at the artist's Cannes villa in 1959.


One night my parents drove John to La Castille, where they broke into the château and loaded up the car with John’s possessions, including many works of art given to him by Picasso and Braque.

ANNE DUNN: PHOTO BY DAILY MAIL/SHUTTERSTOCK; JOHN RICHARDSON: FRANCIS GOODMAN © NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, LONDON

VIVE LA RÉSISTANCE Above: The writer Danny Moynihan’s mother, the artist Anne Dunn (now 92), was a lifelong friend and “co-conspirator” of Richardson. Below left: The art historian photographed at his mother's home in London in 1946.

John was a genial, witty, carefree man about town. But he was soon to fall into the clutches of Douglas Cooper, the sinister art impresario and Picasso collector, friend, and fan. They met in 1950, when John and some friends had gone to Cooper’s home in Knightsbridge. John, who was obsessed with the Cubist masters, was overawed by the quality and sheer volume of the paintings on the walls; Cooper was equally delighted to show his handsome visitor the collection. The inevitable lunge occurred over a cigar later that evening, and the relationship that evolved was to last for over a decade. Douglas was the son of a wealthy businessman whose Australian forebears had owned sheep farms and large swathes of Sydney. After an eventful war, which included working with the French résistance and for military intelligence in Cairo, Cooper was assigned to a unit set up tracing artworks that had been stolen from Jewish collections and sold through dealers to unsuspecting collectors. In this he was hugely successful, and was responsible for an impressive amount of repatriated works, as well as the prosecution of many a complicit dealer. Soon after John and Douglas became lovers, they made a grand tour of Europe, visiting museums and collections. One day they chanced upon the Château de Castille outside of Arles, which had a small sign on the gates advertising its sale. Douglas and John fell in love with this extraordinary, colonnaded chateau and bought it on the spot. It had not been lived in for many years and was in a state of great disrepair, but after some renovations they moved in together with Cooper’s vast collection of Cubist artworks. Due to the proximity of the château to the two great bullfighting towns of Arles and Nîmes, Picasso and his entourage soon became frequent NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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as it approached the quay, only for a fisherman to lunge out and catch it before it reached the water’s edge and, no doubt, my brother’s untimely death. Cooper was not at all apologetic and gave no reason for his callousness. He was the kind of man who would have calculated what would happen and found it amusing. My mother never forgave him, but she was to have her revenge when, years later, tiring of Douglas’s malicious and acidic character, John had finally left him and Château de Castille for good. By then my mother was living with my father, Rodrigo Moynihan. Ever vindictive, Cooper refused to return any of John’s belongings, including many works of art given to him by Picasso and Braque. One night my parents drove John to La Castille, where they broke into the château and loaded up the car with John’s possessions. As they were leaving my mother scrawled on the wall where the paintings had been “Anne Dunnit.”

CHÂTEAU DE CASTILLE: UZÈS SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

visitors. Before long Cooper and Richardson would accompany Picasso to the fights, together with Cocteau and many other writers and painters. Castille in the ’50s and early ’60s became a social hub for anyone coming down from Paris or London. John describes the extraordinary variety of guests who passed through in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, his account of his relationship with Cooper. It also weaves in his growing friendship with Picasso, which was to culminate in his four-volume biography of the artist. At that time my mother and Wishart were living in Saint-Tropez, which in those days was a sleepy fishing village. John and Douglas went to visit the young artists and their newborn son, my older half brother, Francis. The two couples met at the top of the hill above the port. Douglas held the pram in which Francis lay asleep while they talked, and then for no reason at all simply let go. The pram bounced down the hill, gathering speed

SCENE OF THE CRIME The Château de Castille, owned by Cooper, which Richardson and Dunn raided one night to recover valuable artworks belonging to the art historian.

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CHÂTEAU DE CASTILLE: UZÈS SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL REALTY; PICASSO,. SEATED WOMAN, 1941: HENIE ONSTAD COLLECTION/HØVIKODDEN, NORWAY, PHOTO: ØYSTEIN THORVALDSEN; © 2021 ESTATE OF PABLO PICASSO/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK

ALL THE ANGLES Clockwise from above: one of five large frescoes painted by Picasso at the Château de Castille; Richardson’s fourth and final volume of his Picasso biography; the artist’s Seated Woman, 1941, from the book.

When he and Lyn left Aix-en-Provence in their convertible Mustang, I believed that was to be the end of my playtime with John. But a few days after their departure Lyn, probably drunk, managed to overturn the car at high speed; it was very fortunate that they survived the crash. Although this horrific accident inflicted much injury, I remember when the ambulance taxi rolled up being overjoyed to have John back in my orbit, even though games would not be on the agenda. Years later, in the ’80s, I came to live in New York and would see quite a lot of John, who usually lunched at Mortimer’s restaurant on Lexington and 75th Street. More often than not he would be sitting with a powerful collector such as Brooke Astor or one of the many English expats who had made their homes in New York. One night I was taken by a friend with a penchant for outré places to some rather extreme S&M clubs on the Lower West Side. As I was standing by the bar, watching an eye-popping encounter between several participants, I saw John in black leather and cap together with assortments of chains and a whip dangling from his belt. With a mischievous grin he acknowledged me, before disappearing into the dark recesses of the club. A Life of Picasso: The Minotaur Years 1933–1943 by John Richardson is published on November 16 by Knopf. NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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Conceptual artist Glenn Ligon debuts at Hauser & Wirth with a brilliant body of work in an unprecedented solo show, writes Judd Tully

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all three floors of the gallery’s 36,000-square-foot Chelsea space. The exhibition caps off a banner year for the artist, who has been featured in 15 group shows, including the New Museum’s standout exhibition “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America,” which was conceived by curator Okwui Enwezor shortly before his death from cancer in 2019. That show featured Ligon’s large-scale 2015 neon sculpture A Small Band, bearing the words “blues blood bruise”—a phrase coined by Daniel Hamm, a Black youth accused of murder in a storied 1964 trial—which hung like a glowing flag on the façade of the museum. There is little doubt about Ligon’s Olympian standing, and he was an early choice for art displayed in the Obama White House, which

PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA, COURTESY OF HAUSER & WIRTH, NEW YORK

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heavyweight in the pantheon of artists dealing with themes of Black identity, gender, and sexuality, Glenn Ligon is best known for his lusciously smeared and all-but-illegible stencil-based text paintings inspired by the prose of 20th-century figures from James Baldwin to Richard Pryor, via Zora Neale Hurston, Audre Lorde, Jean Genet, and Gertrude Stein. For his first solo exhibition in New York since 2016, and his first since joining the Hauser & Wirth roster in 2019 (after a decade with Luhring Augustine), the 61-year-old Bronxborn conceptual artist is presenting three distinct bodies of work. The neon sculptures, “debris field” paintings, and text-based works command

PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST Bronx-born Conceptual artist Glenn Ligon in his studio.

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A SMALL BAND, 2015, © GLENN LIGON; DEBRIS FIELD (RED) 18, 2020-2021, © GLENN LIGON, PHOTOGRAPH BY THOMAS BARRATT. BOTH COURTESY OF THE ARTIST, HAUSER & WIRTH, NEW YORK, REGEN PROJECTS, LOS ANGELES, THOMAS DANE GALLERY, LONDON AND CHANTAL CROUSEL, PARIS

Sex, Race, & Neon


A SMALL BAND, 2015, © GLENN LIGON; DEBRIS FIELD (RED) 18, 2020-2021, © GLENN LIGON, PHOTOGRAPH BY THOMAS BARRATT. BOTH COURTESY OF THE ARTIST, HAUSER & WIRTH, NEW YORK, REGEN PROJECTS, LOS ANGELES, THOMAS DANE GALLERY, LONDON AND CHANTAL CROUSEL, PARIS

GRAND ENTRANCE Above: Ligon's 2015 neon work A Small Band graces the façade of the New Museum during the run of its exhibition “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America” earlier this year. At left: the artist's Debris Field (Red) #18 (2020–2021), executed in etching ink and acrylic on canvas.

showcased his 1992 Black Like Me No. 2, on loan from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Even so, it’s notable that Hauser & Wirth has dedicated its entire gallery space to a single artist, a first for the global powerhouse dealers. “The building is ideally situated for two or three separate shows,” says Marc Payot, president and senior partner at Hauser & Wirth, “but we felt the importance of our first show with him in New York, and the absence of him in New York for so long deserves that kind of statement. We don’t plan to do this on a regular basis.” The star piece of the exhibition is a monumental new triptych, the latest iteration of the artist’s long-running Stranger series that began in 1997 and is based on the James Baldwin essay “Stranger in the Village,” first published by Harper’s Magazine in 1953. The story recounts Baldwin’s stay at the home of a lover in Leukerbad, a remote Swiss mountain hamlet where the villagers had never encountered a Black man. Here, Ligon has replicated in typical, laborintensive fashion—in stencil with oil stick and gesso on panel—the entire nine-page text of Baldwin’s essay in a richly textured 10-foot-by45-foot composition. As usual in the artist’s practice, the stenciled letters create a kind of tugof-war between legibility and illegibility; between pure abstraction and dusty figuration. As Ligon has observed, “I’m interested in making language into a physical thing.” NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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As testimony to its appeal, most of the 17 Ligon works that have sold at auction for more than a million dollars are from the Stranger series. This includes Stranger #37 (2008) which, handsomely scaled at 96 by 72 inches, fetched $3.4 million at Sotheby’s New York last December. Ligon, who was influenced early in his career by the kings of Abstract Expressionism—especially Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Sol LeWitt— made a sharp turn in his practice by the early 1990s, a move he felt necessary to address his own life and times. “The things I was interested in weren’t in the work and realized I had to change it,” he told Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum of Harlem. His artistic influences also shifted to the likes of Jack Whitten, David Hammons, On Kawara, Félix González-Torres, and Mel Edwards. That change was evident in the 1993 Whitney Biennial exhibition, which included Ligon’s Notes on the Margin of the “Black Book” (1991–93). The multipart work features 91 framed black-andwhite homoerotic portraits of nude Black males taken by Robert Mapplethorpe, to which Ligon has added text quoting reactions to the controversial 1986 oeuvre from sources ranging from activists and politicians to religious evangelists. Notes on the Margin of the “Black Book” entered the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2001. Debris Field, a more recent body of largescale paintings executed in etching ink and acrylic on canvas, makes it clear Ligon has never looked back. The ongoing series, first shown at Regen Projects in Los Angeles in 2019, is by far the most radical of his explorations of language and abstraction. Its isolated fragments of letters drawn or stenciled in black shapes are scattered on cardinal red painted canvas, giving off the syncopated appearance of unreadable shapes on steroids. “It deals with the language,” says Payot, “or with signs of how much you can reduce something so that it’s still language, or not, and changes to abstraction.” 50

TYPECAST Above: Ligon's 2018 neon work, Untitled (America). Left: Untitled (I Feel Most Colored When I Am Thrown Against a Sharp White Background), an oilstick on panel from 1990.

UNTITLED (AMERICA), 2018, © GLENN LIGON, PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN FORREST; UNTITLED (I FEEL MOST COLORED WHEN I AM THROWN AGAINST A SHARP WHITE BACKGROUND), 1990, © GLENN LIGON. BOTH COURTESY OF THE ARTIST, HAUSER & WIRTH, NEW YORK, REGEN PROJECTS, LOS ANGELES, THOMAS DANE GALLERY, LONDON AND CHANTAL CROUSEL, PARIS

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STUDY FOR DEBRIS FIELD #35, 2021, © GLENN LIGON, PHOTOGRAPH BY THOMAS BARRATT; UNTITLED (MALCOLM X), 2008, © GLENN LIGON. BOTH COURTESY OF THE ARTIST, HAUSER & WIRTH, NEW YORK, REGEN PROJECTS, LOS ANGELES, THOMAS DANE GALLERY, LONDON, AND CHANTAL CROUSEL, PARIS

It’s notable that Hauser & Wirth has dedicated its entire gallery space to a single artist, a first for the global powerhouse dealers.

X FILES From top: Study for Debris Field #35, an etching ink and ink marker on canvas executed earlier this year, and Untitled (Malcolm X), a Flashe paint on paper mounted on panel from 2008.

Only the series title helps to decant the meaning of these eight-foot-high silkscreened works with their Russian Constructivist colors and strong hints of an Andy Warhol red monochrome car crash painting, which evokes the uneasy feeling of viewing a kind of terrible and unfixable wreckage. The third leg of Ligon’s massive solo at the Chelsea gallery consists of a suite of new neon sculptures. Since the artist began working with neon in 2006, he has produced a number of important works in the medium, including One Black Day from 2012, with its date of the U.S. presidential election of November 6, 2012, and Untitled (America) from 2018. Both executed in neon, paint, and electrical components, with the latter’s two-foot-high illuminated capital letters that spell out “America” only upside down and transposed, the pieces suggest what might be forthcoming from Ligon’s ever-evolving practice. “My job is not to produce answers,” Ligon has said of his work, “my job is to produce good questions.” Glenn Ligon, Hauser & Wirth, 542 West 22nd Street, November 10–December 23 NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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fter the odyssey we have been through over the past 18 months, everybody wants to do something to enhance their home, even if it’s simply adding a stunning new focal point to a room,” says Salon Art+Design executive director Jill Bokor. “Now more than ever, we are hyperaware of our surroundings, down to the smallest detail.” The 10th anniversary edition of the vaunted blue-chip design fair opens at the Park Avenue Armory on November 11 with a curated roster of some 50 galleries—among them newcomers Dobrinka Salzman, which specializes in mid-century modern design, and the tribal art dealer Maureen Zarember of the Tambaran gallery. Also for the first time, there will be a duo of dealers, Onishi Gallery and Carole Davenport, offering exquisite Japanese design.

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GAME ON Above: Belgian artist Lionel Jadot's Spin Love, his radical take on a ping-pong table with porcelain paddles by fellow artist Pascale Risbourg. Below: A marquetry mushroom stool by Brazilian designer Silvia Furmanovich.

Among the standouts, says Bokor, is Spin Love, an outrageously idiosyncratic “ping-pong table” conceived by Belgian artist Lionel Jadot and crafted by a team of 15 artisans, which is available from Todd Merrill Studio. The work, says Bokor, “is just killer.” “Personally, I can't imagine playing ping-pong on it because it’s just so great as an object, but, hey, why not have some fun?” Other notable offerings include a suite of luminous works by maverick Irish lighting designer Niamh Barry, presented by fair stalwart Benoist Drut of Maison Gerard; a new line of colorful home furnishings by Brazilian designer Silvia Furmanovich; quirky pieces by Studio Job, tendered by R & Company; and sleek sculptural furniture by Pieter Maes at the stand of Les Ateliers Courbet. The fair, says Bokor, is sure to offer a much needed “feast for the eyes.” Salon Art+Design, Park Avenue Armory, November 11–15

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QIN FENG, DESIRE SCENERY 011: COURTESY OF MICHAEL GOEDHUIS; KOTA RELIQUARY FIGURE: COURTESY OF TAMBARAN GALLERY; VERONESE VASE: COURTESY OF GLASS PAST; AXIS BENCH: COURTESY OF LES ATELIERS COURBET, ALL COURTESY OF SALON ART+DESIGN

Salon Art+Design celebrates its 10th anniversary at the Park Avenue Amory in November, reports Angela M.H. Schuster

SPIN LOVE: COURTESY OF TODD MERRILL STUDIO; MARQUETRY STOOL: COURTESY OF SILVIA FURMANOVICH, BOTH COURTESY OF SALON ART+DESIGN

Why Not Have Some Fun?


QIN FENG, DESIRE SCENERY 011: COURTESY OF MICHAEL GOEDHUIS; KOTA RELIQUARY FIGURE: COURTESY OF TAMBARAN GALLERY; VERONESE VASE: COURTESY OF GLASS PAST; AXIS BENCH: COURTESY OF LES ATELIERS COURBET, ALL COURTESY OF SALON ART+DESIGN

REMOVE BACKGROUND

FOCAL POINTS Clockwise from left: Qin Feng's Desire Scenery 011, executed in ink and acrylic on linen paper; a 19th-century Kota reliquary figure from Gabon; Vittorio Zecchin's Veronese Vase, made at the Venini glassworks circa 1925; and an "Axis" bench designed by Pieter Maes earlier this year.

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Chelsea Lately HELEN PASHGIAN: “SPHERES AND LENSES” Lehmann Maupin 501 West 24th Street November 4–January 8, 2022

For her debut outing at the New York gallery, and her first show in the United States since 1969, California Light and Space artist Helen Pashgian has expanded on a body of work for which she is best known, creating, in the words of gallerist David Maupin, “innovative sculptures—vibrantly colored columns, discs, and spheres—that engage light, color, and form in wholly unique ways.” Often featuring an isolated minimal shape that appears suspended, embedded, or encased within, he explains, Pashgian’s works are characterized by their semi-translucent surfaces that somehow both redirect and contain illumination. AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT Below: Light and Space artist Helen Pashgian's Untitled (2018), in cast epoxy and resin, is being presented by Lehmann Maupin. Right: The Painter, Fig. 1 (2021), in bronze, lacquer, canvas, and wood, is one of 11 new sculptural works by Elmgreen and Dragset on view at Pace.

ELMGREEN & DRAGSET: “THE NERVOUS SYSTEM” Pace 540 West 25th Street November 9–December 23

For their first major show since joining the gallery in 2020, the Nordic-born, Berlin-based duo of Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset will offer a narrative installation comprised of 11 sculptural works that speak to current sociopolitical conditions and address such topics as fairness in competition, gun violence, and truth in media. Among these is The Painter, Fig. 1, a sculptural rendering of the act of painting, which blends the two media such that reality and representation are playfully intertwined. To accompany the presentation, the gallery will be publishing a catalog with an essay by essay by the writer Martin Herbert and an interview with the artists by the art historian Richard Shiff. 54

© HELEN PASHGIAN, COURTESY THE ARTIST AND LEHMANN MAUPIN, NEW YORK, HONG KONG, SEOUL, AND LONDON; © ELMGREEN & DRAGSET, COURTESY THE ARTIST AND PACE GALLERY, PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELMAR VESTNER

CULTURE

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© DO HO SUH. COURTESY THE ARTIST AND LEHMANN MAUPIN, NEW YORK, HONG KONG, SEOUL, AND LONDON

Caption TK

OH SO COLORFUL Do Ho Suh's Oval Doorknobs: Horsham, Providence Homes (detail), executed earlier this year in polyester fabric and stainless steel wire.

Palm of His Hand

DO HO SUH Lehmann Maupin 440 South County Road Palm Beach November 23–December 31

“The Seoul-born, London-based artist is known for a multidisciplinary practice that confronts questions of home, memory, marginality, and the correlation between psychic and physical space,” says gallerist David Maupin of the upcoming exhibition of works by Do Ho Suh. The show will feature a suite of autobiographical fabric sculptures representing household objects from the itinerant artist’s former residences and studios around the globe—in Seoul, Berlin, Providence, London, and New York. The presentation also includes a set of “Specimen Works”— exquisitely sewn fabric versions of domestic items found consistently, but with subtle variations, from country to country. Through his work, explains Maupin, “Suh distills the feeling and memory of a place in these quotidian forms: simulacra of the objects that silently punctuate the everyday.” —AMHS NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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The Suite Life

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NICKY HILTON ROTHSCHILD’S GRANDFATHER OWNED THE WALDORF ASTORIA, WHERE SHE LIVED AS A TEENAGER. NOW A MOTHER OF TWO, SHE RETURNS TO SHARE MEMORIES OF FAMILY TRADITIONS WITH ARIA DARCELLA. PHOTOGRAPHY BY CODY RASMUSSEN STYLING BY MARISSA PELLY

IN MY FASHION Nicky Hilton Rothschild at Cole Porter’s piano in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria wearing a Dolce & Gabbana dress, and jewelry by Boucheron.

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“MY FATHER AND I ARE VERY SERIOUS—TO THE POINT, DIRECT. PARIS AND MY MOM ARE VERY SIMIL AR.”

WURTS BROS. (NEW YORK, N.Y.), 1931/THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

BELLE HOP Left, Hilton Rothschild in a Max Mara suit, with Gianvito Rossi shoes and jewelry by Jennifer Fisher; above, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in 1931.

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RECLINE IN FALL The designer relaxes in a Waldorf suite wearing a Prabal Gurung dress, Stuart Weitzman shoes, a Bulgari watch, rings by Boucheron and Jennifer Fisher, and earrings by Jennifer Fisher.

N

icky Hilton Rothschild is sitting at a piano once owned by Cole Porter in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria hotel, posing for Avenue’s holiday issue, when the “news” breaks. “Congratulations,” somebody says, reading an alert on their phone—“Paris Hilton is Pregnant!”—sent by the New York Post. “You’re going to be an aunt.” “No,” she replies. “Are you serious? What?” Hilton doesn’t flinch, maintaining her poise as the photographer circles, experimenting with angles. This is hardly her first time at the gossip rodeo. Pose. Click. “They have it wrong. I was just with her for two weeks.” Pose. Click. “No. It’s not true.” It’s only during a break for the lighting to be reset that she finally says, “So, is someone going to read me the story?” In person, Hilton is a measured presence: friendly, but reserved. She shares with her sister a figure that any designer would kill to dress, but

in other ways, they split the genes they inherited from their parents, Rick and Kathy, right down the middle. “My father and I are very serious—to the point, direct. And Paris and my mom are”— here she pauses for a moment—“very similar.” A preference for the straightforward life may not be surprising for someone who has spent her entire adult life adjacent to tabloid drama. Born in New York and raised in Beverly Hills, her childhood had all the 90210 trimmings: she participated in mother/daughter charity fashion shows as a toddler; Drew Barrymore was her babysitter. The family took annual end-of-year trips to Hawaii, staying at the Maui Four Seasons—a resort that received attention earlier this year as the setting for the HBO series The White Lotus. “We would go to my parents’ suite, and they would get a Christmas tree,” she says. “We would open gifts and then go down to the beach.” Now she spends Christmas with her parents in L.A. “My mother is basically Mrs. Claus, and transforms her home into the North Pole,” she says.

“She puts the tree up like in October and won’t take it down until February.” Things changed for the teenage Nicky when the family returned to New York in 1996. The Hiltons moved into the Waldorf—a homecoming of sorts, considering Conrad Hilton (her great-grandfather) bought a controlling stake in the building in 1949. Though the hotel then had some apartments, residential floors were not yet as popular as they would become. “I didn’t think it was weird until my classmates would come over and be very perplexed about why I lived in a hotel,” she says. “There was always someone or something exciting going on—one day going up in the elevator with Bill Clinton; the next day, Michael Jackson or the Rolling Stones. All the diplomats stayed here. When the president or any diplomat was in town it would take an hour to get in or out of the building with all the security. I was always late for school those days.” From the late ’90s, in regular gossip column mentions and profiles in Vanity Fair and even NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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“I DIDN’T THINK IT WAS WEIRD UNTIL MY CL ASSMATES WOULD COME OVER AND BE VERY PERPLEXED ABOUT WHY I LIVED IN A HOTEL.”

The New Yorker, she and Paris were characterized as a table-dancing club kids who became their own fin de siècle brand, “The Hilton Sisters.” Back then, Nicky was a regular on red carpets. Then there was the Las Vegas chapel marriage to a childhood friend (annulled after three months), and various celebrity boyfriends, including Kevin Connolly and Ian Somerhalder. If that’s wilder than anyone under 35 remembers her being, it’s because after a few years she started stepping away from the spotlight (declining to costar in her sister’s 2003 breakout reality hit, The Simple Life), even as her peers, aunts Kyle and Kim Richards, and mother Kathy were swept up into various competition shows or Real Housewives projects. Flying under the radar allowed her to embrace a new identity, one that is almost conventional. After four years of quietly dating, she married financier and heir James Rothschild in London in 2015. The ceremony—which took place at Kensington Palace and was attended by Chelsea Clinton and Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, among other luminaries—was fairy-tale perfect, save for her veil getting caught under the wheel of her car. “I just pulled it and jumped in,” she recalls. “It was torn. But I don’t think people noticed.” Rothschild, principal of his own investment company, JR Cap LLC, is even more low-key than Hilton. He has no personal social media, but is happy to appear on his wife’s pages or pose with her on red carpets. Despite being products of two of the wealthier and more publicized families in the world, the Hilton Rothschilds have managed to keep their lives together mostly under wraps. When they are in public, it’s often either because they’re at a black-tie event or walking around the city with their daughters—LilyGrace, 5, and Teddy, 3—in tow. Occasionally, Hilton pops up in her sister’s projects, like Paris’s recent biographical documentary or her cooking show on Netflix. These days her main project is Nicky Hilton x French Sole, her collection with the shoe brand. The line includes ballet flats, loafers, and heels, all featuring soles of powder blue, her favorite color.

CHAMBER MADE Left, Hilton Rothschild gets cozy in a sweater, pants, and shoes by Michael Kors Collection, Boucheron ring and earrings, and a vintage Cartier watch; above, getting her makeup and hair touched up by the glam squad.

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GUTTER CREDITS TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK;

“I’m a New Yorker running around this city all day to pick up, drop off, appointments, meetings. I need something that is practical. And I think a ballet flat is the perfect combination of comfort and elegance,” she says, contrasting the style with Birkenstocks, which she detests. “I just think they’re unattractive,” she says. “Not pretty.” The opinion is perhaps only remarkable because it’s the single negative thing she says all day. After six other changes, the last outfit of the afternoon is a Prabal Gurung party dress with a full feathered skirt. The look is something of a showstopper on Park Avenue, where she poses with an obliging yellow cab. A small crowd of passersby gathers, even if they don’t know what’s going on. One street vendor assumes we’re shooting a wedding. A family whips out their iPhones for photos, although it’s only while walking away that one of them finally recognizes her. It’s around this time that social media starts popping with the next development in the day’s gossip cycle: Paris denies she’s pregnant. No doubt the crazy rumor, which had the effect of pushing her new cooking show into news feeds around the globe, caught her—and her public relations team, and the Netflix marketing team— just completely and utterly by surprise. Throughout it all, our Hilton—the “normal” one—isn’t fazed. Not even when a paparazzo turns up out of nowhere, with a long-lens camera strapped to his wrist, and starts snapping. In fact, they have a cordial chat. It turns out they know each other—he’s her regular neighborhood shutterbug. For Hilton Rothschild, it’s all just a regular Tuesday in the city.

PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT, RUSSELL CORDEIRO. STYLIST ASSISTANT, TAYLOR WOOD. PHOTOGRAPHED AT THE TOWERS OF THE WALDORF ASTORIA, NEW YORK

DAY FOR NIGHT Above, the designer strikes a pose in a cape by Alexandre Vauthier and Cartier jewelry; below, going for gold in Valentino, with jewelry by Boucheron. Facing page, Hilton Rothschild dazzles in the streets wearing a Prabal Gurung gown and Boucheron jewelry.


GUTTER CREDITS TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK;

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MUSTIQUE PICNIC WARS BAGELS FROM DC AND PASTRIES FROM PARIS, BOTH FLOWN IN BY PRIVATE JET FOR THE SAME BEACHSIDE BRUNCH? AS NEW MONEY COMPETES WITH OLD IN THIS CARIB-EDEN, BRANDON PRESSER FINDS THAT A ONCE-GENTEEL TRADITION HAS BECOME THE NEW SOCIAL BLOOD SPORT ILLUSTRATIONS BY FUCHSIA MACAREE

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Picnics are the new source of unspoken tension in the polite but ruthless game of one-upping thy neighbor

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“I

hate the sand,” snorts Samantha Chartouni while handing me a sesame seed bagel. “I have a vivid memory of being on holiday by the beach in South Africa as a child—the wind picked up and my sandwich became crunchy.” It’s the sunblock too: “the goopy stuff your parents put on you, the way it cakes the sand on. It’s almost impossible to get the damn stuff off!” That hasn’t stopped Samantha, originally from Scotland, and her husband, Nabil—co-owners of the Lowell Hotel in Manhattan—from adding a beachside property to their real estate portfolio, which includes a Tudor-style compound in Greenwich, Connecticut, and a rambling Haussmannian apartment in Paris’s 16th arrondissement. Four years ago, the Chartounis purchased Paraiba, a lavish estate on Mustique, and joined the island’s illustrious new guard. Over the past decade, Mustique has increasingly become the canvas on which the world’s elite have painted their paradisiacal dreams— rambling tropical villas each elaborated according to its owner’s ultra-specific tastes, from faux Moorish palaces to angular temples of modernism. It’s a palpable departure from the island’s no-frills past as a low-key getaway for runaway royals and rock stars. Inevitably, this infusion of new money and people has ruffled some feathers among the old guard, even if residents would never squabble in person. But this Caribbean Eden boasts a unique and unexpected theater of war. In Mustique, social skirmishes play out over a misleadingly genteel pastime: the beach picnic.

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These days it can be hard to imagine this most coveted of destinations was once a backwater of thirsty succulents and stagnant ponds—though “Mustique,” a derivation of “mosquito” in French, certainly hints at its origins. The island was once a wasteland, relative to the neighboring Grenadines, when British noble Colin Tennant bought the island 1958 as farmland to produce cotton and meat. Those plans were soon scrapped, however, and a gift of ten acres to Princess Margaret on her wedding day in 1960 definitively reoriented the island’s appeal. The jet set soon followed with the likes of David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Bryan Adams, and later Tommy Hilfiger and Shania Twain, all buying homes. Even today, Mustique is only accessible by private jet or the island’s exclusive charter service. “Some of my most cherished memories are of the old Princess Margaret days,” recalls Tatiana Copeland, who, along with her husband, Gerret, are decidedly old guard, having added Toucan Hill to their collection of homes (which includes a winery in Napa) roughly 40 years prior. “Hosting everyone at my place to watch the sun set at our feet is a cherished highlight. “I used to go to Tuesday night cocktails at the Cotton House (the island’s only inn)—a tradition—with a blank piece of paper in my purse,” Tatiana continues; by the end of the eve-

ning it would be completely filled with a long list of invitees for upcoming parties she’d throw. She readily notes that like-minded conviviality has always blown on Mustique’s breezes—since, let’s face it, most Mustiquians could each afford to hide away on their own private island instead. But in more recent years, an invitation for drinks or dinner has turned into a tacit sport: villa one-upmanship. Gone are days of ramshackle charm—the brine-scented wind chewing the edges off plantation shutters; now it’s all about perfectly manicured iterations of island idyll. Whether it’s a Tuscan retreat, concrete-slabbed minimalist expression, or a classic Cape Cod– style residence, all new flourishes of architectural braggadocio are met with scrutiny from more senior residents of the island as their roofs poke over the fronds, altering vistas of the island’s craggy clefts. Each new arrival reconfigures paradise in their own image. Samantha’s version is a Mexican fantasy, she explains; Paraíba is a brilliant blue tourmaline stone found predominantly in Latin America. True to its name, she has enhanced the property since its purchase with concentric water features that gleam aquamarine in the Caribbean sun. A full renovation of all bedrooms, plus the addition of a state-of-the-art gym, are par for the course for any new-owner refit, and the OGs

have kept pace with the luxurious new standards. Tatiana’s manse is a meticulous tribute to Moorish style, with gleaming white walls, arabesque arches, and bathrooms styled like Moroccan hammams. The one uniting style element that binds the hundred-plus properties on the island is a dash of anonymity. “I want everyone to feel as though they are home,” explains Samantha; only a handful of homes have family photos on display, for example. This is done to ensure maximum rentability—like Samantha and Tatiana, most owners count their Mustique enclave among a coterie of international addresses and compete to lease their manses out to prospective holidaymakers, helping to offset their hefty costs. A weeklong stay in winter at Toucan Hill will set you back $40,000; Paraiba starts at $60,500 in high season. But with owners unable to properly flaunt their homes as Covid rages on, the once relaxed tradition of meals along the beach has lately assumed a new importance to Mustique’s social calendar. Picnics are now the de rigueur house party proxy, and a new source of unspoken tension as the polite but ruthless game of one-upping thy neighbor shifts away from the turrets, cloisters, and pergolas and down to the wave-swept sand instead. NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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“There are around 25 picnic zones, [and] everyone wants the same spots.” SAMANTHA CHARTOUNI

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It was at one of the Cotton House’s signature cocktail hours that I first met Samantha; she invited me out for breakfast the next morning. With perennially pleasant weather to blow those resident moustiques away, she, like most of the island’s homeowners, does her entertaining outside. “There are around 25 picnic zones,” Samantha explains, which may sound like a lot for a hundred families, but during the holiday season, jockeying for a site can quickly turn into a blood sport. “Everyone wants the same spots,” continues Samantha—“especially ‘Lagoon 1,’ ‘Lagoon 2,’ and ‘Macaroni 3.’” The Mustique Company, the benign bureaucratic dictatorship that manages the island, governs a coveted sign-up sheet to disperse residents across the many picnicking locales and prevent party gridlock. Attempts to book multiple sites to provide options in the event of an unfavorable wind, or to block rivals and ensure that one’s own fiesta is well attended, are not technically allowed, forcing ambitious hosts to get creative. “Normally I get the places I want because I plan,” Samantha says. “I’m always 10 steps ahead.” But she has a workaround in case another

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“Hosting everyone at my place to watch the sun set at our feet is a cherished highlight.” TATIANA COPELAND

wily villa owner has snatched a spot out from under her: “I just bring my own tables and chairs, and have my staff build a temporary cabana.” Samantha has an entire storehouse at Paraiba stuffed to the gills with her fish-themed accoutrement; “I used to throw picnics halfway between ‘Lagoon 1’ and ‘Lagoon 2’ and the parties were so popular that Mustique’s reservation office created ‘Lagoon 1.5’ to block me!” But Samantha doesn’t need the best slice of sand to maintain her unofficial status as the doyenne of Mustique’s picnic scene. “The secret is abundance,” she notes. “I have everything that I—or any guest—would ever need shuttled down to the beach for the day.” My sesame bagel, Samantha explains, has been flown in by private jet from her favorite American supplier (scandalously, that’s not a New York deli, but Bagels Etc. of Washington, DC.) It’s served with the requisite schmear of cream cheese, capers, smoked salmon, and fresh tomato, all served on green lacquered dishware that matches her cactus-clad caftan. My authentic bagel is an easy lift for Samantha; she also had croissants and pains au chocolat from her favorite Parisian pâtissier, Cédric Grolet, at the ready

in case I crave something more decadent. Her dinners feature anything the heart desires, from Wagyu beef to caviar, as well as the elaborate settings to match. “I have six sets of perfectly coordinated picnic-ware, and a seventh one I just recently bought,” flexes Samantha, the style maven of the Chartouni household; her favorite is a blue fish motif that undoubtedly comes with a matching caftan, too. “And I’m going to Maison & Objet [in Paris] to get more;” she adds. Samantha usually hosts three gatherings a week—“two lunches and a sunset dinner”—while on island, and she loathes the notion of repeating motifs. Samantha’s seven-plus sets of dishware can each serve up to 30 guests, all of whom sit comfortably on tailor-made cushions specifically stitched for the wooden benches inhabiting each station. “And none of the picnic tables are the same, so I have several sets of bespoke pillows that fit all of the different sizes,” she adds. A temporary shower, strung up in a nearby tree, is another Chartouni staple, as is a lounging area replete with kilims, a tent for shade, and a raft of water sport supplies, like snorkel masks and fins.

Now that the picnic stakes have risen, the old guard has felt pressure to keep up with the new. “Most houses have a butler and cook; we, however, also have a manager,” says Tatiana. “She’s from New York and has a keen eye for turning the provided empty tables into lavish barefoot banquets—she’ll also decorate the public palapas in orchids or balloons depending on the occasion.” To an outsider, this might all look like fierce competition. But our hostesses clutch their caftans at any suggestion of social rivalry. “It’s not that I’m competitive,” Samantha says, “it’s just how my mind operates—everything needs to be just so.” And she would know; when the Chartounis aren’t bringing their hotel savvy down to the seaside, they’re regular attendees at the many other gatherings around the island. “I think we get a lot of picnic invitations because the hosts know I’m happy to share my gear,” Samantha says. She will, however, admit to having one sworn enemy on the island: sand. For four years and counting, Samantha’s feet have never touched even a grain of Mustique’s signature mixture of shells, pebbles and mud. “God knows,” she says, “I never go anywhere on island without my carpets and beach shoes.” NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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COCONUTS More than ninety years on, Palm Beach’s Coconuts remains the Island’s island’s most coveted New Year’s invitation. Everybody wants to go, but absolutely nobody wants to be caught talking about it.

AVENUE ARCHIVES

by Christopher

“W

ell, I’m just very sorry,” the man tells me gently. It’s our second of two telephone conversations. He’s my contact within The Organization, a member in excellent standing. He has been very polite and conscientious in returning to me with answers—of a kind—within twenty-four hours. My inside man had been willing to explore the idea of speaking publicly for my tribute to The Organization’s annual festivities. But he cannot. While he has in the past worked helpfully and fruitfully with this magazine, he finds himself quite unable to do so now. “I certainly wish you well, and I wish I could help,” he says. They have gotten to him. Leadership has. “It’s really, it’s just . . .” he says. Then, gently, and a little wearily, “Well . . . it’s just a private party.” Well, yes and no. Quite a private party, indeed. But not exactly “just” anything. “The Organization” is not exactly the menacing conspiracy of my fevered daydreams. The Coconuts, a rolling fraternity of twenty-five distinguished Palm Beach gentlemen, has been financing and hosting Palm Beach’s most discussed, most mythologized, most simultaneously exclusive and inclusive New Year’s Eve party since the days of bathtub gin. The annual black-tie ball that bears their collective name (and please call the party itself just “The Coconuts” so as to sound like an insider) is a gathering steeped in tradition, and yet one that cannily draws in the city’s next social generation. As with the very best blue-chip trust funds, the origins have become a bit opaque as the past has receded. No one seems willing—or able—to say precisely how, or even when, the Coconuts began. (My own carbon dating places the origins at

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demonstrably north of 91 years ago; it is only reasonable to believe that some version of the gathering began to coalesce in the immediate aftermath of the World War I.) The only thing that is entirely for sure is that the world has been spinning pretty wildly in the last nine decades. And in ways that sometimes rattle even the American Riviera. But neither the march of time nor the shocks of human history matter much come New Year’s Eve in Palm Beach. The Coconuts are still at it, and their ritual gathering is still very much the place to be. Another friend is a genteel lawyer who’s been on the scene in Palm Beach for four decades and a resident for two. He’s been respected, trusted, even loved—and all this as an ardent Democrat. But his real arrival in town came a mere ten years ago in the form of an invitation to the party. “You could write some terrifically scandalous pieces about a number of institutions around here,” he chuckles. “And believe me, I’d love to help you write those stories. But this is really a pretty great tradition. It really is.” The ball has for many years been held at the Flagler Museum, and the

Above: The actress Mimi Vignos celebrates the new year with Long Island real estate heir, Walter T. Shirley, Jr. Middle: New York Yankees heir Dan Topping, Jr. with Kristen Oleson, ca. 1965 Below: ROARING COCONUTS: The Miami Daily News, already gushing over The Coconuts in 1926. During its early years, the ball was held in March. Opposite page: THE SMART SET: Mr. and Mrs. Bedford Davis mingle with flair outside of Ta-boo, late-1960s.

“You could write some terrifically scandalous pieces about a number of institutions around here, but this is really a pretty great tradition. It really is.”

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location is key. In Palm Beach, where the “Big Five” private clubs (the Bath and Tennis, the Beach Club, the Everglades, the Palm Beach Country Club, and the Sailfish Club) have overlapping memberships but are also, ahem, somewhat Balkanized, the Coconuts’ guest list draws to varying degrees from across the spectrum. Perhaps not quite a gathering that “looks like America,” but striking and alluring in a town where the allegiances can of course be as confining and oppressive as they are comforting. The Flagler, glorious as a place and significant as the homestead of Palm Beach society’s founding father, provides a fitting neutral backdrop for a gathering of the tribes. “There are the five major clubs,” says my friend the attorney. “And if you’re in one or more of those and you don’t somehow disgrace yourself, then you’ll make your way pretty well in this town. But the Coconuts is a level above all that.” He sketches a lovely image: drinks and a civilized New Year’s dinner among friends at someone’s home,

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“It’s fascinating that [the party] retains a social centrality, where that is breaking down so quickly elsewhere. But what’s most striking about this party is that it is men who set the terms. And that an event controlled by them continues to constitute some social center of gravity.”

STAGE PRESENCE: Mary Duncan Sanford, the former Broadway star and a Palm Beach mainstay for decades, plays to the house at a late-1960s edition of The Coconuts. Her husband, Stephen Sanford (seated with Mrs. Joseph Tankoos, Jr.) watches from his front row seat.

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CAPEHART

A party that it is much seen—and almost never heard. or perhaps, for example, in the magnificent upstairs dining room at the Bath and Tennis. And then, at ten o’clock those certain anointed couples (ten are invited per Coconuts member) depart quietly from around town and begin to converge on the Flagler. There, the big-band music and the party’s décor—typically some variation of “jungle festive”—help create a swirl that’s just simply different from anything else on offer, even in this social capital. The invisible common denominator among guests is just an ineffable rightness, a belonging to some extended, long-standing Palm Beach “family.” Generations of Boardmans and Lauders, Gubelmanns and Phippses, Fanjuls and LeFraks, along with their not-nearly-so-famous-nor-latelyso-flush friends, all circulate through the museum’s pavilion and eventually glide on out to a midnight fireworks display over Lake Worth. “You’re constantly moving among people, all of them actually enjoying themselves,” my friend marveled. With no formal dinner and no fixed structure at the Coconuts, “you’re never stuck between a dowager empress and her cousin. It’s the least stodgy Palm Beach party I can think of.” But for all the beauty and bonhomie, it is the evening’s first moments that harken directly to the past. Whatever the uncertainty about an exact founding date for the club, the sole mission has remained clear: the Coconuts group was convened by a group of popular bachelors as a way to repay annually the invitations and kindnesses of Palm Beach’s society matrons. By 1926, the Miami Daily Herald’s coverage of what was then a costumed gathering held in March noted Caleb Bragg, the Yale-educated automobile and airplane daredevil, entrepreneur, and lifelong bachelor, as being among the ball’s leading founders—at some unspecified time before 1923, when the party was already being treated as the pinnacle of the social season. The current membership, which includes chief Coconut Alex Fanjul, David Koch (rumored to donate the fireworks display personally), Leonard Lauder, and financier Wilbur Ross, as well as Palm Beach society fixtures from across the age spectrum, is comprised of men both married and single. But it hews exactly to the grand tradition of greeting all guests as they arrive at the door—a broad and very courtly gesture of thanks—not just to hostesses, but to the community of attendees that makes Palm Beach what it is for these men. For the veteran journalist Laurence Leamer, a resident and lover of the island and the author of Madness Under the

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Right: Durie Desloge, Palm Beach’s most talked-about debutante of 1960, out for The Coconuts with Sheridan Crumlish, ca. 1964.Below: BESSEMER BLUE BLOODS: Michael and Molly Phipps, out from Casa Bendita for New Year’s Eve. Oposite page: NINE DECADES AND COUNTING: The Coconuts of 2013, assembled at the Flagler and resplendent in their “new” black dinner jackets.

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Royal Palms, the Coconuts’ adherence to its original spirit presents an intriguing measure of the changes that have surrounded the tradition. “The social center of the town was always governed by women, by a matriarchy,” he told me. “And with women—even wealthy ones—so actively in the workplace, or so active philanthropically, a good deal of that governance has broken down.” Ladies are not lunching in the way they used to. Leamer himself isn’t exactly charmed by the Coconuts, but he does acknowledge its significance—one that is arguably deepening. “Life in Palm Beach, as it is in most places, is less and less about class and more and more about money,” he said. “And so I think it’s fascinating that [the party] retains a social centrality, where that is breaking down so quickly elsewhere. But what’s most striking about this party is that it is men who set the terms. And that an event controlled by them continues to constitute some social center of gravity.”

And so the circle goes. While male guests wear black dinner jackets, the Coconuts themselves for many years wore a uniform of white jacket with red carnation boutonniere. When the hosts went to black jackets last year (allegedly) at the direction of Alex Fanjul, the outcry (quite unattributed, of course) made it all the way north to Page Six. But that tempest in a teacup is one of those little things that can obscure the skill and sensitivity the Coconuts have always shown in keeping the gathering meaningful and alluring to the Younger Set. Tradition itself now holds that as midnight and the fireworks pass, the party opens to a “Second Coconuts.” While the older generations depart for home, their children and grandchildren, as well as other invited younger revelers, are granted access to the Flagler and continue the evening’s festivities through a hearty wee hours supper of bacon and eggs. And so it goes—onward all the way to the dawning of the new year over the Atlantic.

When I spoke to members of the middle and younger sets, I was impressed, almost touched even, that they had fully internalized both the fear of banishment and the time-honored ethic of discretion almost for its own sake. The Coconuts would continue as it had in the past—with the party seen, or perhaps merely glimpsed, in the city’s “Shiny Sheet,” maybe in the New York Post, maybe in these pages. The happy, tanned Coconuts in their dinner jackets—whatever the color. A secret society in which membership is not a secret. And their guests, sailing through the dream of the Flagler. But the party and its voices would continue to be heard almost nowhere—and certainly not publicly. “The Organization” and its gathering were being granted the same respect, and indeed, the same protectiveness, that that they had been shown by the elders. But the messages were always the same: “It’s not like anything else . . . . It’s more like a family reunion . . . .” And finally that ultimate measure, that ultimate accolade: “It’s really the only party that’s fun.” ✦

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“You’re never stuck between a dowager empress and her cousin. It’s the least stodgy Palm Beach party I can think of.”

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IN A CITY WHERE SOME ADDRESSES FEEL THE NEED TO ROAR THEIR STATUS, THE IMPECCABLY DISCREET SUTTON PLACE MERELY PURRS. GEORGE RUSH TAKES A STROLL THROUGH THE EXCLUSIVE EAST SIDE ENCLAVE 76

MARILYN MONROE: PAUL SCHUTZER/GETTY IMAGES

LIVING

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A Sense of Place

MAP: G.W. BROMLEY & CO./NYPL

WE’RE THE MILLERS Left: Marilyn Monroe and her husband, playwright Arthur Miller, leave 2 Sutton Place in 1956. Above: A 1927 map plate from the collection of the New York Public Library.

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ew York City has a rich assortment of desirable neighborhoods, but none whispers “quiet wealth” quite like Sutton Place. The elegant hamlet—sometimes compared to London’s Belgravia—is bound by 59th Street, 53rd Street, First Avenue, and the East River. If the district seems remote now, you can imagine how far flung it was in 1875 when clipper ship magnate Effingham B. Sutton built townhouses near the rocky bluffs overlooking Blackwell’s Island. People of modest wealth enjoyed the view until slaughterhouses, breweries, and a coal yard overtook the riverbank and tenements sprang up. Then, in the 1920s, patrician reformers Anne Harriman Vanderbilt, Elisabeth Marbury, and Anne Morgan had the audacious idea of living near the downtrodden, and they rebuilt Sutton’s broken-down brownstones. The New York Times

scoffed at their personal urban renewal project, branding it the “Amazon Enclave”; indeed, Marbury and Morgan were queer pioneers. But the Amazons’ social rank (they also cofounded the Colony Club) lured developers to build stately co-op buildings nearby—five designed by Rosario Candela. The incongruity of rich and poor dwelling cheek by jowl made the “Golden Ghetto” fodder for the 1936 screwball comedy My Man Godfrey and Sidney Kingsley’s 1937 drama Dead End, progenitor of the Dead End Kids. Gentrification eventually scrubbed away the slum. By the 1950s, Sutton Place—to quote no less an authority than Holden Caulfield, who visits a former teacher there in The Catcher in the Rye—was thoroughly “swanky.” Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall, and Marilyn Monroe picked 36 Sutton Place as their base camp in 1953’s How to Marry Millionaire. In real life, Monroe and her then husband Arthur NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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More townhouses lay tucked around the corner on far 58th, aka Sutton Square, where residents have included studio boss Jack Warner and shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. Hidden at the end of the square are six houses on Riverview Terrace, a gated cobblestone lane. The cul-de-sac also features the vest-pocket park where Woody Allen and Diane Keaton watched the sun rise over the Queensboro Bridge in Manhattan. (Allen had to bring his own bench for the scene; you’ll find two there today.) The price of living on Sutton Place has naturally tilted its demographic toward the grayhaired, who cherish its low-traffic sedateness. More recently, young families have started to appear, thanks to a few rental buildings. But, while venerable Suttonites may tolerate baby buggies, they have resisted the city’s plan to extend the East River esplanade through Clara Coffey Park. “Many residents feel it will change the neighborhood’s character because you have bicyclists from outside the neighborhood,” said Sutton Area Community president Charles Coutinho. “There have been near accidents with elderly people.” Sutton Place proper is almost completely unblemished by retail businesses. But its residents have come to depend upon a few nearby establishments.

FASHIONABLE ADDRESS Clockwise from left: Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and his partner, the fashion designer Thom Browne, now live in this 1928 townhouse formerly owned by Drue Heinz; a 1920 rendering of the brick and limestone building; a detail from 4 Sutton Place, designed by Rosario Candela and Cross & Cross. PHOTO: TRAVIS MARK; SBS ECLECTIC IMAGES, KENNETH GRANT/ALAMY

Miller bought the penthouse at 444 East 57th Street, where they entertained the likes of Cary Grant and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Other show folk settled on Sutton Place— Lillian Gish, Bobby Short, Sigourney Weaver, and even Freddie Mercury. Literary and media types have included E. L. Doctorow, Clay Felker, Henry Luce III, and Tina Brown and Harry Evans. Bill Blass, Carolyne Roehm, Kenneth Cole, and John Fairchild have been among the fashion set. Snootier co-op boards have held the line against celebrities, Jews, gays, people of color, and diplomats immune to U.S. prosecution. Even so, some actual scoundrels have crept into the ’hood, among them Ponzi schemer Steven Hoffenberg, financial fraudster Raj Rajaratnam, and “Preppy Killer” Robert Chambers. Some co-op-phobes have found refuge in Sutton Place’s original row houses. Actress Miriam Hopkins let out No. 13 to Judy Garland, Garson Kanin, and Jules Stein. Architect I. M. Pei continually tinkered with No. 11 during his 45 years there. No. 3 has served as the residence of every United Nations secretary general since Kurt Waldheim. Ketchup-rich philanthropist Drue Heinz sold Anne Vanderbilt’s former home at No. 1 for $13 million in 2019 to Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton and his partner, designer Thom Browne. AVENUE MAGAZINE | NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021

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THE RIVER HOUSE No building looms as high in status as the River House at Sutton Place’s south end—as famous for the Astors, Whitneys, Roosevelts, and Rockefellers who’ve lived there as for its rejects. (Among the spurned: Ms. Keaton, Gloria Vanderbilt, Joan Crawford, and Richard Nixon.) When it was built in 1931, one selling point of the 26-story Art Deco tower was its “home club,” whose wharf allowed residents to dock their yachts.(Legend claims that power broker Robert Moses built the FDR Drive—sinking the marina—as payback for the WASP nest’s alleged anti-Semitism.) Maritime motifs still adorn the River Club, whose members enjoy an indoor pool, tennis and squash courts, a restaurant, and overnight accommodations. The club faced closure in 2013, when River House’s board tired of covering its losses.(That year, the club’s 700 or so members, many of whom don’t live in River House, reportedly paid about $10,000 in annual fees.) The Club ultimately bought its 62,000-square-foot-space for $45 million. Since then, members have invested in their athletic facilities and freshened the décor. Like the River House’s board, which in 2013 approved Kill Bill star Uma Thurman, the governors of “New York’s Preeminent Family Club” are said to have liberalized their screening standards. But one must still be sponsored by a current member.

EAST SIDE STORY Left: River House seen from Roosevelt Island; below: Celeste Holm at the Town Tennis Club with its founder, former Wimbledon champion Sidney Wood.

RIVER HOUSE: SAMUEL H. GOTTSCHO/MCNY/GETTY IMAGES; CELESTE HOLM AND SIDNEY WOOD: CLIFFORD COFFIN/CONDÉ NAST/SHUTTERSTOCK

TOWN TENNIS CLUB If you prefer a doubles game with a little less hauteur, the Town Tennis Club may be for you. Wimbledon winner Sidney Wood cofounded Town in 1954 with six-time Grand Slam champ Don Budge. Its three courts (two Har-Tru, one all-weather) sit atop a garage where FBI agents used to park. Bill Tilden, Pancho Gonzales, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Monica Seles, Jim Courier, Serena Williams, and Roger Federer are among the greats who’ve played at Town. The club’s 125 members also gather for dinners, yoga classes, and Scotch tastings. The length of the waiting list “depends on the day,” said general manager Thomas Fitzpatrick.

PHILIP COLLECK LTD. In a neighborhood where the ghosts of decorators Elsie de Wolfe (the companion of Elisabeth Marbury), Valerian Rybar, and Betty Sherrill still linger, you know Suttonites take their English antiques seriously. Diana and Mark Jacoby have carried on the 83-year-old business of Philip Colleck since his death in 1987. In 1999, the Jacobys found the perfect antiquarian showplace at 311 East 58th Street, a brick house built in 1853 by Abijah Pell. “We love Sutton Place,” said Diana. “You feel like you’re in your own little village.” The couple has an annual garden party to exhibit their latest chinoiserie. It’s worth stopping by to see the white 1857 house next door, which over the years has served as the home of the Humane Society, a Czech restaurant, Oleg Cassini’s Le Club (favored by Donald Trump), two more restaurants, an artist’s studio and, once again, the Humane Society. NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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MR. CHOW BECAME A MAGNET FOR THE ART WORLD, NOTABLY ANDY WARHOL AND JEANMICHEL BASQUIAT. “AND LARRY GAGOSIAN WAS JUST HERE!”

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GUTTER CREDITS TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK;

Longtime Suttonites are creatures of habit, loyal to mom-and-pop shops that treat them like family. The Ideal Cheese Shop is not a Monty Python sketch but, rather, a dispensary of more than 250 varieties of dairy deliciousness from 17 countries. Founded in 1954 by the Edelman family, it’s now run by Julius Benetti and his son, Michael. “We’re in walking distance from the United Nations, so we have an international clientele,” said Michael. They also carry olive oil, vinegar, pastas, jams, and charcuterie. Founded in 1885, Clairmont-Nichols Opticians is the oldest eyewear store in Manhattan. For the last 52 years, it’s been operated by the Malsin family at 1016 First Avenue. Ignoring the online convenience of Warby Parker and GlassesUSA.com, customers troop into Clairmont-Nichols, sometimes from out of state. “We don’t have a corporate overlord,” said third-generation owner Scott Malsin. “We own our own laboratory. It’s a way to ensure quality and not charge more than we have to.” Specializing in Zeiss lenses, the store stocks designer frames, as well as binoculars and telescopes. The staff happily helps walk-ins who don’t buy anything. Scott recently spent much of an hour fixing the glasses of a legendary actress. “Afterward, she offered me a tip. Of course, I declined it.” Founded in 1897, Pollock & Bailey Pharmacists makes free deliveries, as it often did to “Mrs. A. Miller,” aka Marilyn Monroe. (Drugstore receipts auctioned in 2016 record her orders for vitamin B1 tablets, a bedpan, nasal jelly, Revlon eyeliner, and the barbiturate Amytal.) Like Marilyn, today’s customers value the drugstore’s “personalized service,” said Charlene Schwartz, an employee for more than 40 years. “You can talk with the pharmacist.” The store also carries gifts like scented candles, holiday plates, and stuffed animals. Novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford “would buy a thousand things and ask me to bring them to her car,” recalled Schwartz. “I said, ‘Excuse me?’ But I did it!”

TKTKTKTK

YE OLDE CHEESE, SPECTACLES, AND DRUGS

Sutton Place doesn’t have a lot of walkable restaurants, but a few have endured. Henry and Nancy Kissinger stroll over from the River House to Jubilee, a French bistro now in its 27th year. Luc Holié, an Académie Culinaire chef, takes pride in his carré d’agneau rôti and 10 preparations of moules. His wife, Ilda, oversees a wine list acceptable to the most finicky French attaché. President Emmanuel Macron lunched there in 2019. Ilda knows her regulars well: “I’ve seen people in strollers who are now getting married.” Florentine chef Pino Luongo, whose empire includes Il Cantinori, Le Madri, and Coco Pazzo, opened Morso to play with the idea of “small bites.” He admits “this sleepy little neighborhood” was slow to appreciate his concept. But the restaurant’s large terrace worked perfectly during the COVID lockdown. “We have a large percentage of female customers,” said Luongo, who personally supervises the kitchen. “Women tend to eat differently. They like to have more choices that they can nibble and share.” Morso turned 10 in September. Michael Chow now has restaurants from London to Vegas, but his Mr. Chow on West 57th remains special to him. When he opened it in 1979, he once said, “I hit the jackpot.” The location became a magnet for the art world, notably Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. It helped that “M” and his charming wife, Tina, lived upstairs. “The parties in those days were crazy,” said general manager Miguel Gonzalez. Today, though Chow lives in California, Gonzalez believes Mr. Chow–57th is “a one-of-a-kind place. It’s had its ups and downs. But a new generation of artists has discovered it. And old customers have returned. Larry Gagosian was just here!”

MR. CHOW: ALLAN TANNENBAUM; JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, TINA CHOW, AND ANDY WARHOL: PATRICK MCMULLAN/GETTY IMAGES

STANDBY EATERIES


NEARY’S: LIZ CLAYMAN

CHOW TIME Clockwise from facing page: Mr. (Michael) Chow watches a noodle chef at his eponymous restaurant in 1983; the Brattons enjoy St. Patrick’s Day at Neary’s; Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tina Chow, and Andy Warhol at Mr. Chow in 1986.

NEARY ’S

“WE ALSO GET OUR SHARE OF BILLIONAIRES. I NEVER PUT THEM TOGETHER.”

GUTTER CREDITS TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK;

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JIMMY NEARY

It’s good that Sligo-born Jimmy Neary didn’t know three bars had failed at 358 East 57th Street when he opened Neary’s on St. Patrick’s Day in 1967. He might never have launched what has become one of New York’s most revered shebeens. The crowd at Neary’s has included three U.S. presidents, most of New York’s governors, and most of the city’s mayors, as well as the likes of Joe DiMaggio and John Glenn. Among its eminent Hibernians have been Maureen O’Hara, Cardinal Dolan, numerous Kennedys, and Mary Higgins Clark, who has slipped Neary’s into several of her novels. “We also get our share of billionaires,” noted Neary. “I never put them together.” From the start, Neary insisted that gentlemen wear jacket and tie. The “Irish ‘21’ Club” has relaxed its dress code, but its red leather banquettes and Waterford crystal remain. “During the lockdown, we did a complete renovation,” said Neary. “And we changed nothing!” The surf and turf menu is also unreconstructed, but that doesn’t keep some neighborhood folk from eating there seven days a week. “This is their kitchen,” said Neary. The main draw is its gregarious proprietor, five-three and almost 91. The publican, who professes to have never tasted alcohol, said, “We watch out for our customers. If they’ve had one too many, we walk them home. If they’re driving, I take the keys off them. “I meet everybody who comes in. I don’t know how my late wife, Eileen, put up with me. I was never home. But I love it. I’ve never worked a day in my life.” NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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NOTORIOUS NEW YORKERS

BAH HOMBERG James John Walker, 97th mayor of New York City.

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Jimmy Walker, New York’s Jazz Age mayor, was a crook so charming that his reputation started recovering the moment he was drummed out of town. Ambrose McGaffney learns how it is done

“W

orst mayor ever” is a phrase that few New Yorkers, over the past eight years, can claim never to have heard. But in the city that practically invented kvetching— or at least elevated it to an art form—any reasonable burgher would allow that a similar complaint could have been heard on the streets at almost any point in the metropolis’s 397-year history. We’ve certainly had some duds, ranging from the merely venal to the outright evil. Fernando Wood, for example, was the pro-slavery mayor who, on the eve of the Civil War, proposed the city should secede from the Union in sympathy with the South. Then there was William O’Dwyer, who resigned in 1950 to become ambassador to Mexico just when the Brooklyn DA started asking questions about contributions his campaign received from organized crime. For sheer panache, however, nobody could hold a candle to one of O’Dwyer’s predecessors in the infamous Tammany Hall machine: New York’s 97th mayor, James John “Jimmy” Walker. A Prohibition-era dandy who stuffed his pockets with bribes while proving to be a remarkably effective civic manager, Walker is one of the most colorful rogues in New York City history. His reputational rehabilitation began almost the moment he was drummed out of town in 1932, hightailing it to Europe with his mistress. Walker’s life inspired a 1969 Broadway musical, Jimmy, and in 1957 Bob Hope played him onscreen as a wise-cracking bounder with a heart of gold in Beau James, based on a biography of the same name. “There’s only one reason I’d consider [running for mayor],” Hope says early in the picture, jabbing his thumb at the Manhattan skyline. “I love this cockeyed city more than anything else in the whole wide world.” His estranged wife, used to his infidelities, replies: “Maybe that’s because you haven’t met another city yet.” The script, with its one-to-one ratio of schmaltz and gags, actually wasn’t too far removed from its real-life inspiration, who was prone to saying things like, “I’d rather be a lamppost in New York City than the mayor of Chicago.” Born in 1881 as the son of an Irish immigrant carpenter, Walker’s initial goal was to make it as a

JIMMY WALKER: BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES

The Night Mayor

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DAILY NEWS: NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE VIA GETTY IMAGES; MAYOR WALKER: BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES

eccentric, the sidewalk favorite, the beloved clown, the idol of those who seek companionship and mercy above and beyond justice.” By his standards, that was a compliment. Voters reelected Walker by a large margin in 1929, but by then the storm clouds had already started to gather. The first domino to fall was the unsolved murder of a notorious mobster, Arnold Rothstein, in 1928, which shook up the underworld and humiliated the police. It didn’t help when investigators found records indicating the late capo had been “lending” money to his honor the mayor. Next came the stock market crash of 1929, causing social unrest that swept through the city like a tidal wave. Cardinal Archbishop Joseph Hayes blamed the economic disaster on the mayor’s lax morality; the Seabury Commission, which investigated civic corruption, put him squarely in their sights; and an ambitious governor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made removing Walker a centerpiece of his campaign for the White House. Then came the murder of a witness who had testified to the commission about police malfea-

Tin Pan Alley songwriter. But his one sentimental hit, “Will You Love Me in December as You Do in May,” was not enough to sustain a career, and he ended up in the New York State Assembly by way of law school. In Albany his mix of populist and progressive policies—he was for social welfare, legalizing boxing, and allowing movies and baseball games on Sundays, and against Prohibition and the Ku Klux Klan—caught the eye of Governor Alfred E. Smith, who backed him for New York City mayor. He won the 1925 election by more than 400,000 votes. Walker’s tenure in City Hall was lurid by any standards: his bribability, womanizing, and patronage of the town’s illegal speakeasies were an open secret, giving rise to another nickname: “the Night Mayor.” While his wife stayed home and out of sight, the Ziegfeld Follies showgirl Betty Compton served as something of a public mistress. He squired her around town in his $17,000, silver-trimmed black Duesenberg (with an open cab for the chauffeur), which he coyly referred to as “a gift from an admirer.” Such “gifts” were so flagrant, it was hardly surprising that under his administration, the police force became a national punchline for its perceived corruptibility. Walker was also infamous for his frequent vacations and short workdays, which often consisted of just a few hours beginning at 3 p.m. When his political opponent and eventual successor, Fiorello La Guardia, attacked him for raising the mayor’s salary from $25,000 to $40,000, he quipped in response: “Why, that’s cheap. Think what it would cost if I worked full-time!” Which perhaps makes it all the more surprising that Walker was such a superb city manager. He invested in public utilities like waterworks and subway lines; created the departments of sanitation and hospitals, and greatly improved the city’s docks, parks, and playgrounds. Even critics had to begrudgingly admit he got things done. Robert Moses, that other great remaker of New York, said of him: “Jimmy was the extrovert, the spontaneous

sance, and the mysterious disappearance of a New York Supreme Court justice—two national scandals that heightened the perception of lawlessness in Walker’s New York. Facing pressure from Roosevelt, and questions from investigators about the various payments he received (he called them “beneficences,” not bribes), Walker resigned in September 1932. He and Compton were on a steamship to France less than two months later. While the couple married in Cannes, and adopted two children, it would not be a long union— he ended up being the third of her four husbands. Walker returned alone to the United States before the war, where he ran a record label and hosted a radio show, succumbing to a brain hemorrhage in 1946 at the age of 65. Left alone by investigators, he remained endeared to New York sports fans, and in 1992 was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. “I have lived and I have loved,” Walker said near the end of his life. “The only difference is, I was a little more public about it than most people.”

A PROHIBITION-ERA DANDY WHO STUFFED HIS POCKETS WITH BRIBES WHILE PROVING TO BE A REMARKABLY EFFECTIVE CIVIC MANAGER, WALKER IS ONE OF THE MOST COLORFUL ROGUES IN NEW YORK CITY HISTORY.

RAG TIME Top left: Walker’s mistress, showgirl Betty Compton, was front page news in 1932; left: the mayor gets his own police escort during corruption hearings in 1931.

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Jack Hanley and Lisa Ivorian-Jones

CHEF’S KISS

Art world luminaries celebrated Debbie Harry and Cindy Sherman at the Kitchen Gala Benefit.

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Cindy Sherman and Thelma Golden

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Julie Macklowe

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The Couture Council Luncheon honored Carolina Herrera designer Wes Gordon at Cipriani South Street, in support of the Museum at FIT.

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Lauren Day Roberts and Kathy Prounis

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Gina Gershon

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THE CAMERA LOVES THEM Experience the Times of Bill Cunningham opened with a party at Live Rocket Studios.

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Betsy Smith and Michael Bloomberg

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THE BACK FORTY

The Central Park Conservancy celebrated its 40th anniversary with dinner and dancing at the Conservatory Garden.

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Susan Magrino, Kevin Sharkey, and Martha Stewart

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SOCIAL SKILLS

1225

BY POSEY WILT

Naughty or Nice

PLEASE COMPLETE THE ATTACHED BY MIDNIGHT, DECEMBER 24 TO DETERMINE YOUR 2021 HOLIDAY CREDIT SCORE

How much money have you donated to charity this year? My area code or more +100 My ZIP code or more +1,000 My phone number or more +10,000 My foundation is structured so that charity donates to me: -100,000 Have you been passive-aggressive with loved ones in the past year? Yes -100 No +100 Why would you even ask that? -1,000 Did you purchase any Instagram followers in the past 12 months? Yes -500 No +500 I’m not on Instagram +10,000 Does your phone contact auto-complete if you start typing the name “Ghislaine”? Yes -1,000 No +0 Do you own a pair of Crocs? Yes -200 No +100 If yes, subtract 100 for every Jibbitz charm you also own Has your family made more than a billion dollars from the manufacture of opioid painkillers in the past 12 months? No +1,000 Yes -1,000,000 Where were you on January 6? Home, work, or vacation +100 Touring the Capitol -10,000 Have you donated generously to your alma mater this year? Yes +100 for every million dollars No +0 If yes, did you make that donation in exchange for the institution admitting your child? Yes -200,000 No +100,000 Did you remember your Significant Other’s birthday this year? Yes -100 No +100 I replace them prior to birthdays -1,000

GUTTER CREDITS TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK;

Which is your favorite reindeer? Blitzen +100 Vixen +100 Venison -1,000 Your total Holiday Credit Score

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SCAN FOR FULL LISTING

Somewhere In Time on Shelter Island Gary R. DePersia Licensed A s sociate Real Es t ate Broker m 516.380.0538 | gdp@corcor an.com

Shelter Island. Combine a historic mansion, a prominent location in Dering Harbor, 300’ feet of private beach, expansive views, sunsets, a boathouse servicing a deep-water dock and you just might begin to imagine this nearly 3-acre estate perched on high overlooking broad swaths of bayfront that has rarely come to market since it was built at the turn of the century. Poised 30’ above the Peconic, on a site to where, for almost 40 years, steamers would deposit the rich and famous from New York, Boston and beyond to the venerable Manhanset House, an enormous 500 guest hotel opened in 1874 which would eventually, in 1896, anchor a new golf course. The current house and its once connected neighbor built in the early years of the 20th century would serve as the clubhouse for what would become Gardiners Bay Golf Club after the original hotel had burned to the ground. Today a fortunate new owner would enjoy blazing sunsets and unobstructed views to the North Fork as the nearby ferries carry travelers between Shelter sland and Greenport while luxury yachts and fishing boats pass back and forth out to sea. The 8,000 SF Mediterranean style manse offers 8 bedrooms, serviced by 7 baths on three levels of living space. ramatic beams enhance the great room with vaulted ceilings and an imposing fireplace while a more intimate living room, warmed by its own fireplace, will become a favored haunt of those looking to read, watch T , or quiet re ection. Additional amenities include a bar room with an original soda fountain, billiard and game rooms, gym, and bluff top hot tub. The 24’ X 60’ pool, with a decided Slim Aarons feel, looks out past 300 of a private, sandy beaches to the 150 dock with water, electric, dual hydraulic boat lifts, and its own boathouse. A separate cottage on the property could be repurposed as that coveted artist studio. Dubbed the Smallest Village in New York State, Dering Harbor occupies an enviable 200 acres within the approximately 8,000 acres that comprise the roughly 7-mile-long township of Shelter Island. Well known to many who frequently ply these waters, this imposing seaside estate awaits your private tour. Exclusive. $11.95M WEB #883058 Real estate agents affiliated with The Corcoran Group are independent contractors and are not employees of The Corcoran Group. Equal Housing Opportunity. The Corcoran Group is a licensed real estate broker located at 660 Madison Ave, N Y, N Y 10065. All listing phone numbers indicate listing agent direct line unless otherwise noted. All information furnished regarding property for sale or rent or regarding financing is from sources deemed reliable, but Corcoran makes no warranty or representation as to the accuracy thereof. All property information is presented subject to errors, omissions, price changes, changed property conditions, and withdrawal of the property from the market, without notice. All dimensions provided are approximate. To obtain exact dimensions, Corcoran advises you to hire a qualified architect or engineer.

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