AVENUE September | October 2021

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ANNIVERSARY ISSUE Celebrating 45 Years


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ONASSIS: PL GOULD/IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES; DIGITAL COVER: NAN KEMPNER AND KENNETH JAY LANE, NEW YORK, 1989: PHOTOGRAPH BY ROSE HARTMAN/GETTY IMAGES

CONTENTS SEPT.–OCT. 2021 VOL.44 NO.5

FEATURES 44

A NEW YORK CONVERSATION

Anniversary highlights from the past 45 years of Manhattan power brokering, taste making, and cocktail chatter in Avenue’s pages. 64

THE POWER A-LIST

45 New Yorkers who are helping rejuvenate the city we love. 74

SHE’LL TAKE MANHATTAN

Fall footwear for every walk of life. Illustrations by Johanna Goodman. 80 AVENUE GIRL Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis outside her Fifth Avenue apartment building, circa 1977.

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WELL SUITED

The Savile Row label Richard James is ready to conquer America, writes Aria Darcella.

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VERNISSAGE

Avenue’s insider preview of all that’s new and noteworthy. BY HORACIO SILVA, ALEXIS SCHWARTZ, AND JOSHUA DAVID STEIN

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BUY CURIOUS

Women’s and men’s fashions for the new fall mood.

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COW TOWN

Hankering for steak, Avenue’s new restaurant critic dines at three of the city’s best meat meccas.

BUSY BODY A Richard James silk suit jacket.

BY JOSHUA DAVID STEIN

CULTURE 28

37

Tacita Dean, Gilbert & George, Robert Longo and more at New York galleries this fall.

FLYING THE FLAG Is 91-year-old Jasper Johns America’s greatest living artist? An upcoming double retrospective provides the answer. BY JUDD TULLY

BACK WITH A VENGEANCE

BY ANGELA M.H. SCHUSTER

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FALL’S HOT READS…

are two novels, a memoir, and the true tale of a worldchanging expedition. BY ROBERT BECKER, CLAIRE GIBSON, AND MARK LIBATIQUE

LIVING 86

BY SIMON UPTON

BULL’S EYE Jasper Johns’s Target With Four Faces, 1955. COVER: Illustration by Petra Eriksson

NOTORIOUS NEW YORKERS

APP STORE Appetizers at Carne Mare chophouse in New York.

The night jewel thieves Jack “Murph the Surf” Murphy and Allan Kuhn stole the Star of India. BY AMBROSE MCGAFFNEY

INTERIOR LIVES

Three New Yorkers on their relationship with the place they call home. PHOTOGRAPHS

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92

94

ON THE AVE.

This summer the Hamptons got back into the swing of things, with parties across the East End. Visit our website at avenuemagazine.com

COURTESY RICHARD JAMES; JASPER JOHNS, TARGET WITH FOUR FACES, 1955, THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK; GIFT OF MR. AND MRS. ROBERT C. SCULL, 8.1958. © 2021 JASPER JOHNS/LICENSED BY VAGA AT ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NY, COURTESY WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART; COURTESY CARNE MARE

BY HORACIO SILVA

AVENUE MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021

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D

45 Years of Avenue

iane von Furstenberg directing traffic on Park Avenue during the 1977 blackout. Rupert Murdoch saying he doesn’t feel successful. Claus von Bülow shocking Diana Vreeland with jokes about his wife’s coma, while on trial for her attempted murder. And Bernard Arnault, at 38, getting a cold shoulder from the New York fashion press, who were entirely suspicious of this upstart French concrete magnate. These are just some of the indelible moments recorded during Avenue’s first 45 years. Debuting in September 1976, founder Judy Price had the idea to “give Manhattan a hometown magazine.” Her Avenue was modeled on The New Yorker, but with the addition of photography, which its crosstown antecedent lacked. It was also considerably more entertaining to read, and more engaged with day-to-day life in the city, albeit from the rarefied vantage point of the Upper East Side. Avenue has always been a magazine that celebrates achievement, both in commerce and culture. In this sapphire anniversary issue, you’ll meet several dozen of the arts and business titans Avenue has chronicled, from Lillian Gish (who made her first film in 1912) to Ruzwana Bashir, the young founder on the cusp of creating Silicon Valley’s next unicorn. Over the decades, our magazine has also showcased New York’s finest creative talents, publishing photography by Slim Aarons, Duane Michals, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and Arthur Elgort; writing by Raymond Carver, Italo Calvino, Truman Capote, Taki Theodoracopulos, Cathy Horyn, Mimi Sheraton, and Graydon Carter; and illustrations by Ed Koren and Guy Billout, among many others. I hope you’ll be as delighted to romp through this anniversary issue as our team was to create it. Here’s to Avenue’s rich history, bright future, and to you, our readers, who make it all worthwhile. Warmly, BEN WIDDICOMBE

Editor-in-Chief In the footsteps of: David Breul, Michael Shnayerson, Joan Kron, Susan Mulcahy, Quinn Halford, Laura Fisher Kaiser, Sandra Bass, David Patrick Columbia, Jill Brooke, Janet Allon, Pamela Gross, Peter Davis, Daisy Prince, Michael Gross, and Kristina Stewart Ward 10

Like and follow us at @AVENUEinsider Sign up for our weekly newsletter at avenuemagazine.com

AVENUE MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021

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THREE CENTURIES IN ART

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Ben Widdicombe CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Courtney Gooch

CLAIRE GIBSON (Book Reviews, page 40) was born and raised in the Hudson Valley and now lives in Nashville with her husband and their two young children. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Marie Claire, and Entrepreneur, to name a few, and her debut novel, Beyond the Point, was a 2019 Book of the Month Club selection. For this issue of Avenue, Gibson reviewed the latest novel by Elizabeth Strout. “The way she writes about home and love and longing makes me ache,” Gibson says. “After reading and reviewing Oh William! I went back and reread everything Strout has ever written.”

DEPUTY & MANAGING EDITOR

Angela M.H. Schuster FEATURES DIRECTOR

Heather Hodson PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR

Catherine G. Talese PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

Jessica Lee STYLE EDITOR

Horacio Silva

JOHANNA GOODMAN (She’ll Take Manhattan, page 74) is a New York-based artist and a graduate of Parsons School of Design, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Wall Street Journal, and Le Monde. Of her illustrations for this issue, she says, “I’m endlessly inspired by New York street life. I love the interplay of people expressing their individuality through what they wear and the architecture of the city. The shoes and boots featured in the story were an inspiring catalyst for me to build fantastical characters and a whole narrative of their fictional lives in the city, from the shoes up.” ARIA DARCELLA (Well Suited, page 80) is Avenue’s digital fashion editor. For this issue she interviewed Sean Dixon and Toby Lamb of Richard James, the legendary Savile Row tailor. “I’ve always been fascinated with tailoring, so it was fun speaking with Sean and Toby, who are so passionate about what they do,” she says. “Plus, they have some great stories about their celebrity clients, and London in the ’90s.”

DIGITAL FASHION EDITOR

Aria Darcella ART ASSISTANT

Daniela G. Maldonado LONDON EDITOR

Catherine St Germans CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Liesl Schillinger, Katrina Brooker, Gigi Mortimer, Tracy Bross 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 12

CLAIRE GIBSON BY LINDSEY ROME; ROBERT BECKER BY MARC BALET; JOHANNA GOODMAN BY STEVE WACKSMAN; ARIA DARCELLA BY ZACHARY HEADAPOHL

ROBERT BECKER (Book Reviews, page 40) moved to New York at the age of 18 for an internship at The Paris Review, and was later hired by Andy Warhol to work at Interview magazine, where he stayed for seven years. Becker now writes for Granta, Artforum, Architectural Digest, and Hyperallergic and is the author of Nancy Lancaster: Her Life, Her World, Her Art (Knopf). Describing himself as a “devoted surfer, art collector, and gardener,” Becker divides his time between the city; Litchfield County, Connecticut; and Hawaii, where he is president of the board of directors of the Merwin Conservancy on Maui. He is currently writing a book about Hawaii.

AVENUE MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021

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Chief Executive Traveler

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n a cool day earlier this year, not long after the lifting of restrictions on social gatherings, the British-Pakistani tech founder Ruzwana Bashir was wearing a pair of monogrammed silk pajamas to relax in a Howard Street triplex apartment. A mutual friend of ours was hosting a small group for a sound bath and cacao ceremony, involving some 30 shamanic instruments. After having our auras rocked, we gathered around the fireplace on custom Hästens pillows and chatted about the peculiarities of American dating, and “what percentage asshole” the mostly techie crowd considered ourselves. (Bashir played judge: I came in at a healthy New York 27 percent.) For a tech titan with her outsize reputation, Bashir is smaller than one might anticipate, with striking green eyes, and always impeccably dressed. In conversation she can be winningly cheeky, drops the occasional swear word, and is fond of calling confidants “my dear.” But she does not rush to mention that her company, the booking software platform Peek, is anticipated to hit

RUZWANA BASHIR HAS AN INSPIRATIONAL LIFE STORY THAT—PAGING SHONDA RHIMES— COULD ANCHOR A NETFLIX SERIES.

Illustrations by Lauren Tamaki

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a billion-dollar valuation. In fact, asked what she does on first meeting, she simply says: “I work at a travel company.” In January 2020, Bashir was tipped to be the first female chief executive of what Forbes referred to as a “travel unicorn.” By March, however, Covid had effectively shut down New York City. Her normally bustling neighborhood, SoHo, was boarded up and devoid of tourists, a sour reminder of the travel sector’s nearly $4.5 trillion hit. By April 2020, Forbes reported Peek had zero dollars in new bookings—a stark comedown from the billion dollars’ worth of experiences booked through the platform the year before. “I think operationally I had a lot of clarity, but the emotional strain of affecting others is what really took a toll,” she says now, in her chic, white apartment. After all, as CEO, she had not just herself to worry about, but also her vendors, employees, and investors. And suddenly the future of the travel industry looked decidedly uncertain. Bashir, 38, has an inspirational life story that— paging Shonda Rhimes—could anchor a Netflix series. The daughter of Pakistani immigrants to Britain, she earned a place at Oxford, chopped off her hair, bought jeans, became president of the Oxford Union, a Fulbright scholar, and a member of the Harvard Business School class of 2011. After struggling to easily plan activities before a birthday trip to Istanbul, she decided to build a company to solve the problem. Peek was born in 2012, and quickly raised $50 million, as well as the support of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google chairman Eric Schmidt, among others. During the throes of Covid, not only did hundreds of Peek employees look toward Bashir and cofounder Oskar Bruening, but also, as she notes, “We knew as a company that thousands of businesses relied on us, so we needed to make sure we could make it through.” Surviving required both organizational and emotional restructuring. They worked to get their vendors PPP loans, created Covid-friendly check-in protocols, and unfortunately were obliged to downsize their own workforce. The business pivoted to more local activities. Suddenly, Bashir says, “People actually wanted to know what was happening in their backyards.” And it worked. Today, Peek is back on track to achieve unicorn valuation, and Bashir has become a face of travel industry resilience. And with total venture funding allocated to women-of-color-led startups hovering around a minuscule 0.006 percent, Bashir’s success is symbolic beyond just her own company. She recalls how she didn’t “fit the mold that people were expecting and was more of an outsider” and that “traditional investors didn’t love a protagonist like me.” Being neither a nerdy dorm-room coder nor an overprivileged “girlboss,” she didn’t seem to fit any existing archetype. So while other hyper-visible CEOs drowned in their own splendor, taking their companies down with them (ahem, Adam Neumann and Elizabeth Holmes), Bashir tried to model a new kind of female founder. Because, as she says, “I am aware of the danger of a CEO coming to summarize their own company.”—alexis schwartz SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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VERNISSAGE

Life Is a Cab Away

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o one is entirely sure what Ricky Clifton does. But for the past 45 years—exactly as long as Avenue has been in existence—this transplant from Fort Worth, Texas, has been a fixture of the New York design, arts, and fashion scenes. He is a Zelig of the culture who has borne witness to a half century of high life in the city, knows everyone, and is the life of every party. Tall and thin, known for wearing knit caps with every ensemble, and with an accent that could perhaps be called Lone Star Mid-Atlantic, Clifton is technically an interior decorator. His daring 2010 renovation of artists John Currin 16

and Rachel Feinstein’s SoHo loft—a makeover inspired in part by the homes of third-world dictators and the London members-only club Annabel’s—is still talked about in tastemaker circles. An occasional furniture designer, whose namesake side chair is canonical enough to warrant entry in design dictionaries, he has also been a confidant of Andy Warhol (he once photographed the artist’s two dachshunds dressed as the pope and Jacques Cousteau), a flower arranger for Jacqueline Onassis, a framer to Jean-Michel Basquiat, a cabdriver whose celebrity pick-ups included Philip Johnson and Ginger Rogers, and a hunter-gatherer of designer furniture pieces for the bon ton. “Ricky is a person who shows up unexpectedly and brings you odd, beautiful pieces that you don’t think you need, but end up becoming your favorites,” Diane von Furstenberg, whose office features animal-print planters that Clifton found for her, once said. “He has an amazing eye and impeccable taste.” No wonder people are confused. Even Clifton himself has trouble describing his line of work, admitting that when he is desperate for an apt descriptor he has been known to compare himself to Cuban-American artist Jorge Pardo, whose work explores the intersection of various disciplines. “I ask them if they know him,” he told Avenue. “It’s just easier.” Clifton was speaking from the Chelsea home of artists Helen and Brice Marden, where he has been crashing since the beginning of the

pandemic while they hunkered down upstate and his Gramercy apartment was being repaired. As ever, his conversation was on his own terms and ricocheted wildly, from the billionaire space race to the Gucci supremacy and some largely forgotten talents, such as the illustrator Joe Eula and the pioneering florist and horticulturist Tony DiPace. “He is the reason we have orchids at Kmart now,” he assured me, before dovetailing into a discussion of Jackie O’s pewter collection. What would the cast of characters he has known over the years make of New York today? “They would probably recoil,” he lamented. “It’s all gotten so mindless and gross. Everything is commodified—it’s basically one big mall after another until you hit the Pacific Ocean.” Not that he has time to fixate on the city’s decline. He has three renovation projects on the same street in the West Village (“papa bear, mama bear and baby bear jobs,” as he calls them); an auction of his curios and collectibles in Hudson in the fall; and a series of printed portraits to complete that bring to mind the square format of Instagram. In addition, he has resumed work on a coffee-table book (he would prefer a hybrid of a scrapbook and the Cecil Beaton Diaries) that tries to make sense of his life. Besides, says the man who was once thrown out of Halston’s apartment after being caught going through the designer’s closet, “I learned a long time ago to just do your thing and mind your own business.” —horacio silva

AVENUE MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021

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Going Slow in the Fast Lane

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ypothetically, the new Lexus LC 500 needs only 4.6 seconds to go from zero to 60 miles per hour. But as anyone who has been out East knows, 60 mph on Route 27, the resolutely two-lane road that stretches from Gowanus in Brooklyn to the tip of Montauk, is pure fantasy. This leads to the question: other than the frustration of power denied, what does a powerful sports car offer in the Hamptons? Whatever the answer, one need only sit in front of the Hampton Coffee Company in Water Mill to see nothing deters the owners of the molti Lamborghinis, Maseratis, and Ferraris from taking their tigers out of the cage, even if only for a leashed crawl. This summer, Lexus added another sportivo option to that list, and invited curious writers to take one for a spin to the East End. Starting at around $100,000, the luxurious new coupe offers the chance to turn the bumperto-bumper journey into a destination of its own. And it’s offered as a convertible, too, so as you crawl by Goldberg’s Bagels and endless farm stands, so close yet so far from the sea, at least you can work on your tan. On a recent slo-mo jag, I drove by the Parrish Art Museum at such a deliberate pace it was as if I practically visited Isa Genzken’s overgrown orchids and Roy Lichtenstein’s Tokyo Brushstrokes. It may not have been the hair-blown-back experience imagined by a travel-starved auto journalist, but it was informative in its way. When stuck in traffic for hours, encased in a factory-fresh, sin-black Lexus LC 500, one is not surrounded by the windswept beach, but rather the dunes of toasted caramel leather interior that swathe the seats and dash. One does not listen to seagulls cawing or the chamber dramas of plutocrats in their mansions, but rather to the witty snark of Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, whose voice flows with crystal clarity through the Mark Levinson 13-speaker sound system. And no, a salty ocean wind does not buffet the face. Rather,

the gentle fragrance of eau de new car kisses one’s neck through the ventilated seat rests. And so, as the long weekend inexorably becomes shorter and Amagansett, like the horizon, beats its constant retreat, one crawls slowly along. I watch as the analog clock nestled in the dash counts each moment of mortality and ponder— what good is the world’s most powerful engine if it can but only purr? But at least the purr is mellifluous, and the seats are soft. At least the top is down, and it is not raining. At least, when I roll through East Hampton, the pedestrians look at me and my whip with a mix of pity (for the traffic) and admiration (for the chariot.) It’s not exactly Fitzgerald’s boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. The modern experience is more like cars stuck in traffic, bored ceaselessly out East.—joshua david stein

The Great Black Way

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pportunities on Broadway for Black cultural producers have historically been as rare as parking spots in Midtown. But in a sign that the world’s most famous theater district may be shedding its reputation as the Great White Way, all six new plays opening on Broadway this fall are by Black writers.

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Among the reparative offerings are Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s Broadway debut, Pass Over, opening September 12 at the August Wilson Theatre; Clyde’s, a new play by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, opening November 3 at Second Stage; and Keenan Scott II’s widely anticipated Thoughts of a Colored Man, which opens October 1 at the Golden Theater and arrives as the first play in Broadway history to be written, directed, starring, and lead-produced by Black artists. “It’s a real flag on the moon moment,” says Steve H. Broadnax III, the play’s director. “This is what the way forward looks like. Given the political climate we're in right now, being able to make my debut as a Black male on Broadway with a play that shows the vibrant spectrum of who we are as human beings means the world to me.” While TOACM, which blends spoken word, slam poetry, and rhythm in its psychological vivisection of seven men, is unsparing in its depiction of being a Black man in America, Broadnax hopes says that it offers a multifaceted picture of its protagonists. “Yes, there is undeniably pain and trauma,” he explains, “but our larger assignment is to show the full complexity of Black men beyond what we see in the media. You know, from Sadness to Passion and Happiness—and these are the characters’ names by the way.” While the nomenclature may remind some cynics of the seven dwarves, to unadulterated theater lovers who have been starved of talent the show’s distinctive golden marquee on 45th Street is a much-needed augury of hope. “After what we had all gone through in 2020,” Broadnax says, recalling the first time he saw it, “it was like a ray of light.”—hs

AVENUE MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021

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A

Cow Town

Hankering for steak, restaurant writer Joshua David Stein dines at meat meccas Carne Mare, Gage & Tollner, and Porter House. No wonder his cardiologist sends him a holiday card

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s far as indicators go, the heart health of a city’s denizens seems inversely proportional to its economic vitality. The better off a city is doing, the more clogged its arteries. So what better measure of New York City’s renaissance than revisiting its steakhouses? The steakhouse: locus of wheeling, focus of dealing, where bottles of Bordeaux flow and slabs of steer sit on vast plates of snowy porcelain. Over the last year, as hurly-burly Midtown slumbered under Covid ash like Pompeii, the steakhouse business slowed to molasses. But then vaccines

came, masks receded, indoor dining surged, and expense accounts demanded draining once again. ’Twas the season for the steakhouse to awaken. So, I visited three of the best: one new, one old, and one so old it’s due again for a check-up. Remember when the Fulton Fish Market, under the FDR, smelled like fish and the Far East Side and felt Mad Max apocalyptic? Remember when Pier 17 was the suburban mall, with Banana Republic and touristic tchotchke shops that suburban kids would visit on field trips to the city? I sure do. I was that suburban kid. Those memories are just snippets of an old song skipped past while scanning the airwaves for today’s summer bangers.

ILLUSTRATION BY AVENUE; PHOTOS: BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY/GAGE & TOLLNER, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

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LET THEM EAT The dining room of Carne Mare; below: its 17-layer chocolate cake.

COURTESY OF CARNE MARE

Carne Mare’s masterpiece is a 16-ounce prime rib rubbed with porchetta-style spice and slow-cooked.

There’s little trace of that world as I roll up to the sparkling South Street Seaport, built after Hurricane Sandy by the Howard Hughes Corporation and which aims to be what the Hudson Yards was supposed to be on the West Side, fifty blocks uptown. It’s all glimmer, glass, and good food. There’s a Momofuku Ssäm Bar, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten patio affair called Fulton, and a justopened steakhouse by Andrew Carmellini called Carne Mare. Anyone who knows Carmellini or his work— Locanda Verde, Lafayette, the Dutch, and more— knows the Buckeye-born, Boulud-trained chef is nothing if not a canny restaurant whisperer. He knows the exact ratio of familiarity to experimentation to make every meal both comforting and exciting. A steakhouse, never really a site for innovation but not begrudging it, is his meat and potatoes. The two-story steakhouse—designed by Martin Brudnizki, whose clubby aesthetic has taken over posh spots from Miami and London— is like a gigantic captain’s cabin: wood-paneled walls, butterscotch-leather banquettes, and views of the harbor and the tall ships bobbing nearby. Carmellini calls the place an Italian chophouse, but it has all the features of a steakhouse: a focused menu with seafood up top, meat at its center, contorni—or sides—dwelling in the lower fourth, and decadence glitter-bombed throughout. On a recent Friday night, waiters wore throwback maroon suits and strode amongst the 250 seats with purpose. Though concise, the menu, when it arrives, is as big as a sail. If the Italian sirocco blows through the open kitchen, it does so gently and often with a whiff of the sea. The octopus carpaccio—which looks like delicious terrazzo—is sprinkled with pickled peppers and crispy pepperoni cups. It sounds like a

tongue-twister, and it tastes like a roller coaster of taste and texture. A pair of mozzarella sticks is festooned with quenelles of ossetra caviar. (Conceptually sound, alas, the cheese sticks overpower the caviar, a rare misstep.) Elsewhere caviar is put to much better use, as in the case with hand-cut fettuccine, in which the admirably firm noodles tangle through countless bursting burrs of salmon and sturgeon eggs. But the pièces de résistance are naturally the meat. While other steakhouses often reserve the place of honor for a porterhouse or a tomahawk—both of which are present here—Carne Mare’s masterpiece is a 16-ounce prime rib rubbed with porchetta-style spice and slow-cooked. It arrives, rosy as a ship’s port lantern, and so big it practically begs for a foghorn to announce its arrival. But O Captain! My Captain!, the tender joy of a ruddy steak, ringed in rosemary, sage, and fennel, knows no bounds. I stumble through the tables now, meat-full and Manhattans-drunk, for a breath of fresh air. SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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MEAT CUTE Gage & Tollner’s dry-aged rib eye with creamed spinach; above right: the restaurant exterior, circa 1950.

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ad I a telescope, from the patio I might have been able to sight another of the city’s great steakhouses: Gage & Tollner, an almost 150-year-old steakhouse brought back to life a few months ago by a trio of talented restaurateurs. Whereas most steakhouses fortified themselves with endless lobbies and antechambers to keep the public at bay, Gage & Tollner opens right onto the bustle of Brooklyn’s Fulton Street. Gage & Tollner’s history is as rich as American wagyu. When it opened in 1879, there was a Gage (Charles) and a Tollner (Eugene). Then the restaurant was buffeted by fortune and changed hands more often than a poker player. Gage and Tollner were replaced by Cunningham and Ingalls, then Brad Dewey, whose son, Ed, sold it to Peter Aschkenasy in 1988, who sold it to Joe DeChirico

in 1995, and thus the restaurant endured well into the 21st century. It closed in 2004 before its current rebirth under the care of chef Sohui Kim and her partners, St. John Frizzel and Ben Schneider. What makes the current incarnation so vital is that it draws not simply from the days of Charles and Eugene but also from the reign of chef Edna Lewis, already the grand dame of Southern cuisine when hired in 1988 (at age 72!) to run the kitchen. Her preparations tilted Southernly, including a she-crab soup, fried chicken, and a coconut layer cake. In Sohui Kim’s hands, Lewis’s creations are modernized and, slightly, Koreanified. Kim adds a pinch of minced kimchi to the bacon atop clams casino, redubbing them Clams Kimsino. The crisp fried chicken, far from the gochujang variants found in K-town though no less tasty, is accompanied by a tart kale-and-kimchi slaw. But there are plenty of classics too. The devils on horseback seemed to gallop into my mouth of their own volition. Never have dates wrapped in bacon moved so quickly. That she-crab soup, bursting with crab roe, recalled the glory of Gage’s golden years to an herbaceous T. And the coconut cake, though given a modern spin and a layer of edible flowers by pastry chef Caroline Schiff, is as sweet as the original. The riskiest move, in my opinion, are the steaks themselves. For all the hullabaloo over farm-to-table cuisine, grass-fed beef remains a rarity in steakhouses. The reason is simple: a grass-fed steak is a temperamental protein, which turns tough fast, and tastes—gasp—like an actual animal. (I remember the shock of grass-fed beef at M. Wells’s steakhouse when it opened in 2014.) Nevertheless, here the flavors are pronounced by the 28-day dry-aging, the richness enhanced with butter basting and the char as thick as the black night.

BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY; LIZZIE MUNRO/COURTESY OF GAGE & TOLLNER

Gage & Tollner’s history is as rich as American wagyu.

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One doesn’t go to Porter House to nibble. One goes to indulge.

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NOAH FECKS/COURTESY OF PORTER HOUSE

CARROT GOLD The eponymous porterhouse steak at Porter House.

ack in Manhattan, the view is much different from the corner table, the so-called Owner’s Table and the choice seat at Michael Lomonaco’s 15-year-old classic Porter House. Central Park is a silent green carpet below; Christopher Columbus, in the middle of the circle on his column, is at eye level. One doesn’t go to Porter House to nibble. One goes to indulge. Perhaps, in that way, the corpulent Fernando Botero sculptures at the foot of the escalators aren’t so much guardians as harbingers. Porter House is as removed from the street as Gage & Tollner is close; up on the fourth floor of the Columbus Center, it has reached empyreal heights for a restaurant. (It shares the floor with Per Se and Bar Masa.) Perhaps that’s where chef Michael Lomonaco, the longtime chef of Windows on the World, feels most comfortable. But the fare here is grounded. Of the three steakhouses I visited, this one is the least changed. Simply the classics done exceedingly well. There can be no quibbling with the four U8 shrimp that arrive, as if a quartet of spooning friends, to be dipped into vodka-tinged cocktail sauce. Nor is there truck to be had with the four thick tranches of bacon, smoky and sweet, on its own plate as an appetizer. (Together, the shrimp and bacon dishes must make the least kosher table in the entire Upper West Side.) Like at Carne Mare, the menu is quite spare. Of pastas there are three, the best being a truffle-and-morel-laden risotto that tastes of springtime. But the meat is paramount. For my taste, the best cut is the bone-in strip loin. Neither the largest nor showiest of steaks on the menu, it is nevertheless the most flavorful, especially when accompanied by a small gravy boat of cognac au poivre sauce. A half hour into the meal, the table looks like a Lucullan Busby Berekley production, the steak now surrounded by a seafood platter in its geometric beauty; gigantic onion rings; a festival of spring greens; slices of fresh and buttered sourdough—Why fill up on bread? you ask, as if I am an iron-willed god and not a mere mortal—and a martini glass with a Manhattan in it. Meanwhile, just out the window, Manhattan is aflame with the setting sun. The city looks beautiful from this perch: vibrant, and, if one judges from its steakhouses, if not exactly healthy, then joyously decadent.

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ANDREW WHITE/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX; FLAG, 1954-55, BY JASPER JOHNS: © 2021 JASPER JOHNS/VAGA AT ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK, COURTESY OF PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART

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Flying the Flag

At 91, Jasper Johns may be America’s greatest living artist. Judd Tully previews his double-whammy retrospective at the Whitney and Philadelphia museums of art

STILL STANDING Jasper Johns in his Sharon, Connecticut, studio. Above: the artist's iconic Flag, 1954-55—in encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on wood—is among the highlights going on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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t 91, Jasper Johns, the widely revered and famously private American artist who was an impoverished unknown until he became an overnight art-star sensation at age 27 with his debut solo show at the Leo Castelli gallery, will be honored this month with an unprecedented dual retrospective opening in both New York and Philadelphia. “Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror” will showcase more than 500 works dating from 1954 to the present—a panoramic body of work that ranges from painting, sculpture, and drawing to prints, books, costumes, and even theater sets. Both exhibitions have been designed as a series of curated rooms akin to twin mini-mansions, each having ten chambers with names like “Real Things as Paintings,” “Doubles & Reflections,” and “Disappearance & Negation.” “The rooms tell you the story, and for every room in one place, there’s a room in the other,” says Carlos Basualdo, the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs senior curator of contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For example, he explains: “Philadelphia shows Johns’s number paintings, and drawings, and the Whitney shows flags and maps. We have chosen works that are mostly predicated on darkness, while everything at the Whitney is much more surreal.” “Ultimately, we took the inspiration from Jasper’s own art,” says Scott Rothkopf, senior deputy director at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the exhibition’s cocurator. “Since the very beginning of his career, the artist had been interested in mirroring, in doubles, in reflection, and doing a version of a work in encaustic

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or oil, in black and white or in color, and playing with reversal inversions of figure and ground. And that we could have two shows that in a way mirror, echo, or reflect one of them, that became the kind of structural logic or metaphor for how the exhibitions would proceed.” A retrospective for Johns is certainly nothing new—from his 1977 exhibition at the Whitney organized by David Whitney (no relation) to the 1996 show at the Museum of Modern Art, splendidly curated by the late and storied Kirk Varnedoe, to the 2017 in-depth survey “Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth,” cocurated by Roberta Bernstein and Edith Devaney at the 30

Royal Academy of Arts in London that also traveled to the Broad in Los Angeles. This current mega-production, more than five years in the making and delayed by more than a year by the pandemic, is anchored in part by the five-volume catalogue raisonné of the artist’s paintings and sculpture that was authored by Bernstein, an art historian and curator who met Johns in 1967 when she was a graduate student at Columbia University. Her opus enabled the curatorial duo to drill deep into the artist’s six-anda-half-decade oeuvre, as well as mine the quiet cooperation of the artist himself. “While there’s a thread of continuity in his

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED Untitled, 1972, a fourpaneled work executed in oil, encaustic, and collage on canvas with objects.

UNTITLED, 1972, BY JASPER JOHNS. © 2021 JASPER JOHNS/VAGA AT ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK, COURTESY OF PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART

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“To use his own methodology, and to create an exhibition that plays on his fascination with symmetry and doubling, is highly innovative.” Lisa Dennison, EVP and chairman of Sotheby’s Americas

work,” says Bernstein, “he’s always found new motifs that he develops. There’s a kind of continuity within the change and, as a result, the work is really visually stimulating—in the layering of visual elements and in the layering of thoughts and ideas. Even at 91, he’s still working in the studio every day, and I think it’s really terrific that a younger generation of curators are looking at his work and will come up with new ways of putting it together.” Basualdo and Rothkopf have had plenty of opportunity to interact with Johns at his 170acre estate in Connecticut. The artist is a famously enigmatic and supposedly prickly and hermetic figure, at least in some media accounts.

One critic described the artist’s countenance this way: “his round face can lock up like a banker’s. The eyes can gleam…but even then, the mouth droops dourly, and imparts few secrets.” Johns famously blocked Jill Johnston’s unauthorized 1996 Thames & Hudson biography, Jasper Johns: Privileged Information, from using any reproductions of his work. But that rather unflattering reputation seems more rooted in the past than present. “He’s been both extremely close and somewhat distant,” Rothkopf says, “which is typical, I guess, of Jasper’s imagination, maybe. We have been spending lots of time with him in his studio and in researching works from his own personal SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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“Even at 91, he’s still working in the studio every day.” Roberta Bernstein, curator

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collection, and we’ve been keeping him informed of all of our ideas and plans around the show and the catalogue. He’s always interested to hear about our work, but he has been distant in the sense that he has not been at all directional, more so than any artist I’ve ever worked with.” “What we’re hoping, and I believe Scott feels the same way,” said Basualdo, “is that if you just go to the Whitney, you will certainly get a very good sense of the work. Same thing if you are to only go to Philadelphia. But if you go to both, you will get a much richer picture. And more important, just like going from one to the other and thinking about one while you are in the other, I think you will get to experience that relationship between presence and absence which is also there throughout Jasper’s work.” “It’s a really brilliant way to represent the work of Johns,” said Lisa Dennison, the former director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and cur-

rently EVP and chairman of Sotheby’s Americas. “To use his own methodology, so to speak, and to create an exhibition that plays on his fascination with symmetry and doubling, is highly innovative, and given that it’s been like 25 years since we’ve seen such a show on the East Coast, there’s a whole generation of people who haven’t experienced his art.” The double-whammy presentation begins with an early drawing of simple circles next to one another (Untitled, 1954, given by Johns to his collaborator and lover Robert Rauschenberg) and guides viewers all the way to Slice, an oil on canvas from 2020. A certain star is Johns’ first Flag, an encaustic, oil, and collage on canvas executed in 1954–1955, that ultimately landed in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, a gift of the architect Philip Johnson in honor of Alfred Barr, the museum’s trailblazing director.

ANDREW WHITE/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX

ONE SITTING The artist relaxes in his Connecticut studio.

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LAST WORD Right: The Critic Sees, a graphite pencil on paper from 1962. Below: 0 through 9, 1960, an oil on canvas.

Flag appeared in the artist’s debut solo show at Leo Castelli in 1958, where all but two of the 18 works on offer sold, including three to MoMA, personally chosen by Barr and his curator Dorothy Miller. Poet, Ab-Ex scenester, and MoMA worker Frank O’Hara had urged Barr to see the work. Flag, bearing the artist’s alchemical magic of encaustic, a delicate method of melting wax onto canvas or fabric, emblazing the surface with a transparent glow and further collaged and layered, electrified both critics and the public. As John Cage, the late Minimalist composer and Johns’s close friend and collaborator, said, “The paint is applied so sensually that there is the danger of falling in love.” Johns himself said his paintings were “things the mind already knows.” He also told one interviewer that “when something is new to us, we treat it as an experience. We feel that our senses are awake and clear. We are alive.” Castelli represented Johns from that first show until the gallerist's death at age 91 in 1999. He characterized the impact of that exhibition in Laura de Coppet and Alan Jones’s 1984 book The Art Dealers: “It was another one of the great events in my career as an art dealer, and I think, an even greater event for art history.” Following Castelli’s death, New York dealer Matthew Marks stepped in to take the reins of Johns’s representation. He met the artist in 1987, when he was 25 and working for London dealer Anthony d’Offay. “I borrowed a sketchbook of Jasper’s for the opening exhibition of my gallery in 1991,” says Marks. Since then, he has staged six solos of the artist, including a show in 2005 that featured new work from the artist’s Catenary series, based on what mathematicians refer to as “the catenary curve” and comprised in part of loosely attached strings. The catalogue for that show featured an essay by the young critic Scott Rothkopf, and four of those works are in the Whitney presentation. “I thought it would be interesting to have someone new write on the work,” said Marks, setting the stage for the artist and emerging curator’s much bigger future collaboration. 34

0 THROUGH 9, 1960, BY JASPER JOHNS: © 2021 JASPER JOHNS/VAGA AT ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK, COURTESY OF PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART; THE CRITIC SEES, 1962 © 2021 JASPER JOHNS/VAGA AT ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK, COURTESY WHITNEY MUSEUM OF ART

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“I always find it interesting that [critics] have anything to say, because I find it difficult to say much.” Jasper Johns

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Still, not all critics fell for the new work, with Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times castigating the series as “ever more preening and self-mythologizing brands of obscurity.” For Johns, critics have not been especially appreciated. “I always find it interesting that they have anything to say, because I find it difficult to say much,” as he told Calvin Tomkins in the scribe’s masterful 2006 New Yorker profile. A wickedly sublime sculpture from 1961, The Critic Smiles, which features a disembodied head with spectacles and teeth for the eyes and is included in the Philadelphia presentation, succinctly conveys that outlook. (A related drawing of the same title from 1962 is in the Whitney side of the exhibition). Though no publication date is set, there is a major biography of Johns in the works by Deborah Solomon, who has penned books on

Joseph Cornell and Jackson Pollock. The work, which has full access to the artist and his wide circle of privacy-protecting friends, will assuredly shed new light on the extraordinary life and career of America’s most famous artist since Pollock. “He finally agreed to the project, [but] he said to me, ‘I have one condition,’ ” said Solomon. “And that, of course, made me very nervous. I thought, who knew what this condition might be…what if he says you can do the book, but you can’t use my name? With Jasper, you never know what surprise he will have in store for you. But instead, he said he didn’t want the book published during his lifetime. “You know,” she added, “he’s 91 and he still e-mails. He’s a great e-mailer.” “Johns: Mind/Mirror,” Simultaneously at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art September 29, 2021–February 13, 2022

RACING THOUGHTS, 1983 © 2021 JASPER JOHNS/VAGA AT ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK, COURTESY OF COURTESY WHITNEY MUSEUM OF ART

MIXED MEDIA Racing Thoughts, 1983, executed in encaustic and collage on canvas.

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Back With a Vengeance MONET HATES ME, 2021 © TACITA DEAN; COURTESY MARIAN GOODMAN; UNTITLED, 1972, © 2021 THE JAY DEFEO FOUNDATION/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK, COURTESY PAULA COOPER GALLERY

New York galleries are offering a stellar lineup this fall, Angela M.H. Schuster reports

TACITA DEAN: “MONET HATES ME” (ALSO KNOWN AS THE GETTY PROJECT) Marian Goodman Gallery, 24 West 57th Street September 7–October 9

Always a fan of “multiples,” editioned pieces at affordable prices, Berlin-based British artist Tacita Dean has partnered with Cornwall-based creative director Martyn Ridgewell to produce Monet Hates Me, a limited-edition collection of 50 objects—brochures, postcards, and business cards of famous artists, as well as letterpressstamped items—in a clothbound embossed box, which are the fruits of Dean’s pandemic isolation in her Berlin studio. Likening each offering to an “exhibition in a box,” Dean says she was inspired to create the collection after coming across a scrap of paper upon which the artist Claude Monet seemed to have written “hate Tacita” while she conducted research in the archives of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. ENTITLED Above: Tacita Dean's mixed media multiple, Untitled, 2021. Left: Jay DeFeo's, Untitled, a gelatin silver print from 1972.

BRUCE CONNER & JAY DEFEO Paula Cooper Gallery, 524 West 26th Street September 9–October 23

Bruce Conner and Jay DeFeo, contemporaries and close friends, met in the 1950s as part of a Beat-adjacent group of artists based in San Francisco, with both becoming important protagonists in postwar American art. Conner is best known for his avant-garde films, while DeFeo is notable for her mixed-media works, including her monumental painting The Rose (1958–66), which took eight years to execute, and which is now in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Bruce Conner Trust, the Jay DeFeo Foundation, and Paula Cooper Gallery are delighted to present the first ever joint exhibition of their work. SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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GILBERT & GEORGE: “NEW NORMAL PICTURES”

The exhibition will feature more than two dozen new works by the iconic artist duo Gilbert & George, who have lived and worked together in London’s East End for more than 50 years. Having subsumed their individual identities into a singular artistic persona, they have used their neighborhood as both the backdrop and subject matter for their highly stylized works, which they contend collectively offer a commentary on the sociopolitical and urban conditions of the world they inhabit.

ANYTHING BUT SQUARE From top: Sac Love, a 2020 mixed-media piece by Gilbert & George; a detail from McArthur Binion's Modern:Ancient:Brown, 2020, in ink, oil paint stick, and paper on board; and Robert Longo's 2021 charcoal on paper Untitled (Robert E. Lee Monument Graffiti for George Floyd; Richmond, Virginia, 2020). MCARTHUR BINION: MODERN:ANCIENT:BROWN Lehmann Maupin, 501 West 24th Street September 9–October 23

The gallery is presenting a series of new multicolor works that represent a culmination of the Chicago-based artist’s decades-long exploration of color in mixed-media pieces that touch on notions of language, African-American history, identity, minimalism, and geometric abstraction in ways that are intensely personal. Executed in collage, oil stick, and ink, Binion’s autobiographical abstractions also include personal documents and photographs—photocopies of his birth certificate, pages from his 1970–1990s address book, pictures from his childhood, and found photographs of lynchings in the Jim Crow South.

ROBERT LONGO: “I DO FLY/AFTER SUMMER MERRILY” Pace, 540 West 25th Street September 10–October 23

This exhibition marks Longo’s first with the gallery since joining Pace in May and features works made over the past 18 months, including a new series titled A History of the Present that the artist began during the pandemic. “Over the past four decades, Longo has included drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, performance, and film within his practice, marrying intense imagination and creative ambition with exacting attention to detail to powerful effect,” says gallerist Marc Glimcher, adding that more of the artist’s work can be seen this fall at the Guild Hall Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in East Hampton through October 17. 38

SAC LOVE, 2020 © GILBERT & GEORGE; MODERN:ANCIENT:BROWN, 2020 © MCARTHUR BINION: COURTESY THE ARTIST AND LEHMANN MAUPIN, NEW YORK, HONG KONG, SEOUL, AND LONDON; UNTITLED © ROBERT LONGO: COURTESY PACE GALLERY

Lehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street September 9–November 6

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ALEXANDRE LENOIR: “TROIS RIVIÈRES”

PETITE TERRE, 2021 © ALEXANDRE LENOIR: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND ALMINE RECH; PARIS, CAPITAL OF THE ARTS , 1975 © GEORGES MATHIEU/ADAGP, PARIS/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK, 2021: CLAIRE DORN/COURTESY OF PERROTIN; CHINA CHALET, 2021 © AVERY SINGER: LANCE BREWER/COURTESY HAUSER & WIRTH

Almine Rech, 39 East 78th Street September 8–October 23

Memories can be both vivid and hazy, making us feel at once closer and farther away from a certain time and place, and be shared by many while also remaining intensely personal. These inherent contradictions are at the heart of Paris-based Caribbean artist Alexandre Lenoir’s first solo show in the United States, which comprises nearly a dozen paintings based on old black-and-white and sepia-toned photographs belonging to his grandmother. Although Lenoir never met most of the people in these pictures, the photographs themselves are familiar to him as they have graced the walls and shelves of his grandparents’ house in Guadeloupe for as long as the artist can remember. “Translating these fading photographs into large-scale paintings,” says gallerist Almine Rech, “Lenoir has been able to capture the ephemerality of disparate memories while emphasizing their collective resonance.”

GEORGES MATHIEU Nahmad Contemporary, 980 Madison Avenue Perrotin, 130 Orchard Street September 9–October 23

In celebration of the 100th birthday of Georges Mathieu, the founder of lyrical abstraction and a key pioneer of “action painting,” Nahmad Contemporary and Perrotin, in collaboration with the late French artist’s estate, are pleased to mount the first extensive survey of his practice in the United States. Spread across two Manhattan venues, the presentation reevaluates Mathieu’s significant contributions to the development of postwar abstraction and pays particular attention to his monumental paintings, which, gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin says, “exemplify his commitment to the encounter between body and canvas.” FRENCH TWIST From top: Alexandre Lenoir's acrylic on cotton canvas, Petite Terre, 2021; Paris, Capital of the Arts, a 1965 oil on canvas by Georges Mathieu; and Avery Singer's China Chalet, 2021, an acrylic on canvas stretched over wood panel.

AVERY SINGER: “REALITY ENDER” Hauser & Wirth, 542 West 22nd Street September 9–October 30

Trailblazing American artist Avery Singer will present two new series of large-scale paintings in her first solo show with Hauser & Wirth. The exhibition “invites viewers to consider form as a state of encounter—an encounter that does not take place with a singular object, reference, or context, but as a conflation of narratives, spaces, histories, and ideas,” explains gallerist Iwan Wirth. “Singer touches on 19th-century European painting motifs, romantic notions of intoxication, stereotypes surrounding the bohemian artist, and icons of contemporary digital culture, which amalgamate past and present, clarity and ambiguity, and propose an escape from our quotidian reality.” SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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Fall’s hot reads: novels from Colson Whitehead and Elizabeth Strout, a poet’s devastating memoir, and the story of the scientific expedition that changed the world

THE SKINNY by Jonathan Wells (ZE Books)

The poet Jonathan Wells’s new memoir The Skinny brings to mind the ubiquitous Charles Atlas ads from the back of comic books in the 1970s, where a series of cartoons depict a scrawny boy getting sand kicked in his face on a beach by a bully. For Wells the bully is his father, a successful New York businessman who relentlessly shames his son about his diminutive adolescent body— he didn’t reach 100 pounds until he was a freshman in college—and introverted nature. Behind the thick walls of a Westchester mansion, the father imposes cruel measures around food and sex to shock his son into a version of what he thinks normal: i.e., the misogynistic masculinity of post–World War II America. This boorishness—often couched in a sort of paternal affection and male chumminess—is chilling. But in the hands of Wells, the author of three collections of 40

HARLEM SHUFFLE by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

poetry, including Debris, which was published earlier this year, ugly vignettes from his upbringing become moments of clarity and dry humor. Wells’s coming of age tale is neither as black and white nor as flat as the Atlas ads, though it is equally triumphant. Now a father himself, and bulked up with experience and intellectual confidence and wielding language with a graceful ease, the son has the chance here to kick sand back in the face of his tormentor. Instead, however, Wells gives his father a certain amount of credit, showing that some of his old man’s tactics actually succeeded in arming him for the wider world outside the safe suburbs in which he grew up. It turns out his father’s inexcusable loutishness became a kind of currency. Not only did Wells impress his friends at boarding school and college with these very stories, helping him fit in, they left him with a lifetime of literary fodder. robert becker

Only four authors have won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction twice. We’re fortunate one of them has written another novel. Colson Whitehead, who won the awards for The Underground Railroad and for The Nickel Boys, is back with a tantalizing love letter to Harlem. It’s also the story of a jewelry heist and a meditation on family, with characters as unforgettable as Bobby Womack’s “Across 110th Street,” the theme song for Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film Jackie Brown. Whitehead takes us on a fast ride down Harlem’s gritty, lived-in 125th Street, up to chichi Strivers’ Row, along laconic Riverside Drive, and down Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard to the storied Hotel Theresa, known in its heyday as “the Waldorf of Harlem.” At the dawn of the civil rights era, Raymond Carney leads a double life. The son of a small-time crook, torn between his better angels on one shoulder and lesser angels on the other, he tries to outrun his past on the mean streets. A graduate of Queens College, Carney is a caring, married father who works to grow his furniture store on 125th Street, extending credit and dreaming up ads to lure customers. “The way he saw it, living taught you that you didn’t have to live the way you’d been taught to live,” Whitehead writes. “You came from one place but more important was where you decided to go.” But his cousin Freddie won’t leave him be. And neither will the hustlers and criminals of uptown and downtown Manhattan. They offer Carney another means to move his two kids and his wife, Elizabeth—whose well-to-do parents never miss an opportunity to remind their son-in-law that their daughter married down, way

down—out of their small, stifling apartment to something better, where the subway symphony can’t be heard from the kitchen window. In the back of Carney’s store, beyond the innocuous divans, recliners, and dining tables, he acts as a fence for goods that fell off the truck, brought to him by a cast of roughnecks. They boast colorful monikers: Miami Joe, who has a predilection for purple suits, and Pepper, an inscrutable one-named dude with a withering stare and a partiality to dungarees. Downtown, the baddest boys use their government names like Aronowitz and Van Wyck. Carney struggles to stay at the legitimate “front” of the store, so to speak, until one day he is lured by Freddie, to whom he remains loyal, into participating in a brazen heist. Immediately things begin to go dreadfully wrong. People go missing. People start turning up dead. Whitehead deftly weaves in several cliff-hangers and surprises as he skillfully unfurls the story. Harlem Shuffle is by turns sad, hopeful, and tragic, and he deploys a wicked humor that makes for some laugh-out-loud moments, as when criminals bent on destruction pause to ponder the proper pronunciation of Van Wyck—is it like Wick or is it like Wyke? The name drops are plentiful— Cab Calloway, W. C. Handy, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald—and welcome as a device to help wrap the reader in the glamour of Harlem and the history of American entertainment. Whitehead goes even deeper into crucible of Black culture when he references actor Fredi (Fredericka) Washington. And as for literary history… the other Pulitzer winners besides Whitehead are John Updike, William Faulkner, and Booth Tarkington. constance c.r. white

JONATHAN WELLS: ELENA SEIBERT; COLSON WHITEHEAD: CHRIS CLOSE

CULTURE

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OH WILLIAM! by Elizabeth Strout (Random House)

What happens to love after you leave? This is the question at the center of Elizabeth Strout’s entrancing new novel, Oh William!, which just as easily could have been titled Oh Lucy! Fans of Strout will recognize the narrator from the novel My Name Is Lucy Barton, which was adapted into a highlyacclaimed Broadway one-hander starring Laura Linney. But rather than rehash the trauma of her youth, an older, wiser Lucy muses about her relationship with her ex-husband, William, and the ways their relationship changed and morphed over the years, despite the fact that they were unable to reconcile. Anyone who has attempted a long-term marriage or amicable divorce will appreciate

LATITUDE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE WORLD’S FIRST SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION by Nicholas Crane (Pegasus Books)

A few decades before the American Revolution, a team of young French scientists left Paris to embark on a decade-long journey through the mountains of South America to accomplish a feat never before attempted: determining the exact shape and size of planet Earth. 42

Strout’s skillful pen, as she illustrates the deep loneliness that can occur even when you’re sitting side by side with the person you once loved most in the world. The story begins when William contacts Lucy to complain about a series of recurring nightmares, but takes a turn when a family secret emerges that reframes everything William (and Lucy) once knew about William’s late mother, Catherine. Reeling from the loss of her second husband, David, Lucy’s thoughts meander in seemingly disparate ways. She recalls a long drive she once took with her father, recounts the way William had always felt like her only home, wonders why she felt so safe by his side, and yet so unseen. “I feel invisible,” she writes. “It could be as simple as the fact that we had no

mirrors in our house when I was growing up except for a very small one high above the bathroom sink. I really do not know what I mean, except to say that on some very fundamental level, I feel invisible in the world.” At times frustratingly passive, Lucy is an observer of the world, almost as if she is observing her life from above, rather than actually living within it. In the hands of a less skilled writer, a narrator with this kind of glaring character defect might leave readers feeling cold, but Strout helps us understand that Lucy’s focus on others—on William—is really just her way of coming to better understand herself. When the divorced couple shares a particularly warm evening together with their two grown daughters, it’s easy to believe Lucy when she says, “I would give it all up, all the success I have had as a writer, all of it I would give up—in a heartbeat I would give it up— for a family that was together and children who knew they were dearly loved by both their parents who had stayed together and who loved each other too.” But this is no fairy tale. And there are no happy endings— only breathtaking insights about life, and how childhood trauma informs the people we choose to love, and those we choose to leave. Heartbreaking and human, Oh William! is Elizabeth Strout at her best. claire gibson

With the collaboration of Spanish explorers and authorities—and supported every step of the way by a group of mostly unnamed indigenous and enslaved people— the team spent years atop frozen mountaintops, in mosquitoinfested jungles, and along ancient roadways strewn with forgotten ruins, all the while simultaneously navigating the tumultuous social landscape brought on by European colonialism and rivalry. Latitude: The True Story of the World’s First Scientific Expedition is the newest book by famed English explorer, BBC presenter, and writer Nicholas Crane, who once made an 18-month solo journey, walking from the coast of Spain to Istanbul , and is credited with traveling to the Gobi Desert and finding the geographical Pole of Inaccessibility—the point on the planet farthest from open sea.

Crane, a former president of the Royal Geographical Society, wrote Latitude as a response to the Dava Sobel’s best-selling 1995 book Longitude, which detailed the story of the English clockmaker whose work made this world-changing expedition scientifically feasible. Packed with excerpts from the personal logs of many of the expedition team members, including members of the French Academy of Sciences led by Pierre Bouguer, Charles-Marie de la Condamine, and Louis Godin, Latitude takes us deep into the 18th-century Viceroyalty of Peru, and it shows us how science is just as much an emotional endeavor as it is a rational one— inextricably linked with the worlds of politics and finance, colored by personalities and relationships, and driven forward by belief and perseverance. mark libatique

ELIZABETH STROUT: LEONARDO CENDAMO; COURTESY OF NICHOLAS CRANE

CULTURE

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A New York COVER COLLAGE FEATURES: COUNTESS ARNAUD DE TRABUC BY DAVID KELMENSON, SEPTEMBER 1976; OCTOBER 1978, BY MARK FELDSTEIN; JUNE-JULY 1979 BY RALPH GIBSON

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C O N V E R SAT I O N FOR 45 YEARS, A VENUE has chronicled Manhattan and its colonies in the East End, Palm Beach, Europe, and beyond. The result is a uniquely authentic account of uptown life that, despite being portrayed in thousands of books and films, remains opaque to anyone who has never themselves hailed a cab on Park Avenue, noshed on an H&H bagel, or ducked into Zitomer to run an errand. A few years before Avenue launched in 1976, Lou Reed recorded “New York Telephone Conversation,” a track perhaps inspired by his collaborator Andy Warhol’s well-known penchant for endless, gossipy calls. “Did you see what she did to him, did you hear what they said?” he sing-songs. “Just a New York conversation rattling in my head.” Indeed, that lyric was rattling in my head while distilling Avenue’s archives into paragraphs that also owe something to Frank O’Hara’s poetry about the city, Warhol’s two books of transcribed phone conversations, and maybe even that other great artifact of ’70s colloquy, the Nixon tapes. What follows is a revealing and highly entertaining account of 45 years of Manhattan power brokering, taste making, and cocktail chatter. Eavesdrop along with us, won’t you? —ben widdicombe Additional research by Aria Darcella and Alexis Schwartz. Some entries have been condensed for clarity.

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1976

1977

Helicopters are flying again from the roof of the Pan Am Building → with three trips per hour to Kennedy and hourly service to LaGuardia and Newark airports. Tickets are $15 and $24 each way • By taking control of three major local publications—the New York Post, New York magazine, and the Village Voice—all in just a few weeks— Rupert Murdoch has become probably the most notorious foreigner to hit town since Yasser Arafat. “Rupert is someone who can’t stand to lose,” says former friend Clay Felker. “He’s compulsive about it” • Gala fashion show and cocktail party featuring Gianni Versace to benefit Italian earthquake victims, Saks Fifth Avenue • Chairman of the Board Peter F. Fleischmann: “There are members of the Board who would like to make The New Yorker a money machine. But that’s 46

not my idea of what the magazine’s all about” • Al Hirschfeld ↑: “I remember sitting around until four o’clock in the morning trying to talk Moss Hart out of My Fair Lady. I said, ‘You must be out of your blooming mind. How are you going to improve on Pygmalion by adding music?”

1978

Drexel Burnham Lambert advertisement: “People willing to pay more taxes than they have to aren’t smart enough to live on the Upper East Side” • Pauline Trigère’s ever-expanding fashion empire includes her couture collections, perfume, and ready-to-wear designs, and yet she says she has only “drive, but not ambition” • Mother’s Day Gift Guide: A shape-up week at Maine Chance in Phoenix ($1,000) or the Greenhouse in Arlington, Texas ($1,500) • Father’s Day Gift Guide: A Playboy Playmate Puzzle that is the size of the foldout in the magazine sells for $3.50 in

save money” • Designer Willi Smith ↑ presents his “Williwear” fashions, Saks Fifth Avenue • Society bands—now with a disco beat—are back in style at Club El Morocco.

1979

Barbara Walters ↗ is doing it, and she is doing it fairly well. So are Diane von Furstenberg, Patrick Shields, Harriet Levine, and Lola Finkelstein... what they are doing is disco dancing • After eleven years as headmaster, Stephen H. Spahn believes Dwight is beginning to acquire the reputation it deserves • Bill Blass lights Carlton after Carlton, smashing each one out after a puff or two. He has been known to go through a full pack at lunch. His assistant Gail sits by patiently, an oasis of poise in the maelstrom. “He only likes the tips,” she remarks casually. “Like asparagus” • When the limousines are double-parked in front of the Regency Hotel, you know that inside, over the shirred eggs and croissants, the deals are flying. It is Bob and Larry Tisch’s Long-Running, Star-Studded Breakfast Party • Theater critic Brendan Gill is leading the drive to establish the controversial Upper East Side Historic District. One developer who plans to fight it is Harry Macklowe. Conversely, Donald Trump who owns the land now occupied by Bonwit Teller (soon to be demolished and replaced by a multiuse office tower) is more tenta-

RALPH LAUREN: SUSAN WOOD/GETTY IMAGES; AL HIRSCHFELD: THOMAS S. ENGLAND/GETTY IMAGES; PAN AM BUILDING: EDMUND VINCENT GILLON/MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK/GETTY IMAGES; WILLI SMITH: ANTHONY BARBOZA/GETTY IMAGES

Showing of the fall collection of the House of Chloé and introduction of the designer Karl Lagerfeld, Saks Fifth Avenue • As chief designer for the New York office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Gordon Bunshaft established the International Style—exemplified by his e p o ch - ma k i ng L e ve r House on Park Avenue— as the standard architectural style of American Big Business • Since Arthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger assumed command in 1963, the publisher has been trying to shake the Times from a century of lethargy and turn it into a livelier, more profitable enterprise. “When I took over, this place was organized like a forest. The trees grew straight and tall, but nothing ever came to a point” • This month the cultural life of New York—and America—takes a quantum leap forward with the opening of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design • Le Cirque is not at all what it sounds like. The name means “the circus,” and this little restaurant could hardly be called that. It’s too elegant, too chic, and also expensive • Ralph Lauren ↖ is thirty-seven, having in nine years become one of the hottest American designers mainly by marketing a concept of classy nonchalance better than anyone else. “They’re investment clothes,” says Lauren. “If a guy has to spend $300 on a suit he damn well wants to know why he’s spending it.”

most Fifth Avenue card shops and is available in a series of two dozen playmates • Auction of rare books, including a Gutenberg Bible, worth an estimated $1,000,000 and the first to be auctioned in 50 years • Kate Meier and her husband [Richard Meier] are not partners—neither of them thinks it is a good idea for husband and wife architects to work together • Cordless Portaphone picks up telephone calls from your receiver at a range of up to 1,500 feet. It’s yours for $599 at Phonetique Gallery • Restaurants are scorned because, says novelist Louis Auchincloss, “It’s the best way to

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BARBARA WALTERS: NBC NEWSWIRE/NBCU PHOTO BANK/NBCUNIVERSAL/GETTY IMAGES; "21" CLUB: WALTER BIBIKOW/ALAMY; THE ODEON: RICHARD LEVINE/ALAMY; DIANE VON FURSTENBERG: SUSAN WOOD/GETTY IMAGES

1981 Stella Adler: “I suppose I could have had a much bigger name than Lee Strasberg if, for example, I were to have announced that I’m only interested in the sexual aspect of acting” • [Following a $100 million offer], St. Bart’s officials felt constrained to say that after “prayerful consideration,” they had decided not to sell the church at any price • Southampton, New York: Close enough to Manhattan to be a weekend haunt, but remote enough to provide real relief from the bustling city. Mammoth beachfront homes go for $500,000 and upward • This season the range of esoteric sports in Central Park, which already extends from model yacht racing to frisbee football, has been

broadened to include a new pastime, bicycle polo • A year ago, brothers Keith and Brian McNally, aged 29 and 31 respectively, were waiters in other downtown restaurants. Now they own and manage the hottest restaurant in town: Odeon ↑.

tive: “It sounds like a good idea” • Being a landlord is not one of the easiest or most popular roles an individual can play. But Harry B. Helmsley was born to play the part. “I don’t understand why people hate me,” he remarked • Dick Snyder has doubled Simon & Schuster’s sales, but thinks the book business is in trouble • Unlike so many of her contemporaries, Lillian Gish is not to be found hidden away in some opulent Hollywood mansion. On the contrary, she is a working actress • A pair of large, high-powered binoculars on a tripod [in Jann Wenner’s Rolling Stone office] point straight at the south windows of the Sherry-Netherland hotel. “A lot of friends stay at the Sher-Ned,” he shrugs. “I call ’em up and tell ’em what clothes their wives are changing into.”

1980

For the uninitiated, The Three is Runyonese for the “21” Club ← (one plus two sometimes equaling three), a watering hole at 21 West Fifty-Second Street which has been in situ, as the geologists would say, since New Year’s Day 1930 • “This paper,” says Warren H. Phillips, chairman of the Wall Street Journal and its parent, Dow Jones & Co., “is not read for entertainment” • [The New York Yacht Club no longer holds] any particular affinity for the cream of New York society. Nouveau-riche outlanders with names like Turner and Conner can become members as long as they know something about sailing. No Astors or Vanderbilts appear on the Club rolls today, but there are a few Morgans, Rockefellers, Roosevelts, and Rothschilds. Cronkite and a Buckley appear as well.

“My favorite New York story is during the blackout in the summer of 1977. There was no electricity for a day; the traffic lights were not working. I remember directing traffic on Park Avenue.” Diane von Furstenberg, 1977

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LOCAL COVERAGE Forty-five years of fabulous front pages

September 1976 Doorman with Countess Arnaud de Trabuc by David Kelmenson

October 1978 by Mark Feldstein

June-July 1979 by Ralph Gibson

December-January 1981 by Ernst Haas

December-January 1983 by Chris Collins

June-July 1985 by Ralph Gibson

August 1990 by Ralph Gibson

November 1994 by Ralph Gibson

May 2005 Valentino Garavani by Andrea Klarin

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December 2009 Carmen Dell’Orefice by Fadil Berisha

October 2011 June Ambrose by Juan Algarin MARCH 2015

APRIL 2014

MARCH 2015

AVENUE THE fashion ISSUE

December 2012 Amanda Hearst by Carlos Ruiz

AVENUE APRIL 2014

PEGGY SIEGALʼS

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ICON IRIS APFEL 92 is the new 22

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The dynamic duo of CUSHNIE ET OCHS talk about style and designing for the modern woman

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March 2015 Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs by Georgia Nerheim

VOL. 38 NO. 4

VOL. 39 NO. 3

PLUS: Start-up Maven Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and the Annual Best Dressed List

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OSCAR DIARY

Brodsky, LeFrak, Rudin and more

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April 2014 Iris Apfel by Keith Major

August-September 2017 Patricia Duff by Ben Fink Shapiro

January-February 2020 by Cecilia Carlstedt

January-February 2021 by Petra Eriksson

MARCH | APRIL 2018

the philanthropy issue

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RONALD LAUDER’S FINE ART OF PHILANTHROPY

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“My relationship with publicists is: Remember I’m first,” explains Aileen “Suzy” Mehle, the woman regarded as the number one society columnist in the United States • Christo has just spent $40,000 of his own money on a human impact statement that suggested public opinion was in favor of “The Gates.” He is about to spend $500,000 more on an environmental statement—the first to be done in Central Park’s history • This month, Sony will introduce the world’s first genuinely digital audio system, a 4.7", virtually imperishable “Compact Disc” whose digital music will be played back by a laser-equipped turntable • Claude Montana: “Americans buy the most striking clothes in my collection. They come here looking for something that they don’t have at home. Whereas in Europe, it’s the opposite. In America, the clothes are very expensive, and Americans want a

• Although he is now a household name, Keith Haring ↑ is still blanketing the subway stations with drawings that are either pick-me-ups for or irritants to the public at large.

1983

As his confidence grew, so did [Gannett boss and USA Today founder] Allen H. Neuharth’s reputation as a practical joker. There was the time, for example, that he asked the 19 men at a Cocoa 50

1986

1984

Roy Cohn on his ethics disbarment: “It's almost pathetic…of course, it’s very indiscreet of me to be calling names. I’m supposed to be in the process of rear-end kissing” • Merrill Lynch vice president Brenda Gall: “The only hot trend right now is fleece wear—sweat suits have become very fashionable” • For as long as it matters, Mortimer’s ↓ has been New York’s reigning all-star society bis-

1985

tro. But now, for the first time its title is being seriously challenged by the 10-month old restaurant officially named Harry Cipriani • Miuccia Prada: “I first began to work with Prada more or less as a joke. I thought the work was too feminine and frivolous, but then I realized that I really liked it, and I was good at it.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute will hold its annual black-tie extravaganza for the new exhibit,“Yves Saint Laurent, 25 Years of Design” • With a little help from his friends and family, hearty-partying Toby Beavers has opened a hot new uptown club called the Surf. “We love Southern girls. They love to get trashed and drunk and they’re all beautiful blondes” • If the Surf Club is the wild and cocky younger brother who raises hell and gators on the floor, the Hunt Club is his serious older brother, the one who didn’t get thrown out of St. Paul’s. Founder Ed Lancaster wants only “quality” carousers.

signature” • Egon von Furstenberg ↑ is dressed to the nines in clothes of his own design: robin’segg-blue tweed sport jacket, lemon-yellow tie, yellow-striped silk shirt. He is talking [about his new business] Total Distinction—only a lowlife would cavil at the phrase—a catering service of sorts • Aside from stumping and back-thumping for brothers [then Vice President] George and Prescott, John Bush has shunned the political arena to head up his own New York investment firm. He initially chose to be a song-and-dance man and played Oklahoma’s Will Parker three years on Broadway.

the kind of woman I have in mind when designing clothes,” says Ralph Lauren • Robin Duke has worn Geoffrey Beene’s clothes for as long as he has been designing • Sanford I. Weill resigned as president of American Express this past August. “I’m going to find out in the next year who cared for Sandy Weill and who cared for my title” • Jann Wenner, 39, paid out nearly $200,000 to serialize Tom Wolfe's first novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities [in Rolling Stone] • Like scores of big businessmen, Rupert Murdoch, 54, is vilified regularly yet still maintains enough anonymity to jog in Central Park. “People look upon me as successful, but I never feel particularly successful.”

While merchants were complaining about soft sales in 1984, the top of the market among jewelers was held up Atlas-style by one man: the Sultan of Brunei. The sultan picked up his penchant for pendants by observing the decolletage of Madame [Imelda] Marcos, who sports some of the jet set’s most dazzling diamonds • Slim Aarons: “Talk about society! If you didn’t get invited to Kitty Miller’s New Year’s Eve party, you weren’t in…wherever the Duke of Windsor went, he always sent notice that ‘the Duke prefers Haig & Haig.’ So they’d put a bottle out for him, that’s how you always knew where he was sitting… C.Z. Guest → came out of Boston and was wild as a coot. She became the mistress of that Mexican muralist—Diego Rivera—and he painted her nude. C.Z. is also the one who took Estée Lauder to the Everglades Club. They asked her to leave because Mrs. Lauder was Jewish, and she said, “Are you kidding?” and gave up her membership right there • Pilar Crespi, says Carolina Herrera, is the ideal woman to dress: strikingly beautiful and, just as important, confident • “Courtney Ross is

EGON VON FURSTENBERG: JACK MITCHELL/GETTY IMAGES; KEITH HARING: NICK ELGAR/CORBIS/VCG/GETTY IMAGES; MORTIMER’S MATCHES: THE CARY COLLECTION; C.Z. GUEST & CORNELIA GUEST: RON GALELLA COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

1982

Beach party to give him their ties, then left and never gave them back • Imagine, for a moment, that God’s Kingdom is New Jersey and that God is Sam LeFrak. He makes it easy enough to do

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1987 The Auction Aristocrats: Christie’s and Sotheby’s are putting the well-heeled to work. “Frankly,” says Nan Kempner, “I don’t think anyone can tell you exactly what an international representative is. But whatever it is, I enjoy doing it” • Bernard Arnault, 38, the former concrete magnate, is being hailed by everyone but the fashion press. Nancy Reagan’s appointments secretary is on the line: “Can you make breakfast at the White House, Monsieur Arnault?” He has plans to bring in an upstart new designer, Christian Lacroix • On the rise of the Junior Committee on the gala circuit: “Chances are that well over half the people twirling on the dance floor haven’t any notion where their money is going.”

ANNA WINTOUR, MARTHA STEWART: RON GALELLA COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES; IVANA TRUMP: JOE MCNALLY/GETTY IMAGES; FRAN LEBOWITZ: ROSE HARTMAN/GETTY IMAGES

1988

When House & Garden was redesigned [by its new editor, British import Anna Wintour ↓], the editor of Architectural Digest, Paige Rense, vowed: “This is war” • American Airlines CEO

Robert Crandall: “The notion that I’m the meanest man in town is the greatest misconception about me” • Ivana Trump ↓ has no intention of appearing in ads for the Plaza, like rival hotelier Leona Helmsley. “Everyone knows we own the Plaza, there’s no point in going on about it” • How

to Marry a Title: Americans often get it wrong. They think a Sicilian duke is worth more than an English baronet • With beauty, brains, and a great Rolodex, Evelyn Lauder is being groomed for succession. “When Evelyn calls, I come,” says New York mayor Ed Koch.

1989

Hill and Knowlton chairman Richard Cheney in the Mergers and Acquisitions issue: “You don’t use forks when you’re tearing a company apart with your bare hands” • Farming is now in fashion: Being a landowner and raising something on that land is the ultimate status symbol. High-powered executives now interrupt meetings to take calls from their foremen • This month a semisecret society of thirty-six successful men —businessmen, corporate magnates, lawyers— from around the nation will converge upon the Golden Door in Escondido, California, for a week of hiking, working out, and pedicures during which their nails will be painted with gold.

1990

Martha Stewart ↑: “I know how to do everything. I can sew as well as Armani, make evening gowns with boning. I can wire a lamp or a house if I had to. I can do plumbing, install Omni water filters, glaze windows, skin a deer, kill my own chickens, I’m not boasting. What I hate to hear is ‘Oh, she’s this Connecticut socialite who's sitting there directing people to do things.’ I physically do the stuff I write about” • Bob Mackie: “When things get too tasteful, they are too boring to even look at” • Fran Lebowitz ↙: “I miss when the city was poorer. It was really fabulous because the only people who lived here were the people who deserved to live here. What you had here, basically, were poor people, rich people, and misfits such as myself who could not live too well” • Princess von Habsburg, her husband, investment banker Eric D’Antin, and their three children were evicted from their five-bedroom penthouse on East Seventy-Second Street for failing to pay $108,000 in back rent. According to the princess, both sides were to blame.

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and wears a diamond as big as a kumquat. Lilly Fallah Lawrence, oil heiress, campaigns for a liberal workforce from her pink bedroom filled with porcelain butterflies, antique fans, an Al Pacino Scarface poster, and three stuffed animals: Pandy F., Pooch, and Princess Isis.

1991 “I like jewelry that looks like weapons,” says Diane von Furstenberg from the couch of her suite at the Carlyle. “The aggressive mode is very interesting to me” • Those who paid $125 to attend the Met’s Costume Institute bash were disappointed to have their usual venue for dancing—the Temple of Dendur—usurped by those who paid $900 to dine there. After dinner, Pat Buckley ↑, Blaine and Robert Trump, and Naomi Campbell ventured into the new Petrie and Kravis Wings for dancing • Museums can’t afford to buy world-class paintings, so they must court collectors—some of whom are difficult. “Nothing with Armand Hammer was easy, and nothing with Hammer moved quickly,” recalls J. Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery • For those aspiring to a Presbyterian lifestyle, there is Old Beach in front of the Maidstone Club in East Hampton. Locals inform us that the lifeguards hired by the club will let you drown if you’re not a Wasp. (We think they’re just kidding) • Russell Simmons, the 34-year old chairman of Def Jam Records, who’s been called the King of Rap, is partial to the witty designs of Paul Smith • Madonna’s press people attributed her brandnew lips to a little-known lipstick shade by MAC. At Bendel’s—the only New York store where the Canadian makeup line is sold—Russian Red is the cosmetics department’s single biggest seller.

Haruki Murakami: “In Europe, I am always a foreigner, but here nobody sees me that way” • Jerry Seinfeld: “I collect Porsches, too, they’re very similar to my Dakota Jackson chairs: functional style” • Nicole Miller gets her palm read and it looks like her trip to St. Tropez may result in a major upheaval in her life: better for her to stay at her house in the Hamptons? “Can I get a letter from my astrologer to get out of my plane ticket?” • Paul Newman’s summer camp is for children with cancer and blood diseases. When one asked who he was, the actor pointed to his face on a carton of Newton’s Own Lemonade. The kid asked, “Were you kidnapped?”

1994

Kurt Thometz’s first library consultant client was Diana Vreeland. “We could talk about Proust for hours. I still left wondering if she had read it, but she could talk about it so intelligently, it didn’t matter” • So many fingers in so many pies have led many to tout Michael Bloomberg as some kind of Ted Turner or Rupert Murdoch of Wall Street. His lips purse when he hears the comparison. “A lot of people don’t like those guys. I’d rather have them think of me as Tom Cruise” • Whit Stillman on posing for photographs: “I won’t smile. I just won’t frown. I’ll be...well, less” • Brooke Shields on boyfriend Andre Agassi ↓: “Am I engaged? No. Even my mom called and asked if I had gotten married. I said, ‘Don’t you think I’d tell you?’ She said she didn’t know anymore.”

1995 What is slated to replace La Côte Basque on East 55th Street, a gastronomic icon where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor held court, presidents and princesses dined, and countless romances bloomed? A glorified airport gift shop by Disney • Nobu, Drew Nieporent’s hot new Japanese restaurant in TriBeCa, features chef Nobu Matsuhisa ↑. “Paul Anka wants to come?” he asks, scanning for a place to squeeze him in • “I have nothing to say about Ruth Reichl,” says Sirio Maccioni [after the New York Times critic drubbed Le Cirque.] “For me, Ms. Reichl does not exist” • Helen Mirren has earned a place among Britain’s leading ladies as well as the sobriquet of the thinking man’s sex symbol. “It’s never a challenge to drop your pants, but it does spice

1992

After just one show, Hervé Léger has been anointed the “New French Wrap Star.” Not only did Linda Evangelista ← model, she requested to be paid in dresses • The Ritz in Paris recommends a festive dessert finale at their restaurant: cantaloupe soup. Add the champagne before, or at the table to impress guests • Organized Labor’s Best Friend lives in the Waldorf 52

things up” • For 28 continuous seasons Bobby Short ↑ has seated himself at a Baldwin in the Café Carlyle, the most romantic and prestigious cabaret venue in the world • In 1994 the newly widowed Marylou Whitney set off solo for Alaska and found a new love: the Iditarod. Corporate sponsors have been harder to come by lately because of PETA and Humane Society pressures,

PAT BUCKLEY, BROOKE SHIELDS AND ANDRE AGASSI: RON GALELLA/GETTY IMAGES; LINDA EVANGELISTA: BELLAZON.COM; NOBU MATSUHISA: ROBERT GILHOOLY/ALAMY; BOBBY SHORT: ARTHUR SCHATZ/GETTY IMAGES

1993

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SAN REMO: STEFANO POLITI MARKOVINA/ALAMY; CAROLINE KENNEDY AND JOHN F. KENNEDY JR: RICHARD CORKERY/NY DAILY NEWS/GETTY IMAGES; FIREWORKS: ZOONAR GMBH/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

but Whitney pooh-poohs the activists’ allegations. “I wish every child in the lower 48 were as well taken care of as those dogs,” insists the nouvelle frontierswoman • Todd Oldham: “You would have to enjoy yourself if you went out in my jeweled cake shirt. You wouldn’t have a choice. Imagine someone being grumpy in this. Impossible” • Dolph Lundgren, the six-foot-five-inch Swedish karate black belt best known as Grace Jones’s former inamorato and Rocky Balboa’s nemesis in Rocky IV, is living on the Upper East Side while he pursues a stage career • Kate Winslet: “My parents didn’t encourage me [acting]. In fact, it was quite the opposite. But I was absolutely determined that I was going to do it. Now they just let me get on with it” • Donna Hanover Giuliani: “They don’t give you a manual with the children; and they don’t give you a manual with the first lady job either” • Aerin Lauder “wouldn’t be caught dead in overalls.”

1996

On knock-off plastic surgery: “If that’s an authentic Daniel Baker face-lift then that lady selling Prada handbags spread out on blankets on 57th Street is Miuccia Prada herself” • All 1,301 items offered in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis estate sell at Sotheby’s in April, raising $34.5 million • Vera Wang: “To me, July and August mean a great book, a Carvel cone with sprinkles, and a secluded part of the [Southampton] beach.”

1997

The San Remo ↓ is the starriest building in New York with residents Steven Spielberg, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Steve Martin (who combined two apartments, then rebuilt the wall after divorcing Victoria Tennant), Dustin Hoffman, and Scott Rudin. Madonna and Calvin Klein didn’t clear the board • “Oysters and men’s bikini underwear” are what turn Cynthia Rowley on.

1998

2000

Nan Kempner: “I come from a long line of clotheshorses. My grandmother was the most finely dressed woman in the world. I remember when she was sick, with her pink silk sheets and satin coverlets, and everything was always perfect” • Marty Richards held his annual summer dinner and disco party for several hundred at his Southampton estate. The theme was nautical, with tablecloths matching his Versace silk shirt • After decades of neglect, close calls with calamity, and years of renovation, thousands of revelers celebrated Grand Central Terminal’s rebirth ↑ at a massive rededication ceremony and black tie gala.

There was an atmosphere of trepidation and uneasiness surrounding New Year’s Eve 1999. Y2K and threats of terrorism infiltrated the consciousness of many. [But] at Steve and Christine Schwarzman’s party at Claridge’s in London, guests watched the spectacular fireworks ↓ over the Thames and the Houses of Parliament from the hotel’s penthouse terraces • A guest who skips the film and shows up just for the dinner drives Peggy Siegal wild. “I have a tough time controlling myself when that happens, because I think it’s incredibly insulting to a filmmaker” • Le Cirque 2000 hosted a party to celebrate Liz Smith’s memoir, Natural Blonde, and the world was there. Suffice to say she was cheered by Barbara Walters, Lauren Bacall, and Henry Kissinger, and she was sexily “got up” in a skimpy lamé top • Thanks in part to Evelyn Lauder’s early support, pink ribbons have become the recognized symbol for the breast-cancer prevention movement • Former presidential candidate Steve Forbes began collecting Winston Churchill memorabilia as a teenager. “I became interested when I learned he did badly in school” • Even Serena Boardman (with one broken foot in a black cast) managed to dance the night away on one Jimmy Choo!

1999

Her hips are pips and 975,000 people a week see them on a billboard as they’re driving west on Sunset Blvd. Nikki Haskell, a bicoastal party giver and -goer is famous among Hollywood stars, New York socialites, and Italian counts for her diet products • Ashley Schiff was premed at Yale. A year on the crew team and she couldn’t fit into her debutante dress. Mother advised she “pick a better sport”—so polo it is. With a “0” handicap she’s the only woman playing at Bridgehampton this summer, on David Walentas’s “Two Trees” team, along with Nick Manifold, Luis Lalor, and Nacho Figueras. Go Ashley!

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October 1982 Fall Furs photographs by Silano June-July 1990 photographs by Steve Melnick 54

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LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT Our five-decade fashion evolution

Fall phs by

May 2011 Nicola Vassell photographs by Juan Algarin

0 y Steve

May-June 2020 photo-collages by Martin Vallin

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While many of us are poring over our portfolios wondering just how we are going to cover our losses (never mind making sure that our shrinking net worth doesn't affect our sense of self-worth), there are more than a few fortunate Masters of the Universe who seem to be unfazed by the recent softening economy • “I didn’t drive around in my limo thinking of how to help people,” Don Imus ← says of his Imus Ranch for sick children. “It is not camp, it is a working ranch and the kids work here. They are not coddled.”

2003 If Rudy ever does make it to president, Judith Giuliani is not only ready but could be the most stylish first lady since another Upper East Sider, Jacqueline Kennedy ↑. She deftly evades the question, saying only that she will be by Rudy’s side wherever destiny takes him • Avenue’s Most Glamorous Bachelors and Where to Find Them: #17 Jeffrey Epstein; find him “wherever Bill Clinton is” • Anthony Bourdain ↓: “The average life expectancy of a working chef is about 52 or 55.” Serena Bass: “What happens after that?” Bourdain: “You die.”

2005 2006

2002

Lally Weymouth, a Harvard graduate and special diplomatic correspondent for Newsweek, can finesse interviews with world leaders, meet demanding deadlines, and still deliver an impeccably set table for 25. “Never spray your hair when wearing pearls, it ruins the quality” • Phyllis Redstone got $1 billion from hubby Sumner, whom she tried to divorce twice before • Sid Bass paid Anne Bass ↑ $200 million so he could marry Mercedes Kellogg, prompting Taki Theodoracopulos to quip: “Sid Bass paid $200 million for a used Mercedes.” 56

2004

Would Donald Trump, Avenue’s A-lister of the year, ever run for office? “No. I prefer making money to spending money. Always have, always will” • Lynn Forester de Rothschild on her marriage: “I might be a nightmare for a lot of men. But fortunately, I’m just right for Evelyn” • John Loeb Jr., ambassador to Denmark, was told the embassy could provide him with only a half-armored car. “I asked which half? They said, ‘Well, actually, the bottom half.’”

Alex Kuczynski on Botox: “In my mid-30s, people told me I looked younger than I did when I was 19. It gives you such a feeling of power, like you are taking your life back. There’s something deeply s i n i s te r ab o u t it” • Do you do Sudoku? It’s part game and par t puzzle, and it's taking the Upper East Side by storm • Padma Lakshmi: “Salman [Rushdie] → has

GUTTER CREDITS TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK;

Richard Kirshenbaum is brainstorming a new angle for client Judith Leiber: “Socialites are the new supermodels, they are what I like to call celebutantes” • Avenue’s Sexiest New Yorkers: André Balazs, Anderson Cooper ↑, Iman, Ralph Lauren, Diane Sawyer, Stephanie Seymour, Uma Thurman, Melania Trump, and Diane von Furstenberg • Ken Auletta: “[Bob and Harvey] Weinstein are two talented guys. But I’d rather watch their movies than work for them.”

DON IMUS: LINDA CATAFFO/NY DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES; ANNE BASS: STEVE EICHNER/GETTY IMAGES; JACQUELINE ONASSIS: PL GOULD/IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES; ANTHONY BOURDAIN: AGENCE OPALE/ALAMY; ANDERSON COOPER: PETER KRAMER/GETTY IMAGES; SALMAN RUSHDIE AND PADMA LAKSHMI: KMAZUR/WIREIMAGE/ GETTY IMAGES

2001

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taken to New York like a duck to water. It’s very endearing to have the man you love embrace what you love about your hometown” • Eliza Bolen [Oscar de la Renta’s creative director of licenses, stepdaughter, and muse]: “I tell Oscar everything. I’ll say, ‘That dress is hideous, please, you have to change it.’ Others at the office are certainly more respectful in their choice of words” • Bungalow 8 owner Amy Sacco’s secret to the tightest velvet rope since Studio 54? Nadine Johnson: “Amy does not care about famous people who are not fun. That is the secret. No dullness. No killjoys.”

use the H-word when asked where are you going for the weekend • Dennis Basso: “The luxury furs are the Russian broadtail and the Russian sable, which seem to be consistently strong sellers. These furs were once used only for dressy occasions, but are now appropriate in sporty daytime applications.”

2009

Topper Mortimer: Being prominent on the charity circuit is “not necessarily a goal that anybody should strive for. Going out every night for the sake of self-promotion and getting their pictures taken” • Tinsley Mortimer ↙: “Perhaps some of Topper’s comments appeared insensitive. However, they were not intended that way. Topper never meant to denigrate the charity circuit or me.”

ALFRED TAUBMAN: REUTERS/ALAMY; TINSLEY MORTIMER: JOE SCHILDHORN/PATRICK MCMULLAN/GETTY IMAGES; HAMPTONS: SEAN ZANNI/PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES

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2010

Who is your favorite New Yorker, past or present? Donald Trump: “Robert Moses Moses” • Canadian-born Countess Nathalie von Bismarck

may have married into German royalty, but she’s not one to sit around on her throne. She is svelte again, having survived her second pregnancy. “God put a skinny person in a fat person’s body,” she says. “It taught me compassion” • Le Bain, New York nightlife’s newest spot, comes courtesy of André Balazs. At Ferragamo’s bash, hosted by Fabiola Beracasa (with fiancé Jason Beckman), Gaia Repossi, Chiara Clemente, and Lady Alice St. Clair-Erskine, the crowd includes Max Snow, Victoria and Vanessa Traina, Stavros Niarchos, Meredith Ostrom, Joseph Altuzarra, Agyness Deyn, Irina Lazareanu, Elie Tahari, Poppy de Villeneuve, Olympia Scarry, Vito Schnabel, Anne Slowey, Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, Todd Eberle, and Stefano Tonchi • Love him or hate him, Gawker Media overlord Nick Denton, whose army of blogs helped define “snark,” is laughing all the way to the bank • Publicist R. Couri Hay: “I think outside the box, more like a pentagram” • Hamish Bowles: “I have lots of colleagues who wouldn’t be dragged into the second row over their dead body” • It’s not uncommon for Marymount girls to be spotted sneaking cigarettes behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art across the street. Students are often heard moaning about writing the required biblical paper when they would rather be reading Teen Vogue • “To the Editor: We are students at Marymount School of New York, and we must say that your feature on private schools has infuriated us.”

2007 Luxury jewelry is no longer just for safe-deposit boxes and special occasions. More and more women have come to view jewelry as an important part of their everyday wardrobe, and style insiders are buzzing about all the possibilities for reactive expressions • Former Sotheby’s chairman Alfred Taubman ↑ on serving prison time for price-fixing: “There was a big African-American fellow from Cleveland named Ben who was one of the first friends I made. He looked after me and protected me from the start.” Nancy Kissinger kept his spirits up by sending “pictures of her new puppy.”

2008

The term “The Hamptons” → is a media creation, but the people who have been going for generations don’t call them that. So, if you want to fit in with the old guard, or sound as if you do, don’t SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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February 1977 Thomas Carroll photograph by Arnold Newman June-July-August 1988 Linda Wachner photograph by Ken Shung 58

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TITANS OF INDUSTRY The C-suite smell of success

November 1979 Jann Wenner photograph by Harry Benson May-June 2020 Olivia Palermo photograph by Heather Sten

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2014

2012

Elizabeth Taylor’s sale → at Christie’s shattered records, pulling in $153 million. The jewels alone fetched close to double the record set in 1987 by the Duchess of Windsor’s collection • 60

2013 For $15 million, Ross Bleckner will part ways with what was once Truman Capote’s Sagaponack bolt-hole • At the Greenwich Polo

Dylan Lauren ←: “My parents were never like, ‘no candy for you’” • Sydney Biddle Barrows claims that [her former escort agency] Cachet’s clients were so wonderful, they were the kind of men someone would pay $5,000 to a matchmaker to meet.

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2011 Youthquake! Hannah Bronfman, girl of the year • We’ve never seen more billionaires in one room. It was Richard LeFrak’s surprise birthday party, and they all came: David Koch, Michael Bloomberg (in red pants), Anne Hearst, Steven Rockefeller, Donald Trump, Wilbur Ross, Stephen Schwarzman and some regular Joes like Woody Allen, Jay McInerney, Senators Frank Lautenberg and Charles Schumer, Gov. Jon Corzine, and Arriana Boardman • Brazilian bottle rocket Jayma Cardoso’s Upper East Side restaurant/club Lavo has awakened the once sleepy neighborhood from a long disco nap • Chris Benz: “I can’t imagine living anywhere other than New York. I would always be having a panic attack, thinking I was missing something” • Leelee Sobieski was discovered in the cafeteria of Trevor Day School by Woody Allen’s casting director • Crow’s Nest hotelier Sean MacPherson has become the unofficial social mayor of Montauk • Dubbed “the chic Sikh,” Waris Ahluwalia has starred in Wes Anderson films and designs a line of jewelry • Who is your favorite dinner partner? Valentino ↑: “Madonna, because she makes all the talk” • For sheer civic outrage and titillation, for Shakespearean sweep, for dramatic hubris and earth-shattering fallout, nothing beats the saga of Anthony Weiner.

Club, floral dresses fluttered and hearts swooned as Nacho Figueras’s and Prince Harry’s ↙ teams faced off • William Norwich on correctly keeping a Hamptons home: “Understand wicker. Otherwise, why bother?” • Anthony Haden-Guest: Haden-Guest “I remember getting on a Jitney at 86th Street and seeing that a luxury brand had left a goodie bag on every seat. ‘Everybody gets one,’ the matron in front of me told a woman just seating herself. ‘Really?’ she answered, ‘even the staff ?’ ” Zakarian: “I served • Geoffrey Zakarian French fries every day in the ’90s to Calvin Klein... our kitchen [at 44 at the Royalton, was too small for a fryer, so] I sent out for them from McDonald’s. He never knew” Buatta: “I make neat• Mario Buatta ness for everyone else, but I’m a real mess myself.”

VALENTINO GARAVANI: STEPHEN LOVEKIN/GETTY IMAGES; PRINCE HARRY: DON EMMERT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES; DYLAN LAUREN: MIKE COPPOLA/GETTY IMAGES; CHRISTIE'S AUCTION: SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES

Susan Fales-Hill [on The Help]: “Viola Davis deserves more than to amble access our screens in the latest iteration of that ubiquitous black female archetype...who serves as a moral touchstone and conscience for the glamorous Caucasian characters” • Three-year-old Jack [son of Suzanne and Woody Johnson]] was named with sports in mind. “Woody just felt that guys named Jack were never the last one picked for teams,” Suzanne says • Suddenly, the Brant brothers [[Peter Peter Brant II, 18, and Harry, 15, sons of Peter Brant and Stephanie Seymour]] were everywhere this year. “We’re a very aesthetic family,” one said.

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NICKY HILTON AND JAMES ROTHSCHILD: ROBERT KAMAU/GC IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES; CHELSEA CLINTON: KELLY TAUB/BFA.COM; CAROLINE KENNEDY: KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE/ GETTY IMAGES

2015 More than 90 years on, Palm Beach’s Coconuts remains the island’s most coveted New Year’s invitation. Everybody wants to go, but absolutely nobody wants to be caught talking about it • “When I found myself single again,” Blaine Trump says, offering a candied nut, “I went to Miami” • Brooke Garber Neidich’s amazing fundraising prowess is a big reason why the Whitney Museum is opening its spectacular new downtown home this month • Nicky Hilton and James Rothschild ↓ met in 2011 at the Rome wedding of Formula One heiress Petra Ecclestone and billionaire businessman James Stunt, a fact that delights her. “In the olden days that’s where you met your husband, at a wedding” • Lydia [daughter of Patricia] Hearst: “My childhood was pretty normal, all things considered” • The 2010s are about quality over quantity, and the rise of a more discerning type of social leader. There is no need to be in a million Patrick McMullan photos when you can hop into a few frames at the best of events and then filter it 14 times over, regram it, and share it to Facebook.

is the only person who was offered and rejected the Hope Diamond as a wedding present. “I felt negative energy and saw red sparks emanating from the diamond...I have always been psychic and I knew immediately it wasn’t for me” • As for her It Girl status, Nell Diamond puts the appellation into perspective: “You don’t see a lot of guys called that” • David P. Rapaport, MD, FACS: “I’ve always found the general attitude towards liposuction a little unkind” • In the flesh, the Duchess of Cambridge looks exactly as she is pictured. Tall and slender as a willow, she has a mahogany head of hair so lustrous it’s easy to see why images of it have launched a thousand clickbaits • “People were more gracious and mannerly when I started,” says Cindy Adams, 86. “There’s no more politesse or refinement, even in the clothes people wear. People are walking around in their bras on 57th Street.”

2016 HRH Crown Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia: “When orphaned children ask where my crown is, I reply, ‘The crown is in my heart’ ” • A savvy and razor-sharp Chelsea Clinton ↑ has been popping up in Park Avenue living rooms talking about her mother • Brownie McLean

2017

David Koch on Stephen Schwarzman’s 70th birthday party: “I’ve never seen anything like it. There were acrobats, Mongolian soldiers, and two camels” • George and Amal Clooney buy at 100 East 53rd Street • Bernard-Henri Lévy, the celebrated French intellectual, wears his Charvet shirt unbuttoned almost to the belt, a style that seems to symbolically offer the world access to his heart—and maybe other organs, on an a la carte basis • Once known as the “shy” Kennedy, Caroline ↙, at 59, finally has come out of her shell • Carolyne Roehm: “Southern women are not ashamed of being pretty.”

2018

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Thanks to its new role as the seat of American political power, even the fiercest #resistor has to admit that Palm Beach is more relevant than it’s been since JFK took to his Winter White House on North Ocean Boulevard • Ronald Lauder: “When other kids were going to football games, I went to museums” • Sailor Brinkley-Cook: “I see myself as a normal person and I surround myself with normal people. If I turn into a bitch, just slap me” • Nina Griscom: “Are tables of squealing millennial girls the new Berkshire pork chops?” • Because of #MeToo, anyone comparing this year’s Avenue Power List to the last will notice a stunning turnover • Some say Susan Gutfreund dropping the price of her 22-room duplex at 834 Fifth Ave (to $68 million, from $120 million) spells “the apocalypse for an entire way of life.”

2019

Avenue took the year off to get a little work done. SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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2020

solution to knock down these barriers has driven me throughout my career” • Goldman Sachs chief executive and chairman David Solomon, 58, is moonlighting as a successful electronic dance music deejay under the moniker DJ D-Sol • Upper East Side witches for hire: “In Manhattan, most of the work is around money, unsurprisingly, and divorce. Women really want to hex their ex-husbands” • Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert: “We always do a truffle menu for the holidays, and I think we will keep that tradition this year because, believe me, despite the crisis there’s a lot of demand for pleasure and luxury” • In a normal year, Aerin Lauder → says, “We have Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house in the Hamptons, usually 60 or 70 people.” This year? Probably not.

at $5.35 million • Olivia Palermo: “Instagram has been an incredible vehicle” • Don Peebles: “From the period of slavery, through segregation, the civil rights movement of the 1960s, to the current state of economic oppression and police brutality, African Americans have been denied equal rights and equal opportunities. Being a part of a 62

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Avenue founder Judy Price: “I gave Manhattan a hometown magazine 44 years ago, and I’m excited to see its new chapter” • Misty Copeland →: “When two talented dancers can come together, it’s ideal and exciting. But when those two dancers are Black, it’s explosive.” Calvin Royal III →: “It’s a huge moment historically, both for us and for the next generation of dancers” • Gigi Gorgeous Getty ↓, Jennifer Pritzker, April Ashley, and more: Meet the trans women thriving at the highest levels of business and society • Looking for a Covid escape vehicle? This Triton 3300-6 personal submarine starts

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JOAN DIDION: NEVILLE ELDER/CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES; ETHAN HAWKE PHOTOGRAPH BY RICHARD PHIBBS FOR AVENUE; JONATHAN LETHEM PHOTOGRAPH BY RAINER HOSCH FOR AVENUE; GEORGE HAMILTON PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK MELE FOR AVENUE; CLO COHEN PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK MELE FOR AVENUE

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2021

“Everyone’s probably had this thought this year—what if our [doomsday] prepper friend was actually right?” Jonathan Lethem, 2020

Have you ever been starstruck by meeting a person you admire? Joan Didion ↑: “No.” • “I even wasn’t sure I would wear my wedding dress on the day,” quips T. Anthony creative director Clo Cohen ↘. “I’m very last-minute.” • “I saw all kinds of people in Palm Beach, including many who had everything and still weren’t happy,” says George Hamilton ↘. “But I also learned about suntanning and not wearing socks.” • “As a person of notoriety, you have a leg up on other writers, as far as

nutrition expert, and mother of Tesla billionaire Elon Musk, small talk at society events inevitably involves attempts to curry her son’s favor • As proud as Georgina Bloomberg is of her father’s political work, she can’t forget how he announced his run for mayor the day she graduated from high school. “I was like: ‘that one day?’”

selling books is concerned,” says Ethan Hawke ↑ via Zoom about his third novel • Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece: “If there’s a situation, I want any of my kids to be able to pick up the phone and call me. Whereas I was always petrified of my parents” • Convicted grifter Anna Delvey: “Regret is a useless feeling. I can’t go to Citibank saying, ‘You know what, I took the $100,000 from you and I’m so sorry.’ They’re not going to say, ‘Don’t worry about it, as long as you’re sorry!’” • Peter Marino, whose namesake art foundation opens in Southampton this summer, is also designing a sprawling private property and resort for Dmitry Rybolovlev on the Greek island of Skorpios, which the Russian oligarch bought in 2013 from Aristotle Onassis’s granddaughter, Athina. “It’s the biggest project of my life” • This summer’s must-have accessory for the Hamptons elite is a panic room • For Maye Musk, the silver-haired entrepreneur, model, SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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PowerA-List The

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Ebony L. Haynes Curator and critic ↓ In October, this David Zwirner director will cut the ribbon on 52 Walker, an Annabelle Selldorf–designed outpost of the gallery in Tribeca dedicated to conceptual and research-based work by artists of diverse backgrounds. “After years of exploring ways to reframe the gallery, we now have a space where artists can create and present their work for an extended period of time, encouraging a deeper engagement with the public,” she says.

JiaJia Fei Online oracle ↑ This impossibly chic art world digital strategist launched her own consultancy firm in 2020, after years of working with museums and galleries. “A decade ago, the question was ‘should we be on social media?’ and now it’s ‘should we start a video or podcast series?’” she told Artnet. “There are very few digital agencies out there with the dual grasp of both art and technology, and therein lies the gap—and opportunity.”

JIAJIA FEI PHOTO BY MICHAEL AVEDON, COURTESY JIAJIA FEI; EBONY L. HAYNES PHOTO BY ELLIOTT JEROME BROWN JR., COURTESY DAVID ZWIRNER

Contemporary Art

IN OUR S APPHIRE ANNIVERS ARY YEAR, AVENUE HIGHLIGHTS 45 NEW YORKERS WHO ARE HELPING REJUVENATE THE CIT Y WE LOVE

AVENUE MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021

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Antwaun Sargent joined Gagosian as director and curator, where his program of big ideas is expected to highlight Black contemporary artists.

ANTWAUN SARGENT PHOTO BY CHASE HALL, COURTESY OF GAGOSIAN; AMANDA PHINGBODHIPAKKIYA PHOTO BY MIKAYLA WHITMORE, COURTESY THE MARJORIE BARRICK MUSEUM OF ART; MIKE STEIB COURTESY ARTSY

Antwaun Sargent Cutting-edge curator ↓ In January, this Chicago-born writer and art critic joined Gagosian as a director and curator, where his ambitious program of big ideas is expected to highlight Black contemporary artists. His first group exhibition, “Social Works,” featuring David Adjaye, Zalika Azim, Allana Clarke, Kenturah Davis, and Theaster Gates, was met with universal fanfare.

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya Artist activist ↓ One of four current Public Artists in Residence for the City of New York, Phingbodhipakkiya has been responsible for the “I Still Believe in Our City” campaign, launched in response to a wave of anti-Asian discrimination since the outbreak of Covid-19. The neuroscientist turned artist, whose work has long focused on blending science and art to communicate the excitement of learning, says, “I wanted to turn hurt into something beautiful.”

Mike Steib Online art broker ↑ Artsy’s chief executive took over in 2019—just in time for the world’s in-person art scene to shut down. With collectors and gallerists stuck inside, the online art marketplaces saw 300 percent growth in the past year. Artsy now offers access to around $30 billion worth of work by more than 100,000 artists, and after raising a total $100 million it’s poised for another banner year with Steib leading the charge for online art.

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Wen-Jay Ying Food innovator ↑ This self-described “CEO and boss b” created an “online farmers’ market” and delivery service connecting hyper-local food producers with healthy-eating New Yorkers. Earlier this year, she opened the Local Roots Market & Cafe in Brooklyn, giving fans the ability to pick up odds and ends on the go. 66

Camilla Marcus Restaurant activist ↑ The former chef and owner of west~bourne may have had her restaurant shut down during Covid-19, but she found herself a new role as an activist. As a founding member of ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants), Marcus is steering the platform for restaurant revival, focusing on extended outdoor dining, wage reform, safety measurements, and, of course, a new approach to liquor licensing. You can partially thank ROAR for those to-go martinis.

WEN-JAY YING PHOTO BY LAUREN VOLO, COURTESY LOCAL ROOTS; MANAL KAHI PHOTO BY EVA CRUZ, COURTESY EAT OFFBEAT; CAMILLA MARCUS PHOTO BY ASHLEY BARRETT, COURTESY ROAR

Culinary

Manal Kahi Chef and refugee advocate ↑ After this Lebanese immigrant noticed a scarcity of high-quality hummus in her adopted United States, she set out to make some. Her enterprise, Eat Offbeat, has now expanded to delivering homestyle meals curated, cooked, and delivered by refugees in New York City. The head chef, Juan Suarez de Lezo, has worked in kitchens together amassing more than 13 Michelin stars and is training refugees under Eat Offbeat’s programs. The company is recognized by the International Refugee Committee for helping rebuild the lives of those displaced in New York.

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Media

STELLA BUGBEE: CATALINA KULCZAR/REDUX; LEAH FINNEGAN PHOTO BY LILY OLSEN-ECKER, COURTESY LEAH FINNEGAN; SAMIRA NASR: ROMMEL DEMANO/BFA.COM

Stella Bugbee Style maker ↓ Only the New York Times’ Business pages rival the Style section as the newspaper bible of the Upper East Side. All eyes are now on its new editor, who joined this summer after remaking New York magazine’s The Cut into a must-read for woke feminists. Will the city’s charity gala swans be celebrated or chided under the new regime? Buy the paper to find out.

As editor-in-chief of the Gawker relaunch . . . Leah Finnegan is tasked with holding the elite to account.

Leah Finnegan Journalist provocatrice ↓ As editor-in-chief of the Gawker relaunch—a second attempt to refloat the seminal 2000s snark ark since it sank in 2014—this online veteran is tasked with holding the elite to account. Will power brokers be quaking in their boots, or will their lawyers be relishing the chance to torpedo the irreverent site once again? Nobody is sure what may happen, but everybody will be watching.

Samira Nasr Fashion arbiter ↑ “Luxury is freedom” is one saying of the new editor-in-chief of the U.S. edition of Harper’s Bazaar, the first woman of color to hold the role in the magazine’s 154-year-history. Her inclusive approach has been a triumph since her first full issue hit the stands in March, proving high living and highmindedness can coexist in the same glamorous package. Grace Murdoch Intern She may still be only a student at Yale, with a résumé that includes two months working retail at the Goop store in Sag Harbor, but Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng’s older daughter already wields influence. In 2019, as an intern at her father’s Wall Street Journal, she cocreated Noted, its digital magazine for younger readers. With that much clout as an intern, what else will she achieve?

Nate Freeman Art columnist This former Artnet writer, recently poached by Vanity Fair, made his name for his dishy and deliciously vivid gossip columns about the art world. A must-read for collectors, dealers, and bystanders alike, he brings a much-needed sense of fun to chronicling this multibilliondollar industry, and the cast of geniuses, narcissists, and mountebanks it attracts.

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Bowen Yang Comedy trailblazer This one-man melting pot—he’s a queer, Australian-born, ChineseAmerican comedian—broke out from the Saturday Night Live writers’ room to become an on-screen featured player. His subversive, barrier-busting sensibility quickly earned him legions of fans, and his extraordinary range has allowed him to nail impressions of everyone from Kim Jong-un to Fran Lebowitz. Anthony Ramos Talent supernova This New York City native has been rising for years—with eye-catching turns in Hamilton on Broadway and the Netflix version of She’s Gotta Have It, among others. But his performance in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s filmed adaptation of In the Heights earlier this year minted a full-blown movie star. Having already been nabbed to lead the next Transformers blockbuster, Hollywood has clearly taken notice. 68

Zackary Drucker Artist and director ↑ Raised in Syracuse, this trans artist initially came to prominence for her video, photo, and performance work, which has appeared at the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Biennial, and MoMA PS1, among other prestigious venues. She gained a new audience after directing The Lady and the Dale, a miniseries that aired on HBO earlier this year, and is currently making a documentary about New York in the early 2000s. Alexandra Hutchinson & Derek Brockington Fleet feet → Dance Theatre of Harlem principals Alexandra Hutchinson and Derek Brockington are the force behind the delightful YouTube video Dancing Through Harlem, a gorgeously choreographed visual celebration of Upper Manhattan’s architectural landmarks featuring company dancers and set to the music of Bach. Soon after its posting last fall, the video went viral, racking up more than 7 million views.

OSKAR EUSTIS: RYAN PFLUGER/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX; ZACKARY DRUCKER: RODIN ECKENROTH/GETTY IMAGES; HUTCHINSON & BROCKINGTON PHOTO BY MINWU, COURTESY DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM

Performance

Oskar Eustis Theater king ↑ After weathering 2020’s shutdown of theater, and a bout of Covid himself, the Public Theater’s artistic director has returned to his mission of democratizing the arts. This summer’s Shakespeare in the Park adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor was reimagined in South Harlem, featuring an all-Black cast. “Shakespeare can belong to all people, no matter who you are,” he told Deadline. “We are back. New York is back.”

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JENNIFER HYMAN: GEORGE ETHEREDGE/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX; KERBY JEAN-RAYMOND: HEATHER STEN/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX; PAT MCGRATH: DAVID X. PRUTTING/BFA.COM; AURORA JAMES: NINA WESTERVELT/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX

Fashion

Kerby JeanRaymond is the first Black designer to show on the official haute couture schedule in more than 150 years.

Kerby Jean-Raymond Fashion frontrunner ↑ The creative powerhouse behind the Pyer Moss label is the first Black designer to show on the official haute couture schedule in more than 150 years. His debut couture outing in July, staged at the C.J. Walker estate in Irvington, New York, was a salute to ingenious household objects created by Black inventors, but the 35-year-old East Flatbush–raised iconoclast is his own special creation. Jennifer Hyman Fashion founder ↑ The pandemic should have been the death knell for Rent the Runway, which was forced to cut staff, salaries, and advertising, as well as reduce subscription fees. But thanks to its CEO’s nimble response (and her ability to raise a $100 million cushion), the company is seeing growth again, even wooing Gwyneth Paltrow to its board. “The recovery is happening much earlier and is much steeper than we ever imagined,” Hyman told Forbes in June. Telfar Clemens Trend setter Fifteen years after the designer founded his inclusivity-focused label, the fashion establishment is now paying serious attention. In 2020, his vegan leather logo bag became a certified “it,” with new drops reliably selling out within seconds. He’s also won design awards from Cooper Hewitt and the CFDA, and partnered with Converse and the Gap, and his work recently hit the world stage on the Liberian Olympic team in Tokyo.

Pat McGrath Makeup entrepreneur ↑ Don’t look now, but the makeup maven behind the world’s most glamorous fashion images sold a minority stake of her company Pat McGrath Labs last year, and it is now valued at more than Kylie Jenner’s namesake beauty concern. Not content with being part of fashion’s new royalty, alongside her best friend, British Vogue editor-inchief Edward Enninful, the Englishborn West Village resident was recently granted a damehood.

Aurora James Fashion visionary ↑ After making her name with her sustainable shoe and accessories brand, Brother Vellies, in 2013, James followed in the summer of 2020 by launching the 15 Percent Pledge, which asks retailers to commit 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned brands. One year on, companies including Sephora, Matchesfashion, and Moda Operandi have joined the initiative, bringing on 385 Black-owned businesses and counting. SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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Dr. Amanda Foreman History buff ↑ This historian, curator, Wall Street Journal columnist, BBC documentary filmmaker, literary judge, and best-selling author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (which inspired the Oscar-winning film The Duchess) also founded the New York literary salon and nonprofit the House of SpeakEasy, whose “bookmobiles” deliver free books to libraries and schools. Next up for the academic, who lives with her husband and family in New York, is publication of her book The World Made by Women: A History of Women from the Apple to the Pill. 70

Lisa Lucas Publishing supremo ↑ This senior vice president at Knopf Doubleday, overseeing the Pantheon and Schocken imprints— and a former executive director of the National Book Foundation, which oversees the National Book Awards and a range of educational programs—is a passionate advocate for more inclusivity in publishing and for reaching new audiences.

Alvin Bragg New sheriff in town ↑ Manhattan’s presumptive next district attorney—the first Black person in the role—campaigned on a platform of non-incarceration for nuisance offenses, including trespassing, fare evasion, and traffic violations. Whether the Harlem-raised Democrat will show similar forbearance to white collar criminals is another matter; whether Wall Streeters should fête or fear the new DA remains to be seen. Melisha “Mel” Jackman K “pop star” The former science and math teacher and school principal was recently appointed executive director of the nonprofit Brooklyn Kindergarten Society (BKS). She is already expanding the leadership and reach of this provider of quality education to families in need, making it a pillar of the early childhood education community.

Signe Nielsen Landscape architect ↑ The Paris-born landscape architect and Pratt Institute professor was the mastermind behind the extensive environmental plantings that grace Little Island at Pier 55, which opened in May. The 2.4-acre elevated park—designed by London architect Thomas Heatherwick and funded in large part by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg—took more than three years to complete and is the latest in a string of adaptive reuse green spaces making New York more lush and livable.

Archie Lee Coates IV Outdoor visionary This designer (and Angeleno) has no shortage of love for New York as the cofounder and executive director of the not-for-profit +Pool, which hopes to create a plus-sign-shaped, water-filtering floating swimming pool in the East River. “Like a giant strainer,” he says, “the 9,000-square-foot + POOL will clean more than 600,000 gallons of river water a day.” Its dense mesh walls will filter bacteria, contaminants, and odors while providing New Yorkers with a welcome respite from the summer sun.

DR. AMANDA FOREMAN: NICHOLAS HUNT/GETTY IMAGES; ZIBBY OWENS PHOTO BY EMILY YOUNG, COURTESY LAURA ROSSI PUBLIC RELATIONS; LISA LUCAS PHOTO BY BEOWULF SHEEHAN; SIGNE NIELSEN COURTESY MNLA; ALVIN BRAGG: ANDREW SENG/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX

The City

Literary Ronan Farrow Crusading writer The Pulitzer Prize winner has carved out a niche as an investigative journalist of pop culture’s dark underbelly. After exposing Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault allegations and publishing Catch and Kill—his book/podcast/ HBO series chronicling how powerful men are able to bury accusations against them—he and Jia Tolentino recently made a viral splash with a detailed New Yorker essay on Britney Spears’s conservatorship.

Zibby Owens Book influencer ↑ Since starting her award-winning literary podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books two years ago, the Yale and Harvard MBA graduate, daughter of Steve Schwarzman and mother of four young children, has hit a nerve in both the mommy and literary spheres. Her multiple podcasts, book columns, live Instagram author interviews, and Moms Don’t Have Time To publications have made her one of New York’s most powerful influencers of what to read. On the horizon are two children’s books, a second anthology, and her own imprint.

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Digital Rufus Griscom Online pioneer ↑ First this innovative Brown graduate and TED invitee launched Nerve.com, an early youth culture magazine and dating website. With wife Alisa Volkman he later cofounded Babble, a digital community for parents, which was bought by Disney in 2011 for a reported $40 million. His latest project getting buzz is The Next Big Idea Club, connecting readers with books and leading thinkers.

Max Hollein Artworld emperor ↑ Son of the prominent postmodern architect Hans Hollein, the Vienna-born director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art believes its exhibits should not be understood solely through a Western European lens. His desire to shake up the institution is causing great excitement, with exhibitions such as this fall’s groundbreaking blockbuster “Surrealism Beyond Borders,” and the appointment of the curator Dr. Denise Murrell to a newly created position.

Museums

ERIC KUHN: MATTEO PRANDONI/BFA.COM; RUFUS GRISCOM: SCOTT RUDD/PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES; MAX HOLLEIN: LELANIE FOSTER/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX; IAN WARDROPPER: NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY IMAGES

Eric Kuhn Social star-maker ↓ After devising social media strategies for the stars of United Talent Agency and the NBA, this online oracle cofounded Layer3 TV (sold to T-Mobile) and produced Broadway’s Torch Song and Oklahoma, which won him a Tony. After a stint as adviser and influencer-wrangler for the Bloomberg presidential campaign, he became social media honcho at CBS last year. And in his downtime? He manages chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.

Ian Wardropper Mover and shaker ↑ As the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director of the Frick Collection, Wardropper presided over this spring’s opening of Frick Madison, a fresh and radical temporary reinstallation of the collection in Marcel Breuer’s iconic building on 75th Street, while its Gilded Age mansion on Fifth Avenue undergoes a two-year renovation. SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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Finance Mike Novogratz Crypto czar The ex hedge fund manager and founder of cryptocurrency firm Galaxy Digital bet on Bitcoin with $7 million of his own money when it was just $100 a coin. Now his net worth is $7 billion, and the largerthan-life Novogratz has become the oracle of the crypto world. Jane Fraser Power banker Last year, this Scottish native rose through the ranks of Citibank to become not only the company’s first female CEO, but the first woman to lead a top-tier Wall Street investment bank. And that’s just her day job. She also juggles seats on Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors, the Stanford Global Advisory Board, the Economic Club of New York, and the Council on Foreign Relations. 72

Brad Sims Soccer suit Since becoming chief executive of the New York City Football Club in 2019, Sims has doubled down on the team’s charitable endeavors. During the pandemic, it partnered with NY Common Pantry to donate meals to the South Bronx, and volunteered more than 2,000 hours of community service; meanwhile its foundation, City in the Community, has built 40 soccer pitches across the city. Baloutinue Equine superstar ← This 11-year-old gelding is the secret weapon of Laura Kraut, a member of the U.S. show jumping team and Olympic gold medalist, whom she calls “one of the best in the world.” When not enjoying the lifestyle in Palm Beach or Long Island, Baloutinue can be found as far afield as Tokyo, competing in the Olympic Games.

AUDREY CHOI PHOTO BY RYAN YOUNG, COURTESY AUDREY CHOI; JARRID TINGLE COURTESY OF HARLEM CAPITAL; STEVE NASH: MADDIE MEYER/GETTY IMAGES; BALOUTINUE: COURTESY TAYLOR PENCE/US EQUESTRIAN

Jarrid Tingle Investment equalizer ↑ This managing partner at Harlem Capital is championing diverse entrepreneurs after raising $134 million for its second fund with anchor checks from Apple, PayPal, and TPG Capital. Of the investment firm’s current portfolio of companies, 61 percent are led by Black or Latinx executives, while 43 percent are led exclusively by female founders.

Sports

Audrey Choi Green queen ↓ Previously, this alumna of Harvard College and Harvard Business School served as chief of staff on the Council of Economic Advisers for the Clinton administration and was bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. Now, as Morgan Stanley’s chief marketing and sustainability officer, she oversees its $1 trillion commitment to sustainable solutions to battle climate change and acts as the CEO of the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing.

Steve Nash Sportsman and sartorialist ↓ The Brooklyn Nets head coach is the de facto leader of the superteam of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. Once one of the league’s most formidable point guards and now a family man, tennis player, and designer of his own suit and accessories collection—as well as the Crossover hybrid sports shoe—Nash remains one of the most enterprising coaches in the NBA.

AVENUE MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021

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Fun NICHOLAS BRAUN: EMILY ASSIRAN/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES FOR PIZZA HUT; LARRY MILSTEIN: JARED SISKIN/PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES; SCOTT SARTIANO PHOTO BY PATRICK MCMULLAN/PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES

Larry Milstein Philanthropic bon vivant ↑ The scion of a prominent philanthropic family, this Gen-Z lion (often seen with his sister, Toby) pioneered virtual fundraising parties during the pandemic to support frontline healthcare workers. Carrying on the family tradition, he is also on the board of trustees of a number of medical and cultural institutions, including the Parrish Art Museum.

Nicholas Braun Man about town ↑ You may know this lanky 33-year-old from the buzzy summer film Zola, or as fan-favorite character Cousin Greg on HBO’s Succession, which returns this fall. But as the co-proprietor of Ray’s—the Lower East Side scenester dive bar he owns with Justin Theroux, Jon Neidich, Carlos Quirarte of the Smile, and others—Braun is also at the center of a hip downtown nexus of actors, artists, writers, and musicians.

Scott Sartiano King of Clubs ← This longtime nightlife tastemaker made his name with downtown clubs like Butter and 1 OAK, which became its own international brand. Now, slightly delayed by the pandemic, he has opened Zero Bond, a chic and very discreet NoHo members club mixing prominent figures in sports, business, the arts, and more.

As the co-proprietor of Ray’s . . . Nicholas Braun is also at the center of a hip downtown nexus of actors, artists, writers, and musicians. SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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She’ll Take

Manhattan FALL FOOTWEAR FOR EVERY WALK OF LIFE ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHANNA GOODMAN

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Get back in the New York groove in Versace satin platform heels, $1,295; versace.com. Opposite, Stella McCartney Lurex boots, $1,395; stellamccartney.com

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The daily commute won’t ever be the same in Ports 1961 over-the-knee leather boots with butterfly heels, price on request; ports1961.com. Opposite, Saint Laurent “Vesper 90” slingback pumps with silver-capped toe, $795; ysl.com 76

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GUTTER TK

Go the extra mile in Balenciaga metallic “Chevalier” boots, $7,150; balenciaga.com. Opposite: Isabel Marant “Lomero” silver boots, $1,770; isabelmarant.com SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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LIVING

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t was a Saturday in the summer of 1996, and Elton John was in the mood to shop. The entertainer had come across a particularly joyful sunflower tie with a label from Richard James Savile Row. Surprised that anything so droll could come from the legendary if staid London tailoring district, he went to find its source, arriving at what was probably the smallest shop on the Row—and certainly the newest, having opened only in 1992. “I don’t think any of the other houses were open,” explains Toby Lamb, a then recent graduate of Central Saint Martins, one of the world’s most prestigious fashion schools. “Savile Row on a Saturday certainly wasn’t a shopping destination.” At the time, Lamb was an assistant designer to Richard James himself, who cofounded the brand with Sean Dixon as managing director. Still a small operation, they took turns working the shop floor. Lamb was there when Elton arrived. “He loved absolutely everything and bought the lot. It was incredible,” he recalls. “We probably took more money on that day than we would do in a month. Upon his leaving we had to close the store, take a deep breath, and pack everything up and get it sent over to his home.” Twenty-five years later, Lamb is still with the label—but since 2006 he’s been design and brand director (James stepped down in 2014). He doesn’t work the shop floor anymore, and neither does Dixon, who remains managing director. The duo is too focused on its next chapter: conquering America.

JOHN SPINKS/COURTESY OF RICHARD JAMES

RICHARD JAMES BROUGHT A SENSE OF HUMOR TO SAVILE ROW. NOW, WRITES ARIA DARCELLA, THE BRITISH LABEL IS READY TO CONQUER AMERICA

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IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING A Richard James single breasted merino wool pindot suit with poplin cotton shirt and silk tie. SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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than the label’s competitors. Suits made of denim or camouflage (originally a bespoke creation for a customer looking to stand out at the opera) became a hit, and emblematic of the brand’s attitude. They pushed to have bespoke orders completed faster, and ready-to-wear was available for those who didn’t want to wait at all. It wasn’t just Savile Row for the modern man—it was for the fashion rebel. “The thing that really struck me was the color and the textiles that Richard was doing at the time. The beautiful, geometric, colorful ties, and some of the fabrics that were being used in the tailoring,” explains Lamb. “And most of those [other] houses really were only providing a bespoke service. They weren’t producing any readyto-wear whatsoever.”

FEISTY CUFFS Ivory linen suit, cotton batiste shirt, and silk tie.

JOHN SPINKS/COURTESY OF RICHARD JAMES

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fter meeting in the ’80s, James recruited Dixon to help launch his first eponymous label, and later, after that line didn’t last, a shop on Savile Row. “Everybody knew what Savile Row was, especially in London. It’s synonymous with tailoring. But it had a bit of a crusty old image about it,” says Dixon. “We thought, let’s do it, but how can we do it differently?” The answer was to contrast classic craftsmanship with unexpected textiles, patterns, and colors. Humor was as important to the design as quality was to construction, which, while remaining distinctly British, had a softer silhouette AVENUE MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021

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FLAK JACKETS Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman wear Richard James camouflage suits in character as Washington fixers for Wag the Dog.

This struck a chord with Richard James’s demographic of young, creative professionals who had the confidence to pull it off. “We made suits for people that didn’t have to wear suits, but chose to wear them,” Dixon explains. “Even guys working in the city, financial services…they were coming in to have suits made so they could be sharp. They wanted to look a bit different to their colleagues, make more of an effort.” The first shop—a tiny white box—opened in 1992 with a £10,000 overdraft. (Dixon: “You couldn’t do it now, it’s impossible.”) Despite the lack of space, the duo spruced up the place by hanging modern art and antiques borrowed from dealers. With pops of color from the clothing, the visual was a striking contrast to the aesthetic of their more established neighbors, many of which had been in business for more than a century. “It took a long time for people to warm up and realize we weren’t there just to cash in. We were there for the long run,” says Dixon. “We brought in a lot of younger [customers] into the business. It went from a kind of disdainful approach to begrudging respect, to actually now we’re just part of the landscape.” High-profile artists also began to take notice. Paul McCartney, Tom Cruise, and Madonna all wandered in. Matching Richard James camouflage suits ended up on Wag the Dog costars Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro on a 1998 cover of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s buzzy political magazine, George. Musicians like Eurythmics and Oasis commissioned stage wear. And it was even worn by other fashion designers, including

Gianni Versace and Christian Lacroix. International business grew as well, with Barneys and stores in Japan placing orders. And there were other attention-getting moves. Window displays included real snowmen (contained in refrigerators), and inflatable sheep, and there was a partnership with Nickelodeon on a SpongeBob SquarePants–themed collection. A neon silhouette of the eponymous founder resides in the brand’s bespoke store. Sometimes they got a little too cheeky: A perhaps overly subversive 1997 cinema commercial, about a man dressing himself impeccably in Richard James before committing suicide, was rejected by the British Board of Film Classification and remained mostly unseen until the advent of YouTube. Dixon recalls feeling that when they were still outsiders, they had more leeway to be irreverent. “We didn’t think, Oh, we’ve got to be controversial. It just happened organically,” he says. “There are things we probably could have done differently. But ultimately . . . you learn from it and as long as you improve on it next time, that’s all good.” In 2017, the brand was acquired by New Yorker Charles S. Cohen, who also publishes Avenue magazine. They’ve since opened a Manhattan flagship at 461 Park Avenue, something they previously could not do on their own. “We got to the point that we knew we wanted to move the brand on a bit, take it a little bit more global, and have some opportunities,” Dixon explains. “We realized if we didn’t get some outside investment we were going to get left behind, and we weren’t going to be relevant.” SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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COURTESY OF RICHARD JAMES

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JOHN SPINKS/COURTESY OF RICHARD JAMES; LAMB/JOHN SPINKS

OOH PRETTY Clockwise from opposite: hand-rolled silk pocket squares; a contemporary look from Fall 2021; Toby Lamb, design and brand director; Sean Dixon, managing director and cofounder.

“MEN HAVE GOTTEN USED TO WEARING TRACKSUITS FOR THE LAST FEW MONTHS AND THAT COMFORT IS GOING TO BE REALLY IMPORTANT. BUT YOU STILL WANT THE STYLE, THE LOOK, AND THE ELEGANCE.” SEAN DIXON, MANAGING DIRECTOR

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oday, the team is focused on how the customers are living their lives. For fall 2021, Lamb recognized how people had become accustomed to loungewear in lockdown, while acknowledging that before stepping outside again they might want to actually get dressed. “Tailoring, even pre-pandemic, was changing. It was getting softer,” says Dixon. “Men have gotten used to wearing tracksuits for the last few months and that comfort is going to be really important. But you still want the style, the look, and the elegance.” Ray Petri, an iconic ’80s stylist whose “Buffalo” style parsed men’s streetwear for the

pages of glossy fashion magazines, was a major point of reference. Lamb’s new collection features expanded casual wear, blazers layered over cashmere track pants, and velour hoodies. Trousers, if not rolled up, are tucked into socks. A rosy pink anchors the color palette. It’s chic, modern, and really cozy. Looking forward, Dixon is hoping to continue Richard James’s international expansion. He’s also banking on technology to bring about more opportunities to sell made-to-measure pieces online. Meanwhile, the bespoke arm of the brand—where suits are handmade and built to last decades—is perfect for clients interested in sustainability. “The key is, ‘Buy less, buy better,’” he says. SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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LIVING

INTERIOR LIVES

THREE NEW YORKERS ON THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PLACE THEY CALL HOME PHOTOGRAPHS BY SIMON UPTON

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GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER? The dining room is Cynthia Frank’s favorite room in her apartment. Opposite: The editor stands in a lightfilled corner of one of her living rooms.

INTERIORS EDITOR

CYNTHIA FRANK

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FOUND PARIS NEAR CENTRAL PARK

had been using the apartment I had in Sutton Place before my husband, Donald, and I were married as a city pied-à-terre. By the late 1990s the children had grown up and left home and I felt such an overwhelming desire for a change of scene that Donald agreed to reverse commute to his neurosurgery practice, which was located outside New York City. I must have looked at 200 apartments with my real estate friend Patricia Patterson, and thought that I would never find the one for me. And then there was this one…

Situated just one block from Central Park, the building was constructed in 1907, at the same time as the Dakota building, and has an elevator that takes you up into each individual apartment. When the doors opened, the apartment literally spoke to me. I bought it that very same day! Today, all these years later, it very much reflects who I am: endless rooms with no apparent purpose, five working fireplaces, high ceilings, and original moldings, which I either restored or re-created, with support and advice from my great friends [the architect and designer] Timothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts. I was barely 20 when I married and went to live in Paris. It was the 1960s and Paris was the most romantic and amazing place to be. It was there that I developed a love of antiques, already fostered by my father, and got to know all the

flea markets. When I returned to New York a few years later, I got sucked into the fashion industry, working with Harper’s Bazaar, and became a regular visitor to Paris for the shows. I had found my destiny! As an enthusiastic host, the dining room has to be my favorite room in the apartment, with its original gothic paneling and the brass-legged Maison Jansen dining table that I’ve owned forever. I am also especially fond of the 1970s Ado Chale table on the mezzanine and the pair of vintage Serge Roche console tables in the entrance hall. For me, the apartment is more about the furniture than the art, but my most important piece hangs in the drawing room, a contemporary work by Albert Gleizes. The apartment has turned out to be the happiest place in my world! SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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ART ADVISER

WILL KOPELMAN GOES HOME TO THE UPPER EAST SIDE

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LIVING VROOM Will Kopelman surveys his living room from a club chair. Left: custom-made steel and glass doors, a feature of the apartment, connect living spaces. Opposite: Kopelman’s Triumph motorcycle takes pride of place.

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any landmark buildings on New York’s Upper East Side represent the early glory days of Manhattan, where the grand, prewar condos were built in the economic boom of the 1920s, mostly by the five major architectural firms of the day. They were designed to be “contained homes,” so architects didn’t skimp on materials, ceiling height, or scale. This particular building was completed in 1918 and is a solid construction of steel, brick, and concrete, with great details and moldings throughout. As a result of this old-world construction, I don’t hear my neighbors and they don’t hear me (or the kids!). I love cooking, so a livable kitchen/family room in the apartment was of the utmost importance, and I knew I wanted certain special inclusions, like a big La Cornue range and a wine cellar. To facilitate this, I teamed up with architect Gil Schafer, whom I had recently met at a wedding and we fast became friends; I have a huge passion for classic American architecture, and we are both rabid sticklers for detail. Gil and I worked to combine the existing kitchen, formal dining room, and laundry to create one big communal space. The floors are all original—a mixture of quarter-sawn oak, and the trim is a combination of cherry wood, oak, and pine—so I simply re-varnished them with a clear coat and then ebonized the rest. The metal-framed glass doors have become a significant design point in the apartment; I often work in the living room and wanted to be able to see the kids wherever they were playing. I was born and raised on the Upper East Side and have always loved New York, but what carries the most meaning for me now is that my girls are playing in the same area of Central Park as I did when I was their age. My parents still live here, and my sister and her family too, and I moved back from LA and found this apartment about eight years ago. I fell for the soft whites and natural earth tones, and just added to it over time, trying to achieve a sweet spot between maximalism and minimalism. What is meaningful for me is utility…beautiful designs always have superior functionality, and that’s always been the cornerstone of my approach. Buying objects you love should be instinctual. My instinct is eclectic for sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. People like Albert Barnes understood that the sum is greater than its parts. I love old master paintings, folk art, outsider art, African tribal art, pre-Columbian, Greco-Roman, and Egyptian antiquities, Flemish tapestries…and I mix all of that with some of my favorite contemporary artists. I even have my old motorcycle in my living room—a 1977 Triumph Bonneville 750, made the month and year I was born. It holds a special place in my heart, so I keep it there. To me, if it has meaning, it stays.

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“I HAVE MY OLD MOTORCYCLE IN MY LIVING ROOM— A 1977 TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE 750, MADE THE MONTH AND YEAR I WAS BORN.”

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“THERE WAS JUST SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THE PL ACE– I COULDN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT IT.”

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REAR WINDOWS Alfredo Paredes installed casement windows in the main living space. Below: he also added a stone staircase to the apartment. Opposite: a perfectly appointed nook.

INTERIOR DESIGNER

ALFREDO PAREDES

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS © SIMON UPTON, NEW YORK INTERIORS, (NEW YORK: VENDOME, 2021)

LOVES FAMILY LIFE IN THE EAST VILLAGE

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or years, I lived in Tribeca, and though I loved all the old industrial buildings there, it never felt like home. So, after ten years, I started looking around. I found this place in 2009 and it really captured my imagination. It had been renovated a decade or more earlier and needed lots of work, but there was just something special about the place—I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I came to see it four times over several months before making an offer. It wasn’t just the 14-foot ceilings, the abundance of natural light, and the large terrace that got me (though they were big selling points). Somehow, I saw a long future here. It took about 18 months to pull it all together; basically, I took the place down to its concrete shell and started over. While I wanted to create the overall impression that the apartment had existed in its present form forever, much of it is brand-new, including the stone staircase, the casement windows, and the distressed oak walls. In other areas we used salvaged materials, such as the fireplace mantel sourced from an old residence on the Upper East Side, and the wood for the beamed ceiling, which came from an old barn, and which we stained a darker color. I worked on the structural side with Michael Neumann Architecture, but the vision for the space is entirely my own, with inspiration from the work of Axel Vervoordt. Given my background at Ralph Lauren, I’m accustomed to creating evocative environments, but this was the first time I’d really been able to do it in a major way for

myself and my family. Even though there are loads of great places to eat in the East Village, almost immediately my husband and I found it more fun to eat at home, inviting friends to gather around the long table on the terrace or the circular table in the parlor. We’ve lived here for more than ten years and I still love everything about the apartment, and the space inspired me to acquire some of my all-time favorite pieces, like the console table against the wall in the living area, and the glorious Pat Steir artwork—November Rain—that hangs above it. When we moved in, I never imagined it would accommodate not just us and our two dogs, but our two children as well. Today, it’s become the heart of our family life. Reprinted from New York Interiors by Simon Upton, published by Vendome, © 2021.

EYE ON DESIGN The photographer Simon Upton

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NOTORIOUS NEW YORKERS

ONE DAY HIS PRINTS WILL COME An NYPD detective dusts for fingerprints after the break-in at the American Museum of Natural History.

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In 1964, Jack “Murph the Surf” Murphy and Allan Kuhn pulled off the most brazen jewel heist in New York City history. For Avenue’s sapphire anniversary, Ambrose McGaffney remembers the night they stole the Star of India

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n the waterfront lawn of a Miami mansion, on a balmy afternoon in early 1964, Jack Murphy and his criminal accomplice, Allan Kuhn, sat on the edge of a pair of sun loungers. Handsome and tanned, they were meeting an underworld figure named Max to fence a $20,000 diamond ring recently stolen nearby. Two decades before the opening credits of Miami Vice, they had worked out that speedboats made excellent getaway vehicles when the men were burglarizing wealthy homes along the Intracoastal Waterway. That day, however, Max had a proposition. “There’s this customer I occasionally refer to as ‘a gentleman from Peru’—there’s a little item he wants,” he said, his belly barely contained by a spa robe. “But it’s going to take some real nerve.” “Then you’ve come to the right man,” Kuhn replied coolly. “He wants the Star of India,” said Max. “Your share would be considerable.” That’s the fictional scene, 16 minutes into the 1975 film Live a Little, Steal a Lot, that sets up the most daring real-life jewel heist in New York City history. Murphy—a charismatic villain who became immortalized in the tabloids by his nickname, “Murph the Surf”—and Kuhn would steal two dozen rare stones from the American Museum of Natural History, including four headliners: the Star of India, a 563-carat, golf ball–sized sapphire; the 100-carat DeLong Star Ruby; the 116-carat Midnight Star black sapphire; and the Eagle Diamond, a gobstopper discovered in Wisconsin. The glamour of the heist was such that Murphy achieved an antihero status in popular culture that overshadowed his later, more heinous crimes. His celebrity grew to the point where the film was rereleased as Murph the Surf, even though its story gives more agency to Kuhn, who consulted on the project and is played by Robert Conrad, the leading man. Don Stroud plays Murphy, ably assisted by Donna Mills in a succession of colorful bikinis. Like all great con artists, Murphy wove multiple strands of myth through the facts of his early life. Among the achievements he claimed, according to the New York Times, were that “he had been a concert violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony at 18, a star athlete who won the University of Pittsburgh’s first tennis scholarship, and a twotime national surfing champion.” Fact-checking these claims after his death from natural causes in September of last year, at the age of 83, the paper’s verdict was, in order: “there is no record of it,” “probably,” and “perhaps.”

ARTHUR BROWER/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX

Stealing Stars

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ARTHUR BROWER/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX; NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Public records paint a picture of Murphy as a California native who dropped out of college and hitchhiked to Miami Beach. There, he worked casual jobs suiting his athletic prowess, including as a swimming and tennis instructor, and even a high-board stunt diver. Kuhn, a local scuba diver whose speedboat came in handy for his night job breaking into houses, apprenticed him into crime. With a third friend, Roger Clark, the men were drawn to Manhattan in the fall of 1964 simply because it promised richer spoils, and not at the behest of the invented Max. They threw all-night parties at the Cambridge House Hotel on West 86th Street, funding their lifestyle with smallscale robberies. Even these sunburned party boys, however, were astute enough to notice the nearby museum’s Hall of Gems had less-effective security than the average toddler visiting Central Park with her nanny. The guards were few and elderly; the burglar alarms hadn’t worked in years; and the windows were propped open at night to let air circulate. “Allan said he could hear the jewels talking,” Murphy told the Times. “He said, ‘The jewels are saying, ‘Take us to Miami.’ So I said, ‘Well, let’s take them to Miami.’” On October 29, with Clark as lookout, Kuhn and Murphy scaled an iron fence behind the museum. That got them to a fire escape, which took them to a ledge. They carried an airline bag full of tools, a pistol, and a coil of rope, which they used to lower themselves through an open window into the Hall of Gems. “I wasn’t surprised at all that they were left open,” Murphy said. “I don’t think the museum ever expected anyone to get up there.” Once inside, with knowledge of the guards’ infrequent rounds, they spent several undisturbed hours scoring the cases with a glass cutter, smashing through with a rubber mallet, and sweeping up the shards as they went along. The eventual haul included around two dozen loose stones and pieces of fine jewelry, including sapphires, diamonds, emeralds and aquamarines. (Although the gems were often described as “priceless,” in the sense they were irreplaceable, the actual value of the theft was estimated only at $410,000, or about $3.3 million today.) Despite making a clean getaway, this beach bum gang from Miami quickly proved they were no criminal masterminds. Acting on a tip from a suspicious clerk, cops raided their hotel room, which contained the kind of incriminating evidence rarely found outside comic book detective stories— including, per the Times, “a museum floor plan, brochures on its gem collections and sneakers with glass shards on the soles.” Clark walked in on the police, confessed immediately, and told them Murphy and Kuhn had taken the loot to Miami. All three were arrested within 24 hours. Despite the crooks’ speedy apprehension, the gems had already been dispersed. The Star of India and Midnight Star were recovered from a Miami bus station locker, after having spent some time stashed underwater in Biscayne Bay. The DeLong Star Ruby stayed missing for another year, until John D. MacArthur, a museum

OPEN AND SHUT CASE Above: James A. Oliver, the director of the American Museum of Natural History, inspects the damage; left: the New York Daily News cover of Saturday, October 31, 1964.

“I DON’T THINK THE MUSEUM EVER EXPECTED ANYONE TO GET UP THERE.”

benefactor, privately paid a $25,000 ransom to recover it from a highway telephone booth just outside Palm Beach. The Eagle Diamond, which investigators suspect was cut into smaller stones, was never seen again. Today, the Star of India, Midnight Star, and DeLong Star Ruby can be visited at the museum’s Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, which reopened in June after an extensive, three-year redesign. You’ll be relieved to hear they got rid of the windows. Murphy, who cooperated with Manhattan prosecutors to recover the gems in exchange for leniency, served less than three years. In 1967, he conspired with two secretaries at a California brokerage to steal $500,000 in securities. With those in hand, he and another man killed both women and dumped their bodies in a South Florida waterway—after luring them with the promise of a moonlight speedboat ride.

While serving a life sentence for that, he found religion and began preaching to his fellow inmates. After parole in 1986, he resumed surfing and gained a measure of renewed celebrity for his prison ministry, speaking often at conferences and in the media. Getting closer to the divine certainly seems to have eased Murphy’s conscience about his sins: the brutal double murder gets no mention either in his 1989 memoir, Jewels for the Journey: Murf the Surf, nor in the film. In its last scene, reporters mob a handcuffed Conrad (as Kuhn) and Stroud (as Murphy) at a Manhattan courthouse. “Jack, what are you gonna do next,” one yells at Murphy. “How do you top the Star? What are you gonna do for an encore?” They both pause, presenting their best angles as photographers bathe them in flashes. Kuhn replies suavely: “He’ll think of something.” SEPTEMBER—OCTOBER 2021 | AVENUE MAGAZINE

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ON THE

Skylar Pinchal

FRESH AIR FUN

An outdoor screening of The Mitchells vs. the Machines in East Hampton; Hope for Depression Research Foundation held a picnic for its Race of Hope in Southampton; and in Sag Harbor, the Young Friends of Save Venice dined aboard the Highlander yacht.

Clare Ngai

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Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, with Gideon and Harper

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GUTTER CREDITS TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK;

HOPE FOR DEPRESSION RESEARCH FOUNDATION: JARED SISKIN /PMC; FILM SCREENING AND SAVE VENICE: BFA

Mercedes de Guardiola


Louisa Benton, Arthur Dunnam, and Audrey Gruss

Mai Hallingby Harrison, Anne Nordeman, Hilary Geary Ross, and Jamee Gregory

Candy Hamm and Martin Gruss

Casey Kohlberg

2020 | AVENUE MAGAZINE Rachel Zoe,SPRING Ingrid Vandebosch, and Molly Sims

GUTTER CREDITS TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTK;

Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi, with James and Marina, and Thanet Natisri

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Edgar and Elizabeth Howard

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Noor Tagouri

Chrissy Rutherford and Athena Calderone

BEACHY KEEN

Breezy womenswear line Zimmermann held a seaside dinner in Amagansett.

IMAGES BY BFA

Bambi Northwood-Blyth and Thomas Cocquerel

Hannah Bronfman

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Katie Couric and Malcolm Carfrae

Naomi Watts

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SCAN FOR FULL LISTING

Gary R. DePersia Licensed A s sociate Real Es t ate Broker m 516.380.0538 | gdp@corcor an.com

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Real estate agents affiliated ith he Corcoran roup are independent contractors and are not e plo ees of he Corcoran roup. ual ousing pportunit . he Corcoran roup is a licensed real estate bro er located at 660 adison e, , 10065. ll listing phone nu bers indicate listing agent direct line unless other ise noted. ll infor ation furnished regarding propert for sale or rent or regarding financing is fro sources dee ed reliable, but Corcoran a es no arrant or representation as to the accurac thereof. ll propert infor ation is presented sub ect to errors, o issions, price changes, changed propert conditions, and ithdra al of the propert fro the ar et, ithout notice. ll di ensions pro ided are appro i ate. o obtain e act di ensions, Corcoran ad ises ou to hire a ualified architect or engineer.

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