Monday, April 23, 2007
And to think, Fay and I were going to go riding next Thursday for the perfect start to my 31st year on earth.
Damn all the developers!
(Guess who is their correspondent?!)
Weep For The Upper West Side Girls Without Horses
The news that the Upper West Side's Claremont Riding Academy, a stable and horseback riding school at 89th and Amsterdam, is closing imminently after being sold to a developer—perhaps as soon as this Friday—is a blow not only for uptown riding princesses (just think how much more painful their virginity-losing will be!) but anyone else who enjoyed taking one of the horses out for a little Central Park wandering. As a correspondent reports:
This is where all little uptown girls learn how to ride and where their mothers' hair turns grey to the naked eye as their little princesses get bucked off. They also rent horses by the hour to ride in Central Park. Who is going to use the Bridle paths in Central Park now? Will Bloomberg's daughter rent her horses out for canters through the park?
Possibly! Take that, congestion pricing!—Doree
From the New York Post:
By JUAN GONZALEZ and CATHY BURKE
April 23, 2007 -- The neighs have it.
Claremont Riding Academy on the Upper West Side, a national historical site and the oldest continuously operated stable in the country, is closing down for lack of business, employees said last night.
Owner Paul Novograd called together staffers yesterday to break the news - though rumors have rumbled for several years.
"Paul said basically this is our last week of lessons," said barn manager Danielle Misa. "Sunday is our official last day. The horses have to be out of the barn by May 3."
The stable was built in 1892; the horses are used for teaching as well as for hire on the 6 miles of bridle paths in Central Park.
The site on West 89th Street has long been coveted by developers.
I guess now I am off to Pelham Bay Park to ride. I wonder if the horses know how to boogie in the Bronx?
Sadly siging off-
Cantor no more Cator
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Oh Tom, I don’t mean you. You are super chic, but my darling, your new store needs to work out some kinks before I drop $5,000 on polo boots!
I visited on Saturday and the first thing I noticed was that one of the mirrors in the window display had crashed into the pink alligator. Upon walking in (hey where is the door man?) I told the receptionist (?) concierge (?) and she gave a huge smile and 'Thanks!' Tom, you are from Texas right? You need a Lynn Wyatt type at the front to shout a big ole 'Hoooowdy!' to everyone coming in, dressed in some sick silk cocktail gown and loads of jewels. Wouldn't that be fun?
So I began meandering around and at once I felt so put off. Everything is behind glass like a museum. If I try to open the glass door will it be locked and will I look like a fool? Noticing my frustration, a salesman approaches and offers assistance. I ask if I am allowed to open the case or if an alarm will sound-'Oh no, please, open away!' Gee thanks.
Now I’m not going to mention this salesman's name because if I do and you, Tom, read this, he wont be around for long. He was very kind and offered to give me a tour. While in the shoe department he stopped and went on a bender, "You see Tom is trying to bring back elegance to menswear. He wants men to get back into the habit of dressing up. He kept mentioning a word about these sorts of men. What was it? Oh I can’t remember but they are men who enjoy dressing, sort of like you. Actually, you are the epitome of what Tom stands for! You with your scarf, hat and shiny boots! This is it! You are the perfect customer! Now what was that word Tom kept saying? Oh yes, was it Dandy? Dandy! That's it! Oh your a Dandy!"
Golly sir I've never heard that one.
So then we walk into the mirrored fragrance salon that makes me think of some strange English folly or Parisian boudoir. He quickly grabs a fragrance and explains that Black Violet was made in honor of the Dandy. I said, "Well then, where is Green Carnation?" He didn't get it.
Then I asked what the prison looking doors were. "Oh yes, the cell blocks, those are dressing rooms but I am always scared to open them because I get shocked!" So I open the door and find a handsome room with shagreen covered hooks. Nice touch Tommy!
Then he escorts me into the "East Parlor" where I find a sitting room that my 'butler' told me was modeled after Tom's swanky London pied a terre. Nice silver screens! He then opens a jewel box of velvet bow ties and I fall in love and ask how much. "Oh nothing is priced yet, its such a pain. You go upstairs to the tailoring floor and I will find out the price for you."
Fair enough. I walk past the Noguchi (from Tom's personal collection), up a spiral staircase and into some sort of lounge. I am all by myself and so I spin around a couple of times, Sound of Music style and then almost fall on my arse. The rug is a 3inch pile of fur! Fox? Oh right,I think I read that they are beaver. Whatever it was they just seemed gross to me, not luxurious. I guess since I am reading PETA President, Dan Matthews book at the moment. But Tom, the liability! Remember all those models that kicked the dust when you carpeted your catwalk with fur? Well it is gonna happen here too Tom and just wait for some Queen to slap you with a lawsuit for his fall in your fur!
The rest of upstairs was quite swell. I LOVE the brown velvet room. Walls and ceiling are enveloped in chocolate velvet. Yum.
I head back downstairs and find my 'butler' helping an older man with a coat. After circling for several minutes I ask him if he found out the price of the tie. "Oh no, I didn't. I couldn't find the manager. Do you mind coming back?"
WHAT? EXCUSE ME? Come back? Oh hell, to the naw!
I asked if he had a card, "Oh no, we don’t even have those yet."
Well then, guess I'm not getting the tie. Sorry Tom. And I have the perfect Texas wedding to wear it to in the fall.
I left rolling my eyes to myself but I was glad to see they had fixed the window. An hour later upon hoofin’ it back to catch the bus to Harlem I noticed the mirror had crashed upon the alligator again. Oh Tom! Lets try some super glue this time round.
(Photo coutesy of www.nymag.com)
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Today I had such fun.
Well actually it was quite hard. You see yesterday Rod and I had our Christmas lunch (late I know). We had coffee and then met up at 12:15 to head to Bergdorf. We had a LUSH lunch at BG. How many bottles? Who knows! But the lobster napoleon with pasta, black truffle and chanterelles was divine. Then we went to Barneys, had champagne at Fred’s bought shoes and tried on hats. Why not?
Then we proceeded to Mrs. John L. Strong and Rod bought me "Silk Riding" Thank You Note paper. To laymen that means terribly expensive thank you notes with silk jockeys embossed on cards. He bought loads of other things including Dior shoes. Then we stumbled to Hermes and I had my belt fixed and Rod bought a child's bathrobe. As one does!
I passed out at 6PM and woke at 12am. Crikey!
Today I woke at 7:30am, dressed, had coffee with Rod and went over last night antics.
Then I took the bus to Bergdorfs and gazed at Russian eggs at La Vielle Russie and big golden eggs at Tiffanys.
I then watched the LAME hat parade. How sad :(
I thought it would be so chic and it was so tacky.
From 59th I strolled down to 12th to First Presbyterian where I met Mark, Mary and Ali-Star for Choich (that is how you say it down South). I love First Pres for mant reasons. First off it is gorgeous and built around 1840. Secondly, it is where Teddy Roosevelt got Baptised (it says so on the font) and thirdly, it is so open minded but not at all happy slappy. Everyone is so Bunny Bixler and Thurston Howell but then you realize that Thurston has a son with Thornton and Bunny is his best friend. Get it?
Church was such fun, not just because I was cradling an enfant but because the preacher declared, "Today is the only day men can wear lavender ties and not feel odd!" Hey! I wear them daily but I am Easter daily...
Then the Minister got me with his witty walk through history declaring, "We think we are so clever, us moderns, debunking the bible with evidence."
We are nervous about mystery.
But after that, Mary and I sang, Mark took Alistair to day care where the teacher was perplexed when Mark tried to help "Is that the little girl with two daddies?" And she said, "Well yes, but that doesn’t narrow it down in this church!"
How divine! Non?
The daddies at this church are so slick as one can see in these pics (Mr. White teeth!) . This is really my kind of church, the minister just had a daughter with her wife! Love it.
We ended church with a freezing Easter egg hunt and then a stroll down to Blue Ribbon Bakery. Well we might of well had the stone rolled out from our tomb we were so far underground at our table. But what fun. Michelle Barge joined us and we had a proper Easter lunch and quality old friend time together. Once Alistair was sweepy we left and kissed the parents goodbye.
Barge and I, as usual, left for several more drinks.
Now here I am at 8:30 PM stuffed, happy and well sorted.
Twas a perfect Easter, well if I could have only been home in the south riding, but that is another story.
Love to all and much chocolate and kinder eggs!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Fresh off the boat from Amsterdam and Antwerp, Rod and I headed down to the National Arts Club (Entre nous can we call is NAC from now on? Thanks) to celebrate the Medal of Honor for Theater going to Albert Maysles.
If you are from Mars you may not know he was one of the two documentarians of Grey Gardens. The other was his brother David who died in 1987.
Rod and I are huge fans of the film and the musical, which we saw together just one month ago. Rod introduced me to the film when I first moved into 202 around six years ago. I have been saddened and infatuated by it since. I have another connection too, which is quite odd. One day when coming home from Brand Pimps I was greeted in the platform at 14th Street by and old man who yelled at me, "Who are you? Nobody dresses like you do today! You know I knew a load of people who dressed like you at one point, their names where the Beales. I made Grey Gardens!"
Well he looked and sounded crazy but as soon as I got home and googled the name he mentioned I was star struck. It really was Albert Maysles!! So I have hoped to meet him again some day.
Tonight would be the night.
What does one wear to such an event??
Well the invite said, Dress: Grey Gardens Attire. So I wore a pastel look reminiscent of East Hampton, well au currant but could have been 1978. Rod wore an Oswald Boatang suit and a hat from his latest 'ism' collection called 'Voyeurism', which has a keyhole in the brim one can peek through.
The NAC was all decked out in ivy, which was such fun. Ladies were bedecked in swimsuits and turbans, Twenties chubbies and loads of cloches. Why does Grey Gardens invoke the 20's? Must be when Lil' Eddie was a socialite, but that was the 30's. Anyhow. It was great fun to see everyone decked out.
Dinner was served and we were in the nosebleed section. Luckily there were televisions near so we could see what was happening in the front (How do we ever get those god damn front seats Aldon?).
We had lovely dinner companions although they all raised a brow when Rod and I requested the fifth bottle of wine for ourselves. Hey! Why not? Eddie would of done the same thing.
So the speeches were fun and there were singers from the show, never before seen clips of the movie and a portrait unveiled.
One speaker reminisced about working with Anne Margaret around the same time of year. He said, "Anne, I didn’t know you worked over Passover, and she said, oh I never play on game shows!"
Another said, "Well this is the best damn Sadder I have ever attended."
Who said that? It may well of been Jean-Claude and Christo who for some reason were there and spoke. By that time Rod and I were too blotto to figure it out.
No matter what, it was a grand night.
Rod and I snapped shots of some of the grand dames of the night and then tottered over to the Gramercy Hotel where I shot pool (very horribly) and Rod drank champagne.
Here is to two old broads who were a bit dysfunctional but made a great impression on generations to come.
No Rod, I'm not talking about us!