Courtesy of Central Park Conservancy
Summer, for all intents and purposes, has arrived in New York. To celebrate both the season and Manhattan’s Central Park, the Central Park Conservancy is back with its 17th annual Taste of Summer benefit, held June 19 on the park’s iconic Bethesda Terrace. More than 800 guests are expected to congregate and sample food from the city’s top chefs (participating restaurants include 21 Club, P.J. Clarke’s, Armani Ristorante, La Esquina, Maya and Serafina) and bid on items in a silent auction deejayed by Alexandra Richards, the youngest daughter of Rolling Stone Keith Richards.
Board of trustees member Gillian Miniter is looking forward to delicious cuisine and the event’s recent move back to Bethesda Terrace. (In 2011 it was held in nearby Naumburg Bandshell.) “I love that area of Central Park,” she says. “It’s a special area because of the formal fountain and the beautiful Minton tiles that line the ceiling of the Arcade.”
High-powered attendees like fashion designers Lela Rose and Michelle Smith, as well as interior designers Mario Buatta and Geoffrey Bradfield, are expected to join the festivities, and the Conservancy hopes to raise nearly $700,000 for the park. Individual tickets cost $4,000; tables, from $10,000; Bethesda Terrace, Central Park; 212-446-2242; centralparknyc.org/taste.
Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth
Hauser & Wirth New York unveiled its new branch gallery last week in conjunction with the opening of the exhibit “Dieter Roth. Björn Roth,” which showcases the work of the prolific Swiss father-and-son team.
The gallery (also Swiss) was founded in the early 1990s and began occupying London with several outposts in the new millennium. A mainstay of art fairs worldwide, where it displays tastefully dressed booths, the gallery features names like Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse and Henry Moore that balance its contemporary collection of artists, including Roni Horn and Caro Niederer.
Marching steadily westward, Hauser & Wirth established its New York base uptown in September 2009 and recently took over the 24,700-square-foot space that was once home to the Roxy, the legendary roller rink and discotheque (where, incidentally, Keith Richards met Patti Hansen). Hauser & Wirth believes that its new 18th Street location, designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf, will be one of the grandest galleries in New York—though no promises as to whether its former matchmaking powers will extend to its now demure white walls.
“Dieter Roth. Björn Roth” itself, however, may be draw enough. New York Times art critic Roberta Smith once described Dieter as a “performance artist in all the mediums he touched.” (He played materials—paint, sculpture, texts, found objects, prints, film—like instruments in concert.) Dieter regularly collaborated with his son, Björn, who teamed up with his own sons, Oddur and Einar, to construct the latest iterations of Roth père’s never-ending tower projects. The works appear with more than 100 objects created since the late 1970s, from simple paintings to the floor of an artist’s studio raised to vertical as a painting-cum-screen-cum-sculpture.
Dieter also designed several working bars over the course of his life (he died in 1998), so Björn fashioned one for Hauser & Wirth. It will serve patrons coffee and liquor until long after the show has closed and the set readies for another artist’s conquest. Through April 13; 511 W. 18th St.; 212-790-3900; hauserwirth.com.
© Jordan Kisner
The Kips Bay Decorator Show House, an interior design bonanza held each year to benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, opens its doors on May 16 with an eye-popping display of various styles and aesthetics. Thirty prominent designers have taken over two bi-level units at the Aldyn Residences on Riverside Boulevard, each choosing a room and making it his or her own.
For many participants, the experience is quite personal. “Normally when I design, it’s a collaboration between myself and clients,” says Lynne Scalo, whose white lacquered retreat features oversized portraits of Steve Jobs and Andy Warhol. “But here, my only collaborator is the architecture, and that’s a really wonderful opportunity to showcase my point of view as an artist.”
That connection is apparent throughout the house: Alexander Doherty’s version of an art collector’s inner sanctum features several pieces from his own art collection on the wall, and a mirror-paneled library by Jamie Drake is filled entirely with his own books.
For others, the 40th annual showcase is an opportunity to escape into fantasy. Raji Radhakrishnan composed her corner unit as though it were the private home office of the head curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, incorporating Art Deco and modernist elements, custom photo murals of the King’s Chapel at Versaille and a gilded plaster ceiling medallion designed by Radhakrishnan herself. Charlotte Moss turned her suite into a taste of the French countryside, layering trompe l’oeil wallpaper and garden photography, freestanding trees and an immense antique birdcage from her own collection.
Even without the lavish interiors, both units are impressive, with oversized pools and sweeping views of the Hudson River. But with the addition of each decorator’s dream pieces—witness the $115 million antique desk in David Scott’s sophisticated, richly textured gentleman’s study, or the massive 1820s Neoclassical secretary from Germany in a dining room by Patrik Lönn—the scene is fairly stunning. May 16–June 14; 60 Riverside Blvd.; kipsbaydecoratorshowhouse.org.
© Courtesy Jarlsberg & Wild Hibiscus Flower Company
The fascination with cocktails shows no signs of stopping, and the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, from May 11 to 15—a showcase of memorable libations, mixology talent, drinks lore and good times—aims to keep it that way. Tickets are still available for a host of interesting, and appropriately spirited, events held throughout Manhattan. Head to a rum-fueled celebration of Havana, Cuba, at Mother’s Ruin in Nolita, or embark on the Gentleman’s Cocktail Crawl (ladies are also more than welcome to attend)—a black-tie-optional bar crawl involving some of the borough’s finest hotel cocktail spots, like at Andaz Wall Street’s Bar Seven Five (75 Wall St.).
You can also enjoy getting to know boutique alcohol brands from around the world at the classic’s Indie Spirits Expo at Crimson (915 Broadway), which capitalizes on the popularity of all things artisanal. “Bar owners, mixologists and cocktail fans can taste and learn about these fine spirits and the dedicated and passionate individuals who work so hard to bring them to the marketplace,” says expo producer David Schmier. And if you’re in the mood for a real jolt, enjoy The Darkest Night: an evening of whisky punch and a performance of the surreal interactive play Sleep No More at the McKittrick Hotel (530 W. 27th St.). Bowmore will provide the single malt Scotch; Sleep No More will deliver more than a few chills—and not of the ice-cold-cocktail variety. May 11–15; manhattancocktailclassic.com.
John DeLucie. Photo by Mark Abrahams
Chef John DeLucie moves to all things old New York with Crown (24 E. 81st St.; 646-539-4880), his new clubby restaurant opening in September, the follow-up to The Lion and The Waverly Inn.
When The Penisula opens in Paris in 2013 (peninsula.com), the hotel, in the 16th Arrondissement, will boast the city’s first haute-Chinese restaurant, helmed by the Hong Kong–based company’s own chef.
Over in Marrakech, the long-awaited Mandarin Oriental will be transmogrified into a Taj Palace Marrakech (tajhotels.com) in October.
And if you’re going to San Francisco, book a bespoke tour with Carried Away (carriedawaysf.com), whose itineraries offer everything from dim sum spots to a circuit of the hottest galleries.
This may be the first week of spring, but with a chilly mix of snow and rain enveloping the streets of Manhattan, it’s apparent that winter isn’t ready to go away just yet. This final cold stretch can feel like the longest of all, which is why there’s never been a better time for a nice, relaxing day at the spa. One of our favorite city options is the Spa-cation at The Peninsula New York, which, for $250, is also one of the best deals in town. In addition to a 60-minute treatment of choice—holistic massage, intensive facial or organic sunless tanning—guests have all-day access to the fitness center and classes, as well as use of the indoor pool, with panoramic views of Fifth Avenue from its perch on the 22nd floor. There’s also a delicious bento-box lunch, with choices like grilled beef sirloin with bok choy and poached salmon with roasted red pepper and Thai spices. We recommend getting there early to take advantage of the daily fitness classes—yoga, pilates, cardioblast—then following that with a relaxing treatment and finishing off with a poolside lunch. Who cares about the cold when you can have so much fun indoors? At 700 Fifth Ave.; 212-956-2888; peninsula.com.