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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

• Total Viewers:7,726,0007,687,0006,576,000
• A25-54:1,726,0001,856,0001,528,000

"It’s another split win in the evenings, as NBC’s Lester Holt gives Nightly News a total viewer win — its first in 5 weeks — and ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir takes the A25-54 demo. NBC’s lead was a very slim .5 percent, while ABC’s win in the demo was by a much wider 7.5 percent. Even with big news from Baltimore last week, all three newscasts were down compared to the same week last year. Nightly News is down -14 percent in viewers and down -18 in the demo; World News Tonight is down -2 percent in viewers and down -11 percent in the demo; and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley is down -7 percent in viewers and down -17 percent in the demo. This same week last year included coverage of severe weather across the nation." (TVNewser)

Benefactor Silas Chou and Dr. Henry Kissinger in the front row. Mr. Chou is the honorary chair of this year's Gala.

"It's always a pleasure to get invited to the Met's Press Preview for the annual exhibition at what is now known as the Anna Wintour Costume Center. Today was no exception. China: Through the Looking Glass curated by Andrew Bolton explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. In this collaboration between The Costume Institute and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion is juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery. This year the exhibit is three times larger than those in the past, spanning 30,000 square feet and spread out over three floors. There is a total of 150 costumes and accessories as well as numerous film clips from such groundbreaking Chinese directors as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Ang Lee, and Wong Kar Wai. On hand for the press preview in the galleries were milliner Steven Jones, Met Curator in Charge Harold Koda, and Vogue's Hamish Bowles. Following a tour of the galleries, guests convened in the Temple of Dendur where remarks were made by Met Director Thomas Campbell, Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo), Maxwell Hearn, Chairman of the Department of Asian Art (who greeted us in Chinese), Mr. Bolton, and Wong Kar Wai.  Seated front row and center: fashionista Dr. Henry Kissinger chatting with Asian billionaire Silas Chou. Kissinger told me that his wife Nancy would be attending the evening gala.  Other front rowers in addition to Anna Wintour included Wendi Murdoch, Oscar Tang, and Emily Rafferty, the recently retired President of the Met, with a cane as a result of  having recently had a collision with a golf cart in the Bahamas." (NYSD)

Jennifer Lopez in a fire dragon-embellished sheer gown from Atelier Versace.

"As a fashion statement, the red carpet at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art gala — that seemingly endless stretch of crimson that leads from Fifth Avenue, up the dozens of steps of the museum’s great staircase and into the Great Hall — occupies an odd netherland between runway and reality. What we see on it is the expression of a designer’s vision, dosed with some guidance from an actual person (as opposed to a model whose job it is to wear clothes, or at least as close to an actual person as a member of public-iety, that blend of publicity and society, can be) wearing the thing. The result has its own trends and tribulations, chief among the tribulations being the supposed need to dress according to the theme of the museum exhibition being celebrated. This year, that meant China, and complications ensued. If there is an overarching sartorial lesson to be gleaned from the hits and misses and jaw-dropping apparel adventures on view Monday night at the museum, it was this: 'Fancy dress' is more successfully read as 'fancy party dress' than as 'costume party dress.' Even Jean Paul Gaultier, who in his former ready-to-wear runway career never met a theme he didn’t like (1980s rock stars! Weddings! Butterflies!) seemed to understand this, and he wisely dressed his date, the singer Alicia Keys, in a full tulle skirt, midriff top and sharp cropped tuxedo jacket, for a coolly feminine version of white tie. That was the exception, however, rather than the rule — as were the rare straight-from-the-catwalk looks: Poppy Delevingne in poppy-bestrewn Marchesa (get it?!); Caroline Trentini and Karlie Kloss in Atelier Versace; FKA Twigs in a Christopher Kane dress collaged from naked silhouettes. For the most part, China references were rife, and they ranged from cliché to capes to color.Embroidered silks, for example, showed up on everyone from Georgia May Jagger’s Gucci robe — a little bit vintage, a little bit obvious — to Julie Macklowe’s cheongsam, though the ultimate expression of that idea was Chloë Sevigny’s hot mess of a J.W. Anderson pastiche. Headdresses were the Halloween-worthy accessory of the night, as seen on Sarah Jessica Parker, who twinned her Philip Treacy flame-crown with a custom black H&M one-shoulder silk gown speckled with red blooms; and the shoe designer Tabitha Simmons and the model-singer Karen Elson, both in elaborate gold Dolce & Gabbana — though those last two looked a little as if they had taken their dressing cues from dolls offered in Chinatown knickknack shops rather than from Milanese artistes." (NYT)

Photograph by Justin Bishop.

"According to the S.E.C.’s order, UBS gave high-frequency traders secret, illegal advantages in its dark pool over other investors who used the dark pool. Those other investors included 'many of the world’s largest asset managers, broker-dealers, and institutional investors, who may place trades on behalf of all kinds of investors, including pension funds and individuals with retail brokerage accounts.' The S.E.C.’s order went on to say that the illegal activity occurred 'at least from May 2008 through March 2011.' But that only scratches the surface of the problems with this response from UBS. According to the S.E.C., UBS, in clear violation of stock-market rules, secretly offered high-frequency traders the power to submit quotes in fractions of a cent. So, for instance, if the market for Facebook shares sat at 80.00–80.01, and an ordinary investor showed up willing to sell at 80.00, a high-frequency trader could jump ahead of all other would-be buyers and pay 80.0001 for the shares. That ridiculous fraction of a penny is what the high-frequency-trading lobby now peddles to the public as 'price improvement.' Still, a stock-market innocent might reasonably ask, Why would a high-frequency trader be so generous? And why, if he operates in the spirit of generosity, would UBS want to keep it a secret from ordinary investors? Why wouldn’t UBS shout from the rooftops of Zurich that it had made it possible for high-frequency traders to buy shares for a tiny bit more, or sell them for a tiny bit less, than the ordinary investors in the UBS dark pool? The long answer to that question took me a book to explain. The short answer is that the high-frequency trader in the UBS dark pool knows information about Facebook shares (i.e., when the price has changed in the wider market) a few milliseconds before the ordinary investors. He can bet on the horse race knowing the result." (VF)

Monday, May 04, 2015

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"In mid-2013, many were praising Circa. The app was kind of unique at the time (see this Monday Note about it); it was built on a clever news flow rearrangement, truncated for faster reading; quotes were pulled out, sources listed apart in a precise manner. Circa gave readers the ability to follow-up on a story, a convenient feature no one else offered then. The whole process was manually operated by a tiny newsroom whose job was (and still is) to repackage others’ information, creating about 30-40 pieces a day and updating 2-3 times as much… Over the last two years, Circa grew to about 20 people. The concept’s novelty attracted about $5.7m from angel investors. By the end of last year, Ken Doctor reported that Circa was seeking another $8m to support its development. And last week, Fortune’s Dan Primack revealed that Circa no longer sought capital but a buyer instead. (See also Joshua Benton’s piece on NielmanLab.) Unlike many, including prominent industry figures I talked to at the time, I won’t bash today what I praised two years ago. Rafat Ali, the founder of Skift (a great travel industry site), triggered a solid tweet storm deriding Circa’s enthusiastic reviews as yet another bout of media business navel gazing. While Rafat is right on the industry’s propensity to lionize apps and services hopelessly deprived of any business model, Circa was a tiny fish compared to billion-plus 'unicorns' that contribute to what many see as a content bubble (more in an upcoming Monday Note.) As an innovation in the mobile news consumption field, Circa was interesting to analyze — and worthy of support. Two years later, I see three factors contributing to Circa’s failure. What make these worth a close look is they could impact more companies." (MondayNote)

"Talk about how the mighty have fallen. Time magazine was for the better part of the 20th century the model for American newsweeklies. Its style of epigrammatic terseness and punchy prose became known as 'Timespeak,' its compact format an invention of its founder, Henry Luce. Luce was the son of a missionary and was born in China. He was devout, brainy, single - minded and convinced America was a miracle conceived by the Almighty. In a British boarding school in Shantung, Harry was mercilessly flogged for insisting he speak at times to God directly. He also became proficient in French, Latin, Greek, history and math. He then went to Hotchkiss and Yale. He was voted the most brilliant member of the class of 1920. Three years later he founded Time having raised $86,000 from Yale classmates. Six years later he was a multi-millionaire and had also founded Fortune and eventually Life. He married one of the most beautiful women of the time, Clare Boothe Brokaw – it was the second marriage for both –becoming the most powerful couple of the age. Clare was no shrinking violet. She had beauty and a ferocious intelligence and her dry wit had jealous rivals fleeing in droves. While editing Vanity Fair she wrote The Women, a Broadway hit that ran and ran and was made into a film. A real vamp, Clare had the best pair of legs around, wrote three successful plays, was a roving war correspondent, a screenwriter and grande dame of the Republican Party after serving in Congress and becoming an ambassador ... By the time I met her she was a very old lady, but still flirtatious and very outspoken. My father bought her apartment on 993 5th Avenue and gave it to my older brother. (He lost it to his first wife.) Playing gin with the Buckleys once, Clare said that she was getting tired of reading about the Holocaust. Bill Buckley’s TV producer, a nice man who ... didn’t flinch at all, but with a smile said to her, 'You’re right, Clare, but I’m getting sort of tired about this Crucifixion business.'  It was one of those very rare moments when Clare came out second best.
This, then, was the couple that made Time a great magazine and in a way also America a great country. Both Harry and Clare were registered Republicans, but both urged FDR, who frequently had them stay in the White House, to enter the European and Far East wars long before Pearl Harbor. FDR pulled out all the stops for Clare, but she saw right through that charming phony. Harry died in 1967, Clare in 1987. Time magazine has been ailing for some years now, and finally expired last week. Mind you, it still publishes, but it’s a living, rotting corpse whose flesh stinks of vulgarity, celebrity ass-wiping and opportunism." (Taki)

"In March of last year, President Pierre Nkurunziza narrowly lost a vote in parliament that would have abolished term limits and allowed him to run for a third term (another reminder that we should take African parliaments seriously). The period immediately after the vote offered an opportunity for the international community to rally around the Burundian elite to ensure that the norm of term limits stuck, sufficiently isolating Nkurunziza and his allies. In a country of Burundi’s size, how the international community engages with local issues matters a great deal for the domestic conduct of politics. If Burundi’s neighbors, the Unites States and others focus solely on the president and presidential elections, then that is where power will be concentrated. Diplomats might have better luck in promoting democracy by engaging core state institutions — such as legislatures — in a manner that reinforces the principle of horizontal accountability. Reuters is reporting that Burundi’s defense minister, Maj. Gen. Pontien Gaciyubwenge, has issued a statement that the army will not support a violation of the country’s constitution. Over the past couple of days, there have been reports of police clashing with military officers (with the latter protecting civilians). One military officer was reportedly killed by an intelligence officer — a clear signal that there is a rift within the country’s security forces. It is also important to note that a quota system in the military has served to limit the influence of the president over this institution, unlike the police. At the beginning of the year, political scientist and forecaster Jay Ulfelder ranked Burundi as having the 26th highest risk of experiencing a coup in 2015 among nations worldwide. Gaciyubwenge’s statement magnifies the risk.Among the five members of the East African Community (EAC), only Kenya and Tanzania have solidified the norm of term limits. Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni successfully did away with term limits in 2001. Paul Kagame of neighboring Rwanda also has been equivocal about term limits. Kagame is legally scheduled to leave office in 2017, but he says it is up to the people of Rwanda to decide his fate. This puts the EAC in an awkward position because a push for constitutionalism in Burundi would necessarily mean acknowledging that Museveni (and possibly Kagame) are in the wrong. It is no wonder that the best the EAC has done so far is to call for dialogue." (WP)

The Worship of Bigness

"A recent column in the FT had me mad as hell and not about to take it any more. The writer, Simon Kuper, calls Vienna a backwater, a bit like calling the Queen a busted flush because of her age. Sure, he writes how great Vienna was back when the Habsburgs ruled the roost, attracting people from all over, 'some of them nuts.' He includes Freud, Hitler, Stalin, and Trotsky. Not the nicest bunch I can think of, but then the paper is a pink one at that. He fears London might go the way of Vienna, and price itself unaffordable to everyone but a few Chinese, Russian and Indian billionaires. The trouble is he’s right about London and dead wrong where Vienna is concerned. Vienna, incidentally, is dirt cheap. Feeling myself inflate like a blowfish at the insult to my beloved city, I thought back to all those Schoenburg – Hartensteins gallivanting in fancy pantaloons around those beautiful palaces since the beginning of the 18th century. These were noble German counts who moved to Austria and became princes, a smart course however upwardly mobile. The place is still full of them, and my daughter recently visited Vienna and reported back that it was the most livable city in Europe. That it is. At one million seven hundred thousand inhabitants, Vienna is the perfect size. Yes, there are Muslims, but most of them are Turks and Bosnians, since the Austro-Hungarian Empire included parts of the old Yugoslavia. Last time I was in Vienna it was summertime and the city was sleepy. The Ringstrasse, that is lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks, was empty of cars and it felt like being back in the good old days when the Austro-Hungarians reigned supreme. The Schoenburg palace, off Schoenburg strasse, is now let out for parties and such, a bit of a comedown, I admit, but the Brits have been selling their souls since time immemorial. (A nation of shopkeepers and house rentals, according to Napo and Taki.) What I don’t understand is how can one call a city a backwater when the quality of life is the best by far in Europe? Vienna is the city of music and of the waltz, the city of wonderful cafes and two of the most beautiful palaces of Europe, the Hofburg and the Belvedere. Surely the FT columnist must have been drugged by people unknown when he called Vienna a backwater. Surely nobody could be so base, and yet in this The Kardashian Century, the worship of bigness overrides the respect for beauty and class." (Taki)

Obama fund-raiser could create traffic nightmare for Met Gala

"A fund-raiser for President Obama happening blocks away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the annual Costume Institute Gala kicks off on Monday evening could wreak havoc on drivers shuttling fashion insiders uptown. The political fund-raiser will be hosted by Loida Nicolas-Lewis — widow of the late Baltimore billionaire entrepreneur Reginald Lewis — at her Manhattan home along with her daughter Leslie. Expected guests will include 'The Wire' actor Wendell Pierce, Orioles star Adam Jones and Reginald’s mother, Carolyn Fugett. Vogue’s already issued a warning to its Met Gala guests that traffic will be heavy, because the president will be in town, and is advising attendees to leave ample time to get to Anna Wintour’s starry event, which is also being hosted by Silas Chou, Jennifer Lawrence, Gong Li, Marissa Mayer, and Wendi Murdoch." (P6)

Judy Glickman Lauder, Leonard A. Lauder, Elizabeth Hurley, Anthony von Mandl, and Kinga Lampert.

"Last week was a busy one on the charity gala calendar. Last Thursday night, for example, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation started 22 years ago by Evelyn Lauder (who died four years ago) was holding its annual  Hot Pink Party in the Grand Ballroom at the Waldorf and honoring the founder’s husband Leonard Lauder. This is a very important evening because they raise a great deal of money for research – in the millions – and the work of the BCRF has had a decisive positive effect on their objective: a cure. I have been an enthusiastic supporter of Evelyn Lauder and all of her associates who have done something really good for the world. Her legacy has left a strong organization of supporters to carry on her quest.Then up at the Pierre, same night, The Versailles and Giverny Foundation was hosting its annual do 'in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Hereditary Prince and Princess Bernhard of Baden.' This is always an interesting dinner, organized and hosted by Barbara de Portago, whose mother and stepfather Florence and Gerald van der Kemp were fundraisers and the curator (Mr. van der Kemp) of Versailles in years of its great emergence in restoration. It’s fascinating to hear the “personal interest” of these individuals of old royal families of European thrones that are now defunct. They express a nobility of interest in their countrymen and their country that is missing in modern government today – no matter the type of government. None of those I’ve heard speak has ever talked about his or their country in a “political” way as if to imply that maybe they should be back in power. Instead, their message is one of respect for their countrymen, the working people who make the nation, and delivering their needs as their government (not someone else’s or some political party’s government). And so it is. Also Thursday night over at the Metropolitan Club, the Table 4 Writers Foundation was holding an annual Awards Gala 'continuing the tradition of Elaine Kaufman.'" (NYSD)

"Down near the touristy end of Duval Street there are many attractions. One is the Indian swami in his booth. He sits in his white alcove, dressed in layers of floaty white things. His dark eyes are serene and his narrow face ends in a pointy white beard. I've never seen him smile, I've never seen him laugh, I've never seen him angered. But I always see him, seated at his table in his alcove and invariably he has a customer and then another one or two waiting their turn. I have never ventured too close, only glimpsed in passing, but his method of channeling is he reads the lines in people's palms. As I cruise past I try but cannot decipher the whispers as he engages with clients, presumably explaining the meaning of life, maybe even counseling them on having chosen Key West, assuring them it was indeed a good choice for a holiday. I noticed recently his booth is empty, not just of him, but also his signage of graceful palms with deep dark lines, the roadmap of life. But he is never there and time goes on and still he does not appear. I have to ask a local where is the swami? 'Don't you know? It's been all over the local papers!' I write for the local papers but I don't read any of them. 'Where is the swami gone?'" (Christina Oxenberg)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MSNBC Screening: Just Eat It

Just Eat It - A food waste story (Official Trailer)

Tom Colicchio was just announced as MSNBC's first food correspondent. And he, and MSNBC invited us to an event for their first food documentary Just Eat It. You can imagine how delicious that sounded. And so we trudged out on a rainy Monday night to ... no reception. Brian Flood of TVNewser put it best:

"MSNBC invited us to an advanced screening of the film Just Eat It, followed by a conversation moderated by celebrity restaurateur and MSNBC food correspondent Tom Colicchio. The foodie in me envisioned piles of the famous Crispy Bacon from Craft, or at least mounds of the Duck Pastrami Pot-Au-Feu from Colicchio & Sons.

"It took about 30 seconds upon arrival to realize there would be no bacon. No tables filled with fancy cured meat. Not a snack in the entire place. See, Just Eat It actually promotes quite the opposite. It’s a film that details how much food is wasted in America each year."

True that.  My growling stomach aside, the documentary was quite astonishing. Some stats: 40% of US food ends up in landfills. 4% of oil produced in the US goes towards producing food that is wasted. Americans throw out the equivalent of $165 billion in food annually.

Filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer decided to spend 6 months without buying groceries at supermarkets in the traditional manner. It is amazing, as the documentary proceeds, how easy it is to find food if you are crafty enough. It is also amazing how much food -- perfectly good food -- is tossed out that is perfectly edible. There is even an "ugly fruit" campaign for fruits and vegetables that are not perfect and thus cannot be sold at supermarkets.

Just Eat It makes its debut on MSNBC tonight 10 PM EST. Watch it for Earth Day.

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

The Daily Breeze newsroom celebrates Pulitzer Prize win by Rob Kuznia, Rebecca Kimitch and Frank Suraci for Centinela Valley School District corruption. 
Photo by Robert Casillas / Daily Breeze
Robert Casillas

"'Oh shit!' Rob Kuznia shouted at his desk on Monday afternoon, startling his colleagues in the public relations department of the Shoah Foundation. Kuznia, the son of a middle school teacher-dad and a medical technician-mom, grew up in the quiet farming community of Grand Forks, North Dakota, on the banks of the Red River, steeped in the sort of prairie values of non-histrionics and personal modesty celebrated in the movie Fargo. So it was very much out of character for the low-key, polite and soft-spoken Kuznia to be shrieking into his cell phone at his cubicle, and then rushing crazily out of the cramped office space that he shares with five co-workers. ;I sit right next him,' said Josh Grossberg, Kuznia’s boss at the foundation office on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles. 'He did scream, and all of a sudden he ran out of the room, I think to call his girlfriend. We all started Googling, and there it was. When he came back he was just glowing—and in a bit of a daze.'Eight months earlier, Kuznia, 38, had left journalism, probably for good, giving up his reporting job at The Daily Breeze in nearby Torrance for the much better-paying PR job, writing press releases and pitching stories on behalf of the educational foundation started by Steven Spielberg and dedicated to memorializing the Holocaust and other episodes of genocide. Kuznia and his longtime girlfriend, freelance web designer Alta Peterson, could barely make ends meet in expensive LA on their combined incomes, let alone his mid-five figure salary at the financially struggling newspaper. 'I could pay the rent, but I really couldn’t do much more than that,' Kuznia told The Daily Beast. 'Savings was kind of non-existent, and buying a house was a pipe dream.' He was pushing 40, working extreme hours at a very demanding job, and living paycheck to paycheck. “I could make my rent, but it was difficult,” he said. 'It was getting to the point of being scary.' Now, suddenly, Kuznia learned that he, Daily Breeze reporter Rebecca Kimitch and editor Frank Suraci had won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s highest award." (TheDailyBeast)

The Same Old New Republic

"Sunday evening, The New Republic published its latest cover story, 'The Ghost of Cornel West.' Written by Black Public Intellectual™ Michael Eric Dyson, the 5,000-word essay thoroughly castigates Cornel West, the well-known Princeton professor and social critic who believes himself to be a prophet. Dyson, who is also a prominent professor with a penchant for performative affectations, was once a disciple of West’s teachings. Dyson will be the first to tell you that he has love for West; early on he refers to him as 'the most exciting black American scholar ever.' But that was a long time ago, and despite both men becoming star intellectuals, it appears to be time for Dyson to take his once mentor and friend to task. Publicly. In The New Republic. (It’s like when a young James Baldwin, not yet the “conscience of America” and star author he would later transform into, attempted to take down Richard Wright—the man he once called 'the greatest black writer in the world'—in his review of Native Son, Wright’s most famous novel.) If you are wondering why such an essay—though, really, “essay” is too nice; this is an attempt to fully ether West’s legacy—appears in the pages of the New New Republic, it is because The 100-Year-Old Magazine of Things White People Think is doing what it has done many times throughout its storied past: treating blackness as a thing to be picked apart. Only this time, they had another black man do the bidding.Here is Ta-Nehisi Coates, in December, on the magazine’s complicated history with race coverage ." (Gawker)

More Mailer

"One of those self important, so called pundits once asked Norman Mailer if fascism was coming to America. The pompous one had once worked for Time magazine, so Norman answered him with a pun. 'It’s going to be a Luce sort of fascism.' Mailer was always unpredictable and hard to pin down where ideology was concerned. I once introduced him to a beautiful Israeli woman who immediately asked him why he had never visited Israel. 'Because they don’t all look like you,' said a smiling Norman. Although Jewish, Mailer was not a fan of right wing Israel. He particularly disliked Israeli extremists and was poignant when discussing the plight of the Palestinians. He referred to his politics as being of the radical conservative persuasion, but kept an open mind, something quite rare in the lofty intellectual circles in which he mixed. He was a good friend of William Buckley and had all sorts of nicknames for Pat Buckley, whom he adored and teased mercilessly.Dinners at the Mailer house in Brooklyn were terrific affairs because of the mix. Sometimes it was just Norris and Norman, my wife and I, and Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show and other memorable works of small town America. One time Abe Rosenthal, then executive editor of the Times, complained to Norman that he couldn’t sit at the same dinner table with me because of the rude things I had written about him. (I only said that if he made love as badly as he wrote, I felt awfully sorry for his wife.) Norman moved me from Abe’s table and placed me next to him. If anything, it was a lesson in manners for Abie baby. Mailer’s feuds, of course, were Homeric in scope and intensity. He famously punched Gore Vidal in Kay Graham’s house in Washington, and had crazed feminists shouting their heads off during televised debates. I always thought he made fools out of female polemicists like Germaine Greer and Betty Friedan, but then I never followed the debates. Anyone who had paid most of his hard earned money to alimony for five wives could not possibly have been a male chauvinist.
" (Taki)

Brooke Garber Neidich and Laurie Tisch

"This past Tuesday night, the Whitney Museum of American Art hosted its Inaugural Dinner and First Look, a black tie gala for 400 of the museum’s top donors and permanent collection artists to fête its new home, designed by architect Renzo Piano, in the Meatpacking District. The evening heralded the Museum’s public opening on May 1, 2015. Upon arrival to this historic event, which was sponsored by Sotheby’s and designed by Bronson Van Wyck, guests were treated to wines and spirits by Dom Pérignon and Moet Hennessy USAas well as a special preview of the museum’s first exhibition in its new home, America Is Hard to See. With over 600 works by some 400 artists spanning from 1900s to current day, the exhibition presents an unprecedented selection of works from the Whitney’s renowned permanent collection." (NYSD)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

MacAfrica's Tribeca Soiree

Our Man in the field.

Last night, the notorious NYC nightclub Provocateur was producer Phil Cohen's The Road With In. The film opens 4/17/2015 at AMC Theatres. "It is like One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest if the (patients) had escaped," is how supermodel emeritus Carol Alt described the film, which stars Kyra Sedgwick, Zoe Kravitz and Dev Patel. Phil Cohen gave tantalizing details about first meeting director Gren Wells, only to add, "and that's all I'm going to tell you unless you buy a ticket." Can I quote you on that? "Yes," both he and Carol Alt said in near-sultry unison. Provocateur, provocative.

Over by the bar was Nick Loeb, who had a rough day in the New York tabloids. I wanted to ask him about it but he said, "I don't talk to press." Understandable. Later in the evening as the crowd gobbled up the amazing hors d'oeuvres prepared by celebrity chef Diane Dimeo before they got to our table, Loeb gave my date some pizza. Even in the midst of a tabloid storm Nick Loeb is a gentleman. Ivy Silberstein, who threw the party, mingled about in glorious triumph.

Also in attendance: Elisa Jordana, Emily Gordon, Hash Halper, Andrea Beecher and Randy Jones of the Village People.