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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres




"At a gathering on Monday night at 740 Park Avenue in Manhattan for Diana Taylor, the girlfriend of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, some of New York’s wealthiest considered a future without the billionaire in charge. There was considerable alarm about Bill de Blasio’s lead in the polls, along with his plan to raise taxes on New York’s upper echelon. 'I fear for New York City if Mr. de Blasio gets elected,' said Muffie Potter Aston. 'He just wants to tax everyone to smithereens. You have to be fair to everyone. You have programs that support all of the people of New York. But if you continue to tax what you see as the upper-income brackets, it’s still only going to be providing a small percentage of additional income.' Aston said this at the home of Christine and Stephen Schwarzman, cofounder of the Blackstone Group. Catching up near her were Barry Diller, David Koch, Barbara Walters, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his wife Victoria, Pepe and Emilia Fanjul, Colin and Elizabeth Callender and Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera. They had all turned out for the city’s first lady manqué, who had been named to the list of influential New Yorkers published annually by the society magazine Avenue. Taylor was on the cover of the A-list issue, a toast to the end of the Bloomberg years. With only three months left for the mayor in office, it was dawning on the 740 Park Avenue set that his end is near. Already the order of things seemed to be slipping ... 'I would love to support a fourth term for Mike Bloomberg. So if we can float that, you can say Muffie Potter Aston wants a fourth term for Michael Bloomberg,' she said. Her concerns about de Blasio were shared by her cohort. 'I’ve never understood why New Yorkers vote against their own interests,' said Jacqueline Weld Drake. 'New York is a city of financial entrepreneurs, of genius stock traders and bankers. It would be a smart idea to keep it that way. It’s not a city that’s going to benefit from high taxes because people who have substantial incomes have a choice. They have a choice of venues. New Jersey beckons. Florida beckons. All kinds of other states who do better at job creation. We are really biting the hand that feeds us. No question about it.'" (WWD)


"'Here it is,' Patti Astor shrieks. 'Here’s my little gallery!' Astor is standing outside a tiny basement storefront at 225 East 11th Street in New York City's East Village, where she and partner Bill Stelling opened the original FUN Gallery in 1981. That was the year after she starred in Eric Mitchell’s landmark low-budget flick Underground U.S.A. and a couple years before her turn as a reporter in Wild Style, Charlie Ahearn’s celebration of early B-boy culture that features the graffiti artists Lee Quinones and Lady Pink Fabara, as well as hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy, Astor's then-boyfriend and a future host of Yo! MTV Raps. If you've never heard of Patti Astor, it may be because she’s one of those people who should take credit for things but doesn’t. Back in the day, she was more interested in making sure the young artists she championed — graffiti masters like Dondi, Zephyr, and Futura 2000, as well as Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and Jean-Michel Basquiat — were properly respected. She's still at it some 30 years later. 'We were the first gallery to give one-man shows to graffiti artists,' says Astor, poking her head into her former gallery, where a guy is renovating the tiny space. 'Our first hit of the big time was [Fab 5 Freddy’s] show. I remember sitting in the gallery, in that tiny room, and Bruno Bischofberger drives up in a limo like a city bus. He looked like Goldfinger and had a babe on each arm. I didn’t know who he was at the time, but [sculptor] Arch Connelly, who was kind of like our art guardian, later told me that Bischofberger was the second biggest collector in the world after Count Panza.' Astor, who sounds like Roseanne Barr, cackles at how ridiculous the names sound. 'Anyway, Bischofberger dumps the babes and pulls out these index cards and starts asking me all these questions: Who is the most important person in graffiti? What do you think of Basquiat?' She snorts derisively." (Vulture)


"I had lunch with Nina Griscom our African diarist. Once upon a time Nina was among the leading young social luminaries of New York. The very young Nina was the toast of the town and Bill Blass’ muse (and great friend). Today she divides her time with her husband Leo Piraino between New York and Millbrook, and a distinctly quieter and more desirable existence. Now she likes projects and purpose." (NYSocialDiary)

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