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THE SOCIAL REGISTER – History of The Association

History of the Social Register Association

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A DELIGHT TO KNOW

Specific to the United States, the Social Register is a directory of names and addresses of the powerful and wealthy individuals who form the social elite, though until recently not necessarily the political or corporate elite; inclusion in the Social Register was formerly a guide to the members of ‘polite society’ — those with ‘old money’.

Social Register cities include San Francisco, New York, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and St. Louis.

The origins of the Association are to be found in 19th-century visiting lists.

These were the names and addresses of the preferred social contacts of prominent families, alphabetically arranged. In 1886, Louis Keller, described in his obituary as “known to more persons here and abroad than any other one resident of New York,” had the idea of consolidating the most important of these lists. His compilation was composed primarily of descendants of the early Dutch and English settlers of his city as well as others intrinsic to the Association’s definition of Society.

Mr. Keller’s formula met with great success and by 1918 there were 18 annual volumes representing 26 cities.

Individual books were published annually until 1976, when they were consolidated into a single definitive book listing the nation’s foremost families.

Today, almost 25,000 entries are included in the winter edition of the Social Register, published by the Association every November.

These listings, which are primarily domestic but include international references as well, record the following:

Family names and addresses of the Association’s members

Membership in clubs and societies

Academic affiliations

Notices of the births, marriages and deaths of those listed as they occur

The summer edition of the Social Register is published in May and contains seasonal information as well as “Dilatory Domiciles” and a list of yachts and their owners.

In May 1994 the Social Register Association introduced the Social Register Observer.

This periodical offers coverage of material, such as obituaries, debuts and engagements, which may no longer be readily available from other sources.

It is published twice a year, concurrently with the winter and summer editions of the Social Register.

THEY CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME

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GREAT DEPRESSION THE MOST GLAMOROUS PARTY ERA

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A nightclub scene as captured by fashion illustrator Rene Bouet-Willamauz in 1936. New York in the 1930s, the decade of the Great Depression, was also, ironically, the most glamorous decade of the American century. It was the zenith of an era of unbridled, unapologetic and authentic luxury that began with the Gilded Age and ended with the Second World War

New York was the most exciting city in the world, the cradle of Modern Times, where milk was still delivered daily in horse-drawn wagons to every doorstep while at the same hour socialites and showgirls were being delivered to their doors in shiny new limousines called motor cars or automobiles or machines with names like Pierce-Arrow, Packard, Cadillac and Lincoln. There was no television for the masses. Radio and the movies were the rage as popular entertainment.

But the high life and the nightlife in New York meant theatre, nightclubs and parties, parties, parties. The rich had no embarrassment about being rich, despite the ubiquitous presence of soup kitchens and men selling apples on street corners.

Except for the occasional sensational scandal that hit the tabloids, like the custody case of poor little Gloria Vanderbilt, the public knew very little about the private lives (or lifestyles) of the very privileged although Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt still lived in the mansion her husband’s grandfather built 50 years before, occupying the entire block at 640 Fifth Avenue. In that way, wealth was more than obvious to those who passed by the many mansions that still lined Fifth Avenue, or to those relatively few who were employed to wait on the well-heeled.

There were jottings in the society columns, like Maury Paul’s “Cholly Knickerbocker” and Walter Winchell’s staccato pronouncements about “Café Society,” (a term invented by Mr. Paul) in the Hearst papers. There were sleek photographic spreads by Louise Dahl Wolfe, Hoyningen-Huene, Horst, and Baron de Meyer in the fashion magazines.

The child-saga of the decade was the world famous custody trial over little Gloria Vanderbilt whose care was wrested from her mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, by her paternal aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

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Gloria with her mother

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Gloria and her aunt Gertrude after the child’s custody had been awarded to her

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Gloria, now sixteen, reconciled with her mother, in Beverly Hills, 1940

But there were no mass audience programs like “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” no tell-all biographies or confessions of a wronged wife or jilted mistress (although there were always plenty of those). Life for the privileged many was still, in the words of the quintessential sophisticate and wit of his age, Cole Porter: “delightful, delicious and de-lovely.” At least on the face of it.

IT’S DE-LOVELY

The social season began in October, which is when the Broadway openings were in full force (shows opened all year round). Everyone dressed in evening clothes, which meant long dresses, jewels and furs for the women and black tie or often white tie for the men. Suits and skirts were for the hoi polloi in the balcony and never, ever was there a sweatshirt to be seen in any public place of any kind (except, possibly, by an actor on-stage or in a film).

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The original “Cholly Knickerbocker,” Maury Paul who coined the term “Cafe Society,” being served his breakfast in bed

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Society scribe Lucius Beebe and Maury Paul clubbing

Theatre had a more distinct and stronger connection to society and in cultural life than it does today. Broadway stars were famous in both the city and the country, and they were sought-after. There were openings every week right up through March. There were parties after the openings.

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“Swope of the World,” the most famous newspaper editor of his day, Herbert Bayard Swope of the New York World, in front of his famous house on Long Island

Maggie and Herbert Bayard Swope (the editor of the New York World, later the World Telegram & Sun) employed two shifts of servants, one for day and one for night, so that guests could drop by anytime, especially after the theatre.

The Swopes’ weekend house parties at their mansion at King’s Point was thought to be the model for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (it probably wasn’t). International theatrical producer Gilbert Miller and his wife Kitty often filled the Fifth Avenue of Mrs. Miller’s father, investment banker Jules Bache, (the man who created the business deal that became the Chrysler Corporation), with stars of stage and screen mingling with tycoons, dowagers and debutantes.

Mrs. Frances Wellman, now long forgotten, was another hostess famous in New York for her opening night parties in her Park Avenue apartment. Conde Nast, the man, kept two floors at 1040 Park Avenue (northwest corner of 86th Street).

Mr. Nast threw lavish parties, often for hundreds of guests of different stripes, talents and ages all together, in the penthouse. His daughter Natica (who later married Gerald Warburg) occupied the floor below. Lady Mendl (nee Elsie de Wolfe), decorated the penthouse’s enormous reception room, the smaller library and the dining room. Buffets were set up on the terraces, which were covered for use during the winter months. Live orchestras were the standard entertainment fare there and everywhere else. Everybody danced, danced, danced.

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The Terrace of Conde Nast’s Park Avenue penthouse, scene of some of the most celebrated parties of the decade, as decorated by Elsie de Wolfe, Lady Mendl. Inset: Lady Mendl with her adored pooch

The Nast parties usually began about ten or ten-thirty and ran until two or later. Broadway met Hollywood, European royalty, Social Registerites, artists, and other denizens of the Conde Nast publications. Both Cole Porter and George Gershwin were frequently present at these affairs where the orchestra filled the rooms with their music.

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George Gershwin, the darling of the society hostesses who could get him to accept their invitations

GERSHWIN PLAYS GERSHWIN

Porter, who was somewhat shy, was not wont to play or perform for large groups, but Gershwin, in the words of one old friend, “would play at the drop of a piano.”

A MUSICAL PRODIGY WHO LED THE LIFE

Porter had great admiration for himself. He could play his music for hours, which was fair enough as far as everyone else was concerned.

LET’S DO MISBEHAVE

The women had great admiration for him too, and a few other thoughts to go along with it. A great egotist but never obnoxious, he was always very nice with people. Manners were very much intrinsic to the style of the time.

Ballet barely existed. Monday night was the big night at the Opera at the old Met on 39th and Seventh Avenue, where the private boxes in the “Diamond Horseshoe” still saw its share of Vanderbilts, Astors, Whitneys, Goelets resplendent with their ancient lorgnettes, glittering tiaras and ermine capes. Thursdays night were for the Symphony, which was also broadcast on Sundays (although the Smart Set was still away for the weekend).

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Mrs. Harrison McKown Twombly, the last surviving granddaughter of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt (who died in 1877), arriving in her maroon Rolls with her chauffeur in maroon livery, at the Opera on a Monday night. Florence Twombly kept up the style of her Gilded Age youth right to the time of her death at 98 in 1952. The staff at her Florham, New Jersey estate numbered 126 including 30 gardeners, 4 footmen, and 8 housemaids

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Grace, the last Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt arriving at the opera in November 1939, wearing her famous three trademarks: the bandeau, on her forehead, her diamond stomacher and her silver fox wrap. Grace Wilson Vanderbilt’s husband was disinherited by his father because of the marriage to her whose family was regarded as “arriviste” although her siblings married Astors and Goelets as well

Nightclubs, such as the Embassy on 57th Street and El Morocco (then on 54th) got started about eleven and were jammed until four. The Casino in the Park, decorated by set designer Joseph Urban (Ziegfeld Follies) got going at five in the afternoon with tea dancing.

After eight, many gave dinner parties at the Casino for 12 or 14 or 20 or 40 under the vaulted dark blue celing painted with flowers that ran continguously down the walls and across the dance floor. Leo Reisman’s orchestra played with Eddie Duchin at the piano.

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The interior of the original El Morocco with its famous blue zebra stripe banquettes

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The Stork Club at 3 East 53rd Street (where Paley Park is today), circa 1935

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A bachelor party held at “21″ in 1935 for George Vanderbilt with guests including William Randolph Hearst Jr., and songwriter (“Stardust”), Hoagy Carmichael (bottom right)

Over at the Waldorf (newly opened in 1931), the be-jowled and bovine and very unbeautiful Elsa Maxwell was making a stellar name for herself and the hotel by giving parties for one hundred or two hundred and fifty people. The hostess, who lived high on the cuff, was in the business of showing the swells a good time and she did it famously and brilliantly. The Waldorf put her up, and very well, thank you; on the house, in one of its Towers apartments whose residents included the Cole Porters and later the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Wealthy pals would supply infinite cases of champagne and tins of caviar with the hotel kicking in the service and the rest of the food and the liquor.

Elsa Maxwell promoted entertainers and musicians by getting them to perform gratis and the day after a party (and for years afterwards), the hotel was awash in publicity in the newspapers and magazines. One of Maxwell’s friends and supporters, Mrs. Millicent Hearst, the left-alone wife of the legendary newspaper publisher who by then had taken up full time residence in California with his mistress Marion Davies, gave dinner dances for sixty or a hundred in her enormous triplex on Riverside Drive overlooking the Hudson, and then later at a suitably sprawling apartment on Park Avenue.

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Elsa Maxwell and one of boosters, and neighbors at the Waldorf Towers, Cole Porter, who celebrated her party-giving and entertainments in the lyrics of his songs

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Elsa Maxwell in costume for a party skit with actor Reginald Gardener (to her immediate left), comedian Bert Lahr (on the right), and stripper Della Carroll (far left)

Having a good butler was very important in those days and no great hostess would be without one. Mona, Mrs. Harrison Williams (later Countess Bismarck), had one of the great butlers, a man named Philip who was not only goodlooking, charming with guests and ran things beautifully, but in the words of one frequent visitor, “knew everything about everything including the guests.”

A good butler set the tone of the household. Jules Bache’s butler was well known for robbing his employer blind but also for running the banker’s house beautifully and supervising the wonderful service at the table. Guests never sat and lingered over an empty plate at a Bache dinner or worried where their sable was after the party was over.

American’s original “rich-bitch,” dime store heiress Barbara Hutton made her debut at the Ritz in 1933 at beautiful party that set her trustees back $50,000 which was like $5 million those hard-up times. “Sweet, pleasant, and nothing,” in the words of one who knew her well (and liked her). Miss Hutton endured severe public criticism.

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Dime store heiress Barbara Hutton at her 1931 debutante party at the Ritz Carlton

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Left: Debutante Mimi Baker with her mother, Bromo–Seltzer heiress Margaret Emerson (also the mother of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt Jr.) at her debut

The extravagance of Barbara Hutton’s party (cost: $50,000, the equivalent of a million today) caused such public outrage that she was openly referred to as the “rich-bitch” and she fled to Europe. But rich she was: approximately three quarters of a billion in today’s dollars. None of it added up to happiness, however. After decades of drugs, husbands (eight) and legendary extravagant spending, she died in her suite at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills with less than $3,000 in her bank account.

A chubbette with an absolutely beautiful face and a mother who committed suicide when the girl was 12, Hutton was devoid of personality yet stunning just sitting around in her spectacular jewelry (which she knew a great deal about), such as her earrings of three marquise diamonds each.

Much of Hutton’s jewelry was bought from Jules Glaenzer, the supersalesman of Cartier and another party giver of the first order. Hutton’s aunt Jessie Donahue was his biggest customer.

Tiffany was in the business of course, but Cartier was the outstanding jeweler when it came to the big stuff. Harry Winston was in the business of selling stones and Fulco, the duc di Verdura, enchanted the chic young women with his colorful and witty creations, which today are collector’s items. Women had lots of jewelry – the real thing – and wore it all the time, day and night – and wore it without any fear of being accosted and maybe killed on the street for it.

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The most famous debutante of the 1930s, Brenda Frazier at her coming-oiut party at the Waldorf in 1938, Frazier’s life was at its peak at this time

Fashion designers had NO social status whatsoever. Zero. Nobody paid any attention to them except for what they had to say about the way a dress fit. Women got their clothes from Europe, mainly Paris. Hattie Carnegie imported clothes, as did Bergdorf’s and Saks. Women such as Mona Williams, Barbara Hutton, Dorothy (Mrs. William) Paley, Millicent Rogers, Thelma (Chrysler) Foy, Janet (Mrs. William Rhinelander) Stewart and Linda Porter, went to them to have their clothes made. Sophie Gimbel also designed under her own label, Sophie of Saks. Hattie Carnegie employed designers as well, including Norman Norell at the beginning of his career, and Jean Louis, who later made his name in Hollywood; and much later, at the suggestion of Dorothy Paley, Hattie Carnegie hired Pauline Potter who later married Baron Philippe de Rothschild. The brilliant but wildly eccentric Charles James was on the scene but on a very small scale.

Museums were also for the rich. They had very little influence in the art world and were never used for dinner dances or wedding receptions. Pictures were for the rich to enjoy in the privacy of their own palaces, although they did support the museums. Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s museum down on Eighth Street was considered very Greenwich Village, although it was very important because the Met wasn’t paying any attention to the American painters. Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s Museum of Modern Art caused much excitement but was just getting started. The big, highly respected dealers were Knoedler’s and Duveen Brothers who had supplied Frick, Hearst, Bache, Morgan, Huntington and Mellon with pictures, mainly Old Masters.

Lord Duveen, a dark haired, moustachioed man, was another with a supersalesman personality. He very persuasively played the role of the expert but was so deferential to the customers’ taste that the skeptics often mistrusted his authority.

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Two fashionable hostesses of the decade: Dorothy (Mrs. William) Paley in her Beekman Place townhouse, above, and Mona (Mrs. Harrison) Williams, below

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The Harrison Williams house at 94th and Fifth Avenue, designed and built by Delano and Aldrich for the Willard Straights (Mrs. Straight was Dorothy Whitney) in 1904; now owned by investor Bruce Kovner

The big collections were still in private hands. Utitlities tycoon George Blumenthal, for example, lived in an enormous house on the corner of 70th and Park that had a pool and a famous indoor courtyard that now resides at the Met. Chester and Maude Dale had a huge collection of 20th century paintings in their house. Art Deco, after the 1920s, dominated the art of the modern world. By the 30s, it appealed to the young and the daring who were also rich enough to adpat it to their daily lives.

Taste had begun to change in 1913 with the Armory Show where Marcel Duchamp shocked the world and the so-called Impressionists gained acceptance with forward-thinking moneyed collectors. But Mr. Havemeyer was still buying Old Masters through Duveen, while his wife, under the guidance of Mary Cassatt was buying Impressionists.

The ladies who lunched went to Voisin or the Colony and everybody saw everybody they knew. Clara, who ran the ladies room at the Colony, kept everybody’s dog while they lunched. The dogs were very happy which made customers happy because women in those days took their dogs everywhere.

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Jewelry designer Fulco Verdura and Scottie poolside at Kiluna Farm, the Manhasset estate of Dorothy and William Paley

Men and women also smoked their heads off throughout their meals with nary a complaint in the house. They also drank a cocktail or three … or four.

Men who didn’t lunch often kept bankers’ hours and visited their clubs by mid-afternoon for camaraderie as well as exercise that frequently consisted solely of elbow bending. Some never bothered even with the bankers’ hours. William Rhinelander Stewart rarely rose before noon. When friend called before rousing time, his butler was instructed to tell them that master was busy having a run around the Park. Others, such as Vincent Astor and Willie K. Vanderbilt Jr., deserted New York as much as possible for long voyages on their huge oceangoing yachts (the Nourmahal and the Alva).

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Grace (Mrs. Cornelius) Vanderbilt in the drawing room of her 640 Fifth Avenue mansion at 52nd Street, where she entertained en masse (one year she had 30,000 guests)

It was the age of the hostess. Mona Williams held forth at the Williams mansion, the former Willard Straight house on 94th and Fifth (now the residence of hedge fund owner Bruce Kovner). Mrs. Williams, husband number three, 23 years his wife’s senior was known as the “utilities king” and was said to be one of the world’s richest men with an estimated $800 million fortune (many billions in today’s currency).

He was a man of many prejudices, particularly towards those who fell into his category of “useless.” Blind people, for example, seemed “useless” to Mr. Williams, as were the disabled. All considerations were shunted aside in considering the value of his wife, who managed to make herself useful by being absolutely beautiful, always on the best-dressed list, as well as sweet and warm and friendly.

Another great hostess was Thelma Foy whose father, Walter P. Chrysler, gave Ford and General Motors a run for their money. A woman devoted to fashion, Mrs. Foy lived in a large apartment with English furniture. Then when Birdie (the first Mrs. William K.) Vanderbilt died, Mrs. Foy bought her mansion on East 91 Street. English had ceased to be fashionable and so Mrs. Foy went to French and Company and installed all French furniture (18th century, that is). Best dressed with beautiful clothes and beautiful jewels, Thelma Foy entertained big.

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In the 1940s, the big house at 640 was sold and Mrs. Vanderbilt moved to what she referred to as “the gardener’s cottage,” a 28-room mansion at 1048 Fifth at 86th Street (now the Neue Galerie). With a staff of 18 she continued to entertain in large numbers. Interesting and attractive men were, in her opinion, the key to a successful party. She kept a list of 138 eligible men broken up into categories like: “men who will dance,” “men who can lunch,” and “men who will go to the theatre but not the opera.”

Her dining room table was always decorated with long stemmed roses in flat bowls that caused guests to complain (among themselves) that they couldn’t see the person across the table. Although could see their hostess who was always quite stunning to look at.

For the most part, the platinum privileged class hated Roosevelt (whom they often referred to as Rosen-velt or “that man”), whom they considered a class traitor.

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Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in her studio. Although she was famous in the 1930s for her pressing the custody battle of her niece Gloria, Mrs. Whitney’s passion was her art and she is remembered for founding the Whitney Museum of American Art which flourishes almost a century later

His wife was beyond that, something even worse in the consensus of these people, for she consorted with blacks and was a communist as far as they were concerned. All the Roosevelts meant to them was taxes, taxes and more taxes, which of course could put a strain on the monthly bill from Cartier.

Then Hitler turned out to be no joke and the War came. Men went off to Europe. No more Paris frocks. The decade ended. Mrs. Vanderbilt sold the big house at 640 and moved up the avenue to 86th Street (now the Neue Galerie), little Gloria Vanderbilt “Happy at Last” moved to Hollywood and in with her mother until she married her first husband (she was sixteen he was 31). Vincent Astor gave his yacht to the U.S. Navy.

American women went to work in the wartime factories, as did the former butlers and scullery maids. When the War was over, television came into the mainstream and nightlife died, marriages ended, manners went out the window, they raced into the space age and it’s never been the same since.

UP AND DOWN PARK AVENUE

WITH MY BABY

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CHANEL REDESIGNS flagship in Beverly Hills

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Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel
Photographs by Getty Images and Jeanne Lawrence

CHANEL SPRING & SUMMER 2008

BY JEANNE LAWRENCE

Chanel unveiled its newly redesigned flagship store in Beverly Hills, and for the opening partnered with P.S. Arts, the Los Angeles-based organization that raises funds for arts education in public schools.

The evening’s chairs were: Maria Bell (who chaired The National Arts Awards in NYC in October), Rachel Bilson, Susan Casden, Kristin Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kelly Fisher Katz, Kate Mara, Robin McMonigle, Carolyn Powers, Carla Sands, Elizabeth Stewart, Kerry Washington, and Candie Weitz.

Internationally acclaimed New York-based architect, Peter Marino, designed this smashing Chanel Boutique, the new focus on Rodeo Drive, dubbed the Madison Avenue of Beverly Hills by some.

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Architect Peter Marino and LED creation

Using the classic Chanel No. 5 perfume box as inspiration, Marino transformed the boutique’s façade with milky white micro glass outlined in blackened steel, recreating the trademark packaging perfectly.

The interior, especially the grand staircase, was built with the same impeccable detail, reminiscent of Gabrielle Chanel’s (aka Coco) Paris Boutique, the orphan girl who reigned as fashion’s most formidable force. Still the décor features modern twists like the LED luminary wall and custom carpets patterned after Chanel’s classic tweeds. Nick Markowitz

My good friend Gay Gassmann, Marino’s European associate, invited me to meet the internationally renowned artists who were commissioned to create the site-specific works “inspired by Mademoiselle Chanel’s emblems.”

Artists like Belgian ceramic sculpture Johan Creten, American painter Peter Dayton, French Francois-Xavier Lalanne, French sculpture Jean-Michel Othoniel, Italian Paola Pivi, American photographer Alec Soth, and Iranian émigré Y.Z. Kami –were all there to mix, mingle and meet the fortunate party guests.

My Los Angeles friends mentioned that unlike New York, LA society doesn’t get much press since Hollywood usually hogs the spotlight. Tonight was different, however, since the host committee was filled with society leaders, celebrities, and the movers and shakers of the city.

The guests were beautiful, chic and soignée, and classically clad in vintage and contemporary Chanel designs, while carrying those signature handbags.

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P.S. ARTS HOST committee members Maria Bell, Kelly Fisher Katz, Carolyn Powers, and Robin McMonigle

Other lovelies in the crowd were: Hillary Duff, Lisa Kudrow (of the TV’s Friends), Kristen Bell, Kate Beckinsale, Colleen Bell, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Angie Harmon – whose new TV hit, James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club, Amanda Peet, Shiva Rose, Suzanne Saperstein (who hosted a ladies luncheon the next day at her French inspired chateaux), and Karen Winnick.

Other VIP clients showed up too: Cornelia Guest, daughter of the late CZ Guest, the Dupont twins, diet guru Nikki Haskell, Annette O’Malley, who was “off to Tuscany to shop and eat”, Stephanie Ejabat, Board member of P.S. Arts and San Francisco Ballet along with her mother Virginia Barrage of Santa Barbara. Style icon Liz Goldwyn, granddaughter of MGM’S Samuel Goldwyn, lent a touch of Hollywood royalty.

Teryn Davis, of Santa Barbara and Aspen, arrived wearing a white couture Chanel from Paris, mentioning that Karl Lagerfeld shot her portrait at his Paris home, which she described as “magnificent.”

Out-of-towners included Napa Valley vintner Michael Polenske, who donated his BlackBird wine for the night. Knowing he was a founding member of the Napa Valley Reserve, an elite wine club, I introduced him to Mary and Reese Milner, who are also members.

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Boutique concept mimics iconic Chanel No. 5 packaging

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Beverly Hills Boutique on Rodeo Drive

As the conversation turned from fashion to wine, Carrie and Bill Powers joined in. By the way, in November the Powers Field in Princeton Stadium was dedicated to the family after they made the largest ever donation to Princeton’s athletics. Paul MacCaskill joined the conversation and talked of his wife, Laurie MacCaskill, a pancreatic cancer survivor who recently received the Spirit ofHope Award at the Evening with the Stars, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

The entire New York Chanel corporate office must have flown to LA for the occasion: President and COO John Galantic, Barbara Cirkva, Susan Clatworthy, Rebekah McCabe, Gretchen Fenton, and Arianne Gold.

Mary said, “We all love Matthew Amendolaro, the new Chanel GM by way of Neiman Marcus. “I think ‘Chanel’ was surprised he knew everyone who walked through the door -they’re fortunate to have him.”

Fashionable San Franciscan, Samantha Traina, displayed the fashion sense she developed from years of tagging along with her mother, Danielle Steel, to those couture fashion shows. With such a well-trained eye and that literary background, she’s now Associate Fashion Editor for ‘C’ magazine.

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Paparazzi and locals ogle crowd

Bay area couture collector Tatiana Sorokko chatted with LA designer Monique Lhuillier, famous for her wedding dresses and evening wear so popular with the stars. “I look up to Chanel and I love her sense of style,” said Lhuillier. “Karl Lagerfeld has infused modernity which is so desirable. It’s magical, the epitome of style.”

Those ‘in the know’ headed to the exclusive fourth floor VIP penthouse with it’s lacquered walls, white banquettes and wraparound rooftop terrace, crammed with clusters of white flowers and the ubiquitous double-C logo.

“Chanel is my basic black dress,” added Lauren King. “If I don’t know what to do, I wear a Chanel and I feel right …it’s classic and timeless.”

Smartly dressed Ina Hocutta in head to toe Chanel added, “I’ve been shopping Chanel for 30 years and wear it exclusively. I keep all the old and new together – the shoes are 8 years old, but they work with this year’s clothes. It keeps my life simple.”

Perhaps Bill Davis had the best line of the night. He retold how he dared ask the great Lagerfeld, “How come you designers make so much money by getting us to pay for all those clothes when all we want to do is take them off.”

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CEO of Chanel Barbara Cirkva, John Galantic, President of Coty Beauty, U.S., and Susan Clatworthy, Senior VP of Retail Division

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Rachel Bilson

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Kate Beckinsale and director Len Wiseman

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Ginnifer Goodwin

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Kate Mara

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Lisa Kudrow

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Kerry Washington

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Jennifer Morrison

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Amanda Peet

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Kelly Carlson

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Hilary Duff

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Sarah Michelle Gellar

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Barbara Cirkva

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Jeanne Lawrence and Teryn Davis

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Decked out in Chanel Gay Gassmann, Paris associate of Peter Marino

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Pure white flowers

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Artist Johan Creten

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Artist Peter Dayton

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Artist Francois-Xavier Lalanne and his wife

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Artist Jean-Michel Othoniel

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Artist Paola Pivi

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Artist Alec Soth

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Chanel Signature

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Chris Klein and architect Peter Marino

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Producers Robert and Richard Dupont with Cornelia Guest

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Lauren Pronger and Joanne Maleyd of Newport Beach

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Kathy and Rick Hilton

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Reese Milner, Bill Powers, Carolyn Powers, Paul McCatskill, Mary Milner, and Michael Polenske

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Stephanie Ejabat, Beverly Barlage, and Maria Bell

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C Magazine’s Nathan Cooper, Jennifer Hale, and Gina Tolleson

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Walking down Rodeo toward Beverley Wilshire

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Hot cars, of course

VIP Dinner at Cut, Wolfgang Puck’s Newest

After a lively cocktail party, those who were lucky snagged the invitation to the private dinner at the CUT, the new restaurant at the ritzy Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, a few blocks away.

Wolfgang Puck, the chef with a food empire, created CUT – a contemporary version on the classic steakhouse – and worked with architect Richard Meier (designed the Getty Center) who designed this trademark all-white space with Lucite tables and chairs.

Guests raved about the LA food scene and the exquisite dinner of Angus “Kobe Style” Beef from Mishima Ranch, and line-caught salmon as well as vegetarian options; after all this is a body-conscious city.

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Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and his fiancee Gelila Assefa

But Christine Wellner commented to me, knowing I live in NYC too, “But my 7-year old son loves NY because there’s a hot dog stand on every corner…that’s what makes him happy.”

A group from Newport Beach in Orange County drove up and included P.S. Arts board member and mother of four, Robin McMonigle, “This is a star studded evening and it’s so very nice to see actor Chris Klein on the board and involved…it really helps.” she said.

These gals were all wearing the white J12 watch. “We love it and we often buy the same pieces as we have the same taste,” said Joanne Maleyd. “We could save a lot of money if we shared our Chanel jewelry.”

“Any Chanel is timeless…who can disagree with that,” added her friend Lauren Pronger.

The surprise entertainment for the night was the special performance by Cat Power who sang her soulful songs in this private sexy cabaret setting. As I left after midnight, I noticed the “Chanel Team” was finally able to relax and enjoy themselves, and were recapping the success of the evening. Even Peter Marino stayed until the very end.

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A general view is seen during the CHANEL and P.S. ARTS Party held at CUT inside the Beverly Wilshire

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Cat Power entertains

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Chanel team, there to the end

Taking advantage of Beverly Hills’s Rodeo Drive the following day…

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Barneys New York-LA

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Armani

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D&G, of course

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Bijan

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Brooks Brothers

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Fashion fun at Juicy Couture

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NY style deli down the street

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Ralph Lauren

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Hermes

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Gucci

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Lana Marks the spot

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Open air Prada

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Louis Vuitton

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NEWSOM LAUNCHES STRICTER CONTROL OF CARBON EMISSIONS – New building construction and renovation of existing buildings – Commerical and residential

BY PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

San Francisco will tighten control of carbon emissions under legislation proposed today by Mayor Gavin Newsom, requiring stricter regulation of new building construction and renovation of existing buildings.

New commerical buildings, residential buildings more than 75 feet in height, and renovation of structures with more than 25,000 square feet will be affected by the ordiance, Newsom detailed in a morning press conference at the 555 Market Street highrise construction site.

Buildings — highrises and homes — cause half the problem of global warming, the mayor pointed out.

“It is estimated nationally that about one-third of all of the CO2 footprint in the United States comes from the operation and construction of buildings,” Newsom related within the Tishman Speyer construction area.

“In cities that percentage is much higher.

“Some cities, like Chicago, it’s in excess of 60%

“In most big cities its about 50%.

“We internally have a number set at 49% here in the City and County of San Francisco.

MANY SURPRISED HALF OF GLOBAL WARMING COMES FROM BUILDINGS

“So half of your CO2 emissions do not come from the sources that most people would otherwise expect.

“They come from the construction, and the operation, and the demolition of buildings like these.

“So if you’re going to get serious about the environment, get serious CO2 emissions, you’ve got to get serious the operation of these buildings and the construction and the design elements.

“That’s why San Francisco 2004 established one of the first requirements for all our municipal construction that would elevate that construction to LEED certified standards.

STRICTER REGULATION MOVES TO PRIVATE SECTOR

“That was in all municipal buildings. Which was great. And it has worked.

“So when you see a new library being constructed, it is with LEED Silver Standards.

“When you see the new Academy of Science, we actually went further — it’s LEED Platinum.

“But you have all these buildings go up in San Francisco and they don’t have similar requirements.”

INCENTIVIED STRATEGY BY FAST-TRACKING PERMIT ISSUANCE

“In an effort to incentivize that same strategy, a couple of years ago we actually said to developers like Tishman Speyers, ‘Look, we’ll make you a deal. If you do the right thing, from our perspective the right thing with the environment, we’ll try to fast-track your permits through the Department of Building Inspection (DBI).’

“And actually created a new line at DBI so that folks can get their permits much sooner.

STRATEGY WORKED

“The value of money is such that a lot of these developers have taken advantage of that.

“Eight large buildings have taken advantage of that.

“Six are now in queue.

“That program has worked quite well and you’ve seen similar programs across the rest of the country.

NEXT PHASE

“Now it’s time for the next phase.

“We said, ‘While that’s great, 14 or so buildings in the queue, we’ve got about 3 million square feet of new development that we’re projecting on an annual basis in the next few years.

“Eight hundred-plus thousand commerical office, about 1.2 million square feet of highrise, residential space, and about a million square feet of other residential construction.

“How can we capture that, so that we’re now just dealing with a percentage of that construction with the highest level of green building standards?

GREEN BUILDING TASK FORCE

“That’s really the mandate that brought this Green Building Task Force together in March of last year.

“They came together for a number months to put forth recommendations that now we have organized into a legislative forum.

PHASE IN

Beginning in 2008, through GreenPoint and LEED certification, all new construction in San Francisco would be required to follow these green standards.

“Phased in of 2008 to 2008 is LEED Gold Certification.

“Highrises would meet a certain criteria. Low-rises and commerical residential something different.

“But you start with a high bar relative to any city in the United States and that bar would increase each and every year.

“The phased-in approach is respectful to the realities of the market but at the same time consistent with the values of our City.”

See Related: GLOBAL WARMING

See Related: WORLD POLITICS

See Related: ALLIANCE FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION

See Related: SAN FRANCISCO ENVIRONMENT

See Related: PG&E CLIMATE SMART

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past ten years. Pat scribes an offbeat view of the human family through Believe It or What. Email Pat Murphy at SanFranciscoSentinel@yahoo.com.

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SAN FRANCISCO CAB DRIVERS HONORED by City Taxi Commission

Twelve San Francisco cab drivers were honored today during the San Francisco Taxi Commission second annual Taxi Appreciation Luncheon.

Certificates of Appreciation were awarded during the noon event held at Park Chalet.

The Taxi Commission has received an overwhelming response of donations which exceed $1000 and were raffled off to the drivers in attendance.

Generous contributions from our local business community include a champagne brunch for two at the Cliff House, dinner for two at the Four Seasons, and four tickets to Beach Blanket Babylon.

Other contributors included Clear Channel Outdoor, Westfield Mall and a number of local independent restaurants including Mangarosa, First Crush, the Stinking Rose and more.

“We are thrilled to see this outpouring of support from the local business community,” said Commissioner Paul Gillespie, President of the Taxi Commission.

According to the San Francisco Visitors Bureau, in 2006 there were over 15 million visitors in San Francisco.

The generous donations provided by the local community are evidence that the taxi industry and drivers are important means of transportation to hotels, restaurants, and San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods.

Approximately sixty people attended, including company owners, drivers, Taxi Commissioners and Commission staff.

“The Commission is very pleased to honor these hard-working drivers for their hard work and dedication,” said Heidi Machen, Executive Director of the Taxi Commission.

“This is just a small sampling of the many talented taxi drivers who navigate our streets and transport thousands of people on a daily basis.”

The San Francisco Taxi Commission is the City’s regulatory agency which oversees 7,000 licensed taxi drivers, 1,431 permits to operate a vehicle as a taxi, 34 taxi companies and 11 dispatch companies.

The Taxi Commission comprises seven Mayoral appointees that serve two-year terms, that represent taxi drivers, taxi companies, the public, seniors and disabled, the hospitality industry and the neighborhoods.

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JETBLUE DONATES $80,000 to Alameda and San Francisco Food Banks

An $80,000 donation to be split between two Bay Area food banks was made Monday by JetBlue Airways , company spokesman Bryan Baldwin said.

The Alameda County Community Food Bank and the San Francisco Food Bank will each receive about $40,000 to buy food for community members in need of help, according to officials.

The San Francisco Food Bank, located at 900 Pennsylvania Ave., will purchase food to be used after holiday donations have slowed down, spokesman Jeff Gillenkirk said.

“Our message is that hunger is year round,” he said.

Each $1 donated to the food bank amounts to $9 worth of food, Gillenkirk said, so the $40,000 donation will allow the food bank to purchase a large amount of food to be used all year.

Officials at the Alameda County Community Food Bank, located at 7900 Edgewater Drive in Oakland, estimate that the donation will be used to provide 240,000 meals for low-income individuals in the Bay Area.

“This is a critical time of the year when people may have to choose between heating their home or putting food on the table,” said Suzan Bateson, executive director of the Alameda County Food Bank.

“JetBlue’s generous donation will help feed the thousands of residents who find themselves in need of our services during the holiday season.”

JetBlue collected the money from May 3 to June 3, the first month that the airline began service at San Francisco International Airport, Baldwin said.

Money from ticket bookings for flights into and out of SFO was collected and used to make the donations.

JetBlue officials made the commitment to give back to the Bay Area community when service to SFO started, and a community relations team designated the two food banks as recipients, according to Baldwin.

The company typically becomes involved in communities around airports that offer JetBlue service by contributing to groups involving children, education, the community and the environment, Baldwin said.

“Now that we serve three airports in the Bay Area, it’s a really important market to us, and we continue to look for ways to get involved in the community,” Baldwin said.

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TRAVEL: Mysterious Shopping in New York Chinatown

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Doggy Kimona. $18-$25 from PEARL OF THE ORIENT.

BY ANITA SARKO

Between the generally awful food, the toxic shock of Chinese-produced toys and wretched memories of jury duty, it’s rare that the typical Manhattanite would consider Chinatown to be destination shopping. In addition, when fave Chinese one-stop shopping emporium, Pearl River, moved further north on Broadway, it seemed TOTALLY unnecessary to take that slow train or walk.

Alas: We were wrong. (Slap slap)

During my latest jury duty torture session, I found that I actually enjoyed my lunchtime strolls through the area. Therefore, I returned a few more times to REALLY peruse the offerings.

It was a gift shop, PINK COLLECTION INC. (75 Baxter St., 212.608.5666), that first caught my eye. Actually, it was the massive lit piggybank in the window. Once inside, I was mesmerized by not only all the porcine-themed merchandise, but the quality and uniqueness of their Hello Kitty items. For some odd reason, the owner banned me from shooting pictures of one wall. Even odder, he later changed his mind … with much fanfare.

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Baseball Pig nightlife. $35 from PINK COLLECTION INC.; atop Hello Kitty seat/playchest ($18).

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Stuffed pig. $35 from PINK COLLECTION INC.

There was NOTHING inflammatory on the forbidden wall, nothing obscene, nothing embarrassing. There were just bedazzled tschostkes, as far as I could tell. “Why wouldn’t he let me photograph that wall before?” I asked the adorable salesgirl who was interpreting his directives. “I have no idea.” She laughed.

I stupidly wondered to myself (thankfully) why there were so many pigs … until I remembered that this was the year of, according to the Chinese calendar. (Duh) Luckily, I asked the salesgirl her name before I left. “Kitty.” She replied. How perfect. “Goodbye Kitty.” (Bet she hasn’t heard THAT one before …)

Cat grass was about the only thing missing from the exotic array of plants displayed at MANHATTAN FLORIST & GIFTS, LTD (878 Bayard St., 212.385.0003). Shoved into the cramped space were everything from Money Trees (“Those are for good luck”) to Buddha’s Hand (the weird fingered citrus fruits that have started to appear in posh groceries) to festive Holly adorned with berries in red or pink. If a vase of Holly is too mundane a hostess gift during the holidays, there’s always the Wow Factor attained by carting in a prehistoric looking Pitcher Plant.

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Pitcher Plant. $32 from MANHATTAN FLORIST & GIFTS, LTD.

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Money Tree. $20-$225 from MANHATTAN FLORIST & GIFTS, LTD.

These carnivorous oddities are part of the Venus Flytrap family and can grow to be large enough to not only solve insect problems, but actually ingest rodents. “Magazines and TV programs come in here all the time. So do movies.” The proprietress boasted. “They love to use our plants as props.” However, when I asked her to tell me which magazines, programs and movies, she looked at me like I was insane. “I CAN’T reveal their names!” She said firmly.

First the wall, now this: What ARE these people hiding?

The only thing kept hush-hush at the next interesting shop was the NAME. It had none. However, if you’re looking for really interesting and well-crafted Chinese shoes and slippers, go to the corner of Mott and Pell Streets. While on Pell, you might as well attend to the other end of your body since Pell is obviously Japanese hair-straightening central. There’s salon after salon after salon …

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Pink silk jacket with Velvet Centipedes and Heavy Embroidery. $85 from WHOLE WORLD FASHION BOUTIQUE, INC.

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Shoe display. $28-$38 from Corner of Mott and Pell Streets.

I was so knocked out by the gorgeous fabrics and unique designs of the made-to-order clothing at MADAM DESIGN INC. (38 Mott St., 212.349.0818), I literally begged the owner, Susan Din, to let me take photos. She responded to my pleas with a look of extreme alarm. “Must paint a picture of computer so I can see!” She responded ominously. “PRINT a picture?” I asked.

“Paint! Paint! No picture! No picture!” She yelled. “Please?” I piteously nagged. “No!” She answered firmly, then pointed to a dress I had chosen. “No more of that material!” I gave up. Just so you know, this place is really worth checking out. Frockcoats are around $180 and custom silk Cheongsams go from approximately $280 (no piping) to $400 (single piping). Naturally, prices depend on the materials used.

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Rose cut-velvet chiffon Cheongsam. $268 from WHOLE WORLD FASHION BOUTIQUE, INC.

“These are people from old country who think they’re still there.” Explained Carol Tsao, owner of the neighboring PEARL OF THE ORIENT GALLERY (36 Mott St., 212.267.5765). “They are afraid.”

“Don’t listen to them” said the man eating takeout next to her. “It’s legal HERE to take pictures!” “Outside.” Corrected Ms. Tsao. “But, if I’ve already asked and have been denied, I would show disrespect.” I suggested. They agreed. I guess the solution is just not to ask.

Anyway …

If you need a gift for someone with a dog, PEARL OF THE ORIENT is the place to go. You will DIE when you see the Chinese and Japanese robes, jackets and kimonos in red, blue and green satin for Fido. The prices range from $5.99 to $40, depending on the clothing choice and the weight of the pooch.

Another great shop for humans is just down the block. And they let me take photos! WHOLE WORLD FASHION BOUTIQUE, INC. (17 A Mott St., 212.267.4210) is very big on velvet, cut velvet chiffons, embroidery and beading. “This is NOT Pearl River.” Owner Joy Chan explained. “Everything here is handmade. We have LOTS of beautiful things.” I absolutely agree.

Finally, I happened upon a clothing store with contemporary fashions that didn’t look cheap or feature Hello Kitty emblems. Both the knitwear and the coats were standouts at M.ZEN (8 Pell St., 212.227.1907) … especially the coats. Italian-made and generally black, they are priced between $199 and $299. Helpful hints: Larger sizes go quickly and paying in cash will garner a discount of 10-20%.

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“Doggie” models Chinese Robe. $30-$40 from PEARL OF THE ORIENT.

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Black Coat. $199 from M.ZEN.

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Jemy Dong models a sweater. $100 from M.ZEN.

When you need a breather from the perplexing inscrutableness of most of Chinatown’s shops and its shopkeepers, take yourself to TENREN TEATIME (79 Mott St., 212.732.7178) where you can sip or takeout the BEST bubble tea you’ve ever had.

The life-changing Vanilla Chai sells out early, but the melon milk shouldn’t be ignored. Make sure to get a VIP card to get a freebee small size after you purchase 10.

Psst! You can tell anyone you want about everything I’ve just told you. I am NOT afraid.

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THE KINDLE READING DEVICE

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The Kindle has storage capacity for around 200 books, and doesn’t need to hook up to a PC thanks to a built-in EVDO radio connection to Amazon’s new Whispernet service, which over 90,000 books already online.

The e-book reader can download books in less than a minute, with new releases and New York Times bestsellers setting punters back $9.99. There’s no charge to use the wireless service, with all download fees included included in the cost of books. Thanks to the EVDO connectivity they won’t have to run about looking for an open Wi-Fi connection either.

A large selection of US-based newspapers and magazines are available including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, Time, and Fortune, as well as some European newspapers like Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine and the Irish Times.

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SAN FRANCISCO PHILANTHROPIC TRAVEL means doing good works while still enjoying plush hotel suites and fine restaurants

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Doing charity work while on vacation no longer has to mean backbreaking labor and dorm-like accommodations. A new kind of philanthropic travel lets wealthy vacationers do good works while still enjoying plush hotel suites and fine restaurants.

More luxury tour operators now offer philanthropic-minded trips to places like Kenya, Cambodia and Vietnam that incorporate visits to local schools, hospitals or wildlife centers.

Travelers also go on traditional sightseeing tours and safaris that may cost $300 to $1,000 a day, not including airfare.

Even in remote African plains, tour operators pamper guests, who may stay in deluxe cottages with all the amenities. Travelers may leave those accommodations for part of their stay to visit charitable operations and get a first-hand look at how financial donations can be put to work.

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David Chamberlain

“Just one person can make a world of difference for a community,” said David Chamberlain, owner of Exquisite Safaris, a tour operator based in San Francisco that offers top-of-the-line services while incorporating visits to schools, health clinics and neighborhoods with hopes that clients will make a donation or become more involved.

The idea is that travelers who meet the people and see how they live can become long-term, passionate donors and proponents for change.

Not surprisingly, nonprofits are lining up to become part of such tours, with the hope that wealthy vacationers may be more willing to make long-term financial commitments long after the trip is over.

For many years, international aid groups organized their own tours for big supporters.

“Those people who have actually been in the field are our biggest donors,” said Lisa Giaretto, managing director of the Village Enterprise Fund, a group based in San Carlos, Calif., that offers entrepreneurship training to people in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Next July, the Village Enterprise Fund will be part of Exquisite Safaris tours of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Guests will visit farmers, tailors and bike-repair workers who have benefited from training by Village Enterprise.

Chuck Ebeling, a retired vice president of the McDonald’s Corporation, had a similar goal when he took a nine-day tour of Tanzania in the spring of 2006. He paid $500 a day to stay in a tented camp where a chef prepared dinners and staff members delivered coffee at dawn.

His trip inspired him to become involved in the country’s wildlife conservation efforts and led him to pay $500 to help a conservation group raise a bongo, a rare mountain antelope, with the goal of reintroducing it into the wild.

Some travelers who work charity into their trips prefer to rough it alongside the people they are helping. However, “I don’t just travel to help others,” said Mr. Ebeling, 64. “I enjoy some of the comforts and luxuries. I enjoy seeing the world. And the experience in east Africa was eye-opening.”

John Kay, the lead singer of the band Steppenwolf, came home from a luxury 2003 vacation to Cambodia so inspired that he started his own charity, the Maue Kay Foundation. Mr. Kay, who lives in West Vancouver, British Columbia, was struck by the lingering devastation from Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, which left 1.7 million people dead in the late 1970s.

He donated $50,000 to build a primary school there with its own water well and vegetable garden, and he also paid for teacher salaries, books and computers with satellite e-mail access.

Later, Mr. Kay and his wife, Jutta Maue Kay, gave thousands of dollars more to support the Gijedabung school, to protect African wildlife and to support food banks in Puerto Rico.

“The old cliche that travel broadens the mind is very true,” Mr. Kay said. “We were able to have a glimpse of certain things that go beyond staying in a hotel and a day excursion.”

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THE KINDLE READING DEVICE

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The Kindle has storage capacity for around 200 books, and doesn’t need to hook up to a PC thanks to a built-in EVDO radio connection to Amazon’s new Whispernet service, which over 90,000 books already online.

The e-book reader can download books in less than a minute, with new releases and New York Times bestsellers setting punters back $9.99. There’s no charge to use the wireless service, with all download fees included included in the cost of books. Thanks to the EVDO connectivity they won’t have to run about looking for an open Wi-Fi connection either.

A large selection of US-based newspapers and magazines are available including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, Time, and Fortune, as well as some European newspapers like Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine and the Irish Times.

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RIOTS FLARE SECOND NIGHT in Paris following Sunday deaths of two teenagers on motorbike

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French police beefed up security Tuesday after a second night of riots in flashpoint suburbs north of Paris despite the launch of a judicial probe into the deaths of two teens that sparked the violence.

A helicopter hovered early Tuesday over the town of Villiers-le-Bel, 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the French capital “to locate people stirring up trouble,” a police officer reported.

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Riots intensified on Monday in the town and in neighbouring areas, police said. Violence erupted in Villiers-le-Bel on Sunday just after two teenagers died when their motorbike crashed into a police car sparking six hours of clashes.

Late Monday, some 100 angry youths crouching behind trash cans in Villiers-le-Bel hurled objects at 160 riot police who responded with rubber bullets and teargas.

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Young rioters in other towns were armed with petrol bombs, bottles filled with acid and baseball bats, police said.

After Sunday’s first night of unrest, President Nicolas Sarkozy had appealed for calm with France fearful of a repeat of nationwide violence that gripped the country in 2005 following the deaths of two youths fleeing the police.

But this was to no avail as police Monday said up to 30 personnel were injured and 63 vehicles and five buildings had been set ablaze in six towns in the wider Val d’Oise area.

“One policeman was wounded in the shoulder after being hit by a high calibre bullet,” a security official said, adding that “however, no vital organ was affected.”

On Monday, a bus, which had no passengers on board at the time, and a lorry were set alight respectively in nearby Longjumeau and Grigby, police sources said.

In Villiers-le-Bel, a pre-school, a driving school and a beauty salon were also set ablaze, witnesses said, while youths stoned a police car and a fire engine as well as looting another vehicle and causing further damage.

Speaking earlier on a trip to Beijing, Sarkozy called for “all sides to calm down and for the judiciary to decide who bears responsibility”.

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State prosecutor Marie-Therese Givry ordered an internal police investigation for “involuntary manslaughter and failure to assist persons in danger” following the deaths of the two teenagers.

But speaking later to reporters, she said witnesses had confirmed the police officers’ version according to which the bike smashed into the side of their car during a routine patrol. Neither youth was wearing a helmet.

But Omar Sehhouli, brother of one of the victims, accused police of ramming the motorbike and of failing to assist the teens.

“This is a failure to assist a person in danger… it is 100-percent a (police) blunder. They know it, and that’s why they did not stay at the scene,” he told France Info radio.

Sehhouli told AFP the rioting “was not violence but an expression of rage.”

Police made nine arrests Sunday as rioters torched a police station, two garages, a petrol pump and two shops, and pillaged the railway station in neighbouring Arnouville. Some 40 police were reported injured.

The police union Alliance offered its condolences to the victims’ families, but said it was “unacceptable for a gang of delinquents to use this tragedy as an excuse to set the town on fire.”

Police and politicians warn the French suburbs remain a “tinderbox” two years after the 2005 riots, which exposed France’s failure to integrate its large black and Arab population, the children and grandchildren of immigrants from its African colonies.

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TRAVEL AND DINING: New York City declared The Big Truffle

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The James Beard Foundation’s Annual Holiday Auction and Dinner celebrates the World’s Most Expensive Ingredient Funds supporting the non-profit’s mission and programs

BY LOURDES CASTRO

In a city obsessed with the biggest and the best, it’s fitting that the world’s most expensive ingredient, the truffle, was celebrated in New York City at a multi-course dinner for 250 guests on November 14 at Guastavino’s. The regional cuisine of Italy’s truffle region, Piemonte, was showcased, while funds were raised for the James Beard Foundation.

Twenty pounds of truffles were imported by Appennino Funghi e Tartufi for the dinner aptly titled Le Citta del Tartufo (The Truffle Towns of Italy). Chefs from three of Italy’s most celebrated truffle towns — Alberto Bettini and Denis Lenzi from Amerigo 1934 in Savigno, Bruno Cingolani from Dulcis Vitis Ristorante in Alba, and Flavio Faedi from Granaro del Monte in Norcia — prepared a menu highlighting the intensity, complexity, and diversity of truffles.

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The scene at Guastavino’s

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“The Truffle”

Three chefs from the New York-based B&B Hospitality Group — William Gallagher from Becco, Fortunato Nicotra from Felidia, and David Pasternack from Esca — prepared truffle-themed hors d’oeuvres for the cocktail and silent auction reception.

Notable guests included Stanley Tucci, Christine Baranski, Drew Nieporent and VIP table hosts Lorraine Bracco, Steve Schirripa, Joe Bastianich, Bill Buford, the Pellegrino family of Rao’s, Sirio Maccioni, and Julian Niccolini.

Guests enjoyed themselves by bidding on once in a lifetime auction packages such as dinner for 20 by Chef Eric Ripert in Le Bernardin’s private dining room, 1 kilogram of osetra caviar, and an Akoya cultured pearl necklace with loops of graduated-color blue sapphires set in 18K white gold from Mikimoto’s Elements of Life: Ocean Collection which sold for $28,000.

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Steve Schirippa, James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro, and Joe Bastianich

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Drew Nieporent, Steve Schirippa, and Stanley Tucci

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Lorraine Bracco and Stanley Tucci

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Joe Bastianich and Julian Niccolini

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Chef Bruno Cingolani

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Chef Bruno Cingolani of Dulcis Vitis Ristorante in Alba, Italy, Susan Ungaro, and chef Alberto Bettini of Amerigo 1934 in Savigno, Italy

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Christine Baranski and French Culinary Institute Founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton

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TRAVEL – Five top safety tips for international Holiday travel

Whether you are beating the crowds in early December on your way to London or traveling to Rio for New Years, International holiday travel can be exciting and wonderful.

To avoid the pitfalls that might make a trip painful or terrible, expect the best but prepare for the worst and follow five simple international travel tips this holiday season:

Sign your passport, and fill in emergency information

Update and sign your valid passport, and a visa, if required. Don’t forget to also fill in the emergency information page of your passport.

Qipit itinerary, passport and other important documents

Make sure you are protected in case of theft, loss or other emergency by making easy to access digital backup copies of important documents. Qipit, a free service, turns any camera phone into a mobile scanner so you can convert important documents (travelers checks, driver’s license, passport or itinerary), into enhanced easy-to-read digital copies that can be saved online, emailed or faxed right from your phone to anywhere in the world.

Review your insurance coverage

Confirm with your medical insurance provider that your policy applies overseas and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If your coverage does not cover you abroad, consider supplemental insurance.

Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws

While visiting a foreign country, you are subject to its laws.

The State Department website has useful safety and other information about the countries you will visit.

Don’t make yourself a target

To avoid being a target of crime, do not wear flashy clothing or jewelry. Further, do not carry excessive amounts of cash.

Lastly, do not leave your luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.

By following the five tips above this little bit of preparation will ensure that this holiday travel season is the best yet for you and your family.

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SUCCESS OF WASHINGTON PARTIES often depends on how many Supreme Court Justices attend

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BY CAROL JOYNT

The Washington Performing Arts Society Fall Celebration. Yes, Supreme Court justices do sometimes go out at night and the success of a Washington party can often be measured by how many show up.

For their annual “Fall Celebration,” the Washington Performing Arts Society on last Monday night scored three of the “Supremes,” and they of course pulled rank over two ambassadors, one United States Senator and one full-fledged movie star.

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In town for the night from his home in nearby Middleburg, Va., actor Robert Duvall

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and Sam Alito were among the many happy supporters of the WPAS who came together in the Kennedy Center’s rooftop atrium for cocktails and dinner, followed by a concert by Yo-Yo Ma, who was accompanied by British pianist Kathryn Stott.

Due to the federal holiday – which means a very quiet day in the capital – the evening started early at 5:30.

Champagne and wine were served to a relaxed crowd of men in business suits and women in cocktail dresses, including Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, Afghanistan Ambassador Said T. Jawad, Sen. John Sununu (R-NH), American Red Cross chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall and wife Luciana Pedraza. Toyota underwrote the evening, and Hermes provided a swag bag that gets a solid B, because it included the ingredients for a perfect encore: bubble bath and music, Yo-Yo Ma’s “Paris, La Belle Epoque.”

Music lovers abound in Washington, probably because a good sonata is one way to soothe the savage beast that is government and its associated interests.

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Dr. Sidney L. Werkman

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Lysbeth and Michael Sherman

Those who showed up for the performance, as well as dinner of Afghani Spiced Lamb Loin, Sauteed Spinach and Butternut Squash, were former CIA director William Webster and wife Lynda, lawyer Robert Bennett, Corcoran Gallery of Art director Paul Greenhalgh, auto executive Daniel Korengold, Sam and Ellen Schreiber, Sydney “Nini” Ferguson, political fundraising consultant Rachel Tinsley Pearson (also one of the evening’s co-chairs), Bitsey Folger and Sidney Werkman, Carl Colby and Dorothy Browning, Burton and Anne Fishman, Paula Goldman, Leonard and Frances Burka, Susan and William Soza, and Izette Folger.

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Sisters-in-law Marjory and Paula Goldman

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Meranda and Yong K. Kim of Great Falls, Va. with the evening’s co-chair, Rachel Tinsley Pearson

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Jim McCarrick, Nan Whalen, Pat McCarrick, and Baby Rae Evans

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Susan and William Soza of McLean, Va. He took an accounting degree and built a multi-million dollar technology consulting firm.

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James Baring with Winslow Moore and her mother, Dorothy Browning, all of Washington DC

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It’s not a Washington party without these three: Nini Ferguson with Tandy and Wyatt Dickerson

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John McGarry of Boston, Hank Schlosberg, and Leonard Burka of Chevy Chase, Md

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David A. Metzner, vice chairman of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Sen. John Sununu, R-NH

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Izette Folger, Corcoran Gallery of Art director Paul Greenhalgh, and Rachel Tinsley Pearson

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Paul Greenhalgh with Amb. Said T. Jawad of Afghanistan

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Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito with Burton Fishman, the WPAS’ general counsel

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Maureen and Antonin Scalia with Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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One of Washington’s most generous fundraisers and donors, automobile executive Daniel L. Korengold, who is also a former chairman of the WPAS board

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The pre-dinner cocktail party

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Trina Sams-Manning of Hermes

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Well known and popular social photographers Hector Emanuel and dean of the field, Jim Brantley

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Washington Examiner columnist Patrick Gavin

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Antonin Scalia and Robert DuVall talk what? Law, acting or horses?

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Shamim Jawad, American Red Cross chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, and Nini Ferguson

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Sam and Ellen Schreiber

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Martha Ann Alito and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It won’t last long, but Washington’s autumn is at its peak. Like spring, autumn is a season we do well, thanks to the many trees and gardens and lots of greenspace. As the last days of the November roll toward Thanksgiving, the city sidewalks and parks turn to gold. The calendar that has the most impact here, though, is the one that’s followed by Congress. A two-week recess begins Monday. Don’t believe for an instant any malarkey about the time off being for family and turkey. These are precious days on the campaign trail for all House members and the more than 30 senators whose seats are up, not to mention the pack of presidential candidates. When Congress is out the city’s pace slows. So many people here are not from here and they all seem to head home.

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Autumn in Georgetown, where the sidewalks are paved in brick and gold.

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We have a new arrival of note. The king of high end franchising, Wolfgang Puck, has come to town with The Source, a highly contemporary but still serene restaurant with a downstairs bar and upstairs dining room. It adjoins the past-due but almost finished Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. I predict it’s location in the shadow of the Capitol dome and across from the National Gallery of Art, along with its celebrity, good food and polished service, will make it the new top dog in town, with a menu that highlights everything Wolfgang – a little bit of Spago, mixed with a little bit of Chinois, and wrapped in a flourish of Califrancais. The only impediment to skyrocket success might be the Vegas prices. We’ll need New Yorkers – who, I don’t think, have a Puck eatery – to come south to take us to The Source.

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The $58 roasted lobster is a delicious budget buster

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Beautiful plating is a signature at Wolfgang Puck’s, “The Source.” This is the lacquered duck

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Dining at The Source

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The dessert menu with a cookie plate and multiple ice creams and sorbets

Photographs by Carol Joynt

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TRAVEL: Cruise ship passengers evacuated by lifeboat

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154 Flee Sinking Cruise Ship In The Antarctic

A small cruise ship with an imperfect security record was listing dangerously after it struck ice in Antarctic waters today, with 154 passengers and crew members evacuated by lifeboat, said the cruise operator and coast guard.

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Pictures from a Web cam on a rescue ship showed the small red and white ship – named the Explorer but known affectionately as “the little red ship” – listing dangerously to starboard in steely gray waters below a low sky, with clumps of ice looming in the distant background. Another photograph taken by a passenger on the rescue ship showed a flotilla of small lifeboats floating on the vast sea.

The vessel – which was taking tourist passengers on the route of the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton – sent out a distress signal at 5:24 a.m. GMT after it began to take in water through “a fist-sized hole,” said Dan Brown, a spokesman for G.A.P. Adventures, the Toronto-based tour operator that owns and operates the ship. He said the “running assumption” is that it hit an iceberg. Water began to trickle into a cabin and eventually flooded the engine room, causing the ship to lose power.

The accident occurred well north of the Antarctic Circle in an island chain that is part of the Antarctic peninsula, which juts close to South America and has seen sharp warming of temperatures in recent years.

As nearby vessels were alerted, the ship’s 100 passengers – 14 of them American, 24 British, 17 Dutch, 12 Canadian and a smattering of other nationalities – were awakened and told to don warm clothes and life preservers, said Mark Clark, a spokesman for Britain’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which was one of the first authorities to receive the distress signal. They clambered down ladders on the ship’s side to board lifeboats.

Clark said they were taken aboard a small research vessel, the National Geographic Endeavour, that was nearby, before they were transferred to a Norwegian cruise liner, the Nordnorge. Brown said open lifeboats bobbed in the frigid waters for four hours before the Nordnorge could help them.

Jon Bowermaster, a travel writer and filmmaker who was lecturing on the National Geographic Endeavour, said: “We arrived just exactly alongside the Nordnorge. There was a long line of black rubber Zodiac boats and a handful of orange lifeboats strung out and it was very surreal because it was a very beautiful morning with the sun glistening off the relatively calm sea, and all you could think was how relieved these people must have been when they saw these two big ships coming over the horizon. They’d been in the lifeboats around four hours, but cold. the water temperature is not quite freezing and wind chills in the 20s, Fahrenheit.”

Passengers on the Endeavour prepared hot tea and gathered blankets, and a section of the ship was designated as a hospital but there were no emergency cases.

The Explorer, then called the Lindblad explorer, ran aground in similar circumstances in Antarctic waters in February 1972, close to where it foundered today, in heaving seas, and all her passengers then – mostly Americans – had to be rescued by the Chile Navy.

It was not immediately possible to reach the passengers, who had paid somewhere between $8,700 and $16,700 for the 18-day adventure expedition. Brown said they were being taken to King George Island in Antarctica. He said there was confusion about where exactly they would be taken from there.

“The Chileans think they are taking them to Chile, the Argentinians think they are taking them to Argentina and the Brits are talking about taking the British passengers to the Falklands,” he said.

Brown said the company had not yet been able to speak to anyone on board, but some radio stations had managed to speak to the captain of the Nordnorge, and he had reported that “everyone is healthy, uninjured and comfortable,” said Brown. The families are in the process of being notified about the accident, he said.

According to the BBC, First Officer Peter Svensson told Reuters: “We were passing through ice as usual. But this time something hit the hold and we got a little leakage downstairs.

“No one was hysterical, they were just sitting there nice and quiet, because we knew there were ships coming.”

The Chilean authorities said the passengers were being taken to the Chilean Air Force base on King George Island, the President Eduardo FreiMontalva Base, and later the commander of the base was quoted as saying that the Norwegian ship had arrived at the shore of the base around midday, but the passengers had not been able to disembark due to bad weather conditions.

The Explorer – which Brown emphasized was not a luxury cruise liner but an expedition vessel – is registered in Liberia. It embarked from Ushuaia, on the southern tip of Argentina, on Nov. 11, and was due to return on Nov. 29. According to G.A.P.’s website, the ship has swimming pool, sauna, fitness center, and lounge.

The Explorer was built in Finland in 1969 and specially designed to operate in Antarctic and Arctic waters, he said, and has operated for most of its life in the Antarctic.

The Explorer had a double bottom, a second sheath of steel to protect it if the ship runs aground, but the vessel did not have a double hull, a complete second complete sheathing of steel – developed after the Titanic, with a double bottom, sank. Built in 1969, the Explorer was small, to move swiftly through dangerous waters.

Brown said “some deficiencies” in the Explorer were discovered during safety tests in March in Chile and in May in Scotland. On its Web site, Lloyd’s List said the British authorities reported deficiencies including missing search-and-rescue plans, and lifeboat maintenance problems, while watertight doors were described as “not as required,” and fire safety measures were also criticized. The ship later passed a safety test with “flying colors,” the company said, and Brown said the earlier problems “were not serious enough for the boat to be taken out of use.” Argentine, American and British Coast Guard vessels are watching the Explorer, determining whether and how, to try to stop the ship from going down. As last reported by the Argentine Coast Guard, said Brown, it was listing at 40 degrees. “That’s not a good sign,” he said.

A spokesman for the Chilean Navy, Jorge Bastías, said about 50 cruise ships passed through the Antarctic every season from November to February, when weather conditions are reasonable. Most cruise ships come from Ushuaia.

“There are occasional accidents in this route, but very minor ones,” he said. “Conditions in the Antarctic are the most difficult in the world, and accidents occur like everywhere else; here, it is usually running into a rock, or ice. But I have seen many ships in the Antarctic, and sailed on a few, and they are very well equipped and prepared.”

The ship’s operator is part of a growing niche industry of adventure cruises. G.A.P. Adventures. based in Toronto, was founded in 1990 by Bruce Poon Tip, who immigrated to Canada from Trinidad as a child, to specialize in adventure travel, and offers cruises to the Antarctic, Greenland, Scotland and the Amazon. It sends 30 cruises a year into the Antarctic, all on the Explorer. The companies typical customer is a 36 year old woman, he said. G.A.P. said it had never had an accident with one of its ships before, but in March, two Canadian women and an Australian man died after a safari van chartered by the company collided with a truck in Kenya. The two Canadian victims were in their early 20s.

On the Antarctic tour, the passengers stop at the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Island, disembarking at both locations before finally heading for the tip of Antarctica. Scientists on board give briefings and lectures on wildlife, geology and climate change. They stopped at points including the grave where Shackleton was buried following his death by a heart attack in 1922.If the Explorer had not hit the ice, the passengers would have disembarked on small zodiac inflatable lifeboats, said Brown, which were used along with lifeboats in the evacuation today.

Coast guard stations in Britain; Norfolk, Virginia; and in Ushuaia, Argentina, received the satellite distress signal and worked closely on the rescue, said Fred Caygill, a spokesman for Britain’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency in Southampton, England.

“There are a lot of countries working together on this incident,” said Caygill. Five ships within the area responded to the signal, he said, including Argentine and American vessels as well as a Chilean warship, before the passengers were rescued by the Nordnorge.

The Explorer was the first passenger vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage, and has operated in Antarctica since 1970.

Stefan Lundgren, a member of the Endeavor staff who had also worked on the Explorer, said he was saddened by the sight of the listing vessel: “For me she was a beautiful lady – boats are ladies – and I have been part of touching her year after year. For every new owner, she gets a new facelift. As an old woman, she’s a tough lady. She doesn’t want to give up, I can tell you. I still believe that perhaps it is not the last time that we see her.”

In addition to the Explorer, the company owns five yachts which are based in the Galapagos Islands and three tour ships in Greece.

While it is privately held and does not disclose financial information, G.A.P. says on its Web site that it handles about 60,000 travelers a year and has about 500 employees.

Regulatory responsibility for the ship is split among different countries and organizations.

G.A.P. is one of 38 full members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, a voluntary group based in Basalt, Colorado.

That organization has hundreds of rules largely devoted to environmental concerns that, among other things, limit ship operators to landing no more than 100 tourists on shore at any time.

Denise Landau, the group’s executive director, said that the rescue was based on an emergency response system that requires all ships belonging to member companies to track each other’s status at all times.

While the Explorer is not leaking any fluids, Landau said that under the association’s rules it uses marine gas oil which generally dissipates rather than coating wildlife and shorelines.

Because Canada is a signatory to Antarctic treaties, G.A.P. must obtain a permit from its home country to bring tours to the region.

All issues relating to the vessel’s design, condition and crew, said Landau, fall under the control of Liberia, where the Explorer is registered.

A page on the company’s Web site offers potential customers “what to expect from a G.A.P. Adventures Trip.”

“Whatever happens,” the site warns, “it’s best to remember that it’s all part of the experience.”

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THE REAL MEANING OF THANKSGIVING

TRAVEL WELL


VIRGIN AMERICA AIRLINES

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BY JOSEPH FARAH

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the people responsible for the American Thanksgiving tradition. Contrary to popular opinion, the Pilgrims didn’t wear buckles on their shoes or hats. They weren’t teetotalers, either. They smoked tobacco and drank beer. And, most importantly, their first harvest festival and subsequent “thanksgivings” weren’t held to thank the local natives for saving their lives.

Do you know there are public schools in America today actually teaching that? Some textbooks, in their discomfort with open discussions of Christianity, say as much. I dare suggest most parents today know little more about this history than their children.

Yet, there is no way to divorce the spiritual from the celebration of Thanksgiving – at least not the way the Pilgrims envisioned it, a tradition dating back to the ancient Hebrews and their feasts of Succoth and Passover.

The Pilgrims came to America for one reason – to form a separate community in which they could worship God as they saw fit. They had fled England because King James I was persecuting those who did not recognize the Church of England’s absolute civil and spiritual authority.

On the two-month journey of 1620, William Bradford and the other elders wrote an extraordinary charter – the Mayflower Compact. Why was it extraordinary? Because it established just and equal laws for all members of their new community – believers and non-believers alike. Where did they get such revolutionary ideas? From the Bible, of course.

When the Pilgrims landed in the New World, they found a cold, rocky, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, Bradford wrote. No houses to shelter them. No inns where they could refresh themselves. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims died of sickness or exposure – including Bradford’s wife. Though life improved for the Pilgrims when spring came, they did not really prosper. Why? Once again, the textbooks don’t tell the story, but Bradford’s own journal does. The reason they didn’t succeed initially is because they were practicing an early form of socialism.

The original contract the Pilgrims had with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store. Each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community. Bradford, as governor, recognized the inherent problem with this collectivist system.

“The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years … that by taking away property, and bringing community into common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,” Bradford wrote. “For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense … that was thought injustice.”

What a surprise! Even back then people did not want to work without incentive. Bradford decided to assign a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of free enterprise. What was the result?

“This had very good success,” wrote Bradford, “for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.”

As a result, the Pilgrims soon found they had more food than they could eat themselves. They set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London much faster than expected. The success of the Plymouth colony thus attracted more Europeans and set off what we call the “Great Puritan Migration.”

But it wasn’t just an economic system that allowed the Pilgrims to prosper. It was their devotion to God and His laws. And that’s what Thanksgiving is really all about. The Pilgrims recognized that everything we have is a gift from God – even our sorrows. Their Thanksgiving tradition was established to honor God and thank Him for His blessings and His grace.

Today we continue that tradition in my home – and I hope in yours. God bless you, God bless America, and Happy Thanksgiving.

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BITS AND MORSELS: Urban Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving display made of chocolate at The Regency New York.

Thanksgiving in the city. If spending all day in the kitchen is not your idea of fun this thanksgiving, don’t fret as there are many restaurants that offer special thanksgiving menus in addition to their regular fare.

For an Italian twist on thanksgiving head to Sant Ambroeus at 78th and Madison for turkey as well as homemade ravioli with walnut sauce and chestnut desserts. If you just want a classic thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, The Regency Hotel is the spot for you.

Corn free choices. The effect that our food choices have on the environment and on our health are more salient now than ever.

Many people believe the high obesity rate in this country is due to high fructose corn syrup gooping its way into everything we eat.

If you’re at all curious, go see “King Corn” which follows two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation.

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Pecan Pie at William Greenberg Jr. Desserts.

Anyway … Pecan pie is a fixture on many Thanksgiving tables, but if you plan on baking your own this year, why not try using maple or brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup.

Turkey two ways. If you are the type of person who really wants to understand the turkey’s journey from farm to table, check out The Slow Cook.

People sometimes forget that the turkey on your Thanksgiving table had a life before … uhuh … it ended up in your stomachs. It’s not for the squeamish but you will definitely appreciate your thanksgiving meal more.

If you have no interest in the origins of your turkey dinner, check out this brand new Turkey in a bag by Jenni-O. This is a home-cooked turkey for people who don’t want to deal with the details of cooking.

The turkey is revolutionary in that it goes directly from the freezer to the oven. Just cut some slits in the bag, pop it in the oven, and you will have a perfectly done bird in about four hours.

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Lobel’s Prime Meats on Madison Avenue and 82nd Street.

Thanksgiving central. The busiest Avenue in New York this week is Madison between 82nd and 83rd Streets. Both Lobel’s Prime Meats and William Greenberg Jr. Desserts reside on that block.

If you’re going to roast (or fry) your own bird, the place to get it is Lobel’s. They offer fresh organic free-range turkeys, which are a nice change from the typical frozen supermarket bird. I walked in just as the turkeys were arriving and they looked good enough to eat raw.

For the perfect pie, go to William Greenberg. The aroma in the store alone is enough to make one pine for pie. They offer pumpkin and apple as well as other traditional pies, but I like the pecan pie which is made from Georgia pecans and all natural ingredients.

After leaving the bakery I popped into Sant Ambroeus for a cappuccino to warm up. While I was taking in the always-bustling atmosphere I began to reflect on the holiday itself.

My favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. I love that it is a true blue American holiday. If you are living in America, you will most likely be gathering around a turkey today regardless of your religious background. And what better way to connect with friends and family than by sharing a hearty meal with them?

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Mark Lobel shows off his Free-Range Young Organic Turkey.

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A Cappuccino at Sant Ambroeus.

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Be sure to call before you go out. Some restaurants, like Gino, are closed for Thanksgiving.

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The Regency’s Thanksgiving Menu.

We all have a lot to be thankful for this thanksgiving. I am thankful that I live in New York, the greatest city in the world, aside from the offensive traffic, which is bad bad bad this time of year. I am thankful for my friends, family and my dog Zabar. This year I am especially thankful for my New York Social Diary Family. I could not ask for better mentors and editors than DPC and JH. I am thankful to the readers whom I love getting e-mails and feedback from. I wish everyone a happy and healthy thanksgiving filled with good food, friends, and family.

Till we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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LEARNING GRATITUDE

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Walking the Bridle Path in Central Park. 1:15 PM.
Photo: JH.

BY DAVID PATRICK COLUMBIA

It got warmer, yesterday afternoon in New York, the day before Thanksgiving. I went over to Zabars to buy among other things a pumpkin pie. I’m going to my annual Thanksgiving dinner – this is the sixth or seventh year – with my friends the Browns to the Four Seasons Restaurant. The one thing I will miss from not having dinner at home is the pumpkin pie. Furthermore I want the whole pie. I could eat it all at one sitting although I won’t.

Because I’m a good boy.

I read somewhere today that we consume enough calories on the Thanksgiving holiday to energize a runner in the New York Marathon, something which almost none of us is. So, the writer suggested, at least exercise.

However, it is important to not forget that there are also a lot of us out there across the world who will not be having that problem because they will not be having much, if anything, to eat. In the meantime, we can give, and we can be thankful. Which reminds me:

On Another Early Wednesday Evening Late Last Month. Down at Michael’s, Karl Wellner, Hilary and Wilbur Ross and Lauren and John Veronis hosted a party to celebrate the publications of “Thank You Power; Making the Science of Gratitude Work For You” written by Mr. Wellner’s wife, Deborah Norville. Ever heard of her? As it happens, I know the author too, and even more specifically, I am featured within her pages, as an example of what the book is about. No, it is not about me. It’s about the enhancement of gratitude in our daily lives.

I got involved quite accidentally through a conversation Deborah and I had at Joan Rivers’ dinner table one night about a year ago. She told me she was writing a book on Gratitude. I was intrigued because I’m not aware of a book on the subject and it is a subject that runs through my consciousness, especially when something is troubling me to the point where I’m having a hard time dealing. I happened to tell her of a personal experience related to the application of Gratitude. She asked if she could use it. I agreed.

I learned about Gratitude and Gratitude Lists in a 12 Step program (Al-Anon) years ago. Someone advised that it was a helpful tool in getting through harsh moments when emotions are in the driver’s seat and pressing the accelerator. Make a list of things you’re grateful for, is the simple instruction. This can be more difficult than it sounds because when the emotions are driving, the noise they create in your head is often a deafening sound.

The incident I related to Deborah had to do with a moment in my life about 15 years ago when I was first living here in New York, and in quite uneasy circumstances trying to jump-start myself as a professional writer in need of making a living. One winter morning I happened to have a conversation with a woman friend on the phone, and although I can’t recall what it was that set me off, my friend responded with some sarcastic and cutting words that sliced back to my childhood feelings of vulnerability; the feelings the often burden since children are more vulnerable and dependent. It was quite clearly a historical reaction to those times long ago. It disturbed me that I was still feeling that vulnerable.

I was crushed. It was exacerbated by the fact that I really love this woman and her words were quite insensitive, or at least thoughtless. I fell into a depression instantly – one of those moments when you’re overwhelmed and feel you can’t control your feelings.

Some might take a tranquilizer at that moment. My instinctive solution was to take a nap (anything to turn off my mind). But it so happened that morning I had a “grown-up” responsibility to take care of first: I had to go over to someone’s apartment to pick up a photo I was using for a piece I was writing for Quest. I had to deliver the photo that day for the printer. Reality. The writer’s fee.

So whatwith my Sturm und Drang whirling inside my mind, I decided that maybe a nice long walk to retrieve the photo would help. I couldn’t do anything about my friend’s words but I could possibly clean out my own head.

It also happened to be one of those ugly, cold and frigid grey mid-winter days in New York where very little on the exterior of the city looks good or inviting, and you’re conjuring up other climates (or seasons) for inner relief. A perfect day to hide your head under the covers.

It was an eight block crosstown walk; a long one for the bitter cold. Frustrated by my state of mind, I recalled the advice about a Gratitude List as something to focus on when you’re down (and feeling out).

So there I was on this grey pavement under cold grey skies in search of gratitude. I decided to take whatever came along. The first thing was a young woman wheeling a stroller toward me. Inside was a cute little one with a smiling face, far far away from my state of mind. I love children. That was my first entry to the Gratitude List.

And then, when I was looking up, streaking high across the sky was a shiny grey 747, heading off to other places and other lives. I have always been amazed by the miracle of these enormous machines lifting off the earth and flying around the globe. Second entry.

Then there were the 19th century doorways, and the people – people I don’t know – on the street going about their lives. I put them on all my List because it soon occurred to me that I was glad and grateful to be here, to be able to walk there, to have that assignment, to earn that fee, and to have so many other wonderful people in my life. I realized by the time I reached my destination that this previously overwhelming state of depression had virtually disappeared.

When I realized it, I was amazed at the effectiveness of Gratitude as a zen-like device. Furthermore, this same aforementioned friend who can be loose-lipped and unthinking with her words at times, went down that road again at other times afterwards. But her words no longer had the same effect. In fact, they provoke laughter in me. I love her. I’m grateful.

This is what Deborah Norville’s book is about. This is an excellent time of the year to embrace these thoughts and ideas.

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THE REAL MEANING OF THANKSGIVING

TRAVEL WELL


VIRGIN AMERICA AIRLINES

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BY JOSEPH FARAH

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the people responsible for the American Thanksgiving tradition. Contrary to popular opinion, the Pilgrims didn’t wear buckles on their shoes or hats. They weren’t teetotalers, either. They smoked tobacco and drank beer. And, most importantly, their first harvest festival and subsequent “thanksgivings” weren’t held to thank the local natives for saving their lives.

Do you know there are public schools in America today actually teaching that? Some textbooks, in their discomfort with open discussions of Christianity, say as much. I dare suggest most parents today know little more about this history than their children.

Yet, there is no way to divorce the spiritual from the celebration of Thanksgiving – at least not the way the Pilgrims envisioned it, a tradition dating back to the ancient Hebrews and their feasts of Succoth and Passover.

The Pilgrims came to America for one reason – to form a separate community in which they could worship God as they saw fit. They had fled England because King James I was persecuting those who did not recognize the Church of England’s absolute civil and spiritual authority.

On the two-month journey of 1620, William Bradford and the other elders wrote an extraordinary charter – the Mayflower Compact. Why was it extraordinary? Because it established just and equal laws for all members of their new community – believers and non-believers alike. Where did they get such revolutionary ideas? From the Bible, of course.

When the Pilgrims landed in the New World, they found a cold, rocky, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, Bradford wrote. No houses to shelter them. No inns where they could refresh themselves. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims died of sickness or exposure – including Bradford’s wife. Though life improved for the Pilgrims when spring came, they did not really prosper. Why? Once again, the textbooks don’t tell the story, but Bradford’s own journal does. The reason they didn’t succeed initially is because they were practicing an early form of socialism.

The original contract the Pilgrims had with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store. Each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community. Bradford, as governor, recognized the inherent problem with this collectivist system.

“The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years … that by taking away property, and bringing community into common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,” Bradford wrote. “For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense … that was thought injustice.”

What a surprise! Even back then people did not want to work without incentive. Bradford decided to assign a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of free enterprise. What was the result?

“This had very good success,” wrote Bradford, “for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.”

As a result, the Pilgrims soon found they had more food than they could eat themselves. They set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London much faster than expected. The success of the Plymouth colony thus attracted more Europeans and set off what we call the “Great Puritan Migration.”

But it wasn’t just an economic system that allowed the Pilgrims to prosper. It was their devotion to God and His laws. And that’s what Thanksgiving is really all about. The Pilgrims recognized that everything we have is a gift from God – even our sorrows. Their Thanksgiving tradition was established to honor God and thank Him for His blessings and His grace.

Today we continue that tradition in my home – and I hope in yours. God bless you, God bless America, and Happy Thanksgiving.

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SAN FRANCISCO BALLET AT 75: San Francisco International Airport celebrates 75th Anniversary of America’s Oldest Ballet Company

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Lynda Meyer and Vane Vest in Lew Christensen/Michael Smuin’s Cinderella
Photo by Arne Folkedal, 1973

San Francisco International Airport is pleased to present San Francisco Ballet at 75.

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Cynthia Gregory and Robert Gladstein in Lew Christensen’s Beauty and the Beast
Photo Courtesy of the San Francisco Ballet Archives/San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum, 1964

This new exhibition celebrates the seventy-fifth anniversary of America’s oldest professional ballet company, San Francisco Ballet, by presenting lavish costumes, historical photos and artifacts from the company’s diverse repertory.

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Gonzalo Garcia in Lar Lubovitch’s Elemental Brubeck
Photo © Erik Tomasson, 2005

The eighteen ballets showcased in the exhibition – ranging from classical works such as Lew Christensen and Michael Smuin’s Cinderella (1973), to more contemporary choreography such as Lar Lubovitch’s Elemental Brubeck (2005) – reflect both SF Ballet’s deeply rooted classical foundation and its ability to take chances with innovative programming and commissioned work.

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Lew Christensen in Filling Station
Photo © The Estate of George Platt Lynes, 1938

The exhibition also includes objects and photographs from many of SF Ballet’s artistic “firsts,” including the first American productions of Swan Lake (1940) and Nutcracker (1944).

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Lorena Feijoo and Maureen Choi in Yuri Possokhov’s Reflections Photo © Chris Hardy, 2005

San Francisco Ballet at 75 is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall.

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Kristin Long and Pierre-Francois Vilanoba in William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude
Photo © Erik Tomasson, 2006

The exhibition is on view 24 hours a day, free of charge, through May 11, 2008.

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Yuan Yuan Tan in Mark Morris’ Sylvia
Photo © Erik Tomasson, 2006

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JOESEPH D’ALESSANDRO APPOINTED to California Travel and Tourism Commission

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Joseph D’Alessandro

Joseph D’Alessandro, 51, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the California Travel and Tourism Commission.

Since 2006, he has served as president and chief executive officer for the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau.

From 1996 to 2006, D’Alessandro was president and chief executive officer for the Portland Oregon Visitors Association.

He was executive director of the Oregon Tourism Commission from 1991 to 1996 and director of international marketing for the California Office of Tourism from 1985 to 1991.

D’Alessandro is a board member of the Destination Marketing Association International and the California Travel Industry Association.

This position does not require California Senate confirmation and there is no salary. D’Alessandro is a Democrat.

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LOUISE BOURGEOIS CROUCHING SPIDER WEAVES a mother’s nurture to San Francisco

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‘The Crouching Spider,’ a concept meant to honor the delicate tapestry of spinners, was dedicated Thursday on the San Francisco Embaracdero at the foot of Mission Street. World renowned sculptor Louise Bourgeois, now 96-years-old, developed the concept over a thirteen year period. This two and one-half ton bronze sculpture is on loan to San Francisco for at least eight months as part of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Sculpture in the City Program.
Photo by Bill Wison

BY PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

Her mother was a spinner, a weaver, when as a child Louise Bourgeois learned the repair of intricate tapestry.

Fragile threads of emotive color became the child’s first introduction to the world of the Art, a world where the tools to marvel at life, to capture a moment’s understanding, and to imprimatur her own ‘let this be believed’ rested in Bourgeois crafting.

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Louise Bourgeois
Mapplethorpe Gallery Photo

A Parisian who moved to New York in 1938, her recognition as one the world’s leading contemporary artists spanned seven decades brining Bourgeois the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton in 1997.

Her creative foundation stayed with her — the weaving of expansive perception.

The spider as weaver defined the woman’s root cause and mothering as prime action.

Indeed, another child grown woman, Susan Leal, recalled her own mother’s admonition to Susan that she never kill a spider.

Leal, director of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) which funds the Crouching Spider San Francisco public exhibition, explained her mother’s reasoning during the November 15 morning dedication.

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Susan Leal
Photo by Bill Wison

“When I was a child she would never let me kill spiders,” Leal recalled her mother’s instruction.

“Because, she said, ‘Never kill them — they’re one of the most important parts of nature.’

“So it’s come full circle for me. We’re very happy as the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to be participants in helping make San Francisco more beautiful.”

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SFPUC public information director Laura Spanjian, at left, with Susan Christian.
Photo by Bill Wison

Leal explained SFPUC funding of City public art.

“As you know, we are doing a number of major infrastructure programs, basically seismicly upgrading our water system so that when the next one hits we will not be, our piplines, our tunnels will not be severed in a major earthquake,” related Leal.

“One of the benefits of the infrastructure program we have is that money we are able to set aside for public art.

“When we heard about the possibility of getting this sculpture we thought it was very apropos.

“You know, in the Hetch Hetchy system and those who benefit from the wonderful Hetch Hetchy system, we are also stewards of nature.

“We get the bounty of nature.

“One of the ways to express our gratitude for that is to display public art which also has a connection to nature.”

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Photo by Bill Wison

San Francisco is now more Arts oriented than at any time in its history, reported emcee PJ Johnston, who serves as president of the San Francisco Arts Commission and as film critic of the San Francisco Sentinel.

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San Francisco Arts Commission President PJ Johnston
Photo by Bill Wison

“Things don’t happen in San Francisco, particularly audacious things, unless you have the full support, the full commitment, of City Hall Room 200,” Johnston noted, “and the energy and the enthusiasm for the Arts as of our Mayor, Gavin Newsom, who is very much an Arts person.

“We really enjoy at the San Francisco Arts Commission perhaps the greatest commitment to focus on Arts in San Francisco — whether it’s public art or support for non-profit arts organizations or performing arts, visual arts, you name it — because Gavin Newsom is the most Arts focused mayor in the City’s history.”

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom

Newsom confirmed his love for the Arts and public art in particular.

“I love this type of art,” Newsom began, “I don’t like it — I love it.”

“I think the vast majority of San Franciscans love this type of public art.

“We can do so much more.

“We have done in the last few years as much or more than in previous years, and I’m pleased with that, but I know that the best is yet to come.

“I know what’s in the queue in terms of temporary art and I also know what’s in the queue for permanent art.

“Not just the 85 pieces which were just completed on that 5.1 mile new light rail system but all these new public projects that are underway like transbay permanent artists who will have permanent art.

“So there is really an exciting energy in San Francisco right now for public arts.

“There’s more money now for the Arts, grants for the Arts… I’m commited that we’re really going to step up the funding and we’re really going to challenge people to think differently and to act differently.

“I say act diffrerently because what public art does, like great architecture and design, is not just physical.

“It changes your perspective. It changes the way you walk, the way you talk.

“If you think that’s just gobbledegook, I challenge you to walk into any magnificent building with an extraordinary atrium and tell me that doesn’t change your physiology, that doesn’t create a pattern where you stop and say, ‘Migosh, look how beautiful this is, look how magnificent this is, look how challening this is and enter a diffferent kind of conversation.’

“That’s what Ms. Bourgeois will represent to people. They will be casually driving down the block and see it, they’ll be casually walking down the street or jogging and they’ll stop.

“Ninety-six years-old she’s still with us. What a gift it is to this City to have a world class, internationally renowned artist… to have San Francisco finally lay claim to one of those pieces of Art.”

Arts Commissioner Larry Rinder, who authored Louise Bourgeois: Drawings & Observations with Bourgeois and serves as Dean of the California College of the Arts, spoke to the significance to women of Bourgeois work.

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Larry Rinder
Photo by Bill Wison

“She persisted, and she persisted even as her male colleagues excelled around the world, and she continued without bitterness, without giving up,” stated Rinder.

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Bourgeous continued “to work in an incredible variety of media, not just sculpture, but painting and drawing, installation art — she even recorded a rap CD,” Rinder stressed.

“She also to this day continues to welcome and encourage younger artists to come visit her home with the offer of feedback on her work.”

Louise Bourgeous now weaves nurture to San Francisco across the generations.

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and Bay Area media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past five years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past twelve years. Pat scribes an offbeat opinion column of the human family. Email Pat Murphy at SanFranciscoSentinel@yahoo.com.

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VIRGIN AIRLINES wins San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Award 2007

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This year’s Ebby — the annual Excellence in Business Award — will go to Virgin Airlines for San Francisco economic development, to be awarded Thursday by the Chamber of Commerce.

“The Ebbies were created 16 years ago to recognize businesses for what they do well – create jobs, contribute to the local economy and give back to the community,” Steve Falk, Chamber president and chief executive, said in a statement.

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“Our Ebbies winners and finalists are great examples of the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship that are the hallmarks of San Francisco businesses.”

The event begins October 1 2007, at the Hilton San Francisco, with a reception at 6 p.m., with

This year’s winner of the Excellence in Business Award is Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., after a year of rebuilding and solid growth.

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OCTOBER 28 Videos of The Day – BE COOL WHEN IN IRELAND – BOOK AER LINGUS AS YOUR ONLY CARRIER TO IRELAND OH, THAT DANNY BOY – Babies born today will gain the trust of others – Live radar and video weather forecast

VIDEO BAY AREA FORECAST OCTOBER 28

October 28 Videos of The Day

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WORD OF THE DAY OCTOBER 28 2007

Keelhaul.

Definition: To haul under the keel of a ship, by ropes attached to the yardarms on each side. It was formerly practiced as a punishment in the Dutch and English navies.

BIRTHDAY LORE FOR OCTOBER 28 2007

You are generous, lighthearted, and optimistic, fond of entertainment and amusement. You are artistic and musical and take a prominent part in the social life of your circle. Although not confiding yourself, others confide in you. You are dependable, trustworthy, and sweet-tempered. You will have a happy and quiet life.

ADVICE FOR THE DAY OCTOBER 28 2007

Neither fear to die nor venture South of San Francisco Market Street.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY OCTOBER 28

Born: Lauren Holly (actress), 1963. Lander, Wyoming, received 27 inches of snow, 1971.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 70. West wind between 5 and 7 mph.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 54. West wind at 7 mph becoming south.

Monday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 63. West southwest wind between 3 and 8 mph.

Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 54. West northwest wind between 6 and 10 mph.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 64.

Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 51.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 65.

Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 51.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 68.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 52.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 71.

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NON-STOP SAN FRANCISCO TO DUBLIN Aer Lingus flights begin


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CEAD MILE FAILTE

Aer Lingus begins non-stop flights between Dublin, Ireland and San Francisco International Airport Sunday, with the official inaugural flights arriving on Monday, October 29.

“The Bay Area market potential for Ireland is extraordinary,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

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San Francisco Mayor and County Cork descendant Gavin Newsom waves from St. Patricks Day Parade 2007.

“In addition to the Irish heritage of many San Franciscans, we are one of the nation’s top tourist destinations, and home to an especially well-traveled, internationally-minded community.

“In finance, services and high tech, our commercial links with Irish industry are strong and growing.”

The service will launch with four round-trip flights per week and introductory fares as low as $288 each way. Those one-way economy class fares drop to $199 each way during a special online sale – from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, October 30 until 3:59 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31 — for weekday flights (Monday and Wednesday) in January and February 2008.

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Friday and Sunday flights are $20 more each way. Tickets must be purchased online at aerlingus.com during the sale period. Phone or airport bookings are $36 more each way.

A dedicated website, sfo2ireland.com, provides travelers details on service, fares, inaugural events, contests and other information specific to this new route.

Aer Lingus’ low-cost, low-fare model is based on one-way fares, freeing travelers from traditional minimum and maximum stays.

More than 70% of the Irish carrier’s tickets are sold online via its website and the resulting cost savings allow the airline to offer lower fares in both business and economy class without lowering service standards or crowding passengers onboard.

On transatlantic flights, seating in Classic Economy Class is a comfortable 2x4x2 configuration and in Premier Business Class the 2×2 seating gives everyone either a window or an aisle.

“We are very pleased to welcome San Francisco to the Aer Lingus network,” said Jack Foley, executive vice president for Aer Lingus in North America. “We know there are strong cultural and business bonds between Ireland and the Bay Area, and we look forward to a very popular and successful service.”

Business travelers also benefit from lower-than-usual fares and Premier Class service that rivals higher-priced carriers’. Premier seats, 20-inch wide at a pitch of 52 inches, feature universal laptop power ports and personal video on demand. “Lie-flat” versions are being introduced on the entire long-haul fleet via new aircraft and retrofits. Gourmet meals and complimentary beverages, served in Waterford crystal and on Wedgwood china, further enhance the inflight experience for Premier passengers.

The tech-savvy Aer Lingus website provides users everything needed to make travel planning easy, including special e-fares, easy flight booking with flexible search calendar, interactive seat selection, online check-in and flight changes, real time flight information and status, online frequent flyer account management and award redemption, destination guide and vacation services.

For flight schedules and reservations, visit www.aerlingus.com. Reservations may also be made for an additional fee by calling toll-free, (800) IRISH AIR (800-474-7424).

About Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus serves nearly 70 destinations across Ireland, the UK, Continental Europe, the United States and the Middle East. The airline’s transatlantic service includes non-stop service between Dublin and Boston, Chicago, New York (JFK), Los Angeles, Washington Dulles and Orlando.

Aer Lingus operates an all-Airbus fleet of technologically advanced jet aircraft. The short-haul fleet consists of Airbus A321s and Airbus A320s; the long-haul transatlantic fleet features Airbus A330 aircraft.

Aer Lingus was founded by the Irish Government in April 1936 to provide air services from Ireland. The first flight, from Dublin to Bristol, England, took place on May 27, 1936. On October 2, 2006, Aer Lingus entered a new phase in its history when it became a publicly-traded company on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges.

See Related: BE COOL WHEN IN IRELAND

See Related: BOOK AER LINGUS AS YOUR ONLY CARRIER TO IRELAND

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BITS AND MORSELS: Tres latest from the world of foodies

“Bits and Morsels” by Jordana Z, is an ongoing collection of information from the world of the foodies and foodblogs.

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Spigolo’s Burrata with radicchio salad.

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about Spigolo that sets it apart from every other neighborhood restaurant. Located on 82nd and Second Avenue, Spigolo is genuinely warm and refreshingly small in that you can actually have a conversation with your dinner partner without having to yell.

Obviously, there’s a lot of good food in New York, but it’s hard to find restaurants that really make you feel welcome. Every dish on the menu is solid but my favorite is the melt-in-your-mouth ricotta gnocchi. And for dessert, the chocolate soufflé tart is a happy sendoff, and a nice take on the boringly overdone melted chocolate cake.

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Spigolo’s earthy-toned canopy.

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Romaine Caesar with parmagiano crostini and a quail egg.

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Wild Striped Bass topped with Olive caponata and served over
vegetables.

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Chocolate Souffle tart with pistachio semifreddo.

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Warm donuts with caramel ice cream.

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Ricotta Gnocchi

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Chef Scott Fratangelo.

The original Rachael Ray. We are all going to dearly miss Peg Bracken, author of The I Hate to Cook Book. She died last Saturday at age 89 in Portland, Oregon. The book was first published in 1960 and emphasized speed and convenience in the kitchen. She utilized canned and frozen foods in a way that was revolutionary.

Spanish food at Blimpie? More than most fast food franchises, Blimpie permits franchise owners to really customize their shops and menus. One Blimpie sub shop in midtown has attracted quite a following for their authentic Spanish food. Along with the typical grinders, you can also munch on roast chicken with plantains and yellow rice. The Midtown Lunch blog, which has tough standards, really enjoyed the food.

Looking forward. In less than two weeks Brio 89 restaurant and wine bar will be opening at 1725 Second Avenue at 89th street, which will be the sister restaurant of Brio, located on Lexington and 61st which has been open for 17 years.

The new restaurant will serve Mediterranean food with an emphasis on Southern Italy and it will be open late. The space is unique in that it is a corner spot, which usually would be reserved for a bank. This is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Check it out. I was pleasantly surprised this weekend to discover the Greenmarket at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The market runs through November and is set up on Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays. It’s apple season so when you go to the market, buy some Honeycrisp apples, which are at its peak. The market also sells produce, honey, pies, and maple syrup.

Vietnamese food is popping up on menus all over the world. On Monday October 29th, the Asia Society will host a panel to discuss the evolution of Vietnamese cuisine. The Panelists will be: Bobby Chinn, chef and restaurateur, Bobby Chinn Restaurant, Hanoi, Vietnam; Andrea Nguyen, writer, teacher, and Author, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen; KT Tran, chef and restaurateur, Saigon R; and Corinne Trang, food consultant and author, Essentials of Asian Cuisine. If you have any interest in the food of Vietnam, this event is not to be missed. [The Asia Society]

Till we eat again,
Jordana

See Related: DINING

See Related: TRAVEL

See Related: FASHION

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SAN FRANCISCO SOCIAL DIARY: Opening Night Grand Foyer of the War Memorial Opera House

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA’S 85th OPENING NIGHT 2007

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Grand foyer of the War Memorial Opera House.
Photos by Drew Altizer

BY JEANNE LAWRENCE

Each September, the divas of San Francisco society flock to the San Francisco Opera opening night to launch the social season.

Over 3,000 devotees sold-out the black-tie event! SFer’s take the dress code seriously – even some top hats came out of hiding – while ladies raided local designers for gowns and safe deposit boxes for jewels.

The gala ushered in a new era with General Director David Gockley’s first full season.

He personally welcomed each patron to the pre-performance cocktail reception in the Delilah Courtyard next to War Memorial Opera House.

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Parading through the sycamore tree-lined path
to Delilah’

While opening night’s Samson and Delilah – Camille Saint-Saëns’ biblical epic – was inherited from the previous Opera manager Pamela Rosenberg, now Managing Director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, innovative Gockley plans six new productions at SFO including a Tannhäuser, and the world premiere of Philip Glass’Appomattox in October.

Still boyish-looking, Gockley joined the SFO after 35 years with the Houston Grand Opera, where at age 29 he became the youngest person to ever lead an American opera company.

Before that there was a stopover in Manhattan to teach at the prestigious Buckley School and then earn his MBA at Columbia University.

Opening night began with the traditional singing of The Star Spangled Banner, followed by on onstage welcome from Opera Association President George Hume and Opera Board Chairman Pitch Johnson.

Then Gockley asked for a moment of silence for the opera legends that we lost this year: Joe Harris, Beverly Sills and Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

He announced that the next day’s annual Opera in the Park concert (over 17,000 people attended) would be dedicated to Pavarotti, who had just died the day before. A moment of silence honoring the legendary Italian tenor ended with a recording of Pavarotti’s signature rendition of Puccini’s “Nessun dorma.”

Italian-born opera lover, Maria Manetti Farrow commented, “The world has lost one of the most beautiful voices of this century and a great human being. He made opera accessible to the public through innovations like The Three Tenors, with Placido Domingo and José Carreras.”

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Opera Gala co-chairs Marybeth
LaMotte and Cheryl Baxter

The Nicolas Joel production of Samson and Delilah was in French and starred the Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina as the temptress Delilah, tenor Clifton Forbis as Sampson, Juha Uusitalo as The High Priest of Dagon, and Oren Gradus as The Old Hebrew. Directed by Sandra Bernhard, the performance was conducted by Patrick Summers, with original lighting design by Thomas Munn.

New Yorker Francis Barlow was in town, and introduced me to her friends, Carrie Robbins and Douglas Schmidt. Schmidt designed the set with its dramatic temples and massive columns – Schmidt quipped, “But it all comes down in the end anyway.” Robbins’ was responsible for the opulent costumes.

Observing the crowd, fashion lover Sally Debenham (longtime friend of Bill Blass) noted, “Astounding! It’s a whole new group of young people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s: enthusiastic, having a wonderful time…that bodes well for the future of opera.” Her friend, John Capizzi, General Manager of Neiman Marcus agreed.

This can be partly attributed to the young chairs, Cheryl Baxter and Marybeth La Motte. Also, the city has a young mayor, Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is running for re-election, and escorted aspiring actress Jennifer Siebel.

And David Gockley deserves credit too. He is committed to attracting a wider following for opera and in Houston he pioneered opera’s public simulcast on giant outdoor video screens, which has been copied by others.

Here, he’s utilizing SFO’s new Koret-Taube Media Suite on the fifth floor of the opera house. Said to be the first in America, the high-definition video production facility broadcasts to AT&T Park and other location.

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Mayor Gavin Newsom and David Gockley,
Opera general director

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Jeannik Littlefield and daughter Denise Sobel with
husband Norman Keller

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George and Charlotte Shultz

During intermission the $10,000 + donors head to the Intermezzo Lounge – among the paparazzi – to mingle, chat and sip champagne. Seen in the lounge was sponsor and honorary chair, Jeannik Littlefield with her son, Jacques Littlefield and his wife Sandy, and her daughter, Denise Sobel and her husband Norman Keller.

Other production sponsors were Bernard and Barbara Osher and Joan and David Traitel, honorary chair, Cynthia Fry Gunn with her husband, SFO board member John Gunn and their son Matt Gunn with Kate Larsen, daughter of board member Tom Larsen and wife Shelia.

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Dr. Robert Harvey and Patricia Pope

Another grouping included board member, honorary chair, and grand sponsor DeDe Wilsey with her son Trevor Traina and his wife Alexis; beautiful Patsy Pope in a blue ball gown from Paris; and other Board members Doreen Woo Ho andher husband James Ho; Carol Franc Buck; and Athena Troxel Blackburn with her husband, Timothy Blackburn.

Delia Ehrlich told me that her parents, Janet and Mortimer Fleishhacker, always took her to the opera as a child. “We sat in Box M every opening night,” she reminisced. “Tonight, I’m even wearing my mother’s vintage gown, earrings and necklace. She shopped in Paris at Balmain and Madame Gres and was always on the best-dressed list.”

After two more acts and another intermission – hey, at least it wasn’t Wagner – it was on to the Opera Balls!

After the performance opera devotee Jock McBaine said, “David Gockley and a newly reenergized board of directors are slowly but markedly improving musical standards at San Francisco Opera. And with the arrival of new Musical Director Nicola Luisotti in 2009, as well as an upcoming endowment drive, the future at SFO now looks bright indeed.”

THE OPERA BALLS

After the performance, guests were ravenous for the succulent dinner and swarmed the Opera Ball Pavilion. Cheryl Baxter and Marybeth La Motte, 2007 Opera Guild Ball co-chairs, looked spectacular wearing Emanuel Ungaro gownsin brilliant shades of indigo and amethyst, and jewels by Boucheron, both sponsors of the evening with Wells Fargo.

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Ken Monnens and Maria Manetti
Farrow in Valentino

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John Gunn and Cynthia Fry Gunn

Event sponsors Dr. Isha and Asim Abdullah now own the House of Ungaro so naturally, Isha was wearing a strapless, flowing violet and teal mousseline gown by Ungaro – who else?

The dinner sponsor was the Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe law firm, headed by Cheryl’s husband, Ralph Baxter. Apparently, pillow talk can be charitable! “We sold out months in advance and raised over $1 million – the highest ever!” Cheryl said.

Co-sponsors of the production, Barbra and Bernard Osher, celebrated Bernard’s80th birthday with 75 of his closest friends. Joan Snitzer and her husband Irwin Levy came all the way from Texas to honor the man who once owned the prestigious Butterfield & Butterfield auction house. Acquired by eBay in 1999, and by Bonhams in 2002, the old San Francisco firm is now known as Bonhams & Butterfields.

Robert Fountain created opulent Indian-inspired décor with tablecloths, chairs covers and custom made tapestries in rich, warm hues of red, maroon, and gold. Each table setting for a lavish feast, catered by Paula Leduc, was set with gold-rimmed glasses.

Centerpieces of purple and green artichokes, quince, grapes, plums, figs, and pomegranates nestled enticingly among aromatic mango and crimson calla lilies, burgundy sweet William and black dahlias.

Katie Jarman, co-chair of the 2005 Opera Ball, said, “A balmy night in San Francisco always puts opening night opera goers in a wonderful mood. The opulence of the tent with its columns, lush fabrics, low lighting and scantily-clad guards just added to an already high energy evening.”

Seen dancing to Bill Hopkins Rock’n Orchestra was Cheryl and Ralph’s daughter Ashley Baxter, who was celebrating her 10th birthday. How will her parents ever top this one?

Opera patrons attending included Cathie Johnson, Robert Mailer Anderson with Nicola Miner in Balenciaga, Leslie Hume, Mr. and Mrs. Bandel Carano, Molly and James Crownover, Lynne Edminster and Brian Atwood, Barlow Ferguson, Ann and Gordon Getty, and Susie and Pat McBaine.

Also there to support were Gretchen Kimball, Bob and Maura Morey, Lonna Wais, Shariq Yosufzai, Claude and Katie Jarman, Judith and John Renard, Nion Tucker McEvoy, Jim and Penny Coulter, Barbara Brown, Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis and Markos Kounalakis, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and his wife Ruth, Marshall and Deborah Wais, and Steven McClellan and Elizabeth Barlow.

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Shell and Craig Cardon, and Charlot and Gregory Malin

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Donna and Chuck Huggins

Along with Joy Venturini Bianchi, Brandt Hooker, Dr. Barry Barron and Connie Goodrich Barron, Chuck and Donna Huggins, Chandra and Robert Friese, LindaKempner and Vera Carpeneti and New Yorkers Adelina Wong Ettelson, Christine Cachot Williams, and William Ettelson.

As well as former SF mayor Willie Brown, Robin Collins in Valentino, Phoebe Cowles, Chal de Guigne, Christine de Limur, Gail De Martini, Tom Kravis, Bernie Hagan, Lois Lehrman, Charlot and Gregory Malin, Dr. Alan Malouf, Susan and Bill Oberndorf, Robyn Paret, Paul Pelosi, Jennifer and Richard Smith, and Lisa Stevens-Gallo.

Rounding out the SRO crowd: philanthropists Diana and Tad Taube (heads of the Koret foundation), Jim Schneider and Barbara Brookins-Schneider in a Chinese-inspired Yves St. Laurent, Afsaneh Akhtari in Ungaro, Victor Thomas, whose father was opera singer Jess Thomas, Dr. Melina Jampolis, Kimberly Bakker in vintage McFadden, Craig Cardon with his wife Shell,in vintage Bill Blass, Nicolo and Kimberly Bini in from their new home in LA, and stunning Amber Marie Bently in a lime green Ungaro.

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Jim Schneider and Barbara
Brookins-Schneider

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Elizabeth and Kip Thieriot

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Pitch Johnson, Linda Kemper, and David
Gockley

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Serge Sorokko watches wife Tatiana,
a former model in Ralph Rucci

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Lucy and John Buchanan,
de Young Museum director

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Nicole Miner and Robert Mailer Anderson
(on right) with friends

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Joy Venturini Bianchi and Brandt Hooker

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Sally Debenham in Oscar de la Renta
and John Capizzi

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Former Mayor Willie Brown and
Sonya Molodetskaya

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Amber Marie Bently
in Ungaro

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Gretchen and Howard Leach,
former Ambassador to France

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Vera Carpeneti and Edgar Stone

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Robert Shwarts and Joni Binder
in Carolina Herrera

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Claude and Katie Jarman

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Mayor Gavin Newsom and
Jennifer Siebel in Maggie Norris

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Adrianna Pope Sullivan and
Bobby Sullivan

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Strike a pose

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Jennifer Siebel, Kimberly Bini, and
Kimberly Bakker

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Exotic dancers

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Francis Barlow, Joan Traitel, and
Genelle Relfe

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Sobia Shaikh

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Lonna Weiss and
Dennis Modrich

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Bobo Fredricki
and Toni Wolfson

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Dennis Flynn and Afasneh Akhtari

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Andreas Rippel, Fariba Rezvani,
Adelina Ettelman, and Jorge Maumer

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Lizette Bruckstein and Jason Sloan

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Heide Betz and Scotty Morris

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Ed and Rosemary Baker

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David Gockley, Jeannik Littlefield, and Sandy and Jacques
Littlefield

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Enjoying the terrace with the view of City Hall

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Amber Marie and Christopher Bently

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Michael and Susan Kulick admire
the Lexus, a sponsor

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Karen Caldwell

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Dr. Alan Malouf

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Maria Quiros, Vaughn Mulder, and
Dr. Melina Jampolis

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Dolly Chammas and Isha Abdullah

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Costume designer Carrie Robbins and
Douglas Schmidt, set designer

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Marybeth LaMotte and Cheryl Baxter

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Birthday boy Bernard Osher with Texan
Joan Shnitzer

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Clara Shayevich

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Decor by Robert Fountain

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Dr. Gunther Haller and Lyhn, in Oscar

BRAVO! CLUB Opening Night Gala

Meanwhile, across the street under the gilded dome of City Hall, another sold-out event rocked the house. Co-chairs Michelle Marie Robertson and Sean Cullen presented Bravo! Club’s 16th annual black-tie gala for over 450 people.

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Bravo’s after party at City Hall

To bring to life the Golden Hollywood Ball theme, Hartmann Studios masterfully re-created Cecil B. DeMille’s version of Samson and Delilah. I stopped by after my party finished, only to find this party still going strong. The dance floor was packed and pulsing with the music of The Fundamentals.

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Bravo Party – Roberta Economidis

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Thomas Banks and Kristen Weiers

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Enjoying the Bravo Party

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Christina and Isabela Robinson

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Chris Bergers, Kelly Grimes, and Travis Rogers

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Bravo’s younger set dance the night away

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Heading home after a long night

Late Late Nighters

A lucky few continued the festivities with a fabulous after party-party at Isha and Asim Abdullah’s penthouse where we sipped champagne into the wees. Such scenery and all that understated Euro-charm – it would have made Delilah jealous all over again.

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Midnight at the Abdullah’s, Lonna Weiss and Dennis Modrich

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Dr. Gunther and Lyhn Haller in Ocsar

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Ken Monnens, Maria Manetti Farrow, Marybeth LaMotte, and Kimberly Bakker

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Jorge Maumer with Dolly and George Chammas

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Joel Goodrich and Christina de Limur

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Justin Fichelson and Fariba Rezvani

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Bringin’ sexy back

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Yes, he wore it to the opera – John Ocker,
Marybeth LaMotte, and Diane Wynne

The Giants and SF Opera Partner

Several weeks later, the San Francisco Giants’ COO Larry Baer and Gockley in partnership presented to the community the Opera in the Ballpark combining high art with hot dogs, peanuts, and crackerjacks.

More than 5,000 fans flocked to the free HD broadcast of Samson and Delilah on the 103ft. wide Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision video scoreboard at the AT&T Park. Could this be a new era for Opera?

See Related: SAMSON AND DELILAH – L’Amour et Glamour On the Re-Bound at SAN FRANCISCO OPERA

See Related: STAGE
ELEPHONE wins the “Build Your Own Ball” Contest

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY rolled out an innovative community campaign, BUILD YOUR OWN BALL, inviting the public to play a role in selecting entertainment, fashion and the official cocktail for the upcoming 2008 Black & White Ball, Saturday, May 31st, at the Civic Center’s War Memorial Performing Arts Center. ELEPHONE, the catchy four-piece band from San Francisco’s Mission District has won the battle of the bands and will be the opening act at the Van Ness Avenue Stage at 9:00 PM. The members of elephone are a cross between Frank Lloyd Wright and Charlie Chaplin, a mighty gorrilla in a man suit. They don’t believe in the story of Santa Claus, keeping it real or the two drink minimum. Listening to elephone is shivering, moving, cinematic, dynamic, dark and literary. By making honest music for dishonest times, elephone will change everything about everything, everywhere, all the time. General Admission Party Pass tickets ($200 per person) are now on sale. AT&T is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2008 Black & White Ball.

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ELEPHONE

The 2008 Black & White Ball will begin at 5 p.m. with three different VIP receptions and dinners prior to a special performance by three-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Seal in Davies Symphony Hall at 8:00 PM. Beginning at 9:00 PM, there will be “dancing in the streets” when the Ball takes flight with 12 different bands on multiple stages throughout the War Memorial Performing Arts Center before giving way to the big “Midnight Surprise.” The Ball will conclude at 1:00 AM. Build Your Own Ball encourages the public to play a role in selecting several elements of the 2008 Black and White Ball. The public will have an opportunity to vote for one of three Bay Area indie rock bands, with the winning band scheduled to perform at the Ball. The three finalists are Elephone, Minipop, and the all-girl quartet, The Hot Toddies. The selected band will perform a 75-minute set on the prominent Van Ness Avenue Main Stage beginning at 9:00 PM.

Also voted into the winners’s circle is a couture gown by Bay Area designer Sara Shepherd (to be worn by Event Chair Patricia Sprincin) and as the “official cocktail of the Ball” – a Grey Goose Vodka concoction, “The Orchard Martini”. [See recipe below.]

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Gown, by Sara Shepherd & The Orchard Martini – with Grey Goose Vodka

The entertainment roster for the 2008 Black & White Ball features an impressive array of nationally renowned musical groups spanning the sounds of Latin and Brazilian beats, American roots country and rockabilly, and traditional big band styles to a Beatles-inspired cover band, smooth jazz, classic rock, and edgy hip hop sound: Marianne Kent and Bay Society Dance Band, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Boca Do Rio, Pete Escovedo Latin/Jazz Orchestra, Big Bang Beat!, Larry Vuckovich Jazz/Latin Quintet, Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra featuring Faye Carol, The Sun Kings, DJ Afrika Bambaataa, Dick Bright’s SRO, and Blues Traveler.

The auction continues now through May 29th, with a live event taking place on May 31, 2008 at the Black & White Ball Patrons’ Dinner. Items purchased here through “Buy Now” will be awarded immediately. Items not purchased at the guaranteed bid price will be awarded at the close of the online portion of the auction provided the reserve price has been met. Proceeds will benefit Adventures In Music. The auction items include exotic vacation getaways to exclusive event tickets you cannot get any where but here! So, tell your friends, family, community. Let the bidding begin! BID NOW!

Meet the performing artists of this year’s Black and White Ball:

SEAL – This spectacular Pop vocalist and songwriter has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide since his emergence from Britain’s house music/rave scene. He catapulted to fame with his 1991 U.S. Top Ten single “Crazy” from his eponymous album, a genre-defying fusion of soul, pop, rock, R&B, and propulsive grooves that announced the arrival of an innovative new talent. His second album featured the single “Prayer for the Dying,” receiving a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. A second single, “KISS FROM A ROSE” won multiple Grammy Awards for “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year” in 1996. In 2007, Seal returned with his latest album, the up-tempo “System” which features the Grammy-nominated single “AMAZING” .

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SEAL – and CD cover of SYSTEM

BLUES TRAVELER, best known for their 1994 hit “RUN-AROUND”, Blues Traveler plays thumping blues-rock with ease. Balancing renowned musicianship with accessible song craft that blends pop hooks with blues- and rock-influenced grooves, the band plays explosive live performances. The band is revered for its epic sets, and for transforming the jam scene in the early ’90s via its beloved H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere) festivals.

DJ AFRIKA BAMBAATAA is a legendary pioneer of hip-hop music. As the “Godfather of Hip-Hop,” he is known for his ground-breaking use of samples from all genres of music, as represented by his formidable hit Planet Rock. His influence continues to be felt in many styles of electronic, techno and dance music today. He has collaborated with a variety of musicians including James Brown, Little Steven Van Zandt, Boy George, George Clinton, Nona Hendryx, and Lou Reed.

DICK BRIGHT’S SRO is a 19-member group and one of the best party bands around. The band, led by emcee Dick Bright, features string, horn and rhythm sections as well as vocalists and dancers that are dedicated to making every performance unforgettable fun. They constantly update their repertoire of dance hits from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s making sure there is something to please everyone and get them on the dance floor.

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PETE ESCOVEDO

PETE ESCOVEDO LATIN/JAZZ ORCHESTRA – Legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo is an artist who broke down the barriers between smooth jazz, salsa, Latin jazz and contemporary music. Escovedo has played with legendary musicians including Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Bobbie McFerrin, Boz Scaggs and many others. Today Escovedo leads one of the top Latin jazz orchestras in the country performing his own unique sound.

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BIG SANDY & HIS FLY-RITE BOYS

BIG SANDY & HIS FLY-RITE BOYS specialize in American roots music – western swing, rockabilly and traditional country. They create original dance music that is influenced by some of their musical heroes including Chuck Berry, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Etta James and Junior Parker. The band has appeared at the Grand Ole Opry and on the “Late Show with Conan O’Brien”.

MARIANNE KENT AND BAY SOCIETY bring you back to the days of the big bands. This ten-member group performs standards, show tunes and swing. Bandleader Kent sings songs made popular by Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee and many others.

MARCUS SHELBY Jazz Orchestra plays acoustic bass with his 15 piece jazz orchestra. Featuring Faye, the MSJO is comprised of some of the Bay Areas most respected and sought after young musicians including Rob Barics, Gabe Eaton, Darren Johnston and Danny Grewen. Shelby and his bandmates perform original compositions as well as a broad survey of arrangements from great jazz big band composers Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Charles Mingus and Count Basie.

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MARCUS SHELBY & FAYE CAROL

THE SUN KINGS – a Bay Area-based tribute band, plays the Beatles vast songbook brilliantly. Accomplished musicians and life long Beatles fans, they recreate the trademark harmonies and orchestrations with precise attention to detail. They perform with a rock ‘n’ roll energy and passion that recalls the Beatles earliest gigs in Hamburg and Liverpool. This five-member band does not strive to look like the Fab Four, they simply play the Beatles music as it should be heard.

BIG BANG BEAT is one of the Bay Area’s favorite party bands and they will keep audiences moving on the dance floor. Their music ranges from ’60s Motown, ’70s funk to dance hits from the ’80s and ’90s. Critics have called them a “surrealistic soul sensation.”

BOCA DO RIO – this Brazilian soul music is a blend of jazz improvisation and Brazilian roots music—samba, reggae and music of the African diaspora. Kevin Welch—Boca’s leader, composer, guitarist, and vocalist—has assembled a superb team of Brazilian and American musicians to perform “soulful samba and funk-laden grooves to get the whole room shaking.”

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BOCA DO RIO

LARRY VUCKOVICH Jazz/Latin Quintet. Pianist Vuckovich has been a mainstay of the San Francisco jazz scene since he arrived in 1951. This group performs original songs, film noir classics, swinging bebop, post-bop, Latin/Brazilian, flamenco, blues, and more. The only piano student of Vince Guaraldi, Vuckovich is also known for his 25-year association with vocalist Jon Hendrix. His Jazz/Latin Quintet features Akira Tana on drums and Hector Lugo on Latin percussion, among other musicians.

To order tickets on-line: BLACK AND WHITE BALL, 2008
To view auction item on line: BID NOW!

RECIPE – THE ORCHARD MARTINI:
1 ½ parts GREY GOOSE® Vodka
1 part Apple Cider
½ parts maple syrup
Cinnamon sugar for rimming the glass
1 lemon wedge for rimming the glass
Lemon twist for garnish
Place the cinnamon sugar on a plate, rub the juicy side of the lemon wedge on the outside lip of the glass, then roll in the sugar. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice squeeze the leftover lemon wedge and drop in shaker, add GREY GOOSE® Vodka, Apple Cider, maple syrup. Shake vigorously. Strain into seasoned martini glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Seán recommends these CDs for your Popular Library:
SYSTEM. Seal’s fifth studio album includes Eric Schermerhorn (guitars); Chris Bruce (acoustic guitar); Bill Bottrell (Mellotron).
FOUR. Featuring Blues Traveler band members Tad Kinchla, Chan Kinchla, John Popper, Ben Wilson, Brendan Hill and the hit “Run-Around”.
FLYING SOUTH – with Pete Escovedo. Selections include All This Love, Esta Noche, Canto Para Chango, El Alma de Carnival, etc.
BOCA DO RIO. Featuring Kevin Welch (guitar), Jon Evans (bass guitar), Dan Foltz (drums), Alex Calatayud (pandeiro), and Larry De La Cruz (percussion).

Visit Seán on YouTube
Lorena Feijóo – A Look at “Giselle” with Seán Martinfield
SAMSON & DELILAH – Meet Seán Martinfield

For related articles and interviews:
SAN FRANCISCO BALLET’S 2009 SEASON – Includes World Premiere of All-New Swan Lake by Helgi Tomasson
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM – Now at The Curran Theatre
A CONVERSATION WITH MAESTRO HELMUTH RILLING
BLUE BEAR LIVE III – Friday, May 9th at Great American Music Hall
RICHARD C. BARKER – Named Chair of San Francisco Ballet’s Board of Trustees
SAN FRANCISCO CONCERT CHORALE PRESENTS – THE BACH EXPERIENCE
7 SINS – EXTENDED AT THEATRE RHINO THROUGH MAY 17th
ANTIQUE ROADSTERS RACE FROM NOB HILL – THE 2008 SAN FRANCISCO MILLE
LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN – Restored Film Noir Classic at SF International Film Festival
BERNARD LABADIE & HAYDN – This Week At the San Francisco Symphony
VETERAN SERVICE PROVIDER PATTI CARLISE WED AT EPICENTER OF SAN FRANCISCO’S HEART
TANGO EVOLUTION – At the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, April 19th – 22nd
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL – At the Orpheum, San Francisco
CHERYL BURKE DANCE – Dancing with Gavin and Jennifer
DALE CHIHULY – Lighting-Up At The de Young
At the Asian Art Museum – DRAMA AND DESIRE
LORENA FEIJÓO – A Conversation with Seán Martinfield
ANNIE LEIBOVITZ – On her show at the Legion of Honor
JENNIFER SIEBEL – A Conversation with Seán Martinfield
SWEENEY TODD – PRIME CUTS FROM DIRECTOR TIM BURTON
SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY – 14th Season with Michael Tilson Thomas
ANITA COCKTAIL and LEANNE BORGHESI – A 3-Way Dialogue
GILBERT & GEORGE – A Debut, at the de Young February 16th – May 18th
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA Announces 86th Season – 11 Operas, 78 Performances

sean-martinfield-250-pixels-new-sentinel-mug.jpg
Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com.

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