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New Book: The PDT Cocktail Book

The secrets of the popular speakeasy PDT can now be yours.

December 12, 2011


FROM LEFT: The PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan; an illustration by Chris Gall

If PDT (Please Don’t Tell) is your favorite not-so-secret secret bar, then you are in luck. PDT’s head bartender Jim Meehan has released The PDT Cocktail Book ($24.95), with illustrations by Chris Gall. The book is more than just recipes for aspiring mixologists: Along with delicious tipples, Meehan has included advice on everything from design and equipment to bar etiquette, making The PDT Cocktail Book the perfect gift for the cocktail connoisseur on your list. PDT, 113 St. Marks Place

—jessica ferri

 

Elizabeth Taylor Auction at Christie’s New York

Incredible jewelry and memorabilia from the collection of Elizabeth Taylor goes on the auction block.

December 12, 2011


Diamond earrings and a Bulgari diamond and emerald necklace from the collection of Elizabeth Taylor 

Christie’s New York will hold the distinct honor of auctioning off the collection of perhaps the most famous jewelry connoisseur in the world: Elizabeth Taylor. (Read Gotham's story on the legendary collection here.) Beginning December 13, Taylor’s jewels, clothing and other memorabilia will be up for sale at Christie’s during four consecutive days of auction. In addition to the 2,000 pieces in the catalog, 950 items are also available for online bidding. This marks the first time Christie’s has made an exclusive collection like this available online. As a taste, these diamond ear pendants were given to Taylor by her beloved third husband, Mike Todd, and are priced at about $35,000, and the Bulgari necklace of diamonds and emeralds is estimated to be worth more than a million dollars. Tickets and additional information are available on the Christie’s website.
 

—jessica ferri

 

Gift of the Day: A Reed Krakoff Tote

The season’s It Bag has arrived.

December 09, 2011

Alligator and python; put them together and you have one ferocious reptile—or one ferocious bag. For pre-Spring 2012, Reed Krakoff played with panels, skins and pouches to come up with this luxurious and highly functional Atlantique tote ($7,150) consisting of alligator, python, leather and linen. Also available in metallic shades of rose gold, sienna and electric blue, the tote is accented by front, back and side pouches and has a roomy interior. Picking the perfect purse for a serious bag collector is no small task, but gems like this make the pursuit considerably less daunting.

See all of Gotham's 2011 Gifts of the Day here.

—April Walloga

 

The Grand Hyatt New York Gets a New Look

A newly renovated New York classic is unveiled.

December 09, 2011


Sculptures by Jaume Plensa in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt New York

Last night the Grand Hyatt New York, located on Park Avenue adjacent to the Grand Central Terminal, unveiled a major, $130 million renovation. All 1,306 guest rooms have been dramatically refashioned, and new additions include two marble sculptures in the lobby by artist Jaume Plensa and the Grand Club, which is located on the 16th floor and affords stunning views of Manhattan. “This total revitalization of Grand Hyatt New York re-affirms our position as one of the most desirable venues in Manhattan,” says general manager Mark Pardue. “We are thrilled to reintroduce this landmark property to New York and the rest of the world with our dramatic new look.” 109 E. 42nd St., 212-883-1234

 

—jessica ferri

 

12 Days of Holiday Shopping

More than 25 designers comprise a pop-up shop at the Old School in Nolita.

December 09, 2011



Beginning Saturday and continuing over the next two weeks, 25 designers and small businesses will be popping up at The Old School space (once a Catholic school) in Nolita—complete with Christmas trees and garland for sale in the courtyard. Vendors like Mociun, Baggu and Erin Considine will be situated in classrooms throughout the venue, and award-winning chef Sarah Simmons of City Grit will be selling holiday snacks, gift baskets and mulled wine to sip while you shop. (December 10–22, NOON–8 PM) The Old School, 32 Prince St.
 

—jessica ferri

 

Gift of the Day: Stemware by Karl Lagerfeld

Lagerfeld says a beautiful glass improves the taste of a drink—and he's right.

December 08, 2011

 

Part of a 16-piece collection of stemware designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Orrefors, this opaque black wine glass ($250 each) is a work of art. Each glass was sketched by Lagerfeld and is handblown in Sweden by skilled craftsmen using centuries-old techniques—no machines, computers or conveyor belts. (No fewer than 15 craftsmen contribute to the making of each glass.) Glasses in the collection, which range from Champagne coupes to tumblers, come in clear, inky black or white colors and feature ingeniously designed built-in coasters, which Lagerfeld explains in this video. Bloomingdale’s, 1000 Third Ave., 212-705-2000

See all of Gotham's 2011 Gifts of the Day here.

—April Walloga

 

Opening Ceremony Care Packages

Delightfully stylish gifts make for a winning holiday.

December 08, 2011


The Moon Maker Slumber Party Pack

No idea what to get those on your list who are a bit too cool for school? Look no further than Opening Ceremony’s care packages—the Moon Maker Slumber Party Pack ($396.25) includes a pair of adorable Band of Outsiders pajamas, a Magic 8 Ball and Mad Libs galore. For the jetsetter, check out the Les Essentials for the Plane bag ($457), which includes a Philip Lim travel blanket, an electric adapter and a Want O'Hare shopper bag to carry it all. Opening Ceremony at The Ace Hotel, 20 West 29th St.

—jessica ferri

 

Violinist Charlie Siem Takes on New York

The fashion-world's favorite violin player brings his talents to Manhattan.

December 08, 2011


Charlie Siem

At just 25, Charlie Siem has become violinist to the fashion elite, fêting the likes of Lady Gaga after her CFDA-award win last year. His third album, Charlie Siem Plays Bruch, Wieniawski & Bull, recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, was released in September. New Yorkers will get to see Siem (who is more than a little easy on the eyes) tomorrow night at the WMP Concert Hall (7:30 PM), or December 13 for a free show at the Upper West Side Apple Store (7 PM). Both programs will include selections by Brahms, Bazzini and Paganini. WMP Concert Hall, 31 E. 28th St., 212-582-7536

—jessica ferri

 

Gift of the Day: Earrings Fit for a Queen

Earrings inspired by a historic masquerade ball are the perfect gift for New York gala goers.

December 07, 2011

Set in 18k white gold and dripping in white cultured pearls, these Loup Diamants earrings (price upon request) by Van Cleef & Arpels are inspired by le Bal du Palais d’Hiver, a storied winter ball from 20th century Russian history. Part of Van Cleef’s Bals de Légende collection, which celebrates five famous masquerade balls, the earrings are reminiscent of a masked woman wearing a crown draped in diamonds. What better gift is there to give a New York gala queen than earrings inspired by one of the greatest balls in history? 744 Fifth Ave., 212-644-9500

See all of Gotham's 2011 Gifts of the Day here.

—April Walloga

 

Crowning Achievements: Madonna’s W.E. and The Worlds of Hunt Slonem

Two parties celebrate the respective works of two consummate professionals.

December 07, 2011


Andrea Riseborough and Madonna

If you are obsessed with Wallis Simpson, as Dispatches happens to be, Madonna’s movie W.E. (for “Wallis” and “Edward,” her husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor) is a must-see. The story weaves between a young New York social named Wally (played by Abbie Cornish), who is obsessed with the New York auction of the Duke and Duchess’s effects in the 1980s, and the story of Simpson, who was socially ambitious to the extreme and married the King of England (after he eventually abdicated).
 
On Sunday, December 4, Piaget, the Cinema Society and the Weinstein Company screened W.E., Madonna’s directorial debut, at MoMA with an afterparty at Crown. Andrea Riseborough plays Simpson like a dream in the film. “When she walked into my living room,” said Madonna, wearing Dolce & Gabbana and Van Cleef & Arpels, “I was stopped in my tracks.”

“You start with the literature, as Joan Didion says,” explained Riseborough. “I read reams and reams of fact, and then came the archived footage. And once you’ve adopted it all and trust that it is in your DNA, as Madonna says, then you forget all of it because there is no point doing any of that if you can’t be present.”

“It was cooking in my brain for a long time,” said Madonna of the project, which she also co-wrote. “I was trying to understand the story of love and sacrifice.” Madonna, in fact, read the private letters of the Duke and Duchess. The truth behind the greatest love story of all time is that the Duchess felt trapped, and that the Duke’s constant affection was eventually unbearable.

The British journalist standing next to me on the red carpet asked in the most tasteful Oxbridge accent: “Was the Duchess a hermaphrodite?” “I don’t think so,” Madonna, apparently well-read on the subject, answered demurely. “That’s an assumption one shouldn’t make.”

The modern portion of the film (still flawed) was edited and re-edited after various screenings. “Venice, Toronto and London,” explained Madonna. “Each time I watched the film with an audience I had a new experience. And the luxury of making small tweaks and changes… But tonight is about letting go.”

“I have a really big knot in my stomach,” she continued. “No one has offered me a glass of Champagne like they did in Venice and Toronto.”

Later at Crown, security checked IDs at the door. Madonna was sandwiched between Steven Klein and Guy Oseary in a back corner. We also spotted Adrien Brody, Jeremy Piven (with an attractive young brunette) and artist Marilyn Minter. Delicious cupcakes passed on silver trays read CONGRATULATIONS, M.
 
Hunt Slonem and His Worlds
Monday at Crown, in a glamorous gray-on-gray secret apartment behind a bookcase downstairs, Brooke Shields, Paul Cavaco and Lauren Bush Lauren touted The Worlds of Hunt Slonem (Vendome Press). Shields, who has only one month left in her role as Morticia Addams in Broadway’s The Addams Family, showed up at Crown on the back of her assistant Dan McCann’s Vespa. Lauren B. Lauren, on the late side, held her dinner seat with a mini FEED teddy bear in the chair next to Slonem (this writer’s brother). Also spotted: Lola Rykiel, Vogue’s Eve MacSweeney, Amy Fine Collins and interior designer Steven Gambrel. 

—jeffrey slonim
photograph by gettyimages.com

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