Last night kicked off one of the Spring’s biggest society events in the city; the ironically named “Winter Ball” (in 60 degree weather,) to benefit the Museum of the City of New York. Held in the Plaza Hotel (best known for its cameo appearance in Home Alone 2), the ball was a veritable Who’s That? of New York’s social finest, all composed with exquisite taste–especially in the seating arrangements–by the Director’s Council junior league. (Mark Gilbertson and friends.) Armani co-sponsored the event and gave out perfume and chocolate.
It was such a lavish affair that we could spend 2,000 words on the fashion alone. You know how in school you found out that if you took out your intestines and lay them straight out, it would be twenty five feet long? Remember how overwhelming of a thought that was: that somehow so much essential stuff was crammed into your body just to make sure you were regular?
New York society is a lot like your intestines, in the sense that you can only list off so many important names and relations for the record-breaking 1,400 attendees before your eyes glaze over. Roosevelt, Hearst, Miller, Dupont, Rockefeller , Roosevelt, Tisch, Bancroft, etc., etc., ad infinitum. And also Liam Neeson.
That being said, there is nothing like watching a bunch of exquisitely dressed people sparkle under the same hall that has hosted 100+ years of similar functions, to see a new generation of jet-setters dance to Maroon 5 while the older set left almost immediately after dessert. (This was a junior league event after all.) And although the real joy in going to the Winter Gala is apparently eating beforehand at one of the elite private dinners–where one can’t buy their way in for charity’s sake–we found the food almost as interesting as the company. (Though the company was interesting, as we were seated between two architects who used to live in our neighborhood and could say with almost definitive certinity that our landlord’s brother had been in the mafia but was never invited to be “made” because he never killed anyone. A little known fact is that this is the same way you get invited into New York’s high society.
So for the feast of the senses, here is the menu from last night. Close your eyes and imagine that you were right there with us; supping on the highs and the plateaus.
1. Green miniature spring rolls.
2. Those little ceviche bites served in an edible tortilla shell.
3. Little black cylinders with white goo inside. It may have had a fishy taste.
4. Tiny little cuts of meat on chips.
Endives with blue cheese; this ball of what we thought was going to be mozzarella but was actually a lot of sweeter than mozzarella; a cracker with holes in it.
Slices of filet minion with a side of avocado shaped like a volcano and a crispy polenta box. Why was the avocado in the shape of a volcano? Because it’s fancy, that’s why.
Coffee, a red velvet(?) cake with a bunch of crumbly bits. It was delicious.
(Photo by Patrick McMullan.)
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