Posts Tagged ‘BrazilFoundation’

Me and my spanx went out the other night.

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Ever have one of those evenings that is just perfect? Great party, great friends, gereat weather, great venue, great great great. I just did. Thursday night, the Husband and I had a fabulous evening doing something very “New York.” Can’t imagine when I’ll get to repeat the experience but that’s okay because it was just enough to have done it once. We went to a fundraiser for a foundation that my husband and I have supported for several years now, and the dinner was their annual gala event.

I would say that the Husband and I were Out of Our Element (what with the supermodels, a red-carpet-get-your-photo-taken-in-front-of-our-sponsor-wall stop, some super-hip DJ spinning tunes {do DJs still spin tunes?} after dinner, and a $350-per-head after-party at some very hip downtown rooftop bar {we didn’t go to that, but in retrospect we should have: Kevin Spacey? Jim Carrey? Anne Hathaway? Partying ’til dawn? Never mind. I’m exhausted just writing that}) but we had a great time.

The benefit was for a grant-making nonprofit organization called BrazilFoundation that supports a variety of social, education, and cultural programs in Brazil. For the past several years, it’s been held at a really neat space (that’s what you say about “catering halls” in NYC you know — they’re “spaces,”) called Cipriani which was, back in The Day, a bank. But this year, a new Gala Committee chair took charge, and he decided to kick it up a notch and moved it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, aka The Met. It was all kinds of awesome. The museum is closed to the public for events like this (it closes on Thursdays at 5:30 anyway, so it’s not a big inconvenience to the art loving public). Sometime between the close at 5:30 and 6:30 when the cocktail hour began, the Great Hall of the museum (“the lobby”, to me and all you other philistines) was transformed into a lovely lounge: grand piano, open bars in several strategic places (the octagonal Information Desk in the center became a bar), a zillion little votive candles, and roving waiters carrying things like carpaccio on small toast thingies, and salmon on one of those waffle-y potato chips.

Picture this with people dressed fancy, and a bar where that octagon is.

The dinner itself was held in the Temple of Dendur, an Egyptian temple that dates from 15 BC. An amazing place to have dinner.

The BRAZIL FOUNDATION's 8th Annual Gala Benefit ©Patrick McMullan==Photo - CLINT PAULDING/PatrickMcMullan.com

I’ve written before about the pressures of attending a black tie event with Brazilians in attendance. (Such pressure that I ended up dying my eyebrows black.) I’m always of two minds about this party: 1) Why make myself crazy about the whole “what to wear” thing because we all know Brazilian women have cornered the market on pulling themselves together and looking gorgeous (that, and this benefit is known for its Brazilian Supermodel Contingent) and so no one will be looking at me anyway, and 2) Kick it up a notch, Sister. This is the Big Time. You can’t look like some country bumpkin from NJ….you gotta rock it.

I went with an attitude closer to 1 than 2. C’mon, it’s Back to School time, I’ve been running around like a nut between after school activities and BTS Night meetings…throw in a suspected gall bladder attack, and house construction….My window for acquiring couture was not open all that wide to start with. So I wore an off-the-rack navy gown (from last year’s very popular Lord & Taylor collection; off the rack from my closet). My pre-event prep included snatching my husband’s razor to shave (nothing exotic, please. The Brazilians can keep their waxing, thankyouverymuch).

The event actually made some style websites and blogs. You’ll note that I am not pictured on any of these sites (even if you don’t know what I look like, rest assured that 5’4″ of 41-year-old redheads do not appear in the event photos). But the Supermodel Contingent is. Along with other Important Brazilians who are not that important to me because 1) I’m not Brazilian and 2) I’m totally out of it.

A word about Brazilian Models. Ever been around models, super or otherwise? They’re tall. (About now you’re saying, “Umm, yes. This is not news. They’re tall. Thanks for that insight.”) But no, they’re tall the way giraffes are tall. In fact, that’s what they reminded me of: giraffes. They hung in groups, were really tall, had to look down at the rest of us (and I mean that in a physical way, not in a snooty way {maybe that was happening too, but I didn’t see that}), and they sort of glided around the room in a graceful float-y type motion.

Did I mention they’re tall? In a “c’mere you little redheaded woman, I must rest my drink somewhere and your head is the perfect height” kind of tall. Tall.

The dinner ended rather early, and we headed with friends to the Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel for apres-fancy-dinner drinks. (Not, as noted above, to the apres-party at the Boom Boom Room. Obviously, we are too old for something called the Boom Boom Room.) Bemelman’s is a quintessential old-New York kind of bar ($18 glass of champagne, anyone?) and you parents out there might be scratching your head saying, hmmm, that name sounds familiar. It is — Ludwig Bemelmans is the chap who wrote and illustrated the Madeline books, and his murals are all over the walls of the bar (but no Madeline). You can’t help but feel chic at Bemelmans Bar. Go and sit a spell and listen to the live piano music if ever you are in New York City for an evening.

New York, New York, it’s a helluva town.

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