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The Moment: Inside Armory Arts Week's Arty Parties

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The Moment: Inside Armory Arts Week's Arty Parties

Celebrating the finer things with Brooke Neidich, Alexandra Lebenthal, Alexander Gilkes, and Misha Nonoo

BY TODD KINGSTON PLUMMER

PEOPLE  -  MARCH 09

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If you thought fashion knows how to party, try hanging with the New York art scene for a week. The key to surviving an action-packed Armory Arts Week is carefully curating your party roster.    

“I always make the ADAA [Art Dealers Association of America] show my first stop of the week,” said Brooke Garber Neidich, owner of Sidney Garber jewelry and former Whitney Museum co-chair. That seemed to be the consensus among the other art world insiders at the preview including Alexandra Lebenthal and Agnes Gund. “This is the kind of show where each booth is museum exhibition quality,” said ADAA president Adam Sheffer. “You don’t feel like you’re rushing to see everything, or that you have to be the first to see everything.”

On Wednesday night, Paddle8 hosted what was quite possibly the best dinner of the week—a quiet respite in a clamorous week—atop Hotel Americano. Guests like Laura de Gunzburg and Misha Nonoo enjoyed courses of ceviche, beet salad and perfectly-cooked seabass. Afterwards, Paddle 8 founder Alexander Gilkes thanked man-about-town Carlos Mota for helping to throw the affair. “Carlos, we admire your phenomenal taste. It’s a little bit Diana Vreeland, a little bit Ron Jeremy.” Meanwhile, uptown at MoMa, revelers were treated to a performance by Holy Ghost! At the museum's annual Armory party. 

A museum party of a different kind was the highlight of Thursday night, when Manhattan’s young do-gooders gathered at the American Museum of Natural History for its annual Winter Dance. The evening stands as a counterpoint to the annual Museum Gala every fall: the crowd is a bit younger, the fashion a little less spectacular. But what the Winter Dance lacks in scale it makes up for in punch. The drinks kept pouring; host George Jovanoski made everyone feel at home under the big blue whale in the Hall of Ocean Life; and DJ Harley Viera-Newton had everyone dancing until well after midnight.

The week wrapped up with another fabulous dinner at Hotel Americano. Surface magazine was honoring architect David Adjaye and artist Isaac Julien, and an intimate crowd including Arden Wohl, Siki Im, and Performa founder RoseLee Goldberg. “We wanted to bring together people from the worlds of art, fashion, design and architecture to get the conversations going,” said Spencer Bailey, Surface’s editor-in-chief. We caught Misha Nonoo and Alexander Gilkes sneaking out during the cocktail hour, not to yet another Armory Week party, but something far more chic. “It’s date night,” confessed Gilkes.

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