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Victoria’s Secrets: Joyous celebrations!

BDAY
Frederico Azevedo celebrating with Alex Cohen.

For me, family always takes priority and this weekend I missed attending the fun-filled spoof of politics, the powerhouse Inner Circle Dinner, which was a sold-out success, to attend my niece’s daughter’s wedding.

Beginning the weekend, Friday night was the celebration for the fabulous, genius landscape designer Frederico Azevedo’s 60th birthday on the rooftop of the Soho House, a hotel on Ninth Avenue in a bustling area on the West Side.

Saturday was the wedding of Jourdan Friedman to Sean Ohnmeiss, who were getting married after their 10-year courtship, so we were all thrilled to celebrate with them in my son Josh’s Williamsburg neighborhood at The William Vale hotel.

I had watched for years as the uniquely designed building that was once a curiosity and then a jaw-dropping site as the building took shape floor by floor. We were all guessing what the strange-looking building on the corner of North 12th Street was to become and eventually learned it was going to be this stunning high-end hotel.

The William Vale hotel has such a unique design!

The wedding party had reserved rooms there and I decided to stay over after the wedding and spend Sunday with my kids, who live a few blocks away.

The wedding was scheduled for 6 p.m. and as we made our way up to the rooftop, we were amazed that the ceremony was being held outdoors! With the sun still out, we watched the joyous bride and groom take their place and read their vows before the sun set. 

Jourdan walks down the aisle with her mom Lisa and dad Michael.
The first kiss!

The happy couple had the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen — both are handsome and beautiful!

After a moving ceremony, we all made our way down one flight for dinner. I don’t know what was better — the band, the food or the stunning skyline view of Manhattan filling the windows. But nothing beat the power of the bride and groom’s glowing faces!

Samantha, Elizabeth and Josh at the wedding!

So many memories swept my mind as I made my way from the wedding party to my tiny room, which had a terrace that offered me an eye-popping view across the East River and the lit-up Empire State Building.

What a view!

What a way to end the magical night! 

The next day, I caught up with Tracey and Josh and their darling children — loving Hudson and spunky Sloane — in their neighborhood, where we watched the TD Five Boro Bike Tour

Heading down Kent Avenue!

Seeing the cyclists fly by brought back sweet memories, because I had done that ride decades ago and adored the experience!

To my amazement, Sloane had decided to set up shop on the corner of Kent Avenue and North Fourth Street and dance for dollars! At Sloane’s behest, her dad dropped a dollar in his cap and she danced and danced, hoping people would drop in their dollars. She’s only 7 years old but already an entrepreneur!

Sloane, the entrepreneur!

She soon decided her business wasn’t working and so we all moved on, walking in the sunshine to the pier, where we watched the ferry boats come in. 

What a precious day to cap a special weekend packed with joyous events!

Books by friends 

When I was in Palm Beach, I met Tobi Rubinstein, who had been married to the Hampton Synagogue Rabbi Marc Schneier.

Tobi, a beautiful and brilliant woman who is now a rabbi, herself, wrote “The House of Faith and Fashion: What my wardrobe taught me about G-d,” a collection of essays and conversations. 

As Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt wrote, “After many trials and turbulence in her personal life, Tobi rediscovers her own personal Judaism and brilliantly redraws the borders between spiritual and physical beauty. “

As a lover of beautiful things from food to fashion, I admire how Tobi has woven her life and walked us through her life’s struggles and survived and flourished.

“The House of Faith and Fashion” is a fast read, but engrossing story!

Then I met Allan and Arlene Lazare at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. They are New Yorkers to their core! 

Allan wrote “Who Would Ever Believe It?” It’s the fun story of the friendship they had with some of the biggest stars, ranging from Diana Ross to Liza Minnelli, to Gina Lollobrigida, Howard Stern, Mother Teresa and more. 

The book shares their nights as regulars at the legendary Studio 54. Each chapter shares a fascinating story of the greatest talents of their time.

What a fun read!

The third book I read recently is a terrifying story, “Public Hostage Public Ransom: Ending Institutional America,” by Dr. William Bronston, a lifetime advocate I met during my journey to help my daughter Lara that became known as the “Willowbrook Wars” in the 1970s. 

The book reveals the many shortcomings of Medicare that is geared to fund large, inhumane facilities. It’s a disturbing read but an insight few people have recorded.

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