Victoria’s Secrets: A whirlwind week

Brazilian Court Hotel owners Courtney & Bobby Schlesinger with parents Jeanette Davis, Vicki and Mark Eidman

Culture, giving and great people are in abundance in Palm Beach, where we are publishing Dan’s Papers Palm Beach, and last week was filled with all three!

Gary Lieberthal invited me to a dinner party on his new 135-foot megayacht that was docked in the Palm Beach Marina, where multiple megayachts have slips. As I walked the dock to reach Gary’s boat, I passed one beauty after another — most looking vacant.

Gary Lieberthal in front of his “About Time”

As I approached the gangplank at Gary’s boat, his captain and staff warmly greeted me with a hot, scented towel and politely asked me to take off my shoes — everyone enters barefoot!

I walked into the living/dining room designed with posh beige sofas and plush chairs and smiled broadly at the sight of his dinner table that looked like it was set for royalty. 

Gary had taken the first guest on a tour, but within minutes, a smiling staff member offered me a glass of champagne on a napkin with “Just Sayin” written on it, the name of Gary’s former yacht and title of his column. He’s a prolific pundit with a unique perspective on the news.

The dinner table was set stunningly with silver platters, fine crystal, silverware and china. Additionally, each place setting held name cards of the guests. Every detail of the evening was well thought out!

Seated: Pamela Morgan, Julie Marie Olsen, Peter Antonucci and Cheri Kaufman
Standing: Eddie Dovner, Michael Trokel, Karen Dovner, Gary Lieberthal, Tami Antonucci, Bill Slight

I eagerly awaited the rest of his guests.

As the guests arrived, I was delighted to see Cheri Kaufman, whose family owns the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens.

Her brother Hal Rosenbluth is an old friend who also runs the project that will be developing residential and retail buildings in Astoria, in addition to their movie studio. We’ve known each other for decades and for several years my family ran the LIC Flea Market on the backlot of the super successful movie studio.

Cheri is involved in the family business and also is devoted to programs for veterans. More to follow! 

Another guest Peter Antonucci was celebrating his crime novel “Scandal at Sea: Billionaires in the Deep” reaching No. 1 on Amazon!

Each guest has lived an interesting life and Gary was brilliant at bringing us together for an evening of great ambiance, great food and great conversation. 

Gary, who retired as CEO of Columbia TriStar Television, put together an interesting group of people who bonded with each other over dinner and lingered late, not wanting to end the magical night!

It doesn’t get better than this!

On another beautiful, warm night, I was delighted to attend a powerful and rocking event celebrating the 20th anniversary of Daniel Boulud’s restaurant at the elegant and unrivaled Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach.

The evening featured Brazilian-themed drum beating music and feathered dancing performances in the hotel’s renown courtyard. The brilliantly dressed dancers lit up the space under the stars.

Champagne and caviar were in abundance, as were countless other delectable hors d’oeuvres.

The Schlesinger family created a night for my memory book!

To finish the week, Barry and Estee Brahver, friends from Westhampton Beach, invited me to see “Madama Butterfly,” performed by the Palm Beach Opera in the recently renovated Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. The imposing grand hall and staircase reminded me of the Metropolitan Opera House entrance in Manhattan.

What a treat it was to join the opera’s chairman David Genser, his wife Joan, Artistic Director David Walker, Long Island/Palm Beach resident Robert Fromer, who serves on the opera’s board, as well as old friend Adele Fuchsberg and her husband Dr. Derek Enlander.

Dr. Derek Enlander and Adele Fuchsberg
David and Jane Genser with David Walker

The performance brought me to tears as the magnificent voice of Jennifer Rowley brought Madama Butterfly to life.

There is a big screen above the stage scrolling the words in English accompanying the magnificent music of Puccini. The voices lifted me to another world and the stunning sets made me feel I truly was in a remote village in Japan in the early 20th century.

The talented voices transfixed me to another time and place, and the story of love and lost love is as relevant today as it was when the opera was written in 1902.

Palm Beach is a thriving city on many levels and I feel blessed to be here.