The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering, founded in 1946, is a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting patients’ well-being, supporting cancer research, and providing public education on the early prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.
The Society hosted its annual Fall Party at the Four Seasons Restaurant. Guests from the fashion, business, art, and philanthropy communities attended and enjoyed cocktails followed by dinner and dancing. Proceeds from the Fall Party will benefit Pediatric Sarcoma, a bone, muscle, and connective tissue disease that affects mostly children and young adults.
Sponsored by bridal fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, the event was co-chaired by Travis Acquavella, Carolina de Neufville, Shabnam Henry, and Jessica Sailer van Lith. I attended the cocktail party.
I thoroughly enjoyed the following hors d’oeuvres: tuna tartar, sautéed mushrooms, caviar ensconced within potatoes, cheese puffs, crab cakes, fois gras, and mini hotdogs. But by far the biggest treat was the chance to experience my first visit to the Four Seasons Restaurant. Established in 1959, this New York landmark was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson.
The interior struck me as being very modern and corporate. Guests walk up imposing stairs and enter a square event space. A long stark hallway leads to the restaurant. I asked the maitre d’ for permission to “check out” the event’s dinner setting. (Since I was functioning as a reporter, my request did not constitute snooping.) The Restaurant was decorated with silver chairs festooned with white cushions, white table cloths, pervasive candles, and lighted trees.
I was intrigues by a pool of water located in the middle of the Restaurant and contained within a white marble tub. A very nice staff member explained to me that the pool’s purpose is to deaden sound. Don’t ask me why I wanted to know how the pool is cleaned. I was informed that a drainage switch is located underneath the pool.
The Four Seasons functions as an art museum in that famous art works are exhibited there. I was told that since the Restaurant opened, it has been famous for being the home of a curtain created by Picasso called “Le Tricorne.” It stands to reason that if I wanted to know how to clean the pool, I would of course want to see the Picasso. This was not to be. The Picasso was removed two months ago. The object was hanging there minding its own business for fifty-five years and then, as soon as I arrive, lo, it disappears. Oy, I missed the Picasso!
As I watched the group of happy guests file in for dinner, I felt glad that this cancer research fund raiser was exceedingly successful.
– Marleen Barr
Photos by BFA/Joe Schildhorn and Benny Lozovsky