His and Her Serene Highness
August 13, 2010 | Talk of the Town
Last Thursday, Delfina Blaquier invited my family to catch a practice polo match at Two Trees Farm. Washington lobbyist Chet Lott, a two-goal player, explained the rating system to us. Apparently rich players occasionally seek out the most talented zero-goal player in America, put them on top horses and bring them up to a four-goal level, thereby padding their team without adding to the total number of goals. During the midweek practice match, players’ wives and their families tailgated at the baseboards. One could hear the players shouting for the ball. Delfina drank mate from a round metal cup.
Unlike on frenetic Saturdays, the warm breeze, lightning-fast horses and calm of the sprawling farm made it impossible not to watch the action. So great.
The Real Housewives of New York City’s Countess LuAnn deLesseps hosted a dinner at Lilly Pond. On the dance floor, Jacques, her wine-distributor boyfriend, and the Countess held each other tight and bounced back-and-forth. (She’s also bounced back nicely from her divorce.) The club is two blocks from my house, so I walked home after saying hi. And when I woke up the next morning, it dawned on me that the Countess had planned to sing. Oops.
That Saturday, I had meant to stop by the Estate, Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum’s shingled manse, to test-drive a Jaguar. But I got caught up in negotiations about attending a fête for the Princess Grace Foundation. It got crazy, because the foundation didn’t want press. The people who work for Lisa Lori, who were in charge of press, wouldn’t ever finish a discussion on the subject. They just kept saying they’d call me back. And at first the people at the Princess Grace Foundation said I could buy a ticket, and then they said they didn’t see my name on the list.
Finally my friend Alison Mazolla, who works with Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney, confirmed that it would be OK to pay $250 and attend as a social guest if I promised not to write about it. While I was trying to sew my jacket sleeves for the event myself, I got a second e-mail which requested that I absolutely promise not to breathe a word about the event and not to report a peep to anyone. And could they have my credit-card information by e-mail immediately?
Of course the minute I’m asked to not write about something, I get this uncontrollable desire to run to a keyboard. So I wrote back that I thought everyone would be more comfortable if skipped the party. I’ll admit that I’ve been jealous of Prince Albert of Monaco since I was in college. When I was an undergrad in New Haven, we used to take road trips to Smith College in Northampton, where an old girlfriend was studying to be a lesbian. And Albert, who went to Amherst, would be there at the house where she lived, on the dance floor surrounded by six girls. He had tons of curly hair, if I remember correctly. And even his roommate would get laid all the time.
For years Mitchell Manning, a PR gent, used to invite me to Princess Grace Foundation events. And somehow I bonded with Albert’s gal pal, this tall, blonde American pole vaulter, Alicia Warlick. She told me that they’d met in Monaco and he just kept inviting her to events. The next year, she spotted me and walked over to catch up. I was so sad when I realized that the South African Olympic swimmer he’s marrying is actually a different girl.
At the kids’ carnival at the Ross Lower School for the Einstein Cancer Center, Christie Brinkley told me that Prince Albert’s swimmer, Charlene Wittstock, is really lovely and that she was workin’ it on the dance floor at the McInerney’s until the wee hours. Instead of that party, I headed out on Saturday evening to a Cinema Society screening of The Big C—a comedy about cancer starring Laura Linney that actually works—at Donna Karan’s house in Northwest Woods. Karan’s house is white and modern with glass walls that open up to cliff views. And the guesthouse is stuffed with white upholstered furniture and whitewashed antiques.
Later they lit a bonfire at the base of the cliffs. I spotted Bravo’s Andy Cohen, the prince of reality TV, by the fire. And Sunday night, Bettina Zilkha hosted her annual clambake on Cryder Beach—a roaring success. Debbie Bancroft had Governor Paterson and his wife, Michelle, in tow. And Jackie Astier had me in stitches about accidentally being placed on a crazy polo pony in Argentina that attempted to kill her. Yummy lobster…
BY JEFFREY SLONIM