Resident Magazine


New York • Hamptons

June 2009, Vol. 22, No 7

Ah, Park Avenue: tulips in the spring, begonias in the summer, lighted trees in winter. It doesn’t just happen. The Fund for Park Avenue is responsible.  Yes, it takes a village – or at least a neighborhood. To help keep the coffers full Scully & Scully, the neighborhood go-to for tony furnishings, tabletop and giftware, partnered with The Fund to celebrate the Park Avenue Tulips. It was also the occasion of Scully’s 75th and the arrival of Henry Hudson’s 400th anniversaries.

The “village” was there. Everyone knew everyone – forever. “I remember you from your second husband,” I overheard Mario Buatta tell a stately blond.

But, Park Avenue is for everyone. “People contribute from all over the country … and the world,” said Barbara McLaughlin, president of The Fund. “Everyone has a wonderful Park Avenue memory.”

Muffie Potter Aston, Polly Sheehan, Gay Hacket, Mary Davidson and Helena Martinez had designed personalized tabletops with Scully place settings. But, the real buzz was about interior decorator Jennifer Bradford Davis, whose subspecialty as a tabletop designer recently landed her on the cover of House & Garden. Yes, she was brought in on top of a very significant designer to do the tablescape of a very significant yacht. And yes, she is careening from designing interiors in Manhattan, Mustique, Europe, Greenwich and the Hamptons.

She characterizes her style as “modern eccentric,” adding: “I look at texture as my color palette, the way the bark of a tree has so many hues. Nature is my inspiration.”

The daughter of a wartime test pilot, Bradford Davis grew up in Saigon, Mexico, Africa, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and then Palm Beach. Her mother lived to entertain.

“A lot of these New York decorator interiors get too static, too predictable,” Davis says. “I specialize in finding that great, exotic, faraway piece that no one’s ever seen and incorporating it into a modern, seamless background.”

“People are entertaining a lot more at home these days, and started hiring me to do what I call ‘tablescapes.’ These are my fantasy creations and they are microcosms of interior design.” Her advice for the new economy? “Purchase quality not quantity.” They’ll remember your Jennifer Bradford Davis fantasy evening.

-       Lee Fryd


Page 18

Lee Fryd’s Social Life

Although it’s hard to believe that slavery still exists, human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. Thankfully, it’s one of the fastest growing charitable causes, too. The “Welcome to Gulu,” exhibition and benefit art sale for the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Criminal Court Trust Fund for Victims (TFV), ARTOC and its chairman, Shafik Gabr, was a very star-filled night for the staid UN. Alec Baldwin even smiled for the cameras! Nicolas Cage spoke. Ros Bleckner, who went to Uganda to work with the former child soldiers and abducted women, curated the 200 paintings on sale.

“It’s an international crime against our future,” co-chair Eleanora Kennedy told me. “They are stealing our youth. This cause has always been a passion of mine. This January, we sent a group to do a mission in Uganda to help these rehabilitated children, the exploited underbelly of society. They’re expressing their feelings through art.”

Our President had just expressed some feelings at the Washington Press Corps gala/roast. ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts was there. Was she among the offended? “I thought it was all pretty funny,” she told me. “You know it’s going to irreverent.” Looking at her “baring her arms” in a black and white printed shift, I was reminded of our country’s newest style icon.

“We’ve adopted this very new sort of first lady,” Roberts said. “She’s not afraid to be herself and I think that’s been missing in this country for a long time, because we are  trying to be very politically correct.”

“I interviewed her about a year ago. I knew then she was going to be a special, authentic, interesting woman to watch. She tries to adhere to standards and think about what she’s saying and doing. At the same time, she just puts herself out there. I love that she’s not so terribly self-conscious about the consequences. And she wears sleeveless dresses which I’ve been advocating for a long time. Yes, I get mistaken for her a lot. I don’t see it, but I find it humorous.”

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