Robert F. Kennedy Jr. noted that a new Riverkeeper chapter has just been founded in Iraq to protect the Tigris.
The environmental organization’s chief prosecuting attorney then asked attendees at the benefit last night for the original Hudson Riverkeeper chapter to sing “Happy Birthday” to his daughter Kick Kennedy, who turned 23 yesterday.
Paul Tudor Jones, chairman of Tudor Investment Corp., actor Zach Galifianakis, and MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan were among the guests who joined in. Rufus Wainwright provided the official entertainment, performing “Hallelujah” and “Sonnet 20” in honor of Trudie Styler and Sting.
The couple, who established the Rainforest Foundation, received the Riverkeeper Big Fish Award: a statue more than 2 feet tall, depicting a sturgeon. Former President Bill Clinton also received a Big Fish at Pier 60, an event space overlooking the Hudson.
Comedian Susie Essman asked guests to write checks with the fish pens on their tables.
The president of the New York Public Library, Paul LeClerc, quoted the Roman statesman as he accepted an award from the academy.
A highlight: “Read at every wait; read at all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labor; read as one goes in; read as one goes out. The task of the educated mind is simply put: read to lead.”
The architect Frank Gehry also received an award, present by actor Edward Norton.
“David Childs roped me into this and he’s not even here,” Gehry said, referring to the architect who is a trustee of the academy.
The orchestra played the theme song to “Gone With the Wind.” A culinary highlight was an elegant appetizer featuring a thin slice of pumpernickel bagel wedged next to a swirl of smoked salmon, accompanied by a cucumber lime gelee.
Eyes lit up when Cynthia Nixon strode onto the red carpet at City Harvest’s gala, wearing a Carolina Herrera dress and cream-colored Christian Louboutin pumps.
Nixon, a donor to City Harvest Inc. for the past four years and the event’s emcee, said the charity is a cause that’s easy for her to connect to because it helps feed New York’s hungry. “I feel very much at home here,” she said.
Nixon laughed when asked which of the characters in “Sex and the City” is most akin to her in real life. “People ask me that all the time,” she said. “I am in fact like Miranda.”
KKR & Co. founder Henry Kravis and his wife, Marie-Josee Kravis, dined on short ribs while chatting with Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert and his wife, Sandra. A dinner for 12 cooked by Ripert went for $80,000 during a live auction.
Guests included some of Ripert’s buddies from the food world, Bravo’s “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio, restaurateur Donatella Arpaia, Marc Murphy, the owner of the Landmarc restaurants, and Ai Fiori’s Michael White.
Rich Man, Poor Man
The chief diversion was Nora Ephron musing on the phrase “It’s as easy to marry a rich man as a poor man.”
“It’s one of the most untrue things,” Ephron, 69, said in remarks in the Celeste Barton Forum, “especially for most of us when we were growing up: There weren’t that many rich men. Now they’re everywhere.”
As for the wealth accumulated in the room, data chart a nice curve: The first event 30 years ago raised $14,000. This year’s event raised a record $600,000.
The chairmen of the luncheon were Lea Brokaw, the wife of Clifford Brokaw, managing director at Corsair Capital LLC; Danielle Ganek, married to David Ganek, managing partner of Level Global Investors LP; Liz Peek, spouse of Jeffrey Peek, vice chairman of investment banking at Barclays Capital; and Elizabeth Rohatyn, wife of legendary deal maker Felix Rohatyn.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @amandagordon.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at email@example.com.