Scene Last Night: Falcones, Marina Abramovic, Shaklee’s Barnett

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Lisa Maria Falcone, Friends of the High Line board member, speaks as Friends of the High Line co-founder Robert Hammond, board chairman John Alschuler, and co-founder Joshua David look on.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Lisa Maria Falcone, Friends of the High Line board member, speaks as Friends of the High Line co-founder Robert Hammond, board chairman John Alschuler, and co-founder Joshua David look on. Close

Lisa Maria Falcone, Friends of the High Line board member, speaks as Friends of the High Line co-founder Robert... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Jennifer Padovani, managing director, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., with Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Of the High Line park, where most people simply walk or sit, Diller said, "It allows New Yorkers to do nothing. It's a very Seinfeld experience." Close

Jennifer Padovani, managing director, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., with Liz Diller and Ricardo Scofidio of Diller... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Donald Mullen, Friends of the High Line board member and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive, with Jill Meltz, business director at InStyle magazine. Close

Donald Mullen, Friends of the High Line board member and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive, with Jill Meltz,... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Benjamin M. Rosen, former chairman of Compaq and Caltech and blogger on the arts at benrosen.com. Close

Benjamin M. Rosen, former chairman of Compaq and Caltech and blogger on the arts at benrosen.com.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

James Corner of James Corner Field Operations. The firm was honored for its role shaping the High Line park, including overseeing the construction and installation of the park, and creating the design of the paving, seating, and planting areas. Close

James Corner of James Corner Field Operations. The firm was honored for its role shaping the High Line park,... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Amanda M. Burden, chairman, New York City Planning Commission and director, Department of City Planning; Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation; and Jay Kriegel, senior adviser at the Related Companies. Close

Amanda M. Burden, chairman, New York City Planning Commission and director, Department of City Planning; Janette... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Italo Zucchelli, menswear design director for Calvin Klein, and Francisco Costa, women's creative director, Calvin Klein. Close

Italo Zucchelli, menswear design director for Calvin Klein, and Francisco Costa, women's creative director, Calvin Klein.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Leslie Ziff, in Christian Siriano, and Daniel Ziff, of Ziff Brothers Investments LLC. Close

Leslie Ziff, in Christian Siriano, and Daniel Ziff, of Ziff Brothers Investments LLC.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Charles and Candace Nelson, founders of Sprinkles Cupcakes (just after she'd fed him a raspberry from the dessert plate). Close

Charles and Candace Nelson, founders of Sprinkles Cupcakes (just after she'd fed him a raspberry from the dessert plate).

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Sloan Lindemann Barnett, a chairman of the gala. Close

Sloan Lindemann Barnett, a chairman of the gala.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

American Ballet Theatre dancers Jose Manuel Carreno and Melanie Hamrick. Close

American Ballet Theatre dancers Jose Manuel Carreno and Melanie Hamrick.

Standing on a black AstroTurf platform and in Dior black lace, Lisa Maria Falcone told 900 guests at the Friends of the High Line benefit, “Unfortunately, I have no surprises tonight.”

A board member of the elevated park and co-chairman -- with her husband, Philip Falcone -- of this year’s benefit, Falcone was alluding to a spontaneous $10 million gift she announced at the organization’s fundraiser two years ago.

She went on to thank guests for helping to create an urban oasis out of abandoned railroad tracks on Manhattan’s far West Side. The first section opened in 2009, and the second will open next month.

“How many people can say they’ve been part of building a park? You have,” she said.

The event honored the park’s architect, Diller Scofidio & Renfro; the High Line’s landscape designers, James Corner Field Operations; hotelier Andre Balazs; and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Managing Director Jennifer Padovani, who played a key role in initial fundraising.

“I happened to know a lot of Goldman Sachs guys and hedge- fund guys, and I said, ‘Let’s create a buzz,’” Padovani said. She organized a cocktail party with Edward Norton as the special guest, and the checks started pouring in.

Those who accepted the chance to walk a stretch of Section 2 included Donald Mullen, a Goldman executive and Friends of the High Line board member, accompanying artist Marina Abramovic.

“You know it’s very hard to get something meditative in a city like New York, and there it is,” Abramovic said. “You really can reflect and think.”

Lawn, Two Rivers

One element Mullen particularly liked was the lawn on the new section’s widest part, just below 23rd Street. It is 5,000 square feet and when you stand on it, you can see both the East River and the Hudson River.

“I love the concrete abutting the grass,” Mullen said, standing near it. “It’s a sculpture unto itself.”

Mullen was also charmed by the “flyover,” a metal walkway elevated over a densely planted landscape. On this evening, magnolia blossoms glistened with raindrops.

“It reminds me of walking through Costa Rica when you do the lines over the tree canopy,” he said.

Back on ground level, Mullen wondered where the bar was, as Mario Batali and others feasted on kale chips.

For dinner, the gala caterer Bite served up a family-style meal of 19 dishes, ranging from fresh burrata to Mallomar-style gourmet cookies with ancho caramel ganache.

After dessert, Harbinger Group Inc. (HRG) Chairman Philip Falcone took photographs of his guests, including producer and rapper Swizz Beatz, as the after party, sponsored by the Calvin Klein collection, got under way.

American Ballet Theatre

After the American Ballet Theatre’s opening-night performance, guests at the company’s Spring Gala were ready to move.

Two dance floors flanked the dinner tent while the Hank Lane Orchestra played. The 1,100 guests included Daniel Ziff of Ziff Brothers Investments LLC and John Mahoney, a partner at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

John Loeb, a descendant of the founders of Lehman Brothers, twirled several women, including his fiancee, Sharon Handler, and writer Susan Fales-Hill.

Sloan Lindemann Barnett, wife of Shaklee Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Barnett and one of the party’s chairmen, was temporarily halted when a waiter stood on her long hot-pink Dolce & Gabbana gown. With a pained expression, she tugged the dress free. In a moment she was bobbing to the orchestra’s cover of the Black Eyed Peas’ “I’ve Got a Feeling.”

In Barnett’s posse were Candace and Charles Nelson, the founders of Sprinkles Cupcakes, which just opened its first New York store. The former investment bankers turned bakers had donated their Sprinkles red velvet cupcakes for the goody bags. The event raised $1.75 million.

As she left the party, ABT dancer Melanie Hamrick, in a Carolina Herrera gown, still had a craving.

“Let’s go get some ice cream,” she told her boyfriend, fellow dancer Jose Manuel Carreno.

She explained that she was talking so much during dinner she’d had little chance to eat. She needed Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

(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 agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter at @amandagordon.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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