Scene Last Night: Dubin, Bacon, Clinton, Elmo, Hockney

Madison Square Park Conservancy
James Tomilson Hill, Blackstone Group vice chairman and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden chairman; Richard Koshalek, director of the Hirshhorn; Betty Koshalek; and the artist David Hockney. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

“It’s like a reunion,” said John Baldessari, wearing a black vest and shirt.

The Madison Square Park Conservancy held a benefit last night at Manhattan’s Prince George Ballroom to support its Mad. Sq. Art program and drew a slew of artists, from David Hockney to Claes Oldenburg.

Also on hand was Richard Koshalek, director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., and its chairman, James Tomilson Hill, vice chairman at Blackstone Group LP.

Philip Glass performed “Metamorphosis No. 2” as part of a tribute to Martin Friedman, a former director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, who helped bring sculpture to Madison Square Park. Friedman wore a telescope on a string around his neck -- all the better to see friends.

Park Man

Glenn Dubin, chief executive, chairman and co-founder of hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management LLC, is a New York City park man.

As a boy growing up in Washington Heights, Dubin played basketball in Fort Tryon Park on weekends.

“I’d be there from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., then hit the sprinklers to cool off and go home,” Dubin said.

These days Dubin and his family live near Central Park, where he said his 15-year-old son plays pickup hoops.

Dad’s given up on basketball (as well as football, which he played at John F. Kennedy Jr. High School and Stony Brook University).

Bike Ride

“I’m too old for that,” said the 55-year-old. “But I do ride my bike through Hudson River Park.”

That’s where Dubin was May 29 -- in suit and tie, no bicycle -- as the honoree at the Hudson River Park Spring Gala. The event raised $1.6 million (four times the amount raised last year) for the five-mile stretch of waterfront on Manhattan’s lower west side.

Kayakers paddled around Pier 26, the still-under-construction site that served as party headquarters.

“I’d like to go kayaking right now,” Dubin said as he greeted Louis Moore Bacon, founder and CEO of hedge fund Moore Capital Management LLC, whose chief operating officer, Scott M. Lawin, is on the board of Friends of Hudson River Park.

Entertainment included finger spins by members of the Harlem Wizards basketball team.

Clinton Street

At the Sesame Workshop Annual Gala Wednesday, former U.S. President Bill Clinton had a contest at his table to name characters from the public-television show “Sesame Street.”

“I got Bert, Ernie, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird,” Clinton said on the stage of Cipriani 42nd Street. “I could not remember the coolest name of them all: Snuffleupagus. Now, I do want Republicans to know I was not being prejudiced because he’s an elephant.”

Clinton was being honored, along with United Healthcare Group.

Later, the Muppets, including Lily from Sesame Workshop’s co-production in China and Filfil from the co-production in Egypt, performed the classic “Sing,” helping the nonprofit raise $2 million.

Horton’s Kids

At Nationals Park in Washington, Screech, the Nationals’ eagle mascot, hung out at a fundraiser for Horton’s Kids, which provides tutoring and mentoring to children living in the Anacostia neighborhood. Erik Franklin, a Microsoft Corp. federal solutions specialist, brought his daughters Grace and Caroline for batting practice. The May 30 event raised $300,000.

That night was also a family affair for Liana Kuturov, who brought her mother and grandmother to the Hebrew Free Loan Society benefit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan. Kuturov is a recipient of an interest-free loan from the society, which she said is helping her pay the $40,000 tuition bill at St. John’s University. Gary Gladstein of Soros Fund Management LLC and Edward Karan of Citibank Private Bank are on the organization’s board.

(Amanda Gordon and Stephanie Green are writers and photographers for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are their own.)

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