Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel was honored with an Award for Literary Achievement at the annual Kenyon Review dinner last night.
As in the past, the noted quarterly -- based like the college in Gambier, Ohio -- celebrated at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, where guests confronted a dramatic oyster bar before dining in the shimmering pool room. Past recipients include Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan and Simon Schama.
There to honor Wiesel was the president of Kenyon College, Georgia Nugent; its board chairman, Barry Schwartz, who is executive vice chairman of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc.; David W. Knowlton, the founder of Three Ocean Partners LLC; and Michael Robbins, who retired in 2007 after more than 40 years as a member of the New York Stock Exchange.
The oysters were a good start. They were followed by a four-course meal featuring salmon sashimi with pickled honshimeji mushrooms, a single ricotta ravioli with brown butter and sage, braised short ribs with chive mashed potato and a cheese plate with a slab of Bee Naughty honey at its center.
Wiesel in his remarks focused on the difficulty of writing about the Holocaust. After writing and reading so much on the subject, “still I remain thirsty, feeling that what I have to say cannot be said. If it’s great literature, it’s almost a sin. It should be atrocious and full of anger, not art.”
Four Seasons co-owner Julian Niccolini, who dined next to Wiesel, was heading into a long evening. Leonardo DiCaprio was expected around midnight to film a scene for “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
At the Plaza Hotel, gossip columnist Liz Smith emceed a gala for the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Liza Minnelli sang “New York, New York” with Peter Duchin’s band, and guests joined in on “Happy Anniversary” to the Nederlander family, in honor of the centennial of the Nederlander Organization, which owns nine Broadway theaters.
Minnelli and the Nederlanders were honored as “Living Landmarks” along with Peter Malkin, chairman of Malkin Holdings LLC and Malkin Properties, biographer Robert Caro, chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud, and E. John Rosenwald, vice chairman emeritus of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
In thigh-high black-and-gold boots and ringmaster’s cape, Adriana Lima led the smoky runway at the Victoria’s Secret annual fashion show on Nov. 7. Almost 40 of the brand’s “angels” followed in giant, butterfly-like wings, 6-inch heels, bright push-up bras and panties.
The after party at Lavo was less Vegas, more clothed. Kelly Rutherford of the “Gossip Girl” television series danced in the basement, others sipped Chambord cocktails upstairs.
Across town at the American Museum of Natural History was another fashion event, for Fashion Delivers, which puts new apparel in the hands of the needy.
“The Victoria’s Secret show is about marketing to the consumer,” said Allan Ellinger, chairman of Fashion Delivers and an investment banker to the fashion industry. “What we’re doing here tonight is marketing to the industry. We have a community here.”
The accessory of the night: not a Swarovski-crystal-studded bra but the high of doing something for Sandy victims.
The cost of the meal -- 700 steak dinners -- went to Citymeals-on-Wheels, and apparel valued at more than $5 million was delivered to agencies in New York, New Jersey and Staten Island.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater, Greg Evans on movies.