Going to the American Museum of Natural History on “Museum Dance” night is much different than visiting with kids in tow.
Your companions find the bathroom on their own. Snacks and nap time are not a required part of the conversation. And instead of trying to keep pace with a 5-year-old running down those long hallways, the challenge is stepping forward in the highest of heels while in an evening gown.
Event chairmen Nina Patterson and Colleen deVeer experienced another peril of dressing up last night: They were in the same strapless bustier gown by J. Mendel -- Patterson’s in red, deVeer’s in blue.
They laughed at the coincidence -- after all, they both rocked the look and were among friends, so there would be no “who looked best” comparisons. Anyway, as their husbands noted, the point of the evening wasn’t fashion, but supporting a museum they care about.
“We’re here once, if not twice, a week. We’re big dinosaurs folks,” said Mike Patterson, a partner at Highbridge Capital Management. “Our favorite is the apatosaurus on the fourth floor because of its sheer scale and grandeur.”
“I love the museum, my kids are here all the time,” said Kipp deVeer, president of Ares Capital Corp.
After cocktails, the couples settled into dinner at neighboring tables where another coincidence became apparent: The two tables represented billions of direct-lending capital. At deVeer’s was Michael Arougheti, chief executive officer of Ares Capital and co-head of Ares Direct Lending Group, and Patterson manages a direct-lending fund at Highbridge.
Nothing like a gala to get a little cozy with the competition.
Also seen: Geoffrey Lieberthal, a principal at Lee Equity Partners, Chris Kojima, a partner at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Carter Simonds, a managing director at Blue Ridge Capital who’s a member of the Yale University investment committee. And to keep them in tip-top shape: Jay Galluzzo, president of Flywheel Sports.
Dinner took place in the Hall of Ocean Life, under the whale, with cocktails and dancing in the Hall of the Universe, a hot spot at the museum since Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the planetarium, began hosting “Cosmos” on Fox, a remake of Carl Sagan’s television series.
“I’m really overweight on the moon,” said Vijay Dewan, a lawyer at Deutsche Bank AG, after stepping on a scale telling him he’d weigh more than 3,000 pounds there.
Jordan Fox, chief financial officer at game maker Arkadium, got a kick out of touching the Willamette Meteorite. His fiancee, Carly Tichner, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center, was less impressed, instead expressing enthusiasm for the Arkadium game Ice Cream Blast.
“When you walk in the doors of the museum, you feel like a little kid,” said Allison Ecung, a captain and deputy chief of public affairs at the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
James Scott, a researcher at Columbia Business School, recalled his mother taking him to the museum when he became enamored of the ocean.
“And I got to dine under the whale tonight!” Scott said.