Deadheads, Financiers Party Outdoors With Chihuly's Bold ColorsBy
From a Grateful Dead tribute to New York Botanical Garden gala
Thomas Kempner, Richard Chilton find happy vibe in the Bronx
What’s the right way to warm up for a preppy ball at the New York Botanical Garden? Start with a Grateful Dead tribute in Tompkins Square Park, marking the 50th anniversary to the day the band played there.
Under a bright sun Thursday, surrounded by hot pink roses and cute little dogs yapping, Deadheads swayed -- just as the news hit that President Donald Trump had pulled the U.S. out of the global climate change accord. A few hundred people took refuge in the music provided by the Ice Petal Flowers for free, including “Sugar Magnolia,” with lyrics like “sunshine, daydream, walking in the tall trees, going where the wind goes.”
The Dead Nite community that meets monthly at the Williamsburg bar Clem’s organized the event.
Then came a trip to the Bronx, neither long nor strange, as the next party got underway at the New York Botanical Garden.
The Conservatory Ball is an annual fundraising event, one of several throughout the year that help the garden maintain its pristine grounds -- as well as a cadre of scientists studying and protecting plants around the world.
The scene was a bit more formal but had a dash of hippie chic. Instead of tie-dye shirts, guests wore ball gowns and wreaths were festooned with flowers.
Among the hundreds of guests were Richard Chilton of Chilton Investment Co., Thomas Kempner of Davidson Kempner Capital Management, and Charles Johnson falling squarely into the party’s traditional demographic.
But there was also new blood, like Ram Sivalingam of Deutsche Bank and Cody Kittle, who works at a hedge fund. Both were recruited by Alexandra Porter, an art adviser and daughter of one of the ball’s chairwomen, Deborah Royce.
This affair had sponsors including Northern Trust Corp., jewelers Verdura and Belperron, and fashion designer Naeem Khan, but its most important muse was Dale Chihuly, whose sculptures dotted the grounds in all their psychedelic glory.
Alas, the band didn’t play the Grateful Dead. Guests made do as they danced in a tent after dinner.