Deadheads, Financiers Party Outdoors With Chihuly's Bold Colors

  • 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.

In Tompkins Square Park

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

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 Ice Petal Flowers perform

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

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.

Spikes and tuxes

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

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.

Chilling in Naeem Khan

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Kiel James Patrick and Sarah Vickers

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Larry Milstein and Emma Fredwall

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

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.

Richard Chilton is holding a spoon

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Maureen Chilton, chair of the New York Botanical Garden, in flower-like jewels, center

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

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.

Cody Kittle and Alexandra Porter

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

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.

Dale Chihuly’s ‘White Tower with Fiori’

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Dale Chihuly up close

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Alas, the band didn’t play the Grateful Dead. Guests made do as they danced in a tent after dinner.

Burning calories after dinner

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg
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