Jon Hamm Sells Brooklyn Bridge Park Under Gaze of Russian Spies

  • Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys also attend park party on Pier 2
  • David Siegel, Paulson at Carnegie Hall; Reddy at Rubin gala

Jon Hamm walked into the party Thursday night with that Don Draper aura, looking like he could sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.

Instead, he helped raise $1.3 million for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, a gig he took out of friendship with James Wilson of Warburg Pincus, a park supporter and classmate of Hamm’s from John Burroughs School in St. Louis.

Jon Hamm

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Burroughs, a naturalist who lived through the Gilded Age, likely would have approved of the park. Not only has it transformed industrial piers into a diverse set of recreational spaces, there’s also the conservancy’s Tides program, which trains high-school conservationists.

A party on Pier 2

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The park has a following among the 21st century wave of chic Brooklyn emigres.

"I’m not joking, we come here three times a day," said actress Keri Russell, standing next to Matthew Rhys, her partner on “The Americans” and in real life.

“We have three kids, three different ages, and they all have their own thing to do here,” Rhys said. The eldest shoots hoops. The 5-year-old plays soccer.

“We ride our bikes, baby on our back, with coffee,” Russell said.

Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Next week, they start shooting the final season of “The Americans” -- their last opportunity to show off disguises as undercover Russian spies pretending to be all manner of innocents.

“I like the really ugly ones,” Russell said. “I have one that’s sort of an old lady, grayish hair and glasses that’s funny.”

Big Bird and Vartan Gregorian

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Rhys’s favorite is the one with a dark, thin mustache. He calls it Fernando.

“That’s the hot, sexy one,” Russell said.

One thing that wasn’t hot and sexy was Big Bird and Vartan Gregorian hugging Tuesday under a glowing image of Andrew Carnegie. The occasion acknowledged the Carnegie Corporation’s founding support of “Sesame Street” and provided an interlude as several philanthropists including Julian Robertson and Jim Wolfensohn received medals for following Carnegie’s example.

The Carnegie show continued the next night, by coincidence, at Carnegie Hall’s opening night gala, where New Providence Asset Management co-founder John Vogelstein mused about the Carnegie saying, to die rich is to die disgraced. To go broke slowly would be painful, Vogelstein said, but “if you could go broke the day before you die, it’d be OK.”

David Siegel

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Others shared how they came to know the industrialist turned mega-donor, builder of libraries and owner of Skibo Castle. Two Sigma’s David Siegel said he visited Carnegie’s music hall long before he studied Andrew Carnegie the industrialist. Robert Smith said he’d learned about the industrialist long before he grasped his vast philanthropy. Also present were Sandy Weill, John Paulson, Charles Bronfman, Kenneth Buckfire, Valentino Carlotti, Barry Diller and Mercedes Bass, who oversaw an elegant dinner after the Philadelphia Orchestra performed Gershwin and Bernstein.

The Carnegie name may be deeply embedded in philanthropic imaginations, but there’s still room for new names and ideas, as witnessed Thursday night at the Rubin Museum of Art’s annual gala, where the founders, Donald and Shelley Rubin attended along with other supporters.

Girish and Rasika Reddy

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

“It’s more than a museum, it’s really a spiritual place,” said Girish Reddy of Prisma Capital Partners. “It brings the senses, art, music, sound, everything together.”

“It’s not just a place where you go to look at art, it’s about how you take the values of the East and apply those values to our busy lives here,” said artist Rasika Reddy, a board member.

Dining around colorful mandalas -- and getting instructions in meditation -- were Agnes Gund, Francesco Clemente, Dinyar Devitre and Jorrit Britschgi, the new executive director of the museum, whose promotion was announced over dessert. His first mandate: To open an exhibition about the future, he said.

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