Mom and I couldn’t have chosen better timing for our mother-daughter trip to New York. Being a Southern California gal, I miss the autumn turning of the leaves and we hit that perfectly along with unusually mild temperatures the first few days. Then when the cold did start to move in, it was a nice change, and we managed to leave just before it turned bitter.
It’s always hard to contain my excitement on the drive in from the airport. Oh, that first glimpse of the skyline! Memories come flooding back with every landmark – like how Nick and I used to dream about one day owning the Chrysler building, and mom and I giggled as we passed the 21 Club where mom and dad met Nick for the first time.
The poor guy was so nervous and the maitre’d was impossible. Nick was wearing a gorgeous Antony Price suit that happened to have a short jacket that did not meet the club’s dress code, so they made him change into some hideous dinner jacket they kept for such an occasion. Meanwhile, there were plenty of men there in clashing golf plaids, albeit with longer jackets. We never went back.
The first day we met mom’s friends Jeanne and Beverly for a wickedly decadent lunch of lobster Napoleon at Bergdorf’s, then a spot of shopping. It was Beverly that took us to Studio 54 when I was 16. She gave me a fabulous hot pink coat by Kenzo to wear that was sure to catch the doorman’s attention, and it worked! We cracked up remembering how nervous mom had been when we left her alone in a booth while we went to dance. We came back, and mom was no where to be found – frantically searching, we found her in the last place we expected, on the dance floor having a blast with some Rastafarian!
Day two we met Mary Papajohn at MOMA for the Henri Matisse show quickly before running down to Broadway to see Beautiful. Everyone told us we’d never get tickets at this late date, but I found two fabulous seats in the middle of the orchestra, just a few rows back from the stage, online the night before. Carole King’s music is the soundtrack of my youth. Jesse Mueller and the entire cast were spectacular, so Beautiful is now quite possibly my favorite musical, ever! Both mom and I could have sat through an encore performance immediately – a definite do not miss if you are headed to the city anytime soon.
The next morning it was auction time at Christie’s – exciting, emotional, and nerve-racking all rolled into one. What’s a girl to do with all that stress? “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping,” so this Jewels beelined it to David Webb where my bestie, Swish just happens to work. However, this was no ordinary trip to the jewelers. Mom and I were whisked to the back to meet the craftsmen who’d been there since the 197o’s while Mr. Webb was still alive, then onto the archives were we looked through “Mrs. Burton’s file (as in Mrs. Richard Burton a.k.a. Elizabeth Taylor), and a special walk down memory lane when they pulled out my mother’s file complete with handwritten notes she’d sent requesting a stone be set one way or another.
When commissioned to make a specific piece for a customer, the famous jeweler would do several drawings from which his illustrious clients would choose. The others drawings were forgotten about, stashed away in drawers and boxes in an attic until discovered and archived meticulously by the current owners. That means that even though Mr. Webb passed away over 30 years ago, the company are still producing new, yet authentically original pieces to this day!
Finding a taxi afterwards was impossible, so mom and I decided to take in the magnificent holiday window displays and enjoy our long walk back to the hotel, scoping out all the places we intended come back to do some damage in the next day. Mom looked at handbags while I scored a couple outfits for the holidays, and a Christmas gift for Tatjana.
My last supper in the city was spent with the three Jo’s (my friend and mentor Chef Joe DiMaggio Jr., his gorgeous wife Jo, and mom aka JoAnn Friedman). It was such a treat to finally meet Joanne Churchill DiMaggio, and dinner is always a feast when Joe is around – you may recall my complaining over my LA friends pushing a green bean around a plate for an hour and calling that dinner, then my excitement when Joe ordered one of everything off the same menu when we first met, and we subsequently went Historical Over Food. It was the perfect end to a perfect mother-daughter trip. Thank you so much for joining me in New York, mom! Where shall we plan to go for the next one?