Log In   ·   Become A Member

Mario Buatta Teases At The Armory For Fund For Park Avenue

Lee Fryd

President of the Fund for Park Avenue Barbara McLaughlin with Board Member Derek Limbocker at the Armory. (Courtesy Photo)

"This is to repay all I shoplifted," teased Mario Buatta to Barbara McLaughlin and Kevin McLaughlin, co-owners of J. McLaughlin. Mario was signing his new, very heavy book -- seven pounds, representing 50 years of decorating -- at the Fund for Park Avenue's annual reception. Fund President Barbara McLaughlin had invited us to this evening at Anna and Brian Haughton's International Fine Art & Antique Dealers Show at the Armory, to salute the 2013 Park Avenue Tree Lighting. Buatta was donating book sales to the Fund, and showing off the amiable touch and just naughty enough sense of humor that have helped him navigate the waters of Manhattan's wealthiest homes. (So, no, he is not a shoplifter.)

Mario Buatta and his 'helping hand' at the Armory. (Courtesy Photo)

"You're a decorator?" the Prince of Chintz correctly guessed of the next in line. "You're jacket is lined in Chintz isn't it? No? I saw the chintz lining! I saw it," he teased the petite brunette clearly impressed by this attention from the master. "I'm looking for an assistant. I can pay you half of what you're making now. But, you'll pay less taxes."

With each signature, he used a ghoulish rubber Halloween hand to blot the ink. "I always use it," he said. "It's a helping hand." And the book? "What about it? It's a Buattapedia. It's heavy. It weighs 7 pounds. It's 432 1/2 pages. I've been working on it two years. Rizzoli kept pushing me and pushing me to do it. I finally agreed when others started asking."

"Do you know how many years we go back?" Event planner Polly Onet asked, before turning to Swifty's owners Stephen Attoe and Robert Caravaggi. "Great photo in 'Vogue'!"

"Page 223," Pat Attoe explained. "Blythe Danner, Sarah Jessica Parker and Amanda Peet from 'The Commons of Pensacola' were photographed at Swifty's."

Home away from a Buatta-inspired, chintz, Park Avenue, home is the dining room of Swifty's. "In one night we had Burt Bacharach, Harry Benson, the legendary photographer and, Botero, one of the greatest living artists dining," Blaine Caravaggi whispered. "Bianca Jagger and Andre Leon Talley were also in the room."

Swifty's Blaine Caravaggi and Robert Caravaggi. (Courtesy Photo)

Swifty's will donate 10% of the room's December 8 proceeds to the Fund the day the Fund lights up Park Avenue -- literally. Their annual Christmas Tree lighting commences in front of Brick Church on Park and 91 St at 6:30 PM. "Last year there were 5000 people there," Jason Grant told us. "The streets are blocked off. It's like a big block party. (Brick Church's) Reverand Lindvall says, 'Let there be light,' and the runners go from 96 Street down to 54th, lighting each block. Because we're elevated on 91 street, you can see the trail of lights go on. It's something to see."

And bring comfortable shoes. Even Jamie Dimond -- there with his daughters -- stands.

The Fund for Park Avenue maintains the Avenue's defining malls of sculpture and seasonal foliage -- tulips in the spring and begonias in the summer -- wholly supported by private donations. They'll start putting in the trees on Nov. 11.

Barbara McLaughlin is President of the Fund for Park Avenue. Their Board of Directors, lead by Chairman, Ronald D. Spencer, Esq., is: Mary Davidson, Eugenie Niven Goodman, Derek L. Limbocker, Helena Martinez, George B. Moore, Judith T. Steckler, Margaret M. Ternes, and Ron Wendt. Ex Officio: Adrian Benepe, Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a firetruck?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Rosehip Partners Real Estate
Properties In The Hamptons

Gary R. DePersia, Corcoran Real Estate
With over $2 billion in transactions, Gary DePersia is consistently ranked among the top producers in the Hamptons. A year-on-year member of The Corcoran Group President’s Council, he has qualified as a national list maker since 2007. In the 2016 REAL Trends & The Wall Street Journal list of America’s top real estate professionals, he was designated #22 nationally and #5 in the Hamptons by volume with nearly $200 million of transactions for the past year.

Advertise on Hamptons.com - Have your business be seen by over 2 million viewers including NEW searches
Hamptons.com- Our exclusive online magazine has 2.6 million Page Views YTD for 2015. Contact us to join our elite group of clients that benefit from having a presence on the Hamptons award winning publication www.Hamptons.com

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

RJD Gallery specializes in contemporary art with a focus on Magical, Figurative Realism, Narrative Portraiture and Urban Landscape.
We exhibit representational artists from around the world, who produce fine art of exceptional quality that challenge collectors to contemplate concepts about the artist, themselves, and our human experience. Utilizing timeless techniques in creating their drawings, paintings and sculptures, our artists have developed unique, signature styles that present a current vision of our world.