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Along the Avenue

November 2010

Prince Alessandro Ruspoli enjoys Love in the Garden

Love, Love, Hooray for Love … who was ever too blasé for love?

At “Love in the Garden” where the smartly turned out and the artful roamed, Alessandro Ruspoli, visiting New Orleans and Houston for several months, took in the art, music and dance with delight. That he is the son of Rome’s Prince Pietro and Princess Letizia Ruspoli (and other places dotted with villas and vineyards) makes him interesting; that he and Paige Rabalais were guests for the evening of committeeman Lander Dunbar meant he was in good hands. While exploring business options here, Allessandro has been spotted relaxing from such disparate locals as Galatoire’s and F&M Patio; he’s even learned to tie a proper “du rag.”

We love a Gershwin tune, how about you? There was Gershwin sung on stages large (opening night of the New Orleans Opera Association) to intimate (Le Chat Noir) and everywhere including pubs in between. It is the opera’s way of expanding its reach to include folks of all kinds – and it has worked. Now, for a bit of Bizet and the merriment of Mozart.

Love, marriage, ceremonies large and small … Ace skipper Stephen Murray Jr. set sail with Shelley Hesse, one of several local artists, including Alexa Pulitzer, whose work is featured in Anthropologie – one of the newest shops at Canal Place – in late October. The same weekend, First Bank & Trust’s president Gary Blossman and Maria Muro flew to Fisher Island to say “I do” surrounded by family only (though theirs are both large). Come the Christmas holidays, it will be Barbara Aalders and Dr. Perry Rigby’s turn.

Did you spot that starry-eyed duo ogling artist Stephanie Albertson’s rings at Katy Beh the night of Art for Arts’ Sake? Her jewelry is cause for excitement. Art for Art’s Sake has become one of the best-trafficked events on the Magazine Street circuit, this year expanding from the Warehouse District past Rare Cuts, the purveyor of fine meats and game (even pheasant). People poured into Feet First before Evie Poitevent had time to change from workout clothes to party dress. Artist Alex Beard was stuck in traffic but made it to the Octavia Gallery for an Uptown showing of his work (he also has a gallery in the French Quarter). They were six deep at Pinkberry; while at Mimi, Hazelnut, Per Se and Magic Box people started early and stayed late; a few even closed chef John Harris’ new bar Bouligny next door to Lilette.

Lady Rose Cholmondeley, a Steinway artist and president of the Chopin Society of the United Kingdom, and Charles Grant, a multimedia actor, put on quite a romantic evening at Trinity Church at month’s end. She played Chopin; he read the composer’s letters. The night before, the English-Speaking Union hosted a glamorous dinner at Commander’s Palace for Lady Cholmondeley, where people such as Keene Kelley, Dr. Quinn Peeper and other Anglophiles raised their cups of claret in honor of their guest.

Say, “Tres Bien!” when you next see Manon Prizgintas: she has just been decorated as a knight in the French Order of Arts and Letters. The honors were bestowed by our French Consul General Oliver Brochenin, who’s a busy man indeed. Days later, he was deep in conversation with the Hon. Sanjiv Arora, Consul General of India in Houston at one of those very vital and informative luncheons at The Plimsoll Club with the new head of the World Trade Center of New Orleans Dominik Knoll.

Now, with the nightly fundraisers pretty much finished, it’s time for deb parties and presentations, turkey and football … lots of turkey and football!

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