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Along the Avenue

Sarah Winston and Arthur Mendonca

Issac Delgado Award Recipient Prescott Dunbar

Dr. Terry Creel of the Royal Society of St. George and wife Liz

Murray Nelson helps close the old Bruno’s

We danced, sang, laughed, cried, welcomed back, sent forth and saluted so much already this year, June may feel positively tranquil.

Hayden and Paula Dunbar didn’t fly in from New York City for Jazz Fest. They came to join brother Lander, the newest auctioneer/appraiser at Matthew P. Brown, to see their father Prescott Dunbar receive the Isaac Delgado Memorial Award for untiring work with and on behalf of the New Orleans Museum of Art. Prescott, author of the definitive history of the museum published in 1985, has served on the board since ’73. When NOMA Director John Bullard announced the award at the Fellows
dinner, everyone rose to give Prescott a standing ovation. Later, Dunbar’s wife Sarah hosted an impromptu champagne and dessert party for pals at home in the Garden District.

Alexandra Stafford and Raymond Rathle opened their Iona Street home for a Nuit Blanche for Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle Orleans. At a nuit blanche, attendees wear white and drink, dine and solve the problems of the world (a “nuit blanche” is an all-nighter, mes amies). In the Stafford-Rathle world, that means raising scholarship funds by having Elizabeth Rudge, head bartender at Patois, create a “Bilingue Tropical” concoction with Cointreau, which had folks bidding with abandon on auction items and grazing with joie de vivre on amuse bouche from La Boulangerie, Maurice, La Côte Brasserie, La Petite Grocery, MiLa and others.

At some point everyone from Pam Lyons to actress Blythe Danner, Hearst’s Deb Shriver and USA Today’s Jerry Shriver (Deb’s husband) got to the Jazz Fest. The Shrivers threw a party billed “Mo’ Jazz, Mo Feasting” after the Fest! Handfuls of journalists, movie makers and creative types swooned over fried green tomatoes, mountains of crabmeat and made-on-the-spot pralines. A New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts jazz combo played from a balcony above the courtyard and not a drop of rain fell.

Rain it did for the summer party of the Royal Society of St. George at the National World War II Museum. Men in white linen dropped ladies in dainty shoes at the door then made their way through the puddles. The group’s president Dr. Terry Creel and pretty wife Liz greeted the select circle. After, some members made their way to Dean Westphal’s 60th birthday party thrown by his wife Ginny and held at pals Betsy and Mac Miller’s gracious digs in the Garden District.

Others gathered say farewell to Leo Bruno’s Maple Street bar. (Leo supplied Uptown with booze for years – some even say from bottles tucked into a trench coat during Prohibition though his bar opened in 1934). So trusted and respected was Leo that if debs called home to say they were “at Bruno’s,” parents could roll over and go to sleep. Leo made sure “his kids” got home safely. On April 26, a second-line band and multiple generations helped close the old place down. A.B. Monroe flew back
to town. John and Bonnie Boyd celebrated their 24th anniversary kissing at the exact spot where they shared their first. Murray Nelson bought friends and strangers drinks. One wonders if the ashes of the “regular” whose wish was to have his urn placed behind the bar, will move across the street to what will always be the “new Bruno’s”?

Janet and Steve Haedicke, everyone’s favorite mystery writer Julie Smith and husband Lee Pryor hosted a post-Jazz Fest derby party at Julie and Lee’s Decatur Street digs. Lee showed off his library, Julie showed pals the rest and Janet and Steve made sure the libations kept coming while outside bands played in the streets below.

Kevin Mackey’s Kentucky home often calls him back for derby day. But his year, the sun shone bright on his old Pontalba home where he and wife Haydee polished up his julep cups, pulled out the Louisville family recipe and served up strawberries, cucumber sandwiches and new additions – including birthday cake! Kevin celebrated his “forever 29th” (again) to toasts and cheers.

No Jazz Fest for fashion designer Arthur Mendonca – who’s already collected a plethora of international awards. Arthur flew in from Toronto to be Sarah Winston’s guest for too short a visit. Of course, he made an appearance at Shoefty on Magazine Street where adoring fans like Thea Pagel and Uptown types ogled the clothes and the man. Of course, there was champagne.

Hang on to your julep cups – Juleps in June will be held at the gracious home of Patricia Strachan. There will probably be champagne, too! 

Heard something interesting for “Along the Avenue?”
If so, please send it to:
St. Charles Avenue,
110 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 123
Metairie, La. 70005,
Attn: Diane Sustendal.
Or email Diane at:diane@renaissancepublishingllc.com

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