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Along the Avenue

Caroline Robert, George Fowler IV and fiancée Jennifer Walker at their engagement party.

Barbara Motley and Amanda McBroom at Le Chat Noir.

Miles and Mary Pollard at the opening of “The Treasures of Napoleon”

It’s May. As we wrap up Jazz Fest, graduations, Mother’s Day and weddings are on tap, I ask you, “Is anyone tired yet?”

According to new editor Morgan Packard, the magazine photographed some 34 events in April excluding the Jazz, French Quarter and heaven knows how many other “fests,” film series, auctions, ball games and a dizzying number of house tours. A foot rub seems in order, don’t you think?

We’re not the only ones running around in four-inch stilettos. In one week, there was a philanthropic triple-header when even the guys couldn’t remember what cufflinks and ties they wore the night before!

It kicked off on a Wednesday night with “Art in Bloom” at NOMA where over 300 turned up for the patron party (before the member’s preview) to say, “Merci Bien” to arts organizations that have helped since Katrina. There were Blue Dogs, escargot from Galatoire’s, saag pannier from Nirvana and crabmeat galore – not to mention flowers, bonsai and ikebana from the likes of the Garden Study Club, Junior League, Town Gardeners, Slim Goodies and even our Hornets (my what big shoes they have!). Wearing red, Dana Hansel, party co-chair (she of several committees/boards of events that followed), quieted the crowd when Ruthie Winston picked up the mike to auction a George Rodrigue painting and lowered the gavel with the winning bid hit $40,000. (Winston, of course, is used to high bids. You heard a highboy at New Orleans Auction sold for over $700,000 last month, didn’t you?) Nice to see Louisiana State Museum Director David Kahn cross artistic lines to enjoy what he described as “A great party.”

Friday night brought the “Julia Jump,” a Preservation Resource Center’s favorite at the posh Ritz-Carlton Hotel. None the less, the “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” lead by Julie Habetz and Kendall Hales, had oh-so-many reasons to jump – not the least was the music of Bobby J and Stuff Like That. The turn out was terrific, the money rolled in and someone walked away with diamond earrings from Friend and Company. Someone kiss Pat Friend, she and husband Kenny never cease to be generous to organizations in this town.

The same night, Amanda McBroom who, among other things wrote the song “The Rose,” opened at Le Chat Noir for too short a run. The place was packed with the likes of Jim Lestelle, who has opened his own Pubic Relations firm, John Roberts, graduating from Interior Design School, Pamela Pipes, spearheading Pitot House benefit and Margaret Shields, spearheading the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra benefit.

Saturday night Napoleon arrived. Well, enough memorabilia, maps, regalia even beds arrived to mount the exhibition “Treasures of Napoleon” at the Old US Mint. M. Pierre-Jean Chalencon, the collection’s owner, wore a Western-inspired jacket with diamond cufflinks and a ring purchased hours before in the French Quarter. Melissa Bouygues, a native of Baton Rouge who has lived in Paris since her modeling days, was the evening’s honorary chairman. Chic a black cocktail suit, she looked picture perfect standing between Louisiana Museum Foundation President Tommy Westervelt, sporting crystal and ruby cufflinks and studs, and event chair Henry Lambert, wearing emerald studs. When it’s Napoleon, one is allowed to pile on the jewels. Guests of took in the show and then mingled over French Fries, Tattinger champagne and other such goodies under a star-lit sky in The Old US Mint courtyard. The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Priscilla and husband John Lawrence, crossed artistic lines to take in Napoleonic artifacts. Mary Pollard, the other event chair, arrived late; like several others, she attended a wedding earlier though hers was out of town and required the use of a helicopter to make it!

Mary and husband Miles are busily helping plan son Steele and Lauren Bailey’s wedding. Steele Pollard and Bailey both lived in New Orleans but didn’t know each other. Post-Katrina, Lauren, a championship equestrienne, sold her show horse to go into business with Angelique in Baton Rouge. Pollard popped in to buy a Mother’s Day present and the rest, as they say, is history.

For George and Cristina Fowler, it’s another year and another wedding. They hosted an engagement party for son George IV and Jennifer Walker that began as the Napoleon preview ended. Julio & Cesar had everyone on a dance floor (which covered their swimming pool) with maracas, merriment and even limbo stick antics. Dancing the night away were Claiborne Perrilliat, son and daughter-in-law, Claiborne and Carter, Bea and Beau Ball, Perch’s Caroline Robert, Raul Fonte and Helen Flammer. Artist Mario Villa sambaed over from the Mint. Daughter Crissy Chauvin, who was married last summer in Casa de Campo, wore an embroidered dress best described as Latina Modern.

The same night, Wesley Fenner and Karen Larsen exchanged vows at St Charles Presbyterian then danced down to the Orleans Club. Sister Leigh Fenner, who lives in New York, showed off her engagement ring from Michael Connery. Cammie and Charles Mayer managed to get to the church, club and Napoleon exhibition. Needless to say, they were running, not dancing, but anyone who knows these two knows they juggle friendship and duty effortlessly.

The next day, both the Friends of the Cablido and Spring Fiesta had house tours – so many house tours in April on the south shore, even a kitchen tour by the Junior League. If you aren’t inspired to paper your walls, faux your backsplashes or marble your floors, don’t blame me.

Various and sundry other events: Carlo Capomazza di Campolattaro organized a black tie dinner for the Aztec Club of 1847, for descendants of those who fought in that war against Mexico (Carlo is directly related to Zachery Taylor). Max and Margaret Maxwell, she of realtor fame, threw open the doors of their downtown pied-a-terre for Uptown types boogying to the French Quarter Fest. Mimi Bowen’s beautiful daughter wore a lace veil once worn Eugene Bonaparte, wife of Napoleon III, for her wedding to Trevor Colhoun (the veil has been in the groom’s family for generations).

It is a sure bet her Vera Wang dress probably came from mommy’s heavenly shop, Mimi’s. And a CAC benefit Tequila Tasting at The Shops at Canal Place had Republic’s Fred Holley, Saks’ Steven Putt, Jim Mounger and others shaking it Latin style.
Okay, let’s mambo into May. ¡Olé! 

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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