My father was born in New York Hospital, and he grew up in Westchester County, going to Yale and spending summers in East Hampton, taking the train from Grand Central and stopping off at the Oyster Bar and at other landmark places, some long gone, that I still have the match books from that he kept all his life. New York City was a different place then, in some ways seemingly more glamorous, with men in suits and ties on a regular basis and women whose hats and shoes showed the refined and painstaking care that being fashionably well dressed used to take in those days. My mother and my father were a glamorous couple who met at a mixer between Sarah Lawrence and Yale, and they shared their early first dates in candlelit restaurants on the Upper East Side and bohemian haunts in Greenwich Village. Both of my grandmothers were so stylish that the clothing they wore then could be worn again now with little alternation. As my mother always said, a good design is always a good design, and pearls are never out of style. Even the flapper dresses my mother's mother wore when she was in her early dancing days when she met my grandfather are still things I love to try to recreate, and when I wear the accessories she sent me over the years, I always get compliments because they are as lovely now as they were then.
The Pierre is part of the beauty and history of New York in a way that is so integral to my own memories and feelings of what New York City is. Opened on October 1, 1930, it is part of my own family's history in the way that places where you've always known and loved are. A friend had her 21st Birthday there, and other friends have stayed there and lived there, and so many wonderful people have passed through its doors for events and small gatherings and special occasions, stopping by for tea or a bite to eat, to visit a friend or to meet when "in town" as the saying used to go. There was a time when going into Manhattan even from Westchester County or the Hamptons was considered to be too long a trip to do in one day, and so a stay at The Pierre would be planned for shopping, visiting, seeing shows or just taking some time away from the every day because a place like The Pierre is so special, then as now, that it is where anyone would want to be if they needed to find a place to stay that was comfortable, elegant and peaceful in the way that only a fine hotel can be.
I had the opportunity to visit with a friend whose Art was being shown in the Two E Lounge at The Pierre recently, and it's a friend who I've known for so many years but don't often have the chance to visit with because he lives outside of the city and travels often. So when he told me he would be showing at The Pierre, I was ecstatic, and I looked forward to seeing him and celebrating our friendship and his beautiful work. At the show, which was lovely, I had the opportunity to meet with the two lovely women who organized and were hosting the event, Mary Beth O'Connor, the Director of Sales and Marketing, and Janet Bartucci who is the Founder of Strategic Communications, and as I spoke about my own family's history in Manhattan and my love for historical places like The Pierre, they told me about a new project that had started in advance of the upcoming 90th Anniversary of the Hotel's opening. Pierre Stories is an ongoing collector's dream - a way for the Hotel to celebrate its history while including and encouraging people who have memories and memorabilia to share it with the Hotel and others. Any item that people have saved over the years from The Pierre's history they are welcomed to return, and that includes things like towels, silverware, and crystal. No questions asked, and all are welcomed, with prizes and raffles for things like stays and dinners and exclusive hotel events.
When I visited the museum that has been created for the collection of Pierre Stories, I was met by Janet Bartucci and the General Manager, Francois-Olivier Luiggi. Both are so knowledgeable not only about the history of The Pierre and the collection that is part of Pierre Stories, but also about the history of art and design and fine cuisine that is reflected in the variety of eras that have been spanned in the 90 years since The Pierre first opened its doors. The information they were able to share with me was enhanced by their own histories that have included years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry and in working with some of the finest Artists, Designers, and Chefs, and at some of the greatest Hotels and Residences in the world. The Pierre Stories collection is astonishing and so lovely that I could have spent hours there talking to these gracious hosts. Years of history have been carefully curated in a way that takes the viewer through changes in style, interior design, and cuisine, and shares memorable moments of the illustrious guests and celebrities, performers, fashion icons and notable politicians who have walked through the doors and made The Pierre their home away from home.
And the history of excellence continues to this day with special Art events at the Two E Lounge, holiday parties and special occasions such as a Halloween Afternoon Tea, a community Trick-or-Treat neighborhood event, a celebration for Diwali, the Indian Celebration of Lights, and a special Tea With Santa among other events that encourage celebration in ways that can include the whole family. On a daily basis tea is served in the Two E Lounge, a tradition that is so near and dear to my heart because of my own memories of how special an experience that can be in so lovely and tranquil a place.
On The Pierre's Instagram page there is a hashtag that in many ways, though simple, says it all: "#PerfectlyPierre". The Pierre is a perfect place in every way, and over the years has shown itself to be not only on the forefront of design, fashion and cuisine, but to always be relevant as it has welcomed guests through its doors in the epitome of excellent and exquisite taste, style and hospitality.
2 East 61st Street
New York City
A Few Glimpses Into The World Of
Pierre Stories #PierreStories
A Few Glimpses Into The World Of
Pierre Stories #PierreStories
The First Gold Bonds Issued
Upon The Pierre's Incorporation
Signed By Charles Pierre
A Menu Signed By Escoffier
An Issue Of Forbes Magazine
Dated October 1, 1930
The Date Of The Pierre's Opening
Always In Seasonal Style
From A Book Of Photographs
Showing Design And Dining Concepts
Pictured Here A Dining Experience
At The Pump Room In Chicago
At The Art Opening For "Mark Perry At The Pierre"
An Evening At The Two E Lounge
Cade Tompkins, Jannie Wolff, Mark Perry, John McGovern
Photograph Credit Janet Bartucci