The Four Seasons Restaurant knows how to keep the party going. On Wednesday, July 15th, the NYC landmark feted its 50th birthday again, this time with the Guggenheim Museum, also celebrating its 50th.
Guests, including Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and author Michael Gross, sipped champagne and snacked on rabbit sausage and sushi before dinner, in celebration of two of the city’s most beloved locales.
Richard Armstrong, Director of the Guggenheim Museum, described the event as “an unusual opportunity to recognize two structures and the spirits behind them and their histories that collectively changed the character of New York City.”
Like the Four Seasons Restaurant, the Guggenheim will continue the celebration, though not with parties. The Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit goes until August 23rd, and is followed by the Kandinsky Retrospective, beginning September 17th.
Solomon R. Guggenheim’s great granddaughter, Wendy McNeil, said of the party: “I think we’re doing a darn good job of celebrating! The Kandinsky show coming up is going to be unbelievable. I definitely think he [her great grandfather] would approve. He definitely enjoyed parties, I was told. I never met him, but my understanding is that he had a good time in life.”
For Julian Niccolini, Managing Partner at the Four Seasons Restaurant, this was but one part of the month-long birthday merriment. “First was the roast of Alex [von Bidder] and myself at the Four Seasons restaurant, that was incredible. Martha Stewart, Daniel Boulud, Drew Nieporent, and Pete Peterson from the Blackstone Group did the most wonderful roast you can ever imagine – he even hired George Joel Schumacher to do the video! That was one, then we did a big party for all our customers – I think we had about 1500 people there,” Mr. Niccolini said with a smile. “And now we’re doing this event here because it’s a tremendous celebration between the Guggenheim museum being 50 years of age and the four seasons restaurant being 50 years of age.” He added, “And in addition to that we’re doing another party out on long island on July 25th, and then that’s it.” Not bad!
As for Mr. Niccolini’s own birthday, he says it takes more than one day to celebrate. “I think it’s much better to do it for one week. One day, it’s just one day. The following day you might have a headache – one week is acceptable.” But if you’re the Four Seasons restaurant, then you’re allowed one month? “One month is even more than acceptable!”
Darac Beauty founder Michelle Harper described how she celebrates her birthday: “I celebrated all my birthdays between age 10 and 20 – 10 birthdays in a row here!” She added, “I like multiple days and multiple continents!”
Commissioner Kelly, chatting with the Guggenheim’s Board Director Jennifer Stockman, said he also celebrates his birthday at the Four Seasons Restaurant, while Ms. Stockman told the Transom, “I stopped having birthdays five years ago!” When Ms. Stockman lamented not being invited to the previous Four Seasons Restaurant 50th birthday parties, Commissioner Kelly replied, “from now on, you’re in!”