Ring Out the Old: Bring in the New

Sant Ambroeus 1000 Madison Avenue ( 77th-78th Sts.) ‘Milano-in-New York’

Sant Ambroeus 1000 Madison Avenue ( 77th-78th Sts.) ‘Milano-in-New York’

Ambling Madison Avenue, looking to pick up a few last-minute holiday items, I couldn’t resist getting into the spirit of the season by stopping for a cappuccino at Sant Ambroeus, where a stylish crowd keeps the café and restaurant lively all the day long. At three in the afternoon, many patrons were still enjoying a relaxed lunch, and by four the early-birds began drifting in for dinner.

Once fortified—the cappuccino perfect—I found a perfect stocking-stuffer at the nearby luxury chocolatier, La Maison du Chocolat, where the staff is knowledgeable and the chocolates divine. I was assured that the elegant gift box containing 2 chocolates ($8.50)—Caramelo and Akosombo—would be perfect for any gourmet.

Heading south I ventured into the Gagosian Shop where there was an exclusive selection of artists' books, catalogues, rare books, prints, and limited editions. If passing the shop multiples times when heading for the nearby Apple store, it was as if I had never really seen it. Within it was all clean lines, white and bright. Inquiring how long the shop had been there, I was astonished to hear “Three years.”

The central focus of the Shop is the gallery’s publishing program, featuring books on artists whose work has been shown in Gagosian's galleries worldwide. To date, they have published more than 500 books including a limited edition of the works of Jeff Koons. Note: Koon’s ‘Puppy (Vase),’ 1998, in white glazed porcelain.

If you’ve always wanted an Andy Warhol, but found the astronomical prices out of reach, you could treat yourself to a small Brillo box (the size of a Rubix Cube), or to the whole assemblage—the likes of which is on display at Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again at the Whitney until March 31, 2019. But given my druthers, I’d go with Roy Lichtenstein’s print: Sweet Dreams, Baby! Sweet dreams, indeed.

If you’re checking in at The Mark, there’s a flower cart in front of the hotel, the flowers guaranteed to add soul to any room, even an opulent one. But should you be staying at the Carlyle Hotel, be prepared to run into any number of film stars who always stay there. So the poster said! There you can celebrate New Year’s Eve with an exquisite five-course dinner accompanied by unforgettable music from the Peter Duchin Orchestra and dancing throughout the evening in the Carlyle’s Deco-styled lobby for $675 per person. (Wines and gratuities not included.) Black tie. Don’t delay.

Nor shall I delay any longer before wishing you a Merry Christmas and a year filled with good cheer and great prospects. See you on the other side in 2019, when I’ll have the coffee ready. Thanks for dropping by this week. Until we meet again…Joyeux noël et bonne année.

PS: If you haven’t finished your shopping, JADED, (below) has a stocking-stuffer for everyone.