Addison sees a red door and wants to paint it black.
Addison DeWitt -- Interior Design, 2/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
NOBODY ENJOYS A GOOD PARTY more than Addison DeWitt. Why, in the last year alone, we've gotten drunk to Save Venice, we've saddled our polo pony to Find a Cure, and, to ease the suffering of distant, indigenous peoples, we've consumed vast amounts of caviar in every high-toned museum and society drawing room in New York. If we had a nickel for every $500-a-plate dinner we've graced, our own personal charity, the DeWitt Home for Wayward Boys, might finally get its steam room. Oh, how happy young Pepe would be!
But now, the bile. While we would in no way impugn the motives of those prisoners of Park Avenue who seek to launder their privilege through do-gooder deeds-who knew angels could fly so low?-we occasionally feel that we might choke on the largesse of all these hot heirs. Case in point: a recent invitation beckoned us to a young couple's modest 10,000-square-foot Carnegie Hill mansion for an apparently worthy cause, the teaching of trades to at-risk youth. Given our historical interest in at-risk youth, we were only too happy to reach for our mock-croc chequebook. Then we read the fine print: "Come dressed to paint."
It seems that our $1,500 donation would buy us the opportunity to gambol in the sepulchral shell of a vast brownstone soon to be transformed by one of the city's jazzier architectural stars. Now, Addison understands that idle hands are the devil's workshop (or, as an old, old friend at MoMA used to say: Arbeit macht frei), but we nevertheless failed to see the logic of this dubious enterprise. Sure, we'd be painting alongside some of New York's most colorful party people-and who wouldn't want to see Murray Moss crack the lid on a gallon of Benjamin Moore Dusty Rose?-but having to shield our Bijan formalwear behind a shroud of common canvas strikes us as rather counter-intuitive. So does the notion of celebrating the healing power of color with such designated painting team leaders as Richard "Why Not White?" Gluckman. On the other hand, we're not sure that color criminal Adam Tihany would be any better suited to chaperone this polychromatic prom night.
Along with the exhortation to "Stir, Splatter & Roll!", the invitation threatened us with that most unwelcome of benefit intrusions: a silent auction in which the obscenely wealthy hosts pressure their impossibly wealthy guests into purchasing throwaway tchotchkes produced by their grotesquely wealthy friends-a most unsettling Triangle Trade. We can only hope that silent auction mainstay Kate Spade will offer up something genuinely useful like a sprightly, tailored, flannel air-sick bag. Color us queasy.