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A Big Gay Wedding and The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts

The Palace of Fine Arts


One of our primary reasons for heading west recently was to attend the wedding of some wonderful friends in San Francisco – thanks to marriage equality there, everyone in California is able to celebrate their union and journey together. It was touching to see these two making a commitment to each other in front of friends and family (and I think the event has my McBee on his way to Harry Winston to pick out a black diamond eternity band!).james_mcbee

We did have an excellent time before the wedding exploring a bit of San Francisco. McBee was anxious to see the San Francisco Maritime Museum, but sadly there were not many yachts or ocean liners on display. We were both inspired, however, by the architecture of this Art Deco masterpiece.

Afterward, the incomparable Philip Bewley (our go-to advisor for all things sublime) had us lunching at Burma Superstar. It’s a low key eatery with the most delicious Asian/Burmese cuisine – let me just say we’ll be dining there again on out next trip to San Francisco.

Then en route to the wedding we made an obligatory stop at the Palace of Fine Arts. Designed by Bernard Maybeck to host the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition (celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal), the Palace of Fine Arts is a sight to behold and houses spectacular art from Renaissance to Modern. Maybeck’s fantastic creation, inspired by a Piranesi engraving, also features a Roman ruin and reflecting pool. According to Maybeck, his ruin existed not for its own sake but more as a grand scale memento mori to convey “…the mortality of grandeur and the vanity of human wishes.” Like other features of the fair, the Palace was intended to be demolished at the close of the fair, but luckily the Palace lived on, saved from from the wrecking ball by the Palace Preservation League, founded by Phoebe Apperson Hearst while the fair was still in progress. In 1964 a badly deteriorating rotunda and colonnade were demolished and rebuilt in more permanent materials via the generosity and vision of philanthropist Walter S. Johnson. Needless to say it’s a breathtakingly beautiful site indeed – do go in the late afternoon for the loveliest light.

In this image I am referencing a photo of the sensational San Francisco socialite Dolly Fritz by Slim Aarons sporting a marvelous mix of grays and pinks to celebrate the wedding of our friends. I’m wearing a Tom Ford jacket in grey linen, silk and hemp, dove grey silk pants, pink cotton checked shirt with French cuffs and white suede with saddle leather cap toe lace up shoes, Charvet mauve silk bow tie and pink silk pocket square, antique moon stone cuff links, Rolex watch and my fragrance is Creed Windsor.

13 Comments

  1. Dean Farris says:

    Dear James and Scott!

    Wow! What a great post from your trip! I LOVE the 19th century look of your outfit James, and I smiled when I saw the portrait of you and Scott having a moment…so sweet!
    Billy and I will be in Southern California later on – oh! and the Palace of Fine Arts- how interesting, I think Armistead Maupin was always including it in his novels, based in SF – from “Tales of the City” – one of my fave writers, who hails from North Carolina, like me.
    Once, I was in the old Scalamandre’ showroom in NY and Ed Goodman was looking at a picture of the Denise Hale drawing room, that had been sent to him by Mark Hampton- since all the passementerie had been done by Ed, and Mark had signed his thanks right on the glossy 8 x 10 ! Her elegant room is one of my favorites- all in shades of green and gilt. Lovely, and timeless too.

    Dean

  2. Danny says:

    Sweet, sweet!

  3. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Danny,

    Thank You!

    Cheers

    JA

  4. Chic as ever James, especially the correspondent shoes. Am currently sporting something more rugged while I take the Alpine air in St Moritz but you inspire me (as always) to dig out my own similar footwear…

  5. Wendy Woo says:

    Oh my you put the ravishing in road trip! silk and hemp, divine texture!

  6. Oh dear Lord!

    The Palace of the Fine Arts was the site of the party of the 20th century!

    Tony and Hutton….and Ruthie…….went all over India (entire villages were hired for a year……maybe more!!) to produce the decorations!

    I can exaggerate with the best of them……..however; not even I could possibly exaggerate the staggering beauty and excitement……and enjoyment of that party!

    Too Bad Truman Capote’s “black and white ball” was in the twentieth century!

    It lost…..THIS WAS THE PARTY OF THE TWENTIETHCENTURY!!!

    I WILL NEVER FORGET EVEN A MOMENT! ALL THE WAITERS WERE DRESSED IN COSTUME……..PETER DUCHIN WAS THE MUSIC!! (IT GETS NO BETTER)!

    AND DODIE Rosecranz talked to almost all of us!

    (she certainly talked to me!!) She told me how “lucky she was to have Hutton….et all…….to gel her give this divine party for their “granddaughter” who was making her debut in a few weeks!

    YOWZERS!

    NEVER HAVE I SEEN……AND NEVER WILL I SEE SUCH A PARTY!

    IT WAS TRANSPORTING! I WAS IN ANOTHER WORLD! GORGEOUS BEYOND!!

    NEVER WILL I FORGET EVEN A SECOND OF IT!

    THANK YOU, HUTTON, RUTHIE, (DODIE IS IN HEAVEN WATCHING ALL OF US AT HUTTON AND RUTHIE’S PARTIES)

    I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO TELL YOU ABOUT THAT PARTY WHEN YU WERE HERE!

    YIKES!

    WE LOVE YOU!!

    PENNY AND ADAMN

    s

  7. BY THE WAY; WE HAD SUCH FUN WHEN YOU GOT TO SANTA BARBARA…..I JUST HAD TO SHARE THAT PARTY AT THE MUSEUM…….WHO KNEW ONE COULD HAVR A PARTY THERE?

    YOU CAN’T……UNLESS YOU ARE ROSEKRANZ………WONDERFUL, AND FUN PEOPLE!!

    XXOO

    PENNY

  8. WHEN WILL YOU BE BACK?

  9. James Andrew says:

    Dear Robert O’Byrne,

    I possibly should have packed a broader selection of foot wear and clothing.

    Sadly I was not dressed in a way that was conducive to enjoying some of the glorious hikes that are available to explore on that sublime stretch of road.

    Perhaps that is another trip.

    Cheers

    JA

  10. James Andrew says:

    Dear Wendy,

    You are just so delicious – Thank You!

    This was indeed a remarkable journey.

    Cheers

    JA

  11. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Penelope Bianchi ,

    I can’t even imagine how glorious that party must have been!

    Our magical dinner at Hutton and Ruth’s perhaps gave a glimpse of how fabulous it must have been with all the talent and resources available to create such a sublime soiree.

    I just can’t wait to get back to Santa Barbara- such a magnificent place with the most marvelous people like yourself!

    Love

    JA

  12. Bill says:

    The best place to visit…we lived there 8 years and loved it.Enjoy!

  13. James Andrew says:

    Dear Bill,

    It is a city that I sometimes feel I could call home.

    Look forward to returning often.

    Cheers

    JA

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