Elements of Style / Talk of the Town by Gigi Golightly


Elements of Style  

Thursday • 08 December 2011 • by Gigi Golightly

It was the kind of enchanting confluence of style and substance that could only result in a fun evening for all who attended art patrons, Homeira and Arnold Goldstein’s soiree on a starry November evening.  The private dinner at their art-filled home was held to celebrate a belated, but certainly not forgotten, birthday of their friend and grande dame, Gail Bershon.

Birthday girl Gail Bershon with Linzi Glass and Ellen Sacks  Photo Credit: Gigi Golightly

Champagne and cocktails flowed in the early evening, as guests entered the hilltop home in Manhattan Beach. 

“This house is like a museum,” exclaimed a guest.  It was a sentiment echoed by many friends, some of whom opted to mingle by the poolside with twinkling holiday lights and an immense silver artwork, set against one side of a wall.  Inside, small groups marveled at artworks on display in every part of the 10,000-square foot residence.

Goldstein's Living Room

Meanwhile, Homeira, cutting a sharp figure in a strapless black dress, sashayed back and forth to her kitchen to orchestrate dinner with her staff.

“Did you cook, too?” I asked Homeira, watching her sprinkle garnishing on a salad dish.

“I always plan the menu and would ask my chef to make the various dishes from my own recipes. I also oversee the final tasting test,” replied our host, laughing merrily.

Stylish guests dined buffet-style from a delectable menu of grilled fish, deliciously marinated chicken, tender beef skewers, and an array of exotic fresh salad combinations and rice dishes, topped with fruit sorbet and ice cream for dessert. 

Delectable Buffet Dinner   Photo Credit: Gigi Golightly

At my table, Kaplan, a distinguished man of a certain age, entertained us with amusing repartee on various subjects.  A jubilant couple beside me, Kenny Felderstein, and his vivacious wife, Ellen Sacks, shared romantic stories of how they had met 27 years ago. 

Birthday girl Gail Bershon and friend.  Photo Credit: Gigi Golightly

Then it was Gail who expressed her love with a toast to her hosts and everyone in attendance, which evoked cheers and applause for the teary-eyed birthday girl.  She stayed for another hour before heading to LAX for a red-eye flight to Florida for the Art Basil Miami event.

The party continued upstairs after dinner.  I slipped out onto the terrace for fresh air and Kaplan joined me.  Our laughter echoed from the balcony high above into the night as we shared private thoughts of the moment.  A tapestry of glowingly lit stars shone quietly on his profile, with wisps of gray hair gracing his temple, he resembled Ernest Hemingway, one of my favorite writers.  Like the famed author, his words were simple and direct, though his low voice was distinctly New Yorker. Through the deep blue-black skies, one could almost imagine Van Gogh’s starry nights painting amid the reflection of the city lights stretching from Marina Del Rey to Pacific Palisades, as Kaplan pointed out to me. 

On the way downstairs, we were delighted to see Arnold, who gave us an impromptu tour and lectured on the art he and his wife collected.  Needless to say, everyone had a marvelous time on that starlit night in November.

 – Gigi Golightly