Cipriani 42nd Street, an Italianate former bank turned banquet hall, became an unlikely temple of old-school hip-hop on Tuesday night, at the Gordon Parks Foundation’s annual gala.
Twenty of the 177 rappers who participated in an iconic group photograph taken in Harlem by Parks in 1998 gathered for an awards dinner. They included Fab 5 Freddy, Slick Rick, Rah Digga, Kid Capri and Grandmaster Caz.
Also honored were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the athlete; Raf Simons, the designer; Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis Jr., the philanthropists; Kehinde Wiley, the artist; and Chelsea Clinton.
They mingled with musicians and other cultural figures like Alicia Keys, Kaseem Dean, Deborah Harry, Kerby Jean-Raymond and David Chang; Peter W. Kunhardt Jr., the foundation’s executive director; as well as money types like Douglas Durst, Sarah Arison, Sandra Brant, Judy and Leonard Lauder, and Alexander Soros.
Parks, who died in 2006 at 93, was a renaissance figure in African-American culture, said Mr. Wiley, who painted President Barack Obama’s White House portrait. “He created a type of black aesthetic, of empathy and being able to find race in dark places, and to be able to see America for who she truly is,” he said. “He was able to be both the sincere auteur and the trickster at once.”
Parks was also a noted Casanova, having divorced three times before dating Gloria Vanderbilt and Candace Bushnell (at least, according to her).
“I wanted to be wife No. 4,” said Carol Jenkins, the co-president of the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition, referring to when she was a TV reporter for WNBC in the 1980s. “I had a huge crush on him, so I called him up and asked him to be my date for an event I was M.C.-ing at the Plaza Hotel.”
It was the perfect night, until she broke a heel. “Gentleman that he was, he tries to hammer the heel, with the knife from the table, back on,” Ms. Jenkins said, laughing. “Eventually the manager found me another pair of shoes. I think he took them from one of the workers.”
Unfortunately, there was no second date.
Back to Barbary Lane
The gender-progressive cast of a new iteration of “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City,” created for Netflix, celebrated at a premiere party Monday night at Metrograph on the Lower East Side. The cast includes more racial and L.G.B.T.Q. diversity than previous installments, which mostly featured white, cisgender and (sacrilege!) straight actors.
This “is important because it’s telling beautiful human stories about connection and pain and joy, and the representation it’s offering for the L.G.B.T.Q. community is crucial,” said Ellen Page, who plays a new character in the fourth TV adaptation of the long-running book series about queer life in San Francisco.
She was joined by Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney and Paul Gross, who reprise characters they originated in the first series, in 1994. Other new additions include Zosia Mamet, Charlie Barnett, May Hong, Murray Bartlett and Garcia, a gender-queer actor who supports using the pronoun they for everyone.
“Wouldn’t that be easier?” Garcia said. “If we try to start making our language more inclusive, instead of exclusive. The binary separates us in more ways than one.”
Joining the cast over a buffet of roast chicken and vegetables were Lauren Morelli, the showrunner, and her wife, Samira Wiley (a star of “Orange Is the New Black”), as well as Ben McKenzie and his wife, Morena Baccarin, who both star on “Gotham.”
Although the new series is set in the present day, it’s hard not to notice that the characters, who supposedly met in 1976, have aged only about 25 years. “I’ve been saying the subtitle for this series should be ‘Don’t do the math,’” said Alan Poul, the director of the show.
Other inconvenient realities, like the class tensions of present-day San Francisco, are also left out. “We made a conscious choice not to make this series about ‘Tech people are evil,’” Mr. Poul said.
He looked sideways on the red carpet before adding: “And not because we’re working for Netflix.”
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