Greek Gods Shine at Merchant's House

June 25, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

Merchant's House Museum's Garden Party benefit Merchant's House Museum Wednesday, 06.19.02, 7 PM to 10 PM
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The Merchant's House Museum has a reputation for putting on a fun summer party. The annual Garden Party, hosted by director Margaret Pi Gardiner, carried the theme of A Greek Revival, playing off one of the townhouse's dominant architectural styles. The event was a laid-back summer fête with crafty decor touches that included real architectural fragments—so-called “ruins"—strewn amongst the plants, and simple chalk drawings of Ionic columns (à la Greek Revival) that adorned the garden's brick wall.

Guests nibbled goodies from a variety of cheeses and sweets, pâtés and—appropriately—stuffed grape leaves (which seemed to be everyone's favorite as they rapidly disappeared). Many partygoers had laurels perched on their heads and some even wore togas and sandals.

Meandering between the garden and the house, guests couldn't escape the sounds of energetic Greek bouzouki music and singing provided by Rafina restaurant. Theater director Patrick Trettenero coordinated actors done up as shiny bronzed gods and goddesses. As silent and frozen statues, they greeted guests who entered the museum's lovely doorway as well as those shopping amidst the silent auction tables. The garden featured actors in classical poses frozen against the ivy-covered wall. And if that wasn't enough, drag performer Jacqueline Jonée (slyly keeping in theme, she donned a red dress by Greek designer George Stavropoulos) mixed amidst the crowd, helping to loosen guests up and get people to bid on items in the silent auction.

Various tables of food were donated by Andrea Jane's, Mark Fahrer Caterers, Party Box, Les Trois Petits Cochons and Whole Foods Market and placed casually amongst some of the auction tables in the antique kitchen and along the sides of the garden. Neighboring restaurants B Bar & Grill and Marion's Continental provided additional help with bar service and tasty platters.

Mark Mavrigian

Read about last year's Garden Party...

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