Quaint Garden Hosts Museum Benefit

July 10, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Merchant's House Museum's Sex and the (19th Century) City benefit Merchant's House Museum Wednesday, 06.27.01, 7 PM to 10 PM
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While lots of restaurants are opening sleek, funky outdoor gardens and terraces (think Guastavino's, the Park or Rink Bar) we found an old one with its own special charms: the garden behind the Merchant's House Museum on East 4th Street. The pretty garden has topiaries, benches and lots of ivy, and served as a beautiful back drop for the museum's Sex and the (19th Century) City garden party benefit (like lots of people, party's planners are milking the Sex and the City trend for all it's worth).

Billed as an “evening of wanton abandon,” the benefit raised money for the museum and showed off its current “Bloomers, Bustles and Bustiers: Unmentionables from the Collection” exhibit of vintage undergarments. To match the theme, the garden even got a clothesline with strands of lights and some lacy dainty things to add to the festive, easygoing feel of the simple benefit for the pretty, stately museum. (Built in 1832, the museum is the only family home in the city preserved intact from the 19th century, and it is available for special events and private functions.) The party was also a hot one--appropriately, you could say, the 19th century being very pre-air conditioning.

The benefit included a silent auction of donated items, and an assortment of food donated by caterers Andrea Jane's Catering, Mark Fahrer and Susan Simon and neighborhood restaurants B Bar & Grill and Marion's Continental.

To add some old time--if not quite 19th century--entertainment, singer Bliss Blood sang some jazz songs with swing band the Central Park Stompers. (Known for performing with the late jazz chanteuse Peggy Cone, the Stompers are still booked through Cone's company, Cone Entertainment, which has continued representing jazz and swing performers since her death.)

--Chad Kaydo

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