(Community Matters) While likely the social event of the season, the gathering was intimate, generous and real. Chris & Sean expressed their love for each other with such eloquence and vulnerability that it rained silent humility (among an otherwise tough crowd).
Less than 400 guests, obviously curated and placed lovingly and thoughtfully at tables, breaking up friends and introducing those who should know each other. The Cipriani Wall Street event was both tastefully opulent and warm.
Sean Eldridge led fundraising for Freedom to Marry and now has started Protect Our Democracy which advocates for political reform – especially remediation from Citizens United. Chris Hughes was a co-founder of Facebook and now owns The New Republic.
First three people who greeted us immediately raised the among-friends factor – Andy Tobias, Jamie Citron, Tyler Hagenbuch. Senator Gillibrand & Jonathan arrived immediately behind us; she is Steven’s greatest fear since I’m sworn to come out of political retirement immediately upon her announcement or exploration of a presidential run.
Found our dear friends Mitch Draizin & Philippe Brugere-Trelat (Fritz) who we’ve missed and who insisted we come over and mingle with Speaker Pelosi and her daughter, Alexandra. Quite a lovely mingle since the Speaker, Steven and I had a spicy side conversation about Thursday’s ruling and the Supremes. Complete surprise to be unexpectedly greeted by our friend Arianna Huffington who was escorting Leon Wieseltier, the New Republic’s long time literary editor with vivid memories of Austin. Ha, long time . . . well, since before Chris & Sean were born. Nice finally seeing Charles Myers again – gotta be the hardest working political fundraiser in Manhattan after Andy. Andy introduced me to Mo Rocca who I’m embarrassed I didn’t know but immediately liked and is coming to Austin for a Marfa road trip. Good to see Ken Mehlman again too. And, even though the guys hadn’t met Steven, I loved that they remembered our conversations about him enough to place us at a table of some of their closest friends: writers, producers & artists including Tony Kushner, Brad Lamm, Bruce Cohen and Gabriel Catone. Steven dissuaded me from approaching Mark Zuckerberg, even the few minutes he sat alone in the mezzanine during cocktails.
These are two young men who in their 20s are already changing the world. Can’t wait to see their next 20 years.