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It was Brendan Gill's big night, and no one knows better than Brendan the Magnificent how to take advantage of that sort of golden opportunity. "What a day this has been," he crowed into the microphone on stage at the 7th Regiment Armory on Park...

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It was Brendan Gill's big night, and no one knows better than Brendan the Magnificent how to take advantage of that sort of golden opportunity. "What a day this has been," he crowed into the microphone on stage at the 7th Regiment Armory on Park Avenue. "What a rare mood I'm in. Why, it's almost like falling in love." You couldn't blame him for borrowing the words of the old song to describe his mood, because how many people before him have received the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award, given by the Municipal Art Society for unparalleled efforts to preserve and conserve New York City's landmarks? None. And then there was the added thrill of receiving the first-time award from the hands of Jackie's two children, Caroline and John Kennedy, whom Brendan much admires. "They are old-fashioned children," he told the crowd gathered in the Armory, meaning old-fashioned in the finest sense of the word -- manners, morals, values.

Just a few months ago, the New York City Landmarks Commission had the perspicacity -- and wit -- to designate the company rooms at the Armory, created about a hundred years ago by such as Louis Comfort Tiffany and the Herters, as landmarks. And very festive these lovely spaces were at the party the other night honoring Brendan, who worked so hard, hand-in-hand with Jackie Onassis through the years, to preserve the city's architectural monuments.

The guests who came to do Brendan honor were greeted in the Tiffany Room by Stephen Swid, the Municipal Art Society's chairman of the board, and by the co-chairmen of the evening, Tina Brown, Duane Hampton and Arie Kopelman of the Chanel Kopelmans. Brooke Astor, the evening's honorary chair, was unable to be there because she was at home still mending from bronchial pneumonia, but she was missed, and her name was evoked by several of the speakers. Never let it be said that the Municipal Art Society is unmindful of Brooke's support. No, no, no.

During cocktails, a trio of woodwinds from the Juilliard School, perched in the musicians' gallery, serenaded the throng. Music hath charms, especially the kind where you can hear yourself think. The Tiffany Room and the other two landmark rooms, where Glorious Food served seafood ragout in acorn squash, pot roast and baked alaska, were teeming with the scent of thousands of paper white narcissi, which Robert Isabel had used to deck the rooms. Talk about your fragrance. Casey Ribicoff, terminally chic in a black and silver Galanos, was on the point of swooning.
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