On The Town With Barbara Becker
by kill kearney
2:30 PM: Barbara runs around the toy-strewn front yard of her Venetian Causeway colonial in bare feet with the kind of frenetic yet unflappable demeanor of someone who’s used to wrangling children. She has been back from Russia for 24 hours (there to help artist/designer hubby Arne Quinze scout for an event), the kids are still overseas, and right now we’re off to kibitz with mentor/ interior designer Sam Robin, who was mistaken for Barbara’s mother at her wedding last fall in Germany. Bulldog Rocco and cocker spaniel Diva Baby Girl greet us with Sam, and we’re immediately offered glasses of Blanc de Blancs. Billie Holiday plays on the stereo and the girls discuss Barbara’s latest collection of wallpaper (she’s huge in Germany). Soon the conversation turns to kids and weddings, but they both stop and listen to the music a moment, singing together, “If I should take a notion, to jump into the ocean, ’tain’t nobody’s business if I do.”
4:30 PM: We hit friend Dorothy Blau’s Bal Harbour condo. Dorothy was the first to bring Andy Warhol’s art to South Florida, and he gave her her signature haircut. Barbara’s in the market for a Christopher Makos. There’s a triptych portrait of Dorothy that Warhol painted in the dining room, and a Jasper Johns in the kitchen. Dorothy offers white wine and advice about dealing with the death of loved ones, which is pretty much to celebrate that you even knew them. She and Barbara talk art, how to manage expectations and happiness, and set up a meeting between Dorothy and Arne.
6:30 PM: We rush into The Webster to catch BFF Sandee Saunders. Barbara goes gaga over Sandee’s Krelwear dress (she must have one), and there’s an impromptu runway strut. After a caviar session with chef Todd Adkins at Kaspia and a quick shopping excursion for a new bag, we’re off to a gal-pal dinner party at Delishe.
8 PM: At Delishe, chef David Whyko’s private dining spot on the Upper Eastside, Barbara meets with Kiki Kuhnert, president of Dolphin Aid (Barbara is a spokesperson), photog Iran Issa-Khan, singer Maryel Epps and some other friends for a gourmet soul-food dinner of collard greens, truffled mac and cheese, barbecue baby backs and wings. David’s wife, Author, takes music requests, and before long the girls are up and dancing. When the Temptations’ “My Girl” comes on, they all form a kick line, arm-in-arm, and sing along, but change the lyric to “My Girls.”
TOP IMAGE: Becker (left) shows Sam Robin her latest collection of wallpaper.
BOTTOM IMAGE: With Dorothy Blau in front of Blau’s portrait by Andy Warhol
PHOTOGRAPHS BY BILL KEARNEY