Alex Hitz remembers his friend Nan Kemper.


Sometime during the early fall of 1998, when I was new in town and still living in the Carlyle Hotel, my telephone rang. An unfamiliar but booming voice came through the receiver:


- “Hello Darling. It’s Nan Kempner.”


- “Well, uh, hello, Nan,” I replied meekly through my shock.


“How are you?”  Certainly, I knew who she was, although we had never met.


- “Very well, darling. Listen, I’ve got some people coming in for lunch on Friday, about 1 or 1:15. Will you join us?"  I was thrilled and surprised be the invitation, and accepted readily. 


-“Great!” she said, “I’m at 895 Par...

Practical advice on How to Keep The Invitations Flowing.


Now that summer’s here, and you’re planning your trips to Capri and Greece, Southampton, Laguna, and Maine, odds are you’ll find yourself on one side or the other of the guest/host relationship. Good luck on either count. Although these roles can be filled with joy, each one is really hard. The successful completion of either responsibility is exhausting. When it’s good it’s very, very good, And when it is bad, it is horrid!


Like everything else in life, manners and rules exist for the houseguest a...

Suits are back! At least that’s what the magazines say. Could it be that people have finally realized that men actually look better in suits? Or is it merely the latest fashion trend? I am not a hundred percent convinced we have concrete evidence of this shift in our daily lives. I still see too many hoodie/blazer combos. Or even worse, hoodie/blazer/flip-flops combos. A trip down any street in the world still composes a distressing collage of un-tucked shirts and exposed undershirts. Like the news from Washington about our economy, however, I am willing to believe what I read. At least for now. No, I won’t quite...

I am an anachronism. Even at 36, I am considered “old school.” Generally, I think things were better in the past, especially when it comes to clothing and behavior. Today’s world is different. If you don’t believe me, maybe an overdose of mind-altering mood elevators has taken hold of you. Don’t let your meds cut you off from reality…visit an airport!


I seem to remember, in the not-too-distant past, ladies and gentlemen dressing for the excitement and occasion of traveling to a glamorous destination. It could have been Peoria or Tallahassee, but at least they arrived in style. It was good manners. And we saw it in...

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