Creatures of the Night
"It's a weird, closeted hobby I've harbored for forty years," said Turtle Conservancy founder Eric Goode last night. "My mother gave me a tortoise when I was five, and, obviously, I didn't grow out of the phase." The inaugural Turtle Ball drew friends and colleagues of the hotelier and restaurateur from as far away as the UK and Kuala Lumpur, with philanthropists, movie stars, and artists all uniting at the Bowery Hotel to raise awareness about endangered amphibious creatures, as well as funds for Goode's Conservancy.
"There's something spiritual about turtles, something soothing," Goode said. And his friend, the designer Victoria Bartlett, agreed: "I think it's phenomenal how long they've been around, and they're still wearing the same clothes!" The evening's emcee, Sandra Bernhard, seconded the notion: "The idea that turtles have survived everything for so long is really inspiring." It was tempting to detect a tinge of nostalgia for the past in all the talk about longevity. One picture by Michael Halsband in the silent auction showcased the cast of characters that partied at Area, the legendary nightclub that Goode founded with his brother in 1983. Pointing to a woman in the photo, Bartlett said, "I used to be in a band with her, called Cheap Date—I've been around quite a while."
J.Crew's Jenna Lyons found another reason to get behind the turtles' cause. "I do not snap at people," she said, "but it's a trait I think I should develop for fashion week."