To create great art, one must contrive a confluence of Appolonian and Dionysian tendencies: a passionate Dionysian vitality must be melded with an Appolonian diligence and attention to detail. Sue Wong masterfully combines these seemingly disparate forces to create epic New Year’s Eve parties at her den of enchantment, The Cedars. This year was no exception!
Sue Wong was an eminent designer of elegant dresses and now focuses on the creation of unique luxury art homes. When Ms Wong throws a party, every aspect of human awareness is addressed: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, intellectual, and spiritual. The magnificence of The Cedars edifice, the colorful and creative attire of the guests, and the creative presentation of the comestibles arouses the visual; the continuous play of musicians in variegated genres affords auditory stimulation; the aroma of fresh flowers selected and creatively arranged by Ms Wong delights the sense of smell; the appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks satisfy every alimentary desire; the conversations among the guests, both casual and intense, fuel the intellect; and the presentations of the honored guests enrich the spiritual landscape of the invitees. What more could one ask for in a New Year’s Eve party?
Upon entry into the magical vortex of The Cedars, guests took pictures in an elite red carpet area downstairs. With each new arrival, excitement for the evening was building! Upstairs, one is greeted by the scintillating waft of seventeen floral arrangements, the playing of multiple musicians, the lure of three bars serving champagne, wine, and mixed drinks, and the playing of seven musicians. And, let us not forget the food! The hor d’ oeuvres and entrees, lovingly and meticulously prepared by Wong’s staff, are now in evidence, but quickly disappear, as do the magnificent desserts and cakes. Everywhere there is animated conversation!
One really needs to be steeped in the history of The Cedars to appreciate its grandeur. Visitors to and residents of this legendary structure and artistic paradise over its nearly century of existence have included such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Norma Talmadge, and Bela Lugosi from Hollywood’s Golden Age and modern icons the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Johnny Depp, and Dennis Hopper. The influence of such legendary Hollywood stars and musical and artistic royalty has indeed lent an aura to The Cedars, and each room seems to have its own spirit and energy. Many movies have been shot in The Cedars as well, so it is truly a hallowed temple of art and fantasy.
On this evening, special guests included four spiritual warriors for our time: Sacha Stone, Michael Jaco, Venerable Shi Yan Fan, and the Reverend Patrick McCollum.
Other specially invited guests included actor Billy Zane and fashion icons Richie Rich and Mister D of BeautyKween, E Entertainment founder Larry Namer, now head of Metan Group, and author and producer, Lisa Haisha.
Invitees to the party covered the entire spectrum of human artistic endeavor:actor Sadie Katz, two-time Emmy Winner Vincent DePaul, John Barrymore, Mike Ferguson, Al Burke, TV Talk Show Hosts Jimmy Star and Ron Russell, Rockers Scott Page and Chris Pittman, singer Aro Rose, musician John Walsh, Hip Hop superstar YNG Zuck, Zac Jaydon from PopWrapped, Tracy Jo Jaco, Alexandra Dowling, Joseph Kelly, Scott Engrotti, Dave Bailey, two-time Emmy Nominated Showrunner Myles Reiff, model Dustin Quick and her husband Medi, Christophe and Gabrielle Choo, author and producer Dr. Gerry Pallay, producer Antonio Lozano, actor Robert Frank Telfer, and Dr. Mary Spencer and her husband Ron Peplinski.
Sue Wong’s four featured and honored guests for the evening each addressed the assemblage of invitees, describing their spiritual quests and offering inspiration.
Sacha Stone is a New Age Influencer and activist known for founding The International Tribunal for Natural Justice, The Lazarus Project, The New Earth Project, and the New Earth Festival, which he hosts at his private resort, Akasha New Earth Haven, in Ubud, Bali.
Michael Jaco is a speaker and author, a former Navy Seal and CIA operative, and the founder of Unleashing Intuition Secrets.
The Reverend Patrick McCollum is an interfaith chaplain, spiritual mentor, author, and peace counselor. He has constructed a Peace Violin, using elements from various wars, the ashes of Holocaust victims, bits of dust from the brick that Buddha stood on, and other components incorporating so many elements which represent both the good and the horror of humanity. He now plays the Peace Violin all over the world and at historic events. The violin was played at the party by the brilliant violinist Scarlet Rivera.
The Historical Venerable Shi Yan Fan, Abbot of the Los Angeles Shaolin Temple, is a historical figure, being the first Western-ordained monk of the Shaolin Temple in China. He originally hails from Brindisi, Italy. He was trained by his Master, the present Honorable Grand Abbot, Shi Yongxin of the Shaolin Temple, on Songshan mountain in north central China.
Beverages for the evening were provided by Antoine Michel Casanave, the President of Casanave Luxury, The Casanave Group, LLC, an organization which prides itself on serving only the finest liquors.
The celebration of life was non-stop throughout the evening and into the morning. Where better to engulf yourself in art of every form on this special night than The Cedars and this was surely an evening to delight all of the senses and the psyche as well! A perfect New Year’s Eve Party!
COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS: David Pascal
BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS: Elyahou Bialobos