Peter Marino, the leather-clad architect, had redesigned the space, on one of Manhattan’s most desirable retail stretches of Fifth Avenue — made slightly more complicated in the last year by the ascension of Donald J. Trump to the presidency, and of his New York home and headquarters, Trump Tower, just across the street, to a security-mobbed tourist curiosity.
“Don’t talk about that,” said Nicola Bulgari, the vice chairman of Bulgari and the billionaire grandson of its founder. “That’s a temporary situation, right?”
It’s a change, but then, New York is a city that changes (much faster than Rome, at least). “That’s the beauty of it. You never get bored,” Mr. Bulgari said. He fondly recalled hearing Nat King Cole perform at the Copacabana in 1962, when New York was “different, very different,” he said. “All cars were American — not Japanese or German, like now. Many other things were different. All kinds of restaurants that don’t exist any more. Fancy French, Chinese … Le Pavillon, Lutèce, they all disappeared. The only one left is La Grenouille.”
The Copacabana (in its original incarnation, at least) is gone, too, but never mind. Mr. Bulgari is now a trustee of Carnegie Hall, and he planned to spend Saturday night there.
But before that, it was off to the Cloisters, the faux-Medieval pile near the northern tip of Manhattan, where the Metropolitan Museum of Art displays much of its Medieval European art collection and Bulgari squired guests for a private dinner for 200 in an outside courtyard.
The art was safely sequestered, but not the entertainment: After dinner, the jook dancer Lil Buck did a double-jointed jaunt around a central fountain. “That was amazing,” Ciara said.
Afterward, dessert and a surprise set by the pop singer Demi Lovato in the museum’s Fuentidueña Chapel. Amazing? Most likely, yes. By that point, many of the guests had already begun to sneak back downtown.