New York Parties: An Insider's View (PHOTOS)

10/04/2010 11:42 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Nothing makes me happier than going to a party! From the minute I receive an invitation, the expectation of a good time begins. Who can resist the first surge of pleasure that comes from being asked to a friend's home to share an intimate evening? So much thought and planning goes into creating a memorable event. Flowers are arranged, tables set, menus selected, wines chosen with great care. Guests dress up, music plays, and then in a few hours it's over.

It occurred to me what fun it would be to record these ephemeral moments, capturing a celebration as it unfolds, like a reality TV show. I wanted to document the way stylish pals entertain in their own homes, decorated by the likes of Peter Marino, Mark Hampton and Mario Buatta. My photographer, Eric Striffler, would be a fly on the wall, recording these moments as they happened. Hosts would share their secrets, opening their front doors. Readers could come along, invited to the private parties of 15 tastemakers like Michael Kors, Tory Burch, the Leonard Lauders, and Jamie Drake.

It took me almost two years to follow the seasons, recording everything from a fall hunt breakfast in Millbrook, to a tented summer party in Bridgehampton.

NEW YORK PARTIES: PRIVATE VIEWS offer an insider's view of what makes a gathering unforgettable. It also shows how to cope with the unexpected.