"I miss the whole thing," said Nancy Reagan on Thursday, looking back on her eight years as first lady during her first Washington visit in five years. Reagan was accepting the Congressional Medal on behalf of herself and former president Ronald...



“I miss the whole thing,” said Nancy Reagan on Thursday, looking back on her eight years as first lady during her first Washington visit in five years. Reagan was accepting the Congressional Medal on behalf of herself and former president Ronald Reagan. Dressed in a Carolyne Roehm gown, Nancy Reagan noted the pink peony centerpieces on the 70 round tables for 10 that filled the courtyard at the Ronald Reagan Building, the second-largest D.C. building after the Pentagon.

“I love peonies,” she sighed. “Always before a State Dinner at the White House I’d ask if the peonies were in bloom so we could have them on the tables. After I left the White House, one of the horticulturists sent me a needlepoint pillow. It said: ‘Peonies bloom in May.’ “

Playing the role of Nancy Reagan’s favorite bad boy, Merv Griffin posed for a photo with Attorney General John Ashcroft. “You’ve heard I’m under subpoena,” Griffin deadpanned before quickly recanting. “Not really. I’m just trying to scare the attorney general.”

Back in New York, uptown’s yummy mummies piled into Marie-Chantal of Greece’s new SoHo showroom to shop the spring-summer collection of her children’s clothing line, Marie-Chantal. Valesca Guerrand-Hermès eyed the polkadot dresses. “Those are selling fast!” touted Marie-Chantal. But for Nathalie Kaplan, the lunchtime outing was strangely synergistic.

“In the car on the way here, I found out that I’m expecting a baby girl,” said Kaplan, crying tears of joy. Later that evening, 600 of the city’s environmentally aware, including the Lauders (Evelyn, Leonard and Aerin) and the Laurens (Dylan and David), gathered beneath greenery and 3,000 suspended butterflies at Milk Studios to inaugurate the New Yorkers for Parks Benefit.”We’re bringing the parks inside,” explained Bronson van Wyck, the designer of the decor. “But just for tonight.”

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