In certain social circles, JJ McKay has been called "the Perle Mesta of Seattle. " Mesta was a celebrated society hostess known for bringing...



In certain social circles, JJ McKay has been called “the Perle Mesta of Seattle.” Mesta was a celebrated society hostess known for bringing artists, business leaders and political luminaries together at her high-class soirees in Washington, D.C. “On such jolly occasions, the food is always bountiful, the liquor excellent and plentiful,” proclaimed a March 1949 Time Magazine cover story. “She likes everybody to be gay, but not to get out of hand.”

Which brings us to the Grecian Bacchanal, a private themed party hosted by JJ and celebrity caterer Russell Lowell to “celebrate the arrival of summer in Seattle and the goodness of life”; invitations were sent out to Seattle’s “gods and goddesses” and promised an evening of plentiful charm, beauty and laughter. To wit:

Seattle philanthropists Jack and Becky Benaroya, who stayed for the first dance because “my husband’s attendant likes to dance, so one dance and we’ll go home” … Leigh and J.P. Canlis, who turned up late after having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day involving a car break-in … Pennie Lane of “Almost Famous” fame, wearing hair extensions and a flowy blue gown created by director Gus Van Sant’s costume designer … the “very social Barriers,” i.e. Jimmy and Patty Barrier of Seattle and Palm Springs … Sen. Ed Murray and his longtime partner Michael Shiosaki, who were not wearing togas (no fun at all!) … celebrity jewelry designer Bruce Magnotti, wearing an ornate necklace, glitter, flip-flops and, frankly, not much else … Barneys store manager Anne Smith, who looks like a Greek goddess no matter what she’s wearing … and Seattle Metropolitan publisher Nicole Vogel sporting a sleek and flattering Anna Wintour bob.

Oh, and Stephanie Kron Raffetto. Who is she, you ask? That’s what I said when she approached me as I was walking out the door. “I just moved here from Washington, D.C. How do I get my name in your column?” Well, Stephanie, that’s easy: All you have to do is ask. …

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FORWARD Roger Levesque may be a high scorer on the field, but his rock-paper-scissors game could use some work. After losing a bet to an opposing player following a game against the Rochester Raging Rhinos (best team name ever), Levesque had to grow a mustache for two weeks. “It was a moment of weakness,” he said. “When we play them again, I have to show up at the stadium, clean-shaven except for the mustache.” By the way, did you know Seattle has a professional soccer team? It’s called the Seattle Sounders. …

FORMER SEATTLE MARINER Jeff Nelson rounded up some baseball pals for celebrity bartender night at the Metropolitan Grill July 19, a fundraiser for Northwest Children’s Fund. The bartending tab combined with live auction raised nearly $8,000, despite Dave Henderson‘s misguided attempt at generosity: “Drinks are on the house!” Henderson spent much of the night mixing Jack Daniels and coke. When customers ordered singles, he served doubles. There’s a baseball joke in here somewhere, but I can’t find it. …

WHAT DOES $3 MILLION get you in Belltown real estate? How about a dramatic “designer” condo with panoramic views from the founders of swanky interior design company Two Downtown? Life and business partners Howard Weiner and Lance Kostrobala have put their 2,609-square-foot condo on the market and are moving to a small village in Thailand. The couple plans to maintain a transcontinental lifestyle as they pursue photography and painting and, Lance writes, “once again ask the question of ourselves: ‘What do we want to be when we grow up?’ ” …

CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS ROUNDUP: Megan Mullally from “Will & Grace” dining at Lola … Vicki Gunvalson from Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County” having cocktails and appetizers with her film crew at The Parlor in Bellevue … Has anyone seen Tom Skerritt? I’m getting worried.

Girl About Town appears every Sunday in Northwest Life. Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com