Tara Rockefeller, Mark Gilbertson, and Allison Aston

Tara Rockefeller, Mark Gilbertson, and Allison Aston

“It feels like you could be in the country,” remarked one guest Tuesday night at the Museum of the City of New York’s Director’s Council’s New York After Dark cocktails.

Well, that sort of depends on your definition of “country.” But the setting was as verdant as one will find on 103rd Street and Fifth Avenue. The annual party was held on the museum’s front terrace, which was tented for the occasion and filled with spot lit branches of fall foliage. Women in flirty cocktail dresses and men in jackets sipped champagne and nibbled smoked salmon canapés before Chuck Scarborough addressed the crowd from a makeshift dais.

“In my days, I’m dealing with immediacy. That is my lot in life—between ISIS and Ebola…,” he remarked. “So to come here to a place that has the long view [of things] is very special to me.”

Housed in a circa 1930s building, the museum has undergone modernizing renovations over the years, many thanks to the funds raised by such events (Tuesday’s party alone contributed almost half a million dollars.) And three leaders of these philanthropic endeavors—Allison Aston, Mark Gilbertson and Tara Rockefeller—were honored for their efforts. “Thirty years is more than half my life and I’ve never worked on anything so hard,” said Gilbertson of his decades on the job. “I remember buying extra limes and lemons at Gristedes on the way to the winter ball in my dinner jacket.” Times, they have changed.