There is simply no more iconic a New York moment than stepping out of a cab in your black tie best and sauntering up those grand (semi-suicidal if you're wearing heels) stairs up to the entrance of the New York Public Library. 

Last evening marked the annual Library Lions Gala - reliably one of the chicest nights on the social scene. Five hundred of the city's biggest players from David Remnick to Lauren Santo Domingo filled the space, raising funds critical to supporting the Library’s 88 neighborhood branches, robust educational programming, and world-renowned research collections. Following cocktails, guests made their way to The Rose Main Reading Room, which was transformed into a stunning garden of literary delights worthy of this year’s Lions award recipients, including poet Elizabeth Alexander, composer Philip Glass, writer Jamaica Kincaid, historian Jill Lepore, and filmmaker Frederick Wiseman.

Click through for an inside look at the spectacular evening!

[Photos via BFA]