It was supposed to be a rare public outing for one of New York City’s most glamorous newlywed couples.

Karlie Kloss, the supermodel turned computer coding advocate, and Josh Kushner, younger brother of the White House dauphin, Jared Kushner, were scheduled to attend the Berggruen Prize dinner on Monday at the New York Public Library.

By 8 p.m., the white marble Astor Hall was filled with black-tied guests including Rachel Bay Jones, the Broadway actress, Kerry Kennedy, Wendi Deng Murdoch and Susan and David Rockefeller.

Also present was Martha C. Nussbaum, the philosopher known for her work across various fields including ethics, feminism and animal rights. She is the recipient of this year’s $1 million prize, created by Nicolas Berggruen, the Los Angeles-based billionaire, to celebrate “humanistic thinkers.”

But it appears that Mr. Kushner got cold feet, canceling his appearance without providing a reason to the organizers. Perhaps he was in no mood to answer questions about his brother’s cozy relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom the C.I.A. believes ordered the October murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Thankfully, Ms. Kloss did show up, towering above most guests in heels and an above-the-knee ivory dress. But when approached for comments, her date, an unidentified blond woman in her 30s, shooed reporters away, saying, “We’re not doing interviews.”

There was one couple, however, ready for their public debut. Princess Beatrice of York arrived with new her beau, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Asked about her attendance, the princess said: “It’s so wonderful to support an event which is about thinking.”

After the library, it was a slow cab ride through Midtown traffic to the Plaza Hotel, where the David Lynch Foundation, which promotes the therapeutic benefits of Transcendental Meditation, was hosting an awards dinner.

Popularized after the Beatles met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1967, T.M. is still practiced by influential Hollywood types. Guests at the chicken dinner included Keegan-Michael Key, Marlo Thomas, Phil Donahue, Alina Cho and Mehmet Oz, but not Mr. Lynch himself, who was apparently busy in Los Angeles.

The comedians Jerry Seinfeld and John Mulaney helped raise $1.2 million to fund meditation programs for New York City high schoolers.

“It just gives you tons and tons of energy,” said Mr. Seinfeld, who has been meditating since 1972, after an onstage conversation with Bob Roth, the foundation’s executive director. “I’m completely in favor of not losing your rage and your hostility. But imagine if you had 10 times more energy behind it.”

The night’s honorees were Chandrika Tandon, a humanitarian and one-time Grammy nominee; Peter Dodge, a philanthropist; and Dr. John Hagelin, president of the U.S. National TM Organization.

This being the holiday season, there are countless awkward office parties in the city. Among the most awkward was surely the one for CBS, which has been embroiled in increasingly lurid sexual harassment revelations involving Leslie Moonves, its ousted chief executive.

Traditionally held on the executive floor of the CBS headquarters known as Black Rock, this year’s was moved to Brasserie 8 ½, a Frenchy restaurant on West 57th Street. “I guess now the 35th floor is a crime scene, so they had so move it,” one party guest said. The new location also made it easier for party reporters to crash.

Circling the steam tables of pasta were well-known CBS personalities including Stephen Colbert, Candice Bergen, Christine Baranski, Michael Weatherly and Maurice DuBois. But few seemed willing to share their feelings on the record.

Mr. Colbert, when approached by a reporter, said that a scratchy throat prevented him from speaking.

Alan Cumming, a star of the prime-time drama “Instinct,” was chattier. “The end of the year is always a good time for letting go and moving forward, and it feels like that tonight,” he said. “It seems to me that everyone’s like, ‘What a year. Better times ahead.’”