Snow Day
Yesterday's snow as seen through a cab's window.

Cold and slushy day in New York. Cars crawling. No one can speed up; too slippery. Snow does that to New Yorkers; slows ‘em down, brings out courtesies you never knew existed. Very nice. And very cold, face-burning.

I went to lunch with Brooke McMurray, a New York woman who devotes a great deal of her time and energy to an organization called Safe Horizon. Safe Horizon is in the business of helping, rescuing, training, sheltering victims of domestic abuse. They run the hotlines in New York where people can call for help. Many of us know about all this from personal experience. Abuse crosses all socio-economic lines. In some of Safe Horizon’s community offices there are so many children turning up that a newcomer would think there’s a sale going on. I am on the Board of Safe Horizon and my contribution is minimal compared to many of its supporters. Brooke is always looking for more interested supporters who can find the satisfaction of lending a hand where it’s needed.

As time passes I see more and more the relationship New Yorkers have to philanthropies and community activity. There is a society of these people. It’s a wide and varied group but there are a lot of very successful professional people involved, men and women. You meet them again and again at events for a multitude of charities. It’s not a handful, because the number is larger than that. It is an almost identifiable group of New Yorkers who are, in effect, the city’s leaders. The upshot of this is that that they make a great contribution to their fellow citizens in a variety of ways, many of which go unacknowledged entirely, and they lead interesting lives in an environment of interesting and even distinguished people. It is an elevating as well as a noble cause for the individual. So I suggest you think about it for yourself.  Safe Horizon may be a good place to start. You never know….

It was Wednesday at Michael’s, the day that seems to attract a larger number of doers and shakers in the corporate media world.  Special Guests at the corner table in a party of six or eight hosted by Sherrie Westin were the Mayor and his constant companion Diana Taylor. They were celebrating birthdays (both are born under the sign of Aquarius). Today’s party evidently was a surprise for one or both. 

Would you be my Ballerina cookies at a cocktail recepton kicking off the School of American Ballet’s annual gala.

Also on the drumroll: Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Editor of the Financial Times, what I would call the “distinguished” and excellent FT. Other tables: Gerry Byrne, Marilyn Cohen of JP Morgan, Vartan Gregorian wth Charlie Rose; music impresario Charles Koppelman; Jared Kushner the new owner of the newly designed (now a tabloid) New York Observer with his editor Peter Kaplan.

If you’re already an Observer reader you’ll probably like the new format: easier to hold and read and move through. Like an uptown, hipper Village Voice (Michael Musto notwithstanding, of course).  Mr. Kushner is much talked about because of this enterprise. He is 25 and spent several million of his “own money” for the paper. Watching is what they’re doing. New York is the sort of place where surprises, one way or the other are always available.  

Also at table: Judy Price, Peter Price; Mitchell Newman of the International Herald-Tribune, Larry Ashmead, Marshall Cogan, David Hirshey, Eric Konigsberg of the New York Times; Terry Allen Kramer who was supposed to have lunch with Beth Ostrosky but all that changed when Beth got engaged today to Howard Stern. And more: Esther Newberg the ICM literary agent, Marc Rosen, George Rush and Joanna Malloy, Marc Victor of the Today Show, Jonathan Tisch, Jolie Hunt with Courtney Dolan, Alice Mayhew, Jack Myers and a cast of thousands.

Last night Joanne and Roberto de Guardiola held a cocktail recepton kicking off the School of American Ballet’s annual gala which takes place at Lincoln Center on March.

Joanne with son Roberto Jr. and SAB students Grace McLoughlin and Sylvie Rood

Rose Hartman and Jeanne Lawrence

Jill Kargman and Coco Kopelman

Larry and Michele Herbert

Will and Laura Zeckendorf with Jack Soto and friend

Peter Martins, Liz Peek, and Roberto de Guardiola

John Diamond and Alexandra Lebenthal with Michael Gross

Eric Javits, Lise Arliss, Mark Gilbertson, and Edmondo Huerta


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February 15, 2007, Volume VII, Number 29


© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/