Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No April showers that bring May flowers yet

Looking south along Greene Street towards One World Trade Center. 2:20 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Another beautiful day in New York. Sunny, sometimes cloudy, mild, with temperatures in the low 60s, and the slightest threat (no go) of rain at the top of the day. No April showers that bring May flowers yet, although the flowers, as you can see from JH’s photos, are here.

I went down to Michael’s to lunch with Nina Griscom whose African safari reports have graced these pages. For the first time ever, there were miscommunications between us (my fault), and they didn’t have a reservation, or a table (full up). Because I was too impatient to sit down Nina, instead of waiting she and I went a few doors down to Benoit (Ben-hwa — sorry, my French), L’Esprit Bistrot du Alain Ducasse in New York. I had two salads: the haricots verts and the beet salad. Nina had one. Excellent.

This must have been the day for dear old France: walking Nina back to her apartment, waiting on the corner of 62nd and Madison for the light, diagonally across from Hermes, I noticed for the first time ever: the Napoleonic soldier on horseback carrying the Hermes banners.
Hermes on Madison Avenue.
Last night the New Yorkers for Children held their annual Spring Dance at the Mandarin Oriental. This is a great charity and also one of the great events of the season — especially for the younger crowd (20- through 40-somethings) in today’s social New York. It’s also a major fashion evening, as the young women dress to kill — and they knock ‘em dead. It’s also a dance, as well as a fund-raiser with an awards ceremony. Everyone has a good time and they dance the night away.

New Yorkers For Children (NYFC) was founded in 1996 by former Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services Nicholas Scoppetta, as the non-profit partner to Children’s Services. I think I went to their first benefit — a dinner at the Chelsea Piers. I was invited to that dinner by Beth DeWoody to “see this new organization.” Oscar de la Renta was also one of the founders. Beth is now Secretary on the board. Susan Burden, who is also actively involved in the Carter Burden Center for the Aging, is Vice President, and its president is Commissioner Scoppetta.
NYFC Board members.
NYFC focuses on assisting on young people leaving foster care and attending college. The funds raised goes to college scholarships tutoring programs, job training, network opportunities as well as purchasing computers and other supplies for those attending college. The idea is simple: make a difference in a life — give these kids a boost going out into the world on their own. Mr. Scoppetta knows about this life: he was one of those kids.

In the years since, the organization has grown in membership and achievement because of efforts of people volunteering. Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and her friends have been a force in bringing about the success of these galas. That’s work and commitment. They got results.
NYFC Youth Advisory Board members and Guardian Scholars
Susan Magazine, who is the Executive Director, was telling me that only a few years ago they were sending out a few dozen Back to School Packages (laptop, printer, gift cards, linens, etc.) to students in foster care who are in college. Last year they sent out over 900 packages!! Making a difference in 900 lives. We rarely think of this but of that 900 there will be several who will one day make a great difference in the lives of thousands of others. Look what Nicholas Scoppetta did.

Susan credits the “team effort ... we have an amazing Board, Friends Committee and staff. And this year we started a Young Associates Committee headed by Dayssi’s niece Alex Becker ... the next generation!!” 
Helen Schifter. Samantha Brody and Jeffrey Slonim.
Mark Gilbertson and Jennifer Creel. Christine Schwarzman.
Paul Yablon and Vittorio Assaf.
Bill Cunningham and Sharon Bush. Marisa Brown and Natalia Echavarria.
Linda Fargo and Ron Rodgers.
CD Greene and Event Chair Alina Cho. Ashley McDermott, Carlos Mota, and Zani Gugelmann.
Rich Farley and Dini von Mueffling. Nicholas Scoppetta.
Cameron Silver.
Ralph Totoonchie and Priya Shukla. Nikki Rothenberg and Lauren Donohoe.
So it was a celebration last night too. More with Ann Watt’s pictures tomorrow.
The view from a friend's apartment on the 49th floor of the Bloomberg tower. Looking West at 8 PM. That's the Four Seasons Hotel with the lighted top on 57th Street, and running up the center is 59th Street/Central Park South with Columbus Circle and the Time Warner complex with the white light at its top. Beyond you can just see the Hudson and New Jersey. Below is the view from the same apartment at the same hour looking north with Lexington Avenue in the center. The white light to the left of the top of Lex is Yankee Stadium. The bright light to the right is a Trump apartment building on Third Avenue in the high 60s. Off in the distance on the left horizon, you can see the span of the George Washington Bridge, and below it moving to the right, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park reflecting the path lamps surrounding it. The windows in this apartment go right to the floor. I'm not crazy about these heights and tend to move away. Both my host and hostess were amused by this because they were "used to" it. "It's only 750 feet up," my host remarked. That seems like a lot to me. However, it is, as you can see spectacular. On a very clear day, on the above right horizon you can see the smokestacks of a utility plant on the Sound in Bridgeport, and to the left, the hills of Westchester. This is New York.
Bunny Williams and John Rosselli's holiday decor at Treillage on Lex and 73rd. I have a feeling the Williams-Rossellis might have been at their villa in the Dominican Republic over the holiday. I took this display to be their holiday message what with the beach tote and the coral sculpture and the 18th century wicker chair and ottoman (?). Great Silver Rabbit. The chic life. (Bunny would get a laugh outta that.)(But it's true.)

Photographs by (NYers for Children)

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