|Last night at Doyle New York, the auction galleries at 175 East 87th Street held a private preview of the Lena Horne estate, which goes under the gavel next Wednesday at 2 pm.
I had a personal interest in it. Although I never knew or even met Lena, as her friends called her, we had mutual friends, specifically Bobby Short and John Galliher. Both men had known her for decades, and well.
She was a cut above. That was her private image as well as public. There was respect in the air when her name came up, or rather, when her name was invoked.
The overall effect in hearing about her was a little intimidating to this silly boy who feels extremely self-conscious in the presence of great talent. Years ago when I was in my 20s and aspiring (briefly) to be an actor, I took classes with a man named David Craig who taught a class in how to audition a song, or, how to perform/act a song.
David, who had learned his technique from Kay Thompson, was himself a brilliant teacher -- the kind who leaves you with life lessons as well as knowledge you didn’t have before you entered his room. In a moment of describing a “flawless” performance, he often referred to Lena Horne – “Lena” he would announce with that same subtle awe in his tone, was a great beauty with a great voice, but more than that, she performed with a minimum of movement, and yet powerful effect. She worked her technique, he explained, in a very narrow, circular (imagined) performing environment. The result of the parameters: economy, refinement; sophistication, and resolute. That word again.
So for me, tie those two stories together, Bobby and Johnny, David Craig, and I get a very clear picture of a very big woman, almost larger than life.
|She had a great career. She started young – at sixteen at the Cotton Club. Her talent was recognized immediately. She was a star and under contract to MGM by age 20. Nevertheless, despite all this, Lena Horne took nothing for granted, nothing, ever, including you dear reader.
I was already aware of what I saw exemplified in the crowd last night. Affectionate awe, just this side of hero-worship. Because she was. Plus she did what she could with it. For herself, and for her brothers and sisters who, it turns out, are all of us. So being amongst her worldly goods, someone said it felt like she was present among us. There was a vibe in the room, and it was very good.
I took a few shots of some of the personal items. In the life of an actress, a nightclub performer, the costume and the make up are the thing. In the lives of these girls, this stuff is never much more than a few footsteps away. You can also see in viewing her material possessions, the personality. Reverence. Glamorous. Elegant. Simple. Serious. Reverent. Style. And all of the above; no kidding.
The exhibition is open all weekend. Check it out here: DoyleNewYork.com.
| This past Wednesday at PIER SIXTY at Chelsea Piers, renowned chef and restaurateur Michael Lomonaco was honored at the annual Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) culinary event to support the scholarship and enrichment programs offered by C-CAP. Since 1990, C-CAP has awarded high school students $31 million in scholarships, and donated $2.5 million worth of supplies and equipment to classrooms.
Guests of C-CAP enjoyed an evening of signature dishes presented by 37 of New York’s long time favorites as well as the city’s hottest star chefs with champagne and wine donated by The Charmer Sunbelt Group. More than 60 New York City C-CAP high school culinary students assisted the chefs of these restaurants. The evening’s festivities also included a silent auction including once-in-a-lifetime culinary and travel packages.
|CBS2 News Co-Anchor Maurice DuBois served as Master of Ceremonies, with Event Chair Kenneth Himmel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Related Urban, and Chef Chair Marcus Samuelsson, Red Rooster. The vice-chairs for the event were Nina and Tim Zagat and Susan and Richard Grausman.
C-CAP honored chef, author, and TV personality Michael Lomonaco for his extraordinary achievements and contributions to the culinary industry, his longtime dedication to C-CAP and his commitment to nurturing the next generation of chefs.
Considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities, Lomonaco is an American Chef known for the spectacular cuisine presented at award-winning restaurants including Le Cirque, 21 Club, Windows on the World, and currently at Porter House New York.
|“The walk-around tasting event raises funds to support C-CAP’s mission to provide underserved high school students with training, scholarships, and jobs in the restaurant and foodservice industry,” said Richard Grausman, Founder and President of the 21-year-old non-profit Careers through Culinary Arts Program. C-CAP has worked with over 200 culinary teachers, 200,000 high school students whom they’ve taught, and 2,000 C-CAP scholarship winners who went to college. We’re proud that more and more qualified students are going into the industry.”
As this year’s honoree, Michael Lomonaco will receive the C-CAP Honors Award. Past recipients of the C-CAP Honors Award include Marcus Samuelsson, Drew Nieporent, Alfred Portale, Lidia Bastianich, Thomas Keller, Charlie Palmer, Danny Meyer and Michael Romano, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pepin, Egidiana and Sirio Maccioni, Nina and Tim Zagat, and Saul and Stanley Zabar.
|Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) works with public schools across the country to prepare underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. A national nonprofit organization founded in 1990 by well-known culinary educator and author, Richard Grausman, C-CAP manages the largest independent culinary scholarship program in the United States and has awarded high school students $31 million in scholarships and donated $2.5 million worth of supplies and equipment to classrooms.
C-CAP provides training and curriculum enrichment programs including: teacher training; scholarships and cooking competitions; job shadows, job training, internships, and career advising; college advising and College 101 Workshop; and product donations.
In the 2009-2010 academic year, C-CAP served 220 high school teachers in 167 public schools to enhance the education and employment opportunities of the 18,000 students enrolled in their classes. C-CAP donated $147,210 worth of supplies and equipment to the participating schools, offered college and career advising to 1,300 students, and awarded over $3 million in scholarships.
|There was a cocktail party held at Doubles given by Ellen Charles and Karen LeFrak to welcome friends-- a mix of owners, breeders, handlers, and judges who will participate in the famed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. They were also celebrating Karen’s newest children’s book, the just released Best in Show.
Karen LeFrak is known in her community for her interest in breeding and showing champion Standard Poodles. She is proud of her illustrious show dog Ch. Ale Kai Mikimoto on Fifth who earned two consecutive group wins at Westminster and Best of Breed at the Poodle Club of America.
|“Miki” has retired from competition as America’s number one Standard Poodle with eighty-eight Best in Show titles to his name. To date, Miki has sired close to one hundred champions and Best in Show winners.
A busy guy was Miki, and a sweetie, like his owner. On the first day of Westminster 2011, Miki’s daughter Brighton Lakeridge Encore Standard Poodle, owned by Toni Sosnoff, won Best of Breed and a relative.
|Among the guests at Doubles were: Iris Love, Frank Sabella, David Frei, Cecilia Ruggles, Jim Reynolds, Toni Sosnoff, William Secord, Susan Bleckley, Pattie Proctor, Dennis Sprung, Amy and Tom Grabe, Charlotte Patterson, , David Merriam, Bonny Datema, Jill Libman, Wendell Sammet, Joan Stolleman, Beth Sweigart Rick Beauchamp, Lydia Hutchinson, Peter Green, Lisa Croft-Elliot, Joseph Vergnetti, Fran Sanseri, Charlotte Reed, Walter Goodman, Toni Ticher, Michelle Billings, Carl Blaine, Sue Goldberg, Jerry and June Penta, DiAnn Flory, Jim and Amy Fischer, Marjorie Martorella, Pat Cruz and Dr. and Mrs. Robert Smith.
A few days earlier Wendy Carduner also hosted a party at the Club for Best in Show during which Karen and her Standard Poodle Gem performed for children. Karen read from Best In Show and demonstrated how she prepares Gem for a dog show.
|Among the guests were Bryan, Paul and Catherine Carey; Nicola Remmel and Janna Bullock; Kathy Thomas and family; Kamie Lightburn and family; Franklin, Lenny and Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley; Alexandra, Theodora and Alexia Ryan; Henry, Annabelle, Laine and Richard Siklos; Scarlett and Anson Beard; Devon PePaolo; Katherine Cornett; Lily, Gentry Jr., Kathryn and Gentry Beach; Leelee and Avery Brown; Lucy Kleinschmidt and Meredith Devine.
The book, Best In Show follows Abby, a young girl, as she learns how to train Gem, her poodle puppy, for dog show competition. Although Walker Books, the publisher, has designated the illustrated book for children 4-8, the consensus is that it is good for anyone who loves dogs and/or dog shows.
|Andrew Day created the colorful illustrations. He illustrated Now Hiring: White House Dog, about the First Family’s search for the right puppy. All of LeFrak’s proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to AKC Canine Health Foundation and Take the Lead.
AKC Canine Health Foundation develops resources for basic and applied health programs to improve the quality of life for dogs and their owners. Take the Lead provides direct services, support and care for people in the sport of purebred dogs who suffer life-threatening or terminal illness.
|Last Thursday night a week, UJA-Federation of New York’s annual Generosity Signature Event brought together more than 700 Jewish philanthropists in their 20s and 30s for an evening of philanthropy and state-of-the-art fundraising technology at Capitale.
The event featured Text-to-Pledge, a cutting-edge donor pledge technology that enables those attending to text message their gifts from their cell phones or PDAs and broadcast them in real time on multiple screens in the event space, creating a social giving network. This technology also reached beyond the room, allowing attendees’ friends and families and those unable to attend to e-mail, phone, or text their gift during the event as well.
|Jon Schulman, Shanna Weinberg, and Aaron Zises chaired the event. Attending committee members included fashion designer Jay Godfrey and his wife, Dara, Kyle Koeppel, Max Koeppel, Sam Koeppel, Michael Olshan, Sasha Bikoff, Alexa Hakim and Jackie Friedman.
UJA-Federation’s Generosity division, chaired by Peter Stern and Aaron Zises, is New York’s society for community-involved, socially conscious young leaders in their 20s and 30s. Through exclusive events, programs, and trips, Generosity inspires future philanthropists who will create positive, meaningful, and lasting changes in the lives of those in need. Funds raised support UJA-Federation of New York’s annual campaign.
|Photographs by ANN WATT (C-Cap); Cutty McGill (LeFrak); Michael Priest (UJA).|