Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A busy social calendar

Street vendor in front of The Dakota. 8:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012.  The rain cleared yesterday and it was occasionally sunny and mainly overcast with temperatures in the low 50s.
A busy social calendar. Yesterday at noon at “21,” the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club held its fourth annual luncheon and honored Somers Farkas.

The Club which was founded in 1919 is the only private organization in the New York area which provides accommodations at subsidized rates, as well as club-type facilities for servicemen and servicewomen, military retires and veterans and their families visiting the city.

The club is not affiliated with the US federal government, the state or the city. It is private and not–for profit. Ivan Obolensky, a nephew of the late Vincent Astor, and son of Alice Astor and Serge Obolensky, is a long time supporter and the club’s CEO, and has worked hard to maintain its founding credo: “Service To Those Who Have Served Our Country.”  To make a tax-deductible donation, click here.
The Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club.
Last night at Cipriani 42nd Street, City Harvest held its annual Evening of Practical Magic. This is one of the great charities of New York. You’ve read about it here before because this is a matter that affects every single individual who lives in New York.

This year  City Harvest will rescue and deliver 33 million (!!) pounds of food made available to hundreds of thousands of the nearly 1.5 million New Yorkers who are living in poverty and struggling to pay for the basic necessities such as rent and medical care while putting food on their tables. What they accomplish is miraculous. Barclays and the generosity of the City Harvest Board of Directors cover the expense of the evening so that all monies donated go directly to support the efforts to feed hungry New Yorkers.

This year’s dinner was chaired by Arthur Backal. The event co-chairs were Nina Rennert Davidson and Mitchell Davidson, Judy and Kim Davis, Lise and Michael Evans, Stacy and Joel Hock, Carola and Robert Jain, Pamela and Andrew Kaufmann, Heather and Steve Mnuchin, and Sandra and Eric Ripert.
Marc Murphy, Michael Anthony, Eric Ripert, Floyd Cardoz, Donatella Arpaia, Gail Simmons, Jilly Stephens, Kerry Heffernan, and Ben Pollinger at City Harvest's 18th Annual An Evening Of Practical Magic at Cipriani 42nd Street (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images North America).
Meanwhile up at the St. Regis, HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex was attending the screening and reception of Films Without Borders, a showing of outstanding work by young filmmakers. The prince’s visit to New York will also include tonight’s Versailles Foundation black tie dinner at the Pierre where he will speak on Royal history. I’ve been told that his subject will be Henry VIII.
Also last night: Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation honored Michael Bruno.
Also last night, speaking of brainy and all that, over at the Plaza, Barnard College was hosting its annual Barnard Gala and Gala Nights, to benefit the College’s financial aid program. Do you think there were a lot of smart and successful college girls attending?

There were. Such as: author Anna Quindlen (’74) (a frequent reader of the NYSD I’ve been told – are you reading Anna?), the very distinguished Ellen Futter (’71) now president of the American Museum of Natural History, former President of Barnard, and one of those remarkably impressive leaders in New York today (I’d vote for her for Mayor, Senator, Governor, President, anything ... because she is capable and a leader), Cheryl Milstein (’82) and Mr. Milstein; the inimitable and also distinguished Erica Jong (’63) (same year as Martha Stewart I believe); Attoosa Rubenstein (’93); Helen Kaplan (’53), Liz Neumark (’77), Cyndi Stivers (’78), Gala Nights Chair Caroline Bliss Spencer (’09), Gala Nights committee member Ashley Walker Bush ’11), Dina DeLuca Chartouni (’82), Jolyne Caruso-FitzGerald (’81).

Patricia Harrigan Nadosy.
They honored Patricia Harrigan Nadosy (’68) and Elizabeth S. Boylan.

Get this: Ms. Nadosy majored in French, and then went on to get an MBA from Columbia Business and then had a decade and a half at JP Morgan as an FX trader and now has her own FX options consulting firm, Optfor, Inc, with clients like Morgan, Chase, the FINEX and CRT.

But wait .... Then she went back to Barnard for postbaccalaureate studies in biology to prepare to enter the CUNY plant sciences PhD program in 1992. She received her PhD in Botany in 2002. She is now on the Board of Trustees of Barnard (are you surprised?).

I was going to say that she sounds like someone I wouldn’t even know how to have a conversation with until I heard she’s also on the board of the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy – the pictures of which I often take and include on the Diary, and she is a member of the gardening committee and also tends gardens in Carl Schurz Park. I frequently thank these garden tenders for their work when I walk the dogs and so for all I know, I have had a conversation with her. She also has three daughters and two grandchildren. And she does lots of other things in her 98 hour day.

Elizabeth Boylan is the director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program on STEM Higher Education. Mr. Sloan, one of the founders of General Motors (back when it mattered) is now forgotten but his philanthropy remains intact.

Elizabeth Boylan.
Ms. Boylan also served as provost and dean of the faculty at Barnard (1995-2011), was an associate provost for academic planning and programs at Queens College/CUNY, a tenured member of the biology faculty  there. She is a specialist in developmental biology and hormonal carcinogenesis. She earned a PhD in zoology from Cornell, a bachelor’s degree in biological science from Wellesley, was a postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry and oncology at the University of Rochester and has been awarded a US patent and has been a consultant and grant reviewer for the National Cancer Institute, the National Science Foundation and the American Cancer Society. I don’t think she tends garden at Carl Schurz Park, however, but you never know with these girls.

Does awe adequately express your reaction to all this? Not for me, it doesn’t. I realized that this CV of these women is a bit long in the tooth diary-wise, but I thought it was time we took a good hard look at what some of these girls are doing, can do and imagine what they can do in this harrowing world of ours. Ellen Futter is my heroine in this group, because I know her, but I think we have amongst these ladies several potential world leaders, community, municipal, state and federal leaders in a world suffering from a paucity of it. 

I didn’t go to the Barnard dinner but I hear that had a few laughs too. This is New York.

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