Monday, January 23, 2012

A snowy Saturday

Central Park bridle path. Saturday, 2:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, January 23, 2012. A snowy Saturday from wee hours till late morning. No storming, just a blanketing to wake up to. And very cold outside. People were up and out early including the kids going to the parks to slide across the white stuff.

Real job creation. While some were off to the sliding, others were working, like this entrepreneur across the street from me. You can’t say these people aren’t willing to do anything. As I’ve noted before about this growing recycling workforce, it’s not a job that would be anyone’s first, second, or third choice. Maybe it’s the very last on anyone’s list. But it pays something, no matter how small.

I’ve noticed that as this kind of workforce has increased in size all along the Upper East Side. It’s also grown more organized and is clearly prospering. I know that statement is relative. But as you can see, this man is well dressed for the weather, protected and very organized. It’s just he and the wagon and the bags of aluminum and plastic. He works fast. He knows what he’s looking for and he loads it up quickly and on his way. Fortitude, self-respect. Self-starter. Self-reliant. Admiration. He knows a lot of something that still escapes a lot of us, employed and not.
I really admire these guys. I've watched this process grow in number and the members of the corps. What I admire the most is I know they'll be okay. They already know what many of us don't know. I don't know where this man came from but I do know one thing: he's moving forward, all the time.
City Life. Saturday afternoon under the style snow-grey skies with little precipitation, I went over to Zabar's. The place was not its usual busy.

Bags of groceries in hand, I was going to go next door to their luncheonette/food bar. But just outside, tied to a road sign on the corner was a beautiful, older Golden Retriever. Well-cared for, slender, sleek. Standing alone. And old.

I asked a woman standing on the sidewalk nearby if the dog were hers. No. Someone inside the foodbar.

I decided to stay and talk to the dog, and wait for its owner. The pooch was sweet. Sniffed my hands, my pant leg, my groceries, and then returned to its natural vigilant stance waiting.
View from the terrace, looking south notice the "blue" on the middle left hand side of the left picture. And looking north toward Carl Schurz Park.
Finally a man in his late 20s, early 30s, came out, smiling as he walked toward the dog. I mentioned to him that it is unsafe to leave dogs outside and tied up because people steal them. I also mentioned that they steal them to sell to the creeps who stage dog fights, using them to train the poor, besieged pit bull slaves to kill.

The man said: Thank you but I don’t need your advice.

I said: I’m not giving you advice. I’m just telling you something you might not know.

I was mildly surprised by his reaction, although in the Big Town, you never know what you’re going to hear. He was annoyed. Ironically, whoever owns the dog – and I’m assuming it was the guy I was talking to – obviously cares for the animal. The dog was well-groomed and with a gentle personality. That’s the master’s work accomplished.
The closeup of the "blue," a family heading toward the Carl Schurz "slopes" for some late Saturday morning fun.
I went away thinking about my part in it. I could have said nothing and just moved on when the man appeared, since my priority was keeping the dog company until.

I took care to deliver my message in an unbiased tone. No reproaching. I’m well aware that many people don’t realize the dangers these animals have to deal with when left alone. I once didn’t.
JH took a brisk walk on the Upper West Side on Saturday afternoon.
Last Thursday night, as you may already be aware, we went over to the Park Avenue Armory to cover the Benefit Preview of the Winter Antiques Show which is in its 58th year. The evening benefits the East Side House Settlement.

It draws a big crowd – seemed like it must have been more than a thousand attending. 
Arie Kopelman, Diana Taylor, Lucinda Ballard, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Keith Banks
Windi Grimes, Chesie Breen, Mary Durkin, and Pat Durkin
These previews are very social simply because it’s one of those venues where people get to see other people in the community, catch up, have cocktails or champagne and partake of the fabulous variety of buffet tables. (I stayed away mainly because I knew I was going to another feast.)
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Jamie Niven, and Jamie Drake
Tham Kannalikham, Ralph Harvard, Laura Lofaro Freeman, and Jim Freeman
The aisles are filled with experts, connoisseurs, collectors, decorators, clients, supporters of the ESHS and the media. It’s like being in a small town. Sort of. And it’s relaxing. You can just sit and watch, and take in all the treasures that are up for sale. The show runs through this coming Friday. Here were some of the guests.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Diana Taylor
Fernanda Kellogg
George Hambrecht and Andrea Fahnestock
Arie Kopelman and Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Cliff Love, Ruth Inniss, and Gary Alexander
Ji Mei Ma, Steve Casella, and Linda Zambelli
Douglas Cummings and Jackie Fay
Elle Shushan and Carrie Barratt
Jamee and Peter Gregory
Lucinda Ballard and Coco Kopelman
Roman Hudson
Joanne and Bill Staderman
Karen Glover and Genevieve Wheeler Brown
Barbara Regna
Leslie and Emily Keno
Tara Rockefeller
Stephanie Seymour and Peter Brant
Guy Robinson, Elizabeth Stribling, and Kirk Henckels
William Martini, Valerie Zolotova, and Dennis Rolland
Anthony Ciancimino, Shirley Benfante, and Stephen Harmison
Hilary Cushing Block and Peggy Race
Eula Johnson, Allyn Magrino, and Susan Magrino
Will Motley
Somers Farkas
Jean Shafiroff and Dr. Penny Grant
Lee Fryd and Alison Minton
Lila and Amelia Prounis
Barbara and Donald Tober
CeCe Black and Elizabeth Stribling
Michel Witmer, Melinda Blinken, and Ambassador Alan Blinken
Deputy Mayor Patty Harris, and Jim Hicks
Thomas Lampson and Estelle Greer
Beryl Crofton Atkins, Jim Brodsky, and Katie Dimuro
Dawne Marie Grannum and Eula Johnson
Yan Alssoun and Polina Proshkina
Gerrie Cobbs and Jean Dixon West
Sheri Babbio, Broan Stewart, and Stephanie Krieger
Candia Fisher and Jane Holzer
Leaving the Armory, I went down to Doubles, the private club in the Sherry Netherland where Jeanne Lawrence was hosting a Chinese New Year dinner. When I got there I was surprised to see that the place was packed. Wendy Carduner, the club’s maitresse de maison, told me there were three hundred in attendance. I took that to mean that Jeanne was having a dinner party for three hundred – which was very impressive.

I soon learned it was a “annual club evening,” and Jeanne was hosting a small private group of 30. (She’s generous but she’s also practical.)
Mathew Kabatoff, Yue-Sai Kan, Jeanne Lawrence, and Louise Blouin. Kelly Mallon.
In the middle room of the club was a long buffet table heaping with twelve or fifteen different dishes. It was one of those things where you want everything you see. Next to that table was a large round table laden with about twenty different desserts including a half dozen varieties of mousses.

It’s too much. Not that that stopped me, or anybody else. It’s a feast and so it goes. Wendy told me when she just doesn’t eat much the next day. I can’t do that.

Jeanne’s guest of honor was Yue-Sai Kan of New York and Shanghai. We met Yue-Sai in her Sutton Place townhouse, way back when we were first starting the NYSD. Twelve years ago. China as a destination was still in the stage where people were making their “first” visit.
Yue-Sai was already famous in China because in the 1980s and 90s, she hosted a cable television weekly show about New York produced to be aired in China. It was the first time Chinese people saw footage and heard information about New York from a Chinese woman. A Chinese woman who knew both worlds and looked the part. Since it was aired on their only television channel at the time, it made her famous.

She was already traveling back and forth to China in those days although now she spends two thirds to three quarters of her time in Shanghai where she has become famous for her receptions and parties, and a destination herself, for visiting Asians, Indians, Americans and Europeans. She too was the first entrepreneur in the fragrance, skin care and cosmetics business in China, and is now also influentially active in philanthropic programs throughout China. “Amazing” is the word I hear over and over again when people talk about China. Even Yue-Sai, who was my dinner partner for the first course, couldn’t resist it in her natural enthusiasm: Amazing!

Guests included: Gloria Myles Atkins, Louise Blouin and Mathew Kabatoff, Grazie D'Annunzio, Jean Doumanian, Richard Gelfond (IMAX) and Peggy, Marlene and Paul Herring, David Hryck, Jim Issler, Heather Jeltes, Ambassador Brenda Johnson, Yue-Sai Kan, Jeanne Lawrence, Thomas Knapp, Massimo Listri, Ed Lobrano, Susan Magrino, Nouriel Roubini and Mica Wang, Marshall Sonenshine, Jill Spalding, Amy Stein.
Mimi Stafford.
Alex and Kate Donner. DPC and Yue-Sai Kan.
Victoria Wyman. Kate Edmonds Donner, Larry Kaiser, and Lisa Salomon.
Elizabeth Stribling, Paola Rosenshein, Kate Edmonds Donner, Barbara Tober, and Guy Robinson.
Jane Moggio, Philippe Moggio, and Ann Leibowitz. Lenny and Randall Gianopulos.
Sacha McNaughton, Naina Gidumal, and Jim McNaughton.
Wendy Carduner and Ambassador Brenda Johnson. Raphael Sanchez and Ilene Judell, with a friend.
George Tower and Susan James.
Thomas Knapp and Jeanne Lawrence. Barbara Regna, Mark Gilbertson, and Susan Magrino.
Photographs by PatrickMcMullan (Winter Antiques); (Doubles).

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