Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The lazy, hazy days of summer

Hudson River Promenade at 23rd Street. 8:00 PM. Photo: Jeff Hirsch.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012. Very warm, sunny day, but bearable. We had some rain the night before,  and the nights have been comfortably cooler. Here in mid-summer my neighborhood is quieter especially since the two  girls’ schools across the avenue and around the corner are not in session, lightening up the sidewalk and road traffic noticeably in midday. Also this is a neighborhood where many are away for the summer or part of the summer, so that contributes to the mainly empty streets by sunset.

I went down to Michael’s to lunch with Liz Smith who’s been having her getaway for a few days at a time up in Connecticut. Michael’s was full up. Calvin Klein was at the next table. Across the way, author (“Unreal Estate,” “740 Park Avenue”) Michael Gross was lunching with the new editor of Avenue Daisy Prince.

Liz and DPC on a night out.
On the other side of Calvin Klein’s table, Peggy Siegal was enthusiastically reporting on her just-returned trip from a few days abroad, stopping over the weekend in Aix-en-Provence where where Shirin and Frederic Fekkai hosted a dinner at their newly renovated/restored house. Not all of his fans and followers know that Frederic, whose parents were Algerian, was born and bred in Aix, coming to New York in 1979 at the age of 21 to start his career. And some career it has been – Frederic has built an enormous business in haircare, cosmetics and fragrances as well as his salons. Aside from business, he has also made an excellent reputation for himself in the community, participating in a number of charities and cultural events.

After lunch I walked with Liz over to Fifth Avenue which was very busy with foot traffic. Liz said to me: “what are you going to write about for tomorrow?” I said: “I  don’t have a clue, what about you?” She replied, “I know what you mean.”

It isn’t that there aren’t lots of things going on, because although it is markedly quieter in terms of events, so there’s always something doing if you’re one of those people who just has to be out and about. But these are the lazy, hazy days of summer for this writer, and all this heat has brought one clear message: Keep Cool.

After I caught a cab for Liz, I took a stroll up Fifth to have a look at the Bergdorf windows. The sidewalks were rife with (mostly) young tourists. But before I got up to Bergdorf’s, the Louis-Vuitton building on the northeast corner of 57th and Fifth stopped me in my tracks -- Art and Commerce wed on the façade of this Peter Marino designed post-modern emporium. The Art is the work of Yayol Kusama who now has a retrospective on view at the Whitney. Jill Krementz covered the opening as well as the artist’s appearance at the LV flagship store.
Yayol Kusama-decorated Louis-Vuitton building on the northeast corner of 57th and Fifth. Art and commerce at its best.
The Union Rat on Fifth Avenue.
Later in the afternoon, while discussing today’s NYSD with JH, determining what our content would be, I told him about my pictures on Fifth Avenue. It so happened that he’d be busy with his camera in other parts of town. What better than to fill the Diary having a look, especially through the lens and sensibility of JH ...
Serious Business. This past Monday night in Washington, the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria hosted a dinner at the Reserve Officer Association with Gates Foundation Co-chair Bill Gates; Board Chair of Friends, Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein; and Global Fund General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo. Notable guests included USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins,  and numerous Members of Congress and other key decision makers.

Coinciding with the International AIDS Conference, the Friends-Global Fund dinner was organized to engage and educate key lawmakers about the importance of continued U.S. leadership and support for the Global Fund. 

Twelve Members of Congress participated in the dinner, including Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Richard Lugar (R-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), as well as Representatives Charlie Dent (R-PA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Kay Granger (R-TX), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Bill Gates and Getty Images CEO and Co-founder and Friends of the Global Fight Board Chair Jonathan Klein.
Also on that day the Global Fund announced some of its newest evidence of progress and results: Global Fund-supported HIV/AIDS programs in 150 countries provide 3.6 million people with antiretroviral treatment, have reached 1.5 million HIV-positive women with services to prevent transmission to their babies. They have also detected and treated 9.3 million cases of tuberculosis, and have distributed 270 million insecticide-treated nets to stop the spread of malaria.

Friends of the Global Fight works to end the worldwide burden of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. They educate, engage and mobilize U.S. decision makers to support the Global Fund, the world’s largest public health financier. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit
Simon Bland, Board Chair, The Global Fund, Carolyn Everson, Board Member, Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook, and Senator Roger Wicker.
Senator Richard Lugar, Gabriel Jaramillo, General Manager, The Global Fund, and Representative Kay Granger.
Bill Gates and Senator Roger Wicker.
Dr. Debrework Zewdie, Deputy General Manager, The Global Fund, and Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA.
Representative Nita Lowey, Jonathan Klein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Tommy Clark.
Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, and Deb Derrick, President, Friends of the Global Fight.
Jonathan Klein and Natasha Bilimoria.
Senator Sherrod Brown.
Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health.

Contact DPC here.