Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yesterday was Wednesday of course ...

Late afternoon Autumn buzzing. Photo: JH.
Thursday, September 26, 2013. Another beautiful early Autumn Day in New York. Heavy traffic midtown both cars and foot traffic.

Today is the 115th anniversary of the birth of George Gershwin, the great American songwriter whose highly prolific career as a composer for Broadway and symphony (Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F, An American in Paris) was cut short by a brain tumor. Gershwin had been suffering with specific symptoms that confounded doctors for about six months before he was diagnosed. Finally they concluded that it was a brain tumor.

George Gershwin at the piano, circa 1924. Gershwin was such a virtuoso on the keys and loved playing, so that he could entertain at his private parties for hours, charming everyone — and especially the ladies with his musical genius.
An operation was performed but it was too late and he died that same night  — on July 11, 1937. WFUV-FM (90.7, Fordham University Radio) celebrated his birth date last Sunday on its weekly Big Broadcast with some original recordings of Gershwin at the piano playing his own compositions (and in a couple of recordings with his friend Fred Astaire whom he accompanied on the piano). You can stream it now by going here.

Yesterday was Wednesday of course and I was at Michael’s of course which was its very busy self. Among the guests: Lynn de Rothschild (Lady Evelyn de Rothschild) was with General Wesley Clark and Field Marshal Lord Guthrie. Nearby: Sanford & Stein; Michael Holtzman, Liz Kaplow, Ed Reilly, Joe Armstrong with David Zinczenko. Around the room: Andrew Stein, Matt Blank. Adam Brecht, Barry Frey: Joe Kemen with Andrew Ross Sorkin, and British businessman Sir Martin Sorrell; Rebecca Lee, Dan Lufkin;  Nancy Murray of Louis Vuitton with Marian Gulbrandsen; Mark Rosenthal, Peter Price; Judy Price with Rita Jammet of Caravelle champagnes; Maury Rogoff with Alan Katz and Matthew Glass; Stan Shuman, Felicia Taylor and Bettina Zilkha, Jill Brooke with Walter Sabo, Nick Verbitsky with Jim Higgins, Stephen Swid, Beverly Camhe, Bernard Schwartz, Jeff Peek, Jolie Hunt with Mindy Budgor; Hollywood mega-producer/director James Brooks; Glenn Horowitz, Star Jones, Ralph Isham, Chris Meigher and Harry Benson; Julie Hayek with Mark Allen; Robert Zimmerman; Mitchell Reiss, President of Washington College with Daniel Patrick Forrester; Brandon Schwartz; Diane Clehane with Andy Amil of WeightWatchers Media; and at Table One: Liz Kaplow holding forth with Elissa Steele, Eric Brown, Jeffrey Hayzlett and Stacey Kennedy of Bloomberg.

I was with Dini von Mueffling, a lifelong New Yorker who 22 years ago started a charity called Love Heals with Alison Gertz, her friend and schoolmate who contracted AIDS when she was sixteen after having sex for the first and only time with a bartender that she met at Studio 54.
Andrew Saffir, Charlotte Ronson, Dini von Mueffling, Hilary Rhoda, Daniel Benedict at the 13th Annual Love Heals at Luna Farm.
The friends created Love Heals to educate young women about the dangers confronting them with the AIDS virus. Gertz died at age 26, months after they formed the charity. Today Love Heals  has personally reached more than 600,000 young, school-age women in the New York area, educating them on how to protect themselves.

Dini's created Love Heals with Ali Gertz so they could educate young women about the dangers confronting them with the AIDS virus.
Dini and friends have not only kept Love Heals operating but have expanded their programs to empower young people in the ongoing fights against HIV across the country. 

Professionally Dini is a journalist and also an author “The 50 Most Romantic Things Ever Done,” (a perfect Valentine’s gift); “The Art and Power of Being a Lady” written with Noelle Cleary, and she is currently finishing “Creating Style” which will be published in 2014.

She has an 18 year old daughter who also grew up in New York who is in her first year at Vassar. She and her business partner Laura Henson also run a very successful, small (they like it that way) public relations agency, HvM Communications. (“Small Agency. Big Stories”) with many well-known clients in Art/Design/Home, Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle, Fitness, Wellness, Travel, as well as non-profits – such as the great Iris Cantor and the Cantor Foundation; Parsons Dance and United Way of New York.
Dini von Mueffling, Graziano de Boni, and Laura Henson
She and I have communicated with each for years in matters of events (such as Love Heals – the New York Social Diary has been covering its events since its inception). We’ve been at many of the same parties at the same time, and have probably been introduced. She told me yesterday one of her favorite pictures of herself is on the NYSD (she’s dancing and her arms are up in the air). But until yesterday, we never met face to face.

We have many mutual acquaintances so there was a lot to talk about. But she is one of those New York girls who still amaze me—they  seem to take on the mantle of the city, building a life that is very productive, busy, creative, while maintaining the life of an adult woman, mother, wife (she’s now divorced from prize-winning journalist Richard Esposito – “still best friends”), friend, philanthropist, author, journalist and public relations executive.
Minnie Mortimer, Dini von Mueffling, and Lucy Sykes Rellie.
Sitting there at Michael’s surrounded by murmuring dull roar of  a roomful of  conversations, Dini was relaxed and unhurried, as if she had all the time in the world. Because she does. She has all the time in the world and she uses a lot of it covering a lot of fields and topics and experiences, often all in one day. This is NewYork.

Also this is New York: Today we’re running a piece by Delia von Neuschatz whom you may recognize for several interesting and informative pieces she’s done for the NYSD. If you read some of them (about animal shelters, bookstores in London and New York, dining in the Basque country, etc., for example), she’s very thorough and even-handed in divulging what she’s learned.

Gay and Nan Talese.
So I asked her if she’d do a piece on the Fisher-Wallace Stimulator. My introduction to the Stimulator came last Christmas Eve at a big party that Nan and Gay Talese and their daughters host at the family townhouse in the East 60s. I’ve written about this party before. It’s a wonderful, comfortable, almost folksy New York party of neighbors, friends and many fellow writers, where everyone is provided with a great buffet and as many drinks as you wish. People catch up with each other at the Taleses’ and people meet.

I met this guy Chip Fisher who happened to be sharing a sofa while I was having some dinner with a plate on my lap. We hadn’t met before but I soon learned that he had a business marketing this device which he and his partner own the patent on. It caught my interest immediately because he said it was very good for people with insomnia, with depression and other issues that overtax our psychic energies. I’m always interested in such possiblities.

I thought it would be an interesting topic to share to NYSD readers. But since I was instantly sold on its possibilities, I thought it would be fairer to have a journalist like Delia discover it and inform the reader from an unprejudiced point of view. She did that and we’re running it today.

Anxiety, tension, insomnia and many other matters along those lines burden many of us much of the time in this very fast and chaotic world or ours. Many if not all of us look for ways to alleviate such conditions, even if for a brief time. We see shrinks, we take medications, we exercise, we analyze, we fret, we diet, we do yoga, we run, we walk. All good. The Fisher-Wallace Stimulator is in that category, in my opinion, and it’s a simple, scientific approach that requires no taxing, no pain, no ache, and no side effects.

Delia tells you what she experienced.

Contact DPC here.