Monday, April 25, 2016

Around the town

Having a smoke on Fifth Avenue. 4:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday April 25, 2016. Bright, sunny weekend with temps in the low 70s and turning slightly chilly mid-60s yesterday in New York.

Around the town. Last Thursday night Shirley Lord gave a dinner for her friend Hillie Mahoney who has just published a memoir, “Journey Interrupted; A Family Without a Country in a World At War” which was just published by Regan Arts.  The dinner was called for 8 as the author was given a reception and a brief conversation about her book at the New-York Historical Society.

Hillie Mahoney with a copy of Journey Interrupted: A Family Without a Country in a World at War. Click to order.
Mrs. Mahoney is a popular figure both here and in Palm Beach where she has a residence and spends a good deal of her time. Her late husband, businessman David Mahoney was chairman of Norton Simon, a conglomerate. When he retired he turned to his personal philanthropy to fund the David Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences at his alma mater at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1990 he endowed the Mahoney Neuroscience Institute at Harvard. Mr. Mahoney died in 2000 and his wife chairs the latter today.

Mrs. Mahoney, whose birth name (and name on her book) is Hildegarde, was very active in her husband’s philanthropies as well as her own. She also has her own fascinating story which after decades of thinking about it and not being a writer, and unable to find someone to write it for her, finally found a way to put pen to paper.

The “journey” in the title is about a trip her family took in 1941 when her father, then head of a major German bank in New York was called back to Berlin. The parents, both native Germans who had become Americans living in New York, decided to take their three young children so they could visit the grandparents who still lived in Germany. Because Hitler’s war with Britain and France was already on, they could not cross the Atlantic, so they took the very long way around the globe, from New York to San Francisco to  Yokohama, with the intention of traveling through Russia to Germany.
Hildegarde and Enno with their children Alexander, Hildegarde (Hillie) and Enno.
Six days after they arrived in Japan, Hitler invaded Russia. That meant they couldn’t risk traveling through Russia. Then because of Japan’s involvement in wars in Asia and alliance with Germany, they couldn’t return to New York right away because of the number of people evacuating the Far East. Then in December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Now they couldn’t leave Japan, where they remained until the end of the war in 1945.

They were there, as aliens -- and highly suspicious since the parents were both German and American, and young -- when the first atom bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. What it was like and what happened to them and their small children is Hillie’s quietly riveting story.

Aside from an amazing and unusual story, knowing I would write about Shirley Lord’s dinner where I happened to be seated next to the author, I opened my copy yesterday afternoon to get a look. Being the slow reader that I am, I had no intention of reading much of it in what for me (a few hours) is a short space of time in reading a book.
The Japanese steamship MS Tatsuta Maru on which the Ercklentz family sailed from San Francisco to Yokohama.
Hillie was eight years old when this occurred to her and her family. The child’s memory is the purest because everything is new, and so the ordeal remains fresh for the reader, and shocking, and at moments almost terrifying – except – her parents looked after their family in such a way that the children were fortified by their unity.

This is truly one of those cannot put it down books where you learn what the child learned, as she learned it. The family finally returned to New York at the end of the war after the Japanese surrendered and MacArthur landed in Japan.

It’s a story of history, of travel, of culture, of geography in the mid 20th century, with all the horrors surrounding millions of people all over the world, and one family’s way of getting through it.
Pretty in pink, the Kwanzan cherry trees in all their glory at the 86th Street entrance to Carl Schurz Park yesterday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.
A closer look.
The tulip bed at the foot of the entrance.
The eastern redbud tree facing the park entrance next to 10 Gracie Square. As you can see, the blossoms seem to wrap themselves around the branches.
Pink tulips and cherry blossoms on Park Avenue.
Catching up. Last Tuesday night at the Four Seasons Restaurant, Oceana hosted  their annual New York Gala. The evening celebrated Oceana first fifteen years and its victories to help save the oceans and feed the world. The event raised more than $1 million. This year, the organization honored Dr. Kristian Parker, who is one of Oceana’s founders,  and the Oak Foundation for their significant contributions to Oceana and leadership in marine conservation.

Guests included event co-chairs Susan and David Rockefeller and Violaine and John Bernbach, Anja Rubik and Jeff Goldblum. Among those attending were Julie Macklowe, Cameron Silver, Noot Seear, Alexandra Kerry and Julien Dobbs-Higginson, Kara and Stephen Ross, Leslie Zemeckis, Rebecca Mead, Katherine Keating, Sid and Helaine Lerner, Lilly Hartley Tarrant and Jeffrey Tarrant, Amy Fine Collins, Vicky Ward and Richard Cohen, Marion Hunt, Xin Li, Jerry Speyer. The evening featured cocktails, dinner, and a performance by Mr. Goldblum who was also emcee, and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.
Additional celebrity supporters of the organization include Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford, Leonardo DiCaprio, Keegan Allen, Kate Walsh, Amber Valetta, January Jones, Jon Hamm, Rachael Harrison, Rashida Jones, and Adrian Grenier, to name a few.

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. They run science-based campaigns and seek to win policy victories that can restore ocean biodiversity and ensure that the oceans are abundant and can feed hundreds of millions of people. Oceana victories have protected more than 1 million square miles of ocean and helped to create policies that could increase fish populations in its countries by 15 percent compared to current levels. They have campaign offices in the countries that control a third of the world’s wild fish catch, including in North, South and Central America, Asia, and Europe.
Susan Rockefeller, Jeff Goldblum, and Violaine Bernbach
Dr. Kristian Parker and Herbert "Beto" Bedolfe III
Their mission is to protect and restore the world’s oceans. They work to ensure that the oceans are biodiverse, resilient and able to feed the billion people worldwide who depend on seafood for their sustenance. They launch targeted, science-based policy campaigns in the select number of countries that control most of the world’s wild catch.

To learn more, visit www.oceana.org.
Andrew Sharpless, Kristian Parker, Violaine Bernbach, Jeff Goldblum, and Susan Rockefeller
Jeff Goldblum, Anja Rubik, David Rockefeller, and Susan Rockefeller
Anja Rubik and Paola Kudacki
Julie Macklowe and Jeff Goldblum
Susan Rockefeller, Stephanie Argyros, James Hallman, Kelly Hallman, and Dede McMahon
Joanna Fisher, Tracy Nixon, Debbie Bancroft, and Amy Fine Collins
Andy Sharpless, Irmelin DiCaprio, and Dr. Kristian Parker
Felicia Taylor, Amy Fine Collins, and Alex Hitz
Lyor Cohen, Xin Li, and Loic Gouzer
Last Monday, The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) hosted its annual Spring Luncheon featuring Actress, Author, and Mother, Drew Barrymore. Ms. Barrymore spoke and read passages from her critically praised bestselling new book, “Wildflower” before the more than 250 distinguished guests, including New York City business leaders, public officials and philanthropists, gathered at the Pierre.

The NYSPCC Spring Luncheon is dedicated to raising awareness about child abuse, neglect and maltreatment and the critical importance of community efforts to prevent and combat them.
Frank Sommerfield, Tania Higgins, Elizabeth Mayhew, Connie Newberry, Drew Barrymore, Dr. Mary Pulido, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, Dr. Penny Grant, Maarit Glocer, David Stack, and Holly Kelly
“With Drew Barrymore lending her support for our work, we’ve added a powerful voice to the effort to raise awareness and ensure that people understand that the issue of child abuse and neglect is urgent and critical,” said Dr. Mary L. Pulido, Executive Director of The NYSPCC.  

The annual Spring Luncheon helps commemorate National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the program will help raise awareness on the most common form of child maltreatment, one of the world’s most tragic injustices.
Holly Kelly, Dr. Mary Pulido, Drew Barrymore, Lincoln Frank, and Molly Frank
For 141 years, The NYSPCC has worked to keep all kids safe from neglect and abuse through education, research, advocacy and collaboration, and working with students, educators, law enforcement, healthcare, and community leaders, to provide training and resources for the protection of children who are victims of child abuse and neglect.

Luncheon co-chairs were The Society’s Board of Directors Maarit Glocer, Valesca Guerrand-Hermès, Elizabeth Mayhew, Joan Granlund and supporters, Tania Higgins, Connie Newberry. The co-chairs helped raise money for the Trauma Recovery Program this year, which will be used for training in New York City schools. Last year’s funding resulted in new programs for two Bronx public schools.
Kathleen Giordano, Lee Fryd, and Dr. Penny Grant
Drew Barrymore and Karl Wellner
Dori Cooperman, Jennifer Creel, Natasha Silver Bell, and Christine Mack
Peggy Anderson, Drew Barrymore, and Greta Anderson
Heidi Englen and Joan Granlund
Nicole Miller and Valesca Guerrand-Hermes

Photographs by Patrick McMullan (NYSPCC)

Contact DPC here.