Friday, January 27, 2017

Beauty in the details

The grand ballroom at The Plaza for The New York Botanical Garden's 2016 Orchid Dinner. This year's dinner takes place on February 8th.
Friday, January 27, 2017. Mid-fifties, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, sometimes spritzing but nice, this mid-winter yesterday in New York.

I’ve been watching this guy – and occasionally photographing him – every Friday for the past few years. Friday is the day the buildings in my neighborhood put out their refuse for the sanitation collection.  Like clockwork, this building puts everything out, bag-by-bag, around one o’clock on Friday afternoons.
My most admirable entrepreneurs here in New York.
There are a lot of New Yorkers collecting these bottles and cans in advance of the sanitation trucks. Many young Hispanic women – mothers – are out collecting from early afternoon into the late evening. They transport their bounty by shopping cart, often in great bulging plastic bags larger than themselves. It is labor intensive activity, and they are fast moving because abundance is their goal.

I’ve stopped when passing the women in order to give them a ten or a twenty if I have it on me, to help them along. They’ve all got young children to feed. The women are all neatly dressed and immaculate in their collecting. A contribution from a passer-by is a wonderful surprise, although at times a woman might be fearful of something from a stranger under the circumstances. I just slip it to them quickly as I’m passing by with the words: “thank you” (for helping keep the neighborhood spruced up), and keep moving. Their gratitude is expressed with a bit of a relief and a sincere “God bless you.” Little bit is a positive pause, and an obvious reward for their work.
Before their acquiring is over this bag will be filled with cans for recycling.
Many of the men who are covering the area look to be having a more difficult time, often appearing to be alcohol dependent and painfully depressed. The man in these photos is an exception. He’s always there at the right time, always neatly dressed and very efficient and orderly in going through the detritus for his bounty. Now I see he has an assistant helping him. As the building staff brings out each bag, they toss the bags that can be mined to one side and everything else to the other.
A staff member of the building piling on the refuse while the entrepreneur and his assistant finish.
This is what's left of the corner across from me. You saw the photos I took of the demolition two weeks ago. On this day they were having some kind of ceremony. The balloons had something to say. Maybe it was the consecration of the ground on which a structure would be built employing a large number of working people. Good idea.
Sibling speculation. I was reminded by a friend yesterday that President Trump has a big sister who was a very important and highly regarded judge (now retired) on the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Maryanne Trump Barry was at the Inauguration, it was pointed out to me, sitting right behind her little brother the President.

I knew that the President had a sister although I did not know about her distinguished career as a judge until my friend pointed it out. Then I looked her up on Wikipedia. Very attractive woman, nine years older than her brother, an Aries (smart and strong women, those Aries), graduate of Mount Holyoke, an MA from Columbia and her law degree from Hofstra, Judge Barry began practicing law as an attorney and was an Asst. US Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Then in 1983, Ronald Reagan nominated her for a seat on the US District Court for the District of New Jersey. Confirmed by the Senate, she received her commission the next day. Then in 1999, President Bill Clinton nominated her (she’s a Republican) to the US Court of Appeals. 
Judge Maryanne Trump Barry.
"I am deeply honored and very grateful for the nomination," Barry told the New Jersey Law Journal in 1999. "I am surprised I was approached on it. I assume that my record is good enough as a district court judge to be reached out to, and I'm glad that politics weren't a priority here."

Big sister with little brother.
According to Wikipedia, Mrs. Barry’s reputation on the bench was that of a tough judge with strong command of her courtroom. In 1989, while a district court judge in Essex County, she disapproved a plea bargaining deal that would have freed two county detectives accused of protecting a drug dealer, and forced the case to trial. The detectives were convicted and received jail terms. She also presided over the conviction of Louis Manna, the Genovese crime family boss accused of plotting to assassinate rival John Gotti.

My friend, in telling me about Judge Barry, wondered if she would have any influence in her brother’s considerations for the Supreme Court. Whether she will or not, we may never know anyway -- although I know from experience, big sisters, especially older (when you’re a child) are very important to little brothers.
Read All About It. Today, the box office opens for the Young People’s Chorus of New York City’s Annual Gala benefit which will be held on Monday, March 6th at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Fans of the YPC of NYC know that this is a beautiful evening and a concert where no matter how you feel about the world around us, your spirits will be raised to celebration.

As the announcement says, the Young People’s Corus of New York City will treat the audience to a whirlwind, nonstop musical extravaganza spanning Brahms, Bali and Bollywood to Gershwin, Conga and Cole Porter. Talk about hope, these kids from ages 7 to 17 – there must be more than one hundred, sing it out and leave you soaring. It’s a very sweet night and an enormous example of putting your best foot forward. Tickets can be purchased through the Jass at Lincoln Center box office at Broadway and 60th, or CenterCharge at 212-721-6500. If you love music and you love the fresh, sweet enthusiasm of young people performing it, this is your night, and theirs too.
More beautiful evenings. On Wednesday, February 8th, the New York Botanical Garden will host its 29th annual Orchid dinner at The Plaza. This dinner remains one of the great and beautiful dinners on the calendar.

It will be the stage for a magnificent showcase of orchid centerpieces created by the world’s leading designers from the worlds of fashion, interior design, landscape design, floral design and architecture. Where but in New York could we have access to all that talent and brilliance.

The inaugural Orchid Dinner was held 29 years ago in the Orchid Rotunda at the Botanical Garden. They were celebrating the installation of the renovation and name of the Hekla E. Johnson Orchid Rotunda and the installation of the  terrarium that same year.

There were sixty guests in attendance and they raised $50,000. In 1996 they moved to the University Club and in 2005 the now named Orchid dinner moved to the Rainbow Room.

We’ve been attending this dinner since the early '90s, and it never fails to be, like the concert of the Young People’s Chorus, one of the city’s memorably great evenings, good for everything and ultimately for everybody. NYSD will be there once again on February 8th when it takes place at the Plaza.
This year's Gala Chairmen are Vera Aryeh and Robert F. Gossett, Jr., Sharon and Bill Jacob, Susan and George Matelich, and Tina and Steven R. Swartz. The Chair is Clinton Smith (Editor in Chief, VERANDA) and the Decorations Chair is Carolyn Englefield (Director of Decoration and Special Projects, VERANDA). The Honorary Chairmen are Mary and Marvin Davidson, Kamie and Richard Lightburn, and Deborah and Charles Royce.
2017 Gala Chairmen Susan and George Matelich
2017 Gala Chairmen Vera Aryeh and Robert F. Gossett, Jr.
2016 Gala Chairmen Kamie Lightburn, Tina Swartz, Sharon Jacob Gregory Long (NYBG President and CEO) and Carolyn Englefield (Decorations Chair).
Maureen Chilton (NYBG Board Chairman).
Deborah Royce (Honorary Chairman). Clinton Smith (Orchid Dinner Chair).
This year’s Orchid Show at the New York Botanical celebrates its 15th year with an homage to the weath of orchids and rich cultural history of Thailand. The show itself culminates with a jaw-dropping scene of a large arched façade in the style of a traditional Thai pavilion – festooned with hundreds of exquisite orchids. With many thanks to its major sponsors, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Royce, and Baccarat.

For additional information, contact Anita Hall at 914.579.1000 or e-mail

Contact DPC here.