Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The snowmelt

Picnicking in Central Park. 2:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Really nice first full Spring day yesterday in New York. Bright sunshine, temperature touching 60; not warm, but not cold, and snow almost all gone.
The snowmelt in Central Park ...
Last Friday was St. Patrick’s Day as everybody in New York knows/knew/can’t escape. The Parade dominated the island of Manhattan traffic-wise, and anyone who was out (like going to work, going to lunch, going home) was also out of luck reaching their desired destination (like: “get me outta here!”) However, the optimists won out.  For over at Symphony Space, Ashley Boulder, the New York City Ballet Prima Ballerina, put together a show where women create all the choreography.

The centerpiece of the evening was a rare two-woman pas de deux with NYCB Prima Ballerinas Sara Mearns and Ms. Bouder, choreographed by Liz Gerring to a new score by Anna Weber.
Ghaleb Kayali and Spartak Hoxha perform the world premiere of Ashley Bouder's In Pursuit Of.
Ashley Hod (lifted by Devin Alberda) in the world premiere of Ashley Bouder's In Pursuit Of.
Composer Miho Hazama takes a bow after the world premiere of In Pursuit Of.
Bouder offered her own choreography set to a new score by NY Jazzharmonic's associate director, Miho Hazama. Also on the program was a revival of Susan Stroman's 'Blossom Got Kissed' set to music by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Much of the evening’s music was performed live by the New York Jazzharmonic; a 17-piece live orchestra conducted by Bouder's co-producer Ron Wasserman.

George Balanchine proclaimed, “Ballet is Woman.” However, it has long been ruled by men. Ashley Bouder has taken the bull by the horns, so to speak, and created The Ashley Bouder Project where women create all the dances.
Ashley Bouder and AB Project Company perform Susan Stroman's Blossom Got Kissed.
After the performance, there was a private reception held at Bar Thalia where patrons and dancers toasted the success of The Ashley Bouder Project. Guests included Bouder's longtime friend and supporter, Joanna Fisher, as well as Teri Agins, Karole Armitage, Alba Clemente, Cece Cord, Irina and Max Dvorovenko, Olivia Flatto,  Judith Hoffman, and Tony Walton.
Mercedes Ellington.
Candy and Sigmund Sattenspiel.
Max and Irina Dvorovenko with daughter Emma Dvorovenko.
Jazz bassist Rufus Reed.
Brian and Joanna Fisher with Peter DeFlorio.
Co-producers Ashley Bouder and Ron Wasserman.
Meanwhile, a couple days before St. Paddy’s, The Kelly Gang hosted their 13th annual St. Patrick’s Day Benefit the Wednesday before at Michael’s.  And they raised close to $100,000 in support of Concern Worldwide U.S., an international humanitarian organization of Irish origin that transforms the lives of the world’s poorest people. 

Keith Kelly, columnist for the New York Post, started this with an impromptu group of media types with the surname Kelly who happened to land a few good jobs. It was 2004. They held it at Michael’s. I was at the first one. They drew a nice small crowd at cocktail time. Last Wednesday, they drew more than 200.  The group’s mission was, and is, to “help those who need it most.” And to draw a gathering of leaders and influencers in the media and publishing industries to make it happen.
Kevin Kelly, Keith Kelly, Colleen Kelly, Jack Haire, Ed Kelly, and Mike Kelley at the 13th annual St. Patrick’s Day Benefit.
The 2017 beneficiary, Concern Worldwide U.S., was founded in 1968 when a small group of Irish people joined forces to stop the human suffering unfolding in Biafra (now Nigeria), a seemingly far-off place. Their ingenuity and empathy helped create a lifeline of relief supplies that reached millions of people, saving countless lives.

Since then, Concern has grown to become a highly-respected global organization, currently working in 26 countries. Emergency relief is still central to its work, but Concern also collaborates with communities after disasters to help bring them out of extreme poverty through a spectrum of programs, including maternal and child health, nutrition, education, and economic empowerment. Last year alone, Concern reached 9.1 million people.
Ed Kelly, Ray Kelly, Dan Quintero, and Keith Kelly at the 2016 benefit.
The Kelly Gang actually began in the late 1990’s. Tragedy struck in 2003 when journalist Michael Kelly, one of the original members, became the first American journalist killed in the Iraq War.  So, on St. Patrick’s Day 2004 – which would have been Michael’s 47th birthday – the Kelly Gang held a benefit to raise money for the Tom & Jack Kelly Education Fund, benefiting Michael’s sons. Since then, the St. Patrick’s Day Benefit has grown to include hundreds of participants, most of them actually not named Kelly.

To date the Kelly Gang has raised more than $800,000 for groups including the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, the Alzheimer’s Association New York Chapter, The Bowery Mission, Breezy Point Disaster Relief Fund, The Kelly Cares Foundation, City Harvest, The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Tuesday’s Children, Catholic Relief Services in Haiti, The Doe Fund, The Hunter’s Hope Foundation, The Wounded Warrior Project, New Orleans Catholic Charities Crescent House, Operation Helping Hands, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Annie Moore Memorial Project, and The Tom and Jack Kelly Education Fund.  All of the proceeds go directly to the beneficiaries.
Ed Kelly, Declan Kelly, Susan Notkin (of The Even B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, 2012 Kelly Gang Beneficiary), Kyle Clifford (of City Harvest, 2012 Kelly Gang Beneficiary), Ray Kelly, and Keith Kelly at the 2012 benefit.
Kelly Gang members in attendance included former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly; New York Post “Media Ink” columnist Keith Kelly; Good Day New York anchor Greg Kelly; CXO of Wholesome Wave Ed Kelly; SVP, Publishing Director of the Hearst Design Group Kate Kelly Smith, CEO of Concern Worldwide U.S. Colleen Kelly; and former Weather Channel CEO Mike Kelly.  Additional guests included Jack Haire, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Dave Zinczenko. The evening’s sponsors included 24 Seven Enterprises, American Media Inc., Bankrate, Bloomberg, Bonnier Corporation, Condé Nast, Kathy Haire, Alfred and Peggy Kelly, Edward and Patricia McCarrick, Meredith, Mutual of America, Omnicom Media Group, George Pappas, Rubenstein, Time Inc., USA Today Network, The Winifred and William O’Reilly Foundation.
NYPD Marching Band.
St. Patrick's Day marks the day when its namesake Patrick McMullan throws his annual party downtown for a crowd numbering in the hundreds. And this year, his son Liam was an accompanying host.
Liam and Patrick McMullan at Patrick Annual St. Patrick's Day Party.
Meanwhile, down in Palm Beach,  I don’t know how much they’re into the “wearin’ o’ the green” although I know they like the spendin’ it, it’s getting closer to the end of the season. The day after St. Paddy’s Jim Mitchell hosted a dinner at Joe Ledbetter’s BrickTop’s. It was also a going away party for Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson who were heading north to the home in Saratoga. Bidding their fond farewells to the couple were Maureen Donnell, Jimmy Clarked, Franny Scaife and Tom McArter, Joyce Sterling, John Bradley, Linda Rossbach, Michael Harris, Eles Gillet, Countess Christina de Caraman, Simo Liu, Bryan Huffman, the Marquessa Barbara San Damian, Barbara Cates, Fern Tailer.
Thomas McCarter and Marylou Whitney.
Barbara San Damian and Bryan Huffman.
John Hendrickson and Maureen Donnell.
Linda Rossbach, Jimmy Clarke, and Frances  Scaife. 
Jim Mitchell and Christina de Caraman

Photographs by Diana Mino (Bouder); Capehart Photography (PB)

Contact DPC here.