After last week’s emotional goodbye to my family home, I needed to take it down a notch. My only tearjerker this week was a probably unsuccessful attempt at animal rescue. Then it was back to shallow.
Not that Versailles is shallow, but my Dad didn’t build it. The American Friends of Versailles gave a cozy cocktail at John Heimann and Maria Cristina Anzola’s glam duplex. In the elevator, a woman I didn’t know queried, “Didn’t Jim Torrey and Podie Lynch live here?” Yup. In this apartment.
The soaring ceilings in the great room, surrounded by balconies are the signature of the homes in this lovely, 66th Street building, and in this incarnation, decorated by AFV board member, Juan Pablo Molyneux, Chairman/founder American Friends of Versailles.
Catharine Hamilton toasted the Friends of Versailles and of each other, and Olivier, the Vicomte de Rohan continued the toasts and complimented us Americans on our generosity and understanding that while “the monuments of France may reside on another nation, their value is part of a world heritage and their care is entrusted to us all.”
Back in the country, all was quiet and peaceful until I rounded Gin Lane to find an unsteady seagull, wobbling down the middle of the road. I saw he was unsteady because one wing had been ripped off. I drove next to him and steered him into an empty parking area. I frantically called The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center and the lovely man (a volunteer — they all are) assured me that a volunteer would be on the way.
“If not,” I queried, “will you call me right back and walk me through how to capture and help him?” He assured me he would, didn’t and I pray that was good news.
Less important, except for those of you who have languished on a DMV line, and that was my wonderful trip to the Riverhead DMV. I renewed my license in 15 minutes flat, and am no longer driving dirty. You’re welcome.
There were two very special, heartfelt and genuine lunches that I especially love. One is the ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon. That will be covered by my eminently more qualified colleague, DPC. He has been honored by the ASPCA and is father to 4, count ‘em, of 4 rescue dogs. Hear it from him.
The other luncheon is The Power Lunch for Women, supporting Citymeals on Wheels. It’s a bit of an aggressive title, and there were several supportive gents in the midst, but hey, this is power wielded the right way.
Jane Krakowski, mother of a son who delivers meals via skateboard, skillfully MC’ed. We learned that the $1.2 million dollars raised would go entirely to the preparation and delivery of 160,000 nourishing meals. These volunteers nourish hearts, too.
Honoree David Rockwell, a 20-year board member, told of delivering meals to Paul an elderly fellow, not able to get around any longer. He had been a well-known Broadway pianist (Jane Krakowski knew him well), and as time went on, they played the piano together, dished about Broadway gossip, and developed a deep friendship.
These lovely, lonely, frail folks could be us. As David’s presenter and long time pal, Gael Greene said “ I never thought I’d be old enough to get Citymeals on Wheels but…” Everyone’s favorite Museum Director, Studio Museum of Harlem’s Thelma Golden, an honoree, remembered bringing casserole dishes to neighbors who were home bound. The Murdoch girls, Wendi and daughters Grace and Chloe were honored and presenter Dr. Samantha Boardman said of them, “To the Murdochs, generosity is a verb.”
The co-chairs, Margo Nederlander, Lizzie Tisch and Samantha Boardman don’t just do lunch. They volunteer, support and advocate this crucially important organization that cares for over 16,000 homebound NYC residents. They could be our parents. They could be us.
Photographs by Eric Vitale and Konrad Brattke (Citymeals)