Debbie’s Week at a Glance: Power lunches and love fests

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See if you can figure out why this pic is so deliciously happy — Wendi Deng Murdoch, Chloe Murdoch, Georgia May Jagger, Rupert Murdoch and Grace Murdoch at the Power Lunch for Women supporting Citymeals on Wheels.

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.


American Friends of Versailles’ good friend and host, John Heimann, tucked in, at home.

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.”


L. to r.: Catharine Hamilton, AFV founder and Chair, among her devotees; Lovely Margo Langenberg.
Who said Park Ave has no views — some out and little reflection of within.

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.


Poor one winged seagull.Praying Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue got him…but then what?

“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.


The frightening site entering Riverhead’s DMV.
Hallelujah! This automated friend spewed me out in 15 flat.

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 luncheon was a full-on love fest for all quadrupeds.
Later that night: Fireside with my hosts, Marvin and Otis.

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.


M.C. who also walks the walk, Jane Krakowski.

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.


Citymeals Board Co-President, Robert Grimes(he teared up during program-gotta love that), Board member and honoree David Rockwell, Beth Shapiro, Exec Director.
Great Performance’s Liz Neumark, winner of the City National Spirit Award
David Rockwell with long time pal, Gael Greene.

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.


Ladies who do more than lunch, Co-chairs: Lizzie Tisch, Margo Nederlander, and Samantha Boardman M.D.
Deborra-Lee Furness, whom we love even without Hugh, and Samantha Boardman.
Rupert Murdoch, daughters Chloe and Grace and Wendi Deng Murdoch.
Proud hubby Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch.
Exec Director Beth Shapiro and Tren’ness Wood-Black.
Thelma Golden, and she is.
Tren’ness Wood-Black (of Harlem’s Slyvia’s Restaurant) and Liz Neumark.
Sandra Lee, very much out and about, again.
Silas Chow and Lyor Cohen.
Georgia May Jagger and Derek Blasberg. he only takes pictures with famous fillies.

Photographs by Eric Vitale and Konrad Brattke (Citymeals)

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