Getting out again

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Thursday, June 17, 2021.  A nice sunny day, yesterday in New York, with temps in the mid-70s, no humidity, and dropping to low the 60s at night. It was like a perfect Summer day in New York.

Catching up now that people are getting out again … Last Sunday evening I went to a birthday dinner for my friend Gillian Miniter who was celebrating her 30th … or maybe it was her 40th? … Maybe more? She still looks like a kid to me although fortunately she “acts like” an adult. And she’s got a daughter in her early 20s, a graduate of Spence and Penn and now pursuing a career in media; and a son who’s a couple years younger (and now at Penn), and a husband who picked up the check at Le Bilboquet on East 60s between Park and Madison.

The birthday girl, center, with family and friends and this writer at table at Le Bilboquet.

Also at table was her mother, and one of her bridge-playing friends (Gillian, who took up the game seriously a few years ago, is an active competitor on the Bridge circuit, and is ranked in the top 20).

I can never get enough of the cajun chicken at Le Bilboquet.

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful evening. We sat just inside by an open floor-to-ceiling window to the street, with tables just outside and on the sidewalk. This is the new look for restaurants in New York — indoor/outdoor — and people love it. The restaurant which is always very popular was packed on this Sunday night with many people “dressed” for dinner.

Yesterday I went down to Michael’s for lunch. Midtown is beginning to look like it’s old (spruced-up and orderly) self again, and Michael’s with a lot of the familiar faces.

More lunches. Earlier in the week Melanie Holland hosted a “back in the city” (after you-know-what of the past year) at Doubles, the private club in the Sherry-Netherland with a “special list” of her “amazing fashionistas and influencer friends” — Tanya Zaben, stylist to the stars Ann Caruso, Samantha of @theNYBlonde, Christine Schott, Hilary Dick, Karen Klopp and that “dynamite duo” of Verdura’s, Jim Haag and Caroline Packer. 

Clockwise from bottom left: David Holland, Tanya Zaben, Ann Caruso, Madeline Cericola, Korinne Mallett, Melanie Seymour Holland, Samantha Sheinson Smalling, Hilary Dick, Caroline Packer, Karen Klopp, and Jim Haag at Doubles. 

Also joining were Melanie’s husband, lawyer David Holland and the go-to-girls without whom her boutique agency “would not be what it is without their support,” Korinne Mallett and Madeline Cericola. 

Melanie told me that she is looking forward to holding many more of these “networking luncheons in the Fall of 2021” at her favorite place (Doubles) run by “a one-of-a-kind woman” Wendy Carduner. Not to mention the delicious menu at Doubles (really fabulous!).

And then, we should never forget: Publicolor held its 25th Annual Stir Splatter + Roll this past Monday night. If  you don’t already know by now, Publicolor is one of the greatest, most inspiring philanthropies involving young students in New York.

Michael Bloomberg with Publicolor students.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a longtime supporter, said of the organization: “For 25 years Publicolor has been working to make New York City a better, fairer, and more vibrant place to live. Staff and volunteers have touched the lives of thousands of students. Working with them to transform their schools and opening their minds to the power of creativity and design.”

Bloomberg’s words were just the opening of really heartfelt tributes  to this leading not-for-profit arts and education organization.

This year’s online gala was hosted by Publicolor’s founder Ruth Lande Shuman. The evening honored Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and New York City Department of Education’s John Shea.  Their annual Catalyst for Change Award was presented to their longtime board member, the distinguished educator Rudy Crew who said, “To have arts in our environment in a meaningful, thoughtful, and powerful way. That’s what Publicolor is and does.”

Ruth Shuman.

This same message was echoed by Ms. Brewer, who highlighted the importance of Publicolor’s message. “Art shouldn’t be only in museums; It should also be made and displayed in the streets. Publicolor empowers the community to be the creator and the curator.”

Gail Brewer.
Honoree John Shea.
Rudy Crew.

Current and former students made appearances throughout the event, stating the significant role Publicolor has played in their young lives. So inspiring, several former students now find themselves giving back by working for Publicolor.

Ruth Shuman underscored the heart of Publicolor’s inspiring message: “Optimism is the root of creativity. At Publicolor, we believe that all students are walking potential. It’s our job to help them realize that potential.”

Irma Nepomuceno.
Jeffrey Banks.

Closing the evening was a special performance by Phillip Glass, plus a performance by Broadway star E. Clayton Cornelius.

Publicolor is a not-for-profit organization based in New York City. It’s objective is to engage high-risk, low-income students ages 12–24 in a multi-year continuum of design-based programs encouraging and enabling academic achievement, college preparation, job readiness, and community service. An amazing achievement from Mrs. Shuman on down to Publicolor’s many volunteers who’ve worked and loved their service and their results. Congratulations to one and all!

Philip Glass.

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