Tuesday, December 18, 2018. Mostly cloudy, yesterday in New York with temps in the low- to mid-40s but with a chill breeze that made it seem colder.
I love this photograph. It’s the annual card the Humane Society of New York mail to their contributor. They have used the same photograph in the mailing for the past few years. The dog (a shih-tzu) looks like it’s been out in the cold snow long enough, and probably the cat too. I like it because you can see how beautiful the animals are and how they naturally get along.
Many people don’t understand that about dogs and cats. In my experience of having had both living together (for years), the cat usually establishes the boundaries at the beginning of the canine/feline meeting. From my observation that’s because the dog, which is curious about a newly introduced cat, often sticks its snout in the cat’s face. One swat of the cat’s claws against doggie’s snout, and the message is clear and understood.
We humans tend to take a lot longer — if at all — to understand a message like that. After the initial encounter and the cat-swat, the two creatures slowly develop a truce that most often turns into a close companionship. With the cat as the dominant. Among the cats and dogs I’ve had over the years, I had one female cat named Nikki who almost always slept next to the dog (Rex — a big shepherd-sized mutt), or on top of him as he lay on his side.
The message inside this card is: “The past few years have brought hardship to many, and more animals than ever to the Humane Society of New York.”
That hardship has made life difficult for many many people, and the dependent animals are often the first to suffer the consequences. Animals and children.
Here are a few little lovebugs available for adoption at the Humane Society of New York …
If you don’t have room in your house for another furry creature, you can help by donating something to those organizations that assist, save, rehabilitate and find a new better home away from the cruelty (and stupidity) of the human temperament. Any amount – five bucks, twenty bucks, fifty, a hundred, a thousand; it all adds up and makes a big difference.
Virginia Chipurnoi, President of the Humane in New York sent the following message:
If you have a well-loved pet, think of all the homeless animals who long to have the same good fortune of those animals we own and loved. By supporting the Humane Society’s Animal Emergency Appeal, you will be helping a disadvantaged one whose life needs may be small but who depends on your generosity for its survival.
Back to business. On a Wednesday evening, last month, The 8th Annual Better World Awards was held at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park to benefit Wells of Life, recognizing outstanding humanitarians who are rock stars in the fields of the arts, music and philanthropy who make the world a better place.
Jose Feliciano performed along with Clayton Bryant, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi (the daughter of Prince Albert II of Monaco), Lady Laura and James DeFrances.
The 2018 Honorees were Harry Benson CBE – Humanitarian Arts Award; Diana (Mrs. Wyclef) Jean presented Claudinette Jean with the Humanitarian Helping Hand Award; New York Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright presented Jean Shafiroff with the Humanitarian Philanthropist Award; and Randy Jones of the Village People presented Fred Schneider with the Humanitarian Musician Award. Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, presented Harry Benson CBE. CBS Radio and CNN anchor Rita Cosby and Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, co-hosted the event.
The Wells of Life charity foundation known for their worldwide peacemaking efforts raised funds for building safe drinking water wells in Uganda, in underserved areas where clean, sanitary water is scarce.
The Better World Awards donates to a different charity each year. Among the evening’s guests, besides the honorees, were: Robert Hughes, Managing Director of Christopher Peacock, Ted Harbert — CEO of NBC, Gigi Benson, Felicia Wong —President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, Enrico Bruni, Geoffrey Bradfield, Nancy Paulsen, Dr. Daniel Shasha, Linda Buckley, Richard Birkenhead, Lynn Crystal, Tim Gomes, Martin and Jean Shafiroff, Sharon Bush, B52’s Fred Schneider, Edgar Batista, Michele Herbert, Susan Feliciano, Rita Cosby, Jose Feliciano, Frederick Anderson, Marianna Kulukundis, Randy Jones of the Village People, Jim DeFrances, Kerry Kennedy, Jim Gaines, Chris and Grace Meigher, David Friend, Eileen Otto, Pete Callahan — President of Wells of Life, and Enzo Pazos.
Jean Shafiroff bought a well in her family name in Uganda to help provide clean water. To date, Wells of Life has saved over 4,000 lives.
Past honorees and presenters include Prince Albert II of Monaco, Julian Lennon, Bryan Ferry, Boris Becker, Flavio Briatore, Mr. Elie Saab, Mrs. Roberto Cavalli, Troy Bayliss, Ky-Mani Marley, Denise Rich, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Pamela Anderson, Kweku Mandela, Olivia Gaynor-Long, Kweku Mandela, Kelly Wright, Eva Longoria Baston, Jenson Button, Eddie Jordan, Mark C. Thomas, and Jeanine Mabunda.
Only in New York. On Saturday night, JH went over to the Beacon Theater to see the premiere of prima ballerina Diana Vishneva’s Sleeping Beauty Dreams. The performance is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale fusing performance art, electronic music and real-time digital avatar technology. Diana Vishneva played the role of Princess Aurora while the prince was performed by Marcelo Gomes and his husband Nick Palmquist on alternating evenings.
What did Princess Aurora dream about during her 100-year slumber? Sleeping Beauty Dreams is a journey into her inner world of passions, fears, and temptations. A quest to find her true self. Director and Producer Rem Hass began this production with that question in mind.
Tobias Gremmler brought to life the digital avatars – virtual characters that performed in real time alongside Vishneva. Thijs de Vlieger, of the musical trio NOISIA, composed an electronic music score specially for the production. Lady Gaga’s ‘slime outfit’ creator, Bart Hess, designed textured costumes that interacted with the lighting and digital projections. Edward Clug created contemporary choreography for the Princess, Prince, ensemble, and avatars.
Though Vishneva is internationally adored for her classical performances, she’s been experimenting with modern techniques and artist collaborations. Notably seen in her CONTEXT Festival in Russia and her recent book, Multiverse.
In the audience, holding their breath: Alexis Ratmansky, Allyson Tang, Oliver Berggruen, Judith Hoffman, Sergei Danilian, Ashley Bouder, Joanna and Brian Ffisher, and Elizabeth Segerstrom with Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe.