A cold and sunny Wednesday, yesterday in New York. High 30s, low 40s; overcoat and scarf time.
A quick lunch with JH at Michael’s before a business meeting. Michael’s was jumping from street to back garden. You can feel the holidays approaching. This is the holiday that represents hope for all mankind. That’s quite a challenge in these times, but nevertheless, the hope is there. The staff certainly was reflecting it from Loreal and Joana at the reception desk to the waitstaff and managers.
Among those at the tables: The distinguished dancer/writer Toni Bentley. Ms. Bentley has written five books, the first being “A Dancer’s Journal” about her life as a member of the corps-de-ballet of the New York City Ballet. She’s an amazing woman.
Meanwhile, the list: Peter Brown was lunching with Warren Hoge; Ketty Maisonrouge with Joyce Green of Chanel; Ed McDonnell and Paul McDonnell — in other words, as the French would say: pere et fils. I use the French to make a distinction: all father and sons should enjoy each other’s company as much as these two guys.
Moving around the room: Lisa Dallos with Edmund Lee and Peter Barbey; John Josephson and Freddie Gershon; Jesse Kornbluth with Wendy Goldberg and Marshall Cohen; Ron Kramer; Geordie Lambros; Peter Schoenfeld; Toni Haber; Richard Jeaneret; Mary Jo Rogers; Sara Beth Shrager; Judgie Graham; Lynn Tesoro; Harold Ford; Robert Grunewald, Philippe Salomon; Anne Milne; Elena Matthews; Michael Christianson; Christopher Dixon; Kathryn Smith, and many many more just like ‘em.
I also had lunch on Tuesday at Michael’s; and again with JH and Eleanora Kennedy, who is the BLOOMS co-chair (with Cathy Ingram) of the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy. Eleanora was filling us in on BLOOMS, the program that helps beautify the Park as well as the spirits of those who have experienced it. You might have had a look at the advertisement on the NYSD.
As it happened, I experienced the honor/gift a couple of years ago. It came as a complete surprise. But I was so flattered and impressed that I framed the acknowledgement that I received one day in the mail. I had no idea that it was a special program that we can all participate in. All I knew was that someone was kind enough to donate daffodil bulbs for the Park in my name. There was something exhilarating about the thought — honored/acknowledged with a gesture of natural beauty.
The mission of the committee is to promote BLOOMS as a gift to help beautify the Park. It is also a perfect gift for all kinds of situations and circumstances — birthdays, engagements, Valentines, Mother’s Day, Father’s; including this holiday coming up. It is a beautiful way to convey gratitude.
You can purchase BLOOMS at $1 per bulb for a minimum of 50 bulbs. The recipient in whose honor the bulbs were purchased and planted receives a certificate (see below) or an e-card with the purchaser’s message. The recipient is notified the same day of purchase — so it can be a last minute purchase — such as a birthday greeting or congratulatory message, or a special moment of praise or affection. And for that our beautiful Park will continue to flourish for all of us.
Back to the business of fund-raising for a good cause. A few weeks ago, last month, on the night of the great (albeit brief) blizzard of snow and ice that took over the town, the NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine held its annual Cabaret benefit dinner at the Park Avenue Armory.
This is a big big event, and spectacular as anything could be when held in the Armory cavernous former drill hall. It was a black tie, with more than 750 attending, storm or no storm. I know there were a lot of doctors in the house. I know there was at least one at every table. The entertainment – which is always a special event with major names – was Earth, Wind and Fire.
Guests joined hosts Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian, and Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, at the event, where the extraordinary achievements, cutting-edge discoveries and world-renowned care happening every day at the institutions were celebrated. The evening raised $4 million.
The event was co-chaired by Helen and Bob Appel, Jessica and Natan Bibliowicz, Gail and David Cohen, Charlotte Ford, Kim and Jeff Greenberg, Peter S. and Mary Kalikow, and Katherine Embiricos Lefrak and Harrison T. Lefrak.
Photographs by Studio Brooke (Cabaret)