The “opening” up

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Lounging behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Central Park. Photo: JH.

Friday, June 19, 2020. It was in the mid- to upper-70s yesterday in New York, and overcast most of the day. Rain was forecast didn’t make it to my part of town. It was a busy New York Thursday.

 “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”  Martin Luther King.

It remains very quiet despite the “opening” up of the city. We have had protest demonstration/marches daily around the 7:30 hour. They congregate in the Gracie Mansion area. You hear them only when they are either arriving or departing. The numbers have dwindled to the low hundreds, if that. After they have passed by, two or three police cars follow slowly and with a distance.

I usually buy some impatiens plants for the terrace in the warm weather. They’re easy to care for and blossom for months on end with just a little watering. Last year, however, for the first time, the impatiens barely blossomed. I was told there was a problem; that’s all I know. When autumn came, I kept one inside to see if it would eventually blossom. No such luck although the plant remained its leaves. Back in April I cut two stems from the plant and put them in this glass with water (had to refill almost daily). I took this photo just as I was about to remove them to pots. In the last couple of weeks they began to show buds. Today, much to my surprise and delight, one of them has flowered! Ahh, success in the garden!

Late in the afternoon, Nina Blue made an appearance on the terrace of a building on Madison Avenue in the 60s and gave a brief concert to people who had gathered while passing by. It felt like New York was back at the wheel.

I had hoped the restaurants would be open by now. More than a hundred days seems like more than long enough. But nope, not yet. I also heard that my lunchtime home away from home, Michael’s restaurant, will remain closed until September. As it was explained to me, this is the slowest part of the year in midtown because it’s vacation time for so many who work in the area. That is true. Although …

I looked up the Diary of this day five years ago, and lo, what should be the subject for this “slowing” time of the year but … re-reading it brought the New York we’ve known …

Thursday, June 18, 2015. Yesterday in New York, the weather warm and the sky was often overcast. But the humidity was low and the dark clouds dropped only a spritz in the early evening. It was a nice uneventful day in New York.

It was Wednesday. I went to lunch with Judy and Peter Price at Michael’s. Judy leaves next week for Paris (where she and Peter keep an apartment on the Ile Ste-Louis). Judy’s National Jewelry Institute is hosting  the first annual Fine Art of Jewelry and Timepieces Awards, a dinner for 200 at the Louvre. 

In the mix that makes Michael’s such a Noo Yawk restaurant were publishers, writers, lawyers, literary agents, investment bankers, movie moguls, journalists, media executives, public relations advisors, foundation heads, novelists producers and real estate brokers. Oh, and comedians. Louis CK was at table with Barry Diller and Scott Rudin. There was laughter. Paul Williams, the songwriter/performer was at table with his partner Tracey Jackson in the book “Gratitude and Trust; Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life” for which they do a frequent podcast. Joining them was Gilbert Gottfried. More laughter. Gillian Tett, the brilliant Financial Times columnist, looked like she was having a serious interview (which is not necessarily so of course, but quite possible). In the center of the room where Da Boyz (missing yesterday – at least from my view) usually sit, Mickey Ateyeh was lunching with Rikki Klieman, the legal correspondent on CBS in the morning who was being interviewed by Diane Clehane for We had a TV weatherman, Nick Gregory; and Tamron Hall, the NBC News national correspondent. And Richard Farley, the Wall Street lawyer who has a new book out, Wall Street Wars, about Now, Right Now. And Michael Clinton, the president of Hearst Magazines who has a new book out too — of photographs he’s taken on in his travels. All closeups of life and nature and things. It’s called “Closeup” and it’s a good Father’s Day present that can do you no harm. Same with Farley’s “closeup” of Wall Street.

The Lunch List:

Julie Hayek
Shari Rollins
Barry Diller with
Scott Rudin and
Louis CK
Gillian Tett
Tom Goodman
Mickey Ateyeh with
Rikki Klieman and
Diane Clehane
Peter Brown
Stan Shuman
Gerry Byrne
Michael Clinton
Gordon Davis
Diane Coffey
Richard Farley
Steven Greenberg
Stanley Mohr
Tracey Jackson with
Paul Williams
Gilbert Gottfried
Glenn Horowitz
Andrew Stein
Sarabeth Schrager with
Judith Bressler
Beverly Camhe
Nick Gregory
Tamron Hall
Vin Cipolla
Pax Quigley
Jay Kriegel
Steven Rubenstein

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