Harlem's on the rise
Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 2/28/2013, 3:19 p.m.
Imagine my surprise while riding the 101 bus across 125th Street--I couldn't believe my eyes: The Gap Outlet Store has opened.
"When did this happen?" I exclaimed. Where have I been? Inch by inch, 125th Street is becoming what it always used to be, a major commercial corridor, with stores and shopping for everyone. They're lining up, one by one, side by side, just as they did in the olden days. Joining the enterprise is Shell's Bistro, located on Fifth Avenue and 132nd Street, which has an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch and live jazz at 6 p.m. It's a must; check it out.
In continuing celebration of the Year of the Snake, the Philharmonic Orchestra held its second annual Chinese New Year Gala, raising over $800,000. The evening began with a traditional dragon dance along the Lincoln Center promenade, followed by a cocktail hour, topped off with dinner and concluding with a concert in true Chinese tradition inside Avery Fisher Hall. It was a little bit of yin and yang with performances by Herbie Hancock and Peking opera star Yan Wang, among others.
Meanwhile, the annual winter gala for the Museum of the City of New York, held this year at the Pierre Hotel Grand Ballroom, raised roughly $500,000, benefiting its children's program for New York City school children. Good cause and good party. The food was great, the speeches short and the music was by DJ David Chang. The crowd was mainly cliquish, as everyone knows everyone, with only a few newbies sprinkled here and there to keep it interesting. However, a good time was had by all, so what the heck?
Are you ready for this? Just when you think there is an organization, benefit, gala and committee for everything, another one pops up. This time, it's in recognition of the turtle. Yes, that little creature that we love to watch and the soup we refuse to eat. Indeed, the first annual Turtle Ball was recently held at the Bowery Hotel. It brought out a few heavy hitters, where everyone had their own personal turtle story or, if nothing else, philosophy. What does a turtle make you think of?
Seeing as how I am too much of a scaredy cat to have a pet that's bigger than the palm of my hand, growing up, I always had a pet turtle and a pet fish. Until they became listed on the endangered species list, you were able to buy them at the pet store. To me, the turtle was always a safe little creature. He was so cute when he stuck his head out to chomp on a piece of lettuce, and just plain adorable when he snuggled his little head into his shell for a long winter's night. I recall one day taking my turtle to the doctor's office, located on the lobby floor of my building, after he hadn't been moving for awhile, I thought perhaps he was sick. "Looks like he's dead," the doctor replied; and off he went to turtle heaven.