Cosmopolitan Review April 24-30, 2014
Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 4/24/2014, 1:49 p.m.
Condolences to the Paterson family on the loss of patriarch Basil Paterson. His professional achievements have been well touted, but I remember a few personal things about him as well. Paterson was a familiar face at the Saturday evening service at St. Charles Borromeo Church. He, along with his wife, Portia, was a frequent guest at the Hillbillies’ annual Christmas party. He had the nicest family you ever wanted to meet, which includes sons David and Daniel, daughter-in-laws Michele and Eloise and grandchildren Ashley, Alex, Basil and Carter. He was a staunch Harlemite, the ultimate gentleman, and he always had a smile on his face.
Noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker, formerly of “America’s Next Top Model” and now on “The Face” with supermodel Naomi Campbell, and Dominic Chianese, better known as Uncle Junior from “The Sopranos,” were both in attendance at the 17th annual Bergh Ball, which was hosted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and held at the Plaza Hotel. The theme of this year’s black-tie event was “House of Paws.” The ball is named after Henry Bergh, who in 1866 became founder of the ASPCA. Proceeds from the ball are directly used to benefit homeless, abused and abandoned animals across the United States.
The ASPCA was established just days after the New York Legislature passed legislation to combat cruelty to animals. Following the example set by Bergh, both the New York and the Massachusetts Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children came into effect. To think legislation against cruelty to animals was passed prior to legislation against cruelty to children. Ay yai yai. Anyway, also seen at the ball was Alicia Quarles. Even though she was elegantly dressed in a ball gown, she wasn’t too proud to hold a pooch in her arms.
Finally, I made my way to the Cove, located on Lenox Avenue at 127th Street, for a networking party hosted by E.J. Calvin and boy oh boy (meaning the same as “ay yai yai”) did I have a good time. As I walked down the narrow, neon-lit hallway before I entered the main room, I got the feeling that I was walking into a 1920s speakeasy, only updated. I almost expected to have to say the password before I could enter.
Probably most like the early 1900s, once inside, the joint was jumping. The dimly lit bar area was fully stocked. Flat screens were posted at either end so if you weren’t accompanied by anyone, you didn’t have to sit there looking out of sorts. I got to watch a bit of the Knicks game as they were getting clobbered by Toronto. I don’t know the final score, but if they won that game, it was a miracle.
Many of the patrons were ordering from the menu, which had quite an offering. I had eaten before I left the house, so I wasn’t particularly hungry, but I have to say that the French fries did look tempting.
Past the bar was the lounge area, a separate little room that was a tad bit dimmer than the bar, but I kind of liked it that way; who needs blaring lights when you’re trying to be cool? I did see two familiar faces—Michael Williams and Bill Etheridge Jr., who is now working at Douglas Elliman on Eighth Avenue. Etheridge happily announced he’s married and the proud father of a baby girl. How sweet. I recall meeting the elder Bill Etheridge years ago when he worked in the court system; he was a really nice guy. Also on board was Jean Parnell, because we had both received invites from Victoria Horsford. We laughed as we both agreed that when Victoria calls, you come running.