If you had been there, you would have seen Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Assemblyman Keith Wright and the Rev. Al Sharpton all in the same place at the same time. You would have also seen all of the ladies who lunch dressed to perfection, the men dashing and charming as ever-just everyone who is everyone and too civic-minded to mention.
Where is this, you chant? At the NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch’s annual luncheon, but of course. Don’t say I didn’t tell you about it-I gave plenty of heads-up notice. Needless to say, it was a smash, with an exceptional turnout. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon.
Among all of the deserving honorees, Vy Higginson was especially noted for the work she is doing with underserved teenagers. Her Mama Foundation uses the gift of song to assist teenagers with their daily trials and tribulations by helping them find their singing voices, giving them a chance to express themselves by singing their blues away. And it works.
Not stopping there, the branch will host the New York State 75th annual Diamond Jubilee convention beginning Friday, Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. and running through Sunday. President Benjamin Todd Jealous will be the guest speaker at the Saturday luncheon, the cost of which is $50, and Chairwoman Roselyn Brock will be the guest speaker at the Saturday evening awards dinner, which is a little more costly at $65 but not that much. The Friday evening dinner, which is quite affordable at only $20, will kick off the weekend of celebration.
All events will be held at the Westin Times Square hotel and convention center. For more information, call (212) 749-2323.
But wait! Hold everything. They’re not finished yet. The NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch/Symphony Space street fair will also take place on Oct. 9, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., from 86th to 96th Street. I’m not sure if this will be held on Broadway or West End Avenue, as the notice didn’t say. However, if you get anywhere near the vicinity, I’m sure you will find it, along with food, entertainment by Michael Gray, shopping and fun.
Condolences to the family of Johnny Jackson, whose wife, Sonia, passed away. To the family of Irene Johnson, whose husband and father of daughter Alfrey passed away. Happy birthday to Paul Silver (all that glitters isn’t gold; sometimes it’s Silver!); Michael Dutton, Carol Chaoui, Brad Johnson, Julia Mitchell, Elinor Johnson and Nina DeWees.
Yes, my little Julia has turned 6. Time flies. This year we decided to have her birthday party at her favorite venue: the playground. In attendance were Autumn Rattray, Jordan Bracey, Kendall Tillary, Alexander and Rowen Olatoye.
The children brought their scooters and skates, and we had games to play and balloons. Other children in the park joined in and, oh boy, what fun they had.
It was strictly a water party as Mommy got a big tub and filled it with ice, and nips of Poland Spring were plentiful and available for all. Our good friend Mark Feurgeson, who also does excellent landscaping and any other around-the-house things that need to be done, grilled the best franks and hamburgers.
And what would a birthday party be for the birthday girl without a Princess Tiana birthday cake? It was not only beautiful but it tasted good too. Last year, her party was held in our apartment and orders from Charles were “Never again.” So the playground was the perfect alternative-and free! Next year, we’ll do something better, promise (I hope).
This just in from the Winery, located on 116th Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Having a dinner party? Need stemware? The Winery is now renting stemware to help make your event complete. Please inquire within.
Speaking of events, I am hosting the Hillbillies’ first meeting of the season this Saturday. Charles and I spent all last weekend cleaning, moving the furniture around and making everything look totally festive. I’ve found my favorite serving pieces, the music is all lined up (thank goodness we have a three-disc CD player that I can put on repeat) and it’s all a go-except for the food preparation, cooking and serving.
I won’t have any help on this one, as Charles is skipping town to attend, the New York State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Conference, to be held in Saratoga Springs. Not to worry though-as the daughter of a socialite, I’ve been through these hosting events plenty of times before. It’s a lot of work, but what are you going to do?
For the menu, I’m going for an East Indian theme: curried chicken, yellow rice, mango chutney, olives and coleslaw (OK, so the coleslaw isn’t East Indian, but it rounds the taste buds out). I’m also adding a slab of ribs with my special barbecue sauce on the side for those who indulge.
I have a great East Indian CD that I’ll play during dinner and the only thing I can’t decide on is whether to serve naan or cornbread. I’ll let you know next week. For dessert, it’s make-it-yourself strawberry shortcake, an idea I got from Bill Freeman. Wine and soda will be the beverages of choice. Wish me luck.
Until next week…kisses.