I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree. One good rainstorm and we should be in full springtime effect–lilacs, gardenias, tulips and trees in full bloom. It’s amazing how green everything is turning after a long, hard winter.

Not so amazing is how Northside Center for Child Development continues to do what they do best. That is, caring and responding to children’s needs while praising and encouraging them and their families, especially those most in need of a helping hand. Under the leadership of the most accomplished Thelma Dye, PhD., with the assistance from a devoted staff, the support of those committed to the cause, it’s not so amazing that after 67 years, the Northside Center continues to thrive.

Living the dream of its founders, the pioneering psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Phipps Clark, Northside meets poverty and those most affected by it head-on. The board of directors, Chairman Michael Goldstein and President Susan Patricof, along with husband Alan, never, ever, never, ever, never stop giving their time, energy and fundraising efforts to ensure that Northside’s holistic approach to helping those struggling with emotional, behavioral and educational difficulties succeeds. Is this something to celebrate? Yes, it is, and they celebrated with a gala extraordinaire. But more about that next week.

Also celebrating are those enjoying the splendor of the new Harlem Shake. No, not the crazy dance, but the new restaurant located on 124th Street and Lenox Avenue. It’s big and it’s bright with a menu that is sure to delight. Still holding its own is Sette Panni, which has once again reinvented itself with a menu that is more Italian and less Mediterranean. In other words, there are things on the menu that one can recognize and delight in rather than walk away from, saying “yuck.” I always enjoy the outdoor dining, and at 120th Street, it’s a little less hectic than Chez Luciene at 125th. However, Chez has a special fish menu on Thursdays that all fish lovers should run to indulge in.

For art lovers everywhere, the Park Avenue Armory hosted Art’s Night Out, an evening of eclectic art, with artifacts, discussions and plenty of mixing and mingling from hither, thither and yon. Represented were artistries from the Metropolitan Museum, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Guggenheim Museum, the Junior Associates of the Museum of Modern Art, the Young Fellows of the Morgan Museum & Library, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the American Friends of the Louvre, the New York Historical Society, the Asia Society, Carnegie Hall Notables, El Museo del Barrio, the Guild Hall of East Hampton, the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Royal Oak Foundation, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Save Venice, the Museum of the City of New York, the Rubin Museum of New York, the American Folk Art Museum Alvin Ailey and the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.

What I want to know is where was the table for the Studio Museum of Harlem, which was so conspicuously absent? If they weren’t there, was it really a show? Well, we can ask Tiffany Frasier and Derek Brown. Frasier was dressed perfectly for the occasion with a simple, blue and white-striped floor-length dress. The stripes on the top, which was strapless, were horizontal, while the strips on the skirt were diagonal. She wore a short, navy blue blazer with it and just looked great. Brown, who also kept it simple, wore a grey blazer and a white shirt (no tie) with a dark grey vest. Charming couple.

The Children’s Storefront held its annual spring gala, “A Night for Changing Lives,” where more than a million dollars was raised to benefit the Storefront. Head of school Wendy Reynoso was on hand, as were the Storefront Choir and WABC reporter Kemberly Richardson, who was emcee for the evening event. The Children’s Storefront is an independent, tuition-free school in Harlem, located on 129th Street between Park and Madison avenues.

The school’s mission is committed to providing a comprehensive education to children with varied academic strengths from preschool through eighth-grade. The work is grounded in the conviction that every child deserves the opportunity for an excellent education. The gala co-chair was Marcus Samuelsson of the infamous Red Rooster restaurant, where President Barack Obama held his infamous fundraiser. Samuelsson was in attendance with his wife, Maya Haile, whom I’ve never seen before (I didn’t even know he was married) and is quite beautiful.

Greetings from Deloris Coombs, who, as I’m sure you all know by now, has been living in Virginia. Wanting to live closer to her son Doug, Coombs relocated from New York and its social scene a couple of years ago. While she is quite content with the community where she resides, she does have one complaint: Where’s the beef? In other words, the complex is over-populated with females, which doesn’t particularly make for a very interesting social hour. Perhaps they can bus some men in from one of the neighboring towns.

Happy birthday to Artie Phillips, Maria Tang, Sandra Carrion and her son, Peter Carrion.

You might want to know that the 14+ Foundation, a New York City-based charitable organization formed in 2012 whose mission is to develop and build schools and orphanages for African children in rural communities, held a small gathering at the newly opened Carbone to support the cause. All of New York’s heavy hitters were there. Well, maybe not all, but those who were present had enough deep pockets to make up for those who weren’t.

Proceeds from the benefit will support the Chipakata Children’s Academy in Zambia, Africa, the first school created by the 14+ Foundation, which is breaking ground next month. Considering the current state of New York City public schools, this bit of information could very well infuriate you, but as I always say, you have to know what’s going on in the world.

The 31st annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon, hosted by the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy, always held in a tent set up in the Conservatory Garden, raised a record $3.3 million. Known as the “Hat Luncheon” because everyone dons a hat, this festive affair is a major fundraiser for the Women’s Committee, with funds mainly going toward maintenance of the park.

Honored were Jenny and John Paulson, who most recently pledged $100 million to the conservancy. I only mention it because it is, after all, Central Park. Plus, Evelyn Cunningham was always in attendance at what has become known as the most popular and sought-after ticket on the spring luncheon calendar in New York. While the guest and committee members are composed of some of the most powerful, influential and richest women in New York, who is more powerful and influential than our beloved Cunningham? May she rest in peace.

Until next week … kisses