What a day for a daydream. The weather has been gorgeous and I hope that you have been out and about enjoying yourself. Ask anyone what they love most about New York and often the reply will be, “The change of seasons,” and I totally agree.
You may recall that I just gave a birthday shout-out to interior designer Elaine Griffin, whom I ran into at Chez Lucienne after not having seen her for quite some time. It seems as though dear Elaine has nonetheless been making the rounds on the social scene, as she was recently seen at Michaels, the downtown “in” spot for those in the know, lunching with Michael Boodro from Elle Decor magazine.
As if there weren’t enough things to worry about, we now have to keep an eye out for genetically modified foods. This includes that fun-loving, best-at-barbecue food, corn on the cob. Genetically modified foods are foods that have been genetically tinkered with in one way or another to preserve shelf life or for some other reason that usually has nothing to do with better health.
The latest craze in combating and avoiding genetically modified foods, weight gain, sluggishness and poor eating habits is the Trim Down Club. Trim Down Club is an online social network club that promotes healthy eating by providing information on diet and nutrition. Creating a healthy balance between carbs and protein, like eating a green vegetable with a bowl of pasta, is just the thing for burning fat and keeping healthy without giving up your favorite food. In other words, the next time you order a pizza pie, order a fresh green salad to go along with it. Even if you are not trying to lose weight, it is always a good idea to try and eat a healthy diet; the life you save may be your own.
Eating heartily (or maybe not) were those who attended the annual Sundown Picnic. There was a morsel or two that didn’t sit quite well with Shirley Cuevas, while Billie Holliday was knocked off her feet. Thankfully, both are doing much better now. Neither Nola Whiteman nor Shirley Scott seemed to notice as they made the rounds of all who look forward to the annual picnic, which must almost be in its 50th year by now.
If there were any mishaps, there’s no need to worry, because the Mid-Manhattan Branch of the NAACP hosted its annual boat ride. They rocked and rolled from the East River to the Hudson. It was certainly a day of frolic and fun, which needs to happen more often. The spring social season ended on a high note with several organizations raising money for their causes before the ever-so-generous supporters dash off for parts unknown for the summer. CancerCare hosted its annual fete at the Plaza Hotel, raising slightly over $400,000, with over 250 in attendance. CancerCare, a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, provides counseling, support groups, educational programs, resource referrals, practical help and financial and co-pay assistance to anyone in need. All services are provided by professional oncology social workers and are offered completely free of charge. To learn more, visit www.cancercare.org or call 8008134673.
The City Parks Foundation hosted the City Parks Foundation Gala at SummerStage in Central Park. Proceeds from the annual event support CPF’s free year-round arts, sports, education and community-building programs, which benefit over 600,000 people in over 750 parks throughout the city’s five boroughs. The gala and concert raised over $1 million.
Honored this year was Bruce Ratner with the 2013 People and Parks Award. We all know Ratner as the man behind the new Barclays Center. On hand to celebrate was Jason Kidd, new coach of the Brooklyn Nets, with Porchesia Coleman, and she looked good. The entertainment included a stunning tribute to Frank Sinatra. Among the performers paying their respects to the “Chairman of the Board,” as Sinatra was affectionately known, were John Legend and Bettye LeVette. The evening’s performance was produced by Michael Dorf.
Of course, we can’t mention the arts or Central Park without mentioning the Public Theater, which sponsors the “Shakespeare in the Park” performances every summer at the Delacorte Theatre. This year’s annual gala honored the late Nora Ephron with a moving tribute paid by actress Meryl Streep. The benefit evening also included a concert performance of “The Pirates of Penzance.” Cast members included Kevin Kline, reprising his Tony Award-winning role of the Pirate King (which, by the way, was first performed at the Delacorte in 1980); Glenn Close; Martin Short; Eric Idle; Jonathan Groff; Montego Glover; Anika Noni Rose; and Norm Lewis.
Happy birthday to all of the June moon babies, including Tony Rogers and Kevin Tarrant.
While it wasn’t their birthday, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce celebrated the kickoff for the 2013 Harlem Week at the Russian Tea Room. Collaborating Harlem with Midtown, discussions reeled around tourism, a tribute to the Charles Mingus Quartet and the lineup of activities that will take place during Harlem Week, which occurs through the month of August. Seen partaking and participating were Ken Knuckles, CEO and president of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; Stephen Byrd, one of the producers of “A Trip to Bountiful”; John Goldman, managing director of Halstead Real Estate Agency; and others too full of bellinis and caviar to mention.
My husband, Charles, and I ushered in the summer solstice (the first day of summer, June 21) as we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We spent the day at the Spa Salon at Gurney’s Inn, located in Montauk, Long Island, followed by dinner at the Palm Restaurant. It was fun recounting the events of our wedding day, when the rain poured down in sheets, yet somehow we never got wet. Ten years later, the sun was shining beautifully, which made Ray Charles’ words come alive: “I’m gonna love you like nobody’s loved you, come rain or come shine. Happy together, unhappy together, and won’t it be fine. Days may be cloudy or sunny. We’re in or we’re out of the money. But I’m with you always, come rain or come shine. Oh yeah.”
Until next week … kisses