Harlem Week, which is actually Harlem Month, officially kicked off with a master blaster at Grant’s Tomb with a tribute to Stevie Wonder. In attendance were people from around the globe and members of the Harlem community who remain staunch believers in what the Harlem community stands for and what it’s all about.
Sponsored by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and its president and CEO, Lloyd Williams, Harlem Week will include a variety of activities and have something for everyone throughout the month of August. Be sure to check the New York Amsterdam News or visit the Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.greaterharlemchamber.com for a complete listing of events. The offerings this year are really exciting as, like a fine wine, “it just gets better with time.”
Dance Theatre of Harlem co-founder and Artistic Director Emeritus Arthur Mitchell became the second recipient of the Gene Kelly Legacy Award at the Celebration of Dance gala, hosted by the Dizzy Feet Foundation (DFF). The award was presented in conjunction with the Music Center at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. The honor was presented to Mitchell by Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly. It was DFF’s third annual Celebration of Dance gala and has begun to draw some of the biggest names in the industry. The DFF Inspiration Award was presented to Chita Rivera.
Founded by former “American Idol” Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe and choreographer Adam Shankman, DFF is a nonprofit organization that supports dance education across the country. A number of the dancers from competitive reality shows such as “So You think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With the Stars” were also in attendance.
Valerie Kennedy Miller, a member of the Metro-Manhattan Chapter of the Links, threw open the doors to her airy Manhattan abode for brunch as fellow Links members honored Links Alma Rangel and Nissa Walton Booker. Rangel, you see, has assumed alumna status, while Walton Booker is taking an extended leave.
The ladies, who were all festively dressed, shared fond memories and couldn’t say enough in recognition of Rangel and Walton Booker, who both generously shared so much throughout their years of dedicated service. Among those giving three cheers were Alicia Rangel-Haughton, Dr. Marcella Maxwell, New York City NAACP President Hazel Dukes, Elaine Griffin, Toni Fay, Shane Jackson, Dr. Ruth Kennedy and Barbara Martin. Also in attendance was photographer to the stars Margot Jordan. Here is a first. The Stack, the latest cutting-edge modular apartment building, is literally being built with compartments being stacked one on top of the other. Located at 4857 Broadway in the Inwood section of Manhattan, the 38,000-square-foot concrete and steel residential and retail building will be the first of its kind ever built anywhere—well, at least in New York City. Rather than conventionally being built from the ground up, the Stack will consist of 56 separate modules, each manufactured entirely off-site by DeLuxe Building Systems in Berwick, Pa. I guess this will put Berwick on the map, because I’ve never heard of the place.
Upon completion, the modules are packaged and shipped to New York, where they are “stacked” to comprise a seven-story building. Assembled with an eight-man construction crew and a single crane, the complex will consist of 28 individual apartments with 4,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor. Someone might want to speak with the construction union about that.
If you are interested in what’s going on in the Hamptons, well, it’s basically the same ole, same ole. There are cocktail parties for the opening of the antiques show, the interior design show and the library’s author’s book signing show. You know that in the Hamptons, everything is a show. That is, except for Boule Soiree, which is more than a show. It is a good time—no, make that a fabulous time—and it’s all for a good cause. Guests will wine, dine, dance, reflect, meet up with friends and everyone will spread good cheer. Hosted by the Alpha Sigma Boule Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, this is a much anticipated event. Details will follow soon.
For all of the doggy lovers out there, you will be glad to know that the Hamptons isn’t all about people. More than 200 supporters attended the fourth annual Unconditional Love Gala benefitting the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation’s (SASF). WNBC News anchor Chuck Scarborough was master of ceremonies as NBC’s award-winning animal advocate and best-selling author Jill Rappaport and ASPCA animal behaviorist and trainer Pamela Reid, Ph.D, were honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Amongst the auctioned items were a behind-the-scenes tour of the “Today” show by Jill Rappaport which went for $10,000, and a Sintessi diamond poodle pin by Michel Piranesi that went for $5,000. According to SASF, “Proceeds raised from the Unconditional Love Gala help SASF continue to care for over 1,200 homeless animals rescued from the Hamptons each year. Funds raised will also support the shelter’s work with No More Tears Rescue to rehabilitate and find homes for adult dogs rescued from puppy mills; with the Humane Society of Northwest Georgia to take in dogs on death row and find them permanent homes; and with the ASPCA to save dogs from cruelty and disaster situations and place them in safe homes.”
The event was held outdoors, and, luckily, the weather was gorgeous and so were the people, as everyone was dressed in their finest summer attire. And that’s nothing to bark at.
Until next week … kisses