The beginning of October has brought beautiful weather, with days so lovely that it is hard to believe the rest of the world is at war. It is sometimes hard to imagine that the devastation, suicide bombings, genocide and other frightening atrocities that fill the daily news are actually occurring when one looks up at the blue skies, feels the warmth of the fall sun and enjoys the city.
The classiest new restaurant to open of late has to be Barawine. You know something is going on because on any given evening, and especially on the weekends, there is always a bustling crowd. While I would love to paint a picture of how decorous the interior is with its wine bottle-lined walls and how perfect the seating is for intimate conversations, this is one you have to see for yourself.
The menu is basically seafood, featuring, for example, poached lobster and salmon. However, they also offer a variety of cheese plates that are simple yet tasty and perfect to munch on. As tempted as I was to give it a try, I stuck with the tried and true and ventured from the northeast corner of 120th Street to the southeast corner to Settepani. My mouth was watering for the tuna salad, served on a bed of lettuce and garnished with a couple of slices of avocado and mango on the side. However, the aroma of the spaghetti Bolognese wafting through the air quickly changed my mind, and I’m glad it did; the portion was just enough and tasted delicious. Mamma mia.
Congratulations to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who was honored recently by the Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities Inc. The tribute, Celebrating Helen Marshall: The Queen of Queens, was held at Terrace on the Park in Flushing and acknowledged Marshall for her “extraordinary efforts in building and strengthening Queens.” The event was especially relevant because this is Marshall’s last year in the elected office.
Elmcor, which represents East Elmhurst and Corona, Queens, believes that all of Queens is “a better place to live, work and raise a family as a direct result of Helen’s years of public service,” referring to her as a remarkable woman. Also being honored by the Bronx Chapter of the NAACP was Burmadine Hines [ED NOTE: Is that name correct?], who was celebrated for her tireless work, dedication and strong ambitions as an advocate for justice. No justice, no peace.
Here are the October birthdays: Bessie Johnson, Julia Sarjent Mitchell, Langston Williams, Roger Daniels, Richard “Fat Dicky” Stevens, Jamie Foster and far too many Libras to mention. You can run into quite a few of them at the Tate’s Libra bash. The Virgo bash was held at Gran Piatto d’Oro, 1429 Fifth Ave. between 116th and 117th streets, with a live performance by R&B songstress Tahayah Lewis. Of course, at Gran Piatto, you can enjoy the Bob Tate Special for only $11.95, and as always, music was by DJ Frank Nitty. I’m pretty sure you can look for the same this month.
Now that the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly has concluded and the president has come and gone—an event that was hardly noticeable uptown but a traffic nightmare downtown— things are pretty much back to normal. Did you know that the main channel of the East River was closed off to all boat traffic during U.N. week? The only boats seen afloat were the police boats that redirected any maritime navigators who happened to sail into the forbidden waters.
The U.N. session couldn’t possibly end without an evening of awards and delight. Accepting that honor was South-South News, which hosted the 2013 South-South Awards. The evening event acknowledged governments, organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to the South-South organization.
The president of the United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador John Ashe, greeted more than 700 guests, including Ambassador and Head of South South News Francis Lorenzo; Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Baldwin Spencer; Naomi Campbell; Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama and His Holiness the Gyalwang Drupka. Former South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graça Machel, received the Humanitarian Achievements award. Daughter Zindzi Mandela and daughter-in-law Josina Machel accepted on their behalf.
Other guests included football player Plaxico Burress; basketball player Morris Peterson; Sibylle Eschapasse; President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla Miranda; Elaine Sargeant; the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Baharain Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa; Dr. Christine Borelli; Cassandra Seidenfeld; Catherine Malandrino; Christopher Pape; Nicole Noonan; Unik Ernest; Sharon Bush; James Fairchild; Fahad Ghaffar; Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin; and Hedy Klineman. Miss USA, Erin Brady, served as hostess while the “Princess of Africa” Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Grammy-nominated duo Les Nubians performed during the awards ceremony.
Alexis Welch and Amar’e Stoudemire, Grant and Tamia Hill, and Hope Dworaczyk and Robert Smith all looked absolutely smashing at the opening season of the Metropolitan Opera. I once read that Stoudemire had a personal dresser who chose the appropriate clothing, styles and fits for his particular body type. Just because he is tall doesn’t mean he can’t look good. Well, the dresser should get a really good bonus because Stoudemire and his companion were beyond words. They looked stunning, the best I’ve seen any couple look in quite some time. Very ohh la la.
Also looking good was our very own Audrey Bernard, whom I will never forget for giving me one enticing negligee at my bridal shower and again for giving my daughter and I her seat at the screening of “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.” Bernard was among the guests at the book party, hosted by Kathryn Chenault for author Cameron Silver, who was celebrating his new book, “Decades: A Century of Fashion.” When Chenault, who is loved by so many, hosts a party, she barely has to say “come,” because the crowd is already there.
Joining in for the fun was a very eclectic group, including her designer friend b Michael, Mark-Anthony Edwards, Cicely Tyson, Debra Lee, Deborah Roberts with husband John Singleton, Amelia Cogunlesi, Pamela Newkirk, Thelma Golden, Marva Smalls, Amsale Aberra, Jessica Betts, Gail Ahye, Lois Betts, Tanya Williams, Joy and Regis Philbin, Karen Phillips, Jill Bright, Diane Thompson, Lydia Carlston, Debra Martin Chase, Valentin and Yaz Hernandez, and Ann-Marie and Paul MacFarlane, who looked so cute and lovey-dovey amongst the cross-generational crowd. It was the perfect affair to close out the month of September.
Until next week … kisses