’Tis the season to be jolly, and so the parties go on and on until the break of dawn.
It has been a whirlwind of a season thus far, and I am hoping to just make it through to Christmas Day, and then I can relax. Astrologers have forecasted that Dec. 25 through Jan. 1 will be rough, as the planets will be at each other’s throats.
To think, at a time when there should be peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, we are being advised to lay low, use extreme caution as we travel about and keep calm as tempers (and other objects) are sure to flare when least expected. In fact, the advice for New Year’s Eve is to grab everything and everyone you cherish most and stay home, which sounds like a good idea to me.
Maybe you believe and maybe you don’t, but I thought I should let you know just in case.
Back at the ranch, Bunny Ledford hosted an intimate holiday soiree at the National Arts Club, located on Gramercy Park South. If you weren’t in the holiday spirit before entering the club, you certainly became so when you walked through the doors, as the club was beautifully decorated with all of the holiday trimmings. The buffet table was laden with a delicious array of appetizers, complimented by the carving station and open bar (but of course). There was good music, good friends, laughter and holiday cheer. The only thing missing was Ledford serenading us with a short selection of American pop standards. Awww. Maybe next year.
After having such a wonderful evening, I decided to play hooky the next day and spend time with my favorite girl, whom I allowed to skip school, and off we went to Bryant Park for a fun-filled afternoon at the ice skating rink. Admission is free, and the hot chocolate loaded with whipped cream is addictive. We skated until the early evening when the moon began to rise over the rink.
For those who don’t ice skate but still want to be on the scene, there is a restaurant adjacent to the rink where you can sit back all warm and cozy while watching the skaters go ʼround and ʼround.
Next time, I think I’ll really make a day of it and do both—why not?
Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) put on a fantastic holiday performance featuring the Dorothy Maynor Singers. These young professionals have such a beautiful singing career ahead of them, I am sure Maynor would be proud. The performing students were Alexis Barry, Naomi Christiansen, Zhadee Ford, Kevin Garcia, Yancy Garcia, Jahir Hipps, We’ Ani McDonald, Abreanna Prince, Aaron Ramsey, Alyana Smash, Mikayli Solomon, Allegra Vacin, Yarisbeth Vasquez, Brianna Lord, Taylor Ralph, Safi Tunkara, Jawan Harris, Josiah Fluker-McInnes. Also on the program was Sydney Williams on guitar playing “My Favorite Things.”
The Harlem Globetrotting Shakespeare’s Globe Players did a magnificent job reciting a scene from Shakespeare while tossing the ball back and forth to one another; whomever caught the ball had to recite a verse, picking up from where the last player left off. It was quite a feat, to say the least.
Soloist Sophie Blumstein sang “Winter Wonderland.” Students Cheyenne Emanuel, Ismael Kone and Naomi Dominique Umlauf from the scene study class performed “Sweet Tooth”; it was so funny.
The HSA Prep dance troupe consisted of Deja Anderson, Kendall Carter, Makila Cooke, Jada Hart, Naya Lovell, Khayr Muhammad, Wander Sanchez, Amar Smalls and Brandon Trent. Soloists Jahir Hipps and Alyana Smash performed “The Prayer,” choreographed by Aubrey Lynch. For the finale, the advance jazz combo class performed “So What,” a tune originally performed by Miles Davis. Under the direction of D.D. Jackson, who was also on keys, were Gabrielle Garo (flute, saxophone), Warner Meadows (piano), Christian Smith (congas), Riley Mulherkar (trumpet) and Kyme Greenaway (drums). You can rest assured that if you hire them to provide entertainment at your next fete, they won’t disappoint.
Three cheers go out to HSA CEO Yvette Campbell, who continues to do amazing things at HSA. The spring semester begins Jan. 25 with a full range of classes. If you have a young one in your midst, sign them up. Adult classes are also available.
The mid-Manhattan afternoon computer class would like to take time out to let Denise Woods know how much her class appreciates her and would like to say, “Happy birthday to you.” Happy birthday wishes also go out to Kim Getty and Cyril Poindexter. Get well wishes to Sidney Blake and Hugh Solomon.
Condolences to Carol V. Taylor on the passing of her mother, Ruth Mozelle Taylor, who passed away on Dec. 8, 20 days shy of her 88th birthday. Mother of the late Durinda Taylor and wife of the late Fitzherbert Taylor, Ruth Mozelle Taylor was remembered most fondly at her funeral service held at Unity Funeral Chapel on West 126th Street.
Born in New York City, she was the youngest girl of 12 children. Ruth Taylor attended public schools, and after graduating from Borough of Manhattan Community College, she worked with her husband in their family-owned tailor shop. Eventually, she went on to work as a school secretary for the New York City Board of Education while furthering her formal education at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she received a certificate in pattern-making and clothing design.
Known as a free thinker and activist for the rights of people of African dissent, she was also a consummate globetrotter and spent her vacations traveling the world. Her friends and family described her best as one who put on a tough demeanor but was a fair and loving individual who greatly loved children and would go the distance to aid them. R.I.P.
The Judith Peabody Wellness Center, located at New York Presbyterian Hospital at 53 W. 23rd Street, is now officially open. The Wellness Center provides a full range of services for those suffering from AIDS, domestic abuse and other illnesses.
Judith Peabody was a wonderful woman who cared so much and worked so tirelessly to give support to those who needed it most. Though she is now deceased, her valiant efforts to provide treatment, love and care continue to live on. The fully staffed center is open to all in need and welcomes volunteers, as there is always something to do to help those who are having trouble.
Until next week … kisses