You know it’s spring in Harlem when you see all of the trees that line both Seventh and Lenox avenues from 110th to 141st streets in full bloom. I’ve learned that the white flowers that first appear on the trees before the green leaves appear are called pear blossoms. Beautifully aligned, the pear blossoms brighten up the cloudiest days, and even though there has still been a chill in the air, the pear blossoms are definitely the sign that old man winter has been put to bed.
Now that spring is in the air, it’s not too soon to plan for summer. For anyone who has or knows of an aspiring young filmmaker, the Summer Lab is offering 12 aspiring filmmakers, aged 13-20, a chance for them to start honing their skills. The Lab is a free, four-week writing and filmmaking intensive workshop designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore the worlds of poetry/spoken word, video production and editing.
While attending the Summer Lab, students work with a writing mentor to create original spoken-word poetry and then turn their poems into original short films. Classes are held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. for four weeks starting July 8. Those interested should go to http://reelworks.org/participate/workshops/the-summer-lab/ to apply. The application deadline is June 10. No filmmaking experience is required. Who knows, we might have another Spike Lee in our midst.
While I wasn’t there because of a scheduling conflict, I did hear that the 12h annual Let Us Break Bread Together Awards Gala, hosted by Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI), was a most coveted event (that means invitations were most sought after). Held at the Prince George Ballroom, located at 15 E. 27th St., the evening marked HCCI’s 28th year of service to the Harlem community. The theme this year was “Building Homes and Transforming Lives.”
True to form, the evening began with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the program. Honorees include Assemblyman and Housing Committee Chair Keith L.T. Wright, recipient of the CFBW Community Service Award; former New York City Comptroller John C. Liu, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award; Maria A. Luna, district leader of the 71st Assembly District; Thomas N. DeCaro, president of Benchmark Title Agency LLC, recipient of the Community Partner Award; and the Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes Jr., senior pastor emeritus of the Riverside Church and president and founder of the Healing of the Nations Foundation, recipient of the Humanitarian Award. NY1 News anchor Dean Meminger served as master of ceremonies.
Coming to town for a weekend visit were Milton and Rebecca Johnson, who is the daughter of retired Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Frank Morton Jr. The couple, who stayed with Keith and Maria Brown and their daughter Azuri, made all of the rounds. Early to rise, they were out for a run around Central Park before having brunch at Boulevard Bistro (one of my faves), where they caught up with their daughter Asia.
That evening, the Johnsons were off to New Jersey for a black-and-white birthday party. There was barely enough time for them to get any shut-eye before they had to catch the train back to Virginia, where they live.
We were happy to join them for brunch, as everyone is excited about their younger sister Catherine’s upcoming nuptials to Charlie Palmer. The wedding is scheduled to take place the end of May on a tiny island off the west coast of Florida near where her father lives so that he may have the honor of giving his baby girl away. Ain’t love grand?
You know how every year the city sponsors something artistic as a way of showing New Yorkers, “Hey, we’re not all about giving parking tickets and collecting taxes”? One year, it was lifelike, decoratively painted cows that were strategically placed around town. One of my favorites were the pianos, because people walking down the street could suddenly stop, play to their hearts’ delight and then go back along their merry way. Another year, there was the waterfall from the Brooklyn Bridge, which I thought was quite amazing. Well, this year is the year of the egg.
Over 250 eggs were dispersed throughout New York City, all of which are part of a Faberge-sponsored treasure trove event. The real treasures were the eggs that were created by artists, architects and fashion designers. These eggs, which were individually and intricately designed, definitely weren’t for cooking. For the most part, they were the size of something the Jolly Green Giant would eat and looked so delicate you didn’t want to get too close to them for fear of really cracking their shells.
These eggs were not dispersed throughout the city but instead auctioned off at a specially held event at Sotheby’s. One guest paid $900,000 for Jeff Koons’ creation, and altogether, the evening raised a very impressive $1.6 million.
Can you imagine? I wondered where someone would find the space to put the egg; but then again, if you can spend that much on an egg, then you must live in a mansion big enough to have some little nook or cranny for the egg to sit in.
While all of this is too hilarious, it gets even better. You will never guess who provided the live entertainment for the evening, so I will tell you—Sam Moore of the legendary Sam and Dave. If you don’t believe me, then you can ask Hosanna Marshall, who was seen enjoying a chocolate Laduree macaroon that, of course, decorated one of the eggs.
Happy birthday to Kendall Flowers, Kendall James, Keith Hanley, Garrett Williams, Artie Phillips and Mary “Ganny” Robinson. Robinson is the mother of Jean DeWees and grandmother of Nina DeWees and Denise Miller. The family celebrated Robinson’s 95th birthday with a lot of the good cheer and well wishes. The same to you all from me.
It was a very eclectic crowd at the New Yorkers for Children Annual Spring Dinner Dance, “New Year’s in April; A Fool’s Fete.” Some of the women were dressed in a version of upscale casual chic, while others were totally chic. The spectrum from short dresses to gowns and everything in between was fully covered.
I don’t even know how much they raised, but I can say that the most elegantly dressed amongst the throngs of people who poured into the Mandarin Oriental were Katia Steward, Seong Hong, Zhanna Raymond, Amara Toure, Crystalann Rodriguez, Sandra Grant and Shavonn Wheeler, who are part of the team of young people in foster care who are advocates and leaders in New Yorkers for Children programs.
Until next week … kisses