Wednesday, December 31, 2008

JACQUIE AICHE’s well-priced bling brings cheer for the New Year

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, courtesy of HY Publicity and from

It’s been a tough year and a harrowing fall/winter as anyone who’s in retail and fashion is all too well aware. We can’t wait to usher out the old year and in keeping with the climate, are having a laid-back “un-New Year’s gathering” rather than “party”. That’s not to say that a little bit of WELL PRICED HAND CRAFTED BLING ISN’T IN ORDER THOUGH, and that’s just what JEWELRY DESINGER, JACQUIE AICHE provides.


Ms. Aiche offers a head-turning number of groupings that combine18 and 14 karat gold and sterling silver, precious and semi-precious gemstones; diamonds, rubies, emeralds and pink tourmalines blended with organic materials; such as minerals, rocks and fossils.
Some pieces are as low as the $200 range, such as a 14k yellow gold and CZ peace sign necklace.

WHAT’S UNIQUE: The designer blends elements from her Egyptian and Native American upbringing, which is present in the serpent pieces. Cleopatra would have worn them, had they been available @ 40B.C.

Jacquie’s list of celebrity and professional clients is growing quickly, and includes: Halle Berry, Sheryl crow, Ashlee Simpson, Daisy Fuentes, Alex von Furstenberg, Ryan Haddon, Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill and Christin Cavallari. The pieces have been worn by stars on TV and scored magazine features. Next time, you watch an episode of “Las Vegas,” “Brothers and Sisters,” and “Charmed,” keep your eye peeled for Jacquie’s pieces.


Bettina Duncan at fred segal
Santa Monica CA 90401
American Rag

For additional stockists and information, visit the official website,

Monday, December 29, 2008


Words, Judith Ecochard

We braved the throngs of humans shopping the massive midtown Macy’s ---to gather a little Chrimanukah spirit of our own.

And then we checked out a new fashion showroom---- which we love in this economy.

One line that we found fetching was the just launched Top Secret Undercover Bodywear. (It should sell well with retail prices of$35 and up---and BTW Scoop retail chain scooped it up).

WHAT IT IS: A collection of six more than just bra tops - that come in strapped and tubed versions…is available in loads of colorful fabrics and sexy lace-for day/ night wearability.

The stretchy/comfy supportive Top Secret collection is meant to be seen underneath deep v-neck shirts, sweaters and jackets for gals rockin’ that Britney midriff look. Mercifully, skinny and more hefty types will love the fit.

WE LOVE: How effortless the Top Secrets can really glam up an outfit. Plus we ate so much this holiday season; it’s nice we can leave a button un-buttoned, for now.

PLUS: Cool kitschy retro packaging. Cute names like "Shine On Me" and "Sexy Back"


Monday, December 22, 2008

INSIDE CASA CASUARINA – Better known as Gianni Versace’s Beach House

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images from the official website,
Additional Images, VGK
Although Casa Casuarina now belongs to telecommunication tycoon, Peter Loftin, and is now a Private Hotel/Club but it will forever be known as “the Versace Mansion” and it’s unlikely that tourists will ever stop posing in front of its wrought iron gates.

Gianni Versace’s “Beach House” has always served as a source of inspiration, most recently when we rebuilt our house. Like Jonathan Adler, Versace believed in color and mixing together whatever he pleased – and it worked.

The mansion was named after the hardy CASUARINA tree that survived after the devastating 1926 hurricane, which wiped out much of what is now South Beach.

1930: Mr. Alden Freedman builds Casa Casuarina with his son, Daniel. In the exterior courtyard, there’s a brick taken from the Christopher Columbus mansion in Santo Domingo.
He originally built it as a 32-room hotel. Things have come full-circle, and today Casa is once more a hotel.
1992: Gianni bought Casa and spent 2 years having it remodeled.
1994 – 1997: Gianni lives in Casa, sharing it with sister Donatella and her family for 2 of these years.
1997: Gianni is shot by serial killer, Andrew Cunanan, in front of his gate on his way back from his daily morning coffee run to the nearby News Café.
2002: Peter Loftin buys Casa from Donatella. Mr Loftin lives in one of the house’s rooms, and manages the private club/hotel from there.

To learn more about Gianni’s murder, the A&E Biography presentation provides viewers with an excellent summary of Andrew Cunanan and his involvement in the Versace murder. The video is available on

For those of you who wonder what a house like this costs, try $25million. That’s what Mr. Loftin paid Donatella Versace in 2002, NOT including the furniture. She sold the furniture in New York for $25 million and donated the proceeds to charity. She kept only once piece for herself – the solid gold toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom, just of the courtyard.
Gianni bought the house for “only” $3 million and put $30,000,000 into renovating it.
Why so high a price tag? You pay for quality and Gianni didn’t cut any corners.

- A front entrance with FLORIDA CORAL, which is no longer available – at any price
- Gianni designed EVERYTHING that went into the house. Home collections he designed are based on and correspond to particular rooms in the house.
EG: Madonna’s room aka “the La Mer Suite” has items in it from Gianni’s LA Mer Collection. This bedroom was formerly Donatella Versace’s room. She only lived in the house for 2 years.

- THE MOSAICS – they’re all from Fontini, Italy. Fontini is the oldest maker of mosaics in the world, and the most expensive. The Pool and pool area are stupendous examples of what excellent taste and money can achieve. The pool floor is composed of 1,000,000+ pieces, all shipped from Italy.
- THE COUTURE ELEMENT: Each room was worked on by a different Italian artist.

- THE VERSACE COLORS: blue, gold, yellow, and a little bit of [blood] red.
- 95% of Casa remains today as it was when Gianni Versace lived there.

According to our Art Deco Tour Guide, [a few months earlier] under Daniel’s watch, the house is “party central”, as it was decades later, when Gianni lived there.

Our tour guide, Paola, started our 1-hour + tour from just inside the gates.
Back in the day,

She led us through the downstairs, which included:
-Gianni’s Toilette
- Gianni’s former kitchen [now a comfy masculine bar/lounge]
- Gianni’s former gym, now a lounge with original opium beds from Persia and red & gold carpets designed by Gianni.
- The pool area and Kids’ playroom [actually a rotunda off the pool that provides shade from the hot Florida sun].
- The La Mer aka Madonna’s Suite
- The Baroque aka Elton John’s Suite
- The Parrot Room, formerly Allegra Versace’s room. It was given this name because of her fondness for birds and for the color pink. She was 5 years old when she was gifted this room by her Uncle Gianni.
You can stay in Allegra’s former room for $2,000 a night.
*We were not able to visit Gianni’s former room, as a guest was staying there.

FUN FACT: Portraits abound through-out the 32 room, but there is only ONE blonde woman immortalized in the paintings, all the rest were brunettes.

The Observatory Lounge. The roof will be opened into a bar/lounge, which includes the 4th floor “observatory” cupula.

Many areas are “members only”.
Initiation fee: $50,000. From there on, a $2,000 monthly fee.
Membership entitles you to invitations to “exclusive parties frequently attended by celebrities and jet set”.
For those who merely want to spend the night, there are 10 rooms available to non-members as well as the opportunity to eat at the restaurant.

1116 Ocean Drive, Miami, Florida
tel: 305- 672-6604
*If you decide to take the tour, ask for Paola, she’s extremely knowledgeable about all things Versace.
PRICE: $65/person, the tour ends with a mimosa [included] in the downstairs lounge.
To view additional images and for further images, visit



Words, Judith Ecochard, Imgaes courtesy of Paul Gerben

December 11th, 2009

Allsteel Inc. Showroom, Park Avenue South, New York

“Making conscience lifestyle choices is not a fad, nor a trend, but a shared responsibility for all of us as stewards of this planet to uphold”

A ‘green’ fashion industry mash-up last week- guaranteed a lively discussion on the current state of sustainable fashion- including words on the economic downturn’s impact on designers, retailers and consumer spending...and how the garment/textile industries can “create pathways towards” meaningful change.

We’ve met many of the dedicated professionals at this event prior-including the moderator Barbara Kramer, co-founder of the well attended bi-coastal tradeshow Designers & Agents (that includes the sustainable trade event, the “Green Market”),

Giusy Bettoni-a textile industry veteran who founded Creativity Lifestyle And Sustainable Synergy showrooms and resource centers of eco-textiles --- with Sandy MacLennan-himself a creative force in all things fabrics including Innovation Laboratory that develops unique textile pattern designs using the latest low impact digital printing techniques and eco-sensible inks imprinted on a wide range of organic cloths, eco designer and materials consultant Bahar Shahpar who partners with the aforementioned in The Four Hundred-an eco-design showroom, and activist/model/entrepreneur Summer Rayne Oakes.

Acknowledging, “that a change needs to take place – a change towards efficiency, innovation, and more responsible use of our resources…” the panel touched on issues such as the now willing consumer who gets the social and environmental issues of the 21st century, the “green” aspects of the manufacturing and delivery processes, including energy needs, innovative technological research practices, the adverse impact of the fashion biz on developing nations, and successful solutions that are out there- with respect to raw materials and packaging.

Mercifully, fashion forward and stylish garb abounds IMHO.

The challenge of affordability, especially in this economy… and availability of desirable sustainable/eco textiles – are the key issues manufacturers and designers now have to deal with.

Most interestingly for us was Rayne Oakes (collaborating with PAYLESS!!!) remarks on the creeping “boredom” of all things green, and the need to create a new vocabulary that excites the consumer. Given that many magazines have dropped their “green” issues …we think she hit on a new reality that hasn’t been talked about.

The ‘green washing’ phenomena of ‘talking the talk but not walking the walk’…was also noted…and the role media plays in sniffing out the fake claims.

And given the nationalities on the panel, the US vs. Europe’s long history of eco efforts and direct government incentives- were also discussed. Fittingly, Obama’s commitment to new energy efficiency was cheered.

Shahpar finished the panel with a fashionable blurb on how eco-textiles have evolved.
“You can see in weave and color and style and drape there are infinite possibilities and that is the change we hope to bring to the marketplace and completely debunk the myth that producing fabrics that are competitive, that are aesthetically beautiful, are high quality and technically perform well, that you cannot do it sustainability. The capability is there.”

And that makes us ☺.

FYI: Other participants, included Sergio Sessini of CadicaGroup a labels’manufacturer, Emanuele Bertoli of Italian based BerBrand that’s the sole company in the world producing
sustainable buttons in Mother of Pearl, and Paolo Garotta of Relight, a renewable energy developer, and Elinor Averyt of LEAF an organization setting the standards for putting a unifying labeling (certification) program into place..

SPECIAL THANKS: Beyond yummy ‘farm-to-table’ catering by Silkstone Bespoke Events-an environmentally friendly event producer founded by chef Ben Towill and party designer Phil Winser. Naturally, a compost bin and the bio-degradeable utensils used = nice touches.

ABOUT ALLSTEEL, Inc. (and we liberally quote from the press release)…
Allsteel designs, builds and delivers progressive and relevant workplace furniture solutions. Products are thoughtfully designed to solve real problems, and its members are resourceful and committed to addressing customers’ business and social goals. The company has Resource Centers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Washington, D.C., and Toronto, ON. For more information about Allsteel, visit

C.L.A.S.S. New York, USA
286 Spring Street, Suite 202, New York, NY 10013
Bahar Shahpar
PH +1 212 206 8319
C.L.A.S.S. Milan, Italy
Corso Venezia, 35, 20121 Milano
Giusy Bettoni
PH +39 0276018402
Antonio Lettieri
PH +39 0276018402
C.L.A.S.S. London, UK
1 Ezra Street, London E2 7RH
Sandy MacLennan
PH +44 020 7729 4749

Friday, December 19, 2008


Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images of Oribe & product, VGK
Images of Oribe's fashion shoots in W, V Magazine, and Vogue Italia from respective magazine websites and
Yes, we’ve had to wait a while for this line to come out, but it’s true that “good things are worth waiting for”.

We liked the old product line, Oribe had in the nineties – the impossible to get out glitter colored hair pomades and the pink pomade remover in pepto bismal pink that came in a dish soap container. All the products had fun cartoon-y labels of Oribe by New York based artist, Alvaro, on them, making them collectibles. [We still have ours – in green, and black in our medicine chest]. Alvaro's gorgeous oversize fantasy paintings of Oribe and JLo and other nymphs as well as superhero cartoons of Oribe and friends are an integral part of the decor of the Miami salon.

A whole new color line with packaging that's a cross between Hermes and Gianni Versace.

“Quality, not luxury. Luxury is out, it’s not what’s happening now”, says Oribe.

Although Oribe’s soft launching the product, thanks to his considerable clout in the industry, there’s already a full page editorial, with Christy Turlington no less, in January Vogue.

On a pre-Xmas holiday to Miami, after getting our hair dyed the same color as Victoria Beckham by Master Colorist David, we had the great good luck to chat with Oribe about some of the new products. Better still, he gave us a one-to-one tutorial on how to use them!

Oribe rubbed in a dollop of “Rock Hard” pomade in our hair, which gave it the spikiness we were after and a wallop of gloss.

Givaudian, the world's largest maker of fragrances and flavors – “only the best of the best” said Oribe.

To shop the line & for more information, visit Oribe's official website,">
The Oribe Salon is located at 1627 Euclid Avenue @ Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Florida.
Tel: 305-538-8006



Words, Judith Ecochard

While strolling down an unremarkable stretch of Midtown Manhattan’s West 58th Street –lined with small scale townhouses and office buildings… we were thinking about how little we knew/expected from Seasonal, a new Austrian-German restaurant and weinbar…spatial and cuisine wise.

Well we had a ‘wow’ moment as soon as we walked into the elegant, somewhat art gallery vibe (but warm and inviting) establishment.

Because the gleaming white walls adorned with striking artwork, softly illuminated with ethereal lights in the shape of branches, the cozy white and brown leather banquets, a (full) wooden ‘wein’bar that inhibiters will want to linger at, a barely heard ambient music soundtrack, and the beautifully ‘accessorized’ settings of clean, contemporary tableware and linen…was an oasis.

At once calming… and buzzing with the excitement of an insiders’ enclave.

We recommend the general public get in on this eatery - the superlative quality of the food is more than equal to the “eating out as an event” conjured up by the experienced chef/partners Wolfgang Ban and Eduard Frauneder.

Feeling like privileged sophisticates- after a warm greeting- we were graciously escorted past an eclectic crowd of poshly dressed Europeans (who seemed to reside here-not tourists), urban hipsters, and stylishly turned out couples of a certain (older) age who were probably way cooler than us…to our spacious table.

The menus…both the wine list and the food kind, had mouth watering selections that were both familiar and not- to our American/Irish/French sensibilities.

To start off… an amuse-bouche of wild boar and procuitto, and a sliver of gluttonous pâté artfully served with a triangle of toast, was delicious according to our meat-eating companion.

We couldn’t devour our starters-a fresh wild king salmon carpaccio with a poached quail egg and honey mustard cream, and sumptuous sea scallops with red beet butter, black trumpet mushrooms and fresh horseradish- fast enough…

And we were so not sharing …not even a smidgen of a taste… too, too good.

Next up were well-timed entreés - as much a feast for the eyes as they were for our palettes.

A classic Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet) with tasty crescent potato-cucumber salad and homemade lingonberrie compote- was perfectly cooked, surprisingly “light” and a fitting choice for cold weather dining.

We also experienced a little bit of heaven after our first bite of the pumpkin seed crusted Black Sea Bass (Kurbis Barsch) with ‘mop it up’ butternut squash sauce and aromatic black truffles.

Generously, we shared a forkful.

We finished our leisurely paced meal (we’re gabbers) with a rich, dark chocolate soufflé, and a mild to pungent cheese platter with textural interest provided by two colorful chopped fruit compotes.

Smartly, we left the wine pairings to Seasonal’s Fraudener.

Instead of the usual inside our comfort zone Reislings (which are terrific)… we were treated to a chilled Rosé served over a layer of solid frozen ice in a wine glass, a Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), a fruity (apple) and spicy, mildly dry Rivaner, a clean, crisp Grüner Veltliner and a delish lager “Jever” a brewed in Vienna beer, foam and all ---- that surprised us- as it was a winning selection to go with our cheese tidbits.

Though Seasonal may not have garnered the intrusive television cameras and brand awareness of a Top Chef/Celebrity anointed restaurant, we have no doubt, that this top tier spot, will and is--- getting the “Nielsen” numbers it deserves.

And will last well past next season’s ratings' weeks too.

INFO: Seasonal Restaurant and Weinbar
132 West 58th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
212 957-5550

Thursday, December 18, 2008



Words, Judith Ecochard

Viviscal MAX and Hemp Oil’s Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids

We are like a deer in headlights when it comes to the gazillions of over-the-counter products that claim to improve and restore our hair and skin.

And call it ‘hope in a jar’ now available---but it seems like every week there is a new cream, lotion, serum, or mask (skin/hair) that’s costs plenty---hitting the market.

It got us thinking…what we ingest has got to be as important, if not more critical to a quest for eternal youth than anything we can slap on our locks and visage.

Viviscal MAX is a natural nutritional supplement that got a major buzz when the flaxen hair beauty, actress Gywneth Paltrow ‘fessed up to the wonders of taking these tablets. Allure and Vogue magazines have had clips on the supplement too.

Made with an exclusive AminoMar C Marine Complex that provides the essential proteins needed to decrease hair loss and encourage and strengthen existing hair growth…Viviscal Max is aimed at thinning hair.

We have been faithfully taking two regular strength tabs (Viviscal Max comes in extra strength too)---for a month now.

And yes, as skeptical as we usually are, we noticed a difference in how fast our hair seems to have grown these past four weeks.

RETAIL: Online at many, many sites including Amazon.

The benefits of ingesting Omega 3 and Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids have been widely reported and documented…(we got 318,000 results on Google when we searched “Omega Three Benefits alone).

Many legit medical reports deem Omega-3 and Omega-6 vital (and FYI it’s not manufactured by the body---it has to be ‘eaten”) ---because it helps reduce inflammation and helps prevent risk factors associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Plus, these essential fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to play a crucial role in brain functions. So that’s the cure for senior moments?

That’s terrific news…but we are ADDITIONALLY jazzed that at least one type of Omega-3- alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)---has been cited as really REALLY beneficial for healthy skin too.

It reminds us of our journey to Alaska…where we curiously noticed how the hard core smokiin’ and drinkin’ salmon fishermen seem to have the nicest skin…courtesy of their catch, we presumed.

And wild salmon is loaded with Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

For the mercury phobic…and for those of us sick of unfulfilled promises of facial products---hemp oil and crunchy hemp seeds are a natural nutraceutical way to get the Omega-3s and 6s we need…and is better than flaxseed too.

And no---you cannot get a buzz from the stuff.

We feel one brand- Manitoba Harvest™ Hemp & Food Oils, offers the freshest and finest, (pesticide free or organic!!!) quality hemp food products available in the USA (where growing hemp is a no-no).

It’s nice to know Manitoba Harvest pays its farmers fairly and that the seeds contain no funky Genetically Engineered Modified Organisms. Founders Mike Fata, Alex Chwaiewsky and Martin Moravcik care enough.

For us, we nibble (3 tbsps) on the crunchy shelled hemp seeds- that are akin to sesame seeds-and can be sprinkled on vegetables, salads etc.

Hemp Seed Butter, Seed Oil and Milk (can use instead of the dairy stuff in coffee) are all packed with the good stuff too.

And that’s a good thing.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Words, Judith Ecochard

Much like the quintessential James Bond flicks playing on the discreet flat screen panels installed throughout the revamped Beekman Bar and Books, a love of a good cigar is never ending.

On a corner (First Ave. and 50th) that draws in office execs, fashionistas, and casually dressed locals-Beekman Bar and Books- is one of the very few Big Apple establishments where one can legally fire up and savor a stogie.

On a recent snowy December night, we visited and indulged…in an aged scotch (Hine Antique) - selected from an exhaustive drinks menu, and snacked on light fare - a generous cheese and Charcuterie plate and club sandwiches. Our primo spot- in front of a crackling warm REAL fireplace… helped melt away the day’s stresses and the night’s frigid temps.

But the real treat for us was found down a discreet hallway: -the inside sanctum of the smoking lounge.

Even non-smokers will want to check out the space.

Our experience----we were gamely puffing away on a Nicaraguan full bodied stogie, expertly selected and cut by the congenial Manager/Partner Ben Scorah---as we enviously admired the sophisticated interior design that oozed plushness akin to a 21st century version of a high-end private Gentleman’s Club.

As in posh wood panel walls, book filled shelves, well-stocked humidors, sink into leather sofas. Think the cozy library/living room of our dreams.

Going solo? We think this is one of those places where anyone will feel very comfortable- grabbing a seat at the elegant bar or in the smoking enclave.

Perhaps it’s the camaraderie of firing up a smoke, or the convivial seating arrangements…(some perfect for quiet conversations) … but we ended meeting everyone in the smoking lounge---chatting about our favorite Bond films… today’s headlines, etc.

And as a result, we think the Monday night special- free cigars for Ladies (!!!!) (or Scotch specials on Tuesdays)- is a great way to learn about cigars and to meet people.

THE 411
: Beekman Bars and Books: 889 First Avenue (50th Street),

Tel: 212 758-6000

Specialty Cigars: AVO Intermezzo Tubos, Dominican Republic
Montecristo #2 Torpedo, Dominican Republic

Other location: Hudson Bar and Books-643 Hudson Street NYC
Lexington Bar and Books 1020 Lexington Avenue NYC
Tynská Bar and Books, Tynskå 19, Prague 1
Mánesova Bar and Books, Mánesova 64, Prague 2

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Scott Harrison


Metropolitan Pavilion, NYC December 15th, 2008

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

Can this crowd get any hotter?

Zac Posen's Attire

WE KNOW IT’S THE ‘IN’ EVENT when caring celebs like host Adrian Grenier (Entourage’s main dude) blends in with the crowd…literally, he stayed still the end.

Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity:Water is a dedicated professional-with a high tech version of a who’s who rolodex.

It’s a rare evening when our random conversations with festive attendees serve up tidbits like “we came for Scott…the cause is so worth it…I feel like I’m making a difference.”

And maybe that’s the key. Because even a donated $20, an amount many urbanite caffeine junkies spend on a week of Starbucks lattes, makes a huge difference for a fresh water deprived individual--- living in a developing nation that span the globe.

Lisa Seiffert, Model Wearing Migeulina

We don’t know Harrison personally----but we guess it’s combo of hard work that makes a huge difference for so many who suffer, savvy smarts, a knack for communicating that makes everyone feel included and inspired to do their best, plain ole’ likeability, and knowing just how far people are willing to go-that gets major companies like fashion’s Theory, Sanofli Sunglasses, department store Saks Fifth Avenue, beauty companies Talinka (a personal fav), and Kiehl’s, chic hotels (the Delano in Miami, the Mercer and Soho House in NYC), liquor companies (Grey Goose, Cakebread Cellars), Jet Blue Airlines and many noted artists etc…to donate items for auction.

And as always…a sell-out crowd.

Even with the economic black cloud overhanging the planet... the amazingly well run event space (Metropolitan Pavilion), high tech sound system and interactive displays (including Google’s très cool iGoogle theme page and Google Maps that document field projects),

tireless volunteers (150 plus including PR firms Brand Building Communications and State PR)…came gratis.

In fact, all monies raised (100%)-including the take from the “sacred yellow Jerry Cans” catwalk (each hauler earned $25 for the cause)… goes towards building fresh water drinking and hygiene facilities where needed.

WHAT WE LEARNED: We- and many others, took the time to review the many dynamic video displays and panels highlighting Charity:Water’s efforts…including the cyclone torn Bangladesh where 120 wells and 60 biosand filters were installed…in a year! (Hmmm-makes us think what’s up Katrina).

Richie Rich-half of design dup Heatherette---going on his own for NY Fashion Week!!!!

Edward Tricomi "The salon's (at the Plaza) doing great."


In a crowd of BlackBerry addicts, it’s tough to get the message across, let alone hear a few snippets above the din. Yet, many in the humongous crowd of 1000 or so…were captivated and motivated by what the evening’s orators had to say.

Scott Harrison kept his remarks brief and to the point. “The mission is simple-to bring clean water to every single person on the planet.” A billion and counting.

Next up was Adrian Grenier who spoke from the heart---and barely glanced at his notes-when he made reference to the ‘captured a zeitgeist’ film “Wall Street” starring Michael Douglas as swank stockbroker Gordon Gekko- that hit movie screens in 1987. The “Greed is Good” dialogue delivered by Douglas/Gekko to a group of about to be manhandled shareholders- became a mantra for many. Seriously.

“People seem to believe that concept,” Grenier noted… “an allegiance to a culture has made us selfish.” However, the actor proposed“… an alternative concept---GIVING IS BETTER.”

“In a time of economic struggle, let us embrace generosity.” Amen.

Donna Berber from a Glimmer of Hope –a non-profit partner with Chairity:Water commented on the hardships women and children endure on a daily basis-like hauling 30-40 pound jugs for five hours to and from a water source.-in pursuit of something safe to drink.

Their lives are unimaginable…(with) the average lifespan of an Ethiopian woman is 45 years old.”

“Yet,” Berber observed, “they live lives of incredible dignity.”

We loved the USA newbie, African native/visitor Getachew- who managed to ‘own’ the stage- and delivered a rallying speech on just how much fresh drinking water meant to Ethiopians. And it was obvious---“I am so excited to be here.”

Lastly, a live auction and a musical set by rock group Amos Lee ended the stage portion of the night.

But how fun was this good works event…it was still packed AFTER THE BARS CLOSED!!!

Now that’s something too.


SPECIAL THANKS: New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion, with amazing support from sponsors who covered over $250,000 in costs, (in-kind donations)—Zenith, Blavatnik Family Foundation, Sterling Affair, Thomas Preti Caterers and Creative Edge, Scharff Weisberg Inc., Tripp/Mixx Productions and Bailey Brothers, Starbright Floral Design and GREY GOOSE Vodka.