Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Hudson River Park

I believe one of the most incredible creations in New York City is the Hudson River Park. Due to the work of the non-profit organization known as “Friends of Hudson River”, and other generous donations, the river has been lined with bike and pedestrian trails, as well as lush gardens, scenic views, and playgrounds for children. In any city, it is vital to have a balance between urban and recreational spaces. People are meant to enjoy the outdoors, so these areas allow for celebrating and taking in God’s Green Acre.

Extending from 59th Street to Chamber Street, the park is near completion and will be holding its 10th Anniversary Gala tomorrow night at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. New York State Governor David A. Paterson will be honored and among the dinner chairs are Diana Taylor and my friend Martha Stewart.

For more information on this event that celebrates the time and commitment to the creation and maintenance of the Hudson River Park, visit http://www.fohrp.org/

Friday, May 22, 2009


This Monday is Memorial Day, a commemoration for men and women who have given their lives to protect our country. Show your appreciation to these patrons by wearing red, white, and blue, helping in your community, or by attending a parade.

The National Memorial Day Parade is held annually in Washington, D.C. If you’re in the area, they are always looking for volunteers as well as attendees. Anyone can help the cause by visiting their website http://www.nationalmemorialdayparade.com/.

Put It In Ice

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the summer—a time of warm weather, outdoor gatherings, and seasonal food. (I, for one, could not be happier that the summer is finally beginning!) Whatever your plans are to celebrate the three-day break—whether you’re hosting or attending a party—here is a quick and visually-appealing tip that can have a big impact.

One of my favorite ways to jazz up a drink is by adding decorative ice cubes. All you need is fruit pieces of your choice, water, and ice cube trays. Place the fruit in the trays, fill them with water, and within a few hours you’ll have fun drink décor. As the ice melts there will be an edible surprise at the bottom of your glass. And, it's a great way for you to use some great summer fruit that you may have around the house.

Friday, May 15, 2009

From One Closet To Another

During her freshman year in high school, Rebecca Kirtman started a charity dress drive in her Florida hometown. She believed “little things can make a difference,” so she gathered and provided 250 prom dresses for girls who couldn’t afford to purchase them. Tragically though, Becca passed away in an automobile accident on August 20, 2003. In remembrance, her friends, family, and community continued the dress drive, now known as Becca’s Closet.

I recently heard about Becca’s closet and I think it’s a great way to help a high school girl attend her prom in style, especially during these uncertain times.
By providing one dress, one accessory, or a few hours of your time, you can make help prom a night to remember. For more information and to find a chapter near you, visit http://www.beccascloset.org/.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Marshmallow Cake

On Monday night I had the pleasure of having a piece of a much unexpected dessert. I designed a 50th birthday party at The Modern restaurant, where pastry chef Marc Aumont created a marshmallow tower in place of the traditional celebratory cake. The coconut, vanilla, and pistachio marshmallow pieces were made out of real fruits instead of extracts.

After the incredible dinner Executive Chef Gabriel Kreuther created, I’m surprised I had room for dessert at all. We were all excited to hear that a week before the party Gabriel won the James Beard Foundation’s award for Best Chef in New York City. The food, plus the décor and guests, made for a wonderful evening.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Rainy Days

It has been really rainy here in New York City and the dreary weather got me thinking about what people do when the heavens open up. The rainy weather often keeps us cooped up inside with the challenge of finding something to do. I know people who like to stare out the window at the rain falling on the sidewalks and street. Others like to relax with some popcorn and a movie. And some like to play board games with their children or friends. I find it interesting that all of these actions make us focus on relaxation. It’s interesting that rain can have such a calming effect on all of us, so even though I’m sick of the rain we’ve been having all week, maybe it’s not so bad after all.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Join the Joyful Revolution

Last night I attended the most amazing event in NYC, the Joyful Heart Revolution Gala, founded by Mariska Hargitay to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. It was inspiring to hear stories from women across the United States who had been helped by the wellness healing classes and retreat the Joyful Heart Foundation offers.

Many people donated to last nights event, including Sheryl Crow, Dick Wolf films, and for the decor, my team pulled together a look inspired by the upcoming summer season and the healing power of water. Ocean blue tables, carpet and floating candles in varies shades of blue water. This look is something you can recreate with candles and food coloring. For scale, in this large space, I added helium filled weather balloons.

You can watch the inspiring 2009 Gala video by clicking here.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I recently went to see Susan Stroman’s new play and I walked away really impressed by the message it gave to its audience. “Happiness” is a new musical about different New Yorkers who get stuck in a subway car together during the morning commute. To get off the subway car, each traveler must remember their life’s happiest moment. The play celebrates those moments that we often don’t pay that much attention to and shows us that if you can’t find happiness in the small things, you can’t have a future. In order to live life completely, you cannot continually search for happiness but instead have to find it in the present, a sentiment that certainly rings true for all of us.

"Happiness" is playing at the Lincoln Center Theater in NYC through June 7th. Go to www.lct.org/showMain.htm?id=184 for more information.