Monday Bulletin: Arts Orgs Get Amazonian Bonanza, Central Park Mega Concert, Second Gentleman in Town

Photo by Stephen Harmon.

June 21, 2021 Weather: Cloudy, with a high of 86 degrees.

Our calendar has local and virtual events.

Remember, Election Day is Tuesday! Find your poll.

MacKenzie Scott, an author and philanthropist formerly married to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, can’t give her money away fast enough; her Amazon stock has nearly doubled in value to about $60 billion since her divorce. But she is trying, focusing her prolific philanthropy on nonprofit, community-based organizations that she believes effect real change. “Me, Dan (her new husband, a science teacher at her children’s school), a constellation of researchers and administrators and advisors — we are all attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change…we are governed by a humbling belief that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands and that the solutions are best designed and implemented by others,” she wrote, in a post worth reading on Medium. Her latest round of gifts to 286 groups, included two from the Upper West Side: Jazz at Lincoln Center and Ballet Hispánico. The gifts are reported to have averaged just under $10 million each. 

There’s going to be another historic concert on the Great Lawn in Central Park! “Seeking a grand symbol of New York’s revitalization after a brutal pandemic year, Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning a large-scale performance by multiple acts and has called on Clive Davis, the 89-year-old producer and music-industry eminence, to pull it together,” wrote The New York Times. “The show, tentatively set for Aug. 21, is still coming together, with no artists confirmed, though Mr. Davis — whose five-decade career highlights have included working with Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and Whitney Houston — said he is aiming for eight ‘iconic’ stars to perform a three-hour show for 60,000 attendees and a worldwide television audience.” (FYI – Simon and Garfunkel drew 400,000 in 1981.)

If you’re wondering what exactly our new “Second Gentleman” does, here’s an example. “Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff welcomed a new class of U.S. citizens on World Refugee Day following a naturalization ceremony at the New York Historical Society on June 20,” The Washington Post reported. Watch the video.

Sales have been launched and new renderings released of Era, the controversial cantilevered condominium building on West 91st Street and Broadway, by YIMBY. “Wrapped in a limestone façade, Era has an ascending cantilever design that allows for more open views, larger common spaces, and corner-oriented residences with at least two exposures. The rooftop has an outdoor pool and landscaped recreational and lounge areas. Other amenities include 24-hour concierge with a double-height lobby, fitness center and yoga studio, lounge, children’s playroom, youth gaming room, music room, bike storage room, and pet grooming station.”

“Can a novel feel too familiar and too close to home to offer the sort of novelty and enlightenment that we seek in fiction?” a book review in The Wall Street Journal begins. “I wondered about this,” wrote the reviewer, “when I picked up ‘Morningside Heights,’ which takes place practically in my backyard on Manhattan’s Upper West Side…peopled by characters I might run into in Riverside Park…it’s the nuanced portrait of its characters’ mixed feelings—and passages like the following—that lift its tender story of a family under duress well above the ordinary: ‘She pointed at the two of them in the mirror. ‘That’s you and me, darling.’ Eventually he would stop recognizing her; there would come a time when he wouldn’t know who she was. She didn’t want to be there for that, but she would be there for that, as she would be there for everything.’”

NEWS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Yo, Teech! says:

      A suggestion from a retired “English Teacher”: “Morningside Heights” is probably a good read, BUT if one wants to learn more fascinating details about BOTH Morningside Heights AND this entire area of Upper Manhattan west of Broadway, may I suggest a great work of non-fiction: “Broadway: A History of New York in 13 Miles” (author Fran Leadon).
      It’s full of fascinating details and ‘wow, I didn’t know THAT!’ moments.
      Once you’ve read-all-about the UWS etc. you’ll probably want to go back and read about Lower Manhattan, Madison Square, Longacre (Times) Square, etc.
      Class dismissed!

    2. TomF says:

      The CP concert is a poor use of public funds while city’s performing arts organizations and other cultural institutions are in desperate need of post-pandemic funding. BDB hasn’t disclosed the anticipated cost of the CP concert but it has got to run into many millions for pre-concert set-up, NYPD overtime pay and other security, post-concert clean-up, rehab of damage to the landscape, etc. These funds should be reallocated to our theatrical, musical and other arts organizations. They are what make NYC great, not extravagant one-day spectacles.

      • js says:

        Agree with you.
        the City’s budget is in bad shape due to Covid and if money is being spent, it should go to neighborhood arts programs and/or arts organizations

        • UWSGrumpster says:

          If the city’s budget is truly in bad shape (which it is) then taxpayer money shouldn’t be given to arts organizations or any of your preferred art groups when there is garbage in the streets and parks and crime spitballing out of control.

          • nemo paradise says:

            Ditto July 4 fireworks, municipal Christmas decorations, all parades, and so on. There shall be no joy anywhere until all problems are solved, and utopia reigns.

            • Abercrombie McScrooge says:

              Finally some smart NYers…..with this outgoing mayor spending like a drunken sailor, there will be nothing in the till for the new mayor.Put the money away for another day,then the celebrating can begin. Until the next terrorist attack due to the cuts in the NYPD!!!!!

    3. OldLady says:

      Yippee for the CP concert! Finally something I can look forward this summer!