Scene Last Night: Mailman Workout, Salk’s Chocolate Cake

“I Rollerblade, ride a bicycle and walk a lot, everywhere,” said Alan Patricof, founder of Greycroft Partners LLC last night. “And I walk fast.”

Another walker came into view at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health gala at the Pierre hotel. He was John W. Rowe, former chief executive of Aetna Inc. and chairman of Mailman’s board of overseers.

“I walk around Central Park,” Rowe said. “It turns out that active walking provides 70 percent of the benefit of aerobic exercise, and it’s less wear and tear on the joints.”

Twenty steps away stood the dean of Mailman, Linda Fried. “I go to the gym four times a week and I come in every morning to something I love,” she said.

“Five out of seven days I run,” New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said. “I’m running the New York City marathon.”

On the subject of President Barack Obama’s health-care initiative, Michael Sparer, chairman of the school’s department of health policy and management, said, “The last few weeks have been depressing. I’m in full support of the law, but the glitches are inexcusable.”

Tom Guilarte, chairman of Environmental Health Sciences, said a delegation from China was at the gala, having visited the school earlier in the day.

“The impact of industry is so dramatic there, we’re hoping we can work together,” Guilarte said.

Entertainment by the Public Health Players included popular standards infected with public-health vocabulary.

The steamy love song “Fever” had a riff about “data, stats and morbidity.”

Salk Institute

At Daniel on Oct. 28, the Salk Institute gathered supporters including artist Francoise Gilot, Jonas Salk’s widow and a muse and lover of Picasso. It was also the 80th birthday of the institute’s chairman, Irwin Jacobs, a co-founder of Qualcomm Inc.

“We’re an artist’s colony for scientists,” said William Brody, the institute’s president, referring to the lack of departmental boundaries.

Faculty member Reuben J. Shaw spoke of his research affecting the treatment of diabetes and cancer. The common link: metabolism.

“The intake of carbohydrates, freely eating whatever we want, that’s the danger,” said Shaw, as a piece of chocolate cake came his way.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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