Langone, Paulson Welcome Trump as Other Gala Goers Hope for BestBy
Hebrew Home residents, manager prepare for the president-elect
Public radio gala had added sense of urgency on press freedom
At parties over the past few nights, New Yorkers have started to define their approach to a Trump administration.
Most follow President Obama’s lead in wishing the president-elect success, though at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale Foundation gala on Sunday evening, some sounded more enthusiastic than others.
"We’re going to have some reality," Ken Langone, 81, said in a reception room at the Waldorf Astoria. "The little people delivered the day."
Trump’s appointment of Reince Priebus as chief of staff will “be a positive influence," said John Paulson, 60.
"We got it, we have to accept it and hope for the best," said Leo Shliselberg, 91, a resident of Hebrew Home who swims an hour a day.
And what will a Trump presidency mean for the elderly?
"It’s going to get better, because we have a 70-year-old president and he’s going to be sensitive to people aging," said Daniel Reingold, president and chief executive of RiverSpring Health, the umbrella organization that manages the Hebrew Home.
The honorees were the elegantly-aging Henry Kissinger, 93, Maurice Greenberg, 91, and Sandy Weill, 83, though Weill sounded a bit like an old man with a kvetch about the "Not My President" demonstrations on Fifth Avenue. "People should have the right to protest, but I don’t think the protests should be on the streets," he said. "They should be on the sidewalk or the parks. Let’s say there’s a fire, or someone is dying and an ambulance can’t get through."
The election results gave an added sense of urgency to the causes at the gala held Monday night for the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, where guests at the Metropolitan Club praised its anti-bullying workshops, and the gala for New York Public Radio, where the focus was its WNYC newsroom.
"It seems more important now that our democracy relies and depends on a free and independent objective press," said Julie Sandorf of the Charles H. Revson Foundation, which has given $2.4 million to build WNYC’s operations since 2010.
During the campaign, WNYC put voters from Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio on air during call-in shows on the nights of the primaries and the election.
Laura Walker, president and CEO of New York Public Radio, said WNYC would do more and better, with a plan to double listeners to 45 million from 22 million in the next five years.
At the lectern of 583 Park, David Remnick put particular emphasis on WNYC’s "freedom to apply pressure on power," before paying tribute to radio host Jonathan Schwartz, champion-in-chief of the American songbook.
Then there’s the not entirely superficial matter of how opulently people will socialize in the Trump era. At a party Monday for event designer David Monn’s new book "The Art of Celebrating," the answer seemed to be: very.
Oysters were served in a giant plaster shell filled with ice. Other stations offered multiple takes on pigs in blankets (like chicken-and-apple sausage and all-beef) and meatloaf. For something exotic, there was a chicken curry bar where one could dress the dish with coconut, nuts and dried fruits.
People dined under trees brought inside the New York Public Library, where a sweet scent filled the air thanks to just the right candles.
Monn said he’d originally planned to have the party in October, but a friend urged him to postpone it to November. It was good timing.