Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year Eve!!


Usually I’m hanging out at one of two places for New Year’s Eve – Church for ‘Watchnight Service’ or home.


I’ve never really been into parties on this evening (believe it or not). I enjoy being reflective at the year's end while looking forward to a new beginning. Each year begins both its challenges and its blessings.


Last year Special Friend and I had light bites at home. Plus, my cat (Furry Friend) enjoys her annual sip of champagne at the stroke of Midnight! Yes, it's true. She leaps at my glass if I'm drinking ginger ale!


Good people - if you decide to hang out, have a great time and be careful!
If you decide to stay in, make it a fun night. Please don't be sad and downtrodden. I know it's been tough this year but look ahead with excitement for the future.

And you'll be able to start life anew.
Cheers!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Rejoice! It’s Kwanzaa Time!




Kwanzaa is a non-religious African American holiday which celebrates family, community, and culture. It focuses on seven principles and is celebrated for seven days annually from December 26 - January 1.

One of my good buddies from college hosts a large gathering of family and friends. It's good to share in the spirit of blessings with each other.

Friday's Fabulous Flick will return on January 9, 2009!


Cheers!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!


Merry Christmas Everyone!


I hope that you are enjoying this special holiday wrapped in love!


Cheers!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In Anticipation

In spite of all of the ugliness we are facing in the United States, I have to say that I am actually looking forward to the New Year.

I've been blessed to have many of you as loyal readers and supporters. You give me the energy to keep going.

I'm blessed to have pretty good health and the love of family and friends.

I am in my home and in the process of decking my halls for the holiday.

We are blessed that the political climate has shifted enough in this country that we were able to elect President-Elect Barack Obama.

I share this brief piece because I believe we have lots to be grateful for even as times are tough.

So as we look towards this holiday season and New Year with anticipation, I pray that it is for all things positive and enlightening as we move forward.

Cheers!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Holiday Cookie Party With The Girls


Tomorrow, I'm hosting a holiday cookie party for 10 ladies. It's a good time! We exchange cookies, gifts, and have a meal together.


Hopefully, you're doing something fun with your friends this holiday too. Good friends feed and encourage the spirit.

Cheers!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick


Atlanta ladies Debra Brown, Birdie Izell, Jovita Moore and Zee Bradford posed for this flick at a special night of shopping at Belk’s Department Store in Atlanta recently. The event was held in partnership with The Junior League of Atlanta to benefit the Atlanta Ballet and its production of 'The Nutcracker.'


Have a super weekend!


Cheers!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Black Socialites In The Media Spotlight

Hello out there good people!

I hope you had a great weekend.

Some of you were as busy as beavers sending me in an article in an (ahem) unnamed newspaper about our gal Desiree Rogers becoming the next White House Social Secretary. A few of you believe that it was loaded with back handed complements – questioning Ms. Rogers ability to be able to manage and thrive in her new post since she is not a 'Washington insider.'

Well folks what can I say except – brace yourself for the ensuing flurry of focus on Black Socialites.

As President-Elect Obama and Mrs. Obama enter The White House in 2009, there will be loads of focus and attention on who’s coming with them – specifically if they are Black, educated, attractive and “unknown” (read: unknown to the East Coast based mainstream media). I am fielding inquiries galore from media types fishin' for information about Socialites featured on this blog.

I can hear the fascination and intrigue in their voices when I speak with them.

Meanwhile, we always knew this group was around - because we are either participants and/or observers of the Black Social Elite. But, now more than ever a brighter spotlight will be placed on America’s Black Social Elite (as if the BSE is some new species of Black folks recently discovered in the backdrop of the Obama campaign).

Historical note of interest to our new found media friends: We have documented evidence of the BSE’s existence for more than 220 years in America.

So, my advice to you good readers, is to not get yourselves all worked up over the probing and querying of the Mainstream media about the BSE.

We have sooooo much to plan and chat about next year.

And by the way, since clean, fresh, and articulate Black people are going to be in the spotlight for the next several years – what are you planning to do to brand or re-brand yourself in 2009?

You only have a few weeks left in 2008.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Maggie Betts at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball


Here's one of our gals, Maggie Betts with her BFF Barbara Bush & actress Lucy Liu at the Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball in New York. Liu was this year's honoree. More than $2 million dollars was raised for the charity.


Have a great weekend everyone!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flicks

Artistic Director Judith Jamison & Media Mogal Oprah Winfrey
The men of Ailey are dapper in Sean John attire

Super fabulous designers Mark Badgley & James Mischka (Badgley Mischka) pose with the women dancers of Ailey. The design duo created the ladies' gowns for the evening.


Judith Byrd-Blaylock

Husband & wife entertainment powerhouses Carmen de Lavallade & Geoffrey Holder

New York State First Lady Michelle Patterson

Deborah Roberts & Soledad O'Brien


Andre Leon Talley & Emily Hawkins

On December 3rd, close to 1,300 guests attended the Opening Night Gala for the 50th Anniversary Season of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Oprah Winfrey served as Honorary Chair.
If you are looking for a special gift this holiday season, consider giving one of the Alvin Ailey Barbie Dolls created by Mattel in honor of the dance's theater 50th year.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Cheers!






Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fun With The Links & The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater



Queens, NYC Borough President Helen M. Marshall & Sandy Jackson-Berger
Gayle Hawkins & Dawn Hankins
Deesha Hill & Eastern Area of The Links Foundation Representative LaVern Miles

Greater New York Chapter of The Links Members
Last Saturday evening, Special Friend and I ventured up to the Big Apple to enjoy the ‘Emerald Holiday Affair: A Special Evening with Alvin Ailey Dance Theater’ hosted by The Eastern Area Arts Committee of The Links, Incorporated. Hard working Links Sandy Burger, Deesha Hill, Gayle Hawkins, and Dawn Hankin planned a wonderful evening for more than 70 members of The Links, Incorporated from various chapters.

Special Friend was particularly excited that there were some other gentlemen at the affair. While he is a good sport and enjoys going to events with me, he is not always thrilled that he is often the only man (or one of few men). Of course, he saddled right up next to the other men-folk during the presentation of programming activities of The Links, Incorporated.
Note to the Brothers: Step it up! Your presence is kindly requested at social events!
We chatted while enjoying wine and hors d'oeuvres before the evening’s performance – which was breathtaking.
If you can see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater on this 50th Anniversary Tour, you really should snap up your tickets immediately!

My good pals from Ailey sent me some wonderful pics from their Opening Night Gala to share with you.
But alas people, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see them.
Have a super day!












Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's flick features Palm Beach Socialite Lorrain Hall at the LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education) Lady in Red gala last month at The Breakers. The event was hosted by Uber-Socialite Lois Pope. The Temptations Review entertained more than 500 guests.

Auction items included a 2009 Ruby Red BMW Mini Cooper, a Tiffany's & Co watch studded with 4.5 carats of diamonds, and a walk on role on CBS's CSI:NY.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, DC.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Celebrating The New General President-Elect of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.





OK ladies...some of you are blasting my email with questions on how to meet eligible Black men.




All I can tell you is to 'fish where the fish are!'




A HUGE celebration in honor of the 33rd General President-Elect of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Herman 'Skip' Mason) will be held next month in Atlanta, GA.




I am sure that a good time will be had by all!



Now, for the rest of you good fraternity and social/civic club men who wish to promote your (ahem) decent events for ladies, send me the info for blog consideration.



Members of my Facebook community are always welcome to share appropriate events on my page as well.


Cheers!




Monday, December 1, 2008

World AIDS Day 2008

Today is World AIDS Day.
Many of us have lost friends, family, and loved ones to this dreadful disease.
The battle is not over as AIDS continues to ravage Black people (and Black women ages 18-34) in alarming numbers.
AIDS is difficult to write about because it attacks us our most intimate being.
Please do me a big favor.
Get tested, know your status, and be safe out there.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Founders Day With The Keystone Cluster of The Links, Inc.

Beautiful white roses decorated each table
Philadelphia Chapter Vice President Sherilynn Johnson Kimble, Harrisburg Link Patricia Prim, and another Link enjoy the event

Philadelphia Chapter President Carol Clark Lawrence, Links, Inc. National Vice President Margot Copeland, & Philadelphia Link Lois Powell Mondesire pose for this flick


Philadelphia Links MarvaLisa Scott & Margaret Wright



Members of The Bucks County, PA Chapter of The Links




Lovely Links enjoying dessert after a delicious brunch


The Wilmington, Delaware Links Ensemble performed for the event

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending the Keystone Cluster of The Links, Inc.’s Founders Day Brunch. This cluster consists of all of the Links chapters in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The event was hosted by The Wilmington, Delaware Chapter of The Links, Inc. who were also celebrating their 60th Anniversary. The lovely affair was held at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington. My hat's off to the chapter and Chapter President Claire LeMar Carey for a job well done!

The Links, Incorporated National Vice President Margot Copeland served as Keystone Speaker and emphasized the importance of embracing friendship and service. The Eastern Area Director Bishetta Merritt and Eastern Area Vice Director Dianne S. Hardison were also in attendance.
The ladies were dressed in fashionable white and enjoyed an exquisite buffet brunch with yummy vegetables, salmon, bacon, sausages, eggs, fruit, turkey, and dessert. Entertainment was provided by a musical ensemble of The Wilmington Chapter of The Links, Inc.

The tradition of celebrating Founders Day as The Keystone Cluster began with The Philadelphia Chapter last year and was conceived by the chapter’s Vice President Sherilynn Johnson Kimble.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flicks

Sherri Bronfman & Reginald Van Lee
Lifestyle Guru B. Smith & hubby Dan Gasby

Husband & wife Fred Terrell & Jonelle Propope


Software Giant Peter Norton & wife Gwen Norton

On Tuesday, November 18th, The Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) The Museum hosted a black-tie gala called Jazz Interlude. The event was sponsored by The Friends of Education for MoMA which is a group focused on garnering more African American interest in art.


The event was co-chaired by Sherri Bronfman who looks absolutely fabulous!


Have a good weekend everyone!



Cheers!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Congratulations to Congresswoman Marcia Fudge


A standing ovation is due to Congresswoman Marcia Fudge who was quietly sworn in last Wednesday on Capitol Hill for the 11th Congressional District seat. She was elected to the seat vacated by Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones who died last August.


Both women are members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and were close personal friends. Several sorority members were in attendance at the swearing-in ceremony in what was reported as a tearful event. Ms. Fudge is single, so her college roommate Janice Davis White stood by her side during ceremony.


In January, Ms. Fudge will begin serving the two-year term she won on November 4th. Her district covers all of Cleveland's East Side and several eastern suburbs of Cleveland including Euclid, Shaker Heights, and Cleveland Heights.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who Are You?

I get this question a lot. Underneath the simple premise of this question is an even deeper (or more probing) inquiry.

It goes something like this…

What qualifies you to write about The Black Elite?
Are you a member of a sorority? The Links? Jack & Jill? The Girlfriends?
Where do you live?
How do you finance the Socialite lifestyle? Do you come from a wealthy family?

Here’s the scoop ladies and gentlemen.

In time, I promise to share more details of my life.

What I will tell you are the things that long time readers already know about me. I’m 37 and live in a large East Coast city. I have a boyfriend (Special Friend) who is my partner, best friend, and companion.

I work full time and blog ‘on the side’ (no, this is not my primary gig!)

I am a financially active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and affiliate with a graduate chapter. I am also member of an old chapter of The Links, Incorporated (where I am an officer) and The Junior League (where I was on the Board of Directors).

My social life is on overdrive. On top of working full time, maintaining a relationship, and keeping connected with my close friends, I also work as a committed volunteer for various organizations.

I'm pragmatically optimistic which is why the tone of the blog tends to be positive with some 'call it as I see it' honesty.

There is no official ‘team’ for The Black Socialite – just me, a digital camera, Special Friend, and my buddies who share news and topics worth covering. Periodically, some of you send me really good links, photos, and stories of happenings in your hometown that I post as well.

I am so happy that the majority of you are enjoying what you read. Your emails and notes on Facebook keep me encouraged.

More good news about America’s Black Elite is forthcoming!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Super Socialite Desiree Rogers To Head Up Social Functions At The White House


Hello good people,

I just learned that the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Super Socialite Desiree Rogers is expected to be named Special Assistant To President-Elect Barack Obama. She will be responsible for coordinating social functions at The White House and is the first Black person to hold this post.


Talk about a dream gig!!!


You may recall that I featured Ms. Rogers earlier this year. She is currently the President of Social Networking for Allstate Financial.


Hardy-har-har to all of those naysayers who think that being a Socialite is pure fluff!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick



This week's flick features Gelila Assefa-Puck with Ralph Rucci at the recent de Young's Yves Saint Laurent Gala in San Francisco. She looks fantastic and I absolutely LOVE the hair.




Take note gang that many of our favorite Socialites on the scene are wearing functional garments that can be worn repeatedly and dressed up with lively accessories.




Have a super weekend! I'm prepping for the holidays at home.




Cheers!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well Done Is Better Than Well Said

I happened to see this quote twice in my neighborhood - on two different church display signs. It encouraged my spirit and I believe it serve as a personal motto for many of us.



The quote is actually credited to Benjamin Franklin (although I wasn't able to locate the date that the actually quote was written or uttered).



Here's the thing. So many of you email me seeking advice on navigating the complicated social field of life. You want to get into this make sure that you don't make any 'missteps' or trip on any social landmines.



You have to recognize that you are human and it's OK to be flawed. Get comfortable in your own skin and walk proudly in knowing that you are an original work of art.



And remember that talk is sooooo cheap and often comes for free - whether you want to hear it or not. Be the best YOU and your aspirations - be they social, professional, or political will manifest. Become a person who can deliver results rather than pontificate on concepts and ideas. Far too many folks can be really loud over issues and topics but have very little knowledge or experience to back their opinions up.

All of the Socialites featured on this blog deliver results - for their businesses, in their workplaces, and for their charitable organizations of choice.

It's not just about being seen grinning for the cameras.



Because at the end of the day 'well done is better than well said.'







Monday, November 17, 2008

Super Socialite Valerie Jarrett Headed To The White House

Congratulations to Valerie Bowman Jarrett who was named White House Senior Advisor last week! A close friend to the Obama Family, Ms. Jarrett served as Chief Advisor during the Obama 08 Campaign.

Many of you already knew how fabulous Ms. Jarrett is as she is one of the main Socialite 'Movers & Shakers' in Chicago. She was featured last month in Vogue Magazine and is credited for bringing together to Old & New Black Elite during the campaign season.


Her dad is Dr. James Bowman, Professor Emeritus in Pathology and Medicine at the University of Chicago and her mother, Barbara Bowman is the founder of The Erikson Institute for Child Development. Valerie's great-grandfather (Robert Taylor) was the first Black person to graduate from M.I.T. She is divorced and has an adult daughter attending Harvard Law School.
I think we'll see more Super Socialites from our list headed to The White House. I'll try to keep you informed.
Cheers!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick


This week's flick features former Mayor of New York City David Dinkins and wife Joyce Dinkins attending The Alzheimer’s Association's annual Rita Hayworth Gala last month. The event took place at the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and raised over $2 million for the Alzheimer’s Association.
My hat's off to this great looking couple who at age 81 still manages to keep a very active social calendar!
Have a great weekend, go out, and enjoy yourself!!
Cheers!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

America's New First Family is posed to take
the International center stage.
This is a proud moment for all of us!
Here's a link to a great blog that follows Michelle Obama's fashion choices.
Make sure to bookmark on your computer or mobile device.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Celebrating President-Elect Barack Obama!


What an amazing night and an awesome sight!



Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama!



As he said, this is 'your victory' so now is the time to celebrate and roll up our sleeves for the good of our country.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE TODAY!

I waited in line and experienced a lil' bit of drama at my polling place but the good deed is done. If you haven't voted already, please take the time to cast your ballot.
America needs to hear your voice. Remember that many people struggled for you to have this privilege.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pamela Joyner & Fred Giuffrida's Annual Masked Ball

Friend to this blog (Damion Matthews of SFluxe) sent this great link with loads of fabulous pictures of Super Black Socialites at the Annual Masked Ball held at the home of Pamela Joyner and hubby Fred Giuffrida in San Francisco recently.



Pamela Joyner (center) is featured here with Joy Gibson (left) and Deirde Lettington. The color theme for the event was red and gold. Ms. Joyner's gown is by designer Zang Toi.


The event raised $200,000 for the Making Waves Foundation!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

This week's flick features Gal Around Town Bonnie Morrison with
Roopal Patel at the Whitney Museum of American Art annual gala. This year's theme was 'Whitney – Past, Present and Future' and the gala raked in several millons for the renowned musuem.


Have a great weekend everyone!



Cheers!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Survival in Retail Hell

Today, I traveled to several retail stores looking for a new dress. I checked my cash budget (yes, I buy clothes with cash only) and was prepared to spend a good 'dime.'



I have to tell you folks - I was horrified.



Many of the salespeople were more preoccupied with socializing than customer service. The clothes looked a mess (cheesy looking, poorly made, lines off) and the experience was lousy at best.





I'm not talking about some ole tacky run of the mill mall stores. I mean MAJOR retailers.





Twenty years ago (oh..did I say that out loud?), my first 'real' job outside of a family business was with a major retail chain. I was trained to work in the department called Men's Furnishings (which was accessories, shirts, and ties) and was a personal shopper for several businessmen in my hometown.





Beyond focusing on the sale, the store's ownership taught all salespersons about levels of quality material, color coordination, and customer service. We were encouraged to take pride in our work and never lose the 'people connection' with the customers.





I had a great love affair with my customers. We chatted about everything from sports to business. And, because I cared about them, they cared about me. Many of my customers bought me gifts at Christmas and would later write me letters of recommendation for future employment. A few of them tried to marry me off to their sons (lol!)





As a direct result of my early retail professional training I am kinda picky about my clothing and my retail experience. I will walk out of stores where my presence is not acknowledged and salespersons are not friendly. Apparently, several of you are walking away from retail too because almost every retailer has been posting negative sales figures for the past year.





No wonder.





Today, I received a very little help from the salespeople I encountered (with the exception of one Sister in an Ann Taylor store who was great! I spent some cool cash on loads of accessories in the store because she was so fabulous).





Unfortunately, most personalized attention from salespeople is only offered to those who spend tens of thousands of dollars on clothing.





For the rest of us, service in general stinks.





How should Sister and Brother Socialites work around the quagmire of locating quality clothing and the retail experience ?





Only patronize those who are happy to see us, period. If people aren't try to sell you the floor in this poor economy, then our money is not green enough.





Also, you have to know your body type and what will work for you. Many of you email me questions asking 'What should I wear to X event?' It's difficult for me to respond since we are all so uniquely crafted.





For example, I have what is referred to as a 'hourglass shape.' My clothes tend to run very large and loose at and above my waist but usually fit fine below the waist. So, nine times out of ten, I have to get my clothes tailored.





In general , I can recommend that you should always bet on black. Every woman should have a few LBDs (little black dresses) in her wardobe. Every man should own a good quality tuxedo and a few good suits.





Good (operationally speaking) means well fitting and made with fabric that has some 'weight.' When you tug or grab it, it should not automatically wrinkle up. You should feel the fabric's heaviness (even if it's silk).





Thin clothing has a tendency to look skank and bad on us. It clings to the body in the wrong way and in all of the wrong places. This is why so many of us look kinda hoochie and cheap regardless as to how many we spend on clothing.





Your clothing should not bunch or gather anywhere on your body. The shoulders should fit firmly and the lines on the sides should lay smooth and flat down your hips. Clothes should never be 'see through' and you should never have panty or man-ty lines showing in your clothing.





Men who are under 5'10 should only wear suit jackets that hit right at mid thigh. Longer jackets make men under 5'10 look short and stout.





Make sure to wear proper undergarments when trying clothes on so that you can really see how the clothing really looks. And, take your time when shopping.





And of course, walk with confidence. A confident you will make a difference in how you see yourself and how others see you too.



We'll talk later everyone. Gotta get ready for dinner!

Cheers!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Socialite Weight Management

Hello everyone,

Many thanks again for the notes and emails. You are great!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch – your girl is trying to lose a few pounds (ok, it’s more than a few).

In case you didn’t get the ‘memo’ or a ‘Tweet’, being a Socialite takes stamina and to some degree physical fitness.

After all, how do you expect to look great in photos and keep an active schedule?

Over the weekend, I had a chat with one of the Super Socialites listed on this blog about weight management. She was alarmed to find out that I don’t have a scale at home.

Actually, I’ve never had a scale at home.

Here’s why…

About eight years ago, I hired a personal trainer to whip my body into shape. I learned that muscle weights much more than fat. Since then, I elected to focus on the following rather than obsessing over a scale:
1) Whether or not I could fit into the majority of my favorite clothing
2) Arm and leg flabbiness
3) Results from my annual physical

Becoming fixated on your actual weight is like worrying about clothing size. It’s a losing battle no pun intended.

I think you should be concerned with your energy level and if you feel physically good.

We all know when we are not operating at maximum capacity.

Tis’ the eating season from now until February so be careful.

All good things in moderation.

Cheers!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick


I searched high and low for a full body picture of Mrs. Lois Betts (center) and was unable to secure one.


Anyway...she looks fantastic and readers of this blog will know that we are witnessing the slimmer version of Mrs. Betts as she has developed quite the buff body (do you see her arms?) in recent months!


Go, go Mrs. Betts!!


This flick features her at The National Park Foundation's annual gala last month in New York City at Chelsea Piers. The event raised $2.2 Million for the preservation of our national park system.

I hope you have a fun weekend planned!


Cheers!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

One of our super favorite Socialites (Susan Fales-Hill) is pictured with Sloan Barnett, and Jennifer Creel. Susan was attending at a book signing in honor of Sloan Barnett's debut book Green Goes With Everything; Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet earlier this month.

I've been reading your emails and I want you to stay encouraged during this rocky period in our economy.

Things will get better.

And remember that darkness is always followed by the light.

Enjoy one of my favorite songs of encouragement:

The Prayer by Rev. Donnie McClurkin & Yolanda Adams

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good Times At The Opera

Special cufflinks for a special man!


The centerpiece at our table highlighted some of the geometric shapes featured in the Opera

Table elegance that was simple yet thematic


This was a centerpiece at an adjacent table




Great artistry abound - even in dessert!



I stood on my tip-toes to capture this great shot of the newly restored 5,000 lbs 1855 crystal chandelier


Special Friend and I had a great time at Opening Night Gala for The Opera Company of Philadelphia (OCP). Since it was Special Friend’s birthday weekend (and he was rather ho-hum about turning 38 on October 11th), I surprised him with Tiffany’s cufflinks to make the remembrance of this birthday super special.

We had to head out super early because sooooooo much was going on in Philadelphia that evening. The hometown baseball team was playing in the finals, the political candidates from both parties were doing fundraisers and rallies, and the traffic from other events near OCP’s venue had the area jammed packed.

We made it on time to enjoy an assortment of hors d'oeuvres and cocktails which led into a three course meal that was absolutely fabulous. I enjoyed a large plate of salad with champagne vinaigrette dressing before diving into a perfectly prepared Chilean Sea Bass and Beef Tenderloin duet. Dessert was a chocolate mousse bombe with a wafer crust. I included a flick of dessert and the table arrangements so that you can enjoy the artistry of it.

Our dinner-mates were great and interesting people who travel the world to enjoy Opera. The couple I was seated next to just came back from Kiev. The couple seated next to Special Friend enjoyed sharing political anecdotes with him while enjoying dinner.
This year’s performance is sure to strike chords of celebration and surprise as it is a contemporary rendition of Fidelio by Beethoven. People will either love it or dislike it in my opinion because it’s soooo edgy. Japanese artist Jun Kaneko marked his set and costume design preview with OCP. His work is on public display in two places on the East Coast this year: the New York City Park on Park Avenue between 52nd and 54th and the Locks Gallery in Philadelphia.

We were the only Black couple at the event (and among the youngest attendees). After the performance, we celebrated with a post-performance dessert with the cast. At exactly Midnight, Special Friend was again surprised with an Operatic rendition of Happy Birthday! He gushed and turned a golly shade of beet red!!

We toasted him with champagne, champagne, and even more champagne.

Later that evening/morning, we hit the bed like a ton of bricks.
But what great memories to share and cherish.