What I learned today by Mister D
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Okay…that’s enough…I need to start lighting up some candles! See ya’ll later…
Love. Mister D
Walden Auction and Benefit
We’ve got a few tidbits for you from the benefit Thursday night to benefit Walden Woods.
Those in attendance included Ed Begely, Harvey Weinstein, Bette Midler, Roger Waters, Val Kilmer, Brian Williams, John Malkovich and Billy Joel.
For those who are interested in this sort of thing, dinner consisted of butternut squash consommÃ©, filet mignon and a potato/carrot/mushroom concoction, and an apple tart with vanilla ice cream served along with a three-tiered tray of smaller dessert snacks. The wine flowed freely.
The show consisted of classical pianist Barbara Nissman playing some numbers on the piano to show what it could do. Ed Begely spoke briefly about Don’s work as a conservationist. Some of the items that were auctioned off included dinner with Don and Tim before one of the Nokia shows. The piano sold for $510,000.
Don then came out and apologized that the speech he was about to make was going to be about 10 to 11 minutes. He spoke about walking in Central Park earlier in the day, his children growing up in a world where we are spectators instead of participants, and so on. He even attempted to make a comment about the Mets but thought against it, but he still said “at least the Yankees are playing tonight” to thunderous laughter.
After dinner, Don came out with a guy on standup bass, Will Hollis (on electronic keyboard) and Mike Thompson (on the Walden Piano), and he performed “New York and Walden themed songs”; Come Rain or Come Shine, and It Ain’t Easy Being Green.
Then Billy Joel came out. He spoke a little bit about getting a call from Sting to save the rainforests, getting a call from Don to save the woods, and the closest he’s ever gotten to trees was plowing his car into them, very funny! He performed: Summer, Highland Falls and Piano Man (with a very funny nod to Don).
Then Billy invited Don and the band back onstage and Michael started into the intro for Desperado, which went into a version of Georgia On My Mind, calling it Walden On My Mind and changing the words.
We’ve got a couple of photos for y’all. Thanks so much to our friend for providing these details: Click Here
BITING THE BIG APPLE
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 10/7/07
BY JEREMY GERARD
BLOOMBERG NEWS SERVICE
I thought I might be seeing a ghost when Scott Campbell emerged from the kitchen at the New Leaf Cafe for a post-dinner chat. It had been more than a year since he’d shocked the fans of his Upper West Side hangout, SQC, closing it in the dark of night and leaving behind only a note indicating that a catastrophe had occurred and he was outta there.
“It’s great to be back, great to still be on the Upper West Side,” the chef from Grosse Pointe said by way of hello.
Campbell started cooking here in June. The cafe sits on a hillside next to the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park with peeping-Tom views of the Hudson River below.
Bringing first-rate ingredients and a skilled staff to his outpost in Manhattan’s northwestern fingertip is proving to be a challenge. But dining there alfresco one recent evening, as sunset’s dappled shafts of light turned from golden to burnt orange, was as transporting as the heart of the city can get. Yet it required no more exertion than taking the No. 4 bus to the end of the line and walking up the hill.
The venture belongs to the New York Restoration Project, founded in 1995 by pop diva Bette Midler to reclaim and restore public parks, gardens and other threatened spaces.
A slate-roofed limestone cottage, the cafe was once a concession stand for the Cloisters, home of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 15th-century Unicorn Tapestries. It reopened as a full-service upscale restaurant in 2001 and now represents an unusual for-profit venture whose mandate is to support the nonprofit restoration project.
For Campbell, however, it symbolizes a new leaf of a more serious sort. In July 2006, customers gathered outside SQC, his popular restaurant on Columbus Avenue and 73rd Street. Not only had the place closed down; through the window you could see it had been gutted. A one-page letter taped to the door announced that Scott (and Linda, his wife, who always could be found on the premises greeting the regulars and welcoming new folks) had suffered “a catastrophe.”
“We were absolutely burned out,” Campbell said. “I was going back and forth to Detroit, where my father had a near-fatal illness and ended up being in assisted care. We were working 18 hours a day, seven days a week. You get into a situation like that and you start saying, “Where’s life?’ ”
The New Leaf Cafe needs to earn money for the New York Restoration Project, which is one reason for the sticker shock some patrons experience when they see midtown prices attached to the bill of fare. Roasted chicken is $24, for example, and rack of lamb sells for $36.
Perfectly grilled loin of tuna ($31 at dinner) was made exotic with Napa cabbage and sweet-pea puree; a huge pork chop ($29) had its own puree of quince, the sweetness offset by red cabbage and grainy mustard. Desserts have always been a killer Campbell specialty, including his own ice creams and maybe the best tart tatin north of Balthazar.
Come winter, Campbell promises the return of that irresistible hot chocolate. “Are you kidding? There’d be riots in the street if I didn’t bring it back,” he said when I asked about it.