Bettinaâ€™s Take: The Central Park Conservancy Women’s Committee Fall Luncheon
By Bettina Zilkha 10/18/11 at 12:40 PM
New York is a bustling, cacophonous place, and most of us look for relief in the city’s many glorious parks. However, restoring and maintaining our parks is neither easy nor free. Luckily, the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy is actively involved in improving our green spaces.
The Committee held its Fall Luncheon on October 17th at Mandarin Oriental, with Bette Midler as guest speaker. Midler has worked tirelessly for the Conservancy and for the city’s green spaces, starting the New York Restoration Project 16 years ago. The Project is planning on planting a million new trees in the city by 2017, and on October 18th they will be planting their 500,000th.
“Central Park is vital to the mental and physical health of New York City,” said event Chairman Marcia Mishaan, looking beautiful in a Theory jacket, Prada cashmere sweater and Oscar de la Renta skirt. “It’s the lungs of the city, and it’s a place for people and pets to go and just be with nature and regroup. In the ’80’s, Central Park needed a lot of care. People assume the city takes care of it all, but that’s not true. It requires volunteers to weed and to raise funds. I started out as a weeder and have become progressively more involved.”
Guests dined on crudites and wontons with dip, arctic char and a variety of sinful desserts, followed by a moving and funny speech by the Divine Miss M.
“I can’t stay long because I promised the mayor I’d run down and help him clean up Zuccotti Park,” joked Midler, later choking up when speaking of the transformations that have enabled children to play, and fruit and vegetables to grow, in some of the city’s formerly most hopeless places. “This work has become one of the great joys of my life.”
“I think everybody is here because Central Park is their front yard,” said Carol Mack, in a sleek, coral L’Wren Scott sheath. “It’s the crown jewel. Everyone wants their sanctuary away from the concrete.”
“This is a perfect cause for Marcia because she really is a nature girl, said Smyth.” Bette Midler does so much and works so hard to turn the city around and beautify it. The park is a great place and we all like to hang out there. What could be more important than Central Park?”
Photo: Cynthia Lufkin, Anne Harrison, Douglas Blonsky, Bette Midler, Marcia Mishaan and Suzanne Johnson at the luncheon