Twelve years ago, I decided we — the ASPCA board — needed our own Blessing of the Animals for those four-legged family members we love. So I did it.
Every December, on a Christmastime Sunday, I’ve done New York’s Blessing of the Animals. Free, no reservations. Pet owners swarmed Park Ave’s Christ Church. The block was closed. Timothy Cardinal Dolan blessed Catholic creatures, Rabbi Rubinstein the Jewish ones, minister Stephen Bauman for those between.
Maybe 800 dogs, cats, turtles, birds, fish in bowls, rabbits, an iguana, once a mongoose.
At 2 p.m., for two hours, we had TV cameras, cleanup crews, Roosevelt HS choir, hymns, homily, police dogs and handlers down the aisle to the altar, a rescues procession, Farm to You Revue. Uniformed NYPD and police horses outside for blessing.
New York Post, Cornell, John Catsimatidis, Judy Wilpon, Peter and Mary Kalikow, p.r.’s Robert Zimmerman, Stephanie Kempadoo, Roseann DeGennaro all supported it.
This year, for the first time — you know why — no Blessing of the Animals. I am distraught. Meanwhile, until we do this again, please hug and kiss any creature that shares your life — and send up an extra prayer for my Yorkie who, as we speak, just peed on our kitchen floor.
Holiday happiness is oozing out of Hollywood. Coming next, “Buddy Games” out Nov. 24. On-demand, on digital and DVD. Stars Josh Duhamel who co-wrote it, Olivia Munn, Kevin Dillon, Dax Shepard. It’s rated R. Like REAL R — 90 minutes of nasty language, graphic nudity, drug use, violence and strong crude sexual content. So, listen, happy Thanksgiving. More happiness for Broadway next March. Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s in Second Stage Theater’s “Take Me Out” at the Hayes Theater. It’s about our favorite baseball pastime. The Empires star center fielder comes out of the closet revealing prejudices, hostility, etc. They struggle to a championship, the players question tradition, loyalties and blah blah.
Hey, wannabe foodies
If like much of civilization you’re out of work, but think you’re the next Emeril, a casting service is seeking a “friendly, outgoing, conversational host for a new roadshow where history and food meet.” Whatever that means. This can be man or woman, 25 to 65, any ethnicity. Pays $3,000 to $8,000 an episode. They want a “bold, exciting culinary personality. Experts, historians, critics, chefs, restaurateurs or TV hosts. Should be outgoing, conversational, curiosity for things food and its history. Good listener, comfortable interacting with kitchen or street people. Must love to eat, drink, share opinions.”
Attention must be paid. Early ’60s. President Kennedy proposed to end housing discrimination. Man named Robert Dill ran for Nassau County executive. His campaign issue: fear. “Fight those who would do us harm.” He called Democrats “pigs.” Jack English, the Dem Party chairman at the time, made sure Dill’s rallies were packed with folks sporting pig masks.
Making his Mark
Nobody’s doing nothing these days, so what’s old is the new new. Christie’s just auctioned Latvia’s late Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz who became America’s Mark Rothko. And Houston just reopened its Rothko Chapel. Early ’70s, architect Philip Johnson built it octagonal, but no skylight. Rothko, who committed suicide, said Texas sun’s too hot for his 14 valuable paintings. Guggenheims were his patrons and his 1961 abstract brought Christie’s $86.8 million in 2012. The artist’s studio, a 25-foot-wide East Side brick townhouse, had a laminated glass skylight. Newly reopened Rothko Chapel copied this ceiling.
We speak of a candidate whose name we won’t mention. We just say he went to a seance and, instead of a medium, he asked for an extra-large.
Only in America, kids, only in America.
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