The New York Landmarks Conservancy: "Living Landmarks Celebration 2006"
Tuesday, October 31, 2006, Cipriani 42nd Street, New York City, The New York Landmarks Conservancy: "Living Landmarks Celebration 2006" honoring Tom Brokaw and Meredith Brokaw; Governor Mario and Matilda Cuomo; Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg; Norman Mailer and Norris Mailer; and Howard Rubenstein and Amy Rubenstein. Host Liz Smith, who knows a good party herself, has regularly referred to this event as "One of the best parties in town." The Landmarks Conservancy recognizes New Yorkers who have made outstanding contributions to the City and honors them as "Living Landmarks" at their annual fall gala. This year Mario & Matilda Cuomo recieved the Lew Rudin Award (Lewis Rudin: New York Times Obituary ) for Outstanding Public Service. While there were definitely some big names in the room the VIP cocktail party was definitely Super Mario hour with everyone wanting to cross paths with Mario Cuomo. I had an opportunity to chat briefly with the legendary New York political icon, generally regarded as one of the greatest political orators of our time. He approached me, reached out to shake my hand and inquired whether I was enjoying myself, I advised Governor Mario Cuomo that growing up in Queens (Kew Gardens, Corona and Forest Hills and then Brooklyn) that his career is one that I have followed with great interest since my youth when he splashed on the New York political scene. He was quite gracious and has not lost that magical touch in making anyone who comes in contact with him feel special, including me. I advised former Governor Mario Cuomo that many have missed his voice in recent months on the critical political issues of our time. The consummate gentleman, Mario Cuomo, advised me that until the election of his son Andrew Cuomo to the Attorney General position, he did not feel it was necessarily proper for him to be outspoken on the political issues of the day. My sense from speaking to "Mario" was that he genuinely did not want to claim the spotlight or the headlines from other "Cuomo's" at this time but preferred rather to observe the ascendency of his offspring. In fact I also overheard several people in attendance remarking about how well Christopher Cuomo was doing in his role at ABC. On many levels it was a dream come true just to have the opportunity to shake this man's hand and take his photograph. Thus for me, this was very much the highlight of 2006 for sure. Why? You see for me, Mario Cuomo represents something else often missing in political discourse in America today. Mr. Cuomo transcends political parties, even though many embrace him as a classic Democrat in the liberal mold. This is surely true. But whether or not you always agree with him, he forces liberals and conservatives alike to rethink whatever long held and entrenched positions they have, to adjust their perspective and evolve beyond what you thought possible or feasible. A modern day Socrates in every way is Mr. Cuomo. His speeches compel you to be a better citizen, a better American and ultimately a better human being. He is as enigmatic as he is charismatic. The mind of Mario Cuomo is a compelling place. LINKS: Mario Cuomo's Keynote address at 1984 DNC Convention in San Francisco; 1996 DNC Address. PHOTO CREDIT: ©Manhattan Society.com 2006 by Christopher London |e-mail: ChrisLondon@manhattansociety.com ***NOTE: All honorees not pictured because I was only able to cover cocktail portion of evening and these images are NOT FOR SALE***Read More