Of all the events I attend on a regular basis, very few are ever truly memorable. While free-flowing cocktails and mini hotdogs are never a bad thing, all that party-hopping can get a bit….tiresome. And then, out of the blue, will come a singular event that is so perfectly constructed, so thoroughly enjoyable, that it makes up for all the fake-air-kiss-required, boring-small-talk-filled, parties that you’ve endured for months on end. Last night’s Edmont Society Affair benefit at The Friar’s Club was just such a gathering.
A slew of celebrites including Leelee Sobieski, Emmanuelle Chiriqui, Aaron Yoo (um, Amber Tamblyn’s boyfriend in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2?? Duh.), Vanessa Carlton, and Sam Worthington came out in full force to watch as musician Common took the stage in a small, truly intimate room to perform a moving song/poem in honor of the event. Soon after, legendary author and poet Maya Angelou took his place and slowly, deliberately recited her poem, “Brave and Startling Truth,” a piece she wrote for the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, to thunderous applause. Watching her up there, listening to the resounding words she was saying, I couldn’t help but get a bit teary-eyed, at verses like:
When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
Powerful stuff, indeed. I know I must sound like an emotional sap at the moment, but it’s not everyday you get to witness a rapper and a literary legend holding hands and sharing a stage.
And so, a hat’s off is due to The Edmont Society (named after the famous hotel in The Catcher in the Rye) and it’s founding members Georgia Tapert, Stephanie LaCava, Derek Anderson, Victor Kubicek and Nathaniel Rich.