The Year of the Rooster is upon us, as dictated by the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
Offer Nissenbaum, managing director of the Peninsula, is hosting the hotel’s opulent celebration this weekend with his chefs serving buffet feasts of those dishes inspired by those myriad recipes from China’s universally heralded cuisine.
We hear that our new President may be foregoing his favorite burger at the 21 Club to pick up the chopsticks and indulge in the traditional toast, Kung Hei Fat Choi.
The Rooster represents fidelity and punctuality for it wakes people up on time.
Those born in the Year of the Rooster are kind-hearted, hard-working, courageous, independent, humorous and honest. They like their homes to be neat and organized.
By the same token, they can be arrogant, self-aggrandizing, persuasive to others, wild and with a tendency to admire things or persons blindly.
Our next Rooster Year is 2029.
Time to face the music. That entertainment news (and gossip, if you will) is over. Passe. Finito. From what we discern, folks barely shiv a git about Angelina and Brad, Justin, Mick and any of the Jennifers (take your pick).
The fog of Hollywood boredom has set in. Where are those fascinating producers of long ago – say, Samuel Goldwyn with his witticisms (“include me out!”), and the obsessive memo-writing David O. Selznick, and Columbia’s Harry Cohn (“you need four asses to sit through this film!”). Many cinema stars today often look like shampoo models, and curiously Vogue models are taking center stage (Karlie Kloss, etc.).
People magazine most likely has a tough time selecting cinema celebrities that sell covers. Often choosing babies. Although we never get enough of young Brit Prince George, the charmer son of Prince William and Princess Kate.
Truth to tell, politics and sports are the new entertainment. People are talking about Roger Federer, 35, winning over Rafael Nadal, 30, at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
And yes, they are talking about the Commander-In-Chief and billionaire George Soros and Arab Nations funding protest after protest.
Some years ago, we met during the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. They attended, as we did, to salute the American artists of the performing arts.
Lucky, indeed, for us to be seated with them during the State Department dinner hosted the night before by the Secretary of State, where the testimonials for the honorees are delivered.
The gala weekend, launched by founders Nick Vanoff and George Stevens Jr. raised big bucks for the Kennedy Center. Ticket tariffs kept skyrocketing higher and higher for this see-and-be-seen social event by the Who and the Who. Politicos joined hands with titans of Hollywood such as CBS’ Les Moonves shaking hands with the Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham.
Here and there were Post editor Ben Bradlee with wife Sally Quinn, Michael Douglas with Catherine Zeta-Jones, the fabulous dancer Carmen de Lavallade. And the couple we were delighted and impressed to meet. Songwriter extraordinaire Hal David and the flawlessly beautiful Eunice David.
Since the Honors are scheduled in December, meeting the Davids was like a Christmas gift.
Kind and gently mannered, Hal was sweetly low-key, and Eunice is a woman of the world. We were privileged to dine with them.
We caught up from time to time at other Honors events. Soon enough, we devoured Eunice’s captivating book, High Rise, Low Down, about the high-end real estate scene in Manhattan, co-authored with Denise LeFrak of the famed Sam LeFrak empire.
Surprise of surprises, Eunice’s now published a memoir of her life with Hal that will endure through the ages, describing, as she does, his timeless songs that are poetry everlasting. And the lives lived to the fullest by the two of them.
Titled Hal David, His Magic Moments, and released by Dorrance Publishers, this long-awaited endeavor about a love affair and marriage of 25 years that began with “a simple game of tennis.”
Oh the songs, oh the songs, many composed by the indomitable Burt Bacharach are legion and legend.
Three years in the writing, Eunice looks back on the heavenly joys of being there with Hal’s creative enthusiasm. If you love music, you know the songs. They never leave you.
Imagine a songbook containing The Look Of Love … This Guys In Love With You …There’s Always Something There To Remind Me … I Say A Little Prayer … Only Love Can Break A Heart … Don’t Make Me Over … One Less Bell To Answer … To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before …What The World Needs Now is Love … What’s New Pussycat? … Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head … and that infamous ode to a city, Do You Know The Way To San Jose?
Hal David knew the way to our hearts. And to Eunice’s.