A blessing event: They’ll arrive primped and pretty, proud and preening. They’ll have waited all year. Dogs and cats. Birds and bunnies. Maybe a goat. Some will strut, others may struggle. Some will be bright-eyed and bushy tailed, others may wiggle and waffle. Some will be rescues. Others pure bred. On Sunday, Dec. 13, they all will be one as they walk the red carpet in the sanctuary of Christ Church for Cindy Adams’s 7th Annual Blessing of the Animals to the caroling of The Roosevelt High School Choir. Bestowing the blessings will be Christ Church’s Senior Minister Stephen Bauman and Central Synagogue’s Rabbi Emeritus Peter J. Rubinstein. WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. WHERE: Christ Church, 60th and Park Ave. The sanctuary is always SRO. No RSVPs. People bring their pets. Pets bring their people. Among the regulars each year are Cindy’s beautiful Yorkies Jazzy and Juicy, Moses the pug, Samson the hound, Hazel the happy brown tiger tabby who is blind in one eye, and yappy Noodle the jumping up and down black poodle. We’ll be looking for Mary and Joseph, a pair of shih tzus, and Vanushka the Russian Blue kitty and Velvel the frisky chihuahua. It’s a proud day and a proud roster of presenters - The NY Post, Peter Kalikow, John Catsimatides, Cornell Veterinary and the Baker Institute for Animal Health - joining Cindy for her “only in NY” blessing event.
Go Kaia: It’s not often that a fundraiser is something to look forward to, but it is when it’s at Upper East Side Assemblyman Dan Quart’s annual holiday party at Kaia Wine Bar, a five-year-old establishment on Third Ave. (between 90th/91st). Owner Suzaan Hauptfleisch, who is from South Africa, is a whirlwind of knowledge and savvy about South African wine and food. Suzaan will tell you all about the sustainable wines of her country and the origin of the food coming out of Kaia’s kitchen, including why only her mom’s recipe for bread - which is made on premises - is served. The bobotie entree - egg custard (spiced beef with egg custard, chutney, tumeric rice and raisins served in a ceramic dish) - is a must-have. At Dan’s event, it was served bite-size, like little pies. Sausage (boerewors) is home made with pork and beef. To die for is a lamb burger served with Kaia’s pickled cucumbers, plum chutney and local Roquefort on brioche. An Equinnox pop-up office just set up shop right next door to Kaia. An Equinnox health club is coming to the new Related building on 92nd St off Third. Not bad. Join the health club. Have a work out. Then some wine. The good life on the UES.
Busing 101: Recorded announcement on uptown M103: “It’s against NY law to assault your bus driver. Anyone who does will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Seated rider, to no one in particular, “Have to take that one off my bucket list.” No brainer.
A sea of blue: A show of hands - 9:30-ish, weekday morning. Bus stop at 86th/3rd: MTA transit officers in blue standing or milling around the 86th side of Banana Republic ready to serve or pounce. Hard to tell why what looked like a posse or an armada was needed - terrorist alert? gunman in the area? someone, something gone or going amok? Hardly. No sooner did the Select pull into the stop than the men in blue charged through the open doors and shouted in unison, “Hold up your tickets.” Up went a sea of arms clutching and waving proof that they’d paid their fare. To preserve and protect? Please. Militia tactics are nonsensical and a colossal waste of MTA funds. Better to use resources for better service - like getting more buses making local stops and cutting down on the never-ending Not In Service buses. These buses, sometimes (sometimes not) with passengers on board but not picking up new riders, must serve a purpose (I’d like to know what that requires 8 to 12 a day) besides creating gridlock and causing agita.
Noon notes: Imagine a piano player playing piano in the lobby of an office building mid-day in mid-Manhattan? That’s the gig thanks to Paramount Group, which manages office towers in Manhattan. Two hours a day a piano player plays within the lobby space of the several office buildings Paramount manages. A delightful oasis amid the hustle, bustle, cells and sounds of NY.
Marquee madness: Who is behind the notion that a movie house marquee should not display the films that are playing there? AMC theater on 86th/3rd gives you a dot com address to contact if you want to know what’s playing. Weird. Maybe they’re too cheap to pay workers to do the job. Until they stopped, each week workers could be seen standing on ladders and displaying letters that would spell out the film titles that would be playing starting that weekend. No more - and, if you walk into the lobby to see what’s playing, you’ll need a magnifying glass or 3D glasses because of the small size of the font and the background color of the signage. It’s all the more annoying if you’re passing AMC on a bus, can’t find out what’s playing, and have to keep riding.
Arlene Kayatt’s East Side Encounters runs bi-weekly in Our Town. Know of something she should include in the column? Email her at email@example.com