One of the best things about Fifty Over Fifty is the incredible women I’ve met on the phone. This week I’m having the great good fortune of spending in-person time with four of the wonderful, wise and wild women I’ve interviewed. Yesterday, I met Agenia Clark for the first time. I decided that we should have coffee at Payard Patisserie because Agenia was staying on the upper east side. We immediately bonded over a love for truly incredible desserts and, after some debate settled on two that we could share before settling down to an hour and a half conversation that ranged from leadership and who a leader’s real clients were to Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. Agenia was truly compelling (that I wish I had on tape) about the shortsightedness of leaders who saw the end-user as their client. We both thought Kate Blanchette was brilliant, Blue Jasmine depressing. We shared stories about our work. About the importance of keeping your dentures in (no, not applicable to either of us) in public. About building self-esteem. We laughed at the foibles of employees and students. It was a magical interlude.
Tomorrow, I’m having lunch at Trattoria Stella with four wonderful women, including Deb Roth, whose story of coming into her own as one who creates rituals is a lovely one. Although we live in the same city, we rarely get to spend time together. It’s only a chance to have lunch with mutual friends from out-of-town that brings us together. I know we’ll be thoughtful and silly and wise and wonderful as we update and support each other.
Sunday will be an adventure. I’ve always wanted to go to one of the Russian restaurants on the boardwalk at Brighton Beach, and I’ll be joined by Sally Frissel and Barbara Woods in exploring diner at Tatiana. Barbara will be guiding us in this adventure as we enjoy watching the sun set over the beach. I’ll be sharing advise with Sally about Sri Lanka. She’s leaving next week to visit there and will be meeting with my friend, Brother Emmanuel Nicholas, who will help her explore doing volunteer work in an orphanage in Colombo. Now there’s wild – Sally divides her time between New York City and Maine, with generous chunks devoted to volunteer work in Southeast Asia. After a long stint in Cambodia, she’s ready to explore a new country.
As more of these women come to New York, I’m fantasizing about connecting them to each other. Any time I feel blocked or the writing gets slow, I envision the launch party. The combined energy of these women in the same room will be enough to power New York for a year!