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I go [to the Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon] every year as the guest of Dick Gilder. As my daughters explain, he saved the park.

City for Display: 

When
11am
5.1.13

Where
Central Park

Dick and George Soros got together in the late ’70s and created the Central Park Conservancy. I remember the park as a child in the ’70s and now it’s completely unrecognizable; the difference is mind-blowing. My mother and I would walk her dog through the park—she lived on Central Park West—and it was a dust bowl filled with graffiti. Today, it is verdant and is the No. 1 tourist attraction in New York City. It’s extraordinary that it has been preserved and it now reflects the original vision of the architects of the park. My daughters sent a birthday card this year to Dick that read, “Thank you for saving the park.”

I’d been to so many of the hat luncheons that I finally bought a hat specifically for it, but it doesn’t protect me from the sun. I bought it impulsively at a trunk show at Creel and Gow. The young milliner Linda Hafner said, “It’s too bad you’re not going to that hat lunch.” I gulped and said, “Actually I am.” In retrospect, the money should have gone directly to the park, but I like the hat.