After a cautious fall social season, the New York charity round was interrupted in December because of the Omicron surge. Here’s how some philanthropists and social figures have spent the past month.
Grow old: 43
Job: fashion designer
Where have you been subdued?
I was firmly planted in New York, in an apartment near Washington Square Park. As soon as the Black Lives Matter movement began, I knew I was witnessing a historic moment. I want to add my body to the demonstrations. I also got to see the city come to life in its most glorious ways – people trending and dancing in the streets. I miss traveling so much, I won’t lie, but I’m so glad I decided to stay.
Do you have a daily routine?
At 6 a.m. I woke up. I meditated for 15 to 20 minutes, drank cider and vinegar, and made my bed – a habit from my boarding school days. I have breakfast with my mother every day. I listen to a lot of music: English, Hindi, Balinese. I have a karaoke machine at home. I sing.
Does the start of New York Fashion Week on February 11, pose special challenges?
After 12 years in business, you know the harshness, the hours it takes. You come to a place where worry is only one. There is always a crescendo. It’s like you’re an athlete preparing for this moment.
So that’s business as usual?
Nothing. Our factories have shrunk. We depend on the supply chain, but everything is delayed. Maybe the lesson is that we can slow down a bit.
Have there been more profound lessons?
The pandemic made us realize how closely connected we are to each other. Everything that happens in a far away country also happens here. Socially and psychologically, we need each other.
Have you found other outlets for your creativity yet?
During the pandemic, my friends and I launched “House of Slay,” a web comic series with superheroes. It’s all about empowerment, inclusion, and fun. Our goal is to expand it to television and film.
Are you a fan of New Year’s resolutions?
One of my favorite books is “Everything is falling apart,” a good reminder of our impermanence. That’s my New Year’s resolution to get it done. My other solution is to fall in love this year. I have put in a lot of effort to meet people of similar value to me. In life and work, I think, there should be depth and brevity.
Grow old: 57
Favorite charities: North Shore Animal League USA
Where did you take refuge?
I was in my apartment on the Upper East Side. I’m looking out at a row of trees in the middle of my block. It’s very quiet here.
Is it a lucky or difficult one?
I was basically isolated for years. In the old days, quarantine was self-imposed. Now, taking precautions and limiting social contact is quite easy for me. Seeing people can be all well and good, but I’ve learned that it’s okay to have fewer friends around.
How do you stay connected?
I love talking on the phone. And I’ve switched to using Instagram to connect with old friends in a way I didn’t before the pandemic.
Did some of them surprise you?
On Instagram, I came across a photo from last year around this time. I thought “Wow, what is my boyfriend from 1992 doing during the uprising?” I think how easily people we once had in common moved to the other side.
What upsets you these days?
I find it difficult to understand by the number of people who say that they cannot be vaccinated because of their immunocompromised background. As someone who has been dealing with multiple sclerosis for 25 years, that doesn’t make any sense to me.
What lifts you?
I am one of the good guys. I want to perfect my pumpkin and cherry pie. I would love to see”The greatest events of the Second World War in color“On Netflix. It puts everything in perspective.
Your The 1993 novel, “Gatherings,” caused a lot of interest in its time. Is a new book in the works?
It’s correct. Its working title is “Pre-existing Conditions,” a collection of essays that examine the past, present, and future—that is, the future of the next few months.
Have you kept up with any New Year resolutions yet?
I actually find that I’m cutting back. If I don’t have to take a baby shower, I don’t need a pastel dress.
Have you switched to wearing pandemic uniforms yet?
I took longer to wash all of my clothes when the baking started. I swapped out my Frances Valentine caftan from 2020 with a white or camel shirt from CO and wide-leg jeans by Uniqlo. I still buy a few nice ones, one increased in size, and usually second-hand. I’ve stacked those like a squirrel storing nuts in a tree. If my waistline expands again, I’m in trouble. I’ll need two months’ notice, so I can do sit-ups before I start going out again.
Grow old: 55
Job: writer, actress, radio and television personality
Where did you take refuge?
I was in my apartment in Harlem. I have an outdoor space. I call it my smoking hole. When my dad passed away from Covid in April, there were a lot of people visiting me around the corner. We will drink cocktails and chat. I will never leave this place. They will have to push me away. This is my community.
What surrounds you at home?
I collect art, definitely African American art. Some of my favorite works are by Mickalene Thomas, Derek Adams and of course, Kehinde. I just bought a beautiful piece of African art from Sotheby’s in London, and a print by Kerry James Marshall.
What helps you balance?
I wake up every morning and decide what my day should be like. I started a new TV show called “Harm.” My character is Aunt Tammy. She debuted in December. What I commit to doing four days a week is “Bevelations, ”My SiriusXM talk show. Otherwise, I spend time sitting in the backyard and journaling. I was determined to take a step back and really enjoy my life.
I will definitely write another memoir. But the book that I want to do in the next few years is a children’s book about Little Brown Bevy. She is a world traveler. She makes friends wherever she goes.
Is she an alter ego, created from your experiences?
I prefer to travel alone when visiting important cities. If you’ve ever sat at Notre Dame by yourself, you just want to enjoy it all. You want some quiet time to pursue your passionate goals.
Would you like to share the New Year’s “Bevolution”?
My mantra is “The later, the bigger.” I’m cooking on gas at the age of 55. I’m fully committed to continuing this year’s work. I’m chasing absolutely nothing. I finished my work. Now I will count all the blessings that come to me.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/28/style/prabal-gurung-marina-rust-bevy-smith.html How does Prabal Gurung plan to fall in love this year