New York is often touted as the epicenter of the world, and thus hosted the largest Pride celebration in the world, World Pride coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, spanning the entire month of June in 2019. Of the many events that FIG or out and 3FS Lifestyle were invited to, several stood out for their mission statements and personal connections. Yet, the entire month was one of joy and everlasting memories.
As a food critic, my favorite was NYC Pride & God’s Love We Deliver‘s immersive culinary fundraiser. With a series of chef’s demonstrations who were strong in the food scene and the LGBTQIA+ community, the outdoor terraces of the God’s Love We Deliver’s headquarters were a perfect sunset soiree to kick off the weekend. Plus, all the proceeds benefitted God’s Love We Deliver’s mission of delivering home cooked meals to clients in need. Amidst the personalized engraved spatulas, the vodka cocktails (with a cold brew vodka cocktail as a particular favorite), meals from Nordstrom’s new restaurants, and pop ups by American Airlines and T-Mobile, my favorite was a vegetarian tofu grilled demonstration by a favorite Chef David Burtka. As a chef, caterer and award-winning actor, it was a fun evening filled with sumptuous bites and very many cocktails with views.
As an alumnus of UPenn, Stacey Bendett has consistently made me proud with her array of NYFW shows, her summer parties and now, with Pride. She threw an expectedly apt scenography savvy party filled with Instagrammable rainbow backdrops, Svedka cocktail drinks, a series of delightful bites, and with apparel that supported The Trevor Project, a nonprofit that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth. 50% of the net proceeds were donated to The Trevor Project.
Having attended the fashionable Bazaar Icons and Met Gala afters, it was a pleasure to attend The Love Ball. Organized by the CFDA and Bartschland, the first two Love Balls raised over $2.5 million for those affected by HIV/AIDS. With vibrant eccentricity and a nod to the ball culture, the timing of having it on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots ensured it was a lavish affair, with wine, dinner, trophies, performances, and a host of funds donated to the New York City AIDS Fund, under the New York Community Trust.
Barney’s and HBO and wig director Chris Mourkabel had a party to benefit to the LGBTQ+ Center New York at their iconic store, with a well themed ambiance. And StoneWall Inn celebrated with Saks at the new Edition Hotel New York.