To open a five night, sold out performance of French comedian Gad Elmaleh, City Winery received a very special surprise guest appearance from New York comedic icon Jerry Seinfeld. Gad Elmaleh and Jerry have been friends for several years and share a similar bandwidth of popularity and fan adoration in their respected countries. In fact, last year Jerry did his first-ever show in Paris and Gad made a similar opening address to the French-American audience. The two also share a connection over the voice-over work from DreamWorks Animation’s Bee Movie.
Gad Elmaleh has received a very warm welcome by his New York fans and City Winery is honored to host his first ever appearance on our stage. We look forward to last two sold out performances!
Last night City Winery went out to support the TJ Martell Foundation Wine dinner. Owner Michael Dorf had the privilege to sit next to Robert Parker, Jr, the renowned Wine Critic. Michael passed him a bottle of City Winery Bettinelli Cabernet under the table and joked that we made so little of it, don’t rate it, just drink it.
Robert Parker in his remarks at the event had the following to say:
“The therapeutic combination of great wine with great music all shared by great friends is one of the greatest privileges of all time.”
Michael Dorf and Robert Parker Jr. on November 15, 2012.
The TJ Martell Foundation was founded by Tony Martell, to honor his son who died of leukemia at the age of nineteen. His son’s wish was for his father was to raise a million dollars for cancer research. Over the years, they have kept the Foundation’s roots deep in the music industry and hundreds of volunteers have worked passionately with the staff to raise more than $250 million for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research which has been successfully leveraged into several billion dollars in additional funding from larger funding sources.
“Did you make it out of the Hurricane ok?!” – the most common phrase of New Yorkers these days.
City Winery lost electricity for 5 days as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately we didn’t flood and were able to open on Tuesday, October 20th when owner Michael Dorf and his family hosted and served wine with cheese and charcuterie platters to some neighbors who saw the welcoming glow of 500 candles. After scrambling for generators and extension cords (special thanks to Carroll Music, InConcert Audio and Great Performances) we offered warm food, good wine, phone charging stations paired with a remarkable live performance by Al Stewart who agreed that the show must go on, a Comic Relief benefit and a day of free NY movies – from “When Harry Met Sally” to “Taxi Driver” – for those looking for company and something other than the inside of a powerless apartment.
We are very proud of our staff who made it in through difficult circumstances to keep the doors open and the operation going. The kitchen staff set up grills in the parking lot and made giant pots of soup and stew, the office and concierge teams coordinated everything from remote accessing of ticket lists and handling the flood of show enquiries coming in, to managing payroll and making and distributing flyers. Marc, our Tech Director ran power cables from generators and even across the courtyard from our new friends at the local Russian television station RTVi. Those who had access to the Internet at home kept the messaging going to the outside world and checked that our staff was safe. The winery team worked hard to save the freshly pressed wine now in tanks which were unable to chill or warm as needed. Wizardry and tireless effort paid off. We thank all our staff for the dedication and resourcefulness.
We were very aware that we weren’t alone in the dark and grateful that we had not sustained bigger losses considering the widespread damage across the area. As with everyone it’s been a very difficult week of keeping up with what’s happening all around us all while trying to bring some normalcy back to our agendas. We have stayed motivated by others who’ve suffered greater losses and continue to move forward.
In that spirit we do recognize that we are in touch with many people daily and will now use this advantage to actively help those who may not have been as lucky as us after the storm. We’ve already raised over $2,000 for the Red Cross and are hosting a company-wide food and clothing drive, which will be donated to our neighbor City Harvest, an organization extremely active in post Sandy rescue relief. We’ll also be hosting some California wine makers, The Rhone Rangers this Wednesday, November 7th for a trade and consumer walk-around tasting where $2 will be donated to the Red Cross for each attendee. We’re honored to do our part so please look out for other charitable events coming in the weeks to come.
Let’s be the resilient New Yorkers we are and let’s take care of those who are hurting.