Mrs. Rogers’s Neighborhood – The New York Times

Mrs. Rogers’s Neighborhood – The New York Times


Patricia Clarkson has advice for getting bargains at charity sales.

“You got to fight,” Ms. Clarkson said last Thursday at Fashion for Action, an annual shopping benefit for Housing Works, which is known to attract an elbows-out crowd. “Because there are things that are hot and people who’ll push in front of you.”

Ms. Clarkson, resplendent in a Nanette Lepore gold lamé coat and red velvet Malone heels, was hosting a pre-shopping reception with Bevy Smith, a radio host, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea.

At 6:30 p.m. sharp, guests set down their wineglasses and tuna canapés and hurried across West 17th Street to the Housing Works flagship store to start shopping. Among the waiting bargains were a $4,000 Dolce & Gabbana suit and a $3,400 pair of Dior pants, each for $400.

The sale “can get a little physical,” said Cameron Silver, a fashion director and vintage retailer, who was wearing a Dolce & Gabbana zebra-print tuxedo jacket. He said that etiquette allowed shoppers to deploy “a love tap, but not a fist.”

Mickey Boardman, a fashion editor known for his declarative style, was wearing an eye-catching combination of Marc Jacobs sweater, Lanvin top and Ashish pants, along with subdued Allbirds sneakers.

“They don’t really work with the outfit, but I’m old and I need comfortable, cruelty-free cuteness,” he said of the shoes.

His rules of engagement for a sample sale? “You can touch, but don’t be the first one. If someone touches you, then no holds barred,” he said.

Bethann Hardison and Iman, the trailblazing models, sat to one side, chatting.

“Last time I was here, in 2011, I donated a lithograph of a painting that my husband did of me,” Iman said, referring to the late David Bowie. “That’s how much I think of the organization.”

Ms. Hardison explained her shopping strategy: “You have to talk to the thing and say, ‘You and I are meant for each other.’ You put the energy on it. Then you walk away and hope that it doesn’t relate to anyone else.”

Isn’t she afraid someone else will nab the item?

“It’s only a thing,” she said serenely.

There was no fighting at the Sunday night screening of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a film in which Tom Hanks portrays Fred Rogers. The nicest man alive playing the nicest man dead; what could be nicer?

Actually, it would have been nicer if the principal actors, including Mr. Hanks, Matthew Rhys and Susan Kelechi Watson, had stopped to talk to reporters without television cameras.

“The one black outlet can’t get an interview?” a journalist from Global Grind, a hip-hop news website, shouted at Ms. Watson as she sailed into the Henry R. Luce Auditorium at Brookfield Place.

“Don’t do that,” she said, not stopping. “You know better than that.”

Never mind. It was worth it to meet Joanne Rogers, Mr. Rogers’s widow, who is a veritable lawn sprinkler of niceness.

“It’s a fabulous cast,” Mrs. Rogers said, her smiling face framed by gray curls and a strand of pearls. “When they said, ‘Oh, we have Tom Hanks,’ I said, ‘You are kidding?’ I couldn’t think of any better.”

Her husband was also a fan.

“He saw ‘Forrest Gump’ over and over again because he said he got something different each time,” she said. “I was amazed they could get him.”

Mrs. Rogers was also the belle of the after-party, held at Le District, the French food court with views of New York Harbor. Among those who paid homage were Marielle Heller, the director; Chris Cooper, Jessica Hecht and Wendy Makkena, from the film; Tom Junod, whose Esquire magazine article inspired the story; and Alexander Skarsgard.

As waiters circulated with trays of salmon tartare, Sarah Silverman gushed that her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is next to the star for Mr. Rogers. Katie Couric took pictures of Keri Russell sitting on the lap of her husband, Mr. Rhys.

Celia Weston shared a table with David Granger, the former Esquire editor, who joked he would henceforth introduce himself as “Christine Lahti,” the actress who plays his equivalent character in the film.

And absolutely everybody wanted a selfie with Mrs. Rogers. It was … nice.



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