Michael Kors and husband Lance Le Pere brought the fashion crowd and Bette Midler (!!!) to the middle of Brooklyn yesterday for the ribbon-cutting of their new sponsored park, Essex Street Community Garden. The park was developed with New York Restoration Project (NYRP), the Bette Midler-founded non-profit building high-quality public spaces throughout New York City. “You can’t solve the world’s problems,” Kors said at the event. “There’s so much to deal with. But in this instance, you can see concrete evidence that you can make a huge difference visually and emotionally. To grow healthy food in New York City with the subway over our heads? That’s a luxury.”
The park is the first solar-powered community garden in the city, with Wi-Fi, solar-powered security lights, and electricity for public events and activities. It also boasts a vegetable garden shared by local residents. Kors and Le Pere chose the location so residents at a nearby nursing home will be able to enjoy the space.
“In the end, Michael and Lance wanted this garden to have something for everyone in the community and that’s really important because without the community, no space can thrive,” Midler said. “This garden has something for everyone, it has places to relax, a place to meet, a place to have fun. Weddings, birthday parties, memorials, concerts, movies, whatever you can think of, we will do our best to help you in any way.”
The evening also served as a surprise reunion for Midler and Ruby Aldridge, a guest of Kors. “My sister Lily Aldridge and her daughter Sophie were best friends growing up,” Aldridge said. “She hasn’t seen me in 20 plus years and I think I’ve just blown her mind. I told her she knew me when I was four or five and she used to call me Cookie.” Sweet.
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