Yes I do. I wanted to do it justice, find a day when I had lots of time to do it right. The problem with that is that there is no such day, and I just need to do it.
The reception was at J. Johnson Art Gallery. The proceeds from the ticket sales went to The Nature Conservancy, and most of the proceeds from sales of signed prints of one of Baryshnikov's dance photographs from his Dominican series went to my favorite place in Florida, White Oak Conservation Center. In the course of the evening, 500 people were admitted.
We got there early. The beautiful gallery was filled with Mr. Baryshnikov's photographs. We wandered in different directions, some to the open bar, others to look at the art work.
I was looking at art, when I saw a small group of people walk into the room. In the center was the master himself, small in stature, but a dominant presence. I rushed over and introduced myself and told him what a huge fan I am of White Oak. I was basically a blithering idiot, trying to think of something to say, while getting the attention of others in my group. He shook my hand, then graciously allowed us to get a few photographs. He was pretty swamped through the whole evening.
Through it all, wait staff wandered through the crowd with trays of the most luscious hors d'oeuvres. Shrimp and steak au poivre, mini crab cakes, and my personal favorite, ahi tuna on small cubes of watermelon, topped with a dab of wasabi. OMG, to die for! The catering trucks said "Catering by Liz" on the sides, so I knew the food was from chef Liz Grenamyer. Grenamyer was the owner/chef of our first favorite fancy restaurant in Jacksonville, 24 Miramar. It closed its doors in 2003 as she made the decision to concentrate on catering only. From what I experienced at the reception, this venture is every bit as successful as her restaurants had been.
At 59, Baryshnikov looked his age, and he was smaller than I'd expected, maybe 5'4" or so. But still trim and compact, physically not much different from the impression I'd had the day before watching "White Nights". Unfortunately, he didn't dance for us.
What a treat.