In our last issue, I looked retrospectively at the year just completed. Now, we turn our attention to the future.
2024 is going to be wonderful.
I know that many of you are disappointed that we did not hold our usual Lichtenstein Awards dinner in 2023. The previous event, which honored Patrick Maselis, Mark Banchik, and John Barwis, was held at the Harvard Club. From all the reports that reached my ears, it was a splendid event, and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. That was back in May 2022. At that time, we had yet to fully emerge from our Covid confinements. The opportunity to reconnect was a joy we savored.
We are pleased to confirm that we will hold a very special event on Saturday evening, May 11th, our Gala Re-opening and Lichtenstein Awards Celebration. The evening will start with cocktails and hot d’oeuvres at our new home. Indeed, this will be a coming out party for our new premises and the first major event we will hold there. All the construction will be completed, and the dust will be gone. Following these preliminaries, we will stroll from West 40th Street over to The Chatwal, at West 44th Street—practically next door. The Chatwal is a fabulous and recently renovated hotel in our neighborhood. There, we will complete the evening with all the formalities you would expect. I should also mention that this being New York, we operate with the so-called “New York Minute Rule,” so the speechifying will be minimal. The point is to celebrate and enjoy new beginnings and our shared passion. And to honor some very special people. It is guaranteed to be one of the most extraordinary and special evenings in the Club’s history. The formal invitations will go out around two months before the mid-May event. We know you will want to join us. Spring in New York is a very special time.
And, yes, our new home will be completed and we will move back in during the coming year. Just the other day, I was there in the midst of all the construction activity. Everything is proceeding on schedule. We expect to move in during the latter portion of March. The move will be progressive. We will not be calling up the mover and asking for all our “stuff” to be brought back in one fell swoop. That would overload us. Rather, we will progressively move back in sections. Once we are back, let’s talk a bit about what you can expect.
You can expect your Club to greet you if you are visiting from Queens, Brooklyn, Austin, San Jose, London, Paris, Sydney, or Tokyo. Access is easy, and if you can make it to the curbside, you will be able to make it throughout our facility with no impediments. In the lounge area, there will be copies of the daily New York newspapers and the major monthly general interest philatelic journals for you to peruse. Plus, coffee, tea, and cookies. Remember, we are located on West 40th Street, between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue (“Avenue of the Americas”), diagonally across from the New York Public Library. We are close to both Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal. Just about every bus and subway line passes near our doorstep. We are a perfect place to visit, either for an event, for research, or to rest your feet during your visit to midtown.
One of the elements that most excites me is the Library. All on one level. All within easy reach. We are no longer prisoners to a rabbit warren of a 100-year-plus structure not designed for the purpose, but now a new purpose-built home. The Library: the books, journals, and auction catalogs will all be within your reach. On the same floor and contiguously arranged. It will be a pleasure to use, and we expect many to take advantage of a major philatelic library in the heart of New York.
Our new presentation room will be fit out with the latest technology. Once again, we will host presentations in our home. These will be “broadcast” worldwide. In other words, our home will be open to those who can visit and those who remain at home.
One of the objectives of our new space is to provide multiple opportunities to meet and exchange. This requires multiple venues. With our new home, in addition to the large presentation room, there will be a smaller seminar room that holds twelve. The Library is always a favored place to congregate, there is a long table that also holds twelve, and in the lounge, two tables that each provide four, and the conversationally oriented sofas and club chairs. But, more than furniture is required. We will be scheduling meetings, symposiums, and classes. We aim to bring our Club back to life in our new home.
Yes, the coming year will be wonderful.