And here we are- the final (longer) edition of The Wetherbridge for the 20-21 school year. When I moved to New York five years ago, this was one of many hopes and wishes I had for our school community. Indeed, it has come a long way since its debut in 2017. Not only is this newsletter a record of progress and events, but it is also highlights the unity of our community, with contributions from staff, children, as well as you, our families. It has been good to see more families in-person, at the uniform sale yesterday and welcoming back a few guests of my own, I was delighted to meet with Gina Malin from PLNY and to re-connect with our friend Joanna Cawley from Carnegie Hill Neighbors. Joanna brought with her a lady called Betsy Bober Polivy, who has written and published a book called, ’Walking Manhattan Sideways’ in 2020. This excellent read celebrates the side street businesses of Manhattan that have stood the test of time. This showcases many incredible small businesses in our local neighbourhood – from small florists, to arts and crafts vendors, old-world dining establishments, fashion boutiques, places with Italian roots, musical venues and antique shops and galleries. As we emerge from the last 14 months, these small businesses and treasure troves rely on our support and visits and represent the heart of our Manhattan community and culture. We shall be inviting Betsy and Joanna to 7 East 96 for a Book Launch and signing in the Fall, so we can come together to celebrate the vibrant neighbourhood we are all lucky to live and learn in.

As we move to launch our very own Wetherby-Pembridge Cookery Book in the Fall – new for 21-22- there is a lovely quote from the ‘Food for Thought’ chapter of Betsy’s book. Not only does this read well, but I think the sentiments she shares about these old-world dining establishments, are rather aligned with our school culture and community:

‘For many, it is a comfort to step into these places and be encased in a small bubble of home. For others, it is a treat to broaden one’s culinary horizons with new and enticing flavors. Regardless of one’s country of origin or familiarity with any given cuisine, there is a solidarity that exists among food lovers. This connection is forged from a common appreciation for skillfully prepared dishes that are as pleasing to look at as they are to eat.’

‘The consistent theme uniting all the restaurants in this chapter is how friendliness and charisma are extended to anyone, heedless of nationality. And each restaurateur believes this is the reason for their longevity: customers have become a community. Their loyalty has not wavered even from one generation to the next. Let your plate travel the world by visiting some of the eateries that have been treating patrons to their delectable dishes for decades.’

I thoroughly recommend this treasure of a read and if you don’t manage to purchase a copy, we shall see you at the book signing in September.