Carey Lowell And Richard Gere

Alec Baldwin

The Metropolitan Pavilion was so crowded with every face in town that it was almost impossible to see the walls of contemporary art displayed for the annual ARTWALK NY, the hottest event in town that brings young art lovers and artists together at a benefit for the Coalition for the Homeless. Celebrities mixed with the great unwashed as the silent auction began and huge quantities of Artwalk Lemonade (heavily spiked with Grey Goose) loosened up the pockets of the twenty somethings who were buzzing around everything from Ivanka Trump's spinal and diamond earrings (one of the many pricey works of art at the silent auction) to the late Robert Rauchenberg's 'please walk all over me' carpet and other contemporary works by 'assume vivid astro focus', Jack Pierson, James Nares, Terence Koh, William Wegman and others.Meanwhile, 30 Rock star, Alec Baldwin, opened the live auction with a jab at Richard Gere, seated front-and-center beside his gorgeous wife, Carey Lowell, with "I want you all to spend money… not just a little money: a lot of money because our fellow New Yorkers are hurting. Buy a painting… okay, buy a really crappy painting and then go see 'Night in Rodanthe': I really like Diane Lane!" Whereupon Richard Gere stood, spread his wings a la 'Rocky' and did a star turn around the room as the crowd roared for more. They got it: The Geres approached the podium to speak to the problem of homelessness: the news wasn't pretty, and Gere talked sense with CO's Eviction Prevention Program before the ultra-Buddhist took a moment to return Baldwin's friendly jibe by calling him "the heroically disheveled Baldwin brother…" He then called upon "all those fallen hedge fund guys to give 'til it hurts: then give some more." The crowd went wild. He then introduced wheelchair-bound artist, Chuck Close who rolled to the podium in the amazing vehicle designed for him by the same doctor who constructed the two-wheeled Segway. Close opened the tribute to the late Robert Rauschenberg -- famous for mentoring young artists like Jasper Johns and introduced "the irascible, crazy, gorgeous Jeff Blows" who added "It's not possible to have art without conscience." Art lovers and artists like Donald Baechler, Ed Ruscha, Dominique Esser, Jenny Holzer, Pat Steir and Wade Guyton deafened Close with applause until Southby's Vice President of Contemporary Prints, Christopher, Gaillard, opened the bidding. Bids ran high: but never high enough to save the many who fall from their penthouses into homeless shelters -- which now cost our city $36,000 a year per every fallen star. The 'haves' in New York take care of the 'have-nots' as artfully as possible through Coalition for the Homeless.