CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Me with Paulette Cole, Deepak Chopra, Russell Simmons, Erica Ford, and Doug Evans together for the conversation on bettering the world through compassion at the Deepak Homebase at ABC Carpet & Home; Sushi bar and lounge at Fishtail by David Burke; Pam Liebman, president and CEO of The Corcoran Group, and I before she’s off to a company retreat. Pam chats with us in “Confessions of a Power Broker;” with Mark Ruffalo and Patricia Duff after Mark and Patricia spoke on the dangers of hydraulic fracking

As New Yorkers, we often find ourselves on the go at all hours of the day and night. Sometimes, however, it is important to take a moment, pause, and appreciate all that we have and the incredible place that we are lucky enough to call home. This issue leads us into the holiday season, the perfect time of year to stop and give thanks.

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with a few people I admire greatly and hear about this very topic. Erica Ford, Russell Simmons, and Deepak Chopra held a panel at ABC Carpet & Home about how we can help our community by focusing on “love in action” and being appreciative of what we have.

I also had an opportunity to join Patricia Duff, who heads up The Common Good, and Academy Award-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo for a discussion on hydraulic fracking, a controversial method of natural gas extraction that threatens to taint our air and water supply. Ruffalo is the founder of Water Defense, an organization that raises awareness and drives policy change towards more sustainable energy solutions.

Another New Yorker who is giving back this season is Cesare Casella. He is the senior manager of dietary and culinary arts at The Center for Discovery in Harris, New York, an incredible facility that offers residential, educational, and therapeutic services to disabled people. And speaking of brilliant chefs, we have a great culinary promotion this fall. The first five Chase Sapphire cardholders to sign up on ultimaterewards.com will dine on an exclusive tasting menu at Fishtail by David Burke along with a guest and chef David Burke himself. The promotion begins November 14.

Finally, I am especially thankful to be attending the fourth annual Holiday House, which supports the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and is run by my dear friend and breast cancer survivor Iris Dankner.

Whether your Thanksgiving plans include bundling up for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or splurging during Black Friday, enjoy the holiday with loved ones and be sure to pause and give thanks.


DEBRA HALPERT

Follow me on Twitter at @debrahalpert

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