Located on one of the highest points in the City of Rye, The Osborn was shining like a beacon of hope November 8.
By Bill Lawyer
Located on one of the highest points in the City of Rye, The Osborn was shining like a beacon of hope November 8. That was the evening they offered a free dinner to residents still suffering from heat, hot water, and light deprivation after the storm.
The timing was perfect, as Rye folk, this writer included, were reeling from the second wave of stormy, snowy, and windy weather – Tropical Storm Athena. (The storm, in addition to putting off the city’s recovery from Sandy, seemed oddly named; Athena is, afterall, the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law, and justice.)
In any event, it was with great thanks that we “powerless” people learned about the free meal through word of mouth, checking our emails at the library, using our “smart” phones, or attending the Chamber of Commerce meeting the morning before.
From previous visits to The Osborn, we knew the event would be well managed and the food good, but none of the nearly 100 people who showed up that night — could have imagined what a wonderful occasion it would be.
As we pulled into the parking lot, we were greeted cheerfully by one of the staff at the rear entrance to the auditorium, where the dinner was held. They had a coat rack for us to shed our heavy outerwear, necessitated by the near- freezing temperature outside.
When we went inside, we immediately felt welcome and warm. Tables were placed around the auditorium, and the food was laid out buffet-style on serving tables in the middle.
There were so many dishes and beverages to choose from. I had some of the boneless barbecue, along with roasted potatoes, pasta, and salad. Actually, my favorite was the carrots with shallots. And the desserts were amazing. Thanks go to the facility’s Culinary Institute-trained chef Richard Lipari.
The big bonus of the event was the musical entertainment. The Osborn’s sales director, Christa Picciano-Daniello, and her father, Joseph Picciano, performed a stylish variety of pop songs from the 60s to the present day – Christa on vocals and her dad playing sax and operating the sound system.
We ran into several good friends and acquaintances – most of the people attending were, like us, over 50. But there were a few families with young children – and none complaining about having to eat their veggies.
While there were some grumblings about the power outage and related problems, most of the guests smiled and expressed their gratitude at being able to partake in the wonderful event. There was a feeling that night that there was light — and heat — at the end of the tunnel.