Sunday, November 18, 2012

BMW i Born Electric Tour and the Way Forward

12 Nov. 2012/NEW YORK – BMW brought the future to New York City and invited guests, the most notable of which was Uma Thurman, to see it.

Aside from UT, the main attraction at the automaker’s opening night of the North American BMW i Born Electric Tour were the all-electric BMW i3 Concept and the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 Concept Roadster. The first i3s and i8s should be available in Germany in November 2013 before rolling out around the world. For now, though, it is a get-acquainted campaign for the two products from BMW i, a sub-brand of BMW dedicated to developing sustainable mobility solutions. (See video above.)

The BMW i3 Concept is electric. Photos from BMW.

The venue of the tour, which has been free and open to the public since Tuesday and closes at 10 tonight, is the display space at 6th Avenue and 42nd Street. Unlike UT, visitors had a chance to look at, but not touch, the compact-on-the-outside, roomy-on-the-inside i3.

The car operates solely on electric power and is meant for city driving. Aside from being emissions-free, it earns its sustainability status from other components that went into its manufacture such as olive leaves.

The sporty, low-riding i8 possesses the best qualities of a sports car – e.g., speed, agility – but is fuel-efficient because it runs on both gasoline and electric power rather than gasoline only. Wheel covers designed to keep out air also contribute to fuel conservation on the autobahn and other wide open highways.

Uma Thurman was only one of very few people who were allowed inside the BMW i8 Concept Roadster.

Combining both form and function, i8 has new Laser Light technology, resulting in lights that are aesthetically pleasing and more efficient than LED.

BMW i Born Electric Tour kicked off in Rome back in June before traveling to Dusseldorf and Tokyo. After New York, it journeys to London, Paris and Shanghai.

Visit and to learn more about the BMW i Born Electric Tour.

NYSPCC Lauds Friends Who Work for the Kiddos

Margo and John Catsimatidis are recognized do-gooders. Photos by Mireya Acierto, Patrick McMullan.

13 Nov. 2012/NEW YORK – WHETHER by design or not, the grand ballroom of The Plaza Hotel seemed to be a metaphor for the work of NYSPCC.

Soft light bathed the entirety of one of the most gorgeous and famous rooms in New York City. Amiable chatter resonated throughout the space. Tables were beautiful and so were those gathered around them.

These elements combined to create an environment of peace, serenity and security, a place where one could relax and just be. It had the feeling of a cocoon, a refuge from a world gone mad.

Miss Sweden Hanni Beronius has a heart for children, too.

Indeed it was an apt setting for the Protecting Kids First Gala of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. The agency's mission in large part is to provide such physical and psychic spaces for its charges. Throughout the evening presided over by Deborah Norville, NYSPPC officials explained the important work of the organization and the importance of having as many partners as possible. Honors were also bestowed on worthy individuals.

Victor de Souza has designs on Jean Shafiroff (left) and NYSPCC gala co-chair Penny Grant.

Presented with the agency’s Strength of Our Society Award for their good deeds on behalf of children were Fox News Channel’s “The Five” cohost Kimberly Guilfoyle and prolific philanthropists John and Margo Catsimatidis. JM is CEO of The Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods.

There was strong sentiment among many, including Miss Sweden Hanni Beronius, that NYSPCC particularly needed support in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Already tenuous situations would be exacerbated, went the general thinking. New situations could erupt, owing to losses by families who’d heretofore had everything and now had little or nothing.

Kimberly Guilfoyle (left) is a good storyteller and Deborah Norville knows how to work a gala crowd.

Quite a few checkbooks were produced when a direct appeal was made for assistance. Here was a lot that appeared to be cheerful givers, and its gifts added up to more than $450,000 (and counting, possibly).

Cheerful could fairly describe the evening. In such luxurious surroundings, it was difficult not to be.

Visit to learn more about the New York Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC).


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