A Neighborhood Restaurant Opens Its Doors To ‘Katie,’ To Help Other Dogs

Posted November 23rd, 2010 in Friendship by Glenn Plaskin

Last Thursday evening, my favorite Battery Park City restaurant, Izzy & Nats, presented a glamorously-produced book signing for KATIE, all proceeds donated to AmsterDog, a non-profit animal rescue group founded by our charismatic neighbor Deb Dilorio.

Neighborhood Hero Deb Dilorio (Photo by the wonderful Maura Lynch of the Associated Press)

The evening demonstrated the remarkable way in which residents in Lower Manhattan band together to help one another–one of the main themes of my book.

Before and since 9/11, our little community has become an enclave all unto itself, the friendliness here worth noting. It’s virtually impossible to walk your dog without continually running into friends who say hello and stop to chat. It’s like a little resort.

This only proves that a family is anything you want it to be–whether human or canine, young or old, you name it, the only criteria being the affection and fun that binds it together.

Izzy & Nat's owner Brooke Phillips with me and my new puppy Lucy

I was so touched that more than 150 of my friends and neighbors came by to get a signed book–including little kids, young professionals, seniors in their 80’s and 90’s–and in the process, help Deb save abandoned cats and dogs from shelters and disaster sites–animals who would otherwise lose their lives.

Amazingly, all 100 books were gone in a few hours, with kids

State Senator Daniel Squadron (Photo by The Broadsheet's Robert Simko, a wonderful friend and supporter)

and adults receiving not only a book, but stuffed cocker spaniel toys and chocolate “dog bones” with Katie’s picture inscribed on each.

The owner of Izzy’s, Brooke Phillips, who has given her eatery a true family feeling, decorated the restaurant with lovely white roses and lilies,silver ornaments. Her friendly staff served mini-potato pancakes, smoked salmon, corned beef-and-pastrami

Photographer Sheila Williams and Life Coach Peg Wallis, both dear friends (Photo Maura Lynch)

sliders, and complimentary cocktails, not to mention the dog-bone cookies with Katie’s name inscribed on each of them.

I was especially helped during the evening by our able doorkeeper (and the world’s best book saleswoman)–Roberta Kahan–together with our volunteer cashier, the super-efficient Ana Bishop, who kept me and the line moving! For dozens of additional photos of the event, wonderful shots taken by the super-talented photographer Sheila Williams, please

My favorite Battery Park City Couple (Under the age of 30!) Anthony Goble and Katty Goble (Photo by Sheila Williams)

visit my Katie Up And Down The Hall Facebook Fan Page.

Dream Team: Roberta Kahan, Lee Blake, Ana Bishop, A Great Book Sales Trio (Photo by Peg Wallis)

And, of course, I was most touched by Brooke’s very generous show of support and warmth, opening her doors to the entire Battery Park City community. In fact, one of the key messages of my book is: OPEN YOUR DOOR, really a metaphor for opening your heart to those in need, whether it be an animal or a

person. If you just look around, you’ll always find a senior who needs a helping hand, a child who needs a mentor, or a dog that needs a walk. I sure

My Cousin Bunny, a lifelong friend and fan

did, which is how my book all started.

I was the one in need, having just adopted a puppy with no idea about how to train one. So I walked down my hallway, knocked on the door of an 80-year-old woman who was expert in training dogs, and I wound up with an entirely new life, filled with friendship and family. This one action led to all the events that unfold in KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL.

And so, to finish off this season of Katie’s book debut, what better way to celebrate it than having a neighborhood get together to help a neighbor. To me, that’s the true meaning of family, which is why our evening at Izzy & Nats was the best possible Thanksgiving–and it came a week early!

BPC Dog Association's Paula Galloway, Rosalie Joseph, and Lee Blake--a starring figure in KATIE

Young KATIE fans

Rosalie Joseph and Greer Griffith

A very good sport in orange bows

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