I sensed this wouldn’t be just any old press event when three giant cupcake-mobiles came rolling toward us. Only in Dallas and only at the Neiman Marcus debut of its 2009 Christmas Book would such whimsical, over-the-top motorized confections be the norm.
Known for its fantasy gifts and experiences, this year’s Neiman Marcus Christmas Book offers other remarkable forms of transport: the Icon A5 “His and Hers” amphibious aircraft (flying lessons included, good thing); the Mission One electric motorcycle that not only is environmentally correct but also a thing of beauty to behold; and a limited edition Jaguar XJL. As for the Custom Cupcake Cars, these ingenious techno-art vehicles that were introduced at Burning Man™ offer almost as smooth a ride at 7 mph.
Why would someone from First Book be at this press event? First Book is the featured charity in the Christmas Book. When Neiman Marcus gave us the chance to dream up our own literary fantasy, we were excited to come to the table.
Or more accurately, The Algonquin Round Table. We have created a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a generous person who loves books and wants to ensure that all children have that same opportunity.
The Algonquin Hotel is a literary landmark in Manhattan where ninety years ago, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and other leading writers and theater people began weekly meals at what became known as the Round Table.
We have created a contemporary Round Table with an astounding guest list of the best and wittiest, including: Christopher Buckley, Roz Chast, Delia Ephron, Nora Ephron, Malcolm Gladwell, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Adam Gopnik, John Lithgow, Anna Deavere Smith, George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth.
The person who takes us up on this offer will enjoy an intimate dinner party with at least eight of these luminaries (though scheduling the actual date may require some changes in the guest list). We are grateful to our friends at The Algonquin Hotel who will provide accommodations and what promises to be a spectacular meal.
This dinner party will have lasting benefit for children in need because First Book will honor the generous purchaser with a donation of 10,000 books in his or her name.
This priceless evening can be yours for $200,000, with all proceeds supporting First Book’s mission. Even Dorothy Parker would approve.