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Published on: September 16, 2013
by Shinan Govani for National Post:
In one of the most celebrated abodes in this town, on a stretch that is its own city state, on a night when Toronto swooshed still with ScarJo and other TIFF-sailing celebs, Arianna Huffington stood, in a room, talking antelope.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about gazelles.” That is what the media hurricane was saying one eve last week in her signature Hellenic come-hither. A banner of silk drapes (pistachio-coloured?) cascaded, ceiling-to-floor, right behind her — drapes so beautiful, they were no doubt awakening the corpse of Elsie de Wolfe. The living space, en general? Swish enough to get the seal of approval from Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned.
But back to Huffington’s muse. “I want to be like a gazelle,” she started to tell the intimate crowd, ending a pep talk that was precisely in the Arianna-esque wheelhouse. “When they see danger, they run like crazy,” she went on, “but when the danger passes, they graze.”
Admitting that she has a picture of a gazelle in her office that she looks at for a slow-down-down reminder, I tried to picture Ms. Huffington grazing. Couldn’t do it. Author of 13 books. The mistress of her own media empire domain. A constant presence on TV chat shows. A one-time candidate for Governor of California. Twice named to Timemagazine’s 100 Most Influential People. If she grazes, I’m taciturn.
Never you mind. The would-be gazelle was here to be honoured by the Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI), a Canadian foundation with mojo as well as reach. So was Huffington’s pal, Heather Reisman, in whose home we had, incidentally, gathered. Both — in recognition of their commitment to raising awareness and funds for research into dementia — inducted as the first two members of the organization’s Hope-Knot 100 Club. Kirstine Stewart, Canada’s Twitter queen, did the presenting honours. A fiesta of lady-brains!
Doing, of course, is something that neither Huffington or Reisman have had trouble with. But who knew the depth of their besties-ism
Sadly, alas, there was no show-and-tell of the much-ado secret room hidden behind a bookcase, in this manse, known to open at the touch of a button. Minds, though, did expand, if the bookcase did not: As expounded on by WBHI founder Lynn Posluns, and gang, the stats are such that women are twice as likely as men to be affected by brain disease as they age, and almost 70% of new Alzheimer’s sufferers will be woman. Worldwide — bracing us with more stats — 35 million women are living with dementia, a number expected to triple by 2050. Impressing on the importance of research, Posluns mantra’ed: “What gets funded, gets done.”
Doing, of course, is something that neither Huffington or Reisman have had trouble with. But who knew the depth of their besties-ism? In an aside, Huffington let it slip on this night that when she visits Toronto she doesn’t stay anywhere except the beyond-hotel digs that belong to Reisman and her husband Gerry. She’s a regular, it seems, indeed. Her Indigo chieftess-pal, meanwhile, divulged that that there had been some extra-fluffing for the media queen. Said Reisman, “My house doesn’t usually look like this. Only for Arianna.”
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