TIM MAG Dec2019

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EHA URBSALU From Gender Proud to Playboy Model:

GEENA ROCERO The Art of Marc Potocsky

CHER, The Musical



On the COVER: Eha Urbsalu Make-up & Hair: Christina Turino

Photography by David Garvey This page: Catalina Hotel Roof Top & Pool Miami, Florida 2


ART 30 Art Basel 2019: Miami, Florida By Steven Kaplan. Photos by Melissa Vianik and Stefano Kaye 32 Trading In Drumsticks For Art Brushes - The Art Of MARC POTOCSKY, By Sandra Castillo 34 SERGIO FUNARI’S Monument to Mother Cabrini




6 Interview With Viking Beauty Secrets Founder EHA URBSALU From Northern Europe, Where “Clean” and “Green” Equals Normal, By Lena Braun 8 Designer RODNEY ALEXANDER: Afrocentric designs for the Modern Clientele 10 Jewelry Designer: BOTANI HUSKO DIAMONDS

36 He’s Still Standing…KENNY METCALF as ELTON JOHN, By Sandra Castillo 38 She Will Rock You…MAGGY SIMON Sings!, By Sandra Castillo 40 Eclectic Performer LIZZIE BLAZQUEZ Drops New Single “FOUR SEASONS,” by Nick Christophers

FILM/TV 14 JIM THALMAN; A Journeyman Character Actor 16 The NEW YORK CITY TV FESTIVAL: Red Carpet Opening 2019, By A. BROOKS

THEATRE/COMEDY 18 DANIEL NICHOLAS: Born to Perform Magic, By Jerry L. Kahn, www.JerryKahn.com 20 THE CHER SHOW: An Unstoppable Musical Force, By Stephen Kaplan, edited by Sharyn Weintraub 22 HEDY LAMARR And Frequency Hopping, By Eric Kuzmuk

RESTAURANT/FOOD 50 Holiday Recipe From The Real Hip Mom: No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares, (Recipe courtesy of Trisha Yearwood and Photos courtesy of Food Network) 52 Holiday Drink Recipe: BARCELO RUMS FOR HOLIDAY CHEER

TRAVEL 42 Events and Galas 2019 NYC and Florida, Photos by Stephen Kaye and Sharyn Weintraub 44 SAINT LUCIA-SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!, By Marc Seidman and A. Brooks 47 The Venice of America: FT. LAUDERDALE, By Marc Seidman 48 BOSTON on a Plate, By 3 Babbie De Derian




Photo: Brooks at Bo’s Beach FT. Lauderdale, FL.




EHA, PUBLISHER, BROOKS & LUBA at the New York City TV Festival.


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Interview With Viking Beauty Secrets Founder EHA URBSALU From Northern Europe, Where “Clean” and “Green” Equals Normal By Lena Braun

When did you decide organic beauty is your path? I enjoyed many years in the modeling, music, and film industries and through these experiences, I learned my fair share of beauty wisdom. I traveled a lot for business and always noticed my skin felt much healthier and more beautiful when I was in Northern Europe. If I was in New York or LA for more than a few weeks my skin felt dull and I would eventually break out. This was a serious problem because I needed to look my best. This is where my journey started, by finding out why this was happening and figure out how to solve my problem. What have you discovered during your research? I was shocked by how many products use harmful chemicals. They promise immediate results but damage your skin over time. My mother who, in her 80s, still has rosy cheeks and healthy skin, showed me the secret was in nature. Throughout her life, she preferred natural remedies and beauty solutions, rather than a cocktail of chemicals that help for one night only. It’s astonishing that the ingredients haven’t really changed much since she was a girl. We must eliminate the use of chemicals and return to using unpolluted ingredients like the ones native to Northern Europe. What does the “Secret” in Viking Beauty Secrets stand for? The secret is in our local ingredients that are grown on the unpolluted Nordic land. Viking Beauty Secrets’ products are inspired by the unique nature in the Nordic region. My absolute favorite ingredients are three incredible Viking super berries: Rowanberries, Cloudberries and Sea Buckthorn. These berries provide a megadose of antioxidants and vitamin C that give you that “I slept really well” glow all day long.


What makes Cloudberries different from high Vitamin sources? Cloudberries pack twice as much vitamin C in 100 grams than in 100 grams of oranges. Their impressive concentration of antioxidant Vitamin E heals your skin and protects it from the damaging effect of free radicals. The omega-6 and omega-3 helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Cloudberries can survive temperatures as cold as -40 during the winter and grow during the long Nordic summers which is the best time to harvest. This very special berry is amazing and it is one of the main ingredients in our night cream. What does “clean beauty” mean to you? In Northern Europe, “clean” and “green” is the standard and every day they strive to be better. It was disturbing to learn that, while the EU bans over 1,300 chemicals from skincare, the U.S. only bans 30. Clean beauty naturally comes from our earth and Viking Beauty Secrets works hard to be an example of how to stay true that idea.

Can you tell us some more about ingredients consumers should avoid in the US? There are so many, but one of the worst ingredients is hydroquinone. It is banned in the E.U., Canada, and most Asian and some African countries. Why is it still allowed in the U.S.? Great question! Why do so many skincare companies still choose to use it even though they know that hydroquinone is cytotoxic and kills cells and chromosomes which can lead to cancer? Petroleum and petroleum by products like mineral oils are also dangerous and harmful components in many U.S. skincare products today. They are toxic, the body does not metabolize them, and they are linked to causing cancer. Was this one of the reasons why you decided to bring your Nordic skincare brand to the U.S. market? When I started Viking Beauty Secrets it was important to have the organic label certified in Europe because it has more meaning

there and actually protects consumers. My hope is to inspire our customers to live a healthier lifestyle and make safer decisions when it comes to their skincare. I am proud that our products have the Ecocert COSMOS Organic Certificate and to offer our customers safe and affordable products. What’s next for Viking Beauty Secrets? We’re launching a milky scrub with exfoliating Icelandic volcanic ash in November. Most scrubs in the U.S. still use plastic microbeads, which easily pass through water filters and ultimately end up in our oceans and then get eaten by fish we consume. Viking Beauty Secrets is proud to be a sustainable business that avoids these substances and materials that harm our planet. Our packaging is made with recyclable glass bottles and our products contain natural and organic ingredients. Our mission it to be a transparent and eco-conscious brand that caters to our ethical consumers. For more information, contact: vikingbeauty.com.



Designer RODNEY ALEXANDER: Afrocentric Designs for the Modern Clientele


Designer Rodney Alexander learned tailoring at John Donaldson Technical Institute back in Trinidad. After graduating in 1995, he opened up his first shop in the city of Port of Spain in Trinidad. He later stumbled upon his niche: producing Afrocentric clothing. He was inspired to do this by moving to his neighboring twin Island of Tobago. The Indigenous natural and cultural nature of the Island took him in that direction. African Fashion always gave him the edge in business.

What technique you are using? It seems like you have hand painted the fabrics?

What inspired you to make this last collection?

In the USA, I started as a home based business. I was referred by the local fabric stores in my area to people who needed to get their designs made in New Jersey. My clients are comprised of men and women of all ages with the main clientele being fashionable women that love to look different and make a statement in their clothing.

This collection was inspired by the arts of my country, Trinidad and Tobago. Our artistic expressions stems back to our heritage of African Descent and it is notable in most of my designs. This element of art in my designs gives it a unique perspective.

In this collection I used two techniques of which I can’t go into details, but it involves some sketching and hand painting on the garment. Also anther technique that was used on the blue dress in particular is only mastered by a few in Trinidad and Tobago and is one of my signature techniques I use.

We at Rodney Alexander designs cater to clients with a distinct taste and style. We make one-of-a-kind dresses for proms, parties, church services, weddings and even the runway. We offer a unique custom service with design element and uniqueness in our artistic, highly fashionable clothing line.

Top Eha. Right: Co Che. Photo by Sasha Soin www.BCECAM.com. For more information: Instagram@ RodneyAlexanderDesigns7, FB page Rodney Alexander Designs, and FB Rodney Anthony Alexander, rodneyalexanderdesigns.com.

My talents as a designer have placed me on international runways throughout the Caribbean and North America. I have done many fashion week events and various fashion shows around the world. I have also won pageants for best gown and best culture wear. I have won awards for entrepreneur manufacturing back in Tobago from the state Enterprise sector. In 2018 I was also awarded the DDEA Humanitarian award for my contribution in fashion to the community I serve. My goal is to make a mark in the fashion industry and give people something that will help change their lives, help empower people through image 9 and self-confidence.

Jewelry Designer:

Botani Husko Diamonds Botani Husko Diamonds is a New York City based boutique diamond company and retailer of fine jewelry, with a strong focus on ethical mining solutions and socially responsible practices. The brand engages in the exploration and development of growing parts of Brazil and surrounding regions. The founder Ana Paula is a native of Brazil, and has traveled to over 30 countries in search of creating the perfect line of jewelry and learning the different techniques she uses to create her handmade pieces. Ms. Paula often collaborates with artists and designers, to showcase her work. Having created a roaming gallery, called Gallery Playground, she also showcases artist’s works alongside her jewelry at different events. Botani Husko is the exclusive distributor of the newest cut approved in 2020 by GIA - Malja Munacra Diamond Cut - 161 facets by Frank Fabeck, diamond cutter from Antwerp, Belgium. For more information on Botani Husko Diamonds, to speak to Ana Paula for an interview, or to request media access for the event, please contact her at 646242-1434. Top: Luba. Bottom: Olga, Paula, Eha & Luba. Designs by Dominick Liriano. Photos by Sasha Soin, www.BCECAM.com.


SHMALTZ BREWING COMPANY officially turns 22 this Chanukah

season as the most award winning, and astonishingly still the only Jewish celebration beer company in the country. The Upstate New York brewery debuts for the 2018 holiday season their official Chanukah beer in 12 oz. cans and the revered Jewbelation® anniversary ale in 16 oz. cans. Let’s rejoice with family and friends this holiday season with delicious cans of Chanukah, Hanukkah...Pass the Beer® (Dark Ale Brewed with Chocolate, 8% ABV) and Jewbelation 22® (Imperial Brown Ale, 11% ABV). Nationally available in 35 states across the country, SHMALTZ Brewing Boldly Unites Hops, Malts, Yeast and Water in Pursuit of Craft Beer Excellence!



Diamonds Are FOREVER Photos by SASHA SOIN www.BCECAM.com Jewelry By Botani Husko Diamonds Models: This page: Elena Opposite page: Olga



JIM THALMAN: A Journeyman Character Actor

Jim Thalman is a journeyman character actor that oft-times can be seen as the villain in film and television. Jim is fortunate to have just received his 2nd Best Supporting Actor Award for “2019”, following eight Best Actor nods in 2018. Most recent collaboration with Writer/ Director Eha Urbsalu and Producer/ Editor Tony Costa on the Award winning short film “A Thorn” has proven to be a blessing. Eha Urbsalu has already written a feature length screenplay for “A Thorn”, which speaks to YA (Young Audiences) about the poignant topics they face on a day to day basis. Most importantly gun violence, which is reaching epidemic proportions here in the States. The team is now looking for the right partnership to help develop the feature film. Currently Jim can also be seen as the villain Wyatt Dawson in “Dirty Sexy Saint” on the new Network Passionflix.com. The film is directed by Tosca Musk, produced by Michael Buttiglieri, cast by Lindsay Chag,


CSA, and based on the NY Times Best Selling novel of the same title written by Erika Wilde and Carly Phillips. Jim can also be seen starring opposite the stunning Christiane Seidel in the Post Apocalyptic thriller “16 MINS,” directed by Stephane Verzi, written by Phil Clarke Jr. and produced by Jesse R. Tendler. “16 MINS” screened in 25 cities around the Globe in 2018, with 33 Nominations, 14 Awards, eight of which Thalman received for Best Actor. These films are now available on ROKU, AMAZON, 13Horrors & EU TV. Additionally, Jim has series regular roles in the upcoming TV Series “FOREIGN NATIONALS,” created by Michele De Maria and Joel Quinones, directed by Louis J. Guerra and produced by Rob Tierney. And, he is also on the TV series “West Of The City,” created by Arian Blanco, directed by Gary Sales, written by Ivan Goris and produced by Spero Stamboulis. “West of The City” took home top honors on the Amazon Development Platform for Best Drama, Best Overall Series and Most popular show on the platform. For more information: Jim Thalman at imdb.me/jimthalman.

Top photo: TV series “West of the City” cast and bottom: “Foriegn Nationals.”


The NEW YORK CITY TV FESTIVAL Red Carpet Opening 2019 By A. BROOKS

NYCTVF, New York City TV Festival, was founded by Roberto Rizzo in 2017 to celebrate the arts of Television and Film. NYCTVF purpose is to promote up-coming and established filmmakers in the US and open a door to international talents to bring their creativity to NY giving New York City a platform to showcase their creativity. The New York City TV Festival TV programming featured new series and season premieres. The NYCTV Festival also highlighted the work of independently produced TV projects through a Pilots Season program. Selected projects were presented to the public at the 2019 NYC TV Festival. The films are selected by a group of professionals in the business who watch the TV Shows and give points in each of the categories; then they put it all together and count who has more points and decide the winners. The evening was comprised of a meet and greet of many of the filmmakers and cast and the viewing of four pieces: “Happily Ever After”, “Intervention”, “A Thorn” and “Sacred Sites: Egyptian Princesses”. The evening also included red carpet photographs, and complimentary hors d’oeuvres and wine. Eligible projects included episodic projects created for broadcast television and/or streaming. Categories included: TV Series, TV Pilots, Animated Films, Cooking Shows, Reality TV Shows, Documentary Feature, Narrative Feature, Short Films Up To 15 Minutes, Horror, Sci-Fi and a Script Competition: Best TV Pilot Script and Best TV Series Script.


Mr. Rizzo plans to work with TV networks and cable to give an opportunity to the winners be exposed in the channels - “We want to show them our successful and sold out events,” he says. The winners at the festival included Best Short Film: “Intervention”, Best Actress: Janel Tanna, Best Comedy TV Show: “Happily Ever Ally”, Best Actress In A Comedy: Alyse Kenny, Best TV Series: “Sacred Sites: Egyptian Priestess”, Best Director: Stephen Rooke, Best Cinematography By Colm Hogan, Piaras Mac Cionnaith, Best Actress In A Short: Sophia Turino: “A Thorn” and many more. For more information: www.NYCTVF.COM.

Roberto Rizzo with Actress Alexandra Lenarchyk and Director Eha Urbsalu. Bottom photo: Actress Janel Tanna and Roberto Rizzo.


DANIEL NICHOLAS: Born to Perform Magic By Jerry L. Kahn, www.JerryKahn.com

Magician and mentalist Daniel Nicholas has been passionate about magic for his whole life. After seeing a magician at his first birthday party and performing a trick at the age of six, Daniel became captivated with doing magic. “I’ve been doing magic my whole life,” Nicholas said. “I’ve been doing magic seriously since I was six years old. I used to go to a magic club at my local library. My parents were always really supportive of the magic.” When he was in school, Daniel’s teachers used to pull him into other classes to demonstrate his magic tricks. At the age of nine, he was performing in front of audiences and appeared in a talent show. By the time that he was in high school, he was already getting paid for performing shows. In college, at SUNY Binghamton, the performances increased. “I performed downtown and on campus,” Nicholas said. “I started doing some professional gigs in college.” He received a master’s degree in engineering, which helped his magic, but in an unexpected way. While working as a waiter and bartender after graduating, one of his customers inquired about tattoo of a playing card that Daniel had. Daniel mentioned being a magician, and also said that he was an engineer. The customer’s company wound up hiring him as both. He worked for it as an engineer by day, and performed on weekends during the company’s Oktoberfest parties.


After two years at the job, Daniel considered leaving to perform magic fulltime. Within two months, he was fully booked for December. The 26 year old has now been performing magic full-time for two years, and even teaches it to children. “My biggest inspiration and the reason that I can do what I do is my wife.

She’s the one who pushed me to pursue this,” Nicholas said. Daniel has a lot of inspirations for his magic. One of the biggest is David Blaine. “He had a TV special. I was just in awe by (his reactions).” Another inspiration of his is The Masked Magician. He had a show on HBO that gave away some of magic’s secrets, which inspired and influenced Daniel. His name was Val Valentino. David Copperfield also inspired Daniel. Growing up, Daniel was a big Power Rangers fan. “One of the most exciting shows that I did… was for Haim Saban, who created the Power Rangers.” Daniel describes his style as modern, cool. “I like to be mysterious, but warm,” Nicholas said. “Magic is about creating connections, and leaving people with experiences. I try to do everything in power to create a cool image for magic. “I do sleight of hand and mind reading. I love to tap into people’s minds. I’m all about making the mentalism emotional, … where it has meaning. Having people use their mind to help me connect with their thinking. For 2020, “I just want to continue to perform my magic,” Nicholas said. “I do a lot of fundraisers and events… that raise money for children with cancer or children who face adversity. The way that you make a kid smile and brighten up their day, it’s so special. I have to laugh” that I’m getting paid to do this. For more information, go to www. DanielNicholasMagic.com.

Laurissa ‘Lala’ Romain is an Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Model, and native New Yorker who was raised in Hells Kitchen. ‘Lala’ has been working as an actor since she was a young child appearing on Broadway in Lincoln Centers’ revival of Roger’s & Hammerstein’s South Pacific as Ngana.

Her most recent work includes Spike Lee’s upcoming film “Son Of The South”, “Kurt”, and “You Were Always”. Her past work includes Chris Rock’s “Top Five”, TBS’ “Are We There Yet”, and Oswald the Musical.



THE CHER SHOW: An Unstoppable Musical Force By Stephen Kaplan, edited by Sharyn Weintraub When one looks up the word DIVA in the dictionary, I am sure you will see a photo of CHER next to the definition! With that being said, her stellar seven decades of life has been brought to Broadway in a fabulous, unstoppable musical force at the Neil Simon theater at 250 West 52nd street, NYC. Starring Stephanie J. Block, and the other two younger Cher’s Teal Wicks(Lady) Micaela Diamond(Babe) and Jarrod Spector as Sonny Bono and directed by Jason Moore, the show has a roster of immense talent. The Cher Musical is practically sold out for every performance with long standing ovations at every show. Cher has had such a remarkable life that it took three actresses to play her. It starts from her childhood to her Grammy, Emmy, and of course - her Oscar winning performance in my favorite movie of all time - “Moonstruck”. The show includes 35 musical and breath taking dancing performances - and let’s not forget the

The cast of the Cher Show


fabulous sequin gowns from icon fashion designer Bob Mackie. Seeing these gowns worn by Cher is worth the price of admission alone. The show also covers significantly Cher’s two failed marriages to rock stars Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman. Her duet song with Sonny “I Got You Babe,” bolted her to stardom. It then led to a TV show and then to becoming a household name all over America. But their marriage ended on bad terms with Sonny predicting that Cher could not make it without him - how wrong was he? Cher credits her mother’s inspiring advice of “never giving up” with her continued rise to stardom. She became a bigger star without Sonny and is still going strong today at age 70. Good for you Cher! You are an inspiration to all of us. As Cher would say “snap out of it,” and run over and buy tickets to this fantastic new show! Photos by Joan Marcus

Jarrod Spector as Sony Bono and Micaela Diamond as Cher

Stephanie J. Block as Cher

Teal Wicks as Cher


HEDY LAMARR and Frequency Hopping By Eric Kuzmuk Hedy Lamar, the Austrian born, raven haired extraordinary beauty best known for her films released mainly by MGM during the 1930s thru the 50s, has been the subject of numerous recent plays, documentaries and movies. Her life story has provided excellent material for those writers of history seeking to direct society’s attention toward the many achievements made by women which have all too often gone under appreciated or utterly unrecognized. In Lamarr’s case, her invention of “Frequency Hopping Broad Spectrum,” the technological wizardry that facilitates all of our cell phone, wifi and satellite communications, never yielded her a penny of financial reward. It wasn’t until she was in her 80s and on social security that any acknowledgement of her seminal creation was granted her. At last some much deserved, albeit posthumous, media acclaim has come her way. Demetria Daniels, author and producer of the musical comedy “Holiday In Heaven,” has furthered the trend toward feminine acclaim by bringing her newest play “Hedy Lamarr and Frequency Hopping” to its New York premier at the The Theatre for the New City during the Dream Up Festival this past September. This production as directed by Lissa Moira, starred Louisa Bradshaw (known for her 18 month run as Marilyn Monroe at the Actor’s Temple Theatre), as Ms. Lamarr and featured Iva Lane, as Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, and Eric Kuzmuk, playing four of Lamarr’s ex-husbands (she divorced six) and three other iconic characters. Ms. Moirra provided her considerable skills as a dramaturg toward the final realization of Ms.


Louisa Bradshaw and Eric Kuzmuk Daniel’s intensely detailed and yet, often humorous script. Alan Hanna assisted the director and stage managed. In further tribute to Hedy Lamarr’s legacy, this premier production of what is essentially a bio-play about a movie star turned closet inventor, generated tremendous audience support and played to sold-out houses throughout its run. Such luminaries as cabaret star KT Sullivan and directors Tim Cusak and Elowan Castle were seen in the house. It is purported that producer Carol Ostrow has shown interest in future development of the property. For more information, www.demetriadaniels@gmail.com. Theatre for the New City is located at 155 1st Avenue, NYC 10003, 212.254.1109.

Graphic by Jerry Concon

Anchor.Fm/FameForDummies, FameForDummies@gmail.com.


From Gender Proud to Playboy Model photography by jo lance


Geena Rocero: Playboys 1st Asian Pacific Transgender Playmate, August 2019. 26




Art Basel 2019: Miami, Florida By Steven Kaplan. Photos by Melissa Vianik and Stefano Kaye It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since the beginning of Art Basel, held annually in early December in Miami, Florida. But once again art collectors, art enthusiasts, and of course party goers, flocked to Miami Beach for the Hallmark of all art conventions Art Basel Miami. More than 5000 artists and 300 international galleries descended on the Miami convention center for the show. Celebrities galore were spotted looking at the Art. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kendall Jenner, after attending the VIP Art Basel preview, were spotted at hot club, Eleven, partying till six in the morning. Lenny Kravitz hosted an exclusive Art Basel Dom Perignon party, while Paris Hilton was spotted at the Diesel and W hotel bashes. BMW and Dior also hosted parties. World famous artists including Jeff Koons, Picasso, Keith Haring and John Chamberlain were well represented at the Convention. All and all, a good time was had by all who attended. See you next year.


1. 3.

4. 6.


Photos: TOP: “Comedian” by Maurizio Cattelan. 1. George Baselitz, 2. Pablo Picasso, 3. Keith Haring, 4. Andy Warhol, 5. Keith Haring, 6. Giraffes at the Sagamore Hotel, 7. Yayoi Kusama, 8. Jeff Koons. 30



Trading In Drumsticks For Art Brushes:

The Art Of MARC POTOCSKY By Sandra Castillo

When one feasts their eyes upon the hyper-realistic images, whether it’s the exquisitely detailed rendering of the late Johnny Cash or a breathtaking aerial view of the Manhattan skyline at dusk, it’s a prescribed challenge not to feel that this definitive brand of art will somehow resurrect itself as the real thing. Marc Potocsky, artist and owner of MJP Studios, creates works of art that need to be seen to be believed. Along with numerous, elite patrons who proudly showcase his art in their homes, his work has also been exhibited in local galleries throughout Connecticut and Nashville, Tennessee. He has been featured on several TV programs, including “This Old House” and “Extreme Home Makeover.” The artist, who lives and works in North Branford, Connecticut, spoke with Talent In Motion Magazine about his life and art. This is what he shared with the publication… What kickstarted your foray into the world of Art?


I was always drawing as a kid and making models. As a child with severe ADD, it was hard for me to focus on normal, day-to-day stuff and school work. Drawing felt normal to me. I would get lost in it. My mother got a children’s Bible story book with illustrations and paintings that looked like photos. She would get these children’s Golden Book encyclopedias from the A & P grocery store, and each week or so, I would get a new volume; the covers were illustrated with fantastic trompe l’oeil paintings of different objects/still life. I would draw pictures for all my classmates and make models for my friends. Being an artist became my identity, along with music after seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Where did you receive your art training? Although I wasn’t a very good student, most of my elementary teachers knew I had some talent and was supportive of me. In junior high school, I had my first, real art teacher, Mr. Carmen Negri (1963-64). When I went on to Richard C. Lee High School in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1965 to 1969, Mr. Negri was transferred there, also, so I had him for another four years. I learned some basic skills from him. I was undisciplined, and he was loose

Top photo: Potocksy painting New York Yankee Derek Jeter.

and always let me do whatever area I was interested in, artistically and creatively. It was the 60s, so I was inspired by Psychedelic and Pop Art, Peter Max and others. In my senior year, Mr. Negri had gotten me a free ride to Cooper Union in New York City, but I turned it down. I had also become a musician at the time and was in a Rock band, so in all my “youthful wisdom” couldn’t see how art and music could fit together in my life. I got to see my old high school art teacher before he died. I told him I had only one regret-not taking that chance to go to art school. And he tried to encourage me by saying, ‘You didn’t miss anything, Marc. Believe me.’ A wonderful man, but I would go today, if I could. Have you ever received any awards for your Art? None, but one of the biggest and most recent rewards that I received was when one of my paintings-a large piece of New York Yankees great Derek Jeterauctioned off for $15,000 for the CT Cancer Billy Joel

Foundation in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. That was a life changer for me. It’s obvious you are a Rock and Roll aficionado with the type of portraits you’ve executed of certain R & R heavyweights. It all started when I received a call from an old friend, Brian Phelps, the owner of the legendary Toads Place in New Haven, CT, where many great artists have played over the years. Acts, such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, U2, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, James Taylor, Muddy Waters. Brian asked me to paint some murals of some of the artists who had performed there, so that’s when I began to paint music icons. As a musician, I never thought I would be painting someday, but it all makes sense now. I started out as an artist who became a musician. Now, I’m an artist, painting musicians. I traded in my sticks for some brushes. For more information: http://mjpfaux.com/ fine-art-portrait-painting/, http://mjpfaux.com/, https://www.facebook.com/marcpotocsky. Bono, Cash, Lennon and Hendrix



Sergio Furnari is an Italian-American immigrant that came to America in the early 90s. I’ve been sculpting literally since I was five years old. One of his most famous creations is the statue of “lunchtime on top of the skyscraper,” inspired by the famous 1932 photograph of eleven Ironworkers having lunch. This iconic monument was displayed at the World Trade Center during the recovery operation. It stood as a great inspiration to all those Ironworkers that found themselves clearing tons of steel from Ground Zero. Talent In Motion had the opportunity to interview Mr. Furnari just recently and discuss his latest project. Who is Mother Cabrini? I discovered the history of Mother Cabrini just a couple of months ago. Stunned by her not being chosen for a memorial statue by the She Built NYC program, I found inspiration again. The same day I contacted a few people and explained to everybody that we did not need a permit or permission to glorify a great human being like Mother Cabrini. I instantly fell in


love with her history especially with all the great things she accomplished including opening orphanages and hospitals. She has helped thousands of people and done so much for the community that she deserves a monument in her honor. She is a TRUE hero to me. All my life I worked very hard and whatever projects I did in the past were done with my own sacrifices: sweat and tears. In this case, a monument of this magnitude will need the support of everybody out there that would love to glorify Mother Cabrini as much as I do. Building the Mother Cabrini Monument: My idea is to cast her statue out of stainless steel and bronze. Those materials have a cost that becomes too much for just one person to handle. I am just an artist. I am not a multi-million-dollar corporation. I want to keep on working on her statue nonstop. Suddenly this work has become one of my legacies. We are trying to also produce a documentary with our limited resources of the creation of this iconic monument.

Mother Cabrini

Funari with his sculpture of Mother Cabrini Donations for a Bronze Bar: In exchange, every donor donating over $1000 can come over to a future designated space to fingerprint and sign a special bronze bar that will be installed as a base of the statue. Your print and your carved signature will be eternally preserved. Donations for a Replica Bust of Mother Cabrini: You will receive a replica sculpture of the bust for a contribution of $3,000. Donations for a LIFE-SIZE Replica Statue of Mother Cabrini: For any special donor that will contribute $10,000 or more, a replica of the statue will be made from resin. Sergio’s plan for opening Mother Cabrini Academy of Art: Governor Cuomo recently pledged $750,000 for the creation of the statue. In the eventuality that my statue will get chosen, I will donate the $750,000 grant into the creation of a school of art where I will be teaching and will name it Mother

Cabrini Academy of Art. One of Sergio’s programs will consists of having 20,000 children painting at the same time a flower on ceramic tiles. Every child is an artist. Fingerprinting of the Wax Statue: Once the preliminary wax statue of Mother Cabrini is done, I plan on displaying it at a church or a designated location for the public to view. People can go there and will be allowed to fingerprint the statue for free so that their fingerprint will be put into the final casting of steel and bronze. We need your help! At the moment it’s just me and a couple of friends working on this project. WE NEED YOUR HELP – LETS MAKE THIS DREAM A REALITY! Every donation is deeply and sincerely appreciated – even $1. Please donate anything you can to our GoFundMe so that we can continue to work and create a beautiful landmark for Mother Cabrini. Help us sculpt the soul of Mother Cabrini with our hearts, passion, and faith! Please visit www.sergiofurnari.com to see more of his work or https://www.gofundme.com/f/ mother-cabrini-monument.



He’s Still Standing…


By Sandra Castillo

The air is crackling with much anticipation for the one who will soon take center stage to join the band. He emerges from backstage, a spectacle adorned from head-to-toe in resplendent accoutrement and dazzling rhinestone eyewear befitting of Rock and Roll royalty. As soon as he sits down at the baby grand and assaults the keys, applause breaks out from the audience. All are cast under his spell the moment he charges into the frenzied opening of “Pinball Wizard.” In the hands of the man recognized as one of the world’s greatest Elton John impresarios, this night belongs to the extraordinary Kenny Metcalf. Talent In Motion spoke with Metcalf to get the low down on a career inspired by the man he celebrates in concert with his own dazzling brand of showmanship as “Kenny Metcalf as Elton.” Here is what he shared with the publication. Someone at your school, a guy by the name of Marty Adams, started playing “Benny and The Jets” on the piano, as several females gathered around him. Was that the moment that set the wheels-in-motion for you to pursue piano playing? Yes, I turned to my good friend, Michael Ferlita, in the Drama room and said, ‘I’ve never had 36 that effect on a girl

while playing drums,’ because you can’t serenade a girl over a drum set. The auto-immune disease, Pemphigus Vulgaris, that nearly claimed your life did not defeat you in the end. I was 46 years old when it appeared in my life. The doctor who finally diagnosed it told me this was going to kill me and there was no cure for it. It finally took me to death’s door on February 6th, 2005. As my wife rushed me to the hospital on that day, I was fading. As they were rolling me down the hallway to the Burn Unit, she yelled, ‘You are not leaving me yet! Don’t die on me!’ The doctors said they witnessed my spirit revive and that my turn around had nothing to do with what they were about to do to me. It was a miracle, they said. From that day on, the medications they gave me started to help me. Every day I was put into hydro-therapy and I was healing. You credit that performing and playing Elton’s music aided in your progress. I wrote a legacy of songs that were based on my dying experience. After my recovery, I realized I had received a better voice that I ever had before. Elton’s music was a part of that healing, and when I walk on stage, I get to play that music and make people smile and lift their spirits. How did you come up with the idea to perform as Elton John? After three years of being in bed recovering, a friend of mine,

Joe Alessandro, said, ‘You need to have a purpose to get out of bed.’ He told me tribute bands that are “top notch” are playing the same kind of venues I played when I was touring with Stryper. He said, ‘You always kind of sounded like Elton John. Maybe if you studied his voice, you could do it and have a purpose to get out again.’ So, I recorded Elton’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I sat at my keyboard and said to God, ‘If I am going to do this, I don’t want to do this without You being a part of this part of my life. I want to do justice to Elton and be the best in the world at it.’ When we walk on stage, we are Elton, Davey, Dee and Nigel until the end. This show has been successfully on the road for nine years now. Look back at the time you played your first show as Elton John. The first show we played was to 4,000 people at the Hermosa Beach Festival. We were on the main stage out on the boardwalk. To put smiles on peoples’ faces that day was so rewarding. Legendary guitarist Caleb Quaye played with the superstar for ten years. How did he become involved with your band? I met Caleb at the NAMM show in Anaheim. He saw me dressed as Elton and thought I was a fan only showing up to watch him and his band, “Caleb Quaye and The Faculty,” perform. I met him afterwards, and we connected on Facebook. The next year, we were invited by NAMM to play on the outdoor stage at noon, and Caleb said he was going to come and watch us. He showed up and told me, ‘You’re great! I get what you are doing!’ The first time he played with us was on AXS TV to 39 million viewers and the next time he joined us on stage was at the OC Fair to play to 8,000 people in The Hangar. For more information: https:// www.reverbnation.com/, eltontheearlyyears/songs/.


She Will Rock You…

MAGGY SIMON Sings! By Sandra Castillo


The building, with the imposing steeland-glass facade, is home to the popular venue regaled for fine dining and entertainment. Its location is incorporated on an unassuming stretch of the world-famous Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Frequented by discerning patrons who mix and mingle while feasting on filet mignon and any number of sparkling wines offered from their extensive drink selection, the Catalina Jazz Club has showcased the talents of such musical legends as Poncho Sanchez, Lee Ritenhour, Stanley Jordan, Freda Payne, Jack Jones and “Wonder Woman” Lynda Carter. With its Old World charm and eclectic fusion of music and palatable menu choices, it really should come as no surprise the upscale locale vaunts itself as “Nothing But The Best In Jazz,” which is the perfect introduction for the exclusive centerpiece of this article/interview…Miss Maggy Simon. A musical purveyor of The Great American Song Book, Simon specializes in songs and ballads from yesteryear, when Henry Mancini, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mercer and Cole Porter classics were the standard and not the exception. With her eloquently

assigned “two-and-a-half octave range” and spectacular, glittery attire, the chanteuse exudes a certain je ne sais quoi that immediately harkens back to an era venerated for high class worn as accoutrement and musical entertainment revered for its lush, orchestral arrangements. Now, with the release of Yesterday Once More, Simon delivers her own stylized renditions of the songs first made famous by these American luminaries. The singer champions the legacies of her musical forebearers to engage fans with a treasure trove of gems, including “Day In Day Out,” “Le Jazz Hot,” “Jack’s Medley: The Look of Love/Can’t Take My Eyes Off You/Goin’ Out of My Head” and the title song from her album, Yesterday Once More. Born in Los Angeles, California but now residing in Beverly Hills, Simon has been surrounded by music all her life. Talent In Motion recently spoke with her to find out more about her music and the moment she stepped into the white-hot spotlight as a performer. What did it feel like when you began singing and realized it was your true calling in life?

I always knew because I would pick up every new song on the radio, learn to sing it and make each song my own. It was an organic and natural process for me. Who or what has inspired you the most in your career? My wonderful husband, Jack Simon, who produced seven of my most recent shows at the Catalina Jazz Club and who also produced my album, Yesterday Once More, at Capitol Records. Looking back on your career, are there certain moments that specifically stand out for you? There are so many of these moments, but my favorite one was in my last show at the Catalina Jazz Club. Your official website, Maggy Simon Sings, states you made your theatrical stage debut with a walk-on part in the L.A. production of the hit musical “We Will Rock You.” How did that opportunity come about for you? My husband and I are big supporters of the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. We are members of the Artistic Directors Circle with the purpose of sponsoring plays for the Ahmanson Theatre. Most members of Center Theatre Group are big fans of my music and attend all my shows. So, as a “Thank You” for our support, a walk-on part was created for me. I sang and danced with the cast in the number, “We Are The Champions.” It was wonderful, and most of our friends were in the audience to support me. What a thrill that was. I love the stage! You also graced the spotlight at the Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. last year in the production of Jersey Boys. What was it personally like for you to showcase your theatrical flash-and-elan in one of Broadway’s most beloved musicals? In this production, I had two walk-ons in the First Act and in the Second Act with costume changes. It was thrilling to be part of this production, because I just love all the music, and it is one of my favorite productions of all time. For more information on the dynamic Maggy Simon, please visit www.maggysimonsings. com.

Eclectic Performer

LIZZIE BLAZQUEZ Drops New Single “Four Seasons” By Nick Christophers

Since she was a young girl, Lizzie was always attracted to music and all its elements. At first she taught herself how to play the guitar, which to this day, still uses in her own projects. Yet, singing and songwriting was her main focus as she began to write her own lyrics, making her a three dimensional artist. Like so many other artists, her music is dual based, English and Spanish. This has enabled her to be accepted at all types of venues. Hence, she made her first mark in the music industry with her cover of “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” by Bob Dylan and her original Spanish song and music video “Tanto de Nada”, which aired on a Spanish Music Network HTV, and helped get her name out there. This would begin to open new doors for her, as more people took notice of her talent. She would be featured on such programs like CNN, Telemundo, NY1 News, Spanish Newspaper “El Especialito” and more. Lizzie would follow up her cover of Bob Dylan and her Spanish track with “Deep Inside Of Me”, which would receive attention on various stations as WBON98.5 FM/La Fiesta, WCWP-88.1 FM and Old Westbury Web Radio. Lizzie did not disappoint when she released the sexy trap song “Ouh Baby”, which oozes with the sensuality of Lizzie and her ability to balance so many genres and make them all sound natural. So far, she has graced many stages across New York and New Jersey, from Arlene’s Grocery to The Bitter End, Lizzie has invaded the music scene with much fervor. “I enjoy everywhere I play. Any opportunity to perform in front of a new audience is a 40 blessing.”

Lizzie is one who embraces nature and the city of New York; she has used video footage of it in her videos. For “Deep Inside Of Me” it was filmed among famous New York City sunsets and tourist destinations like the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, Battery Place overlooking the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Gay Street in the West Village, etc. This is also true for her new track “Four Seasons” “Four Seasons” is a contemporary pop ballad, whereas the last release was electronic trap. This is where she has proven to be an eclectic artist who does not shy away from experimenting with various styles of music. Her latest music video “Four Seasons” was filmed in Central Park, Each part of the song in the video takes place during a different season that makes it a unique way of presenting the track. She filmed it in some of the most breath-taking sites

of Central Park NY, Belvedere Castle, which houses the Central Park Weather Station, Bow Bridge, The Pond, The Turtle Pond, The Ramble, Gapstow Bridge, The Boat House, Conservatory Garden, and Shakespeare Garden, etc. She also mentions that while the song “Four Seasons” sounds like a wedding song, she didn’t write it for any person in particular, and that she was inspired by the beauty of God’s creation and nature. The single is due to drop at the beginning of 2020 on all music platforms like Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music and all the streaming services available online. “Ouh Baby” Links, Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/ album/2y5RusKoHfunzmYVTPf9ki YouTube Lyric Video Link: https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=pswK6AEhfMI. 10.



Events and Galas 2019 NYC and Florida Photos by Stephen Kaye and Sharyn Weintraub 1.



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1. David Crosby at Summer Stage Lincoln Center along with Swing Dancing under the Stars; 2. John Starks former NY Knicks basketball player with Stephen Kaye at Madison Square Garden media preview tour; 3. Temptations show called “Ain’t to Proud to Beg” at Imperial theater NYC; 4. Sharyn Weintraub & Gill Caballaro at JARC’s event, Boca West Country Club, Boca Raton, Fl.; 5. “A Night Of Giving” benefitting the Unicorn Foundation & the Shuzz Foundation at Boca Center, Boca Raton, FL; 42

6. Sharyn Weintraub & Jay Leno at The Concours d’Elegance event, Boca Raton Hotel, Boca Raton, FL; 7. Alliance For Eating Disorders “10th Annual Valentine’s Treats & Sweets” event, Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL.; 8. Christine Amanpour Chief International Anchor CNN along with presenter Super Model Iman winner for Directorate Award at International Emmy Awards NYC; 9. Masqueraders at the French Heritage Society’s “Black & Orange Ball”, Plaza Hotel, NYC; 10. Sopranos 20th Anniversary reunion party in Secaucus, NJ.


Have the Time of Your Life!

Agent: Mark Seidman mseidman19@hotmail.com Tel: 646.239.2654 Specializing in Exotic Travel & Resorts Worldwide, Photo: Bora, Bora

SAINT LUCIA-SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL! An island worth fighting for! Just one look at the magnificent landscape - dramatically shaped mountains carpeted with lush foliage, long stretches of white-sand beaches framed by towering palms and impossible blue seas and you’ll begin to understand why France and Britain fought to reign over Saint Lucia for 150 years! Its sulphur springs, renowned for their restorative powers, are a mecca for lovers. Even the twin peaks of Les Pitons, the islands most famous landmark, pair off as naturally as two people in love. It is truly a “Garden of Eden” along a tranquil sea, enveloped in Caribbean elegance. Equal parts of beauty and mystique, Saint Lucia captivates anyone who sets foot on her coastlines; always evocative, she welcomes visitors with her soothing waves, warm beaches and hospitable people. The only sovereign nation to be named for a woman, the island personifies adventure and inspiration. Her visitors invariably find themselves reluctant to leave and eager to return. Imagine yourself reclining on the white sandy beaches, looking out on the most azure seas, soaking


The Diamond Fools Waterfall

SAINT LUCIA-SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL! , By Marc Seidman and A. Brooks

The Piton Mountains in the volcanic mud baths of Soufriere, indulging in authentic island food and snorkeling in crystal clear waters, chasing brightly colored fish in the shadow of the Pitons! The Pitons are St. Lucia’s famous landmarks; they are two volcanic mountains on the southwest coast of the island. As you get close to the Pitons, you are captivated by the beauty and shape of the dormant volcanoes along the coast.

Above: the bar on-site at the Grand St. Lucian and below pic: the beach on-site.

There is beauty and then there is St. Lucia! St. Lucian Nobel Laureate Sir Derek Walcott once said “visual surprise is natural in the Caribbean; it comes with the landscape”. When you travel to any Caribbean island you expect sun, sea and sand, but St. Lucia transcendent natural wonders will transport your mind, body and soul. Here you have the opportunity to experience the adventure of a lifetime! We stayed at the grand resort in St. Lucia: the SANDALS GRANDE ST. LUCIAN! One of three Sandals properties on the island, The Sandals Grande St. Lucian offers a 311-room, 17-acre resort, all inclusive, for couples only, ocean and beach view accommodations. Cradled to the west by Rodney Bay,

Continued on page 46.


Continued from page 45. boasting the calmest waters in all of St. Lucia, the resort showcases awe-inspiring panoramic views with over-the-water bungalows and gorgeous rondoval suites, with private plunge-pools that will linger in your heart forever. Everywhere you look is one magnificent landscape after another, from lush volcanic mountains rising from azure waters, to the historic Ft. Rodney, perched high atop a hill within walking distance from the resort. An idyllic all-inclusive resort, located on its own peninsula, SANDALS GRANDE ST. LUCIAN is often described as the “closest vacation to a picture-perfect postcard”. Volcanic mountains draped in blankets of green rise majestically from an impossible clear blue sea! A sheltered mile-long beach extends an open invitation for days of endless water play. Dining at SANDALS GRANDE ST. LUCIAN, is a culinary journey around the world featuring international cuisines from Italy, England, Jamaica, India and the Orient. From elegant pier dining with white glove service, to the laid-back atmosphere of beachside barefoot dining there are twelve unique restaurants to cater to your every culinary mood. Toscaninis is a fivestar diamond award-winning restaurant with Italian cuisine. Josephine’s Gourmet Creperie is a gourmet creperie serving authentic French crepes and delicious desserts. They also have an ice-cream parlor with the most delicious ice-cream; especially great to cool off after a hot day at the beach. Gordon’s Pier Restaurant is elegant pier dining, featuring sunset dinners and white glove service, with the emphasis on gourmet seafood. Kimonos - Japanese cuisine, is made to perfection in front of your very own eyes! And also, the Old London Pub, which serves tasty English fare in an authentic pub atmosphere.


Water and land sports are also offered on premise with sailing, snorkeling and water skiing, and world class golf offered at the sister hotel, Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa close by. The ultimate adventures are offered by Island Routes, Caribbean Adventures, where you can book the experience of a lifetime. We booked the JJ’S SPEEDBOAT TOUR, which picks up at the resort for a must-do full day excursion to Soufriere, stopping along the way in swank Marigot Bay with multi-million dollar villas on the surrounding hills. On the boat there was unlimited rumpunch and beer, and also complimentary lunch in Anse La Reye. After lunch, we passed the awesome Pitons and got off in the quaint town of Soufriere which has the distinct smell of sulphur from the dormant volcano nearby hence the name Soufriere, which is Sulphur in French. We then drove a short distance to the mud baths created from the sulphur ash, which is supposed to be beneficial for your skin. It is customary to smear the mud all over your body and let it dry giving one the appearance of a true native! We then drove to Diamond Fools which is a natural waterfall that empties into a pool of water. We all jumped in and washed off any remaining mud under the waterfall, a truly exhilarating experience! The day ended with snorkeling off the boat to see the colorful fish. It was a great excursion not to be missed! St. Lucia is a paradise as it was meant to be, full of natural beauty, rich in history, and resplendent in pure romance. For more information: SANDALS.COM or JJs speedboat tour.com.

The Venice of America:


B Ocean barside pool

By Marc Seidman

Ft. Lauderdale’s canals and charm have earned it the knickname “the Venice of America”. The beaches offer 23 miles of golden sand lively with the spirited antics of happy vacationers. Sail the blue-green waters on a chartered catamaran, or dive beneath the surface to meet-and-greet the local sea life. Shopping and dining al fresco on Las Olas Boulevard is one of Fort Lauderdale’s greatest pleasures, thanks

to adorable shops and prime peoplewatching. You can take the 90 minute narrated amphibious tour of quaint Las Olas Boulevard, historical districts, and the mansions and yachts dotting Millionaires Row. Or,” follow the red brick road” of the Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk, the landscaped park to the Arts and Entertainment District. The Strip is a promenade running along oceanside highway AIA. It’s lined with upscale outdoor restaurants, bars, boutiques and luxury hotels. Cruise along the “Venice of America,” explore shipwreck dive sites in the Wreck Capital of Florida, and get lost in the botanical gardens, with lush tropical plants and native wildlife. Or for real adventure go explore the nearby Everglades! We stayed at the B Ocean Resort, where one can enjoy beachside bliss located directly on the famous Ft. Lauderdale Beach! B Ocean Resort has been a favorite hot spot for American icons throughout history, including Marilyn Monroe, Joe

DiMaggio, and Robert De Niro to name a few. Today, B Ocean Resort stands as a modern oceanfront destination. Lounge on their private beach while enjoying delicious food and drink options or catch a one-of-a-kind mermaid show at the worldfamous Wreck Bar. With spacious, beachchic rooms, superior services - the Fort Lauderdale beach resort was designed to Just B You! BO’S BEACH restaurant is a casual beach dining experience with a twist. It’s a twostory oceanside restaurant featuring local fresh seafood, a signature wood-fired oven, refreshing cocktails, ocean inspired classics, as well as many beachside favorites. It has three full bars, open air seating, rooftop dining and a 270 degree view overlooking Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway. Further up the strip, we stopped at the famous Elbow Room. Established in 1938 on the corner of AIA and Las Olas; pretty much the alcoholic epicenter of Ft. Lauderdale! It was immortalized in 1956 when it was featured in the blockbuster hit “Where the Boy’s are?” The Elbow Room beach bar is known as the world’s best beach bar, with live music playing every day from 11am until 1 am. It has the best happy hour on Las Olas Boulevard and in Ft. Lauderdale, with a general feeling of Key West with classic rock, country, Jimmy Buffet and Rock n’ Roll and the famous Sunday Funday Parties. For more information, go to: www. visitflorida.com, www.sunny.org or www.bhotels&resorts.com.


Boston on a Plate By Babbie De Derian

After lunch, we head over to the Time Out Market, housed in an architectural marvel that first opened in 1928 as the Sears Roebuck & Company Mail Order Store. Revitalized in 2011 as a food court and event space, it is a favorite with locals as many revered Boston chefs have stalls there, serving cutting edge dishes. We order a maple syrup glazed donut topped with chunks of bacon.

The Acela, Amtrak’s newest and fastest train from New York to Boston, offers business and first - class service. Other than first class, where seats are assigned and passengers are served a complimentary meal and drinks, seats are not reserved, The secret is priority boarding; I get to Penn Station early, and engage Anthony, a Red Cap who has been working for Amtrak for 30 years, to cart my luggage and find seats in the car next to the café. Before the train pulls out of the station, I am settled into a wide gray leather seat that reclines to a position (with plenty of leg room), far more comfortable than in airline economy; its drop down tray accommodates a large computer (free Wi Fi). The train makes two stops in Boston, Back Bay and South Street Stations. We check into the Four Seasons Hotel; the welcome is warm and personal; our suite, spacious and luxurious. The Lunch Menu at the Island Creek Oyster Bar offers a wide selection of fresh fish and seafood: mussels in saffron butter and roasted tomato, crispy calamari with onion chutney and spicy remoulade, and lobster on a rosemary bun. When my plate of raw oysters arrives, two are topped with farm cultivated caviar. A couple next to me are devouring Colorado angus burgers piled high with house cured maple bacon, fried oysters, pickled onions and horseradish 48 mayo.

Saturday evening: The Grand Charles Street Jail, opened in 1851 with 220 granite cells; it was quite progressive in its day; windows opened for fresh air and there was a huge outdoor recreation yard. The jail closed in 1990, and then, retaining much of its original structure, including bars on the windows and its soaring rotunda with cupola ceiling, reopened in 2007 as the Liberty Hotel, a luxury 300 room property. its bars and restaurants, with names like The Clink, Alibi Bar and Scampo (escape

in Italian) reflect the jail’s illustrious past. Catwalks, once patrolled by guards, are now serviced by waiters.

Top: Lobster Pizza at SCAMPO. Below: Oyster Po Boy at the Island Creek Oyster Bar.

Oysters and shrimp at the Oyster Club

After a fascinating tour, we head down to Scampo, Chef/Co-Owner Lydia Shire’s 6th award winning culinary destination in Boston. Warm and inviting in décor and ambiance, Scampo was voted the best Italian restaurant in Boston. I order the house specialty, Lobster Pizza, made with heavy cream, caramelized shallots, garlic, ricotta salada and huge chunks of lobster.

Executive Chef Simone Restrepo, originally from Colombia, suggests we leave the rest up to him, and so begins a feast fit for any gourmand: king crab cocktail with mozzarella, avocado and green mustard oil; followed by a trio of handmade pastas: red kuri squash ravioli with brown butter, sage and toasted mini marshmallows … spaghetti with cracklings and hot peppers … and black and white bow ties with rabbit Porchetta. The next course: sliced wagyu sirloin, served with beet polenta and onion rings. Desert was more than I could handle.

Sunday: The three hour “Beantown Trolley Tour” operated by Grayline Boston is a “history class on wheels”, thanks to our knowledgeable driver. it covers over 100 sites along its route and makes three twenty minutes stops: Copley Square, Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Socks) and The USS Constitution, docked in the harbor. Highlights include: Newbury Street, the Rodeo Drive of Boston … The oldest Botanical Gardens in the country, where every state tree is planted, … Trinity Church, one of the most beautiful in the country and The Toy Engine Firehouse. When the tour ends, we head down to the Wharf for a Boston Harbor Boat Tour, a $12 Grayline Boston trolley add on. The Oyster Club’s raw oyster bar is impressive; I marvel at the dexterity of the shucker as he opens oysters with a rhythm that no doubt has taken years to master. I skip the oysters and order succulent lobster meat stuffed inside a roll. Monday: I Uber over to Cambridge to explore the Harvard Campus. Its history and architecture are humbling; the ethnic diversity of its students, inspiring. Boston’s Fine Arts Museum is one of the most prestigious in the country. The current Ancient Nubia Now Exhibition is thoughtprovoking, challenging the roles and power of the Egyptians versus the Nubians The New England Aquarium, one of Boston’s most popular attractions, is home to hundreds of species of fish, a colony of penguins, a family of sea lions and a sting ray petting pool. I luck out as they are feeding the penguins and sea lions when I arrive. The hotel’s limo drives me to the train station. The Acela, to and from Boston, was smooth sailing from start to finish … Amtrak, with its partners, connects more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at Amtrak.com or go to www.boston.com.



Holiday Recipe: From The Real Hip Mom

No Bake Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares (Recipe courtesy of Trisha Yearwood and Photos courtesy of Food Network)

This was waaaay too easy. I guess Trisha Yearwood had a gig! I was dubious since it was a no-bake with five ingredients, but go figure. Whip it up fast and bring it to your next Holiday “what do I bring” event. Yummy to the end! Keep ‘em in the fridge...even better.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) butter, melted 2 cups pretzel rods, crushed into crumbs 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 cup plus 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Directions: In a medium bowl, add the melted butter, pretzel crumbs, confectioners’ sugar and 1 cup of the peanut butter and stir together until well combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish. Combine the chocolate chips and the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Micro50

wave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate and peanut butter are melted and smooth; two intervals should be enough. Mix to blend, then spread over the peanut butter-pretzel layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares. Please follow www. therealhipmom.com.


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