Downtown Magazine NYC Fall 2020

Page 1

Living High in Lower Manhattan

Timeless designs, Built for a lifetime


photos: Joshua McHugh arch: Ike, Kligerman, & Barkley

General Contractors Construction Managers

412 W 127 St. NY, NY 10027

(212) 316-2400

Issue 31 The Creators 2020

Saluting our 1st Responders

Jon Batiste’s life in motion GIFTS FOR THE SEASON

Marcus Samuelsson, Warming Cocktails, Ethical Diamonds for a Great Cause, Central Park, and Luscious Looks

From Photography to Food, New York is Buzzing

“Never bet against New York. This town always comes back—stronger than ever.” LARRY A. SILVERSTEIN CHAIRMAN, SILVERSTEIN PROPERTIES

All the charm of Upstate No further than downtown This season, warm up and dine in your own rooftop cabin. Savor your favorite winter dishes and signature cocktails by award-winning bar, Dante.

Each Cabin Includes: - Spacious & heated floor plan - On-site contactless food & beverage purchasing - Comfy banquette seating - Molekule air purifier - Virtual fireplace - Floor-to-ceiling views of NYC - And more!



THE CREATORS ON THE COVER AND THIS PAGE: Jon Batiste Photographed by Andrew Matusik; Hair by Jenna Robinson; Makeup by Jesse Lindholm; Manager, David Patterson; Chris Chambers, Lauren Woulard, The Chambers Group; Piano by Steinway & Sons; Location: 3 World Trade Center, 79th floor, Silverstein Properties.


07 08 10 11

From the Editor in Chief From the Founder From the Advisory Board Chair Contributors

HUMANS 12 14 15 16 17 18 21

Photographer: Freeze Frame Collective: Representation Matters Multi-Hyphenate: Global Perspective Entrepreneur: River of Dreams Miniature Artist: Smallville Designer: Shoe In Virtual Medicine: Going the Distance

CULTURE 22 25 28 30 34 38 39

Viewfinder: Central Park Street Level: MacDougal Street Artfull: Graphic Design Savoir Fare: Bake Sale Urbanity: See Your City Chef’s Table: Together We Rise Imbibe: Cheers!


Barclay’s Spot The Secret Language of Dogs

FEATURES 44 54 58 62 70

Fascinating Rhythm Romancing the Stone The Artists of Turtle Island Park Life It’s a Gift





82 84 87

Hair and Makeup: Luscious Looks Timeless Beauty: Liquid Magic Fitness: E-Fitness


LAST WORD: Ashlee Montague


Deborah L. Martin Editor in Chief

Creative Team Glyph.NYC Associate Editor Daniel Metz Fashion Editor Annaël Assouline Food Editor Fernanda Mueller Fitness Editor Lala Duncan Music Editor Alice Teeple Editor at Large Mike Hammer Multimedia Director Andrew Matusik Contributing Family & Lifestyle Editor Jessica Rovira Pet Editor Sheila Laughery


Noel Y. Calingasan David Cotteblanche Michael Fiedler Noemi Florea Nicole Haddad Ryan Liu Andrew Matusik Eric Piasecki/OTTO Antoine Verglas

Bradley Kirkland/ Stone Soup Romeo Marra/Entirely Digital

BUSINESS Grace A. Capobianco

Chief Executive Officer/Publisher Executive Vice President John ‘Cap’ Capobianco Executive Publisher, South Florida Will Candis Chief Financial Officer Jeff Fields Chief Operations Officer Luigi Rosabianca Advisor To the Publisher Andy Wheatcroft Finance & Tax Consultant Meir Spear, CPA

Downtown (ISSN2164-6198) is published four times per year in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter for $39 per subscription by Downtown Media & Production Inc., 380 Rector Place, Suite 15F, New York, NY 10280. Application to mail at periodical postage rates is pending at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Downtown, 380 Rector Place, Suite 15F, New York, NY 10280. Reproduction without permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher and editor are not responsible for unsolicited material. Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, photographs and drawings. To order a subscription, please visit For customer service, please inquire at To distribute Downtown, please email

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Copyright 2020 by Downtown Media & Production Inc. All rights reserved.




I HAD A LOT TO SAY IN THIS LETTER. Deep, pithy thoughts about family, the holidays, who (and what) we have lost, and what we have gained. As I thought about where to begin, and maybe more importantly where to end, the task of writing this note seemed a bit, well, challenging. And then I read a story about a vote to name the newest arrival at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., and suddenly I realized that I don’t want to read—let alone write—another postmortem of this “annus horribilis.” I’m ready for 2021. I’m ready to leave behind the sorrow and the stress, the loss and the anxiety, and embrace joy. And what could be more joyful than a tiny, baby panda? Xiao Qi Ji was born in August of this year to mother Mei Xiang and father Tian Tian. So many people tuned into the National Zoo’s “PandaCam” that their servers shut down temporarily. That’s how much we needed good news this year. While record numbers of people in this country voted in our presidential election, another election was going on: 135,000 people voted on the little nugget’s name, which is Mandarin Chinese for “Little Miracle.” At this point, that’s the only kind of election news I want to hear. We needed a little miracle this year, and we got one, in the form of a small, black and white ball of fluff, and a large, unwieldy, drama-filled national election. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, the idea that over 160 million Americans successfully cast a ballot in a presidential election should cheer you. As Representative John Lewis so eloquently put it, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part…” This year, during a global pandemic that has sickened over 14 million Americans at this writing, approximately 66% of eligible voters did their part, and percentagewise that is the highest voter turnout since 1900. We have a long way to go, but we’ve come a long way, baby. And so here we are, entering a holiday season like no other, unsure of what lies ahead and with many of us wondering how to pay rent, how to feed our children, or even whether it is safe to see our families. But in spite of everything we have been through, the little miracles are all around us. Music, poetry, art—all of these things continue to delight, even through the fog of uncertainty. Broadway theaters may be dark, but our most talented performers have found ways to carry on. Live performance is curtailed, but the music still plays and artists like Jon Batiste, who graces our cover, are discovering new ways to communicate and spread love. As we prepare to tie a bow on 2020, we offer you our Creators issue. It celebrates a world of creative people, from a miniature artist in Long Island City, to a Native American fine artist in California, from a renowned chef in Harlem to a photographer on the streets of New York. We are so grateful to each and every one for making this time and place a little more beautiful and a lot more interesting. I wish you all a safe, healthy, and peaceful holiday season, and here’s to a 2021 filled with little miracles.

Deborah L. Martin Editor in Chief

Follow me on instagram @debmartinnyc and on




AS I WRITE THIS, I am sitting on a beautiful beach in Fire Island, the sun is shining, waves are crashing on the shore, and Barclay is running after the seagulls, who are busy diving for their breakfast. I’m in a special place that I was lucky enough to discover on a day trip with dear friends Robert and Marcia Bush, back in late September of this year. When another set of friends, Nick and Joel, invited me back for Thanksgiving, I jumped at the chance. Just before Thanksgiving I returned from Florida after having to do the unimaginable. I guess we really believe that our parents will live forever, that they will always be there, just a call, short car ride, or flight away. Of all years, it had to be this one, during a global pandemic, when our parents need us the most, but we cannot be with them. She understood what the world was facing, and the last thing she wanted was for her child to travel under these circumstances, at risk of being exposed to COVID. The agreement between us was when she really needed me, I would go at the drop of a hat. No questions asked. That call finally came, it was my time to truly grow up, and to do what was needed until her last breath. I thank my dear neighbors Alise and Roel for picking me up off the floor and giving me the words of wisdom that I so desperately needed to be able to pack, and actually muster up



the strength to get on that plane. On September 7, 2020 at 4:22 am, my brother and I were by our mother’s side as she took her last breath. A year of pain, grief, loss, and an emotional roller coaster of fear, had come to its peak. Nothing that 2020 could throw at me would affect me this greatly. We each handle grief differently, and I poured myself back into my work. Getting lost in what I love to do is a blessing. I love Downtown, not only the community but working with our clients, board members, core team, and our editor in chief Deb Martin. We scrape the surface, and then dig deeper to create the beautiful, heartfelt pages of this magazine. You see we get to do what we love, tell stories about the people, places, and culture that only exists right here in our New York. Putting a magazine together is like peeling an onion, one layer at a time. You start with the whole, then you must make each page individually come to life. We are Creators, this is what we do each and every day. Talking with and meeting the Creators featured in this issue was just what I needed, a spiritual journey into their lives to take me away from my pain. We are all Creators in some way whether you create a dish, a painting, a song, a building, or use words to tell someone else’s story. Getting to meet our cover talent Jon Batiste was an experience I will never forget. He made me feel quiet and still, which are two words that anyone who knows me would never choose to describe me. He lives in his rhythm, everything he does is a rhythm, the way he walks, talks, and thinks, you can get inspired by just being in his presence. Peeling his layers back, you see a man who has more talent in his pinky than most. In addition to his very busy schedule, he gives back, supports the arts, lends his voice to fight injustice and help those who are struggling. Once, again I am grateful to our board chair Dara McQuillan of Silverstein Properties, who gave us the opportunity to photograph Jon at 3WTC—and they just happened to have a stunning Steinway baby grand piano! As you will see on our pages, Jon gave us a private performance as our talented photographer Andrew Matusik captured special moments, like notes on a music sheet. This year has felt like the darkest of times: the sorrow of losing friends, co-workers, and family members; dealing with isolation and loneliness; witnessing angry people of all ethnicities fighting each other on the streets, in stores, and in restaurants; a beloved country divided by political polarization. Will all of this define 2020? As Charles Dickens said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This year will go down in history as the year for activism, learning, discovery, growth, respect, and a step forward towards justice for all humans. We will no longer be silenced, we will find our voice, our own mission, and we will continue to come together to stand up for one democracy. We are all Creators—and like the grains of sand on this beautiful pristine beach formed over millions of years, it’s time that we become one collective voice, rising above, and moving forward into 2021. DT

This issue is dedicated to the loving memory of Eleanor Anna Johansson, June 22, 1933, Brooklyn, NY - September 7, 2020, Winter Garden, FL “She believed that I could do anything.”

Grace A. Capobianco CEO and Founder Downtown Magazine

Follow me on Instagram @graciedtm and on



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ADVISORY BOARD DARA MCQUILLAN Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Silverstein Properties, Inc.

AFTER THE FIRST WORLD WAR, half a dozen blocks in Lower Manhattan became home to stores specializing in the sale of radio and electronic equipment and parts. The area was known as “Radio Row,” and the shop owners were early 20th Century inventors, tinkerers, engineers, and creators. After the Second World War, Radio Row was filled with war surplus electronics, junk, and parts piled high and spilling out onto the street. Pete Hamill, who sadly passed away in August, recalled a childhood memory: “On Saturday mornings, I used to venture from Brooklyn with my father to Radio Row on Cortlandt Street in Lower Manhattan, where he and hundreds of other New York men moved from stall to stall in search of the elusive tube that would make the radio work again. Later, my brothers went there with him in search of television components. Radio Row was a piece of all our interior maps.” Radio Row was torn down in 1966 by the Port Authority to make way for the World Trade Center. Today, the new World Trade Center is home to Spotify, Uber, IEX,—this



century’s inventors, tinkerers, and creators. As you will see from this issue, despite the pandemic, Downtown Manhattan’s remains the creative center of the city. The world’s leading companies still want to be here, along with the country’s stock exchanges. New York City is the media, fashion, and finance capital of the world, and the world’s largest technology companies continue to lease massive amounts of space here. We have some of the world’s top museums, which are starting to reopen. Hopefully, they will be followed by the return of our live music venues and theaters. New York is home to some of the country’s leading sports teams and their stadiums, and there are 27,000 restaurants and 10,000 bars in the City. We have a mass transit system that has the capacity to move over five million New Yorkers every day. Most importantly, New York remains home to more than eight million people. For four hundred years, people from all over the world and representing every walk of life have come to New York to build a better life, to follow their dreams, to achieve fame and fortune. That

dynamic won’t be changing any time soon! This city has—and will continue to house—the smartest, hardest working, most talented, and ambitious people in every facet of professional and personal life. If you want to be competitive, if you want to be creative, if you want to be successful at the highest levels, you need to be in New York. Whether you are in the arts or theater, dance and music, or the disciplines of real estate, finance, technology, healthcare, philanthropy, or law, this is the place to do it. Once a vaccine is developed and distributed globally, the world will start to get back to where it was prior to the pandemic. Will it happen overnight? No. But will it happen six months, 12 months from now? Yes, I believe so. Scientists around the whole world are focused on finding a cure. So, I think we just have to hang in there, use common sense, wear our masks, wash our hands, and socially distance. Just like in 2001, most of those who initially left will come back. And those that don’t will ultimately be replaced by a new generation of bright, ambitious, creative, and talented people. DT



Saul Scherl is President of the New York Tri-State Region at The Howard Hughes Corporation. Mr. Scherl has more than twenty years of experience in the realms of retail, residential, hospitality, and mixed-use real estate.


A board-certified dermatologist with over 25 years of experience, she has been labeled a “superdoctor” by The New York Times and a Top Doctor by Castle Connolly. Her practice, Skinfluence, is located in Manhattan.


A renowned restaurateur, “The Mayor of Wall Street” opened his first downtown restaurant in the ’80s. Nieporent’s Myriad Restaurant Group includes the TriBeCa Grill and Nobu.


Longtime downtown resident and founding board member, Rosabianca lends his expertise on a wide array of subjects including real estate, political affairs, and architectural history, and is a frequent editorial contributor.



SAMANTHA COX Samantha Cox is Vice President, Creative, New York, at Broadcast Music, Inc. She also provides advice and supports myriad projects at the Center for Performing Arts at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.




Member of CB1 for 19 years, eight of those years its Chair, and for 13 years the Chair of CB1 World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee. Hughes has worked with agencies at the city, state, and federal levels.

Dual-certified in Orthodontics and Periodontics, Celenza teaches post-graduate studies at institutions such as New York University and Rutgers. He has offices in New York City, Scarsdale, and New Jersey.

Rory McCreesh founded Duce Construction Corporation, specializing in designing and constructing high-end homes and apartments in Manhattan, Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian, as well as an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Forese oversees a leading system in quality, safety, efficiency, and service.

Executive Vice President of Anat Gerstein, Simmons has spent three decades in private and public sector communications, previously serving at the Alliance for Downtown New York.


Matusik loves collaborating with talented stylists, models, and artists and is devoted to creating striking images through great composition and beautiful light. For this issue, he photographed Jon Batiste for our cover feature, on page 44.


Born in Malaysia, Liu moved to New York City after college. He then set aside his degree in business communications to pursue a career as a photographer. For this issue he photographed Bake Sale on page 30.


Fiedler began his career as a Navy photographer aboard the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower. He created the Working Journal Project using photography and handwriting to tell the stories of the people he encounters. In this issue, Michael’s Last Word is on page 88.


Silver is a celebrity dog trainer, and the former host of “Dogs in the City,” author of “The Language of Dogs,” owner of a full-service dog care and training company. Silver shared his training secrets on page 42.


Calingasan was born and raised in the Philippines. He is a research scientist and a photography hobbyist. He photographed Viewfinder on page 22.


Haddad is a Brooklyn-based writer who covers interior design, culture, architecture, and her passion, travel. For this issue, she explored ethical diamonds in Romancing the Stone, on page 54.


Florea is a designer dedicated to advancing sustainability. Noemi wrote Entrepreneur, Collective, and Multi-Hyphenate in our Humans section, beginning on page 14.


Born in London to a Swedish father and a mom from Guyana, Lindholm moved to LA at 19 and became a makeup artist, working on awards shows and in television. Now in New York, she continues to do what she loves, making up clients for the camera. She did the makeup for our Jon Batiste cover shoot on page 44.




FREEZE FRAME David Godlis’s view of New York City (and Boston), from behind the camera lens.

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD David Godlis, in front of local favorite B&H Dairy in the East Village, where he has lived since the 70’s.



STREET PHOTOGRAPHERS HAVE the unique ability to stop time, to reveal moments of our past and current realities, to tell the story of a place through anonymous moments that are ordinary, and sometimes, transcendent. David Godlis has spent his life doing just that. His new book, Godlis Streets, includes stolen moments from the streets of New York and Boston in the late 70’s and 80’s, during an analog—and more gritty—time. His love for photography started early. “What really did it was the film Blowup, [by Michelangelo Antonioni and Carlo Ponti]. When I saw David Hemmings in the darkroom holding up the prints, that became the template for me. It was the first time I realized I could be a photographer as a job.” While in school in Boston, he started shooting, and he says that he always saw himself as a street photographer. When he moved to New York to find work, he continued capturing the streets. In the mid-70’s, he started hanging out at a little club called CBGB’s. “I really went there to hear the music and at some point I realized that I could capture this scene with my camera.” Inspired by the night photography of Brassai on the streets of Paris, Godlis started shooting the punks on the Bowery using available light. “I photographed that scene more like a street photographer than a rock photographer.” Some of those iconic photos—shot between 1976 and 1979—of punk musicians like Patti Smith and The Ramones, made it into his first book, History is Made at Night. When the scene at CBGB’s started to wane, he made his way back into the sunlight. “I wasn’t going to be hanging around shooting A Flock of Seagulls, that wasn’t interesting to me.” He took an immersive photography seminar with Gary Winogrand in 1979, and got reinspired. “We had to bring in some photographs for him to critique and I brought about 60 prints. He whittled that down to 15, and from there chose two. He’d say, “that doesn’t make it, this doesn’t make it.” What he was pointing to, I’m not sure. His advice was to pay attention to what was in the four corners of

your frame, and that’s exactly right.” The photography in the book is often a study in contrasts—nuns in front of risque advertising, older, straightlaced ladies in front of a porno theater, old men and young children, people under long-gone theater marquees. “I was always reading stuff on the walls, graffitti and advertising, and it would get stuck in my head, so I was aware of the contrast. And I’m a fast shooter. The trick is to shoot the picture and then look over the person’s shoulder, so they don’t realize you are taking a photo of them.” Godlis Streets is published by Reel Art Press, and is available at Rizzoli Bookstore. DT


by Deborah L. Martin photography by Godlis


ON THE STREET Photographs from Godlis Streets, shot in the late 70s and early 80s. David Godlis live-edited the book on his Instagram (@godlis), posting photos and getting audience reaction. “You don’t see everything when you are shooting, it’s only later, looking at shots with fresh eyes, that things jump out at you. Some of the people I shot were just screaming from the film, ‘when are you going to publish me?’ Social media gives me an opportunity to see things differently, and hear people’s reaction to the shots.”




REPRESENTATION MATTERS Four women pool their resources to create a new kind of art collective with an emphasis on underrepresented voices. by Noemi Florea photography by Donna Dotan WHAT STARTED OUT as meetings between friends became an organic collaboration between four women dedicated to building an accessible and diverse platform for artists. 4 Flavors Art, created by Heather Carter, Kathryn McGuire, Ria Asmaeilzadah, and Lana Masor, is a unique coalition of four women with art and design backgrounds, combining their skills to launch artists of all backgrounds. “We each have our own businesses independently, and we’re looking to support each other while finding artists that we can collectively launch into bigger museums,



private collections, and homes,” explains McGuire, who runs the Clerestory Fine Art gallery in Montclair. The four decided to collaborate after hosting an open-air art show at Lana Masor’s house. “We were able to display art in a beautiful way in a setting where people felt safe,” says Masor, an interior designer and founder of Maison Masor. Being able to coordinate despite uncertain circumstances has been fortunate, and Carter, founder of Carter Fine Art Services, says, “The chemistry is incredible, the support of each other, the collaborative efforts,

the positive energy. We all feel so fortunate to find each other at such a challenging time.” 4 Flavors Art has coalesced into a curatorial acquisitions team branching in four distinctive directions. While McGuire and Carter have previously worked in the academic art world—McGuire at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Carter in promoting artists of color— Asmaeilzadah runs a conservation-framing business and Masor is an interior designer. Asmaeilzadah adds that “with Lana’s interior design skills, she can help make people feel comfortable about making sure a piece will fit into their home.” McGuire says, “We’re trying to find ways that we can pool our resources and build upon each other’s strengths,” adding “it was always based on a lot of good faith and supporting each other.” When considering the New York art world at large, the women at 4 Flavors Art agree on its many barriers to emerging artists: “There are so many artists who just can’t tap into it because they don’t have representation. We’re trying to break down those barriers and work outside of those megalith galleries. We’re trying to help the little guys,” McGuire expressed. In promoting diversity of ethnicity, gender, and orientation, they are also striving to present original art as something accessible. “One of the biggest challenges is to overcome the misconception that original art is too expensive,” Asmaeilzadah says, and Masor adds, “Art can be accessible. You can own an original piece of art, something that speaks to you with a strong message, with soul to it.” To break down the different obstacles, 4 Flavors Art hosts art shows with a wide range of prices, largely to encourage buying in the moment. They work to create an approachable atmosphere, without the intimidation factor that sometimes pervades larger galleries. The goal of 4 Flavors Art is to let guests feel comfortable in observing and connecting with the artists’ work. “Art is a really beautiful way to open up conversations and understand different cultures and perspectives.” In a tenuous period in all of our lives, that’s something much needed. Within the collective, it’s easy to see that “there’s a sense of real gratitude that we all found each other. There’s a lot of love and support and enthusiasm in this relationship between the four of us,” Masor attests. 4 Flavors Art hosts events, often with collaborating spaces such as Montclair Art Museum and each of the four women’s personal galleries and homes. Many programs will support charitable organizations, and their most recent show benefitted the African American Cultural Committee of Montclair Art Museum, a committee both Heather Carter and Kathryn McGuire are members of. Their new office in Montclair also features art on display and is a welcoming space for art enthusiasts to visit. 4 Flavors Art, 204 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair; DT


GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE Frida Kamau launched Soko Africanus to celebrate creative diversity in her native Kenya. by Noemi Florea photography by Ryan Liu

GLOBAL ARTISANS, hailing from Asia, Central and South America, and Africa, each have their own presence in New York City, yet distinguishing between craft and kitsch may be difficult. Frida Kamau, founder of Soko Africanus, has made it her mission to source meaningful home products directly from artisans in her native country of Kenya, as a way of connecting with the land and its people. “The process diversified my perspective on art, in terms of being exposed to what people might call more primitive or traditional, more skill-based arts from Kenya, whether it’s pottery or weaving and textile-making,” Kamau explains. “Traditionally, handmade goods from Kenya have been what serves the tourist market, like carvings of animals and very kitschy work. But the same people who create those carvings can create anything, so it’s interesting to bring a different flavor of Kenya to New York.” The products offered at Soko Africanus are all created by women in rural Kenyan communities, one of Kamau’s core priorities as she strives to cultivate a brand that supports her cultural heritage and gives back to local people. As a leader and maker, Kamau has a multifaceted approach to the work she does beyond Soko Africanus. “I solve creative problems, so it doesn’t really matter whether it’s designing products, landscapes, or interiors. I think of myself as a problem-solver.” In providing services such as interior design, renovation, and landscaping, she applies the same ethos that can be found in Soko Africanus to create spaces that she describes as a mix of high- and low-brow, and that ultimately feel comfortable and warm. Social and environmental awareness also plays a significant role, both for Kamau as well as for the artisans and craftspeople she regularly collaborates with. “I believe in sustainability and I believe in conservation, so I tend to use a lot of preowned or pre-used furniture and materials. In the spaces that I work in, I try to source locally and directly whenever possible. I have a good community of everything from welders and woodworkers to artists,” she says, as fostering a collective of supportive artisans is a theme throughout all of her projects. To expand her community, Kamau has joined forces with Kim Ficaro, founder of Totem Home, to launch an upcoming capsule collection featuring woven bags, blankets, and towels from artisans in Kenya, Mexico, and Morocco. “Starting out, there wasn’t a lot of space for women of color in the art world,” Kamau communicated as she

reflected on her own journey as a Kenyan artist. Her key objective in this new collection is to expand on the opportunities provided for minority women worldwide. Initiatives like hers can go a long way towards uniting what may sometimes feel like a distant and unbridgeable global community, and leaders like Kamau are paving the way as they strive for new forms of authentic cultural exchange. DT THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC



Joanne Kwong and Mrs. Chen in Pearl River Mart’s flagship TriBeCa store.

RIVER OF DREAMS Pearl River Mart has been a Chinatown staple —revered by both fashionistas and bargain hunters— since 1971. by Noemi Florea photography by Deborah L. Martin

IN TRYING TIMES, it can be easy to forget the camaraderie we hold with our neighbors in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Fifty years ago, Ming Yi and Ching Yeh Chen, founders of Chinatown’s Pearl River Mart, wanted to promote the long relationship between China and New York. Established in 1971 during a trade embargo between the U.S. and China, the idea behind the Asian-American department store was to establish new diplomatic relations between the two countries. Pearl River Mart’s president, Joanne Kwong (the daughter-in-law of the store’s founders) recalls, “They thought they would create what was known as a friendship shop, where they would celebrate how rich the culture was and how beautiful the designs were,



to really show how people from China were just like everyone else.” In the fifty years since its founding, Pearl River Mart has become a more than a Chinatown icon it is a “New York City institution,” as Kwong says. Swapping locations six times over the years, the flagship store has been able to remain within a six-block radius of the original location, inhabiting at various times Chinatown. Soho, and Tribeca. Business took off in the late 1970s and 80s, when fashion and home magazine editors from Glamour, Vogue, and House Beautiful made it their secret source for fashion-forward items such as kimonos, silk dresses, shoes, and elegant, yet affordable tableware and home decor. “The Chens were really one of the retail pioneers of

Soho,” Kwong says, and indeed, Pearl River Mart was among the first wave of shops to transform Soho from an industrial neighborhood into the shopping district it’s known as today. In its evolution, Pearl River Mart has been featured on Oprah, Queer Eye, and “so many design shows,” while also helping to decorate many of New York’s restaurants, movie sets, magazine shoots, and weddings. “It’s really become a part of many New Yorkers’ origin stories, because the items are beautiful but they’re also affordable. A lot of New Yorkers will have decorated their first apartment, or their first dorm room, or they’ll see their wedding gifts were from Pearl River.” Even with success, the store has remained family-run and dedicated to fostering accessibility and community. Since becoming president in 2015, Kwong has affirmed that Pearl River Mart fulfills the need for a “place where neighbors of different cultures come together. It’s very nonjudgmental, you come in and learn about a culture different from yours.” When speaking to her personal heritage as it united her with the store, “as an Asian-American, it was a business that I had never seen before. It was a Chinatown business that a lot of non-Chinese, non-Asians came to and revere, and love.” Today, Pearl River no longer exclusively offers Chinese products, but has adopted pan-Asian trade including goods from Tibet, Laos, and Vietnam. The added diversity has only affirmed its position as a New York cultural institution. “It’s very New York, it’s very downtown.” Kwong believes that stores like Pearl River are “the crossroads of culture, commerce, and community,” where shoppers can learn about other cultures in an open setting. Extending beyond the flagship store in TriBeCa, their newest location in Chelsea Market has its own flair. “Our flagship store feels like Chinatown, but a little bit modernized. Our Chelsea market store has a community that is a little bit younger, with more millennials and tech-savvy people. It’s a lot brighter, a little bit louder, more colorful.” The Chelsea store also serves as a landing ground for Asian-American entrepreneurs, where the retail launch of their products takes place before they expand to other locations. Recently, Pearl River Foods has opened in the basement of Chelsea Market, offering snacks and packaged foods from all over Asia. Kwong has been a leader in initiating Pearl River Mart’s online presence, managing the store’s blog and social media. “That really brings our experience out into the world. Even if you live in Iowa or Australia, you can feel like you are part of the community and learn about these traditions and cultural stories.” When it comes to opening up the community, Kwong says, “I love how there are people from all different walks of life. Not just different ethnicities, but also different ages. You have to be open-minded here, because that’s our ethos. It’s about sharing culture.” In an age when this kind of discourse is clearly needed, it’s undeniable that Pearl River has a colorful future ahead. DT


SMALLVILLE In Long Island City, Danielle McGurran is creating tiny New York. by Daniel Metz photography by Danielle McGurran

DANIELLE MCGURRAN’S miniature projects often begin with a photograph, either from something she has seen in a book, or smartphone photos taken while exploring the city. From there, she decides on the scale and composition, trying to capture as much realism as possible. Using foam core, wood, paper, enamel and acrylic paint, tape, clay, and innumerable glue types, McGurran constructs the main structure and plans out fixtures like doors, windows, and signage. The little bits and pieces enhance the eerie, spellbinding truth of the miniature scenes. The results are uncanny. Danielle McGurran creates miniature models of New York City storefronts and scenescapes. Her Instagram (@cityfolkstudio) is filled with tiny apartment buildings with fire escapes, palm-sized air conditioner units, and old newspapers the size of your thumb tip, complete with legible headlines. But what strikes you isn’t just the scale. The paint on the apartment fire escape has given way to rust in places, peeling back where water, weather, and wear would have chipped it away. The white window air conditioner unit is browning with age and exposure. The newspaper looks like it was left on the sidewalk during a downpour. Her work doesn’t just encapsulate New York’s beauty. It explores the dirt, grime, sidewalk muck, graffiti—all the real-world detritus that she says many people spend their days trying to avoid or ignore. “Using the miniature in this way,” McGurran observes, “it’s a vehicle of confronting our

perceptions of what’s ugly, challenging the viewer to pay attention to the details of what becomes invisible and muted as we commute from place to place; not only to pay attention but to be charmed by those details.” McGurran grew up around art. Her mother was a sign painter, interior designer, and then a graphic designer. Her father was a long-haul truck driver who took her along on some of his long drives with only a sketchbook as entertainment. She moved to Manhattan for college as soon as she could, immersing herself in the city’s nightlife. “My friends and I went to the Limelight, watched girls dance in suspended cages all night long; then we collapsed into diner banquettes as the sun was rising and ordered disco fries by the metric ton.” Today, she lives with her wife in Long Island City, where she has a tiny closet art studio she calls “The Cludio.” Since she was furloughed during COVID-19, McGurran has poured herself into her art, creating smaller, more intricate pieces and taking on new commissions. She hopes, in the future, to expand out of The Cludio. “My wife is very supportive and an all-around awesome partner, but she’s definitely getting tired of weird glue fumes and tiny bits of plastic and wood littering the apartment.” McGurran also plans to branch out into commercial work, perhaps creating miniatures for film and television.; @cityfolkstudio DT THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC



SHOE IN Designer Marie Laffont creates shoes with a rock and roll edge. by Dan Metz photography by Nela Kekic

TRY AS SHE MIGHT, MARIE LAFFONT couldn’t find a comfortable, stylish shoe that let her walk without pain on swollen feet. She wanted a shoe that was flat but not a sneaker, and comfortable yet elegant. In the end, it was easier to make the shoes herself. Her eponymous brand eschews heels—for now—and focuses on walkable designs inspired by her favorite music. Laffont describes her 2020 collection as a unique dichotomy of French Glamour and British Rock. Her diverse influences range from Velvet Underground to Françoise Hardy and Beyoncé. “Before the pandemic, my favorite place in New York City to get inspired was Paris Blues in Harlem,” says Laffont, “because it’s such an authentic place with the best jazz music. Everyone dances and the people, the music, the feeling—it all inspires me!” Laffont’s core collection includes seven different designs, including a collaboration with artist Morgane Tschiember. The original 2020 collection was supposed to feature twenty designs, but COVID forced her to cut back. The shoes are bright, colorful, and fun, reminiscent of an ultramodern, no-walls workspace with bouncy balls and 30 flavors of espresso. The shoes are designed for the kind of professional who can think on her feet. And you won’t find a single heel on her website. “In today’s world,” Laffont says, “everyone is running around, riding the subway, cycling, walking, and I felt women would want to do that while feeling comfortable and stylish at the same time.” Laffont designed her shoes to last. “I want them to feel like a pair of pants, a jacket or a coat that you’ve worn a lot but still has the best fit,” she explains. “I want them to look worn and form some sort of an emotional bond with their owner—I’ve always been a romantic like that!” Each shoe is handmade by Italian craftsmen and she uses only high-quality materials: mostly leather and suede from tanneries that are guaranteed for quality, sustainability, and care of the environment. The soles are made with 80 percent recycled materials, and the boxes the shoes come in are 100 percent recyclable and made of recycled paper. The signature studs fixed into the grosgrain are also hand applied in Italy. Consumers won’t find Laffont’s shoes in a



department store. Not yet, at least. The shoes are available on her website, through her Instagram (@marielaffontofficial), or her pop up store at 167 Mott Street. Her limited runs mean that several 2020 designs have already sold out. DT






Going the DISTANCE Virtual Urgent Care Goes to New Lengths to Reach NYC Patients. by Dan Metz

IN DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN, the doctor is in, but you are not. Which, in COVID times, is probably for the best. Instead, NewYork-Presbyterian has opened its virtual doors for scheduled video visits for its 130,000 plus annual visitors, as well as new patients in search of care. More than 4000 physicians stand by, covering 80 specializations, ready for new patient visits, follow-up visits, mental health check-ins, pre-surgical/postoperative visits, and more. For those with more acute concerns, NewYork-Presbyterian offers Virtual Urgent Care, a fasttrack for minor injuries or illnesses such as cold, flu, or seasonal allergies, as well as COVID-19. “With approximately 20 percent of our outpatient visits now virtual across 80+ services,” says Shauna Coyne, Director of IT Innovation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, “we are reaching more New Yorkers every day. During the pandemic, telemedicine has helped in minimizing disease spread, eliminating unnecessary hospital visits, and freeing up resources to best serve those who are in critical need.” As the only full-service hospital south of 14th Street, NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital dedicates itself to accessibility. The virtual visit portal, accessible online or through the NYP Connect app, is directly available for many insurance providers. Those patients need only to hop on the app and schedule an appointment. For others, their provider’s office can help them schedule a video visit. All appointments with new patients come through the patient’s service provider. Virtual Urgent Care services are available for all adult patients located in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida, and for pediatric patients in New York and New Jersey. Then, minus the distance, the process is the same. You schedule the appointment; you fill out your medical history; it gets checked; you have your appointment. For the tech-phobic, virtual ambassadors are available to help set up accounts and prepare patients for visits. New York City has made giant strides to get ahead of a disease that has threatened its soul. With the United States still leading in new daily cases, the city has a lot more work to do. While we are still battling the pandemic, we can hope for a silver lining: that programs like On Demand Virtual Urgent Care and the normalization of video visits will continue long after the crisis has passed. DT THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC



TAPESTRY A Tribute to Our Natural Oasis. by Deborah L. Martin Photography by Noel Y. Calingasan



NEW YORK CITY, seen from any angle, is impressive. But seen from above, the island of Manhattan reveals a singular beauty. From its northern reaches to its southernmost tip, the dense thicket of structures seems to simultaneously defy gravity and anchor a glittering island. But the vision of this city from above would be just another sprawl of urban development were it not for the 843 acres at its center—the masterwork of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux—Central Park. This urban oasis segues from tender pea shoot green in spring to brilliant emerald in summer and black and white in deep winter, but it is autumn when the park’s natural architecture truly shines. All of the colors at the warm end of the Crayola box come to life: from chocolate, khaki, and hunter green, to cayenne red, turmeric gold, and burnt sienna. It is a place of respite

and refuge, open to all, democratic in its conception and inspired in its execution. It was not always so. Construction began on the park in 1858 and was completed over the ensuing 15 years, but by the early 1900’s, it had already fallen into a decline that continued for 60 years. By the late 1960’s, Central Park had become the punchline for many a joke about the dangers of city life. In 1979, Mayor Ed Koch appointed Elizabeth Barlow Rogers as the first Central Park Administrator, and in 1980, the Central Park Conservancy was formed, working tirelessly to preserve one of New York’s most treasured features. Today, New Yorkers from the Bronx to Battery Park know it as a place to breathe, to escape the grind of living amongst 8.3 million people, for all to enjoy, equally.

Editor’s note: In September 2020, our dear friend and gifted editor George Jason Kontos passed away. He spent many happy hours in Central Park, walking his dogs, Byron and Claude, and enjoying the beauty and history of the place he considered his own backyard. This page is dedicated to his memory.






MACDOUGAL STREET BLUES From Eleanor Roosevelt to Jimi Hendrix, this eight-block street is the epicenter of the city’s Bohemian past. by Deborah L. Martin MACDOUGAL STREET is one of those streets that seem contrived: a movie set version of New York City, complete with brownstones, ornate fire escapes, front stoops with cast iron railings, and live music seeping out of brightly lit cafes. It was named for Alexander MacDougall, a Revolutionary War hero who counted among his friends Alexander Hamilton and George Washington. It begins at West 8th Street and ends in SoHo at Prince Street, and along the way includes some of the city’s truly historic spaces. At its northern end lies MacDougal Alley, one of the New York’s remaining, authentic mews, an enclosed alley housing the stables and carriage houses for the Gilded Age mansions on West 8th Street and Washington Square North. It is private now, accessed by those lucky few who live in the restored homes that line it. However, it can be visited if you tour the

New York Studio School on West 8th Street. The school is an important piece of New York art history, housed in a series of townhouses once owned by one Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. She purchased number 19 to use as a sculpture studio, and subsequently purchased seven more townhouses, creating a place where American artists—who were largely ignored—could live and work. Artists like Edward Hopper, Stuart Davis, Reginald Marsh, and Thomas Hart Benton, exhibited their work at what became known as the Whitney Studio. In 1928, Whitney offered to donate her collection of over 600 works to the Metropolitan Museum, who said, “No, thanks.” So in 1930 she and her assistant, Juliana Reiser Force, converted the townhouses into the Whitney Museum of American Art. Four thousand people visited the museum on its first day. DT THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC



ALLEY DREAMS MacDougal Alley was once home to Jackson Pollack (1949-1950). Isamu Noguchi lived in the now demolished number 33, where he created some of his most important works.

FIRST LADY Eleanor Roosevelt lived at 29 Washington Square West after the death of President Franklin Roosevelt in 1945. It was initially leased as a pied-à-terre for the couple, who planned to use it as their New York City residence.

THE OG Caffe Reggio claims to be the first place to serve cappucino in the United States. It’s iconic green facade has been seen in movies (The Godfather II), and was the site of a 1959 stump speech by presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy.

MEETING PLACE Minetta Tavern was frequented by writers such as E.E. Cummings, Ernest Hemingway, Joe Gould, and Ezra Pound.



PUBLIC SQUARE In 1958 Robert Moses’s plan to run Fifth Avenue through the park was denied, thankfully. The park’s great history as a true public square can be seen today in the protests, street musicians, and artists which are as much a part of park life as the historic trees and the iconic central fountain.

SHOP TALK MacDougal is a great place to shop while you stroll. Boutiques once lined the street, selling everything from Tibetan wares to records. Land of Buddha sells everything from silver jewerly to prayer flags.

TIMELESS MacDougal is lined with historic terra cotta rowhouses and brownstones that are protected as part of the Greenwich Village Historic District. MacDougal Ale House is another underground bar with a relaxed vibe.

WHA? Cafe Wha? is one of New York’s most famous clubs—it is the place where Bob Dylan played his first gig, and where Jimi Hendrix frequently graced the stage.

TATTOO YOU NYC Ink is in 116 MacDougal, which used to be the Gaslight Cafe where beat poets such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg gathered. Bob Dylan lived upstairs.


SCHOOL DAYS The Italian-Gothic 37 Washington Square West was purchased as faculty housing for New York University in 1953. It is also the official residence for the venerable school’s president. Playwright Eugene O’Neill lived next door at number 39.

HERITAGE 77 MacDougal is home to Tiro A Segno, the oldest Italian-American heritage club in the United States. There is a shooting range and bocce court in the basement. The building is comprised of three 1850 rowhouses.

CHICAGO IN NY Emmett’s serves up Chicago-style pizza, hot dogs, and beef sandwiches in a casual New York setting.

LATE NIGHTS MacDougal Street comes alive at night, with people pouring out of cafes between music sets looking for a snack. Ben’s Pizzeria serves up a delicious slice, though no one is sure if they really have locations in London, Japan, Spain, and Italy

STREET WITH A VIEW The view south to the World Trade Center reminds you that you are still in New York City. MacDougal was once home to myriad coffee shops where budding performers worked and played.

FRIED DELIGHT Nothing is better for a late night stroll in the West Village than a piping hot cone of crispy Belgian Frites, accompanied by a full spectrum of sauces, from the familiar to the exotic.

SPEAKEASY 124 Old Rabbit Club is a below-ground place to enjoy a drink. The area once had many speakeasys, giving the street its party atmosphere.

C’EST MAGNIFIQUE 120 was once the home of jeweler Alfonso Albrizio’s renowned shop, C’est Magnifique. Rockers such as Iggy Pop, Jimi Hendrix, and Madonna were clients, as well as five generations of New Yorkers in the know. Though the store no longer exists, Alfred III keeps the legend alive with his own brand, Sterling Assault.

HISTORIC The Greek-Revival architecture of the MacDougalSullivan Gardens Historic District dates to 1844.




GRAPHIC DESIGN A Chelsea museum celebrates the art of the poster. by Daniel Metz photography by Deborah L. Martin





“WHEN YOU GO TO A FINE ART MUSEUM, you sit in front of a painting and you ask, ‘What is it trying to tell me?” says Bader AlAwadhi, marketing manager for Poster House. “When it comes to posters, they tell you right away. You need to understand them in the first three seconds or they’re not working. Which makes it a very different experience.” And Poster House is different. It is the country’s first and only museum primarily focused on posters. One of its main shows, “The Sleeping Giant: Posters & the Chinese Economy,” spans a century, reflecting on a nation and a society rocked by social extremes that brought it to the place it stands now, politically and in the global economy. The other main show, “The Swiss Grid,” tells a very different story. Rather than exploring the growth of nations, “The Swiss Grid” explores the growth and development of modern graphic design through a school of design that revolutionized the medium. The exhibition explores International Typographic Style, one of the most important movements in graphic design history. In addition to telling stories through posters, the museum is also helping to write those stories. Poster House was the first museum in the city to close for COVID-19. The staff, who were still being paid in full, decided to continue working on projects to help the community. The most visible of these was #COMBATCOVID, where they asked artists to submit poster designs with inspirational and informative messages, choosing 20 to be displayed throughout the city. The project was led by Poster House’s AlAwadhi along with PRINT magazine. They teamed up with LinkNYC, Silvercast, and Times Square Arts to display the posters on more than 1800 screens throughout the city. JCDecaux volunteered more screens, spreading the posters to Boston and Chicago. Since then, they have been seen in Miami, Los Angeles, and North Carolina. They also worked on projects like “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” with award-winning cookbook author Grace Young, who interviewed restaurant owners in Chinatown who were already facing financial devastation, fear, and bigotry

surrounding COVID even before the order to close restaurants went into effect. Poster House reopened its doors at the end of August. “The Sleeping Giant” and “The Swiss Grid,” which had only been on display for a short time before COVID struck, have been extended until March 2021. In addition to their main exhibitions, upcoming shows include Blacksploitation film posters, Austrian designer Julius Klinger, and the story of how Hunter S. Thompson tried to become sheriff and take over Aspen. The Poster House is open from Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. Please visit to reserve tickets and for public health guidelines. DT

POSTERIZE An exhibit at Poster House, exploring the poster art of China. Above: Poster House is in the building that formerly housed TekServe, the original Apple repair shop in New York.




BAKE SALE Doughnuts and Cookies and Babka, Oh My! by Fernanda Mueller photography by Ryan Liu

THERE ARE FEW THINGS MORE THERAPEUTIC than a cup of coffee and a delicious pastry or a slice of cake. Thankfully, New York City is bakery central—you can always find a place to fulfill your cravings. The bakeries in this issue are diverse in flavor and concept: there’s the Israeli place that makes the best babkas in town, the traditional, 100-year-old Italian spot, and bakeries for those with allergies looking for a safe sweet treat. Behind each one of them there’s a beautiful story of passion for baking.

VENIERO’S Veniero’s opened on East 11th Street in 1894. It started off as a social club opened by Antonio Veniero, an Italian immigrant. His passion for fine pastries became a business when he started to bake and sell biscotti at the club. By 1920, the space was transformed into a traditional Italian Pasticceria. Veniero’s is an East Village landmark, appearing in many movies and television shows. Though they specialize in Italian cakes and pastries (don’t sleep on the cannolis), they also make delicious cheesecake. As current owner Robert Zerilli explains, “It’s important to try new recipes and always surprise the customers — that’s how you survive in this city.” He continues, “After more than a hundred years of tradition, the responsibility to keep the quality of the products and maintain credibility is enormous, but when you put your heart into a business, it can’t go wrong.” 342 E. 11th Street;




ERIN MCKENNA’S BAKERY It was during a meditation session that the idea for this gluten free bakery was born. Erin McKenna was disappointed with her job at the time and had just discovered that she had several food allergies, so she started to bake sweets for herself. At the time, gluten free vegan baked goods weren’t available. After taking an inner journey to discover her life purpose, Erin decided to open her own bakery on the Lower East Side in 2005. “Opening this type of bakery before anything like it existed was a very interesting thing. I spent a lot of time educating people about the ingredients and why this mattered,” she says. At the beginning, people visited out of pure curiosity and most of them became long-term customers. Erin McKenna’s gluten free donuts have become so famous that she opened two other locations: in Los Angeles and at Walt Disney World. Even though the donuts are the bestsellers, Erin is always developing new recipes. She does that in the same way this journey began: through meditation. “I meditate and open myself up to be guided through the process and then when I hit the kitchen, I intuitively throw things in the bowl. Then I keep going until I reach the right texture, flavor, sweetness, and overall balance.” We call that a great recipe. 248 Broome Street;




PARTYBUS BAKE SHOP Jacqueline Eng went from being a classical percussionist to a baker who loves sharing her knowledge about heritage grains and natural fermentation. She got a great response from the public when she opened a pop-up in her Lower East Side neighborhood, and in November of 2019, the mostly women-led bakery opened on Essex Street. At Partybus, wheat is the star. Jacqueline explains that wheat can be classified in the same way as grape varietals are in wine production. “Not all kinds of breads should have the same flavor. The customer should taste the ingredient that we used. Because I work with a variety of grains sourced locally, I get to play with different wheats and different flavors, instead of just saying, ‘Oh this is flour.’” Eng sources ingredients from producers like Maine Grains, Farmer Ground Flour, and Norwich Meadows Farms. Besides the cold fermentation baguettes, their best-selling item is the Pistachio Rose Croissant, which is similar to the traditional almond croissant, but filled with pistachio cream and topped with rosewater glaze. 31 Essex Street;

BAKED CRAVINGS At Baked Cravings, you will find everything your heart desires: cakes, brownies, cookies, gourmet popcorn, and their bestseller, Cupcakes in a Jar (so popular that they ship nationally). But Baked Cravings is different—it is a 100 percent peanut and tree nut-free bakery that really focuses on delicious flavors. After working as the Chief Financial Officer of another nut-free bakery that decided to downsize operations, Craig Watson realized it was time to use his experience to open his own business. Sensing that there was a lack of allergy-friendly bakeries in New York, and knowing their importance—his daughter has food allergies—he started Baked Cravings. Watson explains that they guarantee a safe facility for the allergy community by “using only the highest quality ingredients sourced from nut-free vendors, following strict packing processes and conducting regular tests to provide pastries for children to enjoy and parents to trust.” Baked Cravings’ original location in East Harlem (1673 Lexington Avenue), and their new location in the East Village (102 St. Marks Place), are the perfect spots to satisfy a sweet tooth.




MICHAELI BAKERY Executive pastry chef Amir Michaeli created the popular chocolate babka at his previous gig, Breads Bakery. After 12 years in the business, Michaeli decided it was time to open his own bakery. “I’m in love with the daily production processes, the freshly baked goods every morning, but mostly the reactions from customers for something you make and they keep coming back for.” At Michaeli Bakery, he’s introducing Americans to plenty of Israeli treats, such as the Pizza Burekas, a puff pastry filled with fresh tomato sauce, olives, feta and gouda cheese. Michaeli says he grew up eating Burekas, so it means a lot that it’s becoming popular in New York. Besides the traditional Israeli recipes, there are also vegan and gluten-free options. “Vegan or not, every one of our products must be good. So, when I make something, I try it first and if I don’t say ‘Oh, delicious!’ it won’t be on our menu,” he says. That is what happened with their gluten-free Nutella cookie and vegan donuts. Michaeli says that most people who order them are not even allergic to gluten. From the beginning, the bakery was designed to be mostly a to-go operation, which is a perfect fit for the times we are living in. 115A Division Street;

MAH-ZE-DAHR “A love affair with food as a language,” is how Umber Ahmad describes her relationship with food. Originally from Pakistan, Ahmad grew up traveling a lot, and she developed a passion for discovering new cultures and different flavors. Before opening a bakery, she built a career in business, first working on Wall Street and then co-founding a firm where she dedicated much of her time to addressing food security, long-term agriculture contracts, and expansion of food brands internationally. But Umber was more than a successful businesswoman—she also enjoyed baking. After her friend, well-known chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio, tasted her pastries, he encouraged Umber to do something with them. “At that moment, I decided to go from advising others on how to build the next great heritage brand to building one myself,” she says. Her brioche doughnut, filled with luscious vanilla pastry cream, and the heavenly cheesecake are the bakery’s best sellers. Even though owning a bakery seems to be a completely different job than working on Wall Street, Ahmad explains that at Mah-Ze-Dahr she is applying skills she developed during her career in finance. “It’s not enough to have a great brownie recipe. You must operate your company with the utmost financial savvy.” 28 Greenwich Avenue; THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC



SEE YOUR CITY Around town and in your home, it’s all about the arts. by Dan Metz

CREATING COMMUNITY Sometimes, an act of creation is an act of community. That is what Groundswell is all about. The 25-year-old organization brings neighborhood kids together with artists to create collective murals with input from community members and young artists. Their most recent creation, on the Houston Bowery Wall, has a sea-faring fantasy folklore theme and features several portraits of black figures in the foreground. The project was in collaboration with Goldman Properties and Goldman Global Arts. “Art has the power to amplify messages of hope, action and the power to unite a community,” said Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Global Arts. “We are honored to be a part of this collaboration with Groundswell, led by artist Raúl Ayala and assisted by 10 aspiring young artists who covered the Houston Bowery Wall with a powerful mural that reflects this watershed moment in our nation’s history.”

Some museums have opened their doors again. Be aware that many have new safety policies, so plan ahead. WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART is open, with several ongoing exhibitions, including “Working Together: The Photographers of the Koamoinge Workshop,” now through March 2021.


SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM While indoor spaces remain closed, you can still tour the outdoor sites, including the tall ship, Wavertree.


TENEMENT MUSEUM The Tenement apartment tours are still temporarily canceled, but the museum is offering tours of the Lower East Side to single household groups.

THE NEW MUSEUM has reopened with multiple exhibits extending into the new year, including “Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment,” through January.

MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE has reopened with its poignant Auschwitz Exhibition. It is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

THE 9/11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM is re-opened as a oneway visitor experience with new health and safety measures, and is also open for live virtual tours.

THE MUSEUM OF CHINESE IN AMERICA, in addition to COVID19, closed due to a tragic fire that destroyed priceless artifacts. It will not reopen until early 2021, but it hosts regular digital programming as well as live-streamed digital tours of the museum.


FULL HOUSE Artists need space, which comes at a premium in New York City. Silverstein Properties hopes to offer a reprieve through its Silver Art Projects program, a corporate responsibility project aimed at providing space for artists to grow and thrive. 30 artists have been selected and offered the chance to share a 44,000 square foot space on the 50th floor of 3 World Trade Center for up to eight months. The program was founded by Corey Silverstein, grandson of Silverstein Properties Chairman Larry Silverstein, and his college roommate, Joshua Pulman.. Upon graduation, they each entered Manhattan’s financial world, but they also share a passion for art, and wanted to be in the proximity of artists. Through the Silverstein family’s commitment to bringing art and artists into downtown Manhattan, they created Silver Art Projects. Over 500 people applied to the program, and a panel of independent curators narrowed them down to 30. Artists were judged by their need for space, their potential for growth, and the feasibility of practicing their craft in the space. “The diversity of this group is incredible,” says Pulman, “There’s more talent in this space than any other space I’ve seen in Manhattan and it’s alive.”

LET’S PUT ON A SHOW Broadway is the soul of New York City, but that soul is hurting since COVID-19 forced theaters to go dark. Last month, the Broadway League announced that performances would be delayed through May 2021, more than a year after they initially shut down. Live theater is not an industry used to being at a standstill, and many New Yorkers whose lives and livelihoods are wrapped up in the theater have suffered tremendously in shutdown and quarantine. But out of darkness, light. Broadway’s best have come up with programs and benefits to raise money, hope, and spirits. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has stepped into the arena to take care of their own, raising money for Broadway’s makers, performers, and creatives. The organization works for the wellbeing of all of the people who rely on healthy audiences and open theaters to make a living. Who’s Holiday! Cindy Lou Who’s childhood encounter with the larcenous Grinch changed everything. Now an adult, Lou Who reflects on the twisted direction her life has taken ever since. The one-woman show, based in Cindy’s trailer of a home, stars Broadway’s beloved Lesli Margherita (Matilda The Musical, Emojiland) and was written by Matthew Lombardo. Filmed during its celebrated recent Off-Broadway run, the first-ever streamed performance will premiere Friday, December 11, as a benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Home for the Holidays Join Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for Home for the Holidays, an online celebration of the traditions of your favorite Broadway performers, and the shows in which they star. Peer into the homes of Broadway actors as they perform holiday classics from as close as New York’s Theater District and as far as The Lion King’s South Africa. Share the warmth and joy that makes the season bright in this benefit for Broadway Cares, which streams Tuesday, December 15.

INCOLOUR Stop by INCOLOUR in TriBeCa to consult with color expert Martin Kesselman and view his collection of Farrow & Ball colours, and while you are there check out “WINDOW,” a revolving art display in Kesselman’s 100 Lafayette Street showroom, sponsored by Anton Kern Gallery. Currently on view, Lara Schnitger presents an installation of quilts created between 2015 - 2020, including her latest piece emblazoned with the slogan: “Booty For Biden.” Schnitger’s quilts are multi-purpose: in addition to static display, they are designed in such a way that they can be packed efficiently for travel, attached to wooden dowels and carried through the streets as part of Suffragette City, the artist’s hybrid procession-protest piece, which has been staged in cities across the world, spreading a message of female empowerment.; THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC




Books are always a good idea. IN THE LIMELIGHT: THE VISUAL ECSTASY OF NYC NIGHTLIFE IN THE 90S Amidst a dynamically shifting backdrop of 2020’s New York City, this book provides a contrast to a very different city that stood in its place three decades earlier. Photographer Steve Eichner recorded the glam and revelry of the New York City club scene in the 1990s. WRIGHT AND NEW YORK: THE MAKING OF AMERICA’S ARCHITECT For much of Frank Lloyd Wright’s life, he saw New York City as something of an antagonist, dedicated to the Art Deco and International style he avoided and contrasted with. Wright and New York tells the story of the long and changing relationship Wright had with The Big Apple and how he eventually left his mark on the city. TAXI: JOURNEY THROUGH MY WINDOWS What view of New York City could be more iconic than through the window of a taxi? Photographer and cabbie Joseph Rodriguez took his camera to the street, capturing a unique view of a vibrant New York of the 1970s and 1980s. Through his lens, you can see a slice of the everyday, for everyday citizens of this extraordinary city. ODETTA: A LIFE IN MUSIC AND PROTEST Odetta’s voice and words have woven their way through US history, creating countercultureal waves we can still see today. This is the definitive biography of her life, complete with over 70 interviews and a deep dive into her personal papers by author and journalist Ian Zack. JOHN LENNON: 1980 PLAYLIST This unique book cuts a peculiar slice out of John Lennon’s life: the music he was listening to in 1980—the music which influenced him during his year of rebirth. Author Tim English goes through each artist and influence to shine a new light inside the mind of a visionary artist in a singular moment of transition. CLARIS: HOLIDAY HEIST This fashion-focused family-friendly fable follows the continued adventures of Claris, a small mouse making her way in Paris, France, to follow her fashion dreams. In this fourth installment, Claris goes toe-to-toe with a feline cat burglar. VESPA: STYLE AND PASSION In honor of the iconic Italian scooter’s 75th anniversary, this book tells the story of how Vespa evolved into a brand that has sold over 19 million units on six continents. The book includes dozens of studio images of the most significant models as well as period advertisements, rare archival photographs, and images of Vespas in popular culture and motorsport. CHAIRPEDIA An illustrated compilation of anecdotes about 101 iconic chairs. Seating expert Andreu World’s latest encyclopedic project places the chair as the protagonist in this volume of stories that is sure to delight.





AWARD-WINNING CHEF Marcus Samuelsson’s new book, The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food, co-authored with writer Osayi Endolyn, is a celebration of the influence that Black people have had on American cuisine throughout our history. As he says in the introduction, “Black food is not just one thing. It’s not a rigidly defined geography or a static set of tastes. It is an energy. A force. An engine. In fact, Black cooking is the engine of what we commonly understand to be American food. And if you want to understand the culture and history of the United States, you need to understand Black cooks and Black food. This book is an invitation to that conversation—an invitation to open doors to history, highlight Black excellence today, and imagine a future where everyone has a seat at the table and a spot in the kitchen.” In five chapters—Next, Remix, Migration, Legacy, and Origin—he calls out Black chefs, historians, mixologists, authors, restaurateurs, and educators, and shares recipes in their honor that speak to the influence and history of American food.

In honor of JJ Johnson SHELLFISH STEW WITH BLACK RICE JJ is like my cuz. Not only is he my neighbor, but he’s also brought so much to Harlem by creating jobs and opportunities as chef and owner of the brilliant Fieldtrip. We’ve done so much cooking together— from the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami Beach to Harlem EatUp! Right now, Uptown is doing such cool things on the food scene. Sometimes, I step back and check out what’s going on around me. I look to the left and look to the right. I’ve got Melba on one side and JJ on the other. All of us are pushing and looking at the young chefs coming to Harlem. Aunt Sylvia and Roberta would be proud. JJ’s always looking beyond the culinary horizon. I know going back to Africa had a huge impact on him. When he studied there, he became deeply passionate about rice. This dish highlights his passion for rice and works as a



TOGETHER WE RISE A new book from Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

1 ³/₄ cups chicken stock 1 small sheet kombu 6 dried shiitake mushrooms 1 medium tomato, quartered 1 small onion, quartered 1 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped 3 cloves garlic, peeled 16 littleneck clams, cleaned and rinsed 1 pound mussels, beards trimmed and cleaned 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined Juice of 1 lemon ¹/₄ cup fresh parsley leaves FOR THE MAYONNAISE: Heat the oil and garlic in a small sauté pan set over low heat. Stirring frequently, cook until the garlic is soft, but not browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan and smash to form a paste. Place the garlic, mayonnaise, parsley, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

side dish or main course. It works for a family reunion or a large gathering— perfect for JJ’s life in Harlem with his young family. More than anything, he’s an amazing dad to twins. ACTIVE TIME: 55 minutes START TO FINISH: 2 hours SERVES: 4 TO 6 GARLIC MAYONNAISE 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 3 cloves garlic, peeled 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley �/₄ teaspoon kosher salt RICE AND SEAFOOD 1 medium delicata squash 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 ³/₄ teaspoons kosher salt 1 cup black rice, soaked in water overnight

FOR THE RICE AND SEAFOOD: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the flesh with 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Lay each half, cut side down, on a parchmentlined baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the squash is tender. Scrape out the flesh and set aside until ready to use. Bring the rice, stock, kombu, mushrooms and ½ teaspoon of the salt to a boil in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Decrease the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove and discard the kombu and mushrooms and set the rice aside until ready to use. Combine the tomato, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Heat the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chopped vegetables and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the liquid has reduced slightly. Add the rice and toss to combine and heat through. Add the squash, clams, mussels, and shrimp and toss to combine. Cover and transfer to the oven to bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the clams open. Squeeze lemon juice over the dish, garnish with parsley, and serve with the garlic Co-author Osayi Endolyn mayonnaise. DT



Cocktails are always a good idea. by Deborah L. Martin I’M IN LOVE WITH THE COCOA Snuggle up with a delicious adult take on everyone’s favorite winter drink: hot chocolate. Master Mixologist Rael Petit shares his recipe for a holiday treat, I’m in Love with the Cocoa. Make it at home or try it at the Carribean restaurant Kokomo where Rael is the Beverage Director. Serves 1 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon sugar ¹/₄ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup milk - any kind you like 1 ¹/₂ oz Bacardi rum 1 oz of Montepulciano red wine Warm the milk in a saucepan on the stove and add the first 3 ingredients, whisking to combine. As a shortcut, use your favorite ready-made hot chocolate brand. Add the Bacardi rum and Montepulciano red wine and stir to combine. Serve in a tiki mug.

OH TANENBAUM By Ute Londrigan, Heimat New York 2 oz Heimat New York Cranberry 1 oz White rum 6 oz Eggnog Add liqueur and rum into a clear mug or glass. Slowly add the eggnog and stir if desired.

SPICED SOUR By Egan’s Irish Whiskey 1 ¹/₂ oz Egan’s Vintage Grain ¹/₂ oz fresh lemon juice ¹/₂ oz fresh blood orange juice ¹/₂ oz Cinnamon/Clove Rich Simple Syrup* 1 egg white Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Dry shake until pressure changes, add ice and hard shake until fluffy. Double strain into a large coupe. Garnish with chocolate bitters in a pretty design or a dried blood orange round on the rim. *Make a rich infused syrup by dissolving 16 oz sugar in 8 oz water and adding 2 cinnamon sticks and 4-6 whole cloves to the mix. Leave them in until the finished syrup comes to room temperature.

CAKETAILS To celebrate Glenmorangie A Tale of a Cake single malt whisky, UK bartender Jeremy Le Blanche and pastry mastermind Dominique Ansel created four delightful cocktail and cake pairings . The delicious combinations combine Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake and three more of the brand’s exceptional single malts: Original, Lasanta, and Quinta Ruban. THE PEAR FIZZ Eat: Poached pears floating in a syrup made with Glenmorangie Original and vanilla, with lemon, thyme, and orange notes. Drink: 1 ¹/₂ oz Glenmorangie Original 0.9 oz pear juice 0.4 oz lemon juice ¹/₂ oz vanilla syrup 1 dash orange bitters Top with a splash of Champagne Shake first five ingredients with ice and strain into chilled coupe. Add a splash (0.9 oz max.) of champagne. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.

SMOKY PALOMA 2 oz Rosaluna Mezcal 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice ¹/₂ oz Lime juice ¹/₂ oz Agave syrup 1 pinch of sea salt Garnish, torched rosemary sprig Top with seltzer

TIKI TODDY By Alexander Hauck and Stephan Berg of The Bitter Truth 1 oz Tiki Lovers White or Dark Rum 1 oz The Bitter Truth - Golden Falernum 3 dashes The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters ¹/₂ oz Lime Juice 2 oz Orange Juice

Add all ingredients to a shaker except for seltzer, shake and pour in a glass filled with ice. Top with seltzer and rosemary.

Heat all ingredients in a pot (don‘t boil) and pour into a warmed glass or mug. Garnish with cinnamon and orange.




BARCLAY’S THOUGHTS FALL IS ALMOST OVER. How did that happen? On one paw, it feels like November was the 11th year of 2020. On the other paw it feels like it was just February. Over the last few months, we have experienced some amazing celebrations of the arts online, from zoom musical numbers to new songs, stories, and performances from artists. What better time to celebrate the creators who make our city great? We’re still keeping it safe at Downtown, and I have to socially distance when we go to the park, so I reached out by email to some of my furriends to find out about some of their favorite creators, artistic hobbies, and any new tricks they’ve learned while in quarantine. Barkley, a miniature dachshund, is new to the city. He arrived as a puppy just before COVID, but that hasn’t stopped him or his pawrents,



Barclay Hudson Pawblisher Follow me on Instagram @downtownbarclay

Matt Levitsky and Deb Reich, from engaging in the arts. Digby, another COVID dog, has enjoyed the history of the city with pawrents Shane Skibitsky and Tracy Kaplan. The half Old English sheepdog, half bernedoodle loves walking around Castle Clinton in Battery Park and barking at the Statue of Liberty. Atticus, an Australian labradoodle, loves to play the Zoom game with his mom, Charley Bednarsh. She invites her zoom friends over, and Atticus tries to find them. So far, they are very good at hiding. Lilu Dallas Multipass, spaceship-travelling companion of pawrent Carol Vargas, disguises herself as a bull mastiff by day and listens to Ron Burns at night. Charlie, a labrador, is also new to the city, and has heard her pawrents Kristen and Kyle Morell rave about a museum they call the Dog Park. DT


ATTICUS AUSTRALIAN LABRADOODLE My favorite artists are the children I work with at the Brooklyn Family Justice Center. The children draw pictures of me and I help them feel safe when they are sad or scared.

DIGBY OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG/ BERNEDOODLE My favorite musical is West Side Story because I’m a real west-sider (raised in Battery Park City!). Fun fact: I’ve never been East of the West Side Highway!

CHARLIE LABRADOR RETRIEVER My favorite musical is The Lion King. My mom and her friends like to call me Simba. They say I look and walk like him and sometimes play a song called The Circle of Life.



If I could be in any musical, I’d like to be in Cats! I love the makeup and could wreak some havoc onstage!

I specialize in found objects as a medium. I expertly choose sticks and stuff based on smell, likelihood of scratching my momma’s legs with it, and any whimsical branches that may be laying around. My mom is so proud of them.





THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF DOGS Justin Silver teaches us how to communicate with our four-legged friends. by Grace A. Capobianco

JUSTIN SILVER is a celebrity dog trainer who has been rescuing and training dogs around the world for two decades. He is the former host of “Dogs in the City,” on CBS and is the author of bestseller “The Language of Dogs.” He owns a full-service dog care and training company, and is the founder and host “Funny for Fido,” a charitable event where the world’s top comedians perform and raise money for animal rescue shelters. We sat down with Justin to learn some of his secrets for successful parent-canine relationships. Downtown Magazine: How does one go about choosing the right dog for a city dweller? Justin Silver: There are as many types of dogs as there are types of people, from fitness fanatics to couch potatoes and everything in between. Finding the right companion on four legs isn’t dissimilar from finding the right



companion on two. You need to match up in a few categories. You and your dog don’t need to agree on carpet swatches, but you do need to find a dog that fits your energy level and lifestyle. I personally live a very active lifestyle, have lots of kids in my family and have dozens of client dogs coming in and out of my house daily. So, when I was fostering dogs this summer, after my pitbull mix Chiquita passed, I knew I needed a fit and “bomb proof” (that means friendly with everything) dog to take that place in my home and heart. Fostering shelter dogs is my first suggestion to prospective dog parents because it’s like test-driving a car. The shelters are full of amazing dogs waiting for their match on two legs so even if the first, second, or third one isn’t a fit, you’ve given that dog a warm couch to curl up on until you both swipe right. I fostered two dogs before my middle aged pitbull, Sweet Pea and I locked

eyes at the NYCACC. He’s a diamond in the ruff (pun intended) and the perfect match for my lifestyle. I have plenty of clients who go with breeders and although I’m a rescue guy through and through, my advice is take an honest selfappraisal of your life and dwellings to make sure the breed you pick has characteristics that sound like you, if you had a tail. DTM: When is it the right time to start training your dog? JS: Here’s the news. You’re always training them from the moment you meet them. I’ve trained dogs & their owners around the world, in different cultures and even through interpreters on TV. Here’s a fact: dogs don’t act out. They act in accordance with the information they are being given. That means you are always training them either intentionally or unintentionally through your actions. They are living in a human-based world and if we aren’t guiding and informing them on what to do as they move through it, then the only thing informing them are their instinctual and emotional reactions to things. When the latter is the case, unwanted behaviors arise. However, whether we get them as puppies or adopt adults, there is a basic vocabulary ALL dogs NEED to know; something I call “The Big Six” of commands. These commands are Come, Sit, Stay, Heel, Down, Spot. Think of these commands as the buttons you push to explain to them what you want them to do in any given circumstance. Once they know these, life with them is easy-peasy. Here’s the good news: with the style I teach, it doesn’t take more than 20 minutes a day to teach dogs almost anything. How is that possible, you might ask. Because I train them in 2-minute sessions with more frequency throughout the day rather than in long training sessions, so that it stays fun and it integrates seamlessly into your lives together. You’re going out for a walk, have your dog “sit” for the leash. On the walk, practice a few reps of “heel” and “stay.”. You have a friend coming over and the doorbell rings, practice “go to spot” and “stay.” This is an abbreviated version that makes


it sound easier than it is, but it is easier than most people make it with a little honest effort. I have three tips for training: short sessions frequently; have fun; expect progress, not perfection. DTM: How do we stop our dog from barking at guests or noise outside the home? JS: First, let me tell you the biggest mistake people make that reinforces this behavior. They tell their dog what they DON’T want them to do. When dogs bark at the door, they are just saying “Hey, someone’s here! What do I do?” Then, most people yell, “Hey! Quiet! Stop barking!” Great, now you’re both barking. Dogs were domesticated to be our hunting partners, nannies, and alarm systems. They are doing their job, so their barking alert needs to be acknowledged positively. After they bark, they need to be directed through the activity you WANT them to do. I have a drill that I teach clients every day called “The Doorbell Drill.” This uses three commands out of The Big Six to condition dogs to go to their spot, sit, and stay when someone knocks on your door or they hear noises in the hall. First, we have a destination spot (I use a square cut from a cheap yoga mat) placed where the dog has line of sight to the door. The dog must first have a handle on the “go to spot,” “sit” and “stay”

commands. Once they do, we reverse-engineer it by having them sit and stay on their spot, then we hold eye contact with them as we introduce “doorsy” sounds. A small knock or jiggling the knob. Their ears may pop forward or they’ll give a low growl but if we go slowly and keep returning to reward them between reps, they will stay put. If you practice five reps, three times a day, you will very soon advance to a heavy knock, ringing your own bell and swinging the door open to talk to a fake person. Now the dog has reference for what they are supposed to do when these sounds present themselves or company comes a-knocking. You can practice more reps by randomly surprising them when they’re in another room by ringing your own bell and following the previous steps. If you have multiple people living in your home, while one of you is home with the pooch, the other can ring the bell when returning home instead of using the key, and follow the steps. If you have a buzzer downstairs that triggers the barking, even better. Have them buzz up and start the exercise from the buzzer. This way the momentum knob of your dog’s excitement gets turned down and the “helicopter” of their reaction gets landed for a moment instead of winding up, up, up, ending in an explosion when the person rings that bell.

DTM: I want to adopt a rescue dog but I’m afraid of its past and that I will not be able to train the dog. What do you recommend? JS: As I mentioned earlier, fostering with the goal of adopting is the best option for all involved. Any reputable rescue group will be honest with you about a dog’s temperament. If you are upfront about what you can and can’t handle, then finding a match is just a matter of honest communication with a reliable rescue. I also don’t think you can always get an accurate assessment of a dog while they are in the shelter environment. It’s just too stressful for many of them. Therefore, if you are a beginner, I suggest meeting dogs who are already chilling out with a foster family. So many of my friends open their hearts and homes to foster dogs whom I train personally while in their care. I oversee the meeting process to make sure we all feel comfortable with the match. Lots of credible trainers do this. It’s a wonderful feeling when it works out, and my charity @funnyforfido ( is dedicated to funding rescue organizations that practice responsible rescue and adoption in this way. DT Follow @thelanguageofdogs on Instagram THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC


Bandleader, composer, musician, entrepreneur: Jon Batiste’s moment is now by Deborah L. Martin photography by Andrew Matusik

KEY OF LIFE Jon Batiste gives an impromptu concert on a Steinway & Sons baby grand piano, looking out over the city from the 79th floor of 3 World Trade Center. OPPOSITE: Batiste stands in front of “Akoma,” a mural by artist Georgie Nakima, in 3 World Trade Center. He is wearing a Coach X Jean-Michel Basquiat trench coat.





TAKE THE A TRAIN Batiste plays the classic Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn tune. He has said that Duke Ellington is one of his many inspirations.



IN A CAVERNOUS SPACE ON THE 79TH FLOOR of 3 World Trade Center, a tall, Black man summons glorious sounds from a baby grand piano, surrounded by endless views of Manhattan. He is full of kinetic energy, sometimes standing, sometimes sitting, shoes off, feet working the pedals, hands in motion, jumping from classical themes to jazz riffs to popular songs in a seamless flow of Music, with a capital M. This is Jon Batiste. He arrives at our photo shoot tossing a tennis ball and sporting a jacket decorated with a Jimmy Carter campaign button. He radiates joy, and the personal soundtrack playing in his head spills out in phrases, snippets of songs, mischievous looks, inside jokes. Then the music goes on and it’s Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind. “Oh, that sax, Billy!” Batiste sings a little, plays air guitar on a pool cue, toggles between Rat Pack cool cat and exuberant man-child: “YEAH!” he shouts as Billy sings. He shares that he is really into Elton John lately, and we agree that Elton looks so happy with his family. “He’s at peace,” Batiste says. “It’s what we all want.” Batiste’s musical timeline threads back through several generations. He is part of the legendary New Orleans Batiste family of jazz musicians. There is a pool table at our shoot and he shares that his dad became something of a pool sharp while touring on the Chitlin’ Circuit, where there was always a pool table to fool around with between sets. He knows a great deal about music history because his family helped write it. His first cogent musical memory is of being pushed on stage during the filming of a commercial. “I must have been around seven or eight, and I believe it was for a concert,

a performance that my family was doing in Japan. I was asked to sing a nursery rhyme. It must have been The Itsy, Bitsy Spider.” Was he a natural? “I remember having such intense stage fright and going through many different takes. Fast forward 25 years later, and I’m on TV.” Yes, he is. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert just recently celebrated its 1,000th show, and Batiste has been the show’s bandleader, with his band Stay Human, from the start. So, he has a day job which involves an intense schedule of composing music for the show, rehearsing, and taping—all complicated by a global pandemic. And while that would be a full slate for some, it’s just the tip of the iceberg for Batiste. He recently completed scoring and collaborating on a Christmas Day Pixar release called Soul: “I put so much of myself in the film, it’s emotional to see this character’s essence in his story, and the things that are happening in his world draw so much from my personal experience in New York.” He has written a symphony that is scheduled to be performed next year at Carnegie Hall, where he will be the artist in residence. He says, “If you think about Beethoven, well, his Seventh Symphony is the one. The seventh one. Writing a symphony takes so much of yourself, so I wanted to start taking a swing at it at age 31 or 32, when I started it.” This year, he also received two Grammy nominations, and he is always working on new music. A body in motion, to the beat of his own internal soundtrack. And what does all of this sound like? “It sounds like transition, evolution, growth, and leadership. It’s been quite a journey. If you

look at the things that have happened over the last five or six years in my life: graduating from Juilliard and going on the road; doing television; writing plays and musicals; releasing albums; and all of the different awards and all of the people that I’ve met...” He pauses and then continues, “Now I feel like I’m at a stage where I’ve become a leader. And I’ve always, innately, felt like a leader and wanted to show people a better way. But now it has evolved into a very tangible state. I feel like I can see how my position in the world is meant to be facilitated, how it’s meant to be enacted.” He’s grateful for the experience of working on the Late Show. “When you have something that you do five days a week for over five years, the consistency gives you perspective in a way that nothing else can. And I think that doing something like that is a blessing for me, because if I didn’t have that, I don’t know if I would recognize this point in my evolution.” Music isn’t only entertainment for Batiste. During the Black Lives Matter protests this summer he performed for the crowd at Barclay’s Center, and on election day he shared his particular brand of love and inspiration for people going to the polls in Philadelphia. He says, “Music is a gift because it can touch people and they don’t have to know why or how. It has always been a way to bridge the gap and connect. All of the different times that I’ve experienced really transformational life moments, there’s been some sort of music involved. Whether it’s through the form of tradition or whether it’s ritualistic, whether it’s worship, or whether it’s just nostalgia, there’s always some sort of soundtrack.”



TOP OF THE WORLD Batiste’s Grammy-nominated 2018 album, “Hollywood Africans,” was named after a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, which makes participating in the new Coach x Jean-Michel Basquiat campaign a perfect fit. This year, he collected two more nominations: Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard; and Best New Age Album for Meditations.





Does he miss live performance? “I miss performing in front of people, but I will say that I am enjoying thinking of different ways of presenting music, even in the virtual environment, because I think it’s more like being a movie producer now. I’ve always been into creating visual worlds and thought at some point that I would get into film as a director. But it takes a different muscle. And I don’t think a lot of musicians want to deal with that stuff. So, the musician side of me is sick of it, and I just want to be able to go and play a show in front of people, even if it’s in my house. But the director side of me is having fun experimenting.” He thinks the limits posed by COVID-19 offer a reset button for the way we experience music. “Music—before it was put into the context of selling products and scaled so that it could be a commodity—was a part of the fabric of everyday life. It was something that people used to entertain themselves, in their home, in community gatherings, rituals, and cultural traditions, dating back to African tribes and drum circles or rumba sessions in Cuba. In New Orleans today, we have the second line in funerals. Social music is what I call it.” He says, “I believe social music is really what we’ve always been primed for. People’s relationship to music is inherently social, and when it’s made into a commodity it skews that relationship. We lose something essential. Even with the protests that I’ve been doing, and in all of the different ways that I see music being made now remotely and online, it’s going back to a more social context, playing in small groups where the presentation is more geared to smaller community gatherings.” He is conscious of his role as a leader. “I think about the different lineages that I’m a part of. Both New Orleans musicians, and all of the different styles of music and culture that I’ve drawn from, and I think about my great-great-uncle who fought in World War II, and my grandfather who was in the Korean War, and my uncle and my cousins who were in Vietnam. I think about the range of sacrifice that has allowed me to be a financially independent, successful Black entrepreneur, musician, artist. Apart from what I think the role of a musician is in society, I feel the responsibility to my family and my lineage. Art doesn’t always have to be for a cause or to raise awareness. But I do think that for me, the intention of something is always felt at a higher frequency when it’s about something bigger than oneself, and that’s across the board.” DT





“The intention of something is always felt at a higher frequency when it’s about something bigger than oneself, and that’s across the board.” — Jon Batiste

Photography and post-production by Andrew Matusik; Hair by Jenna Robinson; Makeup by Jesse Lindholm; Manager, David Patterson; Chris Chambers, Lauren Woulard, The Chambers Group; Piano by Steinway & Sons; Location: 3 World Trade Center, 79th floor, Silverstein Properties.





Indira Scott, wearing the Lion’s Head pendant by jewelry designer Zoë Chicco.



ROMANCING THE STONE De Beers Partners with Sustainably Minded Model Indira Scott to Promote A Brilliant New Charitable Initiative, ReSet Collective by Nicole Haddad photography by Tommy Agriodimas and De Beers Group

DE BEERS GROUP IS ON A CLEAR-CUT MISSION to change the world’s perception of responsibly-sourced natural diamonds—and they have the passion, programs, karats, and the backing of eco-conscious model Indira Scott to prove it. Through their new ReSet initiative and inaugural ReSet Collective campaign, which Scott is the face of, the De Beers Group aims to offer a fresh perspective on the vast, positive impact the natural diamond industry is capable of accomplishing. First step? A stunning collaboration with independent jewelry designers. In 2019, De Beers Group invited five talented and sustainably-minded jewelry designers to tour one of their biggest operations in Botswana and learn more

ALL THAT GLITTERS The five one-of-a-kind pendants incorporate diamonds from Southern Africa, and will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in December.

about Debswana, its joint venture with the country’s people. There, the designers received a firsthand look at the brand’s commitment to its Building Forever program. Designers Jade Trau, Jennie Kwon, Julez Bryant, Sara Weinstock, and Zoë Chicco were directly exposed to the program’s four core pillars: protecting the environment; helping communities thrive; championing women and girls; and serving as industry leaders in ethical practices. What resulted was a unique, emotional bond formed between the designers with palpable ties to their Botswana experience. “As artists we often see the world from a different angle than others. We notice things that others wouldn’t normally understand

to have beauty. To share this with other like-minded people brought moments of connection I’ve never felt in that way,” says Bryant. “Each of us were there for a shared experience that started as strangers and we ended as a tribe. Our tribe collectively felt it was essential to do something meaningful together.” De Beers subsequently donated diamonds to the designers, and the ReSet Collective, a charitable commemoration of the trip, was born. Five one-of-a-kind pendants were created by each of the designers, inspired by their most memorable moments in the Okavango Delta and the South African country in general. From a show-stopping zebra-print design (Botswana’s national animal), to a striking replica of a lion’s head sporting a rough diamond in its mouth, to an intricately beautiful depiction of a diamond mine, a leopard lounging in the wild, and an elephant basking in the sun’s rays, the country’s lasting influence defines each pendant. Sotheby’s will auction each of the ethically-harvested, diamondadorned pendants from December 10–17. Through a heartfelt, unanimous decision by the designers, all proceeds will benefit Stepping Stones International—a Botswanabased charity whose mission is to empower vulnerable youth—and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the United States. Indira Scott, a champion of environmental sustainability, diversity, and inclusivity, was the perfect choice to shine a light on the campaign. Colby Shergalis, Senior Vice President of De Beers Group Brands, says “We are inspired by Indira’s work and passion, and delighted that she has chosen to help us share the story of the positive impact that the diamonds we recover have on the people and places where they are found. Indira immediately understood the special meaning behind the ReSet Collective pieces, and it is a joy to see her wear them so proudly, knowing THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC









the contributions they are making.” Scott concurs, stating “It’s important for me to work with brands that are aligned with my own values and convictions, and De Beers’ support for the communities where it operates shows that it is possible to wear something beautiful while giving back. With the profits of these pieces going to the NAACP LDF and Stepping Stones International in Botswana, I’m especially proud to be involved.” While the brand’s ReSet initiative is in phase one of many partnerships to “reset” perceptions of natural diamond mining, the De Beers Group backs up their stance with tangible, meaningful benefits. For every hectare of land used for mining purposes, it donates six hectares of land for conservation. Through Debswana, a fruitful partnership that dates back to 1969, 80 cents of every dollar of diamonds sold flows back into the country. The Botswana government’s careful management of the natural diamond revenues has equaled a large investment in expanded education opportunities, and infrastructure development such as building roads, schools, and hospitals. Now that’s a diamond in the rough. DT


JENNIE KWON The group encountered a leopard at the end of a game drive, and considering its notoriously shy nature, Kwon was inspired to recreate the magical moment. JULEZ BRYANT “As the sun was rising and setting into the Okavango the elephants were ever present,” says the designer of the extraordinary moment depicted in her pendant. SARA WEINSTOCK An homage to Botswana’s national animal, the zebra. JADE TRAU An intriguing rendition of a diamond mine. ZOË CHICCO For Chicco, the lion not only symbolizes strength and beauty, like the people of Botswana, but recalls her son, a Leo sign on the Zodiac.



THE ARTISTS OF TURTLE ISLAND Native art has long been separated from American fine art in galleries and museums. It’s time to change that. by Deborah L. Martin


BLANKET, 2005, James Lavadour (Walla Walla, b. 1951), Pendleton, Oregon Oil on board, Museum purchase, 2007



BROOKLYN, 2004, Mario Martinez (Pascua Yaqui, b. 1953), Brooklyn, New York Acrylic on canvas, Museum purchase, 2005


TRADE CANOE: ADRIFT, 2015, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Salish/Cree/Shoshone, b. 1940), New Mexico Acrylic on canvas, Museum purchase, 2016

MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN “Stretching the Canvas: Eight Decades of Native Painting” explores the work of 30 fine artists who maneuvered through a restrictive cultural system and succeeded in creating their own definition of art. Lead curator David Penney says, “Although some argue that great art is timeless, I think that art is always best understood as a product of a particular time and place. The work of Native artists during the 20th century is almost always missing from art museum narratives of American art history, although thoroughly engaged with and implicated within it.” The exhibition showcases 39 works organized in five galleries—Grand Ambitions, Training Ground, Reclaiming the Abstract, Cosmopolitans, and Indian Pop—that explore broad topics at different points in modern art history starting at around 1940 to present day. The cumulative works illustrate how painters of the early 20th century were committing revolutionary acts the moment they picked up a paint brush—moving away from basketry and beadwork, the more familiar mediums in the market. “Native media such as pottery or basketry corresponded, in the European art tradition, to “lesser” and more commercial category of decorative arts and crafts, hence its characterization as ‘ethnographic, ‘folk,’ or even ‘primitive’ art. The earliest artists in our exhibit learned the techniques of watercolor and graphic arts in government schools, but were officially discouraged from engaging with the modernist painting blossoming in America during the 20th century, particularly painting with oils on canvas. This exhibition is about those who chose to engage the European fine arts traditions of painting with their own particular Native experiences in America.” THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC


SAMÍ SOLIDARITY, 2017, 72 x 48, Oil on Canvas. “These two Samí Women—indigenous to northern Norway, Sweden, and Finland—were departing the Oceti Sakowin Camp, during the DAPL Pipeline protests. I took the photo because it was a moving moment, that echoed a beautiful reality in a landscape that was divided. This painting shows the direct correlation between Indigenous peoples that share similar land struggles, and coming together to support each other in times of need and action.” —YSF

YATIKA STARR FIELDS is a self-taught artist who grew up in an environment where he learned to express himself through creation, celebrating his Native American heritage and a culture of activism. He says, “I was also fortunate to travel and see the world and with it the work of artists abroad, and it was eye opening. I studied landscape painting in Italy and lived on the East Coast for a decade after graduating high school in Oklahoma. The urban environment of street art, pop culture, music, and fashion all found its way into my work.” His compositions are often spontaneous and left open for interpretation so that multiple stories can be drawn from them. His kaleidoscopic imagery, with its dynamic pop symbolism, references both historical and contemporary themes. Fields says that the systemic racism that Native Americans face is a barrier to being accepted in the fine arts. “The barriers are so many it’s like walking through a thorn thicket a mile long. We all have scars from that walk and carry the trauma of it, and yet we still



aren’t recognized in our own lands.” He says, “I am fortunate in that I have had the freedom and security to grow with good health, people, and support. I learned that as a Native artist, we are activists by birth. I choose to paint what I really see and feel, and I learned to be free and express my inherent heart and hand from a global and human perspective. Artists, curators, and institutions, just like you and I, can choose to broaden their views, to hold true to dismantling the false narratives of America, and to embrace diversity.” The inspiration for his work changes all the time, as he is confronted with new information in the world around him. “I am always challenging myself to better my hand, eyes, and creative spirit. In general, it’s knowing that nothing is certain and every day is a gift, so create with full heart and force, challenging yourself and others.”


AMERICA REALIZED, 2017, 72 x 72, Oil on Canvas. “This painting reflects the struggle and hardships that occurred during the winter months at Oceti Sakowin camp, at Standing Rock.” —YSF

Rowan Harrison, of Two Tribes Pottery, in his studio. He creates forms that are inspired by the traditional pottery arts of his combined Native cultures. On his mother’s side, Harrison is Pueblo of Isleta people of New Mexico, and on his father’s side, Navajo. His work is being featured in a collaboration with Oribe Hair Care, in their holiday packaging.


FLORA “A celebration of life, where all elements intertwine and overlap. Free-flowing lines illustrate the spontaneous path of life as one grows and changes, while the large dots represent the stars and our ancestors who help guide us on our meandering paths in life. The green palette is bright and full of life, much like the desert in full bloom.”

Artist Rowan Harrison classifies his work as contemporary decorative pottery and ink drawings, that have strong ties to his Native American heritage and culture. He is Navajo and Pueblo of Isleta, and his passion for pottery art is derived from the Pueblo tradition. “The Pueblo people of the Southwest have cultivated a very rich history of working in clay because they were surrounded by a natural environment that was rich in the materials they needed to create pottery.” Harrison considers himself to be Urban Native, he was born in Albuquerque but was raised in Los Angeles, and never lived on the reservation. “When I was a child I would go and spend summers with my grandmother in New Mexico, and she was instrumental in my journey with the ceramic arts.” Harrison is also inspired by the art he is surrounded by in Los Angeles, and incorporates elements from Middle Eastern and Japanese art as well as his own rich cultural tradition. He started creating pen and ink drawings because he wanted to explore his pottery designs on a two dimensional plane. Harrison has collaborated with Oribe Hair Care to produce three designs (shown here) for their 2020 holiday packaging.

TERRA “Earth is the precious foundation upon which change and growth are built. There are four revered mountain ranges in the Southwest region, which are represented by multicolor triangular motifs. The circular shapes are the sacred hoop, representing the moon, the planets, and the sun as well as infinity and completeness. The red palette evokes the mesas and plateaus found throughout the Southwest, archiving the passage of time for all to see with each band of color.”

AQUATICA “Water is the source of transformation and the catalyst between growth and preservation. Spiral motifs represent evolution and growth. The circular shapes in the center grow from dots to detailed circles, displaying the complexity of life as one blooms to maturity. The blue palette is inspired by the water that nourishes the earth.”




The colors in a Central Park West duplex reflect New York’s most iconic greenspace. by Deborah L. Martin photography by Eric Piasecki/OTTO

This duplex apartment has sweeping views of Central Park. A small seating area in the living room is illuminated by a midcentury style floor lamp by Pascal Boyer, and centered around a coffee table by Roman Thomas. A blue Jens Risom sofa through Ralph Pucci International, and drapery fabric by Manuel Canovas through Cowtan & Tout, echo the blue sky outside. Table lamps by Lianne Gold through Ralph Pucci rest on end tables by Holly Hunt.



In the entryway, a floating cabinetry wall made of lacquer, bronze, and frosted glass and designed by Eve Robinson provides a place to put keys and mail, yet allows natural light to flood the space. Artwork by Anish Kappor provides a pop of color.

THERE ARE FEW PLACES IN NEW YORK that command attention like Central Park, so when a couple with three grown children decided to sell their Upper West Side townhouse and purchase an apartment on Central Park West, they wanted to celebrate those coveted views. Enter interior designer Eve Robinson and architect Oliver Cope. Cope worked with the couple on many projects dating back to the 1990’s, and he and Robinson recently completed a country house for the family. Cope says, “In all of our projects, the family was always looking for the qualities of repose and serenity, and this apartment was no different.” The duplex (which was originally two apartments) had great views but the interior was divided into a myriad of dark rooms. Says

Robinson, “Our immediate priority was to open up the space, let a lot of light in, and celebrate the view of the park.” She worked closely with Cope to acheive that objective. The couple’s directive to the team: bring the outdoors in. And that is exactly what they did. “When you enter the apartment you see a beautiful glass, bronze, and lacquer floating wall which functions as a display for art, as well as a place to put keys or mail, but also defines the entry from the living area without sacrificing any light,” says Robinson. The living room is divided into two seating areas, separated by a rectangular dining table. The den can be closed off from the living area by a set of glass and bronze folding doors. A long banquet opposite the floating wall serves as a place to view the television, which disappears from sight when THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC


The den can be closed off from the living room for a more private space. The back of the floating wall hides a television that pops up in front of two black and white prints. Beyond the wall, a new staircase curves elegantly towards the second floor. The custom dining table by Atelier Viollet can be expanded, and is on casters for the ultimate in flexibility.



not in use. The couple entertains frequently, and the banquet also serves as seating for a larger dinner party. Beyond the den lies the kitchen, which is a study in clean modernism. Caesarstone countertops provide the utmost in functionality, and they are complemented by a marble slab backsplashes. Cope says, “The kitchen is deceptively simple, with its seamless surfaces.” The cabinetry is a mix of glass with metal handles and lacquer frames, all providing a sleek, elegant look in a functional space. Robinson explains, “All of the rooms on the first floor can be opened up or closed off as the need arises, which makes it the perfect space for any sized gathering.” The staircase to the second floor existed in the apartment already, but needed to be completely redone. Cope says, “We wanted to create a space for large artworks, so my colleague Rita Marks and I created a plaster

balustrade that was inspired by a piece of rolled paper, unfurling.” Cope says that they original staircase was extremely narrow and unusable, so they had to reconfigure the entry hall to accomodate the new design. Robinson adds, “The design has a quiet beauty, yet it adds to the structure of the room.” On the second floor, the master suite was designed as a calming oasis, a place to get away from it all. Robinson says, “I put in a window seat so that one can take in the gorgeous views of the park, and we used muted colors that echo the beatuiful greens and blues outside.” Off the bedroom is the master bath, clad in sand-colored limestone and outfitted with a floating lacquer and walnut vanity. His and hers closet spaces are panelled in French Elm and were designed to accomodate the couples existing storage needs, with room to grow. In her dressing room, a vanity table takes advantage of natural light, with a mirror centered in the

window on nickel posts, flanked by integral lighting panels. “French Elm has such a lovely linear quality, and a warm glow. We used it throughout the private areas to great effect,” explains Robinson. “In the library and office we mixed it with a blue lacquer that looks very elegant.” The couple’s three grown children each have a bedroom in the apartment, and the private rooms are centered by a family room where they can watch television or read on a cushy sectional sofa. “This family does a lot of large- and smallscale entertaining so the home needed to be functional for that purpose, but still provide a calm, soothing escape from city life,” asserts Robinson. “It was so important for these rooms to function because we way we use our living space is changing. The living room isn’t just a showplace anymore, it needs to be comfortable and multi-functional.” DT

The living room is divided from the sitting room by a rectangular dining table by Atelier Viollet, that the family uses to display art objects—like the bottles by Lianne Gold through Ralph Pucci International—when not in use. A rug by Tai Ping adds texture.



The sleek kitchen is functional and elelgant, with durable Caesarstone countertops, and Bianco dolomiti marble, through Stone Source. Opposite, top: On the second floor, the family room is a private gathering place with a cushy sectional sofa covered in Rogers & Goffigon fabric. A painting by Vik Munoz hangs over the sofa. Bottom: The second floor vestibule functions as a library space, with custom shelves, and a midcentury vibe provided by the brass Sputnik chandelier by Lightolier.





The master bedroom provides a calming oasis in a palette of beige and pale blue. The Omen bed by Liagre is covered in leather by Holly Hunt. A John Boone bench covered in Adamo E Eva fabric by Dedar, and a pendant light in high gloss white by David Weeks, provide glamour and shine.



Clockwise from top: In her study, French Elm mixes with deep blue lacquer in the shelves; Her dressing room has a vanity facing a window to take advantage of the natural light. A Knoll chair adds midcentury flair, illuminated by Kolom celing mount lights from Holly Hunt; The master bath is clad in limestone and marble slab by Stone Source, with mosaic floors by Studium. A walnut and lacquer floating vanity is designed by Eve Robinson.




IT’S A GIFT Downtown’s editors gathered the best and the brightest for the most festive time of the year. IT’S THE SEASON OF GIVING, and we have selected some of our favorite items to give (and receive!), from accessories and home decor to comfort food and jewelry. Our holidays will look very different this year, but a gift from the heart can brighten the season and let your special someone know that you are thinking about them. Celebrate the holidays in style, or book a trip to Space, for the ultimate in socially distanced giving! From our homes to yours, we wish you the best of the season.

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What if it were possible to hear great pianists live in your living room? STEINWAY & SONS has brought this vision to reality with STEINWAY SPIRIO, the world’s finest high resolution player piano. SPIRIO will fill your world with live music—from classical to popular tunes to holiday favorites—recorded by today’s most renowned artists and available on demand with the touch of an iPad. SPIRIO is also a fully playable STEINWAY grand piano, the instrument that has set the standard for musical excellence for more than 167 years. The original playback SPIRIO was joined in 2019 by the launch of SPIRIO | r, which offers playback plus recording.


Travel to the edge of space with Axiom and luxury travel company Roman & Erica on this transformational journey to orbit the Earth. The space station is the first of its kind: a NASA–grade research facility that hovers approximately 250 miles above the earth. Reservations are open now, and your ticket includes transportation to and from the station, time in orbit, and 15 weeks of training camp. 212.717.8500;

Make December in New York City memorable by cruising with close family or friends on Classic Harbor Line’s 1920s-style yachts decked out in holiday décor. Our motor yachts Manhattan and Manhattan II are heated and have newly installed HEPA air filtration systems. You will have an assigned private table inside and a deck viewing zone outside, spaced for social distancing best practices on each excursion. The tables are divided by Plexiglass and feature a 360° view of the iconic Manhattan skyline from large windows and grand skylights.



GIFT GUIDE Curl up with a warm blanket while reveling in scents of a pine forest blended with cardamom and pepper. Fernweh Cascadia Editions features a candle collection inspired by the Pacific Northwest with notes of blackberry and pine trees. Pine & Fir Basalm recalls the fog over a redwood forest.

There is nothing better than a good pair of slippers when the weather turns colder. SUBU Japanese Slippers are as useful as they are stylish—the ideal gift for the person who loves to lounge. Equipped with a durable sole and teflon outer coating, the SUBU slippers are suitable for a trip to the mailbox or a quick outdoor excursion while also being the perfect work-from-home comfy shoe choice.

Each Hibi match, produced by the Kobe Match Company on the island of Awaji Island in Japan, lasts for ten minutes, allowing for a short aromatherapy sessions anywhere. The Harima region of Awaji island has been producing matches and incense for nearly one hundred and fifty years. The delicious fragrances—including Lemongrass, Ambergris, Oak Moss, Sandalwood and more— derive from herbs grown locally, using traditional methods.

Treat your iPhone 12 to a new outfit. This Leather Green Case for iPhones 12 and 12 Pro exudes craftsmanship and elegance. Its wallet pocket on the back provides easy-access for credits cards and IDs.

Chirp Wheel Ultimate Back Pain Bundle relieves tension and corrects posture through its ingenious design. Simply lay Chirp Wheels on the floor and use the ergonomic mechanisms to stretch deep back tissue for powerful relief.

Go globetrotting in the UAG Std. Issue 24-Liter Back Pack, capable of carrying work and personal gear in its easy-access storage. The weather-resistant materials are perfect for trips outdoors, and the ergonomic design ensures comfort in every step.



GIFT GUIDE Lounging fireside in a plush linen terry blend robe after a soapy, indulgent bath is a perfect way to spend this holiday season. Society Limonta’s Linge bathrobe, a lighter, fluffier iteration of the traditional Scandinavian towels used for saunas, offers a heavenly way to curl up, dry off, and indulge.

Alessa Jewelry’s Kinetic earrings are fireworks for the ears, in 18k white gold with diamonds. Floating diamonds are surrounded by spheres of pave diamonds, totalling 2.80 carats.

From OOFOS, a cold-weather boot that includes lightweight water-resistant construction and versatility for everyday wear and easy packability. Made with OOFOS’ revolutionary OOfoam technology, these boots absorb 37 percent more impact then regular boots.

Give the gift of time—in two different time zones, simultaneously—with the Rolex GMT-Master II in Oyster, 40mm and 18k Everose Gold.

Motorola’s True Wireless Earbud, the Tech3, brings innovation to the audio industry by combining three different wear styles into one headset, without straying away from the original true wireless concept. With the Motorola Tech3, you can enhance your wireless audio experience, with groundbreaking features that include voice assistance support and unlimited playtime.

Charge seamlessly and conveniently with the iON Wireless Duo Fast-Charing Stand + Pad by iottie. With the capacity to charge a smartphone, smartwatch, and headphones, it’s perfect for the techie on the road.

Brookstone’s HIGHERDOSE Infrared Blanket creates a sauna-on-the-go, using heat stimulation to promote an increase in blood flow. Exercise without working out? Sounds like a dream come true.



GIFT GUIDE Oribe Hair Care collaborated with Native American artist Rowan Harrison of Two Tribes Pottery to develop original artwork for six limited-edition holiday sets. The Collector’s Set includes travel-size versions of Oribe favorites such as Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil, Dry Texturizing Spray, and Côte d’Azur Restorative Body Crème, plus a geometric, gold-plated barrette.

Giorgio Armani’s Neo Nude Powder foundation is a pure pigment powder that can be used as a finishing powder to complete your “no makeup” makeup look with an effortless glow. It can also be worn alone as a powder foundation with sheer coverage.

Nourish, hydrate, and rejuvenate skin with pure ingredients sourced from the Mediterranean. Virgin Suncase Baciato dal Sole utilizes Vitamin E and C to protect skin during days in the sun. Use daily for sunkissed radiance.

Eyes to Kill Classico Mascara by Giorgio Armani creates a visually intense and highimpact look. The oversized brush features a bristle weave design that provides volume, length, and definition in a single coat, while the specially formulated blend of hard and soft waxes leaves lashes amplified, yet flexible.

A clean, natural smile that gives back to the environment. Terra & Co. Ultimate Teeth Whitening Set includes a collection of toothpaste, floss, oil, and a toothbrush, each highlighted by activated charcoal and natural oils to achieve organic beauty. The collection is enclosed in a travel bag sporting “Sustainability is the New Black.”

Ready for the beach with Elaluz Glow and Go, featuring All Day Beauty Water and an all-natural canvas fringe tote. Ingredients are vegan, non-irritating, and hypoallergenic.




Capture your complete skincare routine in one go with Kana Beauty Skincare Set, offering two sleeping masks, botanical essence, and facial oil. Spa-grade materials ensure dew-drop quality results.

Bringing together romance, love, and femininity, The Baby One Eyeshadow Palette by Lawless Beauty is inspired by one woman’s journey to motherhood. Its warm palette enhances natural beauty while building upon the holiday spirit.

Jasmine Leather is inspired by Italy’s storied past, deriving from the tradition of scenting Italian leather goods with jasmine. Today, they come together in an elegant blend by Eau d’Italie in a way that is both refreshing and timeless.

Bond No. 9 My New York conjures a magical aura of nostalgia in a sexy, spicy scent with notes of ginger essence, pink pepper essense, cashmeran, sandlewood, and patchouli essense. The 100ml limited edition bottle is adorned with 243 sparkling Swarovski crystals.

Philanthrobee’s Bee-Cause Body Bar combines raw honey and beeswax to provide penetrating moisture that protects skin from bacteria and irritation. Sourced locally in California, Philanthrobee is known for organic and sustinable practices.



GIFT GUIDE Cold-smoked with the same wine barrels used to age Chardonnay wine, Fumee de Sel is Artisan Salt Company’s premium collection of Fleur de Sel crystals. Use to finish salads, meats, and anything else you can think of.

Master the healthy diet with Ka’Chava Tribal Superfood, a ready-to-go mealpack packed with superfoods and essential nutrients. Ka’Chava is dedicated to supporting healthy living from the inside out.

Johnnie Walker’s Blue Label whisky is an exquisite combination of Scotland’s rarest whiskies. Only one of every ten thousand casks is chosen for this unique spirit. Its remarkable distinction makes it worthy of the most special of occasions.

Llamaland is offering a three-piece variety set of Superfruit Spread featuring Camu Camu, Golden Berry, and Lucuma. Entirely organic, the variety set is a perfect topper for everything.

A classic of Porto’s Bakery, the Milk’N Berries Cake is light and fluffy, distinctly made with a house blend of Tres Leches along with whipped cream and berries. A perfect treat for the holiday season.




Once Again features hazelnut and cashew butter spreads for everything from breakfast to dessert. Combining all-organic ingredients to top any kind of dish makes the Cashew Butter and Amore Spread especially versatile.

A blend of banana, cacao, dates, hazelnuts, and the classic favorite, peanut butter. Mosaic Foods’ Peanut Butter, Banana, and Cacao Oats Bowl is one of many sweet and savory bowls that can be ordered individually or by subscription.

Sample all five of Steeped Coffee’s house blends in The Lineup, which ranges from light to extra dark with a decaf option. Choose between sets of ten and thirty, so that you are never without quality coffee at home.

The sweet taste of tequila from Jalisco, Mexico includes aromas of agave, vanilla, and fresh fruit in Tequila Blanco, an awardwinning spirit by Mijenta Tequila.

Eastern Standard Provisions’ “Tis the Season” Holiday Gift Box presents three renditions of the classic pretzel: Pretzel Salt, French Sugar, and White Truffle, alongside the brand’s signature soft pretzels and house-made Maui Onion Mustard. A platter for any great gathering during the holiday season.




Black Seed Bagels’ artisan bagels start with a naturally leavened, fermented, glutinous dough. They are then boiled in water with honey added for a touch of sweetness. Order up one of three Bagel Boxes through Baldor Food, including the Assorted Bagel Box with Smoked Fish, Salads, and Spreads, shown here.

Mosner Family Brands is a family-owned, New York-based meat purveyor located in The Bronx. For the first time, they are offering direct-to-consumer packages of their carefully-sourced, hand-cut meats and poultry, previously only available to the nation’s top restaurants and chefs.



Established over three centuries ago in Oporto and the Douro Valley, Taylor Fladgate is one of the oldest of the founding Port houses in Portugal. They have released their Late Bottled Vintage 2015 Port this year, as they celebrate 50 years of crafting exceptional Port wine.

BluGlacier, one of Chile’s largest salmon importers to the U.S., debuts it’s first direct-to-consumer brand: OSHĒN, providing sustainably sourced salmon raised in the isolated, cold-water fjords of southern Chile, with convenient delivery service nationwide.


Let New York’s iconic Fulton Fish Market bring you the perfect seafood, delivered fresh, right to your door. Choose from the widest assortment of fresh seafood prepared just the way you like it, or sign up for a seafood subscription.

That Boutique-y Gin Company provides a present every day with their Gin Advent Calendar. Open each door for a tiny dram of the stuff that dreams are made of.

From David Chang, meet Momofuku Chili Crunch. This spicy-crunchy chili oil adds a flash of heat and texture to your favorite dishes. Made with the same umami-rich base as their Seasoned Salts, Chili Crunch combines three dried Mexican chilis with crunchy dried garlic and shallots. It’s perfect for spicing up dips, eggs, noodles, and more.

Acme Smoked Fish has been in Brooklyn since 1906, and is dedicated to producing the highest quality smoked seafood items, including salmon, whitefish, sable, trout, and more.



GIFT GUIDE The accessories collection from Tom Dixon is sure to delight. Elegant, leggy Mill grinders (left) are sculpture for the table; FOG incense burners create a meditative experience; and Eclectic candles come in fragrances such as Royalty, a floral evoking high tea with strawberry jam.

Sculptural plates and vessels create a sophisticated look. Society Limonata’s up-and-coming designers create ceramics for the table and other areas of the home. The Rosa Morada Collection by Martina Gerona—only available for purchase in store—perfectly melds form and function with sophistication.

True Residential’s Undercounter Beverage Dispenser is ideal for those that love their beer poured just right. Handcrafted to specifically dispense the perfect draft pour, the company’s advanced airflow technology ensures a consistently frosty flow. The 15-inch stainless-steel dispenser comes with either a single or dual tap, works indoors or out, and is fitted with the brand’s TrueFlex shelving system making it convertible into a wine cabinet.

Featuring a sophisticated mix of soft leather and transparent glass, Poltrona Frau’s Leather Pots are the perfect vessels for showcasing beautiful blooms. Now available in two vibrant new hues from the brand’s ColorSphere collection, Mimosa, a delicious yellow, and Belladonna, a rich violet, as well as timeless neutrals, Calicot and Sahara, these chic, contemporary vases elevate any tabletop.

Society Limonata’s WOW throw is made of 100 percent kid-mohair wool that is made to resemble fur through the application of an artful weaving process. WOW is ultra soft and deliciously comfortable, and it serves as the perfect finishing touch for an artfully layered bed.

The Company Store is the place to go for warmth and comfort this winter. The Legends Hotel organic cotton and down comforter comes in light, medium, extra, and ultra warmth levels, and in a full range of sizes. The materials are ethically sourced and hypoallergenic.




Darwin’s raw, grain free, meals are made from 100 percent free-range meats, organic vegetables and vitamins essential for dogs health, energy, and vitality. Ships frozen to your door in convenient, eco friendly packaging. Get 10lbs for $14.95 with promo-code TLOD2020.

Maxbone’s City Carrier Bag ensures the utmost in functionality for you and your dog. Practical enough for carrying your pup around town but fashionable enough for you to want it all for yourself, this bag is designed to provide an elevated on-the-go experience. This bag can accommodate small to medium-sized dogs.

Skout’s Honor Probiotic grooming sprays fill the gap between baths, using good bacteria to fight bad bacteria that causes infection, irritation, itching, yeast, dryness, and odor by keeping dogs skin, coats, and paws healthy and smelling delicious from head to tail. Get 15% with off promo-code TLOD15.

Discover your four-legged friend’s ancestry and breed details with Embark’s Dog DNA Test. With a simple cheek swab, you can discover and connect with dogs that share DNA with yours using the world’s only canine relative finder, free with purchase. And you can upgrade your Breed + Ancestry kit to include health testing at any time.

The Animal Love Seat from Shop & Son is a one-of-a-kind piece, designed to seat humans and their best friends comfortably. Shown here in crushed velvet, the love seat is 48 inches wide and 32 inches deep.

The Neoflex Soft Harness from DOOG is adjustable in two places, providing the most secure, comfortable fit. The harness comes in a variety of high visibility, reflective colors.



EN VOGUE | HAIR HAIR (This Page, and Opposite, Bottom): Clients who have grown their hair out from quarantine are keeping their hair length long, so I have been adding long layers or curtain bangs for texture. Fekkai CBD Calming Supreme Oil for Scalp and Body. MAKEUP: Evian Mineral Spray; Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate Serum; Embryolisse Lait-creme Concentre; Tom Ford Illuminating Primer; Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation; Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate highlighting cream; Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Taupe; Tom Ford Soleil Cheek Dou in Lissome; NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Dolce Vita. MODEL: KYLIE VONNAHME

LUSCIOUS LOOKS Fabulous Stay-at-Home Hair and Skin. by Grace A. Capobianco photography by Antoine Verglas

THE NEW NORMAL IS ANYTHING BUT NORMAL, but we are learning to adapt. We sat down with our long-time hair stylist, David Cotteblanche of Fekkai, and makeup artist Ana Sicat, for some beauty advice that is perfect for the way we live today. Since March we have been more or less sheltering in place, and as we head into winter with a resurgence of COVID-19, we are discovering that low-maintenance is the way to go with beauty routines. But low maintenance doesn’t have to mean low style. A good haircut and a fresh face can make all the difference in how we approach life, and many salons have taken the utmost precautions to keep us safe while giving us the



chance to refresh our looks. Cotteblanche shares that his clients want something “whimsical, loose, and free, and that can be accomplished with any type of hair.” When it comes to makeup, Sicat says, “natural, ‘no-makeup’ makeup has been a big trend and is here to stay. People are embracing their individuality and beauty. We also see a focus on the eyes since masks are our new normal. For Zoom meetings, a sculpted minimalist makeup highlighting features with a neutral or rosy lip has been a go-to. And for lips, a classic matte red or berry-stained is always perfect.” DT

HAIR | EN VOGUE HAIR: It’s time to let your curls be free. Masks and oil treatments will help maintain moisture, and remember to use a silk scarf before going to bed. Curly, natural hair is the most original and fashionable style; an afro can be styled short or long and is especially stylish with long twists. Fekkai CBD Calming Supreme Oil for Scalp and Body. MAKEUP: Evian Mineral Spray; Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate Serum; Embryolisse Lait-creme Concentre; Tom Ford Illuminating Primer; Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation; Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate highlighting cream; Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Granite; Tom Ford Emotionproof eyeshadow in 10 Abyssinian; MAC lip pencil in Stone. MODEL: ELI CRUZ

HAIR: For a simple and chic look, use the natural texture of the hair in an extreme-high ponytail, bringing the hair forward to frame the face. Fekkai CBD Calming Supreme Oil for Scalp and Body. MAKEUP: Evian Mineral Spray; Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate Serum; Embryolisse Lait-creme Concentre; Tom Ford Illuminating Primer; Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation; Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate highlighting cream; Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Taupe; Tom Ford Soleil Cheek Dou in Lissome; MAC Retro Matte Liquid in Feel So Good Grand. MODEL: LOURDEN BEREZ

MAKEUP: Evian Mineral Spray; Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate Serum; Embryolisse Lait-creme Concentre; Tom Ford Illuminating Primer; Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation; Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate highlighting cream; Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Taupe; Tom Ford Soleil Cheek Dou in Lissome; Tom Ford Lip Color Matte in Fascinator. MODEL: KYLIE VONNAHME All Hair by David Cotteblanche/Next Artists; Assistant: Nicole Cyrese. Makeup by Ana Sicat; Assistant: Jenifer DaSilva. Digital Capture and Retouching: Michael Pushkarskiy; Studio Producer: Lera Loeb.




LIQUID MAGIC Dr. Marina Peredo has been called a “Super Doctor” by The New York Times, named a “Top Doc” by Castle Connelly, board-certified dermatologist and her patients describe her as the Michelangelo of liquid facelifts. Skinfluence is headquartered on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. by Grace A. Capobianco

I MET DR. PEREDO in 2000, while I was working with New Beauty and she was first starting her practice. My job as Associate Publisher was to meet and select the best of the best cosmetic dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and cosmetic dentists throughout the Northeast to be featured in the print publication. I was truly blessed to learn about many areas of expertise, and the most important universal advice was not to work with any physician who was not board certified in their respective field. Since 2010, when I launched Downtown, I’ve shared the lessons I learned about the plastic surgery and dermatology industry, which are invaluable to anyone looking to fend off aging in a safe and ethical way. Dr. Peredo strongly believes in helping her clients gain confidence by uncovering each patient’s beauty. I respect her philosophy of lessis-more, and that she truly listens and then customizes treatments to reveal a patient’s distinctive self. She lives by the belief that “confidence is powerful and sexy,” and she has yet to meet a patient that she cannot help to look and feel their most confident. I spoke to Dr. Peredo about the benefits of the Liquid Facelift. Downtown Magazine: What is the difference between a liquid facelift and surgery? Dr. Marina Peredo: Liquid facelift is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure using filler and toxin, whereas a facelift is a major surgery with at least 2 to 4 weeks



of down time. Liquid Facelift uses a variety of Dermatologic fillers to lift and give the face volume to reshape the facial structure. DTM: What injectables can be used? MP: Cosmetic enhancements, like liquid facelifts, are among my specialties. I offer full spectrum skin-care services, treating everything from brown spots to wrinkles. Getting the skin healthy is always the first step to making it look beautiful. For our injectables we use hyaluronic acid that is naturally produced by your body. The largest amounts are found in your skin, connective tissues, and eyes. The main function is to retain water to keep your tissues welllubricated and moist. Fillers such as Allergan Voluma help as our body loses collagen and hyaluronic acid, which causes us to lose volume and facial structure. Many people complain about the loss of volume as it makes us look gaunt, especially in the cheek area. Volume loss in our midface contributes to the skin sagging and the overall appearance of aging. In the past, the only option to address this volume loss was with plastic surgery to tighten the skin and lift the underlying tissue. Now, however, volumizers have been introduced to give an “instant lift” to the skin and restore midface volume and provide a more youthful appearance. This is helping many men and women to avoid plastic surgery. Restylane defyne is for mid-to-deep injection

into the facial tissue for the correction of moderate to severe deep facial wrinkles and folds, such as nasolabial folds. This will help smooth out deep laugh lines. DTM: How do I prepare for this procedure? MP: We ask that our patients stay well hydrated, refrain from alcohol consumption, ibuprofen, and aspirin usage at least one week before any procedure, to minimize bruising. DTM: How long does a liquid facelift take? MP: It can take up to an hour, but it depends on the patient’s face, quality of skin, and amount of filler and injectables required. DTM: Will I be awake, and does it hurt? MP: Yes, you are awake. We use a topical numbing cream, which is a local anesthetic that numbs the area by stopping nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. DTM: Which parts of the face do you work with? MP: We will work on your entire face. We take before and after photos, and we assess your needs. It could be the entire face, temples, cheeks, chin, commissars, jawline and nose, or it could very well just be specific areas. DTM: How long can I expect the results to last and what is the downtime? MP: There is little to no downtime.

You may experience slight bruising. The results can last up to a year, but this does depend on your body. DTM: Is it true that as I repeat the process the results will last longer? MP: Yes, you may never go back to baseline. Fillers can actually build collagen production, which then helps with maintaining volume and a youthful appearance. Dr. Peredo holds her practice to the highest standards. She is always evolving by adding new, cutting-edge products, technologies, and services. Dr. Peredo’s practice, Skinfluence, sees beauty through science and balance while working with each patient; there is no one size fits all. They offer a full spectrum of skincare services, treating everything from acne to sun damage by utilizing the newest technology and techniques. Smoking, excessive alcohol, and sun abuse will show on your skin eventually. Dr. Peredo is bullish on the use of sun protection and a commitment to healthy habits. Her mission is to help create symmetry while enhancing the patient’s natural beauty. One of her personal passions is sculpting, which complements and enhances her work as a cosmetic dermatologist. Creativity plays a positive role in the outcome of the care her patients receive and is complemented by scientificallytested techniques. DT

















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e-FITNESS Going Virtual to Keep Clients in Shape. by Grace A. Capobianco photography by Lala Duncan

WITH PANDEMIC CLOSURES, our routines have switched from inperson to virtual. Without our NYC average of 8800 steps per day, our fitness needs to go virtual, too. We reached out to Dogpound’s Head of Training and Development Lala Duncan to get the scoop on their virtual training program. Dogpound trainers run individualized Virtual Personal Trainings (VPT) via FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangout, and more. Downtown Magazine: We see a lot of gyms selling pre-recorded VPT, what is the difference? Lala Duncan: Many gyms and fitness professionals started selling pre-recorded workout programs before the pandemic, given the low cost and ease of access of these programs. That market has grown with COVID. Pre-recorded programs are great for people to stay active during uncertain times, but these are workout programs designed to appeal to a wide range of people. They are not designed for

any one individual and, after a period of time, clients can become unmotivated and bored because of the lack of accountability or personal attention. Most people who purchase pre-recorded programs end up paying for programs they don’t use. That is why Dogpound offers individualized VPT based on your goals and available equipment. Clients get to have access to a DP trainer with them whether they are at home, on vacation, or at a quarantine destination (Hawaii and St. Bart’s). DTM: What does one need to prepare for VPT? LD: Whether you are a current or new client, we ask each client to answer a short questionnaire about their fitness goals, time commitment and expectations as well what type of equipment, if any, you have to train with at home. Once we have that information, the trainer can devise a long-term plan to keep them training and on track.

DTM: Are clients staying motivated? LD: In the beginning there was the fear of “losing my gains.” People were rushing to buy dumbbells and weights or whatever they could get their hands on just to stay fit, not really knowing how long this would last. After a couple of months, I noticed that there was a slump in motivation with a lot of my clients. I had clients that were suffering from mild to moderate depression, sleep deprivation and anxiety all brought on by the uncertainty of the pandemic. Some days my sessions would consist of talking and light stretching. Especially for New Yorkers, we were in the thick of it. For some of my clients, our VPT session would be the only interaction they had with anyone all day, or week. Our amazing staff of trainers take this responsibility very seriously. It’s not just about working out; it’s about health, longevity and ultimately happiness. DTM: Are clients getting the same results from virtual trainings?

LD: More, actually. Originally the goal was just to keep people moving and motivated. Now the goal is to keep progressing people forward in their long-term fitness goals. About 3/4 of my clients have set up some kind of home gym, whether it be some dumbbells and kettlebells or full gyms with squat racks and weights. Since we have started the VPT at Dogpound, I now see some clients more than I did in the actual gym. DTM: Do you think VPT here to stay? LD: Absolutely! As the saying goes, it takes 30 days to create a habit, 60 days to make progress and 90 days to see results. It’s not going anywhere; Virtual training is truly the new virtual reality. If you are interested in signing up for virtual sessions with Lala Duncan or other Dogpound trainers, you can contact their NYC location at or their LA location at DT THE CREATORS 2020 DOWNTOWNNYC






photography by Michael Fiedler



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