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Winter 2012

e xc lu s i v e

WoW Wendy!

Just how did the little girl from Ocean Township get her fairy tale ending? Wendy Williams whispers the truth.

Y

Luxe

Holidays!

Boomer Esiason Robert Verdi Della Crews Oscar Blandi

&

2013 Fashion Must-Haves Enter The New Well-Groomed Man

+

Berlin, A Love Story

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Luxury Discover Our Amazing Gift Guide

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Whatever is beautiful. Whatever brings you happiness. May it be yours this holiday season.


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InsIde

HOW YOU DOIN’ “Luxury to me is being comfortable with myself.”

W i n T Er 2 01 2

12 14 15 17 18 18 20 20 22 22 24 26 28

FROM RPF FROM THE PUBLISHER THE TEAM THE WOW THE DRESS THE NUMBERS THE QUOTE THE FEED THE .cOM THE ScOREBOARD THE LIFE THE ’HOOD THE 10

THE RISE AND RISE OF 32 WENDY WILLIAMS

Say “Hey” to the girl from Ocean Township. What dreams coming true look like. By RicHaRD PéRez-FeRia PhotogrAPhy by MIChAEL MUrPhrEE ExCLUsIvELy For hudsonMoD

42 THE 7 DEADLY SINS OF LUXURY: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Take out the plastic, folks. This ain’t QVC.

56 BERLIN, WITH LOVE

Move over Paris, Europe’s lovely hiding-inplain-sight destination has Cupid all aglow. By eRiN DOSTaL

58 NOW THIS IS FANTASY FOOTBALL Wanna spend Sunday afternoon hangin’ with Boomer Esiason talking football? Thought so. By RicHaRD PéRez-FeRia PhotogrAPhy by MyrNA sUÁrEZ ExCLUsIvELy For hudsonMoD

67 68 72 76 78 82 88

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FALL 2012

cOVET STYLE GORGEOUS GENTLEMAN HOME GROUND ENcORE

ON THe cOVeR: Wendy Williams was photographed by Michael Murphree exclusively for hudsonMoD at gansevoort Park Avenue NyC. set management: Amanda thorogood. Fashion styling: tanya tamburin (editor); Adrianna Penicnak (stylist). hair: Antwon Jackson. Makeup: Merrell hollis. Manicurist: sunita Adhikari, spa Exhale, NyC. Editorial Assistant: Amanda McElroy. Dress: badgley Mischka, Neiman Marcus, Paramus; Jewelry: yanina & Co., Cedar grove. shoes: Christian Louboutin. Production support provided by scheimpflug Photo Equipment Co. shot on location in New york City.


Chair from $995, Accessories from $6

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GREAT DESIGN GIFTS A beautiful design chair, a fabulous looking lamp or maybe a set of pretty candle holders. At BoConcept, we have unique design gifts in many price ranges, styles and colors to bring joy to your Christmas party.

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MICHAEL MURPHREE

FROM RPF

Spielberg

GN

I C

pts

A few years ago after delivering a rousing keynote speech to hundreds of Hispanic filmmakers gathered at a packed hotel ballroom in Santa Barbara on the Friday before the Oscars—a speech notorious in some circles for my blistering assessment that no one in Hollywood owes Hispanics anything; if we want our Hispanicthemed films made we need to write better movies—a well-known producer stood up and asked me a seemingly innocuous question: “As editor in chief, what exactly do you do?” I must say the query caught me a little off guard. My initial thought was doesn’t everyone know what I do for a living? and then I remembered my own friends’ and family’s perpetual confusion whenever they introduced me as a magazine “publisher.” I answered this way: “The editor in chief is essentially doing the same job for a magazine that the director does for a movie. That is, just like Steven Spielberg surrounds himself with the best writers, actors and cinematographers, I surround myself with the best writers, editors, photographers and designers, but it’s still very much my movie. A magazine where I’m the editor in chief is just as much my magazine as Saving Private Ryan is

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Steven Spielberg’s movie. We both sweat the details.” Sitting in the back of a Town Car on the long ride back to Hollywood, I realized something I’ve always kindasorta known—how fortunate I am to do what I do. Clichés are true for a reason, and this is one of the biggest: I followed my passion and found my bliss. Oprah, a Santa Barbara resident, would’ve been pleased with my “Aha” moment that afternoon. The truth is I could think of nothing more exhilarating than staring at a blank canvas, surrounded by young, eager, teach-me-something faces, as I embarked on launching a magazine. It’s my deep-held belief that I was, in fact, born to be a magazine editor. Launching HudsonMOD is an endeavor that has overwhelmed my senses and thrilled me in unexpected ways. As you begin your journey of reading the third issue, I’d like to share with you what I believe my role is in hopes of making the experience a deeply relevant one for you. It boils down to this: I’m your stand-in. That is, in every square inch of the magazine, my talented team and I are ever cognizant that it is your magazine to read, talk about and share with friends. HudsonMOD is meant to reflect the best you, the you you aspire to be. So am I really like Spielberg? Maybe a little. But as an editor in chief, I know two things to be true: This is very much my movie, and details matter. They really do.

It’s my deepheld belief that I was, in fact, born to be a magazine editor.

RICHARD PÉREZ-FERIA Executive Vice President, Editor in Chief

@RPerezFeria


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DCI STUDIO IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE 2013 LAUNCH OF OUR NEW DESIGN EXPERIENCE! ARE YOU A DESIGN ENTHUSIAST OR INTERIOR DESIGN STUDENT? DO YOU WATCH HGTV 24/7?

WE HAVE CREATED THIS LUXURY EXPERIENCE SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU!

We want to open the

doors of the “to the trade” showrooms in New York especially for you, for one full day! Imagine, a day in NYC which begins with a short introductory lecture, visits to many of the top showrooms in the design and decoration building. Here you can hobnob with other designers and their clients in a well-designed gorgeous space. We look forward to meeting you and introducing and exposing you to the world of luxury design. SPACE WILL BE LIMITED. INQUIRIES CAN BE SENT TO INFO@DCISTUDIO.COM

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Friends It’s hard to believe that just five short months ago we were gathered on the Hudson River on what was a flawless summer day at the chic Waterside Restaurant celebrating the launch of HudsonMOD, the first luxury lifestyle magazine to deliver the very best internationally while bridging the Hudson River to offer the best locally. The Wendy Since then, we’ve shared many great memories with so experience many wonderful people—Fashion’s Night Out with Neiman Williams’ and Marcus, Yanina & Co.’s 25th Anniversary and Benzel-Busch’s HudsonMOD’s opening of its new showroom to name just a few. And who worlds collide could forget our very own “Harvest on the Hudson” at beautifully in NYC. Michael Anthony’s Restaurant benefiting No Kid Hungry. As we head into winter, the fun will continue. I’m thrilled about the opportunity to have participated in Depasquale The Spa’s Fashion Fight for a Cure event where HudsonMOD’s Fashion Editor, Tanya Tamburin, served on the celebrity panel of judges. In early December we’ll also have the opportunity to meet with some of our readers in Aires Jewelers’ Morris Plains showroom for an evening of elegance— just in time for the holidays. To all my advertising partners, many of whom have become friends: Thank you for your tremendous support and your warm embrace of HudsonMOD.

From the publisher

HAVE YOU MUSED ABOUT WORKING WITH A DESIGNER BUT YOU REALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS OR YOU HAVE NOT MET THE RIGHT PERSON?

COMiNg TOgeTHeR Following Hurricane Sandy it’s nearly impossible for me to tune in to the evening news. The tragic scenes, the stories of families uprooted from their homes throughout New York and New Jersey and the destruction of the New Jersey coastline are heart wrenching. Shortly after the hurricane hit, I was in Ocean County, NJ in a section that was affected, but certainly not one of the worst. Still, the experience of witnessing children carrying their damaged belongings to the curbside is a memory that I won’t soon shake. I’ve never been so overcome with such a strong feeling of helplessness. The HudsonMOD team is committed to creating and supporting efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Stay tuned via www.hudsonmod.com for more information on fundraising efforts, including Aires Jewelers’ upcoming holiday showroom event from which proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross, which needs the support of so many in order to be there for families to assist when disaster strikes. After all, the families of New York and New Jersey will need our help and support for many months, if not years, to come.

S H ANNO N STe iTz President/Publisher

@ShannonSteitz1 14

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WINTER 2012


THE TEAM

LIFE WELL LIVED

WINTER 2012 VO L U M E O N E , N U M B E R T H R E E

@HudsonMOD

Richard Pérez-Feria Editor in Chief

Kathleen Gates Erin Dostal ONLINE EDITOR Amanda Thorogood BEAUTY/GROOMING EDITOR Marco Medrano FASHION EDITOR Tanya Tamburin STYLE EDITOR Tara Solomon RETAIL EDITOR Maryam Afshari COPY CHIEF Ellen Wager DESIGN DIRECTOR

SENIOR EDITOR

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS

Claire Easton, Jacqueline Roman

TANYA TAMBURIN Fashion Editor PAST LAURELS:

Britney Spears’ head wardrobe stylist for three consecutive world tours. SHE SAYS: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

ERIN DOSTAL

Stephanie D’Aloia, Kenny Forder Simon Murray, Adrianna Penicnak

Senior Editor

CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS

Chris Morris, Michael Murphree Charles Palmisano, Myrna Suárez

Shannon Steitz Publisher SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER

Christopher Burns ACCOUNT MANAGERS

Renee Berry, Christine Wood MARKETING MANAGER Amanda Thorogood CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Lauren Mena DIGITAL SERVICES MANAGER Michael LaRosa

colorist from Beverly Hills to Rome, has since surrendered to the editorial beauty gods.

CLAIM TO FAME:

Snarky editor with a passion for direct, artful writing. SHE SAYS: “My favorite hobby and my job are one and the same. I get to write, edit and work with fabulous, interesting people. What more could a girl ask for?”

GRAPHIC DESIGNER, ADVERTISING SERVICES

Aaron Gill MARKETING ASSOCIATE Amanda PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Ashley

McElroy Almario

©2012 by MOD Media, LLC All rights reserved ISSN# 2167-6151

For advertising inquiries call 973.249.6157 or email advertising@hudsonmod.com For all editorial inquiries contact editorial@hudsonmod.com For subscription information and customer service contact circulation@hudsonmod.com HudsonMOD is published by MOD Media, LLC

JASON LEMBO Chief Executive Officer

SHANNON STEITZ President

RICHARD PÉREZ-FERIA Executive Vice President

MOD Media, LLC info@modmedia.com 973.249.6157

modmedia.com

41 WATCHUNG PLAZA, SUITE 507 MONTCLAIR, NJ 07042 TRUMP BLDG, 40 WALL STREET, 28TH FLOOR NEW YORK, NY 10005

CHRIS MORRIS Illustrator CLAIM TO FAME:

Illustrator, Dad, United States Marine—in no particular order. HE SAYS: “My drawing influences are wide ranging—Al Hirschfeld, Robert Lawson, Chuck Jones, Steve Brodner and Philip Burke to name a few.”

MICHAEL MURPHREE Photographer

Lighting— he knows how to light anything and has a reputation for going to great lengths to get it done. PAST LAURELS: Worked alongside legendary celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz full time for years. HIDDEN TALENT: Was a starting college football player. CLAIM TO FAME:

AMANDA THOROGOOD Online Editor, Marketing Manager CLAIM TO FAME: Planning events and managing hudsonmod.com with quick wit, sarcasm, a smile and the perfect shoes. SHE SAYS: “I strive to learn something new every day and lucky for me I am surrounded by talented people.”

JOHN REUTER

hudsonmod.com

MYRNA SUÁREZ Photographer

On the team that photographed President Obama recently, and launched first exhibition of film directors and actors that is currently in the permanent collection at Lincoln Center in New York City. HIDDEN TALENTS: Has an identical twin who she sends out as her when she’s not available. SHE SAYS: “I only wear high heels when I work.” CLAIM TO FAME:

MARCO MEDRANO Beauty/ Grooming Editor CLAIM TO FAME: A beauty and grooming editor obsessed with everything anti-aging. He is a nationally licensed cosmetologist with solid broadcasting chops. PAST LAURELS: A renowned hair

ABC Membership Applied For

WINTER 2012 HUDSONMOD

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THE WOW you know you want it

I OWN THIS TOWN (NO, REALLY)

A

dmit it: You once dreamed of owning your very own city. I know we have. Henry River Mill, a quaint North Carolina town that received some notoriety as the set for the movie blockbuster The Hunger Games, is for sale by its owner. The town was empty for more than two decades before being transformed into the remote District 12, the hometown of Games’ heroine LITTLE BIG TOWN A North Carolina Katniss Everdeen during the epic’s production. town was the setting for Hollywood For a mere $1.4 million, you’re sure to be the talk blockbuster The Hunger Games. The vista in Tuscany, Italy (below). of the town—your town. For those looking to purchase a more exotic option, the secluded Tuscan town of Pratariccia, Italy is in play. This 800-year-old village has been vacant for half a century and needs a lot of restoration work. Still, it’s Tuscany. Who could resist that countryside? Surrounded by rolling hills, villages, medieval castles and the Arno River, Pratariccia recently hit the market for $3.1 million. Your own historic town in Tuscany for $3 million? But better hurry before —A M A N DA M C E L R OY George Clooney scoops it up.

WINTER 2012 HUDSONMOD

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The Dress lUcy iN tHe Sky The Elementary star is a showstopper in Versace at this year’s Emmys.

30,000 2

Number of lights on the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The number of teaspoons of ground ginger in Martha Stewart’s gingerbread cookie recipe (makes 36 cookies)

85

Years the Radio City Christmas Spectacular has been at Radio City Music Hall

3,400 miles

Approximate distance between New Jersey and the North Pole

1.76 billion $15,000

Number of candy canes made each year

52%

Percentage of New Jersey adults who are married, far above the national average

26 Degrees Fahrenheit

LOOkie Liu

Average low temperature in Montclair in the month of December

One of the golden rules of casting is that the actress must not only be skilled, but also look the part. In this showstopping silver Versace gown, Elementary star Lucy Liu looks every bit the part of a soon-to-be Hollywood legend on the fabled Emmy Awards’ red carpet. On a night dominated by shimmering metallics and jewel tones, this gem stood out. With its large sequins that shone with Liu’s every step and its subtle, sexy, futuristic design, this dress was expertly paired with the actress’s creamy skin tone and jet-black locks. We call this department “The Dress” for a reason. This is a dress. Donatella Versace wins the night. Again. —Erin Dostal

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WINTER 2012

120 Degrees Fahrenheit

The best temperature for milk when making hot chocolate

28.4

Average yearly snowfall inches for New York City’s Central Park

The NUMBers

Cost of the world’s most expensive gingerbread house created by Dylan’s Candy Bar for Neiman Marcus. It contains 381 pounds of gingerbread and 571 pounds of royal icing.


AdvERTORIAl

Eccola

Above all else, Tamburin is best known for the creative flare he adds to his menus on a daily basis. Asked how to describe his cooking style, the Croatian restaurateur uses one word: fresh. When pressed, Tamburin explains that he arrives early every morning to create his own recipes using the quality, seasonal ingredients on hand. No one, including himself, knows ahead of time what delectable dish will appear on the menu that day. “I know what my customers like,” he says. “The menu is American with Italian and French influences.” And the excellence of Eccola is not only apparent in just the food. Mixed in with familiar choices are some unique, high-quality wine, beer and martini specials that reflect seasonal preferences and Tamburin’s playful nature. “I get great pleasure in knowing that my customers leave here inspired and satisfied after having a great meal. Most importantly, though, there’s no replacement for quality ingredients. It makes all the difference in the world,” he says.

may just be one of the best-kept secrets in northern New Jersey. Just one step in the door and you’re magically transported to an Old World European bistro with a uniquely relaxing, yet vibrant, atmosphere with a décor that is rich and tasteful without an air of pretentiousness. In fact, being at Eccola, with the mouthwatering aroma of sautéing garlic drifting from the open kitchen, feels like you’re visiting the home of an enthusiastic master chef—and actually, in many ways, you are. Owner Nenad Tamburin—better known as Nino to his friends—is a major contributor to the ambiance and knows many of the regulars on a firstname basis. The staff at Eccola has also been a mainstay at the establishment—some for nearly two decades—and it shows in the easy and knowledgeable way that they work together and host those who have made the wise choice to dine there. Tamburin trained at some of the finest restaurants in Paris and New York City before settling in New Jersey and opening Eccola in Parsippany.

E c c o l a I ta l I a n B I s t r o 1082 Route 46 West | Parsippany | 973-334-8211

H www.eccolarestaurantnj.com


THE QUOTE “The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas is their husbands.” –JOAN RIVERS

ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS MORRIS EXCLUSIVELY FOR HudsonMOD

Diane Sawyer Anchor, ABC World News @DianeSawyer “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower” (Albert Camus) Bobby Flay Celebrity Chef @bflay It’s Monday! It’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken night at Bar Americain NYC. I’ll see you there for some crunchiness... black pepper biscuits too! Jason Biggs Actor @JasonBiggs For my next stunt, I am going to pretend to care about David Blaine’s next stunt. Chris Rock Comedian @chrisrock My favorite part of Obama’s speech was at the end when he dropped the mic. Katie Couric Host, Katie @katiecouric Just rewatched @susanboyle’s first performance after watching @thegirleffect. Both amazing and inspiring! #ineedtogetalife Victor Cruz Wide Receiver, New York Giants @TeamVic The Allure...it’s always too much for me to ever ignore Melissa Gorga Cast, The Real Housewives Of New Jersey @melissagorga Is everyone wearing purple today? Let’s support #antibullying I’ll never let the haters get to me. They make me work harder!! How about u?!

THE FEED @HudsonMOD

20 HUDSONMOD WINTER 2012


Discover the exceptional taste of Grey Goose Cherry Noir.

G R E YG O O S E . C O M

S I P R E S P O N S I B LY

©2012 GREY GOOSE, THE GREY GOOSE BOTTLE DESIGNS AND THE GEESE DEVICES ARE TRADEMARKS AND/OR REGISTERED TRADEMARKS. IMPORTED BY GREY GOOSE IMPORTING COMPANY, CORAL GABLES, FL. VODKA 40% ALC. BY VOL.: FLAVORED VODKAS EACH 40% ALC. BY VOL. -DISTILLED FROM GRAIN.


THE .COM NOW PLAYING AT A SCREEN NEAR YOU hudsonmod.com is bringing luxury home this winter. Turn to our online counterpart as your source for design tips from leading industry experts, exclusive interviews with some of the most trusted interior designers and truly beneficial information about the trendiest high-end real estate developments in the area. Right now at hudsonmod.com we’re talking fame, decorating and luxury with American Beauty author and former Queer Eye For The Straight Guy interior design superstar Thom Filicia. Known for his impeccable taste and ability to relay his skills to his readers, Filicia opens up exclusively to Richard Pérez-Feria, HudsonMOD’s editor in chief, as never before.

INTERIOR THOUGHTS Turn to hudsonmod.com as your source for design tips from leading industry experts.

Also wrapped up in our Home+Design section is details on 77 Hudson, the latest luxury housing vision in Jersey City that encompasses striking exterior and lavish living options. With a number of coveted amenities including a pool deck, massage room, rooftop bar and, yes, spectacular views of Manhattan, the building has quickly

become one of the most coveted addresses along the Hudson River. With original articles and interviews popping up multiple times each week, there’s always something new to delve in to. So go ahead, let HudsonMOD and hudsonmod.com into your homes. We’ll be the perfect guests: We’ll lend decorating tips and introduce you to some of our talented friends, yet you’ll never have to worry about cleaning up after us. Promise. —AMANDA THOROGOOD

THE SCOREBOARD

Bill Maher Real Time with Bill Maher Klout Score: 88

22

HUDSONMOD

Sherri Shepherd The View Facebook Likes: 29,512

WINTER 2012

Anderson Cooper Anderson Cooper 360 Twitter Followers: 3,293,465

Rocco DiSpirito Celebrity Chef Klout Score: 52

Bruce Springsteen Rock Star Facebook Likes: 2,484,933

Teresa Giudice The Real Housewives of New Jersey Twitter Followers: 615,163


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Paul Miller Honda of West Caldwell

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Paul Miller Subaru

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Paul Miller Volkswagen

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The LIFe Della Crews negative connotation because of the reality shows about it. The people here are spectacular, loving, giving. If they ever do another reality show about this state, it should focus on that.

What does luxury mean to you? Luxury means Tokyo drifting, skydiving and F-1 racing—and dancing the night away. It’s feeling free like that. I don’t need material things to experience luxury, I just need excitement.

What’s different about a newscast audience in northern New Jersey versus one in Manhattan? In New Jersey, they really only have News 12, so people are very, very loyal. When people tune into you in New Jersey, you have them for life. That’s why we’re here to tell the bad news, yes, but we also do spotlights and a segment called “Garden State Gatherings” that lets you know what’s going on in your community. We cover hard news, but we cover community news, too. It’s what’s important for our viewers to know.

CHARLES PALMISANO

Anchor MAnAgeMent “When people tune into you in new Jersey, you have them for life.”

A

self-described adrenaline junkie, News 12 anchorwoman Della Crews isn’t your average New Jersey mom. Born to a military family in South Carolina, she moved all over the US working for news stations in Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and West Virginia, building up her reporting chops before making it to Jersey in 2000. A lover of NASCAR, dancing and skydiving, Crews seeks out adventure wherever she can. Luxury, she says, is about more than money. It’s about being free. Crews moved to New Jersey for a gig at News 12, but now Jersey is far more — Erin Dostal than a career pit stop for the virtuoso anchor—it’s home.

As the face of news in New Jersey, talk to us about the Garden State. New Jersey is this wonderful, eclectic mix that allows you to do so many things. There’s skiing in the North and beaches in the South. There’s so

24 HUDSONMOD WINTER 2012

much more to the state than what you see from the turnpike.

Is New Jersey misrepresented? New Jersey is underappreciated by people elsewhere. It has such a

For the perfect job, would you consider leaving New Jersey? Or is this your home forever? The perfect job, for me, is where I get to be the one calling the shots—if I’m the boss, that’s perfect. I guess, really, I could do that anywhere, but, for now, New Jersey is home.

What’s the one thing you never leave home without? Makeup, particularly Mac Studio Fix NC45. That isn’t a want to have for me, it’s a need to have. I can do without lipstick, though I love that, too, but I have to have my foundation.

What has been your most thrilling on-air moment? The story on Tokyo drifting. Being in that car when the driver was making those fast turns was such a thrill. Next, I have to try F-1 racing.


THE ’HOOD BOBBI BROWN’S TRUE BEAUTY Who says holiday charity can’t also be fabulous? Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey will hold the Beauty & Bling event on December 4. Held at the famous Bobbi Brown Studio in Montclair, the event will include wine, cheese, desserts, giveaways, goodie bags with Bobbi Brown samples and

mini-makeovers courtesy of Bobbi Brown artists. Is this the perfect opportunity to get glam while giving back? You betcha.

New Jersey winter staple. Bergen Performing Art Center keeps the tradition alive with performances on December 1 and 2.

NUTCRACKER, JERSEY STYLE

RUN TO RECOVERY

Just like peppermint sticks, iceskating and carolers, the whimsical production of the Nutcracker is a

Support seven-year-old Samantha Dolce in the Jingle Bell Run/Walk beginning at Michael Anthony’s Waterfront Restaurant in Jersey City on December 9. Dolce, who serves as this year’s honoree, was recently diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which prevented her from participating in last year’s event. Capture the true meaning of Christmas and cheer Samantha on as she competes in this year’s run.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN CAROL? Richard Alston Dance Company will perform in Montclair State University’s Kasser Theater from December 13 through 16. The show is the American premiere of Alston’s most recent work, “A Ceremony of Carols.”

A TREE GROWS IN ROCK CENTER Kickoff off your holidays in true New York City fashion by visiting the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree now that it’s all lit up to spectacular effect. The festive tree awaits you until January 7.

26 HUDSONMOD WINTER 2012

CAKE BOSS, NOT SO SWEET Buddy Valastro of Cake Boss fame returns to his roots for a book signing on December 16 at Barnes & Nobles in Clifton. A departure from his usual sweet treats, his latest book, Cooking Italian With The Cake Boss, highlights 100 Italian-American recipes from Valastro’s family. Just to be safe, be sure to leave a little room for dessert.


Bee Merr y

I

Estate Teas

Single Varietal Honeys

Gifts

Available at BeeRaw.com and fine specialty food stroes everywhere.


The 10 let’s count the ways

Hotel

ICEHOTEL $1,053 per night Jukkasjärvi, Sweden ICEHOTEL is 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and you’ll sleep at -5 degrees Celsius. But given that cold rooms are more expensive than warm ones at this ice-cold lodging, we’re guessing that the coolest deluxe suite is in the highest demand. Be sure to go during the winter months to get the hotel’s full effect.

hotdog

230 Fifth Avenue, New York City $2,300 A gourmet hotdog can be found at the 230 Fifth Avenue restaurant in New York City, made of aged Wagyu beef, coated with black truffles and topped with organic fixings imported from France. Best part? Each hotdog sale benefits the NYC City Harvest food pantry.

Moisturizer La Crème $13,000

To mark the 30th Anniversary of Clè de Peau Beautè, Shiseido Co. released a lavish moisturizer to rival all others this past fall. Costing five times more per gram than gold, 50 grams of the limited edition La Crème isn’t all you get with this splurge—the glass jar is encrusted with 30 layers of crystals and topped with three platinum rings.

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headphones Orpheus by Sennheiser $40,845

Introduced in 1991, the Orpheus by Sennheiser are the world’s most expensive electrostatic headphones. Gold plating used for their metallic properties creates superb sound conduction, outputting a maximum of 118 DB. Each set is hand assembled resulting in just 300 that are in circulation to date.


0


THE 10 Balloon

Royal Balloon $318 per person Located in central Turkey, Cappadocia has been regarded as one of the most famous hot air ballooning locations in the world thanks in large part to its fortunate weather conditions and unique landscape. The expansive desert and limestone rock mountains make way to scenes of whimsical chimneys and cave churches scattered amidst steep valleys and green olive groves below.

Club

Yellowstone Club Membership $1.5 million The ultra selective clique fortunate enough to be members of Big Sky, Montana’s Yellowstone Club, have plenty of reason to rejoice when winter hits—and come to think of it, all year round. With exclusive access to some of the most exquisite natural wonders, this elite golf and ski community is a few echelons above the rest. Set in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, the Club offers 2,200 trails for some of the finest skiing in the world and an 18–hole golf course designed by golf legend Tom Weiskopf.

Bicycle

Damien Hirst “Butterfly” Trek Madone $1.3 million

Chess $9.8 million

The world’s most extravagant chess set—the Jewell Royale Chess Set—is made of 18-karat gold and is covered in diamonds, pearls, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. The king piece alone weighs a whopping 165.2 grams. The British-made set, commissioned by the Royale Jewelry Company, is noted to be the most expensive ever made.

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Used by Lance Armstrong during the 2009 Tour de France, famed artist Damien Hirst has redesigned the original bike to a most beautiful and creative form. Implicating the use of actual wings of butterflies, the bicycle was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $1.3 million, making it the most expensive bike ever sold.


Suit

R. Jewels Diamond Edition Suit $943,000

Bird

Blue Mountain Yellow Naped Amazon $300,000 Found deep in the jungles of the South America, the rare Blue Mountain Yellow Naped Amazon has been dubbed the world’s most exclusive bird to own. This subspecies of the Yellow Naped Amazon was discovered only a decade ago in Honduras. The average going rate for one of these beauties is between $18,000 and $20,000, though one reportedly sold for $300,000.

The collaboration of two of the most exclusive names in men’s design has created the world’s most expensive suit. Designers R. Jewels and Stuart Hughes created the R. Jewels Diamond Edition suit, made of cashmere, wool and silk. Containing nearly 500 diamonds—each at least half a carat— this suit is definitely not for the timid.

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OCEAN’s FOUR “Growing up in Ocean Township I was one of only four black kids in my school. I felt different because I was different.” DRESS: Pucci at Neiman Marcus, Paramus NEcklacE: Kenneth Jay Lane at Saks Fifth Avenue, Shops at Riverside bRacElEt/EaRRiNgS: Saks Fifth Avenue, Shops at Riverside ShoES: Christian Louboutin

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exclusive

The Rise and Rise of

Wendy Williams

Get to know New Jersey’s homegrown superstar. For real this time.

Y BY RICHARD PÉREZ-FERIA Photography by MICHAEL MURPHREE exclusively for HudsonMOD S t y l i n g b y TA N YA TA M B U R I N


n May 2005, I was riding high. I was the editor in chief of a national magazine that was getting some long overdue buzz because of our eye-popping financial and editorial turnaround. As part of this transformation, I was booked on CNN’s sister network, HLN, for a live segment with Showbiz Tonight co-host (and my old friend) A.J. Hammer, to discuss the historic cover the magazine was about to unveil that featured nine of the biggest divas in the Latin world, including Gloria Estefan, Sonia Braga and Daisy Fuentes, who was joining us from Hollywood via satellite. This interview was a big deal for the magazine and a big deal for me because this “event” cover was my idea, and its successful execution would determine the magazine’s creative trajectory going forward. So, yeah, I was a little nervous as I walked into the green room in the CNN building and looked over my talking points one last time. As I chatted up the magazine’s

“Who is that?” I whispered to Lauren. “You’re kidding, right? That’s Wendy Williams, the radio host,” she said. I pulled closer to Lauren worried about being heard, and said, “I. Am. Scared. Of. Her.” Lauren, bursting out laughing and surely blowing my cover, whispered back, “You should be—she’s incredible.” And boy, was she ever. Every few seconds, I couldn’t help stealing glances at Williams as the hair and makeup crew fussed over her. She was quite a sight: Shoulders back, head straight, expressionless face—oh, yeah, she was ready. Needless to say, Williams exploded on camera being at once funny and current and as quick with a comeback as I had ever witnessed up close. When she was done, I scurried back to Lauren and said, “Why this woman doesn’t have a TV show is beyond me—I can’t take my eyes off her. And I have to go on national television after that? Damn.” Happily, my segment went off without a hitch (maybe watching Williams inspired me a little), and as Showbiz Tonight went to commercial break, I told Daisy Fuentes that we had preceded Williams, someone

Wendy Williams.” As Daisy sang her praises, I wondered if this telegenic superpower had inadvertently stolen my magazine’s big moment. Maybe not entirely, but Wendy Williams definitely made her presence known. I, for one, was impressed. A few months ago when my team and I started to brainstorm possible cover subjects for HudsonMOD’s holiday issue, let’s just say Wendy Williams wasn’t top of mind for this luxury magazine. Is Williams fierce, popular and over the top? Absolutely. Is she understated, reserved, elegant? Hmmm. That was the question I wrestled with—until I didn’t. From the moment we decided to go forward with Williams as our cover subject, every single aspect of what can be a difficult process— the publicist, the access, the photo shoot, the interview—was easy as pie. In fact, I had a blast immersing myself in Wendy Williams’ world. How could you not? The lady is F-U-N. Wendy Joan Williams was born in Asbury Park, NJ, in 1964 as the middle child to lifelong teachers, Thomas and Shirley Williams. Wendy,

Williams is an articulate, passionate, hilarious, informed, sexy, truthful avalanche of realness that deserves all of the fame and impressive accolades. incredible public relations director and one of my closest friends at the office, Lauren Kuschner Grossman, trying to push past the nerves, I looked up and saw this presence, this oak treetall woman who even without saying anything, shut everyone up just by entering the room.

34 HUDSONMOD WINTER 2012

I had never heard of and was very impressed by. Daisy, whom I’ve known for a quarter century, scolded me in front of everybody. “Richard, how don’t you know who Wendy Williams is? C’mon! She’s a freakin’ force of nature. She’s a legend. And the best part is she’s a Jersey girl like me. I love

her older sister, Wanda, and younger brother, Thomas, Jr., all graduated from Ocean Township High School as Williams says “one of four black kids in the entire school.” After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications from Northeastern University in Boston, Williams landed a radio DJ job


SUPERHERO “I do know how to bark and bite, but I use my powers for good, not evil.” DRESS: Givenchy at Neiman Marcus, Paramus JEWELRY: Runway Boutique, Caldwell ShoES: Giuseppe Zanotti

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UP HERE “I’m a 20-foot-tall woman with a very strong presence so no one approaches me!” DRESS: Gucci at Neiman Marcus, Paramus NEcklacE: Kenneth Jay Lane at Saks Fifth Avenue, Shops at Riverside bRacElEt/EaRRiNgS: Saks Fifth Avenue, Shops at Riverside ShoES: Christian Louboutin

in St. Croix and after less than a year found her way back to the mainland for a gig in Washington, D.C. Williams was well on her way. With a radio career that spans more than 23 years—including her iconic turn as host of The Wendy Williams Experience, her top-rated, daily radio program that aired on WBLS in New York City and was syndicated nationally to an audience that topped 12 million—Williams is nothing short of that medium’s living legend and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2009, a rarity for a woman. With a career that long and with a personality that bold, the bluntspeaking self-proclaimed “Queen of All Media” has had her share of controversies, most notably her

36 HUDSONMOD WINTER 2012

run-in with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, whom she claimed “single-handedly tried to ruin me” after a dispute with a former colleague. But it’s her patented, no-nonsense approach to popular culture—and particularly celebrities’ misdeeds—that make Williams truly memorable. And it’s Williams’ directness with her listeners that Fox executives believed might just translate to millions of television viewers. And they were right. In the summer of 2008, The Wendy Williams Show began a 13-week test run in New York City and several other large media markets, and the viewers loved it. Now in its fourth season, the show airs in more than 50 countries, late nights on BET and has been renewed on Fox through 2014.

After 48 hours of all Wendy, all the time—backstage, in the studio audience, at the cover shoot, at the interview—I am convinced that Wendy Williams is unequivocally, undeniably, unapologetically Wendy Williams. Has there ever been a media personality more themselves than Wendy Williams? I can’t think of one. The irony here borders on cliché: Behind the elaborate wigs, the milelong eyelashes and that slap-yourmama Jessica Rabbit-like body, there lies a down-to-earth wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend who would rather be in Northern New Jersey curled up at home watching a movie with her two Kevin Hunters—her husband of 14 years and her 12-yearold son—than hitting the club with


So for those among you who raised an eyebrow or two when you saw that Williams was the cover choice for our year-end issue, I’d like you to take a few minutes and get to know a little more about this proud Jersey favorite daughter. You’ll soon discover—as I did—that after all this time, Wendy Williams is still that little girl from Ocean Township who felt different than everyone else. But like any great epic story, this one also has a happy ending, for that awkward girl pushed through her fear and ended up on top of the world. I love fairy tale endings. And I love me some Wendy Williams. How could I not? She’s the fairest of them all.

Right now, is this your moment? I feel like I have had a lot of great moments. Even with the hiccups they don’t keep me down for very long. I very much believe that tomorrow’s a new day. I’m never down for too long.

Tell me what you think the biggest misconception is about you? I think it’s that I’m a gossip in real

life. “Hot Topics” is a very popular segment of my show, so people assume I’m always gossiping. I do love a good story, but after the show is over I am done with that.

The thing I love about you is that you not only serve up the gossip, but you have a point of view about it. Has a celebrity ever confronted you about something you said? I’m a 20-foot-tall woman with a very strong presence so no one approaches me! [Laughs] But that’s why I say, “How you doin’?” because it breaks up the room. My confidence intimidates a lot of people. That’s why I lead with my smile. I do know how to bark and bite, but I use my powers for good, not evil.

So you grew up in Ocean Township. What was that like? I grew up with a pretty charmed lifestyle. Both of my parents were very educated. They’ve been married for 54 years and are still a very cute couple. I’m one of three children; I have an older sister and a younger brother. I’ve always been a spitfire

Yes I Can “My confidence intimidates a lot of people,” laughing with Salma Hayek on The Wendy Williams Show.

JASON DECROW

TMZ-magnet fame-seeking neverwill-bes. You see, Wendy Williams’ fabulous drag is nothing but a big put on, a larger than life, spectacular game that suits her personality perfectly. But don’t confuse “Wendy Williams” in those sparkly sixinch Christian Louboutins with her “Wendy Hunter” soccer mom reality. TV Wendy is no match for Jersey Wendy who loves cooking dinner for the family. Not even close. The idea behind the HudsonMOD holiday cover was to showcase Williams in something a little unexpected, a little more nuanced, quiet, luxe than her sexy diva fabulousness the superstar is usually serving up. We were thinking a little more Audrey Hepburn and a little less RuPaul, and she was game. The results speak for themselves. Wow. The moment she strolled into the gorgeous Gansevoort Park Hotel suite—the same place Kim, Kourtney and Khloé take over New York from— Williams was every bit a rock star. Gracious, honest and humble, I can count on one hand the number of celebrities I’ve encountered—and I’ve encountered them all—who have been as professional and devoid of drama as Williams. Again, not at all what one would expect. Let me be crystal clear: Wendy Williams is an articulate, passionate, hilarious, informed, sexy, truthful avalanche of realness that deserves all of the fame and impressive accolades she’s receiving. This—right now—is her moment in the zeitgeist and the fact that this best-selling author, radio icon and television goddess can pull off being “Wendy Williams” on a daily basis—the Hot Topics poppin’, Oprah lovin’, audience huggin’ Wendy Williams—is a credit to her discipline and her ambition.

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Did you rebel as a child? Are you kidding? I didn’t rebel because my parents would have beaten my butt. I’ve always had the utmost respect for my parents.

ANDERS KRUSBERG

thought he was cute. A few days later I found his number in my bag and told him that after my show “if you’re downstairs you’re there, if you’re not, OK.” He was there. He smelled so good and looked like Did you go on the real Brooklyn boy REEL ’EM IN “When I was young many dates? that he is. We went to I have always been I had a way of attracting Houlihan’s and drank people,” with Dancing With very attractive, but The Stars’ resident hunk, Heineken out of the just not in the town Maksim Chmerkovskly. bottle. I’m a simple I lived in. [Laughs] girl in a complicated Back then dating someone of a world. He totally got that about me different race wasn’t an option. and we’ve been together ever since.

though. Growing up in Ocean Township I was one of only four black kids in my school. I felt different because I was different. Maybe I was acting a little bit to fit in more.

Now it’s time to tell me something about the other Kevin in your life.

[Laughs] I sure do! He said, “Give me a call—we can get our Pathfinders dirty sometime.”

My son Kevin is 12 and he’s the perfect child. I’ve been quite public about having three miscarriages later in my pregnancies—that changes everything forever. That’s why Kevin is my miracle child and I’m so proud of him. He goes to public school in our town. Kevin is already 5-foot-8 and all the girls love him. He’s finally in love with and understanding school. I thank him for taking responsibility for his schoolwork. I can’t help him with all of this new stuff—all I can do is take him to school every day.

How did you meet?

Is Kevin aware of who his mom is?

I never had a problem getting men after high school. Kevin actually had his friend come over to me. We were both at an event that I was hosting. His friend came over to me and I peeked through the crowd and

[Laughs] Oh, he’s totally aware of who his mom is! And the girls in school know who his mom is, too! He’s just so busy with school and sports now, that he only bothers me when he wants tickets or something.

Let’s talk a little bit about your husband, Kevin. We’ve been married for 14 years and together a total of 18.

Do you remember the first thing he ever said to you?

And, besides, this is the year of bar mitzvahs so he’s having a “black mitzvah!” He came up with it. It will actually be a fancier 13th birthday. He wants the fancy invitations that he’s been receiving in the mail and, of course, the party bus. And we’ll give it to him. He deserves it.

Does your son want to be in the entertainment industry? He isn’t interested at all in the entertainment industry. He’s way too close to it. He does like the quick money of it, though. [Laughs]

Define luxury. Luxury to me is being comfortable with myself. My safe place is my home and always has been. It’s my sanctuary. We don’t have a lot of company over at the house. It’s a real luxury to have my alone time. I love it. Another luxury is being able to buy whatever I want at the Macy’s One-day sale. I’m able to go into certain stores and buy anything I want without looking at the price tag. I’ve worked so hard for so long that for a Jersey girl like me that just doesn’t happen.

What’s next for you, Wendy? Maybe a line of home accessories. You know, I’m really a nester. I consider myself an interior designer and I’m very tasteful though—I don’t have claw foot couches, I’m tasteful. [Laughs] I also want a wig line, but that’s an obvious path for me.

So, working with your husband... We’re friends, business partners and lovers. He’s not just my manager,

“One of the hardest things for me is letting go of the reins and allowing others to handle important responsibilities.” 38

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MI CASA, MI CASA “My safe place is my home and always has been. It’s my sanctuary.” suit: St. John at Neiman Marcus, Paramus earrings: Yanina & Co., Cedar Grove shoes: Jimmy Choo

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TAXICAB CONFESSION “Racism is still very much alive and well. Don’t believe me? Try being me and hail a taxi at night in Manhattan. Not going to happen.” DRESS: Nicole Miller at Robin’s Closet Boutique, Boonton NEcklacE/EaRRiNgS: Kenneth Jay Lane at Saks Fifth Avenue, Shops at Riverside bRacElEt: Yanina & Co., Cedar Grove ShoES: Christian Louboutin

but also an executive producer on the show. After I walk off the set of the show I quarterback to him. I take off my show drag and become Mrs. Wendy Hunter. Believe me, Richard, I am a good little woman at home.

Tell me who you would love to have on your talk show? Eddie Murphy. There’s just something about Eddie Murphy I’m drawn to. Also, Heather Locklear. She’s my close friend in my head. She was pregnant at the same time as one of my miscarriages, so when I see Ava I can’t help but think what could’ve been.

After such a long career with many peaks and valleys, are you an optimist or the other shoe is going to fall person? I’m very optimistic and I always tell myself I’ll be fine. However, I’m forever hoarding and thinking “what if?”

Are you a radio host doing TV or are you a TV host doing TV? I always knew I wanted to be in radio and I do prefer to communicate via radio. If I die tomorrow the first line of my obituary will say I’m a radio host. I did it for 23 years and—trust me—I won’t do TV for 23 years. [Laughs] I consider myself a media personality, though. I’ve done radio and TV and I know I’m good at it. I’m a writer and I am good at that, too. Right now, I’m working on my sixth book.

What is the book about? It’s an advice book called Ask Wendy.

Did you always have “It?” Did you know people were drawn to you? When I was young I had a way of attracting people. I have always had different ages and races listen to my radio show. That’s a really good

40 HUDSONMOD WINTER 2012


thing. So, yes, I guess I have always known I had that.

What did it feel like to be inducted to the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2009? Out of body experience? It was an incredible honor. My mom and dad attended, my son was old enough to know what was happening. You know, I’m only the second black woman to be inducted—ever. I kept thinking during the ceremony that I got there on my own and not by piggybacking off a man. I am, actually, very proud of that.

hometown girl. In the grocery store in the town where I live when people see me once it’s a “Hi” and a conversation about the eggs we’re both buying, but by the second time they see me in there, a finger wave will do.

Are there any plans for more acting gigs down the road? I would like to have a recurring role in a sitcom. Right now though my focus has to be my show. I have an entire staff counting on me—I love that.

You live in New Jersey and work in the city. Tell me what that’s like. Is a move to NYC in your future?

What kind of boss are you? For people who don’t know you, I would think they imagine you being a complete “Devil Wears Prada” demanding mega diva.

I love the overlap of New York City and New Jersey. We will move to Manhattan when my son graduates

I’m actually a levelheaded, relaxed boss. One of the hardest things for me to do, however, is letting go of the

Speaking of Studio 54, is that wild child Wendy Williams still in you? I wear many hats and I am thankful that I can be my own best friend. Girls’ night out is definitely by the wayside for me now. I lived a fruitful life and am happy I survived it. Truly.

What are your thoughts on fellow Jersey girl, Kelly Ripa? She’s kind of my hero. Can we stop for a second on this one? She’s the quintessential girl. If my life is most like anyone else’s it is most like Kelly Ripa’s from what we see on television and in magazines. When I see her in those commercials in her kitchen, I really believe that’s her life. That amazing career, those cute kids and sexy husband—you know they’re still hot for each other— and such a great personality. She is always sunny. Yes,

“I’ve been quite public about having three miscarriages later in my pregnancies—that changes everything forever. That’s why I consider Kevin my miracle child.” high school in precisely seven years. When I was younger New Jersey was safe for me and it remains so. Here’s the thing a lot of people don’t realize about the tri-state area: Just because our politics are liberal, it doesn’t mean racism is over; racism is still very much alive and well. Don’t believe me? Try being me and hail a taxi at night in Manhattan. Not going to happen. But we live in Jersey because with my career in high mode we need a backyard to go home to. I also wanted my son to go to public school. It’s funny, actually. In the grocery store I’m Wendy Hunter,

reins and letting other people handle important responsibilities. But I’m getting better at that, too.

Who were some of your very first early celebrity style icons? Oh, definitely Bianca Jagger. I was too young to get in to [legendary Manhattan club] Studio 54, but I would flip through the magazines and see Bianca and I loved her style. Joan Collins from Dynasty was also a fantasy style icon. I knew I would never have the opportunity to dress like her in my career though. Look at me now! [Laughs]

I’m a Kelly Ripa fan. Oh, you know whom else? In ten years, I want to be just like [New York City iconic talk radio personality] Joan Hamburg. When I get back to doing radio, it will be “lady talk radio” just like my fairy godmother, Joan Hamburg.

Would you ever consider doing Dancing With The Stars again? Absolutely. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it.

Finish this sentence for me: Wendy Williams is… Fabulous. Just fabulous. [Laughs]

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7 Deadly Sins of Luxury The HudsonMOD Gift Guide

{

}

With “Lust” becoming “Romance” and “Pride” becoming “Beauty,” we take a luxe interpretation to the notorious sins and present our first annual collection of fantastical gift guide ideas. Go ahead and indulge—this sinful wish list is just what you need to kick off the holiday season.

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1 Lust (RomaNcE)

2

3

GLuttONY

Greed

(EaT+DRINk)

(oVER THE ToP)

4

5

eNVY

PrIde

(mUST-HaVE)

(BEaUTY)

43 HUDSONMOD WINTER 2012

6

7

WrAtH

sLOtH

(INTENSITY)

(comFoRT)


Lust (rOMance)

Vow Renewal

Rekindle the flame between you and your spouse with a vow renewal ceremony that pulls out all of the stops. With an expert wedding planner perfecting every detail of your second wedding, there’ll be absolutely no need for a third. We’re talking the best location, band, floral arrangements, lighting, photographer, invitations, hair, makeup and much more for 150 guests on a Saturday evening. $87,000. www.CBCEvents.com

Chocolate

Britain may not be historically known for its food culture—though that, too, has changed dramatically—but this box of chocolates is proof that it should be. These truffles are made with edible gold—delicious and over the top, just like we like them. $306. www.harrods.com

Rose Bouquet Second Honeymoon on the Queen Mary II The Queen Mary II recreates the feeling of a vintage transatlantic voyage—and it’s a great excuse to wear ball gowns and drink copious amounts of champagne. For 30 days, you’ll be living in a dream, a dream you’ll never forget. $24,349. www.cunard.com

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Fragrant and classic, there’s no better way to show your love than with a huge bouquet of roses. These roses, which measure up to six feet, are the perfect complement to any holiday décor. $699. www. ultimaterose.com


Massage Oil

Known to soften and heal skin, balance hormones and ease feelings of grief, anger and fear, Bulgarian Rose Otto is one of the most treasured oils in the world. Add it to a bath or for a little one-on-one rubdown. Use it wisely though: It takes about 60,000 roses—around 180 pounds—to make one ounce. $1,970 for 6.7 ounces. www.bulgarianroseotto.com 45 HUDSONMOD WINTER 2012


Gluttony (EAT+DRINK)

Foie Gras

Earthy, creamy and decadent, there’s nothing quite like a delicious helping of duck foie gras. What would make it better, you ask? A bit of truffle in the center. $86. www.petrossian.com

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Wagyu Beef Steaks

These filet mignons are known for their marbling and natural flavor. They’re not only some of the rarest steaks in the world, they’re also some of the most flavorful. This is one steak you don’t want to overcook. $250. for four filets. www.allenbrothers.com

Personalized Ice Cream Flavor

It might not be the most highend dessert, but ice cream is one that pleases any palate. Now, it’s possible to create your own flavor, with a gelato or ice cream base, mix-ins and flavorings. The packaging is also customized, so name it what you will. $49 for 1 gallon. www.ecreamery.com/createyourown.html

Paula Deen Makes Brunch

You won’t mind getting out of bed for this remarkable breakfast. Impress your guests, your significant other— or heck, just treat yourself—with brunch cooked up in your own kitchen by the Emmy award-winning Paula Deen. $30,000 plus travel and accommodations. www.pauladeen.com

24K Gold Cupcake

Decadent might be an understatement when it comes to this cupcake. For your sweetie with strong cravings or expensive taste (buds), you’ll definitely score bonus points with The Golden Phoenix. Available exclusively at Bloomsbury’s Cupcakes in Dubai, the cupcake is served on a covered Villari 24-karat gold empire cake stand and is adorned with edible gold and chocolate and then topped off with chocolatecovered strawberries and a golden spoon. $1,000. ilovebloomsburys.com

Vintage Port Wine

A decadent aperitif, this is the perfect ending to your holiday dinner. Or, better yet, save it for your afterafter-New Year’s party. You know you’ll want to have one. $1,140. www.christies.com

Cognac

Sometimes, you really can judge a book by its cover—or choose a cognac because of its bottle. This bottle is covered in 6,500 diamonds and is made with four kilograms of platinum and yellow gold. We’re going to guess that 100 centiliters of cognac grande champagne is pretty yummy, too. $3.4 million. www.mostexpensive-cognac.com

Beluga Caviar

Beluga is the world’s most expensive, and arguably most delicious, form of caviar. Turn off the television and light some candles before biting into these gems—this caviar calls for your full attention. $1,545. www.almascaviar.co.uk

Honey

Natural, delicious and perfectly sweet, Bee Raw Honey provides honeys that are sourced from family-owned apiaries across the country, with each variety derived from a single floral source, giving it distinct color, flavor and aroma. $78. www.beeraw.com

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Greed (Over The TOp)

Lake

Private Jet

It might seem a little excessive, but it is the holiday season, after all. This A380 double-decker Airbus is the ultimate private jet, with plenty of legroom for all your friends. $500 million. www.airbus.com

A mere half an hour from the base of MontTremblant, Quebec, a private lake awaits a new owner. One of the very few untouched, selfsustaining, natural lakes in the area, the crystal clear waters and surrounding land provide the perfect escape for an avid fisherman, entrepreneur (the land is zoned to even house a small hotel) or a couple looking for a secret retreat. $1.95 million. www.lakehouse.com

Custom Wine Cellar

Bring Napa Valley home by transferring your basement into a custom wine cellar. Use the warmth of wood racking and finishing elements such as brick, stonework, granite and tile backsplashes to add the perfect touches to housing your favorite bottles. $80,000. www.evang.com

Watch

If you’re not one to settle for anything less than the best, may we suggest a Patek Philippe watch? This timepiece is outfitted with 38 baguette diamonds, satinated brown dial and diamond hour markers. An alligator strap, buckle set with six more baguette diamonds and a sapphire-crystal case back complete the look. $91,000. www.patekphilippe.com

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Neiman Marcus $1 Million Gift Card

Want the world’s best couture designers’ clothes all under one roof? We call that piece of fashion heaven Neiman Marcus. Wow your special someone with the gift that keeps giving and the ultimate ability to be able buy what you want, when you want it. $1 million. www.neimanmarcus.com

Cirque de Soleil Training

Forget CrossFit and Soul Cycle. Take your exercise routine to new heights with a silks trapeze or aerial hoop class that will teach you how to perfect the routines performed in the legendary Cirque Du Soleil. 10 classes for $585. newyork.trapezeschool.com


New York Giants

What better gift for the Giants’ No. 1 fan than the team itself? That is, if John Mara is willing to sell. $1.47 billion. www.giants.com/ www.forbes.com/nfl-valuations

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Envy (Must-have)

CitySpire Penthouse

Located at 150 West 56th Street, this penthouse is like no other. At 8,000 square feet, this unit will surely become your main residence—and because it’s on Central Park South, the views from this outrageous home can’t be beat. $100 million. www.elliman.com

Ruby Slippers

Backyard Golf Course

Imagine being able to play on the golf green of your dreams— right at home. If you want instant access to practicing challenging eight-foot putts or pesky chip shots close to the pin, construct your own personal course. $20,000. www.fredcosports.com

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These one-of-a-kind ruby-studded slip-ons are a must-have accessory for any Wizard of Oz fanatic. And even if your lady isn’t a classic movie buff, we think these pumps are something she’ll treasure forever. $3 million. www.harrywinston.com

Sunglasses

This holiday season shine in Vavas Diamond Eyewear. A vision of hand crafted luxury that embraces both charm and class. With only 60 pairs made per month, you can be certain that heads will turn. $10,000. www.jonnyvavas.com


Gold iPhone 5

If your hubby doesn’t have an iPhone 5 yet, this is the gift he’ll absolutely want in his stocking this year. The Stuart Hughes iPhone 5 is plated with 128 grams of 18-carat gold and the Apple logo encrusted with 53 diamonds. $35,000. www.stuarthughes.com

Building Name

Forget stars, they’re too far way. Make a real statement by having a building or perhaps even an entire college named after someone special in your life. The price of a dedication varies based on donations, but Princeton University’s Whitman College was named after former CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman, following her $30 million donation to the institution. $30 million. www.princeton.edu/whitmancollege

Cinderella Carriage

Make the dreams of your little princess come true by surprising her with a handcrafted Fantasy Coach from Posh Tots, the makers of “the most extraordinary children’s furnishings in the world.” With a swipe of your magical card, your little one can sleep happily ever after in her very own custom-made chariot bed. $47,000. www.poshtots.com

Fantasy Camp

Easily the grand slam gift for any baseball fanatic: A ticket to Tampa to suit up in an authentic uniform and attend the Yankees Fantasy Camp for five days to play and train with former New York Yankees living legends. $4,950. www.mlb.com/nyy/fan_forum/fantasycamp.jsp

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Pride (BEAUTY)

Parfum

Clive Christian ultra-luxe parfum is of the utmost British quality. It’s the perfect gift for any woman who has it all—and still wants more. $435,000. www.clivechristian.com

La Prairie 25th Anniversary Collection

Your impossible-to-buy-for gal got you stumped this holiday season? The La Prairie Collection is an O-M-G caviar-skin dream bomb. There isn’t a woman on earth who wouldn’t do backflips when presented with this coveted caviar skincare line that’s velvety rich and undeniably decadent. The complete ten-piece set of magnificence ensures every millimeter of skin is drenched in marine moisture-pummeling caviar extracts. All-in pricing includes the supersized 25th anniversary jar of Luxe Cream and Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation. $3,270. 800-821-5718 www.shoplaprairie.com or www.neimanmarcus.com

Nail Polish

For those occasions when you want to make the very best impression and a bottle from the local beauty store (or posh spa for that matter) just isn’t going to cut it, we’ve found the most luxe lacquer available: Azature Black Diamond nail polish. Containing 267 carats of black diamonds this special blend is the most expensive nail polish in the world. $250,000 a bottle. www.azature.com

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Smell Like A (Gentle)Man Since fragrance is such a personal statement, not only for the wearer but the recipient who comes to know your blueprint scent, let’s start with the go-to man who has developed more personalized fragrances for the biggest fashion houses in the world, famed perfumer Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Master mixed in honor of Bergdorf Goodman’s 111th anniversary, the 754 Homme eau de toilette is brand new and in very limited production and will soon be gone forever. Their Amyris Homme (dark, elegant, muskycitrus) has become a favorite purchase for the woman who knows exactly how her man should smell. On top and never backing down is Tom Ford with his newest offering, NOIR. Perfect for New Year’s Eve, the fragrance is so dense, smoky and sexy you’ll definitely want to sleep wearing it—and little else. www.bergdorfgoodman.com; www.tomford.com


Botox Party

Want a slam-dunk gift no one will turn down? This is a less invasive way of bringing out the best you while keeping you in your comfort zone. Dr. Yelena Yeretsky is an internationally recognized specialist in anti-aging and aesthetic medicine. First up, Dr. Yeretsky’s invaluable consultation in her boutique-chic Clinique YFT in Manhattan; then it’s time to get the party started where you become the hostess with the mostest and lead the most gorgeous after-party group ever! Want to stay closer to home? 5 Salon Spa in Fort Lee is also an option. $10,000 medical costs for five. www. cliniqueyft.com; www.5SalonSpa.com

Dog Party: Diamond Package

Celebrity Trainer

Hollywood’s heaviest hitters, chart-topping songstresses and most coveted athletes all have Jay Cardiello on speed dial when they need to get in serious shape. Add your name to his list of clientele including Jennifer López, Minka Kelly and 50 Cent. www.cardiellofitness.com

New York Dog Spa & Hotel in Manhattan brings new meaning to “rolling out the red carpet” with its step-and-repeat VIP dog party. So if there’s nothing you won’t stop at to pamper your precious pooch, then take a look at this luxe soiree for up to 20 pets and owners. A sampling of the elegant affair includes a DJ spinning—“Who Let The Dogs Out?” is inevitable, isn’t it?—Veuve Cliqout champagne, dog-and-owner customized cakes, couture canine gift bags and so much more. Your happy pet’s memories will forever be captured in a handsome leather photo album. Who’s wagging their tail now? $6,200. www.dogspa.com

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Wrath (INTENSITY)

Jetpack Couture Parasailing Fashion Week

Extreme Shark Cage Diving Is your wife the adventurous type? Surprise her with a trip to Cape Town South Africa, complete with a Great White Shark diving adventure. We’d be a little worried about getting bitten, too, but don’t fret, these guys are expert adrenaline junkies. $156 + airfare www. sharkbookings.com

Boxing Hot Ticket

Reserve your seat for the fourth act of Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and world champion Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Márquez’s ongoing rivalry. Las Vegas plays host to the anticipated December 8 fight. $1,244. www.mgmgrand.com/ fightweek

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Don a superhero-worthy jetpack for your next ocean adventure that combines the bird’s-eye view of parasailing with the thrill of a wave runner. With locations on both the east and west coasts equipped for liftoff, it’s easy to become part of this new jet set. $136,000. www.jetlev.com

Mariah Carey Private Concert

OK, admit it, you can’t get enough of that favorite holiday jam. Whether you’re singing it in the shower, on your way to work or it’s playing on your iPod, you know that every time December comes around, you can’t get enough of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” When hearing it via highdefinition speakers just isn’t enough, Ms. Carey herself will be more than happy to make a house call. $3 million. www. mariahcarey.com

On the heels of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is Couture Fashion Week, held at Manhattan’s famed Waldorf Astoria from February 15-17. Get a front row view of the handmade, luxury fashions with Platinum VIP tickets that include front row seating, a luxury car from your Manhattan hotel to the event, gourmet dinner, photo ops with models and designers, a backstage tour and access to the after parties. $2,000. www. couturefashionweek.com

Super Bowl VIP Tickets

Take a trip to New Orleans this February with two tickets to Super Bowl XLVII on the 50-yard-line that includes a pregame VIP party in true N’awlins style with ex-NFL great host Joe Theismann on the Cajun Queen Riverboat. $7,318 per ticket. www.primesport.com

Museum Private Tour

Gain exclusive access to the fabled Manhattan cultural landmark, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, by becoming a part of the Chairman’s Circle. Perks of this membership include two special evening events when the museum is closed to the public, “Breakfast at the Met” for up to 50 guests before the museum opens and a customized tour for up to 30 people. $100,000. www.metmuseum.org/ give-and-join/corporatesupport


Sloth (COMFORT)

Sofa

Gorgeous, functional and delightfully mod, we think this Missoni Home Tiamat New 200 Sofa will be an instant hit in your living room or home theater. This sofa isn’t only beautiful, it’s also got snuggle room for two. $10,806. www.allmodern.com

Bed Linens

Hammock

We’ve taken relaxation to a whole new level. Live life in the lap of luxury with this exclusive double hammock made of decadent fox fur. Designed by German’s Bless Studio in conjunction with Montreal’s renowned Commissaires gallery, the hammock is lined with yummy cashmere. $14,257. www.20ltd.com

Charlotte Thomas, Britain’s authority on luxurious home décor, has created the ultimate necessity for a good night’s sleep. Thomas’ “Bespoke” linen set consists of 22-karat gold thread woven into the most fine Merino wool, backed with silk jacquard and complemented with 1,000-count Egyptian cotton sheets. Get your orders in soon though as each is created per request and can take up to 12 weeks to complete. $2,400 per sheet. www.charlottethomas.co.uk/collection

Fur

Looking to make a lavish statement this holiday season? Living elegantly comes naturally in this natural chinchilla fur—a true classic. $55,000. www.schultzfurrier.com

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BERLIN, with love Images of a wall coming down are the last thing Berlin evokes today. Lush and romantic, this modern metropolis is making Paris just a little bit nervous. BY ERIN DOSTAL

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e walked down Unter den Linden hand in hand—piping-hot gluhwein in our other hands—before stopping in front of the Brandenburg Gate, or Brandenburger Tor for those of you who kann Deutsch. We craned our heads to stare straight up. It was bigger and more beautiful than I could have imagined. And, boy, was it freezing outside. So we stood a little closer. We turned to face the direction from which we came down an impossibly wide street framed in trees covered in twinkling white lights—a stark contrast from the pitch-black sky above. Romantic doesn’t even begin to describe that moment. Magic, something transcendent of us kids in love, was more like it. The type of moment Hollywood films would like you to think could only happen in Paris. Or, if you’re Woody Allen, under a bridge in Brooklyn at twilight. Romantic, luxurious getaways come in as many forms as there are couples to enjoy them. Berlin, Germany’s most beautiful city, is proof. There are few cities more cupid-friendly during the holiday season. Rich with decadent foods, drinks and holiday spirit, Berliners go all-out to welcome St. Nick. And so did we.

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When we set foot in the church, the We were in college then, so we stayed sound of voices filled the air, like angels in a hostel in Mitte, the city center of singing. A bit cliché, we thought, but Berlin. If I had to do it again—and I’m clichés exist for a reason—and this one dying to—I’d stay at the Keminski put us in the holiday spirit. Aldon Hotel, a luxury five-star resort We wandered through the massive also in Mitte near the Brandenburg entryway at the Dom and saw them: Gate on Unter den Linden. The resort A children’s choir rehearsing for leaves nothing to desire—a full spa, Christmas services. The church was great bars and restaurants, luxurious mostly empty, with the exception suites with outrageously romantic of a few wayfarers views. A bit touristy, and other tourists— perhaps, but also couples, mostly. We elegant and classic. took a seat to the left Why not enjoy the of center and enjoyed comforts of home the serenade. Sublime while traveling far, doesn’t begin to cover far away? This place it. The whole event is a far cry from our was so stereotypically private hostel suite. German. When the Berlin, at once conductor waved his beautiful and austere, hand, the boys’ fell is also quite cold silent and sat down, during the winter hands neatly folded months. Do plan THUNDER DOME When we set foot in the church, the sound in their laps. When on wandering the of voices filled the air, exactly he was done giving city, as we did, but like I imagine angels singing. notes, the conductor’s also plan on having hands went back up, the boys stood plenty of hot German chocolate and up, and the singing recommenced include many indoor stops, too. For on cue. Watching them was active us, one of those well-planned stops meditation. And such obedient was the Berliner Dom—a must-see behavior from this choir would surely for any world traveler and one of the make any American mother yearn for most ornate and enormous Protestant better-behaved boys. churches in the entire world.


lush life The streets were wide—many having had the “luxury” of being destroyed by war and rebuilt anew. And a suprise to me, the streets were extraordinarily lush—trees love North German climates.

What I remember most about Berlin was just how structurally beautiful it was. There’s much more to the city than the gray slab of Alexanderplatz, including massive public parks and genuinely incredible architecture. The streets were wide— many having had the “luxury” of being destroyed by war and rebuilt anew. And a suprise, the streets were extraordinarily lush—trees love North German climates. And the people— dare I say it—were consistently, remarkably kind and gracious. Then, there’s the food. My God. The food. Be ready to order eine tasse kaffee, or “a cup of coffee” at any and all of Berlin’s many cafes. The cappuccinos, although not made in Italy, are consistently world class.

One must-try restaurant is Weinbar Rutz, owned by sommelier Billy Wagner. It features unique pairings in its so-called “inspiration” tasting menu, for which the chef typically uses foie gras, Waygu beef and radishes—a departure from sausages and schnitzel Germany is famous for. For dessert, it’s worth the trek to Fassbender & Rausch for some chocolate. The Schokoladen-Café features some of the most amazing sweets in the world, including hot chocolate, and assorted tartlets in flavors that would even make Willy Wonka drool: Red currant, chocolate mousse, forest fruits and tiramisu, among others. Grab a box or six for the flight back to Newark. Pralines and truffles never hurt a soul.

For all the beer gardens, sausage carts and Christmas markets strewn throughout Berlin, it’s extraordinarily easy for the average tourist to get caught up in it all. For the sophisticated American traveler, Berlin should be all about relaxation, romance and, of course, fine dining. When we left Berlin it was snowing gently as we walked, no—jogged, our way to the bus depot. We didn’t want to leave this magical city—or each other—and so were dangerously late. It was an incredibly memorable night. With a little extra luxury—and maybe a well-run car service instead— imagine how wonderful your winter German getaway will be. I remember mine like it was yesterday. Who needs Paris when I had Berlin.

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BY RICHARD PÉREZ-FERIA PHOTOGRAPHY BY

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MYRNA SUÁREZ EXCLUSIVELY FOR HudsonMOD


BOOM BOOM ROOM As good as Bob Costas, Al Michaels and Chris Berman are—and they are undeniably good—for my money, I’d take a cold beer, spicy chicken wings and Boomer Esiason talking football in my living room any day of the week over those guys. Easy.

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tried quitting cold turkey. I really did. Here was the plan: For two full weeks, while vacationing in Central and South America, I was going to kick my severe sports addiction by not watching a minute of baseball, football, tennis or any other of the dozen athletic pursuits I devoured on a daily basis. That meant no Big Papi. No L eBron. No Rafa Nadal. And— LeBron. And—gulp!— no SportsCenter. I held out for all of 36 hours. Let me explain. My very first memory on this planet was being in my dad’s arms as a toddler emerging from the ramp at Fenway Park in Boston to see the miraculous spectacle of that baseball diamond in front of me. What a beautiful sight. I don’t think I blinked for five full minutes. Even now I can remember with eerie precision how the freshly mowed grass smelled, how crisp the impossibly white uniforms looked on the players stretching on the ground and how funny it was to hear my dad—with his thick Ricky Ricardo Cuban accent—struggling to pronounce superstar Carl “Yaz” Yastrzemski’s name. I remember all of it. All. Of. It. A few years later, my family moved to Miami

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and my dad, once again, made it a point to introduce me to the joys of sports by turning my attention to the hometown Dolphins. In September, at the start of the 1972 football season, I had just turned eight as we sat in the old Orange Bowl and cheered on Bob Griese, Larry Csonka and the rest of the soon to be historic undefeated team. Sunday after Sunday we proudly waved our white hankies basking in the delirium and unadulterated joy that only winning as a collective brings. So, yes, that unexpected, unforgettable, unimaginable Miami Dolphins perfect season is the reason I love football. How could I not? A little later, I started playing tennis and became rather good rather fast and competed on both my junior high and high school varsity teams. For entire summers at a time as a teenager, if I wasn’t playing tennis, I was watching my tennis heroes play. I lived to emulate Jimmy Connors’ backhand and his never-die attitude and I was deeply and seriously in love with Chris Evert—like, head over heels, brother. With more time I’ve managed to add to the number of sports I obsess over. The reigning NBA world champion Miami Heat— led by the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh—

have made the last couple of years can’t-miss fireworks in South Beach. What a treat watching those men work has been. And in addition to my relentless MLB, NFL and ATP viewing, I can’t forget about college football (Miami Hurricanes), hockey (Boston Bruins), golf (Tiger, duh), World Cup soccer, Summer and Winter Olympics (luge!) and even Aussie Rules Football. It’s not like I don’t know I watch too many sports. I do. But compounding my sports addiction, I’m also borderline obsessed by politics as well as all things popular culture— movies, television, music, fashion— everything; I call this full-court press of telegenic activity being “awake in my decade.” Others who live (and have lived) with me, however, have other choice words for it. Before I tell you what a really cool— really, really cool—thing I had the privilege of doing recently, I wanted to explain why sports have filled so many waking hours of my life. From a young Dan Marino leading the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in his first full season as quarterback to David Ortiz slugging the Boston Red Sox to a historic comeback over the New York Yankees and finishing off the 86-yearold “Curse of the Bambino” by finally— finally—winning the World Series, my love of sports is not an insignificant, casual fling but a deeply committed, overtly emotional marriage, full of highs and lows, elaborate superstitions and endless second guessing. But, at its core, it’s a marriage. A good one.

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When I was given the opportunity to not only interview one of the greatest All-Pro quarterbacks in NFL history, Boomer Esiason, but also sit elbowto-elbow with him on the set of the legendary football show he co-hosts The NFL Today, I couldn’t believe my luck. As a veteran magazine editor—as well as a longtime celebrity interviewer and writer—I’ve had the unbelievable good fortune of talking and hanging out with a lot of the world’s biggest names including Jennifer López, David Beckham, Elizabeth Taylor, John Kennedy Jr., Muhammad Ali, Barbra Streisand, Tom Cruise, John McEnroe, Angelina Jolie, Sean Penn, Cal Ripken Jr., Mariah Carey, Bill and

Hillary Clinton and on and on. Believe me, I know how awesome those experiences have been. And as silly as it sounds to me even as I write this, the opportunity I was given to interview Boomer Esiason on The NFL Today set ranks as one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life. Ever. Being on the same set made famous decades ago by the likes of Brent Musburger, Irv Cross, Phyllis George and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder is nothing short of surreal. I tuned in to The NFL Today so regularly that I felt those four were extended members of my family. For those among you who don’t follow football, me interviewing Esiason

HUDDLE UP On the set of The NFL Today, Boomer Esiason is flanked by several of his co-analysts, host James “JB” Brown, Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and Super Bowl winning head coach, Bill Cowher.

while he’s working is something akin to sitting next to Vogue’s Anna Wintour at the Dior show during New York Fashion Week if you’re a Project Runway addict. Or having dinner with Bill Clinton if you’re obsessed with Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room. Or hangin’ with William Shatner if you’re a diehard Trekkie. It’s that cool. But my excitement wasn’t just because I was going to be in the presence of ex-NFL All Pros; it was because I was going to be in the

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THE GOOD FIGHT “Curing cystic fibrosis will remain my top priority as long as it still exists,” says Esiason, with son Gunnar who was diagnosed with the disease as a child.

to battle Boomer’s Bengals. And I was going to sit with him and watch the game on the set of The NFL Today. Oh, with—Hell, yes!—Dan friggin’ Marino sitting to my right. Cool. Very cool. he morning of my interview arrived and with an extra spring to my step, I barely notice that Manhattan is suffering through a torrential rainstorm as Myrna Suárez—one of my oldest and dearest friends and an amazing photographer—and I make our way to CBS Studios near the Hudson River. I had been to these studios over the years for myriad reasons, but something feels different today. There’s a palpable feeling in the air. Oh, yes, it’s a chilly Sunday morning and I’m ready for some football. Moments after Esiason and his co-analysts—Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe, Bill Cowher and James “JB” Brown—finish the show, the nicest man in sports broadcasting, CBS honcho Jerry Caraccioli, introduces me to Esiason who’s still at the desk, alongside JB, for they’re on call for the live break-in studio updates. So, as I’m getting to know Esiason and feeling quite comfortable in Shannon Sharpe’s seat, thank you very much, every few minutes there’s complete

T presence of this ex-NFL All Pro. With a tough-as-nails reputation during his Hall of Fame-worthy career with the Cincinnati Bengals and later with the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, Esiason has proven himself to be a highly effective analyst who happens to be colossally eloquent, incredibly opinionated and right many more times than he’s wrong. In other words, I can think of very few football analysts today that I would choose over Esiason. As good as Bob Costas,

Al Michaels and Chris Berman are— and they are undeniably good—for my money, I’d take a cold beer, spicy chicken wings and Boomer Esiason talking football in my living room any day of the week over those guys. Easy. The Sunday of my scheduled “play date” with Boomer (as a close friend started to refer to the pending interview because of my uncharacteristic excitement about it) turned out to be the same day that my beloved Dolphins were traveling

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silence in the cavernous studio as JB and Boomer update a particular scoring play of yet another football game in progress. Cool. Very cool. oomer Esiason is a big dude. For some reason, I never imagined Esiason to be built like a Mack Truck, but he is. Standing 6’5” and 225 lbs., I can now see how he got banged around so often in the pocket for so many years and kept bouncing back, like an unflappable Norwegian Viking his lineage reveals. Though he hasn’t played in the NFL in a decadeand-a-half, the 51-year-old New Yorker still exudes a jock’s cockiness and toughness. Esiason’s current demeanor screams, “I’m nice, but I’m not that nice.” It suits him. After a celebrated athletic turn at East Islip High School in Long Island, Esiason went on to the University of Maryland where he set 17 school records and was a two-time honorable mention All-American. Upon graduation, Esiason was the 38th overall pick in the 1984 NFL Draft being selected in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Esiason’s professional football career was a testament to his uncanny skill and relentless determination. Arguably the greatest left-handed quarterback in NFL history, Esiason set NFL records for left-handed QBs including most touchdown passes, passing yards and completions—the three most important quarterback records. Esiason also led the American Football Conference in passing in 1988 and 1989 and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1988, the same year he led the Bengals to the Super Bowl. Boomer Esiason has game, no doubt. As impressive as his football statistics are, it’s his role as a father

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to Gunnar, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a disease of the respiratory and digestive systems, when he was two years old in 1993 that has been the cause of his life. By establishing the Boomer Esiason Foundation to fund research to find a cure for the insidious disease, Esiason has raised more than $85 million. Gunnar, now 21 and attending Boston College, is as obsessed with hockey as his dad. Esiason and his wife, Cheryl, also have a daughter, Sydney. After his NFL career was over, Esiason made an impressive transition to broadcasting, most notably as color analyst on ABC’s iconic Monday Night Football from 1998 to 2000. As a longtime in-studio analyst for The NFL Today, Esiason also co-hosts MUSH DADDY “I just left my kids and told them, ‘I love you’ and they look at me all embarrassed and say, ‘we love you, too, Dad’,” Esiason says, with wife Cheryl and children Gunnar and Sydney.

the daily top-rated Boomer and Carlton in the Morning on WFAN Radio in New York City, a program that replaced Don Imus. Back to the studio. After nearly six hours of football sensory overload— please never let it end—I’m once again led back to the set for a second round of questions I’ve prepared for Esiason. As I turn the corner, I see Marino directly in front of me walking down the hall. As he reaches me I say, “Dan, Hi, I’m Richard, lifelong Dolphins fan. It’s a great honor to meet you.” Marino, among the top three greatest quarterbacks who ever played the sport, smiles at me, shakes my hand and says, “Hey man. Great to meet you as well.” We didn’t hug it out or anything, but it was still—say it with me—cool. Very cool. When I sit down on the set again next to Esiason—as Myrna continues to take more photos—I tell Esiason that I just met Marino, one of my all-

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time heroes, and I was curious what he thought he could do better as a quarterback than Marino. Esiason looked at me and roared with laughter. “Me better than Dan Marino?! Not much, Richard. Remember, he played for Don Shula; I played for David Shula.” We both burst into laughter. And as inside a joke as that is—only a real football fan would get it—at that very moment I realize that any real football fan would love to be me right here, right now. Cool. Very cool. Fantasy football, indeed.

Listen, Richard, in my line of business, it’s an occupational hazard.

is you’d like to be a king.

When was the last time you said, “I’m sorry” and meant it?

What was the greatest moment of your NFL career?

Every day to a lot of different people— just a few minutes ago I said it to Shannon [Sharpe]. If I make a mistake, I own up to it.

Well, the greatest moments of my life have been the birth of my children, hands down. But as far as my playing days are concerned, the seconds after the AFC Championship game in 1989 when we defeated the Buffalo Bills—the joy of the moment the clock struck zero—is a feeling I had never experienced before.

When was the last time you said, “I love you” to someone?

Is this the best time of your life?

Actually, I just left my kids and told them, “I love you.” And they look at me all embarrassed and say, “We love you, too, Dad.” I don’t care how old they get; I will always tell them I love them.

Life is very good right now. Even though I hit my 50s recently, I do think I’d much rather be playing in the NFL.

When was the last time you knowingly broke the law?

Boomer, you’ve accomplished so much in your NFL and broadcasting careers, is there anything left to do?

Yesterday I used my cellphone while I was driving. I know I shouldn’t do it, but it’s a really hard habit to break. But I never text while driving—that’s nuts.

Well, for one, curing cystic fibrosis, which will remain my top priority as long as it still exists. But the truth is that I’ve done so many different and interesting things in my life, but I never expected to do morning radio. The discipline it takes to get up every single day at 4:15 a.m. and the focus it has given me, it has been nothing short of incredible. It literally changed my life.

If you hadn’t played football, what would you be doing now?

When was the last time you were just dead wrong?

So, if you’re in charge and front and center and don’t want to run for anything, what you’re saying

[Laughs] Probably ten minutes ago!

I would definitely be in politics, but I don’t want to run for anything.

More like a chief of staff, the power behind the power? [Laughs] What?! No way! I’m a quarterback, man! We need to be front and center. We need and deserve all of the attention. Bring us the spotlight!

[Laughs] OK, I’ll take it.

Who are the best NFL analysts working today? Who do you listen to on Sundays? That’s actually a really great question, Richard. The two that first come to mind are Cris Collinsworth and Phil Simms. Collinsworth is so aggressively critical that it’s jarring and fun to watch and Simms is exactly like listening to a football coach in the booth. I think they’re both great.

Is this the year of transition in the NFL when traditional powers (Dallas, Pittsburgh) make way for some emerging upstarts (Houston, Seattle, Atlanta)? Not sure. I think, as always, being injury free will be key, and keeping your quarterback healthy.

Tell me how you met your wife. Do you remember what your first words to her were? We met at the University of Maryland

Though he hasn’t played in a decade-and-a-half, Esiason still exudes a jock’s cockiness and toughness. His demeanor screams, “I’m nice, but I’m not that nice.” 64 HUDSONMOD WINTER 2012


where I was the hotshot star quarterback, full of myself, and told her, “Hi, my name’s Boomer.” Truth is, she wasn’t very impressed. [Laughs]

WINTOUR WONDERLAND Chatting with Boomer Esiason on The NFL Today set is something akin to sitting next to Anna Wintour at the Dior show during New York Fashion Week if you’re a Project Runway addict.

Why will the New York Giants repeat as Super Bowl champions? The Giants have the best defensive line in the NFC, and they have the coolest quarterback this side of the fourth quarter.

Why won’t the New York Giants repeat as Super Bowl champions? If the New York Giants have too many injuries they won’t win again and they have to guard against the onset of complacency.

What’s Boomer Esiason doing a decade from now? A decade from right now? Definitely retired. [Laughs] I’ll be on a golf course in Arizona for sure. Well, either in Scottsdale or in Montauk (NY).

Tell me something not too many people know about you. The thing with having your own daily morning radio show is that there isn’t much people don’t know. I’m a huge hockey fan and I’m extremely political—I’m an independent.

Put your NFL analyst hat on for me now. Give me good news about my Miami Dolphins. There is good news for the Dolphins. I really like your new head coach, Joe Philbin, and I really, really like your rookie QB, Ryan Tannehill. If the owner and management can stick with him as he makes some typical rookie mistakes, Tannehill will make

the owner and coaches look like geniuses for drafting him so high.

What’s the mantra you live by?

What are the three words that absolutely best describe you?

Since your wife, Cheryl, knows you best, what would she tell me about the real Boomer Esiason?

Intense, driven, prepared.

If I asked your best friend, what would he say your worst traits are? I think he’d say I’m too intense sometimes and also that I’ve been known to be inflexible. That’s been a tough lesson to learn.

Who’s your celebrity crush? Hmm, let’s go with Penélope Cruz.

All in.

She would say that I’m a teddy bear in grizzly bear’s clothes.

And the parting shot, Boomer, how do you define luxury? Being completely alone. Since I’m always working, the gift of not speaking—and not listening—is what I consider to be real luxury. Oh, and a glass of good Irish whiskey.

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COVET pretty please

ElizabEth taylOr WOrE it WEll

TAylOr mADE Fleur de Mer was given to Elizabeth Taylor in 1965 by her then-husband Richard Burton.

ife.

By AmANDA mcElrOy

W

hat does Elizabeth Taylor have in common with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Diana Vreeland? Besides being first ladies of film, America and Vogue, respectively, each of these iconic women adored the timeless jewelry created for them by Jean Schlumberger, one of Tiffany & Co.’s legendary designers. A particular favorite of Taylor’s was her Fleur de Mer clip, given to her in 1965 by then-husband Richard Annuity Corpora- Burton. In her book, My Love Affair he financial strength With Jewelry, Taylor wrote, “Richard dard & Poor’s AA+.gave me this clip because he wanted

me to have another memento from Schlumberger.” With its perfectly positioned array of diamonds and sapphires set in platinum and 18-karat gold, the Fleur de Mer complemented Taylor’s flawless features on countless occasions— most notably at the premiere of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, in which she co-starred with Burton. She also wore the clip on the set of Who’s Afraid of Virginia

Woolf? for which she won an Oscar for her unforgettable performance. In 2011, Tiffany & Co. acquired the clip from the late Taylor’s estate and has since displayed the piece at various locations throughout the world. Still, the Fleur de Mer is available for purchase and worthy buyers can inquire at Tiffany’s New York City headquarters. But wherever the Fleur de Mer clip ends up, it’s hard to imagine anyone wearing it as glamorous as the iconic Elizabeth Taylor.

me Annuity is WINTER 2012 HUDSONMOD

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STYLE fashion chronicles

Woo WU Jason Wu hit a high note with a scene-stealing sparkling blue dress that portrayed the harness trend beautifully.

I

t’s time to talk fashion, people. As expected, the recent New York Fashion Week did not disappoint, and we’ve got a rundown on some must-haves for spring.

BOlD + BrigHt Runways exploded with sunny and citrus tones, and fashion maestro Michael Kors in particular played up this trend with pops of bright color that created a recognizable “mod” moment. The looks were sleek and polished as he made a rousing comeback of classic sportswear. Marchesa’s take on the trend portrayed color in a moment of grace by sending a model sauntering down

While most designers used the harness in a more structured, literal way, Wu opted for a gown worthy of a fairytale.

NEw York FaShIoN wEEk: rUNwaY TakEawaYS By taNya taMBUriN

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the runway in an elegant orange cocktail number. Though your go-to little black dress may never be out of style, it’s fun to mix it up and add some color to your wardrobe. This new wave of cocktail dresses proves it’s OK to spice up even formal, corporate occasions. The exquisite Carolina Herrera—who also opted for orange—electrified her audience with a lace “longuette” dress. While the lace and bright color lend to a fun, flirty frock, the form-fitting silhouette, sheer lace and nude slip provided the touch of elegance one expects from Herrera’s collections. The designer achieved an accessible yet sophisticated look by balancing a high collar and long length with feminine accents that keep the gown from appearing too stuffy.


E


STYLE Greens, too, were apparent in electric, muted and earthier shades. Derek Lam was on point using yellows and hues of greens displaying comfort through modernism. His collection embodied all of spring’s hottest trends, including a dropped waist, color blocking, zippers, leather and vibrant tones. His use of prints and unique embellishments make Derek Lam an incredible resource for fully stocking your closet throughout 2013.

over a black or neutral toned shirt for a daytime look. Roy chose to show the blazer with shorts of an opposing zigzag pattern, proving that mixing and matching bold prints should be embraced, not feared. Revealing a softer, gentler side, flower power was on full display at New York Fashion Week as well. Expect to see this spring staple in nearly every style imaginable—both large and small motifs, tones of muted and bright, flowing and feminine, boxy and short. To PAT T E R N S + get a sense of how to GRAPHIC play up this trend in MAKE IT WORK Rachel PRINTS Roy (above) is all about your wardrobe, refer Prints can seem a bit bold prints this Spring; to Zac Posen, Serkan daunting in theory, but Carolina Herrera’s hot Sarier and Charlotte relax, not only did the “longuette” dress. Ronson’s spring 2013 top designers display collections. The trio gorgeous patterns, elected for floral prints in ready-tobut—surprise!—they’re wearable for wear collections expertly displayed all body types. I recommend stepping in unique ways. into Michael Kors for stripes, Proenza Schouler for bold prints in leather and Rachel Roy for graphics. With these FA B R I C S + three fashion powerhouses on your SILHOUETTES side, you simply can’t go wrong. As the seasons change, remember For the timid, using a vest to delve that fabrics should as well. Brocades into the world of patterns will play and playful lace up an otherwise basic ensemble. A will brighten up a memorable moment from the runway less than stellar, was Schouler’s leather and snakeskin chilly, rainy spring vest with just the right touch of neon. day, and strong I know, it doesn’t sound all that tame, embellishments but fashion is all about stepping out were also a force to of your comfort zone from time to be reckoned with. time, and this piece is the perfect Richly decorative foray into next season’s trends woven fabrics without drawing too much attention heavy in metallic to yourself. threading were On the opposite side of the used among many spectrum, Roy pulled out all the designers—most stops showcasing bold prints that notably perhaps were standouts on their own or when Joseph Altuzarra paired. Highlights included a printed and Marchesa— pink blazer that could easily be worn who were inspired

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by the elaborate and beautifully colored influences of India. Leather will stand strong this spring. Contrary to what most expect, leather was shown in a plethora of eye catching colors—some of the most popular being shades of yellow, blue, red and green—along with the staple black. Alexander Wang used leather in myriad ways, showcasing the versatility of this fashion favorite. Using blocking, cutouts and varying shades in dresses, pants and shirts, Wang revitalized leather for spring. Not to be forgotten were cuts that embraced loose silhouettes, tailored silhouettes and the obvious ultimate blazer. The looks nailed the tension between pretty and submissive, in homage, perhaps, to the Fifty Shades of Grey sexual phenomenon. Crop tops and belly baring midriffs were, as always, deliciously risqué, while drop waists and full skirts were dominatingly classical. If there’s one new trend to take away from Fashion Week, it’s that a new style has emerged. The harness look has been accepted with open arms and was found in eye-opening gowns, cocktails and tanks. Jason Wu hit a high note with a scene-stealing sparkling blue dress that portrayed the harness trend beautifully. While most designers used the harness in a more structured, literal way, Wu opted for a gown worthy of an honest to goodness fairytale.

DOMESTIC + FOREIGN Not to be outdone by New York City, London, Paris and Milan’s Fashion Weeks displayed memorable looks sure to make their way to this side of


Fashion Flash 

Adding leather to your wardrobe is a must. Motorcycle jackets are available in a variety of textures, fabrics and colors to fit your taste and unleash your inner rock star. It may seem a bit outlandish, but celebrities such as Rihanna, Nicole Richie and Salma Hayek have been embracing the pajama look, from the red carpet to running around town. You can’t get a more comfy yet stylish look than this trend. Designers including Elizabeth & James and Malene Birger have used silk, satins and easy silhouettes to carry the look from night to day. Balenciaga started the novelty top trend last year with Star Wars-esque sweatshirts. Now you can find similar tops by the likes of Jeremy Scott, Zoe Karssen and Markus Lupfer. Runway is a one-stop shopping boutique in Caldwell, NJ carrying women’s, children’s and tween apparel and accessories. Paige Denim, ABS Allen Schwartz, Moon & Lola and La Petite Couture are just some of the eye-catching labels hanging from the racks. 3 Smull Avenue, Caldwell, NJ www.thesassyshopgirl.com Montclair has welcomed South Moon Under, which houses the perfect mix of men’s and women’s clothing while also showcasing swimwear, accessories and gifts for the home. This specialty boutique highlights fashion forward collections such as Rich & Skinny, J Brand, Descendant of Thieves and House of Harlow. 10 South Park Street, Montclair, NJ www.southmoonunder.com

KORS BRIGHT Michael Kors had pops of bright color that created a “mod” moment.

the Atlantic by the time warmer weather emerges. Many big names absent from New York presented their collections in Europe to much acclaim. Sarah Burton, designing for Alexander McQueen, favored honeycomb prints, fabrics and embellishments on nearly every look, culminating in an undeniably dramatic collection. Marni, Jil Sander and Chanel also chose the exaggerated route, with the latter of the fashion houses updating its signature suits with a more voluminous cut. Rounding out the trends for spring 2013 were Louis Vuitton showcasing 1960s silhouettes, Chloe, who capitalized on the ever popular Bermuda shorts and Givenchy and Gucci, which both boasted oversized ruffles.

BAGS + SHOeS Though somewhat overlooked in most Fashion Week reports, no outfit is complete without the perfect bag and shoes, and there are new trends for spring in these departments. For bags, you can’t go wrong with the oversized clutch or mini suitcase. And to ensure that your feet are just as polished as the rest of your look, invest in ladylike heels, flats, laser-cut leather, ankle-cut cowboy boots, flats and stilettos—yes, they’re back. Nearly every designer worth mentioning fitted their models in variations of these designs to complete their head turning styles.

Up + COMiNG Stay ahead of the fashion game with looks from these three notable designers who left their marks on Manhattan’s couture czars. Kaelen Haworth: Haworth’s edgy, but still ladylike aesthetic featured structured peplum skirts and neoprene jackets that exemplify the modern woman. iCB by probal Gurung: This contemporary label offered a refreshing take on the season’s top trends by offering young, fresh and decidedly urban ensembles. Brandon Sun: Sun has been causing a stir with a collection that is sophisticated while just this side of avant-garde. His clothes are easily transitioned from casual luxury to luxe evening with a quick change of heels.

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gorgeous forever beauty

The greaTesT (BeauTy) gifT By MARCO MeDRANO

W

e so often put others before ourselves, so this holiday season don’t forget to add a “Gift To Self” checkbox on your holiday shopping list. With winter fast approaching, our skin cycles are not only changing, but our psyche needs a more constant refueling of self-improvement during this lovely season. Repeat after me, “I will not let cold, frosty dark days stop me from feeling beautiful.” There—all better. With so much of our time being devoted to must-do tasks, sometimes getting ready for our day or big event is the best time to feel good about our own beautiful selves. Don’t underestimate those few moments of beauty transformation.

For inspiration, take makeup superstar Bobbi Brown’s new book, Pretty Powerful (Chronicle Books). This must-read not only helps us to put our lives in proper perspective, but it also is an indispensible manual with numerous makeup application tips throughout. You’ll love it. The field of skin science is blazing forward with one of the newest age-reversal extracts to date. Red Mangrove, anyone? Let me introduce you to a remarkable skin-rejuvenating breakthrough from HeVIA MD Skin Science. Founded by the research center bearing his name, this Cuba native has been studying antioxidants and non-surgical options in numerous countries only to find one of the most powerful (even more than skin-soluble vita-C) in his own backyard. Imagine a plant strong enough to flourish—with little to no water and its roots exposed to direct sunlight. This revered cosmetic dermatologist’s list of super

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performers is extensive (11 in all)—from Japanese Knotweed to Brown Algae, proprietarily blended by Dr. Hevia. The doc’s skincare lineup is unique, concise and effective, centering on The Specialist Potent Repair Serum and his patent-pending extracts of Red Mangrove seed—ecologically harvested just for him. The tagline, “Ingredients With A Purpose,” delivers. The chilly season will surely wreak havoc on another prized possession, our million dollar tresses. There are some amazing hair products out there, so let’s focus on conditioners that penetrate the hair shaft. The ultimate indulgence? Kerastase’s Chronologiste, once a Parisian salononly treatment, may now come home with you. It has one of the highest concentrations of active ingredients combined in a single formula. Fusions of two components—pro-vitamin pearls and luster crème— are combined only at the time of application, to preserve the integrity of its precious ingredients. Need a faster magic bullet? Hair Spa Seaweed Mask and the

Hydra-Amino18 Hair Spa Serum by RePÊCHAge. With aloe, seaweed, silk, 18 amino acids and so much more, you’ll thank me. Believe me. You can also blow-dry into hair (gently, with combing fingers) and sleep in it. If you use quick heat (steam or plastic cap), the real benefit comes with the sealing “cool-down” cycle, the next best thing to their thermal in-spa treatment. When it comes to age-reversal of skin, remedy regimens may require some planning. We found a focused elixir for post-new year that’s also E-A-S-Y, with no down time. DOCTOR BABOR’s ULTIMATe DeRMA OPTIMIZeR provides a four-step, fourweek, five-star luxury spa take-out option. Think of this booster regimen as clearing the skin’s palette or “rejiggering” cell turnover. Designed to reset, renew and illuminate your skin leaving it in prime condition to accept and resume your lavish serum and cream routines later. The common thread in each series is the namesake product


s


gorgeous Marco’s Tips 

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Get in the habit of layering serums if you find yourself in windy, chapped or overly heated offices. Before or after your morning coffee, do a quick exfoliating cleanse and spend the morning with a lifting serum and moisture mask. Less shampooing! Even daily sulfate-free is harsh. Massage your scalp vigorously under the water stream in place of shampoo; condition the strands first, working leftovers into scalp. Hair remains very manageable. Still love your salon blow out three days later? The absolute gold standard for water cleansing in Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Invisible Dry Shampoo Spray. Trust. Post-shower, spray hair treatments provide moisture, shine and protection. Either a Perfect 10’s Miracle LeaveIn with Keratin or ECRU’s Silk Nourishing Spray leave-in will do the trick. Continuous facial hydrating mists—particularly Aqua Folia’s Aqua Rescue Concentrate—are a must. Whether in your purse or at the office, it’s a good pick me up and keeps your makeup and powder set. Consider an early trial run at a reputable makeup counter for New Year’s; ask for their detailed application road map that mimics your session. Weaning off Botox for a while? REPÊCHAGE’s BioLight Miracle Facial—a six-visit spa treatment—will greatly reduce deep frown lines and even complexion. It’s a “Wow!” This service is offered by Vito Mazza Salon & Spa in Woodbridge Township, NJ, or visit repechage.com for additional retail locations.

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Ultimate Derma Optimizer Serum—a catalyst stem cell activator—used together with another weekly serum booster, each targeting hydration, anti-stress, cell protection and anti-wrinkle. This means no other eye or face products are needed—a skincare vacay! Use the primary serum plus a targeted serum twice a day, each for a week, for one month. Tip: Perform several enzyme-exfoliator cleanses one week prior. Now, for those of us who only participate in champagne dreams and caviar wishes, raise your glasses and ready your toast points, La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Collection is celebrating its silver anniversary. After 25 years, the über-decadent demand for one of the most deluxe, penetrable marine treatments just keeps getting bigger and better. Know that each of the ten bioengineered Caviar Collection pieces contains a high dosage of caviar extracts, Phytotherapy, sea proteins and absorbable minerals offering unparalleled firmness, protection, nourishment and energy to lackluster skin. It’s no mistake you’ll find Extrait or Caviar Liquid Lift behind many top flight makeup counters and celebrity photo shoots, for it doubles as a dewy, flawless primer as well as an incredibly effective treatment. In honor of its unrivaled global cult following, La Prairie is releasing an opulent, limited edition Caviar Cristal-embellished case and giant (5.2 oz.) Caviar Luxe Cream paired in a sleek 25th silver box. Hurry! If this doesn’t satisfy you enough, then be sure to head over to HudsonMOD’s Holiday Gift Guide where you can personally pick

up the entire Skin Caviar Collection. Tip: If the caviar pond is too much luxe for your must-not-age routine, use it like a skin-a-min (vitamin surge) every other night. That’s what I do. OK, so now that your hair and skin feel rejuvenated, you’ve checked yourself off the holiday shopping list and are ready to start doing unto others, let’s get creative. I was floored by the opulence of the Tom Ford Beauty Collection for fall, whose potent luxury color blends match the names: White Minx, Diabolique, Enchanted, Slander and Dominatrix. The opal richness of the eye color quads, lip and nail lacquers could be used year round in different doses—to the point of securing a few shades in threes. The Plum Absolute for eyes is a deep, velvet-cream eye color that screams opera drama-mama. Tom Ford waits for no one—when they’re gone, they’re gone. Champagne, caviar, silver and… KollagenX Gold Lip Gloss. That’s right. Infused with 24kt gold, collagen and vitamin E, this luxurious gloss is formulated to enhance cell renewal, reduce lip wrinkles and increase volume. Pucker up. You, our lovely readers, have made 2012 amazing. HudsonMOD thanks you for reading and for always being gorgeous.


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GENTLEMAN man, oh man

MANLY. SKIN. CARE. BY MARCO MEDRANO

I

t’s time to talk about protecting your mug. I know, I know…you’d rather be doing anything else, but too bad. It’s time to get tough, guys. For some, reversing the signs of time wreaking havoc on your face is very important, but who doesn’t dread approaching a salesperson at the store seeking help selecting the best skincare products? It can be daunting. Here’s the good news: The days of false advertising are

over for men’s skincare. Today, there are a number of scientifically proven products to help stop the effects of Father Time. The best thing you can do for your skin is to always have a suitable topical treatment on your face—in the morning, after the gym and, most important, before bed. It’s a fact that a man’s skin is thicker and ages a bit slower than a woman’s, but it also requires more effort for products to penetrate and work their magic. The beauty of face maintenance is that it’s invisible to others and can be done privately—that is until you start getting the compliments on your youthful appearance. So, if you’re new to the save-your-face game, the easier path is also the right path, and I’m here to help. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve personally product tested these new releases. Remember, there’s nothing pretty about ignoring your face. SOTHYS Paris has a decades-old reputation of anti-aging research using magnesium-rich volcanic rock to detoxify, boost and soothe. It has also honed its men’s lineup to be uniquely multi-tasking, efficient and effective. The 411: The Energizing Face Cleanser can be used as a daily cleanser or as a beard lift scrub on less damp skin, or left on for 20 minutes as a weekly

mask. Score! The Softening Shave Foam provides an airy, light and creamy prelude to a close shave. Hair and Body Revitalizing Gel Cleanser is gentle enough for head to toe, while Age-Defying Hydrating Fluid combats the skin-aging process under the top layer and the external signs of lines. My favorite? The De-Stressing Eye Roll-On wand, used to de-puff, gently flatten excess tissue under the eyes and help nutrients nourish this delicate area. Babor Men stems from 1950s German skincare engineering and was an indulgence that delivered, providing impressive (and noticeable) results. Here were our faves: The Ultra Comfort Shaving Foam is just that. The Line Reducing Eye Cream (with rollerball) and Relaxing Anti-Jetlag Cream are perfect travel companions for long days at the office or endless flights, while the Dynamic Face Moisturizer and Energizing AntiWrinkle Gel-Cream gave an amazingly rich, yet springy lift. Taut, moist and designed as a no-shine product. This is N-I-C-E. As a bonus, try SeaCreation Concentrate from the unisex line—it has deep sea miracle ingredients harvested from 7500 feet below sea level. Pretty. Darn. Great.

A man’s skin is thicker and ages a bit slower than a woman’s, but it also requires more effort for products to penetrate and work their magic.

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The power of Belgard® is undeniable. With the widest selection of styles, shapes, colors and textures in the industry, it’s easy to see why so many are drawn to our paver and wall collections. For a free Idea Book or more information on America’s best-selling brand of durable pavers, scan the QR code or visit Belgard.biz.

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HOME new jersey proud

RObeRt VeRDi’s JeRsey style

Y

ou may not be able to pinpoint exactly when you first started noticing Robert Verdi, but he certainly has been a familiar face in the celebrity style industry ever since the pendulum shifted and stylists no longer remained behind-the-scenes figures. You didn’t really think your favorite celebs dressed themselves all those years, did you? A pioneer of the now ubiquitous Fashion Police, which has even after Verdi’s stepping down become a weekly TV show and staple in nearly all celebrity magazines, Verdi’s opinion on trends and poorly dressed celebs became sought after. As time has passed, Verdi has cemented his spot in the stylecentric world by wearing many hats, albeit, many fashionable ones. As a celebrity stylist, interior designer, business owner and television host, Verdi has created a career that exudes flair. Yet, aside from his active and introspective Twitter feed—“I don’t know what I like about the word glitter…but I like it”—Verdi manages to maintain a pretty low profile, keeping most of his private life, well, private. HudsonMOD catches up with Verdi to talk fashion, of course, but also the fast approaching holiday season and his proud New Jersey roots.

Verdi Veritas “What New Jersey really is is simply said on every license place: The garden State.”

“I have a passion for art that may be overtaking my passion for fashion.”

— AmANDA THOrOgOOD

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What’s your take on New Jersey?

I love New Jersey! I’m from New Jersey. I miss New Jersey. For me, Jersey isn’t just highways and malls, although the malls do make Jersey especially fabulous. I believe most people think of New Jersey as Newark Airport and imagine that it’s just a little industrial state. But,

in truth, Jersey is gorgeous. It’s the farms of Bernardsville, the glorious beaches of Cape May and of course it’s the Jersey Shore. I’m heartbroken that Hurricane Sandy has ravaged the Jersey Shore—a place where my fondest summer memories occurred. I already feel the sense of community and unity as New Jersey families begin to rebuild something bigger than any storm could take away. What New Jersey really is is simply said on every license place: The Garden State.


E THE EPITOME OF ELEGANCE ON THE HUDSON 7800 B River Road, North Bergen, NJ 07047 www.WatersideRestaurantandCatering.com Contact: 201.861.7767


home GATOR TALE “I think when people talk about luxury and apply it to fashion they expect it to be conspicuous. True luxury is not an alligator bag, it’s a bag lined in alligator.”

How did growing up in New Jersey help prepare you for the foray into Manhattan and Los Angeles? I grew up in Maplewood, NJ, which is about 16 miles outside of New York City. When you grow up that close to a major metropolis, it becomes your backyard. So the only real transition for me was the square footage of my living space and moving from my parents’ house in New Jersey to moving into a studio apartment that was as big as a bathroom in my childhood home. Now I live in a bigger apartment than my childhood home, so I guess the foray was good.

What are some pivotal moments in your career that have helped to shape where you are right now? Attending the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) really allowed me to shape my love of fashion, style and design. When I graduated I started my own business, which may not have been the best idea because I ended up closing it after a couple of years. From there I went to work for other people to learn the ropes and make mistakes on someone else’s dime. One of the most important relationships has been with Eva Longoria, whom I happened to meet while working as an entertainment reporter for E! Entertainment Television. She and I hit it off and have become important confidants for each other in both our professional and personal lives.

What is your favorite item that you’ve splurged on recently? I have a passion for art that may be overtaking my passion for fashion. I recently acquired a Mel Bochner print titled “Money” that I hung in my office and that makes me smile every day.

What would you recommend as the ultimate holiday gift?

What does luxury mean to you?

I’m very practical when it comes to holiday gift giving. One of my favorite gifts to give women is a vintage clutch. I find them at flea markets and thrift stores throughout the year and when the holidays hit, I go to the local drug store and fill them with classic beauty products. It’s the perfect balance of chic and practical because every girl always seems to forget her mascara, and with all of the holiday parties it’s a must to be prepared. I also love giving a piece of art from 20x200 because it can inspire people to start their own art collections.

I think when people talk about luxury and apply it to fashion they expect it to be conspicuous. True luxury is not an alligator bag, it’s a bag lined in alligator.

What fashion pieces would you recommend for the frigid season to impress guests at holiday parties?

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Every outfit during the holiday season should have shine, sparkle or shimmer—whether you wear it as a lipstick, manicure, patent leather shoe, sequin tank top or a great pair of dramatic earrings. The season gives you an excuse to sprinkle some sparkle into your wardrobe.

What are some of the most common fashion mistakes? I like people who experiment and try new things and who have an individual and unique approach to styling. One item I hate though is Capri pants—they’re the most unflattering things on every shape. I have a strict “No Capri” rule with all my clients—no matter if they’re celebrities, superstars or socialites.

What can we expect in 2013? I’m working on a lot of really exciting stuff in the digital space. I think that the Web is where a lot of creativity can be expressed in a fresh and unedited manner. So maybe everyone will be tuning in and watching me in a very raw program online soon.


ground ground

The BriTs have DOne iT again By SimON mUrray

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he term “sedan” in reference to a passenger car—typically characterized by four doors and five seats—doesn’t always conjure up the idea of elegance or style. In reality though, the word sedan—or the concept of comfortable and luxurious travel—has come a very long way indeed from its earliest etymological usage in Great Britain, and throughout the English colonial empire. A transportable box, the coach sedan was literally a “covered chair” suspended by poles and run on manpower. Fast forward to the present. Aston Martin will celebrate its centenary next year, and with the Rapide Luxe,

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play with—the usual catch is what lies growling, or purring, under the “bonnet.” With ultra-luxurious sedans like these, however, the driver should expect all his or her merry horses. While not sacrificing any British ingenuity, guile or speed with its new line of Jaguars, Tata Motors, the Indian auto company that four years ago acquired Jaguar Land Rover, has another hot ticket for the comfort enthusiast. Roaring out of the Castle Bromwich Assembly in Birmingham, the XJ boasts a 340-hp 3.0-liter Supercharged V6 with an 8-speed transmission and mounted steering wheel paddle shifters. However, an argument can be made that the gadgets, not what lies under the hood, are what defines these vehicles best. Most sedans come equipped with your standard bread-and-butter creature comforts, but these British autos add a certain, well, British the passionate pedal stomper has charm to the ride. All of these cars a lot to rejoice about. Its dynamic, have characteristic attachments eye-catching split grille holds an allincluding iPod connectors, picnicalloy, 48-valve, V12 engine that makes mounted passenger trays and 0-to-60 playtime a breeze—in five veneer lining, among a slew of other seconds. Another gem of the British features. But the Mulsanne Executive Isles, Bentley’s Mulsanne, storms across interior prides itself the countryside with a on truly bringing twin-turbocharged V8 together the office that gears up from 0-60 and entertainment in 5.1 seconds, and tops rooms of the house into out at 184 mph. Whether one luxurious driving being chauffeured in the experience. Options roomy rear occupancy include tray-mounted seats or gunning it in the iPads, equipped with driver’s seat, these regal UK OK Bentley Mulsanne is wireless keyboards; sedans make the heart— proof that when it comes a hand crafted bottle including mine—all to craftsmanship, few cooler that can fit aflutter. I’m only human. make ultra-luxury sedans two full size bottles Bentley and Aston better than the Brits. of champagne; an HD Martin are proof that 15" monitor in the rear seat—all this when it comes to craftsmanship, few wrought together with customizable make ultra-luxury sedans better than pinstripe veneer stitch. the Brits. Though the usual marked The age old query of “When are difference that distinguishes luxury we going to get there?” has been sedans from their fiendishly fast, rendered mute in these sedans. speed-hungry sports car cousins is From the inside of these ultra-luxury two extra doors, a roomier interior, sedans, getting “there” is overrated. larger body and more amenities to


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New American Cuisine, Sushi & Seafood Raw Bar Farm to Table Dining Blue Morel combines the finest seasonal ingredients from local, regional, organic and sustainable farms with the culinary creativity of Chef Thomas Ciszak and Chef Kevin Takafuji.

Wine Bar & Wine Room

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The wine bar offers over 70 wines by the glass and 1/2 glass tastings. The wine room is perfect for private dining for up to 18.

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events HudsonMOD Hosts Harvest On The Hudson To Benefit No Kid Hungry

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1 Jason Lembo with Chris Ryan of Michael Anthony’s; 2 Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp.; 3 Richard Pérez-Feria, Amy Poliakoff of Gallery Girls, Shannon Steitz; 4 Floral arrangements courtesy of Entenmenn’s Florist, Jersey City; 5 Westchester Yacht Sales; 6 Kathy, Victoria and Richie Wakile of Real Housewives of New Jersey; 7 Ecru New York Braid Bar; 8 Tony Santana Cigars; 9 Jeff Kudrick and Michelle Radley Kudrick of JM Lifestyles; 10 Bee Raw Honey; 11 Robin Kaflus of Robin’s Closet and Tanya Tamburin, Fashion Editor; 12 Editor at Large, Adrianna Penicnak, Carter Schultz of Schultz Furrier, Fashion Editor, Tanya Tamburin, Ashley Schultz of Schultz Furrier; 13 Furs from Schultz Furriers, Millburn; 14 Winner of a two-night stay at One Bal Harbour, Eric González; 15 Winner of autographed Rocco DiSpirito cookbook; 16 Winner of Michael Kors signature tote, courtesy of Rymax.

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Charles Anthony Studios


Fashion’s Night Out At neiman Marcus, Paramus

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1 thadine Clifton of Collé Products with Shannon Steitz; 2 Julie Gaynor and Lynne Vreeland, neiman Marcus; 3 Bo Concept Urban Design; 4 Ferrari Maserati of Central new Jersey; 5 S/S ’13 from neiman Marcus; 6 richard Pérez-Feria, Shannon Steitz, Jason Lembo PhotoGrAPhy:

Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp. 1 Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri huttle, Jay Agresta, englewood Mayor Frank huttle iii; 2 Giovanni Barbaro, Lou Bouchard, talia Colanni, Pamela Sieradzki, Pat Capasso, Stacy Fowler, John Meyer, eli Kalajian; 3 Arthur Agresta and Jay Agresta of BenzelBusch Motor Car Corp.; 4 new york yankees alltime great Bernie williams entertains the crowd.

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Emiliani Beauty Expo

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1, 2 Runway V fashion show; 3 Phillip Wilson Main Stage performance

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Harvest For Hope

1 Event benefitted Foundation for Diabetes Research; 2, 3 Fashions from Robin’s Closet

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Carl Maiorino

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Sharon Stern

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Colleen D’Alessandro

Yanina & Co Anniversary 1 Owner of Yanina & Co., Yanina Fleysher, Maureen Sharples, Shannon Steitz, Adrianna Penicnak; 2 Gina Miranda and Audrey and Sam Zona; 3 Alison Frost and Owner of Yanina & Co., Yanina Fleysher; 4 Dr. Paul Figlia, Owner of Yanina & Co. Claudia Fleysher, Marie Figlia and Carolyn Shook; 5 Alan & Beryll Kaplan and Owner of Yanina & Co. Alex Fleysher

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MOD LIFE

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HudsonMOD is available for the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook tablet.

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ENCORE we’re not done yet

commodities and the hairdresser of choice for Hollywood powerhouses Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Garner, Faith Hill and, perhaps most important, a rising supernova on the pop cultural zeitgeist, Kelly Ripa. So, yeah, I felt like I knew a lot about Blandi before my invite for an intimate dinner for eight arrived and as fate would have it, I was seated next to the most charming, handsome, polite guy I’ve ever encountered in New York City—and he was the nicest person by far that night at SoHo hotspot Mercer Kitchen. It took seven minutes of conversation before I knew that Oscar Blandi and I would become friends. And we did. Today, the Naples, Italy, native is a Manhattan force of nature. Blandi’s Madison Avenue salon is a beehive of perpetual wellheeled activity, his Oscar Blandi Product Collection has exploded off the shelves (Sephora, Ulta, QVC), and his numerous A-list celebrity clients are as devoted as ever. Yes, folks, right now is very much Oscar Blandi’s moment. And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

Naples, from a sheltered, slow-paced lifestyle. But I was determined to come to New York because I wanted to build my own legacy separate from my father’s. My father was very hard on me—he’s a very hard-core hairstylist— and I was young and impulsive, so I left.

“I was determined to build my own legacy separate from my father’s.”

OSCAR WORTHY “I don’t think I’m special; I try to do something special for my client.”

NYC’S BEST HAIRSTYLIST (REALLY)

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he first time I met Oscar Blandi more than a decade ago, I didn’t know he was sitting right next to me at dinner. I was quite familiar with celebrity hairstylists because of my hands-on editorial approach to magazine photo shoots. Earlier that week, I was speaking with the legendary (and Jennifer López fave) Oribé about Blandi, and Oribé was effusive about his peer. If you know anything about the couture coiffed set, these boys do not make it a habit of complimenting one another but Oribé was adamant: “Richard, Oscar Blandi is the real deal—he’s genius!” I was intrigued. By the mid-1990s, Blandi, 45, was one of Manhattan’s hottest

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— RICHARD PÉREZ-FERIA

How old were you when you came to live in New York City? What were those first few weeks like? I was 22. I remember thinking how strange everything was. Everything was so different—the language, the hectic pace. I had just landed from

What makes Oscar Blandi special? I don’t think I’m special; I try to do something special for my client.

What’s the biggest mistake women make with their hair? Two big ones: They over wash their hair—stop washing your hair, ladies; and they don’t treat their hair at bedtime. We have to treat hair the same as we treat our skin. Most women I know would never dream of going to sleep without washing their faces and applying moisturizer—I do that, too. But so few women brush their hair nightly and use a conditioning treatment, and they should.

Define luxury. For me, luxury is being able to purchase a great watch because I really want it, but the definition of luxury varies depending on who you ask.

Tell me about New Jersey. I love New Jersey! We have a lot of clients from Jersey. Richard, you know I race motorcycles and I do that at the New Jersey Speedway.

How do you keep passionate about standing behind the chair? You have to walk away once in a while. You have to miss it, that’s how you keep the passion alive.

In ten years you’re… Still in the business, but I’ll be married with children living in Manhattan and Miami. That’s the life I want to have.


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Experience shopping like never before at the legendary Bal Harbour Shops, just a stroll away from our beachfront hotels. Nourish the mind, body and soul with exclusive beach side workouts, and kids club programs designed by the Miami Children’s Museum. Stir the senses at a Bal Harbour Art Night, where Fashion loves Art or at one of several taste-tempting Bal Harbour restaurants.

Located at the Northern tip of Miami Beach. Bal Harbour, where life meets style.

www.BalHarbourFlorida.com


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HudsonMOD Winter 2012