Vol. 4 #1 | February 2018
NYC PETS KEEP THEM HEALTHY
WALK YOUR WAY TO FITNESS
VALENTINE SPECIAL SUMPTUOUS DINING & ROMANTIC GETAWAYS
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FEATURES 8 11 41 46
From The Publisher Welcome Home, Bernadette! Through The Lens With Annie Watt Joan Hornig: Seeing Red
FASHION & BEAUTY 17 Angelo David: Hair Apparent 18 Pampered Perfect 20 Focus On: Designer Kristina Mak
TRAVEL 22 26 29 32 34 36 38
Insiderâ€™s Guide To Scotland Walt Disney World Resort Making A Splash At Aquatopia! The Sweetest Place On Earth New Haven: A Study In Contrasts Romancing The Caribbean 7 Romantic Rooms With A View
REAL ESTATE & HOME DECOR 48 51 55 58 60
Notes From DB 50 West Street 62-66 North 3rd Street 200 East 21st Street Spotlight: DXA Studio
2 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
Your Luxury Barbados Escape Awaits
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TU RTLE B E ACH
Premium All- Inclusive
WAV E S H O T E L & S PA Wellness All- Inclusive
HEALTH & WELLNESS 62 Surgeon As Artist 64 Genuine Love 66 Walk Your Way To Fitness
DINING 68 70 73 76
Russian Samovar: Moscow On The Hudson 5 Fun & Romantic Restaurants The Complete Guide To Tequila Chocolate: The Food Of Love
THEATER & ARTS 80 82 85 86
On Stage On The Big Screen On The Small Screen Welcome To The Party
NEW YORK, NY 88 90 92 94 96
Paws Down, Tails Up Entrepreneurâ€™s Corner My New York Story: Fabiene Boone Nashville Comes To Times Square Time Out With Felicia Madison
4 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
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OUR CONTRIBUTORS ANNIE WATT N e w Yo r k L i f e s t y l e s Magazine’s intrepid staff photographer possesses talent, energy, and a capacity for capturing the perfect image. Annie’s passion for the arts and impressive academics, won her a fouryear full tuition scholarship at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and the opportunity to study with such notable artists as Chuck Close and Milton Glazer. She continued her education and received a teaching certification from Hunter College and pursued a Masters in Art History at Alfred University in Scotland. One of Annie’s biggest assets as a photographer is that her client’s trust her to present them in the most flattering light. Her photography style has an emphasis on capturing candid photos besides the posed shots. But it’s her personal instructions which create flattering photos and has garnered her the reputation as the Posing Expert. Annie’s personal success in a competitive business has given her the greatest challenge: the creation of a new photo agency to serve the needs of the industry and the media. For more information on Annie Watt, visit anniewatt.com. DARREN PALTROWITZ New York-based writer/ editor Darren began working within the music industry as a teenager with artists that include Amanda Palmer, Loudness, Superdrag, Rachael Yamagata, and Tracy Bonham. Simultaneously, he started writing for several local publications, which led to an editorship with the Long Island Entertainment newspaper. In the years since, Darren’s writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including the New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, All Music Guide, and The Daily Meal. When not busy on assignment, Darren enjoys spending his free time with his wife Melissa in his adopted hometown of Long Beach, NY. MICHAEL ALPINER Michael is a lifetime New York resident, an English teacher and college writing professor, as well as a poetry and fiction writer. His recent travel writing endeavors seem a natural progression. Through fellow journalist, Gretchen Kelly, he was introduced to New York Lifestyles magazine. Soon after, they launched their growing luxury travel website Extreme Luxury Getaways (extremeluxurygetaways. com), as well as the growing social media outlets. Michael told us he “loves travel writing because it allows me to combine my writing abilities with my natural curiosity about people, culture, and the natural world. I enjoy reporting on small town America, as well as exotic destinations around the world.”
Vol. 4 #1 | February 2018 President / Publisher BILL MASON Editor-in-Chief Patricia Canole
Art Director Eric Duncan
Entertainment Editors Jenny Peters, Lori Simmons Zelenko
Fashion/Beauty Editor Ann Lawlor
Features Editors Clint Brownfield, Ruth J. Katz
Lifestyle Editor Griffin Miller
Real Estate Editor Daniel J. Bollinger
Special Projects Editor Norah Bradford
Staff Photographer Annie Watt Contributing Writers Shari Bilt Boockvar, Fabiene Boone Debbie Dickinson, Lee Gabay, Joan Hornig Peter Kalellis, Gretchen Kelly Ellis Nassour, Richie Realms, Jeff & Stephanie Sylva Susan Traub, Stacey Zable Executive Vice President of Sales LYLE SELTZER Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development Brett Caldwell - Director of Integrated Sales and Marketing John Miller - Director of Sales - Travel Michael Stulmaker - Director of Sales - Real Estate Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim Internet Presence Scott Cuollo, Richard Austin Advertising BLUE VISTA 725 Magazine Distribution The Garrido Group New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651
Editorial/Sales Fax (212) 202-4888
For subscriptions, address changes or back issues, call: (646) 259-2651 newyorklifestylesmagazine.com Facebook: /NYLifestylesMag Twitter: @NYLifestylesMag Instagram: @NYLifestylesMag All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Printed in the USA. New York Lifestyles Magazine is published 10 times annually. © 2018 New York Lifestyles Magazine
Cover Photo by Andrew Eccles
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Check us out on the web!
’m very excited to have this opportunity to reach out to our readers to make certain of our commitment to you. Each issue will be packed with quality stories ranging from exclusive interviews, incredible eats, fabulous destinations (near and far), hidden real estate gems, behind-the-scenes on Broadway and much, much more. Let me start by first acknowledging that we are blessed to have such a tremendously talented staff and thank them for all they do. From some of the most passionate writers and editors, a very highly creative art department, a first-class web design team, to the best Editor-in-Chief who makes it all work.
Read Any of Our Issues In Digital Format on:
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This issue features an exclusive interview with Bernadette Peters, who just stepped into the leading role of Hello, Dolly! Don’t miss our up-close-and-personal look at comedian Felicia Madison and world-renowned stylist Angelo David. For the travel savvy, why not visit the “Sweetest Place on Earth” in Hershey or take a weekend getaway to New Haven? If Europe is calling you, read about the history, food, and best places to stay in Scotland. And because it’s February, let’s not forget Valentine’s Day. We recommend 5 of the most romantic restaurants in the city as well as a tempting bonus—the food of love. Chocolate, of course. Also, starting next month, New York Lifestyles Magazine will be launching a new quarterly special section called Pet Lifestyles Magazine. It is our way of reinforcing our commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of all of our fourlegged friends. We will cover everything from A-list celebrity features and their contributions to the pet community, to premiere pet establishments, healthy food choices, new fun apparel, pet-friendly restaurants and hotels, animal rescue centers, veterinary clinics, and adoptions. You’ll also be hearing from experts in the field, people in the community and even the Mayor’s Alliance. It’s indeed something you don’t want to miss. I look forward to hearing from you with any suggestions and what you would like to see on the pages of NYLM. Please e-mail me at Billm@newyorklifestylesmagazine.com. Until next issue... Happy Valentine’s Day,
8 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
Visit us at: newyorklifestylesmagazine.com
Home, Bernadette! By Griffin Miller
here’s a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre bearing her name; she spent several years working in TV and films on the West Coast; and she was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2002. But first, foremost, and forever, Bernadette Peters is a New Yorker who leaped onto the Great White Way as a kid in The Most Happy Fella and went on to become the ultimate Broadway babe, scooping up three Tony Awards and stockpiling countless other honors, trophies and critical raves. Along the way, Peters also amassed a battalion of fans, including Bette Midler, her celebrated predecessor in her current role of Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly! “She has created more historic roles in more legendary musicals than any living Broadway star, and most of the dead ones, too,” noted the Divine Miss M just prior to passing the baton. “I cannot imagine leaving Dolly Levi in better hands than those of Bernadette Peters.” Nevertheless, Peters found herself weighing the logistic and the creative pros and cons before taking the official plunge. In the end, it was the story and the character that sold her. “It is so well written and the role so iconic, it’s no wonder the show attracted so many fabulous actresses,” said Peters, adding, “I had seen Carol Channing do it and she was amazing. And, of course, Bette was magnificent. But the more I read the script the more I thought about bringing my own vision to the role.” ©Kurt Sneddon
FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 11
BROADWAY ROYALTY FROM QUEENS Born Bernadette Lazzara in Queens, New York to Peter and Marguerite Lazzara, she changed her last name to Peters (after her father’s first name), at a time when ethnic-sounding names were a drawback in the world of show biz. The youngest of three children, Peters—whose talents surfaced while she was still a toddler—began performing when she was three and just kept going. With her parents’ support and advice (basically, “be yourself ”), she was a working actress throughout her childhood. By the time she was 13 she was on the road in a national tour of Gypsy, understudying Baby June while appearing in one of Mama Rose’s kid acts: The Hollywood Blondes. Peters’ breakthrough arrived when she was fresh out of her teens when—in the same year—she picked up a trio of awards playing George M. Cohan’s sister Josie on Broadway in George M!, and tap-dancing phenom Ruby in Off-Broadway’s in Dames at Sea. Her star status was ensured once she unleashed her talents in high-profile roles in a string of Broadway hits.
Bernadette Peters in HELLO, DOLLY! ©Julieta Cervantes
12 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
I’m lucky to have been given such wonderful roles to play…and now Dolly.
SEE BERNADETTE IN HELLO, DOLLY! Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
We all go through ups and downs and here you have a show with a wonderfully uplifting message. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 13
14 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
Production photo from Mozart in the Jungle
BERNADETTE’S OTHER PASSION It’s difficult to imagine anyone as committed to her craft as Peters, but there is another part of her life that runs parallel to her career—one that evolved during her run in Annie Get Your Gun. “The cast had just won the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids Easter Bonnet Competition, and we started thinking about what other kind of charity we could do,” recalled Peters, who has always been a beacon for important causes “I had visited a shelter and suggested doing something to promote shelter adoptions. So it kind of came together that we’d be able to get Broadway celebrities to come to Shubert Alley and partner with shelters to place animals in permanent, loving homes.” Teaming up with her good friend and fellow animal advocate Mary Tyler Moore, the first Broadway Barks became a reality in 1998 and it has gone on to become one of the theater district’s most popular annual events.
YEAR OF THE DOG “Every year we like to honor somebody at Broadway Barks. Last year it was Mary who had just passed away,” said Peters, adding that they find themselves looking for ways to enhance and promote outreach. For example, Peters, who shares her home and life with shelter dog adoptees Charlie and Rosalie, has authored three children’s books dedicated to Broadway Barks/saving animals, both in subject matter and proceeds. “On the Chinese calendar it’s the Year of the Dog,” pointed out Peters, adding that there’s a synchronistic element at play here: this year’s Broadway Barks on July 22nd marks its 20th anniversary. “I think we’d be surprised to learn how much the animals know,” said Peters. “We rescue them to be on this earth and as companions. We rescue them so they can save us.” For more information on Broadway Barks, please visit broadwaybarks.com.
SPOTLIGHT ON A SUPERSTAR In 1985, Peters picked up a Tony Award playing Emma in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance, a performance that inspired New York Times critic Frank Rich to proclaim: “[She] has no peer in the musical theater right now.” And in 1999, she won her second Tony starring in the hit revival of Annie Get Your Gun, for which The Washington Post critic wrote: “For anyone who cares about the American musical theater, the chance to see Peters in this role is reason enough to see the show.” Still, according to a number of theater experts, it’s her Tony nominated work in Stephen Sondheim shows that catapulted her into the superstar spotlight. From Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods to A Little Night Music, Gypsy and Follies, Peters has acquired the reputation as the foremost female interpreter of Sondheim’s music. When presented with decades of kudos, Peters credits only good fortune on the casting front: “I’m lucky to have been given such wonderful roles to play—Sally in Follies… Mama Rose in Gypsy… Annie Oakley… so many, and now Dolly. I feel I’ve been given a wonderful gift.” “In the show, Dolly says she’s ‘rejoining the human race’,” says Peters, explaining that, while in a literal sense the phrase refers to the character leaving her widowhood behind, the concept is far more universal. “We all go through ups and downs and here you have a show with a wonderfully uplifting message. I can’t describe how, but it touches the people who come to the show in these times that are rocky with life and the world.” • Griffin Miller specializes in spa travel and New York theater. Her resume includes writing for The New York Times, For the Bride and Hotels. She also creates promotional materials for the Metropolitan Opera, BAM, and Guggenheim Museum. A member of The New York Travel Writers’ Association, she is a playwright and award-winning collage artist. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 15
HAIR APPARENT By Genevieve de Massey
ngelo David Pisacreta is one of New York’s leading authorities on fine and thinning hair. For well over 25 years, he has been transforming the hair of men and women who have a range of style challenges.
REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
At his luxury salon, located on Madison Avenue, Angelo and his team have elevated hairstyling to a true couture art form. The highly skilled staff not only create highly customized styles, but they can also completely transform anyone’s look with Angelo David Couture Hair Extensions, Fillers, Additions, Toppers, Clip-In Bangs or Wigs.
The salon has seven private consultation rooms for discrete, highly personalized consultations. Here, experts examine sample strands of your hair, so that Couture Hair can be identically matched to texture, density, thickness, color, and wave pattern. Then, your natural hair is cut and styled for flawless blending. Whether you want to conceal a thinning area, go from short to long instantly, add lush thickness, conceal premature balding, or simply try out bangs for a day or two, it’s all possible.
To maintain the health of any hair type, Angelo developed his line of VOL hair products, which include a volumizing shampoo, conditioner, conditioning spray, and dry shampoo. Using them will instantly boost volume. Best of all, the collection of products are sulfate- and sodium chloride-free. They also contain natural hairloving ingredients like honey extract for moisturizing, antioxidants to inhibit damage from free radicals and silk amino acids to build protein and strengthen hair.
Angelo and his experts often work with those who are experiencing thinning hair or hair loss. His clients include cancer survivors and those undergoing chemotherapy, as well as clients experiencing hair loss due to other causes, including genetics, pregnancy, medical issues, stress, unhealthy lifestyles or hair stress caused by styling/pulling the hair too tight. By offering personalized, indepth consultations, Angelo aims to conceal, inhibit—or when possible—reverse hair loss, regardless of the reason. Notes Angelo, “Whatever stage of hair loss a client is experiencing, we focus on three things: prevent, correct and maintain.”
Additionally, Angelo has created his line of hairbrushes explicitly made for use on hair extensions and hairpieces. They use the ideal balance of naturally conditioning boar bristles and gently separating nylon bristles to promote healthier hair and stimulate the scalp.
Angelo learned the craft of hairstyling at a very early age from his father Carmine, who was a pioneer in designing men’s hair pieces, as well as an award-winning competition hairdresser and a salon owner. Naturally, Angelo found a niche within the wigmaking industry and went on to design his Couture Hair—100 percent human hair customized for each client. “Hair extensions and hairpieces are part of our culture and our industry now,” says Angelo. “They are no longer a secret of the rich and famous—they are everyday hair wear that’s within every man and woman’s reach.”
Angelo David Salon is not only loved by clients but the media as well. His expertise has been sought after by national magazines including BELLA, Avenue , Hampton’s, New Beauty, Cosmopolitan, Self, Parents and many more. He’s also appeared on Inside Edition, The Today Show, and Good Morning America to name but a few. Angelo has worked with A-listers including Kelly Rutherford, Tamara Tunie, Coco Rocha, Carrie Preston, Christie Brinkley and says, “There is nothing more rewarding than being able to change how someone sees herself, boost her self-esteem or uplift her feelings within an hour or two. I’m so lucky that every day, I get to make someone look and feel beautiful. For more information on Angelo David Salon, visit angelodavid.com. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 17
PAMPERED PERFECT By Ann Lawlor
ow and then, we all experience the urge to escape from daily life to kick-start a little rest. Face it: we’re all guilty of ignoring ourselves at times. Everyday stress, pressure, and anxiety can take a toll. The good news is a little luxurious pampering is within reach. Here, our top ways to indulge and re-emerge the gorgeous women you are.
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THINK NATURAL ONDA BEAUTY is your natural authority for living beautifully. Whether you are already a clean beauty devotee or looking to buy your first product, they have the resources and advice to make sure you find just what you need. Shopping is easy: Their online presence as well as the Tribeca store have become a popular go-to mecca for the best clean beauty brands. They also offer a range of wellness treatments, including one of the five best facials in NYC, according to Vogue magazine, as well as massage therapies and aroma-reiki. Co-founder, Larissa Thomson, has tried every product stocked and has approved every brand they sell. They recently launched their first product, a wild-crafted, organic coffee body scrub with calendula and bergamot made in the Hudson Valley. Fellow partners, Larissa Thomson and Naomi Watts, are also clean beauty advocates who hope to see the industry as a whole expand and develop globally through their involvement. Info: ondabeauty.com.
THE RIGHT RUB Exhale is a well-being destination. Through its combination spa therapies (massages, facials, acupuncture, nails, waxing) and high-quality fitness classes (barre, cardio, yoga, HIIT), they provide the answer to a stronger, healthier, better version of you. In other words, Exhale is more than a spa or fitness club; they are well-being, healing, and fitness for life. To start, Exhale offers a full suite of award-winning boutique fitness classes carefully selected to help you lengthen, strengthen, balance and get results. With two Manhattan locations, you can practice yoga, tone it up at the barre, sweat it out in a cardio class, then recover with a chill class. Class after class, their community of well-being devotees walk away stronger, more flexible, more balanced. Their variety of boutique fitness programs boost transformation because it’s always changing, always evolving. But that’s just the beginning. Their results-oriented, expertly selected menu of spa therapies completes the exhale well-being experience. At the root of all massage, facial, acupuncture, and beauty therapies is a therapeutic and healing focus. Info: exhalespa.com. 18 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
WATER THERAPY AIRE is a retreat in the tradition of ancient baths where wellness, socialization are the essential aspects of life. This oasis is a total disconnect from modern world distractions. Within two-hour intervals, guests may access the historic building to enjoy a 90-minute thermal session where they can experience the different pool areas—ranging from ice pool (57 degrees) to hot pool (102 degrees). Also available are the Flotarium (a salt water pool with the density of the Dead Sea) and PropellerJet Bath (97 degrees). Complete your session in the Steam Room (with different levels of steam and aromatherapy) and Relaxation area to rest on heated marble stones and sip a cup of tea or fresh fruit juices. The entire space is candle lit to create a space in which temperature and light don’t change throughout the day. Info: beaire.com.
WELLNESS FOR HANDS & FEET World-renowned for its premiere Swiss skincare line, La Prairie Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Central Park offers extraordinary treatments for the hands and feet. In addition, the intimate spa provides beauty and wellness therapies as well as intensive body indulgences featuring La Prairie’s exclusive treatment products in a serene and calming environment. The Caviar Luxe Manicure combines a hot stone massage complimented with skin caviar luxe body soufflé that results in skin as soft as velvet with nails shaped and polished to perfection. Your feet will feel so much better after the Caviar Luxe Pedicure. This gentle exfoliation resurfaces to perfection as a hydrating mask soothes your feet and legs. Luxury never felt so good! Info: ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/new-york/central-park.
SAVING FACE If you are looking for a decadent day of services, head to Rescue Spa. Founded by Danuta Mieloch, Rescue Spa specializes in the world-renowned Bio-Lift facial. The treatment created and trademarked by Danuta uses noninvasive electric micro-currents that deliver immediate results including lifting, sculpting and firming. Other facials and advanced skin treatments offered include DetO₂X, Fix-It-All, IPL FotoFacial, and the Oxylight Facial. Rescue’s skin care experts have extensive training to consult and advise clients on the products that are best suited to individual needs according to their skin’s current state. Info: rescuespa.net.
COMPLETE THE PICTURE If you are looking for a luxurious salon experience, visit the Ammon Carver Studio located in a castiron building in Chelsea. The studio features a sleek interior combined with a classic loft-style hybrid salon/photo studio that is available to all clients. The studio unites the worlds behind and in front of the camera, by creating a cohesive space for both. Ammon and his stellar team are joined by not only their love for the hair industry but their passion for giving you the hair you always wanted. It’s a favorite of Kate Beckinsale, Molly Sims, and Kirsten Dunst. Info: ammoncarver.com. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 19
FOCUS ON: DESIGNER KRISTINA MAK By Debbie Dickinson
esigner Kristina Mak’s latest 32-piece luxury resort wear collection features feminine flair for “the modern woman who feels independent and powerful.” This collection is ablaze with energetic, colorful prints, channeling the glamour of luxurious Monte Carlo, and radiating a vibe empowerment. Mak is known for the unique glamour of her style and cutting-edge design, which reflects her whimsical life in Palm Beach. In fact, it’s where each piece is made, and “captures the carefree, seaside glamour of the designer’s South Florida home.” Her designs are imbued with expressions of freedom, harboring a vintage feel and look, and incorporating whimsical, bold prints and patterns, hand-drawn by the designer herself. Mak says she used “soft, flowing fabrics, such as chiffons and cotton jerseys, which enhance a woman’s form.” Mak says the human form is part of the art that she creates, adding that her favorite part of the design process is “taking something from nothing and ending up with a new piece of art.” The designer’s passion for art also serves as a well of inspiration for her designs. She is especially enamored of the colors and design used in the Arts and Craft Movement, which begin in the second half of the 19th century and featured traditional craftsmanship often drawing on medieval, folk or romantic styles. In today’s modern time, she admires the contemporary work of jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris, who’s known for his organic methods influenced by nature. 20 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
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THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED The designer truly defines the word “independent.” While many aspiring designers start out seeking mentors or designers to work with to hone their skills, Mak says she has always relied on herself, experimenting with art influences and honing her instinctual design skills to forge her unique style. “I listen to my voice, feeling fearless, sometimes realizing I am far ahead of my time in designs.” Growing up in Lithuania, her love of fashion began during a childhood spent playing, and subsequently working, in her grandmother’s local store. But a love of adventure, an active nature, and a strong work ethic finally led her to a career as a model during which she discovered the distinctive, brightly colored European designs which would influence her unique style. It was this background as a model, and her deepened exposure to fashion, which led her to the world of design. But making it in the competitive world of fashion can be tough. So what did it take for Mak to start her label and make it as an independent designer? Although she credits her family for supporting and encouraging her, Mak also notes the importance of having a business plan— one that can be modified along the way to accommodate bumps in the road such as unexpected changes in the manufacturing process. And, one of the most important things that went into building her brand, she adds, was the ability to understand the intricacies of the design process and its necessary techniques. That’s not to say there were no other obstacles along the way to success. As every emerging designer comes to learn, pitfalls and challenges await, and for Mak that sometimes resulted in trial and error to discover the best quantity and fit for her collection. Another challenge that still exists is “there are not enough hours in the day!” she says. No banking hours here— and there’s no such thing as a typical workday. Mak says she doesn’t stop until what she needs to do is done. And while there is always something more to accomplish, music and coffee help get her in the “zone.” It also helps to have a work ethic that includes being highly driven and motivated, she says.
THE FUTURE And what does a busy designer do when she isn’t working? Mak says she is happy being a homebody and spending quality time with her fiance. “Quiet time brings me peace.” And when she wants to treat herself she likes to indulge her sweet tooth now and then. “Meeting my girlfriends for lunch also is a great treat!” For now, Mak says she will be staying at home in Florida, working on her next collection, but plans to travel in the future. And her business goals for the future? Mak aims to not only increase sales online but also to work with new retailers around the globe. She’d like further recognition of the Kristina Mak brand name by seeing more people on the streets wearing her clothing line. For more information on Kristina Mak, visit kristinamak.com. • Debbie Dickinson is a writer/actor/supermodel and founder of E.D. Enterprises Luxury Public Relations & Marketing. Her company specializes in Art, Film & Theater Production and Promotion campaigns for artists, luxury products & services, and philanthropy. Contact Debbie Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917-622-8136. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 21
INSIDER’S GUIDE TO SCOTLAND By Ruth J. Katz
ost people in Scotland drink whisky like lemonade,” uttered one of my classmates at a Scotch-tasting/ blending class some years ago. He was from the Island of Aran and his comment was meant to underscore that in this, the nation of hundreds of Scotches, any respectable native can determine the nuanced flavors among these Celtic nectars. With every trip, I try to further my own education.
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There is majestic scenery to drink in, also—Nikon-perfect vistas abound everywhere: craggy mountains, lollygagging rivers, frothy waterfalls, fairytale-like woodlands, wild and untamed sandy seascapes, verdant copses, lavender and mauve moors. Not to mention, the Highland “coo” (cow) with its shaggy, russet coat. Scotland is also home to hundreds and hundreds of castles, enveloped in lore and legend; some are in ruins, some are four-star auberges. Luxurious hunting lodges and hotels captivate and coddle and on this trip, I road-tested many; most are members of the Luxury Scotland group, with its very high standards for fine quality and cosseting service. (see sidebar).
THE JOURNEY BEGINS I started in Edinburgh, a charming, architecturally appealing city and the second-most visited destination in the UK after London. Its “new” town was built in 1767, and is chockablock with picturesque Medieval and Georgian structures, and some striking 21st-century edifices, like the new (and controversial) Parliament building. Along the north side of Princes Street, the main thoroughfare, are local stores like the esteemed Jenner’s; opposite is the bucolic Princes Street Gardens, with its lush expanse, punctuated by the two-hundred-foot high monument to Sir Walter Scott, the National Gallery of Scotland (with magnificent Impressionist and Old Masters), and the Royal Scottish Academy. For shopping, visit quaint Victoria Street in the Grassmarket area of Old Town, with picture-postcard-looking shops. Brand-conscious shoppers will gravitate to George Street, while touristy shops line the traffic-free Royal Mile, stretching from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the Queen stays when she visits. Do not skip the fortress-like Castle, if only to coo over the cemetery for soldiers’ dogs and the famous Stone of Destiny. 22 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
ROYALTY & CASTLES I headed to Edinburgh’s port of Leith, where the Royal Yacht Britannia is berthed. She was home to Her Majesty the Queen and the royal family for more than 40 years, logging in more than a million miles around the world. Launched in 1953, she has hosted countless state affairs and honeymoons. Today, she is a popular attraction, with a very fine self-guided audio tour. (Hidden around the ship are small, stuffed Corgi dogs!) Docked nearby is the Fingal, a former Northern Lighthouse Board ship. Retired and refurbished to the tune of £ 3.5 million, she is slated to open this spring as a luxury hotel. Leaving Edinburgh, I ventured north to Kinross House Estate and Spa, dubbed, a “gentleman’s seat,” and available for rent-lock, stock, and barrel. Designed by Sir William Bruce, it was constructed in 1685, and is regarded as the most important neo-classical Palladian mansion in Scotland. With 100 acres of formal gardens, pastureland, and woodlands, it sits on the western shores of Loch Leven, with a view of the 11th century castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. The magnificent main mansion and coach house can sleep 48; the former coal bin has been converted to accommodate an elevator and there is a stylish whisky “library.” Continuing north, I discovered the amazing House of Bruar, a retail campus reminiscent of Woodbury Commons, but with the luxe of Harrod’s. On the 11-acre site are all manner of specialty, clothing, and gourmet shops (an entire department for fishing lure and flies) that dig deep into each merchandise category; for example, Wellies in nearly a dozen Crayola colors! Dozens of flavors of preserves, including bramble and apple, raspberry and Prosecco, gooseberry and elderflower, line the pantry. Another must-see is Tomatin Distillery where I enjoyed the best—and I mean it!—distillery tour I have ever experienced. Ask to taste the 18-year-old, single-malt, aged first in Oloroso sherry casks and then in American bourbon barrels. I overnighted at the Rocpool Reserve Hotel and Chez Roux Restaurant. French-born Albert Roux, OBE, is one of the UK’s most pre-eminent chefs; he and brother Michel operated Le Gavroche, the first restaurant in the UK to be awarded three Michelin stars. This hotel is worth a stopover. The next day, I visited the majestic Alladale Wilderness Reserve, over 23,000 privately-owned acres in the Caledonian Forest, currently being restored to its natural state with extensive planting and the reintroduction of once-native wildlife. That night, I stayed at the inviting Inver Lodge, which is home to yet another top-flight Chez Roux eatery. It was as if Central Casting had sent a cadre of archetypal British actors, looking the part of fisherman and hunters. And right on cue, sleeping contentedly by his master’s feet, adjacent to the fireplace, was an exhausted golden retriever, who had been working all day.
Kinross House Estate ©Luxury Scotland Tomatin Distillery
Torridan ©Luxury Scotland
Dessert at Rocpool Reserve Hotel ©Luxury Scotland
ISLAND HOPPING From here, I headed to the Outer Hebrides, a two-and-a-half hour boat trip from Ullapool. In all of the Hebrides there are some 20,000 residents. Lewis Island (the southern section is called Harris) is home to half that number, with 80 percent of that population in Stornoway, the island “metropolis.” Keep in mind there are nearly as many lochs (6,000) in the Outer Hebrides as there are residents! FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 23
SCOTLAND’S BEST STAYS I selected most of my lodgings from Luxury Scotland’s portfolio of 34 hotel properties, assuring impeccable service and comfort. In Edinburgh, I stayed at the Glasshouse Hotel (theglasshousehotel.co.uk), a modern, 77-room property, with a crenelated tower and Gothic-style arch windows. Once a church, the hotel’s rooms are named for Scotch whiskies. Expect careful service and excellent breakfast fare (included), and be sure to visit the “secret” rooftop garden with jaw-dropping vistas. I also stayed at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa (sheratonedinburgh.co.uk), with the One Spa, a revelation with its Hamman, aroma grotto, hydro pool, and rock sauna; even the guest rooms’ showers have colored red and blue lights, extending that spa-like feeling. The Sheraton is likely the only hotel in Scotland with its very own tartan, under the auspices of the Scottish Register of Tartans. I took a meal at the exquisite Balmoral Hotel, a Rocco Forte property (roccofortehotels.com), dining in the more casual bistro, Hadrian’s, where traditional cuisine has a distinct Scottish flavor. On the road, Rocpool Reserve Hotel and Chez Roux Restaurant (rocpool. com) is a jewel in the middle of Inverness, as is the Inver Lodge and Chez Roux (inverlodge.com) in the Northern Highlands. The cuisine at both is assuredly Scottish but prepared with French flair. Rocpool is not too far from Loch Ness and atmospheric Culloden, while Inver Lodge is in the middle of an area well-known for its plentiful salmon and trout, and it attracts serious outdoorsmen; indoors, the hotel offers a regulation-size snooker table. Lews Castle (lews-castle.co.uk), part of Natural Retreats, is a magnificent Orcadian castle, completely renovated with 23 self-catering rooms that can be configured into diverse suite arrangements. The kitchens and living rooms are capacious and modern, and the staff will stock the fridge with all the basics before your arrival. Overlooking charming Stornoway harbor, the castle also features a museum highlighting local history. (There is an on-premises coffee shop for light fare, and if you care to venture out to dine, Digby Chick in town has toothsome cuisine.) We supped one night in a private dining room at the castle and had a culinary treat. The following night, we were invited to join the locals for a black-tie ceilidh (Scottish Gaelic, pronounced kay-lee), which means a big social hoo-ha, involving “Scotch whisky, kilts, fiddlers, and dancing,” as a Scottish friend in America informed me. At The Torridon (thetorridon.com) there are guided nature hikes, archery, kayaking, rock climbing, clay-shooting, and countless other outdoor sports, along with gin- and Scotch-tastings; the restaurant proffers four-star cuisine and service. (The property also has more modest lodging, The Inn, a short walk from the main hotel.) Luxury Scotland also has non-member partners, including Glasgow-based Little’s Chauffeur Drive (littles.co.uk) with its fleet of claret-colored prestige vehicles and street-savvy, dependable drivers—my fail-safe method for hopscotching around Scotland Sights include the Standing Stones of Callanish, on the rugged west coast. Some five thousand years old (and excavated in the early ‘80s), the main cruciform shape is formed by some 50 massive stones, with an inner circle of 13 stones. On Harris, do not miss going to the Harris Tweed shops, where you can learn about genuine Harris Tweed, regulated by the Harris Tweed Authority. For other local crafts, visit Talla na Mara, a community arts and entertainment center. Across the road are rugged, picturesque beaches—Luskentyre and Horgabost, to name but two—which are considered among the most beautiful in the UK. Back on the mainland, my last stop was another wilderness site, The Torridon, set on nearly 60 acres of parkland, near Achnasheen, and perched on the edge of a loch. An absolutely stunning hotel, each room is furnished individually (with a Highland cow stuffedanimal on each bed). The 13th-century castle, Eilean Donan, one of Scotland’s most iconic (and a scene-stealer in the film Made of Honor), is nearby and worth an outing. 24 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
No matter where you head in fair Scotland, you’ll likely be greeted with ceud mile failte (a hundred thousand welcomes); and when you’re ready to leave, you’ll hear “haste ye back,” to this hospitable, warm, and fascinating country. I am already planning my next jaunt—after all, besides Scotch, there is golf, shortbread, tartans, and so much more. For more information on Scotland, visit luxuryscotland.co.uk and visitscotland.com. Fly to/from Edinburgh on American Airlines (aa.com) in Business Class with its excellent service; cabins are equipped with flat beds and iPads, pre-loaded with countless films. • The author of five books, Ruth J. Katz served as style editor of Promenade magazine. She has written extensively for both The New York Times and New York magazine, has served as an editor at numerous magazines, and appeared weekly on Fox TV as the consumer services expert. © 2018 Ruth J. Katz. All Rights Reserved.
Save the Date 04.18.18 10th Annual
NEW YORK HILTON MIDTOWN
WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT By Stacey Zable
he impulse when visiting Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, may be to try to pack in as much as you can. However, to get the most of your stay, especially if this is your first trip, dedicate a minimum of a day to each of the four main theme parks and take the time to enjoy the rides, shows, dining, and shopping.
PLAN YOUR DISNEY VISIT Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
Be sure to use the FastPass+ service, which allows you to reserve select attractions, entertainment, and even character greetings in advance. Head out to the parks early, take a break mid-day and go back to your hotel for a dip in the pool or a nap, returning for more theme park fun in the evening.
DISNEY’S MAGIC KINGDOM Begin your trip to the park that started it all in 1971. Here is where you’ll find the iconic Cinderella Castle amidst the park’s seven magical lands with the themes of fantasy—yesterday and tomorrow. Favorite attractions include the Splash Mountain flume ride and the in-the-dark roller coaster Space Mountain. If you’re coming with your own little princess, she will want to go to Fantasyland’s Princess Fairytale Hall to meet Cinderella and other Disney princesses in the Castle Courtyard. Do not miss visiting the park at night to catch the incredible evening Happily Ever After light and fireworks show in front of Cinderella Castle.
DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS A motion picture and television studio is located within this Disney theme park. Star Wars excitement has exploded here including the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away live stage show and the nightly Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular that combines fireworks and special effects. Look for even more galactic fun when a new Star Wars-themed land opens in 2019. First, however, is Toy Story Land which opens this summer 2018. Here, guests join their favorite Toy Story pals and will feel like they’ve shrunk to the size of a toy themselves as they explore Andy’s backyard. Other classic favorites in the park include The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith thrill rides. 26 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM Real, exotic animals, as well as some of Disney’s fictional favorite animal characters, and even giant dinosaurs from long ago, are a part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Last summer brought the new land Pandora—The World of Avatar, with such rides as the 3D Avatar Flight of Passage. Top picks within this park include Finding Nemo—The Musical stage show and It’s Tough to be a Bug! 3D film and live show. The long-time favorite Kilimanjaro Safaris, where guests travel by open-air vehicle to see live animals that include hippos, zebras, elephants, giraffes and more, has been extended to include the nighttime Nocturnal Encounter. Evening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom also includes Rivers of Light, featuring live performances, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery on the Discovery River.
DISNEY’S EPCOT Cultural heritage is celebrated within 11 different nations at World Showcase including The American Adventure, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway and the United Kingdom. Amid the “countries,” you’ll find plenty of choice in terms of native foods, plus shops, music, and even the spotting of Aladdin’s Jasmine for a meet-and-greet in Morocco. Beyond the World Showcase, Ep cot fo c us e s on Future World in terms of discovery and scientific achievements. Favorite attractions include the relaunched Mission: SPACE, a simulated space flight, and Soarin’, where IMAX technology allows you to fly around the world. The newest and biggest news for Frozen movie fans is the chance to meet Elsa and Anna in the Norway Pavilion and experience the ride Frozen Ever After, which features many of Frozen’s friends.
STAY ON-SITE Staying on-property at the Walt Disney World Resort is part of the all-encompassing Disney experience, and you have your choice of more than 35 resorts (including non-Disney resorts and Disney Vacation Club ownership resorts.) Make your decision based on your budget and which park you prefer to be closest to during your stay. Disney resort guests can take advantage of the free transportation system that drops you off steps from the entrance of each park. Extra Magic Hours at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels also offers more time in the parks before they open and after they close.
BEYOND THE PARKS After a day at the parks, or when it’s time to take a mid-day break, head for Disney Springs. Formerly known as Downtown Disney, the area is a retail, dining and entertainment mecca. There is plenty of Disney brand clothing and goodies, but there are also major brands that include Sephora and Vera Bradley. Among the many dining options, Planet Hollywood is an attraction in itself with a 4,500 square-foot video wall and many film memorabilia. The restaurant also satisfies with great food including mega ice cream shakes providing the energy to keep discovering more Disney all day and night. For more information on Walt Disney World Resort, visit disneyworld. disney.go.com. •
Stacey Zable is an award-winning editorial professional with experience writing for both print and online publications. She has held senior staff positions at top travel trade publications and has freelanced for some of the industry’s top consumer travel magazines. Visit her website at staceyzable.com.
FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 27
SUPERB, DELUXE CONDO RENTAL UNITS 26 LUXURY CONDO SUITES THE ISLANDS CLUB CONDOMINIUMS ON SEVEN MILE BEACH
www.theislandsclub.com.ky We offer 2, 3 or 4 bedroom suites, each with its own private patio or balcony overlooking world famous Seven Mile Beach. The Islands Club is located within easy walking distance of many fine restaurants, duty-free shopping, nightclubs, golf course, a large modern grocery store and water sports and activities. On the beach, large Casuarina trees provide shade from the sun as you relax in a lounge chair by the sea.
For more information visit theislandsclub.com.ky or Call TOLL FREE 1-866-533-0934 Tel: (345) 945-5211 E-mail: email@example.com
MAKING A SPLASH AT AQUATOPIA! By Patricia Canole
h yes, winter, the perfect time to get away and get warm. But what if your schedule isn’t fit for a flight from JFK to the Caribbean? Not to mention passports, the hassle of checked baggage and, oh, did I say the endless lines at TSA. Instead, you (and your family) can pack up and enjoy a little bit of that “summer feel” we all crave, at Camelback Aquatopia Indoor Water Park.
BOOK YOUR FUN FAMILY TRIP NOW Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
Aquatopia, located at Camelback Resort, is the type of destination that makes for a perfect weekend escape. Conveniently located in the Poconos, Aquatopia is an easy commute from anywhere in the Northeast. This water park boasts a swim-up bar, outdoor hot tub, and some pretty serious water slides. There’s enough for the whole family to stay well entertained for the entire weekend. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 29
THE WATERPARK Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark spans 125,000 square-feet, boasts 13 waterslides and a multitude of other thrilling water attractions. Designed to be unlike any other indoor waterpark in the U.S., Aquatopia is home to the famous Storm Chaser, the longest gravity-defying uphill water coaster to exist in any indoor waterpark in the U.S. That’s just the beginning! There’s Venus SlydeTrap, a worldpremiere attraction that combines three exhilarating waterslide experiences in one; The Lost River, an immersive, theatrical and dark adventure river experience featuring amusement park level theming; and Kartrite’s Quest, the world’s first Next Generation fully themed and immersive multi-level exploration AquaPlay structure. Other waterpark favorites also abound, including The Great Ka-Na-Gawa Wavepool, Bombora FlowRider surfing simulator, Mystic Springs indoor/outdoor family hot tub and several waterslides that appeal to everyone from brave thrill seekers to timid toddlers. Situated under 1.5 acres of Texlon® transparent roof—the largest in North America—Aquatopia’s innovative design allows guests to soak up the sun indoors at a comfortable 84-degrees—year-round. More than 120 trained and certified lifeguards oversee the safety operations and regulations for Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. Coastguard lifejackets are available for use and lockers are available for rental.
FAMILY ADVENTURES Incredibly, there’s plenty to do out of the water too. The 45,000 square-foot Arcadia Family Adventure Center offers two levels of themed activities including more than 100 video games. There’s The Ascent, a vertical rock climbing wall and K2 Klimb overhead ropes courses for adults and kids; Meh-Tah’s (Not So) Mini Golf; and Lazer Runner, black light laser tag. The kids will enjoy Polka Dot Pots arts and crafts; and Kartrite’s Kids Quest, a themed soft play area for the littlest of adventurers. If the amount of activity becomes anxiety provoking, be sure to include a visit to Serenity Spa (for adults) where there are nine treatment rooms ready to pamper you. Give the young ones a treat (in the form of manis, pedis or facials), too, with the Oasis Kids Spa for ages four and up. Or why not have a mommy/daughter treatment time together. 30 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
SKIING AT CAMELBACK
CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN Camelback is renowned as a top ski resort in Pennsylvania with the biggest skiing and snowboarding terrain in the area. A significant advantage is that it’s 100 percent lit for night skiing. The skiing and snowboarding facility of Camelback Resort is known for being a great place to learn the sports and a challenge for experienced participants. With a history dating back to 1946 when the mountains welcomed the first commercial ski area in Pennsylvania and perfected the art of snowmaking, the Poconos have become a bona fide ski destination. Today, the Poconos have it all—beginner slopes to the double black diamonds and terrain parks to test your skills. Get out and experience the exhilaration when your skis start sliding down a Pocono slope.
THE BEST ACCOMMODATIONS Camelback Lodge’s mountain-modern architecture and design extends throughout all guest rooms and suites. The lodge provides comfort and great service with accommodations that include loft fireplace suites, family suites with bunk beds, and one- and twobedroom suites, some with full kitchens. All guest suites feature TVs, microwaves, mini-refrigerators, and more modern amenities.
For more information on the Pocono Mountains, visit poconomountains.com.
CAMELBACK SKIING If you ski just one place in Pennsylvania, Camelback must be it. The ski day at Camelback is long—starting as early as 7:30 AM (for pass holders) and going as late as 10 PM, with every trail capable of being lit. The resort’s base lodge is a great place to get your après ski started. Friday through Sunday live bands play for the happy masses downing the brews on tap.
CAMELBACK SNOWTUBING For non-skiers, the sizeable snow-tubing park is a pleasing alternative. Already the largest snowtubing park in the USA, it now includes an after dark Galactic LED Light Show. With up to 42 lightning fast snow tubing lanes. The Light Show launches daily after dark.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS There’s a mix of culinary fare for all tastes and ages. No matter the season, Trails End Pub & Grille provides a fireplace to warm up. On the menu are burgers, cast iron mac and cheese, and steaks prepared to perfection. Be sure to check out Hemispheres, with its buffet-style family atmosphere and includes cooking stations and a choice menu for both adults and children. At Neptunes, you’ll find a more intimate venue with a sushi bar, small plates, seafood selections, craft beer and wine. The glass panel provides panoramic views of Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. For those on the go or a quick snack, World Bazaar & Coffee Shop, serves up specialty coffee drinks, pastries, and snacks. Within the heart of the action of the waterpark, guests can refuel with burgers, pizza and more at Hungry Camel and Colonial Columns, and indulge in dessert at Sweet Discovery with treats including candies, fudge cookies and lots more. Adult beverages are available in and out of the pool at Moroccan Nights and Flyboys, the adults-only swim-up bar. Whether you’re looking for that quick overnight trip or just a weekend away with the family, Camelback’s Aquatopia is a natural choice. So next time you feel like you’ve had enough of winter, pack up the car and escape the elements at Camelback. For more information on Camelback Resort and Aquatopia, visit camelbackresort.com/waterparks/aquatopia. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 31
THE SWEETEST PLACE ON EARTH By Jeff & Stephanie Sylva
hat makes Hershey, Pennsylvania the sweetest place on earth? Could it be street names like Chocolate and Cocoa Avenues, where streetlamps are shaped like the iconic Hershey Kiss? Maybe it’s the creative chocolate martinis at Happy Hour, or possibly the rejuvenating chocolate spa treatments at two world-class spas. Or perhaps it’s the excitement you get when you visit Hershey’s largest candy store at Hershey’s Chocolate World.
MAKE SWEET MEMORIES HERE Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is less than a three-hour drive from Manhattan, is where Hershey Chocolates’ famed chocolate bars and iconic Hershey Kisses are made. (The chocolate factory produces more than 60,000 of the bite-sized chocolate morsels every day.)
TASTEFUL ADVENTURES A requisite stop for all chocolate lovers is Hershey’s Chocolate World. Take the Chocolate Tour and experience the transformation of cocoa beans into Hershey chocolate. And, yes, there is a free chocolate sample at the end of the tour! Don’t miss the Create Your Own Candy Bar experience, which lets you be creative as you pick the ingredients for your chocolate bar and design your personalized wrapper. Need more chocolate? Then sign up for the Chocolate Tasting Experience and learn how to engage all senses to taste chocolate—from milk to dark and varieties in between. Have some family fun with the 4D Chocolate Mystery. Through digital animation and special effects, you become part of the show by interacting with the characters helping solve the mystery.
ONE MAN’S VISION But the proliferation of chocolate is not the sole reason why the town is so “sweet.” The founder of this confection empire, Milton S. Hershey, left an indelible impact on the town that is still evident to this day. Hershey’s success began with his developing a formula for milk chocolate during the late 19th century. Milton’s determination, entrepreneurialism, and subsequent benevolence to the town of Hershey and his employees is evident throughout the town.
The Circular Milton Hershey Table
One example is the incredible success of the Milton Hershey School. The best way to get the full story of Milton Hershey and his amazing philanthropy is with a visit to The Hershey Story—the Museum located on Chocolate Avenue. Or experience the inspiring story with a journey through the “town built on chocolate” on the Chocolate and History Tour given by Hershey Trolley Works. And, there are plenty of samples aboard!
THE HISTORY OF HERSHEYPARK In 1907 Milton Hershey opened a picnic and pleasure park for the enjoyment of his employees. That park has evolved into one of the most cleanest and respected parks in the amusement industry. Hersheypark consists of three parks: One is the amusement park, which boasts more than 70 rides, including 13 roller coasters (soon to be 14 with Breakers Edge to debut Memorial Day this year) and more than 20 kiddie rides. History buffs will enjoy a ride on the Comet, a 1946-vintage roller coaster, and the Carousel built in 1919 which features 66 hand-carved wooden horses. If you visit during the warmer months, cool off in the water park aptly named The Boardwalk at Hersheypark. And for animal lovers, there is ZooAmerica, an 11-acre zoo featuring more than 200 animals from five regions of North America. Since Hersheypark is a year-round facility, there are seasonal offerings, including Springtime in the Park, September Weekends, Hersheypark in the Dark, and Hersheypark Christmas Candyland. 32 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
Hershey Lodge Exterior
WHERE TO STAY The official resorts of Hersheypark are The Hotel Hershey, the Hershey Lodge, and the Hersheypark Camping Resort. The Hotel Hershey, a recipient of both the Forbes Four-Star Award and AAA FourDiamond Award, offers guests luxury and elegance amongst majestic formal gardens, reflecting pools, and terraces. Hershey Lodge is a warm and welcoming full-service resort with 665 rooms featuring chocolatethemed décor and artwork. Guests enjoy a variety of recreational activities, including year-round swimming and fun at the indoor pool complex, Hershey’s Water Works. And for those who want to feel the natural surroundings, Hersheypark Camping Resort offers year-round cabins complete with all modern amenities. Guests of the resorts enjoy the Hershey Resorts Advantage program, which offers lowest prices on Park tickets, free shuttle service, and other perks—like complimentary chocolate bars at check-in.
The Hotel Hershey Reflecting Pools
Fire & Grain Dining Room
WHERE TO DINE From family-friendly to 4-star fine dining, Hotel Hershey and the Lodge offer a myriad of restaurant choices— more than 13 dining options in all. One of our favorites is the new Fire & Grain at the Lodge. With innovative comfort food and some great Happy Hour specials, Fire & Grain features decadent chocolate desserts and signature chocolate martinis, which are also featured at many of the other Hershey eateries. Be sure to make reservations at The Circular— Hotel Hershey’s flagship restaurant which offers a perfect blend of classic and contemporary; it offers both an exceptional ambience and fine cuisine.
A LITTLE R & R
The Spa At The Hotel Hershey Quiet Room
What better place to relax than at The Spa at The Hotel Hershey? This three-story, 40,000 square-foot oasis is sure to impress even the most seasoned spa-goer. Or perhaps take a treatment at Melt Spa, the recently-opened day spa in downtown Hershey on—where else?—Chocolate Avenue. Both spas offer a full selection of traditional spa treatments as well as services that pay homage to Cuba, where Milton Hershey owned sugar mills and plantations. But their specialties are their chocolate-inspired treatments including Chocolate Fondue Body Wrap and a Whipped Cocoa Bath. Gentlemen especially enjoy the Whiskey Facial, which actually begins with a shot of whiskey. Be sure to experience a peaceful walk through the 23-acre horticulture delight, Hershey Gardens. The Gardens feature a beautiful collection of seasonal flowers, shrubs, and rare trees. The year-round Butterfly Atrium in the Conservatory and the hands-on Children’s Garden are lovely additions to the Gardens. For more information on Hershey, PA, visit hersheypa.com. • Jeff and Stephanie Sylva are retired English and Social Studies high school teachers who have been freelance travel writers for over 28 years. They’ve been publishing in many national publications and who love to write about the great outdoors and, of course, travel. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 33
A STUDY IN CONTRASTS By Michael Alpiner
any college towns exist on the concept that the college or university is the star, and the rest of the town mere players in the great scholarly drama. The college is often the center of marketing, revenue, and social culture. However, though Yale University is one of the most renowned institutions of higher learning, it exists alongside the city, not upstaging it. Its presence can be felt in the city’s artistic and historical pride, as well as in the hip, millennial character of its trendy shops and its contemporary flavors.
PLAN YOUR NEW HAVEN TRIP Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
The 80-mile trip from New York City to New Haven should take two and a half hours on I-95. On the last leg of the journey, motorists are treated to a view of New Haven Harbor, an arm of the Long Island Sound, with boats docked by the shore, and, if the weather is right, vessels coasting with the wind in their sails. Once in town, one will notice many streets named after the people who found renown in this New England city. Names like Whitney (Eli Whitney), Sherman (Roger Sherman), and Goodyear (Charles Goodyear). This is not unusual; nearly every town and city in the world recognizes their distinguished past in this way. Yet, there is something about the particular embrace that New Haven delivers to its past that inspires in its visitors the same open-arm feeling.
IVY LEAGUE STYLE The architecture of New Haven is the apparent visual theme for any visit to this second largest city in Connecticut. New Haven is rich with Victorian, Georgian revival, and high gothic architectural styles. In fact, most of the buildings that comprise Yale University are reminiscent of the original structures, keeping to the styles, and even containing sections and artifacts from the originals. One impressive building is Phelps Hall, which was created to resemble an English gatehouse, and opens up the campus through Phelps Gate, an access way from College Street into the quadrangle of the Old Campus area. It’s a two-block walk to another unique building, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. A bibliophile paradise, this Vermont marble, and granite structure features exterior panels of marble just thick enough to allow light to enter, defused enough to illuminate the interior while protecting the rare editions from harmful UV light. Within the geometric walls lives The Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type, original Audubon bird prints, and about a million other rare finds. 34 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
A MAJOR IN COMFORT The scholarly theme continues if one stays at The Study at Yale, which defines itself as a “cultural platform” that fits into the university aura, yet succeeds as a new boutique hotel. The lobby is divided by a wall of books (donated by The Strand in NYC), of which one might be enjoyed in a variety of comfy leather chairs with a cup of gourmet coffee. The staff is courteous and helpful, the decor engaging with art and photographs, and the rooms scholarly and serene. Imagine a dorm room on steroids, large comfortable bed, powerful shower, plush furnishings, and a wall-length writing desk that looks out over the landscape of New Haven. Natural light pours in through the large bay windows while creativity pours out onto the erudite page. The hotel features a top-shelf bar with a wide array of international wines, and a gourmet restaurant called the Heirloom whose menu is rich with New England favorites such as oysters, shrimp, scallops as well as lamb, duck, and steak. Much of the food comes from local growers and artisan purveyors of New England cuisine. Executive Chef Carey Savona, a product of New Haven, worked alongside some of the most celebrated chefs in the country to form the foundation of his distinct culinary style.
A CLAIM TO FAME Not all specialty food in New Haven is haute cuisine, but many eateries are both historical and delicious. New Haven residents are proud to claim several “firsts.” The Frisbee originated in New Haven as did the lollipop, the concept of a planned city grid, sulfur matches, spring tape measure and even football. But the most pride rests in New Haven’s claim to be the home to the first hamburger and the first pizzeria. Louis’ Lunch, established in 1895, is housed in a tiny building (so no supersizing your meal, please) and offers burgers on toast with cheese, onions, and tomatoes as the only garnishes. A short walk away is Frank Pepe Pizzeria, which began serving “tomato pies” in 1925. Cooked in a coal-fired brick oven, the result was a crispy and authentic pizza. The recipe for pizza perfection is still used today. The pride that comes from this familyowned and operated business continues today as Frank Pepe’s grandchildren are still integral members of the business. Pepe’s has been visited by many notables, such as Frank Sinatra, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, just to name a few.
View of the American painting and sculpture galleries, Yale University Art Gallery ©Jessica Smolinski
View of Indo-Pacific art galleries, Yale University Art Gallery © Elizabeth Felicella
The Study at Yale Hotel
CULTURAL PURSUITS The New Haven experience would not be complete without a visit to the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. One across the street from the other, these museums span the career of famed architect, Louis I. Kahn, who designed the structures, the Yale University Art Gallery at the start of his career, and the Yale Center for British Art around the time of his death. Both house impressive collections of world art, from sculpture to installation, to oil on canvas. The artists’ work is curated with knowledge and care, and the floor plans accessible for viewing pleasure. The internal structures of the museums, especially the spiral staircases, make the actual building part of the overall artistic experience.
Michael Alpiner’s writing and publishing includes travel/hospitality articles as well as fiction and poetry. His poetry is included in the anthology, Blood to Remember. Michael earned an MFA in Creative Writing, teaches college writing, and has served as a Writer-in-Residence for the Louis Armstrong Museum. He is co-founder of ExtremeLuxuryGetaways.com.
Nearly every experience in New Haven is touched with the sense of pride in the past and understanding of the contemporary. An undergrad in a Yale sweatshirt gazing up at the bronze statue of Nathan Hale is as familiar as groups of tourists and locals scarfing down both trendy and traditional fare. New Haven is a city where the rough beauty of the past meets the youthful face of the future with mutual respect. •
FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 35
ROMANCING THE CARIBBEAN By Jenny Peters
t was a rough 2017 hurricane season for a lot of the islands in the Caribbean, but the good news this year is that many hard-hit places have bounced back. The islands are ready for visitors who are winterweary and long for a bit of warmth and a lot of fun.
VIEW CRUISES Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
February is the perfect month to make your flight to where sun, warm waters and a bit of Calypso music await; scoop up your Valentine, too, and make a romantic journey out of it. There’s plenty to see and do aboard one of the large cruise ships, which are all sailing once again to the Caribbean, making fascinating stops along the way. Our choice was the Princess Cruises Crown Princess ocean liner from Fort Lauderdale (just a three-hour flight from NYC) to the Eastern Caribbean. We were distinctly pleased to see recovery at every stop along the eight-day trip. In fact, you can follow this same itinerary on the March 3, 2018 cruise. Of course, there are other Princess Cruise ships which depart for the Caribbean throughout the spring and summer. Take one of these trips to discover why the Caribbean remains the world’s most popular region for cruise vacations.
ABOARD THE SHIP There’s much for lovers (and others) to experience aboard a Princess ship: the cruise to the Eastern Caribbean includes a few full days at sea, giving you plenty of time to check things out. Of course, you can simply book a balcony room and while away the day watching the water and relaxing. But with a luxurious full-service spa onboard, perhaps a couple’s massage or a chocolate body wrap ought to go on the agenda, too? Naturally, there are plenty of events scheduled all day and all night on the cruise, ranging from exercise classes (yoga, Zumba, etc.) to movies, seminars, music and live entertainment shows (check out the magic show if it is offered). And, of course, there’s food galore from 24-hour room service to the elegant, not-to-be-missed Chef ’s Table. Book this limited offering in advance. You’ll visit the ship’s galley for Champagne and appetizers, see the kitchens where the chefs prepare thousands of meals, then go on to a dining room meal that features numerous courses of sublime tastes. We loved the ship’s newest concept, a wine blending experience offered in conjunction with Silverado Vineyards. Taking four of the famed Napa Valley winery’s best reds, a wine expert guides you through mixing the varietals until you’ve blended wine that’s perfect for your palate.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
Nevis birthplace of Hamilton ©Jenny Peters
Crown Princess in the Caribbean
The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, the first stop on our cruise, looked fantastic, sunny and gorgeous—and seemingly unharmed. The two islands are one country, a sovereign state that is still part of the British Commonwealth, both claimed by Columbus for the Spanish and settled by both the British and French by the 1600s. Today St. Kitts is known for its annual music festival and Nevis for being the 1757 birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, which draws lots of tourists to his small brick house on that lovely island. On our ship excursion, visits on Nevis included his modest home as well as the St. Thomas Lowland Church, built in 1643, with a cemetery overlooking the sea and St. Kitts. It’s a beautiful burial spot with an astounding view. Down on Pinney’s Beach, we tasted some spicy jerk chicken at Lime Beach Bar and swam in the warm, azure water. The Brimstone Hill Fortress on St. Kitts is a UNESCO World Heritage site, representing one of the oldest and best-preserved forts in the Americas and is also well-worth a visit. There’s the Clay Villa Plantation House to see, too, built in 1763 and never worked by slaves; and the Romney Manor ruins, a sugar plantation that once was. And while there was hurricane damage on both islands, the country’s revenues are rooted in tourism, which makes it essential for visitors to return, both here and to the other islands of the Caribbean. 36 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
ANTIGUA Arriving at Antigua, it’s easy to see why everyone from Eric Clapton to Oprah Winfrey has owned estates here. This massive island is stunning, with lovely coves tucked in all around the coastline, each holding a prettier beach than the last. The island has 365 beaches (one for each day of the year), believe it or not. Taking the Princess Cruises’ six-hour excursion that featured a zippy catamaran ride, plenty of time to enjoy one of those beautiful beaches—or a chance to stay on the boat and do flips, dives and jumps off the side into deep water—is a total blast. Finish off the afternoon with a lobster and Champagne lunch grilled up right on the catamaran. And while its sister island Barbuda still needs time to recover—90 percent of the structures on that Island were damaged by Hurricane Irma—most residents are safe on Antigua, where the rum punch is flowing, the steel drums are jamming, and the seafood is grilling. Even if you don’t go by cruise ship, Antigua is one of the jewels of the Eastern Caribbean and should be on your list of places that just might define the word “paradise.” Antigua beach
ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
In St. Thomas, we discovered two different results from the hurricane. Scuba diving under the clear blue waters at two various dive sites revealed some damage to the corals; fish and other sea creatures were slowly returning. Sea turtles were already back, especially at the wreck we dove, which has served as an artificial reef for more than 50 years. Barracuda glittered as they ambled past and a large stingray rose out of its nap from the sea floor, camouflaged with sand until it began flapping its fins and rose up to meander away, a gorgeous sight to see. On land, there were telltale signs of hurricane damage, as one of the Princess Cruises’ exclusive Animal Planet recommended tours traveled to the top of the island, where vistas of land and water showed some of the hurricane’s wrath still in evidence. But despite that damage, there were still places to marvel from Mountain Top, the island’s highest peak, to the Kongens Quarter, where plenty of shops offered local goods, music and homemade foods to sample.
GRAND TURK Grand Turk, part of the beautiful Turks and Caicos island chain, was the last stop on our cruise, and again it offered a bit of yin and yang. Under the water, the usually vibrant corals found here were somewhat muted, suffering from sand churned and deposited atop the delicate structures. But the island itself was thriving, abuzz with the visitors streaming off the cruise ships, many who chose to just settle into the beachfront cabanas and lounge chairs set outside Margaritaville, an outpost of Jimmy Buffett’s famous tropical chain just steps from the dock. We suggest taking a glass-bottom kayaking trip into the nearby mangroves to get up close to the birds and other creatures that call Grand Turk home. It’s a gorgeous way to complete a visit to the still-vibrant Caribbean that is hoping visitors from New York and beyond come to call. For more information on Princess Cruises, visit princess.com. •
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7 ROMANTIC ROOMS WITH A VIEW By Norah Bradford
t makes perfect sense that Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of winter; after all, what’s more romantic than escaping the city and cozying up with a loved one? No matter what kind of getaway you choose, though, finding the right hotel is the most crucial factor for making your trip memorable.
BOOK YOUR ROMANTIC NIGHT Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
THE MOLLY GIBSON LODGE Aspen, Colorado Calling all powder hounds—the great outdoors is beckoning. High-altitude adventures await you in Aspen with a naturally luxurious setting! The Molly Gibson Lodge is located at the center of this snow capital amidst the restaurants, bars, retail and Ajax Mountain. Situated right on Main Street in downtown Aspen just 3.5 miles from Pitkin County Airport, the Molly Gibson Lodge allows you the freedom to experience shopping, fine dining and the beautiful sights and sounds of this snow capital. Unique to the Molly Gibson are the Molly King rooms, with a sumptuous level of detail to the little things with one fundamental question to address—do you choose to stay in the Molly King room with the fireplace or the in-room Jacuzzi tub? Info: mollygibson.com.
FOGO ISLAND INN Newfoundland, Canada Our friendly neighbors to the north offer the perfect opportunity for a romantic escape. Just imagine you are together at the ends of the Earth—and you’ll find yourselves at the award-winning Fogo Island Inn located off the coast of Newfoundland. Located on an idyllic island, Fogo Island Inn was designed by Newfoundlandborn, Norway-based architect Todd Saunders. The 43,000 square-foot Inn is perched on stilts and hugs the North Atlantic coastline, offering unbeatable views of the sea and sky. The Inn’s architecture is bold, optimistic, and distinctly of this place. The 29 suites feature floor to ceiling views of the island and amenities include a library, cinema, wood-fired sauna and outdoor hot tubs. Info: fogoislandinn.com.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK London, England Feel the love at one of the great hotels in London, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, which is continually striving to ensure the highest levels of service. With its extensive renovation of the entire hotel, the full beauty of this 115-year-old structure will shine. For the luxe experience why not stay in a Knightsbridge Suite (go ahead, splurge!). The generous living room features a velvet sofa, a reading chair, and a mirrored coffee table. The striking glass chandelier, gilded mirror artwork and hand tufted carpets and rugs reflect the beauty of nearby Hyde Park. New experiences at the hotel include Cookery Classes in concert with Divertimenti Cookware specialists. And, of course, there’s always The Spa to soothe the body and soul. Info: mandarinoriental.com/london. 38 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
THE KEMPINSKI GRAND HOTEL DES BAINS St. Moritz, Switzerland The quintessential skiers’ paradise, Switzerland is a heavenly destination. For many though, it is St Moritz that holds the title as the best ski resort in the Swiss Alps. It is famed for its astonishing natural beauty, excellent variety of sports, and unparalleled luxury accommodation. Head for a five-star romance amongst the jet-set ski slopes of St. Moritz in southeastern Switzerland and stay at the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains for a dose of Grand Budapest Hotel. Located in the Upper Engadine and accessible by road, rail, and air, the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains boasts a spa and three restaurants. Stay in a Grand Deluxe Room, enjoy the mountain view and work out those ski—or even après-ski-induced aches and pains in the lavish bathtub. Info: kempinski.com.
RITZ-CARLTON NEW ORLEANS New Orleans, Louisiana Historic Spanish-style architecture and undeniable Creole influence make the Big Easy one of the country’s most popular destinations. Spend your days exploring the Victorian mansions in the Garden District, and the eclectic boutique and antique shops along Magazine Street. Then, stroll back to your luxurious accommodations at the resort-like Ritz Carlton New Orleans. The top-notch spa and beautiful public spaces allow you to recharge in the utmost elegance. Rooms feature antique-inspired decor with antebellum charm, fine linens, and over-sized king beds. Upgrade to the Club Level and enjoy a parlor like lounge with its concierge, complimentary wine and spirits, and varied gourmet food. The spa offers guests a full-treatment menu along with a cafe to regroup after treatments. Info: ritzcarlton.com.
HALEKULANI Honolulu, Hawaii Crystal clear waters, an iconic curve of beach, and a lively urban setting draw couples to Oahu’s largest city. By day, sun-worshipers and surfers descend on the tourist mecca of Waikiki Beach. Spend your day peoplewatching or riding the gentle Pacific swells; then grab a mai tai at one of the many beachfront bars and enjoy a picture-perfect sunset against the backdrop of Diamond Head Crater. Romantics love the luxurious Halekulani (translation: “house befitting heaven”)—and from the moment you step into the lobby, the attention to detail and excellent service wrap you in privilege at this beachfront location away from Waikiki’s bustle. Spacious guest rooms, artfully appointed in marble and wood, have ocean views and an extra-large lanai. You’ll also find excellent dining options at Orchids, which hosts Sunday brunch, and at La Mer with its Belle Epoque bar. For a day of divine pampering, check into the award-winning SpaHalekulani. Info: halekulani.com.
SNOW KING RESORT Jackson Hole, Wyoming Everyone from skiers and snowboarders to spa-lovers can find breathtakingly scenic places to pursue their passion in Jackson Hole. Aside from incredible skiing, outdoor lovers will find romantic sleigh rides in the National Elk Refuge, snowmobile tours in and around national forests, and even dog-sled rides to occupy the hours. After a full day exploring the slopes and natural wonders, it’s time to retreat to your heavenly haven at Snow King Resort, where you’ll find the wilderness has been tamed! Surrounded by the Bridger Teton National Forest and a short six blocks from downtown Jackson, you’ll find spacious accommodations with all the luxurious comforts—with plenty of mountain views. The Haydens Post restaurant serves traditional American cuisine as well as signature dishes. The Lounge has light dining and a full drink menu. Sometimes, though, you just need to “chill.” A massage or workout can rejuvenate for even more adventures to come. Info: snowking.com. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 39
THROUGH THE LENS Photography By AnnieWatt.com
THEATRE COMMUNICATIONS GROUP (TCG) GALA
DAVID BEERâ€™S A GRAND AFFAIR BOOK PARTY
DECORATORS CLUB HOLIDAY PARTY
Ellen Kravet, Kravet family and friends
Board Members David Beer, Dr. Catherine Hart
Marshall Jones III David Beer, Patty Sullivan, Maisie Houghton
National Council for Theatre Honorees
Scott Frankel, Michael Korie, Doug Wright, Michael Greif, Philip Himberg
Ann Nitze, Baroness Veronique Bich, Emily Frick
Bill Bernhard, Ann Nitze, Leonard Lauder, Emily Frick, Bill Nitze
Katie Leede, Stephanie Stokes, Louisa Ryan
Katie Rinner, James Druckman
Louisa Ryan, Julie Sargent, Carolyn Sollis
FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 41
HOLIDAY HOUSE 10TH ANNIVERSARY
LENOX HILL NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE GALA
Holiday House 2017
Richard Leonard, Dr. Douglas Steinbrech, Jeff Sharp, Emily Leonard
Daniel Lombardi, Orane Abecis, Rayon Black, Katharina Plath
Angela Clofine, Kamie Lightburn, Kathy Prounis, Meredith Marks, Yaz and Valentin Hernandez, Jacque Assulette, Paige Boller
Iris Dankner, and Dan Calkins of Benjamin Moore
Charles Cecil, Janice Cecil, Nicole Miller, Mark Dorfman
Kim Radovich, Bjorn Bjornsson, Iris Dankner
Derek Samuelson, Lillie Miller, Liz Munson, Warren Scharf
42 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
LIGHTHOUSE GUILD CELEBRATES VISION AND HEALTH AT ANNUAL LIGHTYEARS GALA
James Dubin, Edmonia Scott, Dr. Alan Morse, Adrienne Norbeck
Eric Maidenberg, Pauline Raiff, James Dubin, Dr. Alan Morse
Katherine Ortella, Rachel Alonso-Mendoza, Catherine Petree, Victoria Campbell
Mark Ackermann, Pauline Raiff, James Dubin, Darcy Stacom. Dr. Alan Morse, Brian Gell, Eric Maidenberg
BOB AND LAUREN DAY ROBERTS HOLIDAY PARTY
MILOS EVENT SPACE REOPENING
ORDER OF ST JOHN OF JERUSALEM KNIGHTS HOSPITALLER HOLIDAY GALA
Joan Kron, Francine Leinhard, Costas Spiliadis Adriel Gonzalez, Dame Candace Gonzalez, Dame Ann Van Ness, Chevalier William Van Ness
Lauren Day Roberts
Bob and Lauren Day Robert, Francine Le Frak, Rick Friedberg, Michele Herbert
Costas Spiliadis, Steve Manket, Greg Gilman, Ken Himmel
Bishop Dean Wolfe, Ellen Wolfe
Joanne Kates, Susan Dubin, Jim Dubin Bob and Lauren Day Roberts, Katrina and Don Peebles Gretchen Evans, Aura
Bob and Lauren Day Roberts, President of the United Nations General Assembly the Honorable Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and wife Muna
Marc Rosen, Francine Leinhard
Peter Sturgis, Evelyn Berry, Bill Frank, Diana Frankel, Joyce Frank, Frank Hughes
FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 43
PAJAMA PROGRAM AND THE HOUR CHILDREN
PARK AVENUE TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY AT BRICK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
PUBLICOLORâ€™S ANNUAL PRIMER PAINTING PARTY
Publicolor Alumni Ann Van Ness, Fiorenzo Dogliani Jack Lynch, Mary Davidson, Anne Randell, Barbara McLaughlin
Jessica Romn, Alex Shuman Candace Gonzales, Camillia Knickerbocker Grey cadets
Bunny Grossinger, Hour Children
Karan, Priya, Rohan, Arya Sehgal Lit tree in front of Brick Church
Nigel Belfast, Lisa Belfast
Rick Miller, Melinda Nelson, Josh Bell
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Maryellen Saenger, Cheryl Breitkopf, Ella Saenger, Natalie Breitkopf, Ruth Shuman, Eli Diker, Mark Diker
SOANE FOUNDATION 2017 GALA
SOLDIERS SAILORS HOLIDAY LUNCHEON
STARTA ACCELERATORâ€™S DEMO DAY & CELEBRATION HOSTED BY ALEXANDRE GERTSMAN CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY
Alison Chase, Andrea Catsimatidis Thomas Jayne, Jonathan Hogg, Thomas Kligerman
Laith Hugo (collector), Alexandre Gertsman (owner of Alexandre Gertsman Gallery), John Varoli ( V-Startup)
Margo Catsimatidis, Hazel Cathers Amy Astley, Barry Bergdoll
Jack Laney and Victoria Zavyalova (V-Startup)
Navy Recruiting District NY Color Guard Katya Dorozhkina (Starta Capital); Alexandre Gertsman (owner of Alexandre Gertsman Gallery); Alla Levina (Starta Accelerat
Annabelle Selldorf and David Chipperfield
Jack Meyers, Rachel Meyers, Amy Meyers, Rebecca Sender, Kristina Chmelar
Tony Lo Bianco, Alyse Lo Bianco
Whether it is a charitable cause, a magazine cover, or a special occasion, the photographers with Annie Watt.com make an occasion more memorable. Annie and her associates embody the essence of professionalism, seamlessly moving through any assignment with finesse and an innate ability to capture the moment at its heart. Book a photographer/videographer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oleh Pankiv and Valerie Teverovska (Axis Systems) DO YOU KNOW THESE PEOPLE? Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 45
SEEING RED By Joan Hornig
ur eyes are drawn to the color immediately. It has the power to signal “stop and pay attention!” From fashion stylists, makeup artists to job coaches, we all know the color red gives that instant boost of confidence and a surge of power.
SUPPORT HEART HEALTH Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
In 2003, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) put red to work to fight the No. 1 killer in women—cardiovascular disease, which claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year. Not only a U.S. concern, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year worldwide, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. To address this major global issue, the Go Red for Women campaign, a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their health, was born.
HELP NON-PROFITS The Go Red for Women “branding” not only impressed me with its effectiveness, it also played a role in inspiring me to start my own jewelry business which enables women to become “walking advertisements” highlighting the importance of helping non-profits, and foundations they care about. Every purchase of my jewelry supports a donation of 100 percent of my profit to the charity of that customer’s choice. My belief that fashion, philanthropy and the power of the purse cannot be ignored is proven by the effectiveness of the Go Red for Women campaign which has had measurable, substantial effects in changing behavior for the better. Go Red for Women is nothing short of a healthy revolution movement—corporations, a host of non-profits, consumers and the press have all embraced it. It has been so effective in changing behavior that the AHA has set a realistic goal of reducing death and disability from cardiovascular disease and strokes by 20 percent, while improving the overall cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent by the year 2020. This is based on the success of the programming that has supported women having healthy hearts. The campaign has been credited with having contributed to the following accomplishments:
46 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
• Nearly 90 percent of women have made at least one healthy behavior change. • More than one-third of women have lost weight. • More than 50 percent of women have increased their exercise. • 6 out of 10 women have changed their diets. • More than 40 percent of women have checked their cholesterol levels. • One-third of women have talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans. • Today nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and strokes each day than they did 15 years ago. • Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past ten years.
RED LETTER DAY This year National Wear Red Day® falls on February 2nd. It’s a day when we see more red dresses worn than at a Christmas party! In 2003 NHLBI introduced the red dress as a national symbol for women and heart disease awareness and the AHA adopted this symbol to create synergy among all organizations committed to the fight. By working together to advance this cause, we have witnessed the benefits of collaboration through additive programs, rather than competing ones which further fragment the non-profit landscape. Significant funds are raised by Go Red for Women activities which the AHA uses to support awareness, research, education and community programs which benefit women’s health. Scientific research findings are used in materials and tools for women’s healthcare providers and decision-makers. More than 200,000 healthcare provider offices have received Go Red for Women educational tools to help ensure that women are being treated according to guidelines set by the most current research and with the protocols tailored to a woman’s individual risk.
Jessica Eker, Senior Vice President, TransPerfect and Elizabeth Elting, Co-CEO, TransPerfect. TransPerfect is a local Go Red For Women sponsor in New York City. Photo courtesy of TelyFoto Inc; Alphonse Telymonde.
This game-changing campaign has inspired millions learn more and find the five numbers all women need to know to take control of their heart health: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Body Mass Index (BMI). To learn more about this campaign, visit goredforwomen.org. Corporations have jumped on the wagon to add sponsorships despite having to comply with requirements in their commercial messages, advertising and brand messages to ensure no endorsement of a company product is implied. The commitment of Macy’s, CVS, Britta, Jamberry, and JTV® as the national sponsors play a crucial role in championing Go Red For Women.
New York City Executive Leadership Team for Go Red in New York City. Photo courtesy Great Heights Photography
If a red dress isn’t your thing, but you want to show your sartorial support for women with heart disease and stroke you can visit Shop Heart (shopheart.org). You can take a selfie, organize your office to wear red, organize a walk in your neighborhood, dress every member of your family in red, wear red lipstick and nail polish or just use your creativity and share it by posting photos using the hashtag #wearredandgive. Also, follow on Facebook: click.heartemail.org; and Twitter: twitter.com/goredforwomen.
REMEMBER THE GUYS Women also know that we must also take care of the men in our lives when it comes to having a healthy heart and a lifestyle and so do our city and state governments. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has instituted an ongoing campaign to help all our citizens, and health providers address hypertension, the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Together they account for more than 18,000 deaths in NYC annually. Keep your eyes open for free blood pressure kiosks in pharmacies, kits available in your health care provider’s offices and information about reducing your sodium intake and making healthy food choices, all of which are part of the city’s effort to build on the effectiveness of campaigns like Go Red for Women. Consider sending donations to donatenow.heart.org/ goredforwomen. Even better why not send a Valentine in honor of your loved ones. It will send a message that conveys “your heart means something to me.” Doing so will pair perfectly with a box of dark chocolate (good for the heart), flowers and, of course, jewelry—preferably Joan Hornig Jewelry. All donations go to the AHA. •
Photo by Rance Elgin
Joan Hornig is a New York-based Jewelry Designer, Social Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist. She left a Wall Street career 15 years ago to create a jewelry line at Bergdorf Goodman, where 100 percent of her profit is donated to the charity of the purchaser’s choice. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 47
NOTES FROM DB By Daniel J. Bollinger
here is a lot of talk about how the new 2018 tax reform will affect the real estate market. In reality, we have to wait “for the dust to settle” to see how it all plays out. Most people in the industry are espousing that this new tax reform is going to hurt real estate by causing a drop in prices of approximately 10 percent. I would disagree that a drop in prices is going to hurt our market. Through the end of 2017 we saw a softening in the real estate market. And with the new reform will (supposedly) cause additional softening in pricing in the market. I think this will be a good thing for the market—the drop in pricing will cause an increase in activity (closed transactions).
BACK TO REALITY The NYC real estate market has been on a hot streak the past few years and with all things that go up—they must come down. Over the last few months I have been writing about the market needing to “come back down to reality” in regards to the aspirational pricing that has been prevalent in the market. This tax reform may provide the “straw” on the camel’s back to solidify a shift to realistic pricing. There are a number of examples of Manhattan units being reduced to a realistic price (after years on the market) and selling. Some include: • 432 Park Ave Penthouses 91A & 91B. Original List: $80mm. Sold: $60.1mm. Price Difference: 25 percent. • Hillary Swanks’ old brownstone at 33 Charles Street. Original List: $12mm. Sold $10.5mm. Price Difference: 12.5 percent. • Harry Houdini’s East Harlem brownstone. Original List: $4.6mm. Sold $3.6mm. Price Difference: 22 percent. I predict that this era of aspirational pricing will end in 2018 especially when there are still many new developments coming to market. This will affect different aspects of the market in different ways. For one, if you were planning on flipping a unit this year, you will probably have to extend your time horizon, unless you are willing to accept a more realistic price. An example of this is a penthouse in the Baccarat Hotel & Residences just listed at a loss, though we don’t know the reason the owner is selling. Secondly, if you are reselling a unit in today’s market, your main competition will be this new development, so once again, expect to price your re-sale more realistically. Speaking of competition, the sheer amount of new development is going to heat up the competition within the new development market itself. I predict there will be “winners” and “losers” in this new development market. There is a slew of inventory currently on the market and 48 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
coming to market in 2018. A development is really going to include all the factors of value that I wrote about in the December/January issue to distinguish itself from the pack. A good example of a winner is 50 West Street. Though the market has been slow these past few months there was a nice cluster of closings/sales in this building. Lenny Kravitz’s 75 Kenmare Street is also a good example. One thing I always stress to a buyer is to work with a knowledgeable buyer’s agent who can explain what each new development offers and who knows the factors of value to help make an informed investment decision. In the rental market, I see more of the same, more concessions being offered to renters and a softening of the rental market, which is the opposite of what the new tax bill is (supposedly) going to cause. No matter how many tax breaks, you give developers, regardless of capping the SALT deduction for homeowners or doubling the standard deduction and (supposedly) killing the effectiveness of the mortgage-interest deduction, if people cannot afford the rent: reductions/concessions will have to be made to fill the building. And there are a lot of new rental buildings coming to market.
TO RECAP The sky is not falling. The world isn’t ending. NYC is possibly the safest city to invest in real estate in terms of hedging against inflation and as a safehaven for value retention. As I have been saying for the past few months, we simply need to come back down to reality with pricing. Reality pricing will increase volume in activity, and our market will become more stable and healthier. For more information about the New Development Market, visit Daniel J. Bollinger at danieljbollinger@ yahoo.com or call 718-662-9493. • Daniel J. Bollinger Luxury Real Estate Expert Keller Williams Tribeca DJB@KWNYC.com danielbollinger.kw.com
DANIEL J BOLLINGER • New Development Expert • Knows NYC & Brooklyn • Relocation Specialist • Commercial Experience Contact Daniel for all of your real estate needs:
Daniel J Bollinger Licensed Real Estate Salesperson T: 646-677-0627 C: 718-662-9493 DJB@kwnyc.com 379 Broadway | New York, NY 10013
50 WEST STREET By Daniel J. Bollinger | Renderings by DBOX | Photography by QuallsBenson
n the Lower West Side of New York City, blocks from Battery Park City and the West Side Highway, there is a new area that is becoming known as Billionaire’s Row Downtown. One new development here is 50 West Street. Developer Francis Greenburger has designed this with thought to personal living, social environment, and terrain in mind. The residences themselves “defy the laws of luxury” as their website says. An amenities package like this is seldom seen. The engineers and architects that constructed this development deserve accolades.
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TERRAIN Because of its location downtown, the foundation is waterproof: think of it as a bathtub that keeps water out. There are generators located on upper floors to keep all functions of the building intact at all times should anything fail. All of the interior space in this building is built above the flood plain, so there is no need to concern yourself. World renowned architect Helmut Jahn and interior designer Thomas Juul-Hanson have designed this beautiful project. From the outside, the curved glass of the façade is a breath of fresh air for the area architecture. This follows to the interiors as floor-to-ceiling curved glass provides for outstanding double exposures with views of the city’s most iconic scenery. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 51
PERSONAL LIVING Three bedroom apartments (up to the 34th floor) have 20-foot ceiling heights with this curved glass aspect: all others have 10-foot ceilings. The open concept great room composed of the kitchen, living and dining rooms are all featured within this curved glass. It is the perfect place for family and entertainment. Colors are neutral, patterns are minimal, and fixtures are subtle so that you can enjoy the most compelling element of the residences: the New York skyline. The stained walnut integrated cabinets and brushed black Absolute Zimbabwe granite countertops, and backsplashes create a warm, regal feel especially with the Axor Citterio polished chrome fixtures. Top notch Miele and Sub-Zero appliances are what you would expect in a project like this. One design detail worth mentioning, the stainless steel Miele hood vent (that vents out) has a nice functional ledge in the design. There is a deep stainless steel kitchen sink, and the integrated cabinetry includes pantry shelving and built-in garbage containers. The master baths are equally chic with floor to ceiling polished Siberian Sunset marble and Hans Grohe fixtures. The fluted glass bathroom wall brings the design to a higher level. With custom medicine cabinets and wall to wall mirrors, these master baths are quite grand. 52 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT The amenities package is spectacular. Four floors are devoted to amenities for everyone from toddlers to adults. A library, children’s room, theater with stadium-style seating, and a private full floor fitness center are just some of them. The Entertainment Floor has a private dining/ demonstration kitchen, an arts and crafts room, lounge, and game room. The 60-foot indoor pool in The Water Club is fantastic, along with the hot tub and sauna, and since all are professionally managed, there are organized activities for children and adults. The Observatory on the roof is another one-of-a-kind amenity. Glassed in to protect from winds at such heights, with barbecues, outdoor kitchen, banquet tables, and private reservable dining areas. Binocular tower viewers allow for an extraordinary experience on your rooftop amenity. Another unique offer at 50 West Street is office condominiums available for purchase for residents only. A dedicated office elevator lobby allows for both discretion and the feeling of an away from home work environment. All offices share a conference room and pantry which can be accessed via a separate commercial entrance on the plaza. If that’s not all, there is even a bar and restaurant inside of the building which makes for convenient and leisurely dining and socializing. Taking a client to lunch before having a business meeting in your office or conference room so close to home has never been easier or more thoughtfully designed. You will find 50 West Street has thought of everything for the modern urban family. From the structural design and mechanicals to living to social experience, this development is really in a class by itself. In the ever competitive luxury real estate market 50 West Street is setting the bar. For a full list of amenities and more information on 50 West Street, visit 50westnyc.com. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 53
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62-66 NORTH 3RD STREET By Daniel J. Bollinger
n the heart of North Williamsburg, we have a twin sister two building boutique development. Brought to us by Flatiron Real Estate Advisors, Duke Equities, and MJM this ground-up development is comprised of 13 total units. Five of the units are floor thru and there are a plethora of excellent design details throughout every residence that we can thank the interior designer Kimberly Peck for. Williamsburg is one of the hottest places in Brooklyn, and this new development is in the heart of it all. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 55
INTERIORS The interiors pay homage to Williamsburg’s industrial history with exposed concrete ceilings which are very high at 11 feet. The spaces still have a warm feel as they are balanced in the open kitchen/living/dining room with matte black smudge proof Fenix Italian composite kitchen cabinets and blizzard white Select Quartz white Bianco Puro countertops. Matching matte black chrome Dornbracht fixtures complete the design. The contrasting black and white kitchen with concrete ceilings and wood floors work very well together. The kitchens have Bosch, Sub-Zero, and Liebherr appliances. Even though the space is composed of a dark hue, there is plenty of light entering the space with almost floor to ceiling windows. The windows are high quality triple paned German Schüco windows with black casings. The master baths are well designed too with Bianco Carrera Marble walls. Two nice design details are the high arched faucets (in the kitchen too) and oversized wall tiles. The vertically laid textured tiles in the powder rooms accentuate the very high ceilings. Quality fixtures are throughout with Lacava double sinks with custom floating vanities, deep soaking tubs, and Robern frameless medicine cabinets. The wet rooms have great niche factor. All units have terraces or balconies, plenty of walk-in closets, and recess LED lighting. The penthouse units are unique bi-level, full-floor with views both North and South. They also boast multiple outdoor spaces with private roof deck spaces, and balconies off the master bedrooms.
AMENITIES There are some fitting amenities included: Virtual doorman with video intercom, inviting rooftop terrace, private storage for every residence completes this picture. You may not notice it is a new development because the exterior is made of richly colored dark red brick that looks old, unlike the more modern vibrantly red bricks of today. The location is ideal since you’re close to everything Williamsburg has to offer. The prices here denote value, and with the limited amount of units, this development should be a winner in today’s saturated market. For more information on 62-66 North 3rd Street, visit norththirdcondos.com. • VIEW AVAILABILITY & PRICES Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
56 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
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200 EAST 21ST STREET By Daniel J. Bollinger | Photography Courtesy of Alfa Development
n the heart of Gramercy, just one block from exclusive Gramercy Park, is a truly unique and very impressive new development located at 200 East 21st Street. This sixty seven-unit new development is comprised of one- to four-bedrooms and is twenty-one stories high.
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Brought to us by Alfa Development with BKSK architects and interiors designed by Champalimaud this development not only showcases what NYC luxury stands for, but is uniquely focused on sustainable design. This is the latest addition to Alfa Developmentâ€™s Green Collection of sustainable properties targeting LEED-GOLD Certification.
INTERIORS/UNITS Kudos to BKSK Architects and Champalimaud interior designers. They have hit the mark with all the proper design details associated with luxury development. Check out the oversized layouts with bedrooms to match featuring solid wood doors and pocket doors throughout with Valli & Valli brushed nickel door hardware. High ceilings and open layouts with floor to ceiling windows are also prime features. Some units have windowed kitchens and bathrooms, some even over the soaking tubs in the master baths. Many units have gallery style layouts. The master baths have a variety of floor to ceiling marble including a beautiful Turkish marble with lilac veins with Dornbracht fixtures, recessed Robern medicine cabinets, and Rifra Milan vanities. The kitchen cabinets are unique, designed in collaboration with Poliform, with integrated cabinetry. The kitchen counters are a unique non-porous quartz, and the backsplashes feature a honed suede texture finish. The kitchens are of a warm natural tone. There is recessed LED lighting throughout, windowed hallways, some units have private outdoor space, and custom closets come standard in units on the 16th floor and above. All of the hallmark luxury designs and fixtures abound in these residences. But what distinguishes 200 East 21st Street from this overcrowded luxury market is their choice and implementation of sustainable, eco-friendly design decisions. 58 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
SUSTAINABLE ECO DESIGNS Many new luxury developments feature some sustainable design details. 200 East 21st Street has committed to implementing a plethora with the direct intent of well-being and healthful living for its residents. The mechanicals include filtered water throughout all taps in residences. There are also air filters throughout apartments. They chose a full Miele package in kitchens because Miele has the highest energy rating of all appliances. Windows are double paned and insulated which mitigates sound and blocks UV rays. Windows combine with an efficient building envelope and exchange limiting gaskets provide natural light and minimize heat gain. State-of-the-art Daikin HVAC systems for zoned central air are standard. All fixtures, faucets, and appliances are water conserving. These are most of the eco-friendly designs inside each unit. Common area and building eco-designs include a vertical green wall in the lobby to improve indoor air quality. A landscaped communal green roof designed by Halsted Welles Associates provides natural insulation and reduces “heat island effect.” There is a rainwater collection system on the roof to aid in reducing storm water run-off and is used for irrigating the plantings. A solar-powered domestic water production system provides 60% of the building’s hot water. A wind energy vendor offers the building’s electricity. Movement sensors throughout the common areas eliminate wasteful use of energy. This is a non-smoking building, AKA, Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control. This minimizes exposure to airborne pollutants and improves insulation between residences. I foresee no problems with 200 East 21st Street receiving its LEED GOLD certification.
AMENITIES Significant amenities including 24-hour attended lobby and concierge, an extensive wellness center with gym, sauna, and treatment room are just the beginning. There is a resident lounge with dining area, entertainment area with a fireplace, and billiards table. There is also a landscaped rooftop lounge as well as bicycle storage (for purchase). This is a fine development in one of the most coveted of NYC locations—Gramercy Park. Alfa Development, BKSK Architects, and Champalimaud interior designers have implemented all the hallmark features of what marks a “luxury” development. For more information on 200 East 21st Street, visit 200e21.com. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 59
SPOTLIGHT: DXA STUDIO By Daniel J. Bollinger
eet DXA Studio’s Wayne Norbeck and Jordan Rogove, who together have a combined 30 years in architecture. Currently, their company has over 40 projects from residential to commercial: yoga studios, townhomes, new developments, and hotels. I had a chance to meet up with Jordan and Wayne to find out a little more about their endeavors.
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DXA Studio is one of the most trusted architect firms. What’s a typical day? Wayne Norbeck: Busy, busy, busy! The phone keeps ringing every day with new project opportunities. Each call is better than the one before. It’s a dream. Tell us about new projects? Jordan Rogove: We have been hired to do a 300,000 square foot multi-family residential building in Chelsea, a cast-iron restoration retail building in SoHo, a community facility in Fort Greene, a hotel in Midtown and a condo building with retail at the end of the N subway in Astoria, Queens. That’s quite an array of diverse projects. WN: One thing that DXA Studio prides itself is our ability to work on a diverse range of projects. For us, the thrill of this profession comes from learning and experimenting. So trying new projects and seeing if we can bring a fresh approach and rethink convention, is what we like to do. 60 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
DXA Studio’s Jordan Rogove and Wayne Norbeck
How have you managed that with so many specialized architectural firms in the market today? JR: It’s all about our process. Wayne and I are site-specific with our design and research-oriented in our approach. A lot of our time is spent at the sites, and we inventory everything of value there, like views, solar exposure, neighboring buildings, access, etc. Our designs always capitalize on these attributes. We also work intensely with our client to understand their program and aspirations and assess how we can bring value to it through thoughtful design. Together we create a narrative of all that is special about the place. What does that process usually result in? WN: It equates to why all of our projects look so different. No one can say that DXA has a specific style. This is one of the reasons why we have grown with a portfolio of work that is expansive and unique.
Could you give us an example? JR: Of course! We have recently contracted to renovate a building on Broadway that was designated an individual landmark for its cultural significance as a studio to some prominent artists including Willem de Kooning. These painters made New York City the art capital; it’s an exciting project to be a part of. How will you approach this project? WN: We see this as an opportunity to celebrate these artists and pique everyone’s curiosity, encouraging them to learn more about de Kooning, Poons, Jenkins and the others who painted there. We have studied their work and found inspiration for the design.
280 St Marks Ave Who are your architectural heroes? JR: We have many. Starting with some of the early modernists in Le Corbusier and Carlo Scarpa through contemporary practitioners like Chipperfield, Adjaye, and Herzog & de Meuron. Their consistently thoughtful and innovative projects are something we strive to emulate. Does DXA Studio have any limits on the scope and size of their work? WN: Definitely not. We do everything from small coffee shops to massive campuses and more. We do philanthropic work up to high-end uber luxury projects. Some of our current projects besides residential are quite diverse, from music venues for the Blue Note Jazz Club, to multiple Manhattan hotels, to an orphanage in Zambia, to several tech-focused luxury office buildings in NYC. It’s quite an assortment of opportunities and programs.
Brooklyn Courtyard House
What would you consider your most unique project? JR: It was a philanthropic project in Namibia to help fight malaria. We developed a series of renovations to homes to make them mosquito-free and created a manual on how to install them. We spent time over there training a group of technicians from the health ministry how to perform the work, and they applied it to several thousand homes this year. It’s wild to think some small architectural interventions can save lives. Any other specialties you would like to share with us? WN: One skill bears mentioning that DXA has learned from doing such a diverse array of projects, including very high end private residential projects. Even if a project has a limited budget, DXA can design something that has the look and feel of a luxury product. This is a skill that has resonated with both our development clients and the buyers of their projects. What is the next step for DXA? JR: We are foraying into the development world. We have so much experience designing developments that we decided to throw our hat in the ring with the acquisition of a defunct hospital in Detroit that we are going to convert to condos.
14 White Street
For more information on DXA Studio, visit dxastudio.com. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 61
SURGEON AS ARTIST By Ruth J. Katz
ou are wearing my work on your face, so to speak, and I want it to be subtle, yet successful work,” observed Russian-born Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich, with a wry smile. Dr. Konstantin, as his patients kindheartedly refer to him, is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in “work” from the neck up, having performed over 2,000 procedures in that heady stratosphere, with facelifts accounting for half of that number.
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“The relationship between a facial plastic surgeon and a patient is very special,” he notes. “It requires tremendous trust. My patient is saying, ‘I trust my face to you.’ You can hide other parts of your body with clothes, but your face is visible to the world all the time.” Just as he wants his efforts with the scalpel to be classic and classy so, too, has he created an office that reflects the Upper East Side neighborhood where he presides. The reception area and meetand-greet consulting rooms are very comfortable and living room-like, and it is only when you step back into the inner workings of the practice, do the more clinical and antiseptic treatment rooms appear. Dr. Vasyukevich, 48, is an assistant clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, having served a five-year residency in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at the Montefiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine as well as a facial plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship at Mount Sinai Medical Center. In addition, he holds a master’s degree in biological sciences. Recently, New York Lifestyles sat down with Dr. Vasyukevich to learn more about his philosophy and practice. Clearly, having performed over one thousand facelifts, that procedure is one of your specialties. How has the facelift changed over the years? Facelifts came into being in the early 1900s, and during the subsequent hundred years, techniques evolved and improved dramatically, offering better and longerlasting results. Today, surgeons employ a wide range of methods to achieve the most effective facial rejuvenation in people of different ages, with various types of facial structures, and with a wide range of issues. Because of these improvements in technique, facelift options have broadened dramatically. I like to group these options into three main categories: True surgical facelifts, non-facelift contouring procedures, and skin rejuvenation; among these possibilities, I can offer nearly a dozen different types of choices. Terminology can be very confusing, and we work patiently with our clients to determine which procedures and treatments are the best fit for the face and the budget. It is my goal to fully educate patients so that we know at the outset what kind of outcome to expect. We are partners in this journey. You clearly perform surgery a great deal of the time—you operate two days a week— but what about the “little touch-ups,” the subtle changes that can be achieved with injectables? About 50 percent of my practice focuses on facial contouring with injectables, including Botox and assorted fillers, and I do believe that they are very valuable tools in keeping the face “in shape,” up to a point, of course. Although injectable procedures and other non-surgical treatments are less complicated than surgery, injecting them requires a skilled hand and an experienced eye—someone who knows facial anatomy, to ensure achieving consistently excellent results. With Botox, for example, I would rather start out with less, and have a patient come back in a few weeks, to see if a little more is feasible, desirable, and appropriate. When should a woman consider injectables? At 30, a woman may consider lip enhancement, and perhaps a little cheek enhancement, and maybe even a little Botox in the forehead. In the 40s, more treatments 62 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
are usually warranted, using different fillers for various sections of the face. Sooner or later, a more comprehensive plan is needed, and that is when a patient might consider a facelift, which will keep the face looking young and vital. But fillers and facelifts are not substitutes for each other. Each gives a particular result. As for Botox, in general, I think if you do it all the time, it helps relax the forehead muscles, so that those lines don’t become deeper or more ingrained. You have been speaking about women, but what about men? Male clients make up about 15 percent of my practice, and I find that men like more radical solutions than women. For men, the most common reason for seeking surgical procedures is work-related, not wanting to look like the oldest person in the office. They want to stay ‘in the game’ and look and feel competitive, energetic, and capable. I do a lot of work on the eyes. In fact, blepharoplasty is one of the more popular procedures I perform on men. Patients tend to be surprised at what a big difference this procedure can make. The scars are well-hidden, the recovery is quick, and patients get a much brighter, more open look. What drew you to focus solely on the face and not do tummy tucks, breast augmentation, and so on? I like to use my surgical tools the way an artist controls his paintbrushes to create a pleasing canvas. I believe that facial plastic surgery is the most demanding, the most challenging, and the most rewarding plastic surgery specialty. Other specialties are important, assuredly, but what sets the face apart is that you cannot hide it. For more information on Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich, visit drkonstantin.com. •
The author of five books, Ruth J. Katz served as style editor of Promenade magazine. She has written extensively for both The New York Times and New York magazine, has served as an editor at numerous magazines, and appeared weekly on Fox TV as the consumer services expert. ©2018 Ruth J. Katz. All Rights Reserved.
FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 63
GENUINE LOVE By Dr. Peter Kalellis
nce a year there is a time when love surfaces, reaches out and culminates to highest points. It is Valentine’s Day that we express our love in colorful flowers, elegant dinners, expensive presents and eloquent promises to love forever. Perhaps, this could be an excellent time to evaluate our love. In most relationships, there is a potential for both love and selfish attitudes. The power of love brings to our lives a dramatic immediacy. With no time to dwell in the past or worry about the future, we live a life of on-going ecstasy. When our personal relationship slides from the magical to mundane, we become heavily laden with layers of the past and demands of the future. We look at our loved one and think, “You didn’t?” “I think you shouldn’t have.” All those silent demands cement themselves into a wall between our two souls, making love and trust difficult. A relationship can become a heaven or a hell, depending on whether we bring out the best or the worst in each other and ourselves. Because attitudes are contagious, the result is usually mutual love or mutual indifference, shared interests or conflicts.
THOUGHTS YOU MAY CONSIDER • As mature adults, we cannot expect unconditional love from another person. Human love is never unconditional. If we want and desire to have unconditional love, we need to get a dog, • When we were children, we deserved and needed a type of unconditional love. But now as an adult, we can understand what it takes to be loved. We need to be lovable. • As soon as we begin to have loving feelings for someone, we start to share our inner self—dreams, hopes, wishes, plans, and aspirations. Then we need to ask ourselves a question: is the other person willing to accept this type of our love unconditionally? • When two people delight in each other’s presence in an environment of security based on mutual reciprocity and trust, expressing respect and caring, their love blossoms and becomes a most rewarding experience which will need to be nurtured to be maintained. 64 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
A SINCERE INTEREST Sometimes sensual attraction is equated with honest love. Male and female are attracted to each other and meet each other’s physical needs and expectations. There is nothing wrong with that sort of attraction; it is part of life. But if, at some point in any relationship one or both cannot find satisfaction with each other, dissatisfaction sets in, communications suffer, resulting in distance. All this can be controlled or even avoided if we search and pursue the meaning of genuine love. What is genuine love? It is a sincere interest in the well-being and happiness of the other person. Saying, I love you, needs to be accompanied by an honest and heartfelt interest in the other: In genuine love, self-reliance coexists with sharing. Genuine love understands and accepts the human condition of the other person. The other person’s uniqueness must be appreciated and respected. Genuinely loving a person encourages intimacy. Greater emphasis has been given in recent years, and plethora of books and articles have been written about it. In a significant relationship, a couple with commitment to live together or an actual marriage, intimacy is not only desirable, but it is also necessary for the enrichment of their life. Because of its nature, intimacy consists of thoughts, feelings, loving interaction, and physical touch. Each person and each couple perceives intimacy differently. Intimacy cannot be a symbiotic existence, as in that of mother and child. When intimacy becomes dependency—you have got to take care of me, baby, because I love you. Or I want you to be near me all the time—the relationship becomes bondage. One person cannot expect the other person to be the total source of fulfillment and happiness. Such expectation is unrealistic, and it could easily cause trouble.
ATTRACTING LOVE Our human potential is endowed with love, and it can release untold benefits too in our life. We will have better-living conditions, and there will be care and concern for the wellness of each individual. A cold and meaningless life is where love is lacking. What is the satisfaction or the meaning of life if we perform tasks for mere coexistence? When we live our life according to God’s will and purpose our body, mind, and soul culminate in love. This love becomes active and, true in its nature, radiates of itself and blesses whatever and whomsoever it touches. If we desire genuine love, we must set up a lifestyle which attracts love. When we set ourselves under God’s grace, trusting in His everlasting love for us, and pursue the path of loving and living, then love would seal the union of people who love each other with a bond that endures even the adversities in life. Dr. Peter M. Kalellis is a psychotherapist, marriage and family therapist, lecturer, and writer. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology and is the author of many books. He maintains his practice in Westfield, New Jersey.
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WALK YOUR WAY TO FITNESS By Patricia Canole
ost New Yorkers may think they’re experts when it comes to walking. After all, we’re known to the rest of the world as the best city for walking. But take it from those in the know: Besides getting you from point A to point B, walking is the best heart-healthy exercise going. Here, some pointers on the proper way to better walking and getting the extra calorie-burning bang. Try them on your next stroll around town.
ARM YOURSELF Borrow this simple move from Olympic champions. Bend arms to 90-degree angles and swing them as you walk. Correct arm positioning plays a vital role in how fast you walk, and the faster you walk, the more calories you burn.
WALK A HOUND, LOSE A POUND Studies show that walking a pet dog is beneficial to one’s health. No pet? Then volunteer to walk dogs at an animal shelter! Doing this daily routine not only alleviates depression but trims your waistline as well.
MIX IT UP Alternating short stints of fast walking and mediumrecovery periods is a wonderful way to burn calories without adding time to your workout. Try the “talk test” to judge your effort: during the short bouts of fast walking, talking should be very difficult; more comfortable during recovery. 66 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
YOUR FOOT ARMY
Exercising with a partner increases the chances that you’ll stick with it. New York City native, Nadia Singh, 35, took this concept one step further and created a rotating roster of walking friends that helped her lose two dress sizes. “Four years ago, I started walking by myself, but got bored—even with an iPod, says the sixday-a-week walker. “Now, I coordinate about 20 walking enthusiasts through e-mail. I have one group that only walks on Saturdays, another on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a third on Wednesdays. I also have some ‘floaters’ who can walk any day of the week.” Follow Nadia’s lead and gather your friends and family for weekly walking.
WALK LIKE YOU’RE SKIING Using Nordic poles will increase your calorie burn by up to 40 percent. Doing so works your upper body to help propel you forward. Using more muscles means you’re burning more calories. Don’t worry if you get funny looks. Just mention you’re training for the Olympics!
Most of us have heard this by now: Aim for 10,000 steps each day to get fit. But how did this originate? It all began in Japan during the 1960s, when Yoshiro Hatano, Ph.D., tracked habitually active walkers. His team determined that the average man burned 300 calories by approximately walking 10,000 steps. And so manpo-kei (“10,000 steps meter”) was born. Today, it’s better known as the pedometer. Today, most experts agree the number is a bit arbitrary. Nevertheless, counting steps is essential. Keep in mind the number of steps depends on your aim. The rule of thumb: Walk as much as you can whenever you can. You know it has health benefits—so why not just do it?
PUSH YOUR WEIGHT AROUND A recent study found that those of us who pushed strollers loaded with 35 pounds burned 18- to 20-percent more calories than when they walked without. For an average woman that equates to 375-400 calories per hour.
MORE BENEFITS By now you realize that walking is good for your heart, burns calories, and helps you stay young. But there’s more…
CUTS BREAST CANCER RISKS Walking, even for a few hours a week, significantly reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, walking helps lower levels of body fat, a source of estrogen. The research looked at 7 post-menopausal women and found those at a healthy weight lowered their risk by 30 percent while those who were overweight, by 10 to 20 percent.
HEAD FOR THE HILLS Walking on flat roads and streets is all fine; however, hills can make you burn up to 50 percent more calories and tone your body. •
BETTER SLEEP A brisk walk will help you get a better night’s sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Walking boosts levels of the feelgood hormone serotonin, which relaxes you. The rise in body heat brought on by walking may, in turn, signal the brain to lower your temperature later, which promotes sleep.
PROTECT BONES Just 30 minutes of walking three times a week does wonders for your bones. This type of exercise, which uses 95 percent of your muscles, actually pushes your bones to become stronger so they can handle the load. Walking is not just for cardio.
FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 67
RUSSIAN SAMOVAR: MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON By Elizabeth Darwen
n a city renowned for its ethnic restaurants, Russian Samovar is unique in its long-standing ties with the art community; it has VIEW MENU & BOOK become a home for many famous Russian poets and writers who Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo keep coming back for the exceptional dining experience. Owned by Roman Kaplan and managed by his daughter Vlada Von Shats and her two sons Michael and Nicholas, this elegant, upscale establishment offers exquisite Russian cuisine in New York. Located in the Theater District, Russian Samovar boasts a 19th-century feel, complete with picturesque green and red shades and Russian folk prints. Entrenched in the theater and art community, Russian Samovar was previously co-owned by ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov and Nobel Prize winner for poetry Joseph Brodsky. Jilly Rizzo, friend and bodyguard of Frank Sinatra, owned the establishment in the past, and Sinatra held many intimate concerts there and often spent time with The Rat Pack, as well as games of baccarat. Cyndi Lauper and Liza Minnelli are also known to stop by and offer an impromptu performance. The restaurant continues to attract generations of Russians with its cozy atmosphere, fine cuisine, and the opportunity to meet musicians, actors, and writers from Russia and all over the world.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE This popular eatery is—aside from its authentic Russian dishes— known for its 26 flavored vodkas prepared in-house, including ginger, horseradish, lemon, and cranberry. Says Vlada Von Shats about the craft of house-infusing vodkas, “Growing up in the Soviet Union in the ‘70s, vodka was an important part of my childhood. My mother, a chemist, always had large jars of fruit infused vodka in the basement. During those years, the good vodka which Russia was famous for was exported,” Vlada explained. “What was left was this horrible firewater that was so bad it was thought to make you blind. To make the vodka better, my mom used the only things available to her—cranberries that we gathered in the woods; apples, pears and plums from grandma’s yard; and oranges that were sold 68 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
at the stores sometimes—to make some awesome infusions.” Vlada says her fondest childhood memory was Honey Cake made with infused vodka and just a few ingredients: flour, eggs, sugar, and honey. “The memory of the vodkas that I grew up with are still with me, and we continue to share the recipes with our customers in our all natural, home-infused vodka.” Platters of delectable appetizers are served each night to diners who enjoy Beluga and Osetra caviar, Blinis filled with salmon or caviar, the assortment of fish (in-house cured Salmon Gravlax with dill, Smoked Atlantic Salmon, and Smoked Butterfish), Vol-auVent (a wild mushroom puff pastry), traditional Borscht, a Pate Russe (laced with brandy), and Pelmeni Stroganoff (veal or chicken with sirloin tips in a creamy mushroom sauce).
THE MAIN EVENT It is its signature entrees, however, that have put Russian Samovar on the culinary map. House specialties include Shashlik Karski (rack of lamb marinated in Georgian spices), Beef Stroganoff, Veal Pojarksi (ground veal and breast of chicken cutlets), Chicken Kiev, and Chicken Tabaka (a baby chicken split and grilled). Sides are plentiful and include the classic Marinated Red Cabbage. The meal is not complete without taking time to enjoy an authentic dessert like Zapekanka (Russian cheesecake) or the Medovik (layered honey cake). In addition to its a la carte menu, the restaurant, which is ideally situated by all the theater that Broadway has to offer, serves a Theater Pre-Fixe Menu, available Monday through Friday until 7:00 pm. The ideal dining destination for a pre- or post-show bite, if you bring your ticket from any Broadway show, the restaurant will give you a 10 percent discount on all food items. Top off the evening with an expertly prepared cocktail in the bar, such as the Royal Romance (featuring raspberry house-infused vodka, Grand Marnier, and Frangelico, garnished with an orange peel). Russian Samovar seats 100 in the dining room and 50 at the bar. Upstairs, the intimate St Petersburg Hall & Lounge, which caters to private parties, small dinners and events, comfortably seats 34 for sit-down dinner, and 100 for standing buffet. Designed by Felix Zbarski and Yuri Kuper, the lounge houses Kaplan’s extraordinary collection of samovars. The club-like feel is evident in the oak floors, finished with a warm gray/gold veneer. A three-tiered Banquet Menu is offered for private events, featuring a selection of the restaurant’s most favored dishes. Since the restaurant attracts many creative types, poetry readings are held throughout the year, and a classically trained pianist performs nightly. Russian Samovar features live interactive theatre every Thursday with award-winning actors, performances from opera singer Michael Peer on Mondays; the Gypsy Fun Trio playing traditional Russian music on violin and guitar on Fridays and Saturdays; and Jazz Blues Brunch on Sundays 3 to 7 pm with the Uptown Jazz Company. Russian Samovar has been and continues to be a significant contributor and supporter of the art community. For more information on Russian Samovar, visit russiansamovar.com. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 69
5 FUN & ROMANTIC RESTAURANTS By Darren Paltrowitz
o matter your cuisine preferences or your relationship status, Valentine’s Day is a major day for New Yorkers who enjoy dining out. For those seeking a romantic place to eat, there are of course countless great options. Meanwhile, non-coupled foodies know to expect restaurant menus full of specials and other fun items when February 14th comes around. Simply put, a great Valentine’s Day gift in New York City is no longer limited to flowers and chocolate.
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To help you with your Valentine’s Day 2018 planning, here are my choices that are simultaneously romantic, filled with attractive decor, and known for a quality-oriented fare.
THE REGENCY BAR & GRILL With the bright lights of Park Avenue behind you, The Regency Bar & Grill at Loews Regency Hotel is the sort of place you can visit for dinner and also enjoy a nightcap. For Valentine’s Day, The Regency is scheduled to offer many of its signature dishes, including the Crab Cakes and the Chicken Paillard. Those craving New York-style pizza can enjoy two newly-created signature pies, which are made with charcoal crust from Olivella Bread. Meanwhile, The Regency’s dessert menu includes selections from Flavor New York partners like the Bon Vivant’s Upper East Side classic and sharable Petit Four Flight and Mah Ze Dahr Bakery’s He ave n ly C he e s e c a ke. E xe c ut ive C hef Catherine Medrano says, “We love seeing the restaurant filled with diners celebrating the special night with us, in addition to our frequent regular guests who join us multiple times a week. We love delivering that service and being a part of their experience.” Info: loewshotels. com/regency-hotel/dining/restaurant.
MAMO The sister restaurant to French Riviera favorite Le Michelangelo, MAMO is an ideal SoHo spot, known for its diverse European cuisine. The restaurant recently changed chefs, welcoming Executive Chef Salvatore Marcello, who applies a stateside spin on the restaurant’s signature Provençal-meets-Italian fare. The menu is full of both classic family recipes and market specials, while its decor aims to provide a “sense of home” from the Riviera; oversized vintage movie posters are seen on the multi-level restaurant’s walls. Mr. Marcello explains, “Valentine’s Day is a great excuse for people to share love and feel loved. We choose ingredients that speak to the holiday so that it feels special and different. For me,” he continued to say, “I believe that there’s no such thing as romantic ingredients, just romantic people.” At MAMO you can expect to see lobster, homemade red ravioli, truffle, chocolate, and red fruit on the Valentine’s Day menu. When asked for his favorite meal outside of his restaurant, Marcello said it’s his fiancée’s grilled cheese because “she makes it with love.” Info: mamonyc.com. 70 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
ST TROPEZ This new restaurant which opened in the West Village in December, St. Tropez aims to transport New Yorkers to the South of France. Dreamt up by four French friends— including General Manager/Partner Yohann Pecheux, a native of the Saint-Tropez area—its menu includes a curated all-French wine list which currently offers 45 selections by the glass. Chef/partner Gérald Barthélémy earned a Michelin Star as the chef at Les Élysées restaurant in Hotel Vernet in Paris, and some of his signature dishes are Farcis Niçois (tomatoes stuffed with ground beef), Forestière Fougasse (mushroom flatbread), and Boulettes Provençales (beef meatballs with ratatouille). Mr. Pecheux noted, “St. Tropez is your perfect spot for a romantic escape on Valentine’s Day. The refined wood on the ceiling and shelves, combined with the diffused lights and candles, contribute to a warm and cozy atmosphere, which will transport you directly to a small village in the middle of Provence.” He added, “You will love the huge windows overlooking this iconic neighborhood. On the menu, you will be able to share the signature dessert with your beloved half, La Tropézienne, a creamy heart-shaped pastry which fits perfectly in your hand.” Info: sttropezwinebar.com.
BUTCHER & BANKER Another newish spot in the city, Butcher & Banker recently opened in the former Manufacturers Trust Company bank vault, located beneath The New Yorker Hotel. Known as a “steakeasy,” Butcher & Banker offers USDA Prime steaks from Black Angus cattle and vintage cocktails with seasonal ingredients at the helm; non-steak-eaters will also find several options on the menu. The hotel (located at the crossroads of Madison Square Garden, Hudson Yards and Penn Station) once hosted the likes of Muhammad Ali, John F. Kennedy, and Joan Crawford—and the aforementioned bank which closed in 1980; you will sense history when stepping into Butcher & Banker. Executive Chef Scott Campbell explained, “Butcher & Banker is perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner as the below-ground space sweeps you into a different era with cozy seating, an elegant design and whimsical touches like chandeliers from an old ballroom in The New Yorker Hotel.” Info: butcherandbankernyc.com.
HIGH STREET ON HUDSON An all-day neighborhood cafe, High Street on Hudson is located in the Meatpacking District, right off the High Line; it is conveniently around the corner from the Whitney Museum Of Art. Its menu changes seasonally, ranging from soups and salads to pasta and contemporary American entrees, to craft cocktails and local beers; General Manager (and sommelier) Jeff Arnold, has curated an extensive all-American wine list for High Street on Hudson. Executive Chef Sean McPaul advised of why diners will enjoy a visit to this restaurant on Valentine’s Day. “High Street on Hudson is perfect because of its relaxed look and feel. Low lights and candles with a casual feel and a very serious approach to cuisine make our restaurant the perfect place to cozy up and be taken care of in a space where you and your date can laugh, have fun, and eat well.” Info: highstreetonhudson.com. One last bit of advice: Make sure Valentine’s Day is a success by making reservations well in advance. •
Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. Darren’s writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Downtown Magazine, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 71
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THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO TEQUILA By Patricia Canole
equila means different things to different people. Whether you prefer your tequila as shots with a lime or in a Margarita, it’s a spirit that’s easily enjoyed in many situations.
A BIT OF HISTORY Originally used during rituals some 2,000 years ago, tequila has evolved into the robust spirit we drink today and in recent years has transcended a quality we could not imagine a few decades ago. The town of Tequila was founded in 1656, and shortly afterward tequila was “born.” However, it wasn’t until the 1800s when the first imports to the U.S. began.
WHAT IS TEQUILA? Tequila is produced by fermenting and distilling the juice of the blue agave plant (which takes between 8 and 11 years to mature). The spirit must be made in one of five specific regions: the most widely known is the state of Jalisco, where the town of Tequila is located. It’s where nearly 90 percent of tequilas come from according to precise standards regulated by the Mexican government.
• Tequila comes with a worm: Tequila never contains a worm at the bottom, although bottles of mescal often have a worm (actually a larva). It’s said it enhances the flavor! • “Silver” and “Gold” tequilas are superior Although some brands slap these labels on their bottles to justify higher prices, silver tequila is merely another name for blanco, and gold tequila is blanco that has a dollop of reposado added to it. • You need salt and lime You shouldn’t drink reposado or anejo tequila that way. However, since blanco tequila has more bite, the salt and lime (or lemon) will help you enjoy the flavors. Regardless, tequila should be sipped—not shot. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 73
TEQUILA FAVORITES PERFECT MARGARITA 1 ½ parts Hornitos® Reposado Tequila 1 ½ parts agave syrup 3 parts lime juice Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake well. Strain into a margarita glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve. Salt rim optional.
TYPES OF TEQUILA? Quality tequila is made from 100 percent agave. Anything less is considered a mixta—a mix of agave and sugar (it must be at least 51 percent agave to be called tequila). The high-end spirit might be high-priced, but you really will be able to taste the difference. Seriously. Blanco Unaged, the colorless tequila that has a sharp taste and the pure flavor of the blue agave plant. Reposado Tequila that’s been aged in oak barrel for at least two months and as long as a year (reposado means rested). It has a caramel hue and a smoother finish than blanco. Depending on the reposado, you may taste notes of pepper, spice, citrus, honey, or herbs. Anejo This type of tequila has been aged in oak for longer than a year and as many as ten. It’s characterized by a dark amber color, extreme smoothness, and a taste that combines smokiness with the sweetness of vanilla.
ALL ABOUT MEZCAL Mezcal is a Mexican spirit that tastes quite similar to tequila but doesn’t qualify as pure tequila. Much of the best mescal is made in the state of Oaxaca, using multiple varieties of agave. Topquality Mezcals have gained a new appreciation and a dedicated following. • 74 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
OLD FASHIONED 1 ½ parts Hornitos® Black Barrel Tequila 1 part simple syrup ½ part Amaro liqueur 2 dashes bitters 2 dashes orange bitters Preparation: Combine simple syrup, Hornitos® Black Barrel Tequila, Amaro, and bitters. Add ice and stir. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with an orange peel. PALOMA 1 part Hornitos® Plata Tequila 2 parts fresh ruby red grapefruit juice 1 part simple syrup 2 parts club soda Preparation: Build in order over ice in a tall glass, stirring once before adding soda and once after. Garnish with a lime or grapefruit wedge. Optional: rosemary sprig. MANHATTAN 1 ½ parts Hornitos® Anejo Tequila ½ part sweet vermouth 1 tsp. maraschino cherry juice Preparation: Combine all ingredients over ice. Stir. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
CHOCOLATE: THE FOOD OF LOVE By Lori Simmons Zelenko
s Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz famously once said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” And chocolate certainly helps pave the way for romance on Valentine’s Day, after all, it’s been connected with passion since the days of the Aztecs. So when it comes to this sweet treat whether you’re looking for the perfect savory bite, an extravagant gift or just delicious, decorative delights, you’ll find what you seek in our round-up of our favorite chocolate shops in Manhattan and beyond, inviting all to enjoy indulgences adored all over the world.
MAISON DU CHOCOLAT Sweetness And Light La Maison du Chocolat’s Valentine’s collection is a stylized study of Parisian landscape architecture. Meilleur Ouvrier de France chocolatier, the artistic director of this famed Chocolate House, Nicolas Cloiseau sets the stage for strolls through Paris’ verdant pathways and hidden ponds, from rows of linden trees to the orangeries of the gardens. Tenderness is infused with this year’s Valentine’s Collection depicting the City of Lights in a beguiling melody of fragrances and flavors. Fresh, fruity and wow! What a delicious sunburst of flavor. Order online or visit the Rockefeller Center or Madison Avenue locations of this legendary chocolate boutique. Bring the sweetness and light of Paris home with you this Valentine’s Day! Info: lamaisonduchocolat.com.
LI-LAC CHOCOLATES Classic And Charming Manhattan’s oldest and most traditional chocolate house was founded in 1923 on Christopher Street in the West Village but has now expanded to five locations throughout the city. Li-Lac is known for their fresh, gourmet chocolate hand-crafted in Brooklyn with an array of gifts for Valentine’s that are classic and charming. Passionate and devoted to the quest of bringing New Yorkers the most magical of chocolates, Li-Lac owner Anthony Cirone shares his enthusiasm, “I love the business of chocolate. I’ve noticed, and maybe you have too, that people are always happy when they are eating chocolate.” So happiness really is a box of chocolates…rush delivery available in NYC. Info: li-lacchocolates.com. 76 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
ROYCE CHOCOLATE From Japan With Love No doubt we’ve all heard of Swiss chocolate. And there’s familiarity too with Ecuadoran chocolate. But Japanese chocolate? That’s as they say a whole new ballgame! And Royce Chocolate hits it out of the park. Founded in Sapporo, Japan in 1983, this chocolate is a home run. World class Royce comes from Hokkaido where the climate and the clean air are ideal for making confections. What makes Royce a winner is its intuitive indulgence. Would you confess to craving potato chips—salty and crunchy— dipped in white chocolate (Fromage Blanc)? Well, Royce anticipates your desire. They make these sinful treats too delicious to resist. But Valentine’s cravings may be a little more sophisticated. Can’t help but adore the Kir Royale harmony of fruity cassis and dry Champagne in the rich, smooth Nama chocolate from Royce. But my personal favorite is the Ghana Bitter—just sweet enough to take the edge off the bitterness of dark chocolate, sumptuous and velvety, the perfect accompaniment to a crisp bottle of bubbly or a snifter of cognac. Same day delivery in NYC from the chic Madison Avenue boutique so if you’re stuck last minute, you know your sweetie won’t be disappointed. Info: order.royceconfectusa.com.
PACARI CHOCOLATE Red Roses Naturally Pacari has earned awards around the world though it is based in Ecuador, the source of treasured fine flavor cacao. The first single-origin organic chocolate made entirely in Ecuador, Pacari creates an unforgettable chocolate experience, the ultimate in sustainable chocolate. The word Pacari means nature in Quechua, an indigenous language of the Andean region, and this all natural chocolate takes an innovative approach to bringing out the best in Ecuadorian chocolate. It’s my favorite among bars, dark, ever-sumptuous, so rewarding; one is not ever enough. Give in to temptation then and abandon the traditional bouquet of roses this Valentine’s Day; enjoy the essence of Pacari’s Andean Rose bar, a floral fantasy that’s one in a million. Find this delicious, sweet and a little bit spicy surprise at 2beans (2beans.com) and The Meadow (themeadow.com). Info: pacarichocolate.us.
TO’AK CHOCOLATE For The Man Who Has Everything When it comes to a Valentine’s gift for the man who has everything, why not partake of the most expensive chocolate in the world? Surprisingly seductive To’ak (a fusion of Ecuadoran dialects meaning earth and tree) produces small editions of single-origin Ecuadorian dark chocolate from the oldest and rarest variety of cacao on earth. And now, at long last, To’ak is releasing a limited edition, many years in the making: Single Malt Islay Cask Matured, was aged for two years in a Laphroaig Scotch whisky cask ($355 per 50-gram bar) a marriage made in heaven for whisky connoisseurs and chocolate enthusiasts alike. As it turns out, the co-founders of To’ak Chocolate are also unabashed devotees of Scotch whisky—particularly, the peated single malts of Islay, the most storied whisky-producing region in Scotland. To’ak founders Carl Schweizer and Jerry Toth marry Ecuador’s most precious dark chocolate with Scotland’s most charismatic whisky. “Delicately infused with the peat and smoke of an Islay whisky, the caramel and fruit notes of the chocolate… unlike anything we’ve ever tasted before, anywhere,” says Toth. What could be more appealing than a chocolate ready to capture a man’s heart? Info: toakchocolate.com. Vosges
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VOSGES HAUT CHOCOLAT Rock ‘n Roll Lovers Delight Tactile and visually titillating, Vosges limited edition Renegade Heart collection arrives in a posh red velvet box you’ll want to keep, decorated with embroidered rocker roses, a bumblebee or two and a Renegade patch; it’s perfect for the sexy, daring, playful woman who craves sensory stimulation. Adore Italian hazelnuts and creamy dulce de leche caramel? There’s an assortment for you. Exotic parfums like Bulgarian Rose Water or Australian Lemon Myrtle much less Rosé Champagne and white cocoa butter tempt you? Vosges is the heart of inspiration, a reflection of the gypsy spirit of Vosges founder/CEO Katrina Mankoff whose creative vision flows in from everywhere. Like Mick Jagger says, “it’s only rock ’n roll, but I like it…” No doubt he’d enjoy the romantic edge of this rocker-ready chocolate. Info: vosgeschocolate.com.
FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 77
CHOCODIEM Truffled Pearls Jean-Paul “JP” Hepp, Founder and Co-Owner of Chocodiem, takes chocolate very seriously. After all, he’s Belgian! Making small-batched chocolates by hand in a state-of-the-art kitchen in Clinton, NJ, he uses only premium chocolate discovered throughout his travels to various parts of the world on a quest to find the best cacao beans! This artisan approach is Belgian, which is, JP says “the gourmet standard by which all other chocolate confections are measured.” Of course, do give credit as well to his fanatical adherence to Old World manufacturing techniques. Partnered with his daughter, Eveline, they make award-winning chocolate with scientific know-how and artistic flair. Personally, I crave their white-on-the-outside Pearl Truffles with a delightful dark heart—a center that’s well, simply addictive. No wonder these glistening wonders are their best-seller. Info: chocodiem.com.
FINE AND RAW CHOCOLATE On A Magical Mission Fine and Raw has a mission, a magical one at that. Their goal? To “save the world through silliness and chocolate (artisanal, of course),” proclaims founder Daniel Sklaar who started Fine and Raw by making small batches and sharing with Williamsburg friends. Going deeper down the Rabbit Hole, a passion for chocolate craftsmanship and dedication to this tasty art took over. Vegan and made with coconut sugar, this raw chocolate tastes good and is healthy too. Being an immediate convert, I just can’t wait to try more enlightened treasures from Fine and Raw. Info: fineandraw.com.
Chocodiem Fine and Raw
MARIEBELLE CHOCOLATES Artistic Treasures Chocolate covered caramels, painterly in their presentation, come in a box that is marvelous in mauve or pretty in pink from MarieBelle. With flavors like butter caramel, cherry, passion fruit, espresso, banana, rum raisin, dark chocolate, fleur de sel and orange, Maribel Lieberman the founder of MarieBelle New York, and its most inspired doyenne, reinvents how we enjoy chocolate. From her first chocolate shop in Soho, Maribel’s passion has always been to celebrate life, “and the leisure and happiness we find in food, art, and beauty.” Truly each chocolate is exuberant in its artistry, inside and out a gift that’s joyful and fun. No wonder Maribel engages chocolate lovers across the globe with her beautiful and delicious artisanal approach. Info: mariebelle.com. •
True confessions, Lori Simmons Zelenko is a chocolate lover particularly when there’s a glass of champagne or a snifter of cognac nearby to accompany each luscious bite. A writer and luxury brandimager, she’s enjoying pursuing the pleasures of the food of love; this joyful journey has led her to discover the passionate commitment to artisanry from chocolatiers with roots near and far (France, Ecuador, Japan, Belgium and even Brooklyn). For more about Lori Simmons Zelenko, visit lsz-communications.com. All rights reserved ©Lori Simmons Zelenko. 78 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT NOW THROUGH APRIL 8TH
ON STAGE By Lori Zelenko
ith February’s round-up of Broadway shows we’re honoring the American Spirit. From Jimmy Buffet’s celebration of life as one long sun-drenched vacation in the Florida Keys to John Lithgow’s one man show sharing memories of his life as he grew up traveling across America, enthralled by his storytelling father to the American archetypes populating City Center’s Hey Look Me Over… there’s an American dream for everyone. Read on, there are stories to tell of musicals to hear.
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ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE The Marquis Theatre Who doesn’t want to Escape to Margaritaville? “Parrotheads” and “Parakeets” will love this tropical musical comedy getaway which features Jimmy Buffett classics, including “Come Monday,” “Volcano,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and many more not to mention new, original songs. Even if just for a few hours, you can escape the urban grind where an icy cold beer is your top priority. This musical comedy will have you singing just about dancing to favorite Buffet classic tunes, abandoning all to enjoy gleefully, goofily “wasting away again in Margaritaville.” Margaritaville lives in the imagination as a place where the sun is hot, the water’s warm and the frozen concoctions never run out. Welcome to Margaritaville, Island paradise; keep compassion, tolerance, and personal honesty close at hand as you accept the invitation to kick back and enjoy the best of Jimmy Buffet. Escape To Margaritaville is more than a musical—it’s a way of life. With a youthful and vibrant cast led by Paul Alexander Nolan and Alison Luff, the show is written by Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl, Raising Hope) and Emmy nominee Mike O’Malley (Survivor’s Remorse, Shameless) and directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Come From Away, Memphis).
JOHN LITHGOW: STORIES BY HEART Roundabout Theatre It’s an intimate and mellow evening we spend with Tony and Emmy Award winner John Lithgow as he reveals enthralling tales his father told him as a child that carry poignant memories as an adult. He’s an actor who transforms himself with effortless charm, we’ve embraced him as an alien (3rd Rock from the Sun), a gossip columnist (The Sweet Smell of Success), Winston Churchill (The Crown), and even the beguiled diplomat in the original production of M. Butterfly; it’s no stretch of the imagination to find him enthralling as the characters in the stories he tells in his solo show. With both humor and heart, Lithgow reaches into a treasure chest of family memories to share with us classic short stories by Ring Lardner and P. G. Wodehouse. Creating characters who become complicit in their own narratives, Lithgow elevates the magic of storytelling, complete with such imaginative sound effects (actor-created) that we are on the edge of our seats like breathless children immersed in the tale. Interspersed with performances are personal recollections making the evening that much more personal and enjoyable, we see a performer and get to know the actor. 80 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
HEY, LOOK ME OVER! New York City Center Curtains up! Light the lights! This February there’s a new musical about old musicals (hits from the 1960s) full of overtures, finales, and the numbers that come between them! Vanessa Williams and Bebe Neuwirth are among the stellar cast of the City Center Encores! production of Hey, Look Me Over! (February 7th thru 11th), kicking off the 25th City Center season of the beloved, Tony honored series responsible for bringing classic American musicals back to life. Bob Martin, as his cherished Man in Chair character from The Drowsy Chaperone, plays an opinionated Encores! subscriber who leads the audience on a guided (and sometimes mis-guided) tour of his favorite scenes and songs from musicals he’s always wanted to see at City Center. Keep an ear tuned for popular tunes from shows including All American, George M!, Greenwillow, Jamaica, Mack & Mabel, Milk and Honey, Sail Away, and Wildcat. It’s a welcome opportunity to hear in one show the work of some of our favorite musical theater writers and composers Harold Arlen, Mel Brooks, George M. Cohan, Cy Coleman, Noel Coward, E.Y. Harburg, Jerry Herman, Frank Loesser, and Charles Strouse; the list of amazing talents goes on. You’ll have to see the show to discover all. ‘‘Looking at these shows, you get to thinking about how they touch on so many American archetypes,’’ says Encores! artistic director Jack Viertel. ‘‘Wildcat is about entrepreneurial people— digging for oil and becoming wealthy in the process. All American is about immigration, Mack & Mabel is about Hollywood, and Greenwillow is about wanderlust. These all feel like American themes. We didn’t assemble them for this reason but there’s this kind of American panoply going on in this show.’’
JOSH: THE BLACK BABE RUTH Theater for the New City/Cino Theater In honor of Black History Month, Theater for the New City will re-mount the powerful story of Josh: The Black Babe Ruth (February 8th thru 25th). The play dramatizes the life, loves and ultimately the tragic decline of Josh Gibson, who was perhaps the greatest slugger of the Negro leagues and pursued Major League ambitions despite family obligations, personal vices, and institutional racism. The play offers an intimate look into midcentury sports, society, and politics with a soundtrack of pre and post WWII era music. Dave Roberts dominates in the leading role, Josh, with Daniel Danielson as fellow baseball player Satchel Paige. The production co-stars Daphne Danielle as Josh’s wife, Hattie, and Charletta Rozell as Grace, Josh’s mistress. With Bette Howard directing, the play shows Gibson struggling heroically to make it into the Big Leagues with emotional support from his good friend, the legendary pitcher Satchel Paige, and from the two women who are rivals for his heart—his common law wife and his mistress. Despite his majestic on-field performance, there are immovable obstacles, including resistance to black players by Major League club owners and Gibson’s own personal demons, which suffocate his chances. • Lori Simmons Zelenko grew up in NYC skipping school to go to an afternoon of theater so it’s no wonder that she’s dedicated to telling the stories of Broadway to the New York Lifestyles audience. With an eye towards pop culture, she seeks to bring a point of view that’s fresh and fun. She is also a brand storyteller creating compelling marketing communications campaigns for start-ups and established brands. Her website is lsz-communications.com. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 81
ON THE BIG SCREEN By Jenny Peters
A BIT OF ROMANCE EVERY DAY Rated PG-13 Discovering first love can be an emotional time in a teenager’s life, but just imagine how disconcerting it would be if that love were someone who changed bodies every day. That’s the premise of David Levithan’s bestselling novel Every Day, brought to life here by director Michael Sucsy (Grey Gardens) and starring Angourie Rice as the teen. The strange soul she falls for appears in the guise of a different person each day, which makes for a pretty complicated romance. Happily, all the boys are awfully goodlooking along the way.
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FIFTY SHADES FREED Rated R The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon ends with this third movie in the sadomasochistic romantic saga of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson), as Fifty Shades Freed finds the couple walking down the aisle into wedded bliss. Or do they live happily ever after? Fans of the E. L. James erotic novels may already know the answer to that question but will enjoy the big-screen ride that unfolds here just the same.
ANIMATION FOR ALL AGES EARLY MAN Not yet rated Oscar winner Nick Park is back with a zany new Aardman Animations stop-motion animation comedy, and we’ll be the first in line for tickets. Early Man is his latest, a prehistoric look at the life of Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne), a slightly dim fellow who finds himself up against a very bad overlord (voiced by Tom Hiddleston) in the midst of the Bronze Age. With classics like Wallace and Gromit’s The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Shaun the Sheep Movie and Chicken Run to his credit, this one is sure to be another animated winner for both young and old.
PETER RABBIT Rated PG Combining live action with CGI animation, Peter Rabbit follows the much-loved Beatrix Potter tale of the rabbit who cannot keep out of a carrot-filled garden. But this version goes far and beyond the traditional story, as Peter (voiced by James Corden), along with Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) and a crowd of clever critters wreak havoc on Mr. McGregor’s farm and life. Domhnall Gleason plays the harassed farmer with glee in this fun frolic that even takes Peter and friends on a London adventure. 82 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
EXCITING ADVENTURES ANNIHILATION Not yet rated Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac lead this cinematic adaptation of the Jeff VanderMeer novel Annihilation, the first book of his award-winning Southern Reach trilogy. The story is a combination of science fiction, horror, and suspense thriller, as a biologist (Portman) leads an expedition into a mysterious area on Earth that holds many secrets. As the plot unfolds, strange and disturbing events abound, with the final sequence setting the scene for VanderMeer’s epic story to continue in a sequel. Will that come to pass? Stay tuned for box office returns!
BLACK PANTHER Not yet rated Marvel’s latest offering is their first superhero flick to feature a black protagonist; the character of the Black Panther was introduced in Captain America: Civil War back in 2016. It’s also been a muchanticipated movie fans have been waiting for since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the character in 1966. Chadwick Boseman stars as T’Challa, the king, and protector of the African nation known as Wakanda; he’s also the Black Panther, a human superhero (think Iron Man or Batman) who uses his brains, brawn and wealth to protect his people. Look for this one to be the big box-office winner for February, as Marvel continues its domination of theatrical film releases.
UPLIFTING DRAMAS THE 15:17 TO PARIS Rated PG-13 Hang onto your hankies as this extraordinary drama from director Clint Eastwood unfolds. The acclaimed filmmaker takes us on an incredible highspeed railway ride as he recounts the true story of The 15:17 to Paris. That’s the train that was hijacked in France in 2015 by terrorists, an act thwarted by three young American men who happened to be on that train. Casting the real-life men—Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone—to play themselves, Eastwood has created a film that grips viewers from start to finish, telling the emotional inside story of how these brave young men stopped the unthinkable from happening. Also starring Tony Hale, Judy Greer, and Jenna Fischer. THE PARTY Not yet rated Now, this is one party we’d like to attend if just to be in the same room with the actors playing the roles! British writer-director Sally Potter has put together a cast of terrific actors for her drama-comedy The Party, including Patricia Clarkson, Kristen Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Bruno Ganz and Cherry Jones. It’s all about a celebration that goes way off the rails as a group of people who don’t really like each other gather; shot in black and white, The Party won the Guild Prize at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival. • As a longtime freelance journalist, Jenny Peters covers beats that range from entertainment to lifestyle topics. She writes on film, television, travel, restaurants, wine, design, architecture, beauty, spas, cars, fashion and celebrity events for USA Today, AARP, New York Magazine and many other domestic and international outlets. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 83
ON THE SMALL SCREEN By Jenny Peters
GOOD GIRLS NBC What happens when three suburban moms reach the end of their rope? Robbery, that’s what. Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Retta (Parks and Recreation) and Mae Whitman (Parenthood) star as neighborhood friends. The women get so desperate they turn to a life of crime in this modern crime drama series on NBC that’s spiced up with a few laughs along the way. Created by Jenna Bans of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy fame (as writer and co-executive producer of both shows), so if those float your boat, be sure to check out Good Girls.
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ALTERED CARBON Netflix It’s 2384, and things have gotten very weird on Earth in this 10-part sci-fi adaptation of the award-winning Richard Morgan novel of the same name. Altered Carbon the TV series stars Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman (you might remember him from another Netflix series, House of Cards, where he played the handsome, ambitious governor running for president against Frank Underwood) and Tony Award winner Renee Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton). The dystopian plot is complicated—human consciousness is now digitized and can be implanted into new bodies, for starters—so plan to take this binge-watching session a bit slow to take it all in.
THE LOOMING TOWER Hulu Jeff Daniels stars in The Looming Tower, Hulu’s new series tracing the events leading up to 9/11. Did the rivalry between the CIA and the FBI during the late 1990s lead to that American tragedy? That’s the premise of this disturbing, fact-based tale adapted from the Pulitzer-Prize-winning nonfiction book by Lawrence Wright that explores the actions of both government agencies as each knew of Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda forces long before the Twin Towers fell.
SEVEN SECONDS Netflix Taking on a topic that is very much in today’s news feed, Netflix’s new crime drama series Seven Seconds jumps into the issue of race relations between America’s residents of color and the police who often unjustly target them. Emmy Award-winner Regina King stars in this compelling show that doesn’t flinch from the issues, as a cop shoots a young black teen and the city he lives in explodes with anger as the police officer responsible is brought to trial. Also starring Clare-Hope Ashitey, Beau Knapp, Raul Castillo and Zackary Momoh. 84 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
HERE AND NOW HBO Hooray! Show creator/writer Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, True Blood) is back on HBO this spring with Here and Now, an extended family drama that stars Oscar winners Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins. Together they are raising a blended family of three adopted children (from Vietnam, Liberia, and Colombia) and one biological, but when one of the kids starts seeing visions, strange things start happening. Ball’s creative mind is legendary—he also wrote American Beauty, for which he won an Oscar, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice award—so anticipation is high for this multicultural dramedy with a twist.
A.P. BIO NBC Catch the teaser premiere of A.P. Bio this month on NBC, then tune in to the series in March. It’s a classroom comedy about a disgraced Harvard professor who returns home to Ohio in disgrace—but with a job teaching advanced placement biology honor students at the local high school. Glenn Howerton and Patton Oswald (we’ll watch anything with him in it) star in this irreverent take on teaching, along with a slew of new teenage faces, in this show from the minds of Saturday Night Live team Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, and creator Mike O’Brien.
2 DOPE QUEENS HBO If you’re already a fan of the 2 Dope Queens podcast, then you know the kind of kooky comedy that Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams throw out into the universe. If not, get ready for some serious laughs in this four-part HBO series of specials, filmed live at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre. The two queens aren’t going it alone in their jump to the small screen—watch for Uzo Aduba, Tituss Burgess, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jon Stewart to join the fun, with comedian Tig Notaro taking the directing helm for all four shows. Check out the podcasts at HBO.com, too.
OUR CARTOON PRESIDENT Showtime Comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert brings his animated vision of the Trump White House to Showtime in the irreverent new comedy series Our Cartoon President. You’ll recognize everyone from real life—the Donald, of course, as well as Melania, Don Jr., Mike Pence, Ben Carson and the other players that wander in the ongoing stream of people passing through the Oval Office. Our advice, however, is to not get too cozy with any single character, as you never know when the next guy is going to get fired. If the real President of the United States follows true to form, expect to hear about a libel lawsuit against Colbert and his merry band of animators! • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 85
Allison Jean White, Brenda Meaney, Hayley Mills, Gina Costigan, and Klea Blackhurst ©Jeremy Daniel
WELCOME TO THE PARTY! By Patricia Canole
ou’re invited to a party that’s full of surprises. Here’s your chance to sit back, enjoy, and watch as plans are toppled when a young woman’s mother brings her own food to her daughter’s party—and also the right person to be her new best friend. That’s when they all put on their party faces, and the fun begins: Facades crack, secrets spill—and the laughter roars as their revelry leads to revelations. Welcome to Party Face, the new comedy by Isobel Mahon and directed by Amanda Bearse, which runs until April 8th at New York City Center—Stage II. In the lead role is acclaimed Academy Award winner Hayley Mills— who is joined by the talents of Klea Blackhurst, Gina Costigan, Brenda Meaney and Allison Jean White. As we all know, Hayley is the child of theater royalty with a long list of credits that include The King and I and an Off-Broadway appearance in Noël Coward’s Suite in Two Keys. Among her other theater credits are Ladies in Lavender, Pride and Prejudice, and Dial M for Murder. Hayley’s career has spanned six decades and has garnered the actress with many awards and industry recognition. She has the distinction of having won the last Juvenile Academy Award (in 1961 for Pollyanna) before AMPAS retired the tiny Oscar. Other notable starring roles include her dual portrayal as “Susan” and “Sharon” in The Parent Trap (Golden Globe nomination) and its three sequels, Tiger Bay (BAFTA Award), Whistle Down the Wind (BAFTA nomination), That Darn Cat! and The Trouble With Angels. On TV, Mills appeared in the series Wild at Heart, Good Morning, Miss Bliss and Midsomer Murders. New York Lifestyles recently caught up with Hayley Mills during rehearsals for Party Face. Her exuberance on stage is something to behold—and a good reason to put Party Face on your to-do list. 86 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
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Director Upon graduation from The Neighborhood Playhouse, Amanda began her acting career on All My Children. Soon after she was cast in the cult horror film Fright Night opposite Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall. Following that, another cult classic came her way in the role of Marcy D’Arcy on the hit sitcom, Married...With Children, where she directed numerous episodes during the final six seasons. Twenty-five years and over a hundred sitcom episodes later, including shows such as Dharma & Greg, Reba, George Lopez, and Mad TV. Amanda remains behind the camera directing and producing, most recently the web series, Skirtchasers starring Barry Bostwick and Meredith Baxter. Theatrically, Amanda has directed Beth Henley’s Crimes of The Heart, Horton Foote’s Blind Date and new works such as Meet & Greet among others.
Hayley Mills, Brenda Meaney, and Allison Jean White ©Jeremy Daniel Who have been the greatest influences on your life? My parents, Walt Disney, and my two amazing sons Crispian and Jason. How did your childhood affect the person that you are today? Since I started working at 12, it’s really difficult to know how different things might have been. But, since I was born into a family where my father was an actor, and my mother was an actress and a writer, chances are I would become either one or the other. What advice would you offer your teenage self? Think long and hard before you do anything—but trust your instincts. Who has made a difference in your life? My darling partner of 20 years, Firdous Bamji—my love and my rock.
Playwright Isobel began her career in her native Ireland as an actress winning Best Newcomer to the Irish Theatre for SemiPrivate at The Gate Theatre in Dublin. She went on to work steadily in TV and theater, including the portrayal of Michelle in the RTE series Glenroe for 16 years. Finally succumbing to a lifelong ambition to write, her first stage play So Long, Sleeping Beauty in 2003. Her other plays include The Rules, Billy the Boat Loves Angelina and Box of Frogs. She is currently working on a horror film script, Bogman.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Before I started acting at a young age, I saw myself having lots of horses and lots of children. Who are your heroes? My sister Juliet and my brother Jonathan. What would your friends say are your greatest qualities? I hope they would say that they felt that I was there for them. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Doing King and I for two years knowing I can’t really sing. And that all of these years, I’m still working and finding myself OffBroadway in this wonderful play! And, most important, that my beloved children are still talking to me. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 87
PAWS DOWN, TAILS UP By Lori Zelenko and Susan Traub
e all love our pets and are devoted to their well-being. But sometimes it takes going the extra mile to make sure they’re heart healthy—slim and trim, active and eating right. We’re sharing tips for a better, healthier lifestyle with your furry four-legged friend with input from NYC vet, Dr. Rachel Barrack known for her integrative approach incorporating both Eastern and Western medicine as well as our own experiences with products that enhance our lives with our pets.
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FEEDING FIDO Make sure to keep your pet on a high quality, well balanced diet to encourage heart health and prevent obesity. Arthritis and diabetes can set in when your pet is overweight. PAWS DOWN, TAILS UP SAYS: There is no B.S. (no bad stuff!) in the 100 percent human quality dog food from Pet Plate (petplate.com), the subscription service that my Pekingese and ShihTzu (Bikini and Annabelle) are absolutely crazy about. Each meal is created by vet nutritionists and made with the finest USA meat and farm-fresh produce appealing to even the pickiest pet (my finicky Pekingese, Bikini can’t get enough!), help with allergy relief (no more yeasty ear issues for my ShihTzu, Annabelle) and digestion (dogs are full without gaining weight.) It’s a good plan to mix Pet Plate with organic dry food for your dog. We’re appreciating ACANA (acana.com) right now, regionally inspired and biologically appropriate with fresh ingredients from Kentucky’s fertile farmlands, meadows, and Appalachian ranches. The Muscovy Duck and Anjou Pear has been a huge success with Bikini and Annabelle, the Lamb and Apple is a close second. ACANA makes grain free and proteinpacked food for cats too. ACANA pet food for dogs and cats is a new discovery from The Bonehouse, the just-opened holistic pet store at 57th Street and First Avenue, owned by Oksana Vintoyak, one of NYC’s newest and best resources for all that is wholesome and good for your four-legged furry friend. The Bonehouse is not dog exclusive; there are plenty of healthy options for cats too! Info: email@example.com or 212-872-1300.
STAYING FIT WITH STYLE Dogs love cardio! Take your pup on a long walk or jog—it will be good for both hearts!
Oksana of Bonehouse 88 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
PDTU Says: Make every walk even more fun with easygoing essentials from the new pup-friendly line Zoo Supply (zsupplyclothing.com/shop/pets/). These laid-back basics for pets are inspired by Z Supply fashion choices worn by A-listers including Rihanna, Halle Berry, Cindy Crawford, and Charlize Theron. Celebrity pups (sized from Yorkies to ShihTzus to Schnauzers) are new converts but we are sure they’ll be walking and jogging with their owners in coordinated camo pullovers, baseball T-shirts and fleece hoodies in the same cozy fabrics as Zoo Supply’s casual ensembles for women. Their baby French terry is the best! Zoo Supply proudly supports Barks of Love, the all-breed dog rescue, matchmaking pets with perfect families.
HEALTHY DOGS ARE HAPPY DOGS
Dr. Rachel Barrack
Before making any drastic dietary or exercise changes always consult with your veterinarian. But most importantly, know your dog. PDTU Says: Looking to keep your dog in the peak of health? Dr. Rachel Barrack (animalacupuncture.com) can help by providing at home integrative care to dogs, cats and horses in New York City. She worked wonders on my Annabelle, a stubborn 10-year-old rescue ShihTzu who seemed to leave the baggage of her former life behind after one acupuncture session with Dr. Barrack. The result: a remarkable boost to her body and spirit. And just like kids enjoy a lollipop after a Doctor’s visit, your dog will enjoy a reward for good behavior too like healthy treats from Sabrini’s Kitchen, coming soon from Royal Animals (royalanimals.com). The newest trend in treats for dogs is cannabis-infusion. Annabelle and Bikini have sampled quite a few lately and are particularly enjoying calming hemp-seed and wild Alaskan salmon treats from True Leaf Pets (trueleafpet.com), nurtured with natural herbs. True Leaf, a Canadian company, has variations that help with hip and joint conditions, and also, offer antioxidant support for dogs too (cat treats from True Leaf coming soon.) Hemp treats are rich in fatty acids and balance Omega-6 and Omega-3 in an optimal 3:1 ratio. There is no “high” effect here, hemp treats just help make your dog feel relaxed and content, certainly helpful in leading a longer, healthier life. Other hemp-infused treats Annabelle and Bikini are enjoying are Reilly’s Hemp Vet Pumpkin Chews (reillyshempvet.com) and Treatibles (treatibles.com) grain-free treats in blueberry, turkey or pumpkin. Bark Avenue (barkavenue.co) peanut butter gourmet all natural dog treats are “Grandpaws Hemp Creations” and a paws down favorite! Of course, the ultimate pleasure is all-natural frozen yogurt dog treats from The Bear & The Rat (cooltreatsfordogs.com) in delicious flavors including Applewood-Smoked Bacon & Peanut Butter, Banana & Peanut Butter, and Pumpkin. With billions of live, active probiotic cultures and free of sugar, preservatives, and canine allergens (such as corn, wheat, or soy), The Bear & The Rat frozen yogurt helps banish doggie breath, tummy troubles and boosts overall immunity. My Pekingese and ShihTzu know these treats are dessert, so where are they after dinner? Hovering by the freezer waiting to score a spoonful or more.
HOLISTIC PET CARE
The Bear and The Rat Frozen Yogurt
Enter the world of holistic dog care and discover how beloved pets have inhabited our homes, our lives, and our hearts. PDTU Says: Read the very informative The Holistic Dog–Inside The Canine Mind, Body, Spirit, and Space (Hellos Press) by lifestyle expert, Laura Benko with photographs by Susan Fisher Plotner. Available at Barnes & Noble (barnesnoble.com). Not to neglect the cat owners in our community, Meow Parlour (meowparlour.com) on Manhattan’s Lower East Side offers yoga with cats since “yoga is all about being in the moment.” Cats are in the moment “all the time,” says Amy Apgar, yoga instructor at this cat café and shelter (you can adopt the cats after your yoga practice). Of course, yoga is not cat exclusive, there is Doga–yoga with dogs. And to gift the kitty in your life after a workout try HALO’s Live-A-Littles (halopets.com) 100 percent freeze dried Wild Salmon treats. They’re good for dogs too so don’t stint after a Doga session either. For private Doga sessions, New Yorkers fly celebrity yoga instructor Anne Appleby in. Info: Yoga Force (yogaforce.com) This Valentine’s Day, we’re loving yoga with our pets most of all because it’s integral to the healthy lifestyle that’s captured our hearts…and gives us even more days to celebrate life with our four-legged furry friends. •
Lori Zelenko and Susan Traub have teamed up to reveal exclusive personal insights into the healthful and happy life of pets in the city. Each a devoted dog owner as well as an entrepreneur, Lori and Susan are mutually dedicated to improving the wellbeing of pets in NYC and beyond. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2018 Lori Zelenko and Susan Traub, All rights reserved. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 89
ENTREPRENEUR’S CORNER By Nanci Grasso
y mom opened Dance Workshop Long Island 40 years ago. Back then, she had 150 students in her first season. After much encouragement from her father, she became a female entrepreneur at just 21 years old. As she reminds me now she never dreamed of owning a studio or imagined she would be this successful.
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Because Dance Workshop has been a premier studio on Long Island, generations of families have returned year after year. In fact, the staff and students are more like family as many have been with us from day one. I was born into studio life and began dancing at age 2 and haven’t been able to quit the dancing bug since. Any chance to dance or observe the older students and pleading with mom, “I promise! I’ll be good. I will just sit and watch the classes.” I never wanted to go home. Being at the studio was so inspiring. I was learning so much about music, choreography, teaching and what kind of dancer I wanted to become. Through observation I learned the beauty of dance as an art form and how it can change lives. Especially mine.
DANCING FEET Coming of age my name was synonymous with dancing. I was constantly choreographing on my childhood girlfriends in their back yards; confident I was the next Paula Abdul. Through high school I continued to teach and choreograph for shows, teams and competitions. During college at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I joined the dance team. It was there I found much inspiration and style from my coach. While attending school full time I began teaching at our studio and working as a sales associate at Intermix in the West Village. Believe it or not I never thought I would teach or work at our studio. My sights were set on a career in fashion. I graduated from FIT with a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management. While working at Intermix an opportunity came to assist the Creative Director of CBS Watch! Magazine and I quickly jumped at it. Styling celebrities for cover shoots, editorials, red carpet events and award shows became my life. Traveling near and far, collaborating with world renowned artists and talent was life changing. It was a great run at doing exactly what I had dreamed of but something else was burgeoning. 90 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
THE RIGHT CHOICE I turned in my styling kit for beat up ballet slippers and never looked back. I moved back to Long Island and completely immersed myself in my mom’s studio. Teaching more classes, getting involved in administration and creative aspects of conceptualizing shows and choreographing for competitions. With incredibly loving and talented mentors I began to grow as a teacher, choreographer and business woman. Two years ago, I moved back to Manhattan but this time landed on the Upper East Side. In less than six months I signed an apartment and studio lease. Opening our second studio on the corner of 64th Street and Lexington Avenue has been the greatest joy of my life. We opened our doors to the Upper East Side community in September 2016. The decision to expand our family business has been one of the most fulfilling endeavors. Working with children from 2 to 18 years is extremely rewarding. Celebrating their development on the dance floor and in their personal lives is what it’s all about. My staff and I spend week after week with our dancers; witnessing progress, friendships and deepening love for dance. Our purpose and influence in a child’s life is significant and it’s not something we take lightly.
REALIZING A DREAM Throughout the years we have seen our dancers thrive in the dance community. We’ve had students admitted to LaGuardia High School, Ballet Tech, NYU and prestigious training programs. They have gone on to dance with professional modern and ballet companies—Martha Graham and Ballet Hispanico to name a couple! Others have joined the Knicks City Dancers and New York Jets Flight Crew. By far the most exciting is seeing our dancers continue their pursuit of dance through teaching. Watching our students continue to spread knowledge and the power of the arts is so important to us. We are keeping dance alive. Looking back, I recall standing in an empty, just completed, sparkling new dance studio. I wondered what kind of children would fill the space and our hearts. Let’s just say they are spectacular in every way. Every smiling, giggling face is a reminder my mom gave me the gift of a lifetime. She has unintentionally been passing it on to me from the moment I came into this world. There is nothing more beautiful than sharing our passion for dance, children and being female entrepreneurs. • Nanci Grasso is the Founder and Director of Dance Workshop New York, a high-end dance boutique located in a brownstone in the Upper East Side. Dance Workshop has a strong reputation for educating children and adults. Nanci teaches every category of dance, including tap, jazz, ballet, hiphop and lyrical. For more information on Dance Workshop, visit danceworkshopny.com. FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 91
MY NEW YORK STORY By Fabiene Boone
t’s 2014 in Harlem and where my New York story begins. I was one of sixteen founders to open up KIPP STAR Harlem. Not only did we start a school, but we created impact within the neighborhood. Since then, our teachers, leadership, and families have worked diligently to build a school that is warm and welcoming to all who want to learn.
THE PATH TO COLLEGE STARTS HERE Go to www.Reveel.it and snap a photo
Two years earlier, I had visited New York City on business. I knew then that I wanted to settle here. I claimed that within the next two years I would be living and working in New York. I remember walking along Seventh Avenue and seeing so much diversity just within that small radius. Then, I continued to walk for about six or seven hours, observing the greatest city in the world!
A NEW LIFE Fast forward a year and a half, my best friend and I are in a U-Haul from Indiana on our way to move into my apartment in Harlem. I was starting a new life and career in education to become one of sixteen founders for KIPP STAR Harlem College Preparatory. KIPP is exceptional: Students strive for success in whatever life path they choose. Most of all, they complete college at a rate far above the national average for all students and four times higher than that of students from similar economic backgrounds. Approaching this new change, I did not know what to expect. In fact, I will never forget when one day my School Leader came to observe me during our Guided Reading block and curiously asked me what I was doing. I sat there like a puppy who chewed her favorite pair of high heels. My only response was “I don’t know.” 92 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
CONNECTING WITH STUDENTS I took that moment to use as fuel to mold myself into a teacher. First thing I had to do was focus on my strengths, bring them to the forefront. I knew that I had a special connection with kids. If you place me in a room full of kids that I have never met, I can connect with them all in some way, form, or fashion. So, I used that as a starting point to build my confidence performing in front of my students. I would eat breakfast with the students. I would run with them at recess (I destroyed a lot of shoes doing so). I would simply ask them what do they want from me. Once I earned the confidence of my students, the next step was to gain the trust of their parents and extended family members. This is important, especially within the black community. It takes a team to mold a single child into something amazing. I knew that it was essential that everyone be on one accord as we solidify a child’s educational foundation. I did so by making an effort for families to see and get to know me outside of the classroom. I attended every birthday party, baby shower, special dinner, dance recital, etc. Whenever a parent invited me to an event, I would attend. Mr. Boone
IU Class of the week
BEING CREATIVE IN LIFE Growing up in a 24-hour daycare, that experience really established within me the importance to connect with every child. Living in a daycare, you come across children who come from entirely different circumstances. Over the years, I learned to be creative and find some way to connect with each one of them all so that they looked forward to coming to daycare. However, the most exceptional experience that prepared me for this journey into and through education was when I became a father at the age of 18. Right after graduation and before I was supposed to report to football camp at Indiana University, I was truly blessed with the birth of my daughter. It was a huge learning curve that allowed me to go into any opportunity prepared with confidence. Being a father is tough. I never knew my father…never even met him. So there was still a huge learning curve on how to be a man as well as a father all at the same time. Today, I continue to use all my experiences I have acquired through my life and translate that throughout my classroom teachings. But the best experience is being able to show my students that adults can be kids at heart too. So that is something that I remember to showcase every day to all my students. • FEBRUARY 2018 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 93
NASHVILLE COMES TO TIMES SQUARE By Ellis Nassour
ome on in and sit right down and make yourself at home!” sang the country music legend Patsy Cline. It was the tune that opened her live shows. That was then. Today, New Yorkers don’t have to travel very far for some country music and flavor. Opry City Stage, the first Grand Ole Opry outpost outside Nashville, is huge. Located on Broadway, between 48th and 49th Streets, the venue encompasses four floors of retail space with country music-inspired merchandise, a towering atrium, main stage, restaurant and bar. Not to be overlooked, of course, are the church-styled windows in tribute to Ryman Auditorium, a former tabernacle, and site of the original Grand Ole Opry.
MUSIC CITY MEMORIES For 92 years, the Grand Ole Opry has been a country music mecca, showcasing the genre’s biggest stars. Opry City Stage doubles as a colorful pilgrimage to country’s spiritual home. Taking a cue from the Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood, decades of memorabilia have been imported from the Opry. These include a 17-foot re-creation of Jimmie Rodgers’ Blue Yodeler guitar gifted to Ernest Tubb; more than 300 photographs from the Opry’s photo archive spanning nearly a century; and showcases of costumes worn by Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, Johnny Cash, and “new country” chart-makers such as Taylor Swift. The Grand Old Opry dates to 1925. Concerts were broadcast over WSM 650 radio and broadcast nationally on Saturday nights. Although an admission of 25 cents was charged, that didn’t deter the every-growing attendance. To accommodate the demand, the Opry relocated to the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. It stayed put there until 1974 when it moved to a 4,400-seat facility on the city outskirts. The Ryman remained shut over a decade before Gaylord Entertainment did a full restoration and reopened it as a museum and concert hall.
A GOOD TIME FOR ALL Colin Reed, Ryman Hospitality chairman and CEO, notes that country music and a laid-back lifestyle have never been more popular. Such enthusiasm is demonstrated with the opening of this new venue. “We can share an authentic slice of country’s most famous institution with the millions from around the country and world who visit Times Square.” Lincoln Schofield, entertainment manager agrees when he says, “Opry City Stage has the potential to be a new country hub right in the center of New York City. I can imagine future country stars coming out of this venue,” says Schofield. One of the venue’s biggest appeals, he states, is the feeling that almost anyone passing through town could stop by and sit in with the house band. “You never know who might turn up.” In fact, local country musicians have the stage until closing. The fourth-floor studio, with seating for 300, has been designated for ticketed events and open-mike nights. The menu designed by Bruce and Eric Bromberg of the Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group includes country favorites like Nashville Hot Chicken, Sweet & Spicy Pulled Pork, and Catfish & Chips. Also available on the menu are signature beers from Nashville’s favorite Yazoo Brewery.
Opry City Stage is a joint-venture of Ryman Hospitality Properties (RHP) and New York’s SPK Hospitality Group. RHP, an off-shoot of Gaylord Entertainment, owns the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman, WSM, and, among its resorts, Ellis Nassour writes on the entertainment business. He’s a veteran of The Nashville’s mega Opryland Hotel. New York Times, New York Daily News, and Playbill; the author of . the definitive biography Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of For more information on Opry City Stage and scheduled Patsy Cline and the hit revue Always, Patsy Cline. entertainment, visit oprycitystage.com. • 94 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
TIME OUT WITH FELICIA MADISON By Elizabeth Morgan
modern-day Mrs. Maisel (but happily married and living on the Upper East Side), sharp-witted comedian Felicia Madison went from stay-at-home mom to an instant stand-up comedy hit, taking a cue from her professional role model Joan Rivers—with a dash of Phyllis Diller’s “Second Act” story arc. Madison—once dreaming of becoming a Broadway dancer—offers an irreverent take on the topics she knows best: marriage, motherhood, sex, and the impossible standards of beauty faced by women everywhere.
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Madison hails from suburban New Jersey, where she enjoyed a comfortable childhood. “Growing up, I felt like the poorest girl in my neighborhood. So I studied, went to a good college and succeeded the old fashioned way—I married my boss. Now I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and still feel like the poorest girl in the neighborhood,” she jokes, channeling the self-depreciating humor that defines her popular stand-up sets.
THE EARLY DAYS At the behest of her parents—who were eager for their children to pursue careers in medicine—she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Biological Basis of Behavior and a Marketing minor (she jokes that she’s only qualified to sell drugs). After college, marriage and motherhood followed; the family settled in New York’s tony Upper East Side. It was not until her children were “old enough not to care” that Madison began to pursue comedy seriously, starting with a class at the Manhattan Comedy School. In 2016, she launched Laughing Affairs, which produces daytime and evening comedy shows for social events such as birthdays, showers, corporate functions, and fundraisers. Among these are her monthly Laughercise events, which eschews the traditional late night, male-dominated environs of comedy clubs, and instead treats guests to a mid-afternoon meal, dessert, and glass of wine as both up-and-coming and veteran comedians take to the stage.
COMEDY DAY & NIGHT
Felicia Madison at the Gotham Comedy Club
Recently, Madison hosted a popular Laughercise event at the West Side Comedy Club located at Playa Betty’s restaurant in New York. A typical afternoon lineup might include comedians Bill McCuddy, Ophira Eisenberg, Abby Feldman, and Jocelyn Chia. When Felicia took the stage, she offered her unique comedic take on raising teenagers, the keys to a successful marriage and, of course, life in Manhattan. For those who prefer the traditional evening comedy show, F Comedy Club produces evening shows perfect for a post-dinner laugh. It is the latest venture from Madison’s Laughing Affairs, which promises the same uproarious jokes as Madison’s lunchtime events. A recent F Comedy Club event at the West Side Comedy Club located at Playa Betty’s restaurant included entertainers Clayton Fletcher, Chrissie Mayr, Eric Neumann, Erik Angel, Jay Jurden, Adam Muller, Sandip Sen, Olga Namer, Amy Veltman, Yoni Downs and Dorothy Palin, who have performed at venues including the New York Comedy Club, the Stonewall Inn, Caroline’s, and the Gotham Comedy Club. Another one of Laughing Affairs’ latest projects is Comedy for a Cause, where Madison and other comics come together to raise money for a foundation, charity, or benefit. The format “enables me to perform during the day, when I am completely free, and in front of ‘my’ audience. The lunches have been a huge success for both the beneficiaries and the comedians,” Felicia told Broadway World. Today, Felicia blogs, podcasts, and is in the process of developing a sitcom based loosely on her own experiences. “This is what happens when you don’t support your kids’ dreams,” jokes Madison. “They turn 50 and become stand-up comedians.” For more information on Felicia Madison and Laughing Affairs, visit feliciamadison.com. Also follow her on social media: Facebook: @laughingaffairsnyc; Instagram: @laughingaffairs; and Twitter: @ FeliciaLMadison. • 96 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2018
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Saddle River, NJ
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