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Vol. 1 #7 | December 2015

Christie Brinkley One Of The Sexiest Women Of The Century

The Rockettes Come To Town

Feel Your Holiday Best! with Dr. Doris Day

A Bevy Of Christmas Activities


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Feature

6 Editor’s Letter 11 Christie Brinkley: As Beautiful On The Inside As She Is On The Outside

Travel 17 21 26 30 35 40 43 46

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Table of Contents

Paradise Discovered Mexicos Amazing Pyramids Heartland Of European Culture Pirate’s Lair Now A Luxury Spa & Retreat Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle Sparkles Enough Chocolate To Die For Christmas In The Sunniest Corner Of Switzerland Grapevine: Creating Christmas Memories

Theater

51 ‘Tis The Season For The Rockettes To Fly High 56 Side Show Inspired A Career 59 Paper Mill Playhouse: Broadway West

New York, New York 62 Museum Delves Into The “Secret World” 65 King Tut’s Triumphant Return To New York

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Real Estate

70 Home With A History On The Market 74 NYC Upper West Side A Superb Area

Dining

78 Nello: A Place To See & Be Seen 80 Masseria Dei Vini Offers Dishes From Puglia

Spas & Health 82 85 86 90

Dr. Day’s Prescription To Look & Feel Your Best Tips On How To Manage Your Depression & Fears Metamorphosis : A Spa For The Body & Soul A Close By Hidden Gem Luxury Spa At J House


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Our Numbers Keep On Climbing; We Welcome You Aboard Publications are judged by articles they produce and acceptance by the readership. It looks as though we are making the grade on both counts.

us that the ghost of old Albert is not rummaging around the place. We’ll also shine a spotlight of beautiful and very upscale real estate in New York and environs over the coming issues.

Since our inception in June, New York Lifestyles Magazine has been taken to heart by our thousands of readers, in print and online. With a total readership combining both those categories of about 250,000, we can paraphrase Sally Field as she accepted her Academy Award: “You love us.”

Dine where Derek Jeter eats? Try Nello, the upscale restaurant that caters to a multitude of celebrities. Check it out inside.

And we say a collective “Thank you.” We have an amazing group of contributing writers who are top professionals, from across the country as well as in New York. They cover worldwide travel, health issues, athletics and sports, real estate and dining out. In short, anything an urban New Yorker is interested in. NYLM is pleased to welcome Dr. Doris Day, a prominent dermatologist who practices at NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Day will be a regular health columnist. Her first column appears in this issue.

Is chocolate your fancy? Of course it is. What a silly question to ask. Find our story on Connecticut’s JHouse, only a day trip from Manhattan. We have some amazing articles upcoming in the next issues. Our writers are literally all over the world from Vietnam and Thailand to India and beyond. Health, finance, and everything and anything that appeals to the New York Lifestyles are in our sights. Let us know how you feel. Are there things you’d like to see? Things you’d rather not see? Email me and we’ll discuss it: bobn@newyorklifestylesmagazine.com I’m waiting to hear from you.

Our cover feature this issue is famed model and actress, Christie Brinkley. Christie was named one of the 100 Hottest Women and after you read the story, you’ll see that “hot” and “beauty,” are only skin deep and how much more there is to her as a person and mother. We go inside the Rockettes performance and Radio City Music Hall, one of the most famous venues in the world. We not only feature New York, but the Christmas Capital of Texas, Grapevine. This is the Old West with a modern bent. From handblown tree ornaments to Gaylord’s huge mall, Grapevine is the place to go. If you want to travel a bit further, we show you where to go in Switzerland for the holidays. In real estate we are featuring a property with some history and possibly even some ghosts. In Fort Lee, NJ, seconds south of the George Washington Bridge, on the edge of The Palisades with a killer view extending to the Freedom Tower, sits an estate going up for auction shortly. Perhaps saying “killer view” says a lot. The home was built on 1.2 acres by Albert Anastasia, the head of a gang known as “Murder Inc.” After he was gunned down in a Manhattan hotel, the estate was purchased by Dell Webb, Buddy Hackett and finally ferry operator and restaurateur Arthur Imperatore. The real estate agents assure 6 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

Bob Nesoff Executive Editor


Check us out on the web! Vol. 1 #7 | December 2015 President / Publisher Bill Mason Executive Publisher Ernie Anastos Executive Editor Bob Nesoff Vice President of Sales Lyle Seltzer Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim

Read Any of Our Issues In Digital Format on:

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Art Director Eric Duncan Travel Editor Sandy Nesoff Photographers Chief Photographer - David Handschuh Photographer - Maybelle Webster Medical Editors Doris Day, MD, Peter Schmaus, MD Contributing Writers Northeast Jon Haggins, Jeff Sylva, Stephanie Sylva, Dale Reynolds Jason Wolfgang Gehlert, Jim Kierstead, Stan Popovich Keri Zane, Karen Feld, Irwin Nesoff, Arthur Carmichael Marie Consola, Anthony Alto, Curt Winston Margaret Mason Midwest Pacific Northwest Mira Temkin, Jodie Jacobs Curt Winston South Southeast Mona Hayden Pam Barker, Gerry Barker Real Estate Daniel J. Bollinger Webmasters Scott Cuollo, Richard Austin Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development Ellen Marra - Director of Sales - Real Estate John Miller - Director of Sales - Travel Michael Stulmaker - Senior Sales Manager New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651

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Christie Brinkley: As Beautiful on the Inside as She Is on the Outside

By Bob Nesoff

hristie Brinkley peered out the window of the military craft flying high over Kosovo, an area in conflict. Flying alongside her aircraft was a Blackhawk helicopter, fully armed and ready for any eventuality. “The helicopter was there to protect us from enemy missiles,” Brinkley commented. “It was an odd feeling. Then above us a flying tanker came in and I watched as a refueling line slowly moved toward the nose of our plane. Watching them synchronize was like a ballet.” “I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life. It was probably the most claustrophobic I’ve ever been.” “I flew with (then) Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen to Italy and then on to Kosovo, Bosnia and Macedonia. It was absolutely amazing to be able to get into these places and entertain our men and women in the military, to thank them for their service. For me it was an honor and a privilege to do this for them. It’s something I’ll never forget.” Christie Brinkley, named one of the “100 Sexiest Women of the 20th Century,” by readers of Playboy Magazine, a top fashion model, actress and mother was on a trip to participate with an entertainment troupe to lift the spirits of our military serving in some of the world’s hot spots. She ranked third in the “AskMen.com” survey of the Top 10 Super Models of All Time. Continuing that streak, Men’s Health Magazine called her “One of the 100 Hottest Women of All Time.” She was number 16 on that list. As if to show the magazine that they were wrong and ranked her too low on the totem pole, “Pop-topia.com” listed her as number one on their tally of “10 Hottest Hollywood Women in Their 50s.” “I love working with the USO. I’ve had a couple of opportunities to work with them. That sprang from a show I did with Bob Hope in Annapolis.” Brinkley followed that show with appearances for other troops in other locations around the world. At 61 today Christie Brinkley looks as young, fresh and beautiful as someone half her age. And, to be honest, she could easily pass for someone that age. She is bright, cheerful and lights up any room she enters with her blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. It’s a good bet that her busy life helps to keep her young. Christie has penned a new book, “Timeless Beauty,” that she says has “A little bit of everything.” “When I tried to think if what I was doing right in an industry that has discarded so many people by this time, I realized it wasn’t just one thing. It was a number of things. I wanted to encourage women to eat right and exercise. I wanted to share tips on makeup.”

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“There are experts who do my makeup and I wanted to let readers know what their secrets and pointers are. I think people should also lighten up about beauty. They should realize that it is simply not just what you put on your face. It’s what you project. Everything combined should make you feel good… and do good.” There are no airs about Christie Brinkley. For all the fame and recognition she’s earned, she is pretty much the girl next door. Admittedly an exceptionally beautiful girl next door, but that’s the aura she projects. She is approachable and friendly with absolutely no attitude about her. She also has a skin care line coming out. “As a surfer girl in Malibu I wanted to create something that would work the same as the cosmetics I used myself for skin repair and conditioning. I had an opportunity to pull together some of the

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brightest, smartest minds; formulators and scientists.” “I wanted to come up with something that was really effective. I wanted to see results and improvements. All of this was a long time in coming. I wasn’t going to put my name on just anything. The important thing to me was to do it and do it right.” “It was more than three years in the making and I am getting such great feedback from women all over. The line is modern, uses the latest technology, is vegan and is totally cruelty free-no animal testing whatsoever. It’s available at Kohl’s Department Stores and on TV at HSN. You can also check it out online at: www. christiebrinkleyauthenticskincare.com Christie also credits her lifestyle for her own timeless beauty. “I became a vegetarian when I was 13 and have never eaten meat


since that point in time. I think that’s a strong factor. I’ve also been very active. I love sports and doing things outdoors such as swimming and kayaking.” Christie is an excellent skier and is often seen on the challenging slopes at upscale resorts such as Aspen and Telluride. “I love Aspen, but Telluride is probably my favorite ski resort. It still has that old time cowboy atmosphere and look about it.” As you might expect, Christie’s children have not only inherited her looks, but are heading toward careers in entertainment as well. “Alexa Ray has inherited her father’s (Billy Joel) talent for playing the piano and singing. She just completed her fourth run at Café Carlyle where she does a cabaret act and she is a host at famed Cipriani.” Her son, Jack Paris Taubman, just completed an 18-month course

at the Actor’s Studio and has signed with a top talent agent. “I think you’ll see him bursting on the scene in the not to distant future.” Youngest child, Sailor Lee Brinkley Cook has her prime focus on going to college where she intends to study film and photography. How does she manage to keep her kids grounded? It’s not easy when your mother is one of the most recognizable women in the world. “I raised my children in the Hamptons. In summer the population swells and the crowds are huge. They blend in. In winter it’s just the locals. And I’m just one of the locals. The kids are pretty well grounded.” Where once people would instantly recognize Christie and ask for an autograph: “Now people tend to recognize all of us and will ask the kids to sign an autograph as well. My two youngest get a bit shy and tend to meander away.”

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called “The Real Model Collection.” In 1993, putting her background in art to work, she illustrated the cover for Billy Joel’s triple platinum album, River of Dreams. Rolling Stone honored her with the “Best Album Cover Of The Year.” She’s also designed clothing for Simplicity Patterns and in March, 1994, helped design her line of prescription glasses and sunglasses for Nouveau Eyewear. It was named “Christie Brinkley Perspectives” and enjoyed worldwide success. Christie released her own signature fragrance, “Believe,” in 1998 and her jewelry collection manufactured by Swank, the same year. In 1983 she had a part in National Lampoon’s Vacation. She played the hot blonde (what else) in a swimming pool. She remembers: “The pool was steaming and they couldn’t have steam so they made it as cold as the temperature outside by putting huge blocks of ice in the water. It was so cold and my lips were freezing so they had to take me out of the water to thaw out. Then they wanted me to strip and jump into the water. It’s 3 a.m. and no way I can reach an agent to put in a protest.” Christie won out, kept her little bathing suit on and compromised by throwing her bra at the movie’s star, Chevy Chase, hitting him in the face. She has also appeared in many television shows - Parks and Recreation, Ugly Betty and more. Some of her films include: A Matter of Trust: The Bridge To Russia (1987), About Face-Super Models Then And Now (2012), Safety In Paradise (2014),

Brinkley, a self-professed “surfer girl” went to Paris to study. Why? “I always thought I’d be an actor in Paree and I thought it was time to make that dream come true. I left with only $500 in my pocket. I went to two schools in Paris and got a job as an artist. I lived in a little garret, had a bunch of berets and was discovered there.”

She was born in Monroe, Michigan, near Detroit, on February 2, 1954 and was later adopted by her stepfather, Don Brinkley. Christie has been active in Democratic politics and was a delegate to the 2000 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. In 2012 she was ranked as the third richest model. Talking to her you would never know any of the facts about her. She comes across as Christie, the girl next door. You should only be so lucky. t

Her discovery was what you might have expected from a romantic movie set in Paris. In 1973 she was in a post office in that city when American photographer, Errol Sawyer, spotted her. He took her first modeling pictures and introduced her to John Casablancas of Elite Model Management Agency in Paris. Another photographer called Eileen Ford of the famed Ford Modeling Agency to suggest she sign Christie. That led to her being booked for national ad campaigns. She made numerous appearances on the cover of Glamour Magazine and was signed to a record 25-year contract with Cover Girl cosmetics. Christie appeared on her first Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover in 1979 and made such a splash that she was the cover girl in 1980 and 1981 as well, becoming the first model to appear on that cover for three consecutive years. A multi-faceted person, she has written several books. Her first, in 1983, was an illustrated tome on beauty and health, titled “Christie Brinkley’s Outdoor Beauty And Fitness Book.” It topped the New York Times best seller list. That same year she was tapped with models Cheryl Tiegs and Beverly Johnson as models for a line of toys produced by Matchbox, DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 15


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Paradise Discovered By Mira Temkin

thousand miles south of San Diego at the tip of Baja Peninsula lie Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, the two towns that make up Los Cabos. Often called “Land’s End” because of its southernmost location, Los Cabos offers both the charm of an authentic Mexican town and a hip, vibrant party city. Sunshine addicts will be happy to know Los Cabos boasts 350 sunny days a year, making it the world’s most perfect climate as well as holding court as the champion of desert golf and sport fishing. A Retreat at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort When you arrive at the award-winning resort, you know you’ve arrived someplace special. The first thing that greets you is the lovely scent in the air, an aromatic blend of lavender and white tea. (I even bought a bottle to take home.) This enchanting 5-star oasis

of natural beauty and tranquility is for adults only, just 10 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas. The all-inclusive, luxury resort and spa destination offers a fullservice package including: ocean view accommodations, daily wellness activities, spirits tastings, unlimited food and beverage with 24-hour room service. The best part is that you can dine at the resort’s five restaurants as well as three sister resorts in Cabo San Lucas. A sumptuous breakfast buffet awaits you at Pacifica and the nearby Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach to start your morning out right. Each night, the resort creates an epicurean adventure highlighting a different cuisine right on the beach with Mexican, Italian, Asian or the All-American barbecue. Dining on the beach under the stars, listening to the waves while the gentle breezes blow, was an evening I will long remember. Oh, and shoes are optional.

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Spaaaaaaaaa… The Armonia Spa offers a variety of wellness-oriented treatments and massage therapies that draw from the healing powers of touch, fragrance and ancient beliefs. The extensive menu features Aromatherapy and Ayurvedic treatments, luxury facials, body wraps and salon services. I opted for the hot stone massage and felt the warmth of the stones soothe and restore balance. If you’re with your significant other, go for a couples massage; better yet, do it (spa treatment) on the beach! Quivira Golf Course – Designed by Nature…and Jack Nicklaus Boasting more than a dozen courses, Los Cabos is known for its outstanding golf and attracts players from all over the world. With the recent opening of The Quivira Golf Club, the bar has been raised to an all-time high. Designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus as a Signature Golf Course, this award-winning course offers breathtaking views in an ocean, desert and mountain setting. The course has been named 2014 Best New International Golf Course by GOLF Magazine and 2014 Development of the Year by Golf, Inc. When you get hungry or thirsty, the four comfort stations interspersed throughout the course provide a variety of regional cuisine and refreshments. Note: The stops may cause the extension of your game!

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Antonio Vega, Director of Golf for the club says, “A special feature of our club is the spacious, double-sided practice facility that’s right next to the clubhouse and really groundbreaking in the world of golf. You don’t see that very often.” Vega also noted that temperature and wind have an impact on the course, providing a different experience each time a golfer plays. “What makes Quivira so unique is you have a combination of dramatic sea cliffs, huge windswept dunes and the crushing of the waves of the Pacific Ocean,” says Danny Scott, one half of America’s Golfing Couple. “It’s very playable, but challenging.” “With forward tees, it’s a very friendly course for women and seniors,” added his wife, Alice Scott. “Seeing all of the various cacti, butterflies and desert terrain, it’s like playing in a natural history museum.” Danny commented, “You step up to a hole and you feel sheer terror and exhilaration at the same time.” Own a Piece of Heaven Once you’ve visited Quivira, chances are you’ll want to visit more often. Fortunately, you have options including Copala


and Coronado luxury master plan communities. Copala features Mexican hacienda-style one, two, and three-bedroom condominiums as well as custom designed homes. Coronado is the beautiful 22-acre subdivision featuring 68 one-story, Mexican hacienda-style homes with four and five bedroom models. And, there’s no charge for the magnificent ocean and golf course views. Discover the Good Life Owning property at Copala or Coronado also comes with something extra. Themed “The Good Lifeâ€? at Quivira Los Cabos, club members enjoy a sense of community with a lifestyle that develops friendships with those who share their interests. This holistic approach nourishes residents and guests with organic gardening, a farmer’s market, art gallery, wine club, and optional golf club and private yacht club memberships. Tony Bennett was right. “It’s the good life‌â€? Go Wild with Cabo Adventures Vacationing in Los Cabos means trying something new. Itching to swim with the dolphins, ride a camel, go zip lining or sail? How about whale watching, scuba diving or snorkeling? Cabo Adventures is the king of adventure-based activities in Los Cabos

and you’ll come away with lots of fun and exciting memories. We opted for a morning sail, passed the infamous Los Cabos Arch and cruised into the Sea of Cortez full sails ahead. www.cabo-adventures.com Walking along the sand, relaxing in a comfy, private beach bed and enveloped by the warmth of the sun was the ultimate escape. Truly, I can’t wait to return to Pacifica! For more information about Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort, visit www.pueblobonitopacifica.com. For more information about Quivira, visit www. quiviraloscabos.com. About Mira Temkin Mira Temkin has a passion for writing and sharing her adventures across the globe. She covers everything from destinations to tours to cruises in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean and Europe with a keen eye and open mind. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Lakeland Boating, thevacationgals.com, businesstraveldestinations.com and ConnectNBHB[JOFt

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Mexico’s Amazing Pyramids By Jon Haggins Photography by Laurel Van Horn exico’s Yucatan has a rich Mayan history with numerous pyramids throughout the peninsula. Chichen Itza’s ancient Mayan pyramid, “Kukulcan” or “El Castillo,” (The Castle), as it is known in Spanish, became one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. El Castillo experiences an unusual phenomenon every year for two days during the spring equinox. A feathered serpent descends among mankind through the steps of the Chichen Itza Pyramid. It comes to bless the earth with fertility and prosperity, and its coming is witnessed by thousands of visitors who arrive at this famous Mayan structure. The construction is designed and located with such precise astronomical and engineering detail that the rays of sun lights up the steps, triangle by triangle, and finally rests on the stone head of the serpent deity at the base of the stairs. It is one of the most spectacular phenomena in the entire world. Chichen Itza’s Pyramid is a classic representation of the Mayan civilization that thrived in the Yucatan in Mexico between 600 and 1200 A.D. This pre-Columbian archaeological structure derives its name from ‘Chi’ meaning mouth, ‘Chen’ meaning (water) well and ‘Itza’ denoting the local tribe; translated, it means ‘at the mouth of the well of the Itza’. The Pyramid of Chichen Itza is just one of the many mysterious structures built in this area of Mexico. The “Coracol,” or observatory, Ball Court Temple, and the Temple of Warriors are other eminent structures of considerable architectural and historical significance. These were used as palaces, temples, baths, markets, ball courts and stages.

The ancient city of Chichen Itza is located in Northern Yucatan, an arid region where underground fresh waterways run through it rather than rivers; such waterways form natural sink holes called cenotes in Spanish. There are two open cenotes in Chichen Itza’s archaeological zone; the most famous is the Sacred Cenote, north of the Kukulkan Pyramid. Archeologist Edward H. Thompson dredged El Cenote Sagrado, 1904 to 1910, and recovered artifacts of gold, jade, pottery, etc. The Mayan pyramid Kukulcan is truly a majestic architectural achievement built as a Solar Calendar and Ceremonial Temple to the Mayan people. Juego de Pelota, (ball game) another structure in Chichen Itza, is the largest ball court in Mesoamerica. The Great Ball Court outside the Chichen Itza Pyramid measures 545 feet long and 225 feet wide and is surrounded by walls on all sides. The game is a stylized battle that was probably not as apparent in the earlier days as it is now. The images of players hoisting the severed heads of the opponents on the wall shows us the early days, when a ball game was, in every possible sense – a matter of life and death. The earliest buildings at Chichen Itza date from 600 A.D. El Castillo contains the famous Red Jaguar throne, inset with discs of jade, the Ball Court, and the Temple of the Thousand Columns. The Observatory, resembling the shape of a modern planetarium is where the Maya recorded movements of the heavenly bodies to fix times for planting and harvesting. The Mayaland Hotel is an excellent example of a four-star hacienda experience, including private villas and an outdoor pool. The dining room overlooks a well-manicured garden. The hotel sits within a few feet of majestic Chichen Itza. Its grounds are a study in tropical plants, orchids and trees (and don’t forget the huge ceiba tree). It is said that the souls of Mayan rulers reside in the ceiba tree.

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Ek Balam Archaeological Site Ek Balam, which means “black jaguar” in the Mayan language, is northeast of Chichen Itza and northwest of Coba. Archaeologists believe a Mayan community thrived here between 700 and 900 A.D. The most important structures are in a walled enclosure. Experts have uncovered temples, archways, platforms and sculptures after low-lying jungle had engulfed them for hundreds of years. Some of the structures are still buried. There is a stellar view from the top of the steep steps of the Acropolis at Ek Balam. The imposing Acropolis, nearly 100 feet tall, has steps leading to the top. There are intricate detailed carvings found in the Acropolis now uncovered and protected from the elements with a thatched roof. One sculpture is of a giant open-mouthed monster-like creature. There are also angels, animals and various designs that are in excellent condition. Walking to the top of the Acropolis, where a small temple once stood, affords panoramic views of the surrounding undeveloped countryside and the other buildings of the site. Izamal Izamal is called the ‘City of Three Cultures,’ because in it there are three historical periods that coexist. Its streets, buildings and small squares, houses and churches all in a harmonious, visual rhythm, are drenched in yellow, the color of sisal and the sun. There were originally two pyramids when the Europeans arrived. One was demolished in order to build the largest convent in North America: “The Convento of Izamal.” One of the largest pyramids still stands to the right of the convent called Kinich Kak Moo. The Kinich Restaurant offers some of the best Mayan dishes. The 22 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

Casa de los Artistas is a small bed and breakfast with personalized service and an opportunity for one to relax in the heart of the city. Edzna Edzna translates to: “The house of the Itzaes.” The Great Plaza of Edzna is a spectacular elevated platform consisting of beautifully preserved structures. One of the buildings of particular interest at the plaza is the 102-foot pyramid of five stories. The pyramid consists of five levels over a majestic base that terminates in a tiny temple crowned by a roof comb. A grand central staircase of 65 steps rises to the top of the structure, providing a great overview of the surroundings. West of the Great Acropolis, the Puuc-style Plataforma de los Cuchillos (Platform of the Knives) was named because of a number of flint knives found inside. On the south side of the Great Plaza is the Small Plaza, an elevated platform very similar to the Great Plaza, but several of its buildings are probably some of the oldest in Edzna. The Temple of the Relief Stairways is the largest pyramid at this plaza. Edzna has a number of structures that represent the political, economic and religious power during the pre-Hispanic period. The Mayan influence is apparent, including Petén, Chenes, Puuc and Tardio. When it was the capital of the area, the inhabitants built a clever system of water channels, containers and cisterns. Kabah Kabah is known as the second greatest religious center of the Puuc style. It is connected to Uxmal by a sache (Mayan road) that originated at El Arco, the main entrance to the city. The most outstanding building is the Palacio de los Mascarones. Its impressive façade is composed of 250 large masks of the God Chaac, carved in


stone. Kabah has two important buildings: the Codz Pop, which means coiled carpet, and is considered to be the temple of Chaac (God of Water), where experts found seven sculptures of Mayan governors facing east, as if waiting every morning for the sunrise that will give life to living beings. Uxmal Uxmal growth and development took place in the early Classic period, which ran from 600 B.C. to 200 A.D. Uxmall is the city of Kings. It is the jewel of the Mayan classic style, a place where this culture gave expression to its mythology in the design of its temples, such as the temple of the fortune teller that according to the myth of the Mayans, was constructed by a dwarf King. The Quadrangle of the Nuns, where one can admire the splendor of the Puuc style has smooth walls and decorated frieze. The Governor’s palace, where the architect used more than 20,000 tiles for the façade, is considered the most beautiful in the Mayan territory. Uxmal is located in the south of the Yucatan and UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. Known as the “three times built,” it is one of the Mayan cultural archaeological zones with the most impressive architecture in the Yucatan. Calakmul Calakmul, the ‘City of the Two Adjacent Pyramids,’ the name given the site of one of the largest and most important cities of the lowlands of the ancient Maya. The other main cites were El Mirador, Nakbe, and Tikal. When El Mirador fell, Calakmul began to rival Tikal politically and was larger and at times more powerful than Tikal. Calakmul is a huge Mayan site located in the Yucatan Peninsula deep inside a tropical forest of the Tierras Bajas of southern

Mexico, near the border of Guatemala. The city of the two Adjacent Pyramids, Calakmul was one of the most important Mayan cities of the lowlands, together with its archrival Tikal. The Mayan ruins contain almost 7,000 ancient structures including one of the tallest Mayan pyramids ever built. The residential remains of the city cover some eight square miles and its extensive system of canals and reservoirs once served a population of over 50,000. Palenque Palenque, one of the grandest Mayan ruins, easily ranks with Chichen Itza and Uxmal in architecture and magnificence. Located 400 miles from the Riviera Maya, Palenque was built in a supremely dramatic location, surrounded by dense jungle forests in a dramatic mountain setting with rushing waterfalls. Unlike most other Mayan cities, Palenque enjoyed an abundance of water, which was controlled by an elaborate aqueduct system and is widely regarded as the most atmospheric and impressive of Mexico’s Mayan ruins. Palenque’s monumental stone temples are famed for their architectural sophistication and fine sculptures. They are made even more interesting by the detailed knowledge of its history that archaeologists have recovered from its inscriptions. The high jungle canopy is as powerful as the ruins themselves. There is a tranquility that embraces you as you walk from temple to temple with jungle trails leading to smaller plazas, temples, and limestone façades. Palenque became an important ceremonial center during the Mayan Classic Period (300-900 AD). King Pakal and his son Chan-Bahlum built most of the temples and it peaked around 600 to 700 A.D. DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 23


The Temple of the Cross, Temple of the Sun, and Temple of the Foliated Cross are a set of graceful temples located on pyramids, each having elaborate carvings and interior chambers that explain rituals and allegiance to Mayan gods.

From here, the main pathway leads next to the impressive Palace, which has a unique tower that almost looks Chinese. Along the east edge of Palace is the most visible of the many aqueduct channels that run throughout the site.

The Temple of Inscriptions is named for the hieroglyphics found inside. This hieroglyphic panel described the family tree of King Pakal. It is now in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. The Temple contains the tomb of Pakal the Great, the mightiest Mayan ruler of Palenque, who sanctioned the building of the temple after his death. The stairway descends 80 feet to Pakal’s burial chamber where an ornately carved stone slab seals his tomb. The Temple of the Inscriptions seems to be the only temple in Mexico built specifically as a tomb.

The Yucatan is unique unto itself with incredible insights into Mexican History.

Pakal’s son, Chan-Bahlum, who is usually depicted with six toes, built this group of temples that is now in various stages of reconstruction. Chan-Bahlum’s plaster mask was found in Temple 14, next to the Temple of the Sun. To the right of the Temple of the Inscriptions is Temple 13, in which archaeologists recently discovered the richly supplied tomb of another important person, who was accompanied by an adult female and an adolescent.

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Editor’s Note: Check out Jon’s interestingly named book Chasing Wild ASS. It’s not what you’re thinking. Chasing Wild ASS is a narrative of his travels to more than 60 countries around the world. The title came about while chasing jackasses in Kutch Wild Ass Sanctuary in Gujarat, India. Get an autographed copy of Chasing Wild ASS. 489 pages including color photos and recipes. Paperback ISBN: 978-0578-13897-8, $19.95 plus $5.00 S&H. Jon Haggins PO Box 20902 New York, NY 10023 jonhaggins@aol.com t


Heartland Of European Culture By Gregory Demopolous he long and often spectacular history of the Peloponnese, the large peninsula that forms the southern part of the Greek Mainland, makes it a veritable heartland of European and Western culture,” noted Peter Sommer, founder of Peter Sommer Travels. The Peloponnese is the heady stuff of legends. Mythological strongman Hercules fought the Nemean lion, Paris eloped with Helen of Troy and Jason and the Argonuats set sail looking for the fabled Golden Fleece. The region is central in Greek myth - home to the heroes of Homer’s Iliad like King Agamemnon and Nestor and a place often frequented by the gods themselves, be it in love or wrath. For millennia the mountains, gorges and beaches kept invaders 26 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

at bay. Today those same impediments to the ancients now draw visitors who come in peace and leave money instead of destruction. Peloponnese hospitality is renowned and the area’s food is ranked amongst the best in Greece. Vineyards have been a major factor in the regrowth of the region’s viticulture. “From the first farmers of the Neolithic Age to the Bronze Age Mycenaeans, via the glories of Classical Greece and Rome and the splendors of the Byzantine Empire, all the way up to the Ottoman Empire and the Greek War of Independence, the Peloponnese has often been center-stage to key historical events.” The Peloponnese conjures up images of ancient glories, epic struggles, valiant heroes and majestic vistas. The mere mention of names like Arcadia or Corinth, Sparta or Olympia, Nemea or Mycenae awakens our imagination, reminding us of fascinating


legends and dramatic historical scenes reaching far across the ages. The peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times and the current name comes from ancient Greek mythology, the legend of Pelopes, who was said to have been the conqueror of the region. An international event today, the first Olympic games were held at Olympia in 776 BC. That date is often used to depict the beginning of Greece’s classical period. At that time the area was at the center of ancient Greece and some of the most powerful city-states were located there. It was also where some of the bloodiest ancient battles were fought. The famed cities of Sparta, Corinth, Argos and Megalopolis were in this area. Soldiers from Peloponnese fought the Persian Wars. An expanding Rome defeated the Greeks in 146 BC and It became the province of Achaea. The city of Mycenae has been named a World Heritage Site and is synonymous with the legendary writer, Homer. He wrote his epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey, there in the ninth century. His poems were regarded as little more than legends until archeologist Heinrich Schliemann uncovered historical treasures, including the Lion’s Gate, Grave Circle A - where priceless treasures were found in royal tombs and the tombs of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra were found. Visitors today can go through the Citadel and come to the Postern Gate, through which, legend has it, Orestes escaped after murdering Clytemnestra, his mother. In fact, modern-day visitors to this region can hardly put a foot down without connecting to ancient marvels. Although the area remained prosperous during the Roman

occupation, it was relatively cut off from the Greater Roman Territories. Visitors to Greece will journey through stunningly beautiful scenery, from small fertile plains to rough and rugged mountains and rocky peninsulas jutting out into the blue waters of the Mediterranean. Explore many of the area’s most famous highlights, including no less than six UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the gargantuan Bronze Age fortifications of Tiryns and Mycenae, the Classical splendors of Olympia, famous for the games that still bear its name, Epidaurus with its beautiful theatre and beautiful Byzantine Mystras. Visitors to Greece will see wonders off the beaten track, like mountainous Arcadia with its perched villages and gorge-side monasteries and the majestic Mani Peninsula, where a romantically wild landscape is perfectly matched by its traditional architecture. Savor some of the region’s best traditional cuisine, sample many of the fine wines that have been cultivated here for millennia and stay in delightful accommodations and locations. Led by Heinrich Hall and Dr. Maria Girtzi, a team of archaeologist guides with many years’ knowledge and experience of the region. The 15-day tour departs May 18. Catering for no more than 18 guests, each Peter Sommer Travels itinerary is hosted by an expert guide from fields including archaeology, ancient history, the arts, the classics and cuisine. They provide a fascinating insight into ancient lands while guests enjoy the magnificent scenery, food and wine of the Mediterranean. For full details, contact Peter Sommer Travels at 1-855-443-3027 (toll-free in the US and Canada), email info@petersommer.com or visit www.petersommer.com t DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 27


Adventure by Day, Luxury By Night... estled perfectly amidst the jungles of N Western Belize and surrounded by the rich history of the Mayan Civilization, discover the small and intimate, luxurious Ka’ana Resort.

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Pirate’s Lair Now A By Karen Feld

ccording to legend, Scrub Island, was a destination for pirates seeking some down time from pillaging and scraping barnacles from the bottom of their sailing ships. Today, the island, aptly named, was transformed to a tranquil private oasis five years ago. One of the 60 British Virgin Islands and cays (pronounce that “keys”) in the Caribbean-only ten inhabited-it’s an enchanting retreat from New York winter temperatures and the rat race. “A baby turtle recently hatched and scurried through a wedding party. It was symbolic of the couple starting a new life together,”

30 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

said Event/Catering Manager, Rosalie Jennings, “and it wasn’t staged.” Guests ran to grab it and return it to the ocean. That’s the way it is at Scrub Island, the high end resort with the turtle logo.

Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, is not easy to reach. That’s part of the allure of this private island for the beach and diving obsessed. It provides an exclusive experience. Flying commercial requires a change of aircraft in San Juan to a small commuter plane running on “island time,” such as Cape Air, a short hop to Tortola, Beef Island; followed by a taxi to the Trellis Bay ferry and finally the one mile ferry ride to Scrub Island.


Luxury Spa & Retreat Warning, allow for a two hour layover in San Juan and a full day of travel. An alternate route is through St. Thomas with a longer ferry ride to Tortola. Governor’s Point, on the north side of Scrub Island has a private helicopter pad often used for the many destination weddings since it has 270 degree water views.

But it didn’t take us long to relax. We were greeted at the dock with a tall chilled rum punch and shown to The Governors Suite in Marina Village, luxury accommodations most certainly fit for any “governor.” The large, one bedroom, two bath suite-with both soaking tub and large shower-was designed with an open feel in soft beige tones with a green accent and high quality natural materials. A large, comfy living room, included a full open kitchen

with top of the line appliances, including a Wolf cooktop, just in case we wanted to cook or arrange for one of the resorts private chefs to prepare a meal for us. The private terrace with full ocean views and a gentle breeze was perfect for a nightcap or to just sit quietly and listen to the lapping waves and smell the salt air. The trade winds keep away mosquitoes.

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 31


The Scrub Island Hotel, owned by Mainsail, based in Tampa, Florida, is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection of unique high end boutique properties. There’s only one house on the island not affiliated with the resort. That belongs to an Italian chef who will prepare private dinners for guests. The villas have off-island owners who rent them. A stylishly furnished, four bedroom private villa with its own infinity pool that goes straight to the sea level, rents for $2,000 per night. There’s no need to leave the island. Everything you could imagine in terms of water activities, including tandem sea kayaks, stand up paddleboards, water trampoline, fishing, diving and snorkeling is available. Private boat charters and even a sailing school are readily available. There are also three beaches, each with a distinct personality, as well as several multi-tiered freshwater pools. The island is virtually vehicle free to protect the natural ecosystem. If you’re not a hiker or up for a pleasant, but hilly walk with views of the water from all directions, the friendly and accommodating staff will drive you in a golf cart (about the only motorized transportation on the island) to one of the 52 spacious rooms and suites or one of the nine private villas. Depending on your whims, you can be active or not. You feel like you’ve escaped to a remote island, yet connected via WiFi and satellite TV if you choose to be. Should island fever set in, you

32 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

can charter a private boat for an excursion on the water to Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke or cruise along the North side of Tortola and check out the secluded cays. Dive BVI offers day long adventures ($100-$125/person but they don’t go unless they have eight). Their Billionaire’s Cruise begins with a stop for snorkeling in the clear water on the way to the North Sound with a stop on the private island, Saba Rock. You’ll see the estates of the rich and famous: Sir Richard Branson founder of Virgin Airlines, owns Necker Island, and Google co-founder Larry Page. Although the land on the islands is entirely privately owned, under British law, all beaches up to the high water mark are Crown Land and open to the public. We kayaked one afternoon to Honeymoon Beach, a small secluded beach on one side of the island. Another option was to kayak to Diamond Reef for snorkeling. There was no shortage of lobster, conch, hermit crab, turtles, barracuda and other fish. Even if you aren’t a diver or snorkeler, in the evening you can watch the four foot long tarpon swim in the underwater lighted marina. The two restaurants at the resort specialize in modern Caribbean cuisine with a Latin flair. Executive Chef Juan Morrison oversees both the casual open air Tierra Tierra as well as fine dining at Caravela. Both have breathtaking views of the water and other


islands. The rum glazed guava BBQ baby back ribs, cooked to perfection at Tierra Tierra, had a delicious sweet flavor with a spicy bite. Conch fritters as well as conch chowder are popular starters followed by jerk chicken or coconut rum poached grouper or snapper with sweet fried plantains. The fresh pumpkin soup was superb-light and flavorful. Caravela has a selection of steaks. Portions are huge-my tender and juicy rib eye was 16 ounces. Needless to say I didn’t dare finish it since I planned to fit into my swimsuit the next morning. Key lime pie provided a tangy finish to dinner. Even if you’re not a big breakfast person, try the almond and corn flake crunchy French toast with real Maple syrup. The resort has its own desalination plant on island for water. Some guests ventured off island to check out not only incredible views and sunsets but popular hot spots like Foxy’s Taboo on Diamond Cay and Soggy Dollar Beach Bar, home of the original Painkiller, on White Bay in Jost Van Dyke. The complimentary ferry runs from Scrub to Tortola every half hour. But this is not a spot for late night partying. The last ferry departs the island at 11:30 pm.

North Beach, at the far side of Scrub island, (it’s a hilly hike to get there and easier to access via golf cart) offers a walk down Sea Grape Avenue with its secluded beach cabanas along the exposed, rustic shoreline. It has a natural, unspoiled look, more desert than tropical, cactus and a variety of coral and shells. If you prefer fresh water to the warm salt water and surf, there’s a small pool there as well by the One Shoe Bar, named for the abandoned flip flops which are now attached to the wall. Be sure to try a rum concoction. My favorite was the “Dark and Stormier.” The dark rum Painkiller and Carib Lager, were also popular. Even when the resort is filled, there are many romantic nooks offering privacy. Safety has long been a concern in the Caribbean, but not here. My companion left his wallet on the beach and the staff tracked him down to return it. Scrub Island, a 230-acre haven with its protected coves, eyecatching scenery, luxurious accommodations-request building 17 for best views-and gracious service, is not to be missed. January rates start at $659 to $1439/night. For reservations, please call: (284)394-3440. For information, please visit: scrubisland.com t

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 33


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Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle Sparkles

Story and Photos By Stephanie & Jeff Sylva

ittsburgh – the old steel town with its long-gone smokebelching mills, has a whole new look. The city has re-made itself for the 21st century. As a matter of fact, The Huffington Post called Pittsburgh “The Coolest American City You Haven’t Been To.” Gone are the mills that lined the river banks. Gone are the soot and “blue dust” that infiltrated everything in the city turning the sky dark by nine o’clock in the morning.

Oh sure, the demise of the steel industry during the 1980’s brought tough times to the city and its inhabitants. But, as we learned from the young owner of Golden Triangle Bike Rentals and Tours, a forward-thinking mayor, Tom Murphy, set the groundwork for urban revitalization, and Pittsburgh has not looked back as it continually improves – for visitors and residents alike. As mayor from 1994 to 2006, Murphy oversaw the transformation of more than 1,000 acres of blighted, industrial land into new commercial, residential, retail and public uses.

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 35


Embracing an industrial legacy Pittsburghers may have been abandoned by the steel industry, but they hold no grudges. They embrace the legacy of steel and its related industries. Local residents we met spoke proudly of the city’s industrial history and feel that it has hardened them, making them more resilient. We were constantly impressed by Pittsburghers’ pride in their city, especially in their sports teams. The colors of black and gold were ubiquitous. We were in Pittsburgh on a game day, and there was no doubt that we were in Steelers Nation. The history and pride of the steel industry is evident throughout the city in its public art and sculpture; but it is most evident at the Rivers of Steel Homestead Works walking tours and the National Historic Landmark Carrie Furnaces (www.riversofsteel.com). The Homestead Works was one of the world’s largest steel mills, and a number of remaining artifacts can be viewed on the various tours. The Carrie Blast Furnace Tour highlights the drama of the ironmaking process. We took a guided tour of the massive structures of the blast furnaces and were in constant awe of the immensity and

36 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

sheer power of these industrial giants. One of the country’s most beautiful views Pittsburgh’s steel industry legacy is certainly not the city’s only point of interest. Visitors will want to experience some of the city’s culture and scenic beauty, as well as some of the energy of its thriving neighborhoods. If new to Pittsburgh, a good place to start is with a city tour, such as the one we took with Molly’s Trolleys (www.molleystrolleyspittsburgh.com). The two-hour tour travels to a number of popular city spots including Downtown, the North Shore, the Strip District, Oakland and the South Side. The tour also includes a behind the scenes look and a ride on the historic cable railway, the Duquesne Incline. At the top of the Incline on Mt. Washington we caught an awesome view of the city, Pittsburgh’s three rivers, and the many picturesque bridges that span the rivers. The view in the evening is even more spectacular, deemed “one of the Top 10 most beautiful views in the country” by USA Weekend.


Culinary delights Another tour that gave us a real taste of Pittsburgh was the ‘Burgh, Bits & Bites Food Tour (www.burghfoodtour.com) of the Strip District, a section bordering Downtown that is pure Pittsburgh – a bit gritty but authentic. The half-mile district is full of ethnic grocers, produce stands, sidewalk vendors, meat and fish markets – a foodie’s delight bursting with (local) flavor. Our tour guide, Jennifer, took us into a number of the shops and eateries, giving us the lowdown on all the local history and legends while supplying us with tasty samplings of the wide variety of ethnic specialties. ‘Burgh Bits & Bites has tours of a number of Pittsburgh neighborhoods, with The Strip District Tour being the most popular. We returned to The Strip on our own to experience one of Pittsburgh’s iconic dishes – a Primanti sandwich. Created to feed hungry truck drivers while their trucks were being unloaded in

the Strip District, the sandwich is an entire meal of meat, cheese, coleslaw, and French fries between two thick slices of fresh Italian bread, served unceremoniously on waxed paper – no plates to be found. After eating our way through Pittsburgh, we decided to work off some calories by biking the city. We arranged a guided bike tour with Golden Triangle Bike Rentals and Tours (www. bikepittsburgh.com). We spent a little more than 2 hours riding the Three Rivers Heritage Trail enjoying great views of PNC Park, Heinz Field, and Point State Park with its iconic Fountain located at the confluence of the three rivers. We also biked South Side and Downtown, enjoying the history and insider tidbits of Pittsburgh as told by our guide, Ed, one of the bike shop’s Pittsburgh-proud, self-described “yinzers” (a term of Scots-Irish origin akin to Brooklyn’s “youse guys”). Don’t want a guide? – just rent a bike and take one of Golden Triangle’s self-guided maps.

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 37


Other attractions to see in Northside include the Carnegie Science Center and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh; or for some more avant-garde art, visit the Mattress Factory (www.mattress.org), a unique contemporary museum of room-sized installation art. We also got a kick out of a couple of off-beat, rather unusual locations in Northside – Bicycle Heaven Museum & Bike Shop (www. bicycleheaven.org), which houses a mind-boggling collection of bikes and accessories, and Randyland (www.randy.land), the home of the self-proclaimed Artist/Gardener/Dreamer Randy Gilson, located in the Mexican Wars Streets district. Randy’s courtyard is a menagerie of public art, a dizzying array of bright neon colors, images, and artifacts reused in highly creative, sometimes bizarre ways. We took a tour of PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, considered by many to be one of the finest ballparks in the country. Opened in 2001, the ballpark is located on the Allegheny River and offers visitors scenic vistas of the downtown skyline and riverfront. It replaced Three Rivers Stadium, which stood at the confluence of the three rivers, forming the Golden Triangle. A college town The Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh is home to prestigious museums like the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, worldclass hospitals and vibrant universities such as The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon. Oakland is true college chic featuring myriad international cuisines in its many coffee shops, diverse eateries, and local specialty shops particularly along Craig Street. A couple of our favorite spots in this neighborhood were the Nationality Rooms (www.nationalityrooms.pitt.edu) in U Pitt’s monumental Cathedral of Learning (long known as the “world’s tallest schoolhouse�) and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (www.phipps.conservatory.org). The Nationality Rooms, which are functioning classrooms, are gifts to the University from the city’s ethnic communities. Often designed by architects

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from abroad, the 29 museum-quality rooms re-create the cultural periods of a specific country prior to 1787, the year the University was founded.` The Golden Triangle We suggest that you stay at one of the Downtown hotels, as they are very conveniently located close to the Cultural District and just a short walk to The Strip and the Northside’s sporting venues. Market Square, in the heart of Downtown, offers some great al fresco dining and a variety of free entertainment. The city’s subway is free within the “Golden Triangle� (a nickname for Downtown). We stayed at The Westin, located adjacent to the Convention Center, and The Fairmont, located next to Market Square, and found both very convenient, upscale and comfortable - much like the vibe of the downtown area itself. In addition to their signature Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath, The Westin has a great fitness studio with state-of-theart equipment, a New Balance Gear lending program, and an indoor lap pool for a great way to keep your workout routine flowing. The Westin also has a complimentary shuttle service, which we used to take us to the bike rental shop (www.starwoodhotels.com/ westin). The Fairmont is a Four Diamond property with an award-winning restaurant, Habitat, a buzzing lounge, Andys, and a first-class fitness center. Our meal at Habitat was nothing short of exceptional. And what could be more comfortable than being greeted by The Fairmont’s canine ambassador, Edie? In addition to being a luxury hotel, The Fairmont is also a bit of a museum. Many of the artifacts from the mid-1800’s recovered during the excavation of Three PNC Plaza are displayed throughout the hotel’s lobby and other public spaces. Sophisticated, yet comfortable; hip, but friendly; and scenic CFBVUZ UPP1JUUTCVSHIXIPLOFX t


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Enough Chocolate To Die For

By Dale Reynolds

t the Jade Mountain Chocolate Festival you can indulge your culinary curiosity and chocolate cravings surrounded by the sumptuous setting of Saint Lucia’s tropical paradise. For four days in 2016 (dates to be announced), the immersive cocoa experience at Travel + Leisure’s number one hotel in the Caribbean introduces chocolate lovers and the casual cocoa nibbler to the history of the bean, including its origins as an Aztec beverage, its influence in European exploration, and its contemporary production, all while surrounded by luxurious sanctuaries, infinity pools and seamless indoor-outdoor experience unmatched in the Caribbean. The Jade Mountain Chocolate Festival offers an expanded array of one-of-a-kind events celebrating the power of chocolate. Guests will have the opportunity to explore chocolate from bean to bar and beyond: join a cocoa bean-picking excursion while enjoying the natural beauty of the Emerald Estate Cocoa Plantation; learn about the bean’s possibilities in a lively discussion with James Beard award winning chef Allen Susser; explore the varieties of Saint Lucia cocoa, from 40 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

savory to sweet, and how magically it pairs with your favorite food and wines, in a hands on culinary class or tasting. The mouthwatering festival takes place over four sun-drenched days, offering a variety of opportunities to learn about and enjoy Jade Mountain’s single source chocolate. Some of the highlights will include: The Chocolate Enthused Cocktail Party and Dinner: This opening night welcoming dinner is also the launch for Jade Mountain’s own Nick Troubetzkoy’s Emerald Estate Chocolate. Meet host, Chef Allen Susser, and enjoy a teasing taste of chocolate- inspired dishes and cocktails designed to excite all the senses! Tour of Emerald Estate Cacao Plantation and Organic Farm: Visit the organic farm that supplies the tables at Jade Mountain. Learn about the rich history of chocolate on Saint Lucia, and discover why Jade Mountain’s single estate cocoa is considered some of the best in the world. Participate in the chocolate making from pod-picking, fermenting, drying of the cacao beans to discussing the alchemy of chocolate.


Chocolate sensory tasting: A knowledgeable panel will lead you in a guided tasting, helping unravel the mysteries of the bean. Bitter, savory, sweet, lush - explore the complex subtleties of a variety of types of chocolate. Chocolate Laboratory: Join the Chocolatier Team and learn how to temper chocolate, creating your own fudge and bars. Chef Susser’s Chocolate Truffle Workshop: Create delightful truffles in paradise while learning about the ingredients and techniques that will allow you to recreate the experience at home. Chocolate and Wine Pairing: The complexities of chocolate meet their match with quality wines. Explore the nuances of these wellpaired treats, and learn how different wine varietals create even more delight and flavor with Emerald Estate’s own organically grown chocolate! Jade Signature Chocolate Spa Treatment: Known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, chocolate leaves the kitchen and enters the spa for therapeutic treatments. Enjoy the premier benefits of a cocoa treatment, stimulating the endorphins and refreshing and revitalizing the skin. Jade Mountain celebrates chocolate year round. If you can’t make it to the Festival, guests of Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet can still choose from a variety of year-round chocolate-infused activities including culinary adventures, truffle making classes and estate visits. The chocolate lab is open to tours and tastings by request, and the restaurant and spa feature rotating chocolate-inspired indulgences. Special chocolate themed packages are also available, including:

Chocolate Alchemy at Jade Mountain includes a chocolate welcome amenity and cocktail, the Chocolate Lovers Breakfast in Bed celebration, a chocolate-infused one hour spa treatment per person, a learning excursion to the resort’s Emerald Cacao Estate, a Chocolate Sensory tasting followed by an interactive class in Jade Mountain’s chocolate laboratory to learn basic techniques of making and tempering chocolate, creating your own fudge and making a personalized chocolate bar. Airport transfers, daily breakfast and dinner are also included! The Chocolate Alchemy package is combinable with the resort’s free night promotions: A four night stay on basis of Jade Mountain’s Chocolate Alchemy package starts at US $5,140 per couple and is valid for travel throughout 2016 commencing January 4, 2016. NOTE: Getting to Jade Mountain is easier than ever this year with new flights from various destinations in the U.S. on American, JetBlue and Delta, United Airlines, all nonstops to Hewanorra International Airport, just 40 minutes from the hotel. Jade Mountain 1-800-223-1108 jademountain@ansechastanet.com www.jademountain.com t

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 41


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Christmas in the Sunniest Corner of Switzerland

By Curt Winston Photos courtesy of Ticino Tourism

ime-honored traditions come alive in Ticino, Switzerland, in particular during the season of Advent, when they make for a spectacular run-up to Christmas. Locarno’s Piazza Grande is transformed into an ice rink, while sparkling wine and Ticino specialties, such as panettone, can be enjoyed at the stalls populating the region’s Christmas markets with their imaginatively and festively decorated trees. In keeping with tradition, many villages set out open-air cribs and stage their own highly individual versions of the Christmas story. Sipping aperitifs with friends, skating on the exquisitely decorated rink and savoring specialties at the chalet-style stalls dotted around the square, while enjoying free live music – that’s Locarno on Ice in picturesque Piazza Grande in the heart of town. The event’s welcoming and festive atmosphere during the Advent season has proved a popular and enduring attraction for locals and visitors alike. The family-friendly ice rink is open from 10 in the morning to after midnight, so skaters have plenty of time to practice their

pirouettes, camels and axels. The rink launched last month with a Grand Opening Show. The Locarno on Ice program is packed with a further 60-plus events, activities and entertainments until it closes on January 6, including a special festive offering on New Year’s Eve. www.locarnoonice.ch Advent in Ascona Magical and mesmerizing, two words to describe the Piazza in Ascona when, from December 5, the town’s lakeside shoreline features 15 festively decorated Christmas trees, each trying to outdo the next in splendor. Businesses and organizations based in this popular holiday destination find novel and imaginative ways of decorating the trees, which are on show until January 6. The high point of the period between Christmas and New Year has to be the Tavolata on December 27, (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), which is when Ascona lays a 150-metre long table on the lakeside promenade. On the table for guests are cheese raclette (as much as you can eat), plus a culinary market featuring Ticino specialties and a bar serving local wines. www.ascona-locarno.com

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 43


Christmas Shopping in Lugano Natale in Piazza is the name of the event that inaugurates Lugano’s Christmas festivities. From December 1, when the tall Christmas tree is lit on the Piazza della Riforma, to January 6, there are jazz and gospel concerts, the traditional Christmas market, an ice rink and numerous shopping opportunities in the alleys of the Old Town. After spending a day strolling through the town, the best way to enjoy the evening is to sample the timber chalets in the Christmas Village on the Piazza Riforma for a relaxed aperitif or tasty Ticino treat, complete with entertainment. www.luganoturismo.ch Atmospheric Christmas What would Christmas be without a gospel concert that puts people in the right frame of mind for this time of year? The atmospheric Gospels & Spirituals concert series, which takes place throughout December at a variety of locations in Ticino, ranks amongst the high point of the festive period.

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The first of the six concerts is on Sunday, December 6 and features the group “The Mahogany Experience” in the church of San Lorenzo in Losone; followed by appearances by Markey Montague & The Fellowship on December 13 in the church of San Giovanni, and by The Mount Unity Choir on December 19 in the Teatro Sociale, Bellinzona. The Nyac Gospel Ensemble appears in the Teatro di Locarno on December 20, while the Serenity Singers perform at the Chiesa San Martino, Olivone on December 27. The final concert in the series showcases Cedric Shannon & Brothers in Gospel and takes place in the Rotonda Church, San Bernardino on December 30. The Gospels & Spirituals concerts are not the only aural treat in store for visitors. The border town of Chiasso is also hosting a concert on December 17 and finds the talented singers of the Harlem (NY) Gospel Choir performing a program of contemporary gospel with a hint of jazz and blues at the Cinema Teatro. www.freegreen.ch


Artistic Crib Tradition At Christmas many villages in Ticino display cribs and stage their own versions of the Christmas story. Presepi a Vira takes the form of a highly original group exhibition, a custom that the residents of Vira Gambarogno have observed for almost a quarter of a century. From December 13 to Epiphany more than thirty cribs fill the alleys and squares of Vira, creating a unique Christmas ambience on Lake Maggiore. The cribs themselves are created by artists as well as private individuals, who vie with each other in displaying their artistic skills. An open-air display that harks back to another time, invites visitors to reflect on the message of Christmas. There will be ample opportunity to sample the cheeses the Swiss are so rightly famous for. In some taverns, next to a roaring fireplace, great hunks of cheese will be placed on a vertical spit next to the fire. A plate underneath catches the cheese as it melts while guests line up to take a portion back to their tables.

Throughout the winter season mountain lodges offer a respite from the cold with a hot brandy. Many skiers, hikers and visitors will sit outdoors on a deck, sipping the warming drink and taking in the majestic Swiss mountain scenery while watching skiers fly down the slopes. In some areas there is an extra treat. A handful of daredevils will ascend the slopes with a backpack. But this is no ordinary backpack. It holds a parachute and sled. The skiers will pick up speed coming down the mountain, sit back on the sled and deploy the parachute. They’ll then let the natural wind currents drop them low and then rise upwards once again, floating across ski trails and roads in an aerial ballet, until they return to terra firma and head back up for another ride. t

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 45


Grapevine: Creating By Sandy Nesoff

exas has always been a magical destination for many people. The romance of cowboys and cattle drives, American Indians and Mexicans, the Old West and modern skyscrapers all come together to form the fabric of the Lone Star State. Some areas have lost that mystique. Houston and Dallas have become major urban centers with little of their historic panachè remaining. With all of the modernization there are still a few pockets today of what Texas was. Grapevine, Amarillo and Fort Worth come immediately to mind. But while they exude the Old West all year round, Grapevine has become a major holiday destination. Not all that many years ago Grapevine was a true Old West town. Then along came the Gaylord Corporation and built a mega mall and the town began to transform. But with the transformation,

46 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

it somehow, magically, managed to retain its flavor. The vintage railroad that runs to Fort Worth, the lineup of craft shops next to it and the little cafes and bars that still dot the town, all add to the flavor.

Grapevine truly shines at Christmastime. The streets are lit up rivaling New York’s Broadway and everyone participates. Grapevine has garnered the sobriquet “The Christmas Capital of Texas.” With more than 1,400 events in over 40 days, Grapevine’s sophisticated and charming Christmas setting makes the city a must-visit destination. One of the must-see attractions in Grapevine, especially during the Christmas season, is the Vetro Glassworks, across from the Vintage Railroad Station. Here you can purchase amazing works of handblown glass. There are tree ornaments (some people even have the opportunity to make their own Christmas ball


Christmas Memories ornaments) and beautiful jewelry. There are objects d’art that are meticulously blown while visitors watch. Most of the glass is of museum quality. Other Christmas options include: 1. Celebrate the Season at Gaylord Texan Resort’s Lone Star Christmas Featuring ICE! and Santa’s Wild Workshop Snowtubing – Until January 3, 2016, Gaylord Texan Resort’s 12th annual Lone Star Christmas event will offer a variety of holiday activities, live entertainment, and grand displays to celebrate the season, including 2 million holiday lights, 2 million pounds of real Texas snow, a 54-foot-tall Christmas tree, magical miniature train sets, 25-foot-tall Nutcrackers, 2,300 decorated wreaths, 5,600 feet of garland and 15,000 festive ornaments. ICE! featuring Christmas Around the World, created with two million pounds of ice that is hand-carved by a team of forty remarkably talented master ice artisans from Harbin, China.

2. Ride to the North Pole – Ride the rails aboard Grapevine’s North Pole Express! Board the beautifully decorated Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s Victorian rail coaches and begin your journey to the North Pole. Elves will welcome the guests and sing traditional Christmas songs. As the train arrives at Reindeer Ridge, a special guest arrives for a magical moment. 3. Pack for a Howlin’ Good Time at Great Wolf Lodge – The entire family will howl with delight with a visit to the Northwoods in Grapevine at the Great Wolf Lodge! During Snowland!, guests at this family-friendly resort will experience the 84-degree indoor waterpark, the largest in Texas, a life-size Gingerbread House and daily Polar Wolf Walks. 4. Sip Sweet Chocolate Holiday Cheer – Sip some seasonal fun at Dr. Sue’s Chocolate this Christmas. These unique offerings include Old Fashioned, Peppermint and Mexican Hot Chocolate to tempt your taste buds. 417 S. Main St. From 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. Until December 23. $4 per person.

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 47


5. Make Your List and Check It Twice –Shop for all those on your list who are naughty and nice. With shopping options for every taste and budget, you’ll be sure to find a little something for yourself too. t)PQJOZPVSTMFJHIBOEWJTJUHistoric Downtown Grapevine’s more than 80 locally-owned shops, boutiques, jewelry stores, winery tasting rooms, home dĂŠcor, collectibles and more. Stores such as Good Things For All Seasons, Crowned by Grace, Chic Boutique, Merry’s Christmas and Clowns, Bermuda Gold & Silver, Grapevine Olive Oil Company and Ooh La La. t 0O ZPVS NBSL  HFU TFU  HP Grapevine Mills offers even the most dedicated shopper a holiday paradise. The 1.7 million square feet of shopping euphoria includes spots such as Coach 'BDUPSZ %JTOFZ0VUMFU &YQSFTT +$SFX (BQ (ZNCPSFF 4BLT Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Neiman Marcus Last Call and many more. Caring Santa (Available for children with disabilities who prefer a calm and less crowded Santa experience), Sunday, December  BNoBN #SFBLGBTUXJUI4BOUBBU3BJOGPSFTU$BGĂ?  December 12, 13, 19 and 20, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m., (reservations required 972-539-5001) and Pet Photos with Santa, Sunday, December 13, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. t (FU JO UPVDI XJUI ZPVS MPWF PG UIF PVUEPPST UIJT IPMJEBZ season at Grapevine’s Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Located across the street from Grapevine Mills, you can also see special $ISJTUNBTWJTJUPSTUISPVHIPVUUIFTFBTPOPOXFFLFOET t "OE TIPQQJOH USBEJUJPOBMJTUT XJMM MPWF Grapevine Towne Center IPNFUPCSBOETTVDIBT5BSHFU $PTU1MVT8PSME.BSLFU  )BMUPNT+FXFMFSTBOENPSF‍ڀ‏

48 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

6. Build Some Holiday Fun at LEGOLANDÂŽ Discovery Center and Dive Into Action at SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium - Test ZPVSTLJMMTCZIFMQJOHUIF.BTUFS.PEFM#VJMEFSDSFBUFB‍ڀ‏8JOUFS 8POEFSMBOEPOUIFIPMJEBZ#JH#VJME‍ڀ‏1MVT EJWFJOUPBDUJPOXJUI the Octonauts, the team of undersea adventure heroes from the hit animated TV show. The Octonauts adventure at SEA LIFE (SBQFWJOFIBQQFOTEBJMZUISPVHI%FDFNCFS‍ڀ‏ 7. Sample Holiday Cheer Aboard the Christmas Wine Trains o)PQBCPBSEUIF(SBQFWJOF7JOUBHF3BJMSPBETChristmas Wine Trains &BDI USBJO GFBUVSFT B (SBQFWJOF VSCBO XJOFSZ )PST d’ouevres will also be served. 8. On December 3, board the all-new Historic Fort Worth Stockyards Christmas Wine Train. This new excursion features UIF XFTUFSO ĘBJS PG UIF 'PSU 8PSUI 4UPDLZBSET DPNCJOFE XJUI UIFIPMJEBZCBDLESPQPG(SBQFWJOFT$ISJTUNBT8JOF5SBJO This celebratory event is perfect for you and your sweetheart, best GSJFOET PS DPXPSLFST UP FOKPZ B DFMFCSBUPSZ OJHIU PG $ISJTUNBT fun. 9. Hear the Sounds of the Season at the Palace Theatre – Don’t NJTTBMMZPVSUSBEJUJPOBMNVTJDBMGBWPSJUFTBU(SBQFWJOFT)JTUPSJD Palace Theatre! All ages will love sharing in all the seasonal fun at this beloved venue. t Main Street LIVE – Main Street LIVE’S high-energy “Christmas Spectacularâ€? show sets the perfect tone for the Christmas season with all your favorite Christmas songs. .BUJOFFTTUBSUBUQNBOEFWFOJOHTIPXTTUBSUBUQN5JDLFUT


are $25. Group discounts are available. December 5, 12, and 19. t“A Merry Little Christmas Show” – Crooner, Ricki Derek is bringing his one-of-a-kind show, A Merry Little Christmas, to the Palace Theatre stage for the second time. Tickets start at $25. December 18 at 8 p.m.

lights to celebrate the season, beginning at Twin Coves Marina and picking up entries at each marina including Scott’s Landing and Silver Lake. The parade is visible from the shores of Lake Grapevine and the Glass Cactus Nightclub at Gaylord Texan Resort. December 5, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.  Free.

10. Christmas on the Grape Vine Prairie – Experience a Texas heritage Christmas at Nash Farm’s Victorian Christmas. Guests will learn about the root of many current holiday traditions, as well as make a Victorian ornament to hang on their tree at home. Docents guide guests through the farmhouse and the farm.

13. See the Magic of Christmas Light Show – Bright lights and exciting music showcases the magic of Christmas at the newly enhanced Magic of Christmas Light Show through January 3, this nightly light show runs from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. and features a allnewly enhanced singing tree, beautiful lights and fun for the whole family. Bleacher seats are provided for extended viewing. Main Street and Dallas Road.

11. Sparkle at the Settlement to City Museums – Bring the entire family to Grapevine’s Settlement to City Museums’ Christmas SPARKLE and enjoy glitter and glam family Christmas crafts and activities, including painting, making cotton wreaths, printing on the 1881 printing press and more. Don’t miss the ornament scavenger hunt. December 8 – January 3, 2016. Tuesdays – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 12.  Watch Christmas Parades on Land and Water – Whether you’re a fan of parades on land or water, Grapevine is the place to be this holiday season. t0ODecember 3 at 7 p.m., see more than 100 lighted floats and marching bands in the Parade of Lights. This annual tradition welcomes thousands of visitors each year so come early to claim your spot along Main Street. Free.  t"OEGPSXBUFSQBSBEFGVO TFFUIFCFBVUJGVMTwinkle Light Boat Parade with watercrafts decorated in all of the finest sparkling

14. Warm Up to “A Cold Hearted Christmas” – At the Texas Star Dinner Theater, it’s just before Christmas and all about town, E.B. Neazer Enterprises is shutting everyone down! That’s right cowboy, it’s wilder than a herd of loco longhorns around here as that ol’ Neazer plans on putting the town “on ice” just before Christmas Eve. What will become of Sister Mary Agnostic and her poor sweet orphans? Is Miss Sarah Ann Dippity, the local madam, going to take this lying down? Will Bob Scratchit find himself chippn’ in with the fellows at the ice house for a new career? Help Marshal Jim Courtright find out who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Tickets $59. December 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26 and 27. For additional information, contact the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-457-6338 or 817-410-3185 or visit: www.GrapevineTexasUSA.com/Christmas  t DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 49


NOV 13 — JAN 3

NYLM

S AV E 2 0 % *Offer valid on select tickets and performances.

Groups of 9+ Call 212-465-6080

radiocitychristmas.com/offer/nylm 866-858-0007

*Offer not valid on previously purchased tickets and cannot be combined with any other offer. 8 ticket max per order. Discount is calculated off of the original box office price. Service charges apply to telephone and internet orders. All sales are final—no refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice and is subject to availability. Other restrictions may apply. Offer expires January 3, 2016. Accessible and companion seats are available via the Disabled Services Department at 212-465-6115. ©2015 MSG Entertainment Holdings, LLC. All rights reserved.

Discounts available for groups of 20+


‘Tis The Season For The Rockettes To Fly High By Bob Nesoff any cities are defined by a cultural aspect that is immediately recognizable. Los Angeles is known for the proliferation of celebrities, Chicago’s reputation for corrupt politicians is hard to dispel although it should be more remembered for its cattle stockyards, Seattle for a widespread brand of coffee. New York City is known around the world for many things from the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve to the iconic precision troupe at Radio City Music Hall… the famed Rockettes. Mention the Rockettes virtually anywhere in this country and abroad and there is instantaneous recognition and a connection to The Big Apple. NYLM Broadway columnist, Jim Kierstead, talks a bit about the famed troupe, but there is so much more to them.

Without argument, their most famous performances are presented every Christmas season. People queue up in all weather waiting for their turn to enter the legendary Radio City Music Hall for a show lasting just under two hours. Children may be fidgety on line, but once the show begins and the Rockettes kick their way across the stage, little girls sit with their mouths agape. Little boys, for that matter, are entranced as well. And do their eyes ever light up when live animals are paraded across the stage as part of the Nativity scenes. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular continues to be enhanced with fresh and dynamic content while preserving what has made the production a beloved holiday tradition. The Christmas Spectacular recently introduced a new number called “Snow,” which features GPS-enabled snowflakes.

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 51


This was followed with the debut of the re-imagined “Rag Dolls,” a classic dance number that originally debuted in 1940. Santa’s enchanted workshop in the North Pole serves as the backdrop for this high-energy tap routine, featuring the Rockettes as rag dolls. The 2015 Christmas Spectacular will feature both of these performances, which take the Rockettes signature technique and athleticism to greater heights, and will join classic performances, including “Living Nativity,” which takes audiences on an aweinspiring journey, and “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers,” which sets the standard for the Rockettes style of precision dance. The Rockettes are a legendary dance company and have been a part of the fabric of New York City for more than 85 years. Since their debut in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in 1933, the Rockettes have danced into the hearts of millions and spread Christmas cheer to people of all ages. Their technique continues to be both deceivingly complex and entirely glamorous and their talent and athleticism is unrivaled. The Rockettes have appeared in some of the most prominent events in the entertainment landscape including the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, the 2013 Super Bowl numeral unveil, the 2013 MLB Home Run Derby, NBC’s hit show, “America’s Got Talent,” and various

52 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

other special events including award shows, national television appearances, sporting events and Presidential inaugurations. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is proud to be presented by Chase. Chase’s commitment to the Christmas Spectacular supports this unparalleled production, which continues to entertain millions of families year after year.

Behind The Scenes Facts t Radio City Music Hall houses the country’s “largest flying indoor LED screen” and has incorporated it into many of the scenes throughout the show. t This year, 11 large DP projectors will be used to project imagery onto Radio City’s proscenium arches, creating Bethlehem’s starry night sky in the “Living Nativity” and Santa’s whimsical workshop in the North Pole. t More than 1 million pairs of 3D glasses will distributed to patrons to experience the 3D scene featured in this year’s production. t It takes more than 250 people to stage the Radio City Christmas


Spectacular, including the cast and crew which “loads in” the production weeks before the show opens. There is a cast of 150 including Rockettes, singers, dancers, musicians and more.

Spectacular are “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “Living Nativity” – both of which have been part of Radio City’s holiday tradition since they were first performed on the Great Stage in 1933.

t More than 1,100 colorful costumes are worn in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Each of the Rockettes must change costumes eight times during each show and in a few of the changeovers, they have as little as 78 seconds in which to change their costumes.

t The wardrobe department goes through more than 30,000 red dots per season to brighten the cheeks of the Rockettes during “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “Rag Dolls.”

t In the tap numbers “Rag Dolls” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the Rockettes tap shoes have microphones, meaning all of the tap sounds you hear in the theater are live. t The double-decker bus seen in the scene “New York at Christmas” weighs an astounding seven tons and is 34 feet long and 12 feet high. During the course of the eight week run, it travels approximately 37 miles onstage. Off-stage, the bus hangs 23 feet in the air for storage. t During the eight-week run, the animals in the “Living Nativity” drink 450 bottles of water and eat 340 bales of hay and 560 loaves of seven grain bread. t Two of the most cherished scenes in the Radio City Christmas

t Part of what makes the show possible is the technical capabilities of the Great Stage. It measures 144 feet by 66 feet. It is made up of three elevators, which may be set at any level from the sub-basement to 13 feet above the stage – resulting in a vertical drop of 40 feet. The orchestra uses a fourth elevator. Together, all four elevators weigh 380,000 pounds. t Scenic backdrops for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular measure 80 feet in width and 45 feet in height – nearly double the normal theatrical size. The scrims (hand-painted cloth backdrops) are housed in a storage space four stories above the stage. t The Christmas Spectacular features an “ice” rink built on a movable platform. Used in the “New York at Christmas” scene, this huge rink is made from an artificial surface with the same properties as real ice.

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 53


Before The Show Starts Take a stroll around the city and check out these classic holiday window displays: t There are nine free-floating snowflakes that fly throughout the theater in “Snow,” which transforms the Music Hall into a glistening winter wonderland and immerses the audience in the warmth and magic of Christmas. The snowflakes are approximately four feet in diameter and are controlled by a mini GPS system. t A stage manager “calls” the entire show through a sound system heard only throughout the backstage areas, so the Rockettes know how much time they have to change and the handlers know when to escort the animals to the elevator. Of course, the audience doesn’t hear a word. t As space is limited backstage to store all of the props and scenery used during the performance, much of it is stored by hanging or “flying” overhead. Thirty chain hoists are used to support the “flying” props and scenery. More than 60,000 lbs of counterweight are used to support the elaborate hanging scenery as well as the lighting equipment. t One hundred eighty laundry baskets are used per show to hold and carry the casts’ shoes, laundry and costumes. t Between the Rockettes, ensemble and Santa Claus, more than 1,200 pairs of shoes are worn per show.

t Three hundred fifty loads of laundry are done per week, for 16 hours per day during the week and 20 hours per day over the weekend. t More than 1,000 Stage Door Tours are guided through the Music Hall during the busy holiday season. Approximately 23,000 people tour the Music Hall in the months of November and December. The tour allows visitors to learn about the architectural history of the Hall, experience the grandeur of the refurbished landmark and meet a Rockette.  Ticket Information Performances of the 2015 Radio City Christmas Spectacular® runs through January 3, 2016 at Radio City Music Hall®. Tickets start at $46 and can be purchased online at RadioCityChristmas.com, Ticketmaster at 1-866-858-0007 or Radio City’s Box Office (50th St. & Avenue of the Americas). Box Office hours are daily, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Ticket prices include a $6.00 per ticket facility charge. Tickets purchased via Ticketmaster are subject to service charges. For Groups 9+ please call 212-465-6080. Accessible and companion seats are available via the Disabled Services Department at 212-4656115. Visit RadioCityChristmas.com for more information. Guided tours of Radio City Music Hall are available daily. For more information, visit StageDoorTour.com or call 212-247-4777.

54 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

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Side Show Inspired A Career

By Jim Kierstead

k... now I have to tell you something personal for a moment and brag about two of my friends. The musical Side Show (on Broadway in 1997) is the show that I credit for inspiring me to be a producer. When I left the theatre after seeing the show back in October of 1997, shortly after its opening, I left a different person because of what I saw on the stage that day. Soon after, I met the writers of Side Show, Henry Krieger and Bill Russell, and have been close friends with them since. In fact, it was one of the highlights of my producing career to have the opportunity to be a producer of the revival of Side Show when it returned to Broadway in the Fall of 2014. I think it has touched people in a way that few other shows have and I’ll forever be proud of that. Anyway, here’s the “bragging” part. Back in 2002, Bill and Henry wrote a brand new number that served as the opening of the “Spectacular” entitled “Santa’s Gonna Rock and Roll.” Bill is a master lyricist and Henry (who also was the composer of “Dreamgirls,” need I say more?) became known as an incredible song writing duo who wrote several more musicals after Side Show and were asked to write songs together for special events, including the “Spectacular” 56 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

and also a wonderful song entitled “Take The Flame” that was used in the opening and closing ceremonies of Gay Games IV. My last bragging portion of the article is that one of our amazing actors in the revival of Side Show this past year, Josh Walker, played the role of “World’s Smallest Cossack.” He and his female counterpart in the show, Jordanna James (she stars in the TV show Little Women New York), have both had incredible success in the acting world. Both Josh and Jordanna are “little people” and get regular roles in TV shows and theatre. Josh plays an elf in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and he loves it—and of course people love him—he’s amazingly talented. So, if you go to the “Spectacular” this year, PLEASE say hi to Josh, if you can. He’ll have you laughing non-stop! There is a lot to look forward to this holiday season in New York City. You can check out Rockefeller Center and the legendary Christmas Tree (don’t go to the actual lighting unless you are very brave and/or are on sedatives and like crowds), you can take the Hop On/Hop Off Bus Holiday Tour, of course you can walk down Fifth Avenue and look at the store windows and the decorations, and no holiday season would be complete without a trip to Macy’s Herald Square. However, if you want to celebrate a true New York


City theatre tradition that’s been going on for over eighty years, please do yourself a favor and check out the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. No matter what holiday you celebrate, it will be a good time and certainly get you into the spirit of the season. It’s that time of year, everyone! Even though it seems we were just talking about summer and the fall season on Broadway, winter is fast coming upon us. As we know, when winter gets close, so do the holidays. And it wouldn’t be the holidays without the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Since 1933, Radio City Music Hall has put on its annual extravaganza that stars the magical Rockettes. Even though Radio City isn’t actually “Broadway,” make no mistake, the talent that comes together to put this show on most definitely is. Just a little background for you…the first “Spectacular” was presented on December 21, 1933. This was only one year after the opening of the Music Hall (1932) and was created by the resident producer Leon Leonidoff and none other than their resident designer Vincente Minnelli (yes... Liza’s dad). The main highlights of this early version of the show were an overture by Erno Rapee and the Radio City Symphony and the legendary Wurlitzer Organ, performing an amazing solo. It also featured the “Toy Shop Ballet” and the Rockettes’ version of “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.” Finally, it was also the first performance of “The Living Nativity.” Both of these scenes have been seen in every edition of the show up through today (so if you check it out this year, look for them!). Did you know that Radio City Music Hall used to show feature films before their performances? It’s true. But they stopped that quite some time ago. Before each of their shows, they would present a movie that was playing in the theatres at the time. So if

you went to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular back then, you’d first be treated to a popular film. After they stopped showing films, however, the Christmas show was expanded into a full length show running ninety minutes rather than thirty. Over the years, the “Spectacular” continued to change and expand. However, in 2007 (yes... 75 years since its inception!), an entirely new edition of the show was created, designed, and choreographed under the direction of Linda Haberman. Interestingly, for a brief time, it was one of the few shows playing in New York in December of 2007 during the strike which closed most Broadway theatres. Remember when I mentioned before that Radio City is not Broadway? See? There are some benefits to that sometimes as they did not need to strike with the rest of the Broadway community due to the differences in their unions. Until next time, Happy Holidays to you and your families. And, oh yes... break a leg! Jim Kierstead Kierstead Productions, Inc. Producer kiersteadprod@gmail.com Kinky Boots On Broadway at The Al Hirschfeld Theatre, on tour, in London, and in Toronto Winner of 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical Past projects:  Pippin, You Can’t Take It With You, The Visit, Side Show, It Shoulda Been You, Rocky, The Glass Menagerie; Notable investments:  Something Rotten, Matilda t DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 57


Paper Mill Playhouse: Broadway West By Bob Nesoff ondon’s West End, Chicago and Los Angeles notwithstanding, there is little argument that New York’s Broadway is center stage for theater. But there are options. In the not too distant past, Broadway was an affordable evening for a couple or even a family. But over the years the cost of a Broadway show has climbed exponentially, outstripping inflation. OK, so the same can be said for sporting events with tickets to baseball and football games that almost require a second mortgage. Prices have gone up for everything. But while most sporting events may be seen on television as they are happening, there is no other choice but a theater for a live show. Off-Broadway has produced some excellent small theater shows

and a handful have even made it to the “Big Stage” on Broadway. But that is the exception rather than the rule. Most regional playhouses offer revivals of once popular shows or original compositions that are frequently little more than experimental. Good seats at a Broadway show not only can easily top $200, but can leave that sum in the dust. Oh yes, you can choose the “nosebleed section” that butts up against the rafters, but for many people that isn’t a viable solution. There are solutions and they aren’t difficult to find. A short hop from Manhattan via car or train is Paper Mill Playhouse in the town of Millburn. Shows on Paper Mill’s stage are of Broadway quality and, as a matter of fact, frequently make it to Broadway. The regional theater has frequently been an incubator for some of the Great White Way’s popular productions.

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Disney’s Newsies

Directed by Jeff Calhoun at Papermill Playhouse ©T Charles Erickson

“Newsies,” the Broadway hit musical, made its debut at Paper Mill. “Honeymoon in Vegas,” although it had an abbreviated run in New York, started at the Millburn theater. “Bandstand,” recently ended its scheduled run at Paper Mill and is now headed for Broadway. One of the upcoming Paper Mill shows, “A Bronx Tale,” from the book by Chazz Palmenteri and directed by Robert DeNiro, is on tap for later this season and is something that will make its way to Broadway. “We are always on the lookout for new productions,” commented Mark Hobee, Paper Mill’s producing artistic director. “We combine revivals of popular shows with new productions so that we always have a fresh approach.” Hobee noted that he and his staff regularly attend readings and theater workshops in New York, talk to creative teams and are present at many pitches for prospective shows. “We have a great relationship with creative teams around the country,” Hobee said. “By attending these workshops where readings are held, we’ve developed a working relationship with many producers.” “We also have a long-term history of working with Disney 60 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

productions. That’s how we’ve managed to premiere many of their shows.” Hobee pointed to the aforementioned Newsies as well as The Little Mermaid and High School Musical. Many of the cast members from the Paper Mill productions moved with the show to New York. “We plan at least a year-and-a-half, but try for a longer reach,” Hobee said. “We are now planning for the 2016-2017 season and even beginning to plan for 2017-2018. Sometimes it’s difficult to nail performers down this far in advance. We keep our options open and keep some projects floating in the air until we can nail them down.” “Our location is very challenging. It’s both a blessing and a curse because we are so close to New York. That’s not a problem with our audiences. Because we are within a 25-mile radius of New York, obtaining rights to a show is sometimes difficult. There are many urban transplants in the area and they enjoy good shows. Many have families with children and we have to make sure there is something for everyone.” Hobee pointed to the fact that Paper Mill has some 21,000 regular subscribers with a high percentage of them from New York. “Staten Island alone accounts for seven percent of our subscriber


Honeymoon in Vegas

Dress rehearsal at Papermill Playhouse ©Jerry Dalia

base,” Hobee said. “It’s easier for the Islanders to come across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge than it is for them to go into Manhattan.” “We get a goodly amount of theatergoers from Manhattan,” he said. “It’s an easy trip by train from Penn Station directly to Millburn. The walk from the station here is only a few minutes.” Paper Mill Playhouse was, actually, once a paper mill. Built in March, 1795, it was used in various incarnations through the 19th century and into the early 20th century when it was taken over by theater people Antoinette Scudder and Frank Carrington in the late 1920s. They converted it into a theater. The theater raised its first curtain 77 years ago last month. There were some adversities, such as a major fire, as the theater began to specialize in operettas. Change came in 1971 when the theater staged its first production of The Nutcracker, starring famed ballet dancer Edward Villella. The show has become a tradition and is produced annually. A year later Paper Mill was designated as “The Official State Theater of New Jersey,” by gubernatorial proclamation. That has helped its prestige and over the years such notable performers as: Alice Ripley, Eddie Bracken, Laura Benanti, Orson Bean, Carol Channing, Kristin Chenowith, Liza Minnelli and New Jersey native, Nick Jonas

have appeared on stage. That is an abbreviated list. Paper Mill was one of the first theaters to kick-start the regional theater movement in the United States. Since then it has grown to become one of the most highly acclaimed not-for-profit professional theaters in the country. More than 450,000 people annually come to its performances. Most of its performers are top professionals and members of Actors Equity Association and other appropriate unions. As a member of the Council of Stock Theaters, Paper Mill is permitted to pay a lower salary smaller than those of Broadway productions. It is also permitted to employ a minimal number of non-union actors, forbidden on Broadway. These two factors allow Paper Mill the luxury of charging less for tickets to its shows. Everyone benefits under those rules. Actors, musicians and others can fill slack time with jobs and theatergoers are able to afford topnotch productions at a lower cost. Paper Mill Playhouse 22 Brookside Drive Millburn, NJ (973) 376-4343 www.papermill.org t DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 61


Museum Delves Into The “Secret World” By Marie Consola he American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. It is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State’s official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation’s 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt’s enduring legacy of conservation. The Museum’s five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support approximately 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 33 million specimens and artifacts, as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data, and one of the largest natural history libraries in the world. We’ve explored earth, the seas and outer space, but as much as 62 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

biology and medical science have advanced over the years, we still have a long way to go in understanding the human body. The American Museum of Natural History has taken a major step in that direction. Featuring interactive activities, videos, and a live theater, The Secret World Inside You, explores the rapidly evolving science that is revolutionizing how we view human health. Our bodies are home to many trillions of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms collectively called the human microbiome. In any human, microbial genes outnumber the genes in human DNA by more than 100 to 1. Your body also contains more microbial cells than human cells. This new perspective leads us to look at our bodies not just as individuals but as entire ecosystems. Investigating the human microbiome is a very young science and researchers are just beginning to understand what constitutes a “normal” microbiome, how it changes over time, and how it affects health and disease. But what is clear is that the effects of the microbiome on its human host are profound and multifaceted and could play an important role in common health


Photos courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History problems like allergies, asthma, obesity, and even anxiety and depression. The Secret World Inside You takes visitors on a tour of the human body, making stops at places where microbes thrive: your skin, which, covering about 20 square feet, is your largest organ, your mouth and your gastrointestinal tract, which is home to your body’s densest and most diverse microbial community, and your reproductive system, where babies encounter their first big batch of microbes as they exit the birth canal.  How does your interactions with microbes (from the type of environment where you grew up to the number of times you have

taken an antibiotic, which destroys both bad and good bacteria) influence your health? In what ways can your microbiome be said to be its own organ? And is it possible that the state of the bacteria in your gut plays a role in your mental health? The Secret World Inside You, on view until August 14, 2016, will explore these intriguing questions and more. This project is supported by the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, the museum is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree. In 2012, the Museum began offering a pilot Master of Arts in Teaching program with a specialization in Earth science, which is the only non-university affiliated such program in the United States. Annual attendance has grown to approximately 5 million, and the Museum’s exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum’s website and collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. The Museum has named two documentary films as winners of the Margaret Mead Award, named for the famed anthropologist who passed away in 1978. The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award recognizes documentary filmmakers who embody the spirit, energy, and innovation demonstrated by Mead in her research, fieldwork, films, and writings. The award is given to a filmmaker whose feature documentary offers a new perspective on a culture or community while displaying artistic excellence and originality in storytelling. Eligible filmmakers must present a U.S. premiere at the Margaret Mead Film Festival.  Leaving Africa offers a personal look at a unique relationship born in and defined by the fight against the continent’s population explosion, while Tentmakers of Cairo provides a close-up look at one of the defining political crises of the decade and a fascinating microcosm of a transitioning nation.    Visit www.amnh.org for more information. t DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 63


Holiday Gift Ideas iCoffee Opus: Gift for “Single” Coffee Lovers

The iCoffee Opus Single Serve Brewer is for anyone who likes a quick cup of coffee or coffee-on-the-go: think single friends, college students or couples who have differing tastes in coffee. One of the benefits of the iCoffee Opus is that it is compatible with all K-type gourmet coffee cups, which can’t be said for other k-cup brewers like Keurig. Since Keurig came out wit its 2.0 model, it will not accept K-Cups made for older machines. You don’t have to stick to a specific brand. The brewer also comes with an iCup Reusable cup so that you can use your favorite brand of ground coffee or coffee beans that you have ground yourself. A unique feature of the iCoffee Opus is the brewer’s SpinBrew technology. It spins, steams and stirs inside K-compatible cups for, the manufacturer promises, smoother, less bitter taste. -Gerrie Summers

The Pole

Not everyone has a GoPro so The “Pole” made products that you can use with those as well as other cameras! With both The Pole Grip and The Pole Pro you can easily attach a camera with their standard 1/4” x 20 mount. Things are already expensive enough with the cameras alone, so they’ve made sure the products don’t break the bank. The company has tested the durability of all products to ensure they stand up to all the abuse that you could put them through. Made from lightweight airplane grade For use with cameras other than a Go Pro you’ll need an adaptor. -Ed Curtis

Dyson AM10 Humidifier

There are benefits to using humidifiers, especially during winter months to prevent air from getting too dry from indoor heating. Dry air can negatively affect the nasal passages, skin and cause other issues. But there are risks from inhaling bacteria and mold from dirty humidifiers. The new Dyson AM10 Humidifier uses ultraviolet light to project clean and hydrated air in addition to measuring room temperature and humidity levels. The humidifier is expensive, but might be worth it if you have respiratory problems, since you’ll be less likely to be exposed to bacteria due to improper maintenance and dirty filters. Also note that the machine has a UV-C emitter so care has to be taken not to damage the device. It is available in White/ Silver, Iron/Blue and Black/Nickel and can be purchased at dyson.com,Target and Best Buy Baby retailers. -Gerrie Summers

Vivitar Selfie

The Vivitar 40-inch selfie Monopod with a remote, lets you take photos and videos from a new angle. You can attach a smartphone or point and shoot camera to the cradle and use the Bluetooth enabled remote to take pictures. It’s lightweight and portable and extends to 40-inches, giving a long reach. The Bluetooth Remote is an excellent addition that let’s you set the selfie-stick up as a monopod and take a photo from a distance. The Vivitar is: Bluetooth Enabled Remote, 40” Extension, Smartphone Cradle and Tripod Mount, 180 Degree Ball Head -Ed Curtis

Vetiver Imperiale Four

What happens when one of Harrods’ bestselling perfume brands, a multi-Michelin-starred chef and a luxury food magazine cross paths? The result is Vetiver Imperiale, a niche fragrance and collaboration between FOUR magazine, Boadicea The Victorious and Jason Atherton, which launched at an exclusive breakfast at Pollen Street Social restaurant, London. Our sample came beautifully boxed and in a decanter that looked more like a fine brandy than perfume. As a chef, Antioco has cooked up a smooth fragrance that enhances the personna without overpowering, as all too many perfumes tend to do. It is equally appropriate during the day as well as for a formal event in the evening. -Sandy Nesoff

Jorg Gray Watches

A watch is always a welcome gift. It’s something that can be given to mother, father, sister, brother; in short, to anyone. One brand, Jorg Gray, has made it a point to accommodate everyone and almost everything. Its watches are for dress, sport, casual and formal wear. Sales for this brand took off after President Obama was photographed wearing one on several occasions. They come in a variety of styles, colors and materials. Bands are leather, synthetic material and link bands. While Donald Trump may opt for a different brand, our test model worked perfectly. It kept time to the second, felt comfortable on the wrist and was easy to read in all lighting conditions. -Ross Warren

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King Tut’s Triumphant Return To New York By Arthur Carmichael

mericans have always been impressed by royalty, as evidenced by the reaction when members of the British monarchy visit the city. But one king has always held a special attraction for them: The Egyptian Boy King, Tutankhamun... King Tut. Archaeologist Howard Carter captured the world’s imagination nearly a century ago, on Nov. 4, 1922, when he made the astounding discovery of the undisturbed tomb of Tutankhamun. To that time tomb raiders had defiled the resting places of Egyptian royalty, stealing precious artifacts and the country’s history. After devoting years in the search for Tut, a minor historical figure, Carter uncovered the boy-king’s resting place in the Valley of The Kings. Tut was in what must be considered a “low-cost” tomb with everything he was buried with still alongside of his sarcophagus. When Carter peered into the burial chamber, his words were as famous as those spoken by Neil Armstrong upon landing on the moon. “What do you see,” a man behind Carter asked. “I see wondrous things,” the archaeologist replied. And indeed they were. When many of the artifacts made their first journey to New York, tickets for the exhibition were gone like those for a top rock star. Now he’s back. Premier Exhibitions 5th Avenue, 417 5th Avenue NYC, has unveiled The Discovery of King Tut, a new exhibition that provides an unparalleled opportunity to explore the legendary tomb and its treasures just as Carter found them. Seen by millions of visitors worldwide in cities such as Paris, Seoul, Berlin, Amsterdam and Madrid, The Discovery of King Tut, takes you back more than 3,000 years to trace the story of the boy king who reigned for a decade and died suddenly at age 19. This thrillingly unique experience explores the legendary tomb and its treasures as they were at the exact moment of their discovery. Visitors can feel the rush of excitement as they step into a moment only witnessed by Howard Carter’s excavation team, view more than 1000 precisely crafted replicas and reconstructions and discover the story behind one of the most iconic moments in history. The tomb’s magnificent burial goods have been reproduced exactly, down to the finest detail, by expert Egyptian craftsmen and renowned Egyptologists. These exquisitely crafted replicas and reconstructions, allow visitors to step into the wonder of the discovery as if the original excavation in the Valley of the Kings has been reopened.

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The exhibition also brings together a collection that can only be seen separately elsewhere, even in Egypt, because the king’s treasures are kept in the Cairo Museum. In addition, Tutankhamun’s beautifully painted tomb in the Valley of the Kings has been stripped of everything but his mummy, the outer coffin and the stone sarcophagus. By contrast, the exhibition experience provides an exact reconstruction of three chambers from Tutankhamun’s tomb, revealing themselves just as the discoverers saw them. Starting December 4th, visitors to The Discovery of King Tut will be able to enjoy talks, tours and special events by such renowned speaker as “Mr. Mummy” Bob Brier (Author, Lecturer at Long Island University), Catharine Roehrig (Author, Curator at the Egyptian Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Kara Cooney (Author, Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles). The former head of Antiquities in Egypt, Zahi Hawass, will also visit from Cairo to give a talk and sign his books, “The Discovery of Tutankhamun – From Howard Carter to DNA,” and the brand-new “The Golden Boy – History for Kids,” both accompanying publications to the exhibition. The world of ancient Egypt has captured the public imagination for centuries, with exhibitions on Egyptian history and culture proving to be hugely popular around the globe. The 1976 exhibition at the Metropolitan

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Museum of Art, however, unleashed an “Egyptomania” like never before, so much so that it was said that Tutankhamun began his real life after death in New York. The Met’s exhibition led to a “Tut-mania” that affected everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Andy Warhol to Steve Martin. And it’s not just the “Tut-mania” caused by this legendary exhibition that connects Tutankhamun with New York, the city‘s association with the boy king‘s story goes back to 1922/23 and beyond, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art actively participated in the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Harry Burton was an English Egyptologist and archaeological photographer, whose most famous photographs are the 1,400 he took documenting the excavation of Tutankhamun‘s tomb on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Without Harry Burton‘s photos, The Discovery of King Tut would not have been possible, since he documented the tomb‘s appearance at the time of its discovery. For the New York exhibition, British specialist studio Dynamichrome has colorized a selection of Burton’s photos, each marking a milestone during the excavation. These will be on display in a special gallery, focusing on “the romance between New York and King Tut.”


The Discovery of King Tut has succeeded in meeting a major challenge: The exhibition reconstructs, in great detail a burial treasure that was assembled thousands of years ago and which, upon discovery in 1922, was separated from its original context. Today, this replica exhibition provides the only way to see these objects reunited and displayed as they were originally found, enabling visitors to relive the magical moment of the tomb’s discovery as if they had been there themselves. The exhibition experience culminates in exact reconstructions of three tomb chambers that reveal themselves just as the discoverers saw them. A radioplay-like audio tour based on Howard Carter’s diaries, video documentaries, extensive texts and object descriptions and unhindered access to the objects together provide an exciting, as well as informative, experience for all the senses. One thousand one-of-a-kind, precisely hand crafted reconstructions of all the iconic artifacts are on display. These objects are not designed to replace the original artifacts, but to complement them.

This way, The Discovery of King Tut allows a huge audience to access the fascinating world of the pharaohs without ever compromising the fragile, millennia-old originals. With the aid of exquisite, precisely crafted replicas and reconstructions, the exhibition allows visitors to step right into the wonder of the most famous archaeological discovery of the twentieth century. It is as if the original excavation in the Valley of the Kings has been reopened. A series of lectures by renowned Egyptologists, and a gallery featuring the special relationship between New York and King Tut will also accompany the exhibition. The Discovery of King Tut is scheduled to run through May 1, 2016. Tickets are $29 for adults and $20 for children. Tickets are on sale now at: www.TUTNYC.comt

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 67


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Home With a History On The Market By Anthony Alto

became the boss of a gang known as Murder, Inc.

he beautiful home of the fictional Tony Soprano, Steve McQueen’s Mustang from the movie Bullitt “best car chase in movie history,” and other properties all go for a premium because of the names attached.

With New York getting a bit hot for him, Anastasia led an exodus of mob affiliates to the then quite rural and pristine town of Fort Lee, adjacent to the George Washington Bridge. It was literally only minutes from Times Square and a respite from his official business of murder, prostitution and gambling.

A beautiful mansion, sitting on 1.3 acres at the edge of the Palisades at 75 Bluff Road in Fort Lee, NJ, with an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline across the Hudson River, is on the market. No sale price was given. It is assessed at $3.75 million, but it is estimated that it could be sold for more than $4 million. The house comes with some famous... and some infamous names attached to it. It was built in 1947 by Albert Anastasia, a Mafia hit man who 70 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

Anastasia abruptly became the “former owner” when he was murdered by a rival gang on Oct. 25, 1957, while sitting in a barber chair at the Park Sheraton Hotel. To that point the estate was privy to numerous meetings of Mafioso plotting their nefarious deeds. Cleansing the negative vibes, the estate was purchased by Del Webb, a real estate developer better known as a part owner of the New York Yankees. Webb resided in the home for a number of years before leaving and selling it to comedian Buddy Hackett, who


lived there until his death. For 40 years after Hackett’s demise, the estate was owned by Arthur Imperator, former owner of the major firm APA Trucking and then New York Waterways Ferry. Imperator decided to sell the estate after his wife passed away and instead of a direct sale, he chose to auction it off, employing the services of Guernsey’s, a house known for producing eye-opening auctions that have broken records.

a master suite and four additional bedrooms; one with a separate staircase that leads outdoors. There is also an enclosed terrace. The basement is finished and wood-paneled. It has a kitchen, laundry room, workshop, recreation room for billiards, ping-pong, etc., a main entertaining space with bar and movie theater and a projection room. The grounds feature a large patio with views, swimming pool, cabana, pool house, and a two-car garage.

Fort Lee today is a thriving community with a history as the first home to moviemaking. The Perils of Pauline was filmed on the cliffs of the Palisades and gave rise to the term “Cliff Hanger.� Today the Fort Lee Film Commission keeps that history alive while the town seeks to forget its connection to such former residents as Anastasia.

Today Fort Lee is a major community for business executives, entertainers and others who appreciate the ability to leave the hustle and bustle of New York behind at the end of the day and enjoy a quieter life. But at the same time they want the convenience of The City and Fort Lee provides that with access to the George Washington Bridge.

The property is set on park-like grounds right at the edge of The Palisades. It has incomparable 180-degree views across the Hudson River from the George Washington Bridge all the way to Lower Manhattan and the Freedom Tower.

Many others opt for the convenience of Imperatore’s New York Waterways Ferry service that crosses the Hudson River in minutes. There are a variety of route options into New York from Mid-Town to the Financial District. This becomes especially convenient in the winter when roads become hazardous.

The ground floor has a central entry hall, living and sun rooms, dining room and breakfast room, kitchen, butler’s pantry, full and half-bath, a wood-paneled library and more. The second floor is reached by a sweeping staircase with a central landing, a small den that could also serve as a bedroom,

Guernsey’s is being assisted in the auction by New Jersey real estate firm, Prominent Properties for the sale scheduled for Dec. 8. For information, contact auctions@guernseys.com or Prominent Properties, a division of Sotheby’s, at (201) 585-8080t DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 71


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NYC Upper West Side A Superb Area By Daniel J Bollinger his month I got out of Brooklyn and visited the upper west side of Manhattan to tour some rental apartments located at 393 West End Avenue between 78th and 79th Streets. The upper west side is a superb area to live in New York City. 393 West End Avenue is one block from Broadway which has all major shopping needs covered. The 72nd Street subway station is blocks from this apartment building and it is close to one my favorite pizzerias’ in the city: Freddie and Peppers located on 74th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Freddie and Peppers has the best empanadas around and at $4.25 a pop it’s one of the best deals that I have found in the city. But back to real estate and 393 West End Ave. 74 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

I toured a beautiful 4 bedroom apartment in the sales office. “That one thing” that I experienced along this tour was the whole time I did not feel as though I was in an apartment. The apartment I toured ran the whole length of the north side of the building. Touring this space I felt as though I was in someone’s house rather than an apartment. I tried to nail down what exactly it was that gave me that feeling. Was it the bright, spacious kitchen, including a large dining area (this eat-in kitchen is fit for a family of four at minimum) with a beautiful view of the Hudson and New Jersey? Or was it the wall to wall customized knee level cabinets in the living room that provide a ledge for all those “chotchkies” that your children bring home


from art class and/or your wife comes home with from the mall? Or was it because these custom cabinets also provide for a plethora of storage space underneath the ledge? Or maybe it was the two pocket doors, one connecting the kitchen to the living room and the other connecting the living room to a bedroom that had such a Brooklyn Brownstone feel to it? Wait, I think it was the customized designs on every bedroom and closet door that make this apartment feel one of a kind and certainly not like all the doors were purchased from basic stock that Home Depot or Lowes offers. But it could have also been the great family style layout of the two children’s bedrooms off of the master suite. Or maybe it was the location of the washer/dryer perfectly positioned across from these three main bedrooms so laundry goes from hamper to machine and back to the bedrooms without the need to haul clothes all around the house? NO! NO! NO! I’ve got it! It must have been the customized shower niches in every shower in the apartment that not only aesthetically gives these bathrooms a classier and more upscale design, but functionally removes the need for an unsightly shower caddy. Seeing a customized shower niche in an apartment is a sign that there is a truly talented designer/builder at work. You can use this small, yet elegant design detail, as a gauge when reviewing/rating a property, especially in a city like New York. Every new shower built in New York City (and the world too while we’re at it) should have custom built recessed shower niches installed.

It is such a simple process to build a shower niche that it should bear no additional costs to the project (unless you happen to be building a project with more than 20+ bathrooms) and it provides a great twofold design solution: (1) functionality – no need for an unsightly shower caddy and (2) beauty and class – making the shower area not just a place to wash but a place for more of a “shower experience.” If you are developing or renovating a bathroom and your designer/builder has not or is not showing you details of shower niches, please fire them immediately and call me before the cement backer board covers up the studs. 393 West End Avenue offers great rental apartments. For a family looking to rent in New York City I would recommend renting here. The space is more like a “home” rather than an “apartment” because of all the wonderful details I mentioned above. The upper west side is a family friendly part of the city with access to all other parts of Manhattan. There is plenty to do on the upper west side and shopping galore. And if you’re late, hungry, on the run, don’t have time, need something NOW before you starve of hunger... remember to stop at Freddy and Peppers and get some of their famous empanadas. Daniel Bollinger Azad Property Group 870 Fifth Ave. Ste. 600 (212) 692-9376 t DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 75


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Nello: A Place To See & Be Seen

By Bob & Sandy Nesoff

here are celebrity hangouts in New York and then there are celebrity hangouts. Some pretend while others say little but are the real thing. Nello is the real deal. The restaurant has earned a reputation not only for excellent food, but for the A-list celebrities who regularly chow down in this Madison Avenue gastronomic delight.

The service was absolutely excellent on both visits and the food... you’d have to be a Type-D personality not to enjoy every morsel presented at the table. In looking at diners at other tables, it was easy to see the service they received and how they were enjoying the food. In doing some on-line research, we came across two unsolicited comments by people who have dined there: “It reminded me of the month I spent in Paris at posh cafes and upscale restaurants,” commented one guest.

Look up Nello on any of the review sites and by far, the overwhelming response is positive with many people who have dined there giving it a four to five star rating.

“Elegant and clubby, yet you see everyone from celebrities and bold-face type names to regular folks from the neighborhood,” said another.

The proof here is that Nello is not inexpensive, yet people still flock to it. You won’t have to mortgage the house to have lunch or dinner here, but it is priced somewhat above similar eateries in New York. We’ve been there twice, once for lunch and once for dinner and both experiences were well above the norm.

And that is the essence of guests at Nello-celebrities mixing with non-celebrities and no one putting on airs for the other. More importantly, each guest at Nello is treated the same as top tier celebrities.

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For those who like to people watch, Nello is definitely the place to


park. James Bond himself, in the person of Pierce Brosnan, is a diner there. So is the California “Gubernator,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Lopez, Sting, Selena Gomez, Marlo Thomas, Uma Thurman, Charlie Rose... the list could go on and on. As noted, however, Joe Smith, as well, receives celebrity status at Nello. The restaurant is quietly elegant with animal prints on the wall and bright seating areas. In warmer weather there is a wide-open front with outside dining. There is hardly a time when the restaurant is not crowded. Best bet is to phone ahead for a reservation. But if you don’t have one, don’t be afraid to stop by. The attentive staff will do its best to seat you. This ambiance and its menu have given Nello the sobriquet of “The Crown Jewel of Madison Avenue.” Remember, Madison Avenue is home to an array of top tier firms from advertising and public relations companies to Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Hermes Cavalli, Graff and many more. While the restaurant is described as “elegantly casual,” the fact is that you’ll be more comfortable at lunch time in slacks and a sport shirt or suit than you would in sandals and cut-offs. Dinner is a bit more dressy. All of this being said, the menu is eclectic with a wide range of choices: The first course salads include Carciofi-thinly sliced baby artichokes, avocado, white truffle oil and parmigiana at $29; Caesar Salad at $24; and the interestingly named “Ugly Tomato,” an heirloom tomato, Italian pepper, feta cheese, herbs, olive oil and onions, is at $33.

The Nello “Original Chicken Soup” is tabbed at $25 and would make any Jewish grandmother proud. Main courses are where Nello truly shines. Genovese is fettuccini with pesto sauce at $39; Tagliata is grilled Hereford prime rib eye and arugula at $75; Milanese-breaded veal chop with arugula and tomato, $65; and an interesting dish for an Italian restaurant, Venezia, kosher calf ’s liver seared in balsamic nectar and caramelized onions for $52; and one of our favorite dishes, Ossobucco, a veal shank garnished with wild mushrooms that is to die for $57. There are wide choices from the sea as well with lobster at $75, halibut for $52 and salmon for $55. If you would like to top off your celebration with a bottle from the extensive wine list, look twice before ordering. There are less expensive, but no less wonderful choices in the range of $100 and up. If the celebration is especially important or you are trying to impress a client or first date, go for broke and order the Dom Perignon at $1,250. Or, really go for it and choose the Cristal Magnum for $5,375. Sip them slowly... very slowly. For dining that is both a gastronomical experience as well as a visual one, Nello is an easy choice. Hey Derek, We’re sitting over here! Nello 696 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10065 (212) 980-9099 t DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 79


Masseria Dei Vini Offers Dishes From Puglia By Jon Haggins raditional Italian food proliferates throughout New York. However, pairing it with excellent wines from the vineyards of Italy is far from common. Masseria Dei Vini (Masseria of Wines) Restaurant looks as though it is fresh from Puglia in the boot of Southern Italy. The open-air windows and the white tablecloths add light and brightness to the restaurant, adding an air of cheerfulness. In the Puglia region of Italy, the masseria is the heart, the center of a large working farm. Produce is preserved here and everything from tools to animals are preserved. Peppe Iuele and Enzo Ruggiero have collaborated with interior design expert Libby Langdon to bring a modern and updated version of a Masseria to New York. Executive Chef Pino Coladonato, a native of Rutigliano (Bari), has created a menu that blends traditional with the modern without overpowering one or 80 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

the other. The inspiration for La Masseria began with these ancient farmhouses where classic dishes used only the freshest ingredients from soil and sea. The simple style of cooking from Puglia has inspired the authentic menu at La Masseria, uses only fresh fish, shellfish, crustaceans and produce. “Growing up in Italy, I understood that food was an important way of bringing people together,” said Peppe Iuele, one of the owners. “I want our guests to feel comfortable, as if they were enjoying a delicious meal at the home of a good friend. I truly think we’ve succeeded in creating that atmosphere here at La Masseria.” Pino Coladonato, the executive chef and a co-owner, met Peppe at another restaurant. He too grew up on a farm in Puglia and learned to create dishes with only a few simple ingredients. Today they are some of his favorites in creating new dishes. The restaurant and bathrooms are decorated with photos of old


farm-houses in Puglia. Many of the farmhouses there have been converted into restaurants or small hotels. Francesco Settanni the General Manager said, “Being from southern Italy, I learned hospitality from my mom as a kid. When people visit you make sure everything is perfect and clean, including the quality of the food served. At the end of the day people won’t remember stories, but they will remember you for how you made them feel, how they feel at the end of the meal. The reason people go out is for the experience. The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table.”

sauce and topped with basil ($15.00). The pizza had an abundance of mozzarella and tomato sauce. It was especially light and the best pizza that I have ever tasted. The menu also included appetizers: Le Paste: Paccheri Al Sugo de Tracchiole ($19.50), is large Rigatoni Pasta with short ribs ragout. The pasta was al dente and perfect with the short ribs. Antipasti: Terra Mare ($19.50), which is grilled baby Octopus and Cuttlefish on a bed of fava beans puree and Tropea’s onions. It’s a perfect combination and they complement each other, yet are so simple.

Enzo Ruggiero is the Wine Director and the executive manager. He has known co-owner Peppe since they were children growing up in Capri. Enzo’s passion extends beyond food to wine. In his childhood his grandfather would take him to local vineyards where they would stomp grapes to make the family wine. He is passionate about pairing the perfect wine with the right dish. Enzo has put his vast knowledge of wines to the test to create a rare and creative list, mainly from Italy but without ignoring the rest of the world. Masseria Dei Vini offers special reserve and rare wines. The restaurant has 250 different red, white and sparkling wines and of course, prosecco from Italy. One wall in the dining room is decorated with bottles of wine and the full bar is lined with a variety of liquor. The menu features beautiful dishes from Puglia, a lot of which incorporate fish, shellfish, and a plethora of fresh homemade pastas. The menu also offers gourmet pizza, Neapolitan style from a Ferrara wood-burning pizza oven. The wooden oven bakes the best pizzas from Naples. Stephen Ferrara designed the wood oven. We ordered a Margherita pizza with mozzarella Fior de latte tomato

Il Crudo (raw fish & shellfish), Carpaccio di Tonno ($19.50) is thinly seared raw tuna with fresh green herbs. It was fresh and oh so appealing to the eye. Main Course included: Orata del Mediterraneo ($26.50) which is oven roasted whole Mediterranean Sea Bream, served in a cherry tomato sauce with olives and capers. The bream was fresh and mouth wateringly delicious. Nothing could be better than fresh fish that is filleted at the table. A side dish of Broccoli Aglio E Olio ($9.50) is broccoli that’s sautéed in garlic and olive oil. To top off our dining experience at Masseria Dei Vini, for dessert we ordered Torta Di Ricotta Alla Vaniglia ($10.00), a vanilla flavored ricotta cheesecake with a cut strawberry and a scoop of whipped cream on the side. This was the perfect dining experience where everything was so lovingly prepared and served. Masseria Dei Vini 887 9th Avenue New York, NY 10019 (212) 315-2888 www.masseriadeivini.comt

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 81


Dr. Day’s Prescription to Look & Feel Your Best for the Holidays

By Doris Day, MD

he holidays are a festive and very special time of the year. It is a time to celebrate all you have accomplished and to look forward and plan for the New Year. It is also a stressful time with many disruptions to your normal routine and this can have an impact on how you look and feel. Whether you celebrate big, have smaller gatherings or simple private time, my prescription to look and feel your best this holiday season and beyond, is meant to help you understand the power you have within yourself to be your best self in every way, mind, body and soul. Let’s start with your appearance. It’s very important to understand that it is not just vanity but it’s ok and even healthy and positive to want to look your best. The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to get there. Your dermatologist can help you decide which treatments and products are best for you and may be your best present to yourself to start the New Year off beautifully. There 82 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

are exciting cutting edge treatments without the cutting and with minimal down-time that can get you looking your very best in the most gentle and natural way. Here’s my full list of prescriptions to make the most of the holidays. Enjoy! Take care of your skin. The single most important thing you do for your skin from the outside is protect it from the sun; yes even on that cold snowy day you need sun protection if you’re spending time outdoors. UV rays are every day all year round and they are responsible for 90% of how your skin ages. Beyond that, the colder, drier weather, can be very hard on the skin, so be sure to avoid harsh deodorant or antibacterial soaps as they are especially harsh on your skin, compromising your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Instead, opt for mild, fragrance-free make up removers and cleansers. Give your hands and body extra TLC. Moisturize hands every time


after washing. Trade in traditional hand sanitizer for a combination sanitizer that contains moisturizer or lotion. Skin can be extra dry during cold winter months. Look for rich creamy moisturizers and know that the best time to apply is right after the bath or shower. The holidays are also a lot about wonderful fragrances and aromas. These should be in candles and potpourri, not in your skin care products since the number one cause of allergies to products is from preservatives and fragrances. Avoid irritants often found in everyday products by selecting fragrance-free, or dye-free options. Un-scented means there’s a masking scent and this is just another form of fragrance... designed not to have a smell. Wear soft clothing. While you want to dress for the occasion, avoid abrasive or irritating fabrics like wool or polyester directly against your skin, especially the neck. Stick to soft fabrics, such as cotton, especially if they are in direct contact with your skin. Eat and drink the harvest. The best high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables are readily available and fresh during the holiday season. My favorites are cranberries, blueberries, pumpkin, pomegranate and squash. These foods will help feed your skin from the inside out and keep it looking its youngest most beautiful best. Many of these are packed with water and can help you stay hydrated this holiday season. Other foods, such as Thanksgiving turkey, can even give your mood a lift. But remember, it’s easier not to gain the weight than it is to lose it, so plan your calories wisely and think twice before going for that second slice of pie. Think about all you’re grateful for and have to be happy about. Life is full of ups and downs but remembering to be thankful of what we have, brings out the best in how we look and feel. There’s strong science behind the power of positive thinking and positive expression. Even just smiling makes you look younger and feel happier- and it brings out the best in those around you too. Make sure to be physically active. The best exercise is a daily brisk walk. It releases specific brain chemicals that help you feel happy and even joyful. You can do this alone to have a little break from all the friends and relatives and drama that may go with the holidays, or with your favorite pet or friend. It clears the mind, heals the soul and strengthens your body, besides working off a few of the extra calories... Que Sera Sera. My favorite song for obvious reasons, but also a reminder that music tells stories and is the sound of emotions and it enhances the joy and all the feelings of the holidays. Sing out loud to old favorites and new ones too. My new favorite song is “Happy� by Pharrell Williams. Clap along... Celebrate the mistletoe. The holidays are time to cuddle and snuggle with those you love. This feels great and can release your body’s own home-made feel good hormone. Rest. Sleep is irreplaceable. We don’t know why but we do know that there’s no cream, pill, food or formula that can replace sleep. Do your best to get a good 7-8 hours sleep during this special season, or take cat naps during the day to make up for extra hours of revelry. Watch the alcohol. Ultimately alcohol is a drug, it affects your brain in powerful ways and can affect your sleep as well as your metabolism. Keep track of how many glasses of egg-nog, wine or other drinks you have and try to match each ounce of alcohol with one glass of water. This will help you avoid dehydration and that hangover headache the next morning. Return the favor. Spend time volunteering or offering community service to help those less fortunate than yourself. There’s nothing that makes a person more beautiful than doing a kind deed. Brings out the best in all of us and is the true meaning of the holidays.

Editor’s Note: Doris Day, M.D., F.A.A.D, M.A. is a board certified dermatologist who specializes in laser, cosmetic and surgical dermatology in New York City. Dr. Day is a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the New York University Langone Medical Centers where she was presented with the award for Dedication and Excellence in the Teaching of Dermatology. Dr. Day regularly lectures at national and international medical and aesthetic meetings, and teaches other physicians the art and techniques of soft tissue fillers, laser treatments and facial rejuvenation. She is a member of many national and international organizations including the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, American Academy of Dermatology, Women’s Dermatologic Society, and New York Facial Plastic Surgery Society and is an inductee into the American Honors Society of Dental and Facial Aesthetics. Dr. Day is author of two books, Forget the Facelift: Turn Back the Clock with Dr. Day’s Revolutionary Four-Step Program for Ageless Skin, and 100 Questions and Answers About Acne, and she has completed a clinical monograph titled Understanding Hyperpigmentation. She is a freelance journalist for several medical and scientific publications and outlets, and is a host for Doctor Radio on SiriusXM 110 with her own award-winning twohour live call-in radio show. Dr. Day earned an English degree from Columbia University, completed her Masters in Journalism and Science Writing at New York University and earned her M.D. at Downstate Medical School in New York. She completed her residency in Dermatology at Cornell University College of Medicine with the title of Chief 3FTJEFOUt DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 83


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Tips On How To Manage Your Depression & Fears

By Stanley Popovich   verybody deals with anxiety and depression, however some people have a difficult time in managing it. As a result, here is a brief list of techniques that a person can use to help manage the most persistent fears and everyday anxieties.   When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the stress more manageable and increases your chance of success.   Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When this happens, you should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get your mind off of the problem.  You could get some fresh air, listen to some music, or do an activity that will give you a fresh perspective on things.   Try to visualize a red stop sign in your mind when you encounter a fear provoking thought. When the negative thought enters your mind, think of that red stop sign that serves as a reminder to stop focusing on the negative thought and to think of something positive.   Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that make you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down. Whenever you feel depressed or frustrated, open up your notebook and read those statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.

Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide you with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep. We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference. Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem.  By talking to a professional, you will be able to help yourself in the long run because you will become better able to deal with the problems in the future.  Remember that it never hurts to ask for help.   Dealing with your persistent fears is not easy.  Remember that all you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best and take things in stride. Patience, persistence, education and being committed in trying to solve your problem will go a long way in fixing your problems.   About Stan Popovich: Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods” an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: www.managingfear.com t‫ڀ‬

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 85


Metamorphosis: A Spa For The Body & Soul By Margaret Mason

idtown Manhattan could never be called “quiet and relaxing”. There’s the constant flow of traffic, hordes of people rushing to... well, rushing to somewhere. Some are going to work, some are going home and very few are feeling relaxed and tranquil. There is a place in the middle of this hustle and bustle that specializes in relaxation, calmness and is just plain restful. It’s called Metamorphosis Day Spa and it’s located right in the middle of all the action. Situated at 127 east 56th Street, Metamorphosis specializes in treatments designed to keep both your body and your mind healthy. You can step off the noisy and hectic streets of Manhattan into a sanctuary that approaches heavenly bliss. The Spa calls itself: “...celestially inspired for those who seek heavenly beauty and relaxation.”

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It’s renowned for an intimate, unpretentious and outstanding professional service. Metamorphosis has been praised by several of the well-known beauty and fitness magazines and is known locally for its impressive array of quality facials and massages. The Spa’s approach to beauty is subtle and strong at the same time. Entering the facility, you’ll immediately notice the quiet and peacefulness with the sounds of traffic only a few feet away muted to a point of nonexistence. You’ll be greeted by a courteous and professional staff, whose members know what is needed for you to relax and come away fully refreshed. Metamorphosis Day Spa offers six treatment rooms, a cozy room, private upstairs access to the rooftop with tables and chairs for warmer weather. The customized aromatherapy massage combines the best of Swedish massage with natural essential oils that are designed for your individual needs and respectively energize, calm, detoxify or de-stress. You can choose the blends you prefer.


The “stimulating” procedure gives you a sense of energy and wellbeing. It contains rosemary, thyme, cypress and geranium. You can relax with lavender, patchouli, sandalwood and may chang. This special massage blend calms and soothes, helping to release negative emotions and frustrations as it relaxes tense muscles. Most people, until they undergo this type of treatment, never even realize how tense their muscles become on a normal day.

Those opting for a deep tissue massage will be the beneficiaries of a technique that uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to help alleviate muscle damage from injuries. The deep tissue treatment is excellent for chronic pain, rehabilitating injured muscles, breaking up scar tissue, increasing blood flow to muscle tissue, and improved posture and flexibility.

The detoxifying increases circulation and promotes the detoxification of fat cells. Special ingredients include lavender, juniper, cypress and rosemary.

For those who intend to make extended time at the Spa, Metamorphosis offers a healthy , home-made lunch; but you have to bring your own bottle... make sure it is something healthy.

Anti-stressing brings relief to overstressed and painful muscles. The special blend of eucalyptus, peppermint ginger and wintergreen releases tension and tightness.

Metamorphosis is available for private spa parties and other events. It gives those attending a great way to socialize and connect. The professional staff will help create a perfect event, drawing from Metamorphosis’ menu of spa treatments to meet the needs of all the participants.

Metamorphosis offers a special “Stress Relief Package” that is a two hour therapy session for the full body and face that allows you to reconnect with nature as well as relax and rejuvenate tense muscles. Another package at Metamorphosis is a full 60 minute detailed neck, foot, hands and shoulder massage complete with essential oils and a scalp massage. This is followed by an Organic Eminence soothing facial. You’ll never believe how fast an hour can go by. The hot stone massage is a style of therapy with water treated stones placed at specific spots of the body to produce relaxation and open the meridians (energy pathways). Heated stones are placed on the body in specific methods and locations. This massage provides deep dimensions of relaxation and well being. Essential oils are frequently used in the massage treatment.

It is available for bridal showers, girlfriend getaways, bachelorette parties, family reunions and birthdays. Nothing brings people closer together than socializing with nothing on but a large towel. There’s little doubt that after an hour or so in Metamorphosis, going back out to the outside world won’t be such an odious task. Knowing that there is an oasis of peace and tranquility at your beck and call makes facing the day, the noise, the traffic and the stress more easily bearable. Metamorphosis Day Spa 127 East 56th Street (212) 751-6051 Metspa.com t DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 87


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A Close by Hidden Gem By Karen Feld Photos courtesy of J House Hotel

House Greenwich, a high tech and eclectic stone and glass boutique hotel opened a well-appointed luxury spa on its lower level. Less than an hour from Manhattan via Metro North, it’s a relaxing retreat for a day of pampering or overnight getaway. The spa is a welcomed oasis in this privately owned, unobtrusive renovated Howard Johnson’s motel in Greenwich, CT. Designed in soft, muted, silver tones, the J House Spa has a soothing ambience and offers a wide array of facial and body treatments for both men and women. Spa Director Danielle Cervi, who has been a popular esthetician in Greenwich for 15 years, has put together an experienced staff. She indulged me with the Hydra Facial, one of their special anti-aging treatments. Danielle began with a relaxing massage before nurturing the skin with Alpha and Beta hydroxy acids and antioxidant serums to brighten and rehydrate. I could first feel the gentle sucking of the machine exfoliating my skin followed by the moisturizing water. My face was glowing when the treatment concluded. Other popular personalized anti-aging 90 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015

treatments include the oxygen and vitamin C facials.

Next, Dan, who has been a masseur for 40 years, massaged the kinks in my shoulders as I relaxed on the heated, hydraulic memory foam table. I felt like putty in his hands. Using firm pressure he intuitively knew which body areas needed the most attention. One of the popular specialty services offered is eyelash extensions. The individually applied lashes by NovaLash last the life of an eyelash – that’s up to 90 days. The lash specialist also does lash tinting with vegetable dye. You can choose between Eminence, the chemical free skin care line that uses organically grown herbs, fruits and vegetables and the high end, Natura Bisse from Barcelona. In addition to massage, you can you relax with a body scrub and smoothing wrap, designed for miniaturization or an herbal mud wrap, where spices and enzymes de-age your fatigued body. They also are introducing whole body alignment sessions that address the energetic systems. This includes Jin Shin Jyutsu, Reiki, chakra aura balancing, attunement and intuitive guidance as well as lymphatic drainage, cranial sacral therapy and frequency specific micro current to promote accelerated healing.


Luxury Spa at J House After a relaxing afternoon in the spa, I checked out the contemporary designed bar and restaurant. Chef Conor Horton’s menu changes seasonally. It includes sushi and a variety of fish, meat and house made pasta. I began with the Burrata with roasted squash, Asian pear, charred kale and clover honey. The delicate combination of flavors was impressive as well as the presentation. My main course, wild tuna, was cooked perfectly in orange ginger red wine. I stayed in a suite (two mid-century motel rooms combined) which was apparently designed for digital natives, but not so user friendly for boomers. High tech “everything” included a Toto toilet/bidet combo. As you approached it, the top went up and chimed a welcome to sit on the heated seat. And I found it incongruous that although the spa offered luxury products, the in-room amenities were nameless and made in China. The glass tiled shower and electric mirror/TV in the bathroom were welcome touches. The hotel itself took me back to mid-century suburbia with state of the art high tech amenities. The spa is first rate with a low key ambiance. Check for special holiday themed treatments.

J House Hotel and Spa 1114 E Putnam Ave Greenwich, CT 06878 (203) 698-6980 www.jhousegreenwich.com t

DECEMBER 2015 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 91


IV Fluids (Detox) $125 (regular price $250)

· Restore your Bodies optimal functions · Restore energy levels · Recover from jet lag · Hangover cure PRP Hair Growth Treatment: $500 (regular price $800)

PRP therapy is used in hair restoration for natural looking results. With a thin needle, your own Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is injected into the scalp. Then the growth factors in your blood cells do their job and hair growth is naturally stimulated. Laser tattoo removal: (3 sessions for a small area 2” by 2”) $385 (regular price $900)

picosecond laser, widely recognized for its technology leadership, unmatched clinical versatility and proven performance. This is the best laser for laser tattoo removal. Clients receive the fastest results in minimum sessions; it is the safest on the skin, and treats virtually all tattoos.

A premier medical spa offering the most innovative, effective, and revolutionizing treatments that are available in the industry.

www.ArtofNaturalBeauty.com BROOKLYN 239 Court Street Brooklyn, NY 11201 718-694-2200

Manhattan 127 East 56th Street, New York, NY 10022 212-832-8200


When you care about New York‌

Saint Francis Food Pantries and Shelters...

They serve more than a million and a half meals to needy families, each year... and help provide clothing, shelter and social services.

Helping NewYorkers... And you can be part of many charity, corporate and fundraising events including:

Reach us at: www.StFrancisPantries.org | 212-279-6171


96 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | DECEMBER 2015


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Seven Mile Beach

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AL HIRSCHFELD THEATRE • FALL SCHEDULE: TUE & THU 7PM; WED & SAT 2PM & 8PM; FRI 8PM; SUN 3PM

Profile for New York Lifestyles Magazine

New York Lifestyles Magazine - December 2015  

New York Lifestyles Magazine - December 2015  

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