Vol. 3 #2 | February 2017
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FEATURES 10 12 13 48 50
Publisher’s Note February 2017 Calendar New York’s Ambassador of Goodwill Through The Lens with Annie Watt Joan Hornig’s A “Giving” Dinner Party
FASHION & BEAUTY 18 20 22 24
Valentine’s Day Style Essentials Fashionable Slopes Clothes Make The Man Perfumes: Making Sense of Scents
TRAVEL 27 30 33 36 38 40
The Library Hotel Collection Boca Raton Resort & Club Great Escape: Barbados Postcard from Maui Conrad Hotel: Modern Love on Ice New Hope, PA: Bohemian Rhapsody
REAL ESTATE & HOME DECOR 43 44 45 53 55 58 62 64
Notes From DB A Look At Tribeca 443 Greenwich 471 Washington Street 87 Leonard Street 15 Hubert Street 12 Warren Street 52 Lispenard Street
53 FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 5
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OFFICES: BOCA RATON | DELRAY BEACH | CORAL SPRINGS | LIGHTHOUSE POINT | AVENTURA | MIAMI
68 HEALTH & WELLNESS 68 Friendship: The Highest Good 70 Chocolate The Healthy Way 72 Faina European Day Spa
DINING 74 Caffe Dei Fiori—Delizioso 77 Party With Say Grace Catering 80 Neighborhood Eats: FUMO Restaurant
THEATER & ARTS 82 84 86 89
On The Big Screen On Stage Reviews With Pat Collins Pat Collins’ Picks of Home Entertainment About Books
NEW YORK, NY 91 92 94 96
Now & Then: Pete’s Tavern Entrepreneur’s Corner My New York Story: Bill Spadea 15 Minutes With Jean Shafiroff
FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 7
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Check us out on the web! Vol. 3 #2 | February 2017 President / Publisher Bill Mason Executive Publisher Ernie Anastos
Editor at Large Nina Anastos Floyd
Vice President of Sales Lyle Seltzer
Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim
Marketing Director Phillip Anastos
Art Director Eric Duncan
Managing Editor Patricia Canole
Medical Editor Doris Day, MD
Arts & Entertainment Editor Pat Collins
Fashion & Style Columnist Miki Makrillos
Real Estate Editor Daniel J. Bollinger
Chief Photographer Annie Watt
Read Any of Our Issues In Digital Format on:
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Contributing Editor Clint Brownfield Contributing Writers Michael Alpiner, Joan Bauer, Shari Bilt Boockvar, MS, RDN Johnny Burke, Kristen Carlucci, RD, Tricia Connolly, Karen Feld Judy Goss, Joan Hornig, Alana Johnson, Peter Kalellis Gretchen Kelly, Kelly McFarland, Griffin Miller Jeannie Pawlowski, Anthony Rapacciuolo Michael and Nava Raviv, Richie Realms Joanna Rogers, Beth Shapiro, Baruch Shemtov Bill Spadea, Patricia Stark, Leigh Stringer Jeff & Stephanie Sylva, Leslie Termuhlen, Diane Terman Internet Presence Scott Cuollo, Richard Austin Advertising BLUE VISTA 725 Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development John Miller - Director of Sales - Travel Michael Stulmaker - Director of Sales - Real Estate Janneta Abunda - Senior Sales Manager New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651
Editorial/Sales Fax (212) 202-4888
For subscriptions, address changes or back issues, call: (646) 259-2651 newyorklifestylesmagazine.com Facebook: /NYLifestylesMag Twitter: @NYLifestylesMag Instagram: @NYLifestylesMag All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Printed in the USA. New York Lifestyles Magazine is published 12 times annually. © 2017 New York Lifestyles Magazine
Cover photo by Barry Morgenstein
Visit us at: newyorklifestylesmagazine.com
“New York Lifestyles Magazine is a continuation of my passion to share news, information and lifestyle about where and how we live. This commitment reflects a positive approach to offering compelling features with the highest quality presentation. As executive publisher, I am proud of our professional staff and my family who are helping to reshape the way you read and enjoy this exciting magazine.” s you all know by now, I love quotations. They are my passion and I enjoy sharing them with you. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” Well, let’s face it, it’s not so easy to get away from a regular routine and comfort level. Trying something new, a look, a hobby, a different place or even a new way of thinking takes some courage and effort. The best thing, in my opinion, is that I find it quite motivational. It’s a great way to recharge yourself and renew your life. It doesn’t have to be anything so amazing or spectacular. It can be just a fresh and different experience that makes you happy and energized. I remember spotting a poster at the botanical garden that read, “The only sign of life is growth.” Isn’t that good? Plant life or your life, it’s all the same. So, if you want to expand and broaden your world, try new things and watch what happens!
Ernie Anastos is a celebrated author and distinguished Emmy award winning TV news legend in New York. He is recognized as a champion for promoting more positive news and an influential voice in the world of media. 10 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
FEBRUARY 2017 CALENDAR
The 8th Annual NYC Winter Wine Festival PlayStation Theater in Times Square newyorkwineevents.com
18th Annual Lunar New Year Parade & Festival From Hester Street to Sara D. Roosevelt Park betterchinatown.com Super Bowl LI NRG Stadium, Houston, TX nfl.com
Central Park Ice Festival Naumburg Bandshell centralparknyc.org
Valentine’s Day Champagne Gala Institute of Culinary Education recreational.ice.edu Valentine’s Day Concert Merchant’s House Museum merchantshouse.org Romance Under the Stars Hayden Planetarium/American Museum National History amnh.org
12 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
18 rd 23
The 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Madison Square Garden westminsterkennelclub.org
The Orchid Show New York Botanical Garden nybg.org New York Wild Film Festival The Explorers Club nywildfilmfestival.com
NEW YORK’S OF GOODWILL By Anthony Rapacciuolo | Photography by Barry Williams/AnnieWatt.com
t’s been said that The Medium is the Message, and over the past 35 years here in New York, there’s one man who has managed to leverage almost every medium to not only deliver the news of the day but also to create real relationships with his audience. His genuine love of and interest in people is what prompted him to begin his own radio show at the age of 16, and he’s been on the air ever since. His storied career has led him to report on issues that have defined generations, author books inspiring children to follow their dreams, earned him more than 30 combined Emmy Awards and nominations, launch the magazine you are currently reading, and kick off his newest television show, Ernie Anastos In New York. Who is this man? Why, I’m sure he’s someone you’re already familiar with, someone whom you’ve probably never met but feel as though he’s merely a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while. Someone you’ve grown to trust because he’s been reporting the news for more than three decades, and who is undoubtedly a New York Icon. I am, of course, writing about none other than Mr. Ernie Anastos. Ernie attributes much of his success to his family and his faith and has managed to capture the hearts and respect of so many by continually promoting positivity as well as purpose and value. In fact, those are the driving forces behind his newest television show which he hopes will foster change through stories that are relevant to people’s lives and well-being. We had the pleasure of speaking with Ernie in his office at FOX 5 and learning more about the man behind the news desk, and his newest endeavor Ernie Anastos In New York. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 13
The format is going to be inviting, and you’ll feel like you’re in the living room of my apartment in New York City.
Executive producers: Ernie Anastos Tony Monte Melinda Martinez 14 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
Ernie Anastos In New York will air on Saturdays at 5:30 PM on FOX 5 and will then be replayed on Sundays at 5:30 PM on MY9. Tell our readers what they can expect from your new show? The program is about our city and your life. We’ll be talking about new trends and ideas as well as fashion, wellness, travel, real estate, dining, entertainment and more. I’m enthusiastic about the show because we’ll have the opportunity to spread more positive news, and the content will be focused on providing people with what they need to know about living in this great city. We’re going to capture the essence of New York from the look and feel of the show to the opening theme song. The song embodies the spirit, diversity, and magic of my home declared Charles Wallert, the songs producer. It describes all the things identifiable to the world’s capital and is uplifting and fun. When asked what it means to perform the song, artist George Benson said that it was a real honor to be identified with a bona fide New York star like Ernie Anastos. Our readers have heard about the theme song, can you give us a sneak peek of some of the guests? There will be a variety of guests who are all well versed in their field and have colorful personalities. We’ll have people like George Brescia, an author and fashion expert, Patricia Stark, former Miss New York and News Anchor turned life coach, and Christopher
Farley, offering the best in entertainment and nightlife. The format is going to be inviting, and you’ll feel like you’re in the living room of my apartment in New York City. It’s going to be comfortable and conversationaland will offer advice on how to improve your life. What makes Ernie Anastos In New York different? I believe people will tune in initially because they feel some sort of connection with me. I’ve developed a rapport with this city over the past 35 years, and I hope they know what I stand for and realize that I try and bring out the best in everybody. They’ll be able to be entertained and informed and learn about things to help them live better. You’ve accomplished so much in your career, why this show and why now? I think the timing is right because I’ve been reporting for over 30 years, and have had the opportunity to see every facet of news. I want to continue to be a voice for more positive news, and for making people feel good about themselves, their lives and their futures. Our stories will be relaxed and useful in making decisions about how to make the most of your life in this great city. I’ll also be back out on the street asking people questions to stir their imaginations and hear their viewpoints. It’s going to be about them. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 15
“I want to continue to be a voice for more positive news, and for making people feel good about themselves, their lives and their futures.”
16 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
What defines or separates New York from any other city? I think that the whole world is in one city, New York. This is where you can find everything you could ever ask for from food, entertainment, shopping, education, and culture. Being in New York allows you to connect with the world right here, it’s all at your fingertips. There’s only one New York, and it’s an atmosphere that allows us to be who we want to be, while also being a part of something greater. Juxtapose your opinion of New York to those who believe it to be a cold and unfriendly place. If you come here and experience the city, communicate with the people, and see what’s available that opinion will change. I’m not going to say we’re perfect but this city has a big heart. It’s a bunch of neighborhoods that are all connected. The passion that people in this city have is hard to express, and you simply have to feel it. It’s a pulse; it’s a beat, a feeling, a mood, an attitude. It’s something that you have to experience. This TV program allows me to act as a goodwill ambassador of sorts for the city of New York, and I welcome anyone who hasn’t experienced it to visit our great city.
I’m enthusiastic about the show because we’ll have the opportunity to spread more positive news, and the content will be focused on providing people with what they need to know about living in this great city. Tell our readers if there was a defining moment in your life that led you to where you are now. For me, everything comes from home. I was fortunate to grow up in a home where there was a lot of love and understanding. We were given the opportunity to be who we wanted to be. We were taught fundamentals and values in life, but also a sense of purpose. Why are you here, what gift have you been given, and how can you use it best? As a young child, I knew I wanted to communicate. I used to talk to everybody, and at around 12 years old I even had a little radio station in my basement. Then at 13, I printed a small local newspaper. My home taught me to be respectful of everyone and to genuinely enjoy people. A Greek philosopher once wrote, “I have a wish to die young but as late in life as possible.” To me, that means that even though I’ve been doing this for over three decades, I’m still a kid in my heart, and I still have all kinds of things that I want to do. This show is the next step! Ernie Anastos In New York will air on Saturdays at 5:30 PM on FOX 5 and will then be replayed on Sundays at 5:30 PM on MY9. • For more information on Ernie Anastos In New York, visit: ernieanastosinnewyork.com. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 17
VALENTINE’S DAY STYLE ESSENTIALS By Miki Makrillos
his Valentine’s Day add a little flair to your wardrobe in celebration of love and passion! Femme pink and passionate red hues help any outfit bring out the Cupid in you! Soft textures, flowy lines, and romantic jewelry set the tone for an enchanting Valentine’s Day.
AMBER SCEATS Jasmine Choker, Cream Suede ($189; ambersceats.com) KRISTIN CAVALLARI Copertina D’Orsay Pump Suede, Pump Pink ($59.98; chineselaundry.com)
ANN TAYLOR Pleated Tie Skirt ($119; anntaylor.com)
ETNIA BARCELONA Princesa PKSK ($265; etniabarcelona.com)
ANN TAYLOR Dot Flounce Sleeve Top ($79.50; anntaylor.com)
ANN TAYLOR Curvy Skinny Ankle Jeans ($89; anntaylor.com) 18 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
ANN TAYLOR Floral Necklace ($79.50; anntaylor.com)
CHINESE LAUNDRY Jannet Pom Pom Sandal, Ankle Strap Heel Rose ($90; chineselaundry.com)
CHINESE LAUNDRY Julius Peep Toe Ankle Boot Lace Up Bootie, Rose ($39.98; chineselaundry.com)
CHINESE LAUNDRY Song Bird Red ($90; chineselaundry.com)
ETNIA BARCELONA WLA Africa03 RDHV ($265; etniabarcelona.com) ADRIANA ORSINI Crystal Heart Pendant Necklace, Silver-Red ($90; saks.com)
KRISTIN CAVALLARI Copertina Dâ€™Orsay Pump, Suede Pump Red ($59.98; chineselaundry.com)
CHLOE Mini Faye Leather & Suede Shoulder Bag, Tulip Red ($795; saks.com)
ALEXIS MAYLINA Lace Jumpsuit, Burgundy ($656; saks.com)
ALICE + OLIVIA Layla Cold-Shoulder Ruffle Top, Ruby ($295; saks.com)
AMBER SCEATS Bridget Chocker ($179; ambersceats.com)
CHINESE LAUNDRY Theresa Platform Sandal Block Heel Sandal, Lollipopred ($70; chineselaundry.com)
FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 19
Photo courtesy of Orsden
FASHIONABLE SLOPES By Miki Makrillos
ki season is here! Enjoy your favorite sport in these new stylish and trending suggestions to make your mark on the slopes. Knit wool hats and water resistant jackets will keep you warm and dry on the lift and the mountains.
ORSDEN These professional ski jackets combine style, performance and a refined alpine fit in a variety of colors that will leave you comfortably chic on the slopes.
ORSDEN WOMEN’S LIFE JACKET The Lift Jacket pairs elegant design with technical performance. It’s crafted to keep you comfortable on the mountain without sacrificing a clean, streamlined fit in Nightfall. ($330; orsden.com)
ORSDEN MEN’S SLOPE JACKET The Slope Jacket pairs minimalist design with technical performance. It’s crafted to keep you comfortable and dry leaving you free to focus on the mountain, in Redwood ($330; orsden.com)
MOOSE KNUCKLES These jackets keep you stylishly warm on the slopes with their unique design and midweight goose down fill. Removable fur trim allows style savvy skiers to wear it in their own individual way.
MOOSE KNUCKLES 3Q FOX FUR-TRIM DOWN PUFFER JACKET The 3Q Puffer Jacket features a concealed zip front with button closures and is filled with duck down feathers, in Snow White ($895; saks.com). 20 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
MOOSE KNUCKLES CANUCK FOX FUR-TRIMMED SKI JACKET The Canuck features the warmth and durability. Moose Knuckles is known for with down-filled insulation, a water and wind resistant shell and a blue fox fur-trimmed detachable hood, in Black ($795; saks.com)
CANADA GOOSE BASKET WEAVE SLOUCHY BEANIE HAT in Graphite ($70; saks.com)
MONCLER CABLE KNIT POM-POM HAT in Natural ($245; saks.com)
CANADA GOOSE MERINO WOOL BEANIE in Black ($60; saks.com)
MONCLER FUR POM-POM KNIT HAT in Black ($330; saks.com)
Photo courtesy of Orsden
GUCCI KNIT WOOL POM-POM HAT in Red-White ($295; saks.com)
BURBERRY CABLE-KNIT WOOD, CASHMERE & FOX FUR BEANIE in Grey Melange ($450; saks.com)
FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 21
CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN By Daniel J. Bollinger
ark Twain once jokingly said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Though it is humorous, the statement is true; clothes truly make the man. People will judge you according to the way you dress. A study from Northwestern University reveals that what you wear affects how you think and even perform. Researchers have found that students wearing white lab coats performed better on cognitive tests than those who didn’t sport any jackets. The phenomenon is called “enclothed cognition,” or the influence your clothes can have on the way you think, feel, and behave, says study co-author Hajo Adam, Ph.D., a management professor at Northwestern. “Many pieces of clothing carry a symbolic meaning. For example, the robe of a judge signifies justice, an expensive suit signifies power, and a white lab coat signifies a scientific focus and attentiveness,” Adam says. “Our research indicates that wearing clothes exerts influence through this symbolic meaning.” Since people associate wearing a suit and tie with hard work and professional conduct, Adam suggests that “wearing such attire increases performance at work.” It’s true: You can earn at least 5 percent more than the other guy simply by looking sharp, according to a study in the American Economic Review.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS If success is what you seek, then InStitchu is the place to start and offers made-to-measure menswear with world class tailoring of the highest quality. They create custom suits and offer a perfect fit guarantee with free shipping, alterations, and measuring. Their fourteen body measurements are sure to help you design a perfectly fitted suit. InStitchu was launched in 2011 when cofounders and high school friends, Robin McGowan and James Wakefield, realized the difficulty of building their own professional wardrobes. They were tired of the endless search for high-quality affordable business attire and as it turned out they weren’t the only ones who were looking for a better experience and easier way to shop for a suit or shirt to wear to work. Today, InStitchu is Australia’s leading made-tomeasure suit provider, with four locations across the country including Sydney and Melbourne. They have also recently opened overseas showrooms in New York City and Auckland, New Zealand. InStitchu offers the newest designs of shirts, jackets, vests, and pants, all at affordable prices. They have their collection of garments or you can simply custom design your own. 22 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
SUITS There are over 100 suit styles to choose from on their website. If formal attire is what you’re after, then The Windslow will be a great addition to your wardrobe. All black with a shiny lapel, this suit can be worn to weddings and other black tie events. The Saltash is a double breasted style of suit that is also quite formal and ideal for any cocktail style events. For a less formal but still professional look try The Chesham or The Harwich. There are many more styles as well.
SHIRTS There are hundreds of shirts to choose from in the InStitchu collection. Button downs, standard collars, and even the stylish Large cutaway collar like on their Belize edition. From playful prints like their Alcatraz and Belvedere editions to banker’s shirts like their Bequia shirt and everything in between. Their Maravilla is a good casual shirt for every day. The pastel-colored New Caledonia and Ombergris shirts will make you feel as if you’re in the Caribbean. InStitchu also has thousands of fabrics to choose from for a custom shirt of your liking.
ACCESSORIES InStitchu is a one stop shop for all of your accessory needs. In addition to suits, shirts, pants, and jackets they offer all the accompanying accessories you will need including: bow ties, cufflinks, pocket squares, shoes, socks, ties, and more. Clothes really do make the man. InStitchu knows this and wants to help you see success this year. Showroom manager Monet Bourne will give you a suiting experience second to none. Shipped right to your door, InStitchu creates high-quality custom menswear at reasonable prices. For more information and shop online, visit institchu.com. • FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 23
MAKING SENSE OF SCENTS By Patricia Canole oday’s woman has an almost infinite variety of moods, personalities, and feelings. And an almost endless variety of fragrance is available to suit who you are, how you feel and the way you wish people to remember you. Selecting a scent, however, is different from buying any other personal item. Choosing a fragrance is an emotional experience—for perfumes can very often express moods and evoke particular feelings and thoughts. Of course, you’ll wear a fragrance to be alluring in the same spirit you’ll wear makeup to look glamorous. But that isn’t the primary reason to spritz a favorite scent. More often than not, you do it because it makes you feel beautiful. And naturally, when you select a fragrance that makes you feel good, you become more confident and more attractive.
SCENTS-ABLE CHOICES Just how do you choose a scent? First impressions count... but it’s chemistry that determines the perfect match. • If you smell a fragrance out of a bottle, it doesn’t tell you very much. You need to apply it on your skin. When you spray on a fragrance, you smell the scent interacting with the natural odors and oils of your skin. • The wrist is a good place to test a scent because it’s a pulse point. The warmth of the skin helps to diffuse the fragrance. Allow time for your body heat to interact with— or “fill out”—the scent before you evaluate its real character. The actual essence of the fragrance doesn’t begin to come through until 15 minutes after it’s applied.
A STYLE ALL ITS OWN A fragrance will subtly announce your arrival, and will delicately linger after you’re gone. Many times you’ll spray on a scent only to find that it is faded an hour or so later. When making your selection, it helps to differentiate the various terms and labels to learn what to use, when, and how often.
Perfume • Never select a scent just because you like it on someone The most intense fragrance—and the most expensive. It’s made from pure else. Many individual factors determine how a particular essence concentrated in an oil base and lasts up to eight hours. scent will smell on you. Eau de Toilette/Eau de Parfum • The time of year also plays a vital role in what type of More concentrated than cologne, these products’ aromas have more staying fragrance you wear. A simple rule of thumb: Heat intensifies power. Eau de parfum is the stronger of the two, but either wears well and the scent. So, remember that a product that smells lasts from four to six hours. sensational in cooler weather will come on stronger in the summer. Opt for a light, fruity, floral or woodsy mossy scent Eau de Cologne instead. Conversely, in fall/winter go for the rich, spicy- The weakest formula of a fragrance is the most affordable since it’s diluted oriental types of fragrances. with water and alcohol. Worn alone, cologne will last about two hours. 24 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
HITTING HIGH NOTES Perfume is a product that is alive with its personality; an essence that should complement the personality of the woman who wears it. A scent’s “top notes”—the first impression you receive—are the most arresting, effusive ones you notice directly as you spray it on. They often have a bright, fresh quality and catch your attention immediately. Within an hour, however, the top notes yield center stage to the “heart notes”—the body of the fragrance. It’s the supreme moment when the complex composition is at its peak. A few hours later, though, the scent reaches what perfumers call the “dry-down.” At this stage, the scent has become thoroughly integrated with your skin chemistry. It’s at this time that you’ll discover if the scent is right for you. Just think of the world of fragrance like a beautiful garden of flowers. While perfume is composed of a unique blend of essences, it is possible to classify families of scent by the predominant notes—their distinctive personalities. It can be combined with a heady mix of green-woodsy notes, or perhaps warmed with fruits and spices. Or it can take a semi-oriental turn, thanks to precious woods and spices. Oriental notes usually have a base of musk, patchouli or other pungent substances that are blended to emerge as a distinctive fragrance. Oriental scents such as FlowerBomb by Viktor & Rolf and Opium by Yves Saint Laurent evoke an aura of mystery and intrigue. Floral scents are deliberately and deceptively simple. But even these differ, from single-florals (which have a predominance of one specific flower) to floral bouquets (which range fruity-sweet to the light and airy scents). Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs and The One by Dolce & Gabbana embody the scent of fresh flowers with crisp, clean notes. Green notes are predominant in many “sporty” natural-type fragrances that are reminiscent of moss, sandalwood, and pine. Often, a delicate floral is blended with these fresh green notes to inspire a standard such as Jolie Fleur Verte by Tory Burch and Clinique’s Happy in Bloom. Modern blends are imaginatively synthesized to create florals and are very often light and refreshing to wear any time of the day. Cashmere Aura by Donna Karan and Bamboo by Gucci are excellent examples.
FRAGRANT TOUCHES Sometimes it’s not the fragrance you wear but the way you wear it that attracts attention, adds to the allure and increases the effect. Here, strategies to keep in mind for your special day. • Fragrance should be applied in seven spots: behind the ears, inside the wrists and crooks of the arms, at the temples and base of the throat and behind the knees and the ankles. Your body heat will intensify the scent. • Layer your favorite fragrance. Never mix—only use different forms of the same fragrance. First apply the body cream or lotion, then spritz perfume on your pulse points. • Be sure your scent is never overpowering (which means more than 12 inches away). The full impact is achieved when fragrance envelops you, lingering on your skin and in other people’s memories. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 25
THE LIBRARY HOTEL COLLECTION By Jeff & Stephanie Sylva
hinking of spending a romantic time at a New York City hotel to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? We suggest you book a room at one of the Library Hotel Collection’s unique luxury hotels. Each of the Collection’s four NYC hotels is wonderfully small, yet stylishly elegant bringing “a novel approach to hospitality.” The Library Hotel Collection is just that—a collection, not a chain—of boutique hotels offering Old World charm or a soft contemporary, “private club-like” feel, and each with its own personality. We were quite impressed with the staffs’ attention to detail and sincere approach to assuring us an enjoyable stay at two of the hotels, The Library Hotel and The Hotel Giraffe, as well as during our visits to The Hotel Elysee and The Casablanca Hotel. This personalized service reflects owner and President Henry Kallan’s keen eye for detail and instincts on how to make people feel cared for and comfortable. All of the hotels offer the Collection’s bounty of complimentary amenities: a generous continental breakfast; refreshments such as fruit, cookies, coffee, and tea throughout the day; and high-speed WiFi. Also, guests receive daily passes to the New York Sports Club; evening turndown service with bottled water and Belgian chocolates; and a guest favorite—an evening wine and cheese reception. Each of the hotels has a “collaborative” restaurant offering guests an enjoyable dining experience without having to leave the hotel. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 27
THE LIBRARY HOTEL Located just one block from the New York Public Library on Madison Avenue at 41st Street, The Library Hotel is an intimate 60-room hotel that feels more like a private club than a hotel. Each guest room has a collection of books and art based on one particular topic associated with the Dewey Decimal System (anyone remember those days?) for cataloging books in a library. Visitors can book the room that reflects their specific reading preference. Our favorite common room at The Library was the book-lined second floor Reading Room, where guests are invited to enjoy the complimentary refreshments and deluxe continental breakfast, as well as the perfect unwinder—the wine and cheese reception from 5 to 8 PM each day. Another comfy spot to sip the complimentary cappuccino or glass of wine is the 14th floor’s Poetry Garden, a rooftop greenhouse sitting room with an outdoor terrace, and the cozy Writer’s Den, a mahoganypaneled sitting room featuring overstuffed seating, a gas fireplace, and a glass-enclosed terrace. Every evening this area transforms into Bookmarks Lounge, an intimate rooftop bar offering literary-inspired cocktails. The Library Hotel’s collaborative restaurant, Madison & Vine, is a wonderful American bistro and international wine bar, located just off the hotel’s lobby.
THE CASABLANCA HOTEL Located just steps from Times Square on 43rd St. and within easy walking distance of many of Manhattan’s most popular attractions, the Casablanca Hotel is one of the Collection’s intimate European-style boutique hotels. Inspired by the romance of the classic movie Casablanca, the hotel exhibits a luminous “Moroccan glamour.” After a busy day of touring the Big Apple, guests welcome the chance to sit and relax in front of the fireplace in the hotel’s intimate club room—naturally named Rick’s Café. It is here that the hotel serves its complimentary deluxe continental breakfast, maintains a selection of complimentary refreshments throughout the day, and, of course, its evening wine and cheese reception. The Casablanca Hotel houses Tony’s Di Napoli Italian restaurant, serving Old New York Italian favorites since 1959. Come hungry to Tony’s because he serves large, family-style platters following Southern Neapolitan traditions. 28 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
HOTEL GIRAFFE The giraffe—one of nature’s most beloved animals and also owner Henry Kallan’s favorite animal—is admired for its gentle power, grace, and beauty. Embodying these same traits, Hotel Giraffe, located at 26th St. and Park Avenue, is inspired by the architecture and design of the Art Modern period, a distinctive trademark of NoMad, the neighborhood North of Madison Square Park. We loved the hotel’s soft contemporary style and especially appreciated the spaciousness of our room. All of the hotel’s 72 rooms are expansive, with two-thirds of the rooms sporting Juliet balconies. Hotel Giraffe has also won numerous hospitality awards, especially for its family-friendly features. Hotel Giraffe’s resident restaurant is Bread & Tulips, a cozy neighborhood spot serving rustic Italian cooking. Italian favorites such as crostini, meatballs, handcrafted pasta, and a great selection of signature pizzas dominate the menu. We enjoyed a delicious entrée of Pappardelle with braised leg of lamb, tomato and Parmigiano and a brick oven baked Mortadella pizza with Parmigiano, Fresno peppers, pistachios, olive oil and Fiore di latte mozzarella. Hotel guests enjoy a 20 percent discount at the restaurant. During the warmer months, the Rooftop Garden is a perfect spot to escape and enjoy some fresh air and al fresco drinks in the evening.
SPECIAL ROMANCE PACKAGES • The Hotel Elysee wants to bring Paris to you this Valentine’s Day with its “L’Amour in New York City” package. Available for suites only and for a 2-night minimum during the entire month of February, this package will have you sipping Veuve Clicquot out of signature Champagne flutes (yours to keep), and enjoying a dozen macarons and two truffles from La Maison du Chocolat. • Inspired by its namesake classic romantic movie, The Casablanca Hotel features its “Return to Romance” package (an exclusive website offer). After a rose-petal turn down, curl up with your loved one, a chilled bottle of Prosecco, and a bowl of popcorn as you settle down to view a DVD of Casablanca. • Hotel Giraffe has two specials that can spice up your stay. The “Warm Up Your Winter” special includes a 20 percent discount off the hotel’s Best Flexible Rates and 2 Hotel Giraffe mugs with hot cocoa. The “Suite Escape” special includes a suite with separate living room and bedroom and a chilled bottle of Prosecco and European chocolates in room upon arrival. • For those looking to be a bit more daring, The Library Hotel offers a special package that includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, one dozen red roses, an assortment of Belgian chocolates, and lots more!
HOTEL ELYSEE Typical of all of the Library Hotel Collection hotels, the Hotel Elysee has the feel of a “neighborhood hotel” in the heart of Manhattan. With the warmth and charm of a countryside inn, Hotel Elysee, situated on East 54th St. between Madison and Park Avenues, is located within an easy walking distance of New York’s famed area of shopping. Built in the 1920’s, the Hotel Elysee is named for one of the finest French Restaurants of that era and was a favorite playground for the rich and famous. In 1993 the hotel was renovated as one of the first boutique hotels in New York City and one of the last hotels to have outside terraces still available. Hotel Elysee’s collaborative restaurant is the world-famous Monkey Bar, which continues to attract many a celebrity (Lady Gaga being a recent patron). For more information about The Library Hotel Collection and its properties in New York City as well as Prague, Budapest, and Toronto (due to open in Spring 2017), visit libraryhotelcollection.com. • FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 29
BOCA RATON RESORT & CLUB By Nava and Michael Raviv
ebruary has arrived with winter’s embrace a little tighter. The idea of a sunny escape that was a “maybe” just a few short weeks ago is now a definite “must.” Nothing spells quick escape better than sunny Florida. And if resort living is your getaway of choice, the Boca Raton Resort & Club is the place to be. This Waldorf Astoria property is situated on 356 lavishly landscaped acres; Boca Raton is just 24 miles north of Fort Lauderdale Airport. From the moment you pass through the resort’s gates you are immersed in opulence amidst Spanish-Mediterranean buildings with pink facades, red-tile roofs, Gothic archways and Moorish accents. Created in 1926 by prominent architect Addison Mizner, this unique style has become the signature look of Boca Raton. Over the last 90 years, the legendary resort has played host to presidents, royals, and celebrities from around the world. Renovated and updated, today the Boca Raton Resort & Club offers 1,047 luxurious rooms and suites in five clusters, each in a different style with unique characteristics, décor, and views. The main building, The Cloister, reflects the original architecture, characterized by large, soaring spaces, ornate columns, mosaics and manicured gardens. Its modern guest rooms are decorated in subdued colors with stylish dark furniture and glass-enclosed rain showers. Additional accommodations in the Tower, the Yacht Club, the Boca Bungalows, and the Beach Club Rooms and Suites include elegant suites and full-size residences.
ROUND THE CLOCK FUN Lingering in a beautiful room, however, is not the reason you are here. Once you are a guest of the resort, you become an instant “club member” with exclusive access to all the amenities, activities and dining venues on the property. You can enjoy two 18-hole golf courses, 30 tennis courts, seven pools, three fitness centers and a luxury marina. You can even play on the resort croquet lawn or practice your surfing skills on the FlowRider® wave simulator. One of the resort’s highlights is its award-winning Waldorf Astoria Spa, a 50,000 square-foot facility with grand arches and elaborate mosaics inspired by the Alhambra Palace in Spain. The spa features 44 treatment rooms, sun terraces and 10,000 square feet of tranquil gardens with waterfall whirlpools and a private spa pool. The separate men’s and women’s lounges are home to the “termes” (wet rooms) where guests can enjoy a Ritual Bath, Swiss, and Waterfall showers, whirlpool, steam, sauna and inhalation rooms. Treat yourself and indulge in one of their luxurious signature treatments. Since you came here to enjoy Florida’s sun and surf, hop on a shuttle bus or take the Mizner’s Dream shuttle boat and head to the resort’s Boca Beach Club, located on a half-mile private beach next to the residential Tower. Claim your cushy chaise by the heated pool, grab a chilled cocktail and take in the refreshing breezes and panoramic ocean views. If you love the beach, upgrade to the “Sea Level Experience,” and enjoy king and queen-size day beds, bliss loungers, refreshments, a personal beach attendant, hand massages and sunglasses cleaning. 30 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
WINE & DINE The resort features 12 restaurants and bars to suit every mood, all available exclusively for hotel guests and club members. Make sure to enjoy a sumptuous buffet breakfast or an afternoon cocktail in the main building at the Palm Court, a soaring, enclosed courtyard with glass ceilings and lush indoor palms and landscaping. If you love Japanese cuisine, make reservations at Morimoto Sushi Bar, in the main lobby. Other popular dining choices include the seafood restaurant The Blue on the 27th floor of the Tower, and Lucca, a Tuscan trattoria serving Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. If you have more time and want to explore the neighborhood outside the resort, try some retail therapy at the Mizner Park, the Royal Palm, and the Town Center shopping centers. Or learn about Boca Raton’s colorful history at Flagler Museum (also known as Whitehall), Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach. You can also visit The Boca Raton Museum of Art, one of South Florida’s leading cultural institutions. Other nearby attractions include the Miami Seaquarium, The Everglades, and the Lion Country Safari. So leave your winter coat behind and book your escape to the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a great destination for an active or relaxing vacation. For more information, please visit: bocaresort.com •
Nava and Michael Raviv have been the publishers of Hi Class Living Magazine in Bergen County, NJ since 1984. For over three decades as publishers and editors, they have shared luxurious travel experiences, art & culture events, and epicurean highlights. You can follow their adventures at hiclassmag.com and on Twitter @hiclassmag. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 31
Your Luxury Barbados Escape Awaits
Discover Elegant Hotels Group, featuring a collection of six awardwinning beachfront hotels, all located on the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados. From classic to contemporary, family to adults-only and traditional to premium all-inclusive, Elegant Hotels offers a style to suit every taste.
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GREAT ESCAPES: BARBADOS By Tricia Connolly
n the island of Barbados—where monkeys are green and fish fly—how could a getaway be anything but magical? It’s the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Lazy hours on a palm-fringed beach balanced by time spent exploring; elegant dinners at picture-perfect restaurants combined with forays into the local culture. If you enjoy getting up close and personal with multi-hued coral, tropical fish, and hawksbill turtles, there’s scuba diving or snorkeling, as well as catamaran sailing for those who like to keep it topside. This easternmost and most British of all the Caribbean Isles offers all that and more. And Bajans (as islanders call themselves) deliver their hospitality with a warmth and charm that can’t be beaten.
BEST STAY Ocean Two Resort and Residences offers a blend of chic, secluded luxury tucked away amidst some of the island’s best attractions, restaurants, and nightlife. Designed to be your home away from home, the property’s layout and superb team ensure you never need to want for anything. Being one of the newest hotels on the island and having one of the best beachfront locations on the island with a collection of 88 chic rooms and suites makes Ocean Two one of the most talked about places to stay on the island. Where most luxury resorts are located on Barbados’ West Coast, Ocean Two is one of the few located on the South Coast giving guests easy access to the best of the Barbados. If you are looking for a dose of R&R, you can choose to lounge on the beach, on the beachfront pool deck or seek some solace on the rooftop terrace and pool. With the complimentary pool and beach food and drink service, there is no need to ever leave your chaise lounge. If you’re looking for a bit more fun or action, Ocean Two offers complimentary non-motorized water sports, a 24-hr fitness center, and a surf school just next door. When it comes to exploring the island, Ocean Two offers complimentary concierge services to assist with planning and booking your getaway. They’ll gladly book a rental car, make dinner reservations or simply provide recommendations. Modern, bright, and contemporary is what comes to mind as you step into your beachside escape. The vibrant property offers a rare combination of luxury meets homey with accommodates featuring four-star resort amenities including daily housekeeping, on-site dining, a swim-up pool bar, 24hour reception services, and a fitness facility. Elegant and spacious hotel rooms include king beds with luxe linens and pillows, a large en-suite private bathroom and private balcony with partial ocean views. Upgrade to the Ocean Front Suites and you are afforded either one- or twobedroom options which feature some of the most exquisite ocean views you’ll ever see. The beautiful, elegant suites offer a spacious private with an indulgent king bed with luxuriously soft linens and pillows. The beautiful marble floor is paired with dark wood furnishings and cool coastal artwork to compliment the room’s aesthetic style. Each suite has a fully equipped modern kitchen gleaming with stainless steel appliances, fridge freezer with filtered water and ice maker, dishwasher and inclusive of laundry facilities. Take advantage of the complimentary property-wide Wi-Fi available in your room and on the beach, iPod docking station and cable TV in both the living room and the bedrooms. All suites are fully air-conditioned to keep you cool on those hot sunny days. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 33
WHAT TO SEE & DO For those that want to get out and about and discover the island there are some essential activities one must do while visiting Barbados to ensure you get the “proper Bajan experience.” Catamaran Cruising Enjoy cruising along the calm West Coast with one of the many boats all offering some of the best services and smiles at sea. Choose from either a morning or afternoon sail where you can lounge and work on you tan while the team serves you cold Banks Beer or a rum punch and points out some of the lavish mansions, hotels, and restaurants. When the boat anchors for lunch guests can jump right in to enjoy a truly unique experience of swimming with turtles. This is a definite must have for our “Becoming a Bajan” list. Oistins Fish Fry This hot spot of food and fun is the perfect setting to indulge in Bajan Culture. Enjoy rubbing shoulders and partying with locals to the sweet strains of calypso music. Bajans dance arm in arm—and, of course, all that dancing builds up an appetite, so head for the food and beverage stalls and enjoy the traditional Bajan fare. Fish cakes, jug-jug (guinea corn and green peas), fried fish, all washed down with a Banks Beer. Local arts and crafts can also be found in abundance as local artisans take the opportunity to display their wares. Ocean Two offers an Oistins shuttle and table reservations every Friday facilitated through the front desk concierge team. Island Exploring When you see pictures of Barbados, you may think it to be just white sand beaches and coconut trees, but there is so much more to the island, and we recommend checking out a couple of spots that are off the beaten path. If you’re adventurous and want to drive yourself, Google Maps is a must to maneuver your way around the winding country roads. If getting lost isn’t your style, sign up for an island tour where you and friends can hop in the back of an open top jeep and enjoy the sights with an off road twist. Embrace the nature, history, culture and folklore of Barbados at captivating places of interest. So, whether you choose to drive or be driven, here are a few of the must see spots on the island: • Cherry Tree Hill Stop at the crest of this hill, just east of St. Nicholas Abbey, for a stunning panoramic view of the entire eastern coast and the Atlantic surf. • The Animal Flower Cave provides a truly unique view of the coast that you won’t expect. Small sea anemones resembling flowers live in small pools in this cave at the island’s northern tip. The cave—discovered in 1780—has a coral floor; the view of breaking waves from inside the cave is magnificent. • Harrisons Cave This limestone cavern, complete with stalactites, stalagmites, subterranean streams, and a 40-foot waterfall, is one of Barbados’ most popular attractions. Tours include a video and an hour-long underground journey via electric tram. 34 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
A TASTE OF BARBADOS The island is affectionately known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean and there is a wealth of restaurants to suit everyone’s tastes and budgets. However, you won’t have to venture far to get a great dining experience, as the Taste restaurant at Ocean Two offers a hearty breakfast, delicious lunches and a sophisticated dining experience in the evening. It features an eclectic mix on international cuisine made with a local flare and using local ingredients. Our in-house Executive Chef can also customize menus for a private dining experience on the beach, in your room or on the rooftop terrace for those wanting to celebrate a special occasion. Offering excellent service and the warmest of smiles, the staff at Ocean Two Resort and Residences ensures that your every need is met and your Caribbean getaway is a truly unforgettable experience. For more information on Ocean Two Resort and Residences, visit oceantwo.com. •
SUPERB, DELUXE CONDO RENTAL UNITS
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www.theislandsclub.com.ky We offer 2, 3 or 4 bedroom suites, each with its own private patio or balcony overlooking world famous Seven Mile Beach. The Islands Club is located within easy walking distance of many fine restaurants, dutyfree shopping, nightclubs, golf course, a large modern grocery store and water sports and activities. On the beach, large Casuarina trees provide shade from the sun as you relax in a lounge chair by the sea.
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POSTCARD FROM MAUI By Patricia Canole
n ancient Hawaiian legend tells us that the demigod Maui lassoed the sun to slow its pace across his island’s skies. Even today, some people will still say the sun shines longer on Maui than anywhere else on earth. Who could fault the sun for wanting to linger over Maui? This magical isle encompasses 41 miles of beaches with white, tan, and jet-black sands; a lush rainforest filled with more cascading waterfalls than you can count; and a dormant volcano featuring a stark moonscape and breathtaking vistas where even humans can look down on fluffy white clouds. The view from the shore is pretty spectacular, too. If you look out at the horizon, you can see the neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai. Nearly all roads here have splendid scenic views of emerald mountains, sun-dappled tropical flowers, sugarcane fields, or crashing surf. There are hundreds of wonders, from impressive sights to romantic dinners to wildly thrilling adventures. So whether it’s bicycling down emerald mountains, feasting at a torch-lit luau, hiking your way to a private slice of heaven—check out these ten sure-fire ways to embrace this endlessly charming island.
CRUISE A WINDING ROAD Be forewarned: This roadway is not exactly relaxing. But before you take off in your rental, fuel up at Mama’s Fish House, a sedate beachside restaurant which features grilled fish prepared to order and a wide selection of decadent desserts you won’t be able to resist. The road to Hana is famous for its 56 single-lane bridges and 617 winding curves. On maps, Hana looks like a short morning excursion. In reality, it takes eight to 10 hours, roundtrip. The payoff: Blacksand beaches, waterfalls, tropical gardens, breathtaking ocean vistas, and a rich rainforest abundant with ferns and flowers. Picnic beside Puohokamoa Falls, then walk over to see the other waterfalls. Just before Hana, stop at Waianapanapa State Park to build a sand castle of the jet-black sands.
HAVE A WHALE OF A TIME! You haven’t lived until you’ve seen 10-ton humpback whales swim and frolic in the waters surrounding Maui. From November through May, the 45-foot giants splash through these tropical seas, courting and mating in a big way. You can see their spouts from shore, but the best way to get close is to take a sail with Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures (pacificwhale.org), Maui’s renowned marine research organization. The craft is outfitted with hydrophones to allow you to hear whale ”songs.”
BIKE A VOLCANO Don’t worry, there won’t be lava around your tires - Haleakala volcano last erupted about more than 200 years ago! But it is still an impressive place. The landscape along the 38-mile road encompasses five distinctly different climate zones, from the stark, windswept moonscape on top to the alpine meadows and lush gardens as you descend. If you’re an ultra-fit world-class athlete, try biking uphill. For the rest of us, there’s the wildly exciting downhill cruise on bikes equipped with excellent brakes. Maui Downhill (mauidownhill.com) will pick you up at your hotel, give you safety lessons and protective clothing, and provide lunch during the rest stop. The 38-mile trek takes in 10,000-feet of elevation. 36 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
DEEP-SEA ADVENTURES You’ll want to engage the expertise of a guide from Blue Water Rafting (bluewaterrafting.com) for this adventure. In the winter and spring, there’s a good chance you’ll see a whale or two before they migrate north for the summer. You might also catch a glimpse of a dolphin, or even an entire school of brilliantly-colored sea creatures, as you move through the deep-blue water. Snorkel around hidden coves and discover coral, exotic marine life and school of crayon-colored fish.
EXPLORE ON FOOT Get your hiking shoes, and we’re on our way. There’s more of Maui to discover! More than 75 percent of the island remains unpopulated—and roads just don’t go to those beautiful, secluded places you’ll crave. The most popular hikes: across the volcanic crater of Haleakala; through the rain forest off the Hana Highway (to hidden waterfalls and shallow fern-lined pools). In central Maui, the Iao Stream Trail provides excellent views of Maui’s needle-like emerald Iao Mountain, plus great swimming holes farther upstream. This entire area is sacred to Hawaiians for many reasons: Royalty is buried here, and Kamehameha, the first rule to unite all the islands, conquered Maui in this valley. A variety of hiking maps and guidebooks are available at your hotel. Or sign up for an excursion such as Hike Maui (hikemaui.com), where Ken Schmitt takes small groups of hikers to such places as Polipoli Forest. A Lahaina Pali Trail affords a rugged—but scenic—hike along sea cliffs. Here, you discover spectacular views of Maui and her sister islands.
GETTING THE RUB The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa (maui.regency.hyatt.com) sets the stage for the ultimate massage—with a little help from swaying palm trees and a sparkling blue ocean—all within view of your private massage table. A masseuse from the Spa Moana will rub you down from head to toe and soothe any tensions that haven’t already been chased away by just being in this state of paradise. Kaanapali Coffee Treatments, Maui Sugars, and best-known Lomi Lomi Massage top the menu at this spa. Natural oils are used to soften your skin and hydrate your entire body, reversing the drying effects of the sun, followed by Hawaiian aromatherapy oils. Be sure to make an appointment for a couples massage where you’ll have simultaneous rubdowns. Yes, life is good!
UP, UP AND AWAY Before you leave Maui, be sure to indulge and take an eye-popping helicopter ride around the island. You’ll soar through the clouds over the Haleakala Volcano, down into its eerie moon-like crater, past the rainforest where dozens of waterfalls stream down green peaks. Blue Hawaiian Helicopters (bluehawaiian.com) will provide an unforgettable adventure for you.
FEAST AT A LUAU Take a step back in time and do as the ancient Hawaiians. You’ll feast on roasted pig and other Polynesian specialties, then sit back to enjoy a show of hula dancers, fire eaters, and Hawaiian singers. The Old Lahaina Luau (oldlahainaluau.com) is located on the beach (just off Front St.). Admission includes open bar, all-you-can-eat buffet, and fabulous show. For more information, please visit: visitmaui.com • FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 37
Loopy Doopy Bar
MODERN LOVE - ON ICE By Gretchen Kelly
he wind whips up an icy chill from the nearby Hudson River on a late winter night in lower Manhattan. It blew right through us as we ducked out of the gusts into the warmth of the shopping alcove on the ground floor beneath the Conrad New York. Up a short escalator into the lobby of the contemporary art-filled atrium, warmth and light flooded our senses. The bold blue and purples of the famed Sol Lewitt painting, Loopy Doopy which rises 13 stories through the airy atrium—and the vibrant presence of 2,000 other pieces of contemporary art in the hotel—are intriguingly not at odds with a sense of comfort, light and cheeriness that immediately put the roses back in our cheeks. So did the open kitchen of the hotel’s ATRIO Wine Bar and Restaurant where Chef Gerron Douglas’ savory Crustini and Charcuterie plates and a glass or two of robust Malbec launched a romance-laced Conrad Skate Package. It includes an overnight stay with all the trimmings including an ice skating lesson with real-life Olympians (and marriage partners) Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov at the nearby Rink at Brookfield Place.
FINE CUISINE After warming with apps and wine, we moved into the dining space that reminds one of a VIP lounge in a mid-century modern airport— again, a fusion of warmth, style, and airy space. Dinner for two included Douglas’ amazing Lobster Bisque Cappuccino laced with truffle foam and served in a coffee mug, a plate of Roasted Scallops in Raisins and Coriander and a Seafood Paella that could make you think you were lounging on the Costa Brava in Spain, rather than dining with a stunning view of the Hudson River in downtown Manhattan. After dinner you get to retreat to more creature comforts: the all-suite softly lit living and sleeping space (with scented amenities from Shanghai Tang in the walk-in rain shower). Rose petals, Champagne for two and chocolatecovered strawberries add oomph to the V-day factor, but the room’s intimate scale and the soft textures and sheen of marble (and that Hudson River view) would make the suite a haven for two on any day. 38 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
Conrad New York Lobby
Deluxe King Bedroom Gallery Ballroom
GO FOR THE GOLD
Denis and Melissa
You also get to wake up to that view as you put on your woolens and get ready for the wow factor of the package—a skating lesson with Olympians Denis Petukhov and Melissa Gregory. The couple met as skaters, fell in love and haven’t stopped partnering with each other (in life and on the ice since). “Don’t worry about falling,” Denis says encouragingly, “it’s part of the sport” (and love, too, actually). The lesson includes safety tips on falling the right way (that would be forward, with bent knees and a good sense of gravity) and a free skate time when you get to take your partner by the hand and try your moves together on the ice just as Petukhov and Gregory do. “As in dancing, one partner leads,” Petukhov says. “A lot of what you see on the ice with couples skating has a foundation in ballroom dance.” He pauses in his lesson to shore up a small child who has paused on the ice and looks a little unsteady, then skates gracefully back to us, reminding us that to be successful on ice (and in love) passion, trust and patience are all important. Back at the Conrad for a cup of hot chocolate before a late checkout, there’s still time to walk the space and take in the art— it feels as much museum as hotel space. The air outside was still cold as we headed back to our everyday lives as New Yorkers, but the vigor of a morning skate with Denis and Melissa and the sensual spice of ATRIO’s cuisine the night before left a lingering heat that kept the winter at bay for a long time afterward.
Loopy Doopy Bar
Guests purchasing the Conrad Skate Package will enjoy overnight accommodations for two in a well-appointed suite at Conrad New York; continental breakfast for two at the hotel’s ATRIO Wine Bar & Restaurant and a private, one-hour skating lesson for two with former U.S. Olympic skaters Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. To commemorate the weekend, each guest will receive an Olympic branded drawstring backpack; Olympic branded gloves, hats, pins and personalized autographs from each Olympian. Deluxe Living Room
Available through February 26th. Rates for The Conrad Skate Package begin at $599 per night, and the package can be booked online at conradnewyork.com/specials-and-packages. • FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 39
Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve Pond Photo by Sara Brace
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY By Michael Alpiner
here are few cities or towns in the U.S. whose name itself denotes optimism, expectation, faith and resurgence. There are fewer destinations that wear the multiple masks of quaint, retro, goth, chic, decadent, artsy and kitsch, all within the span of 1.4 square miles. However, New Hope, Pennsylvania is one of those destinations. Within the cornucopia of quintessential New Hope experiences, lay the romantic and intimate, a small town throbbing with excitement and inevitable nostalgia. Escape the ordinary, and drive the ninety-five-mile journey from New York City, which should take you two hours, or the two-three hour bus ride from NY Port Authority, and find a glorious kaleidoscope of experiences available in New Hope. Across the Lambertville/New Hope Bridge, a Starbucks awaits to slowly assimilate the city folk travelers into the New Hope milieu. With a latte in hand (I prefer hands-free), sample a wide variety of oils and vinegar at Olive-n-Grape (olivegrape.com) from devilish habanero oil to raspberry chocolate vinegar. Indulge your sensate pleasures as each kiss carries a trace of a new and dazzling taste. For the sudden sweet tooth, visit Moo Hope Ice Cream (moohopeicecream. com) which boasts such unique flavors as Coffee Grinds, Moosetracks, and Joey Bag of Donuts. Cast a spell on your enemy or lover at Gypsy Heaven (witchshopgypsyheaven.com) where most patrons buy patchouli oil rather than the eye of newt. The shopping experience of New Hope (hand-in-hand, of course!) seems endless, from art galleries, cafes, and antique shops, to bookstores, home goods, and new/used clothing shops. 40 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
Ballooning in New Hope Photo by Reflections by Ruth
New Hope Shopping Photo courtesy of Visit Philadelphia
LOTS TO DO The Ivyland Railroad (newhoperailroad.com) chugs past onlookers as passengers crane their necks to absorb the surroundings during their forty-five-minute steam engine ride through rustic Bucks County. Fantasize for a moment that the two of you are strangers on a train, meeting by chance, or perhaps on a second honeymoon, falling in love all over again, a moment captured for eternity. For the botany enthusiasts, stroll through Bownan’s Hill Wildflower Preserve (bhwp.org) and return to the simple pleasures of nature. Nothing speaks romance more than a slow stroll through a maze of wildflowers with butterflies flitting by, the sweet aroma of trumpet vine and honeysuckle, beneath a bath of sunlight.
New Hope and Ivyland Railroad Photo courtesy of New Hope and Ivyland Railroad
For lunch or dinner, El Taco Loco (el-taco-loco.com) offers a casual Mexican menu and Western décor. Don’t leave before sampling their signature guacamole. For more elegant dining, make your way to Marsha Brown (marshabrownrestaurant. com) a New Orleans style, upscale Creole Restaurant inside a former church which retains the multifaceted glow of stained glass. For more traditional fare, walk a few scenic blocks to The Logan Inn (loganinn.com) offering colonial style décor, live music, and lodging. Wander further to The Mansion Inn (themansioninnnewhope.com) and spend the night in one of New Hope’s many quaint and romantic, Victorian B&Bs. I recommend the warm accommodations and beautiful architecture of The Fox and the Hound (foxhoundinn.com) a B&B right on Route 179, a short walk to the center of town. Advertised as “An inn for all seasons,” and it’s true – stylish rooms, pristine décor, and congenial elegance are worthy of the love you and your partner share. Logan Inn
Marsha Brown Restaurant Logan Inn
NIGHTLIFE As the sun sets, New Hope’s nightlife rises and attracts the party crowds. The Raven Restaurant/Poe Bistro (theravennewhope. com) provides exceptional food and wild nightlife worthy of the dark spirits of Poe himself. For a simpler evening of drinks and live music, John and Peter’s (johnandpeters.com) always provides a casual motif reminiscent of your friend’s basement, where local bands perform within the halo of their undiscovered greatness. So if you are fantasizing a weekend getaway from the city that is close in distance but will transport you to a romantic idyll, New Hope, PA and Bucks County are a perfect escape from the ordinary. • Michael Alpiner has been an English teacher in New York City for the past 29 years. Michael has published work in Jewish Currents, Soul Fountain, Light, New Work Review, Blood to Remember (an anthology of Holocaust-related poetry). FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 41
MAJESTIC ONE OF A KIND ESTATE 5550 HANCOCK RD Southwest Ranches, FL, 33330
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NOTES FROM DB By Daniel J. Bollinger
REAL ESTATE TRENDS The New York real estate market has had quite a year. At the end of 2015, we were looking at a market that had split—with luxury new development reaching for unheard of pricing, while the resale market waited for much needed inventory to bring everyday buyers back into the fold. While the first quarter of 2016 saw the average price for all co-ops and condos cross the $2 million threshold for the first time, it also marked the beginning of a shift in the luxury market, where supply outpaced a limited buyer pool. Meanwhile, the resale market was gaining steam, with a significant return of inventory for the first time in several years. Fast forward to the end of 2016 and we see that the trends that first took hold in the beginning of the year have cemented a shift toward a “new market”. Inventory levels have continued to increase, buyers now have more choices and sellers cannot realistically get the aspirational prices they had believed to be possible based on recent years. Overall, the new market is operating at a slower pace, but a steady one; the transaction volume reflects how buyers are unwilling to bite on out-of-touch priced listings. As a seller, it’s crucial to come to terms with the new market and price accordingly or risk having your property sit on the market indefinitely. Quarter 4, 2016 also saw a much anticipated increase in both interest and mortgage rates. However, neither came close to levels that were feared, and mortgage rates are still within historic low territory. As we look ahead towards Quarter 1, 2017, many industry experts are trying to predict where the market will take us in the coming year. While there is no crystal ball, we do expect a few things: fewer new development permits than in the previous year and adjustments in new development unit types and pricing to better reflect the demand for housing in the lower to middle luxury market. There is also much speculation as to what, if any, impact the new President will have on the real estate market. Uncertainty about policies that could be enacted by the incoming administration and how they might manifest remains to be seen. In this market, sellers and buyers are having an increasingly difficult time judging inventory based on comparable sales, and now more than ever, it’s important to have an expert in the industry to educate you and guide you through the market. St. Frances Living Room
Xoco Master Bath
The average price increased only slightly compared to the previous quarter at $2,075,311, still hovering over the $2 million mark and up 7.23 percent year-over-year. The median price was down 8.25 percent year-over-year and down 4.37 percent quarter-over-quarter at $1,030,000. Overall sales transactions were also down 10.22 percent quarter-over-quarter and down 6.45 percent year-over-year. The number of days a property was listed on the market peaked at the start of the quarter at 76, reaching the fewest days in mid-November at 65 before increasing again into December and peaking at 74 at the end of Quarter 4, 2016. Overall, the average number of days properties for all inventory were listed on the market increased 23 percent from last year and showed almost no change since the beginning of this year. We saw a slower-paced market, with more inventory, a slight decrease in prices, and fewer transactions. This could be attributed to a continued shift to a market favorable for buyers who have more to choose from in the reemerging resale market, and who do not feel compelled to purchase aspirationally priced homes when they can take their time in choosing what best suits their needs from a wider pool of properties.
THE LUXURY MARKET
51 Jay Street, 3rd Floor, Kit A
The luxury market is defined as the top 10 percent of all co-op and condo transactions. The entry threshold for Quarter 4, 2016 was $4,450,000. The average price for Quarter 4, 2016 was $9,451,092, up 18.36 percent yearover-year and up 5.12 percent quarter-over-quarter. The median price ticked-down slightly from the previous quarter to $6,567,712, but was up 10.17 percent year-over-year. The average price per square foot for Quarter 4, 2016 was $2,956,000 up 3.61 percent from the previous quarter and up 4.55 percent from last year. • FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 43
A LOOK AT TRIBECA By Daniel J. Bollinger t’s the most coveted neighborhood in New York City. In fact, there’s a lot of history in Tribeca but its mid-19th century history is what put Tribeca in the annals and what carries the essence of Tribeca to today. The area was transformed into a commercial center in the mid-19th century with a large number of industrial and loft buildings constructed along Broadway in the 1850’s and 1860’s. Many of these buildings were constructed in the Italianate and Romanesque Revival styles with cast-iron factories and warehouses that were built with large picture windows. Many of these buildings comprise the apartments of what Tribeca is known for today: light-filled loft-like apartments. The current development frenzy going on in Tribeca today also encompasses these attributes. In the following pages you will read about all of the new developments which have high ceilings, a plethora of light, and large open loft-like layouts. The 44 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
great thing about this current development is that these new residences have been designed with utmost thoughtful design details. 21st century technology like smart wiring, zoned heating, top notch appliances, building security features, and a host of amenities in this new era of development represents history in the making. Whether you prefer boutique buildings or larger apartment buildings there are a lot to choose from to fit your style of living. It’s all about luxury for those who prefer a higher standard of living in a low key quiet neighborhood. • Daniel Bollinger Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Bond New York DanielJBollinger@Yahoo.com Luxury NYC Real Estate Expert
443 GREENWICH By Daniel J. Bollinger
ntroducing the ultimate Tribeca Conversion: 443 Greenwich is located in the northwest corner of Tribeca on a quiet cobblestoned street. This 1882 Charles Haight building has been gut renovated into 53 two to five bedroom homes including eight penthouses. The architects and interior designers at CetraRuddy and Nathan Berman of MetroLoft have teamed up to bring us some of the best-designed residences on the market today. Preserving the original Carolina Yellow Pine exposed wood columns and using reclaimed wood from the gut renovation 443 Greenwich is sure to win some design and architecture awards. Open living spaces, generously proportioned rooms with much light and great flow, these homes acknowledge the building’s industrial past and celebrate Tribeca’s architectural history. A plethora of 21st-century technology and custom design in this full block Romanesque Revival style building is redefining Tribeca. As Nancy J. Ruddy, founding principal and executive director of Interior Design for CetraRuddy says, “Tribeca isn’t about fashion or trends. It’s about timeless elements like sophistication and authenticity, all with a sense of history and of understated chic.” Yes, 443 Greenwich Street certainly delivers this. The great rooms, kitchens, and master baths define this project.
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A STARTING POINT The lobby sets the tone with open, airy space with exposed brick walls and many arched windows. The ceilings are made from reclaimed wood from the original structure, and the floors are beveled limestone tile. The lobby leads straight to views of the wonderfully designed landmarked Courtyard by landscape architecture firm HMWhite. The great rooms in these residences are fantastic. The original Carolina Yellow Pine columns run through them and help define the enormity of the space and also define the industrial elements of this building. 10â€™ to 11â€™ ceiling heights and many arched oversized windows allow for a plethora of light to illuminate these spaces. The tilt-and-turn windows open fully and are wired for motorized shades. Flowing from the great room is the kitchen. The kitchens are massive and perfectly designed. Warm inviting brown tones of integrated Christopher Peacock cabinetry with open shelving and glass ribbed cabinets adorn the kitchen. With all the best appliances, the kitchens feature a Wolf range, SubZero refrigerator, Miele coffee station and Gaggenau full height wine fridge. More exposed Carolina Yellow Pine columns add to the warmth. With solid slab Pietra Cardosa marble backsplash and countertops and Calacatta marble islands with polished stainless steel straps adorning the sides, the kitchens are very well designed. The custom designed vent is one of a kind and is the centerpiece of the kitchen. The vent is extra-wide, longer than the range. It has excellent design details like rivets along the vertical seams and a horizontal band across the bottom. This vent design creates a warm hearth feel accentuating the overall warmth of the kitchen. Watch this kitchen win kitchen design awards in addition to this project as a whole. The kitchens are very balanced, with the vent centering the kitchen, with balanced, open shelving on each side and the island-defining space. The warm tones of the brown cabinets, exposed wood columns, and bluish-grey Pietra Cardosa marble contrast with the stainless steel appliances and island straps, and the white Calacatta Marble island beautifully. A true masterpiece. I must also mention the Blanco SteelArt extra deep and extra wide stainless steel kitchen sink and the pot-filler above the range. 46 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
AND THERE’S MORE The master baths are also very well designed. There are floor to ceiling Sugar White marble walls, a wet room with a great niche factor (three tiers), a marble bench, a rain shower head, and steam shower. There is a bidet in every master bath. There is a custom designed trough sink with a recessed Robern oversized medicine cabinet and Watermark fixtures throughout. All the fixtures, pulls, hinges, and accents are bronze. Radiant flooring and a heated towel bar are exactly what you would expect in a project of such high standard. The design detail that stands out is the Arebescato Orobico Grigio marble slab wall centered behind the freestanding sculptural tub. The designers installed this feature wall just to break the ‘white’ so prevalent in the master baths. It is a beautiful decision that makes the wall look more like art. The secondary baths also have floor-to-ceiling marble walls and recessed Robern medicine cabinets. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms. According to Richard Cantor of the property’s real estate marketing and sales team Cantor-Pecorella, the eight penthouses are comprised of duplexes and triplexes. All have fireplaces. Penthouses have double-height (18-foot plus) ceilings in the living areas. Two of the penthouses have their own internal elevators. One has a windowed walk-in closet and two penthouses come with two parking spots. All have plenty of open terraces. The great thing about this part of Tribeca is the peace and serenity you will experience on the terraces. In such a tucked away part of Tribeca, you will not experience the sounds of hustle and bustle on the sidewalks like other areas of the city. Though 443 Greenwich is a larger development, it still offers the privacy of a boutique offering. Each elevator is only shared by 4 to 5 units. There is a common freight elevator. Where most developments center all of the elevator shafts in one area of a building to save costs 443 does not. This allows for privacy like a boutique building and offers amenities as in large developments. The ultimate amenities include a limited amount of valet parking spaces and a 75’ lap pool. There is also a 5,000 square-foot roof deck, personal storage, a fitness center, wine cellar, bike storage, children’s playroom, and 24-hour building staff (doorman, concierge, live-in building manager, porters, and handymen). Nancy Ruddy encompasses the many features and feel of this project when she says, “Tribeca is the essence of what it means to be in downtown Manhattan. Our goal for 443 Greenwich was to support that spirit and respect the majesty of the building’s landmark character while creating elegant homes for modern living. Historic details create a textural counterpoint to the sleek and modern crafted interiors. The planning and detailing combine to create uniquely authentic New York City villas.” As Cantor adds, “443 Greenwich is a landmark with ultimate luxuries: in addition to generous and gracious spaces, the building provides the ultimate in luxury, privacy, and exclusivity. From private driveways and personal elevators, homes are private, intimate and inspiring.” For more information, visit 443greenwich.com. • FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 47
THROUGH THE LENS Photography By AnnieWatt.com
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SAVING OF OLANA THE FREDERIC CHURCH AWARD GALA
J. MCLAUGHLIN CHARITY SIP & SHOP TO BENEFIT ANIMAL MEDICAL CENTER TOP DOG GALA
PALM BEACH MODERN + CONTEMPORARY FAIR
Jeff Greene, Mei Sze Greene, Nick Korniloff, Pamela Cohen Rockefeller Family
Bill Bernhard, Mary Fay Hernandez, Arete Warren, Frederick Hill, Eileen Hill
Donna Weissman, Alison Minton, Ali Fine
Martin Gruss, Audrey Gruss Sibylle Eschapasse, Alison Minton, Oscar
Valerie Lettan, Oscar, Dr. Penny Grant
Victoria Hale, Kathleen Giordano, Jordana Zizmor, Dominique Williams
48 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
Jim Verrant, Anka Palitz, Annette Friedland
Andrew Aiken, Pamela Cohen, Ruth Baum, Joe Namath, Bridget Baratta, Nick Korniloff
SQUIRRELWOOD EQUINE SANCTUARY FOUNDERS’ DINNER
Ed Kangas, Cathy Kangas, Bob Kerrey
THE VARADI OVARIAN INITIATIVE FOR CANCER EDUCATION
Varadi Ovarian Initiative For Cancer Education
VICKY MOON BOOK PARTY, EQUAL PARTS
Vicky Moon speaking at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club, Ft. Lauderdale
Author Vicky Moon and friends Robert Kurg, Beth Hyman, John O’Flaherty, Chris Finnegan, Karl Enkler
Charles G. Rudy, Amir Korangy
New Yorker and Florida fans for Vicky Moon Bob Kerrey
Dr. John Martignetti, Barbara Levy, Jennifer Groveman, Benjamin Groveman, Charles G. Rudy
Squirrelwood Equine Sanctuary
Dr. Peter Dottino, Charles G. Rudy
EQUAL Parts by Vicky Moon
FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 49
A “GIVING” DINNER PARTY By Joan Hornig
ebruary is my favorite month of the year. I know it’s cold, dark and oddly short, but it has two holidays I love to combine and do so knowing that I’m taking liberties with their traditional intention—Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day. I like to celebrate both before or on February 14th by hosting a party for a charity I designate as My Valentine while giving the nod to a great President—Thomas Jefferson—who is credited with creating a unique form of a call to action dinner party. Since we do not adhere to a strict birthday celebration date for either Washington or Lincoln, why wait until April 13th (Jefferson’s birthday) to remember something he pioneered that has become a favorite tool for non-profit community building—the Jeffersonian Dinner?
IGNITE A PASSION While everyone is familiar with Valentine’s Day when we recognize that special someone(s) for which we have a soft spot in our hearts, I choose to channel Thomas Jefferson in February when planning my “I recognize/I love you” event. Many of us think of Jefferson as a President, scientist, farmer, connoisseur, scholar and the author of the Declaration of Independence. But if we go back to 1819 when he was chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation we should add a proactive host to his legacy. At his famous home in Monticello, he gathered stimulating guests and choreographed evenings of engaged citizens around a single theme. He imposed a strict rule: No one-to-one conversations with dinner partners seated to one’s side at these educational dinners. His idea was to connect people and encourage discussions about many different topics to ignite a passion for meaningful causes. Participation was sought and elicited from every woman and man in attendance because of their different interests and expertise. The concept was that different perspectives and experiences shared and debated would best help identify ideas that would spur the development and advancement of a young rapidly growing nation and would yield the best solutions. 50 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
Top: Sundance Institute photo by AnnieWatt.com Bottom right: Riverkeeper (Hornig Home) photo by AnnieWatt.com It is no surprise then that The Jeffersonian Dinner party has grown in popularity with non-profits because it often effectively launches the creation of new cause-centered communities. While not formal fundraising events, experience has shown these dinner parties enlist new allies, help create and disseminate ideas, expand attendees’ networks and spread knowledge about and interest in organizations.
A GLOBAL REACH Since starting my company, Joan Hornig Philanthropy is Beautiful® Jewelry 14 years ago, I have hosted a February “friendraiser” in my home modeled loosely on this Jeffersonian model. I always support a different nonprofit with a different area of focus. In the past, we have done events addressing education, the environment, animals, the homeless, the arts, veteran’s needs, health, and tolerance. The non-profits and their supporters often come to my attention through the sale of my jewelry. Many of my customers around the world have been inspired to reach out to me to ask for my help with their efforts. I love the collaborative effort, the people I meet this way and the organizations who understand creative outreach is important. My foundation does not make grants, but I do actively work with individuals dedicated to helping nonprofits they are passionate about raise money and garner attention. While I do dedicated trunk shows for non-profits in retail outlets like Bergdorf Goodman, design signature pieces for specific non-profits upon request, and speak at events about my philanthropic efforts, I also help in other ways. Inevitably over the course of a year, a non-profit headquartered outside NYC will reach out to me with the hope of making inroads in expanding their services by gaining new supporters here. On the calendar, this year is Recipe for Success, a non–profit founded in 2005 by Gracie and Bob Cavnar, in Houston that now has programs operating across the country. It is dedicated to combating childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food by helping the communities provide healthier diets for kids. Today it is the largest outreach of its kind in the nation, empowering 4,000 children every month with Seed-to-Plate Nutrition™ as well as The VegOut! Challenges, Farmers MarKids, Hope Farms and Eat It Food Adventures where nutritious food is shared, appreciated and celebrated. They have large national partners and are growing exponentially.
CHANGING LIVES I met Gracie while doing a jewelry trunk show in Houston shortly after she began Recipe for Success. She was intrigued by my business model which donates 100 percent of my profit to the charity of the purchaser’s choice. The philanthropic concept stuck with her, and she reached out to me last fall to talk about introducing her foundation’s programs to New Yorkers who may want to become involved. Together we decided to have an event on February 13 and formally launch my “Lettuce Give Back Collection” inspired by vegetables and healthy choices. While it won’t be a Jeffersonian dinner, it will follow the spirit of one. Obviously, the years 2017 and 1819 are quite different. Our technological tools of communication reach millions and change lives. But there remains no substitute for the excitement generated by people growing and learning together as they adopt a cause and effectuate change. I am not one to be a slave to rules so I have created my formula for my Jeffersonian events and I encourage others to do the same. My events tend to include 3,050 guests and focus on fostering active participation including a call for action. Any follow-up from guests I consider a success: they may agree to host their own events, open doors of introduction for the non-profit with personal contacts, write checks or just tell others about how much fun they had learning about the organization and the larger issue it addresses. My hope is that many others will consider hosting their version of a Jeffersonian event to help a non-profit this year. If I can celebrate Jefferson’s birthday in February, then any date will do. There are readily available guidelines all over the internet for hosting a Jeffersonian dinner, and it doesn’t have to be large, expensive or overwhelming. You choose a theme or a non-profit, get the guests prepared to think about the topic, invite people who have different backgrounds and professions and limit the number of individuals to those who can fit around a dining table to facilitate focused conversation. The goal is to have everyone feel invested in the issue or problem being discussed. You and the participants will undoubtedly find this fun as well as stimulating and energizing. The non-profit will benefit from the guests continuing to talk about their evening of consequence, not small talk. This method of entertaining has generated a lot of open connections, networking and follow-up conversations as well as philanthropic commitments. It’s a movement I encourage others to try. Frankly, I’m an addict and host at least six Jeffersonian style events a year! Philanthropy is defined as love of humanity. It seems right that in the month celebrating love to follow one of our founding father’s wisdom and dedicate at least one evening or party this year to helping others address important issues. We at Joan Hornig Jewelry thank you for considering another way to keep the giving going. •
Top right: The Empowerment Plan photo by AnnieWatt.com Bottom left: Sundance Theater (Christopher Hibna) photo by AnnieWatt.com
Joan Hornig is a New York-based Jewelry Designer, Social Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. She left a Wall Street career 15 years ago to create a jewelry line at Bergdorf Goodman, where 100 percent of her profit is donated to the charity of the purchaser’s choice. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 51
W O R K W I TH T H E BE S T DANIEL J BOLLINGER
Daniel J Bollinger is a leader in the NYC real estate market who knows the city from Bed-Stuy to the Bronx Zoo. If you are in the market to sell, my in-house marketing team will ensure maximum exposure of your property including free professional photos and 8 page full gloss showbooks. If you are in the market to buy, my knowledge of the New Development market in NYC is unparalleled. I have toured most of the new developments in the city and know the best value plays.
I am a trusted resource for all of your real estate needs. www.bondnewyork.com/Daniel-Bollinger
TRIBECA PENTHOUSE $18M
Daniel J. Bollinger Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
BOND New York Real Estate 1776 Broadway, 23rd floor New York, NY 10019 Phone: 718.662.9493 firstname.lastname@example.org
TRIBECA PENTHOUSE $55M LOOKING TO SELL? Contact me to make a listing appointment. LOOKING TO BUY? I know the best value plays In NYC.
ÂŠ 2016 BOND New York. All material presented herein is intended for information purposes only. While information is believed to be correct, it is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes, or withdrawals without notice. All property information, including but not limited to, square footage and number of bedrooms, is approximate. If your home is currently listed with another broker this is not intended to solicit that listing. Exact measurements should be verified by your own attorney, architect, engineer, or zoning expert. BOND New York is a broker that supports Equal Housing Opportunity.
471 WASHINGTON STREET By Daniel J. Bollinger
hoose this luxurious address, and you just may feel like Hollywood elite! At 471 Washington Street—located on the corner of Canal Street in the Northwest corner of Tribeca—its triplex penthouse(consisting of the 7th, 8th, and 9th floors with two rooftops) is lavish. This five bedroom, six bathroom penthouse has 11-foot ceilings throughout and comprises over 7000 square feet which includes outdoor space with seven terraces. To give you a sense of the type of residence this is, Kanye and Kim Kardashian stayed here during fashion week.
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SUPERB DESIGN The 7th-floor houses bedrooms: The master is stunning. One design detail that stands out is the island housing a concealed television that sits in front of the bed. The master bathroom is even more elegant. A wet room with his/her shower stations and rain shower heads are draped in floor-to-ceiling marble with marble shelves. A deep soaking tub is outside of the wet room and his/her sinks. The secondary baths also have deep soaking tubs. There is also a home gym on this level. The 8th floor is the living area. A living room with a fireplace, a playroom, and a guest bedroom with a private balcony. It also has a complete chef ’s kitchen with all Bosch appliances. The 360-degree views here are stunning but wait there’s more. The 9th floor is for entertaining. There is a second living room and a massive outdoor patio(half covered/half open) which is the main attraction. There is a full kitchen outside with a smoker, grill, sink, refrigerator, and over 20 feet of stainless steel countertop. It is an entertainment mecca. There are two rooftops. The first one (level 10) is fairly large for sunbathing and it wraps around half of the apartment. The rooftop above (level 11) has a wading pool and 360-degree views of the city. Some impressive design details of 471 Washington are the 11-foot ceilings, a remote motorized shade system, a Creston automated control system with designer lighting, and all of the hallways have integrated walls. For those that like to entertain this is the apartment for you. For more information on 471 Washington, contact the Andrew Azoulay Team, theandrewazoulayteam.elliman.com. • 54 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
87 LEONARD STREET By Daniel J. Bollinger
ithin walking distance to nearly every major subway line and some of the cityâ€™s finest shopping is 87 Leonard Street, located in Tribeca. This is the building that other developments in Tribeca should be judged by. In a landmarked cast-iron building over 150 years old this building boasts a landmarked faĂ§ade, cast-iron Corinthian columns, and oversized windows. The inside is modern and custom-designed finished with state-of-the-art technology. It is a boutique offering with only seven total units. There are only three units left in this building. Two triplex penthouses and a three-level maisonette. All of the details in these residences are outstanding: From the technology of radiant floor heating with smart wired multi-zoned air conditioning to the design of the custom bathrooms and kitchens.
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LIGHT, SPACE, LAYOUT There is more than enough space in all of these units. Three floors provide for playrooms, screening rooms, entertainment centers, billiardsâ€™ room, lots of bedrooms, walk-in closets, and much more. The oversized landmarked windows have been restored and combined with 17-foot ceiling heights which provide an extraordinary amount of light. The living spaces are open layouts with kitchens, dens, and dining areas that are grandeur in terms of size. Every detail is of the finest quality, including nickel-plated hardware, custom vanities, herringbonepatterned floors, unique tiling choices, and industrial-themed sconces and venting hoods. The two showcases that exemplify the outstanding design and construction of these units are the kitchens and master baths.
MASTER BATHS Youâ€™ll find Waterworks fixtures and fittings along with a wet room (with steam shower and thermostatic shower set), a 70-inch Waterworks free-standing tub, custom-designed vanity with antique brass legs and wood drawers. Not to be overlooked are the Restoration Hardware medicine cabinets with polished nickel frames. It is all encased with Jolie Grey honed herringbone mosaic tile floors with Calacatta Gold marble borders, and Calacatta Gold walls. The tub area is gorgeous with a twotier tiled niche. It is framed out like a painting and makes a grand statement. The hues of the metal frames on sconces, medicine cabinet borders, and pulls all harken with industrial tones which match the industrial roots of Tribeca. The secondary baths and powder rooms also have many impressive design details including polished nickel features, more custom vanities, Waterworks features, and antique mirrors. The white ceramic penny round tile floors and basket weave mosaic tile floors with Zeus and Dolomite marble are also notable. 56 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
KITCHENS The kitchens are masterpieces. Stainless steel appliances including Sub-Zero refrigerator with glass door, Sub-Zero full-height wine refrigerator, Wolf six-burner plus griddle gas range, and Miele dual 24-inch dishwasher encased in integrated paneling. The vented hood ranges are all custom designed—black with ribboned stainless steel with rivets highlighting the industrial design theme. You’ll also admire the handmade backsplash in subway tile-like design. The upper cabinets feature a mix of wood doors with warm weathered textures and fitted laminated wire glass in burnished steel frames. The island is two tone: the kitchen side is honed Statuary marble slab with a 30-inch undermounted sink and Kohler Matte Black fixtures while the eatin side has a Honed Prada Black marble slab countertop. The seamless combination of these two materials is beautiful and unique. I have not seen this in any NYC kitchen before. The three sconces above are industrial themed. Combine all of these elements of weathered textured wood doors, stainless steel appliances, and black & white, and you have an entirely unique kitchen design and one that captures the essence of old industrial Tribeca fabulously. This is an award-worthy kitchen design. This address is certainly one of Tribeca’s most premier boutique offerings. There is an enormous array of great design and state of the art technology in these units. The mantles on the gas burning fireplace and the Mitsubishi home control system are examples. It is another quality project brought to us by Ben Shaoul of Magnum Real Estate Group. It blends historical authenticity with contemporary living. If there was ever a project that I would love to show a client to highlight Tribeca, NYC, great design, and the best craftsmanship—this is it. CORE Group Marketing has the exclusive sales for this project. For more information on 87 Leonard Street, please visit: 87leonardstreet.com. •
FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 57
15 HUBERT STREET By Daniel J. Bollinger
estled on a cobblestone street in Tribeca is 15 Hubert Street—another boutique condo offering from developer Samson Management. Hubert is perfect for those who prefer privacy. This is four buildings fused into one. A former warehouse originally constructed in 1867, the building has been reimagined into a luxury residential condominium by the award-winning architecture and interior design firm CetraRuddy, carefully preserving the rights within the new modern aesthetic of the interiors. This is a rare chance to possess a classic Tribeca loft with wide-open spaces, high ceilings, stretches of exposed brick walls and oversized windows. Only three penthouses remain in this twelve-unit development. Designed with industrial detailing, it captures the old Tribeca of the past. Starting with the braised metal entrance of the façade, it blends well with the cobblestone street and concrete sidewalk. It is warm and inviting and yet denotes the private and anonymous boutique offering that this development is. The lobby follows suit. This “jewel box” lobby features a distressed steel wall, concrete tile flooring, and a sculptural chandelier. The common areas and entrances to the units follow suit with burnished steel entry doors and surrounds. The hall lighting has industrial-style Bell Jar sconces by Holly Hunt. All of these design details give a sense of the industrial history of Tribeca.
SPACIOUS LOFT LIVING The duplex penthouses are gorgeous with excellent space and light. The loft-like layouts offer great ‘flow’ of space. All of the rooms are over-sized. The bonus corridors (extra spaces) are larger than 10 by 10 feet, and the foyer is 13 by 12 feet. Perfect for a home office, nursery, or homework desk space. And these are the smallest rooms in the entire residence to give you a sense of space and proportion. Offering ceiling heights of 11 feet in many living areas, master bedrooms, and even bathrooms, this is classic loft-living that Tribeca is famous for. Oversized windows throughout and French doors leading to the large private outdoor spaces allow for massive amounts of light to penetrate these residences. Luxury abounds in the kitchen with all stainless steel appliances from Subzero, Viking, and Miele, a backsplash of a single slab of marble, a pot filler, and a custom-built stainless steel range hood that vents out. All smart wired with NEST technology and radiant floors throughout. Some ceilings even have radiant heating because of the high ceilings and large windows which shows how much attention to quality the sponsors put into this project. The master bathroom is stunning. With ceiling heights that reach nearly 11 feet it denotes luxury in terms of size alone. With a host of custom finishes, CetraRuddy has outdone itself starting with the floor-to-ceiling Thassos White marble walls. A custom medicine cabinet, trimmed in a beveled nickel finish, is oversized and equal to the length of the integrated sinks. The David Weeks Studio arm wall sconce over the medicine cabinet is unique and 58 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
works very well. The custom-built, two-toned lacquered vanity is complemented by a hand-cut mosaic accent wall, solid-slab Sugar White marble countertop, and dual under mount Kohler sinks with Dornbracht faucets in polished chrome. A deep soaking tub with a warm gray-figured marble surround is a nice niche factor. The walk-in shower with Dornbracht rainwater showerhead in polished chrome, with an additional wall-mounted hand shower with cross-volume controls, and a Thassos White marble shower bench complete the room. The secondary bathrooms have floor-to-ceiling ceramic subway tile walls with contrasting pearl gray grout and a seamless Waterworks terrazzo tile floor. These baths keep with the industrial theme by incorporating custom-built satin stainless steel vanities and medicine cabinets from Robern.
LIVING AT ITS BEST The industrial design details in the kitchen are the real standouts of this project and include custom white oak cabinetry with inset stainless steel accents that flow beautifully into the stainless steel vent. Also, Statuary Extra marble countertop and backsplash, magnetic wall produced of rolled steel, and Retroline Trio pendant light by O’Lampia Studio complete the picture. The powder room which helps define and separate the kitchen and living/dining areas is cast in cement. The cement exterior of this powder room carries the industrial feel of the space. But the ultimate piece-de-resistance of this kitchen is the island featuring a Statuary Extra marble single-slab countertop and custom designed blackened-steel girder legs to support it and stainless steel cabinets underneath. It is as much art as it is functional. It not only denotes luxury with the marble top but beautifully captures ‘industrial’ with the legs and also serves in functionality with the cabinets. This is a project that CetraRuddy has shown synergy in its design concept from the outside to the inside. It encompasses Tribeca historic design detail from the building facade all the way down to the design features inside these residences. It tells the story of Tribeca with its ingenious design. Nestled on a quiet cobblestone street in an intimate part of Tribeca this project is a value gem and a great location play. Contact Louise Phillips Forbes of Halstead Property or LouisePhillipsForbes.com. For further information on 15 Hubert, visit 15hubert.com. • FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 59
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Nestled along a quiet waterfront cove where serenity, privacy & water views await. This Custom 5 bedroom home offers spacious rooms and many amenities. Highlights include high ceilings, a wall of windows in the Great room framing the water views, a gourmet kitchen with granite and top of the line appliances plus a breakfast room overlooking the lake. The 3 room master suite features a fireplace, and hers baths, his Carolehis“Lynn” Brescia and hers walk in closets plus a dressing room. Lower level features a family room with a fireplace that alsoInternational has access to aPresident’s private patio, Premier the Top 1%with Worldwide waterfront dock and property. There is a Game room a wet bar, and temperature controlled wine room. 3 carCall garage and a generator. Direct: 201.848.3202 Wayne, Pines Lake, Offered at $2,750,000 www.lynnbrescia.com
More photos at lynnbrescia.com
Photo by Lauren Coleman Photography
12 WARREN STREET By Daniel J. Bollinger
welve Warren Street is located in the Southeastern border of Tribeca one-half block off Broadway. It is within two blocks from every major subway line in Manhattan. It is a 13-unit boutique condominium offering of full-floor, duplex, and triplex residences consisting of two to four bedrooms. The ground level houses two triplex townhouses, floors six and below are full floor residences without terraces, and floors seven and above are full floor residences with terraces. There is something for everyone at 12 Warren. DDG is not only the sponsor but also the developer, architect, builder, and interior designer. They also brought us XOCO 325 which is one of the best-designed residences in the city. DDG also stays on as the management company of all of their buildings which is a good sign that they stand behind their product. You can be sure investing in a DDG building is a sound investment decision.
CARVED FROM THE QUARRY Since DDG has their own architecture and design arms in their corporation they are always offering unique and one-of-a-kind “showcase” buildings. It’s no different here. You might say this building is carved from the quarry. The rough-hewn Bluestone used in the construction of this building is from Tompkins Bluestone Quarry in upstate Hancock, New York. Varying sizes and shapes of Bluestone have been composed, arranged, and layered to cover the entire facade of the building. The result is a very modern building with classic details. Very sculptural. One of the great attributes of DDG is they are masters at following the themes of their designs. The lobby has this beautiful Bluestone theme throughout and the gym has incredible artistic Bluestone accents on walls, columns, and skylight. Of course handcrafted and artisanal Bluestone creations are within the residences. One side note, the entire Bluestone face was laid out in the quarry in upstate New York, and when all the pieces were finalized, they packed up all one thousand plus pieces and installed them at 12 Warren. The residences are exactly what you would expect from the DDG team. Lovely open layouts with excellent flow, all top notch appliances (another all Gaggenau kitchen), and generous layouts of spaces (especially the master suite on the lower floors). The kitchens have single slab backsplashes and kitchen islands of Black Saint Laurent marble which match the Bluestone theme. Integrated custom cabinets of white lacquer permeate the kitchen except over the range where white oak cabinets blend the contrast of the white lacquer and Black Saint Laurent marble. This accents a “warm earthy” feel though the overall kitchen feel is modern. All with Dornbracht fixtures. 62 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
Photo by Bruce Damonte
Photo by Bruce Damonte
Photo by Bruce Damonte
Photo by Bruce Damonte
MODERN ALL THE WAY The generously proportioned master bath is very modern with the Bluestone theme running throughout. The deep soaking tub is encased in Carrara marble and has a great niche factor with the niche running the full length of the tub and having lots of marble ledges. The floors and walls are comprised of custom Carrara marble and bluestone accented tile. A custom bluestone vanity with Robern recessed medicine cabinets match his and her sinks. But the defining bluestone design detail in the master bath is the bluestone accent slab in the wet room. A two-tiered slab looks like a sculpture but is also functional. The two tiers function as shelving. One end matches the tub height, and the other end is the perfect height for reaching for shampoos and soaps. Your eye follows the line from the tub to the wet room for a seamless transition. Very nice design detail. All the fixtures are Dornbracht. The powder rooms have great artisanal custom bluestone sinks. The secondary baths have beveled white subway tiles and penny tile floors that also cover the tub face. All with Grohe fixtures.
Photo by Bartek Sherman Photo by Lauren Coleman Photography
Photo by Robert Granoff
Photo by Robert Granoff
Photo by Lauren Coleman Photography
COMMON AREAS Many of the living/dining areas on the lower floors are 47 feet long. They feature a wet bar for entertaining which showcases an oak screen detail. This right off the private elevator access to your residence. There is also a formed concrete ceiling detail running the length of this space. Also of note are the ten-foot ceilings throughout except the townhouses which have up to 22-foot ceiling heights. The higher floors have terrace areas. Both have formal dining areas with this formed concrete ceiling detail. It is just a matter of choosing between more internal space or a grand outdoor terrace. DDG has done it again with 12 Warren Street. The high level of finish with very homeish layouts and design. It is a LEED Certified building with amenities like a gym and bike room. The bike room is not only bike storage but also has a service station with an air pump and tools to maintain your bicycles. DDG services all of their buildings so there is a higher level of service that comes with investing in a DDG Building. For example, if you have guests visit that speak a different language such as Russian or French, DDG will staff the door with a Russian or French speaking door attendant for your party. It is small details such as this that make owning in a DDG Building a little more special. Corcoran Sunshine Marketing has the exclusive on this property and for more information, visit 12Warren.com. â€˘ FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 63
52 LISPENARD STREET By Daniel J. Bollinger
ocated in the heart of Tribeca is 52 Lispenard, a boutique condo building, with only two remaining units out of the total of six. Offering three-to-five bedrooms, this 19th century landmarked building is two buildings integrated into a single address.
LET THERE BE LIGHT The first thing you will notice upon entering the residences is the vast amount of light casting upon the open layout of the kitchen, living, and dining room. There are 51 feet of frontage because these condos are two buildings infused into one. The 5th-floor condo has skylights on the front faรงade, and the 2nd-floor condo has skylights on the back faรงade. The 2nd-floor condo has ultra-high 20 feet ceilings throughout (even in the bathrooms). This all combines to create a wow factor with the amount of light in these residences. The designers advanced this concept of light by installing LED lighting by Kreon throughout the residence. There is even LED lighting on the custom shelves in the master bedrooms. 64 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
MODERN TECH You can tell the designers thought out the plan with the beautiful layouts and attention to detail. Museum quality finishes, en suite bathrooms, and the powder room is actually a full bathroom. All with smart wired NEST technology and each unit has its heating and hot water mechanicals. The kitchens and bathrooms are designed by Minimal USA. The kitchen is minimal elegance; matching Bianco Borealis marble island and backsplash with all Gaggenau appliances except for the hidden Miele coffee station and U-Line wine cooler. The Falmec-integrated vented hood is also an impressive design detail. It is remote controlled and vented to the outside. The kitchen sink is custom, and the white integrated cabinetry gives an open feel in particular against the amount of light entering the space. Bathrooms also encompass a minimal elegance; the Waved Corian sink defines this minimal design feel. The deep soaking tub and shower room are encased in extra-large Calacatta marble slab, and the industrial fixtures of the faucets and shower head provide a nice compliment. They have steam showers in the master baths by Thermasol. The secondary baths use Salvatori Row Silk Georgetta limestone wall tiles. They have a great texture and a warm hue. The Robern medicine cabinets top it all off. With a defogger feature and electrical outlets inside the cabinets it matches the minimalist design and also shows the quality of this project. This property is an excellent boutique condo. The size and layouts of the two units left are fantastic. The attention to detail, the mechanicals, and the quality appliances and craftsmanship make this development a testament to the coveted area that Tribeca is. For more information visit, 52Lispenard.com. â€˘
FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 65
BEACH CLUB BROKERS, INC. KEY WEST REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE 305.294.8433 / 800.545.9655 Website: kwreal.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office located at 1075 Duval Street, C11- Duval Square, Key West Florida 33040 Dawn Thornburgh, Principal Broker Our team: Ron McGregor, Lucy Elyse Carleton Karleen Grant, Ann Storandt, Carl Sanders, Paul Hayes, Lucy Paige, Shad Knapp, Jennifer Greene
30 years as an independent
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Hidden Gem On Golden Gate Point
Hidden gem in heart of Sarasota’s downtown arts, shopping & entertainment circuit. Exclusive community w/only 10 residences built in 2002. Bay front, on spectacular 22 acre peninsula of Golden Gate Point, minutes to Marina Jack’s, St. Armand’s Circle & Lido Key Beaches. Magnificent & expansive direct views of the Sarasota Bay and Inter Coastal Waterway including the lighted architectural drama of Ringling Bridge w/marina & bay vistas featuring glorious sunsets. Turnkey furnished, 3rd story residence is the pinnacle of luxury with over $200K in new designer high end furnishings, upgrades, light fixtures, and window treatments. Elevator takes you to a private foyer to your 2,130 sq ft, 4 bedroom w/wood floors, 3 en suites & formal dining room w/new hurricane slider & custom china closet w/crushed fused glass. Open & spacious living area features travertine marble floors & high volume ceilings. Spectacular kitchen w/unique cement counter tops with shattered glass, 1/2 inch crushed fused glass back splash w/remote backlight, custom wood cabinetry, top of the line new appliances including the latest induction stove top, double oven, microwave/convention oven, dishwasher, stacked washer/dryer, extra refrigerator/freezer w/ice maker. Balcony off living room and private Master Suite provides endless water views. $20,000 allowance for new Hurricane sliders in L/R! 2 car garage. Amenities: stylish roof deck, open pool,BBQ, fishing/swimming beach & walk to Hart’s Landing. 100% funded association. Maintenance free!
For more photos and information, go to: www.HaydenTeam.com Or visit us in person: 73 South Palm Avenue # 218, Sarasota, FL 34236
The penthouse at Oyster Bay
The Penthouse at Oyster Bay is the premier unit at the Lighthouse at Oyster Bay Beach Resort. The unit features 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths and each with its own balcony. Each balcony slider folds completely into the wall, the screens retract fully as does the drapery making the opening to the room about 12 feet. The layout of the entire unit affords a vista from every room and you will love the quiet and privacy of this special location. Natasha Laurent | CIPS Sales Associate/Rental Specialist RE/MAX Island properties Cell: 721 524 0640 Office: 721 544 4580
FRIENDSHIP: THE HIGHEST GOOD By Peter Kalellis
or the interest and inspiration of our readers, we will borrow some basic thoughts from two well-known and renowned philosophers, Aristotle and Plato. The concept of friendship was considered as the “Highest Good” by them.
KINDNESS IS LASTING In Aristotle we find three kinds of friendship that are emphasized: The first is friendship based on utility, where both people derive some benefit from each other. Aristotle claims that friendship based on utility is shallow. On the surface, it starts with some excitement, but it is quickly dissolved. Those who seek utility friendships are looking for a business deal or a long term benefit. The second is friendship based on pleasure, where both people are drawn to the other’s good looks, good sense of humor, positive attitude or other pleasant qualities. Aristotle claims that friendship of pleasure is usually built between the young people and it becomes more passionate during middle years. The first 68 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
two kinds of friendship are only accidental because in both cases friends are motivated by their own utility and pleasure, not by anything essential to the nature of the friend. Both of these kinds of friendship are short-lived because one’s needs are initially met then new needs emerge seeking fulfillment. The third type of friendship is based on kindness, where both people admire the other’s good character and help one another pursue acts of kindness. Friendships of kindness are the ones where both friends enjoy each other’s lifestyle. Aristotle calls it a “…complete sort of bond between people who are good and alike in virtue…” Kindness is an enduring quality, so friendships based on kindness tend to be long lasting. Such friendship is rare and takes the time to develop, but it is the best.
THE SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP Aristotle also believed that it is through friendship that cities are held together. He also believed that friendships of utility and pleasure are equally important to keep the city together. Those with the moral virtue to enter good relationships are a major part of this, while friendships of utility and pleasure are as vital as friendships of virtue. However, it takes the character of those in the virtuous friendship for a stable community to exist. A great deal can be said at this time of American history that the recent election for a president caused so much anger, ill feelings and disharmony among people. Cultivating the spirit of friendship among our young and old people, peace and contentment can be restored in our nation. Plato’s concept of friendship is a correct use of love among human beings, directing one’s mind to the love of the Divine. Platonic love in its original sense of the term is examined in Plato’s dialogue the Symposium which has as its topic the subject of love or Eros. In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates explained two types of love or Eros— Vulgar Eros or earthly love, and Divine Eros or Divine love. Vulgar Eros is nothing but mere physical attraction towards a beautiful body for physical pleasure and reproduction. Divine Eros begins the journey from physical attraction towards beautiful form or body but transcends gradually to love for Supreme Beauty. This concept of Divine Eros is later transformed into the term Platonic love. Daily experience suggests that non-romantic friendships between males and females are not only possible, but common in our times— men and women live, work, and play side-by-side, and seem to be able to avoid spontaneously sleeping together. Some friendships are between men or between women; others are between a man and a woman. Today some people focus on groups of friends as well as on individual friendships. Some friends are colleagues at work. They share a common interest in their profession or occupation. They often talk about topics related to their work. They may go out right after work on occasion to continue their conversation. But they rarely carry such a relationship to their home. However, the possibility remains that this apparently platonic coexistence is merely a façade, an elaborate dance covering up countless sexual impulses bubbling just beneath the surface.
PLATONIC FRIENDSHIPS In the last four decades being in practice of psychotherapy, marriage and family therapy, my personal experience indicates that Platonic friendships between sexes do not seem to last. There is always a possibility that the sexual attraction will get in the way. It is evident that men are much more attracted to their female friends than vice versa. Most men like to believe that women are attracted to them. Reality tells us that what initially seems to be a genuine friendship between a man and a woman will eventually have human nature seek physical fulfillment, and the result is what we might think of as an innocent affair. If either the one or the other or both are married, what might be thought of friendship turns out to be a divorce. Does this mean that a good friendship cannot be platonic? The possibility exists that a few purely platonic friendships can be of lasting value when neither party has any sexual interest in the other. Therefore, maintaining a true platonic friendship with a person of the opposite sex is possible. More than that, I think it is actually vital to creating a healthier and more sound understanding of the world around us. Reality is reassuring that men and women do see the world differently, and react in different ways. The point is twofold, first, truly platonic relationships are rare and should be cherished, they only add to our life. Secondly, don’t be intimidated if your male mate has a best female friend. It does not necessarily mean he harbors sexual feelings for this woman. In fact, this woman could be the reason why your man is so insightful and respectful to you in the first place. Likewise, don’t be intimidated if your female mate has as a best male friend. It does not necessarily mean that she harbors sexual feeling for this man. In fact, this man could be the reason why your woman appreciates you in the first place. Where there is genuine friendship there is no fear. Genuine friendship casts out any fear. • Dr. Peter M. Kalellis is a psychotherapist, marriage and family therapist, lecturer, and writer. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology and is the author of many books. He maintains his practice in Westfield, New Jersey. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 69
CHOCOLATE THE HEALTHY WAY! By Shari Bilt Boockvar, MS, RDN
have always loved Valentine’s Day! Even as a young girl, my parents bought me chocolate in the cute little heart shaped boxes. My favorite was the large box of Whitman’s with the “map” of chocolates on the back. Sometimes I would take a bite just to “taste,” and would place the uneaten portion back. I know many of you are reading this are thinking, “Yes, I did this too”! My love of chocolate has not abated, but I have found other ways to satisfy my craving without digging into one of those boxes. The following are some of my favorite chocolate products. Some are healthier than others, but overall are better than many in the marketplace. NO PUDGE FUDGE BROWNIE Looking for a lower fat alternative without giving up the taste? Go for these No Pudge brownies. The ingredients are simple and making a batch is a breeze. All you need to add is yogurt. There are directions on how to make a single serve portion in your microwave. I like it best served warm with a scoop of frozen yogurt on top (nopudge.com)! KIND BREAKFAST BARS IN DARK CHOCOLATE COCOA No time for breakfast? Reach for one of these breakfast bars. Grab one along with some fruit and your beverage of choice, and you’re ready to go. They are gluten and dairy free and made with whole grains coming from oats, buckwheat, quinoa, millet and amaranth (kindsnacks.com). ENJOY LIFE’S COCOA LOLO BAKED CHEWY BARS These great snack bars are gluten, soy, nut and milk free. At 120 calories and 4g of fat per bar, you can enjoy them as an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee or tea (enjoylifefoods.com). KODIAK CAKES PROTEIN PACKED DARK CHOCOLATE FLAPJACK AND WAFFLE MIX I love this tasty chocolate mix! You can make pancakes, waffles, and muffins that taste like cupcakes—you can even top your muffins with sprinkles, and you’d never know the difference. One hundred percent whole grain flour is the 1st ingredient, and with the addition of heat protein isolate, whey protein concentrate & milk protein isolate, there are 14g protein and 5g fiber per serving (kodiakcakes.com). BACK TO THE ROOTS ORGANIC COCOA CLUSTERS STONEGROUND FLAKES CEREAL There are only four ingredients, and the first one is 100% stoneground whole wheat. The rich chocolate flavor comes from organic fair trade cocoa. You can serve this as a traditional cereal with milk and berries, top your favorite frozen yogurt, or dip sliced banana or your favorite fruit into it (backtotheroots.com). 70 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
OATMEGA BROWNIE CRISP BAR This is one of the best bars out there from a nutrition perspective. Oatmega boasts omega-3s from fish oil, and you won’t detect any fishy flavor here. Grass fed whey protein helps to provide 14g protein per bar and 7g of fiber. They are delicious, and both kids and adults approve the taste (oatmega.com). GREEN & BLACK’S ORGANIC DARK CHOCOLATE CACAO BAR When looking for the health benefits of dark chocolate, you want to choose those that are 70 percent cocoa or higher. One of my favorites, when I’m seeking chocolate after dinner, is Green & Black’s 85 percent dark chocolate bar. With its rich flavor, you’ll be satisfied with a square or two. Try shaving some on top of a bowl of berries for a boost of antioxidants (greenandblacks.com). SC’s LIGHT CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKES These creamy, smooth, and delicious cheesecakes are perfectly portioned at 95 calories, 4.5g fat, 4.5g sugar, and 7.5 g protein. Add some berries and a teaspoon of chocolate syrup for a real treat. Each cheesecake comes in its box with a small spoon (saycheesegourmet.com). KASHI OATMEAL DARK CHOCOLATE SOFT BAKED COOKIES I’ve been recommending these whole grain cookies for years. They are so versatile: You can enjoy one as an afternoon snack, crumble into yogurt, or sprinkle on fruit. Each cookie is 130 calories and has 4g fiber (kasha.com). • Shari Bilt Boockvar, MS, RDN is a nutritionist in New York and the Tristate area. She specializes in nutrition counseling and consulting for weight control and fitness. Shari can be found blogging about her favorite products and recipes at Facebook.com/NutritionShari, Twitter. com/NutrtionShari, Instagram: NutritionShari, and nutrifactsforyou.com.
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FAINA EUROPEAN DAY SPA By Griffin Miller, Spa Editor
or couples looking to skyrocket their passions into the next dimension, it’s wise to set your sights on Manhattan’s Faina European Day Spa. Here, against a seemingly modest backdrop, awaits a garden of couple-centric delights. And during this hearts and flowers month, you might just find Valentine’s Day makes the perfect occasion to test out one of Faina’s many liaisons luxurious.
YOUR HEARTS DESIRE Unlike most spas that offer one or two couples treatments max, Faina has built a reputation for catering to this romantic demographic, offering a menu of fourteen different packages dedicated to twosomes seeking a dose of transcendent down time together be it steeped in body scrubs and massages, or indulgent facials and nail treatments. In short, whatever your hearts and bodies yearn for— accompanied by “fresh cut flowers, aromatherapy candles, and soft music.” According to owner Faina Shafir, who designed her spa’s treatments and packages, the idea of catering to couples began a long time ago: “I wanted it to be something special to celebrate an occasion—like a birthday or anniversary or Valentine’s Day. The idea was that it would be different from other gifts. Something that would be remembered,” she says, adding perspective to the millions spent on things that rarely make a lasting impression. Sharing indulgent body treatments by candlelight, on the other hand, well, that’s a cherished journal entry with brag rights attached. And should a Valentine’s “Will you marry me” be eminent, Faina Spa has experience in making the moment exceptional. “We’ve had a few proposals here,” recalls Faina, who says the most recent one was especially memorable. “There were flowers all over the treatment room and right after their massages the gentleman proposed. She was so sweet and surprised—it was touching.” Recreating some of the couples’ experiences— albeit as a single participant—I surrendered to a wonderfully decadent full body scrub and massage. The scrub made up of lavender and sea salt, was exceptional—most definitely celebrity couple-worthy. My treatment guru assured me my body would be baby soft afterward and indeed while rinsing off in the steam shower, I found myself reveling in my new velvety second skin. Shortly after that, I was escorted into a second room of flickering scented candles strategically placed inside charming box shelves. This was the setting for the kind of massage that makes the world evaporate around you. Disconnecting in this cozy haven— while being freed of the knots and kinks that (sadly) come with sitting at a computer most of the day— gave me a sense of well-being, while the aromatic oils and soothing leg massage were bliss. And then comes the sweet denouement: Champagne and chocolates. 72 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
HEAD TO TOE PAMPERING As for the most popular Valentine’s Day couples packages, Faina says the 2 hour plus “Sweet Sensations for Two” tops the list. It consists of a Champagne Rose Body Scrub for Two, Steam Shower, Aromatherapy Body Massage for Two; French Manicure (for femme) and European Pedicure with Aromatherapy Foot Scrub (for homme). Still, I’m betting the “Couples Chocolate Decadence Massage” gets a serious number of takers, too! The pleasure of sharing Valentine’s Day with your one and only need not be locked into the day itself—which this year falls on a Tuesday (and may book up quickly). Weekends on either end of the Valentine spectrum are also prime time for indulging in couples packages, or you can opt for a gift certificate which allows you to set your date to make the perfect (pampered!) love connection. Do keep in mind that while couples are high profile at Faina Spa, they are not by any means exclusive. In addition to the treatments cited in the spa’s couple packages, individual services include everything from seaweed masks and body wraps to aromatherapy cellulite treatments, body and scalp massage, waxing and even Eyebrow Microblading. And FYI, the menu of men’s spa services may well be the most comprehensive in the city. For more information on Faina European Day Spa (330 West 58th St., Suite 402; 212-245-6557), visit fainaeuropeanspa.com. •
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CAFFE DEI FIORI—DELIZIOSO! By Clint Brownfield
here is a perception that Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a frosty outpost only populated by the richest people in the world. That can be true, but the stretch of Lexington Avenue, roughly from 69th St. up into the mid-80s, is still “a neighborhood.” It’s dotted with barbershops, shoe repair shops, restaurants, boutiques offering unique clothing and home accessories and just about anything you can think of to make life livable in this tony enclave. I’ve lived in this neck of the New York woods for more than 40 years, and to me, it’s home. Late last year, an Italian-born friend, who now lives in New York with his wife and four-month-old baby girl, invited me for coffee so we could catch up. He asked me to meet him in the early afternoon at Caffe dei Fiori at 973 Lexington Avenue, between 70th and 71st Streets. I wasn’t familiar with the place so I darted through the rain for four blocks and was trying to find it when Gianni appeared and reeled me in. I was expecting a basic coffee shop but quickly realized that this was a full-blown, sleek restaurant that meanders through several levels of a converted townhouse. We sat at a table in the front window, which is a good perch to watch people wind their way up and down Lexington.
OLD WORLD CHARM It turns out that Gianni, who was raised in Rome and whose family has deep roots in Naples (royalty, castles), is good friends with Daliso Gulmini, who owns and has created Caffe dei Fiori. Daliso promptly appeared, and his natural charm began to work its magic. He arrived in New York a few years ago, and it was his goal to establish a neighborhood and destination restaurant that would showcase the food he was raised on in his native Bologna. And that he did, in the form of Caffe dei Fiori, which is named after his favorite café in Bologna, where he ate nearly every day growing up in one of the world’s greatest food capitals. So, what I thought was going to be a meeting over coffee, turned into a spectacular, slow-cooked meal that would last for about two hours. I have yet to discover a better way to catch up with a friend than lingering over a two-hour lunch. So off we went. Photos of the new baby were proudly shown; we discussed politics and tried to solve all the problems in the world. Things begin to perk right along when we did what sensible people all over the world do. We each had a nice glass of Prosecco. 74 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
MOLTO BENE When Daliso offered us lunch we simply asked him to bring out whatever he thought we should have. Two months later, I’m still fondly thinking about what followed. For an appetizer, I was presented Polpe e Stracciatella an extravaganza of octopus, eggplant, Stracciatella cheese, with a cherry tomato confit. I think it was the best octopus I’ve ever eaten—slightly charred, tender and juicy. Then a simple risotto appeared, as did Daliso, who looked like a little boy who was about to show you his favorite toy. At first, I thought it was a golf ball, but my eyeballs came out on Slinkies when I realized the ‘golf ball’ was a white truffle. Simple slowly cooked risotto takes on new meaning with a generous shaving of white truffle on top. If truffles are in season, give it a whirl. Another glass of Prosecco doesn’t hurt, either. By this time Gianni and I were beginning to reach our limit but that didn’t stop Daliso. Next came out a halforder (most of the appetizers can be ordered in half or whole portions) of tagliatelle al ragu Bolognese. Daliso let us know that the ragu had been cooked for a minimum of four hours. I guess you could make it at home, but it’s a lot easier to just order it at Caffe dei Fiori. This was accompanied with a half-order of tortelli. All the pasta is handmade in the restaurant, and the tortelli is filled with either ossobucco meat or a combination of ham, veal and Parmesan cheese. Each tortelli was about the size of a nickel and was swimming in a beef broth that was so good that I wanted to take a quart of it home and drink it out of a double old-fashioned glass. Instead, we washed it all down with a bottle of Gironia Rosso Riserva 2008, from the restaurant’s extensive collection of Italian wines.
THE FINISHING TOUCH At that point, Gianni balked at the idea of dessert. I didn’t balk— and went ahead with their take on a molten chocolate cake. Gianni relented and had two bites. I think he’s still at the gym. The cake was scrumptious. The restaurant also makes its own selection of gelato and sorbets in-house. The restaurant is decorated with contemporary Italian furniture, Murano glass lighting fixtures, and sleek tableware, but also somehow manages to be cozy at the same time. It is not stuffy. An outdoor dining space in the back of the restaurant is available in the warmer months; there’s a convivial bar on the lower level (Prosecco anyone?) and the space on the top level can be reserved for private functions. There is great emphasis on organically grown, locally sourced ingredients and great care is taken to determine if diners have any food allergies or food restrictions. And, if you don’t see something on the menu that you’d like, the chef will happily create whatever you want. So, the next time you’re strolling Lexington Avenue in the 70s, stop in at Caffe dei Fiori and put yourself into the hands of Daliso and his friendly and expert staff who will roll out a very welcoming Bolognese red carpet. The Upper East Side isn’t so frosty after all! For more information, visit caffedeifiorinewyork.com. •
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PARTY WITH SAY GRACE CATERING By Daniel J. Bollinger
hawnae Dixon is the owner of Say Grace Catering which will definitely “bless your life.” I met her while she was catering a party and where her food was so great I wanted to get to know her business better. She is a true New York success story. Overcoming many obstacles in her path and never giving up she is a successful caterer and proud mother of six. She also makes a mean jerk chicken dish with pineapple. How long have you been in business? I have been in business since April 2015 when I started locally. At that time, I would fry turkeys for the holidays and sell them to friends and family. I would also cater holiday dinners, parties, and outdoor functions. I didn’t make the business legal until I realized it was a business and I could be successful.
Cilantro & Lime Chicken
Who is your primary clientele? My greatest client is radio: Charlamagne tha God of the Most Dangerous Morning Show in the World “The Breakfast Club” is the best. I work with Angie Martinez, TT Torrez of Hot 97.1FM, and Podcast extraordinaire Jack Thriller. I collaborate with a great deal of musicians, artists, and radio personalities. Buffalo Wings
What events do you cater? I cater corporate events, exclusive private industry parties, family functions, milestone parties, retirement parties, outdoor events, weddings, children’s parties, and showers. On the side, I also work as a private chef and cooking instructor. I teach children and adults in an array of settings how to prepare delicious meals, stay safe around kitchen equipment and have a pantry filled with fun. What area does your business serve? I serve anyone anywhere; I cater most of my events in the Tristate area. I have traveled to Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Delaware and have recently been asked to provide service in West Africa, which I have humbly accepted. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 77
Simple Rustic Setting by Say Grace Catering Tell me more about your original “Cornbread Bar.” I recently trademarked the “Cornbread Bar.” I realized people like this so much but couldn’t understand why I called it cornbread when it tasted more like cake. I also realized I had something no one else had. I created a legacy on a baked good. Cornbread is considered a traditional Southern staple and I love the traditional cornbread, but I realized that our palettes are so funny and we love things running together that taste good and compliment other parts of our meal. Who would have known that cornbread could be featured all by itself? I found out and made it my market.
What inspired you to go into cooking/catering? My late grandmother Lois A. Henry Mosley was a dietician for over 40 years with the Willowbrook Institution for individuals with disabilities. She had a love and passion for cooking. Grandma Lois catered every Sunday in our church at Rossville A.M.E. Zion on Bloomingdale Road, Staten Island, NY. She even published three volumes of cookbooks through the Staten Island Historical Society. I started cooking around age nine at classes she taught at the church. There I fell in love with the kitchen, and although she was stern, she made it fun.
Is there anything you are particularly proud of? My family! They are my greatest support. I know that I have them through the thick and the thin in my life. When we lost our home in Super Storm Sandy, we stuck together. We didn’t know how long the road was ahead and what was in store, but we knew we had each other. My children survived what could be considered a horrific tragedy. So my husband and I made sure that we stayed close to them and made them feel safe. For more information on Say Grace, visit saygracenyc.com or social media handles including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @saygracenyc. •
Where did you learn to cook? Of course, grandmother taught me the basics. She showed me how to check the temperatures of meat and how to blend simple seasonings and elevate dishes with herbs. Beyond that, I am selftaught. I explore food and ingredients that will bless my life. Things that make me reflect on what’s ideal for us and not just good. Tell us about some of your signature dishes? My five-cheese blend baked macaroni and cheese. That recipe makes people that don’t know me love me. Jerk Chicken, because people from every corner of the earth love this dish and it doesn’t have to be prepared by someone from the Caribbean. I get asked all the time if I am from the Islands. My response is, always, “Yes, Staten Island.” And don’t forget cornbread in many variations. I don’t consider myself to be a baker, but I bake a mean cornbread.
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Say Grace Staff
237 West 54th Street | New York, NY | 212.586.9700
NEIGHBORHOOD EATS By Daniel J. Bollinger
UMO, located in Hamilton Heights on Amsterdam and 139th Street, is across from City College of New York. Their motto is “Eat Real Food” because of their love for fresh, homemade cuisine which is evident in every dish. All of their dishes are simple and authentic. Owners Peirluigi Ossani from Ravenna Italy, Francesco Capolongo from Naples Italy, and Steve Gallo an Italian-American have teamed up to bring us this fabulous restaurant. FUMO is Italian for smoke. They chose that name because of their brick oven. I recommend The Roni, a meat lovers’ paradise with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, cherry peppers, and fresh mozzarella. The Parma pizza has prosciutto, arugula, parmigiana, fontina, and truffle oil. Both have hearty amounts of toppings, and the crust is nice and crispy. Each pie is made fresh to order, and you can taste it in every bite. For starters, FUMO offers fried calamari, baked clams, and meatballs—all delicious.
UNIQUE MENU But if you are looking for something different I suggest Arancini and Fritto. Arancini is a Sicilian-style rice ball filled with green peas, chopped meat, Mozzarella, and Pomodoro. It is unique: the outside has a nice crust on it while the inside is tender. Fritto is calamari and shrimp with a cucumber tartar. The cucumber tartar is unique and has a cool, crisp, refreshing taste. For greens, FUMO offers a variety of salads. I recommend the Shrimp Salad with mesclun, goat cheese, grilled asparagus, grape tomatoes and shrimp with balsamic vinaigrette. It is the perfect combination of ingredients and flavors. There’s also the Baby Spinach with honey pecans, avocado, and carrots in a balsamic vinaigrette. A great blend of flavors and textures that mix well. 80 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
PASTA LOVERS UNITE Yes, it reigns supreme here. The Spaghetti Funghi is excellent. With wild mushrooms, Marsala cream, and truffle oil it is sure to satisfy. The pasta is cooked al dente, and the sauce is very creamy. Baked Ziti is classic with ricotta, Mozzarella, and Pomodoro; they bake this dish in their wood burning oven, and you will taste the difference. FUMO has gluten-free and whole wheat pasta available for those with gluten allergies and those looking for healthier pasta alternatives. Main courses are just as fantastic. I recommend the Grilled Salmon, Steak and Fries, and the Chicken Marsala (which is not listed on the menu). The salmon is delicious. Glazed in garlic and oil with white wine it is served on a healthy portion of kale. Cooked to perfection the salmon is flaky and delicious. The steak is marinated skirt steak, grilled, and is so tender it can be cut with a butter knife. The Chicken Marsala is tender and cooked to perfection: The Marsala sauce is thick, red, and real. For dessert, there is the Tiramisu and Panna Cotta. Tiramisu is an Italian classic and FUMO delivers exactly as it should be. The portion is large, and it is sweet tasting and spongy. Panna Cotta is an Italian flan and is deliciously creamy and sweet. FUMO is a great restaurant that serves quality dishes at very reasonable prices. You can taste the authenticity and quality ingredients in all of their dishes. They are open for brunch and have some excellent drink specials. They also do catering, so if you are hosting a party or event, you can satisfy your guests with some of the most authentic Italian cuisines in all the city. If you are a fan of real authentic Italian food FUMO should be on your list. For more information on FUMO (1600 Amsterdam Ave), visit fumorestaurant.com. â€˘ FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 81
ON THE BIG SCREEN By Pat Collins THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE RATED PG Put two iconic brand names in the title, and the result is a guaranteed global blockbuster and huge consumer demand and other movie-related merchandise. The CGI Dark Knight, like his human predecessor on the big screen, is a solitary, nocturnal creature but one who learns to work with his new buddies and Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon (Rosario Dawson) to save Gotham City from The Joker (Zach Galifianakis). Of course, there is a LEGO version of the disfigured villain and his Notorious Lowrider. Chris McKay directed this spin-off of the clever and entertaining 2014 LEGO movie which grossed close to $470 million worldwide. The voice cast includes Will Arnett (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Michael Cera (Robin) Mariah Carey, an interesting choice as Gotham’s Mayor, Jenny Slate (Harley Quinn/ Dr. Harleen Quinzel) and Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth, the loyal butler. Anyone who saw the coming attractions trailers would agree that a LEGO Batman is a far more interesting superhero than the one played by Ben Affleck in the dreadful Batman V Superman.
THE GREAT WALL RATED PG 13 Matt Damon as a mercenary soldier joins a corps of Chinese warriors tasked with preventing invading humongous beasts from feasting on the human population. Mr. Damon’s decidedly unscrupulous character enters the battle not to save mankind but to pocket the cash reward. The setting and Mr. Damon appear to be the movie’s best assets. FIFTY SHADES DARKER RATED R Would the title Fifty Shades Duller be more accurate? The answer depends on your opinion of the first installment which was on my 2015 worst movies list. In the sequel’s trailer Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dorman) look like characters in a sadomasochistic version of an expensively decorated wax museum. They are still young, unblemished and dull. There is an added element of danger here which does not involve whips and chains. A toting gun rival for Christian’s affections requires Ms. Johnson to add a frightened expression to her limited range of emotions. Taylor Swift and Zahn Malik collaborated on “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” for the movie’s soundtrack. Does the song title suggest we will be spared a third film? Unfortunately not if the sequel does as well as Fifty Shades of Grey which was an unexpected box office success despite negative reviews. A possible title for the next movie is Fifty Bars of Soap. The costars should qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records for most time spent in a hot shower on screen.
A UNITED KINGDOM RATED PG 13 Big screen love stories are in short supply in February, a month during which couples debate about how and where to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Acclaimed actors David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike provide a solution with the romantic drama A United Kingdom based on the real life love affair between Sir Seretse Khama, the King of what is now Botswana, and the white English secretary he marries. His father and hers disapproved of the match. The American and South African government also attempted to intervene. The year is 1948. Apartheid is the law of the land and the couple risks being exiled. Mr. Oyelowo earned rave reviews for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma and recently starred in Queen Of Katwe. Ms. Pike was Oscar nominated for Gone Girl. These two first rate and likable pros are worth spending time with even if you do not have a date on February 14th.
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FIST FIGHT RATED R One teacher challenges another to a schoolyard fist fight in a comedy starring Ice Cube, Charlie Day and Tracy Morgan in his first movie since surviving a 2014 crash on a New Jersey highway. Mr. Day’s risk-averse character Andy Campbell tries but fails to avoid a brawl with a colleague who suspects Campbell is behind a plot to have him fired. Rounding out the cast are Christina Hendriks, Dennis Haysbert, and Jillian Bell. In the battle of the box office on the weekend of February 17th-19th, I predict Fist Fight will beat Matt Damon’s The Great Wall.
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO RATED PG 13 James Baldwin, the novelist, poet, and playwright who died 30 years ago is the subject of a riveting documentary about his too short life. Described as the “literary voice of the civil rights movement,” Mr. Baldwin became a prominent figure with the publication of his semi- autobiographical novel Go Tell It On The Mountain. After the release of The Fire Next Time, he was on the cover of Time magazine and an in-demand guest on late night talk shows. However, fame did not interest him. Securing equal rights for African Americans was his mission, and he worked ceaselessly to achieve that goal. Samuel L. Jackson reads passages from Mr. Baldwin’s books and letters. The Harlem-born writer lived most of his life in France and died in 1987. He counted Nina Simone, Robert Kennedy and Maya Angelou among his closest friends. Raoul Peck, Haiti’s former Prime Minister, directed the film which many critics chose as one of the best documentaries of 2016. •
ALSO OPENING THIS MONTH DISNEY’S NEWSIES THE BROADWAY MUSICAL The Disney musical which was staged first at New Jersey’s Papermill Playhouse before opening on Broadway will be shown in select movie theaters on Feb 16th, 18th, and 22nd. The plucky newsboys, who stood up to millionaire New York World Publisher Joseph Pulitzer and went on strike when he refused to increase their meager salaries, were the city’s heroes in 1899. The actual story was adapted for the stage by award-winning theater pros Alan Menken (music) Jack Feldman (lyrics) and Harvey Fierstein (book). The immensely entertaining show comes with a message about having the courage to take on the wealthy and powerful and it is the rare new musical to celebrate working class Americans.
EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY (English/Spanish) A romantic comedy and an audience favorite at the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival. MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI Animated family movie. THE SPACE BETWEEN US Asa Butterfield’s character is the first human born on Mars.
About Pat Collins Pat Collins is a three-time Emmy award-winning film, theater and entertainment critic/reporter. Her outstanding media credits include WCBS-TV, Good Morning America and WWOR-TV. She is a contributor to CUNY-TV’s Arts and The City program and the host of several Broadway specials including Kinky Boots On Broadway, Fiddler On The Roof: Back On Broadway, and The Road To The Tonys. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 83
ON STAGE REVIEWS WITH PAT COLLINS
YEN Lucille Lortel Theater Lucas Hedges, whose a-star-is-born performance in Manchester By The Sea brought him critical acclaim and award season nominations makes his professional stage debut in Yen. Hench, his character in Anne Jordan’s play and younger brother Bobbie (Justice Smith) live outside London in a town which in no way resembles the cozy, charming villages in British TV shows. The boys are destitute and living in squalor having been abandoned by an alcoholic mother. A neighbor’s concern for the boys’ dog named Taliban results in significant changes in their lives. Lucas first appeared on stage playing Puck in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Trip Cullman directs the OffBroadway MCC Theater production which will end February 19th due to Lucas’ previous film commitments.
SUNSET BOULEVARD The Palace Theater Glorious Glenn Close is back on Broadway beginning February 2nd reprising the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, the musical for which she won a Tony Award in 1994. Norma, a faded star of Hollywood’s silent films desperate to make a comeback falls for a young, handsome unsuccessful screenwriter who moves into her crumbling mansion on the fabled boulevard. Michael Xavier plays Joe Gillis, and Fred Johnson is Norma’s faithful manservant Max. This production like previous ones is based on Billy Wilder’s 1950 classic film and features a 40-piece orchestra. Glenn and company star for 16 weeks. THE PRICE American Airlines Theater An investigative reporter in Spotlight, Bruce Banner/The Hulk in The Avengers, and the San Francisco police detective in Zodiac are just some of the examples of Mark Ruffalo’s extraordinary range as an actor who is one of the best of his generation. In the Roundabout revival of Arthur Miller’s 1968 play, Mr. Ruffalo as Victor Franz, a soon to retire police sergeant, is in charge of settling his parent’s estate. Their deaths force Victor to reunite with his estranged brother Walter, a wealthy successful doctor (Tony Shalhoub). The setting is the attic of a Manhattan brownstone filled with furniture and other objects. Danny DeVito, making his Broadway debut, plays the aptly named antique dealer Solomon who is hired to assess the value of the attic’s dusty contents. Hostilities soon resurface between the selfless Victor and his self-centered sibling. Jessica Hecht, in the splendid recent revival of Fiddler On The Roof, is Victor’s wife here. Mr. Miller based the Victor character on a childhood friend who reportedly had the highest IQ on the force in his day. The Price’s limited run is scheduled to end May 7th.
THE GLASS MENAGERIE The Belasco Theater Less than four years after an acclaimed production with Cherry Jones opened on Broadway, Tennessee William’s play is back with two-time Oscar winner Sally Field as Amanda Wingfield. Ms. Field who made her Broadway debut in 2002 in The Goat Or Who Is Sylvia will share the stage with Madison Ferris as the daughter Laura, Finn Wittrock playing The Gentleman Caller, and Joe Mantello in the Tom Wingfield role. Sam Gold a Tony winner for Fun Home directs. 84 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE The Hudson Theater The renovated landmark Hudson Theater will reopen with a revival of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine’s musical Sunday in The Park With George on February 11th. Jake Gyllenhaal—who made his Broadway debut in Constellations—stars as Georges Seurat. Also, Annaleigh Ashford, who won a Tony Award for You Can’t Take It With You and earned rave reviews for Kinky Boots, portrays Dot. The two actors are well prepared for their new show. They sang in a concert version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical at New York City Center in October 2016. The Broadway production is scheduled to end April 23.
IF I FORGET Laura Pels Theatre Quarreling siblings also reunite to observe their father’s 75th birthday in a new play by Steven Levenson who also wrote the book for Broadway’s new hit musical Dear Evan Hansen. Daniel Sullivan directs this Roundabout production which features Obie winner Jeremy Shamos, Kate Walsh (known to television viewers as Dr. Addison Montgomery on Private Practice) and Maria Dizzia, who portrayed Polly in Orange Is The New Black. Opens February 22nd.
YOURS UNFAITHFULLY Becket Theatre Max Von Essen, the Tony-nominated co-star of An American In Paris, leads the cast in what the producers describe as an unromantic comedy. Written in the 1930’s but not produced until now the play offers a peek inside an open marriage which of course was uncommon much less discussed in the early years of the 20th century. February 18th is the closing date.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY Lunt-Fontanne Theatre Get Your Golden Ticket now for the musical based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Tony-winning director Jack O’Brien cast Christian Borle as Willy Wonka, memorably played on screen by Gene Wilder who passed away last August. The Hairspray team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote new numbers for the score which will also include “Pure Imagination” and other songs from the 1971 film. Mr. Borle, a two-time Tony winner (Peter And The Starcatcher and Something Rotten), made us laugh and cry in the recent splendid revival of Falsettos. His new show’s first preview performance is March 28th. •
There’s Always Something There To Remind Me recounts the private life of the late Oscar and Grammy winning lyricist Hal David who collaborated with Burt Bacharach on “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and other favorite songs. Hal’s widow Eunice David authored the book, a 310-page hardcover published by Dorrance Publishing (check out dorrancebookstore.com). FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 85
PAT COLLINS’ PICKS OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA RATED R The critically acclaimed, indie hit from director Kenneth Lonergan is a strong contender for the top prize at the Oscars, and Casey Affleck will take home the best actor award for his portrayal of Lee Chandler, a divorced loner who returns to his hometown on Massachusetts’ North Shore for his brother’s funeral. Lee is unaware of his brother’s last will naming him the legal custodian of his teenage nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges in a breakout performance). Resettling in Manchester brings Lee in contact with his exwife Randi (Michelle Williams) and forces him to relive a horrific family tragedy. If the predictors are correct and Mr. Affleck does win he and his older sibling Ben will enter the record books as the first brothers to win Oscars. Ben has two Academy Awards—Argo and Good Will Hunting.
LOVING RATED PG 13 In 1958 a husband and wife Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) were arrested by Caroline County, Virginia’s sheriff deputies. Both spent time in jail, and the couple was ordered by a judge to leave town. Their crime? The Lovings were an interracial couple in a state which enforced its anti-miscegenation law. They married and lived in Washington DC but chose to return to Virginia for the birth of their first child. Shy and soft-spoken Ruth went to the top and sought legal advice from then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy who referred the Lovings to ACLU. Attorney Bernie Cohen (Nick Kroll) who took the case to the Supreme Court which in a 1967 landmark decision ruled anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. The Lovings did not attend the history-making proceedings and chose to learn the verdict from Mr. Cohen in a phone call. This remarkable film avoids courtroom theatrics and embellishing a true story in no need of embellishments. Mr. Edgerton and Ms. Negga deliver exceptional performances. Sadly the Lovings did not live to see this film, one of last year’s best. Richard died in a drunk driving accident in 1975 and Ruth passed away in 2008. Director Jeff Nichols’ film is based on Nancy Buirski’s HBO documentary The Loving Story.
MOONLIGHT RATED R The coming of age story set mostly in a Miami housing project during the 80’s and 90’s follows Chiron, a young African American, from childhood to his teen years coping with a cocaine-addicted mother and surviving the brutal treatment of fellow students who physically and verbally attacked him for being gay. Director Barry Jenkins and screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney drew on their remembrances of growing up in the Liberty City Project and combining fact and fiction created one of 2016’s best films. The three actors playing Moonlight’s protagonist at different ages are Alex Hibbert (the young Chiron) Ashton Sanders (teenaged Chiron) and Trevante Rhodes (adult Chiron). Naomie Harris contributes an outstanding performance as Chiron’s substance abusing mother. Mahersala Ali as the drug dealer who befriends Chiron deserves all the accolades bestowed on him during this competitive awards season. 86 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
HACKSAW RIDGE RATED R Saving Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Patton and Bridge On The River Kwai: These are but a few of the best war movies of all time. Hacksaw Ridge, not to be confused with Clint Eastwood’s Heartbreak Ridge does not rank among the great films about battles and the heroic men who fought them but it a true story well told about a conscientious objector Pvt. Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who saved the lives of 75 wounded men at the battle of Okinawa. A devout Seventh Day Adventist he refused to carry a gun and served as an Army medic proving wrong those who labeled him a coward. Mel Gibson, directing his first big screen feature in ten years, depicts the horrors of combat in gut-wrenching bloody scenes which give the film a documentary-like authenticity. Mr. Garfield was nominated for a Critics Choice Award, Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
TROLLS RATED PG Justin Timberlake, the movie’s executive music producer also voiced the grouchy pessimist Branch who like all Trolls lives in fear of the nasty Bergers, the Troll’s longtime enemy. The dolls with the rainbow-colored hair apparently are as popular now as they were in the 60’s. The 3-D computer-animated DreamWorks comedy grossed $336 million at the worldwide box office. The stellar voice cast includes Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Gwen Stefani and Christine Baranski as Chef, the Bergen’s leader with a plan to turn the Trolls into a woodland buffet. Mr. Timberlake contributed the Trolls’ ubiquitous hit, “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” And probably there is no stopping a Trolls sequel.
ALSO NEW ON HOME VIDEO
DOCTOR STRANGE RATED PG Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the former neurosurgeon turned superhero in an action adventure available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and 3-D.
GRACE AND FRANKIE (SEASON 2) The title characters played by Jane Fonda (Grace) and Lily Tomlin (Frankie) became housemates after their respective spouses and law partners Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) had declared they were gay and planned to marry. In the second season of the Netflix comedy, the women are still adjusting to life without their former mates. Frankie and her ex-succumb to an urge for an unplanned quickie and debate when or if they should confess all to Robert and Grace. Ms. Fonda and Ms. Tomlin who costarred in Nine To Five 37 years ago are perfectly cast as the one-time hippie-Ms. Tomlin—and the glamorous retired cosmetic company exec—Ms. Fonda. The show has been described as an AARP sitcom, but even those who are not aging baby boomers may enjoy Jane and Lily’s new comedy. •
ARRIVAL RATED PG 13 When spaceships land in countries around the globe the military calls upon a linguistics professor (Amy Adams) to translate the aliens’ message. The film costars Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker and was directed by Denis Villeneuve. BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK RATED R A hero of the war in Iraq has second thoughts about the mission on the eve of being honored at the 2014 Super Bowl. Ang Lee directs, newcomer Joe Alwyn has the title role and Vin Diesel and Kristen Stewart co-star.
FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 87
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L E T Y O U R F A N TA S I E S U N W I ND
ABOUT BOOKS By Joan Bauer THE ROAD TO CHARACTER by David Brooks (Paperback) Random House I must admit that during the reading of David Brooks’ blockbuster New York Times bestseller, I took down my very old Girl Scout Handbook and opened it to the Girl Scout Laws: “A Girl Scout’s honor is to be trusted. A Girl Scout is loyal. A Girl Scout’s duty is to be useful and to help others…a friend to all…courteous… cheerful…a friend to animals…” I remember pledging to be that kind of girl; I remember messing up a lot, but there was something powerful about having ideals to work toward. David Brooks, New York Times op-ed columnist, who appears regularly on PBS NewsHour, NPR’s All Things Considered, and NBC’s Meet the Press, is a pragmatist with high ideals. He has written a remarkable, humane book for our complicated times. You may agree with his thoughts on morality, mission, and even sin, or you may not. But the journey is fascinating. “I wrote this book not sure I could follow the road to character,” Brooks says, “but I wanted at least to know what the road looks like and how other people have trodden it.” He weaves stories of people who have built strong inner characters, such as Frances Perkins, Dwight Eisenhower, George Marshall, Dorothy Day, George Eliot, and A. Phillip Randolph— many called literally from the fire. For Francis Perkins, it was witnessing the atrocity of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. For African American pastor A. Phillip Randolph, it was his dedication to decency and dignity that helped him shape the early years of the civil rights movement. Learning curves are steep, but the roads led to humility and eventually grace, which is never earned. Along with that, what seems to come into each life is a rare joy. If you are a collector of relevant quotes, like me, you will find them bouncing off the pages: “Thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow.” Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury. “At what point do my talents and deep gladness meet the world’s need?” Frederick Buchner, novelist. “It did not really matter what we expected from life, but what life expected from us.” Victor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor. Brooks writes that finding character is a lifetime task, one that is bent on deliberately looking away from yourself to get perspective
on yourself. In short, we need to know “the bugs” in our system. That might not ever make it onto a T-shirt, but maybe it should. Narcissism is having a good season, but Brooks makes his case for humility. “Truly humble people are engaged in a great effort to magnify what is best in themselves and to defeat what is worst.” The crux of the argument is that we must learn to build our characters much more than our resumes. Brooks writes that he fears we’ve become “morally inarticulate. We’re not more selfish or venal than people in other times, but we’ve lost the understanding of how character is built.” Brick by brick, my citizens. Brick by brick. Brooks does not offer a multipoint plan to grow character; he lets the stories speak for themselves. There is a “Humility Code” at the end, but we are reminded that we come to this life as flawed creations with great abilities to grow and change. I love Brooks as sociologist, and there are enough social factoids to make us think and shudder. Reflecting on humility in government, he offers this: Only one of the 23 members of Eisenhower’s cabinet published a memoir, compared to 12 out of 30 in the Reagan years. As for our children’s sensibilities, Brooks cites a recent survey of middle-school girls who were asked the most wanted person to have dinner with? Jennifer Lopez won that, followed by Jesus Christ and Paris Hilton. The Girl Scout Handbook does not acknowledge weakness in the pledge, but it embraces honor as a strong force for good and the wonderful word “try”: “On my honor, I will try to… help other people at all times…” There’s a tendency when undergoing personal improvement to take yourself a little too seriously. Many a Girl Scout has marched out into the cold world to be a light whether people wanted help or not—I was one of those. The Road to Character does take itself seriously, and I’m glad. It can be a map to carry with you and a message to write across the heart. It is worthy of deliberation and debate. • Joan Bauer is a New York Times bestselling novelist and winner of the Newbery Honor Award, the LA Times Book Prize, and two Christopher Awards. Her latest novel is Soar, published by Viking/Penguin Random House. Connect with her on Twitter @joan_bauer or at joanbauer.com. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 89
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NOW & THEN By Johnny Burke
hat is the most exciting aspect of living in New York City? For me, it’s turning lazy weekends into an explorer’s paradise. I start going to all those places that I’ve only read about in tour guides and seen in the human- interest stories on the local news! The five boroughs and their scores of neighborhoods become a giant PBS history series! I’m thrilled when I find those restaurants and businesses, shops and emporiums that have weathered the decades and are still right there where they started, sometimes from the 1800s!
A CELEB HAUNT
You can’t miss with Pete’s Tavern just off gorgeous and very exclusive Gramercy Park. The original building that houses Pete’s was built in 1829 (when Andrew Jackson was President!), and was originally the Portman Hotel, a stage coach stop for travelers coming through the city back when East 18th was still surrounded by freestanding houses and farmland. Liquor may have been sold there on the ground floor as early as 1851 or 1852 when it was a “grocery & grog” store, and the shop was later converted to a tavern in 1864! Yes! That’s right, in 1864, when Lincoln was President and the Civil War was still raging. It was bought in 1899 by brothers Tom and John Healy and became Healy’s Cafe. During Prohibition, which came around in 1920, when selling alcohol became illegal, the bar continued to operate as a “speakeasy” disguised as a flower shop and then was sold to Peter D. Bell in 1922 when it finally became Pete’s Tavern. The entrance to the “florist shop” at that time was on the 18th Street side, and the entire front room and bar on the Irving Place entry were blocked off and hidden behind what the owners presented as a giant refrigerator for the flowers! I had the pleasure of getting a grand tour from the general manager and charming Gary Egan (a fellow Irishman!) who showed me the original hinges to the refrigerator doors in the door frame. With the Tammany Hall politicians as regular customers and only a few blocks, no inspectors ever bothered to ask questions. But beyond that faux-refrigerator was the entire mahogany bar, the tile floors and tin ceiling, the chandeliers and beveled glass mirrors all dating back to the Civil War, original and untouched—and concealed for “favored customers only”!
The tavern had always been the hangout for writers, actors, and artists. Edwin Booth, famous theater actor/producer/director, and brother of the infamous John Wilkes Booth lived just around the corner in a breathtaking double-lot townhouse, which he purchased and turned into The Players Club on the South side of Gramercy Park itself. Considered a 19th-century “matinee-idol,” he had built his fortune in NYC theatrical productions and then touring them around the country and the world. (Coincidentally, Edwin Booth saved Lincoln’s son Robert from being killed in a train accident on a platform just a year before John assassinated Abraham Lincoln.) Edwin Booth’s home was the top floor of The Players Club which he had created for actors and well-todo gentlemen from all walks of life and which still stands today at 16 Gramercy Park South. Its first members included Mark Twain; architect Stanford White, who designed Players Club; the Barrymore brothers; Eugene O’Neill, George M. Cohan, and many others. By a very small stretch of the imagination, one can assume that these fabulous persons of the 19th century would have strolled over to the tavern for a change of pace, just as all the celebrities do today whose photos hang on the walls by those same beveled glass mirrors around the now openly visited mahogany bar! Today’s diners often spot celebrities like Johnny Depp, Daniel Craig, Carol Burnett, Liza Minnelli, Natalie Portman, and various politicians of all stripes. When you walk into the main bar (all original, remember?), you’ll pass the hotly fought-over O. Henry booth on your right. The great American author of The Gift of The Magi, The Last Leaf, and over four hundred other pieces, O. Henry, lived just down the street at 55 Irving Place. He is said to have written some of The Gift of The Magi in that very booth, and he referenced the bar when it was Healy’s as “Kenealy’s” in his delightful story The Lost Blend. And if you’re a fan of the wonderful series of Madeline children’s stories by Ludwig Bemelmans, you’ll be glad to know that he apparently wrote and illustrated some of the first drafts of the original on the back of the tavern’s menu! Speaking of menus, the food here is a fusion of Italian and American—all delicious and affordable! For the non-readers in the crowd, you’ll be happy to know that Pete’s Tavern has appeared in numerous films and television programs, including Seinfeld, Ragtime, Endless Love, Law & Order, Nurse Jackie, Spin City, and Sex and the City. It has also been used as a location for scores of television commercials and print advertisements. Run—don’t walk to what has been described as New York City’s “oldest continuously operated tavern” Pete’s is the real deal! And tell ‘em, Johnny sent you!
For more information, visit petestavern.com. • FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 91
ENTREPRENEUR’S CORNER By Judy Goss
hen the legendary song “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” from Fiddler on the Roof hit Broadway in the early 1960’s, the scene of the show was set back at the turn of the century. Little did we know that the matchmaking business would evolve into a modern, luxury-type of service like Maria Avgitidis’ Agape Match, located on the 59th floor of the Empire State Building. I chuckled when I found out that her office was located there as my thoughts drifted back to An Affair to Remember and When Harry Met Sally. But Maria’s story started overseas.
FROM GREECE WITH LOVE Maria Avgitidis’ family has been in the matchmaking industry for at least four g e n e r at i on s — Ma r i a’s g r a n d m ot h e r, great grandmother, and her great-great grandmother were matchmakers. Coming from Greece at the age of two, Maria and her parents emigrated to the United States and settled in New Jersey. After 16 years in New Jersey, Maria went back to Europe to go to school before returning to the US at the age of 23—straight to the Big Apple. She’s quick to say that she never had any idealistic view of New York City, that she wasn’t thinking about the romantic (no pun intended) side of the glitz and glamour, but chose it because it was simply the closest city to her parent’s home. And that sums up her personality—straightforward, no frills, organized and sensible.
TO BE A MATCHMAKER Maria says she is the type of person who people come up to in bars or restaurants and lay their whole story out for her in one sitting—and that her friends who are matchmakers are the same way. “In two minutes I can know someone’s darkest secret” she claims, and as Maria is naturally solution-oriented, these types of scenarios led her to organically start a matchmaking business. Maria says that it helps to have the kind of personality that exudes trust: Be animated in the face while people are talking to you. So, to break that down, you need to be an analytical thinker and quick to come up with creative solutions all while maintaining a friendly face. Maria started out in market research but quickly realized her natural talent for listening to and connecting people with her broad network of men and women. She is also a dating coach which makes her matchmaking capabilities more than just one-dimensional, meaning she helps people figure out what works and what doesn’t on a date, and also what exactly is realistic regarding what someone is looking for in a spouse. I learned there is so much more to matchmaking than just “finding a mate.” You need to figure out what kind of personalities you are looking for in someone, what your tolerance level is and even what your goals are in the future for having children. 92 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
A SPECIAL SOMEONE When working with a matchmaker, get ready to have your list of what you would like in a partner, but realize that what you want may be translated differently when you speak to a professional matchmaker or dating coach. Maria said that a large percentage of her job is to figure out what people “really” want as opposed to what they are asking for in a future prospect. Women tend to have lists, and interestingly enough those lists mostly have extrinsic descriptions on them like height, weight and hair color but what is going to count in the end if you are compatible with someone is their character, values, and choices for wanting (or not) children. So, she tries to figure out what they’re looking for on that list as far as personality and disposition. Men are usually searching for (in a woman) the characteristics they want in the future of their children like “family-oriented” or “gentle” or “passionate” as opposed to wanting someone with blonde hair and a curvy body. Maria advises that by the second or third date you should be discussing with the person you’re out with if they would like to get married or not and move on if their goals don’t match yours.
FOR THE BUSY PROFESSIONAL Since 2008 Maria’s company has been appealing to the high-profile men and women of New York City, and most of her male clients are in the financial industry. With the cost of service ranging anywhere from $15.000 to $25,000, Agape only attracts the upper-echelon clientele. “I have a no-nonsense way of communicating with my clients” Maria states, and that helps with saving time in finding a match for someone. For the busy professionals of New York, it’s the perfect way to skip the dating dramas that occur if your dates are not weeded out first. Agape “always tries to get people on second dates” and the strategy behind that is knowing their clients and what exactly they are looking for (which isn’t always what they say!), knowing how to quickly find that perfect match and putting it all together in an organized fashion. “I can almost guarantee you will be in a relationship in 90 days if you do the following” Maria told me when I asked her what her parting words of wisdom were for people out there looking for love. She claims that if you go out to two events per week for the next three months, then you will certainly find someone by the time the 90 days is up. But you have to do the work—make sure you look sharp, have a positive attitude when walking in a room and view everyone you meet as a potential soul mate. Only then, with consistency and persistence, do your chances of meeting someone skyrocket. But you need to be consistent and do the work. If you don’t have the time, then calling Agape may be the perfect solution to finding your soulmate sooner than later. For more information on Maria Avgitidis’ Agape Match, visit agapematch.com. • Judy Goss is currently the radio show host of What Women Want with over 500,000 downloads and is a published author of St. Martin’s Press. She is also an entrepreneur who founded the nationally acclaimed networking organization Over 40 Females® with its 20 chapters from New York to California. Judy is also a freelance journalist who interviews people about her favorite topic; their personal stories and what inspired them to be who they are today. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 93
MY NEW YORK STORY By Bill Spadea
pending years as a New York real estate broker training new associates for a national firm, you learn quickly that there is a huge “perception barrier” among people who’ve never spent significant time in the greatest city on Earth. Since most news outlets prefer to report the bad news instead of good, the perception among outsiders tends to be driven by negatives rather than positives. Positive personal stories shared by those who love living, working and vacationing in the Big Apple are only heard when you know someone. Of course, thanks to Ernie Anastos and the great team at New York Lifestyles magazine, we have an opportunity to change that perception and have it reflect the reality of how great life can be in New York. Beyond negative stories, many people outside of NYC think of The City as a massive, overwhelming, hard to manage, rapid pace, crowded place where people don’t make eye contact. Of course, we know that NYC is a collection of great neighborhoods that vary widely in terms of cuisine, nightlife and living space. Although New Yorkers do come together when necessary, either to stand strong against adversity or to celebrate a World Series victory, the truth is The City is a collection of diverse neighborhoods where you can have close, meaningful and life changing interactions but each community can be as different as two cities like Chicago and Nashville. The main questions on people’s minds, when faced with relocating to New York, are: How do I settle in? What neighborhood is best for me? Where can you get friendly locals, community pride, and great coffee?
MOVING TO THE CITY My wife’s cousin Shannon had a great career working for an ad agency on the Jack Daniel’s account in Boston. Like many of us, when opportunity knocks, you answer the door. In Shannon’s case, the knock came, and she had the chance to head to NYC. Forgetting for a moment that she’s a Red Sox and Patriots fan, where was she going live? Being relatively close to Boston she’d spent time in the city, holiday trips, business meetings, but living there? That’s a whole other story. Visiting New York during the holidays and living in the “city that never sleeps” are two entirely different things. Real estate brokers in New York know how many great opportunities there are for affordable, practical places to live, but you’ve got to hunt for them! Shannon’s search took her south of Houston Street. For some reason only Texans still have trouble embracing the correct pronunciation so for y’all; it’s How-stun Street! SoHo is a wonderful neighborhood. As far as food options (which typically lead the discussion for me) I love this area because of its walking distance to so many great bars and restaurants. Not just Pegu Club but Mario Batali’s Babbo restaurant is one of the great restaurants in the entire city. It’s where I had a rabbit appetizer that you would walk one hundred miles just to taste. 94 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
QUIET TIME Shannon found a perfect place on Sullivan Street and West Houston. Unlike the perception of the loud city, always in motion and generating noise, this particular part of Manhattan is as quiet as any suburban neighborhood. Especially when you want it to be, late night when you need to sleep to get up for work in the morning. Of course on the walk to the subway which is only a couple of blocks, you have to fuel up with some of New York’s finest coffee. Nothing says neighborhood spot better than a cup of local java. Many new residents are used to national chains, and this will be a step out of their comfort zone. But well worth it. A great cup of coffee at a very reasonable NYC price and incredible food to start your day off right. Returning after work has many new New Yorkers ready for a drink to wind down the hectic pace of a typical work day. There are plenty of choices, but I thought I’d focus on Shannon’s favorites and my local go-to spot. The Wren where the vodka cocktails are made with Tito’s, and there’s Rose on tap. And Swift Hibernian Lounge, a great Irish bar complete with seating taken from old church pews. I’d describe the bar as offering a cozy atmosphere where you don’t have to battle to choose a beer and a whiskey: the selection is among the best in the area. Of course, my favorite spot in the neighborhood is even a closer walk to Shannon’s building, Dos Caminos SoHo. I know, it’s a chain, so you might ask me, how is that ‘local neighborhood’? Let me tell you. Because it is simply that good. The SoHo location is a favorite because of its proximity to everything. Whether you’re walking the streets looking for a quick bite after window shopping at the numerous art galleries around the intersection of Broome and Wooster or just looking for the best guacamole in New York, Dos Caminos is the spot. The guacamole is made to order and served with warm chips. It’s the right combination of salt and heat that makes it a must order. If you’re a bit adventurous with your food orders you can also expand the traditional guacamole you can add chapulines (read: grasshoppers) to your order.
A SLICE OF NYC
Dos Caminos SoHo
As Ernie is fond of saying, the greatest thing about New York City is “the people.” This slice of New York life on Sullivan Street in SoHo is no different. Friendly neighbors and passersby happy to say “good morning” and “have a great night” even to those they barely recognize from the apartment down the hall. It’s a relatively quiet street where there’s a sense of community that brings neighbors together despite the diverse and varied backgrounds and lifestyles making up the fabric of SoHo. If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to relocate to New York and find yourself in SoHo, don’t worry, your friends and family can visit-even if they decide to forgo public transportation and drive in. Plenty of parking with three garages within a couple of blocks of Sullivan and West Houston. And for us, Sunday is Mass at Saint Anthony of Padua’s followed by brunch at one of many neighborhood eateries. There’s also a Jewish Congregation right on Sullivan Street and a nondenominational church within walking distance. One of the cool, best-kept secrets of this outstanding SoHo neighborhood is a place called the Comedy Cellar. And Shannon has been lucky enough to be in attendance and have Chris Rock drop in and grab the mic. Although I have done some comedy myself in the past and will be appearing on the Jersey side with Joe Piscopo and Jay Black you don’t have to worry, you won’t likely run into me on stage here—yet! Comfortable, neighborly, affordable, foodie-friendly and plenty of open space to enjoy at Washington Square Park, there are few neighborhoods in any city across America that can offer so much to a newcomer trying to settle into a new city. Shannon has never looked back. Now, if we can just get her off the Boston Red Sox bandwagon. •
Washington Square Park
Bill Spadea is the top-rated morning drive host in New Jersey on NJ 101.5 FM as well as the Ringleader/Host on Chasing News which airs weeknights on FOX 5 and My9 in New York. Before he got into TV and radio, he was a successful real estate executive, political strategist and served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Spadea graduated Boston University and has been married to his wife Jodi for 22 years. They have two kids and live in Princeton, NJ. FEBRUARY 2017 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 95
15 MINUTES WITH JEAN SHAFIROFF By Baruch Shemtov
ean Shafiroff has made a name for herself as a key figure in New York’s social and charitable circles. Armed with an MBA from Columbia Business School, Shafiroff focuses her efforts on making a difference through philanthropy. And, while she’s frequently photographed dressed in the finest couture gowns at charity events, Shafiroff is known for the hard work she’s devoted to a range of organizations. Now, in an effort to empower others with the ability to contribute, Shafiroff has written Successful Philanthropy: How to Make A Life By What You Give as a way to share her message with today’s philanthropists. Why did you become involved in philanthropy? My parents and teachers instilled in me the importance of helping those in need. My father taught music in a public school, and my mother was a homemaker. They always believed that helping those in need was an important part of life. My teachers also taught me the necessity of helping the underserved. Those who have resources have a responsibility to give back. How has giving back changed your life? It has brought much more meaning to my life. The saying is true: you gain more by giving than receiving. My daughters have finished school, and as a result, I have more free time and can volunteer more. Today I serve on seven charity boards and have recently been appointed as an Ambassador for the American Humane Society. Also, each year I chair and host several charity galas. The process of giving has been enormously fulfilling. It brings me closer to both those in need and those who share my goals of giving.
Why is New York the best place to be a philanthropist? New York is my home city, and I love it. But it has its needs. One out of three children lives at or below the poverty level. This is a shocking statistic. Our homeless problem is growing, and so are the number of children who come to school hungry each day. In a city with so much to give, none should be wanting. Which causes are you most passionate about right now? I am especially committed to the needs of underserved populations, women’s rights, animal welfare and children in need. I serve on boards that reflect these passions, and they include the New York Women’s Foundation, NYC Mission Society, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, the Southampton Animal Shelter Honorary Board, French Heritage Society, The Couture Council, and Southampton Bath and Tennis Club Charitable Foundation. Most recently, I became an Ambassador for the American Humane Society. What’s the best way for people to become philanthropists regardless of their ability to contribute financially? Giving time and knowledge is of vital importance. This does not mean that financial gifts are not important. If you have the means, you must give. For young people just starting out, volunteering a little available time and lending your knowledge is a great way to start. As resources grow, financial gifts can and should be made. What’s next for you? Looking ahead, I hope to write at least one more book, and I’d like to become more involved in national and international causes. In this regard, I am very interested in furthering the rights of animals and people in our country and the world. •
JEAN’S NEW YORK FAVORITES A Coffee… Starbucks, for sure. The coffee is delicious, and I love it! A Gift… I get tremendous joy out of buying gifts for people who may not necessarily buy for themselves. This can include a nice article they can wear or something else they can use. Bloomingdale’s is one store where purchases and returns can easily be made. Gifts must show that you took the time and effort to show someone you care about them. A Dinner… I love Jean George’s at the Mark Hotel. It is a relaxing place with great people making connections and enjoying delicious food. For lunch, I like Michael’s for great conversation and food. Some Time Alone… Home is the best place to spend time alone. Photo by Michael Paniccea 96 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2017
A Celebration… A celebration can be anywhere. All you need are people and a good cause.