Vol. 6 #1 | February 2020
14 + ACRES SADDLE RIVER
9.4 ACRES $11,500,000
One of the most notable and iconic estates in the tri-state area. This 14.15 acre estate offers a 2-acre lake, tennis ct, pool, large building that can accommodate 8 cars + huge studio, 10 stalls for the avid equestrian & a separate 5 BR guesthouse.
9.4 ACRE ESTATE
Custom built country estate with a state-of-the-art kitchen, 1st floor master BR suite, indoor and outdoor pool/spa, cabana, tennis court and 6-car garage. Includes adjoining property with10 stall barn and guesthouse totaling 9.4 acres.
5.7 ACRES SADDLE RIVER
Designer Fritz Krieger and Builder James Nigro collaborated to create this romantic masterpiece with exciting rooflines. Pine GR, 1st floor MBR suite, inground pool, cabana, and stone veranda w/iron railings, wood shake roof and generator.
SADDLE RIVER DESIGNER’s SHOWPLACE $2,299,000
Elegant 2000’s built manor styled residence in move-in condition with beautiful woodworking throughout. High ceilings, gourmet kitchen, media & gym in lower level. Inground heated gunite pool, paver patio, 3-car garage. Very private setting.
201 934-7111 • CELL 201 390-5880
Built in 2009, this elegantly appointed CHC offers a gracious layout, finished lower level, heated 3-car gar. & natural gas generator. The picture perfect setting with a heated saltwater pool is professionally landscaped. Sought after location.
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Notable actress, comedian & philanthropist offers this enchanting English Country Estate completely renovated & expanded on 5.7+ acres. 6 BRs, 1st floor theater, guesthouse, lagoon pool w/waterfalls, gen., elevator & 3-car gar. + artist’s studio!
RIVERFRONT EQUESTRIAN ESTATE APRX. 30 MINUTES FROM MANHATTAN!
23 + ACRES
An incredible estate along the Ramapo River. The five bedroom Hampton’s style shingle and stone residence offers expansive views. Nine-stall barn opens to a limestone jumping area, paddocks and trails along the river. Above the stalls is a massive artist’s loft. Infinity pool, hot tub, generator and more!
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FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK @SPECIALPROPERTIESNJ 158 WEST SADDLE RIVER ROAD • SADDLE RIVER, NJ 07458 Information deemed reliable but subject to errors and omissions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK @SPECIALPROPERTIESNJ 158 WEST SADDLE RIVER ROAD • SADDLE RIVER, NJ 07458 Information deemed reliable but subject to errors and omissions.
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FEATURES 10 11 40 45 48
From The Publisher Cover Feature: Sara Gore Through The Lens With Annie Watt Bits & Bailey: The Who, What & Wow Of The Luxe Life Tech Talk: Gifts For Gadget Lovers
STYLE 20 Red Hot: Celebrate Beauty & Fashion 22 Life & Style: Romantic Musts For Valentine Superstars
TRAVEL 24 27 30 32 34 36 38
Boutique In Bermuda: Think Pink For Rest & Relaxation North Of The Border: A Journey To The Best Wellness Retreats Mexico: The Magical Migration Of Monarch Butterflies The Romance Of Travel: Places To Love In 2020 Playa Largo: The Key To Paradise Marvelous Montgomery: 10 Reasons To Visit This Historic City The Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia
REAL ESTATE & HOME DECOR 50 52 55 58 60
Around Town: Astoria 180 East 79th Street Beckford House & Tower: Two Buildingsâ€¦One Classic Look Prime Renovations: Removing The Guesswork Out of Remodeling Don Peebles: The Future Of Real Estate
4 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
HEALTH & WELLNESS
62 Friendship & Love 64 NeXa Pilates & Fitness: Stressing Down & Shaping Up 67 Cardiologist Chosen, Foodie Approved
FOOD & DRINK 70 Contour: A Refreshing New Dining Style At The Ritz 72 Frankie & Johnnies Steakhouse 73 Lot 15: Cocktails & More
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 74 75 76 78 80
On Stage: The Tina Turner Musical Off-Broadway: Chicken And Biscuits On The Big Screen On The Small Screen And The Oscar Goes To…
NEW YORK, NY 82 84 86 88
Paws Down…Tails Up Entrepreneur’s Corner: Ronit Raphael My New York Story: Indrani Goradia Time Out With…Chef Edwin Bellanco Of Vitae
6 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
OUR CONTRIBUTORS GERRIE SUMMERS Currently working on a novel, Gerrie admits that she enjoys creating worlds, but traveling the world is even better! As a travel writer, she has been to five continents (Australia and Antartica get ready) and too many countries to count and has written for Foxnews.com, Luxury Living, For The Bride, Everett Potter’s Travel Report, About.com Luxury Travel, Trip Savvy and others. She currently writes the lifestyle and travel blogs Summers Retreat and The Tranquil Traveler. Gerrie has covered a wide range of beats. She was the founding editor of Word Up! magazine, beauty editor and travel columnist for Today’s Black Woman and About’s Multicultural Beauty Expert. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including Real Health, Essence, Billboard, and the NY Daily News. Gerrie aka YogiGer is a yoga, meditation and qigong enthusiast who now combines her love for travel with health, specializing in wellness, spas and retreats.
JENNY PETERS Jenny has covered the entertainment, lifestyle and travel worlds as a freelance journalist for many years. Her credits include writing on film, celebrities, and lifestyle for USA Today, AARP.com, Variety, New York Magazine, to name a few. She is the former editor-inchief of Brentwood/ Distinctive Living magazines and held the same post for Scene magazine. She is a founding and voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, who present the Critics’ Choice Awards every January honoring the previous year’s finest in cinematic achievement. Her favorite places to be: sipping wine in the middle of a vineyard or simply strolling the streets and soaking in the atmosphere of one of the world’s great cities. BAILEY BECKETT Bailey is a jet-setting bon vivant who has written extensively for publications around the globe, and is often quoted as an expert on style, fashion and luxury. A Parisian native, he graduated from the Sorbonne before beginning his career as a lifestyle ambassador for the Ritz Paris. There, he friended top magazine editors, who encouraged him to parlay his experience into a journalism career. Before long he became a staple of the front row during Paris Fashion Week and a regular presence on the world’s social scene—including the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals to name a few.
8 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Vol. 6 #1 | February 2020 President / Publisher BILL MASON Editor-in-Chief Patricia Canole
Art Director Eric Duncan
Entertainment Jenny Peters, Lori Zelenko
Features Ruth J. Katz
Lifestyle Griffin Miller
Style Gerrie Summers
Special Projects Natasha Bazika, Norah Bradford
Chief Photographer Annie Watt
Contributing Writers Bailey Beckett, Norah Bradford AP Connolly, Elizabeth Darwen Ann Grenier, TJ Johnson, Dr. Peter Kalellis Lee Gabay, Ellis Nassour Darren Paltrowitz, Anne Raso, Will Reed Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Jeff & Stephanie Sylva Tripp Whetsell, Laurie Bain Wilson, Stacey Zable Executive Vice President of Sales LYLE SELTZER Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development Louren Bates - Director of Sales John Miller - Sales Manager Michael Stulmaker - Sales Manager Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim
Advertising BLUE VISTA 725
Internet Presence Scott Cuollo, Richard Austin
Magazine Distribution The Garrido Group
New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651
Editorial/Sales Fax (212) 202-4888
For subscriptions, address changes or back issues, call: (646) 259-2651 newyorklifestylesmagazine.com Facebook: /NYLifestylesMag Twitter: @NYLifestylesMag Instagram: @NYLifestylesMag All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Printed in the USA. New York Lifestyles Magazine is published 10 times annually. ©2020 New York Lifestyles Magazine
Cover Photo by Adam Giece
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ebruary is a transitional time; we are finally settled back into a routine after the holiday hustle and bustle. I’m even sure that some of us may have forgotten those New Year’s resolutions. Well, this month has it all: sports, romance, food, and even a three-day weekend. For starters, sports fanatics have a chance to gather around their large flat-screen TVs to watch the Super Bowl. Still, others love the time to indulge in some of those fabulous snack foods. Then some are only interested in the half-time show and those multi-million dollar commercials. Whatever your reason, Super Bowl weekend is something to be enjoyed with friends and family. If love is in the air and you’re thinking of romance, than the 14th of this month is your day. Some do it with bouquets of flowers, boxes of chocolates, or delectable heart-shaped desserts. How about a romantic dinner for two (my pick for the second year in a row is Bar Bacon)? Remember, it’s all about sharing a special moment with the one you love. Speaking of eating out, this reminds me that February 9th is National Pizza Day. So celebrate New Yorkers! Just remember you live in a city that is home to over four hundred pizzerias. Whether round or square, pepperoni or pineapple, thin-crust or deep dish, only one question remains. Do you eat it flat or folded? I look forward to hearing from you with comments, suggestions, and what you would like to see on the pages of New York Lifestyles and Pet Lifestyles magazines. Have a terrific February!
Visit us at: newyorklifestylesmagazine.com
10 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
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SARA GORE LOVE, MOTHERHOOD & LOOKING FABULOUSLY FIT By Patricia Canole
ow do you start an interview with someone who converses with celebs, authors, musicians, movers and shakers for a living? Sara Gore co-host of New York Live has been doing this for over 10 years. A testament to her skills, indeed. She makes it all look so easy! So deep breathe, I did what any sensible person would do! Ask questions Sara would ask. A few quick tips from the master and we were underway. An Emmy winning lifestyle host for NBC and their independent production arm, LXTV, Sara has logged over three thousand hours of live and taped television over the course of the past decade. As host of NBC’s hugely popular and Emmy award winning show Open House, a weekly syndicated real estate and design show, she invites viewers into the country’s most lavish (and in some cases, celebrity) homes, giving her loyal fans both advice and inspiration from the industry’s best designers, in demand brokers, and home improvement experts. Sara also co-hosts New York Live, NBC4 New York’s daily lifestyle series, airing weekdays at 11:30 am. The show, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, has become a programming benchmark for other NBC affiliates to launch a similar format. Together with co-host Jacque Reid, this dynamic duo serves up a daily dose of the very best New York has to offer from the latest fashion trends to celebrity news and interviews, top food and restaurant choices, and entertainment. Originally from upstate New York, Sara graduated summa cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College. Early in her career, Gore pursued her passion for food by working as personal chef, food columnist, running her own catering company, and as a line cook for renowned chef/restaurateur, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. To learn more about Sara Gore, follow her life and food on Instagram and Twitter @sara_gore. ©Adam Giece
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 11
Being a mom forces you to realize how much you can handle all at once.”
12 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Wife…mother…TV host. How do you balance it all, Sara? Good question! Lots of lists! It is a juggling act and I do feel like my life is a circus at times—in a comically chaotic way. Having three young kids, I’ve become very good at multi-tasking. Being a mom forces you to realize how much you can handle all at once. Really, I try to focus on what’s in front of me while still planning what’s coming up next. Don’t sweat the small stuff, right! How did you and your filmmaker husband, Matthew, first meet? Blind date! We were introduced by a makeup artist who worked with me at WNBC at the time and she had done the makeup on his first film. He boldly asked her for an introduction and the rest is history. Although, he will tell you I made him work for it. Does New York City play a big part in your relationship/story? I think dating here is an interesting thing. It’s phenomenally hard to date in New York. From what I now hear from single friends, it’s become even harder. I also think because real estate is so expensive it fast forwards some relationships. I think you make a decision quicker about whether or not you want to give things a serious try and live together first...because after all the rent is just too damn high! We went on our first date in August. Our second date was a month later and a few months after that, I think he moved in with me. We were engaged in 10 months. Everything moves fast in New York!
How do you still make time for romance? With three young kids and both of us working as hard as we do, it’s hard to find time for romance which is why it’s important to make time for it. We’ve gotten better about date nights now that our youngest is at an age where she can speak up for herself and we feel better about leaving them with a sitter. We try to have a date night a few times a month which usually entails a nice dinner or getting dressed up and going to an event together. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family? We do a lot with our kids that could be classified as an adult evening. Typically I will make a really nice meal for the whole family and there’s always dessert! I like to include them in cake making or try to get them involved in decorating in some small way. They are always eager to play with the balloons that I blow up before they get displayed, or helping me make things festive. It’s all in the little details. Things are always more special when you put a little extra love into it. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to make someone feel good. Is there someone who inspired you to get where you are in your life? My parents were very supportive of me. My mother though is who I get my creative drive from. She has always been an energizer bunny creating memories for us and being the force that brought family together. She can bake you the best pie, knock down a wall, or wallpaper your bathroom at the drop of a hat. She’s the reason I had my own set of power tools by the time I was 20. FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 13
14 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
I don’t make separate meals for my kids. I use the same ingredients and maybe package them in different ways.”
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 15
Things are always more special when you put a little extra love into it.”
16 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Fashion plays an important part of your career. Do you have a favorite designer? I work with a lot of the same designers because I find what fits me well and feels good and I tend to be loyal to them. But I’m always about finding someone new. I wear a lot of Chiara Boni La Petite Robe, Black Halo, Veronica Beard—who happens to be my sisterin-law—and Pamella Roland is my go-to red carpet designer. I have just started getting into A.L.C., Saloni, and Smythe. They have some really gorgeous stuff as well! How would you describe your personal style, both on-air and off? I would say my on-air style is more of a sophisticated, sometimes playful chic. My off-air is a paired down casual/bohemian-style. In my personal life I might be in a high-waisted jean (they make your legs look longer!) and a converse sneaker or a wedge. Naturally, I’m always in a heel on set. I think my shoes are where I spend the most money on myself. I love a nice shoe! Being a chef, what is your go-to recipe for a quick weeknight dinner? Having cooked in restaurants, having been a personal chef, and having a catering business I have an extensive repertoire of dishes for different occasions. But now that I’m a mom, I would say my everyday/weeknight meals may be a little less labor intensive than they used to be but I still pay attention to presentation—even for my kids. Since we all eat with our eyes first, no matter our age, I try to mix it up. There is always a protein, a vegetable, and a grain or starch. Of course, theirs is always a dessert. I like to share them on my Instagram stories. I made a delicious prosciutto-wrapped chicken breast stuffed with spinach and gruyere with a lemon pan sauce the other day. Oh, so good. Sounds fancy, but really it’s simple. Let the quality of the ingredients shine through. Courtesy of Sara Gore
Courtesy of Sara Gore
Now going into your 11th year on New York Live, how do you and the producers keep it so current and unlike other lifestyle shows? We live in the absolute best city that always provides us with the greatest content. We just get to tell its story. What is it about this job that feels so right? I feel like we have a lot of loyal viewers and every day I feel like I’m just talking to my friends. I love what I do. I love who I do it with. I am grateful every day that I get to do a job that still allows me to see my kids off to school and make dinner for them when I get home. I don’t feel like I have to miss out on their lives. The cherry on top is that I actually like going to work! Do you have a favorite workout routine? I wake up early and work out in my basement. I turned the kid’s playroom that they never used into my home gym and I couldn’t be happier. I like to start my day knowing that I hit my move goal by 6:45am. Then the rest of the day is just gravy! What’s your biggest challenge as a working mom to three? Just making time for myself and giving each one of them equal time and attention. Every day as a parent you question whether or not you are doing this whole parenting thing right! It absolutely is the hardest job in the world. Sometimes you are going to crush it and sometimes you are going to fall short. I try to remind myself, it’s OK. I’m just doing the very best I can. FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 17
SARA UPCLOSE If you had to create a slogan for your life, what would it be? “How hard can it be?” What is the last show you binge-watched? The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Somewhere warm! I’m just so over the winter. What three words describe you best? According to my husband I’m passionate, genuine, and nurturing. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? It’s OK to respectfully decline. What was the first thing you remember saving up money to buy on your own? My first car! What’s the best gift you’ve ever given to someone? For my kids it is usually the gift of a good time. Making their birthdays special and certainly a cake that I’ve put way too much time into, but just the right amount of love. What quality about yourself would you like to pass on to your children? I hope my children are nesters and nurturers like I am. What’s your favorite sports team? New York Yankees What’s your favorite comfort food? For savory, a really good juicy burger with melted blue cheese. For sweet, I like a really decadent and creamy chocolate peanut butter pie. Sounds delicious right about now. I’ll take one of each. A decadent double header!
18 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Do you have any strategies for getting picky eaters to dig in? Make things look familiar and kid-friendly while introducing them to new things. I don’t make separate meals for my kids. I use the same ingredients and maybe package them in different ways. I always tell them, this is not a restaurant. You don’t get to place an order. They’ll eventually eat it (and almost always like it). With so much emphasis today on climate change and conservation, how do you educate your own children to keep the planet green? I think with kids you need to focus on things they understand and teach them what they can do to help no matter how small. It’s important not to run water unnecessarily. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Put recyclables in the right bin. I show them how to plant a garden and about foods that we can grow ourselves. At this stage, it’s about the little things. For visitors to the Big Apple, what are your must-dos with kids? New York City has some of the greatest museums and zoos. We just took them to the T-Rex exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. They also love the Planetarium there. We’ve visited the New York Botanical Garden—there are always great things to do there. They love the Fall Festivals and Holiday Train Show. And what kid doesn’t love a zoo—Central Park Zoo and the Bronx Zoo are definite musts. Beyond that our kids love any place for sweets! Serendipity, Black Tap, and Magnolia (for banana pudding or hummingbird cake) are a few good spots. What projects are you currently working on for 2020? I’m relaunching my podcast that I do with my husband from our absolute favorite hotel, The Carlyle. My husband made a documentary on the Carlyle called Always at the Carlyle. We started the podcast as a lead up to its release and had so much fun doing it together with such great response that we are going to continue starting this month! Take a listen. It’s called Last Night at the Carlyle; we record it from the corner booth in Bemelmans Bar with Earl Rose on piano. I’m also going to start doing some cooking videos for Food Network Kitchens and their new streaming app. There are more projects in the works, so stay tuned! Do you have other dreams? Who doesn’t? I would love to own a little patisserie or bistro with a curated home goods shop attached. It would be small and charming with just the right things to make it feel special. •
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CELEBRATE BEAUTY & STYLE By Gerrie Summers
t’s February, the month of love and romance. We’ve got a lot of red hot love, hearts, and (caloriefree!) chocolate to help you celebrate. And since we believe in self-love, we’ve got items to pamper yourself!
Haute Cocoa Spa Tower Chocolate lovers, here’s a treat with fewer calories than a box of chocolate (actually zero) but just as decadent! Waxing Kara’s Haute Cocoa Spa Tower contains Haute Cocoa Honey Body Butter (dark chocolate), infused with real cocoa extracts and rich plant butters; Haute Cocoa CocoaBlueberry Renewing Mask, made with real cocoa and antioxidant-rich botanicals; Peace Soak (bath soak with lavender buds), a combination of Epsom and dead sea salts and fresh-picked lavender buds to ease sore muscles; Honey Body Scrub (dark chocolate) honey crystals, cocoa powder, and plant butters to gently exfoliate and moisturize the skin; and Haute Cocoa Soy Candle with an aroma-therapeutic chocolate scent. Info: waxingkara.com.
SHOW ME YOUR MUMU
Sandrine Ruffle Dress What could be more fitting for Valentine’s Day than to step out in the perfect little red dress? Show Me Your MuMu has several. A red hot pick: the Sandrine Ruffle Dress in Red Silky Cheetah has tiered ruffles and a subtle animal print. You can walk on the wild side and have them seeing red (in a good way, of course!) Info: showmeyourmumu.com.
Spirito Fiorentino Spirito Fiorentino is a fragrance you can share. The bottle is inspired by the red moon and comes with a weighty 24K plated cap (you can use later as a paperweight) featuring a map of the constellations. The fragrance is inspired by the history and tradition of Florence, Italy. The unisex scent has top notes of lily, orange, saffron and jasmine and a base of oak moss, sandalwood, birch, and musk. Available at Neiman Marcus. Info: tizianaterenzi.com.
THE LIP BAR
Tall V-Neck Long Sleeve Jumpsuit Alloy Apparel offers styles for tall women of all shapes and sizes. The Tall V-Neck Long Sleeve Jumpsuit in Cherry Red is perfect for Valentine’s Day dinners, as well as work parties, soirees, and other events. The stretch-crepe long sleeve jumpsuit has an elastic waistband that contours to the body, giving the wearer a sleek and slimming look. Info: alloyapparel.com. 20 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Fast Face Kits The Lip Bar’s Fast Face palettes are created to help you get through your makeup routine fast, so you’re ready for the day and special nights. The kits are available for all skin types and curated by complexion. Included are hyaluronic-infused Skin Serum Foundation, Minute Finish 4-in-1 Face Palette with face powder, contour, blush, and highlighter shades. Also, you’ll find a Dual-ended Blending Brush, 2-in-1 Eye Brow Gel & Pencil, two Straight Line Matte Eye Liner pencils, Lash Flash Strengthening Mascara and the perfect Vegan Liquid Matte lip shade for your complexion. Everything you need for a finished look in no time! Info: thelipbar.com.
The Original Comfy Chilly nights mean snuggling up in this soft comfy blanket/ sweatshirt. The Original Comfy is one size fits all (adults and teens) and is made of luxurious fleece microfiber material and fluffy polyester Sherpa lining. The Original Comfy is available in several colors and plus you can buy matching Comfy Feet slippers. There’s also the new Comfy Hoodie that is perfect for use to feel cozy outdoors. Info: comfy.com.
Love Collection If you want to splurge for love, Sydney Evan’s Love Collection has jewelry featuring hearts, love and diamonds, and rubies. Like the Rose-Gold & Diamond Large I Heart U ring with pave diamonds and rubies, and 14K rose gold band, or Rose-Gold & Pink Sapphire Love Ring, a 14K love ring finished in rose-gold and pink sapphires. Info: sydneyevan.com.
HIGH ON LOVE
Lip Gloss for Couples Lip Gloss is not often very tasty or pleasant, but High On Love’s Lip Gloss for Couples is designed to plump and hydrate lips to make them irresistibly soft and kissable. All High On Love products are infused with cannabis sativa seed oil (i.e., hemp seed oil) and are chemical-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. Info: highonlove.store
YVES SAINT LAURENT
Volupté Tint-in-Balm Volupté Tint-in-Balm is a hybrid lipstick that combines a melting balm with sheer lipstick color. The outer shell delivers the moisturizing balm with macadamia and apricot butters mixed with passionfruit and jojoba oils. The lip-shaped heart in the center runs from top to bottom and provides sheer color. Try it in Try Me Berry or Seduce Me Pink. Info: ysbeautyus.com.
Studded Heart Handbag If you’re into heart shapes, you’ll love this. Italian fashion house Moschino’s sublabel Love Moschino has a fun line of handbags with several featuring hearts, including the Studded Heart Handbag. The red handbag is made of faux leather and has a polyester lining. Info: moschino.com. •
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 21
LIFE & STYLE
ROMANTIC MUSTS FOR VALENTINE SUPERSTARS By Griffin Miller
or Valentine’s Day 2020, I decided to seek out words that capture the pure essence of Love, beginning all starry-eyed and nostalgic for tiny heart nuggets reading “Be Mine” and “Love Bug,” and primary colored greeting cards with bunnies kissing and baby ducks in hats. (My absolute favorite was a couple of smiling sunny side up eggs in a frying pan that said: “Maybe I’m just a small fry, but I’m a good egg… Be My Valentine”) Happy Valentine’s Day!
ROMEO & JEWELRY
One of the most enchanting necklaces I own doesn’t come kissed by diamonds or any costly stones. Rather it’s a perfect heart filled with sand from the Bradenton Beach in Florida where I once walked with my husband at twilight, and my birthstone, Turquoise. It’s backed in sterling silver, large enough to be engraved and when I wear it, it rests close to my heart. From Dune Jewelry, the piece uses the company’s signature Gradient Technique as well as sand from their massive library of destinations. Still, many pieces of Dune’s Experiential Jewelry® can be customized with your own sand and natural elements capturing personal memories from your backyard, favorite beach or mountain vacation. Info: dunejewelry.com.
Ah, the subliminal power of a heart-shaped candy box—Valentine’s Day summed up in a single object. Today, Valentine’s boxes have evolved into any number of eye-catching designs and, in the case of Sweet Vegan, arrive filled with 70 percent dark chocolates, handmade to delight even the most persnickety dietary limitations. Made with a mere 4 percent sugar content, they are totally free of all dairy, soy, nuts and gluten. As for the holiday at hand, the company’s special Dreamy Bites truffles—among them the bewitchingly named “Midnight Passion” are on tap, ready to captivate lovers one nibble at a time! Info: sweetvegan.nyc. 22 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Setting a romantic mood is often a no-brainer. Light a few candles; play some Barry White (or Chopin or Beyoncé…totally your choice); pour a good wine, special cocktail or sparkling cider (again, up to you); and serve something seductive to eat. That said, it just might be time to ratchet up the ambiance courtesy of BlissLights, a company that ingeniously serves up star-studded indoor mood lighting—either by USB module or lightbulb. Hundreds upon hundreds of laser stars fill the room and, for my Valentine and me, let’s just say it was like being wrapped in our own starry night cosmos. Info: blisslights.com.
Special occasions—and what could be more special than Cupid’s signature holiday—call for pampering. Lingering baths come to mind as do lush body lotions, soaps wrapped in inspired fragrances. The Somerset Toiletry Company of England has been an international player in the deluxe bath field, a genre that also includes their Beauty of Bath Reed Diffusers. And of the trio of fragrances offered, I suggest their Cashmere Musk Noir Diffuser—with its top notes of mandarin and creamy undertones of sandalwood as a sensuous room enhancement. Just remove the stopper and insert the black reeds into the glass bottle. Heavenly. Info: thesomersettoiletryco.co.uk.
TOUCH OF THE POET
SEALED WITH A KISS & A SMILE
Allow me to introduce the mother of invention: Bob Hickey, founder of Patent Press Greeting Cards where every 5x7 card features interesting, iconic and/or witty art plucked from patent applications filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Brilliantly curated, with wildly diverse subject matter (I would reserve a couple of hours for scrolling) the most obvious Valentine card features the original Honey Bottle, patent number D.166,995, with the inside message reading: “Be My Honey?” But should your squeeze (pun intended) be into Kermit, Star Wars, ballet, bikes or Betty Boop, consider yourself covered. All created with longevity (i.e. framing) in mind. Info: patentpressgreetingcards.com.
THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
The design is both inspired and striking; the impact, palpable. Here is a singular backpack that catapults the routinely utilitarian into the realm of elegance. Skillfully woven by an artesian Bali family from ata grass (similar to rattan), the Jenn Lee Malam Bag curves so seductively and opens to reveal a stunning batik lining in a traditional Bali print. So beautifully tactile, mine is making its debut on February 14th bearing a slender tin of chocolate covered strawberries and two tickets to Moulin Rouge! on Broadway. Compliments are inevitable even if it is still technically winter. Info: shopjennlee.com.
If, by chance, you prefer to express affection in flourishes of poetry or romantic prose—or to encourage your loved one to go old school for their novel-to-be—the perfect pen just might provide sans pareil inspiration. The Graf von Faber-Castell’s Fountain Pen Guilloche: India Red is a writing instrument up to the task. Individually engraved with a method used by jewelers, each of these impeccable hand-lacquered and repeatedly polished resin pens is one of a kind or, as the literature would put it, “an individual example of the craftsman’s art.” Info: graf-von-fabercastell.com.
SPLENDOR IN THE GLASS
Whether this year’s romantic toast involves red or white, there’s smooth sipping in your future courtesy of the Üllo Wine Purifier. Beyond easy to use (I had no problem and I’m quite the accomplished klutz), this sleek little gadget serves two important functions: it separates out the sediment and improves the through Selective Sulfite Capture technology that jettisons sulfites. The aerator can be placed atop a wine glass, carafe or decanter. And if you wish to insert a rather idyllic decanter into your Valentine’s Day plans. I suggest checking out either Üllo’s Florence Decanter, inspired by the Florence flasks found in chemistry labs, or the lovely Crystal Üllo Carafe. Info: ullowine.com. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 23
©Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort
BOUTIQUE IN BERMUDA THINK PINK FOR REST & RELAXATION By Stacey Zable
ooking for a quick getaway? Bermuda is less than a two-hour flight from New York City, but seemingly a world away. Stunning pink beaches, top food, and active adventures await. And while Bermuda has an abundance of properties to choose from for your trip, these two boutique beauties offer high-touch service for a personal pampering stay. NEWSTEAD BELMONT HILLS GOLF RESORT & SPA Paget The name of this resort said it all for me with championship golf for my husband and a spa for me and my girls, but the intimate and upscale Newstead Belmont Hills offered even more. With only 60 waterfront accommodations, the property can truly evoke a home-away-fromhome feeling with personal service. The welcoming feeling starts at the relaxing infinity pool facing Hamilton Harbour. Its sun deck is hard to leave, except if you want to take advantage of the complimentary shuttle to Elbow Beach just a few minutes away. Guests of Newstead Belmont Hills can enjoy this stunning beach with towels, chaises, and umbrellas available for leisurely days in the sun. A complimentary shuttle is also at the ready to take golfers to experience their one included round of golf at the Par 70 Belmont Hills Golf Course. (There is a cart fee of $35 per person not included.) On-site, active travelers can enjoy the two lighted tennis courts and a fitness room. Those guests seeking more relaxation will find it by simply stepping into the spa, with therapists meeting guests with a smile and genuine warmth. For a small property, the Newstead Spa & Salon offers an extensive choice of massages, body and facial treatments, holistic therapies, salon services, and half- or full-day experiences. 24 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Newstead Resort ©Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort
Accommodations at the resort include 48 studios, oneand two-bedroom suites with fully-equipped kitchens, as well as 15 deluxe rooms. The kitchens, ideal especially for families, enable guests to have breakfast, lunch, and snacks in their suites, leaving dinner for exploring Bermuda’s superior dining scene. The resort offers excellent restaurants right on-site as well. Among them is its fine dining restaurant Beau Rivage. Award-winning chef Jean Claude Garzia, a recipient of the gold medal of Meilleur Ouvrier de France, has created a menu that combines the flavors of France with island ingredients. When it’s time to go and explore, an extremely convenient and included private water taxi right at the resort makes round trips to Hamilton across the bay Mondays through Saturdays. Info: newsteadbelmonthills.com.
Newstead Resort ©Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort
The Reefs ©The Reefs Resort & Club
THE REEFS RESORT & CLUB Southampton Nestled on a cliff, The Reefs is a family-owned resort which overlooks a pink sand cove and the Atlantic Ocean. All 62 guest rooms, suites, and cottages feature private balconies to enjoy the gorgeous views. In addition, there are also 19 two- and three-bedroom private condominiums with fully-equipped kitchens available for a vacation rental or fractional ownership at The Reefs Club. Start the day by taking the stairs leading to the secluded beach. The private pink sands are dotted with lounges and umbrellas and make for a magnificent enclave for relaxation. And for those wanting to get their feet wet, complimentary water sports are available including paddleboards, snorkeling, and kayaks. The resort also has two tennis courts with complimentary equipment and a fitness center. Golf offproperty and other excursions can be arranged. The resort is home to the full-service La Serena Spa with treatments that include massages, facials, detox therapies, nail care, and more. The Clubhouse Bar & Lounge offers casual dining, hand-crafted cocktails, and seasonal live entertainment in the lounge or on the terrace. Aqua Terra overlooks the ocean from atop and offers sea- and farm-to-table dining. The seasonal alfresco Coconuts overlooks the beach and is the place for casual Caribbean cuisine. Info: thereefs.com. • The Reefs ©Tess Robin
WHAT TO SEE & DO Bermuda is only approximately 21 miles long and 1.75 miles wide at its widest point, so it’s a reasonably easy island to navigate—if you are comfortable driving on the left side of the road. Golfers have six courses to choose from, including the Par 71 Port Royal Golf Course designed by Robert Trent Jones and one of the world’s premier public golf courses. Be sure to spend one day in the capital city of Hamilton. It offers block after block of shops and galleries, harbor views, and the chance to experience the nightlife along Front Street. At the eastern end of the island is St. George’s Parish—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—steeped in history with its pastel houses. Be sure to visit St. Peter’s Church and Fort St. Catherine. The Royal Naval Dockyard offers shopping, dining, and maritime history at the National Museum of Bermuda and Bermuda Maritime Museum. Cyclists can bike along the 18-mile Railway Trail. The Hidden Gems Nature Hike through Walsingham Nature Reserve and Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve offers the chance to see Bermuda’s natural beauty. There seems to be a beach at every turn: Warwick Long Bay, Shelly Bay, Church Bay and a dozen more. However, a visit to Horseshoe Bay Beach will not disappoint—it’s the most popular of Bermuda’s pink beaches. For more information on Bermuda, visit gotobermuda.com.
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IS THE BEST PLACE TO BE T H I S W I N T E R AT W O O D L O C H !
Woodloch provides unrivaled hospitality, engaging activities, countless amenities and enter tainment. Here, it's about families coming closer together, reconnecting, and having an experience you won't soon forget - you just have to see it for yourself.
W O O D L O C H . C O M | 8 0 0 . W O O D L O C H | IN THE NORTHERN POCONO MOUNTAINS
NORTH OF THE BORDER A JOURNEY TO THE BEST WELLNESS RETREATS By Ruth J. Katz
needed a getaway: A yoga retreat in the mountains? A trip to a ranch nestled on the Montana prairie? A stay at a New Age health-minded spa in California? I did not want the hassle of a long journey which would abrogate the singular purpose of the sojourn. Nevertheless, I wanted both a change of gears and a dollop of culture—and then it hit me: Oh, Canada! I settled on Quebec City and Montreal (a short train ride connects them), both of which would offer a taste of something exotic, but require minimal travel. MDA Entrée QUEBEC CITY La Monastère des Ausgustines The monasterycum-retreat (yes, a functioning monastery, with ten nuns!) is described on its website as “a unique healing experience in the heart of Old Quebec”—and that it is. This gorgeous, serene retreat is comprised of older buildings, which were once a part of the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec monastery (established in 1639), and twentieth-century additions; the new facilities are architecturally cunning, complementing the existing stone edifices with massive swathes of glass walls and walkways. The intrepid nuns who sallied forth from France to establish the first hospital on the continent (north of Mexico) were dedicated to healing the sick. (The archives and museum are a must to check out.) Today this is a sanctum of culture, caring, and comfort. There are daily meditation walks, yoga and movement classes in disciples like Qi Gong, holistic health evaluations, aromatherapy, and spa-oriented treatments that focus on health and well-being rather than on beauty-oriented indulgences. I opted for a serious nutritioncounselling session and a dreamy reflexology treatment. Bring walking shoes, as you’ll want to explore enchanting, quaint Quebec City. Info: monastere.ca/en. Strom Spa Quebec
StrØm Spa Nordique Before I left Quebec City, I test-drove this newly opened spa, a grown-up toyland dedicated to thermotherapy. What, you ask? Practiced for thousands of years, thermotherapy is a therapeutic treatment dedicated to restoring balance to the body through water—first with a hot soak, then a cool (or even freezing) splash, followed by relaxation. Touted to revive the physical and spiritual, I first experienced this ritual at the sensational Scandinave Spa in Whistler, British Colombia. Here, at the StrØm Spa, however, the concept is taken to new, mind-blowing heights: There are at least 20 different options, for both that warm-water bath and the chilling plunge, capped off with a form of rest. Among the choices for relaxation: An area with outdoor, hanging rope-hammock-chairs, which are like cosseting cocoons. (All the outdoor spaces overlook the Saint Lawrence River.) A particularly novel option is a pool with a self-propelling current that pushes you along a circuitous route, as you grasp a flotation noodle. There are outdoor and indoor whirlpools, thermal and Nordic baths, a Finnish sauna, a eucalyptus steam bath, thermal and Nordic waterfalls, and relaxation areas with fireplaces. (Ask about the fir-, cedar-, and spruce-tree essential oils from Canadian companies.) Info: stromspa.com.
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MONTREAL Amerispa I next headed to Montreal, where I checked into the modern Hôtel Le Crystal, and capped off my morning’s travel with a trip to the hotel’s spa, to give a more conventional treatment a whirl. The hotel itself stocks amenities from a Canadian company, Oneka, and the spa offers beauty and body treatment products from Sothys Paris, Valmont Cosmetics, and Esthederm. The spa also has an outdoor hot tub and indoor pool and features a menu of traditional treatments, including facials, skincare and body treatments, mani-pedis, and a view of the city, to boot. The hotel offers very capacious rooms—more like suites, with a welcoming living room, a well-equipped railroad kitchen, and a cozy bedroom set off by a sliding door. It was a very convenient home base for me while in charming Montreal. Info: amerispa.ca.
Hotel Le Crystal Spa Hot Tub ©Hôtel Le Crystal
Bota Bota Spa A former, multideck ferryboat that is sturdily docked in the Saint Lawrence River has been ingeniously transformed to a floating Disneyland for water-inspired wellness. Adjacent to the vessel is a vast, terraced garden with more water facilities, saunas, steam baths, and lounging areas. My favorite: Giant beanbag chairs and hammocks adjacent to the river; I blissed out for an hour. Three different saunas, each with a glass window or wall, offer a city or river view….it is sensational. A restaurant with healthy fare is also on board. Info: botabota.ca.
Scandinave Spa My interest in the thermotherapy spas was kindled, as I mentioned, in Whistler, on the western edge of Canada, at the breathtaking indooroutdoor Scandinave. Here, at the company’s facility in Montreal, there is no outdoor space, but the indoor facilities offer plenty of the requisite heat treatments (it dilates blood vessels and increases blood pressure), cold plunges (closes pores, and help shift the blood pressure as it flushes toxins out), and spaces for relaxation, which help to regulate the cardiovascular system. The spa offers a menu of diverse body treatments (no aesthetic/beauty treatments), as well, and I chose a lomi-atsu massage, a fusion of the relaxing lomi-lomi from Hawaii and the harmonizing Japanese shiatsu. This is a delightful inner-city destination that delivers a fine out-of-body experience! Info: scandinave.com. For more information on Quebec City and Montreal, visit quebecoriginal.com. © 2020 Ruth J. Katz All Right Reserved • 28 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Scand Bain + Bassin
HEALTHFUL BITES Quebec City Breakfast at La Monastère is an adventure— because it is taken in silence. The house-made treats include tasty grain cereals, dried fruits and berries for yogurt, and a few indulgent treats like French toast, but made from the most toothsome whole grains. It is dinner, though, that astonishes. Salads and vegetables are so fresh it’s as if the produce were just plucked from the garden. Meals usually include meat, poultry, fish, and vegetarian options, all flavorful and worthy of seconds. The concept of the outstanding restaurant L’Orygine is focused on using locally produced ingredients, to create organic, inventive, and fresh dishes. Everything is highly original, appetizing, and prepared with flair—a braised leek risotto, for example, is accented with sunflower emulsion and marigold flowers.
Montreal I savored delicious cuisine at Portus 360, a delightful revolving restaurant in a high-rise, featuring fine Portuguese fare—fresh, flavorful, fabulous. The restaurant is like a beacon in the city’s skyline, offering a panoramic view as well as show-stopping cuisine, with seafood front and center. Whether cod, shrimp, whelks, or scallops, each dish is plentiful and palatable beyond description. Seafood reigns, as well, at Ikanos, a Greek eatery that features refined and appetizing combinations— like Arctic Char, celery puree, marinated vegetables, pea shoots with beurre-blanc sauce. The fare at Jatoba was highly touted in The New York Times Style magazine a little over a year ago; the menu of this Asian-inspired temple of flavors will seduce you from the first bite to the last. Dumplings, sushi, sashimi— all a fusion of tangy flavors— astonish with their myriad layered spices and beautiful presentation. You will be eager to return to Montreal if, for no other reason (and there are plenty of other reasons), to dine here again and again.
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Mmariposa Monarca Courtesy of Marina Aguirre de Samaniego
THE MAGICAL MIGRATION OF MONARCH BUTTERFLIES By Ruth J. Katz
stood some 10,000 feet above sea level in a quiet clearing, enveloped by a dense forest of towering oyamel fir trees. I was on the trail of monarch butterflies, which settle in western Mexico for the winter, after a 2,500mile migration from the Canadian Maritime Provinces and the Eastern United States. During their overwintering “rest” in Mexico, thousands of visitors flock to view this phenomenal sight, from late January through early March, before the butterflies make their way back north for springtime. It is worth noting that a staggering 100 million butterflies make this migration. Scrutinizing the canopy of 100-foot-tall trees in the El Rosario Sanctuary, I thought at first that the branches of several of these majestic colossi had withered and died. Then it hit me: The trees’ sagging, burnt sienna cloaks were opaque, not with dead branches, but with a blanket of russet- and ginger-colored roosting monarchs, each weighing less than a gram. 30 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Courtesy of Monroe Warshaw
SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES As I gazed, phalanxes of them suddenly took flight. Thousands upon thousands of butterflies suddenly swooped from the branches, exposing the muted green trees’ needles. Forming undulating ribbons, they trailed through the sky. Thousands more of their number fluttered away individually, like confetti against an azure canvas. It was beyond what I anticipated, and assuredly, worth the climb to get to this thrilling viewing perch. As one of my fellow trip mates gushed, “I feel as if I am inside a snow globe!” This was my second day on the butterfly trek. Day one, my small group had ventured to another viewing site, the Piedra Herrada Sanctuary. Both sites, along with three others, are located in protected land, part of a national biosphere preserve. The Mexican government has sanctioned almost 140,000 acres (in the states of Mexico and Michoacán) of forest for the butterflies, and the entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well. In Michoacán, there are two sanctuaries, and in the state of Mexico there are three; each refuge is home to many individual colonies of butterflies. However, not all are open to the public, and it is best to navigate a visit with a local guide. I chose to make my trip with Marina in Mexico, the eponymous touring company of Marina Aguirre de Samaniego, an ardent “ambassador” for her country, effervescing with knowledge of the land, the people, and the butterflies—and armed with impressive academic credentials. Her company is nearly ten years old and offers a dozen or so different, intimate (limited to 16 people) journeys throughout Mexico. Most people who travel with her return repeatedly. “Wherever we went, Marina knew all the locals, even the mayor, so you share a very welcoming experience, and you also travel to places where you are the only tourists,” notes Santa Fe-based Anne Frej, a veteran of several trips. Frej, along with her husband, Bill, are seasoned and discerning global citizens, having lived overseas for nearly 30 years, while Bill was a diplomat.
Morelia Courtesy of Marina Aguirre de Samaniego
Parangaricutrio Courtesy of Marina Aguirre de Samaniego
HAPPINESS IS A BUTTERFLY Most assuredly, I would not have wanted to have taken this adventure alone. With Marina in charge, everything was arranged, and we were in expert hands, with a crackerjack driver, navigating narrow two-lane byways as well as uncharted backroads. Though the Piedra Herrada Sanctuary is interesting, the El Rosario Sanctuary is the more vibrant, more populated. To capture an “Instagram-worthy” photo, all you had to do was point your phone/camera to a branch or a flower and wait five seconds, and then one—or hundreds—of butterflies appear. The El Rosario Sanctuary is the more tourist-friendly, so it is the more crowded. The climbs at both parks are not for the faint of heart; the 10,000-foot ascent is steep, with hairpin turns, sharp inclines, and dusty, unpaved pathways. Horses are also available, and Marina arranged for our fourlegged transport. At El Rosario, a literal yellow-brick road lined with shops marks the way to the “launching pad” for the climb, which takes about an hour. The pot of gold at the end is the overwhelming sea of butterflies—everywhere you look. In addition to the visits to the two sanctuaries, Marina’s butterfly trip (eight nights/nine days), also includes enriching outings to historical sites, architectural wonders, museums, and several Pueblos Mágicos, a designation bestowed by the government, acknowledging municipalities which are acclaimed for their natural beauty, cultural uniqueness, historical importance, or native crafts. After the first two nights in the town of Valle de Bravo (our base for the butterfly portion of the journey), our home base was in Morelia, a city of about one million and the capital of Michoacán. From there, we took daily jaunts around the region to places like Santa Clara del Cobre, a town renowned for its copper arts and Tzintzuntzan, home to an amazing archeological site featuring five yácatas or oval-shaped pyramids. But despite the splendor of all else we experienced, the monarchs remain the most memorable—a journey of a lifetime, for sure. For more information on Marina in Mexico, visit marinainmexico. com; for Mexico, go tovisitmexico.com. © 2019 Ruth J. Katz All Rights Reserved • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 31
THE ROMANCE OF TRAVEL PLACES TO LOVE IN 2020 By Norah Bradford
ooking to kindle the flames of love with a romantic escape? Maybe it is a desire to experience the excitement of visiting new places and learn about new cultures. Or, perhaps fall in love and reignite an old passion for places once visited. Relaxing beaches, adventurous ski slopes, and desert retreats are just a few of our favorite romantic getaways. ST. BARTHS, Caribbean St. Barths has become the destination of choice for the world’s most influential jet setters. Whether in search of exotic scenery or exclusive luxury, this Caribbean gem is more than a secret haven of laid back refinement, it is a lifestyle beyond compare. Days are spent on soft white beaches that stretch along the contours of the magnificent coves, and evenings begin watching the sunset to make for an intimate setting. Stay & Eat A visit here is the perfect spot to relax, dine, and party. Stay at the sumptuous Hotel Eden Rock St. Barths. The luxury hotel has been fully renovated and has an extensive Eden Spa featuring local artisanal products from Ligne St Barth. The Eden Rock combines designer decor, high-quality amenities, stellar service, and superior attention to detail—not to mention the Jean-Georges Sand Bar restaurant and legion of celebrity followers. Do not miss some of the best French/Caribbean-inspired beachside restaurants along the Grand Cul-de-Sac. Not to be missed is a lunch a duex for which your choices range from a chic afternoon lunch drinking rosé and watching the world go by listening to an achingly hip soundtrack at Nikki Beach in St. Jean. Info: saintbarth-tourisme.com. LAS VEGAS, Nevada Sure there’s gambling and glitz. But there are also top-of-the-line hotels, gourmet dining and haute shopping. It’s a whole new deal in Vegas! Yes, Nevada’s place-your-bets mecca offers so much more than gambling. Do not worry that all the new chic is dulling the edge of the city’s outrageousness. What else could you call a town where you’ll see slot machines the moment you step off the plane and bump into Elvis impersonators strutting across any casino floor? Stay & Eat Luxury takes many forms when you check into The Palazzo Tower at The Venetian Resort. The accommodations are truly outstanding: Generous suites with plenty of space, beautiful appointments, and views of the Strip are just the beginning. Other features of note include a fitness center and spa from the hallowed Canyon Ranch to work out together. Be sure to make a reservation at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, which offers diners an elevated take on classic French bistro fare. Sunday brunch on their outdoor terrace is a must to show one another off to the world. For cocktails, The Palazzo boasts Electra and Rosina cocktail bars. At the Venetian head to the Dorsey Cocktail Lounge, which looks more like a library complete with a fireplace to enjoy pre-dinner cocktails and conversation. Also, be sure to include TAO on your bucket list of dining, offering an excellent Asian fusion menu. For even more romance, a gondola ride is sure to please as you ply the waterway and marvel at St. Mark’s Square. Build an appetite for shopping with a brunch/lunch snack at Sixth and Mill Ristorante and enjoy their pizzas. Info:lasvegasnevada.gov. 32 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
ASPEN, Colorado Aspen’s as well-known for its après-ski activities as it is for the ski slopes themselves. The cobblestoned streets are lined with designer boutiques (Gucci, Prada, and Chanel among them) as well as cherished emporiums of Western wear selling everything from Stetson hats and Lucchese boots. Like the town, the skiing is first-rate. Aspen Mountain (affectionately called Ajax) is right downtown; the slopes are a mere gondola ride away from those impressive shops. This winter sees the return of the U.S. Alpine Tech Championship at Snowmass and Aspen from March 28th to 31st for the first time in sixty years. Stay & Eat For those familiar with the Aspen scene, book a stay at the new W Hotel Aspen, which offers ski-in/ski-out experiences at the base of Ajax Mountain. Reserve a table at the WET deck—the rooftop with heated pool and hot-tub with views of Aspen and the surrounding mountains. Meanwhile, for something more intimate, why not enjoy a late-night rendezvous at the Hotel Jerome’s speakeasy, Bad Harriet, in the former Aspen Times Building. Info: aspensnowmass.com. SANTA FE, New Mexico New Mexico is a crossing point of cultures, as well as scenery and climate. Visit Santa Fe, which blends Hispanic, Native American, and Anglo cultures and is America’s third-largest art market today. The town has some 400 restaurants and boasts a ‘Margarita trail’ which possibly no one has ever completed in one visit. Stay & Eat The Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi combines the service of the Rosewood Group with the charm of a hotel containing a library and art collection focused on the Southwest. Take a stroll downtown and shop some of the 250 art galleries and markets. Dine together at the Amaya Restaurant located in the nearby Hotel Santa Fe, which features a Southwestern menu complimented with vegan and gluten-free options. Info: santafe.com. THE BIG ISLAND, Hawaii Travel to a mystical oasis that charms with its welcoming aloha spirit. Twice the size of Hawaii’s other islands combined, the Big Island encompasses 11 of the world’s climate zones. You can experience snow-capped mountains, lush rain forests, and jet-black beaches all in one trip, without having to fly to different continents. The temperature rarely fluctuates, so you’re guaranteed sunny skies and refreshing breezes year-round. Whether you’re drawn makai (seaward) or mauka (inland, towards the mountains), you won’t be able to resist the isle’s magnetic pull towards adventure. Stay & Eat Situated on the mystical Kona-Kohala Coast, Four Seasons Hualalai was designed to fit into its natural tropical setting. The luxurious bungalows are carved into the black volcanic rock landscape, allowing ocean views from all the rooms. Take a moment and visit the Hualalai Spa for its unique apothecary where you can choose natural ingredients for a spa treatment. After a day of soaking up the rays, indulge at the at the hotel’s ULU Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge, one of the most romantic places to dine, and where the menu focuses on local cuisine with an artisanal philosophy. It’s a favorite and one of the best restaurants in all of Hawaii. Info: gohawaii.com. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 33
THE KEY TO PARADISE By Gerrie Summers
ey Largo is the northernmost and largest of the Florida Keys. Originally called Cayo Largo (meaning Long Island) by Spanish explorers, it became well-known with the classic film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Actually the area was called Rock Harbor and the movie inspired the name change to Key Largo. The area is also a popular romantic vacation spot. Nestled within 14.5 beachfront acres is the beautiful Playa Largo Resort & Spa, which is part of the Autograph Collection of luxury hotels.
THE KEY TO PARADISE
Playa Largo has 167 luxury rooms and suites, as well as 10 twostory bungalows and a three-bedroom, four-bathroom Beach House. With a private pool and beach, it can be used for events like wedding parties and girlfriend getaways. Accommodations at Playa Largo have island-inspired decor that match the area’s relaxing blues and soft white sand. Guests get to enjoy a resort pool, two cozy fire pits with seating area, a 15-slip marina with boat launch. There’s more! A menu of water-sports, basketball and tennis courts and a jogging trail that runs through hammock trees should keep you fit. In addition, there is a private members club, Club Playa Clubhouse with lounge, locker room and a private lawn, where we enjoyed a Chef ’s Choice farewell dinner on our final night. For a pampering experience, the full-service 6,000 foot Ocean Spa, has six treatment rooms, including a couple’s room. Ingredients are sourced from tropical fruits to marine algae. There is a Playa Largo Scrub Bar where guests can create their own tropical scrubs. The spa also has a salon and state-of-the art fitness facilities. If kids are in tow, there’s Playa Kids, a daily discovery camp and fun activity center that will keep them busy for hours. 34 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Playa Largo Resort Beach House
Playa Resort has four places to dine. Poolside restaurant La Marea features dishes with seasonal ingredients, using local farmers, fishermen and its own seaside vegetable and herb garden. It’s open for breakfast and dinner, and has charming curtained booths.
Water Table at Sol by the Sea
Sol by the Sea features a menu inspired by Trinidadian cuisine, and is a rustic beach shack at the edge of the pier with driftwood benches and a view of white yachts and gorgeous sunsets in striking oranges and pinks. Even the best camera might not do the sunsets justice. A romantic toes-in-the-sand dinner can be set up just down the steps and on the beach. Las Olas, an authentic Peruvian ceviche bar, referred to as the only true ceviche restaurant in Florida’s Upper Keys, is a latenight hangout serving fresh seafood ceviche cured in tropical citrus juices. Sand Bar by the beach and pool is where you can get “barefoot cocktails,” fresh-squeezed juices and snacks. There are cozy cabanas nearby.
WHAT TO DO IN KEY LARGO Called the Dive Capital of the World,” the Florida Keys island chain is home to the continental U.S.’s only living coral barrier reef. While visiting Key Largo be sure to explore the world’s second largest artificial reef, and the shipwreck of the 510-foot USS Spiegel Grove. You can snorkel and dive at the undersea park John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and see the underwater statue Christ of the Abyss. A must for lunch is The Fish House. If you are a seafood lover, you’ll have a hard time deciding what to get. The fresh seafood is smoked, seared or sautéed in specialty blackened, Jamaican Jerk or Matecombe-style. All seafood is purchased from local commercial fishermen and prepared on the premises. Be sure to leave room for a slice of Florida’s famous Key Lime pie.
Playa Largo Resort Beachview
Hold your course. You’re headed straight for Key Largo! —From the 1948 film, Key Largo.
REVEL, RELAX, RECLINE
Relax or swim in the calm waters of the Florida Bay where wooden lounge chairs rest in the water, set up next to your beau with an island drink. Parasail over Florida Bay to get a bird’s eye view of the area, overlooking the island, and the gorgeous blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Take a sunset cruise around the islands on the Bay on the Carolina Moon, make a champagne toast and listen as the captain blows the conch shell at sunset. Conch shell blowing is an island tradition for over 50 years and has such an important history in the Keys, that there’s actually a conch shell blowing contest in Key West. And for those couples who are ready to tie the knot, the resort can arrange to have an undersea ceremony among coral reefs and shipwrecks. For more information on Playa Largo Resort & Spa, visit playalargoresort.com; for Key Largo and the Florida Keys, visit fla-keys.com. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 35
MARVELOUS MONTGOMERY 10 REASONS TO VISIT THIS HISTORIC CITY By Ruth J. Katz | Photos courtesy of The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
he current film Just Mercy documents the gutsy stand that newly minted, Harvard-educated attorney Bryan Stevenson took back in 1988—appealing the wrongful conviction and death sentence of Walter McMillan, for a murder he had not committed. The movie is gripping and, of course, the lawyer and client triumph. Stevenson went on in 1989 to found the distinguished Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), located in the heart of Montgomery. EJI is responsible for opening two venues for visitors to experience the inequity and anguish of slavery and to further understand the oppressiveness of incarceration—the spellbinding Legacy Museum and the somber, contemplative National Memorial for Peace and Justice. They are the newest additions to the rich, textured history of the Civil Rights movement in this state capital. As we honor and celebrate Black History Month, a visit should be on your calendar. And fittingly, the city has just elected its first black mayor, the Honorable Steven Reed. 1 The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration is a searing study into the agony and injustices perpetrated by slavery as well as an examination of incarceration over the years. The museum is a block from what was the most established slave auction block in the States and is actually on the site where the enslaved were warehoused. The entry corridor underscores the fear and trauma a kidnapped African likely felt, caged in a holding pen. Holographic visions of slaves behind bars, replete with chilling sound effects—in one case, a mournful spiritual—personalize the incomprehensible. Dozens of gallon-size, clear-glass jars hold soil from the sites of Southern lynchings and memorialize the souls who suffered this heinous end, reducing the abstract crime to an individual one: Handy Woodward, March 9, 1886, Russellville, Kentucky.
National Memorial for Peace and Justice
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2 The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is easily reached by shuttle service from the Legacy Museum. This feels like a sacred burial ground, although you will not rest easy here, as you will be moved to tears on this six-acre site. The monument itself is a compilation of stirring, suspended, rectangular (almost casket-like) steel columns; a wall of peaceful, flowing water; and then more tomb-like monuments—over 800 of them, one for each Southern county where racial-terror lynchings occurred, engraved with the names of the victims. (Across the street is an educational facility, the Peace and Justice Memorial Center.)
3 Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum is located near the site where the intrepid Mrs. Parks was arrested for refusing to relinquish her bus seat in 1955. The museum does a splendid job of recreating the period with an introductory film, and then an actual bus takes center stage, with sophisticated audio-video. The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 381 days and was highly orchestrated. But make no mistake—this was hard on just about the entire black community. A local dignitary remarks in a film in the exhibit that he had read that shoe repair services increased 45 percent during the boycott! Nearby at Fountain Square is the recently unveiled statue of Mrs. Parks. 4 - 5 The Freedom Riders Museum celebrates the 21 brave young people, barely out of their teens, who challenged the Jim Crow laws of the South. They sought to travel on public transportation from Washington, D. C. to New Orleans, attempting to integrate bus stations, restrooms, and drinking fountains. They arrived at the Montgomery Greyhound Station on May 20, 1961. One member of this group was the highly respected Representative John Lewis, Democrat from Georgia, serving his 17th term in the House. The Harris House, where these brave travelers lodged while in Montgomery, is on the Alabama Register of Historic Places.
Rosa Parks Museum Bus Museum of Alabama
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
6 - 7 Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church is a National Historic Landmark, and it was in its basement that the NAACP was founded in 1945. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was pastor from 1954 to 1960. The Dexter Parsonage Museum is the modest, mostly untouched home (there is even original furniture) where the King family lived. Imagine the meetings that took place around the dining room table; at one such meeting, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was formed. 8 The First White House of the Confederacy was the official residence of President Jefferson Davis, while Montgomery served as the capital of the Confederacy (February through May 1861). The 1835 Italianate-style house is listed on the National Register of History Places. 9 The Civil Rights Memorial Center and Memorial, adjacent to the State Capital building (where the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March ended), is across from the offices of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and houses moving exhibits about Civil Rights martyrs, a Wall of Tolerance, and a classroom for educational programs. I could go on with countless more reasons for a trip here. Charting Civil Rights is not the only reason to visit Montgomery. For example, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald spent a year here—and the home they rented is now a small tribute museum—and also functions as an Airbnb. (OK, this is number 10!) For more information on Montgomery, visit visitingmontgomery.com. © Ruth J. Katz, 2020. All Rights Reserved • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 37
THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL PHILADELPHIA SKY HIGH WITH LUXURY By Jenny Peters
ou’ll find it on North 19th Street, centered between Rittenhouse and Logan Squares, but don’t expect to see the lobby on the ground floor. For this hotel begins on the 48th floor, with the lobby located at the very top, on 60. As you enter on the ground floor, be sure to notice Vernick Fish; that’s a hotel partner and place you’ll want to try later on. Once you’re escorted to your room, the fun begins. For every one of the Four Seasons’ luxurious rooms (180 of them, and 39 suites, too) has a spectacular, unobstructed view of Philadelphia and beyond from floor-to-ceiling windows. From the north side, you’ll easily pick out the Philadelphia Museum of Art with its famous steps; if you›re living on the south side, look left to spot Independence Hall. Book a corner Skyline Suite, and you can even take a bath with a view!
SLEEK & MODERN
Everything is sleekly modern and stylish at the hotel, including Spa at The Four Seasons, where a stunning display of crystals (700 pounds, believe it or not) begins your wellness retreat. Every treatment room has a spectacular view, and more crystals are at the ready as part of the spa’s signature treatments. The warm crystal massage will melt away your kinks, especially if you’ve hit the fitness center or the sky-high lap pool beforehand. Indulge yourself even more with a meal from one of the two main restaurants, and both helmed by world-famous chefs. Discover sublime fare on 59 with a visit to Jean-Georges Philadelphia, where that Michelin-starred chef brings his favorite dishes to Philly. If you’ve never had his Yellowfin Tuna Noodles with Avocado and Radish, you are in for a real treat, as that dish alone is worth the trip. Also worth a visit for lovers of seafood of all types is Vernick Fish, that convivial ground-floor eatery complete with an oyster bar, lots of raw bites, and small and large plates designed for communal eating. As James Beard Award-winning Chef Greg Vernick says, “We love it when guests share everything.” Order the Octopus Carpaccio as well as the Crispy Beignets and Spicy Clam Ragout, but be warned—you are not going to want to share! For more information on Four Seasons Philadelphia, visit fourseasonsphiladelphia.com; for the City of Philadelphia, visit visitphaldelphia.com. • 38 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
MUST-SEE SPOTS IN PHILLY Tear yourself away from your Four Seasons aerie to discover Philadelphia’s top attractions; most are within a mile or less from the hotel. The Barnes Foundation is an art lover›s dream, with a collection that ranges from masterpieces created by Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Cezanne, and Matisse to Native American pottery and textiles. Collected by Dr. Albert Barnes, the complete collection is now housed in a massive stone structure on Ben Franklin Parkway. The Rodin Museum is just steps away from the Barnes, boasting the most extensive collection of works by the famed sculptor found outside of his home country of France. Originally opened in 1926 and refurbished in 2012, this is a gorgeous place to spend a few hours marveling at the master›s work. Also nearby is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, so run up the stairs and soak up all the works in this legendary museum. This one could take you all day!
History buffs will love Philadelphia’s National Historical Parks, which include Independence Park, where America’s existence began. See the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution were both signed), and the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Don’t miss the Edgar Allan Poe Home or the John Coltrane House, and take time to visit one of the oldest churches in America, the Gloria Dei, built by Swedish settlers in 1698. When you’re ready for some chow, head to the Reading Terminal Market. This historic market began in 1893 and features everything from flowers and fresh meats and seafood to Philly›s famed hot pretzels, made by Pennsylvania Dutch cooks precisely like in the olden days. If you›ve got the family along, do what we do: buy a freshly baked, lattice-work cherry pie from the Amish, grab four forks and eat the whole thing on the spot. Or hit one of the most famous spots to try a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich: Pat’s (on Passyunk Avenue where the sammy was invented) and Geno’s (nearby on 9th Street) are the acknowledged masters of this thinly sliced beef smothered in melted cheese and cooked onions and served on a crusty French bread sub roll. But be warned, unless you ask otherwise, the cheese will be Cheez Whiz, that weird Kraft processed “cheese.” Ask for provolone instead!
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 39
THROUGH THE LENS Photography By AnnieWatt.com
Whether it is a charitable cause, a magazine cover, or a special occasion, the photographers with AnnieWatt.com make an occasion more memorable. Annie and her associate photographers embody the essence of professionalism, seamlessly moving through any assignment with finesse and an innate ability to capture the moment at its heart. Book a photographer/ videographer, contact email@example.com.
ANNIE WATTâ€™S PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION FAMOUS - A DECADE OF THE CELEBRATED AND THE LEGENDARY (2009-2019)
Annie Watt, Franck Laverdin
Nina Reeves, Mary Snow, Kathy Prounis, Karina Prounis
David Noto, Christine Mignanelli, Jamie Backer
Ben Barnes, Liz Barnes Geoffrey Bradfield, Annie Watt Dede McMahon, Tracy Nixon
CeCe Black, Barbara Tober, Cece Cord, Sharon Hoge Annie Watt, Anna Kennedy, Eleanora Kennedy
Ann Van Ness, Judy McLaren, Carole Bellidora Westfall
Edgar Batista, Michele Gerber Klein, Maurice Batista
Cornelia Ercklentz, Barbara de Portago
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Emily Mohr, Cole Rumbough, Valerie Lettan
Peachy Deegan, Meera Gandhi, Annie Watt, Lauren Day Roberts, Katlean de Monchy
Janna Bullock, Randi Schatz, Ruth Miller, Kevin Richards, Anne Akers Ken Fishel, Annie Watt, Maria Fishel
Rita Cosby, Sharon Marantz-Walsh, Annie Watt, Anne Akers, Christina Rose
Jean Shafiroff, Franck Laverdin
Julie Tupler, Annie Watt, Olga Dâ€™Alto, Berly Morgan
Mai Hallingby, Cornelia Ercklentz, Jeanne Lawrence
Justin Concannon, Roric Tobin
Othon Prounis, Karina Prounis, Kathy Prounis, Karl Rozak
Roddy Gow, April Gow, Barbara Tober, Donald Tober
Sharon Bush, Suzanne Murphy
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 41
HARRY BENSONâ€™S OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION AND 90TH BIRTHDAY
Waiter, Roseanna Opper, Harry Benson, Jodi Luntz
Jodi Luntz, Alex Luntz
Cecelia Silva, Jodi Luntz, Harry Benson, Bag Piper, Gigi Benson
Hilary Gumbel, Harry Benson, Gigi Benson, Bryant Gumbel
Jillian Gilmour, Hilary Geary Ross Edwina Sandys, Harry Benson
Susan Lloyd, Jason Laskey, Gigi Benson Irene Witkind, John Loring Julie Hayek, Skip Waldman
Kristi Witker Coons, Laurie Bodor
Ava Roosevelt, Matt Rich
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Bruce Helander, Linda Marx, Sharon Hoge
MEERA GANDHI HOSTS DINNER
Kiran Gandhi, Meera Gandhi, Jill Zarin
Meera Gandhi, Ellia Pure Kathy Reilly, Paola Rosenshein
Barb Robinson, Monique de Wolf, Pat Cococcia
Monique de Wolf, Marjorie Keegan, Jane Greaves
Kristin Kearney, Gayle Pulice, Gary Brody
Arni Rosenshein, Patty Raynes
Meera Gandhi And Friends
Ellia Pure, Meera Gandhi, Pat Cococcia Arni Rosenshein, Kevin Scherer, Ernesto Porcella
Gary Brody, Jill Zarin
For additional events visit our website at: newyorklifestylesmagazine.com FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 43
BITS & BAILEY
THE WHO, WHAT & WOW OF THE LUXE SCENE By Bailey Beckett
heers, dears. I’m settling into 2020 quite nicely ensconced in my creamy, cashmere Upper East Side bubble. Always surveying the luxury lifestyle scene, I’m filled to the brim with tasty morsels to stoke your wonder. RAISING THE BAR
Everyone knows Bergdorf Goodman isn’t just a store but a destination: a full day’s worth of heaven complete with shopping, beauty and culinary delights. Its BG Restaurant on the 7th floor has long been a meeting place for Centurion card-packing socialites and city power brokers, and now it has a brother: Goodman’s Bar, across the street in Bergdorf ’s three-story men’s mecca. The luxury bar and restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Austin Johnson and Master Sommelier Dustin Wilson is a casual and dashing space that marries excellent cuisine with masterful wine and spirits in a setting that evokes European bars and cafes. Witness a bespoke hand-painted mural by de Gournay accented with decorative lighting by New York-based design studio Apparatus and avian photography by Australian artist Leila Jeffreys. The dining room is furnished with vintage Franz Schuster chairs, while seating in the rotunda features custom backgammon tables and wingback chairs by Tom Dixon. “Our goal was to create a discreet, in-theknow hideaway that’s both timely and timeless—the kind of place you seek out from locals while traveling or that special recommendation from your favorite globetrotter,” says Bergdorf Goodman Men’s Fashion Director Bruce Pask. “It’s a mix of the perfect all-day café in Paris, that cozy craft cocktail bar behind an unmarked door in Kyoto, and that Aperitivo bar in Milan that makes the best version of your favorite drink. All of that in one special spot, right here in NYC at BG.” Complementing the cocktail offerings are Johnson’s dishes with a modern interpretation, including house-made tagliatelle with white truffle and Parmesan and seared scallops with salt-baked celery root, roasted apples and pickled Meyer lemon, among others. Info: bergdorfgoodman.com/c/bg-restaurant.com.
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 45
Hudson Yards is a curious experiment that has not exactly tickled Bailey’s fancy, but one of its lures has gotten my attention: food. The shopping mall/neighborhood is dotted with several high concept restaurants that have attracted big city gourmands. One of which is Tavern by WS (that’s Wine Spectator magazine. For those in the know, it’s the seasonal, contemporary American brasserie by restaurateur and developer Kenneth A. Himmel and Wine Spectator Publisher Marvin R. Shanken offering marketdriven dishes with innovative takes on American classics. Led by Executive Chef Eli Kaimeh (formerly of PerSe and Gramercy Tavern fame) and Master Sommelier and Beverage Director Michaël Engelmann (of The Modern), Tavern by WS has a classic brasserie feel and an approachable and contemporary menu. Rooted in a classic American technique, Chef Kaimeh has created a menu where seasonality plays a prominent role. Also of note is the highly curated wine collection, featuring vintage bottles and the most dynamic wines-by-the-glass selection in New York. Tavern by WS is also smack dab in the heart of Hudson Yards and enjoys views of Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel, The Shed, and the river. Indeed. Bailey was impressed and might consider the sojourn to Hudson Yards now that his passport has been renewed. Info: thetavernbyws.com.
Worth the trip to the nation’s capital is the secret Washingtonians want to keep to themselves: Martin’s Tavern, an 87-year-old bar and restaurant in tony Georgetown. But there’s nothing elitist about this legend. With a menu of comfort foods and a fully stocked bar of favorites, it’s more of a Cheers-type of attraction, with one caveat: its enviable place in history. The restaurant has been a staple of life in Washington since its opening and has hosted nearly every political notable. Martin’s Tavern is where JFK proposed to Jackie on June 24, 1953, and you can even sit at the same table (booth #3). It’s also where Nixon enjoyed Martin’s meatloaf (booth #2), and Harry Truman dined with his family while a Senator from Missouri (booth #6). While the menu is not exactly Michelin, it’s nevertheless classic and tasty: steaks, chops, seafood and fresh pastas are good for what ails ‘ya. The restaurant has stayed in the family, too. Owner Billy Martin, a fourth-generation Martin, helms the ship with the gravitas and gusto that has made it the go-to place for DC revelry. Info: martinstavern.com. Plaza Hotel Elle Decor Cafe
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The Elle brand is one of the most formidable names in publishing, and its Elle Décor title has become a true tastemaker in design. You only need go to The Plaza Hotel to see it with your own eyes. The Elle Décor Collection teamed up with the hotel to turn part of its Rose Bar into the Elle Décor Café, a pop-up offering tea service and cocktails in a chic, redesigned ambiance by a team of exquisite talents, including interior designer Sasha Bikoff. The menu is filled with sweet and savory tastes (finger sandwiches, macaroons), but it’s the impeccable, light and refreshing feel that has gotten most of the attention. Guests can actually purchase furnishings on display, including a swivel accent chair with a contemporary barrel shape and a solid wood interior frame, barstool in a dusty rose velvet fabric with a swivel that moves it both up and down, and a marble console and side table with white marble tops resting on metal frames. Much of the design is outfitted in what Bikoff calls “uptown toile,” featuring hues of lavender and rouge. “It is a great showcase for the many stylish furnishings in the Elle Décor Collection,” says the brand’s Director of Licensing Americas, Eva Platini.” Info: wayfair. com/brand/bnd/elle-decor-b42765.
Speaking, errr, writing, about delicacies, I’m obsessed with a new line of marshmallows from the appropriately named Marshmallow Lane. The new treats started and made personally by Beth Feldman, are quite simply delicious, and inventive, too. Feldman, a media veteran who heads her own New York-based public relations firm, includes flavors like Oreo Cookies & Cream, Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, S’ mores, Strawberry Cookies & Cream, and Chocolate Nutella. “I think I have been obsessed with marshmallows since I was little, but it wasn’t until I visited Le Marais district in Paris where I became hooked,” Feldman says. “After my daughter graduated high school, we visited France and wandered into one of many bakeries that sold flavored marshmallows.” She tried to find something comparable in the US, but when she didn’t, she recreated them herself. Feldman started purchasing some mallows online through Etsy, but “while the marshmallows were tasty, they still missed the mark. As the saying goes, if you want something done right, you do it yourself, so when I turned 50, I bought myself a KitchenAid mixer, began researching recipes and Marshmallow Lane was born.” Voila! Info: marshmallowlane.com.
Two of my favorite destinations are the Baccarat Hotel in midtown and Blantyre in the Berkshires, which both offer VIP service in impeccable settings. So, it’s no surprise they’ve partnered together to provide the ultimate town “City Nights Country Lights” experience. The new package includes two nights at the Baccarat (with cocktails, Champagne, tea, breakfast, and a 90-minute treatment at the Spa de La Mer). Then it’s two nights at Blantyre, which you will be ferried to by helicopter. There, you’ll be accommodated in a manor house, enjoy private Champagne in the nation’s only Dom Perignon salon, dinner for two at the Conservatory, a special spa treatment and breakfast.
The $15,000 cost may be a mouthful, but who needs college savings for the children? It’s called scholarships, kiddos. Mom and dad have some luxuriating to do. Info: baccarathotels.com/offers/ city-nights-country-lights. Spa de La Mer
Still need a little bit more luxury this month? How about a two-hand massage at The Spa de La Mer, the most expensive of its kind offered in New York City. With two therapists performing seamlessly synchronized therapeutic movements, guests are enveloped in relaxation while enjoying two times the benefits of a traditional massage. Beyond the enhanced sense of tranquility that this instills, guests will also enjoy a variety of health benefits, including improved circulation and quicker muscle recovery for active lifestyles. Priced at $750 for 1.5 hours. Info: baccarathotels.com/spa-de-la-mer. •
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 47
GIFTS FOR GADGET LOVERS By Will Reed
hocolates and a bouquet will always make a great Valentine’s Day gift. Still, if you are tired of the mundane gifting routine or are looking for something a little different to give, you will love these tech items that make for the perfect gifts—and last through the year. KATE SPADE POLAROID LUTRON CASETA Activity Tracker Bracelet Beautiful and stylish, these bangles are hiding a secret. Embedded inside each gold, silver, or rose gold Activity Tracker Bracelet is technology that can keep tabs on daily steps, sleep habits, and more. It pairs wirelessly with your smartphone via Bluetooth and will vibrate when you have a notification. You can even use it to control music or take selfies. Best of all, though, is that it never requires charging. Info: katespade.com.
POP Instant Digital Camera Perfect for capturing special moments, this Bluetooth-enabled Polaroid camera allows you to capture, print, and share your special memories online. The high-tech POP Instant Digital Camera features a 3.97-inch LCD viewfinder touchscreen, and has the ability to print your POP pictures on the go—no computer needed! Step out from behind the camera and jump into the fun yourself! The self-timer lets you strike a pose for a selfie or join in the group shot. Info: polaroid.com.
Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch Kit Set the mood with the Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch, which easily connects with more leading smart home brands (Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Nest, Serena shades, and Sonos) than any other leading smart lighting control brand. Control your lights a variety of ways with the free Lutron Caseta app. Also create a personalized schedule to turn on/ off or dim lights to best fit your routine. Info: casetawireless.com.
Ultimate Maple Bluetooth Oil Diffuser Relax and unwind with the Ultimate Maple Bluetooth Oil Diffuser which fills the air with scent and music. Once in use, it releases a steady stream of your favorite essential oil. The rounded silhouette featuring seven color LED lights is encased in a beautiful natural wood case. The speaker connects through Bluetooth or an aux cord so you can diffuse soothing essential oils while listening to your favorite playlist. Info: artnaturals.com.
Trifold Mirror Euro Design Treat your favorite makeup lover to the Trifold Mirror Euro Design which offers four unique color-correct lighting settings to match daytime, evening, home and office environments. The center mirror swivels to 5x magnification and its attractive look matches any home décor. The adjustable folding back and mirrors easily fold up for travel or storage. Info: jerdonstyle.com.
Smart Writing Set Perfect for the writer or artist in your life, the Smart Writing Set is practically magic. Write in the notebook, and the words or drawings will automatically show on your phone. It transfers exactly as written, so it’s like having a real notepad on your iPhone. The notebook is designed with Code technology, which allows the pen+ to capture each pen stroke. Record audio to sync with your notes, flesh out your ideas, and ensure that nothing gets lost in translation. Now it’s easier than ever to digitize your thoughts, ideas, and creations! Info: us.moleskine.com/en. •
48 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
COASTAL CONTEMPORARY BAREFOOT BEACH, NAPLES
Garren Everett Grup, P.A.
REALTORÂŽ, ABR, CLHMS, CNE, GRI, SFR
(239) 289-8619 | Garren@BuyUpNaples.com
Luxury & sophistication awaits you in this custom waterfront designed home offering over 8,022 sf of entertaining space and 4,486 sf under air, with the entire 4th level observation area overlooking Little Hickory Bay, where a wetbar & fitness area open to an airy patio delivering outstanding water views. Experience the private 95 ft pool deck with waterfall, spa and flowing firepots, offering spectacular day and night settings. Complete your waterfront living with your private 80 ft dock with a 20,000 lb. lift. All of this just a thousand steps to one of the world's top rated beaches in the world, Barefoot Beach.
REAL ESTATE & YOUR HOME
AROUND TOWN ASTORIA By TJ Johnson
he sprawling borough of Queens has always been a conglomeration of towns, villages, model communities, and real-estate developments. Suburban in spirit and design, it has grown far too dense to be anything but urban. At the northeastern corner of the borough is Astoria conveniently located just 15 minutes from Midtown Manhattan using the N or W subway line. You will find families from all over the world there, which means you’ll also find delicious food from all corners of the globe. The neighborhood always seems to be getting better. From Astoria Park having its recent makeover to museums, new restaurants, nightlife, and some fantastic waterfront rental buildings, this is a great place to consider your next address.
A LOOK BACK During the 19th century, Astoria became home to the Manhattan elite, who built large houses. One of these moguls was a fur merchant, Stephen Halsey, who founded the neighborhood called Hallett’s Cove. Later, he petitioned to rename the area Astoria after America’s first multimillionaire, John Jacob Astor, in return for his investment. Although Astor financed this development, he never set foot on Astoria land. By the mid19th century, German and Irish immigrants arrived in large numbers. One of those German arrivals founded the famous piano company Steinway & Sons. Astoria was bustling, and even the entertainment industry made its mark. In 1920, the first movie studio opened in Astoria, which later became known as Paramount Studios. After World War II, a new wave of immigrants from Greece made it their home and is still considered the go-to place for great Greek food. 50 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Astoria Central Terrace
LIVING IN ASTORIA Here are some options to consider if Astoria is on your radar.
10 Halletts Point
10 Halletts Point This waterfront rental building embraces green living with lots of amenities. The thoughtful integration of the critical elements of earth, water, air, and energy brings to life a sustainable community where residents thrive. 10 Halletts Point redefines green living and elevates resident wellness through state-of-the-art energy and water conservation, enhanced air quality, innovative design, and careful materials selection. Experience a vision of sustainability and improve your well-being by living the Halletts Point lifestyle. Pricing: One bedrooms start at $2,588 per month. The Astoria Windsor Designed by architect, Peter Casini, is the newest addition to this amazing neighborhood. Twentynine lavishly appointed homes are finished brilliantly with such materials as Brazilian granite and cherry wood. All residences have vast windows with select residences enjoying expansive views of Manhattan. Each home features a private outdoor space in addition to the building’s roof deck which is available for the enjoyment of the residents. Other amenities include a fitness room, hot tub, steam sauna, and parking which is available for purchase. Just minutes away from the subway and near great neighborhood amenities such as Astoria Park, the waterfront, great restaurants, and shopping, these condominiums are a beautiful place to call home. Pricing ranges from $667 to $900 per square foot. Astoria Central Located in the heart of Astoria, this property offers studios, one, two, and three-bedroom luxury rentals boasting state-of-the-art appliances, clean lines and contemporary finishes. The building features an abundance of amenities, including a door attendant, fully equipped fitness center, resident lounge, rooftop terrace, and setback terrace with available gas grill. Also available: Wi-Fi in amenity rooms, private indoor parking, bicycle parking and storage. Washer and dryers are included in units, and residents will have access to the virtual concierge management system. Pricing: Studios start at $2,117 per month.
DINING OUT Now, with all the fantastic diversity in Astoria, let’s discuss a few of my favorite restaurants.
Taverna Kyclades With so many amazing Greek restaurants in Astoria, Queens, it’s hard to choose just one. Some fantastic dishes to look forward to are Chicken Souvlaki and Branzini. I have never had a bad meal here, and when it’s a bit crowded, they will give you free wine while you wait —winning major points with me! A must-try when you find yourself in Astoria. Info: tavernakyclades.com. Hinomaru Ramen When the seasons turn cold and you crave some comfort food head to Hinomaru Ramen for their signature ramen dishes. It’s the goto place in Astoria, where they do a few different regional styles (like shoyu, miso, and tonkotsu shoyu). There are also chicken, uni, and vegetarian options. Absolutely worth checking out! Info: hinomaruramen.com. Sugar Freak I am never one to pass up on a Southern Cajun/Creole restaurant, and I’m happy I found Sugar Freak. If you are craving crawfish boils, jambalaya, and fantastic rum drinks, definitely stop into this New Orleans themed restaurant and have some fun! Info: sugarfreak.com. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 51
REAL ESTATE & YOUR HOME
180 EAST 79
By AP Connolly
rare find and one of only two original seven room apartments in this top prewar building! 180 East 79th Street, apartment 14G is meticulously renovated and maintained. It features a step down living room/ dining room with a 9’7” ceiling height, a wall of windows and a wood-burning fireplace, all off a large, gracious entry gallery. The original dining room is now a comfortable TV room but could be a formal dining room or 4th bedroom. The hugely expanded eat-in, chef ’s kitchen includes the space of the original maid’s room and is fully equipped with top-of-the-line equipment with no detail overlooked. A powder room completes the kitchen area as well as a washer and dryer.
THE RESIDENCE There are three bedrooms in a separate wing. The enormous master bedroom has a glorious over-sized bath and generous closets. The second and third bedrooms each have a renovated bath. Sunlight floods through the lovely high floor exposures and there are generous builtins and spacious closets throughout. There is some central air-conditioning; more can be easily added to others areas of the home.
AND LOTS MORE There are only two apartments per elevator bank with manned elevators, a full-time doorman, live-in super, plus a staff of 20 others to assist with your every need. There’s a fitness room, several bike rooms and individual tenant storage bins. Pets are welcome and pieda-terres are considered on an individual basis.
The property is listed for $4.495M and represented by Barbara Fox of Fox Residential. For more information, visit foxresidential.com. • 52 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
21381 WIDGEON TERRACE - HIDDEN BAY FRONT RETREAT 6 BEDS 5 BATHS Located on it’s own island peninsula yet close to beach, shopping, restaurants & more! Turnkey furnished island estate boasts multi ple observation decks,secret garden,extended pier to the bay front covered dock & lift,plus large courtyard style heated pool. Over 1/3 acre with 500+ feet of waterfront on 3 sides w/ over 200’ feet’ of frontage on the bay! Recently renovated and views from every room. Main house features kitchen w/ large horseshoe style bar, SS appliances, lots of counter & storage space, dining & lounge areas w/ balconies overlooking the pool and both bay and lagoon views. The master suite, also in the main house, rises above it all in it’s own private over sized cupola & wrap around observation deck. The rest of the retreat includes 3 separate cabana guest rooms, 2 full baths and laundry, generous private guest suite w/ full bath and balcony overlooking pool, and full guest suite apartment with 2 separate balconies, kitchenette and living room located over the garage. Ideal for a corporate retreat, vacation or private home.
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PELICAN WATCH #403 $782,500
Newly constructed waterfront vacation home furnished turnkey 5 Beds, 5.5 baths. This home is built to the most current Florida hurricane building codes and includes a private elevator, gas heated canal side pool with spillover spa, gas instant hot water heater, 500 gallon buried propane tank, plumbed for 2 outdoor kitchens and whole house generator. Lower level game room that walks out to pool and dock. Proposed annual income of $160k.
Considered one of the finest Condo Buildings on the Island, 2 bedrooms and as a bonus, a den / bedroom and 2 full baths . Pelican Watch is sitting square against the beach with unparalleled and unobstructed views up and down the white sugar sand beach. IMPACT WINDOWS & DOORS, plantation shutters and hurricane shutters on lanai. The Remodeled Kitchen is Complete with Updated Cabinetry , Stainless Steel Appliances.
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REAL ESTATE & YOUR HOME
BECKFORD HOUSE & TOWER TWO BUILDINGS…ONE CLASSIC LOOK By Patricia Canole | Photos by Noe & Associates: The Boundary
eckford House & Tower are the newest condominiums poised to raise the bar for new development on the Upper East Side. The ambitious scheme, situated on Second Avenue between East 80th and 81st streets, is actually two complementary residential buildings designed by award-winning design firm Studio Sofield. Built using the traditions of grand Upper East Side prewar architecture, the buildings are fashioned from hand-laid Indiana Limestone, hand-carved Brynne brownstone and custom grey brick and finished with stone and metal detailing evoking neighborhood landmarks as well as William Sofield’s own original designs. “My vision for the buildings was to extend the 79th Street Park Avenue Corridor eastward and become anchors in an architecturally rich neighborhood,” said William Sofield, the founder and principal of Studio Sofield. “The private facilities and communal spaces within the tower are unabashedly amongst the most luxurious in the City,” he continued to say. Sofield, known for collaborating with Tom Ford, Gucci and YSL, was tasked with reinterpreting historic architecture to create a pair of new icons for the Upper East Side. FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 55
THE RESIDENCES At the boutique Beckford House, a 21-story building featuring just 32 residences, Sofield incorporated a series of generous terraces and Juliet balconies that open up enviable views of the city’s skyline. He placed a hand-carved stone medallion above the entryway and differentiated the building’s classical masonry façade and intricate ironwork with decorative brick and stone quoining. Complementing the design and ornamentation of Beckford House is the adjacent 72-residence Beckford Tower, a testament to the stonemason’s craft with 31 floors of hand-carved Brynne Brownstone and Indiana Limestone by Vermont Stone Art. At the street level, Sofield custom designed wrought ironwork and classical awnings to speak to a different time. Beckford House & Tower feature a diverse collection of condominium residences as well as a curated selection of modern-day amenities that enhance every lifestyle and are rarely seen on the Upper East Side. Beckford House, with only one, two, or three homes per floor, offers a choice of twoto five-bedroom homes along with three full-floor penthouses and one extraordinary duplex. Beckford Tower features one- to sixbedroom homes including three crowning full-floor penthouses with expansive private terraces.
Each residence is an exquisite blend of formality and elegant luxury. Beautiful foyers, dining rooms, large living rooms and formal galleries grace most residences, with corner residences providing dual aspect city perspectives. Classical detailing, such as geometric cornicing, herringbone-laid oak flooring and statuary marble finishes, appear throughout. Ceiling heights across both buildings also soar at a range of nine to 13 feet. With materials carefully selected for their aesthetic and practical appeal, Beckford House & Tower were designed for quality and functionality. The generous, open living spaces are appointed with custom millwork by Studio Sofield and large windows that bathe the residences with light and offer views of Central Park to the west and the East River to the east. For the unique eat-in kitchens, Sofield opted for hand-painted Christopher Peacock cabinetry, marble slab countertops and a range of appliances from Sub-Zero-Wolf. The master bathroom suites are outfitted with specially made vanities, concealed storage, enclosed showers, deep Kohler tubs and Lefroy Brooks polished chrome fittings. A four-pipe HVAC system with zoned climate control provides a perfect four-season comfort across each residence. Further convenience is provided by gracious laundry rooms in select residences.
56 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
AMENITIES & BEYOND With its classical influences and generous proportions, the high-end lifestyle at Beckford House & Tower begins in both buildings’ lobbies. Behind a highly crafted American walnut reception desk, the dedicated Beckford House concierge team welcomes residents and guests into the ornate space featuring antique mirrors and specialty wall coverings by Ann McGuire Studio. Moving beyond the lobby, residents enter a reception room and private lounge complete with an adjoining dining room, wet bar and fireplace by Jamb of London. Downstairs, they can enjoy a fitness center and yoga studio, and on the building’s 22nd floor they can lounge at the expansive roof terrace, which offers lush greenery, plentiful seating and an outdoor kitchen with a Viking gas grill.
Residents at Beckford Tower enter the building through a double-height vestibule with a soaring skylight to reach a magnificent vaulted lobby illuminated by a vintage chandelier. The amenity spaces are located on the first floor and in two sub-cellar levels. They include a grand reception room and library; an exclusive piano bar and lounge that looks and feels like a private members club; a fully equipped game room; a children’s playroom designed by Roto; and a party room with a catering kitchen. Beckford Tower also touts over 3,000 square feet of wellness amenities, including a doubleheight basketball half-court, fitness center, yoga and training studios and a 65-foot indoor swimming pool. The Art Decoinspired pool area, complete with a hot tub, relaxation area, steam room and changing rooms, is artfully designed by Studio Sofield with a glass ceiling, ornate metal detailing, potted palms and a custom glass mosaic wall mural.
Sales are managed by Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, with prices ranging from $2 million to over $25 million. For more information or to schedule an appointment at the sales gallery, please call 212-535-8081 or visit beckfordresidences.com. •
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 57
REAL ESTATE & YOUR HOME
PRIME RENOVATIONS REMOVING THE GUESSWORK OUT OF HOME REMODELING By Tripp Whetsell
o matter how prestigious the building or address is, the odds are that the co-op, condo, or brownstone you’re buying needs work before moving day. Just how much work, of course, depends on the current condition and can run the gamut from almost anything like refinishing the floors and merely touching up the paint to installing new bathrooms and kitchens or even a top-to-bottom gut renovation.
Jeff Streich ©Donna Dotan Photography
58 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Regardless of the project size and scope, however, one thing is a given: especially in a city like New York: home renovations seldom go as planned. With inflexible co-op board policies and often a lack of transparency among carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other service providers, the all-toofrequent result can sometimes turn your dream home into a nightmare. And with grievances against home improvement contractors consistently ranked among the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs’ top five complaint categories, it underscores the need to do everything possible to find the right company to help minimize the risk.
TO THE RESCUE
Fortunately, one company, Manhattan-based design/build firm Prime Renovations, has given contractor-leery homeowners reason for renewed hope by offering them peace of mind throughout every step of the process. It was founded a little over 15 years ago by Jeff Streich, a Commack, Long Island native, and a certified lead renovator from the EPA. Integrating design, realistic costing, construction, and construction management, Prime’s specialty is residential projects primarily located in Manhattan. However, it also serves the Hamptons and Connecticut in addition to offering a variety of commercial capabilities. Among other things, this includes complete gut renovations, bathrooms, kitchens, buildouts, all flooring, skim coating, painting, plaster, sheetrock, custom millwork, moldings, design, and architectural services. “Our mission is to make renovations a great experience for our clients,” says Jeff, who personally oversees each project. “It’s a tough business, but we make it easy by personally overseeing every phase of it.”
THE CHANCE ENCOUNTER
While such meticulous attention to detail in the home improvement industry may be an increasingly rare commodity these days, this along with quality and integrity, are three things that Jeff never takes for granted. It was because of Jeff ’s integrity—and a chance encounter with a stranger whose cell phone he’d found in a cab— that Prime Renovations was born in 2004. The owner of the missing cell phone also happened to be in the real estate business, who owned 200 buildings throughout the city. Because of Jeff ’s experience as a contractor and his honesty, the man decided to repay him by asking if he wanted to do some interior work in some of his buildings. The rest, as they say, is history, and since then he hasn’t looked back. “Even though I’d never done any interior work before, it was an incredible opportunity, and I learned a lot,” Jeff recalls. “At the time, we were doing mostly bathrooms and kitchens in Brooklyn in rental buildings and getting them ready for new tenants. Then after that, we began doing a lot of work in Manhattan, and within my second year in business, we were working on roughly 15 apartments a month.”
LEARNING EVERY DAY
Nearly two decades later, Jeff says, “our business has grown immensely since that fateful day” and estimates that nearly 95 percent of Prime’s customers come from word-of-mouth referrals. He underscores the fact that his goal has always been to expand incrementally. “My goal was to grow slowly, keep learning, and get better and better and better. That’s what we’ve done over the last 15 years. We’ve grown to the point now that most of our clients are high-end individuals who want high-end interior work.” In his spare time, Jeff, who lives on the Upper West Side with his wife, a 10-time Emmy Award-nominated television wardrobe stylist and their 12-year-old son, enjoys sports and cooking. For more information on Prime Renovations, visit primerenovationsnyc.com. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 59
REAL ESTATE & YOUR HOME
Don Peebles Work ©Nicole Periera
THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE By Peter Elston
n an era where social responsibility, social inclusion and making change are often seen as buzzphrases, R. Donohue (Don) Peebles is creating change and making opportunities happen in communities by leveraging his expertise and entrepreneurial skills in real estate investment and development. Don Peebles and the New York-based Peebles Corporation uniqueness is guided by his own principles of Affirmative Development™ to empower women and minorities to close the wealth gap—with the aim of developing not just land or buildings, but opportunities and people as well. The industry leader is a frequent guest commentator on CNBC, CNN, FOX News and FOX Business Network. He’s authored two books entitled The Peebles Principles and The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth that provide rules and principles for individuals striving to succeed in real estate. In the book, Peebles is optimistic, and believes everyone’s career goals are achievable. As a child, raised by a single parent in a middle-class home, then achieving multimillionaire status by the age 27, Don Peebles believes that dreams really can come true. Peebles and his wife of 30 years, Katrina Peebles, have two children: Chloe, a high school Junior and nationally competitive equestrian. Their son, Donahue III, was recently appointed as the chief of staff of The Peebles Corporation. New York Lifestyles recently sat down with Peebles to discuss the secrets of his success and what he sees in the future for real estate. 60 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
The Royal Palm Hotel, Miami Beach
How did you get into real estate? I was exposed to real estate as a child by my mother who got her start in real estate as a sales agent. Within two years she started her own firm which she ran for about four years. She then went on to work at Fannie Mae where she worked for three years. Shortly thereafter, my mother started her own appraisal business around the time I graduated high school. After initially planning on a career in medicine, I quit college after my freshman year to become a real estate sales agent in Washington, DC and at 23 started my own appraisal business. In 1986, at 26, I started work on my first building. What are the biggest challenges when starting off in real estate? Securing a deal that is compelling enough to attract capital. What are some the residential real estate trends you see for 2020? Authenticity is leading the way. In LA and Miami the big glass box contemporary houses are out and the homes with historic or traditional character and design details are in. The record high sales price in 2019 for a single family home in LA was the sale of a traditional architecture-designed house. On the condo side, both views and traditional/historic design will be the top price drivers. Smaller and more efficient space will lead markets as millennials and Gen Xers use resources with smaller, more efficient units which are more affordable and at the same time drive price per square foot for the developer. A win-win. Tomorrow’s apartment and condo buildings will have smaller unit square footage than in past trends by 25 percent, but more and larger and higher quality amenities for residents.
Angels Landing Partners Signature Tower, Los Angeles ©Handel Architects
Don & Katrina Peebles ©Noah Stone
What are some the commercial real estate trends you see for 2020? Retail will continue to experience significant declines and vacancies. Repurposing of that space will become the focus in 2020. Office space will gain strength for new space that is environmentally sustainable with significant amenity spaces for tenants. Class B and C office buildings will continue to decline and in supply-constricted markets the buildings will be repurposed or demolished and the sites redeveloped. What are some of the keys to being successful in real estate in 2020? Creativity. Thinking out of the box and looking to the future. Identifying your customer and meeting their current and future needs and desires will lead to success. Where do you see The Peebles Corporation in the next 5 years? To be a market transformer by building unique projects in global markets and be a part of changing the face of the industry by utilizing our upcoming private equity real estate fund to support emerging developers with a high concentration of women and minority entrepreneurs. For more information on The Peebles Corporation, visit peeblescorp.com. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 61
HEALTH & WELLNESS
FRIENDSHIP & LOVE By Peter M. Kalellis
here are so many ways to apply love in our everyday lives, and somehow we do our very best in becoming loving and lovable. As mature adults and perceiving our need for love, we could start facing what is real and what is fantasy. Reality tells us that it is virtually impossible to feel and share the love if we do not first respect and love ourselves. With an act of self-love, we can begin to educate ourselves and learn to take care of our bodies as well as keep our thoughts and feelings as positive and loving. Nurturing ourselves also teaches us how to nurture other people as we interact with them every day. Constant acts of forgiveness and kindness make our life happier. We realize our potential of being kind and loving can transform us into more content and satisfied people.
A WORLD OF PEACE
Such is the power we wield every moment of every day. The choice is ours to create a world of peace and goodwill. The power of love is held within each of us every moment. This wondrous energy when we choose to love one another transcends the lower personality perceptions and raises us to a higher truth. Each of us desires to understand and realize this experience of true love. Just listen to the lyrics of romantic songs, for example, and you will quickly see how much the notion of love plays a part in our journey of life. Love is such a powerful force, especially when shared. We seek it in every aspect of our lives. As with the concept of love, there are a large number of complexities in friendship—the longing and shyness, the easily bruised feelings, the guilt—even the boredom. This article intends to bring back the value of friendship/love among people, especially in critical times. Appropriating the combination of these two words will help to enlighten the human heart and provide inner peace.
A WARM INTERACTION
It is said that when friends do good deeds but trip up once—they’re showing their true colors. Experience has taught me that this is never the case, especially when friends are genuinely sorry for their mistakes. And although there are always one or two things that just can’t be agreed on, differences can and do make friendship much stronger. As we accept the reality that we are human and vulnerable, we discover what our present-day world is all about. True love—like friendship—is personal. It is a warm interaction. However, sometimes the feeling is lost when one of the friends becomes so successful in life; he/she is no longer available to nurture the friendship. The friendship becomes distant. In an interview with Ted Turner, journalist Barbara Walters asked the multi-millionaire media giant, “What is it like to be so wealthy and powerful?” He replied, “It is an empty bag.” In five words, the implication stands out as a poignant reminder. Regardless of how much we may have attained, it can never be enough. The wealthy man could not fill his bag. He was not as happy as one would think. 62 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
THE LOSS OF FRIENDSHIP & LOVE
Joyful living is not a station in life—it is not a result of rational thinking. It is a condition of the heart. It does not come from living up to some society-designed expectations and measures of performance. It is defined by what we expect from each other. When people change location, marital status, or political belief, that does not change their feelings, but the reality for them absorbs their attention to their issues. Consequently, feelings suffer or, sadly, may gradually fade out. Another fact of life is that we are humans, and as such, we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. My intention in writing this article has been that you and many others that would read it will accept the necessity for the art and gift of love and friendship. It is truly a gift—enjoy it! •
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HEALTH & WELLNESS
NEXA PILATES & FITNESS STRESSING DOWN & SHAPING UP By Ann Grenier
oday, more and more people— stressed by the hamster wheel that is their daily lives—are discovering that they can indeed change their approach to wellness. While less than a decade ago, yoga and Pilates classes may have been considered alternativelifestyle activities, this fitness style has since become as commonplace as a run in the neighborhood or a workout at the gym. Enthusiasts are taking Pilates classes like never before, seeking to reduce stress, loosen kinks, and find a little peace of mind. One champion of this movement is Anna Clark, the cofounder of NeXa Pilates & Fitness. She has worked in the fitness industry for over 16 years, teaching Pilates, yoga, personal training, and dance. She leads a diverse team of elite instructors and top personal trainers, all of whom share the goal to make their clients healthy, fit, and beautiful. NeXa is equipped with a group fitness studio and wellness spa offering a range of services, including an infrared sauna and local cryotherapy. Whether beginner or expert, guests are provided an experience that challenges the body and mind toward a healthy lifestyle. New York Lifestyles sat down with Anna Clark to discover what motivates her and her revolutionary fitness studio. Tell us about your early years. I was raised in Hell’s Kitchen and studied at the Joffery Ballet on scholarship. A wonderful experience. And like every young dancer performed in The Nutcracker. Dance has always been an essential part of my life. At that time, I was home-schooled until the last few years of high school. I got to see what going to school was like in a small brownstone school called Beekman on the East Side. I always knew I wanted to be in the dance and fitness industry from my early teens, so right out of high school graduation, I told my dad, I want to be a Pilates teacher! I had been studying religiously at one of the biggest Pilates centers in the city for a few years already, so at 18, it was a natural progression to enter their teacher training program. I became one of only three students ever to graduate at only 19 years old. Why Pilates? I started training Pilates on a daily basis when I was 13. It is important for serious dancers to cross-train in this discipline because you can build strength without gaining size, weight, or bulk, thus adding to your dance abilities yet still maintaining your figure. I think this underlying fact is what first made Pilates gain popularity. Pilates has been on top of the fitness community because of its capacity to strengthen, stretch, stabilize and build stamina for whatever your body goes through in a day. It is also an incredible solution for chronic back pain, joint issues, and creating muscular symmetry in the body. The maintenance of a solid Pilates routine can mean living a pain-free, higher quality of life. 64 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
When did you start your fitness studio? My business partner Anne Jameson, an enthusiastic Pilates student of mine, convinced me to go into business with her. I really must take my hat off to her because it was her persistence and persuasion that gave me the motivation to undertake this whole project. Together in 2017, we committed to making our dream Pilates studio a reality. Two years of planning, finding the perfect location, building out space, and hiring the dream team of trainers and staff went into this endeavor before we opened our doors. What are some of your favorite classes to teach at the studio? Since we have such ample space on the UWS, we were able to expand and offer several styles of group and private training in our open studio space. I think my favorite compliment to the Pilates work is the high-intensity (HIIT) training classes taught by personal trainers Rahmel Reid and Nick Ervin. The other favorites are Yoga, Barre, and several styles of dance cardio, including Zumba!
Besides the unique classes and top trainers, what are other amenities clients can find at NeXa Pilates & Fitness? We built out the lower level into a spa-like atmosphere allowing clients some tranquility after their workout. You have the option to use oversized showers, go in the infrared sauna (one of the few available in the city), get a local cryo treatment for joint pain or a facial for skin tightening, or sit down with our nutrition specialist and confess your sins. What is downtime look like for Anne Clark? W h e n I ’m n o t w o r k i n g o u t o r rehearsing with my dance team, I am living it up in the city. My favorite pastime is going to stand-up comedy shows around town. You can also find me out for dinner and drinks with friends on a Saturday night or out at a Latin Club dancing Salsa and Bachata. Where do you see yourself and NeXa Pilates & Fitness in the next five years? We hope to grow the NeXa brand over the next few years, making us a go-to destination gym for fitness and health in all aspects! Growth through hard work is inevitable, and we plan to eventually expand nationally, opening more and more fitness centers in the future. For more information on NeXa Pilates & Fitness, visit nexapilates.com. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 65
HEALTH & WELLNESS
CARDIOLOGIST CHOSEN, FOODIE APPROVED TOP SUPERFOOD SO TASTY, YOU’LL FORGET HOW HEALTHY IT IS! By Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC, FACN, CNS
f you’re concerned about whether you’re eating the “right” foods for your health, please invest five minutes right now to learn about the one food that should be on your table every night. As a cardiologist, certified nutrition specialist, and anti-aging expert with over 40 years of clinical experience, I’ve seen what makes people sick and what makes them well. And I’m here to tell you that Hippocrates was right when he said, “Let food be thy medicine.” The food I’m going to tell you about has been around for hundreds of years. It’s time-tested, and every day it seems there’s another research study demonstrating its profound health benefits…for your heart, brain, and whole body. What is this superfood? Cold-pressed olive oil. There’s so much to say about it that I could write a book. But since I don’t have that kind of space here, let me just share two important facts: • Olive oil is a staple of the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet. • The Mediterranean Diet is eaten by some of the longest-living people in the world. Since olive oil plays such a large role in Mediterranean cuisine, I believe it’s the “secret sauce” that makes the whole diet work.
Seared Tuna with Jalapeño Garlic Olive Oil
As a native New Yorker with a Sicilian father and grandfather, I grew up eating olive oil with everything and fell in love with it at a very early age. So when I discovered its potential as a health food, I was delighted! Naturally, I had to know, “What’s the best olive oil out there? I journeyed across the globe sampling different oils to find the perfect blend of purity, flavor and freshness. I visited olive groves and learned everything I could about making premium-quality olive oil. Where did I finally find the best olive oil? Not in Italy, Spain, or Greece, but here in the USA… in California. I saw the oil being made with tremendous care and integrity, and when I tasted the golden-green liquid fresh from the press, it was love at first sip. This California oil became the first and best-selling product at my website, Vervana.com. Since then, I’ve continued to source all my olive oils from family owned and operated farms in California.
Stephen Sinatra, MD
THE VERVANA DIFFERENCE
I have to admit, it feels good to offer a superfood that is 100 percent USA-made, and to support American farmers – especially ones that don’t use synthetic pesticides. In addition to being “clean,” the olives in our oils are cold-pressed within hours of picking to release the freshest possible oil without any heat or chemicals. As a nutritionist and anti-aging doctor, this is music to my ears, since—as you know—the less processed a food is, the healthier it is for you. At Vervana, we take extra steps to make sure our olive oils are truly exquisite. Our extra virgin olive oils are certified organic and are also California Olive Oil Council (COOC) certified. To earn the COOC seal, an olive oil must undergo a rigorous chemical analysis for purity and freshness, and then a blind sensory (“organoleptic”) test by a panel of experts to ensure pristine flavor. After all, when it comes to health food—it has to taste wonderful so you’ll eat it regularly and get all the benefits! Speaking of delectable flavor, we received such impressive feedback about our November 2017 harvest Black Label Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, we decided to enter it into the prestigious New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) this past May. To our delight, it won a Gold Award, and is now officially considered one of the best olive oils in the world! Come visit us at Vervana.com and check out all of our delicious olive oils for yourself. Just be aware that our oils are made from sustainably-grown olives from family-owned farms, and the batches are small. So when we sell out for the season, we’re out! Make sure you get yours today! •
SPECIAL OFFER TO NYLM READERS Please enjoy 20 percent off* at Vervana.com with coupon code NYLM20. Your taste buds will love it and your body will thank you for it! A l l Ver v an a.c om fo o d pro duc t s are delicious—you will not be disappointed! From my heart to yours®.
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(800) 228-1507 68 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
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FOOD & DRINK
A REFRESHING NEW DINING STYLE AT THE RITZ! By Anne Raso
f you love modern day luxury at a casual and pleasant pace, then definitely check out Contour at The Ritz Carlton (situated on the SE corner of Central Park South and Sixth Avenue). The powersthat-be at this most legendary of luxury hotel chains have come up with a truly revolutionary yet simple way of hotel dining and lounging that you won’t want to miss! Leave it to the clever and classy crew at The Ritz to come up with something new and unforgettable using the gorgeous lobby lounge, bar and restaurant that already exist but spicing them up. Contour takes up all three of these spaces and turns them into a luxe Modern American dining and drinking experience. Gone are the white table clothed tables and formal dining chairs—patrons can decide whether they want to lounge or eat on a mixed bag of tables and, plush seating. It’s comfy and cozy and has a no-rush atmosphere; the service is strictly “white glove” yet friendly.
A UNIQUE SET UP
Bar Room to Salon Room
New York Lifestyles asked hotel manager Loic Vince (who came over from The St. Regis two years ago) about the unique set up of the restaurant. He responded, “Contour is an all-day gastro lounge comprised of threes distinct spaces: Contour Grand Room, Contour Bar Room and Contour Salon Room. Upon entering the hotel, the all-day gastro lounge draws guests into the heart of the lobby’s transformation, where the rhythm builds through the three distinct rooms for a day-tonight cocktail and culinary experience. Inviting guests to gather and socialize, the Contour Grand Room and the Contour Salon Room have a sophisticated yet playful design of plush banquettes, marble accents, New York-inspired artwork and a variety of seating arrangements—secluded and sociable.” Blueberry & Lemon Pancakes
SPECIAL TOUCHES We couldn’t resist asking what Vince thinks are the famous RitzCarlton luxurious touches that are apparent in Contour’s food, service, and ambiance. The distinguished looking hotel manager states, “The famous luxurious touches are intertwined throughout Contour’s design, exemplary service and delectable dishes. From the moment you walk through the three distinct rooms, you can feel the attentiveness from the staff with immediate service, as well as anticipation of needs and fulfillment of even the most unexpressed needs and wishes of all guests. Contour’s atmosphere further illustrates the Ritz-Carlton touches with the combination of striking and vibrant accents complemented by bold sketches throughout, creating a unique and stylish yet comfortable setting, encouraging guests to mingle. The fresh and carefully selected ingredients coupled with refined spirits and crafted bites further exemplifies the Ritz-Carlton standards of being the best of the best.” 70 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Daytime in Salon Room
LOVE THAT ART Bold and beautiful art by legendary artists is encountered when walking from one posh area to the next. “Connecting the two lounge areas is the vibrant Contour Bar Room where accents of marble, bronze, and gold are complemented by a bold Matisse sketch across the ceiling, lending inspiration for Contour’s namesake,” explains Vince. “Collaborating with music curation firm Sonodea, the ambiance is set with an expertly selected playlist to take the space from day to night, with the beat increasing as time progresses.”
GO AHEAD AND SHARE Would Vince consider Contour a farm to table restaurant (which seems to be the gold standard for posh dining and drinking establishments in Manhattan right now)? He responds, “The restaurant focuses on a luxury beverage experience complemented by inspired sharable plates, utilizing locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes seasonally and is always sourced with the freshest ingredients, herbs and vegetable varieties to ensure the finest of food quality is always met.”
FROM BAR FOOD TO WAGYU BEEF
Evening Cocktails in Salon Room
THE ULTIMATE VALENTINE’S DAY SCENE What will be going on at Contour for Valentine’s Day? We can’t think of a more romantic spot in midtown—the high wood ceilings with gorgeous hand-carved trim, the romantic lighting and art, and the shareable luscious food make it our top choice for a memorable V-Day. Don’t forget—you can also start your evening out with a romantic walk through Central Park just across the street.
Of course, the New York Lifestyles team had to go get upclose and personal with some of the fine cuisine offered here. As assumed, plates can be shared with items from the city’s highest quality bar food like homemade German Pretzels with Artisanal Cheddar Cheese Dipping sauce to Burgers topped with Tomato, Onion Rings, Bacon and your choice of cheese to more high-end items like Wagyu Strip Loin and freshly made pastas. We were wowed to say the least. Don’t leave without trying the Millefeuille (layered crispy French pastry with cream) or the house chocolate cake, which actually looks more like a Napoleon than a traditional layer cake and melts in your mouth. Sharable Plates
Vince tells us, “Contour will be open and accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day. The all-day gastro lounge will provide an intimate and romantic setting for couples on this special day along with a set specialty curated main-course for the evening as well as a featured cocktail.” (Don’t forget that The Ritz-Carlton has the city’s most famous Manhattan cocktail thanks to the fact that former bartender Norman Bukofzer had a celebrity clientele coming in for them every night up until his retirement in 2018—the new bar crew uses his recipe and unique blending methods.)
POWER (AND ROMANCE) BREAKFAST You can get breakfast here as well and don’t be surprised to find yourself rubbing elbows with the rich and famous or overhearing a CEO’s power meeting. But we also think it’s just charming for a couple who wants a little alone time before going off to work. Says the affable Vince, “Contour is an all-day gastro lounge that follows the flow of the city from day to night, showcasing a luxury beverage experience best shared with small plates and friends. An emphasis is placed on the artisan beverage experience with impressive handcrafted cocktails and seasonal infusions with striking presentations to provide a moment of wonder. The menu concept focuses on ‘For Us’ and ‘For Me’ plates, encouraging guests to share and mingle within the lounge.” The NYL crew will be back. It’s a joy to know that Contour welcomes guests any time of day or night and in all honesty, prices are actually very reasonable for what you’re getting. Contour is all about relaxing and unwinding which we find very refreshing in a high-end establishment. You can even get some great stories out of the wait staff that you’ll find no other place in town! For more info on Contour, go to www.ritzcarlton.com. Reservations are recommended but not necessary. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 71
FOOD & DRINK
FRANKIE & JOHNNIE’S STEAKHOUSE
THE LONGEST RUNNING SHOW ON BROADWAY By Ellis Nassour
he original Frankie & Johnnie’s, on West 45th Street, was a celebrated Theater District fixture. When it opened in 1926 as a speakeasy, tipplers would travel there for illicit drinks and hunks of beef. To gain access, patrons knocked on the unmarked door. Asked who you were, the password answer was Frankie. Asked who sent you, a reply of Johnnie gained you admittance. And so a legend was born and became synonymous with good food and drink in a pleasant setting. Through the decades, the steakhouse, known as The Longest-Running Show on Broadway, became a favorite haunt of producers, directors, Broadway stars, and sports celebrities.
THE SIZZLE CONTINUES
The original served as a prototype for its offspring—West 37th Street and Rye, NY. It closed its doors in 2015 and opened in the former B. Smith’s on West 46th Street, Restaurant Row—a stunning, bi-level, 140-seat restaurant highlighted by an elegant, custom-built mahogany bar. Volumes of theater memorabilia from the original location made the transfer. The West 37th location is John Barrymore’s former townhouse. The dining room, on the second floor, was Mr. Barrymore’s study, complete with his original fireplace, dark wood walls, and stained glass ceiling panels. The first floor offers the same warmth, but with casual dining booths and a dark wood bar. In traditional Frankie & Johnnie’s style, the menus offer quintessential steakhouse fare: succulent steaks, chops, and seafood—distinguished by the house hallmark: prime cuts of USDA dry-aged beef. All steaks are seasoned with a secret blend of herbs and spices and served with Frankie & Johnnie’s own steak sauce. Creamed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes are popular sides. A consistently updated wine list offers a broad range of reasonable selections.
A LOYAL CROWD
Owners and brothers-in-law Van Panopoulos and Peter Chimos believe the secret to their success is genuine hospitality and a memorable dining experience accented with good food. “We buy local,” notes Peter. “Our meats come from the same New Jersey and Queens purveyors we’ve been buying from for over 20 years.” Sharing another secret, they say their generous cuts of Rib-Eyes, Porterhouses, T- bones, and other prime cuts come off a grill set at 800 degrees. And what’s the New York favorite? Both agree it’s the Rib Eye. The menu includes other headliners, such as Chilean Sea Bass, Lobster Tail, Crab Cakes, Little Neck Clams, and Blue Point Oysters. Other staples include Crab and Jumbo Shrimp Cocktails, Lobster Bisque, and French Onion Soup. According to Van, “The most important element in restaurant hospitality is caring. It builds customer loyalty.” Adds Peter, “There’s also the work to stay ahead of trends. It consumes you, but it’s our life. We spend more time at work than at home.” For more information on Frankie & Johnnie’s, visit frankieandjohnnies.com. • 72 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
FOOD & DRINK
COCKTAILS & MORE By Kristie Kellahan
here’s a part of me that doesn’t want to tell you how great Lot 15 is, because then I might not be able to get a reservation whenever I want one. That would be a shame, because Lot 15 at The Kixby Hotel has all the makings of a favorite Midtown cocktail lounge for food and drinks that always satisfy. Perfect for a date, or dinner with your parents, or for those moments when you’ve been wandering around the sales at Macy’s for hours and you really, really need a drink. Opened late last year in the Herald Square area, it was quiet on the November night I visited, though that is sure to change as word spreads about the perfect Lemon Drop Martini and decadent Crispy Chicken Skins on the menu.
SULTRY & GLAM Located on the ground floor of the newly renamed Kixby Hotel on West 35th Street (you might remember it as Hotel Metro), Lot 15 has been brought to life by the team behind Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer. Designed by Rockwell Group, the dimly-lit lounge seats 70, with bar seating for 12. The mood is sultry and glam, all black wood walls with pops of gold, and pop-culture artworks by muralist Fumero. Executive Chef Stephen Parker’s menu features classic dishes with modern-day twists: a Caesar Salad of Kale with Serrano Chilies; Lamb Harissa Meatballs drizzled with Cucumber, Red Onion, and Tzatziki. The House-roasted Turkey Club is a showstopper, plentiful enough to feed four and then some. The delicious Fried Chickpea nibbles that arrived with a martini were still on my cravings list two days later.
CHEERS TO YOU Beverage Director Cameron Shaw’s cocktail and wine list is previewed in the “House Picks” selection, served daily from 4 to 7 pm. During those happiest of hours, featured cocktails are $12 each, wine is $8 for a glass and beer is $5. The offerings will change seasonally; for now there’s a tasty sparkling Chenin Blanc and refreshing Pilsner to complement the cleverly constructed cocktails. The full wine list has been thoughtfully curated, with plenty of choices by the glass. And isn’t there something delightful about a streamlined New York cocktail list that lets the classics shine? A wellmade Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour or Classic Martini will never go out of style. Elsewhere in the hotel, there’s a new Black Tap restaurant plus a seasonal rooftop bar, The Lookup, to explore. We’re predicting The Kixby is soon to become a firm favorite of locals and visitors alike. The Classics Lounge ©Melissa Hom Photography
For more information on Lot 15, visit lot15.nyc. •
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 73
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Adrienne Warren in TINA THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL, Photo by Manuel Harlan, 2019
TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL By Lori Simmons Zelenko
n a word: Electrifying! Sizzle that pops off the stage and jazzes the audience to its feet. We all know and love Tina Turner and until we meet Adrienne Warren who embodies her in this bio-musical overflowing with Tina’s hits, “River Deep-Mountain High,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Proud Mary,” “We Don’t Need Another Hero,” and of course, the mega chart-topper “What’s Love Got To Do With It” among others. We might have thought there was no one who could capture her sass, her energy, her tough girl/tender heart attitude, the vulnerability belied by a powerhouse voice and a will to survive like no other. Well, by the time the curtain goes down on this show, we’re convinced we just spent the evening with Tina herself. Adrienne Warren captures the essence of Tina without sacrificing her own identity, she is thrilling to watch. The story (book by Katori Hall) begins with Tina as a child in Nutbush, Tennessee (the origins of “Nutbush City Limits”). We see her gospel roots and share her early heartache as her mother, in a violent marriage (foreshadowing Tina’s relationship with Ike), takes off leaving her behind to be raised by her abusive father and her grandmother (played by Myra Lucretia Taylor). 74 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Adrienne Warren in TINA - THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL, Photo by Manuel Harlan, 2019
The cast of TINA THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL, Photo by Manuel Harlan, 2019
NEVER EASY TO LOVE Tina’s mother Zelma is not a character who is easy to love. Yet, Dawnn Lewis (Grammy winner, actress, Veronica Mars, A Different World, Major Crimes) makes her as sympathetic as she can be: “There are two sides to every story. It would have been easy to paint Tina’s mother as a villain but no, I wanted the audience to feel her humanity and see that she just didn’t know how to love this daughter. She knew that to survive she had to protect herself before she could protect anyone else. Tina’s childhood mirrors my own so naturally I felt a tremendous empathy for her and for her mother too, having to make painful choices. “Times have changed now and there is more awareness of a climate of violence towards women, and less tolerance. But back then, divorce wasn’t common and women were told to stand by their man, no matter how many times he hit her. I never knew Tina’s mother,” Dawnn Lewis reveals, “but I had friends who did. The character as I play her is grounded in reality. She is a divided woman yet I sought to bring compassion to her. No one is all good. No one is all bad.”
PLAYING WITH FIRE Tina tries to come to terms with her mother in one of the show’s most moving scenes. As she asks the parent who deserted her— why? Why she never deserved the love she desperately wanted? Dawnn Lewis as Tina’s mother replies, “You can’t hold fire. You can’t embrace fire.” Fire is a great way to describe Tina’s will to be, as her song says, “Simply the best. Better than all the rest.” Daniel J. Watts plays Ike, one slimy Svengali, who soon shows his sadistic side. But Tina’s spirit is never defeated and her talent triumphs in the end. The songs propel the narrative, biographical and authentic. When Ike proposes, Tina sings and her mother echoes the irony in the message, “Better Be Good to Me,” a plaintive cry from Tina and a warning from her mother that Ike never heeds.
WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? Depressed, down and out in London feeling unsuccessful at resurrecting her career, she sings “I Can’t Stand the Rain”—the weather was never more exquisitely painful. Our hearts go out to her, feeling the agony of defeat but we know Tina, and we know no one can keep her down. Despite her initial misgivings about the song that re-defined her and brought her back into our orbit—“What’s Love Got To Do With It”—she abandons her gig singing disco in trashy dives for a shot at re-found success. Her commitment to Buddhism stands behind her and sustains her, as she leaves the past behind, she places her trust in a man who becomes her husband, German record executive, Erwin Bach (played by Ross Lekites.) The show takes flight in the second act when Tina rises from the ashes of her burnt career, powerful, older and wiser ready to assume the mantle of stardom even if such success doesn’t appear to immediately be in the cards. Tina: The Tina Turner Musical ends gloriously. We are with her as she takes the stage; a superstar who has been through hell to ascend to heaven. Adrienne Warren as Tina delivers a performance that brings the audience to its feet. Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater. For more information, visit tinaonbroadway.com. •
Chicken and Biscuits Images ©Dominick Totino Photography
OFF-BROADWAY CHICKEN AND BISCUITS By AP Connolly
ooking for some good entertainment without sticker shock? Head to Queens Theatre to see Chicken and Biscuits, a new family comedy by award winning composer-playwright and actor Douglas Lyons (Beautiful). The all-star cast includes Jennifer Fouche (Chicago National Tour) as Baneatta, Robert G. McKay (When They See Us) as Reginald, Alana Raquel Bowers (What to Send Up When It Goes Down) as Simone, Ebony Marshall-Oliver (Ain’t No Mo) as Beverly, Josh Adam Ramos (Brideshead Obliterated) as Kenny, Brendan Ellis (Stupid F**king Bird) as Logan, Ashanti J’Aria (Disaster) as Brianna, and Aigner Mizzelle (Betty & The Belrays) as La’trice. In Chicken and Biscuits, Baneatta and Beverly attempt to put their sisterly differences aside to bury their father, Bernard. All is well at the funeral until it’s revealed that Bernard had not just two daughters—but three. And so the truth emerges, leaving this African-American family to confront their skeletons head on— naturally with lots of love, shade, and prayer along the way. Originally written in residence at The Directors Company, Chicken and Biscuits’ development includes The Front Porch Readings Series, Queens Theatre’s 2019 New American Voices Series, and Frank Silvera’s Workshop at The Billie Holiday Theatre. The 2020 Queens Theatre production will be directed by Zhailon Levingston (Tina) in arrangement with EclayRossie Productions, Blue Vista 725, Akous Entertainment, and The Directors Company. For more information on Chicken & Biscuits, contact the Queens Theatre (14 United Nations Ave. S., Corona or visit queenstheatre. org/chicken-and-biscuits. Performances: February 28th through March 22nd. Tickets: $25 ($20 for Queens Theatre members; discounts for seniors/students. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 75
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
ON THE BIG SCREEN By Jenny Peters
FAMILY ADVENTURES THE CALL OF THE WILD Not yet rated Jack London’s timeless tale of Buck, a California dog whose life is upended as he is transported to Alaska to become a sled dog, returns to the big screen yet again. You may recall the Clark Gable take from 1935 or the Charlton Heston version from 1972. This time Harrison Ford stars in this dog’s view story of his struggles to keep alive and safe during the 1890s Klondike gold rush. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG Not yet rated An all-star cast leads this live-action/ animated version of Sonic the Hedgehog, based on the Sega video game, including James Marsden, Jim Carrey, and Ben Schwartz (as the voice of Sonic). Kids and their young-at-heart parents will giggle, gasp, and groan at the wild adventures that Sonic finds on earth as he tries to elude the grasp of government officials determined to tame his otherworldly super-energy. WENDY Rated: PG-13 Taking the Peter Pan story and turning it on its head is Wendy, a re-invention of the tale we all know so well. From Benh Zeitlin, the Oscar-nominated writer-director of Beasts of the Southern Wild, this fantasy adventure is filled once again with lost boys, pirates, and— this time out—a female protagonist whose pluck and determination are central to this new imaginationrich story created to enchant both kids and adults.
ADULT ACTION BIRDS OF PREY: HARLEY QUIN Rated: R Margot Robbie is back with a vengeance as Harley Quin, the DC Comics character who in Suicide Squad spawned a million Halloween costumes. This time Robbie also produces and Cathy Yan directs, so expect less skin and more real action from this formidable female superhero. Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) join Quin in her action-adventure, bringing even more women with extraordinary powers to the silver screen. It’s rated R for a reason, so parents beware. 76 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
THE INVISIBLE MAN Rated: R Elisabeth Moss heads to the big screen to breathe new life into the canon of the classic The Invisible Man (which began back in 1933). This time, she’s the one being terrorized by an invisible being in a frightening psychological thriller. In its modern iteration, this one’s full of screams, gory violence, and more horrific moments. No surprise there, as it springs from the mind of writer-directorproducer Leigh Whannel, who brought us the Saw horror franchise.
COMPLICATED ROMANCES DOWNHILL Rated: R Julia Louis-Dreyfus leaves TV behind her to produce and star in this taut emotional drama based on the award-winning Swedish film Force Majeure. Set in the gorgeous Austrian Alps, Downhill follows a married couple (Will Ferrell plays the husband) and their children, as a near-fatal avalanche implodes their lives. Mostly serious work from these two famous comedians may not be what you expect from this Valentine’s Day, but with Julia as a driving force, we’re in for the ride. EMMA Not yet rated And she’s back! Emma is the latest film version of Jane Austen’s clever comedy of 19th-century manners, this time starring the lovely Anya Taylor-Jay (The Miniaturist, Peaky Blinders) in the title role. And this time with a female director, Autumn de Wilde, too. With suitors to stave off and people to manipulate, Emma Woodhouse’s life is a swirl of assignations and manipulations. There’s a reason this Austen novel has been made so many times—it’s always a delight. ORDINARY LOVE Rated: R Liam Neeson puts rough-and-tumble action aside to take a poignant journey with Lesley Manville as the two star in this drama that follows a happily married middle-aged couple through a life-altering journey. Both Oscar-nominated performers give their all in this quietly moving story of two people coping with the realities of aging, as illness intrudes into their contented lives. Bring tissues. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 77
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
ON THE SMALL SCREEN By Jenny Peters
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT BRIARPATCH USA Rosario Dawson stars in this crime thriller created by the weird mind of Sam Esmail, who’s best known for Mr. Robot. Investigating her sister’s murder in a Texas border town, she discovers much more nastiness under the surface of her hometown. Alan Cumming, Ed Asner, and Kim Dickens are all along for this bone-chilling 10-episode series. FOR LIFE ABC Aaron Wallace (as played by Nicholas Pinnock) is a convicted prisoner turned lawyer, fighting for his own innocence as well as for his fellow inmates in this tense drama. Also starring Joy Bryant as his wife, Indira Varma as his prison warden and Mary Stuart Masterson. For Life takes an emotional look at the American justice system. TOMMY CBS From mob wife to LA police chief, with a stoned nurse in between, actress Edie Falco is as changeable as a chameleon. In this gritty new cop series, she takes on the role of Abigail “Tommy” Thomas, a tough New York police officer who heads to Los Angeles to take over the highest law enforcement in that sprawling city. As the first woman to lead the LAPD, Tommy’s got some challenges to overcome, but with Falco in charge, we’re sure it’s bound to be compelling television.
SPINOFFS AND REMAKES HIGH FIDELITY Hulu Zoe Kravitz both stars and produces this retelling of Nick Hornsby’s beloved novel of the same name from 1995. Taking on the role John Cusack made famous in the 2000 movie adaptation, Kravitz plays Rob Brooks, the record-store owner with a deep and undying love of music. That’s the backdrop for a deep dive into her relationships— with co-workers, customers, and lovers, too. 78 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
KATY KEENE The CW Spinning off from Riverdale comes Katy Keene, as four young women of Archie Comics’ fame head to New York City to follow their career dreams. Led by Lucy Hale as Katy, an aspiring fashion designer, the other characters have very different paths to follow as the young women discover that the big city isn’t quite like small-town Riverdale. Also starring Ashleigh Murray as Josie, Jonny Beauchamp as Jorge, and Julia Chan as Pepper.
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOURS AVENUE 5 HBO We’re excited to see Avenue 5, the latest show from the brilliant mind of Armando Iannucci, who spent the last eight years giving us the unmatched craziness of Veep. Now he’s headed to outer space, creating this fantastical futuristic comedy series that centers around space tourism. Hugh Laurie stars as the captain of the space cruise ship Avenue 5; with him in the lead and a weird and wonderful crew as well as some whacked-out passengers along for the ride, this one should be cued up from Episode 1 on your wish list. DISPATCHES FROM ELSEWHERE AMC Jason Segel stars and produces this 10-episode series that explores the magic and mysteries that lie just beyond our perceptible world. He, along with characters played by Sally Field, Richard E. Grant, Andre Benjamin, and Eve Lindley, are drawn together by a series of odd happenings. As they explore the reasons why an alternate reality begins to reveal itself, and really strange events begin to make them all believe they are actually getting “Dispatches from Elsewhere.” LOCKE & KEY Netflix Magical keys, occult powers, and a seemingly haunted house are all part of this adaptation of the Locke & Key comic book series begun in 2008. Now those scary fantasies (complete with an evil demon) come to life as the Locke family—mother and three children—return to their home after the murder of their patriarch. Supernatural events follow as they find that the house holds the keys to the killing, as well as many more unearthly discoveries. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 79
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO… AWARD SEASON CONTINUES WITH THE BIGGEST NIGHT FOR MOVIES By Norah Bradford
elcome to the season which brings a wide array of movies and talent, all competing for recognition. The most anticipated, of course, is the Oscars with glitz and glamour and celebrities strutting the red carpet. But before you tune in on Sunday, February 9th here’s a primer on the hot contenders attracting attention from those in the know. 1917 Universal Pictures A movie about a desperate mission in the depths of the First World War. This film is shot as a single take following soldiers (George Ma c Kay and D e an-C harle s Chapman) trying to prevent a catastrophe amid the trenches, directed by James Bond Skyfall’s Sam Mendes. Also starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Colin Firth. Info: 1917movie.com. A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood Sony Pictures Based on the Esquire article “Can You Say...Hero?” by Tom Junod, the film stars Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Chris Cooper. Rhys, who plays a journalist, is assigned to profile the beloved TV icon Fred Rogers (Hanks). Marielle Heller directs the film with a screenplay by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster. Info: abeautifulday.movie. Bombshell Lionsgate Sex. Power. Corporate corruption. The movie tells the tale of the role men and women played as both victim and aggressor in the halls of the Fox News. The film is based on the accounts of several women at Fox News—Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron), Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman), and Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie)—who set out to expose CEO Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) for sexual harassment. Info: bombshell.movie. Harriet Focus Features A dramatization of the life of Harriet Tubman, the fearless woman who escaped from slavery and who played a significant role in the Underground Railroad to help slaves to escape to freedom. Starring Cynthia Erivo (who played Celie in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple), Leslie Odom Jr. and directed by Kasi Lemmons. Info: focusfeatures.com. 80 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | FEBRUARY 2020
Judy LD Entertainment Judy is a British-American biographical drama film about the life of American actress and singer Judy Garland in 1969, as she arrives in London for a run of sell-out concerts at the Talk of the Town. Directed by Rupert Goold, it is an adaptation of the Olivier and Tony-nominated West End and Broadway play End of the Rainbow by Peter Quilter. The film stars Renée Zellweger as Garland, with Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, and Michael Gambon in supporting roles. Info: judythefilm.com. Just Mercy Warner Bros. Pictures Just Mercy is an American legal drama film directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, and starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall, and Brie Larson. It tells the true story of Walter McMillian, who with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson appeals his murder conviction. Info: justmercy.eji.org. The Irishman Netflix A potential magnum-opus from director Martin Scorsese, The Irishman stars Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, and Joe Pesci. Based on the book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, the film follows Frank Sheeran (DeNiro). The film describes his life as a truck driver as he becomes a hitman involved with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family, including his time working for the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). Info: netflix.com. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Columbia Pictures Quentin Tarantino’s homage to the late 1960s golden age of Hollywood is a comedy-drama following the lives of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as they navigate the changing world of movie-making alongside events culminating in the real-life murder of Sharon Tate. Info: sonypictures.com. Parasite Neon A foreign language movie from South Korean director Bong Joon Ho tells the tale of two families, one rich and wealthy and the other in a position to make their lives easier. All is well in their symbiotic relationship until someone new enters the picture jeopardizing the social and economic equilibrium. Info: parasite-movie.com. The Two Popes Netflix Telling the tale of the accession of Pope Francis and the extraordinary resignation of Pope Benedict XVI at a time when the Catholic Church is undergoing a struggle between the forces of progress and tradition. Inspired by actual events, the movie centers around Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce), the soon-to-be elected Pope Francis, and the aging Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins). Their ideological and temperamental differences, and the theological debates that spring from them, drive the movie’s action as the leaders spar over the future of 21st-century organized religion. Directed by Fernando Meirelles and written by Anthony McCarten. Info: netflix.com. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 81
NEW YORK, NY
PAWS DOWN…TAILS UP BE MINE, VALENTINE! By Lori Zelenko
hen it comes to hearts and flowers much less chocolates and kisses, it’s the most romantic day of the year. So why not send a Valentine to your beloved pooch or cherished kitty? We’ve found a few wonderful ways to show your love for the most adored companion ever! HEY CUPID EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSES P.L.A.Y. gets it. Here’s Puppy Love for you. And even a bottle of pup-friendly bubbly to pop the question with. Info: chewy.com.
Annabelle (the author’s adored ShihTzu) models a luxe cable knit sweater in rosy pink exclusively from Reme Oggi Pets. Info: remesoggipets.com.
Show—and tell—your cat how purrfect he (or she is) and let them know just how much you love them with these sweet heart plush toys (there’s a doggie version too!) from Frisco. Info: chewey.com.
Loving the scent of fresh roses? Look no further than this romantic, aromatic rose candle from Gerrard Larriett. And couple this with a spritz of Balancing Rose aromatherapy spray to freshen Fido’s coat. Info: gerrardlarriett.com.
LOVE BITES Give your four-legged fur baby something to nibble on that’s healthy and delicious. What better choice than these treats from Blue Dog Bakery? Info: chewy.com.
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LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES Wasn’t it Forrest Gump who coined the phrase “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get?” Surprise Fido with this plush hide and seek toy chocolate box from Zippy Paws, a never-ending surprise. Info: chewy.com.
HEARTS A FLUTTER
Missives missing from Fido’s mailbox? We have the answer: This adorable plush dog toy from Zippy Paws comes complete with love letters. Info: chewy.com.
Give Fido a heart to chew on and he (or she) will love you forever. This swirl chenille heart a Valentine’s best seller from Muttropolis is sure to let your pup know how much you care. Info: muttropolis.com
COZY ON UP
Hauspanther knows what a cat wants. Their spare modern aesthetic gets right to the heart of play, no frills about it. Kitties of all ages are sure to enjoy this hot pink spiral. Info: hauspanther.com.
Ruffina rocks when it comes to red. This cozy polar fleece blanket for Fido or Fifi is doublelayered for warmth and comfort plus it’s made in the USA. Info: ruffina.nyc.
LOVE IS ALL AROUND US
FROM THE HEART
What pup doesn’t want to be pretty in pink? Nothing’s more fun for Valentine fashion than this pink paw print harness and leash set from Winston Manner. Fido will feel ever so chic! Info: winstonmanner.com.
For the heartfelt fashionista, a collar that’s all hearts. We love Up Country’s citified sensibility that works for country pets too. Info: upcountryinc.com.
YOU, ME & CUPID
Because every dog needs a new bandana, especially for Valentine’s Day. Tail Trends has a charming take on this “must have” so Fido can strut his (or her) stuff in style wearing “You and Me Cupid Hearts” around town. Info: chewy.com.
Even real men wear pink, tell that to Fido if he questions why you’re putting this posh pink leather with silver hearts collar from Muttropolis on him. Info: muttropolis.com. •
FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 83
NEW YORK, NY
LR SPA NY Terrasse
ENTREPRENEUR’S CORNER RONIT RAPHAEL By Bailey Beckett
ne need only look at Ronit Raphael to understand the beauty that is L. RAPHAEL, the skin care brand she began in 2005. Fifteen years later, it has grown into an international empire savored by the most demanding glamour aficionados. Now with a spa inside The Four Seasons Hotel New York (as well as the Spa Montage in Beverly Hills), she is setting her sights on the entire U.S. market, showing Americans the beauty that is her brand. Ronit Raphael ©Benny Tache Photographe
“From the beginning, I envisioned that L. RAPHAEL would go beyond the superficial approaches to skincare and beauty,” she says. “I want to enhance my guests’ self-esteem and build their confidence. By encouraging a way of living that promotes good health, well-being and joy, we help guests become their best selves. This holistic approach, which was a novelty when I founded L. RAPHAEL, has now become a commonly recognized practice in the skincare, spa and wellness industries.” Raphael, who suffered from minor acne as a child, takes it personally. A chemical peel when she was 18 left her face with second degree burns, spurring her to find a regimen and product to repair her visage. She found her way to Professor Meir Shinitzky and Dr. Raphael Gumener, who created a patented LEC-40 lipid complex and partnered with her to create the L. RAPHAEL Genève skin care retreat on Geneva’s Rue du Rhone. Out of that came the L. RAPHAEL brand and beauty spas around the world, which started in the glamorous Hotel Martinez in Cannes, South of France. Raphael, whose clients come from around the world, shared with New York Lifestyles her passion, philosophy and tips for the best skin care. What does your brand stand for? We listen to our clients beauty needs, issues and only then will we work with them to implement the best beauty program possible that is tailored to their needs. Then, at the heart of L. RAPHAEL, is the Science of Beauty, our commitment to scientific research and advanced technology using oxygen, ultrasound, anti-gravity therapies and proprietary ingredient formulations of the highest quality. We believe in a holistic approach to beauty based on the brand’s Seven Foundations of Beauty, which is based on an integrated wellness lifestyle that incorporates medicine, nutrition, physical activity, age-management, aesthetics, stress management and play/leisure time. Who is your customer? Our guests are from around the world and are of all age groups—from teens to 80+. Many of our guests begin coming when they’re teenagers to find a solution to their acne problem or because they have body image issues. We also have guests who come to us to repair their skin as a result of damage done beyond the usual aging process. Damaged skin can’t be fixed overnight, but with time and dedication, the results are impressive in delivering lifted, tightened and glowing skin. To achieve such results, we need to work on three different layers of the skin using dedicated technology to focus on pigmentation, exercise the face muscles, rebuild collagen and provide deep hydration.
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What is the most important thing you should do in taking care of your skin? Ensure that your skin is perfectly cleaned and hydrated and use only creams and serums that are scientifically proven to be safe and results driven. We often hear about protecting the skin against UV rays—and it’s essential—but we also need to help the skin protect itself from the pollution and other aggressors. When this is not done correctly, our skin can develop too much sebum which causes acne and dilated pores. Also, when the skin is not hydrated enough, cells cannot regenerate as efficiently which leads to premature aging of the skin. What are things people can do to avoid skin damage? Consistently follow a healthy routine, drink plenty of water, avoid too much sun, smoking, alcohol, and get enough rest—it’s during sleep that skin cells regenerate. What are some myths about skin care? There are miracles and quick fixes. You can’t stop the aging process, but you can help manage aging with a healthy lifestyle, using quality, scientifically proven products and getting safe, effective treatments that are tailored to your skin’s needs. What is unique to your spa in the Four Seasons? L. RAPHAEL Four Seasons is unique in that it combines the advanced technology typically found in skin clinics within a traditional spa space that also has a hair salon. It centralizes all your beauty needs with tailor made programs conveniently in one luxuriously relaxing place. What are the differences in how Americans take care of their skin vs. your international clients? I would say the lack of time. L. RAPHAEL beauty therapists have an unparalleled training to ensure that they optimize guests’ valuable time. Beauty needs are more or less the same worldwide, but the time commitment can vary much. It’s not unusual for us to have three therapists working with one guest at the same time to ensure expectations are met within their limited timeframe.
What are the best products for winter? For winter, L. RAPHAEL’s Ultimate skincare line provides a boost of ultra-rich hydration with three types of ceramides. Naturally found in the cell structure of the skin, ceramides restore and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier to improve moisture retention. The Ultimate line also contains plant extracts and minerals that increase collagen production to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. L. RAPHAEL’s Ultimate Day Cream and Ultimate Night Cream are two favorites for keeping skin in radiant condition throughout the winter. Tell us more about your signature products. This is always a difficult choice because we customize our treatments to respond to the needs and desired results of our guests. Just about everyone needs a moisturizing boost at one time or another. For this, I recommend our Oxy Cure C treatment. The vitamin C acts as antioxidant for an anti-aging effect—it will also smooth, hydrate and brighten the skin. Our patented LEC 40 formulation helps active ingredients penetrate deeper in the skin cells for a more effective and lasting result. The chamomile and arnica sooth the skin and the oxygen spray drains, stimulates blood flow, removes dead cells and provides an oxygen boost to regenerate skin cells. Another signature treatment is the Oxy Star, which uses white truffle
that helps eliminate dark pigmentation due to aging allowing for younger, flawless looking skin. For home care, I recommend our Perfection Eye Cream that moisturizes, nourishes, tightens, lifts, smooths and has an immediate brightening effect which captures the light on the eyes. You are famous for the Diamond facial. Tell us how it works. The Diamond Powder Mask originated from an exclusive collaboration with Chopard for the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Diamond Powder is exceptional for gently exfoliating the skin which enables all the active ingredients to be that much more effective. It is also incredibly effective for unifying and brightening skin tone. What is the best lesson you’ve learned in working in skin care? There is no quick fix or miracle cream. It takes time and dedication to manage the normal effects of aging and optimize your skin to look your very best. I’ve been in this industry for 35 years and I also know that for each problem there is a solution, it just needs to be adapted to a routine and then maintained. There is no quick fix. For more information on Ronit Raphael, visit fourseasons.com/ newyork/spa. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 85
NEW YORK, NY
MY NEW YORK STORY INDRANI GORADIA By Bailey Beckett
ndrani Goradia deals with pretty heavy subjects—domestic and gender violence, among them—but they haven’t diminished her light. If anything, they’ve made her more determined to help women stop the abuse and empower them to change their lives.
Meeting Barack Obama
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An author, speaker, philanthropist and activist, Goradia set up Indrani’s Light Foundation to provide women the support they need to reverse the abuse cycles that can go back generations. Based in New York and Houston, she travels the world speaking and advocating for victims and survivors, which is a personal cause: she is one herself. Now on the world stage—she has been a speaker at the United Nations Women’s Health and Development Forum and collaborates with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation —Goradia has brought her message of hope, survival and empowerment to millions. She spoke with New York Lifestyles about her journey and continuing crusade.
Your organization has made such a difference in the lives of many women. What keeps you focused? The focus is quite easy. We know where we can affect the biggest change and we direct our efforts there. When we give workshops to the advocates of sexual and domestic violence shelters, we know that they will have the opportunity to teach new behaviors to their families and show up differently at home and work. We know we can teach them to practice self-care and make themselves a priority. You deal with heavy subjects every day. How do you stay positive and motivated? Whenever I have an opportunity to talk or write about domestic violence and child abuse, I imagine that one person in the audience will pay close attention and will go home and make the changes necessary to end it. I imagine that they will no longer make excuses that screaming and abuse are acceptable behaviors for parenting or partnering of their significant others. I imagine that they will decide to learn new tools so that they too will say, they ended generational violence. I imagine that they begin to see that their loved ones deserve the best of them—nothing less. What has the reaction been from the philanthropic community? I belong to an amazing group of women who make significant investments in areas that affect girls and women. Did you know that an incredibly small percentage of philanthropic dollars support women battling domestic violence and child abuse and yet we are 50 percent of the population? The community has been extremely supportive of my work and they know that we all must do what we can. Tell us how you got President Obama interested in your cause? I have a strong belief in the magic of the universe. If we do the work we are supposed to do and are committed, we will make our world a better place. I never dared dream that President Obama and Indrani Goradia would ever be in the same sentence let alone be together in a photo! Then an invitation arrived and I was ready and able to talk about the work and he listened and responded in an incredibly positive way.
What has it been like to work with Bill and Melinda Gates? I was part of a collective that Melinda Gates co-founded that supported girls and women. She is incredibly down to earth and was happy that a group of courageous women had come together to use their resources to affect change. Who inspires you? I am inspired by abused women who have no one to turn to and who continue to do their best for their families. They cry and they work. They cry and hope for better lives for their families. They show up despite all odds and they do their best. I am in awe of these women. When I spoke at the UN, I imagined that a whole group of these brave women were at the table with me. We need to give these women a chance to tell the world what they are going through. We need their voices in the rooms where policies are made. One of my favorite quotes: “What you do for us but without us is against us.” What do you do outside of your work? I love my work and I get to travel to many places to speak about it so I would say that travel is one of the activities that I love to do. I also read a lot. All kinds of genres from how-to books like The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker and psychological thrillers to true memoirs and memoir-type books like Good Talk by Mira Jacob. I love to quilt, and my husband says I am addicted to buying art supplies. One of these days I will take an art class. What is the message you hope everyone takes away from your work. I hope everyone believes that we can change the narrative about domestic violence and knows that we can learn how to end violence at home. I ended generational violence in my lifetime and did it because my family deserved a chance to live in peace and know that they were safe at home.
Greeting His Holiness Pope Francis
For more information on Indrani Goradia and the Indrani’s Light Foundation, visit indranislight.org. • FEBRUARY 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 87
NEW YORK, NY
TIME OUT WITH… CHEF EDWIN BELLANCO OF VITAE By Bailey Beckett
olecular gastronomy. Foam. Astronomically-priced burgers. They’re fads that come and go on New York’s dining scene, but one place that is staying is Vitae, the see-and-be-seen hotspot in Midtown Manhattan. Begun by Edwin Bellanco, Vitae has survived the 2008 financial crisis and a fickle dining scene. Combining Michelin star-quality food with creature comforts and a sexy, relaxing vibe, the restaurant has thrived by offering discerning New Yorkers a sophisticated respite no matter what the occasion. Bellanco put his knife down to give New York Lifestyles the cut …err, scoop on staying on top. How would you describe Vitae? When everyone asked what my restaurant was going to be, I always said the sum of my experiences at Bouley, the French Laundry, Danube, and Gramercy Tavern. All of those experiences wrapped into one. So, I thought of curriculum vitae, but the vitae stuck out. It means life. It’s my life, my past cooking at other restaurants, and the presence of people here. What is your philosophy about food? It’s simple: it starts with really great ingredients and then figuring out how to prepare those, so they shine. It’s not about me as a chef; it’s about what the elements are and what makes them great. It is very seasonal for me. So how do you source them? We use the best, most reputable purveyors. They know what I want. I’ve been working with them for a lot of time. And we are incredibly discerning in the kitchen. If it doesn’t meet our incredibly high standards, we just don’t use it. Describe your creative menu? It’s a very international cuisine. Although I am an American chef, I enjoy incorporating Japanese, French, and Italian influences. I keep trying to keep it very focused and approachable for our guests. What you typically see is guests going back to classics. There’s a reason: They stand the test of time. I like to cook what I want to eat. How do you avoid anything too trendy? I never wanted to jump on fads. They’re just a tool in your bag. What you want is a menu with longevity, and the guest will always determine that. I could put something on the menu that I feel like it’s the best addition just for me, pick a crazy grape foie gras dish, but if it doesn’t sell, I don’t keep it. How would you describe your kitchen style? I trained mostly French, so I gravitate towards those techniques. But honestly, I’m continually learning and evolving. Everybody has their basic ways of doing stuff, but I’m always looking for something new. What’s your philosophy? The most important thing is that it’s all about the guests. I think that seems an obvious statement, but I remember being a young cook and watching chefs get angry that a guest sent something back because they didn’t like it, and they’d get upset. We’re in the hospitality industry. Vitae is intensely guestfocused. We can recommend, suggest different ways to prepare or combine items, but if somebody wants a well-done steak, I’m going to try and get it right. When did you know you wanted to start your restaurant? I’ve been cooking for a long time. I mean I cooked when I was young. I was just 14 years old and essentially a breakfast cook at a deli, and that’s where you had to learn how to flip a perfect over-easy egg. It built up my speed and my love for the hustle and bustle. After years in the business, I started to pursue owning a restaurant and, quite honestly, sometimes I still don’t believe it! For more information on Vitae, visit vitaeny.com. •
Chicken and Biscuits by Douglas Lyons
Feb. 28â€“Mar. 22 Tickets: $25 / Members: $20 Seniors & Students: $22.50 Call the Box Office at 718-760-0064 or visit www.queenstheatre.org for tickets.
A new comedy with heart, soul and a little shade.
HAPPY HEALTHY HEMP TREATS CALM
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