New York Lifestyles Magazine June 2022 Bonnie Comley

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Vol. 8 #6 | June 2022


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ENT ERTAINMENT See What’s Next On BroadwayHD

B onnie Comley Bringing Broadway Into The 21st Century

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From The Publisher Bonnie Comley: Bringing Broadway Into The 21st Century Suzan Galluzzo: It’s Fitter Sweet For This Top Health Expert Gus Drakopoulos: An Entrepreneur With Grit & Guts Profile: Dana Brown

LIFE & STYLE 32 Day Of The Dads/Month Of The Grads Edition 34 Culture Capsule: Home & Lifestyle Innovation Reviews

© Neil J Tandy


TRAVEL 36 38 43 46

Cruise News: Wonder Of The Seas Why I Love North Carolina Knoxville: The Ultimate Getaway Watkins Glen: Activity, Adrenaline & Adventure

REAL ESTATE & HOME DECOR 48 NevelHaus: Eco-Friendly Homes In The Hudson Valley 51 Around Town: The Flatiron District


22 © Neil J Tandy

54 Mindie’s Musings: Seeking Excitement & Adventure 56 Healing Foods: 6 Favorites To Help You Live Longer & Stronger

FOOD & DRINK 58 Restaurant Review: Excuse My French 60 Dining Out At Old Stove Pub

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 62 63 64 65 66

Spotlight On Stage: Irene Gandy BroadwayHD: Now Streaming—Our Favorites On The Big Screen On The Small Screen Manhattan School Of Music: A Tradition Of Excellence


NEW YORK, NY 68 71 73 74

Hats Off To The Central Park Conservancy Entrepreneur’s Corner: Dr. Alejandro Badia My New York Story: Harriet Cohen Time Out With…Katy Wolfe



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OUR CONTRIBUTORS MELANIE CARDEN Melanie is a Boston-based writer and editor. Formerly a newspaper columnist, she writes about social justice, culture, cooking, adventure, and all things curious and creative. She earned her BA— with a concentration in Food and Culture Journalism—from UMass Amherst. Melanie is a passionate advocate for lifelong le ar n ing— t he t r a dit iona l, immersive, and online classrooms alike—and remains an active alumnus for the University Without Walls department of her alma mater. Her work has been featured in such publications as The Gay & Lesbian Review, Incomer Magazine, The Winchester Star Newspaper, and Cleaver Magazine. Mel can’t resist a good coffee mug and is obsessed with picnics. Catch her on 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,, Variety, New York Magazine, to name a few. She is the former editorin-chief 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.

BOB KAPPSTATTER Having photographed and written about Cuba, India, Africa and several other destinations, foreign and domestic, award-winning journalist Bob Kappstatter spends his off-time prowling with his camera in “the most interesting city in the world.” Kappy, as he is known to scores of politicians, cops, fellow journalists and “a lot of local characters,” spent over four decades at the New York Daily News, as a reporter, editor and columnist, and as he puts it, “with the best front row seat in the world, equally at home at a black-tie affair or in a South Bronx detective squad.” In this issue, Kappy writes of his latest adventure South of the Border. 12 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022

Vol. 8 #6 | June 2022 President / Publisher BILL MASON Editor-in-Chief Patricia Canole

Art Director Scott Cuollo

Theater Editor Bonnie Comley

Lifestyle Griffin Miller

Entertainment Jenny Peters

Special Projects Norah Bradford

Chief Photographer Neil J Tandy Contributors Brian Aker, Bailey Beckett, Mindie Barnett, Melanie Carden, AP Connolly, Elizabeth Darwen, Peter Elston, Bob Kappstatter, Stewart F. Lane, Irvina Lew, Darren Paltrowitz, Meryl Pearlstein, Anne Raso, Jeff & Stephanie Sylva, Annie Watt, Stacey Zable

Executive Vice President of Sales LYLE SELTZER Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development Don Fetherman - Director of Travel Internet Presence Magazine Distribution Michael McKenzie The Garrido Group New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651

Editorial/Sales Fax (212) 202-4888

For advertising inquiries, subscriptions, address changes or back issues, call: (646) 259-2651 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. ©2022 New York Lifestyles Magazine.

COVER CREDITS: Bonnie Comley Photography by Neil J. Tandy

Gus Drakopoulos Photography by Neil J. Tandy

Suzan Galluzzo Photography CTSY Suzan Galluzzo


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SUMMER IN THE CITY t’s hard to believe we’re on the brink of those lazy, hazy summertime days. Yet, hot days at the beach and cool nights in the mountains sound right to me. Yes, we have so much to be grateful for—and celebrate—including our family, health, friends, and freedom in the most fantastic city in the world. For June, we spotlight three incredible individuals who have made a difference in this city. A friend to New York Lifestyles magazine for several years, Bonnie Comley’s talent as a Broadway producer is recognized with many awards. Her other achievement is the CEO of BroadwayHD, the popular streaming service showcasing over three hundred productions. Along with her husband and fellow producer, Stewart K. Lane, they have transformed how we can bring Broadway theater into your home. As if that weren’t enough for Bonnie, she recently was appointed President of The Drama League, an integral part of what makes The Great White Way what it is today. With her many solid years in the theater, it is an honor to welcome her to New York Lifestyles as our new Theater Editor. She is the insider who brings you first-hand all the happenings of Broadway.

Vol. 6 #8 | November/D ecember 2020

If you like hearing from a straight-talking New Yorker, you’ll love Gus Drakopoulos, an entertainment entrepreneur who never backs down. Gus’ style is he tells it like it is and reveals his journey to being a success. He is a Queens native who opens up about reaching success and avoiding the pitfalls.



Then we visit Suzan Galluzzo, a Canadian by birth who is reaching the U.S. market with her famous nutrition-fitness brand. After spending over two years with most of us not moving during the pandemic, we all need a fitness boost. So, we welcome her first-rate advice, which will always make a difference.






These plus places to visit, entertainment, and fabulous places to dine in New York City. Whether the GPS is set to a Hamptons soiree or a hidden cabin in the Poconos, enjoy your summer. A special Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads, a huge congratulations to the Class of 2022 and to my daughter, Cassidy, who will be off to college this fall! See you next issue…

-Bill Mason


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(646) 259-2651 14 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022

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BRINGING BROADWAY INTO THE 21ST CENTURY By Patricia Canole | Photography by Neil J. Tandy

For years, Bonnie Comley has been working to expand the theater fanbase. Comley is an award-winning Broadway producer and the founder of BroadwayHD, a subscription service that offers over 350 Broadway shows available for streaming. She is also the President of the Drama League, the nonprofit for mentoring stage directors. She’s that dedicated. Comley had been trying to convince theater producers, playwrights, and composers that the best way to expand the theater fanbase is to provide access. Her mantra was, “watching filmed full-length theatrical productions on TV is another way to engage with the art of theater, not a replacement for it.” In its seven years online, BroadwayHD had laid the groundwork and built a theater fanbase community online centering around the very narrow niche content of live stage productions. Then, when the pandemic shut down theaters worldwide, BroadwayHD reminded fans of what they missed about the live stage shows and introduced Broadway to a whole new audience. Now, the conversation around filming the Broadway shows isn’t “are we filming the stage show?’ but “when are we filming the stage show?” In 2009 Bonnie joined the board of The Drama League because of their long-standing Directors Project program, an initiative to secure directing positions for a talented pool of diverse stage directors. Since 2015, The Drama League Directors Project alumni have received ten Tony nominations and won five Tonys, three of the winners are women. By focusing her efforts on a business and charity board work that fulfills her belief that art and culture are not only vital to individuals but the glue that holds society together, Bonnie is a vibrant New Yorker. New York Lifestyles had a chance to speak with Bonnie.


You were recently re-elected as President of the Board. Tell us about The Drama League. The Drama League is a non-profit created in 1916. Over the years, the initiatives have pivoted to better support the needs of the theater makers and audiences. The first two objectives were to influence the professional production of the best plays by alerting members to performances that warranted their support and ensuring the continuity of professional theater. In 1917 The League opened the Drama Book Shop, the first retail store devoted to theater arts, located in The Drama League’s offices. The bookstore was spun off and subsequently sold to various owners; the current owners are Lin Manuel Miranda and the Nederlander Organization. In 1984, The Drama League added the Directors Project program. Each year ten early career stage directors are given a fellowship to showcase their work in front of a paying audience and industry professionals. These directing fellows remain in The Drama League as mentors. Every season, the Drama League has over a half dozen associate directors alongside Broadway directors. These fellowships provide a life-long artistic home for the directors and a platform for dialogue with and between audiences. Do you have any personal goals as President of The Drama League? There are many choices for live entertainment in New York City and dozens of for-profit and non-profit organizations producing and supporting the theater. My goal for The Drama League is to be the first to support the Broadway League theater ecosystem. The Broadway League is the trade association of theater owners, producers, and general managers; it develops the shows. The Drama League is creating a diverse talent pool to direct those shows. For almost 40 years, The Drama League has functioned as a clearinghouse for theater directors. We can see that it is working by the numbers of The Drama League Directors Project Fellows working on Broadway League shows. This top-down approach filters Off-Broadway and regional theater with the many Drama League Directors Project Alumni working as artistic and executive directors of major theaters nationwide. →



You talk about access to theater and how it expands the fanbase. What does that mean? Watching theater on TV is the training wheels for going to the theater. Young audiences exposed to theater at home have an easier transition to sitting quietly in the dark for two hours at the live shows. And the price point is very different for this introduction to theater. The price for the streaming theater option is $130 for an annual subscription to BroadwayHD, which offers over three hundred highquality, full-length musicals and stage plays, versus a single ticket to a Broadway show for $125. In addition, viewers can become familiar with several types of theater. There are dramas and comedies, classic literature pieces, and modern plays. The digital option is a “try before you buy.” Filmed stage plays bring down the barriers to access. The barrier of physical limitations and geography are removed when the show is streamed into your home or on your mobile device. And BroadwayHD is streaming many titles with closed captions and audio descriptions for hearing or sight impaired subscribers. Those types of things help give access to the audience. The other kind of access that I am constantly addressing is whose shows get to be seen. In 2019, we started an initiative and launched a rail called the “Trailblazers.” The Trailblazers content highlights shows that feature underrepresented creators, female-identified, BIPOC, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The blend BroadwayHD includes shows like Phantom of the Opera and Stephen Schwartz’s Snapshots but also by female writers and composers like Cyndi Lauper, Dominique Morisseau, Val Vigoda, Shaina Taub, Emma Reeves, and Holland Taylor. Featured directors include Sally Cookson, Lisa Peterson and Rebecca Taichman’s Tony award direction of Paula Vogel’s Indecent. You made a Guinness World Record for the first live stream of a Broadway show. You were ahead of your time with BroadwayHD! It is thrilling to hold a world record, but the real legacy of BroadwayHD is as the aggregator for high-quality Broadway shows available for on-demand viewing. We didn’t invent the concept of going into a theater with cameras to film the shows. PBS and the BBC have been doing it for fifty years, but BroadwayHD has the most extensive collection of the stage to screen content. We are the destination for people who want to watch Broadway, and Broadway-caliber shows on TV. You are a Tony and Olivier award producer, entrepreneur, and pioneer. What is your proudest accomplishment? I think the thing that I am most proud of in my work is when I am called a trailblazer. A trailblazer is someone with a vision that makes a plan and does the work but leaves a clear path so others can follow. I try to share my knowledge, so the road is a little less bumpy for others. •


I think the thing I am most proud of in my work is when I am called a trailblazer...






By Bailey Beckett | Photograhy courtesy of Suzan Galluzzo

here’s no such thing as a cheat day…No, you cannot eat whatever you want during intermittent fasting…Not all fruits are good for you. Haven’t heard those words? You’re about to. Toronto-based nutrition and health expert Suzan Galluzzo is bringing her non-sugarcoated love to the United States, busting myths from coast to coast. One of Canada’s top nutritionists, Galluzzo, is unafraid to speak the truth to get her clients eating and acting more healthily. She’s worked with hundreds of clients to improve wellness, from weight to sleep and even to age. Her expertise and no-nonsense approach to health come at an ideal time, as the U.S. continues to grapple with an obesity epidemic and misinformation about calories, fat, and fads. “When people first come to me, there is a common denominator; they are not doing the bare minimum, so that is where we start,” says Galluzzo, who is making New York a prime focus of her brand. “I get clients on the right foods, which is consistent for everyone I meet, male or female of all ages. I use a nutritional protocol that is anti-allergen with the holistic approach to foods.

FOOD IS KEY Galluzzo is sharing the benefits of cooking, too. I am teaching them how to properly pair up food for optimal digestion. It helps if you learn these basics before tackling more profound issues. It would help if you learned these basics before tackling more profound issues. We can often correct imbalances in the first 90 days; we can lower cortisol and balance testosterone or estrogen by utilizing proper anti-inflammatory food pairings.” She says that poor diet is common among 90 percent of North Americans. “We see the same diseases in people: cancer, diabetes, insulin resistance, and ADHD in children. There is a lack of healthy eating information and eating bad foods can lead to or exacerbate these conditions,” Galluzzo stresses. “The correct guidance is not being provided for parents to teach children, who grow up and never learn the proper way to eat, and the cycle repeats. I am trying to teach a society that never learned the basics. It’s very unfair that you have to come to someone like me to learn this. It should be basic information that everyone learns in school, but it isn’t.” →


THE POWER OF EXERCISE Galluzzo’s own self-development story influenced her career path. Her interest in wellness began during her teens, taking an interest in high school sports, then signing up for a kickboxing class at 19, which is when she first saw a dramatic change in her body’s physicality. “That is when I discovered the power of exercise and what it can do for the human body. Then, finally, I had confidence, and I felt amazing,” she says. “In my twenties, I began to experience gut imbalance and digestion issues because I was drinking a lot of coffee and not eating the best diet. So, I consulted a naturopath, who put me on a candida diet, and that’s when I realized the power of food because it cured my digestive track, cleared my skin, and eliminated my depression. →



I became obsessed with diet and nutrition,” she says Some of the biggest diet myths that Galluzzo encounters most often from clients include drinking alcohol while dieting, being allowed a cheat day each week, and fad diets that exclude entire food groups, all of which she finds counterproductive to dieting progress. Although acknowledging that there are no quick fixes, Galluzzo does say that there are simple steps that will spark positive changes. “Getting a minimum of five to seven thousand steps per day means you don’t have to hit the gym as hard,” she shares. “Drinking two to three liters of water daily and especially consuming a minimum of ten ounces of vegetables is also necessary. They will keep your stomach feeling full and provide enough fiber to assist bowel movement. The key is to keep digestion moving. Then, she shares that you will be better positioned to start something or maintain a successful program.

SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL A common affliction of older adults is achieving quality of sleep. Galluzzo addresses the concept of “sleep hygiene” which entails creating an environment that supports restful sleep by setting a cool room temperature, avoiding being on the phone, and not staying up past 10 pm. After that hour, we get a surge of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. Cutting off food two hours before sleeping is also crucial. “Your digestive system needs a break; it has to process what has happened during the day to be ready to go back to work in the morning.” A mother of two, Galluzzo and her husband plan to keep ties to their native Canada while targeting the U.S. For more information on Suzan Galluzzo, visit •

Galluzzo’s interest in wellness began during her teens, taking an interest in high school sports…




GUS DRAKOPOULOS AN ENTREPRENEUR WITH GRIT & GUTS By Patricia Canole | Photography by Neil J. Tandy

Gus Drakapoulos knows first-hand that New York is where dreams come true. The entertainment entrepreneur is known by many as Showman of the City. He’s helped launch many straight into stardom and provides a home base for some of the city’s biggest deal-makers to work their magic. His success story is one of grit and guts. We sat down with one of the city’s most fabulous kings and learned how falling off course is sometimes one of life’s greatest gifts! Who is Gus Drakopoulos? I grew up in a Greek-Italian neighborhood Astoria Queens, NY. We all had nicknames and were a group of tough kids in the ‘80s and ‘90s. At 18, I felt lost and had no inspiration or goals. I was lucky to somehow come across an opportunity to become a stockbroker, a story within itself. The firm was located on Long Island, NY. The movies Boiler Room and Wolf of Wall Street best illustrate how young we were and how lucrative this place was. The only difference was we didn’t defraud people out of money. We legitimately invested the money in actual companies. The firm said, “This is boot camp on how to make money!” They taught us to work ethically, with a positive mental attitude, and maintain an unstoppable mentality. We felt we could do and achieve anything we wanted in life! They are traits I still carry with me today. They made us read certain books to shape our way of thinking, such as Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Then, someone who was very influential came into my life resulting from a cold call. By coincidence, he happened to be Greek as well. His name was Lampros Moumouris, who at 34-years-old, was an adult nightclub owner from Texas and realizing the American Dream. He became my mentor, older brother, best friend, and later, the godfather of my son, and my business partner.

Describe your business and what makes it so unique. In 2002, all the adult nightclubs in NYC looked like your father’s seedy joints from the 1980s. However, Lampros’s Clubs in Texas and, particularly the state of Texas, were much grander offering white tablecloth seating, private sections, and upscale menus. We took that concept and opened in of all places the South Bronx. The good thing that gave us hope was we were off the highway and one mile away from Yankee Stadium. However, our target demographic was not the white-collar clientele the Manhattan clubs attracted, but we garnered the urban market, athletes, celebrities, and industry people. Instantly, the place was a success, with people like Mike Tyson, Jamie Fox, Puff Daddy, Odell Beckham Jr., Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Susan Sarandon, and Anthony Anderson, as well as entertainment lawyers, scouts, producers, agents, and more! →



What is your most outstanding business achievement to date? The 2014 Super Bowl which was played in Met Life Stadium. The Broncos vs. Seahawks. It was a Wednesday night as I watched the local news showing the plane carrying one team landing at LaGuardia. An hour later, the entire team was at my front door. Shortly after, the opposing team also lands. Amazingly, both NFL teams partying at our club with our entertainers, a few days away from the big game on Sunday. That is when I realized how big the brand we created was. Where would you like your business to be in five years? I would love to see the brand expand to Miami and London and know it will be a massive hit in both cities. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced, business or personal? The hardest thing over the years has been dodging the scorn of and dealing with the abuse from local government agencies. They have tried to portray us as something we are not and dragged my name through the mud with false allegations. Finally, after years of battling the media, local agencies, and politicians, they had the final win. The original Sin City closed to be replaced with luxury condominiums. We had a 15-year run and went down with the best clubs to ever do so in NYC, such as Studio 54, The Tunnel, Limelight, Club USA, and Scores before us.

What one thing do you wish someone had told you when you started your business journey? Take care of yourself first and enjoy your personal life along the way. Did you study business or learn on the job? On the job, for sure!

At 18, I felt lost and had no inspiration or goals. I was lucky to somehow come across an opportunity to become a stockbroker... JUNE 2022 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 29

What would make you an even better leader? Patience and appreciating people around me each time I see something positive. I think it, but sometimes I forget to say it while in the zone. “Thank you, great job. I appreciate you!” Finally, what’s an essential piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting a business? Passion! Please don’t do it for the money! Once you have a passion for loving what you do or trying to create, you will develop a hunger to learn as much about it. Why? To be the best. Borderline obsession with your work is vital. Once you strive to be the best, money will follow with that burning desire of passion, like night follows day. There will be difficulties. Stay focused and positive, don’t let others persuade you otherwise. •

Once you have a passion for loving what you do or trying to create, you will develop a hunger to learn as much about it…” “Stay focused and positive, don’t let others persuade you…






By Bailey Beckett | Photos by Sharon Suh

ard to believe 2022’s best book is written by someone who didn’t finish college but did know his way around the bar. But that’s the case with Dana Brown’s new memoir Dilettante: True Tales of Excess, Triumph and Disaster. The expertly written, self-deprecating, and intensely funny book chronicles the rise and fall of celebrity and fashion glosses during the go-go 90s till recent times, all through the most amusing set of beer goggles to ever grace the page. Brown, who started as an assistant to Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter in 1994, steadily rose through the ranks of the magazine, eventually becoming one of its senior-most editors. Dilettante spares no expense in sharing the excess of the times when Town Cars idled in front of Conde Nast in masse, waiting to whisk celebrity editors of the time to anywhere they wanted. The book is rife with examples and anecdotes (like when he blocked Donald Trump from crashing a dinner for the designer Valentino) and shows incredible humanity, humor, and heart. “It’s a memoir about my 25 years in the magazine business and the climb up the masthead of Vanity Fair during the Graydon Carter years in the 90s and 2000s,” says Brown, now a screenwriter. “ But I set out to write a book about a vanished New York, or my vanished New York, without being one of those complaining about how much better it used to be, which is totally subjective. It was better for me because I was young, and there’s no better city in the world to be young in.” New York Lifestyles got the scoop from Brown over drinks at one of New York’s favorite watering holes, where Brown opened up about the book, his career, and post-Conde Nast life. Dilettante spans your 20+ year career at Vanity Fair. So, how difficult was it to recall all the details and go down memory lane? It was harder to put the words down on the page—I’m an amazing procrastinator and extremely unfocused—than to remember details. It was a surprise how memories came flooding back once I started writing them down, and I spent more than half my life at VF, so there was a lot to work with. How long has the book been percolating? I wrote a TV pilot about a decade ago set in the present-day magazine business, which began fading around that time in the wake of the 2008 economic crash and all the technological disruption in media. It was a dark-ish comedy called Disappearing Ink. But it didn’t get made. A few people suggested I do it as a memoir, go back to the beginning, write about the golden era of the 90s and 2000s, a coming-of-age story— my coming of age—so it was rattling around in my brain for almost a decade. I got pushed out of VF in 2018 after Graydon retired, and it felt like the time was right. The story had an end. And I needed money. Necessity is the mother of invention or reinvention in my case. What do you think/hope people get out of it? I’m surprised by how many people see this book as a lesson in hard work paying off and saw their own story in mine. I don’t think younger generations understand that you have to bust your ass to have even a modicum of success. Nothing is handed to you. When I was hired at VF in 1994 at 21, I was woefully unskilled, uneducated—I dropped out of college after a few months—and unprepared. I was a blank slate, so I had to work twice as hard as anyone else, and that hard work ultimately paid off. I was a terrific BS-er, by the way. I should have titled the book You Too Can Fake it Til You Make it! Because I did. And it turns out that’s pretty universal. What was the writing process like? Honestly, it’s all a blur. I had no formal process. I wrote whenever and wherever I could, usually in a complete panic in the middle of the night with a looming deadline-which I always seemed to miss. And more often than not, I was a bit drunk. I wrote much of this alone during the pandemic when it felt like the world was ending. Some days I can’t believe I wrote a book. JUNE 2022 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 31




By Griffin Miller

f May is summer’s waiting room, June marks the real deal, flinging open the door that gives access to sun-saturated dusk-to-dawn beaches and ballparks, along with nights sparked by bonfires and barbecues lit by tiki torches and fireflies. Adding to June’s myriad plusses are celebrations of fathers, father figures, and the dudes and dudettes whose caps and gowns signal new beginnings. Party on! OVER AND ABOVE BOARD

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Whether raising a glass to the man who taught you how to multitask before multitasking was a thing, or the kid who brilliantly aced commencement exercises, the occasion clearly requires a superstar bubbly. Enter Ferrari Trento F1 Limited Edition Brut, an exceptional sparkling wine from Italy’s acclaimed Ferrari Trento vineyards. It arrived on the Grand Prix scene with a beautifully fresh palate and bragging rights to the title Official Toast of Formula 1®. Even the label design boasts serious F1-esque cachet, like the one created for last month’s Miami Grand Prix. Info:


Let’s talk sheet masks. You apply one to your face, play zombie with the kids, after 15 to 20 minutes peel it off, and… meh. Still, I like the concept, so I gave Invity SuperNAD Youth Activating Facial Sheet Masks a shot. The ingredients, including Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) and plant-based components, were encouraging, as was the lushness of the mask itself. First application: hydration that lasted, not kidding, two days; second application: noticeable firmness; ongoing: two to three times a week for optimum results; currently: I’m hooked. Info:


School colors, clip art, customized text and other M&M perks— including your favorite grad’s face—have upped the big day ante, and it gets even better when you deliver the quintessential candies in a foottall bottle, sleek gift jar, or way awesome Personalizable M&M’s Class of 2022 Dispenser. Reminiscent of classic gumball machines, this cool refillable device is small enough for side table or desk snacking, but big enough to wow as centerpiece. Worth noting: “Commencement” sports double m’s—accident or happy coincidence? Info: 32 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022


No one would call me outdoorsy, but when the opportunity arises to spend a languid Sunday picnicking in Central Park, or to stretch out under the stars for a summer concert, I’m in. If this aligns me with rugged alfresco types who shop Coalatree, so be it. As for my picnic-concert musthave, I totally surrender to the eco-brand’s Puffy Kachula Adventure Blanket. Water repellant, cozy, and ingeniously convertible, the blanket morphs into a rain poncho (with hood!) or a comfy pillow. No smoke & mirrors, just cunning zipper-and-snaps hocus-pocus. Info:


As a practicing pescatarian, anything culinary involving seafood is totally on my radar. Now that warm weather has set in and firing up the grill is de rigueur, my annual quest for a beefburger alternative brought me to Del Pacifico Seafood’s Wild Mexican Blue Shrimp Burgers. Good call. The shrimp-exclusive company, boasting sustainable harvesting by artisanal anglers, has redefined the whole shrimp burger gestalt by serving up a chopped, divinely dense, filler-free, savory patty. Beware, though… pilfering carnivores are everywhere. Info:


A cigar connoisseur I am not, but I do have a couple of friends who know their way around humidors. Recruited to test puff Freud Cigar Co.’s debut collection, SuperEgo, they were not disappointed, giving the new Dominican-Nicaraguan luxury blend two very satisfied thumbs up. And since the company name, as well as the designation “SuperEgo,” are tied to cigar enthusiast/Father of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (iconically photographed cigar in hand), it’s a good bet SuperEgo would make the perfect gift for any cigar loving father. Info:


Anyone with a computer, laptop, tablet, or overextended cell phone occasionally needs to jot something down by hand. It happens. But paper and pens have become increasingly elusive as we look to downsize workspace clutter. Refusing to accept frantic scrounging as an option, I’ve turned to Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Easel as a solution. Vertical, it doesn’t hog valuable desk real estate, the tempered glass surface won’t stain or ghost and, inanimate object that it is, it exists only to serve… even the most bizarre of brainstorms! Info:





MOON TEETH WHITENING KIT Well, it’s time to put another celebrity-endorsed product to the test. This time, it’s Kendall Jenner’s MOON Teeth Whitening Kit. Though not an official expert, I’ve been dabbling in the fine art of whitening since I was a teenager. So, I’m a demanding customer. I was leery at first because it looked too easy, and I was ready to root out what the surprise disappointment would be. Spoiler alert, there is no such issue or blunder. Right out of the box, it’s intuitive and easy. The LED teeth tray is the most comfortable I’ve used, and the whitening strips have a nice minty flavor--and no weird aftertaste. Overall, it takes 5-minutes, it’s extremely comfortable, and the results are stunning. Perfect For Coffee and red wine enthusiasts, anyone looking for an alternative to professional whitening, and folks who want a dazzling smile. Info:

HOTSHOT™ SMOKELESS WOOD BURNING FIRE PIT Science is so cool, or in this case—hot. The Hotshot Smokeless Fire Pit is comparable in design to the Solo Stove standalone fire pits that rose to stardom during the height of the pandemic. The unit draws air in through the base vents, and it travels up through the double walls—getting super-heated along the way, which yields clean-burning flames. That super heat-fed fire obliterates any particles, so you’re gifted a gorgeous, nearly smokefree fire. And, to quote late-night infomercials, “that’s not all!” You can also get al fresco-savvy accessories like a grilling insert, making it a breeze to host a night of charred summer scallops and Sauvignon-Blanc. I admittedly hedged my bets by adding too many firestarters when I first used them. I did have a bit of smoke, but it dwindled as the starters burned down. After that, I could see heat vapors, but almost no smoke as promised. A 19.5” HotShot fire pit is just $249, compared to the $400 Solo Stove unit in the same size. Both are exceptional, but HotShot’s affordability makes it easy to buy multiple units, one for home and another for your favorite vacation getaway. And, of course, don’t forget that Father’s Day is looming! Perfect For Dads and grads, folks who love the outdoors, alfresco dining, and anyone who wants to enjoy an outdoor fire’s mesmerizing, relaxing vibe. Info: 34 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022




Wonder of the Seas, the biggest ship in the world, is almost four football fields long and accommodates up to 6,988 passengers and 2,300 crewmembers. Yet, despite its staggering size, this new Royal Caribbean mega-ship is well-planned and seamlessly operated. During its recent Caribbean first voyage, which was at about 80 percent capacity, we never encountered large crowds nor had to wait in any line for more than a minute. The ship features several “neighborhoods” located throughout its eighteen decks. However, its central hub is the Royal Promenade, a sprawling space lined with shops, lounges, and restaurants. Here guests enjoy strolls, live performances, sip robot-prepared cocktails in the Bionic Bar, or unwind with their favorite Starbucks coffee. The boardwalk is a large open-air neighborhood reminiscent of America’s seaside towns at the ship’s stern. Anchored by a colorful carousel, it is home to slides, climbing walls, an old-fashioned diner, a lively sports bar, a hot dog stand, and a sweets shop. Another popular area is Central Park, a green oasis with outdoor cafés and restaurants. It is the perfect place to start the day with a freshly baked croissant and a cup of Lavazza coffee and, after dark, to unwind with a nightcap under the stars. The ship’s most exclusive area is the Suite Neighborhood, a private space with its restaurant, lounge, large sun deck, and splash pool.

KEEPING BUSY The ship offers a myriad of activities. One can powerwalk on the covered track around the ship, work-out in the supersized fitness center, take yoga and exercise classes, try rock climbing, ziplining, ice-skating, surfing, and laser-tag. Additional activities include casino gambling, art auctions, trivia games, and bingo, to name just a few. The ship also offers plenty of fun areas for kids, such as a considerable splash zone, colorful playground, mini-golf course, giant slides, and arcades. For some “me time,” guests get pampered at the serene Vitality Spa or even have a plastic surgeon rejuvenate them with a few “nips and tucks.” Another favorite pastime is chilling out by one of the three pools, unwinding in the Solarium, or relaxing on one’s balcony. There’s no need to worry about clocking a daily 10,000 steps. The Wonder of the Seas is so big that it’s easy to reach this goal by just walking from place to place.


LET US ENTERTAIN YOU At dusk, the ship comes alive with music and performances: A jazz orchestra in the Royal Promenade, a Latin band at Boleros, a piano player at the Schooner Bar, a guitarist in Central Park, and comedians, singers, and dancers at the Royal Theater. The unique shows onboard are the thrilling ice spectacle with Olympic caliber skaters at Studio B and the inTENse show in the Aqua Theater. This mesmerizing production features an edgeof-your-seat highline act, platform diving, aquatic numbers, and synchronized swimming, all accompanied by blazing lasers, projections, and dancing fountains.

DINING PLEASURE One of cruising’s main attractions is dining, and the Wonder of the Seas delivers a culinary experience to satisfy everyone’s palate. The ship’s elegant main dining room straddles three levels around a soaring atrium and can accommodate up to 3,500 guests in one sitting. The a la carte menu features daily specialties such as Duck a l’Orange, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rack of Lamb, and seafood and pasta dishes. It also offers classics such as Caesar Salad, Herb-Crusted Salmon, and NY Strip Steak. Sinful Chocolate Cakes, Grand Marnier Souffles, and Creme Brulé complete the menu. The Windjammer Market is the largest buffet restaurant afloat, spanning the entire width of the ship. Appointed with numerous food stations and 1,048 seats, it easily accommodates many guests. The cuisine is classic American and Asian, vegetarian, and gluten-free fare. Additional dining venues include the buffet-style Solarium Bistro, Sorrento’s pizzeria, cafés, etc. For a different culinary experience, guests can also dine in several specialty restaurants (for a fee), such as Izumi for Sushi and Teppanyaki, Giovanny’s for Italian cuisine, Chops Grille for steakhouse staples, 150 Central Park for continental fare, Hooked for seafood, and Mason Jar for Southern cuisine. Another popular dining venue is Wonderland, an elegant and whimsical restaurant inspired by “Alice in Wonderland” and serving creative cuisine in a magical setting.

PRIVATE DESTINATIONS The Wonder of the Seas will be based in Port Canaveral and sail the Caribbean Sea. These itineraries always include one or both of Royal Caribbean’s picturesque private enclaves, Labadee in Tahiti and Coco Cay in the Bahamas. Labadee is a tropical retreat and a playground where guests can enjoy pristine beaches, water sports, a zipline, and waterslides. A delicious barbecue lunch, local dancers, and an artisan market complete the experience. Coco Cay is Royal Caribbean’s Island paradise for the entire family. It offers a water park with thirteen waterslides, including the tallest in North America, the largest wave pool in the Caribbean, and a giant freshwater lagoon. In addition, the island has picture-perfect beaches and an exclusive Coco Beach Club, where visitors can book cabanas on the water. Cruising is always enjoyable but sailing on the world’s biggest ship is in a class by itself! For more information on Royal Caribbean, visit JUNE 2022 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 37



It’s those Western North Carolina mountains that make you want to stay forever. But those are just the beginning of a natural wonderland, with outdoor adventures and more to make it a fourseason vacation getaway. That includes breathtaking spring and summer displays of mountain laurel, flame azaleas, rhododendrons, and an alphabet of wildflowers; autumn foliage from the dogwoods, red maples, hickory, sweet gums, and other local trees; to the winter excitement or solitude of ski slopes and forest trails galore for skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles. All this, along with mountain ranges, lakes, streams, dramatic waterfalls, hiking trails, pastoral rolling valleys, golf courses galore, and small, welcoming historic towns. Most destinations are easily reachable in an hour or two. However, we recommend occasionally getting “lost” on backcountry roads, driving by old, weathered barns and abandoned one-gas-pump general stores, or seeing kids jumping into a swimming creek on a summer’s day. There is also no shortage of accommodations, from elegant resorts to mountain and lakeside cabins, welcoming bed and breakfasts, and historic hotels in quaint towns. “It’s just plain beautiful. That’s why people come here all the time. That’s why they’re moving here,” Mark Hiatt, co-owner of the Marked Tree Winery outside of Flat Rock, tells me as we sit at an outside table overlooking the rolling vineyards, enjoying a glass of his 2019 Cabernet Franc (“My best year!”). “It’s beautiful. Gorgeous throughout the year, with a wonderful climate and wonderfully warm and friendly people.” A quick note about food and drink: Barbecue is king. Expect sausage and gravy for breakfast, and grits with shrimp for dinner. Sourwood honey is the only honey. And sweet iced tea is addictive. Moonshine is commercially made—unless you are lucky to know someone.



For me, those mountains and their people, descendants of the early Appalachian settlers, hold a special place in my heart. That’s since I first found myself, a New York City teenager, living in a small town of 5,000 souls amid those imposing Blue Ridge Mountains. Thanks to a New York uncle with the smarts to marry a local mountain gal, I am still drawn back, to visit kin and once again feel the embrace of those lumbering mountains, with their towering beauty and enduring permanence, restoring my careworn city soul. I firmly believe their steadfastness helped shape me, as it did the character of the descendants of the Scots and Irish settlers in the 1700s. Their isolation also helped preserve their language, dating back to Shakespearean and even Chaucerian times, with traces of it still surviving to this day.


Expect to meet a unique breed of people, courteous as expected of a Southerner and usually with an interesting tale or two to tell, like our encounter with Leon Morgan, 77, at his 122-yearold stocked-to-the-rafters general store in Saluda (Pop. 703), where I asked him where I could buy liquor. “Yuh cain’t bah likker in Saluda. But if yuh ask fer scorpion juice [moonshine], they’ll fix yuh right up,” he told me and then happily proceeded to tell me the town history. Or meeting up on a back mountain road with a “bar” hunter and his “dawgs,” telling me, “We got radios, cell phones, and GPS on the dawgs.” “What’d you do in the old days?” we asked. “Got lost a lot.”


You’ll likely fly into the Asheville-Hendersonville Airport, with either town a great place to begin your meanderings. Asheville (Pop. 360,000) is the region’s main city, worth a day or two for such attractions as the palatial 250-room Biltmore Estate and the restored 29-room Old Kentucky Home boarding house run by author Thomas Wolfe’s mother called “Dixieland” in his gargantuan novel Look Homeward, Angel.


We recommend heading over to my old stomping ground, nearby Hendersonville, checking into a great white gingerbread-style bed and breakfast, the 1898 Waverly Inn, and exploring the eclectic shops and restaurants of nearby historic Main Street. Then head up just north of town to Jump Off Rock for great scenic views of the Pisgah Mountain Range. Also check out the nationally known nearby Flat Rock Playhouse which offers top-rated summer stock shows and concerts. Next is Brevard, another great small mountain town to enjoy lunch and stroll around the local shops, including the O.P. Taylor toy store, a two-story emporium stocked with everything from tin kazoos and clown noses to mega-Lego sets and trains. Continue about 18 miles up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, heading west on the two-lane road and stopping at overlooks to enjoy the mountain and valley views. Our favorite overlooks: Looking Glass Rock, the Devils Courthouse, and for catching a jaw-dropping sunset over the spread of distant mountains, the Cowee Mountain Overlook at 5,950 feet high. Exit at the Balsam exit and head down to Franklin, where you want to head for dinner at Caffé Rel. What deceptively looks like a gas station restaurant is one of the region’s toprated restaurants, with a mostly French menu that matches New York City’s French restaurants and at half the price. No reservations, and cash only. We also recommend staying at the historic Old Edwards Inn in nearby Highlands, or at least for lunch there, with the drive along Route 64 between Highlands and Franklin to take in the scenic Cullasaja River, with stops at Bridal Veil Falls and the roaring obviously mis-named Dry Falls. If you head east out of Asheville, your first stop is Chimney Rock, a 315-foot high, half-billion-year-old spire jutting out from the Blue Ridge Mountains, 1,200 feet above the valley floor, with 75-mile panoramic views and reachable by either a 26-story elevator or 500-stair path to the top. Nearby Lake Lure is just the place for spring and summer water recreation, including boat rentals and fishing. Maybe just for the name alone, we love the small town of Little Switzerland at the turnoff on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then head up to nearby Bakersville in Mitchell County for some breathtaking panoramic views from Roan Mountain, which straddles over into Tennessee. It’s also home to a spectacular carpet of blooming rhododendron in mid-June, with a local festival in Bakersville. With so much more left to see and enjoy in Western North Carolina, we say to potential visitors, in our best adopted ‘Carolina drawl: Y’all come on down, yuh heah! For more information on Western North Carolina, go to

Barbecue is king. Expect sausage and gravy for breakfast, and grits with shrimp for dinner. And sweet iced tea is addictive.. 40 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022

Enjoy breathtaking ocean views from your balcony or relax on our beach front sun deck. El Coronado offers free poolside barbeques’ & live entertainment in season for your enjoyment along with many other amenities. El Coronado Resort is a beach front full-service condominium Hotel located in the heart of Wildwood Crest just minutes from fine restaurants, nightlife, the world famous Wildwood Boardwalk & just a short drive to Cape May & Atlantic City. With a variety of accommodations (from king/2 queen-bedded rooms to 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites), El Coronado Resort can meet your every vacation need! | 1-800-227-5302 | E-mail:

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It’s time to spill the tea—the Prohibition Tea. I owe the city of Knoxville a debt of gratitude because, on a recent three-day excursion, I found myself thoroughly infatuated with the city’s cultural and culinary depth. I embraced the local hospitality, throwing myself headlong into everything the city offers—fine dining, shopping, adventure—not to mention the elevated tea service at The Tennessean Hotel. But this is more than just tea-time hearsay; the Prohibition Tea Service at The Tennessean is the only reason you need to travel to Knoxville. Am I going to give you a slew of other reasons? Most definitely, but this tea service—and its historically accurate cocktails—serve as an elegant anchor to the perfect three-day southern excursion.


In the heart of Knoxville, alongside the golden gleam of the Sunsphere at World’s Fair Park, The Tennessean Hotel is an impeccable example of southern hospitality at its finest. Visually stunning by all accounts, the décor in the well-appointed rooms echoes the teal hues and rippled currents of the nearby Tennessee River and includes locally crafted accents. Touches of richly colored velvet and handsome woodwork offer aesthetic reassurance that your time here will feel special. Combined with their Black Care Service, Tesla charging station, and the genuine warmth of their staff, it’s an all-around sure thing. And, yes, they even offer dog-friendly rooms, so plan and bring your furry companion. Adjacent to the Tennessean Hotel is its sister property, The Marriott Knoxville Downtown, and the new Maker Exchange, a dynamic community hub with plush seating, fireplace, coffee shop, restaurant, meeting space, and local art displays. Of course, guests of The Tennessean can always grab a coffee in the lobby or meander over to Maker Exchange to while away in the late afternoon after a busy day of exploring.


The Drawing Room—the hotel’s mahogany hideaway— is steeped in the casual elegance that seems to satiate one’s intangible need to indulge and linger. The menu highlights include blackened tenderloin tips, ciderbraised chicken, and elevated sandwich options. The ambiance itself is equally inviting and captivating. It should be appropriately noted that they offer one of the most comprehensive bourbon offerings and whiskeys within the city. The craft of cocktails is embraced in earnest, and it shows. Along these lines, their rubyhued Tennessee Whiskey Smash and Smoked Old Fashioned are not to be missed. The Drawing Room is also where the hotel offers its tea service. Check the hotel’s website for availability and their signature events – such as The Prohibition Tea. What an elegant way to sip my way through the storied history of the era of prohibition! We toggled between the hotel’s signature peach tea and historically significant cocktails, like the French 87, The Bee’s Knees, and the Mary Pickford. Every detail of The Tennessean’s tea service imbues a sense of tradition and sophistication, and the towers of beautiful bites lovingly linger among my most treasured food memories. JUNE 2022 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 43

When exploring Knoxville, the dining options are plentiful and run the gamut from tasty to sublime. Within a five-minute walk of the hotel, there are over 90 restaurants clustered together within a mile. In Market Square – an eclectic mix of shops and dining—I was fortunate to discover Emelia and its Italian goodness. I chatted with some locals, and they confirmed that everything was delicious. But the most memorable part of the meal was the Butterscotch Budino that I devoured for dessert. Am I alone in believing that there are not enough adult butterscotch choices? This elegant pudding was layered with salted caramel and topped with whipped cream and a pine nut crumble – and it was heavenly.

Among the near-endless stellar dining options, Chef Love’s Lonesome Dove Bistro is also a standout with its rabbit-rattlesnake sausage, elk-foie gras sliders, and just about anything on the menu. However, all this decadence aside, I’d be no friend to you if I did not share the ultimate ice cream recommendation with you—Cruze Farm Ice Cream—made with milk from a local family farm.


Pack accordingly; Knoxville is so much more than its sparkly Sunsphere and southern charm. Step outside The Tennessean, and there awaits a city brimming with top-notch meandering, shopping, and art galleries—from Market Square and beyond. If you’re looking to trade the sidewalks for boardwalks and green spaces, Knoxville Urban Wilderness offers 1,000 wooded acres along the waterfront. The Ijams Nature Center is less than four miles from the hotel and has over 10 miles of trails, even boasting a family-friendly treetop zipline course. Ijams Nature Center is also the perfect place to arrange a professionally-curated picnic with the help of Poppin’ Picnics. They elevate picnics the way glamping transforms camping; I’ll never forget my picnic on World’s Fair Park lawn. It was a lovely way to end a day of Knoxville’s great outdoors, including a kayaking excursion. Again, just 5-minutes from the hotel, I found the folks at Knoxville Adventure Collective. They set me up with a kayak and life vest, handed me a hard cider, and I got to fall in love with Knoxville all over again. Of course, don’t forget to leave time driving to the Bearden Street area, famed for its cornucopia of galleries, luxe-leaning storefronts, and artsy endeavors. Be sure to visit Cachepot, Elle Boutique, G&G Interiors, Fig & Co., and Bennett Galleries. And lastly, if you adore the finery of eclectic, vintage treasures, allow plenty of time to visit Nostalgia – a unique vintage market experience. For more information on Knoxville, go to 44 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022




atkins Glen, Montour Falls, and the Finger Lakes are 100% natural, with many visitors hiking, swimming, kayaking, sailing, giggling in our new splash pad, and chasing waterfalls. The option to relax, sightsee, and learn about Seneca Lake, the deepest of the Finger Lakes, is always one of the best memories with cruises on Captain Bill’s and Seneca Sailing Adventures. To lean into history, visitors spend time at the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, with a focus on wooden boats and the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, which chronicles Curtiss’ fascination with speed – in the air and on the streets. And visitors unleash their creative energy at the Corning Museum of Glass, a world-class gem showcasing glass – its history and beauty – with a walk-in workshop for the creative types among us. THE OPTIONS CONTINUE

Visitors can cuddle cows, meet rescued farm animals, tour mushroom farms, and taste test world class, award-winning wine, beer, and spirits; farm fresh artisanal cheeses; and locally made ice creams and chocolates. Located on the southern tip of Seneca Lake, it is home to both the Watkins Glen State Park and the internationally known racetrack, Watkins Glen International (WGI). Visitors can drive their personal vehicle on the same course where racing legends have made history. This year’s calendar of events at WGI is full, with auto racing, wine and beer festivals, and the already scheduled Clash Endurance.


Award-winning wines and talented sommeliers elevate the wine-tasting experience to deluxe status. Brew masters and distillers have perfected the art and science of their craft, creating a 24-carat experience in tasting rooms throughout the region. Restauranteurs specialize in local with a global flair, building relationships with regional producers while reimagining standards and resetting culinary expectations for peers near and far. Culinary experts serve up Thai and Asian, Italian and American, vegan and homemade gelato. All are welcome and encouraged to unplug while they’re here to best enjoy the natural resources.


More than 35 waterfalls can be found in Schuyler County … some are roadside, some require a bit of hiking and one in particular is best seen from the water. To share a few examples … Rainbow Falls is often cited as a bucket list waterfall and is located in the Watkins Glen State Park, which is always recognized among the top parks in the State. Roundtrip, from top to bottom, the State Park is 3 miles (although visitors can turn around at any point); it has 19 waterfalls, many of which are interactive. It was created by glaciers and connects hikers to the Finger Lakes Trail.


The Finger Lakes National Forest is positioned along the ridges between Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake. With more than 16,000 acres, you’re guaranteed to find tranquility, beauty, and unlimited recreational opportunities all year long. The Forest is perfect for hikers, cross country skiers, campers, fishing or hunting enthusiasts, snowmobilers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and wildlife watchers, with literally hundreds of species of birds calling the Forest home. The Catherine Valley Trail is a year-round recreation trail that again showcases the historic charm of the glacially-carved valley south of Seneca Lake. It follows an abandoned railroad and canal towpath corridors and winds its way through a variety of wildlife habitats. The surface is a compact stone-dust trail, so it accommodates walking, bicycling, crosscountry skiing, and snowshoeing. The Watkins Glen State Park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts as various trails in the Park support biking, hiking, playgrounds, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. There’s also an Olympicsized swimming pool at the top of the Park with a campground, showers, and pavilions. Three trails are maintained in the main state park, with two open all year and the gorge trail open from May through October. Whether you come to enjoy a quiet drive on farm roads, hike inspiring trails, dive into open-water options (part of the Erie Canal!), or visit renowned museums and WGI, Watkins Glen, Montour Falls, and the Finger Lakes are an ideal region to vacation in the Finger Lakes.






By AP Connolly

evelHaus, an innovative turnkey home building platform for modern eco-friendly homes in idyllic natural settings, launched a brand new first-of-its-kind collection of eight luxury homes in the historic Hudson Valley hamlet of Stone Ridge, New York. NevelHaus has engaged the New Development team at Ryan Serhant’s eponymous multi-dimensional brokerage SERHANT, to co-market the collection of exceptional houses designed and developed in partnership with award-winning firm INC Architecture & Design.

Located on forty-four wooded acres minutes from the Main Street Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, the collection of customizable three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath homes are designed for today’s most discerning consumer and now available for purchase. Interior features include 30-foot vaulted ceilings, over 925 square feet of entertainment space, 9-inch wide-plank European white oak flooring, a cozy wood-burning stove, custom oak cabinetry with integrated appliances, bathrooms with heated radiant flooring, a reading nook and office, outdoor terraces, and an outdoor shower.



The timeline from purchase to move-in is typically 8-10 months, an enviable duration for new construction in the current environment of material and labor shortages. The NevelHaus process eliminates the worry of supply chain issues and uncertainty associated with building from the ground up. “We’re thrilled to offer buyers the opportunity to purchase a NevelHaus after our initial launch in the Catskills sold out at a rapid pace as we address extreme demand for new construction homes with impeccable design,” said Pelle Hamburger, co-founder of NevelHaus. “We identified an incredible location for a NevelHaus collection that affords both an all-encompassing lifestyle for owners with the ability for true customization.” Optional elements for buyers include the luxury of an in-ground pool, garage/studio, carport, whole house generator, and solar panels. Each NevelHaus will be strategically sited to optimize exposure for solar. The rustic yet refined aesthetic includes warm cypress wood and a steep pitched roof, a nod to iconic rural barns, which gives homes a modern silhouette and a gracious vaulted loft inside. Many homes have seasonal mountain views.


“The pandemic accelerated many would-be second homeowners to pull the trigger on purchases outside the city and the mentality of a weekend escape has transformed into longer stretches of time for true flexibility,” says Ryan Serhant, CEO and Founder of SERHANT. “NevelHaus addresses unprecedented demand for a quality end-product—on par with new developments in Manhattan— quickly and efficiently in a novel format that is resonating for its convenience, optionality and spectacular design.” The limited inventory of group up turnkey homes in prime Upstate locations has created a challenge for buyer. It’s truly exciting to introduce exceptional new development that is the only one of it kind for the Upstate market to a deep network in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. Info: Homes start at $1.625M

For more information about NevelHaus at Stone Ridge, visit:

ABOUT NEVELHAUS NevelHaus was co-founded by Joshua Gelb and Pelle Hamburger in 2020. The two NYC-based developers partnered with the award-winning firm INC Architecture & Design, responsible for the design of notable and architecturally-significant hospitality and residential properties in the New York area, including 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge and the TWA Hotel. NevelHaus also has a licensing arm which offers landowners anywhere the ability to build a NevelHaus. Licensees can recreate floorplans, modify and customize in coordination with local permitting codes and requirements. To date, clients as far as Vancouver and Portugal have embraced the NevelHaus method.


MYSTIC CT FULLY FURNISHED FOR AIR BnB Beautifully constructed custom designed home works perfectly for AirBNB property. Overlooking the Mystic River, it is an easy walk to various marinas and into town to a wide variety of shops and restaurants , Sift Bakery , Mystic Market Gourmet Foods, Mystic Art Museum and Mystic Seaport Museum. Maintenance free exterior includes Hardie Board siding Azek trim, IPE decking, storm rated windows, two covered porches for maximum outdoor entertaining, all overlooking the professionally landscaped perennial gardens with pathways and stonewalls. The interior features spacious light and bright rooms, hardwood floors , economical geothermal heating and cooling , whole house generator, extra wide stairways, and central vacuum. Three floors all finished and an additional lower level family room. Four spacious bedrooms each with beautifully outfitted full baths. Central island kitchen features granite counters, five burner gas cooktop and two sinks. Two car garage. This is an extraordinary opportunty. $1,399,000

RANDALL REALTORS Melinda Carlisle, Phone: (860) 460-8002, Email: mysticmelinda@aol .com




By AP Connolly

he Flatiron District of NYC: the middle of Manhattan where you have access to endless shopping and food options. The Flatiron wasn’t always an amazing place to live. In fact, the neighborhood was slightly unsafe with nightclubs spread throughout the district. However, over the last 20 years, those nightclubs turned into an amazing array of top-rated restaurants, trendy boutiques, and fitness emporiums. Now that the Flatiron District is such a sought-after place to live and conduct business, real estate has gained incredible value, making the purchase of a loft in the area one of the best investments. Just walking around this part of the city, you feel that New York City drive. The area seems to have an ability to boost your energy levels. The Flatiron District received its name because of The Flatiron Building, originally named the Fuller Building; this triangular 22-story, 285-foot tall, steel-framed landmark is located at and considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper. Upon completion in 1902, it was one of the tallest buildings in the city. It’s an absolute beautiful building that everyone seems to want to take a picture in front of, tourists and locals alike.


Speaking of locals, if you are the type of person that needs a workout head to CompleteBody located on 19th Street. It’s a very low-key gym and celebrities have been known to frequent the gym to maintain a low profile. No matter what your fitness goal is, they will get you there! If an Equinox gym is more your speed, then there’s one located on 897 Broadway. Whatever your fitness needs may be, if you live in the Flatiron District it will only be a short walk away.



This area is a wonderful place to try cuisine from up-and-coming chefs. Of course, there are plenty of old favorites as well. Here, some of my picks you’ll enjoy. • We can’t discuss the Flatiron District without including Eataly. The food quality and taste is out of this world. Whether you just want to shop around, buy food to take home and have a romantic dinner, or if you want to eat out, it is a must. Located at 200 Fifth Avenue, it can get crowded but is well-worth it. As Zagat reviewed it’s “a high temple of la dolce vita.” • While Italian is always a great choice, sometimes you need comfort food like barbecue. Hill Country BBQ is good old-fashioned restaurant on West 26th Street. With some great music and a fun Texas atmosphere, it’s a great place to eat comfort food and have a good time. The beef brisket is the best.


If you’re moving to New York City and want to be in the center of everything and feel that “mover and shaker” vibe, then the Flatiron District is the place for you.


• 15 Union Square West which was once the headquarters of Tiffany & Company is now a luxurious condominium building. With views of the one and only Union Square Park. Apartments within 15 Union Square West have incredible 16-foot ceilings. Windows are arched and oversized, spanning from the top of the paneled ceilings down to the hard wood floors. You’ll find gas fireplaces constructed within the apartments and beautiful open gourmet kitchens, custom-designed claw-foot bathtubs and stainless-steel appliances. Residents will be offered valet parking services. Other amenities include a 50-foot lap pool with a state-of-the-art fitness center. • Another notable new development with amazing windows and views in The Flatiron District is the 35 XV! It’s a 25-story luxury apartment located at 35 West 15th St. This post-war high-rise has 58 residences and a variety of two- to four-bedroom apartments. The building features a full-time doorman, beautiful built-in closets unbelievable bathrooms and vanities and, of course, a gourmet chef kitchen with stainless steel appliances.


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uthor and motivational speaker Mindie Barnett answers your questions about life, navigating these stressful and uncertain times, while steering you down a more straightforward path. We welcome your questions and invite you to reach out to Mindie at Hi Mindie, My name is Jessica S. and I have been talking to this guy for some time now. We enjoy being with each other, but it feels repetitive at the same time. What would you say the best nontraditional dates are? Other than dinner/bowling/movie, what can we think of doing? I am wondering if you also have specific recommendations in NYC. Also, when do you know when a guy likes you and isn’t using you or just bored? I don’t want to be catching feelings right now if he is just bored and hanging out/using me. Thanks so much, Jessica Hi Jessica, It sounds like you may be in a rut with your romantic relationship. It happens to the best of us. The question to ask yourself is whether you’re experiencing a lull or are you simply bored with your partner. If the answer is the latter, then no amount of excitement—whether it be a date or a trip to the moon—will suffice. It may mask the problem initially but inevitably the boredom will sink back in. So, my first piece of advice is to write down all the attributes your partner possesses. What is it about him that makes you feel good and special? What is it about him that you admire most and what is it about him that sparks some excitement doing the most mundane, everyday tasks? Afterall, as a relationship progresses, there will be many more days of dull than days of dazzling excitement. That is life and if you seek the other, then you should look inside and see if there is more to you that may need nourishing. No one can ever be the glue that holds us together, even if the best romantic novels say otherwise. The truth is, we need to be content and provide our own excitement and adventure and whomever we choose to share that light with is just a bonus. If you’re convinced, he’s worth the effort, then my advice is to be honest with your man. Take a walk (in Central Park, by the Hudson River, or High Line) and share that you’re seeking some adventure this summer and maybe plan a little getaway to restart the fire. It doesn’t have to be anywhere extravagant. Perhaps be a tourist for the day or take a ride out to Long Island and hit the beach. Wherever it is, just make it new and different and see where that leads you both. In terms of “fun dates,” I am a huge fan of karaoke, live sports, and anything in the arts. Luckily, we live in a great city, which offers the best of all three! Look up some fun summertime events taking place all over the city this time of year: festivals are every weekend, there’s a plethora of fun evening events in Bryant Park and so many concerts to enjoy! 54 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022

But whatever you decide, make sure you’re focused on him and not the event itself. Because if he’s not enough to make you smile without the glam and glitz, he’s just not the one. Good luck, Jessica! Warmly,


The Flanders Hotel - an Oceanfront Iconic and Historic Luxirious Coastal NJ Destination Property

The Flanders Hotel Ocean City’s most historic and prestigious boardwalk hotel, known as “The Jewel of the Southern Shore”, was built in 1923. This service-oriented Ocean City, NJ hotel, which was placed on the Nation Register of Historic Places in 2009, will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2023. The Flanders combines the elegance and hospitality of yesteryear with modern amenities to offer the finest in luxury accommodations. All suites in our Ocean City hotel have private bedrooms and full kitchens, equipped with refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, coffee makers and stove tops, along with irons and ironing boards. Located on the Ocean City Boardwalk, our full-service NJ beach hotel is a seaside destination that provides the following amenities: • Spacious Banquet and Meeting Space • Emily’s Ocean Room (featuring family friendly dining) • The Shoppes at The Flanders (featuring clothing, jewelry, accessories) • Divine Images Salon & Spa • Outdoor heated pool (largest in Ocean City) • Fitness Center • 24-hour business center

Ocean City, known as America’s Greatest Family Resort, is one of the best beach towns in South Jersey. The Flanders, with its premier accommodations and prime location, is a landmark known throughout the region, state and nation. Vacationers have marveled at the towering structure as one of the great hotels along the Jersey Shore while local residents and business owners are reminded of the glory and memories provided by the resort. Because of its status as the grandest of Ocean City, New Jersey hotels, the community is fortunate that this architectural gem has survived to the present and continues to remain an important part of Ocean City’s past and future.

Exclusive Beachfront Getaway Packages Available 719 East 11th Street, Ocean City, NJ 08226 | 609.399.1000





By Patricia Canole

he foods we eat give our bodies the materials to function correctly. If we don’t get muchneeded nutrition, we all know we will inevitably become overweight, undernourished, and at risk for diseases and conditions including heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. And as Hippocrates affirmed: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” In short, we are what we eat. what we eat is central to our health. So here are some excellent foods to consider adding to your diet. BANANAS This tasty fruit is a complete packet of health benefits. One medium banana contains roughly 422 mg of potassium. It also packs 10 mg of vitamin C. This antioxidant busts free radicals, which damage cells and contribute to heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer. Try: • Add a sliced banana to your PB&J. Or make your banana-cinnamon yogurt: Add a finely diced banana to plain Greek yogurt, plus a spoonful of honey with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

CHERRIES A recent study shows that people with gout who consumed cherry extract had a 35 percent lower risk of attacks than those who did not. The Osteoarthritis Research Society reported that people who drank 16 ounces of tart cherry juice every day for six weeks felt less pain and stiffness. Cherries also contain anthocyanins, which may protect the heart, control obesity, and reduce the risk of diabetes. Try: • Add dried cherries to oatmeal, cereal, or trail mix, or serve as is with some cheese. • Whipping up a cherry smoothie. Mix one small banana, ½ cup of frozen cherries, and ½ cup of low-fat milk (almond or coconut milk may also be used) in a blender until smooth. ONIONS Inside the layers lies a dense package of antioxidants and nutrients that can help prevent—and heal. For example, onion skin extract, a good source of the antioxidant quercetin, helps lower blood pressure. Onions are also packed with antioxidant vitamin C. Try: • Layering raw rings of onion onto your favorite deli meat sandwich. • Grilling an onion: Slice onion into ½-inch-thick rounds, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper, plus seasonings like thyme and garlic powder. Coat the grill rack with olive oil and grill the onion rounds over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side.


BEANS Beans are brimming with heart-healthy nutrients. According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming beans may also help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and control blood sugar levels because of their high fiber content. A cup of kidney beans offers 13 grams of protein, as much as 2 ounces of chicken breast, and a whopping 11 grams of fiber. Try: • Topping your salad with beans of your choice (chickpeas work well). • Stir up a black bean dip: In a food processor, blend two cans of drained low-sodium black beans, ¾ cup salsa, four minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp. fresh lime juice, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. water and 1/8 tsp. salt. Puree until smooth, add ¼ cup minced cilantro, and pulse until combined. Serve with lowfat tortilla chips or your favorite veggies. CARROTS Bugs Bunny had it right. Carrots are rich in vitamin A—a half-cup has 459 micrograms of the vitamin. For those aged 14 and older, the recommended daily amount is 700-900 mcg, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Vitamin A promotes healthy eyes and may lower cancer risk, says the NIH. According to the NIH, carrots also contain vitamin K. This vitamin helps maintain healthy bones to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Try: • Dip raw baby carrots into a ¼ cup of hummus or another bean dip. • Crispy carrot chips as a snack: Peel carrots, then use the peeler to create long strips. Toss the pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them onto a baking sheet (making sure they don’t overlap) and bake at 425 degrees until crispy, about 10-12 minutes. CABBAGE Cabbage makes a great base for recipes such as coleslaw and sauerkraut. Like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, cabbage offers anti-cancer compounds. Red cabbage contains anthocyanins, the flavanol that can keep your heart, liver, and eyes healthy. In sauerkraut, fermented cabbage is used as the base. Such fermented foods may help improve your gut health and alleviate mood disorders. Load up your plate! Try: • Topping a grilled chicken with tangy sauerkraut. • Wrapping chicken salad or other meat fillings in cabbage leaves instead of a standard tortilla wrap.



Excuse My French is genuinely unique because it feels more like a classic dimly lit speakeasy set in a 1920s French countryside house. Marc Chagall-style art on the walls and a long wooden bar in the center of this former Lower East Side storefront is more dedicated to eating rather than drinking—although there are extensive exotic house cocktail offerings. The restaurant is the brainchild of co-owners Chef Giraud (former executive chef at the first Laduree in Soho) and restauranteur Ricardo Valdez who also serves as general manager. You’ll feel comfortable the minute you walk in the door and feel an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. There are only a few tables in different configurations, including a large community table in the very back. It looks like the type of old-school French restaurant that any diehard romantic would love to be proposed marriage via a ring placed in a glass of Champagne. We recently visited Giraud, who told New York Lifestyles about the unique concept of French Tapas and how it became the theme of his future eatery. “When I was visiting Copenhagen with a friend, we stopped at a lovely place where their menu was small combinations of food on a baguette. So, my business partner Ricardo Valdez and I thought about this concept since our space in New York City was small, and a regular kitchen was out of the question. So we started thinking of small portions of French food--how to create them so it will become a full-on menu.” Giraud went on to say, “Most people understand the concept of what tapas is, and in our case, we decided to be French tapas. I adapted all the French recipes to a small to medium size. Also, it was important to consider the type of equipment we were going to acquire. We did not want to use gas, so all our kitchen is electric.”

FRENCH FOOD WITH A TWIST He adds his take on the evolution of EMF’s menu: “In 2015, our cuisine started very French forward when we opened. Over the years, we have added dishes from other cuisines (Tacos, Sliders, Poke Bowl, etc.), but each French dish is made with the traditional recipe with a small personal twist. Our most popular dishes would be the Steak Tartare, Brussels Sprouts with Merguez and Espelette Piment, Escargot Persillade, and Frog Legs with garlic butter and parsley.” Even though Excuse My French is dubbed a “tapas restaurant,” during our recent visit, we found that the portions were quite generous than many entrees that we have been served in trendy downtown eateries. Of course, you might end up with a doggie bag at the end of the night if you order two tapas per guest, but that is fine because undoubtedly, you’ll love what you order and are happy that you have some leftovers for the next day. Our personal favorites during our visit were the Foie Gras served with an exciting coating of sesame and other dried seeds; Burrata served in a delicious mixture of heirloom cherry tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and seeds; Sauteed Brussels Sprouts served in a mix of balsamic vinegar, almonds, cranberries, and spicy lamb sausage; and Roasted Beet Salad served with arugula, goat cheese walnuts and balsamic. Don’t be too surprised to see Crispy Tacos on the menu given the French twist— small homemade French tart shells filled with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and cheddar cheese--then topped with crème Fraiche. For dessert, the Crepes Suzette blew us away with the tinges of semi-sweet French orange liqueur, but there are many authentic crepe fillings options available. In addition, there are warm Nutella Crepes and a Molten Lava Cake that are musts for chocolate lovers. 58 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022

SUMMER ADDITIONS Some new savory and sensational additions are coming up for Summer 2022. Comments Chef Giraud, “Our menu is mostly steady throughout the year, but we change three or four dishes seasonally depending on what is available. This summer, we are adding three new dishes: classic Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad on a bed of baby arugula and roasted pine nuts in a lemon/lime olive oil, then drizzled with balsamic reduction. Also, look for Boneless Organic Chicken Breast marinated in balsamic and grilled ’a la paillard’ with Israeli Couscous Salad and Pan Seared Diver Sea Scallops Saffron sauce served with smoked Texan paprika. Don’t ignore the colorful cocktail list at Excuse My French. Royales, Champagne-based drinks infused with organic herbs like lavender and hibiscus, are ultra-popular. Giraud tells us, “Our glasses for the summer menu starting on June 21st will include ten new cocktails, many of which are vodka-based, including the Café España (Summer Espresso Martini), which is Chopin Vodka, Liquor 43, French Press.

A SOLID BASE OF REGULARS Excuse My French has created a solid base of regulars. Giraud remarks on the simple reasons he thinks that the seven-year-old Excuse My French is so well-regarded amongst foodies. “We think it is due to the 1920s-style décor, our cocktails are full of flavor and made with different varieties of alcohol that are uncommon and, of course, our food.” Excuse My French is a romantic, cozy place that you must experience firsthand with or without a date. Its railroad-flat layout with patterned tin ceilings, retro brass wall sconces, an extra-long bar in the middle of the dining room, classic French art celebrating the female form, and friendly service make it the kind of place you will want to return to repeatedly. For more info on Excuse My French, go to JUNE 2022 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 59




Old Stove Pub, the iconic Hamptons dining staple, is ready to make its mark in New York City, opening its doors at 1076 First Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The restaurant, a fantastic dining destination in the Hamptons for over 50 years, will establish itself as a new hotspot destination in the neighborhood. Owner Joseph DeCristofaro is excited to bring Old Stove Pub to New York City, just as the city is re-establishing itself as the world’s dining capital. Originally opened in 1967, the Hamptons restaurant formerly known as Flynn’s Inn changed hands several times before becoming Old Stove Pub in 1969. Old Stove Pub was originally a Greek Restaurant, which DeCristofaro reopened in 2020 after it had closed for two years. Unfortunately, after years of changing hands and neglect, the structure was aesthetically worn-down and out of business. A TOTAL TRANSFORMATION DeCristofaro recognized the restaurant’s prestige and potential and breathed new life. While much of the original character was preserved, the kitchen, hardwood floors, bar, fireplace, plumbing, electric, and dining areas were updated. The menu received the most extensive update of all. The original menu was heavily Greek, and DeCristofaro kept many of the items but added more Mediterranean dishes and separate sushi and dessert menus. DeCristofaro’s welcoming atmosphere meets the foodie’s needs while appreciating the value of an incredible atmosphere. The new Manhattan location features quality steaks and entrees that rival the city’s best steakhouses and an ideal setting with a comfortable dining room and outdoor seating. The menu boasts quite a medley of delectable dishes, including entrees such as their succulent rack of lamb, savory Australian lamb chops, and juicy roasted chicken; the freshest seafood plates such as branzino (sauteed with lemon, capers, and baby cherry tomatoes), salmon, scallops, jumbo shrimp, and the steamed mussels; a raw bar featuring fresh, plump oysters and crisp crab legs. Delicious sides include their creamed spinach and roasted cauliflower. Of course, a visit to Old Stove Pub would be incomplete without their world-famous steaks: Prime Filet Mignon, Rib-Eye Boneless Black with Blue Cheese Butter, and the famous and noteworthy Sagaponack Steak for Two are all available here. DeCristofaro, a Southampton native and part-time Upper East Side resident, is a restaurateur and a notable real estate developer. With a talent for home renovation and design, he quickly assembled a team to revitalize the iconic Hamptons eatery, and it was soon better than the original. The restaurateur has brought that same focus and determination to Midtown Manhattan, where Old Stove Pub will be a destination for foodies and locals. From delectable dinner entrees to fun and familyoriented brunches with live music, the new venue on First Avenue is sure to stand out from the crowd. For more information on Old Stove Pub, visit



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By Bonnie Comley

s there such a thing as a press agent who could have their own press agent? For anyone familiar with Broadway Theatre, one name will immediately come to mind; Irene Gandy, press agent turned Tony Award-winning producer.

In an industry like theater, where careers are often fleeting and job stability is measured by months rather than years, Gandy became a rare African American female press agent and hung on for an incredible fifty-year journey. She earned respect and admiration every step of the way. Born in Westbury, New York, Gandy’s Broadway career began, as many do, by fortuitous circumstances, which for Gandy meant running into an old friend after her only on-stage acting appearance. The friend was working as the company manager for Negro Ensemble Company and asked if she would be interested in a press agent position. Long story short, she got the job.

SUCCESS CONTINUED Many others followed, including Your Arms are Too Short to Box with God, Me and my Girl, One Mo’ Time, Spring Awakening, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Glengarry Glen Ross, Hair, Speed-the-Plow, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and The Bridges of Madison County, among many other shows. For 36 years, she worked for the prolific producer Jeffrey Richards, a relationship she cherishes. Then, for her second act, Gandy took on the role of producer for the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, which won her a Tony Award. She followed that up as a producer for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Gandy’s success, however, is much more than her credits. Her tenacity, ability to get things done, meet people and listen to what they have to say, and stand up for herself against racism and inequality create a more outstanding picture of this remarkable woman. Gandy recalls being on the road working with the classic musical Purlie! and not being allowed to go into the box office because she was a Black woman. She called the producers and, rather than getting into the issue of race, took a business approach explaining that this would be bad for the bottom line. The producers called the box office and told them to let her in. “From that point on, I was let in, and word got around on who I was,” explained Gandy in one of her numerous interviews .


Inspired by names ranging from Nancy Drew to Lena Horne to civil rights activist Evelyn Cunningham, Gandy has soaked in a tremendous amount of knowledge from her many years in the industry. She is also known for her philanthropy and dedication to giving back to others. She is on several charitable boards and recently joined The Drama League. In addition, her dynamic personality, never say die attitude, and ability to forge lasting relationships have made her a living legend. 62 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022

I recently had a chance to speak with Irene. You won a Tony as a producer, but you also have Tony honors for excellence for extraordinary theater achievement. What advice can you give to people that want to get into the theater? Just do it. Just say, “yes.” Most people don’t wake up wanting to go into the theater, and there is no step-by-step path to a career in theater. God gives you a dream and no budget, and that’s how theater gets done. You just do it. Your career spans over 50 years. Is your career easier now that you have more experience? I don’t want easy. I want to be challenged. It forces us to be more creative. What has been wonderful over my five-decade career is that I’ve been able to see change and know that more changes are coming. I create new relationships and work on new shows. Every day is a new canvas waiting for contemporary art to be created. I am happy that live theater still exists and that I can be a part of it. Do you have a favorite show or project? I know better than to state a favorite at my age. Every time I try to think of a choice, I see something fabulous or start work on something new, and the newness excites me, or the nostalgia grabs my heart. So, no favorite, I’m always open to suggestions! Any more advice? Let’s put on some lipstick and enjoy the party.




By Stewart K. Lane

hether you’re celebrating Father’s Day, summer vacation, Pride month, or simply Tony Awards season, BroadwayHD has a wide variety of shows the whole family can enjoy. For more information, visit to learn more.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF This lavishly-produced screen adaptation of the international, musical stage sensation tells the life-affirming story of Tevye (Chaim Topol), a poor milkman with five daughters whose love, pride and faith help him face oppression in turn of the century czarist Russia. Featuring unforgettable songs like “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Do You Love Me,” and “If I Were A Rich Man,” Fiddler on the Roof leaves its audience thinking about the role of traditions, the importance of family, and what it takes to move forward in an ever-changing world. THE SOUND OF MUSIC One of the most beloved musicals of all time, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music comes brilliantly to life in this ambitious, live-broadcast production from BAFTA-nominated director Coky Giedroyc. Kara Tointon delivers a mesmerizing performance as Maria, the tomboyish nun who reluctantly becomes the governess for seven children living in the shadow of their stern, widowed father (Julian Ovenden). As the threat of World War II lurks on the horizon, Maria brings love, music and excitement back into the family’s life right when they need it the most. INTO THE WOODS Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods weaves together many famous fairy tales in an allegorical story of family, love, growing up, and the hazy areas between right and wrong. This critically acclaimed production was captured live at London’s Regent’s Park Open Air theatre, directed by Timothy Sheader, and won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. Emmy Award-winner Hannah Waddingham (Game of Thrones, Ted Lasso) stars as the Witch in this haunting, intimate production. INDECENT Indecent, a play by 2022 Tony nominee Paula Vogel, is inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance—a play seen by some as a seminal work of Jewish culture, and by others as an act of traitorous libel. Indecent charts the history of an incendiary drama and the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it. This transcendent capture of the acclaimed Broadway production stars Tony winner Katrina Lenk. CLOSER THAN EVER A captivating and hilarious song cycle which delves into the trials and tribulations of modern love, Maltby and Shire’s Closer Than Ever will take audiences on a journey of lust and romance, marriage and aging, unrequited feelings, parenthood, and more.

THE TEMPEST Exiled Prospero (Christopher Plummer) lives on a desolate island with his daughter, Miranda. When Prospero’s usurping brother sails by the island, Prospero conjures a storm that wrecks the ship and changes all their lives. Featuring one of William Shakespeare’s most memorable father-daughter relationships, this is the perfect adaptation to watch with your family for Father’s Day.




TOP MOVIE PICKS FOR SUMMER THE BLACK PHONE R Another horror flick designed to keep you up at night comes from the twisted mind of writer-director Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister). Derrickson, who also wrote and directed Doctor Strange, tells a creepy story of revenge wrought by the young victims of a sadistic child killer. Mason Thames stars as the 13-year-old kid who has been abducted, only to find a strange, disconnected phone in the lonely cell he’s trapped inside, sending him messages from the beyond. Ethan Hawke brings a diabolical presence to this twisted tale. ELVIS PG-13 Director-writer Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) brings his unique flair to this fact-based tale of Elvis Presley’s unprecedented rise to fame and fortune. Starring Austin Butler as the King and Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker, his kingmaker, this biopic spans 20 years of their oftenfraught relationship. Add in Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla, Yola as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Gary Clark Jr. as Arthur Crudup, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. as B. B. King. This one’s got something for everyone, even if the King’s life is a distant memory. JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION PG-13 Continuing the cautionary saga that author Michael Crichton began back in 1990, this latest iteration of Jurassic Park finds the dinosaurs inhabiting the world, which doesn’t bode well for humans. But never fear; both the OG scientists (Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum) from the first set of films and the current crop of protagonists (Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt) are all on board for this one. You may be able to predict the ending, but who doesn’t like to see gigantic human-eating dinos on the big screen? LIGHTYEAR PG Buzz Lightyear, that much-loved astronaut toy from the award-winning Pixar Toy Story series, flies onto the big screen in an animated movie all his own. Chris Evans takes over as the voice of Buzz in this outer-space adventure that introduces a whole new cast of characters. Listen closely for Keke Palmer, Taika Watiti, Uzo Aduba, and James Brolin; and rejoice that this one’s under the production helm of three-time Oscar winner Pete Docter (Up, Inside Out, Soul) and Andrew Stanton (two Oscars for Finding Nemo and WALL-E). Both men wrote the original Toy Story, too, so this one is in excellent hands. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN PG-13 Leave it to Oscar winner Mark Rylance to bring a real-life loser into the winner’s circle as he plays Maurice Flitcroft in The Phantom of the Open. That’s the man who made his way into the golfing record book by entering the 1976 British Open qualifier—and bombed-out spectacularly. Instead, it’s a tale of audacity filled with laughs and comical ironies, skewering the elite world of pro golf—Sally Hawkins costars in this classically British comedy that celebrates the underdog. 64 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | JUNE 2022



BINGEWORTHY SUMMERTIME SERIES BECOMING ELIZABETH Starz The British royal family provides endless opportunities for a creative retelling of history; Queen Elizabeth I’s life has always been particularly fascinating. This eight-part series explores her early life when her ascendence to the throne was fraught with instability and political maneuvering. Elizabeth’s half-brother Edward and half-sister Mary each had their turns on the throne before she gained rule at age 25; this series explores those earlier years before she took her place of power and ruled Britain for 45 years. German actress Alicia von Rittberg takes on Elizabeth, while Brit Romola Garai plays Mary in this historical drama. GOD’S FAVORITE IDIOT Netflix Ben Falcone created this comedy vehicle for him and his wife (Melissa McCarthy) to share; both star in this loopy tale of a mid-level office schlub who gets hit by lightning and discovers he’s been tapped by God to save the world. There’s a romance between the two stars as Satan (Leslie Bibb) turns up to keep the coming apocalypse on track; meanwhile,

IRMA VEP HBO Who says you cannot go backward to go forward? French writer-director Olivier Assayas is doing just that with Irma Vep, returning to the story he created in 1996 as a film, now expanding into a series. But, of course, it certainly helps that Oscar winner Alicia Vikander signed on to play Irma, an American actress running off to Paris after a bad breakup to star in a new film. This time Assayas uses eight episodes to tell the saga of a woman who begins to lose herself in the character she’s playing in the movie. Tom Sturridge and Byron Bowers co-star in this weirdly disturbing drama. LOOT Apple TV+ What’s a woman to do with a failed marriage and only 87 billion bucks to show for it? If she’s Molly (Maja Rudolph), the first up is to go on a scary skid into unhappiness. But since this is a comedy series, she bounces back and begins to learn exactly who she is and what she wants to do with all that freedom—and cash. Emmy winners Alan Yang (Master of None) and Matt Hubbard (30 Rock) are steering this ship, so it’s the potential to be a real winner. MS. MARVEL Disney+ As Ms. Marvel joins the MCU, the new series marks a couple of firsts. The female character is the first Muslim protagonist/ superhero in the Marvel Comics on-screen universe, and the 19-year-old actress playing her (Iman Vellani) is playing her first on-screen role. Starting with six episodes, it won’t take long for Marvel’s legion of fans of all ages to decide if this one flies into the stratosphere with all the other MCU hit shows and films. JUNE 2022 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 65




By Elizabeth Darwen | Photos Brian Hatton

or the past 100 years, Manhattan School of Music has upheld a tradition from its humble beginnings as a small settlement music school to its status today as an internationally renowned music conservatory.

The school’s founder, Janet Daniels Schenck, studied piano in Paris and social work at Columbia University. Before WWI, she volunteered at the Union Settlement on East 104th Street, where she became interested in the struggles and needs of the area’s immigrant population. By 1918, she had established an independent music school with 120 students and a faculty of 23. Dr. Schenck soon financed a new building and concert hall on East 105th Street. Cellist Pablo Casals and pianist Harold Bauer joined her effort as artist auxiliary board members of the Neighborhood Music School as it was known before a name change in 1938.

President James Gandre


The school reputation grew over time, eventually becoming an accredited college offering a Bachelor of Music degree in 1943 and a master’s degree in 1947. Dr. Schenck retired in 1956, and John Brownlee, a noted baritone and member of the MSM voice faculty, became the school’s second president. President Brownlee oversaw an ambitious expansion program centered on purchasing the Juilliard School’s Morningside Heights building, which was preparing to relocate to Lincoln Center. MSM’s college enrollment increased after relocating in 1969 from its long-time East Side home to the more extensive facilities on West 122nd Street and Claremont Avenue. The preparatory division expanded, and extension/evening classes were added. The school’s already well-known Opera Theatre grew in popularity and critical acclaim, attracting exceptionally talented students. Metropolitan Opera conductor George Schick succeeded Brownlee as the school’s third president, and the Santa Fe Opera’s founder and general director, John O. Crosby, took over as president in 1976. Gideon W. Waldrop was appointed in 1986, followed by Peter C. Simon in 1989. During this period, significant curriculum additions included a Doctor of Musical Arts program in 1974, the introduction of a jazz degree in 1984, and the establishment of the Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance in 1991.

Marta Casals Istomin, a former Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts director, was appointed president of the school in 1992. During Marta Istomin’s tenure, the G. Chris and SungEun Andersen Residence Hall, which opened in 2001, was built adjacent to the existing school. In addition to providing the school’s first on-campus student housing, the 19-story structure allowed for two new performance spaces, a new library, and much-needed practice and rehearsal rooms. Following Dr. Robert Sirota’s term as president (2005-13), the school’s current president, James Gandre, was appointed. President Gandre has overseen significant campus improvements, including a sweeping renovation (tied to MSM’s Centennial celebrations in 2018–19) of the school’s main performance space, Neidorff-Karpati Hall, and the establishment of a grand new entrance on Claremont Avenue. President Gandre has also overseen establishing a degree program in Musical Theatre, the first of its kind at an independent New York City conservatory, and the Global Conservatoire, a unique virtual learning partnership with conservatories in Vienna, Copenhagen, and London. The Manhattan School of Music recently held its 2022 Gala at The Rainbow Room. The gala honored Trustee Emerita Carla BossiComelli (HonDMA’ 20) and celebrated the school’s prestigious Orchestral Performance Program’s (OPP) 30th anniversary. The gala featured performances by faculty and distinguished OPP alumni from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera Orchestra, Harlem String Quartet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic, and was hosted by Isabel Leonard (HonDMA’ 21), an alumna of MSM’s pre-college program and recently appointed member of the School’s Vocal Arts College faculty.

Manhattan School of Music, Main Entrance


For more information on the Manhattan School of Music, visit:


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HATS OFF TO THE CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY By Bonnie Comley | Photos by Rob Rich/Society Allure

Central Park is the most highly visited city park in the country, taking a lot of resources to keep it healthy. Central Park has been a city park for over 160 years; before that, it was farmland. Like New York, Central Park has had its ups and downs, paralleling the economy. The Central Park Conservancy was created in 1982 to rejuvenate and preserve the park for future generations. Since its inception, the Central Park Conservancy has invested more than $950 million into the park and provides almost 75 percent of its annual $67 million operating budget. Conservancy crews aerate and seed lawns; rake leaves; prune and fertilize trees; plant shrubs and flowers; maintain ball fields and playgrounds. They remove graffiti, conserve monuments, bridges, and buildings. They care for water bodies and woodlands by controlling erosion, maintaining the drainage system, and protecting over 150 acres of lakes and streams from pollution, siltation, and algae. Susannah Heyworth, Sharon McLean, Suzanne Cawson

Fe Fendi, Eric Javits, Gillian Miniter, Sylvester Miniter

Randi Zuckerberg, Bonnie Comley


One of the most visible factions of the Central Park Conversancy is The Women’s Committee. The Women’s Committee was founded in 1983 by four visionary women: Jean Clark, Norma T. Dana, Marguerite Hillman Purnell, and Phyllis Cerf Wagner. Today, the Women’s Committee raises 15 percent of the Central Park Conversancy’s budget. They do this with four charitable events: the Fall Luncheon, the Annual Family Party in Heckscher Playground, Playground Partners Winter Luncheon, and the Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon, more commonly referred to as the Ladies Hat Party.

Stewart F. Lane

This year the Frederick Law Olmsted Luncheon raised over $4 million. Ruth D. Hunt, a milliner and DAR member (Daughters of the American Revolution), was in attendance. She had this to say, “The Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon was indeed a milliner’s dream come true with over thirteen hundred beautiful women wearing the most dazzling hats. The luncheon was the most delightful Fifth Avenue hat parade I have ever seen. Beautiful ladies dressed to impress, entering Central Park from all directions, uptown, downtown, and from east to west.

Ruth D. Hunt

Rena Turner, Suzy Buckley Woodward, Laruen Miseresky, Carol Iacovelli


2 .5 HR S FR O M NY C | J IM THO R P E, PA





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By Bailey Beckett

e takes his Hippocratic Oath seriously, committing to “apply all measures which are required” for his patients. A nationally recognized orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Alejandro Badia has pioneered a rapid response clinic for hand and arm injuries and conditions with his OrthoNow practice in his Miami hand surgery center. This year, Badia expands his practice to New York City, where he will open his first OrthoNow clinic, a specialized “walk-in” center offering topnotch treatments at top speed. “If ever there was a place that required immediate care, it’s New York. The city moves at a breakneck pace, and we want to offer New Yorkers the rapid care they deserve,” says Badia. “Our goal is to offer New Yorkers a better option than hours in a hospital or ER waiting room alongside someone with the flu, suffering a heart attack or worse.” Beyond that, Badia adds, “It’s also about treating patients more efficiently, putting the focus on specific care to get ahead of patients who are ‘doctor or pill shoppers.’”

WELL-ARMED Dr. Badia’s upper-limb orthopedic hand surgery specialty is central to day-to-day life, with hand and arm injuries among the most common suffered at work and home. The reason is simple—most of us work with our hands. A fact that’s easy to forget when most attention in the orthopedic community is given to the treatment of star athletes or cosmetic procedures. While celebrity sports medicine practitioners focus on knees and shoulders, Badia’s team focuses on upper limb issues of the hands, wrists, and elbows. “Of course, we treat athletic injuries too, but it’s a diverse specialty. We do everything from congenital birth defects to arthritis and carpal tunnel.” Badia quickly notes that carpal tunnel is one of the most common afflictions hand surgeons treat. It’s caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist from keeping them in a flexed position (often at a keyboard) for a prolonged period.

ACCESS TO GOOD HEALTHCARE With the wide disparity of care around the world, most notably here at home in the U.S., where healthcare is an ongoing debate and insurance companies often dictate the level of care a patient receives, Badia says, “There’s a major lack of access and equality to healthcare, and we are so far from where we should be, considering our collective expertise. Part of that is the incredible waste in the system. The bureaucracy has gotten completely out of control. There are all of these talking heads in the media, but most of the people we hear from have not been in the ‘trenches.’ The problem is we are not hearing from the doctors. They’re the people delivering the care.”

This was never more evident than during the pandemic experience of the last two years, which continues to have seismic effects on the healthcare system. Those overburdened staffs leave the industry in droves after being stretched to exhaustion with resources overextended or tapped completely. Nevertheless, Dr. Badia holds hope for the future. “If there is any positive takeaway from the devastation of the pandemic, it’s that we finally started shedding light on frontline healthcare workers and have listened to them.” Badia believes this is an opportunity. “We’re on the brink of what some folks in the industry have nicknamed ‘Healthcare 3.0.’ There will be a shift in healthcare delivery that will be much more efficient, and out-patient based because people are and always have been afraid of hospitals, and the simple fact is we don’t need to treat everything there.” As he predicts a healthcare “reset,” Dr. Badia believes that OrthoNow is at the forefront of this shift, offering cost-effective specialized out-patient care. The Hippocratic Oath lays it all out: the health and well-being of my patient will be my first consideration. But, Badia concludes, “the bottom line is people need more than treatment; they need the right kind of care.” For more information on Dr. Alejandro Badia, visit JUNE 2022 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 71



“I have no intention of ever retiring; I am so good at this,” exclaims Harriet Newman Cohen. As a successful New York attorney with more than four decades of experience in high-profile family law cases, Cohen has earned the right to more than a bit of bravado. Her work with notable names, including Laurence Fishburne, Andrew Cuomo, Linda Lavin, and Louis CK, has garnered deep respect in an industry famous for its absence. Cohen and law partners Martha (Marti) Cohen Stine and Ankit Kapoor lead their firm, Cohen Stine Kapoor LLP, located in Times Square. Their new firm has quickly found traction amongst New York’s power players in the family law arena. Over four decades ago, when Cohen began practicing, attorneys were primarily male, and family law was uncharted territory. “Back then, New York was a title state, and there was no such thing as equitable distribution or no-fault divorce,” says Cohen. “It was the days of putting a detective on the case to prove charges such as adultery. But I hit the ground running in law because my boss was the mother of equitable distribution, and I sat next to her and helped her write what would become the law, which was in 1980. As the law changed, I was an expert, and I found myself immediately in demand because I knew the law. I was in the right place at the right time, and my career took off.”

SUDDEN RISE It was a meteoric rise, and within five years, Cohen would open a practice that attracted big names and would earn an impeccable reputation. Then with the launch of Court TV in 1990, she soon found herself a frequent guest, often on a moment’s notice, to impart perspective and knowledge of the law. Among the most famous cases for which Cohen became a regular news contributor was that of O.J. Simpson, and despite being a matrimonial attorney, the network valued her astute contributions and insight. The rich and famous have continued to seek Cohen’s services because of word of mouth, but also because she expertly guides them through all aspects of divorce, including how to manage the inevitable press. “Your first responsibility is to your client. If your client is a celebrity, that person wants a certain amount of privacy, not total privacy. They want the headlines, but often they want to tailor them to how they want the headlines to read. So, it would be best if you balanced the need for privacy and headlines simultaneously; it doesn’t have to be ugly. A high point for me was when I represented Howard Stern’s wife, Alice, and Howard said that the only attorney he liked was his wife’s attorney. He said that on the radio! I also enjoyed representing Governor Cuomo, and together we negotiated an excellent agreement. He is an excellent father, and his priority was making sure that his relationship with his daughters did not suffer, which it did not.”


Cohen sees the humanity in her clients and has respect for their wellbeing. She says, “When a client comes to disclose their story, here is a new challenge for me. I take all my problem-solving techniques and abilities, and I know what I must do in this case and how to get it sorted out, perhaps even tried. I know where I am going with this case and thank God that this person found me because they will be OK now.

I was married to a doctor, a fine internist, who cared very much for his patients, and I feel much like a doctor in that someone has placed their life in my hands, and I make them better. To think that I have that privilege is a great responsibility. I always say to clients, ‘you don’t want to be in a marriage with someone who doesn’t love you or respect you; you deserve better than that.’ I can help the client find their better self, which is powerful. For more information on Harriet Newman Cohen, visit JUNE 2022 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 73




By Bailey Beckett

ew Yorkers wanting to sing like their favorite Broadway stars need only look to Katy Wolfe, one of the theater’s most in-demand voice coaches and an actor. Through her three decades working in the performing arts, Wolfe has developed a roster of students on stage and screen, including Tramell Tillman (Apple+’s Severance), Ellen Reid (Prism, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music), and theater performer Quentin Oliver Lee (national touring of Phantom of The Opera), among many others. BUILDING A COMMUNITY In April, a standing-room-only crowd filled the performance space of The Players, the venerable Gramercy Park social gathering place for the artistic set. Performing that night was a complete program of Wolfe’s students in the cabaret “Singer’s Therapy,” produced by Wolfe and her team, including husband David A. Brown. Through the many students Wolfe has trained, a community has developed—made only stronger during the pandemic. But unfortunately, the shutdown suspended the ability to assemble and celebrate live performances, hence the “therapy” of the program’s title. “We have yet to see the full ripple effects of the pandemic on the performing arts,” Wolfe says. “The decreased amount of art being created translates to fewer opportunities for artists. I am concerned about the devastation this has brought on our craft and industry.” Wolfe plans to produce more “Singer’s Therapy” cabarets and create a song cycle spotlighting notable women written by a former student. Her passion and commitment to developing talent are not hard to miss.“I enjoy my students’ long-term relationship and journey,” Wolfe says. “If I was going to stay connected in a meaningful way, it meant being in New York for them as they build their careers.”

IMPROVING SKILLS Wolfe is also an in-demand consultant for business leaders seeking to improve their presentation skills. “I work with CEOs and attorneys wanting to be more in-command and persuasive, which is achieved through connecting their body to their voice and breath,” Wolfe says. “It is enlightening to them, and they are eager students because they recognize the impact it will have professionally.” Also, an accomplished actress, Wolfe has appeared in some of opera and musical theater’s most beloved works, including Don Giovanni, The Threepenny Opera, and Kiss Me, Kate. She cites Marian the Librarian from The Music Man as one of her favorite roles and calls the musical “about as perfect as a show can be when done well. It suited me and sat perfectly in my voice.” The Ohio native grew up in a home where music genres were a constant sound. Her mother, a piano teacher, encouraged her to develop her talent. “I grew up singing in school and church, so I went to college to continue that learning, then wound up with a master’s degree in opera,” she says. Ever the enthusiast for live performance, she believes, “You have to have an audience to create art. The story doesn’t come together until there is someone there to listen.”


Photo by Ricardo Birnbaum

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