New York Lifestyles Magazine - May 2022

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Dr. Robi Ludwig & Ramy Brook Sharp
Making Their Way To The Top SISTERS IN THE CITY
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OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | MAY 2022 56 59 Around Town: Astoria City Jewels: 3 Choice Places That Shine From The Publisher Dr. Robi Ludwig & Ramy Brook Sharp: Sisters In The City Jean Shafiroff: First Lady of Philantropy 16 18 28 Culture Capsule: Home & Lifestyle Innovations Mom’s The Word Edition 37 39 Pelican Grand Resort: A Favorite Beachfront Escape South Beach Getaway: Hotel Croydon & Riviera Suites Ledges Hotel: A Hip Place For A Relaxing Getaway South Seas Island Resort: Indulge On Captiva Island West Virginia: Here’s Why You Should Go 42 45 47 51 52 FEATURES LIFE & STYLE TRAVEL REAL ESTATE & HOME DECOR 28 Contents ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 66 68 Dining Out With Mom Restaurant Review: Vineapple 70 71 72 73 Spotlight On Stage: Charlotte St. Martin BroadwayHD: Now Streaming—Our Favorites On The Big Screen On The Small Screen Mindie’s Musings: A Life Full Of Riches Jennifer Graziano: Easting The Pain Of Loss 63 65 Entrepreneur’s Corner: Garrett Neff My New York Story: Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin Time Out With…Micah McLaurin 79 81 82 HEALTH & WELLNESS NEW YORK, NY FOOD & DRINK Paws Down…Tails Up: Best Thing About Spring: Mom, Of Course 75 PET SPOTLIGHT 51 45 18
© Neil J Tandy ©Michael Paniccia

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Neil is a photographer with an innate passion that began as a youngster when he picked up an Instamatic to record a family vacation in the South of France. At 26, the British-born aspiring photographer moved to South Africa where he honed his skills before settling in New York. Today, he combines that passion to capture the interplay of light, line, and color to create visual stories whether on the streets of New York on a fashion shoot or seizing the moment of wonderous nature in Yellowstone National Park. “I visualize my finished photo before even taking it,” he says, “and try to capture emotion in everything I photograph.” For Neil, telling stories with his photographs is art.

Vol. 8 #5 | May 2022

President / Publisher



Patricia Canole


Jeremy Murphy


Jenny Peters

Art Director

Scott Cuollo


Griffin Miller

Special Projects

Norah Bradford

Chief Photographer

Neil J Tandy

Contributing Writers


Stacey Zable is an awardwinning veteran editorial professional with experience writing for both print and online publications. She has held senior staff positions at the industry’s top travel trade publications, and has freelanced for some of the most popular consumer travel magazines. Stacey has written about most destinations around the world, with a focus on cruises, luxury travel, spas, and family travel. Visit her website at

Bailey Beckett, Mindie Barnett, Melanie Carden, Bonnie Comley, AP Connolly, Bob Kappstatter, Lillian Langtry, Irvina Lew, Darren Paltrowitz, Meryl Pearlstein, Anne Raso, Jeff & Stephanie Sylva, Annie Watt, Stacey Zable

Executive Vice President of Sales



Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development

Don Fetherman - Director of Travel


Travel enthusiasts Jeff & Stephanie have been freelance travel writers for over 30 years. Much of their writing reflects their love of the outdoors and their active lifestyles. Some of their favorite travel experiences include a trek across the Kilauea Iki Crater on the Big Island of Hawaii, and snorkeling with penguins and whitetipped reef sharks in the Galapagos Islands.

The New Jersey couple have written regularly for several local newspapers in addition to Hospitality 21, Family Travel Network, Family Travel Forum, The Parent Paper, Bergen County: The Magazine, Bergen County Kids Magazine, and Family Destinations.

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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.


Dr. Robi Ludwig & Ramy Brook Sharp

Photography by Neil J. Tandy

Jean Shafiroff

Photography: Michael Paniccia

Gown: Malan Breton

Hair and Make-up: Melissa at La Carezza, Southampton NY

ISSN 2474-770X


May marks the unofficial beginning of summer which kicks off over the Memorial Day weekend. It is also the time of year when we love being outdoors and participating in festivals and discovering this city. The much-anticipated Met Gala also takes place this month with A-listers and designers who converge on the steps of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is what makes New York City so unique.

Speaking of designers and notables, we spotlight the beautiful and talented sisters, Robi Ludwig and Ramy Brook Sharp. These dynamic sisters have made extraordinary inroads in their careers as a psychotherapist and fashion designer, respectively. We celebrate these women who believe that love and positivity in any situation is a lesson everyone should live by. Their radiance and elegance can be seen in our exclusive shoot held on the busy streets of New York City and Central Park and shot by Neil Tandy.

We also feature the Queen of Philanthropy, Jean Shafiroff, a fixture on the social and charitable circuit in Manhattan, the Hamptons, and Palm Beach. Jean has tirelessly devoted her life’s work to championing causes to benefit those in need. Travelers will enjoy our reports on exploring destinations near and far. Why not hop a plane and discover West Virginia? This state is gaining popularity with its country-like towns and may have you humming John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Also, look for incredibly beautiful and hip places—from South Beach to Captiva Island—should your wanderlust lead to Florida.

Of course, May is for recognizing the woman who loved, cared, and made you what you are today. Mothers. Cherish her with flowers and a Sunday brunch. You will not go wrong with our restaurant recommendations. And to those mothers who have left us, here is to you as well.

A special remembrance, too, to those who have served in the Armed Forces and sacrificed their lives to give us the freedoms we have today. Enjoy your month...and see you next issue.

OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | MAY 2022 ENCHANTING MAY Read Any of Our Issues In Digital Format on: | Apple Newsstand | Our Website Visit us at:  (646) 259-2651 For subscription or back issues, call: Mindie Bar nett Makes It Happen! ! we LIFE JACQUES LIEBERMAN A CONVERSATION WITH THE ARTIST
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Sisters are a blessing, and nothing quite surpasses this special bond. The joys— and sometimes pain—are experienced worldwide. So, if you do have a sister, consider yourself very lucky.

Whether you’ve been the responsible sibling or the carefree sister, you possess many unforgettable memories—with the most important “friend” you’ll ever have. She knows you inside out. She understands you even better than you know yourself. So who better than your sister to confide in your deepest secrets? As Marilyn Monroe once said, “Sisters make the best friends in the world.”

We agree. We also found two dynamic sisters who love life and their families and possess an eternal optimistic spirit. Meet Dr. Robi Ludwig and Ramy Brook Sharp, both incredibly talented and who support each other, making them a joy to be around.


Naturally, it takes a ton of motivation and perseverance to be a successful brand in the city, especially in such competitive industries as TV and fashion. But that never fazed these sisters who went after what they wanted—and got it!

You may recognize one of the sisters, Dr. Robi Ludwig, as a nationally renowned psychotherapist and awardwinning reporter from her countless TV segments. Her sister is Ramy Brook Sharp, the creative genius behind the iconic fashion brand, who has taken the world by storm with her unique day-to-night chic fashions. These two beautiful siblings grew up in a modest background before arriving in New York City and making their way to the top in their glamorous careers.

As young, ambitious women coming to New York City, they were embarking on an adventurous journey that not even they realized existed for them. Robi went to school initially focusing on psychology/therapy, while Ramy began her career in New York City with a position at an advertising agency. Each, however, had passions that they skillfully incorporated into their lives while settling down with a career and family in NYC.

Hair & Makeup for Robi Ludwig by Jade Voight Hair Stylist for Ramy Brook Sharp by Adam Maclay All fashions by Ramy Brook and available at the Madison Avenue flagship boutique or Fashion Stylist: Kelsey Randall Assistants: Emily Platte and Ellie Franko


TV was always in Robi’s blood, even though becoming a therapist was the priority. So, shortly after school, while working at a hospital, she approached the CEO about representing them on TV. They took a chance on her and booked her on Good Day New York. It ignited her TV career, which snowballed delightfully over the years into repeat bookings on major networks as a psychological commentor. She also maintains her private practice in Manhattan as well as a bestselling author of Your Best Age Is Now (HarperCollins).



Ramy Brook Sharp had a similar drive but a different passion— one distinctively for fashion. At the time, she was a stay-at-home mom, having stepped down from a career in advertising to care for her family.

But it was her hidden creativity to design which catapulted Ramy to start her company, Ramy Brook. Her first design quickly landed her in Bergdorf Goodman. Today, Ramy Brook is in every upscale store in addition to her flagship boutique on Madison Avenue.

It’s inspiring to hear incredible success stories, but even more so to find out that these sisters were taught to embrace their power and femininity as a family. To take risks and not let anyone stop them. Of course, ask these successful siblings what advice they would give an aspiring entrepreneur, and they both agree, “Go with your gut, find mentors to help, and believe in yourself.”

We recently met with Robi Ludwig and Ramy Brook Sharp, who told us more about being a sister, loving your family, and making dreams come true.

Tell our readers about growing up in suburban New Jersey.

Robi: I loved growing up in Chatham, New Jersey. So much of my childhood seemed so ideal. Being Jewish in a non-Jewish town allowed me to feel unique and memorable without having to do much of anything. LOL! I was different yet felt at home in a town where neighborly thoughtfulness was a goal and the norm. Chatham became a place where childhood schoolmates transformed into lifelong friends. And during my adult years, my hometown friends and neighbors have always shown genuine joy for the accomplishments of both my family and me.

My mother, Helene Shalotsky, loved being a homemaker when we were young. She embraced all that it entailed, including making our carefully matching clothes and perfecting our hairstyles with love and care. We often wore matching clothes, so it became a bit of our Shalotsky family branding. At one time, we were even mistaken for a singing group. That’s when The Partridge Family was in vogue. Robi, Ramy, and our younger sister, Lori, were the girls who lived in the yellow house across from the high school, where our friends were included to be part of our family fun.

Ramy: Although our parents were New Yorkers through and through, when our Dad got a job at Mennen Company in Morristown, NJ as a senior chemist, they decided to buy their first home in the idyllic town of Chatham to raise their family. It was the type of place where everyone knew each other. Our parents made sure to celebrate our Judaism and joined a temple in the nearby town of Summit, where we were Bat Mitzvah’d. Our mother was a teacher, so academics were a priority. She taught us to be independent thinkers, led by example, and most of all, to be fair and kind. The family was and is a priority and the greatest gift they gave us. Our parents and younger sister Lori still live in NJ, so we are out there often. I’m proud to say I’m a Jersey Girl!

How did you become interested in your field? And when did you know you made it?

Robi: I was fortunate knowing what I wanted to do when I was very young. I remember this “A-ha” moment so vividly. I was walking home from elementary school when I made this personal pronouncement. I was in second grade when I told a friend that I would be a psychologist when I grew up. I was raised in a very insightful and psychologically savvy family. My mother, uncle Irv (“Mr. G” of WPIX), and grandmother were always psychologically on point. Later, in high school, I decided I wanted to be an author and on television. And the rest is history.

Ramy: Growing up in a household full of girls, shopping was a fun activity for us. Our mom always had a cool style. When we were very young, she made all our clothes by hand. We would go to dinner in matching outfits, and people would ask if we were in a band! While dressing up was a fun activity, it became a passion for me at a very young age. I remember I started to rebel. If my sister wore red on top and white on the bottom, I would wear the complete opposite! I mixed stripes, plaids, and paisleys when I wanted to be bad. Although I wasn’t matching my sisters, my mother let me dress however I wanted and always encouraged my unique style.

When I started Ramy Brook in 2010, I hosted trunk shows out of my apartment for three years. A private shopper from Bergdorf Goodman sent her customers to me during that time. My designs filled a white space of silky, solid, sexy, and sophisticated tops at a contemporary price point. Unfortunately, BG didn’t sell what I was making. That eventually led me to a meeting with the buying team who bought my first Collection! That was one of the moments I felt “I made it.”


What makes your sister so special?

Robi: Ramy has always been a straightforward voice of reason. She was very focused on what she wanted to achieve in life. Ramy is the type of person who makes her dreams a reality. She is the first to tell me if I need to make some tweaks in my life. As far as my fashion choices go, we have slightly different styles. Ramy will let me know when I need to get rid of my jeans and shoes or wear more makeup when out and about. I know she always has my back if things go sideways, with practical advice and the perfect recommendations. She also has this incredible knack for throwing parties and gorgeous family events. Our whole family looks forward to the holidays hosted by Ramy and her family.

Ramy: Starting a business at 42 has many advantages. One main advantage is the network of incredibly supportive friends. I’m extra lucky to have sisters who are friends too, so when I started Ramy Brook, I had the support of friends and the love and encouragement from my sisters. I started my business by doing trunk shows—my very first one was at my younger sister Lori’s house in Short Hills, NJ. She made sure all her friends showed up! Robi showed her support by never missing a trunk show in NY and inviting her friends to attend. When she’s on TV, she wears Ramy Brook and makes sure to post on social media. Everything is done with such pride; we love saying that’s my sister! The support of my sisters is part of the secret to my success.

How has color helped you stay focused in everyday life and at home?

Robi: Color can influence our mood and create the desired tone. Color can also inspire a sense of whimsy and fun. Living in New York, I wear a lot of black. The New York City uniform is hard to get away from. But when I do TV, I’m very conscious how important color is. I learned early in my career it’s all about the bright colors and jewel tones that make your presentation pop. As for my home, I tend to veer towards the more sophisticated, simple colors, which have lasting power. I use bright colors here and there, but in a way, that’s hopefully not too overpowering.

Ramy: It’s effortless to throw on black and neutrals, which I often do. However, when I put on a bright color, my mood (and the room’s mood!) changes. Part of Ramy Brook’s DNA is offering bright, happy colors in timeless silhouettes. It’s essential to feel great in your clothes, and upbeat, bright colors help do just that. My sister can speak more about the psychology of colors, but I design to empower women. Throwing on something colorful is a great way to start.

Earrings for Robi Ludwig from Fox’s

There is little doubt your parents helped to instill the ambition and drive to succeed. Tell our readers more about your mother and father.

Robi: My mother is a force of nature. We’ve always been very close. During my youth, she was a bit frustrated with me because I was a late bloomer scholastically. My mother, a straight-A student, expected me to be more like her. My mother always had very high expectations of me. She was supportive and nurturing but brutely honest when she needed to be. My mother never told her girls what to do or be, but education and being smart were very important to her. When I told her what I planned to do with my life, she was always very supportive. My mother, most of all, wanted me to live up to my potential and make good life choices that would lead to a fulfilling life. And my goal was to honor myself while pleasing my mother and making her proud of me.

My dad was the more laid back of my two parents. However, he was and still is such a great role model for being a great husband and father. My sisters and I have a great love and respect for men because of the dad we were lucky enough to have. He was the sturdy rock that helped ground our family. I knew he loved me and was proud of me in public. But he loved me even more when he didn’t have to support me financially. My dad practically ran me down the aisle when I got married. I had to tell him it wasn’t a marathon. It’s okay to walk.

Ramy: We were raised to think positive; we never believed we could fail. Whether that was realistic or not, it instilled confidence to help us succeed. Everything seemed to be doable. Even if we got a bad grade or did something which got us in trouble, we didn’t feel judged. Mistakes happen; it’s how we handle the next move that matters. You can say our environment felt safe and loving, which helped drive us to be successful.

How can people remain positive in this upside-down world?

Robi: Being positive is a choice we all can make. It’s being willing to see the beauty in the messiness of life, taking moments to feel grateful for the things we do have. And to allow for the dark life moments without giving up hope. It’s an intention. A skill we can all learn by remaining faithful and surrounding ourselves with people who support us and celebrate us during the bittersweet moments in life.

What inspires you to design these gorgeous collections?

Ramy: Women—of  all  ages! I admire so many women. I love people watching and seeing how people around me dress. It gives me inspiration for the next Collection. When I get dressed and feel I’m missing something from my closet, I design that piece to fill that void. Traveling also serves as a great inspiration. I love learning about other cultures and adapting them into the Collection.

Aqua gown: Oscar de la Renta Hair and Make-up: Melissa at La Carezza, Southampton, NY Photo: Michael Paniccia



Noted by international media as The First Lady of Philanthropy, Jean Shafiroff thrives as she serves the societal imperative to give back to mankind freely. With an open heart and an open mind, she has been on the forefront of transforming the way we view charitable giving. Her gift is to create momentum and her talent is to unlock the extraordinary potential in every individual who wants to succeed in helping the world.

As Jean was once quoted, “It’s a great privilege to be able to give, and we all can be philanthropists. Everybody has worth. We all have great value to society and never think that you have nothing to offer, because you do. Everyone has compassion.” Most of us can give our time and knowledge—and available resources. Those that have a great deal of resources have an extraordinary opportunity to make a great difference in this world.

Jean’s tireless work as a TV host of Successful Philanthropy and celebrated writer has put her in a position to share her message of faith. It is through her efforts that we are allowed to put aside worry in our everyday lives, by trusting in our own capabilities to give.


As the author of the book  Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life By What You Give, Jean expresses that generosity does not only come in the form of financial donations. In fact, Jean’s extensive work as a volunteer fundraiser and leader in the philanthropic world is a testament that giving time is of great value.

No challenge is too big for her, and Jean never quits on her determination to find a way to give back. Even when faced with her own setbacks - as with a recent serious foot surgery that limited her mobility for several months—she only fought harder for causes and the charity boards she serves on.



Each year Jean chairs upwards of eight different charity galas. Among the many causes she champions are those involved in women’s rights, rights of the underserved, health care, and animal welfare. To see her in action is inspirational and motivating for anyone of any age.

Jean serves on the boards of the American Humane, Southampton Hospital Association, NYC Mission Society, Global Strays, New York Women’s Foundation, French Heritage Society, Couture Council of the Museum at FIT, Casita Maria and Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation Honorary Board. A Catholic, she served on the board of the Jewish Board for 28 years and now is one of their Honorary Trustees.

In addition, Jean served as the National Spokesperson for the American Humane’s “Feed the Hungry” COVID-19 Program, an initiative which successfully raised $1,000,000 to provide food for one million hungry animals at 109 animal shelters across the United States. Jean is also the Ambassador of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation.

Just as rewarding is her latest work on the board of Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education in the South Bronx. It is here that a safe and welcoming community helps enrich and uplift youth and families towards success, through shared cultural, art and educational experiences and programs.

Jean has been honored many times by groups including the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, New York City Mission Society, Southampton Animal Shelter, Surgeons of Hope, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, Pet Philanthropy Circle, Animal Zone International, Sam Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, Youth Counselling League, the NYC International Film Festival Foundation, the Jewish Board, and the Hadassah. In December 2020 Dan’s Paper named her Philanthropist of the Year at their Long Island Power Women’s Award Ceremony.

Jean is a great fashion lover and enjoys her time on the board of the Couture Council of the museum at FIT. A collector of couture and high fashion ballgowns, Jean plans to donate all of them to a museum one day. These include many works by Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Carolina Herrera, Mary McFaddan, Malan Breton, Victor de Souza, B Michael, and Zang Toi.

Jean has a very large social media following and uses her platform to encourage positive thinking, and then to promote philanthropy and her love of fashion. With over 900,000 followers across the globe on Instagram, she is considered a major force in transmitting positive messages.

Dress: Prada Shoes: Christian Louboutin Hair and Make-up: PJ Ramirez Earrings: Oscar de la Renta Photo: Michael Paniccia Short Black dress: Oscar de la Renta Hair: Henry de la Paz Make-up: Kimara Ahnert Earrings: Oscar de la Renta Photo: Michael Paniccia

Gown: Victor de Souza

Gloves: Sermonetta

Make-up and Hair: JP Ramirez

Photo: Michael Paniccia

For more information on Jean Shafiroff, visit I: @JeanShafiroffAtWork;; F: jean.shafiroff; T: @JeanShafiroff


Jean’s acts of kindness change a person’s whole day—which does, in turn, inspires others to be a little kinder to those around them.

As Albert Einstein once famously said, “Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Compassion like Jean’s creates a ripple effect that not only makes us happier as individuals, but also tends to get passed along, the world just becomes a little bit brighter, beautiful, and more joyful for all of us who live here.

“We give because we know actions and choices made now can help in the future,” she writes in her book. “We give because small gifts can help lead to big change. We give because we are compelled to take action. We give because it honors life and the power of the human spirit to affect change,” “We give because we do not wish to see suffering and we wish to assuage it.”

Pink Gown: Vicky Tiel Hair and Flowered hair piece: Henry de la Paz Make-up: JP Ramirez Photo: Michael Paniccia

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Are your food choices sabotaging your wellness? Of course, we all know that food plays a vital role in our health and happiness. But, did you also know that, according to a well-vetted Healthline report, 20 percent of adults have a food allergy or intolerance? One of the tricky aspects is that reactions can sometimes take a few days to begin, and there’s a long list of symptoms. In addition, some of the symptoms overlap with what most of us associate with a typical day—things like feeling exhausted or having aches and pains.

YorkTest has been around for 40 years, and I don’t want to sound over-dramatic, but their at-home food testing kit changed my life. The kit was extremely easy to use, and the results were fast. The Premium Food Sensitivity Kit tests for over 200 food and drink sensitivities. Allergies and intolerances aside, the test will tell you the foods your body needs to thrive. For example, I learned that I have a hit-ormiss relationship with carrots. So, I didn’t eliminate them, but I keep it in mind to create a good weekly balance. In sum, for less than $200, YorkTest can provide critical insight to make informed decisions on what many people consider the foundation of good health—your food choices.

Perfect for: People who suspect an allergy, folks experiencing headaches, bloating, indigestion, or exhaustion, athletes, and anyone who wants insight on their specific nutritional needs.



I hold my own with technology, but new gadget set-up sometimes requires a cocktail, screaming into a pillow—or both. But, as a writer, I was intrigued by the reMarkable tablet. It’s basically technologically advanced paper, and it’s been wooing me for some time. So, it’s time to take the tech leap. If you’ve been following this column, you know I prioritize the ‘out of the box’ experience. In other words, is this product intuitive, or am I reaching for the cocktail shaker and pillow? The reMarkable tablet is a minimalist’s dream – streamlined packaging and no useless paperwork. I turned it on, followed the prompts, and was fully up and running in ten minutes. Toggling between different types of paper layouts is easy— lined, graph, plain, or checklist—but the layering feature really won me over. Sure, you can create a lined paper document and take notes in class or a meeting; it will even convert to text if you’d like. But let’s say you’re brainstorming a patio project at home. You can make doodle drawings and build multiple layers, mimicking transparent tracing paper. Or perhaps you scribbled the perfect flowchart during that chaotic zoom, and you want to send it to colleagues. No worries, you can use the stylus to draw a box around that specific item and save it separately. All your files are accessible from your laptop or phone via the app or Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive. Regardless of ‘who’ is at the helm—my right brain and its creative doodles or my left brain’s need to make obsessive checklists—I reach for ReMarkable. Perfect for: anyone who wants to capture ideas on the go, folks that like to collaborate, people that are looking for a super lightweight creative solution. Info:


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In the spirit of contemporary moms and grandmoms—as well as the equally amazing women who inspire, nurture, and/or hold a special place in our lives—we raise our glass to Mother’s Day, when we not only celebrate their “amazingness,” but have the opportunity to pamper them with everything from their favorite meals and pastimes to lovingly vetted gifts. Here’s to you, Mom!


When it comes to jewelry, contemporary pieces destined to become classics are rare. When one catches your attention then, it’s magic time. So, it was when I spotted the Jane Win Forever Star-Bright Necklace –a distinctively carved white moonstone set in 10k gold. Hanging from a distinctive chain, ingeniously embedded with a pink tourmaline gemstone, this striking celestial pendant is poised to become both cherished and admired, on its own or layered with another necklace or two. Info:


Mom Lesson #1: Presentation is everything, particularly when entertaining. Lighting, music, seating but mostly food. Mixed nuts aren’t guest-worthy unless set out in martini glasses; napkins, silverware, centerpiece must be arranged to showcase the entree. And dessert? A glorious compilation of trays and tiers. Hence my fascination with the Martha Stewart Jadeite Loop Cake Stand: a fanciful loop-de-loop creamy green display for myriad confections… or bagels and muffins a la Mother’s Day breakfastin-bed. Info:


Speaking of confections, if you’ve ever delved into the cookie jars of the rich, famous, and super-savvy, chances are you’ve been tempted by a handcrafted treat from Italy’s Georgio Cookie Company. Salted Caramel Biscotti, perhaps or one of their Gourmet Cookies—say a Chocolate Hazelnut? A to-diefor Signature White Chocolate Raspberry? All the above arrive, nicely packaged and hand-tied with a satin bow, in their Biscotti & Cookie Sampler. It’s afternoon tea with a tantalizing “ta-da!”. Info:


The chiseled bottle—vintage Hollywood or Newport mansion boudoir—barely hints at its contents: a perfume nectar blend of cherry blossoms, magnolias, frankincense, labdanum, and sandalwood. Exquisite, but far from unexpected, as Fleur Japonais marks the latest addition to the Shalini Parfum collection—its seventh in Shalini’s series of unparalleled fragrances. Recently introduced to Fleur Japonais I, like others with a passion for blissfully indulgent of scents, was utterly seduced. Info:



Who knew making social media videos was possible without massive Sturm und Drang? Clearly GeoSmartPro, creator of AirLit Smart Ring Light, Mirror, and Fan – an ingenious musthave tool for anyone who uses their smartphone to blog, vlog, stream, zoom… you name it. Envision Mom well-lit and cooled off while sitting through a virtual meeting—or getting down to video business on TikTok or YouTube. Bonus points for a) adaptability (awesome makeup mirror, powerful anytime fan, extension stand) and b) a neat app that connects to voice commands. Info:


Personalized gifts are one thing; Frankie Print Co.’s Love Letter Blanket is in a class by itself. The beauty of this exclusive tribute to Mom doesn’t stop at 100 percent cotton, notebook-paper design, or even heartfelt message: the blanket (or throw, depending on size) can be reproduced in your own handwriting. Not to worry, though, if your penmanship is, like mine, on the dicey side: Frankie Print Co. is ready to step in with its own lovely cursive. Regardless of how (or by whom) it’s “scripted,” expect glowing reviews. Info:


Finally, a year when we can put gifting sleepwear to rest and treat mom to something she’ll reach for… days out and nights in! Stylistically mirroring its iconic Catalina Sweater, MERSEA’s Catalina Slub Tee teams up with jeans, shorts, or stands alone as a beach coverup. And with warm weather getting a jump on June, the message printed on the inside (no scratchy labels here!), says it all: “Summer is a feeling… like happiness. So, wander with purpose, dream with abandon and celebrate the little things in life.” Info:


Normally I wouldn’t equate fire pits with Mother’s Day—too far out of the gift box, even by my eclectic standards. But then the cool design and portable size (6.5 x 4 inches) of Hex Small Fire Pits from Colsen won me over. First sold on their power to create a cozy ambiance for PBS or Netflix binge-a-thons, it then hit me— why not top off Mother’s Day with the ultimate family bonding experience: sitting around the flames toasting s’mores and sharing golden-oldie ghost stories. Delicious. Info:

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.
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.
a variety of accommodations (from king/2
rooms to
El Coronado Resort can meet your
vacation | 1-800-227-5302 | E-mail:
1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites),


Pelican Grand Beach Resort

elican Grand Beach Resort offers its guests a relaxing respite with direct access to Fort Lauderdale’s white sands. Located less than two miles from the high-energy atmosphere of restaurants, bars, shops, Pelican Grand is perfect for those who enjoy all that the city offers while taking advantage of the resort’s more laid-back ambiance when they return from a day or night out.

Guests will discover that a stay at Pelican Grand, a member of Noble House Hotels & Resorts, boasts a throwback feel with an Old Florida coastal chic vibe. A favorite area at the resort is its covered oceanfront veranda. It is lined with classic rocking chairs, making it the ideal spot to watch the waves, read a book, or even listen to the live music offered on the veranda on Thursday to Sunday evenings.


Of course, what lies in front of the veranda draws most guests to the resort, the 500 feet of white sands, and the Atlantic Ocean. Hotel umbrellas and lounge chairs are set up for guests’ use for a day of lounging at the beach. Better yet, guests can spend part of the day in the water. Among the fun options is a SEABOB snorkel adventure right from Pelican Grand’s sands. Beach Ventures ( organizes guided tours on these cool individual motorized water vehicles that take guests above and under the water. Another option is onsite paddleboarding rentals available through the front desk.

The resort also has a zero-entry oceanfront pool with a deck featuring DJ spinning tunes. In addition, a small lazy river with complimentary float tubes aims to keep younger guests happy. Kids can also participate in the offered Funky Fish Ocean Camp for one day or multiple days while staying at Pelican Grand. Each day includes lunch and has a different theme. Depending on the day, kids get to snorkel, make tiedye t-shirts, go boogie board or skimboarding, make jewelry, and participate in a beach clean-up. The resort also has a special welcome sign-up area for children when guests first check-in.

Water views are part of the experience at the intimate PURE Spa located on the 11th floor of the resort. Guests can choose a la carte treatments for body, bath, and face or packages that include multiple therapies for a relaxing experience.

Other activities for guests can include movie nights, board games, scavenger hunts, sandcastle building, and more.



Pelican Grand is approximately four miles from Las Olas Boulevard, where guests can enjoy boutique shopping, cafes, and nightlife. Las Olas is also part of the 22-block Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District, home to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Florida Grand Opera, Fort Lauderdale History Center, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, and the Stranahan House, a preserved home from the 1900s. Boat and catamaran rentals, wave runners, parasailing, diving, kayaking, and more take advantage of Fort Lauderdale’s ocean and Intracoastal Waterways and canals. The town of Lauderdale-by-theSea continues the throwback Old Florida feel and is approximately three miles north of Pelican Grand. Here, guests will find a walkable beach town with quaint shops, small restaurants, cafes, and a fishing pier.  Info:  sunny. org for more on the Greater Fort Lauderdale area.


Pelican Grand’s oceanfront veranda is also where guests eat for outdoor dining (indoor dining is another option offered) for its  OCEAN2000  restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The service and cuisine are excellent and feature a menu with a choice of appetizers, salads, seafood, and meat for lunch and dinner. Breakfast options are as expansive with large servings to kickstart guests’ days. In addition, OCEAN2000 provides a special menu for the beach and pool if guests can’t pull themselves away from the sun. The  O2K Lounge offers inside and outdoor seating for lively fun for drinks and food. In-room dining is available from 7 am to 10 pm if guests prefer to dine privately on their terraces. For treats, The Emporium is reminiscent of an old-fashioned ice cream parlor from the 1950s and serves coffee, candy, and bakery items and sells cute gifts.


The resort boasts 144 guest rooms and suites with either city or ocean views. The Seaside Suites offer a separate living room and small dinette area with an additional television. Several years ago, the resort completed a $7 million renovation that combined Old Florida charm with modern and boho-inspired design. Special resort packages can include accommodations and resort and dining credits at Ocean2000

For more information on Pelican Grand Beach Resort, visit



outh Beach Hotel Group is the largest independent hotel group in Miami Beach, with eightytwo buildings, seven restaurants, and sixteen hotels with over 1,500 rooms. From a freespirited hostel to 4-star luxury, each of the boutique hotels has its unique personality and style that continues to draw thousands of domestic and international travelers of all budgets year after year. Two of their gems are Hotel Croydon and Riviera Suites South Beach.


Because of its beautiful weather and beaches, Hotel Croydon is an ideal starting point for beautiful Miami Beach experiences. The beach is just a 2-minute walk away. Dreamy Ocean Drive is about 2.4 miles or a 10-minute drive away, and it features iconic beach views, cafe-style dining, and Art Deco architecture, setting the stage for a fun-filled day. This oceanfront street is lined with pastel-colored Art Deco buildings and hotels, restaurants that spill out onto the streets, festive travelers, boutique beach shops, and other attractions. It’s the place to go for a quiet cup of coffee, a giant margarita, and some excellent people-watching.

The luxury Hotel Croydon dazzles with 104 guest rooms, including a sprawling Penthouse with ocean views, meeting and banquet space, a concept store, a gym, an outdoor pool, a spa, an on-site restaurant and bar, and a rooftop sun deck with 360-degree views of the ocean and Miami Beach.

The guest rooms combine luxury and relaxation. The Queen Room is a sophisticated and elegantly decorated respite from a day at the beach or nearby shopping. Their exquisitely furnished boutique room features earthy tones, a luxurious cooling gel memory foam mattress, luxury C.O. Bigelow bath products, a fully stocked minibar, iHome docking station for your personalized melodies, and a large flat-screen TV with cable.

The on-site restaurant,  The Tavern, serves a flavorful medley of delectable dishes hand-picked by an award-winning chef. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served from 8:00 am to midnight, and the menu includes burgers, sandwiches, plates of pasta, salads, and much more. The Tavern has has something for everyone,s palate, from shrimp tacos to the classic Cuban sandwich.



This all-suite hotel is where you can relax and unwind while also experiencing Miami Beach’s culture and nightlife. This stunning hotel offers stylish accommodations ideal for a beautiful vacation, combining classic sophistication and contemporary chic. The hotel provides gorgeous accommodations with a modern flair and is steps away from Collins Avenue, the beach, the convention center, boutiques, restaurants, and nightlife. A courtyard pool with private cabanas, a stunning sundeck, and a rooftop pool with sweeping views of the city and the ocean is available to guests. The suites have gourmet kitchens, separate living and dining areas with convertible sofa-beds, organic cotton pillow-top beds, and rain showerheads. Every room contains a modern desk. Riviera Suites provides a variety of room types for guests to enjoy their South Beach adventure.

Their  Mas Cuba Cafe & Bar serves the most authentic Cuban sandwiches in the most comfortable backyard patio and lounge cafe. After a day at the beach, guests can unwind with a refreshing mojito at this laid-back establishment.  Mas Cuba’s culinary philosophy revolves around Cuban classics.





ith just a two-hour drive from New York City, you can escape to a chic boutique hotel that combines modern luxury styling in a unique historical building with a jaw-dropping natural setting. Perched over Wallenpaupack Creek and uniquely integrated into the natural bluestone ledges of Paupack Falls and its surroundings, Ledges Hotel in Hawley, Pennsylvania, is an example of adaptive design and historic preservation at its best.

This unique Pocono Mountains hotel boasts a sleek, modern feel while preserving many of the historical touches of the O’Connor Glass Factory, which operated at the site in the 1890s. Enjoy the incredible views of the gorge’s falls while hanging out in the spacious Great Room or on one of the three multi-level decks cleverly integrated into the ledges of the gorge. Lounge on the comfortable couches and easy chairs in the Great Room or settle in with a book from the library collection or get competitive with one of the provided games and puzzles. Come afternoon, enjoy a complimentary Champagne cocktail. When the temperature rises, choose your spot on one of the spacious decks or in the walled garden and enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail while enjoying the beautiful outdoor setting.


A variety of rooms, from a compact Europeanstyle queen platform bedroom to spacious oneand two-bedroom suites, are among the hotel’s accommodations. All rooms feature adaptive reuse furnishings from the original Silk Mill trusses; large stone set windows that illuminate the rooms with the intent to bring “the outside in,” room décor featuring artwork from local artisans, and luxurious Green Earth bamboo towels.

Breakfast is included each morning, but it is not served on-site. Instead, guests can enjoy the full breakfast menu at the hotel’s sister property, The  Settlers Inn, or a voucher for use at Cocoon Coffee House. Ledges is one of five properties owned by Settlers Hospitality and the Genzlinger family. Hawley is home to three of their properties—the  Settlers Inn, Silver Birches, and  Ledges. Check the Daily Activities sheet for the many activities available to guests at all the properties. The resort fee includes admission and classes at Lake Region Fitness, guided walking tours, historic building tours, a variety of wine and champagne tastings, and some tempting goodies like s’mores by the lake and bakery bites at Cocoon Coffee House.



The building’s industrial past is evident throughout the hotel but is especially pronounced in the hotel’s restaurant,  Glass—Wine. Bar. Kitchen.  The walls of the bar area reveal the original brick. In contrast, original glass mold prints and displays incorporating the historical features of the O’Connor Glass Factory accent the decor of the dining room areas. Glass recently underwent a significant renovation improving the lounge area and enhancing the views of the gorge from the dining room.

The  Glass menu offers a variety of small plates and tapasstyle dishes ideal for sharing. A specialty of the house is the cheese and charcuterie board, which provides a wonderful variety of cheese and sliced meat options with a bounty of accompaniments—indeed, a perfect way to begin your sharing experience at  Glass. Another excellent choice is the Spicy Tuna Cracker with Crispy Sushi Rice, Tiger Sauce, Eel Sauce & Tobiko. Vegan diners will do well with the Polenta with Crispy Wild Mushrooms & Brown Butter. Finally, anyone looking for a more traditional entrée can choose from the Garlic-Rubbed NY Strip or the Thai Style Whole Fried Fish.

The lounge features an “All-American Wine and Beer List,” emphasizing American spirits in their exquisitely crafted cocktails. In addition to exceptional quality food, guests will enjoy stunning views of the river gorge falls in the panoramic dining room and decks at Glass. A group of 4 to 8 diners may find the idea of Greenhouse Dining a perfect way to experience the incredible views of the falls and the fine cuisine of Glass. Greenhouses are available for the prixfixe menu only and must be booked in advance with menu selections.


Settlers Hospitality’s commitment to historical preservation while creating ways to repurpose once abandoned buildings is evident in Ledges Hotel and the adjacent Hawley Silk Mill and Cocoon Coffee House. A primary goal of the Genzlinger family’s role in the community is to repurpose buildings focusing on serving community needs. This goal is seen in Ledges Hotel, the Hawley Silk Mill, and the excellent coffee shop,  Cocoon, which initially housed cocoons that supplied the mill’s silk. Today the Silk Mill houses various shops, the Looking Glass Art Gallery, and Lake Region Fitness.

Although you may be content to lounge around Ledges for the day, the opportunities to get out and enjoy some of the area’s beauty are plentiful. After all, Hawley is at the northern end of Lake Wallenpaupack, which offers numerous water sports like boating, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. And the fact that Hawley is located in the Pocono Mountains means that there are numerous hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and biking opportunities.

For more information on Ledges Hotel—a member of the Select Registry and Historic Hotels of America,

elcome to a luxurious Southeast Alaska fishing experience that is like no other. At Favorite Bay Lodge, all will enjoy nature’s beauty by day— and relax in luxurious surroundings by night. Whether fishing, whale watching, kayaking, hiking, or simply unwinding in our unspoiled and exclusive surroundings, you and your entire family will discover why our Southeast Alaska fishing lodge is anything but ordinary. We’re ideally located on remote Admiralty Island, just minutes from breathtaking Angoon, Alaska.

Outdoor adventures, luxury accocmodations, family getaways, romantic rendevous, gourmet cuisine… everything one can possible experience, your next once in-a-lifetime escape…

Visit and book your escape to outdoor adventure – and reserve now as specific dates are limited … enjoy exquisite cuisine, outdoor adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime experience -

destination like… 1-866-788-3344 –

AN EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER! FAVORITE BAY LODGE  WWW.FAVORITEBAY.COM  RESERVATIONS@FAVORITEBAY.COM  1-866-788-3344 FAVORITE BAY LODGE … A SUMMER ESCAPE LIKE NO OTHER EXPERIENCE TO REMEMBER FOR A LIFETIME! Whether a romantic rendezvous or a family and/or friends ALASKAN getaway … an experience of a lifetime – this isn’t your average vacation this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Bay Lodge –
What a wonderful way
introduce your family to one of the most beautiful places in the world; and the bonus is you get to go fishing and eat like a king.
~John Pisto – Monterey, California

• Gated community with 24-hour security

• 71 Luxury villas with full kitchens

• Three great dining venues with new menus

• Secluded beaches, find your spot

• Complimentary wireless internet access

• Access to Emerald Bay golf course, a Greg Norman signature course

• Full service spa

• Adjacent to The Marina at Emerald Bay

• Swimming with the pigs

• Shark tagging experiences



athering seashells is lovely, but I’ve never been manifestly jubilant about it—until I visited Captiva Island. It’s known for its world-class shelling, and it lives up to the hype and then some. Some stretches of beach are downright carpeted with the over 250 types of shells found. Walk the shores, and you’ll see plenty of fully intact Conch, Lightning Whelk, Tulip Shells, and Sand Dollars.

This alone is enough to visit, but the island’s renowned South Seas Island Resort offers a dizzying array of adventure quests, classic seaside cocktails, and tranquility.


Originally an essential lime plantation, South Seas Island Resort offers 330 acres of pure vacation joy directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Captiva Island is connected to the island of Sanibel by way of the Blind Pass Bridge. Together, these islands create a long, beckoning finger that unfurls into the Gulf.

Ocean views are as prominent during your drive from the airport as at the resort itself. When your flight lands in Ft. Myers, drive just forty miles, meandering across palm-tree speckled Sanibel to Captiva. South Seas Island Resort is a world unto its own, at the furthermost tip of the island, boasting over four hundred rooms, villas, and waterfront homes. Though the resort is a sprawling haven, the intuitive layout, attention to detail, and friendly staff create a welcoming community ambiance.


Fresh ocean air inspires much of the food scene at South Seas Island Resort, which has multiple outdoor dining venues.  Harborside Bar & Grille  offers an approachable fine dining experience. I was delighted to linger long into the night at the outdoor fire after a truly inspired meal. Everything was perfectly executed, but as a self-proclaimed foodie, I’m happy to give a respectful nod to the venue’s side dishes. Far from an afterthought, sides are treated with as much reverence as entrees, the mark of an outstanding restaurant. The corn risotto is luscious and not to be missed.

Of course, the resort’s dining options run the gambit from a casual sit-down fare, poolside tiki bars, and grab-and-go pizza. But two options fall into the “experiences” niche as well. First,  Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill is an iconic go-to with all the Caribbean flavors— and rum—you long for on vacation. And, saving my favorite for last—Attitudes and Latitudes Beach Bar and Food Shack. I’m a sucker for toes-in-the-sand dining, and this casual taco-tequila haven has magical, carefree vacation energy.

Lastly, I offer this vacation sweet-treat missive; do not leave Captiva Island without visiting The Bubble Room. You can buy hearty slices of the island’s famed Orange Crunch Cake. It’s a bright, buttery confection that elevates cake-eating to an unforgettable, soulful experience.


There are twenty pools, two-and-a-half miles of exclusive beach, twenty miles of bike paths and fishing areas, and water-based fun. From chartered fishing boat expeditions to the full-service marina and even the easy-access T-dock from which to fish, South Seas Island Resort gets high marks for catering to anglers of all ages and levels.

Each day started with leisurely coffee and dolphin-watching from the room’s balcony, but I also suggest the resort’s morning ocean-side yoga sessions. Access to adventure is everywhere since the resort has several huts from which Sunny Island Adventures operates. Although there was plenty of time for bike rentals, banana boat rides, sailing lessons, golf, and the spa, there were two other unexpected memories in-store.

I’d seen pickleball but never played; what a treat to get a lesson from a pro and discover just how delightfully addictive it is. After working up a sweat on the pickleball court, I indulged in two hours of unbridled thrill at the resort’s waterslides. When was the last time you gave yourself the gift of unfettered child-like giggles? Trust me. It’s transformative. South Seas Island Resort empowered me to rejuvenate in countless ways—quiet seaside relaxation, exploration of nature, adventure, wellness, and the culinary experiences that vacation memories are made of.

For more information on South Seas Island Resort,  visit



If you’re a child of the ‘70s, you’ll probably get an earworm when I mention John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads. That’s also perhaps because that’s all you know about West Virginia. And maybe coal mines.


The coal mining history runs deep in West Virginia. Trains and mines have been the lifeblood of the state since the 1800s. Much of this history isn’t pretty, but it’s fascinating to explore. You can visit  Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine for a recreation of a miner’s town and a guided, narrated coal mine experience.

On the more glamorous side, there’s The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs. A darling of celebrities and the political elite since the 1830s, the elegant resort has survived bankruptcy and served as a hidden shelter during the Eisenhower administration. Whimsically decorated by Dorothy Draper, The Greenbrier displays a colorful riot of “Modern Baroque” style. Dress your best here—it may be the 21st century, but the expectation and setting are defiantly 19th-century country clubs.

In the 1960s, the White House was especially concerned about the Cold War and a possible nuclear attack. So, a fallout bunker was secretly constructed in a new wing through a clandestine arrangement under the guise of resort expansion. Thanks to an exposé in The Washington Post, you can now tour the complex, which was designed to shelter all members of Congress.

Text & Photos By Meryl Pearlstein


If you’d prefer a more casual stay, nearby  Lewisburg is filled with small-town charm and a scattering of antique shops, inns, and restaurants. Dine on vegan breakfast burritos at  The Wild Bean or the Italian menu from The Humble Tomato. Helmed by farmer-chef Jared Masters,  The French Goat celebrates French cuisine with fine dining in art-adorned rooms and an outdoor porch. For a cultural fix, check the performing arts schedule of Lewisburg’s Carnegie Hall, one of only four Carnegie Halls in the world.


Kitsch, cuisine, and the outdoors come together after a twisty drive through the mountains to  Fayetteville. Stop in town at the vintage Ben Franklin crammed with five-and-dime-type goods from penny candy to sewing supplies.

To refresh, Arrowhead Bike Farm is a mix of outdoor playgrounds and country dining overlooking a petting zoo and biking track. Be prepared for a wait at famous  Pies & Pints  Unusual specialty pizzas come with a base of mozzarella and provolone on the hand-tossed dough. Wash them down with one of 18 local brews on tap. Southside Junction Tap House has live music with a bar with bites.


The beauty of West Virginia truly lies in its great outdoors. Newly minted as a US National Park,  New River Gorge National Park and Preserve attracts visitors without the crowds. Due to limited parking and primarily due to its remote location in West Virginia, this park ranks as one of the country’s best for enjoying nature and outdoor sports.

In spring and summer, the park’s hiking trails are filled with purple and whitish-pink rhododendrons, West Virginia’s state flower. The cliffside Endless Wall trail has dramatic overlooks, as does the Long Point ending with a spectacular view of the New River Gorge Bridge.

The New River Gorge Bridge is the most recognizable icon of the state. You’ll find it on state quarters, posters, t-shirts, and in your photos. Standing 876 feet over the river, the bridge changes visually by the time of day. Early morning is ethereal, with fog giving way to the majesty of the span. Midday and sunset offer views Monet would have loved.

Bridge Walk takes you onto the bridge itself for those without fear of heights. Tethered to an overhead cable, you walk along a two-foot-wide catwalk with cars above and water below.

A must-do is getting on the river itself. You have two choices: whitewater rafting the Upper New River or the Lower New River. To get your feet wet, so to speak, raft the upper part first in a ducky, a whitewater inflatable kayak that smoothly navigates class I-II rapids. Then, when you’re ready for something more challenging, the lower offers an exhilarating experience with class II-V rapids.

If avoiding water or adding more adrenaline thrills meets your needs, there’s also rock climbing, mountain biking, and the TreeTops Canopy Tour zipline.


Adventures on the Gorge is the only resort set inside the park. It’s also where you can easily arrange any of the park’s outdoor activities.

Perched overlooking the gorge, AOTG is a complete resort with accommodations ranging from campsites, tents, and unpretentious cabins to multi-room, multi-level cabins, and houses.

Onsite features include a swimming pool and a deck for morning yoga. Dining is offered in several places.  Smokey’s serves breakfast and a BBQ-style dinner with entertainment on weekends. Enjoy an exceptional selection of local ales and unusual sours at  Chetty’s Pub with a bar and live music or on their outdoor dining patio overlooking the gorge.

For more information on West Virginia, visit



he sprawling borough of Queens has always been a conglomeration of towns, villages, model communities, and real-estate developments. Suburban in spirit and design, it has grown far too dense to be anything but urban.

At the northeastern corner of the borough is Astoria conveniently located just 15 minutes from Midtown Manhattan using the subway. You will find families from all over the world there, which means you’ll also find delicious food from all corners of the globe. The neighborhood always seems to be getting better. From Astoria Park having its recent makeover to museums, new restaurants, nightlife, and some fantastic waterfront rental buildings, this is a great place to consider your next address.


During the 19th century, Astoria became home to the  Manhattan elite, who built large houses. One of these moguls was a fur merchant, Stephen Halsey, who founded the neighborhood called Hallett’s Cove. Later, he petitioned to rename the area Astoria after America’s first multi-millionaire, John Jacob Astor, in return for his investment. Although Astor financed this development, he never set foot on Astoria land. By the mid-19th century, German and Irish immigrants arrived in large numbers. One of those German arrivals founded the famous piano company Steinway & Sons.

Astoria was bustling, and even the entertainment industry made its mark. In 1920, the first movie studio opened in Astoria, which later became known as Paramount Studios. After World War II, a new wave of immigrants from Greece made it their home and is still considered the go-to place for great Greek food.



Here are some options to consider if Astoria is on your radar.

10 Halletts Point. This waterfront rental building embraces green living with lots of amenities. The thoughtful integration of the critical elements of earth, water, air, and energy brings to life a sustainable community where residents thrive. 10 Halletts Point redefines green living and elevates resident wellness through stateof-the-art energy and water conservation, enhanced air quality, innovative design, and careful materials selection. Experience a vision of sustainability and improve your well-being by living the Halletts Point lifestyle. Info: One bedrooms start at $2,785 per month.

Astoria Central  This property offers studios, one, two, and three-bedroom luxury rentals. The property boasts state-of-the-art appliances, clean lines, and contemporary finishes in the heart of Astoria. It also features an abundance of amenities, including a door attendant, fully equipped fitness center, resident lounge, rooftop terrace, and setback terrace with available gas grill. Also available: Wi-Fi in amenity rooms, private indoor parking, bicycle parking and storage. Washer and dryers are included in units, and residents will have access to the virtual concierge management system. Pricing: Studios start at $2,215 per month.


Now, with all the fantastic diversity in Astoria, let’s discuss a few of my favorite restaurants.

Taverna Kyclades  With so many amazing Greek restaurants in Astoria, Queens, it’s hard to choose just one. Some fantastic dishes to look forward to are Chicken Souvlaki and Branzini. I have never had a bad meal here, and when it’s a bit crowded, they will give you free wine while you wait —winning major points with me! A musttry when you find yourself in Astoria. Info:

HinoMaru Ramen When the seasons turn cold and you crave some comfort food head to Hinomaru Ramen for their signature ramen dishes. It’s the go-to place in Astoria, where they do a few different regional styles (like shoyu, miso, and tonkotsu shoyu). There are also chicken, uni, and vegetarian options. Absolutely worth checking out!


Sugar Freak I am never one to pass up on a Southern Cajun/Creole restaurant, and I’m happy I found  Sugar Freak. If you are craving crawfish boils, jambalaya, and fantastic rum drinks, definitely stop into this New Orleans themed restaurant and have some fun!


Sami’s Kebab House If you crave Middle Eastern cuisine, then head here. Their lamb and beef kotha kebabs are worth the trip to Queens and the borani banjan is smothered in yogurt that melts into a bed of fluffy seasoned rice. On most nights here, you’ll feel like you’ve been invited to a family function, with parties sharing big plates of food while the waitstaff dances around tables.




Beautiful three quarter acre building lot complete with full architectural plans for a handsome, very cool, classic and sophisticated 4600 square foot Hamptons style house. All the tedious time consuming work has been done for you and the town has approved the building. All that is needed is the building permit. The plan includes the 4/5 bedroom house with three car garage and a swimming pool with cabana. The Property Owners Association provides access to the water and the 41-acre nature preserve with large salt marshes and surrounding woods as well as a fresh water pond where there is ice skating in the winter if it is cold enough. Ownership of property within the Association area provides the opportunity to be proposed for membership in the Mason Island Yacht Club.

Mystic ct. - Masons island


anhattan has some of the best avenues and plenty of beautiful buildings to make them shine! Most of all, there are choice places to call home. You can find breathtaking pre-war buildings, kitchens with ultra-modern appliances and living spaces with ample light. Let’s peek at some of the best properties available now.

We asked our friends at Brown Harris Stevens for their choice offerings this month and found these three properties among the best.

For more information on Brown Harris Stevens, visit



This bright and tranquil prewar apartment features four bedrooms and two baths. The beautiful turn-of-the-century cooperative is unique with its spacious, loft-like layout. It’s move-in ready and features nine-foot ceilings, huge windows with three exposures, and hardwood floors. In addition, there is central air, custom built-ins, great storage, a brand-new Miele washer and dryer, and low maintenance.

Enter the apartment, and you are immediately drawn into the vast oversized room set up as a living and dining room with both south and west exposures. Adjacent to this room is the den which could be a fifth bedroom; it also faces south through oversized picture windows. The large windowed eat-in kitchen is off the dining room with limestone floors, backsplashes, granite counters, top appliances, and fabulous wood cabinets.

The primary suite is a quiet corner room with two exposures, a large walk-in closet outfitted by California Closets, and a windowed limestone bath with a large spa bathtub and glasswalled shower. There are three additional good-sized bedrooms along with a hall windowed limestone bath.

This intimate Edwardian-era building has an incredible roof deck, a live-in super who takes packages, a deeded private storage locker, bike storage, and advanced technology video entry.

Built in 1925, 251 West 95th Street is a boutique 17-unit building with a stunning outside facade, and pets, pied-a-terre, and renting are allowed. It is close to many fabulous restaurants, shops, and neighborhood conveniences, just two short blocks from Riverside Park and three blocks from Central Park! Info: Represented by Lisa Lippman of Brown Harris Stevens. Asking $2,499,000




The ultimate luxury! Move into this spacious, southern exposure, sun-filled corner two-bedroom, two-and-a-halfbath home, newly renovated and never lived-in! Enjoy an expansive, bright living room featuring wraparound windows with open city views. The windowed kitchen includes sleek white custom cabinetry, stainless steel Bosch appliances, a wine fridge, and a beautiful Caesarstone countertop and backsplash. In addition, the apartment boasts a split bedroom layout, affording maximum privacy.

The generously proportioned primary bedroom benefits from a southern view and offers two large closets and a floorto-ceiling statuary marble ensuite bathroom. The second bedroom features a renovated bathroom and excellent closet storage as well. This home’s other wonderful attributes include electric shades, custom window treatments, Tom Dixon’s light fixtures, a powder room off the generous foyer, a vented washer/dryer, hotel-style AC in every room, and surprisingly low taxes and standard charges.

The building at 2 Columbus is a white-glove, full-service condominium located at the crossroads of the Upper West Side, Columbus Circle, and Lincoln Square. The building amenities include a full-time door attendant, a concierge, a live-in resident manager, a fully-equipped fitness center with Peleton bike, private storage, and bike & stroller storage. The building is close to Central Park and Columbus Circle with all its shops, Whole Foods, Equinox, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Spa, and dozens of world-class restaurants. This central location is also within walking distance to Broadway Theaters, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center, to name a few of the best cultural institutions in Manhattan. Info: Represented by Scott Harris of Brown Harris Stevens. Asking $2,600,000



Enjoy this turn of the century charmer! This tree-lined brownstone block offers a sun-filled, south-facing living room boasting extra lofty ceilings. It features two bedrooms and two windowed baths. Completing this beautiful picture is the chef’s kitchen with its perfect quartzite countertops, top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances, stacked Miele washer/dryer, dishwasher, professional stove with a hood that vents out, and plenty of custom cabinetry. The formal dining room is the heart of the home, with original wood paneling adjacent to the kitchen, which is perfect for entertaining and gives one the feeling of Old-World Paris!

Finally, your own home office to escape to or a short workday at home. 35 West 82nd Street is an intimate boutique elevator co-op built-in 1912 by the preeminent architectural firm Schwartz & Gross and is part of the historic district of the Upper West Side. This wellmaintained building features a live-in resident manager, video security system, bike room, storage, a private courtyard, and is pet-friendly. Residents are just minutes away from the absolute best the neighborhood has to offer—Central Park, Museum of Natural History, Hayden Planetarium, 79th Street Farmer’s Market—to name a few pluses; there are many options for transportation, shopping, and restaurants. Currently, there is an assessment of $60 per month through August 2022.  Info: Represented by Louise Phillips Forbes, Brown Harris Stevens. Asking $1,995,000.


The Strahl Plaza in Islamorada offers Retail,Office, and 2 Complete Penthouse Stories of Private Residential Space. Combined with multiple boat slips, this truly checks all the boxes. 1st floor features both covered and outdoor parking while the 2nd floor offers 5 occupied retail spaces each with their own entrance bathrooms and rear waterfront porches. The 3rd floor is self-contained and accessible by its own locked off elevator or staircases. It is perfectly suited as a medical office space or for shared use. The entire floor consists of 12 offices and offers 2 full baths with shower facilities.

This presents a unique opportunity to locate your business to the Florida Keys especially when the space can be coupled with two additional levels of private living space offering open water views from all angles. It is currently structured as a 2 bedroom 2 -1/2 bath apartment on one floor with the top open floor being your own bar, game room and captains quarters. The convenient location just seconds away from the Snake Creek bridge allows sailboats and large boats access and dockage at the property. The Commercial space truly offers so many possibilities. Create your very own piece of paradise for work and leisure. This Income producing property is maintained impeccably by the current owners.

For Full Details Contact: Florida Keys Realty Group, LLC 305.923.5658
PRIME COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL SPACE(10,994 SQ. FT.) 85960 Overseas Highway Plantation key, FL 33036 Offering Price : $5,500,000


Play Relax Recharge



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,

I wonder if you have any advice on saving money during/post-college. For example, should I focus on trying to buy a new car? Move out of my mom and dad’s house? Or go on vacation? How do I stop having to buy new clothes and keep up with trends? I would love any advice on this topic. I appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks, Ashley

Dear Ashley,

First, let me share I feel your pain. From one shop-aholic to (what appears) another, I often find solace, happiness, and instant gratification from mindless shopping. My purchases happen fast and furious, primarily online, after viewing a “must-have” item on social media. But after many stressful credit card statements later, I’ve learned how to “curb my enthusiasm” for a quick fix and instead put items in my shopping cart to hold for safekeeping. Doing so helps me cope with the FOMO I would otherwise feel and enables me the freedom and space to pause the purchase. If I still really want (or better yet “need”) the item a few days or even weeks later, then it’s there for the buying, and if it’s not, it wasn’t meant to be.

Other quick and easy cost-saving advice you can implement today includes trying to trim down your everyday indulgences. I don’t mean skipping the spa. (Although, if you enjoy a facial or massage every so often, that’s more than acceptable, try and space it out.) Instead, I suggest skipping the Starbucks line or opting for a takeout treat only once a week. The rest of the time, make your java at home or the office. If you can save on at least four-morning coffee buys a week, you’ll save a bundle.

Another easy thing to do is to pack your lunch—again, you don’t have to skip ordering out cold turkey. Instead, opt for a splurge once a week and bank what you would have spent on take-out sushi, salads, or sandwiches. If you’re like me, that could tally up to close to $100 a week! Add that money plus the money you’re saving on coffee, and you’ll have accrued a small fortune in one year—just from two minor but consistent tweaks.

An efficient way to save is to have funds pulled from your paycheck and automatically deposited into a savings account (ideally the same one you’re stashing your coffee and lunch savings). You don’t have to make an enormous contribution, so long as it’s consistent. This will help you minimize the chances of dipping in to indulge. Just let the funds sit and grow. They’ll rise the fastest when you forget it’s there!

And instead of cutting up your credit cards (and risking a poor credit score in the process), a better option is to limit your cards. That will ensure you don’t exceed your means and safeguard your new and growing designated savings stash. Another fantastic way to save swiftly is designing a “no spending day” once a month.

After becoming accustomed to it, challenge yourself to once a week! This means that no other money leaves your wallet other than fixed costs. You make your meals, and you find “free” things to keep busy and enjoy the day holistically. Unbelievably, the more engaged you are, the easier this task will be!

Before you know it, you’ll have enough saved for a down payment on your car, and the surest way to get the best deal for your hardsaved dollars is to buy at the end of March, June, September, or December. Most car dealers are given incentives to reach targets— and the biggest bonuses hit at the end of each quarter. So, cash in on that notion, and who knows, you may be able to pull your new wheels into your new apartment parking space within the same year.  Be easy on yourself. Don’t look at the penny pinching as deprivation. It’s all a part of goal setting and keeping your eyes on the prize. Plus, good money manners set you up for a life full of riches and enjoyment. You’ll soon find the most significant gratification is logging onto your bank account and reviewing the bottom line. That’s an enormously high and much more profound action than a 30-second pick-me-up any Amazon delivery could ever bring! Happy saving, Ashley!

Best Wishes, Mindie


Welcome to a Tropical Paradise

Dramatically situated overlooking Bermuda’s southwest coast, the 75 room family owned and operated Pompano Beach Club is a tropical paradise! The resort offers extensive recreational facilities, exceptional service and hospitality, gourmet cuisine, breathtaking ocean views from every guestroom and a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

Whether you are interested in a Bermuda family holiday, golf vacation, honeymoon getaway, place to relax with your significant other or some fun in the sun, the Pompano Beach Club offers the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the amenities of a world-class beach resort. Pompano’s spectacular shallow waterfront is the only one of its kind in Bermuda, attracting beachgoers, snorkelers, water sports enthusiasts and swimmers of all ages and abilities. Golfers love having Port Royal, the island’s top ranked public course, right next door!

For more information and reservations, visit or call their reservations office at 1-800-343-4155 (toll-free from the U.S. and Canada)

For more information and reservations, visit or call their sales office at 1-800-343-4155 (toll-free from the U.S. and Canada)



ay is a month synonymous with cheer, hope, and lots of fresh flowers (brought to you by the onslaught of April showers). It’s a month of warmer temperatures and Mother’s Day. But such a happy time for most also brings pain and heartache. The loss of a loved one, especially a mother, can feel like an open wound this time of year.

One New York woman is trying to change that. She’s created a beautiful way to memorialize a lost loved one by holding them close—and breathing a new sense of hope every day.

We met with Jennifer Graziano, a mother, lawyer, radio host, and funeral director who shed light on grief and her new jewelry collection.

Tell us more about yourself, Jennifer?

I’m a New York-based, fourth-generation funeral director whose passion has been focused on helping people heal and feel better through life’s most challenging moments. I’ve helped families engage in meaningful dialogues about the end of life and final planning. These are uncomfortable yet necessary conversations, and I’ve found through experience that the discomfort fades away once you begin the discussion.

Then in 2019, to help ease the pain of losing a loved one, I designed and launched The RememBar Collection, exquisitely crafted, beautiful jewelry to keep close to the ones you love. I’ve enjoyed tapping into my creative side after a lifetime in the “strictly business” realm, and I’m gratified knowing I’m creating something so powerful and comforting to so many.

Did you feel destined to be in the family business?

I always said the funeral profession chose me! I credit my parents for dissuading me from falling into the generational trap of a family business.

They wanted more for me and encouraged me to explore other talents and finish law school. I’m grateful to them for that, among many other things. I wanted to continue that tradition of helping others navigate through loss. For our family, it was about attention to even the most minute detail, anticipating every need, and providing the most satisfactory service possible. I don’t regret my decision, but I’m also grateful that I’ve parlayed these lessons into other passions such as writing, blogging, radio show, and jewelry collection.

What inspired you to design The RememBar Collection?

I’m a sentimental person by nature; I save everything from loved ones I’ve lost. Part of RememBar is attributed to that side of me, my longing to hold on to people I’ve lost. Everyone is searching for comfort, something tangible to uplift them and remind them to have hope. The collection pieces afford hope and positivity to those who wear them.

I also noticed a void in the market for quality, finely crafted, beautiful memorial jewelry. RememBar also allows everyone who’s experienced a loss to find comfort. The custom bars can not only hold cremated remains but also a lock of hair or favored perfume scent. I felt the collection could benefit everyone.

My mother was a driving force behind my move to launch the Collection. It had long been an idea that lived in the back of my mind, and she encouraged me to move it forward. Sadly, I lost her in 2020 and wear two bars commemorating her. As a result, I feel both the effect and comfort of the healing pieces.

Is it possible to balance motherhood and career?

I don’t think a proper balance is ever achieved, and I’ve learned to embrace the imbalance. Life is supposed to be chaotic and hectic, at least for me, as I find it’s when I perform at my best. However, I believe a working mother can show her children that anything is possible. You can be a good mother while also pursuing a career. Ultimately, being a good mother is what matters most to me in this world. My daughter is my life’s work. I balance everything else around that premise.

Is there a particular mantra/philosophy you live and work by?

I’ve always lived by the mantra, “this too shall pass.” My father always said those words to me in my darkest moments, and it’s one of those phrases that repeatedly call to my mind and remind me he was right. Somehow, we get to that light at the end of the tunnel and get to the other side. When we look back, we don’t always know how we got there; we smile knowing that we did.

For more information on the RememBar Collection, visit




Mothers should be commended for the demanding work they do organizing, supporting, creating and being there to unconditionally love and help. On mom’s special day, thank her with a celebratory meal at these Manhattan restaurants.


Straightforward in concept in a room that feels more like a barn than the product of a Michelin-starred chef, Laurent Tourondel’s Skirt Steak will confirm your savvy in scoring one of the hottest tables in town. Make sure you have at least seven people in your party, so you can book online and avoid the line of hopeful diners that stretches around the block from the moment the restaurant opens.

The set-course menu is a great deal, and you’ll feel like you should have spent more money than you did. If your mom waxes nostalgic about Paris’s steak frites bistros like  Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte, she will love the simplicity of Skirt Steak—she has only one decision to make: how she wants her meat cooked. Add Béarnaise sauce, unlimited French fries and lightly dressed field greens, and you have a flawless meal. If someone in your group hates steak, they can opt for cauliflower. For an additional charge, a small selection of red and white wines is available as are desserts from next-door L’Amico Info:


It feels like you’re dining in a greenhouse at Veranda, a new restaurant perched on the second floor of ModernHaus Soho. Surrounded by plant-draped, multi-tiered terraces, Veranda sits under a fully retractable glass pergola.

Chef George Mendes showcases his distinctive mix of Mediterranean and Portuguese cuisine at Veranda’s first Mother’s Day brunch with taste combinations familiar from his Michelin-starred Aldea and Lupulo.

The garden-like setting is a lovely backdrop for Mendes’s housemade sourdough bread service, a striking presentation of sesameflaxseed, arbequina olive oil, Portuguese flor de sal and Cowbella creamery butter. Sweet and savory treats follow with Chef’s decadent vanilla-laced French toast; Sonia’s spiced apple buttermilk pancakes and whipped mascarpone; and scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and chives.

Toast mom with a Moët Mimosa or St. Germain Spritz from Veranda’s new roving cocktail cart. Or choose from a wide range of vintages from the European-heavy wine list.

Mendes’s sinful Portuguese egg tart (pasteis de nata) is a must-order dessert. If you fall in love with it—as I’m sure you will—you can request one to take home for breakfast the next day.




Archer & Goat sets the new standard for upscale-yet-casual dining in Harlem. The product of a Sagittarian (Archer) and a Capricorn (Goat) with both Southeast Asian and Caribbean ties, the gardenlevel restaurant is colorful and theatrical with food to match.

Look up as you sip your Ilegal mezcal cocktail at the bar. It’s not the potent ingredients that are making you see stars. The lights were created and arranged by a theater designer who also had a hand in designing the charming outdoor patio areas.

Small plates and mains offer a veritable fusion of cuisines. Be adventurous Try the chicken vindaloo arepas or roasted duck with onion curtido and pickled chiles. But be forewarned, some dishes are quite spicy.

For Mother’s Day brunch, bottomless mimosas will keep everyone smiling as will spiced French toast with homemade orange marmalade and date-pistachio crumble or A&G’s hot chicken sandwich piled with strawberries, maple aioli and turmeric pickles.

Archer and Goat is a family affair, with the chef, servers and barmasters sharing their enthusiasm and creativity. Only one person adds a touch of mystery: the pastry chef won’t divulge what goes into her fluffy, textured tres leches cake. Info:


Lindens, in the Arlo SoHo, gives you three locations to share your love. The main dining room is sophisticated and comfortable. Opened for warmer weather dining, the patio has an intimate vibe in a surprising backyard courtyard. But the place to truly celebrate is in one of Lindens’ two outdoor cabins. Guaranteed to surprise and delight mom, each cabin is decked out with comfort in mind for private, glamping-style dining.

On Mother’s Day, Lindens offers a special brunch featuring many of the restaurant’s popular modern American dishes. If your mother fancies sweets, order the buttermilk pancakes or the acai bowl with toasted coconut, spiced nuts, banana, and blood orange. A savory signature, carrot ravioli is enhanced with five-year aged Banyuls vinegar. For the vegetarian mom, Lindens’ tongue-in-cheek “Sausage Egg & Cheese” has no meat or dairy in sight.

Linden’s cocktails are all about the season. The pretty-in-lavender Lavender Daisy is a frothy combination of pisco, gin, lavender, grape jam and egg white. For something a bit stronger, “And Just Like That” goes springtime as a Rhubarb Cosmo concoction of vodka, rhubarb cordial, rhubarb juice and lime. The extensive wine list includes Lambrusco, a retro fave, that pairs perfectly with just-baked chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Info:




here’s a lot to love about  Vineapple Cafe, but the best thing is that it is full of surprises. Housed in an 1890s low-rise building typical for this legendarily Brooklyn Heights neighborhood,  Vineapple Cafe looks more like a typical coffee house when you enter; however, walk past the slick glass display cases. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with a fine dining establishment.

Yes, just like that, it becomes a romantic hot spot, complete with low lighting, exposed brick walls, and soaring ceilings with unique art deco detailing. There’s also a long bar with a shabby chic look that serves artisanal drinks in pineapple-shaped stemware. The frozen Vodka Mint Lemonade served in a 16-ounce pineapple glass is one of the most satisfying frozen drinks we have ever had and highly recommend it for the upcoming warm weather!


Aubrie Therrien—a five-year resident of Brooklyn Heights who co-owns  Vineapple with her husband Zachary Rubin— states, “The cafe naturally fits upfront for grab and go service. We love the feeling of our restaurant being a discoverable hidden gem—a magical enoteca. There’s so much more to get to know about us than what meets the eye!”

Vineapple Cafe has a hardworking and cordial young staff that is happy to customize most dishes and drinks. The weekend brunch is a staple for many Brooklyn Heights residents, and the staff seems to automatically knoww what regulars love to order automatically. Entrees are generously proportioned at  Vineapple Cafe and are incredibly well-priced. We were amazed at the very tender  Hanger Steak, which came in at about twelve ounces and was served with celery root puree and seasonal roast vegetables during our recent visit. Keep in mind that this plate is enough for two people to share and be comfortably full. We also tried the  Brown Butter Chicken served with butternut squash puree and roasted mushrooms and fell in love. The terms “buttery” and “juicy” don’t describe how satisfying this dish is.

Many guests come in for the quick but complete charcuterie boards, which Vineapple Cafe takes pride in doing bigger and better than anyone else in Brooklyn. There is an excellent variety of meats and cheeses, including 24-Month Aged Prosciutto Di Parma and Pistachio Pecorino. The gold standard is the mega charcuterie platter aptly titled The Big Board that four or five people can share. Pair this with a good bottle of wine and great conversation, and you’ve got the perfect evening out with friends.


Vineapple Cafe has been publicized as being a “family Italian” restaurant. Still, to us, it is a melting pot of cuisines—with an incredible number of options for vegetarians that seem a mix of Modern American, Greek and Italian. Just for the record, Aubrie’s family owned a restaurant in Little Italy for 75 years, so you know why traditional Southern Italian cooking is close to her heart.

The top two dinner options for vegetarians are the highly satisfying Warm Vegetable Farro Bowl, which features mixed greens, seasonal vegetables, nut-free pesto, and a tangy house-made vinaigrette. Just as satisfying is  Baked Skillet Eggplant with zesty tomato sauce, aged Parmesan cheese, fresh mozzarella, and breadcrumbs.

The two-year-old  Vineapple Cafe takes pride in its homemade pasta every night, including “classics”  Cacio Pepe Mac N’ Cheese with Prosciutto Di Parma, breadcrumbs, and fresh herbs. Or try Chef’s Ragu, beef, and red wine ragu with grated Parmesan over homemade cavatelli.


Aubrie sums up the restaurant’s crowd in her own words. She tells NYL, “We have a real blend of visitors in our charming neighborhood cafe! They range from students working on their school projects to longtime residents catching up with neighbors to curious visitors from other parts of the city and beyond. We get our fair share of tourists visiting the park and promenade.”

Aubrie sums up the success of  Vineapple Cafe and how it has become the centerpiece of Brooklyn Heights when she says Vineapple is always looking to expand its well-received drink and food offerings with new and exciting items not found anywhere. Sounds pretty darn good to us!

For more info on Vineapple Café, visit




It’s been a tough two years for everyone. But the live entertainment and Broadway industry could have been decimated if not for the strong leadership of Charlotte St. Martin and her team at The Broadway League.

Broadway League members and other organizations were able to participate in the $16 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program. The much-needed funding continues to assist the Broadway industry to regain its position as an economic driver in New York City and cities with touring Broadway theaters across the country. I’m a great admirer of Charlotte St. Martin. Since 2006 she has been the head of The Broadway League, the trade association for Broadway theater owners, producers, presenters, and general managers. Anyone who can remain at the top of a multi-billiondollar industry for 15+ years has leadership skills worth emulating.

As president of The Broadway League, St. Martin has effectively managed several significant challenges affecting the industry including labor strikes, economic downturns, and the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also had the responsibility of working with the American Theatre Wing to produce and promote the annual Tony Awards.

In her role with the Broadway League, St. Martin has been able to utilize her many years of experience in the hospitality industry, working for Loews Hotels in a variety of executive capacities. During her tenure, she has seen the most profitable years in Broadway history. Also, during this time, the Broadway League has introduced numerous programs and initiatives including Broadway Salutes (in partnership with the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds), which recognizes veteran Broadway employees; Viva Broadway, an initiative to build bridges with Latino audiences, and Spotlight on Broadway (in conjunction with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment) which highlights the history of Broadway and Times Square. St. Martin was also at the helm when the Broadway League assumed management of the National High School Theatre Awards, also known as the Jimmy Awards.

Another of Charlotte St. Martin’s initiatives, created to ensure the next generation of diverse audience members and theater-makers, is Broadway Bridges. Launched in 2017 with the support of the New York City Department of Education (DOE), the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and the New York City Council, the mission of Broadway Bridges is to give every New York City public high school student the chance to experience a Broadway show before graduation. This year’s goal for Broadway Bridges is to bring over 40,000 tenth-grade students and chaperones to a Broadway show. By June of 2022, the program estimates a total of 51,000 participants over its 3 years in existence.

Recently, I had the chance to meet Charlotte St. Martin to find out more about her life.

Tell us what you’re looking forward to for the next two years?

It is so great to see the life coming back to New York City and, of course, Times Square and the Theater District. During these times that challenged everyone, and especially those in live entertainment like theater, we learned that collaboration is the key to community and resilience. There is a new energy behind making our communitymorediverse and the evidence is overwhelming that we are doing just that. So, I look forward to the new beginning for Broadway. Incredible new works are being presented and I have confidence that we have just begun to see the best of Broadway.

What advice can you give to people who want to rise to leadership positions?

I was told in my teens as I started working at 12 years old that “if you work at something you love, you don’t work a day in your life.” I took that to heart. When I speak to those in the early stages of their career, I always recommend to them to “get the job they have done as well as you can do it but then volunteer in other areas to learn about the other opportunities.”  It shows initiative, makes you a better employee—and executive—and puts you ahead of the game when opportunities arrive. Plus, it’s fun. You work long hours, but if you love what you’re doing, it isn’t work!

What is your favorite show? And why?

That’s such a hard question. All of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s works touch my heart. Phantom, Evita is at the top of the list. Billy Elliot still makes me cry. But if I must pick one, it has to be A Chorus Line. It reflects the reality of theater, the passion of those who work in it—on and off stage—and the music and story just fill my heart.




t’s summer! So why not cool off by the pool or your mountain lodge this season with some of BroadwayHD’s favorites. Productions from Broadway, the West End, and beyond streamed to your summer retreat. BroadwayHD is available on your computer or any of your favorite devices such as Roku, AppleTV, Chromecast & Amazon Firestick. For more information, visit


Inspired by actual events, the Tony, Grammy, and Olivier-winning musical Kinky Boots tell the story of two people with nothing in common—or so they think. Charlie (played by Olivier Award nominee Killian Donnelly) is a factory owner struggling to save his family business. Lola (played by Matt Henry, who won an Olivier Award for the role) is a fabulous entertainer with a wildly exciting idea. With a bit of compassion and a lot of understanding, the unexpected pair learn to embrace their differences and create a line of sturdy stilettos, unlike any the world has ever seen! With music by the incomparable Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots is sure to raise you!


Professor Michael Fischer has reunited with his two sisters to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. As destructive secrets and long-held resentments bubble to the surface, the three negotiate—with biting humor and razor-sharp insight—how much of the past they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning. If I Forget tells a powerful tale of a family and a culture at odds with itself. Starring  Grey’s Anatomy’s Kate Walsh and Jeremy Shamos.


Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son, Omari, opportunities they’ll never have. When a controversial incident at his upstate private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent. But will she be able to reach him before a world beyond her control pulls him away? Written by Tony Award nominee Dominique Morisseau.


Based on the original Donmar Warehouse production, this six-time Tony Award® winning new show of Oscar-nominated writer John Logan’s Red stars stage and screen actor Alfred Molina reprises his critically acclaimed performance as the American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko. He is joined by rising star Alfred Enoch as his assistant Ken.


Indecent is inspired by the actual 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 others an act of traitorous libel. This Tony-award winner charts the history of an incendiary drama and the path of the artists who risked their careers and lives to perform it.


Starring the legendary Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones, the story follows Miss Daisy Werthan, a widowed, 72-year-old Jewish woman living in mid-century Atlanta who is deemed too old to drive by her son Boolie. Enter Hoke Colburn to serve as her chauffeur. What begins as a troubled and hostile pairing soon blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them.






Sam Raimi fans will rejoice at his return to directing superhero movies with this second Doctor Strange Marvel flick. Raimi hasn’t directed a film in nine years; it’s been 20 years since his  SpiderMan flick took Hollywood by storm and created the evergrowing audience love of Marvel superhero movies. Benedict Cumberbatch returns in the title role, with Rachel McAdams, Elizabeth Olsen, Patrick Stewart, and Bruce Campbell along for the ride.



The Crowley family is back in this second film, following the lives of the lords and ladies (and their downstairs staff) that live in Downton Abbey. Their stories continue as creator-writer Julian Fellowes moves the story to the South of France. As far as we’re concerned, he could take them to Mars, and we’d still be on board to find out what’s going to happen next! Starring all the usual actors and happily, 88-year-old Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess is still going strong.



Hollywood is taking another stab at Stephen King’s 1980 novel about a girl who can start fires with her mind. Drew Barrymore starred in the 1984 original (she was nine at the time); in the 2022 version, 12-year-old Ryan Kiera Armstrong takes on the role of Charlie, the kid with fire in her eyes. Zac Efron co-stars as her father, who has telekinetic powers of his own; both are on the run from nefarious forces who want to use their powers for evil.



Based on an actual World War II Allied operation spearheaded by two British intelligence officers, Operation Mincemeat is a wild and weird tale of creating a secret agent from a dead man. This crazy fact-based adventure story will keep you wondering and slightly amazed as the daring operation unfolds. Colin Firth, Matthew Macfayden, and Kelly Macdonald star in this fascinating drama from director John Madden.



It’s been 36 years since Tom Cruise took to the skies in  Top Gun, and today he’s proving that you can go home again, making a sequel to that cornball hit flick. He’s hoping his fans want to see him back in the cockpit as a 60-year-old Navy test pilot who spends most of his time training the young guns coming up in the ranks. So if you head to the theater to see this one, look for Miles Teller and Monica Barbaro to provide youthful eye candy. Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, and Val Kilmer also star.





Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston help bring author Sarah Perry’s best-selling Gothic novel to life in this six-part miniseries set in the late 1800s. She’s a widow escaping her mundane London life; he’s a vicar in Essex, where odd things have happened. When sightings of a mysterious serpent-like sea dragon are reported, the story takes some bizarre twists and turns.

NIGHT SKY Prime Video

Weirdness abounds in this time-and-space-travel series in a now-elderly couple’s backyard. For decades, the Yorks (Oscar winners Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons) have had a portal that leads to another planet hidden outback; now, over eight episodes, the pair discovers what they have been harboring all these years.



The much-anticipated and often delayed Star Wars series about everyone’s favorite Jedi master is finally here. Ewan McGregor returns to his cinematic role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, this time in a six-episode series set on Tatooine. There he watches over a very young Luke Skywalker and attempts to hold the line against Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), who has taken on the mantle of Lord Darth Vader. In addition, watch for newcomers to the ongoing saga, including Joel Edgerton, Kumail Nanjiani, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.


If you’ve been wondering what happened to Mike Myers, wonder no more. He’s back with a vengeance, playing more roles than you can count in this story of a secret society influencing world events since 1347. Plus, the crazy Canadian comedian is the creator, executive producer, and scriptwriter (we’re frankly shocked he didn’t direct all six episodes, too). He enlisted many funny people to join him, including Jennifer Saunders, Keegan-Michael Key, Ken Jeong, and Debi Mazar.



Exploring “strange new worlds” means  Star Trek is back with yet another spinoff of the original 1966 series created by Gene Rodenberry. This new series follows Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) as he navigates space and all its mysteries. Also, look for his crew members, including Science Officer Spock (Ethan Peck), Cadet Nyota Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), and Number One (Rebecca Romijn).




If you’re fur-baby is your favorite child, well—join the club! This month, we’re sharing a fresh batch of spring splurges to make all fur-mommas smile. Whether you’re buying a gift for your favorite cat or dog-mom or just treating yourself, these May must-haves are pretty much purr-fect!


Just when you thought the game ‘chase the laser’ couldn’t get any better, along comes Skinny Pete’s Catnip! The gourmet set comes in three varieties, “Blue Meowy Wowy” with a hint of spearmint. Unflavored, green “Furmaceutical Grade,” and “Purruvian Pink.”



If you’re looking to surprise your favorite mom, combine her two favorite things – the beach and time with the floofmeister. The Beach Wagon’s specially designed sand-friendly wheels make it a breeze. Info:


If you’re a dog-mom, take the entire month of May off from dog baths. The folks at Rowan make this baking soda and aloe verabased, thank goodness. Let your bestie splash in the spring puddles—worry-free, because it’s made with clean ingredients!



Conscious Step is committed to creating a mindful supply chain, and they just so happen to sell fabulous socks and candles. The cats and dogs helped by one of their many partners, Best Friends, benefit from the purchase of these gorgeous “Parks & Paws” candles. Info:


Splashes of spring colors make this customizable dog-themed tote paws-itively perfect for shlepping your dog’s stuff. Whether it’s a weekend away or dog park outing, this Yappy tote is your new goto. Info:


You’re the kind of fur-momma with a fierce fashion-sense. There’s no need to compromise when it’s time for walkies, thanks to the minimalist fanny pack from Kibou. Originally designed as a diaper bag, this fur-momma essential has been outfitted with paw wipes, a collapsible bowl, and more. Info:



The Dog Parents is the bonanza of custom creations for dogs and cats alike. So, if you’re looking for a special little something for mom, they’ve got everything from mugs, clocks, kimono robes, and more. Play it safe with a shirt or go all in with sensational sneakers. Info:


Don’t let the spring showers keep you from enjoying walks with your bestest friend. Max Bone offers this insanely adorable raincoat that boasts a snap off hood, adjustable cuffs, and pockets. It’s a little burst of sunshiny sass! Info:


Sure, a cool set of paw print rings is obviously a great Mother’s Day gift, but Novica promises there’s more to it than that. Profits from this sterling silver set by Bali Animal Welfare Association help provide life-saving medical services and vaccines for Indonesian animals. Info:


The luxe-leaning products at House Hounds, are just plain gorgeous. The inspired brand is the passion-project of a designer who clearly understands how to incorporate a dog-theme with style. Info:


Admittedly, sometimes fur-mommas lovingly go over the top. Rather than adding ice cubes to your pup’s water bowl, opt for the Frost Buddy bowl. The durable, rustproof bowl keeps water cold for hours, and is available in five colors. Info:


You’ve likely seen Martha Stewart on social media, unwinding in style with her CBD gummies. But guess what? She also offers CBD Calm Soft Baked Chews for dogs. So, if your pup feels stressed by the Mother’s Day festivities, she’s got a gummy for that!


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ehind the piercing eyes and chiseled visage is an entrepreneur who is sending more than himself down the runway. Garrett Neff, one of fashion’s most successful male models, is also the brains behind Katama, a swimwear line he started five years ago that has evolved into a full-fledged lifestyle brand. From beachwear to hoodies and other essentials Katama brings a utilitarian easiness to Martha’s Vineyard style. “Subtle and sophisticated,” he says.

“Katama is a New England vintage athletic inspired swim and resort brand for today,” says Neff. “We’re using the latest fabrics and techniques for longer lasting comfort and color retention but always keep a close eye on what we originally set out to do which is aim for sophistication and a classic look.”


Though it started as a menswear line, Katama has evolved into a unisex brand. “I like to think the line is for anyone,” Neff says. “Lots of women are ordering and wearing the swim trunks. Especially our shorter options. T-shirts, tanks, polos, camp collar shirts and sweatshirts are fairly unisex other than the sizing.”

New York Lifestyles met with Neff to find out more about the Katama brand and what the future holds for the model.

What was the inspiration?

It came from family photographs that my mother took of my grandfather, uncles and dad during the summer in Martha’s Vineyard. There’s an effortless yet attainable elegance to those times. I love the way these candid photos captured the men in my family between moments, going to or coming from tennis, a run, or informal golf outing.  The idea that you could change only one item out like a polo shirt or loafers and push your hair back and be ready for dinner on the back deck. I love that. And that’s what we design for. Looking back at nostalgia to help us design for clothes that the next generation will feel nostalgic for. I feel this is most aspirational to me. Getting in touch with nature, and family without looking overdone and made up.

What is the best lesson you’ve learned in starting your own lifestyle brand?

Go at your own pace and focus on what you do best, and the rest will follow. And although it won’t likely apply every year: Plan for a disaster and you’ll be ready for anything

What has been your most popular design?

Our Jack and Braden trunks are what set us apart, and our Emerson sell really well because it’s longer and more conservative for let’s say, the Miami crowd, but shorter for the more traditional guy. When we’re on our summer Airstream tour, we sell lots of sweatshirts and long sleeve shirts. They’re comfortable and practical because people always underestimate how cool the evenings can be in coastal New England towns where we pop up like Kennebunkport, Newport, Ptown or Chatham for example.

What’s next? Any road shows this summer?

We have some tour dates and collaborations which we’ll do closer to summer. We will definitely be out there. Look for us.

For more information on Katama, visit




Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin is the co-founder and president of SohoMuse, a career networking site for creative professionals worldwide to network and collaborate in a variety of creative industries. SohoMuse, which opened in 2018, is home for the world’s top creatives, including Peter Landesman, Fern Mallis, the creator of New York Fashion Week, and fashion designer Nicole Miller.

Consuelo is a successful entrepreneur in the technology industry and a seventh-generation descendant of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. She began her career as a singer-songwriter securing her first record deal in the United Kingdom when she was 21 years old. She founded her record label in 2010, earning her the title of Billboard Recording Artist, with all her singles reaching the top ten and her most recent single reaching the top five.

New York Lifestyles sat down with Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin to discuss SohoMuse, the legacy of her family name, and what the future holds for Consuelo and SohoMuse.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in New York and raised in London. But I’ve had a nomadic life living in Los Angeles, San Francisco, then Italy. I eventually moved back to London, where my mother enrolled me in Queen’s Business & Secretarial College. However, my rebellious nature internally forced me to follow my dreams. I would later attend the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

Is there pressure being a descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt and carrying the legacy?

I would say more internal pressure on myself than external pressure. When I started my music career, I did not use the Vanderbilt name. I wanted to succeed on my own and create my legacy. Although we came from two different fields of thought, Cornelius and I both wanted to be successful, and making my own success story was essential to me. I have started to feel external pressure, especially being a businessperson carrying the family name. But I have found success on my own with and without the name because I pressure myself to be great and most importantly to give back and help others.

What made you create SohoMuse?

SohoMuse was based on the premise to connect artists, allow them to create work opportunities with potential collaborations with new people, and help to source talent and distribute their work. People are the foundation. SohoMuse is more than a networking site; it is a collaborative community. I have adopted the “Disney Model,” developing strong strategic partnerships to give creative professionals in our network the most opportunities to collaborate, create, and even distribute their work, which is a crucial aspect of getting the artist’s work out to the public. Part of my vision came from being on tour during my music career and my need to find freelance people from hairstylists, writers, graphic designers, and editors. I wanted to create a vetted community where these professionals could easily find each other.

Do you have any exciting projects in the works?

We opened a younger tier site called SohoMuse World for upcoming and aspiring students to meet successful creative professionals in their respective fields and others to collaborate and learn.

One of our offshoots, the Muse Master series, has live interactive webinars for fashion, music, animation, design, film, and other various professions, for students ages 14 to 24 to get guidance from creative working professionals. Muse Masters is the first platform to build and source talent, giving them the tools to land their dream jobs, the opportunity to get excellent one-on-one tips from top industry professionals, and have their work distributed.

We have also now started sourcing I.P, producing content, and helping to distribute it to ensure jobs for our members.

Where do you see yourself and SohoMuse in the next five years?

I see us opening our studio or selling into a studio. Like a Disney studio, I want SohoMuse to be the one-stop shop where creative professionals meet from around the world, whether it be in-person or online, and have a place to share their ideas and work. Cornelius started with transportation, and I see SohoMuse as the web’s creative transportation hub. I put my music career aside to build a new legacy, and I am proud that I can provide opportunities and jobs around the world for people. That is a fantastic song I can write!

For more information on SohoMuse, visit




lassical pianist Micah McLaurin brings a youthful flair and energy to a genre famous for playing by the rules. Based in New York, 27-year-old McLaurin recently returned from a tour of Europe, where he received critical acclaim for his magnetic performances. The repertoire from traditional Chopin to a new suite of modern pieces lit up social media last month when he premiered Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue—a combination of pop favorites “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Rhapsody in Blue into one song.

McLaurin began playing piano at eight when his grandmother passed along her vintage piano to his family. Among the seven children in his family, the artist showed the most interest and musical ability, and with his family’s support began taking lessons to develop his skills further. “The talent came naturally, but I was not aware of it,” he says. “I just wanted to play and improve my abilities beyond the basics.” McLaurin continued to take private lessons for the next decade in Charleston, then advanced to conservatory training, including five years at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, followed by two years in the master’s program at Julliard.

“Building a career in music starts as young as being a child or teen,” says the musician. “From the age of thirteen, I was already entering international competitions and securing professional engagements in the U.S. and abroad, and then it was a constant build from there.” That build has led McLaurin to the most prestigious concert halls performing with the most renowned orchestras in the world, including The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, with whom he played at the age of sixteen.


No matter how much formal training or practice a musician has in preparation for performing and touring, McLaurin says that it is a complex process and shares, “You have to grow with the music, and you go through various stages with it. It’s a relationship that does not happen overnight; I begin months in advance with a piece. It’s similar to being an athlete in terms of training, focus, and consistency to achieve perfection.” McLaurin is honest about acknowledging that the most challenging part of being a musician is that he cannot ever rest on his laurels. “The work never stops. There will never be a point where I will be as great as I want. You must be self-aware and not develop bad habits. You need to push yourself to be even better than you were the day before,” he explains.

A common trait among musicians is a reverence for music spanning several genres. McLaurin agrees and says, “I do not listen to just classical. My playlists are all over the place, including pop, jazz, and disco. Lately, I have been into Donna Summer and jazz pianist Beegie Adair. Beegie is so elegant in her artistry; she always has you in the palm of her hands, and she never derails the listener with crazy antics. In terms of favorite composers, I have always loved Chopin; the emotion of his music is so immediate. I feel it directly, and it has no boundaries, which is why so many worldwide listeners respond to it. I also love Rachmaninoff; he is very passionate, and his melodies are some of the most beautiful that I have ever heard and will bring me to tears sometimes.” McLaurin is also a huge fan of Lady Gaga, whose music he found comfort in while his parents put him through conversion therapy during his tween years.

What is next for McLaurin? “I have my Lady Gaga video, ‘Rhapsody in Gaga, just launched. I want to follow that up with classical arrangements of popular songs, possibly including the works of Abba, and even Christmas music.” And, Of course, there will be more live appearances for his ever-expanding fan base to attend. When asked if he could imagine a different career path, he stated , “I never considered anything else for a second.”

For more information on Micah McLaurin, visit:


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