New York Lifestyles Magazine - November 2016

Page 1

Vol. 2 #11 | November 2016



Louise Phillips Forbes Her New Passion In Life



Little Black Dress: AM to PM


Broadway & Big Screen from Pat Collins



From Our

Favorite Chefs








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FEATURES 10 12 13 46 47 50

Publisher’s Note November 2016 Calendar Chita Rivera: Always Seeking New Challenges Through the Lens: Annie Watt NYC Holiday Guide Charles Fazzino: What a Wonderful World

FASHION & BEAUTY 18 Little Black Dress From Day to Night

TRAVEL 20 23 27 30 32 33

Sedona: Go With the Flow Snowy Wonderlands Triple Treat: USVI Explore Florida’s Home & Condo Rentals Gardens of Delight Postcard from Manchester, Vermont

REAL ESTATE & HOME DECOR 35 39 42 44 53

Italian Luxury in Texas Aalto 57: Redefining Luxury Rentals XOCO 325: A SoHo Showcase 389 East 89th St: An East Side Masterpiece Spotlight On: Angus Reed

Escape to the warmth of Florida’s paradise coast and leave winter far behind. Our luxury vacation homes for rent by the week, month or season are filling up fast! Sink your toes in the sand and sparkling blue water on your new favorite beach. Book your royal vacation at

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Contents PURSUE






HEALTH & WELLNESS 54 57 60 62 64

Your Skin and Travel Spas: Poised for Pampering 7 Secrets of Fulfilled People The Balancing Act Cooking Your Way to Health

DINING 65 66 67 70 72 74

Coffee Break The French Confection Let’s Talk Turkey Canadian Ferme to Table Orwasher’s: 100 Years in the Baking Margherita NYC: Little Italy’s Finest

THEATER & ARTS 76 78 80 82 84

Jewelry as Sculpture On the Big Screen On Stage Reviews with Pat Collins Pat Collins’ Picks of Home Entertainment Releases About Books

NEW YORK, NY 87 88 90 92 94 96

Now and Then Louise Phillips Forbes: Making A Difference It Pays to be Top Dog Entrepreneur’s Corner: Sue Phillips My New York Story: Tom Leopold 15 Minutes with Dennis Basso

Championship golf. Barns and riding trails. They epitomize the idyllic country life. Here among the rolling 1,200 acres at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club in central Florida, you’ll discover the Golden Life in stately, elegant surroundings. Find your estate at Exclusively Represented By 352.369.6969 Florida: Bonita Springs/Estero, Cape Coral, Captiva Island, Fort Myers, Naples/Marco Island, Ocala and Sanibel Island North Carolina: Cashiers/Lake Glenville, Highlands, Sapphire Valley/Lake Toxaway



ISSN 2474-770X

rule the Vol. 2 #11 | November 2016 President / Publisher Bill Mason Executive Publisher Ernie Anastos

Editor at Large Nina Anastos Floyd

Vice President of Sales Lyle Seltzer

Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim

Marketing Director Phillip Anastos

Art Director Eric Duncan

Managing Editor Patricia Canole

Medical Editor Doris Day, MD

Arts & Entertainment Editor Pat Collins

Fashion & Style Columnist Miki Makrillos

Real Estate Editor Daniel J. Bollinger

Chief Photographer Annie Watt


For more than twenty years, Royal Shell Real Estate has curated irresistible opportunities in luxury properties. We bring the global branding and marketing expertise that will achieve the outcome you desire wherever you want to live.

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Contributing Editor Clint Brownfield Contributing Writers Sarina Appel, Joan Bauer, Shari Bilt Boockvar, MS, RDN Kristen Carlucci, RD, Stacey Delikat, Judy Goss, Gretchen Kelly Tom Leopold, Dr. Heather Loenser, Kelly McFarland Julie Maner, Mark Menolascino, MD, Griffin Miller Tina Mulqueen, Jeannie Pawlowski, Anthony Rapacciuolo Richie Realms, Alicia Rohan, Baruch Shemtov Jessica Shepherd, MD, MBA, Dr. William Shiermann Neal Sroka, Patricia Stark, Dr. Ursula Staudinger, Jeffrey Stephens Leigh Stringer, Jeff & Stephanie Sylva, Mira Temkin Leslie Termuhlen, Diane Termin, Jamie Wells, MD, Christal Young Internet Presence Scott Cuollo, Richard Austin Advertising BLUE VISTA 725 Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development John Miller - Director of Sales - Travel Michael Stulmaker - Director of Sales - Real Estate Janneta Abunda - Senior Sales Manager New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651

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Captivating sunrises every morning in this priceless estate home located on the Caloosahatchee River. Every square foot of this home oozes luxury and Florida lifestyle at its very finest. Master suite with fireplace, featuring a 2-seat jacuzzi tub and steam bath shower.

Browse more listings at

Editorial/Sales Fax (212) 202-4888

For subscriptions, address changes or back issues, call: (646) 259-2651 Facebook: /NYLifestylesMag Twitter: @NYLifestylesMag Instagram: @NYLifestylesMag All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Printed in the USA. New York Lifestyles Magazine is published 12 times annually. © 2016 New York Lifestyles Magazine

Cover photo by Laura Marie Duncan 239.689.7653 Florida: Bonita Springs/Estero, Cape Coral, Captiva Island, Fort Myers, Naples/Marco Island, Ocala and Sanibel Island North Carolina: Cashiers/Lake Glenville, Highlands, Sapphire Valley/Lake Toxaway


Dreams Thanks so much for your great feedback, I’m glad you enjoy our magazine. By now you know that one of my favorite passions is finding positive quotes and sharing them with others. I think they offer truth, create enthusiasm and motivation which can lead to action. I also have my favorites ones. So, here is my choice for this month’s issue. “A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a date and a deadline.” A very successful executive once gave me some great advice. We were talking about about being a good manager, running a business, inspiring people and demonstrating leadership qualities. He said, success is all about making things happen. The idea seemed so basic and clear, but I needed more direction on how you actually make things happen? Well, he didn’t waste a second by saying “Plan your work and work your plan.” In other words, we need to put together a very specific plan with dates and deadlines of what we want to accomplish. Write it down. Look at it. Then, work on that plan everyday. Don’t let it just sit there, bring it to life. Stay focused on your progress and what needs to be done next. That’s how you make things happen!

-Ernie Anastos

Executive Publisher

Ernie Anastos is a celebrated author and distinguished Emmy award winning TV news legend in New York. He is recognized as a champion for promoting more positive news and an influential voice in the world of media. 10 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

Support Central Park in Style Introducing a Central Park Conservancy limited edition silk scarf


In honor of its 35th Anniversary, the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy collaborated with world renowned artist Alexis Rockman to create a limited edition silk scarf featuring his beautiful watercolor Meadow. The funds raised from the sale of the scarf will help to restore the Conservatory Garden, Central Park’s six-acre masterwork of formal garden design. This 36” x 36” silk scarf with rolled edges, in a beautiful gift box, is available for $250 (plus tax and shipping). To purchase, please call 212.310.6675 or visit centralparknyc. org/wcscarf or the Conservancy gift shops in Central Park.




Battle of Brooklyn Exhibition New York Historical Society Museum & Library New York Taste The Waterfront, 269 11th Avenue



TCS New York City Marathon Starts: Staten Island Ends: Central Park



25 th 26 th 27 th

Renegade Craft Fair Metropolitan Pavilion



Radio City Center Christmas Spectacular Radio City Music Hall Veterans Day Parade Fifth Avenue

19 th 24 th

Holiday Train Show New York Botanical Garden Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Starts: Central Park West at 77th Ends: Herald Square

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker Lincoln Center Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar Gowanus A Christmas Carol-The Musical The Player’s Theater




Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting 30 Rockefeller Center

By Griffin Miller

few years ago I was walking down Broadway, and I saw a poster for a revival of Bye Bye Birdie. I went a little further, and I saw another poster, this one for Chicago,” recalls Chita Rivera, who picked up Tony nominations when she starred in the original productions. “But what really hit me was when I turned my head, and this bus goes by with a giant ad for West Side Story.” Flashback to September 26, 1957: opening night of West Side Story, a show that redefined musical theater and took theatergoers on a pedal-to-metal thrill ride, with music that soared and dances that defied gravity one moment and took on powerful earthbound movements the next. It was a production custom-made for Rivera, and it turned her into a Broadway star.


“I’d love to do another Broadway show—hopefully, that will happen”

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan


...her full name is Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero. ...her late father, Pedro Julio Figueroa del Rivero, was a musician with the US Navy Band. ...her mother supported the family working at The Pentagon after her father passed away in 1942. Liza Minnelli and Chita,THE RINK Photo by Ken Howard

At this point in time, Rivera was in her mid-twenties and had been a professional dancer since her late teens. And unlike industry experts who found West Side Story’s choreographer Jerome Robbins “difficult and demanding,” his style and hers meshed perfectly. “He was a genius, it’s that simple,” said Rivera, adding with a laugh, “I called him ‘big daddy’... ours was a great relationship. Dancing is hard and if you’re not pushed to do it and do it right, what’s the point? I knew what he was doing was important and it felt good to be challenged.” And seeking out new challenges is what Rivera has done her entire life. “I wanted to show off when I was little and I was a tomboy. So one day I jumped off the sofa onto the coffee table,” said Rivera, citing that as the moment her mother realized her energy needed to be channeled into ballet. “I was 11 when I began training at home, which was Washington, DC—and 17 when I went to New York to audition for George Balanchine. And I remember getting off the elevator and seeing this long-limbed beautiful ballerina... and I shriveled. People think I’m tall, but I’m not. But I remembered my teacher from DC telling me ‘stay in your own lane... be yourself,’ which I guess I managed to do,” Rivera recalled. Suffice to say Balanchine offered her a scholarship to the School of American Ballet. “I can still feel that day in my body,” she said. “So young, New York City... I was let out of the home and into another world. It was scary.” She got over it. Then, without any planning on her part, her ballet aspirations took a U-turn the day she accompanied a friend to a chorus audition for the touring company of Call Me Madam. She landed a principal dancer spot and, as time and Tony nominations tell us, she never looked back.

...she has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards and won two for Best Leading Actress in a musical. ...of her Tony wins, both were musicals by John Kander and Fred Ebb: The Rink (1984) and Kiss of the Spider Woman (1993). She has also starred in two other Kanderand Ebb shows: Chicago and The Visit, receiving Tony nominations for both ...she didn’t know she could sing until she “had to do it in a show.” ...besides playing Americans, she’s also been cast in Italian, Greek, and French roles. ...she heard herself say one time: “I am nowhere near as nice as people think I am.” ...when she was approached to do Bye Bye Birdie she thought “Why would I want to do a show that’s just a bunch of kids talking on the phone all day?” She changed her mind when she heard the music. ...she began calling John Doyle, who directed The Visit, “Father” because he was so much like a priest to her. ... in December 2002 she became the first Latin American to receive a Kennedy Center Honors award. ...she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 ...despite the fact, she’s a fabulous interviewee she hates talking about herself ... she is the mother of actress Lisa Mordente


It’s interesting speaking with Rivera—the dusky timbre of her familiar voice. The thoughtfulness she brings to the interview. The humor. Her contentment with her life as it is and her drive to do more. “I’d love to do another Broadway show—hopefully, that will happen,” she said. “I’m going to London with my club act. London’s always good to me,” then, after a beat: “I am very happy being where I am.” Now, at a time of life when many of her musical theatre peers have bowed out of the game or, at the very least are sidling into retirement (i.e., the occasional guest spot on Law & Order: SVU or CSI), Rivera is thumbing her nose at R and R. Instead, she’s electing to spend her 80’s accomplishing pretty much what she did in prior decades: dazzling theatregoers with her triple-threat artistry. During the 2012-2013 Broadway season, for instance, she played a scenestealing Princess Puffer in the revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In 2015 she gave a Tony-nominated lead actress performance as Claire Zachanassian in the Kander and Ebb musical The Visit opposite Roger Rees, who passed away about a month after the show closed on July 10, 2015, having left the show in late May. “We didn’t know until the very end,” said Rivera. “There he was, with this illness, refusing to do anything but go on with performances. It was my first show with him, and I feel cheated I didn’t get to know him sooner. But I had him for a short time... he was a light and funny and smart and brilliant actor, and for a while we had a very good time.” As for her 2016 project, she’s making her Carnegie Hall debut in Chita Nowadays, a one-night-only celebration of her killer career, heavily laced with signature numbers. They’ll also be appearances by Broadway stars Javier Muñoz (Lin–Manuel Miranda’s heir apparent, and Hamilton’s current Alexander Hamilton); Tony nominees Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton’s Aaron Burr); and Andy Karl (one of Rivera’s Edwin Drood costars); plus long-time friend and Tony-winner Alan Cumming. Chita Rivera, Gwen Verdon, CHICAGO. 1975 Photo by Martha Swope

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan

“My life is all about relationships,” Rivera said. “Audiences, friendships, family…”


Chita, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN Photo by Catherine Ashmore

The show’s poster, however, is all Rivera: A study in black and white with onyx tuxedo, top hat, cane, snow-white shirt and just a wisp of a smile—lipstick red to amp up the neutral palette. There are a couple of other dashes of red—shoes and pocket-handkerchief—but it’s her smile, somewhere between knowing and impish, that seduces the eye while capturing the what? Complexity? Determination? Passion? Joy? Read into it what you will. After all, it comes from the woman producer Daniel Nardicio calls “...a national treasure” and a “musical theater goddess.” It does seem sadly fleeting, however, that November 7th is the only day Rivera has to charm the socks off a Carnegie Hall audience: longtime fans, fans in the making, friends. “My life is all about relationships,” Rivera said. “Audiences, friendships, family—and feelings, laughter.” That said, I asked the two-time Tony Award winner what sort of advice she’d give to young people looking to follow in her dance steps. “You have to be passionate about what you want to do – follow your heart. Auditions teach you as a person to be strong. And be ready at all times, because if it comes, it will come quietly. Oh, and when you go to a dance audition remember to bring your own shoes.” • Griffin Miller is a New York-based freelance journalist specializing in theater, travel, and lifestyle.

Chita Rivera, WEST SIDE STORY Photo by Leo Koribbean



ith a busy schedule and limited time, wardrobe essentials and convenience are a must. Today’s little black dress should be a part of every woman’s wardrobe staple. Daywear is comfortable and easy with stylish accessories that easily transform our little black dress into evening glam on the go!

MODERN CHIC LBD goes ultra-sleek with a woven jacquard print, and bold silver metallic accessories to create a modern vibe. Amber Sceats Jace Choker ($209)

Chinese Laundry Song Bird Bootie in Black ($90)

Ann Taylor Dress ($139)

Amber Sceats Rory Earrings ($129)

Amber Sceats Benz Bracelet ($219)

Chinese Laundry Lavelle Heel in Silver ($80)

ASYMMETRICAL STYLE This LBD creates a statement with color blocking grey and black asymmetric pattern. Modern two tone metallic accessories lend to this contrast look.

CL by Laundry Anslee Block Heel Pump in Black ($49.99)

CL by Laundry Anete Heeled Loafer in Mica ($49.99) Ann Taylor Sweater Dress ($139)

Amber Sceats India Earrings ($119)


Amber Sceats Arlington Choker ($239)

CAPTIVATING RUFFLES This LBD’s ruffle and pearl combo brings a modern romance with a taste of dare by blending animal print and floral detail.

Chinese Laundry Ariana Velvet Amber Sceats Porter Earrings Heel in Black ($129) ($100)

CL by Laundry Ada Pumps in Leopard ($49.99)

Amber Sceats Bella Choker ($249) Ann Taylor Sleeveless Ruffle Dress ($139)

Amber Sceats Harlow Bracelet ($169)

MAKING A STATEMENT Border white on black always creates an LBD accent look. Soft scallops, accessories with twotone metallic, and texture are key elements in this feminine flair.

Amber Sceats Leighton Earrings ($139)

Ann Taylor Scallop Sweater Dress ($129)

Chinese Laundry Jannet Pom Pom Sandal Heel in Black ($90)

Chinese Laundry Odelle Lace-Up Pump ($100)

Amber Sceats Cali Bracelet ($189)

Amber Sceats Rylee Ring ($119) About Miki Makrillos Miki Makrillos is a commentator on style and fashion on her website: NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 19


rom the moment you arrive in Sedona, you’ll feel the vortex energy. This Arizona desert paradise pulls like a powerful magnet, attracting those who seek healing and renewal. With beautiful red-rock buttes, magnificent canyons, and quieting pine forests, Sedona’s natural beauty awakens your senses; mind, body, and soul. Against the rising or setting sun, the mountains appear to glow in brilliant oranges and bright reds. Located at the base of Oak Creek Canyon in Red Rock Country, Sedona is known as a spiritual power center throughout the world. It’s not your imagination: The power from these vortexes produces the most remarkable energy on the planet.

THE FORCE IS WITH YOU But just what are they? “Vortex sites are enhanced energy locations that facilitate prayer, meditation, mind/body healing, and soul exploration,” said Pete A. Sanders Jr., author of Scientific Vortex Information. “The reason for the spirituality is the actual geography of Sedona, which holds every major vortex. People come to explore the energy that creates transformation through meditation, tours, and classes. Many come away with a new sense of self that guides their future.” Sanders continues. “The vortex sites are interwoven within the real world of Sedona. As a result, 20 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

visitors experience how to live their spirituality in their daily lives. Sedona’s splendor provides insights on how to create inner harmony you can maintain at home.” Sanders also conducts Scientific Vortex Tours ( that end at the top of the Airport Mesa. Climb to the peak and be rewarded with exquisite views in every direction as well as a new sense of peace. Reiki Masters, bookstores, metaphysical shops and educational centers abound to connect you to the spiritual. Go into an exploration mode. Take a class or two. Find what moves and inspires you and incorporate these practices into your routine.

WHAT TO DO The Chapel of the Holy Cross is the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed church, built into the mountain, offering a place for reflection and serenity. As one of the Southwest’s premier arts communities, Sedona is a paradise for both buyers and collectors. Take a trolley tour and shop in Uptown for Native American art, wearables, and crafts. For those on a personal journey, you’ll find chakras, candles, crystals, and aromatherapy oils. Helicopter rides, hot air balloons, and Jeep tours are a dazzling way to enjoy the gorgeous landscape. Pink Jeep Tours ( and other companies deliver great off-road adventure as you fly over boulders and explore the sandstone petroglyphs. Take to the skies and the vistas will astound you, giving you a new perspective on the world. Check out tours via air or shuttle that leave from Sedona bound for the glorious Grand Canyon. Enjoy Sunday brunch at L’Auberge de Sedona ( and relax by Oak Creek, sipping a Mimosa. Feast on omelets, fresh baked bread, luscious fruit and other delicacies as you watch the ducks splash.

WHERE TO STAY Enchantment Resort and Spa ( is both a pinnacle of indulgence and luxury. Surrounded by multicolored mountains and nestled in the beautiful Boynton Canyon, Enchantment offers a range of packages, including tennis, golf, adventure, and family outdoor getaways. With classes in exercise, yoga, morning rituals, vortex walks, and guided meditation, there are more than a hundred complimentary activities to inspire your retreat. Hiking is a must, and the resort offers an extensive list of trails, guided tours, and mountain biking trails, differing in elevation and length. A popular hike goes out to the Kachina Woman rock formation, which stands over one of Sedona’s famous energy vortexes. Or, hit the links at Seven Canyons, an 18-hole, par 70 Tom Weiskopf-designed course open only to resort guests and club members. On the grounds of Enchantment is Mii Amo Spa (—which means Moving Forward—ranked among the top in the U.S. Steeped in Native Yuman wisdom and tradition, this 24,000 square-foot spa offers various restorative treatments to strengthen and restore natural balance. Massage therapies, body wraps, Ayurveda, facials and spiritual sessions open the pathways to renewal. Highly skilled therapists use custom-blended oils and lotions to promote maximum healing and wellness. Many treatments

take place in rooms with open windows, making the experience that much richer. Dine in one of the five venues that feature contemporary cuisine with Southwest influences and locally sourced ingredients. When it comes to dining, think home grown. Sedona practically invented the farm-to-table concept and chefs take advantage of the local fruit and produce as well as fresh fish from the creek. Be sure to try a prickly pear margarita. Journey to Sedona and embrace the inspiration as visions of the red rocks stay etched in your mind forever. For more information on Sedona, check out • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 21


f you’re the kind of person who prefers the click of the ski boots gripping their bindings to the clink of margarita glasses beachside, the mountains may just be your ideal escape. From the East to West, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to ski. We’ve also found scenic gondola rides, trails for cross-country skiers, all of which you can experience during ski season. Here’s where to hit the trails.

CALIFORNIA LAKE TAHOE The 4,000 acre of runs around the Squaw Valley ski area’s six Sierra peaks will put you to the test. And while the village may have plenty of shops and a healthy dose of attitude, there’s no pretension once you ascend the mountains. Skiers will find happiness along the 32 Mile Mountain Run, where seasoned schussers can test their abilities on bumpy Monkey’s Run, or on tricky Siberia Bowl, which might be dubbed “advanced intermediate’ but is far more advanced than intermediate. Once darkness falls, get a moonlit view by taking to the trails. If anything it’s breathtaking. When you’ve had enough for one day, ski down to the Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn (, located at the base of the mountain. Have a drink at the bar, and head to your room to dive into a pile of comfy snow-white down comforters.

COLORADO VAIL It doesn’t matter if gliding down a snowy mountain is your nirvana or nemesis, the mountain resort communities in Colorado beckon in every season. Just two hours from Denver, Vail is a replica of a Swiss Village. Nearby, the Four Seasons Resort Vail ( features an awardwinning dining experience at its restaurant and a spa with indoor pool, as well as a full menu of beauty and body treatments. Hotel Jerome

Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn

ASPEN This area is as well-known for its tony après-ski activities as it is for the slopes themselves. Its cobblestoned streets are lined with designer boutiques as well as cherished momand-pop emporiums of Western wear. Like the town, the skiing is first-rate. Aspen Mountain (aka “Ajax”) is right downtown; the slopes are a mere gondola ride away from those impressive shops. A stay at Hotel Jerome ( is exceptional. Aspen’s oldest hotel opened in 1889, created a sensation with its decadently modern conveniences (think elevators and indoor plumbing). Today, the property continues to maintain its comfortably old-fashioned ambiance without sacrificing what rate as modern amenities a heated pool and Jacuzzi. Four Seasons Vail


UTAH PARK CITY If the words “no snowboarders, please” are music to your ears, then check out Deer Valley Resort (—a Rocky Mountain paradise. While Deer Valley may be a tad quieter than the better-known Park City Mountain Resort (parkcitymountain. com), just a mile away, it’s no less challenging. If it’s an adrenaline rush you’re after, launch off of Empire Canyon’s Chute, which drops 3,000 feet. Book a table at the Viking Yurt (, a dome-roofed tent built on a mountaintop at The Park City Mountain Resort; a sleigh will meet you at the base of the mountain and carry you up the hillside. At the yurt, you’ll find a five-course dinner and a wood-burning stove waiting for you. Dine on local game, such as elk with black truffle risotto as you warm up by the fire. Deer Valley Resort


Park City Mountain Resort

Spring Creek Ranch


WYOMING JACKSON HOLE Just say the words “We’re skiing out West,” and visions of slope-utopia spring to mind: huge mountains smothered in fresh, feet-deep flakes, tall evergreens separating endless runs, harrowing chutes dropping thousands of feet; and chairlifts reaching up toward the sky. In other words, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (jacksonhole. com). This two-mountain property, which is located in the impressive Teton Range, delivers the quintessential American West ski experience—plus a whole lot more. While it’s most famous for challenging double-blackdiamond runs, the real beauty of Jackson Hole is that there’s always a quiet, out-of-the-way trail where you can make fresh tracks! A stay at Spring Creek Ranch ( will bring you back to nature with magnificent views of the Grand Tetons and nearly 1,000 acres of land populated by deer, moose, and the horses at its riding facility in the valley below. In addition to the resort’s accommodations, there are also the privately-owned condominiums and vacation homes that dot the butte—large, lavishly furnished and featuring completely equipped kitchens. The resort also has an “Adventure Spa,” offering a combination of guide service and post-outing treatments, and in-house naturalists who lead guests on “Wildlife Safaris” into the park.

The real beauty is that there’s always a quiet, out-of-the-way trail where you can make fresh tracks! 24 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016


Mountain Top Inn and Resort

KILLINGTON East Coast ski resorts always play second-best to their West Coast siblings—unless the destination happens to be Killington Resort (, the largest ski resort in the East, and the one with the most varied runs. This sprawling property offers 200 snowpacked trails that weave around the Green Mountains and promise the most thrilling downhill rides this side of the Mississippi. Beginners can trail off on Pico Peak and Rams Head Mountain, while speed demons rip down Killington Peak. When the runs close, head back to your Mountain Top Inn and Resort ( haven in Chittenden. There you can head into the night on snowshoes. A hotel guide will lead you a half-mile up a mountainside to a peak overlooking frozen Chittenden Lake. Once there, you’ll warm up beside an open fire with Godiva hot cocoa and chocolate-raspberry vodka martinis! Whiteface Lodge

NEW YORK LAKE PLACID The site of both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid ( is also home to an Olympic Center that houses the Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame. The museum celebrates Lake Placid as the birthplace of winter sports competition in America and exhibits include original sports equipment, artifacts, and memorabilia. Nearby in Wilmington (close to the village of Lake Placid) is Whiteface Mountain—ranked No. 1 among Eastern U.S. ski resorts. Whiteface has a 3,430-foot vertical drop that’s the biggest in the East and has enhanced its lifts, trails, grooming, and snowmaking. Most skiers call it “a Western mountain in the East. From the time you arrive to the time you leave, The Whiteface Lodge ( in Lake Placid, you are wrapped in the lap of Adirondack luxury. Bonfires are held some evenings, and there’s a schedule of activities conveniently delivered to your room that will keep the entire family busy. The ice skating rink is open daily; ice skates and snowshoes are available for guests to use and are maintained in a frigid yurt. For rest, the 5,800-squarefoot mountain spa provides a full complement of luxury services, both for individuals and couples. •


Grand Cayman

SUPERB, DELUXE CONDO RENTAL UNITS 26 LUXURY CONDO SUITES THE ISLANDS CLUB CONDOMINIUMS ON SEVEN MILE BEACH We offer 2, 3 or 4 bedroom suites, each with its own private patio or balcony overlooking world famous Seven Mile Beach. The Islands Club is located within easy walking distance of many fine restaurants, duty-free shopping, nightclubs, golf course, a large modern grocery store and water sports and activities. On the beach, large Casuarina trees provide shade from the sun as you relax in a lounge chair by the sea.

For more information visit or Call TOLL FREE 1-866-533-0934 Tel: (345) 945-5211 E-mail:

TRIPLE TREAT By Patricia Canole

f your boat is afloat at the thought of superior sailing, snorkeling and swimming, the United States Virgin Islands will throw you a lifeline. The islands rest in the Caribbean like little emeralds set apart from the iridescent turquoise sea. Cool trade winds whisper through the palm trees filling the white sails of passing boats. They are the US Virgin Islands decidedly the hottest destination in the Caribbean. But the similarities stop there. While one brims with an

impressive array of resorts, restaurants, and shopping almost everywhere you look, the others are conversely more refined in nature coupled with the West Indian mindset of ”Don’t worry be happy!” Wherever you happen to land, though, you’ll be confident to share these shores with the adventurous divers, experienced yachts people, not to mention the rich and famous who have frequented these islands for many years. So, whether you just want to settle down on a secluded beach or island hop like most, you’ll find nature at her very best.

ST. THOMAS In many ways, St. Thomas supplies the ultimate USVI experience: The most extensive duty-free shopping, the most famous beaches, the most elegant restaurants, the highest mountains, and the most spectacular attractions. Here the roads begin at the beach and end in Charlotte Amalie, the capital, and shopping mecca. Just a few feet from the glittering harbor, you’ll find exclusive shops all selling at 40-to-50 percent less than home. But there’s more to St. Thomas than duty-free shopping. Right from Charlotte Amalie Harbor, you can begin your tour of the island in style—by boat. St. Thomas has many beaches that can’t be reached by roads. Rent a sailboat, or board one of the many larger tour boats in the harbor and set sail for a slice of pristine beauty. Rather travel by wheels: You’re in for a real treat. Magens Bay often called one of the best beaches in the world, is just the beginning. Some of St. Thomas’s other beaches are just as nice—and less crowded at that. Sapphire Beach certainly lives up to its name and is a favorite of windsurfers. At Coki Beach, you’ll find great snorkeling opportunities. If you want to take the plunge into underwater life, you can learn to scuba dive at Bolongo Bay and prepare for an underwater adventure. WHERE TO STAY Nestled within a 30-acre beachfront estate on the eastern tip of the island, the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas ( blends classic European elegance with the traditional warmth of the Caribbean. Be sure to book a sunset cruise featuring live music and cocktails on the luxury catamaran Lady Lynsey. Daily use of all non-motorized sports and unlimited use of the fitness center and tennis facilities are complimentary. After a day of touring the island, soothe the body at the spa complete with scented candles and aromatic oils. NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 27

ST. JOHN Covering nearly 20 square miles, little St. John has become a favorite of the outdoor adventurous. Some 60 percent of this unspoiled land is managed by U.S. National Park Service. There are no airports, neon signs, nightclubs, or traffic lights. With this in mind, visitors know that making plans in St. John is easy. Head out to Trunk Bay which was singled out by National Geographic as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Sunbathers who can drag themselves to the shore will find an underwater trail marked by a series of floats. The Park Service maintains this area including a picnic area. From here, take North Shore Road which hugs the shoreline and you’ll do nothing but see the beach—incredibly long, graceful strips of white coral sand just waiting to be discovered. Or if you’re more adventurous take a hiking excursion. The National Park Service offers hiking tours where visitors can view preColumbian Arawak and Carib petroglyphs. Be sure to spend some time in Cruz Bay, the island’s small town, where locals congregate on the benches fronting the dock. Browse through the shops and boutiques, which sell most everything from T-shirts to handmade jewelry. WHERE TO STAY Privacy and understated elegance are trademarks of Caneel Bay (, St. John’s premier resort, where tastefully decorated cottages are set far apart on seven separate beaches. Located in the Virgin Islands National Park on its 171-acre peninsula boarded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the opportunity to escape from our technologically driven world and commune intimately with nature have always been one if its great appeals. Also, you’ll enjoy horticultural walks, hiking, tennis, water sports, full use of the Fitness Center and wine and rum tastings. Guests also take in a sunset cocktail cruise, five-course starlit dinners at a renovated 18th-century sugar mill, massage, and meditation or yoga session at the resorts unique facility. Be advised that there are no phones, radio or television in the room. Perfect! 28 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

ST. CROIX The largest of the three islands, St. Croix is the only one to be surrounded completely by the Caribbean Sea. It’s about a 25-minute flight from St. Thomas. St. Croix offers some very special sightseeing stops. The island is rich in history. Whenever you want a break from the sun and sea, take a day to explore the two largest towns at opposite ends of the island. Christiansted is a charming small town, built around a once Danish fortress. Most of the downtown area is painted pastel yellow just as it was in the 18th century. From the fort, you can walk across the square to the arches of the Scalehouse; it’s an 1886 weighing station now converted to the Visitor’s Bureau. Although St. Croix doesn’t provide all the shopping in the world, you can find the same dutyfree bargains (without the crowds) along Strand, King, and Company Streets. On the western shore is Frederiksted which is considered the high cruise-ship port. Around Fort Frederik, you’ll find small shops and restaurants, and historic buildings. At the Customs House, just south of the fort, you can pick up a walking tour guide. Be sure to put aside a day for a trip to Buck Island, the small, uninhabited island just off the north coast of St. Croix. Boats departing from Christiansted Harbor can take you on a pleasant 45-minute sail or glass-bottom boat ride to the underwater National Park. Don your gear and dive into the colorful coral formations, where tropical fish regard you as just another sea creature.

WHERE TO STAY Chenay Bay Beach Resort (, five minutes from Christiansted provides the perfect informal setting for a memorable Caribbean stay, A visit here offers private West Indies-style cottages complete with fully equipped kitchenettes and porches overlooking lush tropical gardens or the sea, hammocks at the edge of the beach. Gently swaying coconut palms, complimentary snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and tennis and live entertainment most nights in the form of calypso and steel pan bands just may make you want to extend your stay. Yes, warm, friendly and relaxed. More than a playground for sun-seeking vacationers, the USVI offer a life in paradise—great beaches, impressive landscapes, and sunny weather for most of the year. Now’s the time to sample just one or experience all three. For more information, please visit: • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 29

FORGET HOTELS—EXPLORE FLORIDA’S HOME & CONDO RENTALS By The Luxury Rental Specialists at Royal Shell

hen planning a trip to paradise, the first two things you likely want to reserve are airfare and the best possible accommodations you can get for the stay of a lifetime. Prices will depend on where you are going—to visit theme parks in Orlando, to dance all night in the clubs of South Beach, or to run away to the balmy breezes and glorious resort cities along the “Paradise Coast,” a stretch of sugary white sand, five-star hotels and unspoiled natural beauty from Marco Island in the south to Sanibel and Captiva Islands in the north. While there are hundreds of hotel and resort options along Florida’s southern gulf coast region, more and more vacationers are discovering the virtues of renting a home or condo instead of a hotel room—especially if they intend to stay for weeks or months and want to avoid crowds of tourists lining up for group excursions and the breakfast buffet in the main dining room. Rentals in Southwest Florida can be found in every setting—such as a condo behind the gates of a golf community only steps away from the fairways, on a downtown avenue surrounded by gourmet restaurants and upscale shops, or on a quiet stretch of beach where you may feel like you’ve escaped to an uncharted island in the South Pacific. If you golf, options abound with more than 150 golf courses to offer you various challenging options. If you’re not familiar with Florida’s southwest coast or you’re overwhelmed by the number of property styles and options, the smartest next step is to work with a brokerage that can present and recommend where to rent and what to rent. And the most qualified agency to help is Royal Shell Real Estate, one of the area’s leading brokerages. Visit for a preview.

WHERE TO STAY DEPENDS ON THE VIBE YOU WANT Sanibel and Captiva Islands are the most secluded spots in the region. They also exude the most traditional “Old Florida” charm. There are far more locally owned restaurants and gourmet chefs than franchises and chain restaurants here. You can serenely stroll Periwinkle Way and shop to your heart’s delight. And at night, fall asleep to sounds of bubbling surf on the sand. 30 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

As you head south along the coast to places like Estero and Bonita Springs, the mood is very laid-back “California beachy” in ambiance. And then there is what some call the glimmering platinum star of the Paradise Coast—Naples. This world-renowned resort city offers vacationers the best of everything, including accommodations. If your destination is Naples, you’ll be able to rent a vacation home that may be as modest as a cottage or as grand as a beachfront estate.

FOR UPSCALE EVERYTHING, THERE’S NOWHERE LIKE NAPLES Affluent renters flock to Naples, where monthly rentals with chic addresses and features such as private pools and wine cellars rise into the five- and even six-figure-permonth territory in season. Renting an estate home makes sense to luxury travelers, whose other alternative is to pay more than $1,000 a day for a one-bedroom coastal-view room in season at a luxury hotel. With a house, you can take along family and friends to share, let’s say, a six-bedroom home with marble floors, a boat dock and waterfront pool in the prestigious neighborhood of Port Royal. Naples offers a marvelous mix of rentals, from finely appointed to grandiose. There are accommodations for most budgets, but in this zip code, expect to pay more in season. Naples’ main streets are Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. They are adorned with five-star restaurants, locally owned upscale boutiques and the renowned community theatrical production company, The Naples Players at The Sugden Theater. Of course, as everywhere on Florida’s southern gulf coast, there’s the allure of the water, from the white sand beaches to fishing charters and relaxing sightseeing and specialty cruises. If you’re in Naples for fine dining, entertainment, luxury shopping or fun on the water, look for a vacation property close to your preferred attractions.

MORE ADVANTAGES TO NAPLES RENTALS When you are searching for a get-a-way and want your privacy, that could mean a remote beach location or a gated community. Find the perfect gated community and there you have the security and amenities that you desire. Some will accept pets and some will have restrictions on size and breed. Having a local professional can help you find the perfect place to spend your winter or holiday in the sunshine and warmth of southwest Florida. Whether you plan to stay in a home in Naples or elsewhere, always remember that you’re staying in someone’s home and that community and homeowners associations may have rules that you must honor while you are there—just as hotels and resorts do, such as no smoking requirements. Consult with a rental specialist at Royal Shell Real Estate ( to start making your Florida beach vacation plans. • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 31


here was a time when hotels were only thought of as a place to stay in an exciting destination. Then came the era when every-hotel-had-to-boast a celebrity star restaurant. And, of course, not to be overlooked was the full-service spa next to every fully-equipped fitness center. Well, that was then. This is now. Today, along with Frette sheets and Parisian bath amenities come the gardens of delight. That’s right. More and more hotel chains are sporting on-site gardens producing enough ingredients to be used in their restaurants—and even bars. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in New York City and beyond.

NEW YORK CITY It may be called Big Apple, but New York City is not exactly known for farming. However, the iconic Waldorf Astoria New York ( has changed that perception with their introduction of a rooftop garden and apiary. The vegetable gardens and active bee hives are making enough food to be served at the restaurants and bars. Even their world-class spa utilizes honey in their facials (a life changing experience). With proximity to Central Park, there is a guaranteed green space to fuel the honey production. In return, the hotel bees also help to pollinate the city’s horticultural assets and ensure the greenery continues to flourish for decades to come. It’s New York honey in every sense, sourced from Central Park to the trees and flowers that line our streets and avenues. Staying at the Waldorf Astoria? Then take a rooftop tour and learn about this initiative that’s making this city green.

ANGUILLA The Cuisinart Golf Resort & Spa ( is considered by many travel experts to be the granddaddy of the farm-to-table dining experience. Nestled between the sugar sands of the Caribbean and the Greg Norman golf course, the resort’s hydroponic gardens have been producing tasty organic goodies for decades. In addition to the crown jewel crop of cherry tomatoes, the non-soil greenhouse boasts eggplant, pepper, cucumber and broccoli rabe; all are showcased in the property’s restaurants. The herbs, including lemongrass, mint, and more, are utilized in the eateries and the resort’s renowned spa. Bonus: Guests have the opportunity to unleash their inner “Iron Chef ” in the hotel’s Hands-On Class, where students work together under the tutelage of a chef to prepare a three-course lunch. You’ll create artful dishes such as grilled mahi-mahi and hot chocolate soufflé with banana rum sauce. Take the two-and-a-half-hour Master Class, and you’ll tour the property’s expansive farm and pick ingredients to be incorporated into your lunch. In the kitchen, you’ll watch a demonstration as the chef prepares the delightful meal.

YUCATAN PENINSULA, MEXICO Gardens are abundant as well south of the border: Thanks to luxe resorts, amazing Mayan ruins, and miles of beautiful beaches, the Yucatan Peninsula is one of the most famous regions of Mexico. Add to that a myriad of trendy nightspots, high-end shopping, artisan boutiques and fabulous spas, and you have a world-class destination. The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun ( sits in the heart of Cancun. Look closely, though, and you’ll find a beachfront garden abundant with herbs, spicy chilies, squash, tomatoes and the like used by chefs in the resort’s daily menus. Within steps is the hotel’s Culinary Center which offers guests a chance to experience local cuisine at its best. The center hosts classes, including sessions that focus on traditional Mayan recipes, modern BBQ techniques, and DIY healthy spa meals. Also, there’s a food and wine class, which tackles the art of pairings. Each session at the center begins with time to enjoy views of the ocean from the giant windows while sipping a margarita. Then, it’s out to the center’s garden to pick the fruits of the earth. Back inside, you’ll set up at one of four cooking stations, to prepare and eat your choice meal. It’s a fun way to learn how ethnic cuisines are developed and presented. • 32 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016


f you were to paint a picture of Vermont, you’d probably come up with something that looks like Manchester. That’s exactly what Norman Rockwell and Grandma Moses did on their way to international artistic stardom. Located in southwestern Vermont it’s the closest noteworthy area in the state for New Yorkers to reach. You’ll need a car to explore, but if you don’t have one, you can take Amtrak from Penn Station up to Albany, which, according to National Geographic Traveler magazine, this is one of the top ten most scenic rail trips in the world. Then rent a car and make the easy one-hour drive over to Manchester—a year-round destination, offering spectacular scenery, world-class shopping in the famed outlets, museums, nearby skiing at Bromley Mountain and Stratton (the snowboard was invented in Manchester), and generally relax and unwind from the daily whirl of living in New York. With a population of around 4,500, there’s plenty of room for everyone to enjoy this gorgeous area.

BACK IN THE DAY Dating back to colonial times, Manchester was chartered in 1761 and was a hotbed during the American Revolution, which was a success—otherwise we’d be running around speaking with British accents and spending coins with Queen Elizabeth’s image on them. Located in Bennington County, the area also boasts the highest peak in the Taconic Range--Mt. Equinox. If you’re athletically inclined, you can hike up to the top and take in the spectacular views. Or, you can simply drive up to the top (3,848 feet above sea level) via the five-mile-long Skyline Drive. Meanwhile, back down in the town, you can stroll the charming streets, dine in local restaurants and shop at the numerous designer outlets of such brands as Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Coach, Ann Taylor and Armani—40 stores in all. For fly fishing enthusiasts, Orvis also has its world headquarters in Manchester and offers outlet shopping and lessons at their school. Trout anyone?

Welcome to

Manchester, Vermont

WHERE TO STAY The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa (, is the imposing anchor of the town which began as a pre-revolutionary war tavern and hosted Mary Todd Lincoln and her son Robert Todd in 1863. Lincoln was so taken by the area that he established his summer home, Hildene ( Today, the estate is open to the public providing a glimpse into how the one percent lived in those days. Year round, visitors can tour the Georgian mansion and stroll the surrounding 412-acre grounds, which look much the same as they did when the Lincolns resided there. Since you can’t stay in the mansion at Hildene, you can come close, by booking a room or an entire house at the Wilburton Inn ( on the estate next door. Here, the extended Levis family operates the inn year round and welcomes everyone: families, couples in love, corporate retreats/ conferences and pets of all sizes and shapes. Jetson, the inn’s “guard dog”—a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who might just try to lick you to death, will greet you. He loves treats and, like some of the rest of us, has an expanding waistline. The main building, an early 20th-century Tudor-style mansion, offers 15 elegant rooms and suites and is the social hub of the 40-acre resort, with dining rooms, a bar, parlor and swimming pool—all with incredible views from its secluded hillside perch. Seven other freestanding homes that dot the property may also be rented for reunions and corporate retreats. Cooking facilities are included but guests may also sign on for meal plans offered at the main house. Dr. Albert Levis and his late wife, Georgette (whose sister was playwright Wendy Wasserstein) acquired the property in 1987, and is now run by him and his children. Daughter Melissa is the innkeeper who, along with her sister Tajlei, a playwright, produces theatrical events such as the very popular murder mystery weekends. Brother Oliver manages the property’s Sky Time Community Farm and his artisanal breads alone are worth the trip. Also popular are regular Wednesday farm-to-table dinners--book early for those. Check out the website for other theme weekends and events. Dr. Levis, a noted psychiatrist, presides over the inn’s extensive art collection and Museum of the Creative Process. His tours of the collection and grounds are not to be missed. So, if you want a charming New England inn, owned and operated by one of the most hospitable families you’ll ever encounter—look no further than the Wilburton Inn. And, if you’re traveling by yourself, don’t worry. You will be immediately adopted by the Levis family and Jetson the ‘guard dog’. That’s what happened to me a couple of years ago and I can’t wait to return. For more information, visit • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 33

40 Liberty Lane l e x i n G t o n , V i r G i n i a 24450 $799,950 • Mls# 827657 ‘’Liberty Hill’’ circa 1820. This stately all brick colonial home has been beautifully restored blending exquisite vintage detailing with up to date features. The spacious formal rooms, gourmet kitchen, den, family room and bedrooms are highlighted with 11 fireplaces, the intricate original woodwork, heart of pine floors and a private side porch creating an atmosphere of timeless grace. Situated on 12 acres of rolling land, with a spring fed stream the property also includes a 10 stall horse barn with turn outs and an equipment shed.

Bill Gearhart

President, PrinciPal Broker, aBr, Gri

TOWNSIDE, REALTORS® 4005 Electric Road, Suite 100 Roanoke, Virginia 24018 Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated

540.989.3311 office 540.354.4863 cell 540.989.6980 fax


ou may feel as though you stepped into an Italian villa, but it’s actually a 12-acre luxury estate located in East Texas offering panoramic views and manicured gardens. Within driving distance of Dallas is Marshall, Texas, and this exceptionally beautiful property—your ticket to heaven on earth.


CONVENIENCE TO EVERYTHING It’s prime location makes Marshall an ideal place to be: It’s just 45 minutes from Shreveport, Louisiana—known to many for its riverboat casinos, nightly entertainment, fine restaurants, and horse racing. Traveling by air is a breeze, too, with an airport conveniently located in Marshall.


FIRST-CLASS LUXE No expense was spared when this property was built: Casual elegance, perfect for entertaining, high ceilings, an outdoor dining area are just a few of the luxurious features. Hours of relaxation await the owner of this haven. This remarkable estate was designed by one of the country’s leading entrepreneurs for his private property, to balance opulent tranquility with lavish entertaining. Once you arrive, the first feature you encounter is the open rotunda as you approach this 12,000-square-foot estate. Upon entering, you will find yourself mesmerized by museum-like details throughout the estate. The main den captures your imagination with its double-wide fireplace with a huge mural of an Italian countryside cottage. There’s also plenty of natural light with with 30 foot high ceilings and almost floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s museum-quality throughout. The property boasts a 7,000 bottle capacity wine cellar with its

“The property boasts a 7,000 bottle capacity wine cellar with its authentic Italian ceiling painting.” authentic Italian ceiling painting. Not to be overlooked, of course, is the four-car garage with its climbing ivy exterior. And if cars are your passion, there is a 7,000-square-foot car museum (cars not included, of course). And this is just the main house. NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 37

“The real beauty of this estate is in the 12 acres of gated landscape with lush foliage.” BE MY GUEST The 5,000 square-foot guest house is just as amazing with a generous entertaining area—equally as impressive as the main house—a full kitchen, two bedrooms, and two baths. But the real beauty of this estate is on the 12 acres of gated landscape with lush foliage intermixed with water features and sculptures. One must see this home for themselves to appreciate the passion for living. Offering at $4,995,000. Marilyn Hoffman is currently the listing agent on this property. Marilyn is an international real estate broker and founder of Hoffman International Properties Inc. She has brokered some of the most expensive real estate transactions throughout the country. You can obtain more information about this listing, please visit: and • For more information, please contact: Marilyn Hoffman: (214) 698-1736 | 38 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016


alto57 is the rental portion of 252 East 57th Street, which I wrote about in our September 2015 issue. 252 East 57th Street is in the esteemed Sutton Place neighborhood of midtown and is one of the most luxurious new developments that I have seen. Its rental accompaniment Aalto57 is of the same quality. This building was developed by World Wide Group and Rose Associates. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) was brought on for the architecture and interiors at the glass tower, inspired by the iconic Aalto vase. The Aalto57 entrance is located at 1065 Second Avenue. Spread over 21 floors, Aalto57 is comprised of 169 rental units offering studios to three bedrooms. I toured some one and two bedrooms with Richard S Lebow of World Wide Group who has overseen the company’s marketing, sales, and leasing programs for its residential properties since 1997. These are not your average luxury apartments. The residences here were actually designed more like a condo with larger open layouts with “condo proportions” and unique designs with some very special amenities. NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 39

The one bedrooms all have open layouts. Some even have a formal foyer to give you a sense how these apartments are larger than average. You know they are of a more luxurious standard because fully integrated Miele, Bertazzoni, and Blomberg appliances are standard. These apartments even come with a Bertazzoni microwave. The kitchens have fully integrated cabinetry and the neutral colors really open up the space. One very unique design in the kitchen is a “movable island.” It is a custom designed/built piece that has locking casters so that you can set the island at whatever distance from the cabinets that you wish. This island was designed to comply with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) wheelchair maneuverability. Very thoughtful of the design team. This gives you the option of even bringing the island to any corner of the apartment to completely open up the space for parties or an event. I was very impressed with the quality of construction of this “movable island” and it really shows how dedicated the Aalto57 team is to a higher standard of comfort and luxury. All one- and two-bedroom units and some studio and three bedrooms come with this “movable island.” The bathrooms are beautiful. Lacava sinks, Grohe and Toto fixtures, and rain shower heads reinforce the higher standard that Aalto57 represents. One design detail that really stood out to me is that there is a full length mirrored medicine closet on one wall in addition to the standard medicine cabinet above the sink. This makes for plenty of storage in the bathroom and the rest of the apartment has many closets. All washer/dryer closets have automatic lights that go on when the closet is opened and turn off when closed. In the larger apartments there is this feature in all the bedroom closets as well. Just another design detail that shows the higher standard of these rentals. There are oversized windows abound in these apartments and plenty of light. The windows come with sunshades of different grades: The bedroom sunshades are of a higher grade and block out more sun the living rooms shades. And speaking of windows, Aalto57 has installed double pane windows with argon gas inside to make your apartment virtually silent. I was given a demonstration of the effectiveness of these windows. When we opened a window there was actually a police siren blaring down 57th street at that moment and when we closed them the siren was not even audible. For anyone who has lived in NYC you know that THIS is something that ALL NYC buildings need! Scenic NYC views abound in all of these units and to top it all off every unit comes with a Bosch washer/dryer.

Bathrooms are simply beautiful: Lacava sinks, Grohe and Toto fixtures, and rain shower heads... 40 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

The two bedrooms are obviously larger, and condo style with gallery layouts. They have even larger open layouts but with squarer layouts. The squarer shape provides more volume in the spaces as opposed to the rectangular shape many NYC apartments have. The bathrooms are a good example of this “condo proportion” design. The bathrooms have double sinks, stand up showers, and are larger than average. The two bedrooms have huge walk-in closets. The 9th floor apartments feature terraces and many other units have balconies. All the apartments I toured had very warm condo feels to them. The amenities represent a higher standard of luxury as well. A children’s play room, bike storage and industrial washer dryers you will see in many new buildings. Fitness centers are also standard in today’s buildings but Aalto57’s gym is larger than most and has state of the art machines. This gym is NOT in the basement like most. A rare amenity that Aalto57 has is a ½ court basketball court with an automated device that can raise and lower the hoop so that both young and old play. But the most beautiful amenity at Aalto57 is their indoor/outdoor residential lounge located on the 9th floor. The outdoor lounge is very nice with patio tables and chairs and even has a fire pit. The indoor lounge is comprised of three different rooms separated with very heavy high quality pocket doors: (1) The main lounge area with couches. It has a very warm interior with custom milled wooden walls. (2) a TV room. (3) Home Office: The office is set up for formal business meetings like a conference room with a catering kitchen attached. Residents’ Luxury Attache concierge services are some of the best in the city. Luxury Attache is a premier concierge and lifestyle management company. A sampling of services include coordination of children and teen activities, introductions to school admissions consultants, move-in/out coordination, access to trusted child and pet care services, tickets and events access, travel, dining and nightlife, event planning and gifting. What more could one ask for? Like its condo companion Aalto57 is redefining luxury rental. Their condo styled apartments offer a higher quality than most rentals in their class. Superior amenities and an attentive staff ensures that you will experience only the best at Aalto57. For more information, please visit: • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 41

Photo by Robert Granoff

A SOHO SHOWCASE By Daniel J. Bollinger

ou can’t miss this building’s façade on West Broadway in SoHo with its unique cast-aluminum exterior with vertical gardens over a glass curtain wall. This is XOCO 325 (pronounced Sho-Co), a designer showcase. The impressive showcase, thoughtfulness of design and quality construction are the result of DDG. XOCO is the Catalan word for chocolate and is apropos considering this building was a former chocolate factory. The 21 oneto-four bedroom condo residences are equally memorable with many design details that make this building a true gem. SoHo is one of the chicest neighborhoods in Manhattan being a luxury retail mecca thereby making it a coveted residential area. Located across the street from The Soho Grand which is one of the most sought-after luxury boutique hotels in New York City, DDG has executed a development that is worthy of its location. The high ceilings (starting at 10 feet) and open floor plans not only accentuate a luxury lifestyle but create an excellent fluidity throughout the main living areas of the home. There is no trim around hallways of the common areas. Rather, to accentuate the fluidity between rooms, you will see rounded curves made of sculptural plaster. There are endless curves on all walls that help set the fluidity of the space. The floating and recessed walls create a space that is open and continuous. Joe McMillan, Chairman and CEO of DDG says, “We have achieved timeless spaces that are balanced in their sizes and features.” But it is the finer design details that take this project to the next level. 42 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

THE NICHE FACTOR XOCO 325 exhibits great niche factors in their bathrooms and in their shower rooms and next to the deep soaking tubs. But DDG has taken it even further with niches in the bedroom and kitchen. In the four bedroom residence, we toured, a slot about the width of a king-sized bed is perfect for books and other incidentals—and close to the sleeping area. In the kitchen area they have a matching one: Whether it be cookbooks, bottles of spirits, or flowers, there is a generously-sized niche waiting for you in this excellently designed kitchen.

Photo by Robert Granoff

In the dining room, there is a beautiful medallion detail set into the ceiling accentuating the dining area. The hanging chandelier reinforces this space. Unique sculptural details blend very well with the rounded kitchen recess. The bathrooms take the design to a new height as well. The floating walls create a free flowing space, and the simple lines create a warm feel. The shower area with a rain shower ceiling spout and deep soaking tub (both with niches) define the space. But the work of genius of XOCO 325 is their marble Mashrabiya that closes off the wet space. A Mashrabiya is a perforated screen. DDG’s openings in their Mashrabiya is meant to mimic water sticking to the glass, with an artistic set of holes in the marble that project fascinating rays of light onto the wet space. Again, DDG shows superior design thinking in this unique design feature. Photo by Bruce Damonte Photo by Robert Granoff

Photo by Robert Granoff

SEE IT IN PERSON XOCO 325 is a designer showcase. The layouts of the residences are superb. But the finer details described here really need to be experienced in person. XOCO 325 has many amenities including a 24/7 concierge doorman, a bike room, and private storage. Their unique amenities include a private courtyard garden that features a naturally lit, sculptural concrete fitness studio. The best amenity is the fact that you are in the heart of SoHo on either West Broadway or Wooster which are quieter streets compared to Broadway or Spring Streets. We categorize DDG’s work with Toll Brothers and Extell—names you can trust. DDG not only developed and designed this project but is also staying on as property manager of the building—a good sign that they stand by their product. With the trendy ambiance it evokes, there’s no question this building is becoming a music mogul and Hollywood Celebrity address. For more information, please visit: • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 43


ocated in the Yorkville section of the Upper East Side is 389 East 89th Street, a 156 unit rental to condo conversion. Ben Shaoul of Magnum Real Estate Group has done an excellent job on this project. But it is Paris Forino’s interior design that steals the show. This is a second project—her first being 50 Clinton Street on the Lower East Side. The property offers one-to-three bedroom condos. They are all unique layouts on the podium level which encompasses floors three to six. Scenic city views start on the 8th floor and up. Floors 19-32 are four-unit floors, so all units are a corner with minimum double exposures, and their three bedrooms have three exposures. The Upper East Side is iconic. Museums, art galleries, restaurants, and department stores encompass the UES. But the real beauty and charm is the local neighborhood feel that continues to thrive.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE There are different layouts and sizes for the one- two-and-three bedrooms so explaining some particular details simply won’t do. We can tell you that the residences have a common theme. One of which is a balance: the whole apartment is spatially proportional. There is a comfortable feel to each apartment. Paris Forino sums it up perfectly when she explains, “In designing the residences we created a place where residents could come home to and feel relaxed.” She has succeeded greatly in her design. The quality is imminent with Miele appliances in all kitchens, deep soaking tubs and large rain showers in the bathrooms all with Waterworks fixtures. In the bathrooms, there is customdesigned medicine cabinet by Paris herself that is beautiful. Every unit even comes with a washer/ dryer that vents out. All closets come with well-built, sturdy insets.

THE LITTLE EXTRAS There are plenty of amenities at 389 as well. A 24/7 concierge, valet package and dry cleaning, fitness center, children’s playroom, an indoor lounge and outdoor landscaped private garden suited for entertaining guests. The views from the rooftop offer a great 360 degree panorama of Manhattan. In addition to great views, all of the residences provide lots of natural light as the marble throughout reflects the light coming through the windows. The price points offer great value. Anything with Paris Forino’s name on it is a gem. Occupancy is slated for 2017 and sales have already begun. This is a building that will not be affected by any softening in the market. It is in the high velocity oneto-three million dollar market. To learn more about these residences, visit • 44 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

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Saddle River, NJ Stunning English Country Estate $6,495,000 Completely renovated stone and European stucco estate on over 5.7 manicured acres. 6 BRs, 7.2 baths + guesthouse, lagoon pool w/waterfalls, generator, elevator & 3-car garage + artist studio! Staged by Mark Polo for The Urban Dweller.



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The women of the evening celebrate with “That’s What Friends Are For” at the American Theatre Wing 2016 Gala

NYC HOLIDAY GUIDE By Patricia Canole

here’s no place like New York City during the holidays! From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, lighting the Tree at Rockefeller Center to watching all the animated figures in the Holiday Windows, it’s a month long wonderland of lights and magic. Let’s take a tour of a New York-style Holiday Season!

MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE On Thursday, November 24th the 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will parade down Central Park West and 77th Street to Columbus Circle along Central Park South to Sixth Avenue. From there it will follow Sixth Avenue to 34th Street and along 34th Street to Herald Square. More than 8,000 people take part in the parade, including clowns, balloon handlers, and marching bands, while many more line the streets along the parade route to see it in person. Since 1924, the parade has become an annual tradition and has been getting bigger and better every year. Get ready for giant character balloons, floats, cheerleaders/dancers, marching bands, celebrities— and Santa Claus! Don’t Miss: One of the most anticipated events of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade occurs the night before. The Balloon Inflation allows you to get up close and personal to watch technicians inflating nearly 25 parade balloons from 3 to 10 PM. The excitement begins at the American Museum of National History (just off Central Park West between 77th and 81st St.) where the entire family can see the balloons come to life. Info:

RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR Radio City Music Hall is most famous as the home of the legendary Rockettes and their high-stepping Christmas Spectacular which has been entertaining us since 1933. This year’s show—which runs from November 11th through January 2, 2017—won’t disappoint. You’ll see lots of favorites along with the Rockettes, as well as some special effects technology and updated choreography. Not to be overlooked is the return of the live animals in the “Living Nativity” and the Nutcracker scene. Info: 1260 Sixth Ave. (between West 50th and 51st Sts.);


HOLIDAY WINDOWS A visit to New York City during the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a view of the city’s department store windows.

HOLIDAY TREES The Tree at Rockefeller Center is hands down the iconic Christmas image and continues to attract visitors every holiday season. However, there are more trees to check out including the unique Origami Tree at the American Museum of Natural History and lots more. ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE It’s the most celebrated of holiday trees and a classic destination for holiday visitors and residents alike. The 84th annual tree lighting will be November 30, 2016. The tree will remain lit and on display until January 7, 2017. Info: Fifth Ave (between West 48th and 51st Sts.; rockefellercenter. com/holidays). HOLIDAY TREE AT BRYANT PARK The tree at Bryant Park is decorated with over 30,000 LED lights and 3,000 custom ornaments. The annual tree lighting ceremony this year will be on December 2, 2016 and will be displayed through early January 2017. The lighting ceremony will also feature musical and skating performances. Visitors can enjoy free ice skating at Winter Village as well as holiday shopping. Info: Fifth and Sixth Aves. (between West 40th and 42nd Sts.; ORIGAMI CHRISTMAS TREE AT AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY For over 30 years the AMNH has celebrated the joyous with its Origami Tree, this year decorated with the theme of “Dinosaurs Among Us” featuring 1,000 folded-paper works, constructed by volunteers throughout the year. On display from November 21, 2016, through January 8, 2017. Info: Central Park West (between West 77th and 81st St.; CHRISTMAS TREE AND NEAPOLITAN CRECHE AT THE MET FIFTH AVENUE The Met continues its holiday tradition with the presentation of its Christmas tree: a brightly lit, twenty-foot blue Norwegian Spruce featuring 18th-century Neapolitan angels and cherubs gracing its boughs. At the base of the tree is the crèche figures flanking the Nativity scene. The display is enhanced by animals and background pieces that create a beautiful setting for the Nativity, including a typical Italian fountain. The tree and crèche are on display from November 24, 2016 through January 7, 2017. Info: 1000 Fifth Avenue (between East 80th and 84th St.; LINCOLN SQUARE CHRISTMAS TREE On Monday, November 28, 2016, the 17th Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square—New York’s largest holiday festival will feature an evening of music, food, dancing and fun for the whole family. The highly anticipated event promises a new and lively lineup of legendary performers, up-and-coming musicians, dancers, street entertainment and more to ring in the holiday season and light up the Upper West Side. Bring your appetite and enjoy the food tastings at three different outdoor spots in the neighborhood. Info: Broadway (at West 63rd St.; 48 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

BARNEYS NEW YORK If you’re shopping along on Madison Avenue, Barneys windows are a must-see. Every year they show hip and stylish displays, accented with a dose of fun. Recent years have brought “live” performances to the windows. Info: Madison Ave (at East 61st St.; thewindow. BERGDORF GOODMAN Holiday windows here are usually unveiled in mid-November and reflect the sophisticated design of Bergdorf Goodman. They not only feature high-fashion but authentic antiques: each a work of art. Put this one on your list of must-do. Info: Fifth Ave (at West 58th St.; BLOOMINGDALE’S The holiday window displays are playful and before Black Friday so holiday shoppers can enjoy them throughout the season. The windows along Lexington Avenue are the favorites since they showcase an annual theme. Info: Lexington Ave (at East 59th St; LORD & TAYLOR Every year this store features classic holiday window displays which are unveiled in late November. The colorful displays feature imagery and mechanical movements that make them both traditional and very enjoyable for families. Info: Fifth Avenue (between West 38th and 39th St.; MACY’S Every November, Macy’s has windows depicting animated scenes from of New York. In years past, Miracle on 34th Street and a Charlie Brown Christmas have created a stir on 34th Street. The windows are perhaps New York City’s most famous window displays and are always on view in time for visitors who are here to take in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Info: Broadway (at West 34th St.; SAKS FIFTH AVENUE The holiday window displays are unveiled in late November and often feature playful animations. Conveniently located Saks Fifth Avenue’s windows are located across from the Rockefeller Promenade. Don’t Miss: Saks also produces a beautiful Winter Palace Light Show on the facade of the building during evening hours. Info: Fifth Avenue (at East 49th St.;

HOLIDAY SHOPPING From November through the end of December you’ll find the best that New York City has to offer—unique gift items including jewelry, clothing, home goods, arts, crafts, antiques, electronics, and so much more. HOLIDAY SHOPS AT BRYANT PARK’S WINTER VILLAGE The Holiday Shops include more than 100 boutique-like kiosks offering lovely gift ideas from jewelry, decorative goods, local foods, and much more--for all ages. The Holiday Shops which are housed in Bryant Park’s custom-designed kiosks and will close on January 2, 2017. Info: Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts; GRAND CENTRAL HOLIDAY FAIR Holiday Fair is the only one held indoors. This year, the Fair will fill Vanderbilt Hall with close to 100 vendors offering an incredible array of holiday gifts. Clothing for adults and children, handbags, hand-crafted jewelry and accessories for men and women top the list. Closes December 24th. Info: 42nd St. (between Vanderbilt and Lexington Ave; UNION SQUARE HOLIDAY MARKET Over 100 merchants are on hand to bring you unique gifts. Hand-blown glass housewares; handmade leather goods; bags and accessories; and a good variety of handmade jewelry are just some of the items available. As in years past, there will also be nibbles and noshes throughout the market. To warm things up, treat yourself to a hot apple cider or cappuccino. Closes December 24th. Info: Southern side of Union Square Park ( COLUMBUS CIRCLE HOLIDAY MARKET This market is considered by many as one of the most elegant places for holiday shopping. Conveniently located near the entrance to Central Park, at 59th Street, shoppers enjoy walking around discovering one-of-a-kind items including art, jewelry, from local designers. Closed December 24th. Info: Central Park (at West 59th and Broadway; • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 49

Linking The World 18 Holes At a Tee Time


id you know that the Big Apple has it’s very own art ambassador? His name is Charles Fazzino, and he’s an internationally renowned 3D pop artist who is most famous for painting cityscapes of New York. His signature three-dimensional technique makes his work immediately recognizable to thousands of his collectors. “No matter where I travel,” says Fazzino “my most famous works remain those I create of New York City. It’s my favorite place in the world and seems to have a magical hold on people from all walks of life.” Fazzino has enjoyed a more-than-thirty-year career in the art world. His works are exhibited in art galleries and museums in more than twenty-five different countries, and he has been commissioned to create artwork for such high profile events as The Super Bowl, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the GRAMMY Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards, and much more. When he’s not in the studio being creative, he’s globe-trotting to cities around the world for gallery appearances and signings. His work is distinguished by its 3D nature, along with its vibrancy and an incredible level of detail. Contrary to popular belief, each and every Fazzino artwork is meticulously cut, glued, and assembled by hand. Fazzino no longer cuts each piece himself—he has freelance artists who help him with that—but thirty years ago, it was him and his family on the living room floor wielding the scissors and knives.

FLYING HIGH While many are familiar with the collection of the artist’s 3D works that adorn the walls of homes and galleries throughout the world, they are not as well-versed in some of the larger scale installations Fazzino has created—most of which are in the New York Tristate area. One of his most impressive works can be found in the American Airlines Terminal at JFK International Airport. It’s a 10-foot-wide, 3D, hand-painted airplane sculpture and it sits right in the middle of the main terminal intersection. “That airplane was a labor of love for me,” states Fazzino. “Admittedly, when American Airlines sent me the sculpture and asked me to paint it, I was at a loss. I had no idea what to do with it. But then the inspiration struck, and it commemorates all of the places throughout the world where American Airlines flies from JFK. We unveiled it in a big ceremony, and to this day, I get a kick out of watching all of the tourists take pictures of it when I fly out of JFK.” There are a dozen more Fazzino works throughout the terminal including a 13-foot mural of New York City, replete with mobiles that greet passengers as they descend the escalator to baggage claim.

Charles Fazzino at work 50 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

Fazzino has also worked with several tristate area hospitals. The décor for the Newark Beth Isreal Medical Center’s children’s wing was based on Fazzino’s art and featured two 40-foot wall murals. And recently, Westchester Medical Center unveiled its Fazzino-designed Health COACH (Community Outreach and Community Health). The COACH travels to events throughout Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, and Orange Counties, linking together WMC’s many campuses and facilities.

THE STROKE OF AN ARTIST In 2013, the New York tour company, THE RIDE, commissioned Fazzino to design one of its state-of-the-art tour buses and the FAZZINO RIDE was born. Nominated for a 2013 Drama Desk Award, the part-tour, partinteractive-Broadway-show, traveled the streets of the city, garnering lots of attention along the way. Fazzino is often asked to describe how he came to develop the 3D technique that he has spent decades perfecting. It happened by chance while he was starting out as a professional artist, traveling up and down the East Coast, participating in juried art shows with his flat acrylic paintings. He went into an art supply store where they were giving a class on paper tole or decoupage. Fazzino sat in with the group, mostly made up of retirees, cut up greeting cards and wrapping paper with tiny scissors. “We took the greeting cards and used aquarium sealant to make them 3D,” he recollects. “Then we dipped them in a resin glue to finish them off.”

Paws In Paris

After taking the class, Fazzino tried the technique with some of his pieces, making photocopies of them and creating a similar 3D effect with scissors and glue. The 3D works were the only pieces that sold at his next art show. He knew he was on to something. Today, he describes the technique as layering artwork “almost like you would layer a lasagna” and claims that he was inspired by the pop-up books his mother gave him when he was a child.

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GIVING BACK There is no doubt that Charles Fazzino has made an indelible mark on the contemporary art world, having masterfully walked the line between artistry and commercial success. His art has touched thousands throughout the world. His work is in the collections of two past United States Presidents and countless other celebrities and corporate giants, and his charitable endeavors have raised more than $1 million for good works all over the world. Most recently, he created an edition of artwork that raised the most money of any donor to the efforts of the hospitals in Paris treating the victims after the bombing attacks there in 2015. When viewed as a whole, his entire collection forms one of the most comprehensive illustrative histories of contemporary life in existence today. Fazzino’s art offers universal appeal to people of all ages and from diverse cultural backgrounds, and his impressive mastery of color and composition have established him among the top contemporary artists of his time. •

What a Wonderful World

Charles Fazzino, a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, has inserted his unique, detailed, and vibrant style of artwork into the very fabric of modern culture. Fazzino’s artworks are exhibited in hundreds of museums and galleries in more than twenty different countries. His legacy will mark him as part of the next generation of famous pop artists as he follows the paths originally forged by pioneers such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Red Grooms. View the entire collection at NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 51

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ew York Lifestyles Magazine recently caught up with Angus Reed of Lotus Equity Group, a New York‐based real estate development, and investment firm, where senior professionals have a proven ability and commitment to delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to investors. Lotus was established with the purpose of pursuing the following: • Investment and development opportunities in the New York City metropolitan area. • Investment in Class B/C multi-family reposition opportunities. • Launching a hotel development platform based on modular technology. Lotus’ cross-cultural expertise and innovative thinking is a key advantage and has led its principals to a proven record working successfully on high profile projects with businesses, communities, and governmental agencies. We had the chance to ask Angus a few questions about real estate and his experiences. How did you become interested in the real estate development business? My father was a developer, and I grew up going to sites with him; it’s how I became passionate about development. I especially remember seeing a Sugar Plantation that he bought in Queensland, Australia and redeveloped into a housing subdivision. That made a huge impression on me. I saw the cane being burnt one year and the next year the development was well underway, and you could see houses on the lots. It was the first time I realized that essentially any present place could, with the right vision, be completely made over into something else. I saw my father take projects from an idea to reality, and I thought that seemed like fun. What is the primary challenge in growing Lotus Equity? I would say our main challenge is hiring the right people quickly enough to execute on our vision, of creating technologically sophisticated housing at an affordable price. We are looking for the absolute best analysis, execution, and acquisition specialists. Tell us about your business and your typical day. Lotus Equity is dedicated to high-profile projects, quality projects, especially in the New York metro area. One of the most exciting projects we are working on right now is the redevelopment of the old Bears Riverfront Stadium in Newark into a mixed-use residential and high-rise commercial complex that will be an important part of the city’s revitalization. The development will be a technologyfocused mixed-use community focused on the millennial market and create a 24/7 downtown destination for companies, residents, and visitors. Currently, we are in the process of completing the master plan and will be announcing that soon. I spend a lot of my time fundraising capital for Lotus’ projects. I start my work with our European partners at 5:30 AM. After

that, I try to hit the gym, and go to my office or to check in on a project or meet with investors. I work late into the evening with my Australian office on our hotel project, and usually, my day ends at 8:30 PM when I have dinner at home with my wife. What do you see as a leading trend/challenge in development in the tristate area? In New York, of course, the drive to more affordable housing is an essential part of the multifamily market and will continue to be a trend. The last two mayors have made this a priority, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. The desire for technologically sophisticated living is currently a focus of development, and this will continue. What I think could be a related trend is the increased use of disruptive construction techniques, such as modular, to stand up these projects quickly at a lower cost. Modular, where building components are built offsite and then put together like giant Legos onsite, is a much more general construction technique outside of the US. There are lots of advantages to New York, but right now, developers have only dipped their toe in with some exciting projects, such as The Stack, 461 Dean Street, and Carmel Place. Currently, construction is the least disrupted sector regarding new methods and technologies, so there is tremendous room for growth. But I think the challenge is getting more of the city’s real estate industry interested in implementing these projects. What is your advice to someone getting into the real estate development business? I would say that they need a certain tenacity, coupled with the flexibility to succeed. You don’t need a specific education, it is possible to learn on the job, and many great developers have done just that. However, you will need to be able to get an understanding of a wide array of disciplines including construction, design, fundraising, urban development, building regulations and market trends. I have found the best professionals are excited by the prospect of learning new things and are always challenging themselves. • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 53


’ve always loved to travel, and if you follow any of my posts, you’ll know I travel a lot for work to lecture and serve on advisory boards. As a little girl, my parents would pack up the three kids and take us away as often as my dad could manage around his busy doctor schedule. The airport was an exciting destination unto itself, and we dressed up for the trip as if we were going to a party. This was clearly before the days of strict airport security, where kids could sit in the cockpit before the flight and flight attendants gave us pins and playing cards. Some of the changes since those good old days have made travel more complicated, but some of the changes have been positive; smoking is no longer allowed in the airport or on the plane, and that’s a huge advance. As I sit here now on a plane heading home from a dermatology meeting in Dubai, I still feel the excitement of going to the airport, the thrill of the aircraft making its way down the runway, the exhilaration of take-off. The one thing about travel that can be the most challenging, however, is dealing with the havoc it wreaks on the skin. Totally not acceptable. I know it’s more than skin deep and adjustments need to be made to stay healthy and to make the entire trip more productive and fun.

WATER IS A FRIEND When you travel your whole routine is thrown off, sleep patterns are changed, you often don’t have access to the healthiest of food or to the skin care products and regimen you follow on a regular basis. With this in mind, you need to take special care to compensate to minimize the toll it takes on your skin and body. For starters, it’s important to stay hydrated. This means more water, less salt, and less alcohol. I said it was important; I didn’t say it was fun. I also said less, not none. The longer the trip, the more important this is. I’ve seen people whose feet and ankles swell to three or more times their size, and that can take days to resolve. Wearing support socks can help along with leg elevation when possible; walking during the flight, or stopping to walk if you’re in a car, and also doing flex and point foot exercise when sitting helps a lot too. Preparing your skin for travel starts even before you leave the house. If you’re a last minute packer, I recommend making a skin travel kit that’s always ready to go. (I’ll let you know in a moment what to include.) Most of us notice our skin gets dry when we travel. If you’re prone to eczema or psoriasis, this can trigger a flare. It’s especially important to have a great moisturizer to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. Drinking water won’t make the outer layers less dry; you need to moisturize and hydrate the skin directly. If you have oily skin and break out, the stress of traveling can trigger a flare leaving you both oily and dehydrated at the same time. It’s not always easy to pack all your acne medications when you travel, but it is important to maintain your routine to minimize any breakouts when you least want one. 54 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

WHAT TO PACK The one thing you need to coordinate and organize ahead of time is a travel skin-care kit so you can avoid any skin catastrophes that might ruin your trip. Here’s a list of travel must-haves: Skin Survival Travel Kit • Travel-size hand cream can be used on the body as needed as well. • Pre-moistened cleansing cloths that are softer rather than abrasive on the skin. • Travel-size tinted sunscreen can always double as a foundation for travel purposes. • Hair tie/Scrunchy is perfect to keep your hair off your face on a long flight or car ride without pulling or stressing your hair. • Airplane socks, available in most drug stores, are a luxurious way to enjoy soft, warm feet on the plane. • Eye cover and ear plugs are a necessity. Nothing says beautiful skin better than a good nap or nights’ sleep. Noise canceling headphones are good but may not be as comfortable for sleeping. • Lip balm, tissue, nail file and antiperspirant. Carry-On Suitcase It’s very helpful to have an emergency kit. This should include: • Cortisone cream which will save you in a pinch if you get a pimple, bug bites, or any irritation of the skin that leaves it red and itchy. When you travel you come into contact with so many different materials, your skin isn’t used to, and this can be an issue for those with sensitive skin. • Zeasorb powder is ideal for shoes and the body for those who sweat when they travel. It is absorbent and will keep you dry and comfortable and will help prevent your feet and shoes from getting stinky. • Benadryl is great if you need sleep and also good if you tend to have eczema or allergies that flare when you travel. Be careful not to take if you’re the driver. • Ibuprofen/aspirin depending on what your stomach tolerates. • Cleanser, moisturizer, serum, and prescriptions from your dermatologist: It’s important to maintain your routine as much as possible.

YOUR DESTINATION Never count on the hotel soap or moisturizer to keep your skin healthy. Depending on the length of your trip you can pack a separate set of products for your journey or use the travel size from your carry-on bag. I’m a master of packing, so I take a carry-on for almost every trip. When I travel, I do my best to transition to the final destination time zone. During the flight, I nap and adjust the light to help me acclimate even before I arrive. I try to pick flights that optimize the process. It takes a little planning but makes all the difference in minimizing jet lag and getting the most out of the trip. This way I hit the ground running and can be the most productive when I work. Almost time for landing and time to sign off. I had a great trip, so happy I planned ahead and made the most of the time. A little, simple planning made all the difference. I’m ready to get back to the office and seeing patients, which is my greatest joy and passion. • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 55


ith winter winds and holiday pressure looming, it’s not a bad idea to take a deep and essential breath—the kind that points us to our happy place of real escapism. Some find it in yoga, others on treadmills or pumping iron, while the more bliss-seeking among us simply surrender tight muscles and frayed nerves to the experienced hands of facial and massage therapists. Thankfully, Manhattan has become a magnet for high caliber spa “artists” from across the globe, individuals who are more than happy to ensure our stress levels for seasonal shopping, dining and family gatherings are tempered by bliss. Time to feel beautiful!

SHEVA THAI SPA When you step into Sheva Thai Spa, one of Manhattan’s newest boutique spas, you’re greeted by a massive gold Buddha—the sort of attention grabber that tends to mesmerize first-timers for a few moments before they turn their attention to the smiling young women dressed in traditional Thai attire at the front desk. Clearly, the backdrop is far from conventional. Rather, it’s a sort of garden of unexpected—even unconventional—spa delights. The space opens up to a graceful enclave of spa chairs where authentic Thai foot and acupressure services take place, while the back section is set aside for pedicures and massage suites. The décor is Asian eclectic—with artwork, figurines, fabrics and a soothing waterfall coming together to create an intimate and exotic otherworld separating you from the bustle of Lexington Avenue outside. Sheva’s menu offers massages that range from total Thai to a blending of classic Swedish massage with ancient Thai techniques; soothing facials; and an almost decadent collection of manicures and pedicures. But it was their trio of signature foot treatments that caught my attention and led me to the “Royal Thai Body Treatment” which begins with serious attention to the feet and invites you to “Rejuvenate your inner being from head to toe.”

that allows the therapist to roll up the pant legs to the calves. And since this is such an all-body experience my therapist, the lovely and fabulous Tenzin, not only took my feet, legs, hands and arms into spa nirvana (detoxifying and hydrating sea salts, essential oils, foot masque and other amazing things), she also gave my neck and shoulders a deep-tissue massage. And you can add to that assessment a few more winning Sheva Spa elements: You do not need to make an appointment: walk-ins are encouraged, so much so that the spa is officially “Sheva Thai Spa Express!” SHEVA THAI SPA 500 Lexington Avenue (between East 47th & East 48th Streets) 646-846-8377

When you sign up for this 60-minute service, you shed your clothes, not for a robe, but rather a roomy scrubs-like ensemble NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 57

OASIS DAY SPA NYC It began on a Thursday afternoon following an incredibly hectic morning in the city that never sleeps. One of those days when it seems your treadmill life has dissolved into a blur. And so, with barely 10 minutes to spare before my three o’clock appointment I trotted down the stairs to the front desk of Oasis Day Spa NYC—a popular mecca for workaholics, overwrought celebrities or, for that matter, anyone on the fast track to frantic—and I knew immediately salvation was at hand. In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit this was not my first fall pilgrimage to Oasis in search of sanity and rejuvenation. During my initial visit (in 2013), I was one of the first to experience the spa’s “Phyto Stem Cell Facial,” which has become—no surprise to me—one of their most sought-after treatments thanks to the Swiss apple stem cells that form the basis of the products used. The products, themselves, developed by the vanguard French skincare company GM Collin, were designed to target sun damage, lines, and discoloration. Afterward, I wrote, “I could see a noticeable improvement after a single... treatment. Advantage me.” However, since Oasis Day Spa is known for both creativity and upping the ante on a good thing, this time, out when I zeroed in on “Skincare Services: Exclusive Seasonal Spa Specials,” I was intrigued to find something new on the menu. The “Fall Renewal Facial” in which the “Phyto Stem Cell Facial” is teamed up with their “Diamond Microdermabrasion Treatment.” I had to bite. OASIS DAY SPA NYC 1 Park Avenue (between East 32nd and East 33rd Streets) 212-254-7722


When it comes to bathrobes, it’s first about the fabric and how it feels against your skin. Kelsey MacLean’s Adult Spa Robe (aka her Luxury Cotton Bathrobe) is outstanding. With a 100% Pima cotton outside and 100 percent terry interior, it is beyond comfortable and with a softness that improves with every wash. Also, these all-white robes can be personalized with any number of embroidered colors, scripts, and designs—from monograms to full names, to totally cool graphics, or customized logo. Bonus for Last Minute Gift-givers: Orders ship within 24 hours Monday through Friday except for holidays—even with personalization. Visit for robes/wraps and her complete line of adult and kids clothing. So on that very harried Thursday early last October, I once again found myself in one of Oasis’ pristine facial rooms under the care of an experienced (and endlessly patient) aesthetician. She gently talked me through each step of the process that involved a deep cleansing treatment, extractions, oxygenvitamin infusion, hydrating seaweed mask and addictive facial massage. With copious anti-oxidants and all those apple stem cells working in luxurious harmony to give me a noticeable autumnal glow—in a single visit, no less—I can’t help but give this seasonal Oasis facial two thumbs up. Still, my vote comes with a tick-tock caveat: the Fall Renewal Facial is not a year-round pleasure, so check with the spa to be sure it will be around post-November. And if not, there are myriad classic services and packages— not to mention the next seasonal exclusive—to keep you in Oasis’ compelling gravitational pull. •



Escape to your own private country estate at The Lodge at Woodloch, an all-inclusive destination spa resort just 95 miles from Manhattan. Reservations: 866.953.8500


re there real actions to becoming fulfilled in life? You bet. My research and that of others suggest that there are critical street-smart actions that those who are most fulfilled use every day in their professional and personal lives. I interviewed over 100 successful people—some who were fulfilled and others who were not—to understand why success does not always bring about fulfillment. There was an unusual convergence around several things that fulfilled people do at work and home. Here are the top seven:

PRACTICE RESILIENCE The ability to face adversity and bounce back is number one. Part of resilience is having grit, a firmness of character, or as psychologist Angela Duckworth describes it based on her studies, the “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” It was a rare person who could pursue their long-term goals without setbacks in their lives—divorces, failed promotions, cancer, family members coming off the rails. Many people who I knew to be successful in their professional lives had many hidden stories of failures and bounce backs. They used a variety of approaches to get around those adversities that you can borrow in your life, such as building a great support network of friends, or family that can help you as you plow through challenges. Those who had developed mentors found them especially useful. Some dug deep into their long-term vision or spirituality to help them overcome setbacks. We all have setbacks; it’s how you get up that makes the difference.


TAKES RISKS A fascinating finding in my research is the number of people who either took risks and vouched that those risks stretched them and enabled them to reach new heights or those who regretted not taking more risks. It appears that wisdom brings with it perspective. What seemed to be huge risks to many when they were young, now seem insignificant in hindsight. Although hindsight is often 20/20, it would be too easy to dismiss this advice simply as sages looking through the rear view mirror. Instead, many felt so strongly about this that they have gone overboard in encouraging their children to take more risks. This is one of the most painful lessons in the art of fulfillment, but you can help yourself by having a longer-term vision, with many common lighthouse goals along the way— stepping stones—that allow you to see the big picture. Imminent risks are often much less threatening when viewing the big picture. Another key is talking to those who have faced those risks before, often providing sage advice that allows one to reduce the fear and anxiety that comes with perceived risk.

Many people who I knew to be successful in their professional lives had many hidden stories of failures and bounce backs.

One of the most frequent pieces of advice among our sages was taking the time to build networks. One out-of-work pharmaceutical executive told me that the only time he networks is when he is out of work, lamenting that he has not learned from past mistakes. It takes so much longer to reconnect with people and build trust, he shared. This is an increasing challenge to those who are overloaded at work today. Many interviewees commented that time pressures reduced their attendance at meetings outside of work, limited hobby and family time, and reduced the time to keep up with friends and professional colleagues on Facebook or LinkedIn. Most realized that having a good network is an essential skill, particularly in the world we live in where networks and connections are increasingly key to scoring the next great job or finding a life partner or getting into the right school. If you are not building your network continuously, you are falling behind.

Sharing your skills and experiences with others can bring an incredible sense of satisfaction when you see what it can do for others. 60 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

GIVE BACK An often forgotten element that brought fulfillment to many was giving back. Sharing your skills and experiences with others can bring an incredible sense of satisfaction when you see what it can do for others. I began volunteering for not-for-profits later in life, and I can attest that it has been one of the most rewarding experiences. One group, I encountered during my investigations was Rosie’s Kids—a program to help inner city kids go ahead in life by teaching them stage skills like dancing and singing their hearts away. I first heard the backstory of so many of the disadvantaged children--crack houses, abusive parent, abandoned, homeless—and then I saw these kids performing with huge smiles on their faces. One child summed it up for me when I spoke with him at the end. He said that he was excited about his future—his chances. And with a tear in my eye, I realized that one of our greatest sources of fulfillment is to enable others to become fulfilled.



While most people dream of achieving things without having to work like crazy, the reality is that so many accomplishments are achieved through hard work. Don Thomas, who has been on four NASA space missions, dreamed of becoming an astronaut but had to work incredibly hard to reach his goals of space flight. He worked hard to get an engineering degree from a good school and got a top-notch job with AT&T in an engineering research center, but even that was not enough. He had to move to Houston to take jobs that were closer to NASA operations. After being rejected three times, he finally made it into the program, but that was no guarantee of getting into space. He still had to work incredibly hard to get the nod for his first mission. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers generalizes research of Anders Ericsson showing most successful musicians put in 10,000 hours of practice to become accomplished. While that number has been challenged as being too high or too low, the reality is that many hours of hard work are required to both achieve goals and to feel fulfilled. We hardly had anyone in our sample of satisfied or fulfilled people who had not worked hard.


And stick with them! Does your work environment, family and friends allow you to behave consistently with your values? Having to behave contrary to your values can be debilitating.

Most of the fulfilled people we interviewed talked about staying fit mentally and physically.

While I have listed this last, it is a prerequisite to staying in the game. It will be impossible to put in hard work, take risks, fight through setbacks, and even build secure networks without health. Most of the fulfilled people we interviewed talked about staying fit mentally and physically: taking yoga classes, exercising to reduce stress, eating healthy food, and practicing wellness in one form or another. Take a moment to think about your fulfillment. Do you have a vision, taking enough risks, and built the networks to help you during tough setbacks? Are you giving back to others more in need? Try it. I think you will find yourself more fulfilled. •

Dr. William A. Schiemann is CEO of Metrus Group. He is a thought leader in human resources, employee engagement, and fulfillment and author of Fulfilled! Critical Choices—Work, Home, Life. Follow Dr. Schiemann on Twitter @wschiemann and connect with him on LinkedIn at: NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 61


ith school in full swing, it brings with it after-school activities, which can lead to a balancing act of schedules for kids and parents. Hours of practicing their favorite sport, learning a new musical instrument, and the list goes on. With this in mind, it’s important to stress that parents carefully evaluate a child’s interest in after-school schedules. “Busy schedules have become a part of our culture,” said Josh Klapow, a Ph.D. clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “As much as we would like to keep our children active and engaged, overscheduling is simply not right for them or parents. An overbooked family spends little time together, is usually worn out and stressed, and tends to argue, creating a fine line between being busy and overdoing it. Klapow suggests setting house rules, educating kids about activities and their choices, balancing adult and youth activities, establishing family time, and recognizing that downtime is just as important. “When children are overbooked with activities, it could lead to over-enrichment and exhaustion. It is important that you listen to your kids and pay attention to warning signs that they are doing too much,” Klapow said.

STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT If you have a busy schedule and your kids are displaying any of these physical and cognitive signs, there is a good chance they are being extended too far: • Tired • Irritable • Nervous • Easily distracted • A headache and stomachache complaints • Having a tough time keeping their grades up The question for many parents becomes “how do you keep your busy schedule in check?” As a parent, ask yourself these questions: • How many hours per week should be spent on extracurricular activities? • What activities is your child interested in? • What will your child’s homework load look like? • Is it practical to have more than one activity per season? • What are the means of transportation to and from each activity? • What are your activities, and how do these play into scheduling? • What are your commitments professionally? Klapow recommends laying out ground rules before making commitments, such as playing only one sport or activity per season or no more than two practices per week. Set priorities and expectations for schoolwork and obtaining good grades. Having a conversation with children about activities is important. Make sure they know what they are signing up for and the expectations of coaches and peers. Talks about time commitment are necessary, accurately expressing how this could cut into their social time with friends. Schedule time for homework to ensure it fits within the planned activities. “Be upfront with your kids,” Klapow said. “If the activities require that the child is at practice right after school, note that this will cut into their play time with their friends, as homework will need to be completed when they get home before dinner.” 62 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

FOLLOW THROUGH A difficult decision for a parent can be allowing your child to quit an activity. It is important to teach children to commit to something and follow through. But, if a child doesn’t want to participate in an extracurricular activity, it is important to have a conversation with them about why they want to quit, examine other events and what is going on in their life and make a decision together. Klapow suggests, “allowing each child to participate in one sport per season, one musical/art endeavor, and one social/ religious activity to maintain a steady schedule. But listen to your child, if they seem cranky, tired and they are protesting, it is time to reevaluate and make decisions to fit your child and your schedule.”

CONSIDER YOUR OWN SCHEDULES Parents have to balance activities for their children and themselves. As a parent, consideration for a child’s activity should be taken from a personal perspective, including getting the child to and from practice, attending games or recitals, and making sure the child is performing the activity well with additional practice at home. Parents also need to consider their schedules and commitments at work. “If you are unable to transport to and from practice or ensure top performance, who will take care of these responsibilities and what does their schedule look like?” Klapow asks. “As parents layout the responsibilities to their child, their responsibilities should be taken into consideration along with those of any others that help care for their children.” Also, parents should carve out time for their activities they enjoy, as well as opportunities to stay healthy. Find a chance to socialize with other adults, make downtime for recovery from work commitments and time to organize schedules and plan for the week. “Driving your health into the ground to accommodate your child’s schedule is simply not a smart thing to do,” Klapow said.


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FAMILY TIME Parents need to set aside family time at the very least, one night a week. Eating dinner together or playing a card game, a time when everyone living in the house sits down to spend quality time together. “It’s critical that everyone in the house be a part of family time,” Klapow said. “If your family does not sit down for one meal together each week, then you are overbooked. This time is critical to developing bonds as a family.” Downtime offers a chance for parents and children to relax, reflect on the day or just do nothing. Children should have at least 60 minutes of downtime per week to allow for creative, emotional and mental development.

Upon entering you are immediately WOWED by the expansive views of PINES LAKE! The open concept floor plan features a gourmet kitchen with a huge island plus a dining area with glass doors to a beautiful covered balcony. This space flows into the comfortable family room with a fireplace & all are enhanced by walls of windows with stunning views across the back of the house. Wake up to the water view in the gorgeous master bedroom suite with a private balcony, spa bath, walk in closet & a custom barrel ceiling with cove lighting. Waterfront dock. Wayne. Offered at $1,795,000.

“We live in a very busy world and, of course, want the best for our kids,” Klapow said. “Sometimes the best means less.” •

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don’t have time to cook.” “I have nothing in my house to prepare.” “I don’t know how to use my oven.” These are excuses frequently made by my clients for not preparing a meal at home. I get it. I don’t have a lot of time to cook at day’s end either. But I have armed myself with a few great cookbooks that I can keep in my car or purse for the times when I am at the supermarket and not sure what to make for dinner. Here, a few of the books I’d like to share with you. EVERYDAY FOOD LIGHT Everyday Food cookbooks use healthy ingredients and are simple to prepare. My favorite one is Everyday Food Light. This cookbook has the nutrition analysis available and each serving is less than 500 calories. As an added bonus, the recipes are sectioned by season. Best Bet: Sautéed Shrimp with Arugula and Tomatoes. SO EASY: LUSCIOUS, HEALTHY RECIPES FOR EVERY MEAL OF THE WEEK You may be familiar with Ellie Krieger from her appearances on the Food Network. Her background as a Registered Dietitian combined with her culinary skills makes for a perfect cookbook that provides nutrition analysis for each recipe. These tasty recipes are so easy to follow that anyone can put together a fast and healthy meal in a short amount of time. Best Bet: Steak Chimichurri with Grilled Garlic Bread and Grilled Tomatoes. BAREFOOT CONTESSA: HOW EASY IS THAT? Who doesn’t love Ina Garten with her fresh simplicity of ingredients? In this cookbook edition, she shows us how to save time in the kitchen while preparing delicious meals. In addition, she shares some great meal preparation and cooking tips. Best Bet: Watermelon & Arugula Salad. DINNER MADE SIMPLE: 35 EVERYDAY INGREDIENTS, 350 EASY RECIPES This is one of my newest purchases from the editors of Real Simple Magazine. If you are familiar with publication’s recipes, then you already know how easy and tasty their recipes are. Each chapter is broken down by the 35 ingredients and has a picture to accompany each. This is a great cookbook to keep in your car so you can easily select a recipe at the last minute. Best Bet: Sausage with White Beans and Tarragon. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING LIGHT & HEALTHY COOKING Good Housekeeping Magazine brings you this great cookbook with many recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. You will find familiar recipes that are lighter versions of the originals and nutrition information is available for each. Best Bet: Healthy Makeover French Toast. THE GASTROKID COOKBOOK This is a great one for foodie parents who want to introduce healthy foods into their kids’ meals. These recipes help kids to explore foods that taste great and use simple ingredients that the entire family will enjoy. Best Bet: Broccoli Puree. PINTEREST While this is not a cookbook, it is an amazing resource for anyone who is seeking recipes. You simply type in key words such as “healthy meals”, “high fiber breakfasts” or ingredients you have at home such as “spinach, chicken, garlic” and you will find a plethora of suggestions. In addition, Pinterest is great for keeping all of your favorite recipes organized. • Shari Bilt Boockvar, MS, RDN is a Nutritionist in the Tristate area. She specializes in nutrition counseling and consulting for weight control and fitness and can be found blogging on her favorite products and recipes. Visit her at NutritionShari on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; and 64 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

COFFEE BREAK By Clint Brownfield

couple of weeks ago I headed to the cavernous 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue at 26th St. to sip my way through the 2nd Annual New York Coffee Festival. Nearly 100 vendors were there to exhibit their wares: coffee (of course), tea, soy/almond/macadamia milk, chocolate, as well as espresso machines the size of SUVs. One of my missions was to learn how best to store coffee, which can be a bewildering quest. I usually buy coffee—one pound at a time—freshly ground from roasted beans at Zabar’s on the UWS. Once home, I open the bag to discover the aroma is one of life’s nicest small pleasures.

THE PERFECT CUP OF JOE As I made the rounds at the Coffee Festival, I asked some of the vendors how I should best store the freshly ground coffee. Apparently, you really shouldn’t grind a pound of beans all at once. Rather, grind just what you need for the time. That’s about the last thing I want to do after I stagger into my kitchen every morning. I’ve thought about buying one of those coffee makers that has a built-in grinder, but figured I’d be too stupid to follow the instructions. I can’t even set the clock on the one I have! My next question was how to best store coffee beans. Store the beans in an airtight, non-clear container. Air and light can cause the beans to degenerate into a lackluster product sooner than you might think. The caffeine content could even be affected! There’s much debate on whether you should keep beans in the refrigerator and the consensus from most is “No!” However, if you do store coffee this way, be sure that the actual temperature of the refrigerator compared to the room doesn’t fluctuate too much. This is not ideal. Also, unless the container is totally airtight, the humidity in a fridge is harmful to a nicely roasted bean. A good rule of thumb is if you buy several pounds of beans at one time, it is advised that you keep them in the freezer in an airtight container. Before you buy, make sure there’s a round airtight seal on the bag. When they’re ready for use, bring the beans to room temperature before you grind them. Make sure the bag is resealed after the initial opening.

KNOW WHEN & WHERE The romance of seeing open barrels of beans in charming stores is also a false thrill. These beans are already exposed to the air and deterioration has begun, especially if the store doesn’t have a rapid rate of turnover in the coffee department. The lesson here: Know your vendor. Ask where the beans come from, how long have they been in the store, when were they roasted, etc. Using a Mason jar, a recycled sauce jar or even a plastic water bottle is fine, but remember light is harmful to the beans. So, if you decide to go this route, don’t place the container on a sunny windowsill. Storing the container inside a kitchen cabinet is better. The bottom line to making the perfect cup of java is keep fresh beans at room temperature in something airtight and out of direct sunlight. Grind them fresh every time you brew and enjoy. This all reminded me of when, a couple of years ago, I was doing research for a health/wellness travel piece. I checked into Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA, and got the chance to interview Dr. Mark Liponis, the famed spa’s chief medical officer. I asked him what he thought about coffee consumption and he said their research shows that we’re better off with drinking two cups of coffee every day than drinking none at all. That did it for me. Coffee as a health food! Of course, run this by your doctor before you dive in. Plans are already afoot for next year’s three-day festival ( The price of admission will allow you to come and go as you please for the duration of the show. The vendors are very generous with samples—small cups of coffee from all over the world, various creamers and even bags of beans. The samples alone will practically pay for the cost of your tickets. Enjoy! • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 65


ove over cupcakes. Once the popular finger food of trendy New Yorkers, they’ve been eclipsed by the macaron— the 2016 dessert of choice. The French spell it macaron; however, Americans have to do it their way in spelling and style. We spell it macaroon. What makes this tempting treat so incredibly fun to taste? Perhaps it’s their delicate beauty or the distinct texture. Whatever it is, we love them. The craze is hardly new. Historians have chronicled that macarons can be traced to a 9th-century Italian monastery. Then, in 1533, the monks traveled to France with their recipe and eventually joined the pastry chefs of Catherine de Medici. It was the French who refined the recipes to what we know today. During the 20th century, Pierre Desfontaines Laduree had the idea to join two meringues and fill them with ganache. The concept held, and today the Parisian bakery, Laduree, continues the tradition and is known around the world for its dozens of exciting flavors.

SWEET TREATS It is said life should be exciting and so should your dessert. But you don’t have to travel to Paris for the best macarons. New York’s own Macaron Café ( is where the excitement runs deep. Owned by husband-wife team Cecile and Arnaud Cannone, it’s a shop of many colors—and flavors. Opened in 2007 in the Fashion District, it soon became the place to be. Cecile and Arnaud will never forget the huge welcome they received. “The warmth and enthusiasm of the New Yorkers who flocked to our little shop was truly overwhelming.” she said. With an oh-so-subtly-delicious recipe for a little almond delight, you could say that Cecile’s a born pastry chef. She told us that everything she knows about making macarons she owes to her family in France. “As a little girl, I spent hours in the kitchen and loved the desserts we created. I still continue baking at home on weekends with my sons. You might say baking is my therapy!” Today, there are an additional three outposts and a booming e-commerce business too. Cecile bakes them by hand with nearly 70 flavors, all of which are gluten-free and kosher, and—because one imagines macarons are bought as gifts—the packaging is pretty, with a range of ribbon colors from which to choose. There are the classics such as Vanilla sharing shelf space with such luscious flavors like Honey Lavender, Matcha Tea, Orange Blossom, Earl Grey, and the list goes on. There’s even a decadent chocolate macaron that is particularly addictive. Cecile confessed that she can’t live a day without eating chocolate. “Yes, definitively the dark chocolate for sure. And then depending on the time of the day or the weather, I love the floral ones—it’s a very French thing to eat flowers.” To keep things fresh, Cecile loves to add seasonal favorites for Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Holidays and, of course, Valentine’s Day. Of course, should you decide to indulge at one of the cafes , you can enjoy them with a French press coffee or Mariage Freres tea. And though it’s tempting to indulge in a confection-only lunch, the café also serves up gourmet sandwiches and lovely packaged salads. We particularly liked the Paris sandwich of ham, gruyere, and French pickles on (what else?) a baguette. Still undecided, try the Croque Monsieur special. •

LET’S TALK TURKEY By Patricia Canole

hanksgiving, pretty much everyone’s favorite holiday, is just around the corner. And if you’re looking for ways to kick this one up a notch, you’re not alone. New York Lifestyles tracked down some of New York’s top chefs for their ideas on how to re-invent this year’s celebration. Here, the best cooking tips and twists on traditional dishes. See which ones work best on your table.

CARMINE’S When Carmine’s first opened on the Upper West Side, word spread quickly about the exciting atmosphere, the great food served family-style and reasonably priced. This along with the oversized cocktails and wine list composed of the best values and varieties from Italy and around the world made Carmine’s an immediate hit. Their second New York City location opened in the Theater District in 1992— and might be considered one of Broadway’s longest-running hits.

CARMINE’S 2450 Broadway 212-362-2200 200 West 44th St. 212-221-3800

Chef Glenn Rolnick, Director of Culinary Operations

What is the biggest mistake most people make when preparing and cooking Thanksgiving dinner? I believe that timing and the quantity of food are the biggest challenges most people face, it can be hard to properly estimate the amount of food you’ll need for your guests. Having all food ready and served hot can sometimes be challenging as well. What is the one ingredient you can’t live without—especially on Thanksgiving Day? I can’t live without sweet butter on Thanksgiving Day. It’s great to rub on the turkey and to add in your mashed potatoes and vegetables. What will be on the menu at your home? My plans for Thanksgiving this year will be cooking for my family at home. For starters, I will be serving jumbo kosher franks in a pastry blanket and minipizza bites. The main course will include a slow roasted turkey with giblet gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side. Dessert will be homemade ice cream with fresh fruit.

CHAZZ PALMINTERI RISTORANTE ITALIANO One step inside Chazz transports guests to a bygone era of Italian hospitality, classic dishes with an updated flare, and Rat Pack charisma. In fact, once seated at the white linen tables surrounded by heavy-framed mirrors and dimly-lit wall sconces, you’ll be watching the door with expectations of Dino, Frank or Sammy walking in. However, you won’t be surprised to see the restaurant’s namesake owner enjoying a meal, chatting up guests and generally checking in on things when he’s in town. What is the biggest mistake most people make when preparing and cooking Thanksgiving dinner? Cooking for a large crowd like family, especially on holidays, comes with a lot of pressure. One error that occurs a lot during the meal preparation—and took me making a huge mistake to master—is the roasting of the turkey. With my experience, I’ve learned that allowing the turkey to defrost on its own to room temperature is vital. Trying to speed up the process by putting it in hot water is a huge mistake. Pre-heating the oven too high is also a mistake that many people make. I suggest keeping the oven at a steady, moderate temperature to get a perfectly cooked turkey with a crisp skin. What is the one ingredient you can’t live without—especially on Thanksgiving Day? The first ingredient that came to mind would have to be garlic, not only is it high in nutrition, but also delicious and super easy to incorporate in nearly every dish. It’s a win-win. During Thanksgiving, I love adding garlic to almost everything, from the turkey stuffing, to the pasta with shrimp and even homemade garlic and honey dressing. What will be on the menu at your home? I try to incorporate as many fruits and vegetables in my everyday meals, especially on holidays, My favorite stuffing that has been in our family for years is chopped fresh dried fruits: figs, apricots, prunes, dried cranberries combined with the traditional stuffing of ground beef, fresh herbs, and seasoning.


Executive Chef Ennis Purisic



KINGSLEY 190 Avenue B 212-675-4500

There’s something new brewing at this Lower East Side restaurant: Kingsley is made for easy comfort and languorous conversations, for late nights and high spirits. The restaurant sets its tables with gold flatware, Lagouille steak knives, and delicate flower vases. It sets its mood with soft lighting, copper accents, bar backlights, and French salon mirrors. And behind its intimate dining rooms and elegant bar, Kingsley has the Lower East Side’s most romantic city garden. What is the biggest mistake most people make when preparing and cooking Thanksgiving dinner? Brine your turkey people! Don’t be like my mom and use the right salt like Kosher because density is important (do not use table salt). Do realize that it will take way less time to cook the turkey, despite all of your thoughts that say, “Hey, no way this turkey is done.” It’s done so pull it out and let it rest. Don’t be like my mom. What is the one ingredient you can’t live without—especially on Thanksgiving Day? It’s terrible, but I absolutely love canned cranberry sauce. It’s a must-have for me! What will be on the menu at your home? I’m all about Thanksgiving, but what I really love are the leftovers.

Executive Chef Roxanne Spruance

1633 The cuisine at 1633 is similar to what one would find when dining at a restaurant in the center of Greece and where Chef Dionisis uses global ingredients and techniques to blend them into traditional Greek dishes. Playful and creative, this urban dining experience is orchestrated by Chef Dionisis, whose Acropolis-size personality comes out in every tongue-in-cheek dish he serves. Chef Dionisis takes apart core elements that define his country’s traditional cuisine and then artfully reconstructs them into a refined and utterly intriguing dish of modern classics. What is the biggest mistake most people make when preparing and cooking Thanksgiving dinner? The biggest mistake that I’ve seen when making a big 1633 family dinner at Thanksgiving is that the recipes are 1633 Second Avenue not organized. As a result, everyone runs around like 212-837-8285 crazy. My advice is to organize each recipe. This just means having all the ingredients already measured before you start cooking. Believe me, it will be more fun to cook that way because there is less mess to clean up when you’re organized! What is the one ingredient you can’t live without—especially on Thanksgiving Day? Hmmm...that is hard to say because you have so many beautiful ingredients at this time of year— spices, chestnuts, pine nuts, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and many others. But I guess my favorite one is bread! What will be on the menu at your home? These days, 1633 is my home, so I’m going to present a different version of the traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey as the main ingredient. The menu (from the soup to the dessert) will be inspired by Thanksgiving. 68 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

Executive Chef Dionisis Liakopoulos

TESSA TESSA is an energetic and lively restaurant featuring original, inspired and flavorful food. It’s a place where adults can enjoy everything from cocktail hour to a full meal at the bar, or dinner in the bustling dining room. It’s equally well appointed for pre-theater dinner or post-concert mezze with drinks, as for a multi-course dinner paired with the finest bottles of wine from TESSA’s reserve list.

Executive Chef Eric Cope

What is the biggest mistake most people make when preparing and cooking Thanksgiving dinner? Not giving themselves enough time to get everything done. Preparing a proper Thanksgiving meal takes TESSA hours of work and the last thing you want is to make 349 Amsterdam Avenue your guests wait. You should be able to enjoy your 212-390-1974 family and friends’ company and give thanks for what you have. What is the one ingredient you can’t live without—especially on Thanksgiving Day? A beautiful Turkey. I believe that a well-cooked turkey or even a nice deli-style version is some of the best poultry out there. The flavor of a gigantic turkey leg is something that I could take to the grave. What will be on the menu at your home? My Thanksgiving plan this year is the same as every year: to spend it with family and friends who are closest to me and that I love very dearly. That’s one of the most important things in life, besides food obviously. The menu at my house will consist of green bean casserole, garlic mashed potatoes, pan gravy, sausage and cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, homemade biscuits, roasted vegetables and, of course, a big golden brown turkey.

BURKE & WILLS 226 West 79th Street 646-823-9251

BURKE & WILLS Since its opening, Burke & Wills has staked its claim as one of the most popular restaurants on the Upper West Side—and has become well known for its top-flight combination of seasonal cuisine and original, artisanal cocktails. Australian ex-pats Tim Harris and Matilda Boland offer a double experience under one roof—the casual Manhattan Cricket Club, a swanky exclusive cocktail lounge as well as the comfortable dining room where one can encounter the modern, adventurous flavors of Australia. What is the biggest mistake most people make when preparing and cooking Thanksgiving dinner? Overcooking the turkey for sure. People need to realize that legs and breast cook a different temperature—I always cook them separately. What is the one ingredient you can’t live without—especially on Thanksgiving Day? This is going to sound cliché, but butter is key when cooking my turkey. I always put a good amount of herbed butter under the breast skin, it makes it taste better, and helps to keep it moist. What will be on the menu at your home? Well, I can’t really remember the last time I had Thanksgiving at home! However, I will make sure to cook for my restaurant family, and they can definitely expect some foie gras and duck stuffing. I have made it the past few years, and it has become my favorite part of the day. •

Executive Chef Rodrigo Noguerira



f poutine that outstanding French-Canadian comfort food of French fries and cheese curds is the limit of your taste of Quebec, be prepared to have your senses open as wide as the natural UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve landscape of Charlevoix. On landing after a short hour-long flight to Quebec City from JFK, and a quick half-hour drive to the Charlevoix region, you immediately feel like you’re in a part of Europe. Surrounding you are wilderness, mountains, and lakes with skies arching over you in an infinity of blue. The landscape was formed when a meteor hit the earth in prehistoric times, creating the regions whale-filled bays and mountain ranges and valleys in between. You’ll notice immediately that if you know a few words of French(“Bonjour” will do), friendly locals light up with pleasure and help you through your limited high school lexicon into a pleasant exchange of “where are you from?” and “we hope you have a great trip.” If you don’t, no worries. English is spoken everywhere.

HITTING THE TRAIL Start off your tour of the region’s culinary Flavour Trail with a visit to Domaine de la Vallée du Bras ( and a tasting of their unique tomato wine, Omerto. The family that makes this heady apéritif uses a four-generation-old Belgian recipe. It’s bright, green flavor bursts on the palate and it’s a perfect accompaniment for the regions’ creamy, Canadian cow-based cheeses. Be sure to bring back a bottle or two of this rosy-hued brew and be the first of your friends to serve tomato wine at a dinner party. Nearby, the Laiterie Charlevoix Cheese Economuseum ( on Route 138 does guided tours of its expansive factory and pastures. You’ll have a chance to hunker down in an old fashioned French-Canadian country kitchen while you taste the farm-fresh cheese and hear the story of the Canadian Cow, a now rare breed that makes high protein milk in small batches. The milk with its mouthfilling rich cream content, produces a velvety, thick semi-soft cheese with a mellow flavor. Instagrams of yourself and your friends or family with the friendly Canadian cows that lounge contentedly nearby are de rigueur. 70 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

Agrotourisme Photo by Robert Chiasson

Maigret de canard Ferme Basque Sauce

Mijot poulet Fleurmier

HOMEMADE & GARDEN FRESH An afternoon of touring gives way to twilight as the sun sets over the St. Lawrence River in bursts of pure Canadian color. If you’re tempted to savor more delicious cheese, stop and save room for a five-course meal at the Auberge des 3 Canards in Malbaie ( The traditional menu at this St. Lawrence River front inn pairs perfectly with balcony views of the glass-smooth water (kids might even spot a whale or two during breeding season). Appetizers include a trio of velvety foie gras with homemade French bread (you can toast slices of this crusty, yeasty goodness on a fire grill in the lobby). Step into the main dining room for cuisine you won’t forget too soon: the local game like freshly caught wild venison. The Auberge offers theirs in a berryinfused reduction that brings out autumn flavors in the lean and healthy meat). Another option for a French Canadian food-lover

Chili con carne Oiseau Bleu serviette

stay is the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu (, a 1920s-era stunner that hosted the wealthy American set who made Charlevoix their summer home in the Gatsby era. The Manoir has its garden and bees, and its shop is laden with local foods like honey, berry jams, cheeses, and chutneys. Make a point to visit the Manoir’s huge kitchen where a hearty, meat stock soup is always on the boil. You’ll also note that the hotel does its regional visits to farmers with culinary staff. Although Charlevoix’ Flavour Trail is a lure for food lovers, it’s not the only thing on the menu. Kids who sat patiently through a fivecourse meal or a cheese tasting will love the little scenic Charlevoix train that winds through the Côte-de Beaupré’s idyllic landscape and its picturesque country villages. It’s fun and educational. For maps and detailed information on the Charlevoix Flavour Trail, please visit, •

Gretchen Kelly is a New York City-based freelance journalist and editor. NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 71

100 YEARS IN THE BAKING By Sarina Appel

rwasher’s—New York’s original artisan bakery—is an institution. Founded in 1916 by a Hungarian immigrant family, the bakery began as a small storefront on the Upper East Side. It was borne out of a desire to serve local immigrant community members and focused on the high-quality rye, black and grain bread that reflected the traditions of their homeland. After being passed on from generation to generation of the Orwasher family, the business was sold to Keith Cohen in 2007. Since then, Keith and his team have worked hard to respect the brand’s rich history while incorporating a distinctly current point of view. As part of this evolution, they have partnered with regional farmers for raw materials, working with local wineries to create their starters and developed a new line of contemporary artisan bread to satisfy today’s palates.

HOW IT STARTED When Cohen purchased the original bakery on East 78th Street and realized it had reached the end of its natural lifespan, he prepared for a reinvention. Though he admits to not being entirely sure what he was doing, he did have history on his side. His grandfather and great-grandfather were both kosher butchers in Brooklyn, and Cohen loved working with his hands since he was a kid. “I grew up in Bayside, Queens, and was more interested in cars than school. In fact, I had a 1971 Mustang and then a 1970 Trans Am and learned how to replace the brakes, change the springs, and find my way around the engine. No doubt about it, I was just a mechanical kind of guy, and early on, my dream was to go to Germany to learn how to make Mercedes and Audis.” Instead, after college, Keith Cohen ended up getting a job at a bakery. The place was called Tribeca Oven, and “I stayed there for fourteen years, learning every facet of the trade, from production to customer service to repairing equipment. I loved the solid mechanics and chemistry of bread-making. For me, it wasn’t that different from customizing a car. You get a vision in your head of how the car, or loaf of bread, is going to look and feel and perform, and you realize that vision.” Cohen explained. 72 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

Left to right: Gale Brewer, Keith Cohen of Orwasher's, Doug Kleiman

A BETTER BREAD In 2007, Cohen decided it was time to go out on his own and was determined to revive the Orwasher’s brand. Shortly after purchasing the nearly 100-year-old bakery, he began his quest to take Orwasher’s back to its early 20th-century roots. Local ingredients and a concentration on old world techniques are at the core of his bread recipes. “Taking over a place like Orwasher’s, and figuring out how to rejuvenate it, was a delicate dance. Its bread was great, and people had been buying it for a long time and had come to love it just as it was. But I knew it could be better. Still, I didn’t want to change everything at once and disenfranchise all those longtime customers,” he told us. “So it took time, about two years, to start making that transition from the old Orwasher’s to the new. We kept the hundredyear-old brick oven the old owners had always used, but added another, more modern one, too. We also came up with properly written recipes, with exact, to-the-gram quantities and precise baking times and temperatures.” The old Orwasher recipes had been passed down from father to son, with the assumption that everyone knew what a “pinch of salt” meant. “Plus, I wanted to work with all-natural flours; I didn’t want to have any bleached or bromated stuff. Natural flours have different absorption rates and required new recipes, new proportions.”

ANCIENT TECHNIQUES He also modified the rye starters, creating ones they could control better, and endlessly tweaked the formation times till they were just right. “Even as I was working to update the bakery, I was constantly looking to the past. I wanted to replicate traditional old-world baking techniques,” Cohen explained. “I tried to use refrigerators and retarders as little as possible, and I became interested in older methods of natural fermentation.” In his book, Artisan Bread: 100 Years of Techniques and Recipes (2015), Cohen offers a glimpse of his time-tested professional baking methods including step-by-step directions for baking a variety of different breads and rolls. “In 2008, I started experimenting with the ancient technique of making bread using the natural yeasts that grow on the skins of wine grapes,” he said. “My friend Christopher Tracey at Channing Daughters Winery on Long Island gave me part of his Chardonnay and Cabernet Harvest, and we used the grape yeasts to create natural starters. These starters are very robust. There’s a difference in their yeast makeup, and the breads they make are entirely distinctive with gorgeous crusts.” In September 2016, Orwasher’s opened its flagship Upper West Side bakery and café at 440 Amsterdam Avenue. As a natural menu extension, the new Upper West Side bakery is the first to bake Orwasher’s sourdough bagels. Another unique offering is the selection of chef-designed sandwiches and salads made with fresh meats, cheeses and produce sourced locally wherever possible. To accommodate the growing demand for the company’s exceptional products, Cohen shifted production from its original location in 2012 to a new state-of-the-art facility in Hunts Point in the Bronx. Orwashers offers a wide variety of fresh baked bread at its Upper East Side location in addition to more than ten farmers markets throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island and Westchester, and at the new Upper West Side location. What began in 1916 as an old-world bakery on East 78th Street has grown into an artisanal culinary institution that delivers 10,000 loaves of bread each day to dinner tables, restaurants and farmers’ markets throughout New York and the surrounding metro areas. For more information, please visit: • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 73

LITTLE ITALY’S FINEST By Daniel J. Bollinger • Photos by ZaZa Weissgerber

op chefs are among the new breed of pizzaiolo who are fanatic over the temperature of their ovens and nearby sourcing of ingredients. They’re elevating pizza from greasy pies in cardboard boxes to inspired creations with crackly, charred crusts topped with house-made cheese and charcuterie. One such place can be found on Grand Street, sandwiched between a Malaysian restaurant and the famed Ferrara’s. Welcome to Margherita NYC for a truly Italian experience. Inconspicuous as it may be with its wooden sign and simple black canopy the creations in this small cozy restaurant are straight from the motherland. Owners Giuseppe Delli Carpini and Vincenzo Scardino stay true to Italian dishes with an incredible array of classic Italian specialties. In fact most of the ingredients used are either imported from Italy or locally sourced. Those not imported are locally sourced. As an example, the smoked mozzarella is sourced from DiPalo’s, located across the street, and made on-site. The veal, pork, and beef in their Bolognese sauce is all sourced from Pino’s Prime Meats, another Little Italy staple. And as a matter of tradition, the basil used at the restaurant is from the garden of Giuseppe’s aunt— in Sicily. Now how many Italian restaurants can boast that?

MOLTO BENE Why not start with an antipasto? The Antipasto Misto Italiano has all the traditional prosciutto, mortadella, mozzarella, and olives that you would expect served with focaccia bread fresh from the oven. Or, if you prefer, try the Polpette di Ragu al Tegamino which will melt in your mouth. These Angus beef meatballs are served with Ragu sauce and bread. A definite winner. Leave room for the pasta. Opt for Gnocchi di Patate made fresh daily and a choice of Sorrentina, Quattro Formaggi, Pesto or Bolognese. The Pesto is especially good with basil and fresh garlic; the Quattro Formaggi is also mouthwateringly delicious. You might also try the Fettuccini ala Bolognese, an excellent mix of veal, pork, beef and vegetables smothered in a tomato-based ragu. Just unforgettable. There is an excellent wine selection to accompany your dinner. Also, Margherita NYC offers beer and ales. A traditional favorite is the Follina Chiara Follinetta, a crisp wheat beer, and quite a unique treat. Remember to ask for some of the balsamic reduction for bread dipping. And for dessert, you must indulge in the Tiramisu. On the dessert menu is a selection of Nutella desserts (yes, the Nutella is imported from Italy).

TRULY ITALIAN If you’re in the mood for only pizza, you’ve come to the right place. Margherita NYC offers a menu of a dozen different pizzas. Their dough rising process is no less than 20 hours, allowing the elimination of most of the gluten. This makes their crusts light and easy to digest. All of their pizzas are baked in their handmade traditional Neopolitan brick oven. And make note: Both red and white pizzas are on the menu. One to try is the Napoletana made with tomato sauce, fresh garlic, EVO oil, anchovies, capers, and basil. For a white version, opt for the Pizza del Tifoso of Mozzarella, Italian sweet sausage, broccoli rabe and EVO oil— tasty and satisfying. The owners are true artisans, not just chefs. From sourcing all their ingredients from only the best and making almost everything in-house, Margherita NYC delivers the authentic taste of Italy. It’s the real deal. Margherita NYC is located at 197 Grand St (between Mott and Mulberry St; • 74 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

Photos by Rey Rosa Photography

UMBERTO’S CLAM HOUSE 132 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013

(212) 431-7545


or its annual 2016 Fall exhibition, the Aaron Faber Gallery challenged celebrated artists to create jewelry pieces inspired by the principles of modern sculpture. Jewelry as Sculpture as Jewelry opened last month at the Gallery’s Fifth Avenue location with commissioned interpretations of contemporary sculpture’s influence on jewelry art. “Defining contemporary sculpture in all of its aspects is not the purpose of this exhibition, but it can be said to include movement, light, sound, concept and installation, as well as form and dimension,” said Patricia Faber, exhibition curator, and co-owner of the Gallery. “I selected the artists based on their body of existing work, and the fact that each of them has been exploring the sculptural aspects of jewelry for some time, and often taking it to the edge, pushing the boundaries,” Patricia explained. “Another criterion is that they all work in precious metals—sterling, gold and platinum—and are accomplished master goldsmiths. What I love about working with artists in jewelry is that they are always challenging themselves to grow and experiment, which means for me there is always a sense of fresh new directions to present to our collectors and public.” Here, some of the jewelry artists and their works.

BAIYANG QIU Growing up in a small traditional jade shop owned by her family in China, Baiyang Qiu’s jewelry making started at an early age. As a child, Baiyang traveled with her parents to many remote areas including Tibet and Xinjiang, where all manner of colorful, precious stones were found and unearthed. This primal attraction is forever a part of her memory. Collecting the broken stones of damaged jewelry from the floor of the family’s workshop in a little treasure box, she always dreamed of creating her own. After receiving her M.F.A from Savannah College of Art and Design, Baiyang started her own jewelry practice. “My current works are set up with extremely fine gauge wire of high karat gold and platinum. By combining traditional fabrication with new technologies, my work presents a delicate aesthetics as well as wearable jewelry.”

TOD PARDON This artist’s jewelry reflects the myriad intellectual and visual influences on the artist of the 21st century. His brooches are fabricated in sterling silver and then inlaid with a variety of materials, including glass resin, exotic woods, and gemstones. A wooden stand accompanies each brooch so that it may function as a sculpture when not being worn. Each one is individually numbered and titled. The artist received a B.F.A. from Alfred University and an M.F.A. from Syracuse University. “I’ve always seen my jewelry as objects, first and free-standing; their wearability a plus.” 76 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

SO YOUNG PARK She creates one-of-a-kind jewels in 18K gold and sterling silver. So Young Park investigates ideas that intrigue her: nature’s form, or surface texture, or dimensionality, working in precious metal. Her current collection explores form, texture, and color through concave gold and silver circles that are then textured. She creates texture by piercing the surface with hundreds of gold beaded pins that move softly with the wearer. She adds color to silver by using patinas in metallic blues, purples, and grays. Her work is geometric and abstract, yet tactile and organic. So Young Park graduated from Busan Art High School in South Korea where she concentrated in fine art painting. Afterward, she attended Kon-Kuk University in Seoul, South Korea. My pieces express changing from anger, sorrow to desire, hope, and the power of life through human figures and mixing organic plant forms.

ARATA FUCHI Fuchi creates hand-fabricated jewelry-as-sculpture. His work is diverse, including granulated textured silver and gold jewels, silver geometric forms that frame intricately meshed pure gold networks, and fantastical organic forms, often appearing outsized or overgrown. The works are intimate in their detail, with minuscule granules of pure gold set in silver, or tiny granules embedded in large forms, all of which Fuchi fabricates by hand, working with microscopic level magnification. Arata Fuchi was born in Japan, graduating from the industrial design department of Tokyo Zokei University. He entered the professional design collaborate with a watch and jewelry manufacturer for four years, before going into the intensive study as a goldsmith at the Le ArtiOrafe School in Florence, Italy. He has been creating his jewelry since 2006 in both Japan and Italy. • This month Jewelry as Sculpture as Jewelry travels to the 2016 SOFA Art Fair in Chicago ( For more information on The Aaron Faber Gallery, visit them at 666 Fifth Avenue ( NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 77

ON THE BIG SCREEN By Pat Collins FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM RATED PG 13 For millions of Muggles everywhere no pop culture event is more anticipated than the 3D adventure with a screenplay by Harry Potter’s creator J.K, Rowlings. Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne plays the eccentric magi zoologist, Newt Scamander, who leaves London for New York in 1926 to attend the Magical Congress of the United States Of America. He brings with him a suitcase full of mischievous magical creatures—and when they escape unfortunate events ensue. Members of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, which is an early 20th-century version of the 17th-century Salem witch hunters, vows to destroy the wizarding world. Director David Yates’ guaranteed blockbuster introduces a slew of new creatures including the small furry Niffler, Thunderbird, whose powerful wings are capable of creating storms; the sharp-fingered Bowtruckle; and the frightening big-eyed beast, Demiguise, whose pelts are used to make invisibility cloaks—but not Harry’s. The film is inspired by Ms. Rowling’s 2001 book written under the pseudonym of Newt Scamander, a character expelled from Hogwarts. In addition to Mr. Redmayne, the other human stars are, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, Dan Fogler, Jacob Kowalski, and Colin Farrell playing the Director of Magical Security. According to box office mojo, the global gross of the eight previous Harry Potter movies adds up to over two million dollars. That buys a lot of butterbeer. MOANA RATED PG Opens: November 23rd On November 23 Disney introduces a new spunky teenage heroine in Moana (voiced by native Hawaiian Auli’i Cravalho). The score to the animated comedy adventure was written by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

TROLLS RATED PG Opens: November 4th The Trolls which makes movie stars of the ubiquitous dolls has a stellar voice cast which includes Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, and James Corden.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS RATED R Opens: November 18th The thriller from director Tom Ford starring Amy Adams opens in theaters one week after her space aliens movie Arrival debuts. In the latter, she plays a linguist who is tasked with interpreting the language of unwanted visitors from outer space. In the former, Amy’s character, a divorced LA art dealer, is troubled by the plot of her ex-husband’s new novel. Jake Gyllenhaal, Isla Fisher, and Michael Shannon co-star. Mr. Ford, the preeminent fashion designer, previously directed the Oscar-nominated 2009 film A Single Man. ALLIED NOT RATED Opens: November 23rd Director Robert Zemeckis’ World War 2 thriller has received more worldwide media attention than either he or his Allied producers ever expected because of gossip surrounding its two stars—Brad Pitt and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard. Various news sources reported Angelina Jolie’s decision to divorce her husband was based on her suspecting an alleged on-location affair between him and Ms. Cotillard. In the film, she plays a glamorous French secret agent living in Casablanca where “of all the towns in the world” Mr. Pitt’s character, a Canadian spy, is also stationed. Will the free publicity boost Allied’s box office numbers? Probably. The line I quoted above was written by Casablanca’s Oscar-winning screenwriters Julius and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch. 78 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA RATED R Opens: November 18th “Can a broken man heal?” That question is posed in director/screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan’s film set in a small seaside Massachusetts town. Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) who years ago moved to Boston returns home to attend his brother’s funeral. To his surprise, he is named in the will as the legal guardian of his teenage nephew, Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Lee’s other emotional challenge emerges when his ex-wife Randi (two-time Oscar winner Michelle Williams) dredges up a past tragedy. Mr. Affleck who, like his brother Ben, is a native Bostonian easily masters the distinct New England accent. The indie film which was enthusiastically received at Sundance will receive many nominations when the Independent Spirit Awards and the Oscar contenders are announced.

BAD SANTA 2 RATED R Opens: November 23rd Billy Bob Thornton once again puts on the red suit as a grumpy, dipsomaniac Chicago department store Santa in the sequel.

BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK RATED R Opens: November 11th Ang Lee, the Oscar-winning director of Life Of Pi and Brokeback Mountain, shot his first war movie in 120 frames per second. Most films are shot in 24 FPS. Expect an immersive experience as the decorated Iraq War hero recalls the horrors of the battlefield while participating in a Super Bowl half-time ceremony honoring Billy and other brave veterans. Newcomer Joe Alwyn has the title role. Other key cast members are Vin Diesel, as Billy’s commanding officer and Kristen Stewart playing Billy’s sister. The film is based on author Ben Fountain’s best seller. One memorable quote: “It is weird to be honored for the worst year in my life.” DOCTOR STRANGE RATED PG 13 Opens: November 4th Benedict Cumberbatch, whose enviable resume includes playing the title roles in Hamlet, Sherlock Holmes, and Hawking, makes his superhero debut as Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Before he acquired his new identity and the special powers that go with it, Stephen Strange was a New York neurosurgeon whose medical career ended in a tragic automobile accident. On a trip to Nepal, he encounters a sorcerer (Tilda Swinton) and soon after he is casting spells and dealing with the villain Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen). Marvel fans reportedly were impressed with the surrealistic visuals in the coming attractions trailer but angry with director Scott Derrickson for casting Ms. Swinton as the Ancient One who is an Asian man in the comic books. In the trivia department, Mr. Cumberbatch is the first big screen superhero who in real life was named a CBE (Commander Of The Order Of The British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth.

About Pat Collins Pat Collins is a three-time Emmy award-winning film, theater and entertainment critic/reporter. Her outstanding media credits include WCBS-TV, Good Morning America and WWOR-TV. She is a contributor to CUNY-TV’s Arts and The City program and the host of several Broadway specials including Kinky Boots On Broadway, Fiddler On The Roof: Back On Broadway, and The Road To The Tonys. NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 79

ON STAGE REVIEWS WITH PAT COLLINS HELLO, DOLLY! SHUBERT THEATER The Divine Miss M broke all previous Broadway box office records with a total of over nine million dollars on the first day tickets went on sale. Yes, it is good to have Bette Midler back where she belongs in a revival of Jerry Herman’s musical which opened in 1964 and starred Carol Channing. Previews begin March 15, 2017. A BRONX TALE THE MUSICAL LONGACRE THEATER The well-told tale set in the 1960’s comes to Broadway with Jerry Zaks and Robert DeNiro co-directing the musical inspired by Chazz Palminteri ‘ s 1989 partly autobiographical Off-Broadway one-person show about a young Italian-American boy whose loyalty to his father is tested when he is befriended by a powerful neighborhood Mafioso. Mr. DeNiro directed and co-starred in the film version in which Mr. Palminteri had a supporting role. The road to Broadway began at New Jersey’s Papermill Playhouse with Tony nominee Nick Cordero receiving enthusiastic reviews. Alan Menken (Aladdin and Sister Act) and Glenn Slater wrote the doo-wop score. Previews Begin November 3rd. NATASHA, PIERRE AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1812 IMPERIAL THEATER Singer/songwriter Josh Groban makes his Broadway debut in a 14 million dollar electro-pop opera set in 19th century Moscow and based on a section of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. The plot revolves around the engaged Natasha, Anatole, the womanizing cad she is smitten with, his equally immoral sister Helene, and her faithful husband, Pierre. Theaters goers can expect a unique experience at the Imperial Theater. Its traditional proscenium was replaced by an unusual seating plan which puts ticket holders either on stage or at cabaret tables and on bar stools. Perogies will be served, and vodka may be purchased. Dave Malloy wrote The Great Comet’s book, music, lyrics, and orchestrations. The show was previously, performed in a tent in the Meat Packing district and opened at The American Repertory Company in Cambridge in 2015. That production earned positive reviews. The Boston Globe critic described the musical as an “immersive spectacle.” Mr. Malloy who had the leading role of Pierre in previous productions was replaced by Mr. Groban for the Broadway run. OTHELLO OFF-BROADWAY David Oyelowo, who provided the voice of James Bond for the audiobook version of the new 007 adventure Trigger Mortis, and Daniel Craig who was Bond in four movies, respectively play the title character and Iago. Sam Gold, a Tony winner for Fun Home directs the New York Theater Workshop production of the Shakespeare tragedy. The Off-Broadway limited run begins November 22nd and is scheduled to end January 18th . Info: New York Theater Workshop, 79 East 4th Street (between Bowery and Second Avenue). KRISTIN CHENOWETH LUNT -FONTANNE THEATER My Love Letter To Broadway is the title of the Tony winner’s concert which is scheduled for a limited run November 2nd through 13th. You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown made her an overnight star and as Glinda the original good witch in Wicked she cemented her reputation as one of Broadway’s most beloved and bankable leading ladies. Kristin will perform her favorite Broadway show tunes and songs from her new album The Art Of Elegance. 80 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

THE ILLUSIONISTS—TURN OF THE CENTURY LUNT-FONTANNE THEATER When Kristin departs the Lunt- Fontanne Theater, The Illusionists arrive to work their magic for the third consecutive year from November 25th through December 2nd. The cast includes clairvoyants, a conjurer, a magician who specializes in sleight of hand magic and handling tigers and panthers. My favorite is The Daredevil Jonathan Goodwin an escape artist extraordinaire. Special holiday performances are December 24 at 3 PM; Christmas Day at 7 PM; and December 30 at 8 PM. DEAR EVAN HANSEN BELASCO THEATER The musical’s title character is a socially awkward, lonely teenager who envies the popular classmates in his high school. His low self-esteem is reflected in a note he keeps in his pocket. It reads “would anyone even notice if I disappear.” Evan (Ben Platt) tosses the note which is retrieved by an equally depressed student Connor Murphy. When Connor commits suicide, the crumpled note written by Evan is found in his pocket. Their classmates assume the two were best friends and overnight Evan is embraced by the popular kids and Connor’s bereaved parents. It’s a lie that goes viral, and one Evan does not refute. The young Mr. Platt who played Benji in two Pitch Perfect movies received positive reviews when the show opened Off-Broadway. The production there and on Broadway was directed by three-time Tony winner Michael Greif. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul wrote the score. SWEET CHARITY OFF-BROADWAY Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster plays Charity Hope Valentine, the endearing and naive dance hall hostess who falls for every guy she meets in a revival of the musical which opened on Broadway in 1966. The creative team behind the 1966 original included theater legends Neil Simon (book) and, Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields (score) and Bob Fosse (choreography). The dance numbers for the New Group production were created by Joshua Bergasse whose choreography for 2014’s On The Town earned him well-deserved rave reviews. Info: The production runs from November 2nd to December 30th at the Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street). CHICAGO THE AMBASSADOR THEATER The show marks its 20th anniversary on November 14th, an achievement that makes it the longest running American musical in Broadway history. Here are some impressive numbers: Tony Awards: 6 including best musical. The total gross of Broadway production: $577 million. The number of performances: more than eight thousand. The number of countries where Chicago has played: 34. The stars who appeared in the show over the years include Usher, Brooke Shields, Jennifer Holiday. Taye Diggs, Huey Lewis and original cast members, Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking, Joel Grey and James Naughton. THE WIZARD OF OZ OFF-BROADWAY The Harlem Repertory Company and the Yip Harburg Foundation joined forces to stage an abbreviated version for young audiences. Weekend performance dates are November 5, 12, 19 and December 10 and 11. Admission is $10 and $20 for premium seating. Everyone is encouraged to sing “We’re Off To See The Wizard” and all the other memorable songs written by Mr. Harburg and Harold Arlen. The show’s running time: one hour. Info: Tato Laviera Theater at Harlem Prep Elementary School, 240 East 123rd Street (at Third Avenue). • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 81


BAD MOMS RATED R The movie’s global gross in excess of $159 million and its 73 percent Rotten Tomatoes audience score proved females 21-45 (a demo mostly ignored by Hollywood), have the power to turn a film budgeted at $20 million into a blockbuster. The Hangover screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore were convinced women would pay to see a raunchy comedy they could relate to. Mila Kunis gives another superb performance as Amy, a suburban Chicago mom with a demanding job, two children she adores and a husband she discovers is unfaithful. Amy and her best friend Kiki (Kristin Bell), a stay at home mother of four, are on the enemies list of the snooty and judgmental PTA president Gwendolyn James (Christina Applegate). Gwendolyn shames moms into following her rigid rules (they include abolishing gluten from their kiddie’s snacks) to achieve parental perfection. Amy and Kiki’s selfesteem rises when they bond with another outcast parent Carla (a wonderful Katherine Hahn). She is libidinous, an outspoken divorcee whose happy hour begins with vodka Jello shots. After Carla persuades Amy to challenge Gwendolyn for the PTA presidency, the movie loses some of the high-spirited comedy that propelled its first hilarious 70 minutes. However, Mr. Lucas and Mr. Moore are to be congratulated for making an entertaining satire about the pressures imposed on women to be multi-tasking super moms. If the movie creators are not working on a sequel, I will be surprised and disappointed. 82 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

STAR TREK BEYOND RATED PG 13 Timed to coincide with Star Trek’s 50th anniversary the franchise’s 13th film which grossed $330 million worldwide is a thoroughly entertaining adventure. Director Justin Lin, who helmed three Fast and Furious movies boldly destroyed The Enterprise, cast the charismatic Idris Elba as Krall, a new and terrifying villain, and unveiled the spaceport of Yorktown. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Scotty (Simon Pegg, who also wrote the script) John Cho (Sulu) and Karl Urban (Bones) reprise their roles. A friendly, resourceful alien named Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) proves invaluable when Krall and his goons descend on Yorktown to annihilate the entire Starfleet. The film is dedicated to Leonard Nimoy and Anton Yelchin, the talented young actor who was killed in an automobile accident shortly before the movie opened. The DVD and Blu-Ray release date is November 1st. The Blu-Ray version features a special tribute to Mr. Nimoy. Full disclosure: a family member was involved in the film’s production.

THANKSGIVING MOVIES AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY/DVD My choices include timeless animated adventures for young children and movies for grownups in which romance blossoms, families quarrel, and a heroic young Marine returns home for the holiday. • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles • Garfield’s Thanksgiving • Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving • Hannah And Her Sisters • American Son • Nobody’s Fool • Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow • You’ve Got Mail • The Ice Storm • Miracle On 34th Street (1947 version)

FINDING DORY RATED PG Our favorite computer animated, aquatic amnesiac voiced by Ellen DeGeneres remembers she has parents and sets out to find them accompanied by Nemo (Hayden Rylance) and his grumpy clown fish dad (Albert Brooks). The Pixar sequel is not Finding Nemo’s equal but nonetheless the film ranks as one of the studio’s most visually dazzling adventures. After a waterlogged beginning the action kicks in when the three arrive at the Marine Institute in California’s Morro Bay and learn that Dory’s parents are two of many specimens scheduled for shipment to a team of oceanographers in Cleveland. Dory’s search and rescue crew charged with finding her folks feature an octopus (voiced by Modern Family’s Ed O’Neil) and two sea lions with attitude. (Idris Elba and Dominic West). Dory’s box office success—$940 million globally—proves that reuniting families be they fish, foul, furry or human has universal appeal, and no movie makers do it better than the folks at Pixar.

MECHANIC RESURRECTION RATED R Jason Statham excels at playing the laconic action hero whose performance is usually far superior to his movies’ plot and dialogue. The sequel to 2011’s Mechanic also relies on Mr. Statham’s charisma and physical skills to keep the viewer’s attention from wandering. Arthur Bishop, the highly paid assassin played by Mr. Statham, is living under the radar on the beach in Thailand when he is approached by message bearing goons working for Riah Crane (Sam Hazeltine) an international arms dealer and Bishop’s childhood friend. His “request” involves Bishop murdering three enemies on Crane’s hit list. When Bishop refuses, Crane threatens to dispose of Bishop’s girlfriend played by Jessica Alba. Director Dennis Gansel does not score high marks for originality. One example: Bishop, emulating Tom Cruise memorably scaling Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, performs a far less spectacular version of Ethan Hunt’s death-defying scene. Bishop’s other physically demanding challenge is an underwater rescue. There was no body double. That is Mr. Statham, a champion diver, jumping into the ocean. The Mechanic’s Rotten Tomatoes score with moviegoers was a low 45 percent. Critics were equally unimpressed. It’s time for The Mechanic to retire— perhaps to a beach which allows only water pistols.

HELL OR HIGHWATER RATED R When the Independent Spirit Awards nominations are announced November 22nd, I predict this contemporary Western will have a least three nominations—best picture, best director David Mackenzie, and Jeff Bridges in the supporting actor category. The film has already succeeded at the box office by grossing more than $28 million and counting. Mild mannered Toby Tanner (Chris Pine) and his hot-tempered ex-con brother Tanner (Ben Foster) resort to robbing banks in their native West Texas to save the family’s mortgaged farm from being foreclosed after their mother’s death. The string of unsolved robberies interests soon to retire Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) who is puzzled by the robber’s unusual MO. Director David Mackenzie’s film is more than gripping cops and robbers chase across the Southwest and the last hurrah for a dedicated lawman. Mr. Mackenzie subtly addresses nearly every middle-class American’s concern about widespread job loss and economic inequality. The graffiti scrawled on the (fictitious) Texas Midlands Bank’s exterior reads three tours in Iraq but no bailout for us. In addition to the stars’ extraordinary performances, Gil Birmingham is first rate as Hamilton’s deputy. Cinematographer Giles Nuttgens deserves high praise as well.


SAUSAGE PARTY RATED R Do not be misled by the movie’s poster art above and the expletives deleted version of the coming attractions trailer for Pixar’s first R-rated CG animated movie. The raunchy comedy featuring chatty hot dogs and buns contains profanity and sexual references aplenty. Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton and Salma Hayek supplied the voices of the four central characters.


ABOUT BOOKS By Joan Bauer GRIT BY Angela Duckworth Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster have followed Angela Duckworth’s work for years. It has informed me as a novelist, it has helped me to create characters who don’t give up, and it has challenged me personally to press on. I devoured her New York Times bestseller, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. While many of us have the refrigerator magnet that reminds us to Never, never, never give up, Dr. Duckworth, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, shows us how to do it.

I love the way Duckworth embraces failure. Here we are in a world where performance enhancing drugs are changing the face of professional sports. Failure in too many places in society is no longer acceptable. To lose—well, that must never happen! It’s easier to lie, cheat, blame, and cover up. We are all winners, forever and ever. Right? Wrong, Dr. Duckworth says. Failure can be one of our greatest teachers. Her advice: Don’t overreact to setbacks and failures and help your children be resilient. “Failure isn’t fatal.” We need to write this across our hearts. I was happy to see there is a test to determine one’s grit in the book. I took it and, oh, I need to be grittier. There is another test, the Warren Buffet test, about finding what you truly want to do in life. I took that, too. Happily, I am mostly on that road. But each test illuminated, and I was left with the feeling that I, and all of us, can and must reach higher. It’s easy to say I’m too old, too short, too whatever, not a good student, not a good reader, not good at (fill in the blank). Here’s the glorious news about grit—we can raise our intensity, grit can be developed like a muscle, not giving up actually changes our neurons to work toward success. That makes it easier to groan at our bad habits and cheer the places where we’re strong. Getting grittier is worth it!

Duckworth has been interviewing leaders in a variety of fields, like medicine, law, sports, business, art, academics, and the military to identify that “ferocious determination” they have inside. “They knew in a very, very deep way what they wanted. They not only had determination, they had direction.” This, she writes, is what “made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit.” Perseverance and passion, she says, are the building blocks of grit. Duckworth’s book is structured around stories that serve as examples from which she explores the subject of grit and builds her argument that it can be both learned and taught. She tells the story of a teacher who looked at a struggling student and changed the script from This is all you can do to Who knows what you can do? That student is a professor today. Pulling from her experience as a middle school math teacher, Duckworth saw the power of grit in her students. Why did some with in-born talent not always excel? Why did some who struggled to understand become top performers? When children refuse to give up, she says, when they go over and over a problem, that hard work will usually pay off. Do we value talent or effort more? This is a profound question. Value effort, she says. Encourage it, reward it. Help children find that thing they love, help them be their best, not necessarily the best. At West Point, over one thousand cadets took the Grit Scale test. The results of their grit became an accurate predictor of who would stay in the program and who would leave, not their SAT scores or GPAs. One of my favorite stories in Grit is about John Irving, who is both a National Book Award Winner for The World According to Garp and an Academy Award winner for his screenplay for The Cider House Rules. Irving, severely dyslexic, is not a natural writer. He never tested well. What he did do well was go over his writing again and again until he got it right. He has mastered the wisdom of an old Japanese proverb: Fall seven, rise eight. 84 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

Here’s how to start: • • • • •

Have stretch goals. Understand your interests. Deepen your capacity to practice. Know that great work comes from great purpose. Keep hope as the center of it all.

There is a fierce hope in this book, the kind of hope that comes with a responsibility: “Grit...,” Angela Duckworth writes, “rests on the expectation that our own efforts can improve our future. I have a feeling tomorrow will be better is different from I resolve to make tomorrow better.” Reading Grit, I marveled at the power of will and what our minds and hearts contain. With so many people taking shortcuts to success, with more and more of us wondering—What gives me joy? What do I want to work for?—this book should be required reading. • Joan Bauer is a New York Times bestselling novelist and winner of the Newbery Honor Award, the LA Times Book Prize, and two Christopher Awards. Her latest novel is Soar, published by Viking/ Penguin Random House. Connect with her on Twitter @joan_bauer or at


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NOW & THEN By Johnny Burke

or a step back in time, head down to Horatio Street (between Eighth Avenue and Hudson Street). The street was named after General Horatio Gates, one of the American Revolution’s most controversial figures. In fact, it’s hard to believe, but Hudson Street was at one time the shoreline for Manhattan before the Dutch, British, and American colonists began reconfiguring the island as they built and rebuilt downtown neighborhoods. Today, Horatio Street is a mix of business concerns and trendy boutiques. At No. 1 Horatio, we found that the brick building was originally built in the 1850s as part of row houses housing the merchant class on what was formerly farmland. Later those private houses were sold off and divided into Bohemian apartments for struggling artists and laborers as the West Village slid into its less fashionable phase in the early 1900s. Much of the neighborhood was torn down and replaced with either industrial and business buildings or the new Art Deco pre-war apartment houses in the 1920s as real estate boomed before the stock market crash.


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of No. 1, however, survived the many transitions over the decades and today houses Darling, one of the most trendy shops in the city offering the go-to place for designer looks, gorgeous leather, and jewelry, even luxury soaps, and candles. In fact, stylists call this shop one of their secret weapons when it comes to dressing everyone from celebrities to soccer-moms. Owners Donna Baxter and Raquelle Stiefler are right there with their fabulous staff to help with suggestions from their new Fall collection. They told us that besides carrying the best local and international designers—including their house label Kisses by Darling—they strive to create an environment that is fresh and modern, yet retains the charm of the historic West Village. “You could say it’s turn-of-thecentury Paris meets modern-day New York City,” says Donna.” Shoppers are welcome to Darling for an espresso or Champagne—a wonderful way to relax after a mad dash around the city. Stop into Darling soon and enjoy a relaxing shopping experience and soak up the history, too. Remember to tell them Johnny sent you! Darling 1 Horatio Street (at Eighth Avenue) 646-336-6966 • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 87


s a leading broker at Halstead Property’s Park Avenue office and a multi-time winner of the broker of the year, Louise Phillips Forbes is a very busy woman. Active in New York’s real estate market since the late 1980s, her career sales exceed $2.5 billion. She has been the director of sales for more than 30 development projects to date and is credited with establishing residential neighborhoods in areas where they previously did not exist. Louise is frequently quoted in articles for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Real Deal, and many other notable publications. In fact, for the past few years, she has been named in the Real Trends/Wall Street Journal’s “Real Estate Top 200,” which recognizes elite real estate brokers and teams throughout the country. Additionally, she is a wife and mother of two tween boys, an avid surfer and fitness enthusiast. Still, despite her jam-packed schedule, she makes time to give back—serving on the advisory board for The Bronx Museum of the Arts and working with a cause most dear to her heart—Change For Kids.

THE EARLY YEARS Louise always had a great appreciation for the arts. After struggling in school as a child, she was later diagnosed with dyslexia as a teen and used the arts as a way to cope in an environment that tends to reward students flourishing in STEM subjects, while placing less value on those who are capable of interpretive dance or painting a grand work of art. While recent studies have shown that arts education enhances critical skills such as visual learning, decision making, and even improves reading, writing, and math skills, a lack of arts education funding still plagues, especially in low-income schools. A 2014 NYDOE study showed a major decline in funds allocated for art programs and supplies for low-income schools in New York City. Louise hopes to change that. Top and bottom: Louise Phillips Forbes with a group of Summer Reading Challenge participants from The Brooklyn Landmark Elementary School, a school supported by Change for Kids Photo courtesy of Change for Kids

In 1997, Louise met Ted Madara, founder of Change for Kids—an education nonprofit that supports ten public low-income schools throughout New York City with art, creative writing, music and literacy and health programs. Her life hasn’t been the same since. Louise was so inspired by Change for Kids, that she began volunteering and fundraising for the organization, and later recruited her then-soon-to-be husband, Christopher Forbes, to serve on the board of directors. Louise serves as the co-chair for many of the organization’s fundraising events.


As Louise says, “Volunteering with Change for Kids isn’t a change-the-world moment. It’s about making a difference one child at a time, one school at a time, one community at a time, through real hands-on involvement.” This past summer, Louise was integral in an event for the charity, “Ride for Kids,” which teamed Louise with celebrity trainer and SoulCycle Senior Master Instructor Stacey Griffith at SoulCycle Bridgehampton. The event, in its sixth iteration, has raised more than $100,000 for Change for Kids and brought supplies, fitness education, art, and literacy support to thousands of children. On October 7th, Louise visited Brooklyn Landmark Elementary to present students with their rewards for completing the reading challenge she had posed before school let out for the summer. Louise offered every student in the school a gift card to Barnes and Nobles if they completed all the reading assigned to them by their teachers for the summer. For some students it was the number of books, for others—like our youngest readers—it was a few passages from specially selected texts. The idea behind the challenge was to encourage students to maintain and strengthen their literacy skills over the summer months. The summer reading challenge was Ms. Forbes’ plan, and Brooklyn Landmark teachers and staff were thrilled to have her support. This month, Louise’s fundraising abilities will be in focus as Change for Kids holds its 4th Annual Super Chefs benefit at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. The event features ten nationally celebrated master chefs, cooking to raise funds for 4,000 low-income New York City elementary school students. Last year’s fantastic event raised more than half a million dollars and auctioned off work by photographer Debby Hymowitz, an exclusive Tiffany & Co experience, sports memorabilia and more. Chefs featured at the event include Marc Murphy of Landmarc, and judge on Food Network’s Chopped; Shane McBride of Balthazar; Miguel Franco of El Original TX MX among others.

Louise and Stacey Griffith at the Hamptons Ride for Kids Photo courtesy of Change for Kids

The Forbes Family in Montauk Photo by Gordon M. Grant

STILL THE REAL ESTATE PRO Even though her plate is certainly full with planning these events and taking care of her family, Louise is eagle-eyed and focused when it comes to work. One of the remarkable properties she is currently brokering is a $23.75 million townhouse located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The co-exclusive listing, 63 East 82nd Street, is a six-story dream home with over 9,000 gross interior square feet in addition to a 1,360 total square foot cellar. Features include a temperature controlled wine room, an elevator servicing all floors, high ceilings, and a wide sweeping staircase, as well as outdoor space that includes a 35-foot landscaped garden with custom irrigation system. A Juliet balcony and a large terrace with open city views complete this picture. Originally built at the turn-of-the-century, the house is fully renovated, and every inch has been masterfully conceived with the finest finishes, innovative systems, and luxurious amenities. Modern design elements balance seamlessly with old-world elegance, scale and details including pristine, decorative moldings, beautifully finished oak wood floors, pocket doors, and nine wood-burning fireplaces. With two levels of expansive formal rooms, a peaceful landscaped garden, multiple butler kitchens and a dumbwaiter, the house can comfortably accommodate entertaining on a large-scale. It is currently configured as a six bedroom but could be converted to a seven or eight-bedroom, making it perfect for large families or those with many visitors.

The 20-foot wide townhouse at 63 East 82nd Street is a fullyrenovated 6-story turn-of-the-century masterpiece with over 9,000 gross interior square feet plus 1,360 gross square feet in the cellar. Photo courtesy of Halstead Property

Few in New York City can lay claim to Louise Phillips Forbes’ accomplishments and determination to give back just as hard as she works. She is proof that no one is too busy to make a positive impact on society and embodies the true spirit of New York. For more information on Louise and her and her services, visit; and for Change for Kids, visit • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 89

IT PAYS TO BE TOP DOG By Stacey Delikat

etting a meeting with Doug was not easy. First the e-mails, then phone calls with his agent who wanted to know what questions would be asked and where the interview would end up, then the juggling of schedules. After all, Doug’s an incredibly busy guy: frequent travel from his home in Nashville to New York City and Los Angeles, photo shoots, appearances, commercials - and naps!

TALL TAILS Yes, Doug is a dog, but not just any dog. He’s a pug known for his love of pizza and Netflix with millions of followers hanging on his every social media post. I started following Doug after deciding to create an Instagram account for my dog, Jax (that’s @ JaxArfhur, please follow him, please) a Poodle/Shih Tzu mix with a keen ability to contort his four legs into shapes and letters of the alphabet and incredible eyelashes (really!). Surely, I thought, he was Instagram gold. The social media universe wasn’t as impressed. I posted shots of Jax sleeping, chewing on a bone, wearing his NY Giants jersey, but got a meager handful of likes on the posts. I started following other 90 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

dogs who have more followers than most humans I know. Clearly, Jax had a way to go before he reached the status of Celeb Dog like @SamsontheDood (a big teddy bear of a golden doodle with an affinity for plaid and drinks craft beer) or @MenswearDog (a Shiba Inu who models high-end men’s fashion and has his own coffee table book). The concept of a celebrity dog isn’t new; it’s just that social media has created a platform for anyone with a smartphone to try to make their dog the next big thing. But building a following for your pet comes with more than just popularity; it can mean endorsement deals that translate to real hard cash. I started to notice subtle product placement among the #Tot and #DogsofInstagram posts: one Yorkie lounging on a bed with a “Stainmaster” logo, a Frenchie wearing a clearly labeled designer wristwatch.

AWARD WINNING POOCHES As I dove deeper into this world of dogs, I decided a TV story was in order. I found out about a holiday event hosted by PetSmart and decided to bring a camera crew for my story. Their PR person promised me twenty-five of the city’s biggest “dog influencers” would be there and they’d have the chance to test out and try on all of the latest seasonal products for sale. It was like an Academy Awards swag-suite for pets: hundreds of dog toys, clothes, treats and grooming products all free for the taking in hopes the high-profile pups in attendance would tag the retailer in their social media posts. By the time we left an hour later, I had a stack of business cards. Not for the dog owners—but for the dogs themselves, naturally. Free swag is hardly the only perk once your pet “makes it” in the world of Celebrity Dogs. Once a dog’s account breaks fifty or a hundred thousand followers, the brands may come calling. A number of the dog owners I interviewed for my story said they earned anywhere from a few hundred bucks to several thousand dollars just to post a picture of their dog with a brand’s product and a complimentary caption. One told me she quit her full-time job in graphic design to freelance thanks to new income from her dog’s account. Another, who is a professional photographer, said fielding e-mail inquiries and taking and posting pictures of her poodle with various products and brands had now become her full-time job. But making your dog a social media celebrity, and a profitable one at that is not so easy. It’s been over a year, and poor @JaxArfhur hovers around 370 followers, despite my best efforts. The thing is a cute iPhone photo makes not an internet sensation. You need a good camera, professional lighting, wardrobes and props and excellent copywriting. Loni Edwards is “momager” to Chloe The Mini Frenchie, (follower count: 140k) and last year saw an opportunity on her social media feed. She launched The Dog Agency ( to pair dogs with brands. Despite the name she also represents some cats, pigs, and bunnies. Brand partners include Purina, Google and Merck & Co. “Animal-influencer marketing comes with all the benefits of human influencer marketing, but you get even higher engagement,” Edwards said. “There’s just an innate, positive feeling you get when seeing a warm fuzzy animal, and you don’t get that just from seeing a blogger wearing a pretty dress.” She also said she’s seen pet owners earn up twenty grand for a single brand-sponsored photo post on Instagram. In fact “posts are reaching millions of engaged people,” Edwards said.

STAR QUALITY Which brings me back to Doug the Pug (@ItsDougthePug: follower count 2.1 million and counting), the self-proclaimed “King of Pop Culture.” I’d heard through the insta-dog grapevine he and his owner were frequently flying back and forth to New York for “business engagements,” so I reached out and asked if we could meet up with him and his owner for an interview. I offered to show up at their whenever worked for them, promised to take up minimal time, and kept my fingers crossed. But then came the rejection e-mail from Doug’s agent: “Hi Stacey, Doesn’t look like we’ll be able to do this. So Sorry!” When you make it big, there’s not much time for local news reporters. Especially the ones whose dogs only have 300 Instagram followers. • Stacey Delikat is a broadcast journalist in New York City. When she’s not chasing stories, she’s keeping up with her dog, Jax, and newborn son, Noah.

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ne of the magical things about New York City is that anyone can plant their seed here and blossom into a tremendous success no matter where they are from in the world. Remember Frank Sinatra as he sang, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…”? I’m reminded of this as I listen to the light-hearted lilt of Sue Phillip’s South African accent as she unfolds her story in front of me in her captivating Manhattan Scentarium shop beginning from her remote upbringing in South Africa as a child.

ACT I Sue came to New York City in 1978 to be a singer/actress and to escape the political unrest in South Africa, but without citizenship and no union representation, she had a difficult time getting work. After taking classes as an actress, she was told by someone that she was an unusually talented speaker and was urged to get into the corporate training industry. This was pivotal for Sue, so she worked on getting her green card and before she knew it, she had landed a job at Elizabeth Arden as a national corporate trainer. This opportunity was the catalyst for her future career as (her coined title) a highly regarded “scentrepreneur.” But it didn’t happen overnight, as most success stories go.


Sue with Jamie Foxx

After years of being in corporate America working as a national leader in training for the cosmetics industry, Sue eventually found her niche and second passion (in addition to singing and dancing) in the perfume industry. Don’t get me wrong—she still kept her hand in the entertainment industry by singing and dancing in the evenings at cabarets and such, but now her focus was on building her corporate career. And when she was eventually introduced to the fragrance world it took on a whole new light, or…sense, shall we say. But before her fragrance career began, Sue was promoted into color cosmetics from her corporate training position at Elizabeth Arden and started learning about eye shadows, lipsticks, mascaras and how companies are marketing these products to women. “What girl doesn’t want to know that stuff, right?” Sue said with a chuckle, then afterward Arden promoted her into fragrance marketing which instantly became her greatest passion. “With lipsticks and eye shadows you can immediately see the difference. With fragrance, it’s so intangible, you can’t see anything—but you can definitely feel the difference. It reflects who you are.” Sue opened up a whole new world for herself, leading to her next venture at Lancôme where as Marketing Director she worked on Chloe, Burberry, and Lagerfeld fragrances. She started to feel a “love and kinship” for fragrances, a much deeper passion than what she had felt with cosmetics and color. Lancôme at the time was very focused on cosmetics and skincare treatment and considered fragrance to be the “stepchild” of the company. But with Sue’s obsession for the potential of what fragrance could do for the public’s olfaction, she paved the way for Lancôme to eventually make their fragrance department a top competitor in the industry. While at Lancôme, little did Sue know that her career was about to take on an even more high-profile turn and propel her up into the top echelons of the fragrance industry.

ACT III Enter Tiffany & Co. Four years later Sue was hired to be Vice President of Fragrance Marketing to develop and launch the perfume for their 150th anniversary. Within 12 years Sue had come from not knowing anything about the fragrance industry and struggling to find her way in NYC via singing and dancing to gaining a coveted position in the top ranks of one of the most iconic companies in the world. But Sue didn’t stop there. 92 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

ACT IV After leaving Tiffany to have her baby girl, Sue wished to take charge of her work schedule and clients and opened her own business befittingly called Scenterprises, Inc. which captured the essence of her passion for fragrance. Here, she created fragrances for Trish McEvoy, Burberry, AVON, Diane Von Furstenberg and Lancaster and in doing so, made Scenterprises into a global consulting company.

ACT V For most people, reaching the pinnacle of an entrepreneurial career as a world-renowned consultant would be good enough, but as a visionary Sue realized seven years ago that fragrances had a different future and she wanted to be leading the pack. She noticed consumers were getting tired of having to choose premade perfume types or a celebrity’s choice of perfume that may or may not fit into their personality and scent preference. So Sue capitalized on an evolving future of customized scents for everyone, perfumes that people could create themselves—bespoke fragrances, as Sue calls it. As the world exploded into customized industries from vacations to interior design, Sue awakened her industry to the beginning of tailored perfumes with her picturesque haven of a perfumery called Scentarium located in Downtown Manhattan. The shop hypnotizes the soul with its charm and beauty, enrapturing all the senses with glorious scents, music and exquisite paintings her mother created for her as one of the most talented artists in South Africa. Scentarium clients range from celebrities (Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes are fans) to six-year-old girls to 80-year-old birthday parties. Also in the mix are Fortune 500 companies who request team building conferences and celebratory events like AOL, Bulgari, COTY and hundreds of other corporations who have hired her to set up fragrance bars at their events for their employees to experience the art of custom perfume creation.

ACT VI Besides creating customized perfumes for the world privately and corporately, Sue is an adjunct professor at LIM College, after five years of teaching at FIT, and not surprisingly, is working on her line of fragrance called the Sue Phillips House of Fragrance Collection. She was also nominated as the Fragrance/Entrepreneur 2016 for Fashion Group International, and also 2016 Woman of the Year for T.J. Martell Foundation. Yes, Sue is also philanthropic. The Alzheimer’s Foundation is close to Sue’s heart, and she is dedicated to raising funds for it, inspired by her mother having had the disease. She has held numerous fund-raising events nationwide for the Foundation, and Sue believes that since fragrance and memory are so intertwined, there could be a cure involving scents with the correlation.


Sue with Katie Holmes

Looking back Sue exclaims “If you had told me that growing up in South Africa I would land up being in NYC singing, dancing and working in the cosmetic industry then eventually developing a fragrance for Tiffany, I would have said you’re crazy!” I have a feeling the curtain is not even close to coming down yet on Sue’s ventures. • Judy Goss is currently the radio show host of What Women Want with over 500,000 downloads and is a published author of St. Martin’s Press. She is also an entrepreneur who founded the nationally acclaimed networking organization Over 40 Females® with its 20 chapters from New York to California. Judy is also a freelance journalist who interviews people about her favorite topic; their personal stories and what inspired them to be who they are today. NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 93

On the set of Cheers


he rent was $114 a month when I signed the lease. Actually, my dad had to sign for me as I wasn’t yet 21...I’d lived on my own in New York City for three years. I could drink, get held up at knifepoint and dodge transvestites with the legs like a Dallas Cowboy halfback, but I couldn’t sign a lease for a $114. The good times! Two forty seven West Eleventh Street in Greenwich Village: even now that address knocks my nostalgic block off. The claw foot bath tub was right out in the open in the kitchen and the toilet was outside the apartment in the hall. It was in a little closet outside my front door. It had a lock and was just for my individual use . It really wasn’t that bad if you didn’t mind hearing the Polish neighbors schlepping groceries up the stairs while you were, say, in the middle of, a ‘sacred’ moment. I spent most of my well spent/miss spent youth on West 11th Street. I got a lot of good stories out of it to. Each one of the occupants of this dilapidated (it was in worse shape than the Acropolis) rent controlled building on an idyllic tree lined street could be the stars of their own three act play. There was Mrs. Pogan who lived down the hall with her paralyzed ex fireman son. She was continually complaining about how her rent had skyrocketed to $30 a month. And Jeff Lobato who worked on one haiku poem for 20 years. We are talking about a four line poem here folks. “It’s almost done, Tom, almost done.” And an as yet unknown James Gandolfini, lived on the first floor. He left his door open all the time. You could do that in those days. You’d get robbed but you could do it. He wore overalls and no shirt, even in the winter. I was scared of him.

THE SHOW ABOUT NOTHING That building and the charming Greenwich Village corner it stood on provided more than enough stories for a show about nothing—Seinfeld. Of course, there’s nothing funny about your next door neighbor blowing the back of his head off on Christmas Eve. That sad tale became the episode called “The Suicide”. I’ve always thought abject sadness can make the best family entertainment and strongest jokes. And what’s wrong with making a few bucks off what you’ve been through and if the residuals contribute to the deductible on your antidepressant medication. So be it! “The Suicide,” now, there’s a show title you wouldn’t have seen on an episode of I Love Lucy or Father Knows Best! “Tonight on Channel 4, Bud commits suicide when Father won’t allow him to drive his jalopy to the Country Club.” Where was I?


Oh, this strange young guy lived in the apartment next door. His toilet was inside his apartment so for the life of me I can’t imagine what could have made him so depressed. He wouldn’t look at anybody when they said hello and would compulsively lock and unlock his front door a thousand times per lock. The sound of which was worse than waterboarding. He would also blare The Phantom of The Opera cast album day and night. I should have been the one committing suicide!


A SAD DEMISE One day my wife and I smelled what we thought was a dead mouse in the wall but tragically it was our neighbor. God forgive me for saying this but I was a little relieved as I have an unnatural fear of rodents. My therapist blames it all on those years I spent with the William Morris Agency. When the smell continued, I called the Super and we knocked at his apartment. One tap and the door opened slow and spookily like the door in Abbot and Costello Meet The Wolf Man. A multiplied rush of what we’d been smelling was like a bus full of senior citizens on their way to see a matinee of Wicked! The Super who I brought along with me and who spoke no known language indicated I should go further into the dark apartment. I did and saw my neighbor’s body on the couch. It was pumped up and purple and his head was bent all the way back looking at me with bulging Jackie Gleason eyes. He looked like the horse in Picasso’s painting of Guernica. The cops were called and they used our apartment as a command center. I was very excited about that which annoyed my wife but I love cop movies and tried to sound like a cop myself when I offered them coffee and scones. They asked me to go into the dead man’s apartment and ID the victim. I had always wanted to ID a victim. They told me to brace myself and they heated some of our maple syrup because that’s the only thing that can cover the stench of death. You might want to post that on your refrigerator. The body had grown more bloated. A policeman told me if I hadn’t notified them the body probably would have exploded. That was a nice thought! It’s not bad enough you are dead but you explode all over your furniture? Knowing my landlord they probably would have deducted the cleaning fee from his security deposit. There was a note on his chest. A cop told me later what was in it. It seems his wife had left him just before Christmas and wasn’t coming back. It was very sad. And the amazing part of the story was that his wife moved in a couple days later which is less an indictment of her than a comment on the housing market.

Tom Leopold

In my Seinfeld version I had written that the neighbor was just in a coma because the audience wouldn’t laugh as hard at death. And laughs are important in my line of work. I had Jerry in love with coma-man’s girlfriend and wondering what was the proper waiting period before asking her out.

With Jerry Lewis and the gang

In a later episode of Seinfeld that I wrote “The Cafe”, we needed a secondary story… so, I used another experience from my old building. Years ago on West 11th Street a very pretty woman who lived on the top floor at the time had a job giving people IQ tests and she kept asking me to take one. I declined fearing I was even a bigger moron than she thought I was. So in that show I had George taking the test to impress another young lady. But like me he too was afraid of the results so he bribes Elaine to take it for him. This ends in disaster. In this episode I also introduced the character of Babu Bott, an East Indian café owner, who shakes his finger angrily at Jerry yelling, “You’re a bad man, Jerry! You are a very bad man!” That really happened to me as well. This little café, The Dream Café, opened on the corner of West 11th and Waverly Place right next door to our apartment building. I couldn’t avoid walking by it if I tried. A tiny Vietnamese man owned the restaurant and there were never any customers. I became obsessed with him and his dying dream. My wife said we should try it out but I knew if we did we’d be too guilty to stop. Near the end of the café’s short life the owner went nuts with the menu. He added Russian, American Barbecue and Kosher food to the menu. Still no customers. Desperate signs went up in the window. “Free coffee with dessert.” “Free dessert and Coffee. Bring your dog,”to hell with the health department!” “Half my family died in a boat coming over, free appetizer!” In the show Jerry’s curiosity gets to be too much and he dines there and winds up offering well meant but terrible business advice that hastens the restaurants demise. “Jerry, you are a very bad man.”

Chevy Chase and friends

Here’s something we couldn’t fit into the episode: At night the proprietor put two of his four tables out on the sidewalk and candles next to the now enormous menu. He would then button the top button of his short-sleeved madras shirt. As if this somehow made the outfit elegant after six wear. Some things are just too sad to be funny! • NOVEMBER 2016 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 95


ennis Basso has built a veritable fashion empire spanning a range of lines from his couture evening wear and furs to his QVC apparel and home collections. For over thirty years, Basso has been inspired by glamorous women, dressing a long list of stars including Mary J. Blige, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Naomi Campbell, Brooke Shields, and more. With a flagship Madison Avenue boutique at the center of his universe, Basso’s world continues to expand, bringing his luxurious aesthetic to women around the world. Who is the Dennis Basso woman? She’s someone who’s international. She loves fashion, but she’s not totally obsessed with fashion. She’s truly her own person, and she likes to use fashion to show who she is. She’s comfortable in jeans and a T- shirt as well as a ball gown. How has New York influenced your aesthetic? We’re living in a city that’s a crossroads of the world. We have a little bit of everything here. Every day when you walk outside you need to have your eyes wide open and see fashion and emotion and style comes from all different places. Being here allows you to have all of your senses refreshed constantly. You’ve had so many iconic women wear your designs. Who has made you most proud? Years ago when Elizabeth Taylor wore my things it was incredible. When Meryl Streep wore my coat in the opening scene of The Devil Wears Prada, it was fantastic. Just recently, Rihanna wore something of mine. The Dennis Basso Collection is appealing to so many different types of women. And that’s what’s exciting for me, to see young women, middle-aged women, and women of a certain age wearing Dennis Basso and interpreting it for them how it works best, using it as a fashion tool. That’s the greatest compliment that a designer could have. How does your sensibility translate to your QVC line? The QVC line is something that has to appeal to tens of thousands of women. So I love to take what the trends are or the feeling of the Dennis Basso Collection and then create something that has to work for many different women from different parts of the country and many different sizes and shapes. And that’s also very exciting to be able to know that with one design thousands of women will be wearing something they fell in love with. How does that line help you connect with the American woman? Maybe those women are in a location where a store is a few hours away. We’re bringing a fashion show right into their living room. 96 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | NOVEMBER 2016

What’s next for Dennis Basso? Right now I’m focused on growing the Dennis Basso luxury business. We’re also focused on possibly creating a bridge line, something that’s between the Madison Avenue collection and the QVC collection. I feel that there are a lot of women out there who are looking for that price point. I look at every day as a new opportunity when you wake up. You never know what’s going to be coming around the corner. I started my business in 1983, and it’s been an exciting journey.•

DENNIS’ NEW YORK FAVORITES A Coffee… I love to go to Sant Ambroeus on Madison Avenue. It’s not too far from my flagship store, and you always bump into a friend when you’re in there. A Gift… You can always find something on the seventh floor of Bergdorf Goodman in the home department. Someone who doesn’t find something there doesn’t know how to shop. For another one of my unique gifts, I’ve been taking invitations for an occasion and having them engraved on a tray at Tiffany. Now I hate that I gave out my secret! Dinner… We love Cipriani—it’s an old standby. A newcomer to the restaurant crowd is Polo Bar which is fun and exciting. And, of course, for a special night nothing beats La Grenouille. Some Time Alone… Sitting at my kitchen table with an iced tea, the landline phone, the mobile phone, the laptop open and all the newspapers. A Celebration… My husband Michael Cominotto and I were the first same-sex couple to be married at The Pierre Ballroom…it doesn’t get better than that!


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