New York Lifestyles Magazine - September 2020

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Vol. 6 #6 | September 2020



43+ Acre Family Compound


Secluded family compound aprx. 40 minutes from NYC. English-style country estate on the Ramapo River is impeccably designed. Indoor and outdoor pools, turf sports field, basketball court, English pub, theater, sports lounges and much more!


Decorator’s Showplace


Elegantly appointed 6 bedroom colonial with high ceilings & great flow for entertaining. Finished lower level, recreation room, gym & billiard room. Multilevel deck, pool & spa w/paver patio, 3-car gar. Landscaped setting overlooks pond.


Timeless French Chateau


5+ Acre Celebrity Stunner


6.5 Acre Country Estate


2000’s built French Chateau on 2.33 gated & fenced acres with tennis/sport court & lagoon pool with waterfalls. High ceilings & large 1st floor master bedroom. Lower level (w/outside entry) theater & wine cellar. 4-car garage. Ready to move in!


Notable actress, comedian & philanthropist offers this enchanting English Country Estate completely renovated/expanded. 6 bedrooms, 1st floor theater, guesthouse, lagoon pool with waterfalls, generator, elevator and 3-car garage + artist’s studio!



23+ Acre Riverfront Compound


5 bedroom Hampton’s style shingle and stone masterpiece with expansive views. 9-stall barn opens to a limestone jumping area, paddocks and trails along the river. Above the stalls: massive artist’s loft. Infinity pool, hot tub, generator and more!


Approximately 17,000 square foot custom built country estate offers a great floorplan for large scale entertaining. State-of-the-art kitchen, 1st floor master bedroom suite, indoor and outdoor pool/spa, cabana, reg. lighted tennis court and 6-car garage.

vicki gaily, realtor-associate $10,500,000 • founder marketing director One of the most extraordinary estates in the tri-state area offering a two-acre lake, tennis court, pool, SADDLE RIVER, NJ


office 201 934-7111 • cell 201 390 -5880 large building that can accommodate 8 cars plus huge studio, 9-stall barn for the avid equestrian, vgaily @ a separate 5 bedroom guesthouse and a magnificent French Chateau with panoramic views! 158 west saddle river road








Special Properties, Div. Brook Hollow Group, Inc • All information deemed reliable but subject to change, errors & omissions.

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BEDFORD, NY I $3,395,000 I MLS#6042527 Eric Rosenfeld, 914.262.9628

WESTPORT, CT I $3,250,000 I MLS#170297646 Leslie Clarke Homes, 203.984.1856

NEW CANAAN, CT I $2,699,000 I MLS#170306327 Catherine DiChiara, 917.833.2837

STAMFORD, CT I $1,970,000 I MLS#170320431 NicoleJBates Team, 203.912.9778

FAIRFIELD, CT I $1,899,000 I MLS#170258989 Donna Beretta, 203.451.1540

FAIRFIELD, CT I $1,799,500 I MLS#170291112 David Burger, 203.545.8664

WESTBROOK CT I $1,395,000 I MLS#170263081 Claire Kilmer, 203.856.0387

MADISON, CT I $1,375,000 I MLS#170309485 Judy Dannemann, 203.675.8944

ORANGE, CT I $1,099,000 I MLS#170303818 Cheryl Lautz, 203.243.1090

NORWALK, CT I $1,088,000 I MLS#170321956 NicoleJBates Team, 203.912.9778

ROXBURY, CT I $1,085,000 I MLS#170165118 The Matthews Group, 860.868.0511

GUILFORD, CT I $1,000,000 I MLS#170261409 One & Company, 860.941.2755

Fort Lauderdale, Florida Luxury L’Hermitage Condos

#1009/05 Bldg 2—$3,999,900 6 Bed 5.5 Bath Mid-Floor Penthouse Virtual Tour:

#1010 Bldg 1—$2,599,900 3 Bed 3.5 Bath Southeast Corner Virtual Tour:

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#909 Bldg 2—$2,299,900 3 Bed 3.5 Bath Oceanfront Corner Virtual Tour:

Decorator Model Bldg 2—$2,200,000 3 Bed 3 Bath Panoramic Ocean Views 2 Car Garage Parking

#2501 Bldg 1—$1,599,900 3 Bed 3 Bath Ocean – Double Corner Virtual Tour:

#1504 Bldg 2 —$1,375,000 3 Bed 3 Bath Southeast Exposure Virtual Tour:

#1105 Bldg 2—$1,145,000 2 Bed + Den 3 Bath Direct Ocean Views Virtual Tour:

#505 Bldg 2—$899,900 2 Bed 2 Bath Great Ocean Views Virtual Tour:

Gated Community with 24-hr security located on 10 acres with 650 ft of Oceanfront, L’Hermitage features Resort-like Amenities, including Concierge, Valet, Poolside Cafe and Catering, PRIVATE Beach Pavilion, 2 Heated Pools with Jacuzzi’s, Gym with accompanying Locker Rooms with Spa,Tennis Courts, Pet Park (for any size Pets), Community Room, Business Center and Convenient to Restaurants and shopping! A number of L’Hermitage residences include PRIVATE Elevator Access and all feature expansive Balconies, many of which offer amazing Oceanfront views and all residences include secured indoor garage parking! Sandra Post

Patti Post



Vero Beach, Florida The Hamptons of Florida

4 bed • 5 bath • 6,436 SF • Detached • $4,200,000 Stunning Oceanfront. Casual living at its best! 2 kitchens. 3 car garage. Well maintained home with 4 spacious bedrooms plus office. Guarded community.

4 bed • 5.1 bath • 5,100 SF • $3,450,000

3 bed • 3.5 bath • 3,800 SF • $1,850,000

Elegant beach house. Boasts 120 feet of direct oceanfront. Gourmet kitchen. Courtyard with pool.

Luxury oceanfront condo. Private balcony. Guarded community offering golf, tennis, beach club and more!

Island Specialist


3377 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963

A member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates, LLC

Ocean City’s Most Historic & Prestigious Luxury All Suites Boardwalk Hotel Luxury Multi-room Suites • Million Dollar Penthouses • Elegant & Conference Center • Luxury Suite Accommodations · Million Dollar Banquet Penthouses · Three Unique Boutiques • Divine Images Salon & Day Spa •Pool Fitness Center • Business Center Elegant Banquet & Conference Center · Outdoor Heated · Full Service Restaurant · • ThreeOcean Unique Boutiques · Divine Images Salon & Spa · Pool Coffee Shopand · And More!Suites Emily’s Room Café • Drip n Scoop • Outdoor Heated • Clean Sanitized

719 East 11th Street, Ocean City, NJ 08226


Georgian Lakeside Resort

Marine Village Resort

Sun Castle Resort

Located in the heart of Lake George Village, this full service resort offers accommodations, dining, and event hosting. With short walks to everything, The Georgian has a beautiful lakeside location with 157 rooms and suites. The resort has a lakefront pool, patio and Cabana Bar. Dining is offered at Giovanna’s on the Lake with entertainment in the Terrace Room overlooking the lake. Georgian guests enjoy free concerts, lake cruises as well as Six Flags Great Escape theme park, all nearby.

Family resort located in the center of Lake George that features a 300-foot beach to relax and play. Docks are available for guest boats or boat rentals. Relax with family and friends on the large patio and pool area. The Morgan Restaurant serves made to order breakfasts daily and grills are available throughout the property for guest use. Perfect choice for those who prefer a location with a short walk to the village while offering a host of resort activities.

The resort spans 15 acres of luxurious lakefront property. Outdoor activities abound with 2 beaches, a heated outdoor pool and 2 children’s playground areas. Modern townhomes offer 2-bedroom, 2.5 baths, full kitchens, dining area and living room. 2-bedroom villas offer outstanding lake views from the living room and private balconies overlooking beautiful Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains. Guests have dining privileges at The Inn at Erlowest, the only AAA 4 Diamond Restaurant in the region located on the same property.

384 Canada Street, Lake George, NY 12845 1-800-525-3436 / 1-800-LAKE-GEORGE

370 Canada Street, Lake George, NY 12845 1-800-727-7090 / 1-518-668-5478

3178 Lake Shore Dr., Lake George, NY 12845 1-518-668-2085

Scotty’s Lakeside Resort

Surfside On The Lake Hotel

The Quarters at Lake George

Newly rejuvenated and located on 7 expansive acres in Lake George Village and 350 ft. of beautiful shoreline, the resort is a place for fun with friends and family. Enjoy the large sandy beach or the beachside pool. Canoe, paddleboat, an interactive arcade, beach volleyball, and Scotty’s Café and Beachfront Bar offer plenty of activities to fill the days.

Located in Lake George Village, Surfside is an independent family owned 154 room resort featuring 41 Suites, some with two bedrooms and many rooms have a view of Lake George or Lakefront with private balconies. Surfside has a private sandy beach on Lake George, an outdoor heated pool and 3100 square foot rooftop cabana bar. The Club Hamilton restaurant serves breakfast.

Located less than 1 mile from The Village of Lake George, the former summer home of Georgia O’keeffe. Luxurious vacation rentals feature newly remodeled lakefront accommodations with spacious, private units with abundant amenities and breathtaking views of the Adirondacks. From cozy fireplaces and jacuzzis to private balconies, beach access and outdoor grills, the townhouses at The Quarters have it all. Open all year long.

2896 Lake Shore Dr., Lake George, NY 12845 1-877-749-0930

400 Canada Street, Lake George, NY 12845 1-518-668-2442

3014 Lake Shore Dr., Lake George, NY 12845 1-518-668-4901

Inspired Cuisine. Elegant Lodging.

Tom Wall Photography

Bigler Studios

AAA 4-Diamond A luxurious year round Inn with a farm-to-table restaurant and breathtaking views of Lake George.

Our beautifully appointed Grand Ballroom is the premiere event facility in the area.

Caitlin Miller Photography

Caroll Tice Photographer

Caitlin Miller Photography

3178 Lake Shore Drive . Lake George, New York 12845 . 518.668.5928 /



FEATURES 16 From The Publisher 19 Cover: Jean Shafiroff—The First Lady Of Philanthropy


STYLE 30 Eric Rutherford: A Style All His Own 32 Life & Style: Back To Cool Edition

TRAVEL 34 36 38 39 40

Retro Hot Spots: A Trio Of Classics Lets You Travel In Style Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club: Adventures In Sloatsburg, NY Woodloch Pines Resort: The Fall Escape You’ve Been Looking For Howe Caverns: Welcome To The Underworld A Weekend At The Jersey Shore: It’s Cape May All The Way



Around Town: One Broker’s Deep Love Of Real Estate 545 West 110th Street: Zen Garden, Views & A Whole Lot More Migdale Castle: Luxury In Dutchess County Reassessing & Relocating: Should You Ditch The City?



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HEALTH & WELLNESS 51 It’s All Connected: Why Wellness Needs An Even More Holistic Approach 54 Hypnosis: How It Can Change Your Life

FOOD & DRINK 56 58 59 61


Versa Rooftop & Restaurant: A Breath Of Fresh Air! A Toast To Late Summer: Perfect California Wines Quick Bites: Appetizing Dips Old Forester: King Of The Bourbons

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 64 On Stage: BroadwayHD—It’s The Best Ticket In Town 66 On The Small Screen 68 Zen Pace: Making Waves On Stage & Screen


NEW YORK, NY 70 My New York Story: Bianca Kamhi of Living With Bianca 72 A New York Rant…A Return To The Bad Old Days 73 Time Out With…Ben Widdicombe 12 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020


Cooperstown Luxury Vacation Rental Homes

Casual, Comfortable Elegance For You And Your Family. Stay for a week, come back for a lifetime! Visit us at and experience Upstate New York Luxe Getaways at its finest, your year-round personalized escape to Upstate Destination – who wants a 1-room hotel room when you can stay in an extravagant vacation home. Testimonial: Unlike local mass-brokerages which handle scores of properties in a broad spectrum of categories, our approach is unique to the Cooperstown region; we offer a handful of premier homes to discerning travelers and provide guests with personal and exceptional customer service. By focusing on this narrow segment of the accommodations market, we are able to provide a high level of attention to our guests. We truly enjoy helping guests select just the right vacation home to meet their needs, and providing them with personal recommendations for restaurants, sight-seeing destinations and local "insider" information. It is often the smallest details that can turn a wonderful vacation into an experience of a lifetime! "Bill, the owner and builder of these spectacular homes, was more gracious and accommodating than you could ever expect." - Eric A. PA

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OUR CONTRIBUTORS ELI BLILIUOS Eli, a native New Yorker, was inspired to pursue a career in hypnosis 25+ years ago. Initially, he started his professional journey as a sales and marketing executive, eventually finding his vocation in public speaking and coaching, where his listening/personal interaction talents benefited him. As a result of his personal spiritual journey, Eli studied various holistic healing techniques that led him toward the path of a career in hypnosis as a practitioner and trainer. Today, Eli is the president and founder of the NYC Hypnosis Center, practices hypnosis with clients worldwide. He has been certified by the IACHT (International Alliance of Clinical Hypnotists & Therapists), the NGH (National Guild of Hypnotists), and the IACT (International Association of Counselors & Therapists). SEAN-PATRICK M. HILLMAN Sean-Patrick is a marketing executive, journalist, emcee, and public speaker. Born and raised as a third generation Manhattanite, Sean-Patrick has appeared on virtually every national news show and station across the country, often talking about pop culture, his clients or advocating for homeless animals. Hillman began his career, at age 19, as the youngest producer in broadcast journalism history for CNN. Three years later, he joined his family’s marketing practice, launching and managing brands like Sephora, Bacardi, Jose Cuervo, Christina Aguilera, Disney, and many more. Sean-Patrick is the CEO of hillSTORY Marketing and our new Op-Ed columnist. He is married to Kylie Edmond and they live in Manhattan with their rescue dogs, Snickers and Rolo. It is their love of animals that inspired the couple to start Rock & Rawhide, a charity that increases the level of adoptions of dogs and cats in shelters. ANNE RASO Anne, who hails from New Jersey, is a longtime editor and writer now based in New York City. Highlights of her 35-plus year career include serving as the associate editor of Tiger Beat and Sunday music columnist for the New York Daily News. She has penned seven teen celebrity paperbacks including ones on Justin Timberlake and One Direction. More recently she has added food and travel to her expertise. Anne’s personal interests run the gamut from learning local history (particularly stories behind Art Deco buildings) to discovering new restaurants. 14 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

Vol. 6 #6 | September 2020 President / Publisher BILL MASON Editor-in-Chief Patricia Canole

Art Director Eric Duncan

Editor-at-Large Jeremy Murphy

Features Ruth J. Katz

Entertainment Jenny Peters, Lori Zelenko

Lifestyle Griffin Miller

Op-Ed Columnist Sean-Patrick M. Hillman

Special Projects Natasha Bazika, Norah Bradford

Chief Photographer Annie Watt Contributing Writers Bailey Beckett, AP Connolly, Cecilia Deignan, Karen Dubin Peter Elston, Brian Finn, Dr. Peter Kalellis, Kristie Kellahan, Lee Gabay Anne Grenier, Bianca Kamhi, Irvina Lew, Maria Marlowe, Lisa Maysonet Darren Paltrowitz, Meryl Pearlstein, Anne Raso, Will Reed Esther Reizes-Lowenbein, Jeff & Stephanie Sylva, Sara Weisenfeld, Stacey Zable Executive Vice President of Sales LYLE SELTZER Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development John Miller - Sales Manager Michael Stulmaker - Sales Manager Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim

Advertising BLUE VISTA 725

Internet Presence Scott Cuollo

Magazine Distribution The Garrido Group

New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651

Editorial/Sales Fax (212) 202-4888

For subscriptions, address changes or back issues, call: (646) 259-2651 Facebook: /NYLifestylesMag Twitter: @NYLifestylesMag Instagram: @NYLifestylesMag All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Printed in the USA. New York Lifestyles Magazine is published 10 times annually. ©2020 New York Lifestyles Magazine

Cover Photography by Michael Paniccia Hair by Henry de la Paz for Warren Tricomi Makeup by JP Ramirez for Angelo David Salon Fashion by Carolina Herrera


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©9/11 Memorial Museum

his past year our message of hope, endurance, and resilience is more important than ever. As New Yorkers, we have been continually called upon to face a common enemy during these tough and tragic times. That’s just another reason why there was a massive outcry last month, which has prompted the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to reverse its outrageous decision to cancel this year’s “Tribute in Light” display marking its 19th anniversary. This is when two columns of lights are projected into the night sky from Ground Zero as a tribute to the victims of the 2001 terror attacks. Please remember these beams of lights rising into the heavens don’t create any massive crowds, but they do unite us all as one who looks up from miles around and only makes us stronger together. What’s puzzling to me is staging this entire Tribute requires only about 40 electricians and stagehands to install 88 (7,000 watts) xenon bulbs atop the roof of a parking garage near the Twin Towers site when the museum’s original reason or excuse was, they were unable to control safety protocols for these workers. But right outside, there’s construction booming all over our city every day; we are opening gyms and bowling alleys and sending over a million children and teachers back to the classrooms. Let’s get to the real question: Why does a $600 million non-profit need to be bailed out? Where did the donations for the 9/11 Museum go this year, and how come none were allocated for the Tribute? Just a little over a month ago, the National Park Service announced a $2 million grant for the Memorial and Museum, which included “to support the annual commemoration ceremony.” Maybe it’s just me, but I believe something is wrong. And to think no one thought to mention it until less than 30 days before the ceremony is simply unbelievable. As my final thought, I would like to thank all who were involved for their support in reassuring New Yorkers—and the world—that 9/11 will always be remembered and never forgotten. I look forward to hearing from you with comments, suggestions, and what you would like to see on the pages of New York Lifestyles and Pet Lifestyles magazines. See you next issue!

-Bill Mason


Visit us at: For subscription or back issues, call:

(646) 259-2651 16 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

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n t h e N e w Yo r k C i t y - H a m p t o n s scene, the name Jean Shafiroff is syno nymo u s with philanthro py. Named the First Lady of Philanthropy by Hello and Hola! Magazines, Jean has heard her calling and uses her vast professional and personal network to bring aid to individuals and organizations.

Photography by Michael Paniccia Hair by Henry de la Paz for Warren Tricomi Makeup by JP Ramirez for Angelo David Salon Fashion by Carolina Herrera

Jean Shafiroff ’s philanthropy and advocacy span far and wide, both in regional and national positions, to make sure that the causes she finds deserving have a voice resonating with donors, influencers, and the less fortunate. Jean’s beginnings, though, could be most aptly described as humble. Beginning her journey in a middle-class community on Long Island, Jean was influenced by her father—a music teacher—and the nuns at her Catholic school to begin a life of good works. She spent twelve years in Catholic school, where she was encouraged to start helping others.

Fashion by Oscar de la Renta


Jean’s gown collection focuses on American fashion designers, including Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Mary McFadden, B. Michael, Zang Toi, Victor de Souza, and Malan Breton. GATHERING SUPPORT

This motive compelled her to enroll at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons to study physical therapy. After graduating, Jean proceeded to work as a physical therapist at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York. Subsequently, Jean decided to return to the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. During this time, she earned an MBA in finance. She then applied her combination of innate business skills and keen attention to detail to succeed on Wall Street—an industry that was, and largely remains, male-dominated. After meeting her husband, Martin, the Managing Director of a top Wall Street investment firm, she was further encouraged to dedicate her life to her works of charity. She and her husband give generously to charity—and this is just the tip of the iceberg, as she remains on six charity boards and hosts approximately eight charity galas yearly. “I have had a good life, and with that comes a responsibility to give back,” says Jean. “Beyond the giving, though, comes hard work, advocacy, organizing, leading, and gathering support for a given cause,” she continued.

Fashion by Oscar de la Renta


Her insight has been valued and largely credited with raising awareness about the shortages of supplies in food pantries, and the fair treatment and adoption of animals… REACHING THE PUBLIC

Fashion by Mui Mui

And that is just what Jean Shafiroff has done since she has dedicated herself to the volunteer profession of philanthropy, fundraising, and publicly advocating—both nationally and internationally—for the causes she holds dear. “In times like these, when the global pandemic has caused such uncertainty in the non-profit world, it is our job to make sure that the voices of the growing portion of those in need are heard,” says Jean. “That is why I have brought my advocacy to the public realm, holding media opportunities to get the message out,” Jean told us. Since the dawn of the pandemic, Jean has been interviewed on major broadcasts such as Good Day New York with Rosanna Scotto, CBS Evening News, NBC News, WGN News, and the nation’s highest-rated cable news morning show Fox & Friends, among other programs with millions of viewers every broadcast. Her insight has been valued and largely credited with raising awareness about the shortages of supplies in food pantries, the fair treatment and adoption of animals, and the unique challenges that face the non-profit sector during this time of great need. She has also advocated for racial justice. This summer, Jean decided to spread her message further by hosting and producing a television show. While she was familiar with the medium for many years, this was her first endeavor as a host and executive producer of a show based on her book, Successful Philanthropy. Her show broadcasts on LTV in the Hamptons four times weekly. Through interviewing charity-world leaders, she hopes to spread the word to others on how to donate the time, resources, and knowledge needed to succeed in helping others. This TV show is a must-see for anyone seeking to make an imprint in the giving scene. Jean convinces her audience that anyone can be a philanthropist—and that everyone has something to offer. SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 23

Fashion by Dolce & Gabbana


Jean’s quest to help those in need is far from finished, and her drive to do more is as strong and persevering as ever.


Jean’s advocacy has earned her acclaim from several organizations, not the least of which is the American Humane Society, which recently named her an Ambassador and the organization’s National Spokesperson for their Feeding The Hungry Program. The initiative feeds one million hungry animals at shelters across the United States. Before the pandemic, Jean’s influence included hosting large gatherings and parties at her homes in the interest of raising funds for countless charities. These efforts placed her on Salonniere’s “Top 100 Party Hosts” in America as reported in Town & Country. Jean has been on many “Best Dressed” lists, from Hamptons Magazine to LookOnLine, a revered fashion website, where she was listed on the international best-dressed list with Meghan Markle, Anna Wintour, and others.

Jean serves on a host of charity boards including the NYC Mission Society, Southampton Hospital Association, French Heritage Society, Couture Council (Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology ), Jewish Board (Honorary Trustee), Southampton Animal Shelter Honorary Board and Global Strays, a charity founded by her youngest daughter. For her philanthropic work, Jean has been honored countless times. Some of the organizations that have honored her include The American Heart Association, The American Cancer Society, The Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, NYC Mission Society, Surgeons of Hope, The Ellen Hermanson Foundation, The Jewish Board, The Hadassah, and even Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.


Fashion by Oscar de la Renta


Fashion by Dolce & Gabbana


Fashion by Malan Breton

She and her husband give generously to charity—and this is just the tip of the iceberg, as she remains on six charity boards…


Jean is passionate about fashion and has a designer and couture ball gown collection, archived with Clio Archivist, that will one day be donated to a museum. The gown collection focuses on American fashion designers, including Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Mary McFadden, B. Michael, Zang Toi, Victor de Souza, and Malan Breton. Jean will return to hosting and chairing in-person charity events when the coronavirus pandemic eases. In the meantime, Jean has been dedicating her efforts to virtual galas. While just a few months ago, the concept of virtual fundraising galas would have seemed far-fetched, they have become the norm and are also extraordinarily successful. Jean recently served as a host and chair of virtual fundraisers for the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and the Ellen Hermanson Foundation. The philanthropist believes these events are a great way to stay involved and support charities in need. Jean is chairing a “Matching Fund” program for the Southampton Animal Shelter. “We all miss the big galas, but we are grateful to stay virtually connected,” Jean explains. “Non-profits face the precarious challenge of providing the most needed services, to more people than ever before, with significantly fewer resources. In many ways, giving is more important than ever, and this is a modern way of doing it.” Jean’s quest to help those in need is far from finished, and her drive to do more is as strong and persevering as ever. This passion has also transpired into the desire to mentor, advise, and guide aspirational philanthropists, through social and traditional media. With approximately 492,000 followers on Instagram and thousands more across Twitter and Facebook, philanthropy is just a click away. As the author of Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give, she has toured the nation to speak about philanthropy on television and before thousands of aspiring philanthropists. Jean Shafiroff can be described as a kind-hearted, selfless benefactor who stops at nothing to improve others’ lives. If a rising tide raises all ships, Jean Shafiroff is that rising tide. •

Together. Woodloch Resort is committed to providing a place of peace, rest, and entertainment while promising to uphold the wellness of our guests and community. With 1,500 acres of ample green space, a full schedule of activities, and an abundance of fresh mountain air, there is something special for everyone while reconnecting with family or simply to enjoy some relaxation. We’re here for you when you’re ready.




ometimes without even trying you meet an exceptional human being. In my case, it was model/writer/lifestyle ambassador/social media favorite Eric Rutherford. During the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, when I thought the world was ending and took to watching old episodes of Santa Barbara on YouTube to cope (OK, maybe a little bit of scotch too), I found Rutherford’s profile on Instagram (@mr.rutherford) and was intrigued. Surely, this handsome, camera-melting persona, with the best head of hair, could not be more than a pretty face. But I was wrong. Within a few days I came to find his photos, stories and his “Happy Tuesday” video messages (which he started “because I wanted to use my platform to bring more positivity into the conversation, whether around sobriety, mental illness, or just being your best self,” he says) particularly reassuring. “He’s a true gentleman and a charmer,” says friend Robert Konjic, a fellow male model made famous for a global Gucci campaign. “I love that he uses social media to share his personal experiences to help others.” To wit: on a recent Tuesday, when everything seemed to go wrong, I turned on a video and found Rutherford talking to the camera and asking how I am doing. How odd. He was addressing his 200,000 + followers, but it felt like he was checking in on me.

KINDNESS & LOVE Rutherford’s postings during the worst of the virus made the bad days OK and the good days a lot better (though there were few of them). His profile is a hodgepodge of candid photos, throwback memories, messages about social justice (the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement affected him profoundly) and fun videos (like getting a haircut), all featuring his trademark smile and positivity. “I value truthfulness, respect, kindness and love,” he says. “Social media can take many shapes, express an unlimited amount experiences, and connect millions of individuals while doing so. We are creating relationships with those people that we follow and who follow us.” Rutherford is not shy of bearing his soul to his followers, including his issues with addiction. Early in his 20s, he decided he had enough of alcohol. This year, he celebrated 31 years of being sober. “I believe sharing our experiences helps others as much as it helps ourselves,” he told me. “I have always been open about my sobriety, the journey getting there and the steps to staying sober. I believe it is one way of being of service. For some, it is hard to share or be vulnerable with their struggles. I like when people share their stories with me. In AA, it’s called fellowship. We share our experience, strength and hope.” Unlike most people on social media, Rutherford doesn’t overdo it. He has found the perfect equilibrium of when to share, and when not. Surprisingly, it has not been a strategy, just something that comes naturally. “As much as I have tried to have a consistent plan, I have none,” he says. “There are days when I know very clearly what I am sharing, what time I am doing it and have written the caption the night before. Other days, it’s simply based on emotion. I have great respect for my friends who plan ahead, post it, and move on to the next one without ever overthinking it.”

Eric - Rayban partner #1

IN FRONT OF THE LENS Rutherford was born in Muskegon, Michigan but grew up in Boca Raton, where he and his brother were discovered by a casting agent at age 15 while riding bikes around their neighborhood “I was a gawky teenager with bad acne and even worse hair,” Rutherford says. “I’m sure what they saw at the time, but they believed in this ‘diamond in the rough.’” They sure did! Eric’s ugly duckling days were officially over, and a successful modeling career began. He would spend the next 15 years shooting catalogs, commercials, fashion ads as well as editorial projects (one of his favorites was a shoot for W with photographers Mert & Marcus, which featured 40 other models, 50 racks of clothes and thousands of shoes) for the biggest magazines and brands. At the same time, he began to pursue acting and was accepted into the University of Southern California’s prestigious BFA theater program at just 17, which he says was “the first time I truly felt talented and that I had something to offer.” Though he achieved success, he also felt the cruel reality of that world begin to creep up when he turned 30, as a lot of models and actors often do. “That’s when I left the industry,” he says, noting “I began to doubt my talent and my self-worth. When you work hard, treat people with respect and kindness, you find success. In both the acting and modeling industry, this isn’t always true.”


REWARDING TIMES Rutherford pivoted to event planning and began working with Colin Cowie, who was famous for his collaborations with Oprah Winfrey. The experience “was one of the most rewarding times of my life,” Rutherford says, listing events for her “Legends Ball” and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls” as particularly impactful. “To be a part of a moment that was going to change young girls’ lives—as well as their families and village— was monumental, emotional, and inspiring,” he says. “I’d never believed I had the capability to play such a role. I worked with the South African teams at the different event sites, helping and sharing new skills with them. At one point, the team got a standing ovation from Ms. Winfrey and all the guests. The team was moved to tears and hugged me. I’ll never forget that moment.”

Eric - Orlebar Brown partner

Oprah wasn’t the only one who was impressed. Her favorite artistic director/florist Jeff Leatham, famous for his chic, minimalist creations at the George V Four Seasons Paris hotel, is a huge fan. “I have known Eric for over 30 years--his absolute love life, enthusiasm, and amazing energy is so contagious. He is a flawless tastemaker and a beloved friend by so many--he is a true inspiration.” What makes him happiest is when “I am spirituality centered in this swirling dervish of life and expressing my truth unconditionally and fearlessly,” he says. Off camera (and sometimes on), Rutherford enjoys “experiencing new artistic expressions whether theater, performance art, art exhibits,” he says, noting “I am in the midst of writing a series of personal essays which recount my youth and moments of adulthood.” Today, Rutherford is still appearing in ads (“I embrace all my lines and silver fox hair,” he says. “Age shouldn’t define you”), working on scripts for a TV show he developed in London, writing chapters for a book, building his “Mr. Rutherford” persona and working with non-profits like The Trevor Project. “It’s really about helping teenagers in crisis who are suffering and trying to come out and just need someone to listen to them and vent their fears and angers,” he says. “If you’ve gone through something and survived it, I feel you have responsibility to give back. Sometimes the smallest amount of time can make the biggest difference.” Rutherford speaks from experience, having struggled with the situation himself. “Coming out can be one of the most painful, anxiety-ridden, dark times of your life,” he says. “It can also be one of the most rewarding and powerful moments, too. I believe everyone should live their beautifully unique lives to the fullest.”

LEARN & GROW Things have definitely gotten better for Rutherford, who, in addition to modeling, acting, writing, and growing his online audience, has emerged a “lifestyle ambassador,” popular with fashion and marketing executives for his impeccable style, infectious smile, engaging personality and that salt and pepper mane. All of this is grist for his Instagram profile, which also changed at the height of the outbreak. How so remains a question. “Four months ago, I would have been able to answer this more readily,” he says. “Today, amid a global pandemic and protest for the end of racism and racial injustice in this country, I am very aware of my evolution, both personally and professionally. Also, to be termed a brand in this landscape feels outdated and trivialized. The aspects of myself which are clear would be my commitment to the power of positivity, acts of kindness, human empathy, and unlimited curiosity to learn and grow.” • SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 31



et’s assume computers are ready to rock ‘n roll, books downloaded and in hand, closets have undergone their annual upgrade, and vintage props such as pens, pencils, and notebooks are ready to take on a new school year from home or remotely. But whether you’re dealing with in-home studies or kids venturing into the great unknowns of preschool to campus life, there are things to make their—and your—life easier. What more can I say, except these are my Editor’s Picks for September 2020! SAFE & SAVVY PLATINUM IMPRESSIONS In my home, the rule is: Do not step out of the apartment without a mask! Not even to take out the garbage. To comply, my husband and I have given ourselves over to Giftgowns’ collection of machinewashable cotton masks. Sold in curated bundles (9 to 5, Unisex, Classic Mask, etc.), as well as individually, we’ve found that the best way to ensure uninterrupted protection is to buy in bulk so you can toss them in the wash, especially when forced to interact with the unmasked. Worth knowing: Giftgowns also sells filters that slide into a built-in mask pocket, and recently the company introduced kid’s masks in two sizes: 2 to 7 and 8 to 12.

My lar has ne ver lo oke d so upscale or been more practical than it does in the WELLinsulated collection of bags. Do these babies keep make-up from melting and maintain meds and supplement potency, even under super-sultry conditions? Yes, they do. Does the built-in cushioning protect cell phones, earbuds, chargers, and whatnot from scratches and extreme temperatures? Indeed. Finally, are the bags (which come in several sizes and designs), waterproof? You bet. I own one, and as a seasoned klutz, it has saved my stuff and dignity many times. Info:




Red Bull cooling for an all-nighter; soft drinks fridging out en route to the hiking trail; family binge night stocked with juice boxes, beer, cheese, and fruit. The list goes on when it comes to the Uber Chill Mini Fridge XL. The look is retro—a little like a 1950s dryer—but the overall look, functionality, and color options make this compact innovation totally 21st century. Quiet and lightweight, the Uber Chill holds up to 12 cans or 16.9-ounce bottles. Or—and this to me is thoroughly awesome—it can be switched from cooling to warming, which means you can transport cookies and cupcakes from home to dorm (or bake sale) in all their fresh from the oven splendor. Info:

In-home workouts are so last month, with weights, yoga apps, and treadmills gathering dust in favor of binge scrolling, Hulu marathons, and refrigerator raids. Even venturing outside to walk, jog or bike has reached new ho-hum levels for both kids and adults, is why you might want to take a stand—literally—with ElliptiGO, a mash-up of elliptical and traditional biking that offers a low-impact/results-oriented way to exercise. Bottom line: you feel like you’re “running on air.” And yes, it is adaptable to year-round use via the company’s Fluid 365 Stationary Trainer should you become addicted, which is a fairly good bet. Info:

As we tentatively test the waters of wanderlust, our first thoughts turn to socialize with the friends and family members we’ve only visited on computer screens for several months. Hitting the open road or braving the friendly skies can be daunting, but a bit less so when your rolling, hard-shell luggage is equal parts clothes and wine—five 750ml bottles to be exact. VinGardeValise® Piccolo pretty much guarantees VIP guest status with its cool concept and genius wherewithal. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to either check your bag or filler’ up in duty-free shops when flying. Motorists, on the other hand, are good to go! Info:





Whether it’s the close quarters, challenges of homeschooling, cramped office, or heading out into the world, PandemicLand is the epicenter of stress, anxiety, and depression. Fortunately, Healium is dedicated to defusing our mental morass via integrated software described as “the world’s first virtual and augmented reality stress management program powered by brainwaves and heart rate.” From a Smartphone app to a 360-degree story experience, the end game is immersive serenity. For a sample of Healium’s ability to replace stress with new visual realities, I strongly suggest visiting the company website: Info:

Yes, the bee puns are buzzing, honey, but not for edible purposes. SuperBee’s sweet array of beeswax wraps and bags (plus some nifty extension products) are the ultimate eco-centric-kick-plastic-wasteto-the-recycling-bin products around. Plus, the Bee Team’s design mavens have come up with a cavalcade of cool patterns making these handmade antibacterial and reusable wraps all kinds of stylish. Ideal for everything from sandwiches to fresh flowers to travel essentials, the wraps are made from 100 percent cotton, organic coconut oil, beeswax, and the surprise ingredient: tree resin for shape and stick leverage. I’ve been using a Beeginners Kit, and without question, I’m a bee-liever! Info:

As summer melts into fall, the game’s object becomes virtual brunches (Bloody Mary’s, Screwdrivers), as well as après workday R & R (Martinis, Cosmopolitans), which leads me down the road to my latest passion, NEFT Vodka. Astonishingly affordable and boldly packaged in their signature unbreakable barrel Black or White (your choice), this velvety quaff—crafted in the Austrian Alps, has picked up all kinds of kudos from places like the Beverage Tasting Institute and VinePair. Not surprising, once you consider, it’s been distilled three times. I suggest you set in motion your taste test. Nostrovia! Info:




Wet hair and the towel that lavishes it with love: The Volo Beauty Hero. Ev i de nt ly (and w ho k ne w ?), our traditional terrycloth head wraps could cause breakage and other unsavory scalp-related things. From wee ones to teens to adults—be they poised for online schooling or video conferencing— need to address wet heads with a kinder, gentler towel….one made of microfiber that’s soft and highly absorbent. And one that doesn’t unravel every 30 seconds. The Volvo Beauty towel addresses these challenges by a) absorbing 50% more water than Towels 101, and a “grippy” tuckable strap that keeps the towel in place. Most impressive. Info:

Post-drying, I suggest checking out an ingenious little tool called ForBabs’ X-Static Brush that has become one of my hair-care staples. Its superpowers are its ability to a) fight frizz, even during humid days; b) tackle flyaway strands that refuse to be curbed; and c) eliminate multiple trips to curling irons, straighteners, and your hair product collection. To wit, the brush’s design— created by Annette Crone—involves reloaded/replaceable anti-static sheets that do their job and then can be torn away while a new sheet awaits. I used it on my renegade frizzy bangs, and it did its job as advertised. Hello Zoom. Info:

Fact: Quarantined skin needs help, and I’m not talking night creams or makeup as both are givens. No, I’m suggesting balancing one’s distressed derma with KungFu Apothecar y’s Facial Tools, a dedicated group that works together to plump, soothe, and tone one’s screen mien. The beautifully presented set is available in three crystal options “based on your own unique needs: Black Obsidian, Amethyst (my fave), and White Jade. The basic set comes with a facial roller, eye wand, and gua sha stone. Upping the ante, the expanded KungFu Ritual also features a facial cupping set and the company’s sublime Yin and Yang facial oils. Info: •





CATSKILL MOUNTAINS For nearly fifty years, the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York were the premier vacation spot for families from New York City. Lavish resorts including Grossinger’s and The Concord offered all-inclusive luxury vacations. Think Dirty Dancing and the more recent Netflix hit The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Once air travel became popular, the Catskills fell out of favor as families vacationed elsewhere. Many original, iconic resorts fell into disrepair, but there are still plenty of family-friendly resorts left in the region for a relaxing getaway.


The unspoiled natural beauty of the mountains offer a serene place to camp or hike or relax. There are plenty of lakes and streams and are prime spots for fly-fishing. Be sure to block out time for a leisurely drive past stunning waterfalls and over historic covered bridges dating back to 1800.


The Emerson Resort & Spa is perfectly suited for families. The resort offers two types of accommodations: Rooms at the Inn are designed to bring the outside in with oversized windows and private decks that showcase the peaceful views and natural beauty of Mount Tremper and the Esopus Creek. Nestled amidst tall pines and shading maples, the mountain-inspired Lodge has a cozy, rustic design that features detailed wood carvings and animal figures. Most rooms include flat-screen televisions, Keurig coffee makers, and other luxury amenities. When you’re not relaxing indoors, you will discover Mother Nature in this Catskills destination. Take guided nature walks and explore the area on a variety of hiking trails or take to the trails on a mountain biking trip. Info: For more information on The Catskills, go to 34 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

NIAGARA FALLS This watery oasis on the New York-Ontario border became a hot spot in 1803 after Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother brought his bride here to behold the rushing falls. It gained popularity especially with honeymooners and by the 20th century, it had come close to drowning in its tourist attractions (not one but three wax museums). Luckily, efforts to diversify have worked.


Seeing the Falls up close is a thrill of a lifetime. Of the various boat trips, the Maid of the Mist is the most famous. For a northern view of the Falls, however, shuttle across the Niagara River and see the whole thing from Canada. Several bridges span the river, and crossovers are made as hassle-free as both countries’ customs and immigration can manage. Be sure to catch Horseshoe Falls and the upper rapids lighted in rainbow colors every night. Victoria Park is a favorite place from which to view the nighttime show. Worth a stop on the Canadian side are the various wineries in the area. Imagine Napa Valley, but without the crowds or expense. Cooler temperatures are ideal for producing mind-blowing ice wines, which look like gold and taste like bubble-free Champagne. Sample the wares at 50 or so local wineries—we like Peller Estates and Henry of Pelham.


Niagara Crossing Hotel & Spa On the New York side of Niagara Falls, this elegant 68-room sleep is an upscale option in the historic town of Lewiston. Ten minutes from Niagara Falls State Park, the hotel is in a prime location for exploring the natural wonder from vantage points at Prospect Point, the Cave of Winds, Goat Island, and more. Splurge on a suite for a deep soaking or whirlpool tub, a fireplace, and a fourposter bed. The spa offers select treatments on the first floor. The hotel restaurant serves a changing menu throughout the week. After visiting the Falls, do not miss a stroll around Lewiston town—the hotel staff can recommend local restaurants and seasonal events. Info: For more information on Niagara Falls, go to

POCONO MOUNTAINS This corner of Pennsylvania has been catering to lovers of natural surroundings for decades. Things heated up in the 60s after heart-shaped tubs appeared in Life magazine. Today, the area continues to lure thousands of couples—as well as families—each year.


You are in the mountains, so prepare to inhale a little fresh air. If it is springsummer, raft the Delaware or Lehigh rivers. In winter, hit the slopes at Camelback or Shawnee. During the year, explore the region’s charming villages (Hawley and Jim Thorpe). They are filled with antique stores, flea markets, and gift shops selling homespun Americana.


The Lodge at Woodloch Resort This Pocono Mountain award-winning resort has been bringing together family and friends since the 60s. Woodloch Resort is like a cruise on land—their all-inclusive packages provide three delicious meals every day, along with endless family-oriented activities and entertainment. With a championship golf course, luxury destination spa, and a variety of rooms ranging from traditional standard to waterfront suites, you may not want to leave! Summers are especially fun when families can splash around in their outdoor pool, go boating on Lake Teedyuskung or hike, and view wildlife and nature in the surrounding areas. Info: Skytop Lodge and Resort For rustic retro, try this lovely circa-1928 lodge. At Skytop Lodge and Resort history and nature offer a wonderful Poconos vacation in any season. With deluxe cottages—great for weekend escapes or family vacations—and a charming 20-room inn, the estate is a serene getaway, complete with its golf course, staff naturalist, and spa. With its own private lake and mountain setting, this resort is a truly stylish destination. Info: For more information on Pocono Mountains, go to • SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 35




utdoor enthusiasts and foodies alike will discover a modern, welcoming oasis in Sloatsburg, NY, just a one-hour drive from Manhattan by car. Nestled between Sterling Forest and Harriman State parks with over 70,000 acres of protected habitat, Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club is a perfect escape for anyone wanting to get away and enjoy the great outdoors and some gastronomic delights. Once you arrive, guests are instantly immersed in an environment that promises serenity and relaxation. The property, which opened its doors to guests in 2019, comprises four fully renovated guest houses totaling 17 guest rooms and 16 full baths. Additionally, there’s a commercial art gallery featuring curated exhibits and works of local artists, a 7,000 square foot gym complete with circuit training, cardio equipment, and spin and yoga studios, an inviting 75-foot swimming pool, plus two restaurants and an organic market.

A NEW GATEWAY Owner Michael Bruno, an Internet/ real estate entrepreneur, was drawn to the town of Sloatsburg because he saw its raw potential. He envisioned an opportunity to realize his passion as a collector of historic homes and a steward of land preservation. Bruno’s company, The Tuxedo Hudson Company, was awarded $1.75 million in grants from New York to create the new “Gateway to the Hudson Valley.” Says Bruno, “The region has a vibrant athletic and health-conscious community, and as it continues to grow, we felt something was missing.” He continues, “What we have created is a haven for outdoor recreation, ideal for visitors with a modern, active, and healthy lifestyle.”

Living Room in Guest House,Valley Rock Inn ©Luxproductions

DISTINCT LODGING Accommodations are unique in that guests choose from the four exquisitely renovated historic Waldron Houses that date back to the mid-1800s. Each of the 3- to 5-bedroom guest houses incorporates works by local artists, antiques, and sleek modern design of the bathrooms. Much of the furniture comes from owner Michael Bruno’s collection amassed while traveling throughout the U.S. and Europe. Guests get exclusive use of their own private guest house with great room, porch, wet bar, and the bedroom of choice. They have their own private area by the pool with lounges, seating, and a dining table.

Rose Garden ©Luxproductions


The serenity of Valley Rock Inn is epitomized by the walled Rose Garden, where fragrant Dawn Roses climb the stone walls, white gravel covers the ground, and a tranquil fountain creates a perfect Zen-like atmosphere. Another wonderful gathering spot is the Shade Garden, a pleasant place offering respite from the heat and is often used for private events or dinners. The Great Lawn provides a lush open area perfect for a variety of special events and weddings and a romantic alfresco dining venue.

EXCEPTIONAL DINING Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club’s two restaurants offer modern American farm-to-table fare. Menus reflect the seasons. The restaurants, The Cantina and The Lodge, and the Mountain Market, are proud to source much of their produce from the Inn’s organic farm fields in Chester, NY, and offerings from Blooming Hill Farm in Monroe, NY. The Cantina is an outdoor patio style restaurant with a fullservice kitchen, wood-fired pizza oven, and bar. Outdoor heaters and throw blankets allow The Cantina to entertain guests even in the winter months. In addition to the woodfired pizzas, The Cantina’s menu features a nice selection of steaks and fish. Two excellent choices are the Pan Roasted Halibut over White Bean and Corn Salad with Salsa Verde and the Grilled Rib Eye over Roasted Summer Squash with Chimichurri. Complete either of these entrees with the VRI Green Bean Salad made with heirloom tomatoes, shrimp, red onion, and bacon tossed in a country mustard vinaigrette topped with crispy shallot.

The Lodge ©Jean Francois-Jaussaud

The Lodge, which just opened earlier this year, is the more formal dining option, with its full-service bar sporting an impressive white marble countertop and barn wood walls and ceilings, two large-scale fireplaces, a comfortable lounge with soaring ceilings (once the town’s original firehouse), and a glass-enclosed porch with wonderful views of the swimming pool.

Salmon Dinner ©Valley Rock Inn

Daily breakfast is included in your stay and is provided by the Mountain Market. An organic salad bar and a hot bar full of healthy, prepared food-to-go give guests a choice to pick a healthy snack or meal and enjoy it back in their guest house or at one of the many tranquil spots in the Inn’s gardens.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS Because of its proximity to two state parks, guests have every opportunity to engage with the outdoors. With a fitness-focused vision, Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club has guided biking, hiking, kayak tours, indoor and outdoor yoga, and Fitness Boot Camps and Retreats. Fitness Retreats include all meals and a customized, guided exercise plan. Top-of-the-line bikes, including Gazelle E-bikes, are available for rent. The management and staff are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment by following all of New York State’s guidelines and protocols related to the current pandemic. For more information on Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club, visit •

Biking in Harriman State Park ©Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club

WHAT TO SEE & DO The scenic Seven Lakes Drive runs through Harriman State Park to Bear Mountain State Park, offering beautiful views of forested land, shimmering lakes, and upcoming fall foliage. There are several spots to park and enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and kayaking. Explore Storm King Art Center’s 500-acre outdoor museum of large scaled sculptures exhibited under the open sky. Spend an afternoon at Torne Valley Vineyards enjoying wine tastings, craft beer, food, and live music. Harriman State Park

Nearby Heritage Trail offers biking, walking, or rollerblading on its 14-mile paved path.




THE FALL ESCAPE YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR By Erica Bloch o some, fall signals the start of school and the end of summer fun. For those in the know, however, fall becomes the greatest season to travel to Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains and immerse oneself in a gorgeous autumnal landscape that is unrivaled the rest of the year. Woodloch Pines, an all-inclusive resort located in the region, is the perfect place to head for leaf peeping season to observe the beauty of the changing hues that burst to life starting in September. The Pocono Mountains is home to more than 127 varieties of shrubs, trees, and plants whose leaves change color, a number larger than anywhere else in the country (Source: Pocono Mountains Visitor’s Bureau). Given the challenges of the current pandemic, now more than ever people are rediscovering nature and seeking solace in the outdoors. Even those who do not consider themselves outdoorsy “types” may be surprised by what an amazing escape nature provides these days. Woodloch’s sprawling 1,200 plus acre campus allows guests to easily get out and enjoy the beautiful fall landscape and fresh mountain air. The family resort offers a plethora of outdoor activities including but not limited to zip-lining, go-karting, trapshooting, rock climbing, biking, hiking and boating on the property’s expansive lake. For those who prefer to stay indoors, Woodloch boasts an assortment of activities for them as well. From trivia contests to indoors pools to a massive indoor playground for children, there is truly something for everyone here. “These are very difficult times for all of us. The world as we knew it changed suddenly, and many of the day-to-day activities we took for granted disappeared almost instantly. We’re working to find brightness in new places and realizing the therapeutic effects of being outdoors with loved ones, which has always been central to the experience here at Woodloch. Through an array of home-grown, team-building activities for families, a nostalgic, back-to-basics environment, pristine natural surroundings and a truly unique brand of hospitality, guests leave Woodloch feeling reconnected and rejuvenated,” said Brad Kiesendahl, C.E.O. of Woodloch Pines. As an added bonus, special fall discounts are now available with allinclusive rates starting at $99 per adult, per night. To obtain more information or to book a stay, please visit, or call 1-800-Woodloch. About Woodloch Pines Resort: Creating a magical experience for families since 1958, Woodloch Pines Resort’s signature warm hospitality keeps guests returning year after year and offers a truly unique all-inclusive family vacation experience fitting for everyone’s taste. An award-winning family resort, championship golf course and sister property featuring a luxury destination spa are just 95 scenic and convenient miles from New York City nestled in the Pocono Mountains Lake Region. • 38 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020




owe Caverns has been keeping adventure and exploration alive for more than 175 years. In fact, it was during the 19th century, that Howe Caverns was described as one of the most “remarkable curiosities” in the U.S. Today, it is the second most visited natural attraction in New York, just behind Niagara Falls and continues to enthrall visitors of all ages with cave adventures and so much more. This Fall, Howe Caverns introduces The Underworld, the first, fully immersive cave haunt featuring an underground boat ride below the earth’s surface. It’s available to guests who dare to descend among the Keepers of the Cave from the last weekend of September through the last weekend of October. Howe Caverns has hosted Halloween events in the past, however, this year’s transformation will feature the magic of Michael Santos and Kyle Thompson of Midnight Studios FX and take adventurers to a whole new level 156-feet below ground. “The caverns that were formed more than 2 million years ago create the most amazing backdrop, and without question, this event will be the showstopper of all showstoppers in the haunted attraction industry” says Santos. Kyle Thompson, an award-winning special effects artist, was brought in to consult on this transformation by unleashing the most amazing creatures imaginable. His work is featured around the world, at places like Six Flags Universal Studios and Netflix productions. This includes several of the haunted attractions along the I-95 corridor in New York State and New England. “If you do nothing else this year for excitement, don’t miss this all new event at Howe Caverns The Underworld. This will shake the haunted world to its core,” Santos proudly told us. For more information: Tickets to The Underworld are limited to 500 per night—Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only—beginning September 25th and can be purchased for $50 in advance at Reservations are all-inclusive for a specific date and time to increase scares and decrease lines with no additional fees or upgrades necessary. The Underworld haunt is not recommended for children 10 and under. Guests under 14 years old must be accompanied by at least one parent. Please note: The Underworld will be closed on October 31st out of respect for the Keepers of the Cave! • SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 39



e all know that New Jersey’s coastline spans more than 127 miles of glorious beaches. But did you know that all shore towns are not made of the same stuff? Yes, some revel in their deep history as vacation getaways, while others have honed their reputations for being family-friendly. Still others prefer to remain entirely under the radar. For my family it’s Cape May all the way. We all decided that after staying in place for endless months, it was time to break free with a Cape May escape—along with our four legged Scrappy. So, with sunscreen in hand and masks in place our adventure begins… CAPE MAY ADVENTURES Our girls, Kelley, Cassidy and Kayla, found that Cape May has been a seaside destination since the 1800s—and not much has changed since. The island embraces the Victorian architecture, making it one of the most picturesque destinations along the Jersey Shore. In fact, Cape May was once called the Summer White House for President Benjamin Harrison. There was no doubt we were amazed at the maze of streets where centuries-old Victorian structures stand. It’s like a step back in time. Many of these structures now serve as Bed and Breakfasts, as well as private home. Of course, if you need a break from the historical slant—yes, we did—there’s the more modern Washington Street Mall with its outdoor promenade. The best way to see it all is by bike: Don’t miss a ride to Cape May Point’s Sunset Beach, a soothing place to end an active day by watching boat float by as the sun dips below the horizon.



We checked in at Boarding House Cape May and received a warm welcome from the staff who quickly escorted us to our rooms. The newly opened hotel affords guests with a surf-chic experience in its 11 distinctively shore-themed rooms. Original paintings by local artist David Macomber adorn the walls throughout the property. We took advantage of the colorful oversized wall mural on the back of the building which serves as a great spot to take selfies and those memorable family photos. The visual display doesn’t end: There’s framed photography by local talent Kathy Fallon and you can’t miss the custom-made surfboards provided (the thought did cross my mind!) by Kona Surf Co. of Wildwood.

Not only was this a relaxing experience for my family, but Scrappy as well! The Boarding House is a dog-friendly property, and staff pulls out all the stops for their four-legged guests by offering dishes of cold water; complimentary custom-made peanut butter and bacon treats from local vendor Black Sheep Dog Treats; and doggie waste bags. Best of all was the hotel’s unique location downtown, it is right across from Lafayette Street. Year-round beaches which allow dogs are located just a short drive away.

The Boarding House staff takes every precaution in the latest safety and sanitation practices above their already extensive cleaning process with special attention to frequently touch surfaces. High-touch areas including doorknobs and handles, light switches, clocks, kitchen equipment, etc., are thoroughly sanitized before and during each guest’s stay. Additionally, All rooms feature a calming surf-theme with wicker, rope, carpets are shampooed in dog-friendly rooms after each stay. Housekeeping and Bohemian-inspired fabrics. “The Boarding House staff wear face coverings and gloves. For the safety of all parties, guests are has become Cape May’s oasis for vacationers looking for asked to vacate the room while it is being cleaned. a laidback atmosphere combined with modern amenities and a coastal vibe,” says co-owner Jonathan Hirsch who For more information on the Boarding House Cape May, visit told me. He should know. His family has been in the or call 609-884-4884. • hospitality business for 50 years. The Hirsch family also owns Cape May’s Montreal Beach Resort another favorite with vacationing families. In addition, rooms feature TV, refrigerators, microwave, Wi-Fi, and special handmade toiletries from local Shore Soap Shops. And if you need a break from the beach, head to the rooftop deck with ample seating and expansive umbrellas. Although Boarding House does not offer an on-site restaurant, Cape May is no slouch on eating options. We tried nearby Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille; it’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Everything from locallysourced produce and fresh off-the-boat seafood to thick and juicy burgers with all the trimmings makes this a choice place to dine. Also note: Harry’s is a dog-friendly restaurant! Info: 40 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

Holden Beach North Carolina

30 Miles north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina sits the little coastal community of Holden Beach, North Carolina. Throughout the years Holden Beach has been a hidden paradise. This beach town is no longer a secret and is now nationally recognized as one of the premier “Family Beaches� in the United States. Being primarily a residential community, Holden Beach is a place for family-friendly activities, great restaurants and prestine beaches. Add the low cost of living and you have the perfect retirement destination or vacation property investment opportunity. Come for a week or stay for a lifetime!

Scan the QR code to view our vacation properties!





ith 40 years of success selling Manhattan’s top properties, go-to luxury real estate expert Lisa Maysonet makes waves in the red-hot Hamptons market. To better serve her longstanding New York clients, Maysonet— the tour-de -force behind Group Maysonet at Sotheby’s International Realty—is now marketing the East End’s most exclusive residences and new developments. “This expansion into the Hamptons is exciting and energizing,” says Maysonet, who started her career in the real estate industry at Walters & Samuels when she was 17 years old. “I love the amazing homes out there. My New York buyers are out there. Now I’m bringing my deep love of real estate and global expertise with me.” 42 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

KNOWING THE BUSINESS For decades, Maysonet has been a key marketing advisor to the world’s top developers, influencing the layouts of and exclusively marketing over a dozen well-known new developments and conversions, such as Park South Lofts. In 2015, Lisa, alongside her husband and partner Gary Kabol, successfully negotiated the WeWork deal at 88 University Place for $70 million. “I’ve worked with real estate professionals, architects, and developers in markets like Hong Kong, Russia, Canada, and Israel,” she says. “I study the product, the finishes, the layouts, the development, how they do things and bring that knowledge, expertise, and passion to the homes I sell to my clients.” Her new Hamptons office compliments her established Madison Avenue business. She has handled more than $1 billion in real estate transactions to date, along with the city’s best-known Park and Fifth Avenue addresses. Maysonet’s outstanding real estate track record has earned her coverage in The New York Times, New York Post, People, CNN/Money, Forbes. com, Manhattan Living, NY Observer, The Real Deal, NY Living, Fox 5, Discovery Channel among others. Not to be overlooked are her many memberships including the Real Estate Board of New York, Long Island Board of Realtors, Associated Builders & Owners Association, Professional Women in Construction, Association of Real Estate Women, Parents League of NY, Covenant House for Homeless Teens, Children’s Aid Society, and Spirituality for Kids. She also volunteers at God’s Love We Deliver. “I started in this business in the 1970s, and I’ve never stopped expanding,” she says. “I successfully navigated through a myriad of markets, credit crises, 9/11, and 19.5 percent interest rates. Through it all, I never stopped. It’s because I work hard for my clients. I work hard. Period.” Here is one of Lisa’s top listings:

FALL IN LOVE WITH FLATIRON A historic neighborhood in the middle of Manhattanonce known for its industrial and commercial buildings is now home to beautifully renovated lofts and brandnew developments. The district captures the impressive historic architectural details nestled among new allglass luxury doorman buildings with amenities home to celebrities and young professionals. Quiet tree-lined streets, a pulsating evening environment, an abundance of transportation, and the famous Union Square Greenmarket make this historic architectural neighborhood filled with a variety of cafes and worldclass dining in the finest restaurants the most charming and ideal place to live. It’s energetic when you want it and so peaceful when you need it! 400 Park Ave South This luxurious condo, Number 33A, is located in the stunning all-glass NoMad condominium complex on Park Avenue. The floor-to-ceiling windows of this corner unit allow incredible light, showstopping city views, white oak wood floors, and great storage space. The windowed, open kitchen is outfitted with Miele appliances and quartzite countertops. The bathroom features marble countertops, custom vanities, and heated limestone floors.

Lisa Maysonet

Owners will have full complimentary access to the luxury condo amenities, including a 24/7 concierge, a 27th-floor sky lounge, a garden courtyard, a media room, a playroom, a screen room, golf simulator, conference meeting room. There’s also a state-of-the-art fitness center with lap pool, Jacuzzi, yoga room, and steam room. Price: $2.2 million. For more information on Lisa Maysonet at Sotheby’s International Realty, visit agents/lisa.maysonet. •




orningside Heights, considered by many to be the homey Manhattan neighborhood, is steeped in history and one of the most desirable areas for families in the city. Sandwiched between the Upper West Side and Harlem and running from West 110th Street to West 125th Street, the neighborhood offers an abundance of green space, from the iconic Morningside and Riverside Parks to the manicured lawns of Columbia and Barnard. Paired with the university students’ energy and the area’s many family friendly-amenities, it’s the perfect spot for both children and adults to live and play. On the east corner of Broadway and Cathedral Boulevard, is 545 West 110th Street, a modern condo building built-in 2006. This 11-story limestone building features 55 apartments, many of them with outdoor space. It is one of the few condominiums in the area. A must-see is the glorious #8C, the corner residence sun-flooded and encompassed with a lush garden-like terrace. Spacious, airy, and lofty, this home is set up as a three-bedroom/ three-bath home; it was originally a four-bedroom/four-bath and can be easily converted back while maintaining copious living space. Spread out over nearly 2400 square feet inside; the interiors have been completely customized.

THE RESIDENCE The open chef ’s kitchen boasts a 48” Sub-Zero refrigerator and a six-burner Wolf range, plus fabulous prep, and cooking space. Like all rooms in this apartment, it has open exposures onto the terrace and great light. Adjacent to the kitchen is a butler’s pantry with wine storage and a washer dryer. The grand, corner living room and dining room have sliding doors onto the terrace where there are spots to cook, dine, and relax. This space is all bathed in South and West light. Three large bedrooms each feature their own renovated bathroom and generous closet space, and each opens onto the terrace. The luxurious primary suite is South facing and boasts an enormous bedroom with a sitting area and five-fixture Calcutta gold bathroom with double vanity, glass shower, and deep soaking tub. In the bedroom wing, there is also a bonus office area. This apartment is complete with central air conditioning, nearly floor to ceiling windows everywhere, and new hardwood floors. The phenomenal wrap terrace has a grill powered by natural gas direct from the kitchen, plus electricity and a watering system to maintain the plants and mature trees. The terrace is lush and inviting and must be seen to appreciate!

THE AMENITIES 545 West 110th Street offers a gym, terrace, playroom, bike room, storage, and garage. Full-time doormen and a resident manager are on-site. Located in fabulous Morningside Heights, it is convenient to the best transportation, and great restaurants. Price: $5.475 million. For more information on 545 West 110th Street, contact Lisa K. Lippman at Brown Harris Stevens at llippman@ • 44 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

Landscape That Inspired World Renowned Artist Andrew Wyeth

Gorgeous French Chateau Surrounded by Conservancy 1063 Wylie Terrace Road, West Chester, PA 19382 - $1,3oo,ooo

Fabulous French Country Chateau in Chadds Ford with vistas that inspired Andrew Wyeth, who painted only a mile away, surrounded by over a hundred acres of the Brandywine Conservancy that will protect and preserve the landscape in perpetuity. A meandering stream leading to Brandywine Creek and stand of majestic trees in this rolling landscape is enhanced by the home’s perfectly manicured landscaping and gardens, recently renovated deck, and a beautiful pool and spa. Situated on over 2 acres in this breathtaking countryside, the home will forever enjoy the views and stately magnificence of the conservancy. This home lives up to its setting.

Cheryl Newton rs306671 Realtor 431 W. Lancaster Ave. Devon, PA 19333 610-564-1144



n 1927, Migdale Castle in the tony New York suburb of Millbrook was completed for Margaret Carnegie Miller, the only child of Andrew Carnegie. It offers unparalleled woodland and Catskill Mountain views; the estate was modeled after Carnegie’s Sk ib o Ca s t l e in S cot land. To d a y , o n e o f D u c h e s s County’s largest and most well-appointed mansions is now on the market. After falling into a state of disrepair, the 200-acre estate was purchased and given a meticulous four-year renovation. The oneof-a-kind mansion is more than 34,000 square feet affording four floors, 29 rooms, ten bedrooms, 17 baths, 12 fireplaces, and a professional kitchen.


A MODERN WONDER “From the time you pass the majestic gates, the princely estate commands respect. Immediately you realize you are somewhere special, winding up the private driveway. The moment you catch a glimpse of the house, you are taken with its architectural and historical significance—an American treasure and true trophy property,” says Kenneth J. Moore, president/exclusive agent of Classiques Modernes International Realty. “I would describe the house as being divided into four wings–each for a different member of this family, each with its own personality,” adds Classiques Modernes’ lifestyle & realty expert, Loy Carlos. “Great care was also taken to restore the windows, the great hall, and grand staircase to their former glory by importing stately materials from all over the world and covering the walls with exquisite French fabrics. Each room has a distinctive name—the Gold Room, the Red Room, the Blue Room, etc. It’s simply majestic.”

THE SPECIAL EXTRAS On the main level overlooking the great lawn and breathtaking mountain views, the grand terrace was carved from bedrock to make a sweeping slope, envisioning a potential nine-hole golf course. Below an entire floor has been dedicated to luxurious amenities, including a fully equipped spa featuring a treatment room, his and hers lockers, steam rooms and saunas and a hot tub. But the pièce de résistance is the indoor edgeless pool with a glass wall overlooking the great lawn—it is the largest single-pane ever built. The pool also features “Desert Aire,” which keeps the temperature exactly two degrees above the water temperature so that you are never cold. The estate also boasts a 5,000-bottle wine cellar, 13-seat media room, large fitness room/studio, golf simulator, distinguished library, and a pub with an authentic bar imported from the UK. “What people will notice about the residence is that despite its enormous square footage, it doesn’t feel overwhelming,” observes Moore. And as for the land, Carlos adds that it’s hundreds and hundreds of sublime acres.” The expansive grounds boast multiple ponds with bridge walkways to private islands: a 5,000-square-foot, threebedroom gatehouse plus artist loft; a 10,000 square-foot, six-apartment staff house; and a tennis court. The estate also features ecoelements like a massive organic garden with a greenhouse, an enormous chicken coop, orchards, crop fields, deer fields, and hiking trails. Price: $14 million. For more information on Migdale Castle, visit Phone Ken J. Moore at 646-580-4840, or email •




hroughout history, several worldly pandemics have caused people to move from urban locations to the suburbs and beach towns. Generally, people moved back following the pandemic due to jobs and schooling obligations. However, times have changed. With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, many are flooding to their beach and country homes. This departure is becoming permanent for many. As a suburban realtor in Rockland County, I am seeing people desperate to leave the city. Many Brooklyn friends and acquaintances are suddenly calling me, saying that they cannot handle living in a city apartment any longer. Children cannot play at local parks or indoor children’s play areas, making life difficult for parents.



My friend Sarah expressed that if she would have to quarantine again, with the talk of a second wave approaching, she would rather do so in a larger, more comfortable indoor/outdoor living space with a home office. She is seeking a better quality of life and the ability to have more family time. Her husband is seeking a lower commutation to work, less traffic, and less exposure to pollution accumulated in the city.

Shea Schneider, president of SRG Trade, in Surfside, Florida, has seen twelve new families move into the apartment building he calls home. Many are relocating from New York, due to the civil unrest and crime. These people planned to move before, but these circumstances accelerated their move. Most of them rent first and then scope out areas to see where they want to live long term. A recent relocator himself, he feels his inventory liquidation and closeout business can operate from any location with his ability to network through various social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

My former city neighbors had a plan to search for a suburban home within the next two years. Due to the factors mentioned above, their plans hastened, and they are crunching their timeline to make a move. Florida, Connecticut, and New York’s Hudson Valley are the new popular destinations. With advanced technology and e-commerce business, the current moves may now be permanent changes. More than ever before, we have greater accessibility to remote working. An online business can operate out of various locations. In addition to residential sales, we see an increase in industrial sales too. Warehousing has become a high demand as individuals relocate with their businesses.

According to Yael, Ishakis, the branch manager of FM Home Loans located in Teaneck, NJ, there is a huge increase and uptick in loan applications. People are leaving the city for greener pastures. This is creating a sellers’ market and bidding wars. Because the interest rates are low, the buyers are still getting low mortgage payments despite paying $10 - $20K above asking price. Real estate attorney Aaron Goodman sees some areas impacted by COVID. City landlords are not getting full rent; many tenants are not paying. As the economy slowly begins reopening, we see a V-shaped rebound; in some areas, we see bidding wars. Attorneys need to be quick and respond the same day for clients not to lose deals. All real estate affiliates are seeing similar occurrences across the board. David Sanders, of MR Capital Group services renters from Queens and the Bronx. He says, “COVID-19 expedited people’s move from small apartments in the city to larger properties. People sitting with preapprovals since last year are now in a sudden rush. The desperation is causing people to pay more than they would before.” People are reassessing and reflecting on what took place in the past few months and are making calculated plans and taking swift action. Families are looking for fresh air, backyard, front yard, the suburban lifestyle within access to the city by car or public transport. Many are prioritizing and choosing to remain close to their families and friends during this global pandemic. Esther Reizes-Lowenbein is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at eXp Realty. For more information, contact her at •


3715 Kings Way | Boca Raton, FL 33434

Offered at $1,870,000

Magnificent Estate Home! 5 bedroom, 6.5 bath plus office + bonus loft space ‘smart’ home at highly coveted, centrally located, Woodfield Hunt Club in Boca Raton. No membership required. Be wowed from the moment you arrive! Nestled on a quiet tree lined block, this premier property exudes character. Spacious entry leads into gorgeous formal living space with soaring high ceilings outfitted with intricate wood detailing. A true entertainer’s home, equipped with built in custom bar area and dining space ready for any dinner party. Expansive master suite boasting his and her private bathrooms and oversized closets is located on the first floor.

4572 White Jade Terrace | Delray Beach, FL 33446

Offered at $447,300

Highly desirable, modern, sparkling clean one-story Sorrento model built in 2015 in the gated community of Tuscany by GL Homes, situated on a private interior garden lot. Turnkey 3 bedroom or 2 bedroom + study home features impact glass throughout, beautifully designed kitchen with granite counters and SS appliances, open concept kitchen/living space, split bedrooms, custom closets and 2 car garage. No carpet! Tuscany South is gated and secured with the ButterflyMX app operated ‘’guard’’ gate. Low HOA dues, only $309 per month inclusive of incredible amenities including community pool, basketball & tennis courts, gym and club room. Perfect location, just a short walk to nearby Tuscany Shoppes with Starbucks, BurgerFi, Yellow Tail Sushi, salons and more. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Erin Friedman Compass P: 954.448.0573


Maria Marlowe ©Abby Lawson



o we think with our gut or our mind? Do we feel with our bodies or our soul? As much as Western thought likes to compartmentalize the different organs of the body into tidy systems (digestive, immune, cardiovascular, etc.), the truth is, it is all interconnected. Maria Marlowe should know. The founder of Healthy by Marlowe, a digital platform for online science-backed, doctor-approved nutrition and cooking courses, realizes the importance of a healthy menu with meal plans that make healthy eating fun and easy. Like most of us, she grew up in New York on the Standard American Diet and was inspired to delve into the concept of food as medicine after developing many chronic health conditions in her late teens— including weight gain, acne, chronic digestive issues, and precancerous cell changes. Unsatisfied with the advice, to “wait and see” what happens, she took matters into her own hands, changed her diet, and completely transformed her health. Maria then went on to study integrative nutrition and plant-based cooking, hoping to help others understand the profound impact

food and lifestyle have on our health. She opened her Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching practice in NYC in 2013 and has since coached hundreds of people to improve their health by improving their eating habits. In 2017 she closed the physical location to focus solely on online programming. She is the author of The Real Food Grocery Guide— touted as “the most practical guide to healthy eating” by Dr. Dean Ornish—as well as hosts the top-rated Happier & Healthier podcast, in which she interviews top wellness experts. We recently met with Maria (virtually, of course) who told us about the importance of wellness and how it is all interconnected. –The Editors SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 51

Depression and anxiety—afflictions of the mind—often start in the gut. The latest research suggests the key to maintaining mood stability is a well-balanced gut microbiota, which is shaped primarily by what we eat, as well as by physical, psychological, and environmental stressors. Acne, psoriasis, and eczema—eruptions of the skin—begin below the surface, commonly triggered by inflammation, gut dysbiosis, or imbalanced hormones. The foods we eat—or not eat—as well as psychological and environmental stressors, play critical roles in our development of these imbalances. Maria Marlowe ©Abby Lawson

Maria Marlowe ©Jennifer Lavalle


As most of us realize, the foods we eat serve as the building blocks for our cells, our blood, and our organs. The fact that we must eat to survive gives us immense power over our health and well-being. The human body is a perpetual construction zone. Food affords us the ability to repair and rebuild. When we eat whole, unprocessed foods, such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, and organic animal products, it is as if we have the most capable construction crew inside us. When we choose a diet filled mostly with refined foods such as baked goods, sweets, soda, chips, and processed meats, it is as if all our construction workers lost their tools and fell asleep on the job—our diet influences everything, including our weight, mood, and risk for chronic disease and cancer. COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to pay better attention to our health. After all, 94 percent of COVID-related deaths are in those with an underlying diet-related chronic disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and chronic inflammation. When we talk about wellness—especially in a post-COVID world—we must start with food. For most people, plant-based paleo is a great starting point. It is primarily made of whole, plant-based foods, with a small amount of the highest quality organic meat and wild seafood. This diet is naturally low glycemic, high fiber, and antiinflammatory. The number one tip I give people is to think of your plate as a pie chart and aim to fill 50 to 75 percent of it with vegetables.



As powerful as food is, though, it is not the magic bullet that will solve all health problems. We also need to incorporate physical fitness, stress-reduction, community, and happiness into the equation. Exercise boosts our mood, supports our immune system, lowers stress, balances blood sugar, and aids in elimination. Move your body at least 30 minutes a day, even if that means a walk. In quarantine days, I have taken to pacing my balcony while on phone calls to get my steps in. Fitness apps and YouTube are overflowing with top trainers’ workouts that can be done in your living room with minimal or no equipment. Companies like Peleton are the future because they make working out at home a community activity, which makes it more fun. It is known that stress reduction boosts our mood, decreases inflammation, improves our digestion, lowers high blood pressure, improves our cardiovascular health, and even improves our overall quality of life. While meditation, mindfulness, and yoga are excellent ways to combat stress, the truth is, changing our perception of our stressors will have the most profound impact. No event in and of itself is innately stressful; it is our perception of that stressor that makes it so. Another factor in living a healthful life is having a tight-knit community—a circle of friends and family you can rely on is a critical but often overlooked aspect of wellness. Healthy relationships are cited as a primary factor of longevity in the world’s Blue Zones—the area where people regularly live past the age of 100. It is also a critical factor in Dr. Dean Ornish’s Undo It program, the first scientifically proven program to reverse heart disease (along with diet, exercise, and stress-reduction). Fire up the zoom calls—social distance does not have to mean social isolation.

Maria Marlowe Yoga is excellent to combat stress

While meditation, mindfulness, and yoga are excellent ways to combat stress, the truth is, changing our perception of our stressors will have the most profound impact. LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST

And finally, a focus on fun and happiness is the next frontier of wellness. After all, the whole point of improving our health is so that we can live and enjoy our life to the fullest. It is easy to turn wellness activities into a stress-inducing competition or cause for self-criticism when you can’t seem to master your headstand in yoga or give in to the French fries. But these thoughts are the antithesis of wellness, and we must release them if we are to be truly well. Happiness starts from within, with an attitude of gratitude. Developing a daily practice of acknowledging the things you are grateful for, whether in your head or on paper, trains you to look for the positive instead of the negative continually. A quick and straightforward exercise with profound effects. What is more, maintaining a child-like spirit and thirst for adventure will do much to improve your mood, mental, and even physical health. Make time to dance and sing and laugh. These were considered medicine before the rise of pharmaceuticals. Throughout Africa, ritual, song, and dance have been used for centuries to work through trauma. And as we all know, laughter has quantifiable positive physiologic benefits. It is not enough to rely solely on food and physical fitness; we must also pay attention to our mental and spiritual health because it is all connected. The future of wellness will be less about following a prescribed checklist of wellness activities and more about remembering how to be human. Maria Marlowe divides her time between New York City and Dubai. You can find her online at or Instagram @ mariamarlowe. • SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 53




he pandemic has changed the world as we know it. With life changing, there has been no opportunity to prepare. There is a sense of anxiety and fear for many of us, often with an inability to take control.

My role as a certified hypnotist is to help navigate through times of uncertainty in a healthy, constructive manner. Hypnosis focuses on shifting one’s perspective so that you can feel empowered, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and adapt. My interest in hypnosis began at the age of 13, when my mother introduced me to the subject matter. I became an avid reader, truly fascinated with its power to offer life-changing results. My career path started as a marketing manager, and it was not until later in life that I returned to my life’s mission to heal deep-rooted wounds and transform the lives of clients through hypnosis. Certified by the International Alliance of Clinical Hypnotists & Therapists, the National Guild of Hypnotists, and the International Association of Counselors & Therapists, I have also been a hypnosis Master trainer for the last ten years.

HOW IT WORKS It may be fun to think of hypnosis as party entertainment. Actually, it is a life-altering modality for accelerated change. Hypnosis has become increasingly popular as a treatment for health concerns such as addiction, depression, anxiety, and phobias. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review describes hypnosis as a phenomenon where verbal suggestions can help change a person’s thought patterns, which affects their behavior. Today, hypnosis is widely accepted as a valid treatment alternative to traditional mental health options. During hypnosis, clients are always alert and aware of what is transpiring. Clients are placed in a focused and attentive mental state. A certified hypnotist can facilitate the hypnotic instructions for physical relaxation, allowing you to control your internal fear response, calmly, and rationally approaching any situation. Hypnosis is simply an approach for using the natural trance experience to create positive and lasting change. Furthermore, it can reprogram your subconscious associations with anxiety, stress, and anger, so you respond appropriately to life’s many challenges. 54 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

FINDING THE CAUSE I use hypnosis to determine the “root causes,” and prevent you from dealing with obstacles that hold you back. Very often, our inability to effectively manage problems stems from something in our past, buried deep in our subconscious. An abusive parent, a frightening event, or experiencing bullying in childhood. These events can all become hidden within the psyche, affecting our decisions, without knowing it. Hypnosis allows you to access those memories that impact your current behavior and outlook. We can identify which memories keep you from moving forward and preventing you from dealing with your concerns.

Eli Bliluos with a patient

Additionally, hypnosis can address a variety of issues stemming from the pandemic. Whether you’re suffering through grief, financial loss, lack of sleep, or coronavirus anxiety, hypnosis can help. Many people are amazed by the power of hypnosis.

HYPNOSIS FOR COVID-19 Feeling isolated, hopeless, fearing for their loved ones, unable to accept and give emotional support, and stuck in an ongoing state of anxiety. These are just a few of the difficulties we are experiencing. Through hypnosis, I help them overcome the negative feelings preventing them from moving forward and adopting a healthier outlook for the future. The mind can focus obsessively on catastrophic scenarios that are unlikely to happen. Through hypnosis, I’m able to help clients experience greater clarity and a sense of calm with the ability to see a time when we will find solutions and move past this pandemic. Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic changes the dynamics of our relationships with others. The lack of separation between work and home life, constant financial concerns, and the inability to socialize the way you normally have in the past is overwhelming. Your relationship with your partner can become strained. You may feel that you don’t have your own space or any time to yourself. The little things that you were able to overlook in the past may set you off. Hypnosis can help alleviate the stress within relationships so that you can look to one another for support and develop a healthier strategy to deal with conflict.

A TYPICAL SESSION The first session includes an intake and suggestive hypnosis to explore and begin to address the challenge. I explain what hypnosis is and what to expect during the sessions. In May, I offered complimentary sessions for healthcare workers who were experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19. One client required four sessions to help them experience relief. Throughout the sessions, I helped program their unconscious mind to take appropriate precautions and understand that they would likely remain free of infection by taking them. Today, the client remains calm, gets much-needed rest, and achieves a greater level of focus while at work.

MOVING FORWARD Hypnosis will help you gain control and achieve greater fulfillment in your life. The NYC Hypnosis Center will begin seeing clients in-person on a limited basis but will continue offering Skype sessions. I also offer downloadable mp3s to listen to on your own time. In addition, I use Chinese Herbs in conjunction with hypnosis for clients who need immediate relief from anxiety and insomnia. These herbs are manufactured in the U.S. and provide initial relief. For more information on the NYC Hypnosis Center, visit • SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 55



y first restaurant visit once social restrictions from the pandemic were lifted was to VERSA at the Renaissance New York Midtown in the Fashion District. The 8000 square-foot open terrace features a retractable roof affording guests gorgeous downtown views, which gives guests the feeling that they can touch those buildings. At the time of this writing, VERSA is only open from 4 to 9 pm daily with a staff that is super-welcoming for drinks, dinner, or small plates—whatever guests are in the mood for. The VERSA staff keeps things loose and casual with Modern American Cuisine/gourmet “bar food” as their calling card, but that does not mean that the service is not attentive and impeccable. Upon entering the high-ceilinged main dining room, you will see modernistic art adorning the walls, and black-and-white medallion patterned tiles on both the floor and the front of the long wooden bar—and you will be whisked to the seating area of your choice post haste. As NYL goes to print, guests are only seated on the terrace in comfortable booths or at standard tables with chairs. It gives guests great peace of mind to know that tables are well-spaced at 10 feet apart.

ROLLIN’ OUT THE LOBSTER ROLLS Diners enjoy shared plates of unique dishes like pastrami sliders with a touch of onion marmalade and fresh-baked tortillas with homemade guacamole; the tortillas are thick and chewy with an almost bagel texture to the taste. All the classics are done the right way here. Their burgers are legendary, not only because the ground “brisket blend” beef is grass-fed and topped with green chili aioli, artisanal bacon, and cheddar, but because they are a whopping eight ounces in size! VERSA’s buffalo wings are boneless juicy nuggets with just the right kick, thanks to a secret semi-spicy orange sauce that is saltand-vinegar based. The Connecticut Style Lobster Roll is wellworth the price with its abundance of buttered Maine Lobster, served on a Brioche Bun with a side of Old Bay Kettle Chips. Affable Executive Chef Kevin Chun says that he views VERSA’s eclectic cuisine as a celebration of the melting pot that is New York City. He shared his journey and how cooking became his first love. His career has taken him to work in Asia, New Zealand, California, Hawaii, and Panama. “My focus has mainly been on Asian cuisine (particularly Japanese and Chinese), as well as French and Italian. I’m proud of what I do and love this industry, and to me, that’s not something most people can say about their professional career.” 56 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

VERSA Fried Chicken Sandwich, Aioli, French Fries

FRESH & FABULOUS Is it a challenge for Chef Chun to keep the VERSA menu full of fresh choices? He reveals, “Honestly, creating and cooking are the easiest aspects of being a chef. The most important aspects of any establishment are quality and consistency. Currently, on our limited menu, the most popular dish seems to be a classic—our version of Guacamole and Chips. We make fresh guacamole daily to ensure that there is always a perfect hint of acid from the lime. We also make thick-cut corn tortillas from scratch, which we sear on a plancha (griddle), then lightly fry to give a consistency to a light piece of fried bread.” He discusses the highlights and challenges of being the executive chef of VERSA: “With such a large venue that can accommodate a diverse range of clientele, it always makes coming into work remarkably interesting. During any preCOVID night, we may have had a large parties after a Billy Joel concert or a sporting event since we’re located steps away from Madison Square Garden. Each day and night can change. However, this makes it a fun challenge, and it THE NEW NORMAL never gets redundant.” Naturally, the COVID pandemic has been Chef Chun’s greatest challenge. He remarks, “We started several initiatives at the start of the pandemic to help generate revenue and support our local community by including meal kits and cooking for essential workers. Currently, our partnership with Hampton Water delivers picnic baskets to several parks within Manhattan throughout summer weekends. And with our outdoor dining, we’ve noticed a growth daily. We are lucky to offer New Yorkers an open-air, outdoor space to dine up in the sky without trucks or traffic on the road that is great for many seasons. We also put stringent social distancing and health safety protocol in place, as well as featuring new amenities to our guest’s experience, including new contactless technology such as the NFC chip and QR code that pops up on our digital menus on guest’s smartphones. We’re incorporating several of these important measures to make our staff and guests feel safe while providing them the best in hospitality as possible during this new normal.” Clearly, this chef loves his job and has adapted to the challenges of a changing landscape of clientele. It’s not just about the people who work in the area, grabbing a quick bite or after-dinner drink. He tells NYL, “We get a great corporate crowd from the surrounding office buildings, Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. However, that has changed since the pandemic, with many office workers now working remotely from home. Now, we are attracting a diverse, local Midtown crowd from Hell’s Kitchen, Hudson Yards, and Chelsea. We are taking it one day at a time. But every day, we meet new people while always social distancing, introducing them to our space, or welcoming our customers back.” WHAT’S NEXT We could not resist asking Chef Chun what we will be seeing on the menu for Fall. Any special foods or drinks? (Note: He is a very hands-on chef who personally sources all meats, fish, produce and specialty goods from his purveyors.) “This will certainly be a different Fall. With 30 HD-TVs in the restaurant, we usually attracted a great crowd to watch sports and host events. Unfortunately, it’s unknown whether that will be possible this year and if it is possible to what extent. Our menus always change seasonally, but we will see what the season will bring in abundance for us to feature on our menu. We may bring back some of our classic staples like Cacio e Pepe or Fried Burrata,” he reveals. Just located just a short walk from the Seventh Avenue entrance of Macy’s makes VERSA a favorite of shoppers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle for a while. The Renaissance Hotel offered free lodging to first responders, and that is yet another reason to love and support its unique open air dining area. It’s Chef Chun who can sum up the resto/lounge’s allure in a nutshell: “We truly pride ourselves on the level of service we can deliver and want that to shine through all else. We also want to provide a casual atmosphere, so that all are comfortable spending time with us.” For more info on VERSA Rooftop & Restaurant, visit Reservations are recommended but not necessary. •

VERSA Cobb Salad




aving the chance to visit one of California’s beautiful wine regions may not be in the picture. Hopefully, that trip will happen, but until then, here are some of our favorite California wines to sip in the comfort of your home.

From north to south, coast to inland, California makes wonderful wines in 139 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), those regions designated by the U.S. government as distinctive places to grow grapes and make wine. We’re focusing on Rosé, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, three varietals.


The Napa Valley is the obvious go-to place for California wines, with over 400 wineries in that famed region just north of San Francisco. With so many options, it’s easy to get lost in the myriad choices found there, so we’ve narrowed it down to three favorites. Shafer Vineyards in the Stags Leap District AVA is one of the valley’s premier wineries, famous for their Cabernet Sauvignon—and for the sheep that they let loose to graze in their vineyards every spring. They even have a “sheep cam” going for all to zone out and watch while sipping on their 2018 Red Shoulder Ranch 25th Anniversary Chardonnay. That’s a gorgeous wine, bursting with citrus flavors, bright acidity, and just a hint of the oak barrels that it spent 14 months nestled inside. At Silver Trident Winery in Yountville, the go-to wine for late-summer is their 2017 Benevolent Dictator Pinot Noir. This smooth, silky Pinot is amazingly structured, with tastes of cherries and other dark fruits winding through hints of vanilla and toast. It’s perfect for a special night paired with a charcuterie platter, a pile of soft-shell crabs, or a big pan of paella. Bouchaine’s vineyards in Carneros have been producing grapes since the 19th century; now run by the Copeland family, it’s a place producing world-class Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. For an easy-drinking white, choose their 2016 Estate Chardonnay with rounded tastes of nectarine and an undercurrent of citrus. Splurge on the 2015 Bouchaine Swan Clone Estate Pinot Noir and drown in its juicy strawberry and cherry melding of flavor with a super smooth tannic finish.

Bouchaine Terrace


Better known as SLO, it’s one of the state’s lesser-known wine areas. It’s a coastal region characterized by two AVAs, the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande. Here cool sea breezes and warm days are the setting for creating outstanding Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Rosés, especially at Tolosa Winery. Their 2018 Edna Valley Primera Pinot Noir is the jewel in their crown, with estate-grown grapes that result in a breathtaking mélange of slightly spicy red fruit flavors in the finished wine. At Baileyana Winery, also in SLO’s Edna Valley, they produce a Rosé that you really can drink all day. Their 2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir is light, bright, and full of fruit-forward flavors (think peach, strawberry, and raspberry), with just enough of an acidic structure to make it a neat pairing with everything from popcorn to salad to seafood. 58 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

QUICK BITES APPETIZING DIPS By Sean-Patrick M. Hillman Believe it or not, I am not a big fan of avocados. My wife Kylie loves them. My mother is a big fan, too. So, when I make guacamole, they go crazy. Given the time of year, and popularity of Mexican fare right now, I thought you would enjoy these two very easy recipes that provide a delicious adventure for your palette!



The Santa Ynez Valley AVA, just north of Santa Barbara, is famous for being part of Sideways, the movie that brought Merlot to its knees and uplifted Pinot Noir. In Buellton, you’ll find Hitching Post 2 Restaurant and Winery. You’ll find owners Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini producing the much-admired Pinot Noirs as they have for decades. We suggest the high-end 2016 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot for a rich, fruity taste or the less-dear 2016 Cork Dancer Pinot for a dark, berry-flavored quaff. Buellton’s Margerum Wine Company makes some distinctive red wines, but we go for their 2019 Riviera Rosé, concocted with Grenache and Syrah grapes. It’s a light pink drink with hints of watermelon and a strong acidic structure. Robert Renzoni Vineyard & Winery

Ingredients 4 avocados peeled and pitted 2 limes juiced 1 tablespoon of sea salt ¾ cup diced sweet onion (Vidalia or Malibu) 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 3 Roma (plum) tomatoes diced 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 pinch of cayenne pepper or ¼ of a diced jalapeno pepper (no seeds) Preparation In a medium bowl, mash the avocados, then stir in lime juice and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper or jalapeno. Refrigerate for one hour for best flavor and consistency or serve immediately.

SALSA FRESCA Ingredients 3 Roma (plum) tomatoes diced 1 sweet onion (Vidalia or Maui) diced 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped ½ lime freshly squeezed 1 teaspoon of sea salt Preparation In a medium bowl, mix the diced tomatoes, diced onion and chopped fresh cilantro. Add sea salt and lime juice. Refrigerate for one hour.


The Temecula Wine Valley AVA was established in 1984 and is one of the state’s southernmost wine regions, located inland between Los Angeles and San Diego. Their vintners grow many varietals on lovely estates, including Robert Renzoni Vineyards, where their 2019 Lyric Rosé is a lusciously deep pink wine made from Syrah grapes. Syrah thrives in Temecula and this delicate creation tastes of peaches and sunshine. Syrah does so well here that we had to throw in one late-summer outlier, the 2016 Fazeli Cellars Syrah. This big red signature wine with its smooth, dense flavor notes of blackberries and black pepper is perfect for outdoor or indoor dining experience. All wines are available in the New York metro area, and all can be ordered direct from the winery as well. •

Salsa needs to be as fresh, light, and flavorful as possible without overpowering. This recipe is a nice and clean version that you could easily make on-the-go, or to entertain guests. Some people include jalapeno in their salsa, so if that is what you wish, add one pepper, seeded, and finely chopped to the ingredients. Any more than a single pepper will overpower the dish. Buen Provecho! •




he longest-running bourbon brand on the market today, Old Forester, is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey produced by the Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman Corporation. Beyond holding the distinction of being the first bourbon sold exclusively in a sealed bottle, Old Forester’s bourbon was one of only ten brands authorized for lawful production during Prohibition—for medicinal purposes, of course. In turn, Old Forester holds the distinction of being the only Kentucky bourbon to have been produced before, during, and after Prohibition by the same family. Another staple of Louisville is the Kentucky Derby, which is widely known as the greatest two minutes in sports, and Old Forester is one of the brands that is synonymous with the world-famous horse race. The 2020 Kentucky Derby takes place on September 5th at Churchill Downs. Those on-site at Churchill Downs are likely to enjoy an adult beverage or two, and one of the more popular cocktails among locals and visitors alike is the Old Forester Mint Julep. On the eve of Old Forester’s 150th Anniversary, I had the pleasure of speaking with Old Forester’s Master Taster Jackie Zykan. We caught up with her recently to find out a bit more about what’s in store for Old Forester. SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 61

What was it that brought you to Louisville? I arrived in Louisville from Missouri about ten years ago. I stayed in Louisville because I had a fantastic career in a local hospitality group, and they had become my family. The bar industry is so close-knit here, and there is always something new happening in Louisville. Bourbon was reviving, and opportunities were popping up left and right to grow my resume, and honestly, it’s a little oasis. I fell in love with the city. Bourbon is a very serious thing in Louisville, of course. Was bourbon always your preferred spirit? It would be unfair to say it was. I am a pretty diversified imbiber. I was never against drinking bourbon; I had my fair share. We didn’t have the selection ten years ago in Missouri that we do today in Kentucky. I was a blended scotch drinker for a short stint, also went through a quick rum phase, a gin martini month, wine, and beer are omnipresent, of course. What is a typical day for you like at Old Forester? It’s not a cop-out, no two days are ever alike in this job. I travel quite a bit for this position, and with that comes distributor training, consumer events, media opportunities, bartender mingling, and tons of educational seminars and tastings. My time is split between our corporate campus, our new distillery, and our warehouses in Shively. Some days you’re covered in cobwebs and char, and some days you are making a cocktail for a magazine photo shoot. Is there an accomplishment you are most proud of? Since joining Old Forester, I have created multiple philanthropic programs to raise money and awareness for women in marginalized situations as well as mental health initiatives for our industry. I am a firm believer in giving back and always finding a creative way to do so within the brand growth strategies already in place. What do you feel are misconceptions about your job? I find there tends to be a misperception of roles in the alcohol industry in general. It is assumed to be a party—that we all drink for a living. When alcohol becomes your career, your relationship


with it must transition from that mentality to a professional one. Yes, our industry is fun, but many people don’t realize I’m the only one in the room at an event that cannot get drunk because I’m working. When your job is to serve as a voice of authenticity for the brand, which was founded on principles worth fighting to protect, you cannot accomplish that unless it’s done responsibly. What is on the horizon for Old Forester? This is an epic year for the brand, as we are celebrating our 150th anniversary. We will be releasing a limited offering three-part anniversary series, which will be our first unfiltered batch-proof collection. I have personally designated three blends from a reserved lot of 150 barrels, which Master Distiller Chris Morris set aside years ago. We will also be refreshing our single barrel program, taking what was always a 90 proof product to two new options: 100 proof or unfiltered barrel strength. And, of course, always keep an eye out for the Birthday Bourbon 2020 vintage in September! When not busy with Old Forester, what are some of your favorite pastimes in Louisville? I have found in my years in this industry that I need to take time for quiet time and fresh air. I’m very fortunate to live in a place that offers incredible options for hiking, camping, and kayaking within a short drive. I am incredibly grateful to have the job I have, which allows me to experience some of the world’s best bars and restaurants, so when I’m off the clock, I make it a point to regroup with my dog and my son, Bennett. I highly recommend exploring Cherokee Park, designed by Olmsted. It’s a fantastic place to escape within the city. Finally, Jackie, any last words? Be kind to each other, and for a peek into what life as a Master Taster looks like, follow me on Instagram @jackiezykan. For more information on Old Forester, visit •




re you missing the joy of live theater? Well, you’re in luck because BroadwayHD brings spectacular productions from Broadway, the West End, and beyond into your living room. Fans can expect to see Shakespeare’s full works, awe-inspiring performances from Cirque du Soleil, and a selection of the world’s greatest musicals. BroadwayHD is the premier streaming service for theater lovers everywhere, available on all your favorite streaming devices, including AppleTV, Roku, and Amazon Firestick. When you head to, you can sign up for a 7-day free trial.


Now, let’s check out some of our BroadwayHD favorites!

KINKY BOOTS Inspired by true events, the Tony, Grammy, and Olivier-winning musical Kinky Boots tells the story of two people with nothing in common—or so they think. Charlie (played by Olivier Award nominee Killian Donnelly) is a factory owner struggling to save his family business. Lola (played by Matt Henry, who won an Olivier Award for the role) is a fabulous entertainer with a wildly exciting idea. With a little compassion and a lot of understanding, the unexpected pair learn to embrace their differences and create a line of sturdy stilettos, unlike any the world has ever seen! With music by the incomparable Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots is sure to raise you up! 42nd STREET ©Philip Bertioli

MISS SAIGON The spectacular, sell-out 25th Anniversary Gala Performance of this acclaimed new production of the global stage sensation was described as “the most thrilling, soaring and emotionally stirring musical with magnificent performances” by the Daily Telegraph and “the greatest musical of all time” by the Daily Mail. Starring Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, the epic love story tells the tragic tale of young bar girl Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with American GI Chris—but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. 64 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

42ND STREET Come and meet those dancing feet! BroadwayHD filmed this incredible West End production of 42nd Street specifically for the streaming service with the late, great theater producing and directing visionary Mark Bramble directing for the screen. With the largest cast on the West End (50 actors) tapping in unison, the show tells the story of famed theater director Julian Marsh who tries to mount a musical extravaganza at the height of the Great Depression with diva Dorothy Brock and fresh-faced chorus girl, Peggy Sawyer.

THE KING AND I Set in 1860s Bangkok, this gorgeous musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam (played by Tony Award nominee Ken Watanabe) and Anna (played by Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara), a British school teacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. With one of the finest scores ever written including: “Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Getting to Know You,” and “Shall We Dance,” and featuring a company of over 50 world-class performers, The King and I is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre.

SHE LOVES ME On June 30, 2016, She Loves Me was the first Broadway musical ever to be live-streamed to the entire world! With an incredible cast led by Zachary Levi, Laura Benanti, and Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me follows Amalia and Georg, two parfumerie clerks who aren’t quite the best of friends. Constantly bumping heads while on the job, the sparring coworkers can’t seem to find common ground. But little do they know the anonymous pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other! Will love blossom once their identities are finally revealed?

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS This breathtakingly beautiful Tony Award musical, inspired by the Oscar winning MGM film, tells the impassioned story of discovering love in the City of Light. Featuring the gorgeous music and lyrics of George and Ira Gershwin (including the classic hits “’S Wonderful” and “I Got Rhythm”), stunning designs, and show-stopping choreography. Jerry Mulligan is an American GI striving to succeed as a painter in a city suddenly bursting with hope and possibility. Following a chance encounter with a beautiful young dancer named Lise, the streets of Paris become the backdrop to a sensuous, modern romance of art, friendship, and love in the aftermath of war.

©An American In Paris

MEMPHIS The 2010 Tony Award- winner for Best Musical, Memphis stars Tony Award nominees Montego Glover and Chad Kimball. From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and love. Inspired by actual events, Memphis is about a White radio DJ who wants to change the world and a Black club singer ready for her big break. Come along on their incredible journey to the ends of the airwave—filled with laughter, soaring emotion, and roof-raising rock ‘n’ roll.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, Cameron Mackintosh produced a unique, spectacular staging of the musical on a scale which had never been seen before. Inspired by the original staging by Hal Prince and Gillian Lynne, this lavish, fully-staged production set in the sumptuous Victorian splendor of London’s legendary Royal Albert Hall features a cast including Broadway favorites Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom and Sierra Boggess as Christine. An orchestra of over 200, plus some incredibly special guest appearances, complete the production. • SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 65



TIMELESS DRAMAS ANTEBELLUM Lionsgate/On-Demand Janelle Monae stars in this time-warping tale that moves from modern times to the antebellum period in the American South just before the Civil War breaks out. Along with co-stars Gabourey Sidibe, Jack Huston, and Jena Malone, Monae must solve the mystery of why she is transporting between two vastly different realities in this creepy thriller that centers around slavery and its far-reaching consequences. MULAN Disney+ Disney’s live-action version of their 1998 animated hit stars Chinese actress Yifei Liu in the title role, the young woman who disguises herself as a male soldier to save her father. Set in ancient China, the story is a traditional fable from that country; the word is that this version is much closer to the original tale than the animated version was. Jet Li, Rosalind Chao, and Li Gong also star. Rated PG-13, releasing on Disney+ with a $29.99 fee added to the regular subscription price. RAISED BY WOLVES HBO Max From legendary science-fiction director Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, The Martian) comes this 10-part series set on a faraway planet. Scott directs the first two episodes of this tale of two androids raising human children on this new planet after Earth has been destroyed. Eye-popping effects and a mind-bending scary plot make this one a must-see for lovers of sci-fi. Starring Amanda Collin, Abubaker Salim, and Winta McGrath. RATCHED Netflix Remember the evil Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? Louise Fletcher won the Best Actress Oscar back in 1976 for bringing her to life; now Sarah Paulson takes on this eight-part series exploring Ratched’s earlier life. Set in the 1940s, this latest stylish tale from Ryan Murphy (Hollywood, Pose, Feud, etc.) is sure to bring chills down your spine. Cynthia Nixon, Sharon Stone, Judy Davis and Sophie Okonedo round out the allstar cast in this creepy tale of mental illness run amuck.

KOOKY COMEDIES COASTAL ELITES HBO Many very funny people got together to create Coastal Elites, a show designed around social distancing. Paul Rudnick (Sister Act, Addams Family Values) and Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents) created this comedy that stars Bette Midler, Issa Raye, Sarah Paulson, Dan Levy, and Kaitlyn Dever. All five play characters stuck at home during the pandemic, and all five bring funny, sad, frustrated points of view to life in a time of COVID. MISBEHAVIOUR Shout Studios/On-Demand Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw star in this true-life flick set in 1970, during the start of the women’s rights movement. Sometimes funny, sometimes infuriating, the women of Misbehaviour prove that getting into “good trouble” can change the world–especially the Miss World beauty pageant. Their disruption of that huge event turned everything upside down, in a protest that resonates right into modern day. Rhys Ifans, Greg Kinnear, and Lesley Manville round out the stellar cast. 66 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD Fox Searchlight/On-Demand Armando Iannucci, the much-awarded genius behind Veep and In the Loop, brings his unique comic sensibility to a new take on the Charles Dickens classic novel David Copperfield. Turning the story upside down in many ways (including casting Dev Patel in the leading role), this comic flick looks at how weird life was in the 1840s and features Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, and Ben Whishaw. WOKE Hulu Loosely based on Black cartoonist Keith Knight’s real-life series, Woke is a new series that is part comedy, part fantasy, and part call to social activism. It’s a heady blend of laughout-loud moments mixed up with serious commentary on life in America as a Black man. Lamorne Morris stars as Keef, the artist whose life is changed by an unexpected encounter, along with Blake Anderson, Rose McIver, and T. Murph.

ARTISTIC AND ADVENTUROUS DOCUMENTARIES LONG WAY UP Apple TV+ Ever dreamed of packing up your Harley and going on a massive road trip? That’s just what actor-adventurers Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman have done yet again in this series that follows them on their electric Harley escapades from the bottom of South America (in Chile) into Mexico. It’s an exhilarating follow up to their previous rides, Long Way Round (2004) and Long Way Down (2007), so if you loved those, this one’s sure to please. ROBIN’S WORLD Vertical/On-Demand When Robin Williams committed suicide in 2014, the world was shocked, rocked by such tragic news. Perhaps the world’s funniest man—and a wonderful dramatic actor, was gone unimaginably. With this emotional film, his wife Susan, many other of his closest friends and his doctors, reveal the truth, that Robin was suffering from diffuse Lewy body dementia (LBD). This terrible brain disease took away his clarity and control. Robin’s Wish will break your heart and inform your soul about a condition that affects many people as they age. THE WAY I SEE IT Focus Features-MSNBC Films/On-Demand Photographer Pete Souza began his distinguished career as a photojournalist. Still, it is the official White House photographer for Ronald Reagan and Barak Obama, where he found great fame. His The Situation Room photo of the night the Obama administration took down Osama Bin Laden is legendary, as are his intimate shots of Ronald and Nancy Reagan at home. His visual skills are legendary; with this intriguing film, director Dawn Porter digs deep into both seminal American presidents through the eyes of a master photographer. URSULA VON RYDINGSVARD: INTO HER OWN Icarus Films/On-Demand Enter the world of Ursula Von Rydingsvard, one of the most renowned sculptors of the last 50 years, with this in-depth look at her life and work. Von Rydingsvard’s award-winning creations are usually done on a massive scale, using cedar and bronze. Director Daniel Traub takes us on a fascinating journey into her creative process and her life story, which began in Poland during World War Two. With huge pieces in places ranging from NYC’s MOMA and the San Francisco Museum of Art to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, Von Rydingsvard is an artist whose legacy will remain long after she is gone. •





e’s a member of the multi-hyphenated club: Actor. Writer. Producer. Director. The 20-something New Yorker—a native of Flint, Michigan—has steadily navigated the Hollywood/Broadway nexus, paying dues, as all performers do, waiting tables while auditioning for roles on movies, TV, and theater. Zen Pace got his big break in 2017 when the performer was accepted into the British Academy of Dramatic Arts program at England’s prestigious Oxford University. From there, the talent’s career has skyrocketed: directing movies for Impact Films (among them Spectrum of Love, about a family dealing with two sons who have autism, and Artie’s Pathway Home, about a homeless man who lived on the street for 25 years before the non-profit Urban Pathways organization found him an apartment), producing/directing music videos including Saving Face, and also creating content for the mental health App Bloom. New York Lifestyles caught up with the busy artist to talk about the incredible momentum being created. How would you describe your work? I’m a director interested in telling stories that examine addiction, whiteness, and queer identity. I’m currently working on a project that explores how white supremacy manifests in a young mother and how that affects her family. Additionally, I’m working with Impact Movies on helping organizations create branded content that helps them raise money and celebrate their causes. I think my process is just trying to do my best to let inspiration hit me and trust it. What would you say is your niche or signature? I don’t think I have a signature, not yet at least. What I will say is that I have a good sense of empathy and want to understand where other people are coming from constantly. It makes it easier for me to direct them to serve the story because if I know what emotionally drives them. One thing that I do is something I call chemistry tests, which involves meeting with an individual and doing breathwork that allows them to open up in ways that often surprise them. I like trying to get to the core of who someone is. All of us have masks, and we need too, but we also need to know when to take those masks off. Because sometimes, if they are on for too long, we can lose touch. I learned a lot of this in a voice class at the British Academy of Dramatic Arts in Oxford, England. My time there felt like I was in a movie and was very much swept off my feet. I’ll never forget what my voice teacher told me: To do something because you choose it! And that blew me away. I sometimes think when I approach school or work, my mind is in a state of how can I get better, how can I impress. But, when we choose to react rather than respond on impulse, we come from far more authenticity. 68 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

Zen in creative mode

Your work is generating notice in industry and media. Why do you think it’s connecting to audiences? I’m happy my work is resonating with people, and I hope that continues. The only thing I care about is how I can make a small difference in the world with film. Because I believe film can shift hearts, narratives, and by doing that, maybe even help someone. What inspires you? Everything. I watch a movie a day, sometimes just short films, but I’ve made it a habit to watch and read. I’m inspired by Instagram a lot. There is so much beautiful talent out there, and it just gets me so excited to splash around and keep creating. Where do you get your ideas? All of them come from music. I take walks and listen to soundtracks from movies or just instrumental pieces. Nicholas Britell, who composed “Moonlight,” is a genius. I’ll get lost in the worlds that these scores produce and let my mind wander, which is good until you have no idea where you’ve walked to and need to get home for a meeting.

Zen & colleagues collaborating on a new project

Artie Shaw in Artie’s Pathway Home. Credit-Urban Pathways

How does being non-binary affect your work? I love being queer because of my identity, my art, and the way that I think— everything must be fluid. For me, in my work, I think queerness being shown without an emphasis on it is important. In my first music video, A Great Big World’s This is Magic, I wanted to show queerness with a cotton-candy lens. Like, just love for love’s sake without the trauma. You are doing terrific work with Impact movies. Tell us more. At Impact, we look for projects with a heart. And that usually means understanding why a company started what they do in the first place. If their values and our values align, and we feel that connection, we go from there. We have enormous hearts, and we usually let those things do all the talking. For example, we are doing a video right now for Table to Table, which started as a small company with one truck that would pick up beautiful fresh food that would have been wasted and gave it to people in need. Now seven trucks help to serve 26+ million meals a year in just New Jersey. What are you working on now? I’m writing a feature film with my creative partner Dana Levinson and directing her Sundance finalist script FRAUD this winter. We are nearly done writing the feature and will begin looking for funding after. It’s a film about a trans-woman in quarantine with her soon-to-be husband who must let go of her grief to escape her past demons. It’s based on a lot of Jewish mythology, too, which is exciting material to work with. • SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 69


At Apartment in New York

MY NEW YORK STORY By Bianca Kamhi of Living With Bianca

utrition and healthy living have been a huge passion for me since I was a teenager. Growing up as a young dancer, it was always vital what foods and lifestyle habits would keep me healthy, balanced, and energetic. As a young teen, I developed a close relationship with the late Hermien Lee, one of the most profound and innovative nutritionists of her time. Today, I use many of her traditional teachings, while also incorporating my unique and modern twist to be sure that these methods not only work…but also stick.


I was born in Sydney, Australia. My parents decided we move to Los Angeles, where I grew up. Before long, I moved to New York for graduate school and now reside in Greenwich Village with my husband, a native New Yorker. For many years, I devoted my academic and professional career to working in the business art world in New York City. I received a Bachelor’s in Art History and a Master’s in Art Administration. While in school, I interned at the Whitney Museum of American Art and for the American Friends of the Musee d’Orsay. Upon completion of my master’s degree, I became the administrative assistant to artist Jeff Koons, a phenomenal and valuable experience within the art business world. After a few years, I moved on to work as an Auctions Liaison for Artsy. I was traveling around the globe attending auctions. Again, an incredibly valuable experience in the arts. Throughout these exceptional experiences, my passion for health and wellness remained the most impactful on my life. I have allowed myself to realize that life does not need to be in one straight line. It was at this point that I realized that my lifestyle was not sustainable to remain the healthy, positive person that I knew I was capable of being. 70 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020

Vegetables and Rice

LITTLE CHANGES MEAN A LOT How to make small changes to impact a busy life positively? Here are a few go-to suggestions that I always stand by. • Wake up in the morning and first thing - meditation and hot water with lemon. Does it sound like it takes up too much time? Not with me! Boil your water, and while waiting, consider this is your mediation time. A solid 2 to 3 minutes. After your water is boiled, you complete your meditation and proceed to drink your hot water with lemon, which still aids in calming and meditative energy. Your day has just started on the right track without having to wake up early or add extra time to your morning routine. The hot water with lemon is the best way to start your day. You are feeding your skin with vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, folate, calcium, and potassium. You are eliminating unwanted toxins from your body, boosting your immune system, cleansing your liver, detoxing, and maintaining the pH balance of the body. • Take breaks from social media. Now more than ever, it is essential to be in the present and live in real life--not in digital life. I tell all my clients to designate specific hours or days to cleanse all social channels. It clears the mind of unwanted thoughts or comparisons and allows you. To fully embrace the people and things that are right in front of you. As an example, I recommend deleting social apps off your phone from Friday- Sunday. Or another example, if the prior is not attainable, is to do something less extreme such as no social apps from 10 am to 1 pm on Tuesdays & Thursdays, etc. • Utilize the outdoors. Working from home may be the norm for some, but not for everyone. Take walks outside. Breathe clean air. Even if just for 5 minutes, getting up from your desk and removing yourself from your home to take a walk or step outside can be a colossal recharge. • Before picking up a phone call, take three deep breathes. Whether the request is work-related, a family member or friend, these deep breaths will prepare yourself to enter the conversation being present, calm, and less reactive. • Whenever you can, take a bath. Immersing yourself in water can calm your brain and nervous system, balance your hormones, receives joint and muscle pain, and elevate your mood. If taking a bath at night, it can set the tone for an incredible sound sleep. You can create an ambiance that is meditative and spa-like if you have little time throughout the day, multi-task! If you need to listen to a presentation, book, or phone call while in the bath—then do it! • Meal prep on Sundays…or any day that you have the time. Wash and cut your fruits and veggies up in advance. Take them out of the original plastic containers and place them in bowls in your fridge. Make everything look desirable in your kitchen. Cooking and eating healthy foods will then become a treat rather than a chore. • Make your workouts count. If you are not sweating after your work out, try something else. This is especially so if you have a busy schedule and make that time productive, whether it is 20 or 30 minutes or an hour.

Yoga Outdoors


This was when I decided to take on my passion for healthy living full time and pivot into the wellness sector. I went back to study at the School for Integrative Nutrition (and continue additional courses for ongoing personal growth), got my yoga certification to understand the more profound benefits of movement and breathwork, and started my own company. With my knowledge and passion, I now want to help others to make sustainable changes toward a happier and healthier life. My focus is to keep my clients accountable to achieve their version of what makes them happy, productive, and well rounded. Enter Living with Bianca, a members-only service that provides oneon-one weekly health coaching sessions, along with 15-minute touchbase sessions for immediate extra support. I am a supportive mentor to my clients, helping them feel their best with lifestyle changes and personalized, one-on-one encouragement. I am based in New York with clients also in Los Angeles, Miami, and London. As the founder of Living with Bianca, I realized there was a gap in the market for people like myself, who needed someone relatable to speak to about everyday life and health goals. A non-bias and non-judgmental person to hold one accountable for any purpose, no matter how big or small. In our first session together, we talk about personal health and lifestyle goals, and then find baby-step solutions to get to achieve them. Sometimes new ideas or concerns come up along the way, and we deal with everything head-on. Many of my clients are busy and have little time to make significant changes all at once. Therefore, we always start small. These small life edits end up having a more considerable positive impact than what they originally anticipated. My approach to health is 100 percent holistic. Especially now more than ever. Of course, healthy eating and exercise are conducive to a healthy lifestyle, but that is only half the picture. Focusing on holistic health, I put equal-weighted importance on other aspects of life such as career goals, personal goals, love and relationships, who you surround yourself with, how you react to certain situations, what you believe. It all adds up. It’s very well to say that you have had a healthy dinner, but what does that mean if you are on the phone the entire time while eating it and are feeling stressed and anxious? In today’s climate, you can’t be half healthy. Life is too precious. For more information on Bianca Kamhi and Living with Bianca, visit • SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 71



old on to your hats, Kids…this month’s edition of “A New York Rant” is going to be a doozy! We are under attack, my fellow Gothamites. No, not from a foreign state seeking global domination nor a street gang angling to take over more street corners. We are under attack by our own “elected officials,” hell bent on only furthering their careers and agendas no matter the cost to the People. Sadly, that includes a marked return to the bad old days of the 70’s—mid90’s of our fair city.

A NEW OUTRAGE We can all thank our dear lame duck Mayor Bill de Blasio, the entirety of the City Council, and Governor Andrew Cuomo for this. Why? NYC is facing a historic rise in crime across gun violence, homicide, burglary, and rape. With calls to “defund the police,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea disbanded the Anti-Crime Unit (largely credited with bringing gun violence under control in NYC). At the same time, our police are under fire from activist groups like Black Lives Matter, our politicians are calling for even more cuts to law enforcement. Yet, every day there is a new protest or new outrage in our city. And, with alarming frequency, this outrage turns into violence. Look, I am the last person on Earth to stop someone in this country ©Politico from speaking their mind or expressing their views. We have a Constitutional right to free speech. It is in the DNA of our Republic and engraved on the hearts of every American. But, when that expression of free speech turns violent or into a riot, THE GREAT EXODUS And who is paying for all this fun that the “indigent” are enduring all bets are off. while we suffer under unemployment, empty storefronts, and a lack Let’s take this last month as a prime example of what I mean. of city services thanks to budget cuts (again, thank you Mayor de Warren Wilhelm, Jr. (a.k.a – Mayor Bill de Blasio), someone Blasio)? The taxpayer! In the infamous words of my old friend Billy only BORN in New York who grew up primarily in Boston, Mays, “But, wait, there’s more!” The State of New York is reporting that announced that he does not support “defund the police.” When I over 400,000 of our fellow Empire State residents have left, most of read this, I was stunned. But, of course, shame on me for having that departure pattern coming from New York City. That amounts to faith in City Hall. Less than two weeks later, Mayor de Blasio roughly 5 percent of the total population of the Big Apple, resulting in then flip-flopped (like he does on everything) and supported a massive loss of tax revenue to the state and city. Thankfully, FEMA cuts to the NYPD budget. To make matters even worse, my is covering 75 percent of the housing costs for the “homeless”, but that sources inside City Hall have told me that the Mayor is playing leaves 25 percent to a city that is, for all intents and purposes, on the political hot potato with several City Council members as welfare line already. revenge for them voting against some of the Mayor’s pet projects. What is the purpose of all of this? Bill de Blasio’s unending ego getting a Let’s look at Hell’s Kitchen as an example where the highest stroke by destroying the very city he claims to care about? After all, this concentration of “homeless hotels” exist. City Hall did not is the man who stated in the last few months that he has the strongest inform City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (who represents mayoralty in U.S. and New York history and that we are better and this district), nor the three NYPD precincts that protect and safer for having the lowest prison population since WWII. Really? serve this neighborhood until the day after the homeless Then how do you explain an embarrassingly low poll record for the and former prisoners were bused in. Since then, we have had Mayor and the historic surge in crime? You can’t. Just like you can’t tell ambulance after police car being called at all hours of the day us where the $850 million for ThriveNYC was spent, or why you have to take care of an overdose, assault, or theft. So, for those who violated the law putting sex offenders one block from public schools in are defending the action of housing 15,000 people (mostly several districts where the “homeless hotels” are. men) in these hotels, and claiming they are the most vulnerable, perhaps you need to speak to the residents of Hell’s Kitchen. Remember, the Mayor promised the city would not return to the bad While the homeless and former Riker’s inmates are enjoying old days. He lied, again! And he knows it. I smell a lawsuit against Bill air-conditioned comfort in the overnight after a hard, long de Blasio and his wife once they leave Gracie Mansion. One can hope day of drinking, drugging and mayhem, resulting in a broken accountability finally returns… • neighborhood confronted with endless violence, theft and graft, residents are fleeing the city in droves not seen since the Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not Depression. purport to reflect the opinions or views of New York Lifestyles Magazine. 72 | OUR CITY, YOUR LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2020


TIME OUT WITH… By Bailey Beckett

en Widdicombe didn’t aim to work in the gossip trenches, it just kind of happened. The native Australian and his partner had come to New York in the late 90s and got the idea to launch a fashion platform called Chic Happens. It was ahead of its time, a precursor to Perez Hilton, The Zoe Report, Daily Front Row, but in the late 90s it couldn’t get traction. “However, we were old enough to exist before social media, which changed everything about gossip reporting, and completely washed away the blog generation. I’m grateful we found that niche and were able to thrive in it.”

ON THE FRONTLINES He never gave up wanting to do something in media and started feeding the New York Post’s Page Six celebrity sightings. From there Widdicombe got his own column, Gatecrasher, in the New York Daily News, covering the Hiltons, Trumps and other gilded heirs looking to leverage their fortunes for fame and notoriety. “Gossip culture is garish fun, but I believe it is also a bellwether of the deeper currents in American public life. It anticipates mainstream culture and even political outcomes,” he says. After 10 years on the frontlines, though, Widdicombe got sick of celebrities and pivoted to covering society, contributing feature stories on about the one percent for Town & Country and covering their affairs for the New York Times, which gave him his own column. The opposite worlds gave him the idea to write Gatecrasher: How I Helped the Rich Become Famous and Ruin the World, which details his 20+ years on the frontlines, and keen observations about the uber wealthy no longer happy with just money—they thirsted for fame, too. Gatecrasher is filled with delicious details. The book, which Widdicombe worked on while covering social nightlife for the Times, is by far the read of the year. We recently caught up with Ben and learn more about the celebrity world. What’s the best/worst assignment you’ve ever had? In 2000, before the dot com bust, there was crazy money spent on press junkets. A bunch of Brazilian plutocrats flew journalists down there to look at museums—in luxury. The worst was to wait at the bottom of a mansion’s driveway in the Hamptons because Angelina Jolie was attending a benefit there, and I had no access. What were some of the most memorable calls/complaints from celebrities about their coverage, and how did you handle it? Donald Trump sputtered spittle all over my face at Mar a Lago in a fury over something I had written, and Crispin Glover once phoned out of the blue and yelled at me because I had been snarky about a film he screened at Sundance. But you need a thick skin to be a journalist; otherwise you’re in the wrong profession. How did your background as an Australian immigrant factor into your early years on the job as you tried to climb the ranks? I think it’s helpful to look at any culture from the perspective of being an outsider, because it highlights what elements are unique and distinctive to a particular time and place, and which others are just an expression of indelible human nature. What was the most surprising thing we should know about the lifestyles of the rich and famous? That hanging out with them looks glamorous but is mainly just stressful and expensive. If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to start gatecrashing, what would you say is most important? The three golden rules of gatecrashing are: dress the part, act like you belong, and always be ready to sail with the tide. Americans see so much gossip nowadays: on the newsstands, on Twitter, etc. Are there any preconceived notions you’d like to set right? Gossip journalism can be done ethically, just like any other kind of journalism or profession. Celebrity and democracy run on parallel tracks, since they are both popularity contests. Gossip culture is popular culture is mainstream culture, and in a democracy, mainstream culture determines political outcomes. In our modern era of decentralized media, with the new social norm that there is no such thing as too much personal publicity, there is much less separation between low culture and high office. • SEPTEMBER 2020 | NEW YORK LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 73



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