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Get Ripped for spring at local fitness centers Eat, walk, love: New Orleans More China views from PROSE Award-winner Audrey Topping Charting medical specialties Happy Birthday, Knollwood!

EMPOWERED March 2014 | wagmag.com


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The road to fitness • 12 A passion to train • 16 the shin bone’s connected to the ... • 18 body and soul in whole • 20 the power to change • 22 rx for finding a top doc • 24 that back pain • 28 saline solution • 30 all tressed up •32 the tao of tai chi • 34 second sight • 36 galloping to recovery • 38 ‘ripped’ and ready • 40 evolving into ‘best and brightest’ • 45 a model of reinvention • 47 empowering kids to get fit • 55 ‘little miracles’ through pilates • 56 got the blues? • 58 linked in • 68 chic choices • 80

Image courtesy Physique 57 in Scarsdale

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march 2014

51 way

Features

In enviable shape

62 wear

Laced-up Luxe

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Suit yourself

71 what’s new

A chick-lit pioneer enters a new stage in writing

72 wonderful dining Re-Inn-vented

74 wine&dine

The benefits of wine for mind and body

77 wanders

Galleries, gardens and gators

83 when & where Upcoming events

84 w’reel deal

Flying high now... on the power of ‘Rocky’

86 Pet of the month Good golly, Miss Molly

88 watch

We’re out and about

96 wit

We wonder: What gets you moving?

8 Waggers 10 Editor’s letter

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Cover photograph by Bob Rozycki.

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Andrea kennedy

mark lungariello

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To Wagger Audrey Topping, whose new book, “China Mission,” has won the 2013 American Publishers PROSE Award for Media and Cultural Studies. If you’ve been following Audrey’s excellent, fascinating Far East coverage in WAG, you know it was well-deserved. The recipients were announced at an awards luncheon Feb. 6 at The Ritz- Carlton, Washington, D.C. The ceremony was webcast live to audiences across the globe. Catch up with Audrey’s work on wagmag.com and look for the second part of her series on women in China and her take on tai chi in this issue. – Georgette Gouveia


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Several years ago, my sister Jana asked me to participate in a Central Park marathon for women sponsored by More magazine. As the event was to take place in April and we could walk instead of run – and as I am a prodigious walker – I said, What the hey. So Jana and I walked and walked – in what turned out to be 96-degree heat and humidity. Fortunately, race organizers wisely reduced the event to a half-marathon, a mere 13 miles. Women were prostrate along the route. But we persisted, finished, received our medals for completion – Yeah, I know, it’s like getting an attendance award, but let me tell you that after looping around Central Park in that heat, you would’ve wanted a medal, too – and headed to Starbucks and home. Whereupon I had one of my restorative bubble baths and a plate of pasta, then put up my feet – which were so blistered that I had to slather them in antiseptic cream and swath them in homemade gauze booties. “You’re a nut,” Aunt Mary said, though I noticed she didn’t refuse the medal when I presented it to her. Oh, the things we do for health and fitness, sometimes taking one step forward and two blistering steps back, n’est pas? In this month’s WAG, we’re all about putting the best foot forward as we empower you to wellness. Before I begin, let me say we’re all for traditional medicine and testing. If you have medical problems – or more important, want to prevent them – start with your primary care physician, ask questions and don’t stop until you get the answers you need. In this issue, you’ll meet people who represent traditional Western medicine as in Jane’s stories on heart surgeon-turned-lung cancer specialist Avraham Merav and on John J. Connolly of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., which offers an array of resources on the nation’s top doctors. But we at WAG also believe in keep-

ing an open mind. Our cover girl – and we mean that literally as she’s a professional model with mags like Vogue and W in her portfolio – Old Greenwich’s Donna Bunte, had a number of health issues that belie her loveliness. As Patricia tells us, Donna healed herself with Traditional Chinese Medicine, which she now practices. Olivia talks to Connecticut chiropractors Brett M. Carr and Lisa Clyne about alleviating back pain. We visit Breathe Easy in Mamaroneck to try halotherapy, or dry salt therapy, and consult Joan Carra, the new psychic-in-residence at Wainwright House in Rye. Health is about the integrity of mind, body and spirit. It’s also about what you eat. Patricia, again, checks in with Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, who shows us how to detox with the right foods. But as former Yankee strength and conditioning director Dana Cavalea, owner of ML Strength in White Plains, notes, it’s not just what you eat, but how much you eat. “Eat less. Sleep more. Move more,” is his mantra. So we got moving. Audrey reports on doing tai chi in China. (And speaking of Audrey, how proud are we of her, receiving an award for her new book, “China Mission.”) Resident foodie Andrea took her husband’s recent business trip to New Orleans as an opportunity to eat but also walk her way around that fascinating city. I myself – clearly a glutton for punishment – got into the act, heading out on the “Road to Fitness,” as we call it. I’d like to thank the folks at YogaSpark in Mamaroneck, Physique 57 in Scarsdale, ML Strength and Crunch Fitness in White Plains and Studio 14 in Port Chester for helping me to jump-start my regimen. I’ve learned a lot, which I’ve incorporated into my daily routines. But mostly I learned that exploration is the first step to Empowerment.


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The road to fitness By Georgette Gouveia

Image courtesy YogaSpark in Mamaroneck.

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I blame Novak Djokovic. Ever since WAG featured him on our cover last August (our “S’wellness” issue) and I attended his appearance at retailer Uniqlo in Manhattan before the US Open, I’ve been thinking about jumpstarting my fitness regimen – much the way Nole remade his diet and exercise routines to find the next plateau in his tennis game. (The guy does not have an ounce of body fat.) Or in the words of Super Duper Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson – and I sense a T-shirt here – “Why not me?” OK, so I am not now nor have I ever been a gorgeous world-class athlete. But I walk 30 minutes almost every day, lift small hand weights and have done yoga for 20 years. I also follow a Mediterranean diet that I modified with the help of a nutritionist to shave off extra calories. In the opinion of one expert, I am in good shape with no major health issues. So when WAG began receiving emails from fitness centers that had either recently opened or were offering new classes, I thought, “Why not me?” What follows is my diary of a weeklong odyssey to finetune myself not only in body but also in mind and spirit: Day 1 – I begin my quest for the next level of health by exploring halotherapy, or dry-salt therapy, at Breathe Easy in Mamaroneck in the hope that inhaling finely granulated, virtually pure salt will help my sinus prob-

lems and have the added benefit of a little skin exfoliation. (See separate story on Page 30). The space, inside Yoga Sanctuary, is sunny and pleasant, and I find my 15 minutes in the salt booth relaxing. And while I don’t feel the immediate effects on my sinuses – not everyone does – I do feel more open the next day. From Breathe Easy I head down East Boston Post Road and hang a right onto Mamaroneck Avenue. My next stop is one-year-old YogaSpark, opposite the Mamaroneck train station. YogaSpark offers “yoga, fired up.” And how. The room inside the modern red, black and white space is heated between 90 and 95 degrees. But as noted by owner Lauren Porat – an investment banker turned yoga instructor who studied with power yoga guru Bryan Kest – this isn’t bikram yoga. In that type of yoga, the room is heated to more than 100 degrees, she says, and you’re sustaining asanas, or poses. At YogaSpark, you flow from pose to pose. I’m skeptical – my hot flashes, my bum right shoulder, my Rafael Nadal knees. (Where’s the rest of Rafa when I need him?) But I decide for once in my life to go with that flow, and what a revelation. As instructor Catie Newman puts the class through its seamless paces, the warmth envelopes me, making it easier, not harder, to transition from one movement to the next. Yoga becomes the watery dance it’s often described as optimally. Because I’m hot – but not uncomfortably so, perspiring lightly – I’m

no longer aware of hot flashes or joint problems. (I do modify the handstands but complete all the downward dogs in which the body is in an inverted V, the weight on the hands and feet.) Indeed, I’m not aware of anything but what I’m doing. I am in the moment, the hour flies by and I float home afterward. Forget marijuana. I’m on a yoga high. (914) 630-4988, yoga-spark.com DAY 2 – A big day and it begins early at Physique 57 in Scarsdale, which opened Oct. 1. Scarsdale is where it all began for co-founding CEO Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi, who studied at the Steffi Nossen School of Dance and was a Scarsdale High School cheerleader. So it was fitting that she should open an intimate pale green space with fab leopard-print carpeting in her hometown, although she also has locations in Manhattan, Bridgehampton, Beverly Hills and Dubai. Physique offers one-hour classes mixing strengthtraining with cardio, so that you are lifting small hand weights – I choose five-pounders – or squeezing a small exercise ball while moving rhythmically to music to engage the entire body, taking short stretching breaks in between sets. This was more of a challenge for me than the yoga. But guided by class instructor Brady Dougherty, I was able to complete all the sets while modifying some of the exercises to protect my Rafa knees. By the end of class, my thighs were feeling the burn – but pleasurably

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so. (914) 722-0570, physique57.com After Physique 57, I head to ML Strength in White Plains, whose founding owner, Dana Cavalea, was the strength and conditioning director for the New York Yankees. (See story on Page 16). Talk about your major league, high-testosterone environment, complete with AstroTurf carpeting and guys pulling guys by ropes. I’m delighted I’m just here for an interview. But hey, I’m no wuss. I’ve parked at City Center and walked several blocks to ML Strength – in 10-degree weather. I walk back, headed now to the Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester for some pampering under the skilled hands of Cecile Chapaveyre, the lead of salon services. A vibrant, independent-minded woman who was born in Toulouse, France, and raised in the central part of the country, Cecile insists that I change into a robe for the experience. Turns out clothes do make the woman, and I relax immediately. (The sauna helps, as do the blue, woodsy surroundings, the Darjeeling tea and later, some Champagne.) At the blow dry bar, Cecile washes and conditions my hair, suggesting a side part to offset my oval face. Then it’s time for the raison d’etre – to experience the makeup of Chicago-based Claudio Riaz, a new line for the spa. Cecile explains how Riaz, fascinated by makeup as a youth growing up in a female household, began by developing a set of synthetic and sable brushes worth $1,525 that are designed specifically for the contours of the face. They look like they should’ve belonged to Van Gogh. Riaz then went on to create makeup that includes his ingenious all-in-one Instant Face Palettes for fair, medium and dark complexions. (See Chic Choices on Page 80 for more.) Soon I’m rocking a 1960s vibe, with expertly applied eyeliner and a pastel palette. Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up, and off I go to have my photograph taken by WAG Managing Editor Bob Rozycki for the Editor’s Letter on Page 10. (914) 467-5891, ritzcarlton.com DAY 3 – An intense, rewarding day. I’m at Crunch Fitness in White Plains, which opened last May, for the new Barre Assets class. Crunch – which has all kinds of exercise machines and offers everything from ballet to Pilates to Zumba – also has something new called Videography (hip-hop and jazz) but that sounds a bit too modern for me. Instructor Shelley Kapitulik sets me up on a bike for some cardio and warming up. Then I join Joan Agnassanto’s Barre Assets class for some work on the mat and on portable barres that draws on the ballet principles of lift, elongation, alignment and always, form. Having studied ballet and modern dance from ages 2 to 15, I find myself back in a familiar world, relishing the taut discipline once more. As we lengthen and strengthen with pliés and ports de bras, I look out of the floor-toceiling windows at the construction workers putting up the Planet Fitness across the way. It occurs to me that they may be watching us but also that we may be more fascinated by their dance – on iron balance beams. (914) 328-3311, crunch.com Later in the day, I drive down to Wainwright House in Rye to meet the new psychic in residence, Joan Carra. (See story on Page 36). Joan is kind and reassuring, and I open like a flower, more than intrigued by the way she reads cards and palms and moved beyond words as she contacts my dead relations. It’s a heavy experience, but I leave feeling as if I have wings. DAY 4 – I wrap up at Studio 14 in Port Chester, which opened in October. This is a hybrid fitness facility in black, white and lime. For a half hour you cycle in a 14

“You need to step outside of your comfort zone but not so intensely that you won’t come back.”

Top to bottom: Image courtesy Studio 14 in Port Chester; Image courtesy Crunch Fitness in White Plains; Image courtesy Physique 57 in Scarsdale

dark room with propulsive music wearing shoes that clip on to the bike. This is a new experience for me and I’m glad that instructor Laura Grandilli lets us each set our own pace – resting on the bike seat when we have to, though still pedaling – and that Jonny Rothschild, one of Studio 14’s four partners, is biking alongside me. For the second half hour, I’m on more familiar ground as Janet Muller leads a yoga class in a comfortable green space that signals an experience that complements the biking. Though I’ve done yoga a few days before, there are many different kinds of yoga and I feel just as challenged by Studio 14’s sustained poses as I did by YogaSpark’s warm flow. (914) 690-1414, thestudio14.com. I realize in a yogic way that my road to fitness has

brought me full circle where the end meets the beginning. Postscript: So what did I learn? Certainly new techniques that I can incorporate in my home workouts, the importance of form in maximizing a workout, the need for sleep, rest and a little pampering as much as proper nutrition and exercise in any wellness program and the role of mindfulness in everything we do. My fitness odyssey has spurred me to consider joining a class in which I’d have the benefit of an instructor and a community. Its also given me a taste for new adventures. As Studio 14’s Rothschild put it, “You need to step outside of your comfort zone but not so intensely that you won’t come back.” n


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A passion to train By Georgette Gouveia

Dana Cavalea, founder and owner of ML Strength in White Plains, is the former strength and conditioning director for the New York Yankees. Photograph courtesy of ML Strength.

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f Dana Cavalea calls the clients at his ML Strength fitness facility “athletes” and his six instructors “coaches,” it’s only natural. Until recently, Cavalea was the strength and conditioning director for the New York Yankees, the youngest to hold that position when he was hired 12 years ago at age 22. He describes that job as “like touring with the greatest rock band in the world – really cool.” But as he notes, “In coaching, we say ‘It’s not if you will leave, but when.’” The Yankees’ loss, though, is everyone else’s gain. “I’ve discovered a passion for working with people. And I’m using the techniques I honed with these elite athletes on the field and bringing them to regular people.” The result is ML Strength in White Plains, which Cavalea started three years ago. This is not your daddy’s gym, although at first glance it appears to be a high testosterone environment. A third baseman in the Yanks’ minor league organization balances on a disc and does a swimmer’s crawl to strengthen the body’s core. An athlete with a rope around his waist pulls the coach who resists at the

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other end. (This looks like fun – to watch, not to do.) AstroTurf covers the floor, a bright-green contrast to the cool black brick walls. You are acutely aware that you are the only woman in the room – although Cavalea says that many of his 1,000 athletes are female. There are different programs for different categories of athletes. The basic training camp, which is the entry-level program, assesses body weight, composition and circumference and is designed to get people fit, strong and moving to lose weight. The professional and elite divisions for hard-charging execs and pro athletes respectively offer more in-depth assessment and prepping and injury-prevention techniques, as well as ML’s signature team approach. “Some won’t touch a weight for weeks,” Cavalea says. “Prepping and creating a base is essential to prevent injury.” There’s team training for tennis clubs, soccer, baseball and lacrosse. And Cavalea also does personal training. (His clients include the owner of an NBA team.) But whether you’re an elite ballplayer, a type-A CEO, a high school soccer star or someone just looking to jump-start your exercise program, you’ll get the same treat-

ment: You’ll be told what to do. You’ll be asked how you feel. And you’ll be told and asked courteously. “This is a very intimidating environment, and we understand that,” Cavalea says. “We try to change that. This place is as much your house as it is ours.” He counteracts the high-powered gym atmosphere with some old-fashioned politeness. He and his staff greet you in a courtly manner the moment you walk through the door. And he balances the yang with some yin – a Saturday sports yoga class and a pale-green massage room with Buddhist touches. (Jamie Haro is the health and wellness concierge.) But then, Cavalea is the kind of guy who’s in touch with his feminine side. He grew up on Long Island, the son of a musician-father and a mother who loves doing Jazzercise and eating healthy. A baseball fan in general (and a Yankee fan in particular), Cavalea played first base and outfield. He attended Queens College, didn’t like it, and moved on to the University of South Florida in Tampa, where the Yanks train and where the fitness culture proved a revelation. “I realized you could do strength training and conditioning for a living,” he says.

A coach at USF pointed him to to an internship with the Yankees, a dream job. (Asked who was the fittest Yank he worked with and Cavalea pauses before naming retired relief ace Mariano Rivera, the all-time saves leader.) Cavalea’s years as a coach and trainer have given him a solid perspective on fitness and the disconnect between the current fitness craze and the obesity epidemic. He says the variety of options have misled people into thinking there’s a magic bullet for healthy weight loss. Rather there’s a hard but tried-andtrue formula: Eat less and sleep and move more. In eating, “you want to take in the least amount of ingredients,” as fattening or highly processed foods often have a great many. Also, he says, begin every meal with a piece of fruit or a salad (low-cal dressing on the side) to feel fuller before chowing down. Cavalea is considering opening more ML Strength centers in northern Westchester and on Long Island. “We’re looking at opportunities,” he says, to make people feel at home while becoming fit. For more, call (914) 437-8484 or visit mlstrength.com. n


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The shin bone’s co Psychiatrist Ophthalmologist

Cardiologist

Obstetrician

The right doc for the right hurt

Don’t know a physiatrist (rehabs your bones and muscles) from a psychiatrist? We find that hard to believe, but just in case, consult our handy-dandy list, prepped by New York Medical College. NYMC was founded in 1860 by poet, editor and orator William Cullen Bryant and other New York civic leaders. In 2011, NYMC joined the Touro College and University System, the largest university under Jewish Auspices in the United States. Touro and New York Medical College together are one of the largest affiliations offering medical and health education and biological studies programs under one institutional banner. Located in Valhalla, the college educates more than 1,400 students and 1,300 residents and clinical fellows; employs more than 3,000 faculty members; and consistently engages more than 12,000 living alumni. For more, visit nymc.com. n 18


nnected to the‌ Orthopedic Surgeon

Rheumatologist

Neurologist

Gastroenterologist

Medical Specialists Allergist Anesthesiologist Biostatistician Cardiologist Critical Care Specialist Dentist Dermatologist Emergency Medicine Specialist Endocrinologist Environmental health scientist Epidemiologist Family Practitioner Gastroenterologist Geriatrician Gynecologist Health administrator/executive Health educator Hematologist Hospitalist Immunologist Industrial hygienist Infectious Diseases Specialist Internist Neonatologist Nephrologist

Neurologist Neurosurgeon Obstetrician Oncologist Ophthalmologist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Orthopedic Surgeon Otolaryngologist Pathologist Pediatrician Physical Therapist Physiatrist Primary Care Specialist Psychiatrist Pulmonologist Radiologist Reconstructive & Plastic Surgeon Rheumatologist Sanitarian Sleep Medicine Specialist Speech Language Pathologist Surgeon Toxicologist Urologist 19


Body and soul in whole By Patricia Espinosa

For more than a decade, Dr. Jeffrey A. Morrison has been helping patients optimize their health and overcome disease through integrative medicine and nutrition at his Park Avenue South office, The Morrison Center. When he’s not tending to his busy practice, he can be seen on “The View,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and the Discovery Channel or found across the country lecturing on integrated health. In 2011, he penned his first book “Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind.” I recently caught up with the good doctor and here’s what he had to say:

March WAG is all about empowering yourself, in part by being smart about the doctors you choose. As a leader in the field of integrative medicine, what should people look for in a health care provider? “There is no question that doctors today are well-trained to care for their patients’ health conditions. However, the practice and delivery of medicine is going through an evolution. Patients are finding themselves needing to decide whether their health and physical symptoms can be addressed within the typical 10-minute doctor’s visit or see a doctor that will spend time getting to know them and discover the underlying cause of their symptoms. If patients are looking to find the cause of their health problems, they may want to see a doctor that has additional training in integrative medicine. “Through a partnership of patient and practitioner, integrative medicine seeks to treat the whole person (body, mind, spirit and environment), to assist the innate healing properties of each patient and to promote health and wellness through the treatment and prevention of disease. “Integrative medicine doctors are generally board-certified in a medical specialty and have taken additional training in nutrition and other holistic practices that enhance their diagnostic and treatment options. A list of board-certified integrative medicine doctors can be found at abihm.org.”

Dr. Jeffrey A. Morrison at his Park Avenue South office, The Morrison Center. Photograph courtesy The Morrison Center.

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more as active consumers than as passive patients? “There is no question that the Internet has given patients the power to take their health into their own hands. I feel this is one of the greatest values the Internet has provided our society. I can think of numerous occasions that a patient has come to me with a printout from the Internet that has led the patient and myself to a successful treatment for the condition. By embracing this reality, doctors truly have another useful tool to uncovering the cause of their patients’ symptoms, the patients themselves. A few of my favorite online resources include mindbodygreen.com (daily wellness inspiration straight to your inbox); ewg.org (the nation’s most effective environmental health research and advocacy organization; and ewg.org/skindeep (a guide to skin care products).”

Describe your approach to medicine and the techniques used in your practice for helping patients achieve optimum health? “At The Morrison Center we believe in the body’s innate ability to detoxify and heal itself. Our patient’s health and happiness is the optimal outcome of our service. “Everything we do empowers and enables our patients to take control and manage their health and wellness naturally and effectively. “We do this by partnering with our patients to find the underlying cause of their condition and then provide a thorough, unique, individualized treatment and nutritionally based program to deliver optimal outcomes. “We are specialists in the practice of integrative medicine. We utilize nutrition and function focused tests, health and nutrition counseling and targeted nutritional supplements and prescriptions to promote health and treat and prevent diseases. “With compassion, respect and personalized attention, we help our patients achieve optimum health.”

Prior to opening The Morrison Center, you worked at the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine under the late Dr. With popular websites like Web- Robert Atkins, developer of the MD.com and Mayoclinic.org, low-carb diet. Did that training would you agree the Internet has influence your nutritional apled people to take more control proach to medicine? of their health care by behaving “Dr. Atkins was a medical maverick.


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Many have questioned his Atkins Diet as being radical, unsustainable and ineffective. However, scientific research has shown his suggestions to be the most successful for long-term weight loss when compared to low-protein, low-fat and balanced diets. “During the years since he’s passed away, many authors have come out with even healthier versions of his plan. Weight loss and nutrition plans like the South Beach Diet, the Paleo Diet and my Daily Benefit Detox Program all owe an acknowledgement to Dr. Atkins for his contributions to our understanding of how fat can be good.”

Many of your patients come to you because they want to lose weight. What’s the biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to lose weight? “One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that there is a relationship to the amount of calories a person eats and how much they weigh. Probably, subconsciously, everyone knows this doesn’t make any sense, however, there is a great deal of marketing literature that continues to push this idea. “I’m sure we all have friends that say they can eat what ever they want and won’t gain a pound. At the same time, I’ve seen numerous patients who have cried in my office because they can’t lose an ounce even on two small meals a day. How does this happen? “The two top reasons I’ve seen that prevent a person from being able to lose weight, even while on a very low-calorie diet are: • Food allergies. The typical food allergy people hear about causes severe swelling or itchy hives very quickly after an allergic food is consumed. This is called an IgE-related food allergy and a blood test can easily detect this. There is another type of food allergy that’s not as easy to discern. It’s called a delayed food allergy, also known as IgG4 food allergy. There are blood tests for this, but they are not perfect. An elimination diet, like my Daily Benefit Detox Program, can help people to eliminate the most likely food allergens and once removed, the weight usually falls off pretty quickly. • Hormone imbalance. While most people assume slow metabolism is associated only with low thyroid hormone, I’ve

seen three other hormones play major roles in preventing weight loss. These hormones are insulin, cortisol and estrogen. With high insulin and cortisol, weight is usually gained around the abdomen. High estrogen can cause weight gain especially on the hips. Low thyroid generally causes weight gain all over the body. A blood test can help uncover hormone imbalance.”

Everyone seems to be talking about personalized medicine as the future of health care. Does genetic testing play a role in your practice? “There is no question that genetic testing will become a more common component of a medical workup. We’ve been using gene testing through two companies for the past six months – GenoMind (genomind.com) and 23andme (23andme.com). I’ve been very excited about insights these tests provide and the improved precision of the recommendations I’m able to make based on these gene test results. “The gene tests are essentially looking for genetic variations or snps (single nucleotide polymorphisms). These snps can make us susceptible to certain health issues. “The GenoMind test helps me to understand susceptibility and treatment options for people with anxiety, depression and mood disorders. The 23andme genetic test gives me additional information about detoxification pathways. “The most important point I tell my patients about the results is that everyone has snps (no one is perfect) and the results only show potentials. This is a concept called epigenetics and refers to the reality that our genes are turned on or turned off by environmental influences. “So even though I’m super-excited about genetic testing, I both take the information with a grain of salt and emphasize that by following my Daily Benefit Program and making healthy lifestyle choices, we’ll be able to express our genes in the healthiest way possible. “The road to achieve optimal health and happiness is not an event; it’s a process. I hope my Daily Benefit Detox Program becomes a part of your process to regain and maintain natural and longlasting good health.” n

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The power to change For heart surgeon turned lung cancer specialist Avraham Merav, it’s ‘a new day’ By Jane K. Dove Photograph by Bob Rozycki tefiore, to join me at Phelps.” Merav says he’s pleased with his switch from heart surgery to cancer treatment. “About 70 to 80 percent of the cases we treat at the Phelps cancer center involve lung cancer,” he says. “We have developed a close cooperative relationship with Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer oncologists, and our program is up and running very successfully. “We had raised the level of patient care at Phelps several notches and in September of 2013 we went even further and launched the Westchester Lung Nodule Center.” The center has a multidisciplinary medical team to provide patients with early, noninvasive diagnosis and comprehensive treatment. “Screening for lung cancer at its earliest possible stage makes it easier to cure and we often find that many patients are already in the clear,” Merav says. “Many people are told they have a nodule in the lung and become totally panic-stricken, thinking it must be cancer. But the majority is noncancerous. When we opened the new center, the phones rang of the hook, and it has been very satisfying to bring peace of mind to so many people.”

In the trenches

Avraham Merav, head of thoracic surgery at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center in Sleepy Hollow.

“About five years ago I made a personal decision to help empower Phelps Memorial Hospital Center to have a dedicated thoracic surgery department, something that no other hospital in Westchester had,” Dr. Avraham Merav says. Thoracic surgery involves the repair of organs located in the chest cavity – heart and lungs, esophagus and trachea. Now head of thoracic surgery at the 238-bed hospital in Sleepy Hollow, Merav has switched disciplines, from concentrating on heart surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx to lung surgery at Phelps. He now focuses primarily on treating different forms of lung cancer and has been instrumental in establishing an accredited cancer treatment program at Phelps. “At Montefiore, I had been treating a lot of patients who came as referrals from Phelps,” he says. “I was finding cardiac surgery increasingly time-consuming and very stressful. After 32 years as a cardiac surgeon, I performed my last open-heart operation in April of 2007. I saw my 22

patients were sicker, older and required lots of recuperation. I wanted to go in a different professional direction.”

Sea change

Around the same time, Merav was approached by staff at Phelps to take a full-time position there, only seven minutes from his home in Pleasantville. “I was also appointed by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer to spearhead cancer-related activities at Phelps and provide leadership for Phelps’ new cancer program, all steps needed for a cancer program to receive its official accreditation. I welcomed the chance to help Phelps move to another level and become an accredited Community Hospital Cancer Program. The new program received its accreditation last year. “This ensures that our cancer patients and their families have access to the full scope of services required to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and support them through the entire process of cancer treatment. I was fortunate to be able to recruit Dr. Rocco Lafaro, a colleague from Mon-

A native of Israel, Merav earned his medical degree at the University of Basel Medical School in Switzerland. He completed his internship at Mount Sinai Medical Center and a residency in general surgery and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery, both at Montefiore, where he was later chief of thoracic surgery. He also served as chief of thoracic surgery at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in New Jersey for 12 years. “After finishing medical school in Switzerland, I married my wife, Susan, the daughter of a doctor,” he says. “I enlisted in the Israeli Army and served as a military doctor for three years. “I was a paratrooper in the Six Day War in l967 and then came to the U.S. for my surgical training. When the Yom Kippur War broke out in l973, I went back to do more medical work in field hospitals. It was an exciting and rewarding time.”

A new day

Merav says looking back on the change he made in his career path gives him a great deal of satisfaction. “I enjoy working in a smaller, community-based hospital and bringing dramatically improved services to our patients. Every day I feel the appreciation of the medical staff and patients. I also enjoy having the freedom to spend more time with the people I am treating.” Merav says that profiles of lung cancer patients have changed over the past few decades. “Now we treat a significant number of patients who have never smoked,” he says. “With so many people now living into their 70s, 80s and 90s, simply getting older has become the second biggest risk factor (for lung cancers) after smoking.” Merav says he now performs surgery on patients he refers to as “super seniors,” who would not have been candidates years ago. “Now, if they are selected properly and treated properly, they have a good chance for an excellent outcome. It’s a new day and I am happy to be a part of it.” n


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Rx for finding a top doc By Jane K. Dove

“Unfortunately, most people spend more time investigating and selecting a new restaurant than they do vetting out a doctor,” John J. Connolly says. Connolly, former president of New York Medical College, and John K. Castle – former head of The Joint Commission, the body that confers accreditation on medical institutions – set out to redress that situation. The result is “America’s Top Doctors,” part of a series of continually updated publications designed to aid consumers in finding the best health care available. A native of Worcester, Mass., Connolly has had a long -standing interest in health care. After graduating from Worcester State University, he went on to the University of Connecticut for a master’s degree, then earned his Ed.D. in college and university administration from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1972. That’s when he began his career in community college administration – a prescient choice considering the vital role that the community college plays in education today. As president of Dutchess Community College for 10 years, he promoted allied health programs at the college and was active with health care organizations and initiatives in the Hudson Valley. He also served as chairman of the board of directors of St. Francis Hospital and Health Centers in Poughkeepsie. Around 1982, Connolly was invited to join the board of directors of New York Medical College in Valhalla. “At the time, John Castle was board chairman and he recruited me to help turn the medical school around. It was struggling in several different areas.” Connolly succeeded in working with the board to get New York Medical College back on track and was subsequently elected president. “Working with John Castle and the other board members, it took us less than two years to achieve our objectives,” he adds. When Connolly left the medical college a decade later, he and Castle decided to collaborate on a book. “John said we both got so many calls for recommendations and referrals on doctors that we should write one. I agreed.” The first edition of “America’s Top Doctors – New York Metropolitan Area” was published in 1994. The pair expanded the publication five years later to “America’s Top Doctors,” which takes in the entire country. “The publication included information on 45,000 board-certified doctors the first year. Five years later, we had 230, 000,” Connolly says.

Seeking the best

“Our goal is simply to help people find the best doctors available. We are strictly consumer-oriented. We identify outstanding doctors, providing information on medical education, training, hospital appointments, disciplinary histories and much more. Only those doctors who are among the very best in their specialties and in their communities are selected for inclusion.” 24

Getting selected

John J. Connolly

Connolly says many people are at a loss when it comes to picking a doctor. “Surprisingly enough, location of the doctor tops the requirements of many patients. Most patients don’t know anything about board certification and other criteria that we consider to be basic.” The majority of patients start out looking for a doctor by asking friends and relatives, he says. If they are looking for a specialist, they will often ask their primary care physician. “This is a good starting point, but we believe it doesn’t go far enough,” Connolly says. “We believe a hybrid approach, using recommendations, referrals and the information contained in ‘America’s Top Doctors’ works very well on behalf of patients. Doctors can be thoroughly checked out and patients can move beyond the limited referrals provided by family, friends and their own doctors.” Connolly said that “America’s Top Doctors” can help patients break through geography and move beyond their local areas. “This is important if you have a critical issue and the best doctor for you might be elsewhere,” he says. “Our charge is to nominate, investigate and publish a huge database of doctors all over the country.” Since the publication of “America’s Top Doctors” and “Top Doctors – New York Metropolitan Area,” Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. has set up an online directory, at castleconnolly.com. The company has also forged partnerships with 40 regional magazines across the country that feature top doctors in their areas on an annual basis. “Every year, the issue featuring top doctors becomes the number one-selling issue of that magazine,” Connolly says.

Still, consumers can be skeptical creatures, particularly when it comes to health care: What are the criteria for inclusion? The Castle-Connolly doctor selection process is based on peer nominations. All licensed physicians are invited to participate in an online process that involves contacting more than 50,000 physicians and hospital and health care executives directly. Physicians can nominate other doctors whom they think are the most outstanding in their medical specialties, in any area of medicine and in any part of the country. They can indicate whether they believe the physician is among the best in their particular region or among the best in the nation. Already selected Top Doctors are encouraged to participate in the process. But a doctor cannot nominate himself or herself, nor does any money change hands in the nominating process. Each year, nearly 100,000 doctor nominations are received. After they’re in, the Castle-Connolly physicianled research team makes tens of thousands of phone calls, talking with leading specialists, chairs of clinical departments and vice presidents of medical affairs, seeking to gather further information on top specialists for most diseases and procedures. The research team then reviews the credentials of every physician nominated. The review includes scrutiny of medical education, training, board certifications, hospital appointments, administrative posts, professional achievements and malpractice and disciplinary history. Connolly said that ultimately, it is the professional judgment of the Castle Connolly physician-led staff that determines Top Doctor selection. After review, nominated doctors may be listed as a regionally outstanding or a nationally outstanding Top Doctor. Regional Top Doctors are sought-after physician leaders in their communities and metropolitan areas. National Top Doctors are the top referred specialists in America that attract patients from wide geographic areas.

Raising consciousness

Connolly says “America’s Top Doctors” is an example of empowering consumers. “We believe that we are making a difference. Finding the top doctor for your needs can have a major impact on your outcome. Patients in our area are fortunate, because 10 percent of the top doctors in all specialties and primary care are in the New York metropolitan region.” He and Castle are more than satisfied with the outcome of their venture: “We are happy to support a growing awareness of the importance of having the best doctor and will continue to provide the latest information and assistance.” For more, visit castleconnolly.com. n


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IT’S NOT FITNESS. IT’S LIFE . 2/18/14 4:56 PM


Lisa Clyne of Clyne Chiropractic & Wellness L.L.C. in Westport. Photograph by Olivia Stumpf.

Brett M. Carr of the Orthopaedic Specialty Group P.C. in Fairfield.

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That back pain might be due to a ‘pain in the neck’ By Olivia Stumpf

When back pain comes to mind, so might the image of someone hunched over a computer or doing heavy lifting. Although these activities put you at risk for developing back pain, two important and often overlooked causes of discomfort are stress and a sedentary lifestyle. “One of the paradoxes is that there are rarely physical things that are predictive, but what we call more psychosocial things, like something as simple as job satisfaction,” says Brett Carr, a Fairfield chiropractor. “I can make a better prediction about people with back pain based on their satisfaction with their job than I can just by taking their height or weight.” In other words, having a satisfying life and engaging in enjoyable activities can both prevent and relieve unwanted pain. Although patients experiencing stressors may present with specific back problems, others may experience referred pain. These individuals may have hip discomfort or feelings of uneasiness in the but-

tocks. Perhaps less obvious would be unusual sensations such as stinging down the leg into the foot due to a pinched nerve in the back (sciatica) or groin pain that actually stems from the lower lumbar area of the spine. Such referred pain may make the underlying cause of these symptoms less evident. However, with treatment, it’s possible to retrace the body’s maze to discover the real culprit – the back. Carr makes an analogy to his patients: “No one complains about a new car… but put 100,000 or 200,000 miles on it and you’ll have all sorts of problems.” The same can be said of back care. Without managing stress or engaging in proper maintenance, back pain can surface. Activity – whether sports or a discipline such as yoga – is the biggest protector against experiencing unwanted symptoms. “It’s a use it or lose it kind of world,” says Carr, who has been the chiropractic consultant to the New York Islanders’ affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers hockey

team since 2000 and teaches at the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. “If you want to be able to walk, you have to be walking. If you want to be able to lift, you have to be lifting.” By strengthening the core, releasing pent-up tension and maintaining equilibrium, exercise facilitates alignment physically and psychologically. For individuals whose daily activities are affected by back pain, treatment is usually warranted. Tailoring her approach to the individual, chiropractor Lisa Clyne of Westport uses a variety of therapeutic techniques, including drop tables for a gentle spinal adjustment or the more aggressive Graston Technique to break up tough scar tissue. Site-specific flexion distraction is incorporated to help pump up herniated discs, while therapeutic ultrasound can be applied to connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons to decrease inflammation. Massage therapy and acupuncture are becoming more commonplace in chiro-

practic care. These give the body a boost by increasing circulation and blood flow, delivering oxygen more readily to organs, reducing swelling and improving overall function. Many different treatments can be effective in relieving “tech neck” – caused by looking down at a computer screen for several hours a day. Clyne also notes that texting has a similar effect. “(People) hold the hand-held device down instead of straight in front of their eyes, so they flex their necks and they come in with tight shoulders and pecs, and their backs hurt.” Although back pain affects millions of Americans, it is commonly viewed as an injury. As a result, it’s coupled with fear. But it shouldn’t be, experts say. It’s a manageable condition that can be prevented and treated effectively. For more on Brett Carr, visit drbrettcarr. com or osgpc.com. For more on Lisa Clyne, call (203) 259-2124. n

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Saline solution

New dry salt therapy center is designed to let you ‘Breathe Easy’ By Georgette Gouveia At first you wonder if anything’s happening. You’re sitting in an acrylic and wood booth the size of a telephone booth – remember those? – listening to Eastern music with your eyes closed, breathing deeply. It’s a pleasant, relaxing 15 minutes, but you might as well be home on your couch, you think. And then you open your eyes and look down. Bits of finely granulated salt dot your arms and legs and collect in corners of the booth’s floor. You might find your sinuses opening up. You might not experience that until the next day. You may find your skin feeling smoother, too, as if after exfoliating it. Welcome to Breathe Easy, a halother-

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apy, or dry salt therapy, treatment center with locations in Mamaroneck, where this reporter tried it, and Manhattan. The Westchester flagship is set to open in Dobbs Ferry March 1. Most people in this country are familiar with wet salt treatments – the various saline solutions, the neti pots you use for nasal irrigation. Dry salt therapy – which is well established in Europe and just beginning to take off on this side of the pond – absorbs the mucus that wreaks havoc with sinus sufferers, says Breathe Easy manager Lorey Giblin. “It’s antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory,” she says. And it’s also an example of how you can

see a need and fill it. Breathe Easy founder Gary Patrick – a former Irvington resident who divides his time between Manhattan and Boca Raton, Fla. – has been in the advertising business for 38 years. As global advertising director for Skechers footwear, he travels a great deal and was prone to the sinus infections that seem to be part of airline travel. While in London, Patrick tried dry salt therapy. Not only did his sinuses improve, he says, but his wife noticed that he was snoring less. Patrick looked to continue the therapy in New York but no one was offering it. So he stepped in to fill the void. Some of his locations are more elaborate than others. The Mamaroneck Breathe Easy is a room inside the sunny Yoga Sanctuary at 951 E. Boston Post Road. The Breathe Easy at 825 Seventh Ave. in Manhattan has wall panels made of Himalayan salt as well as salt on the floor, the salt containing negative ions that counteract the positive ions we are charged with daily, Patrick says. The other Manhattan Breathe Easy is at 1 Park Ave., while the Westchester flag-

ship in Dobbs Ferry opens at 50 Livingston Ave. “This is a holistic approach, not a medical therapy,” he says. “We don’t pretend to diagnose or cure anything.” Patrick uses machines created in Estonia to aerate salt that is virtually pure (99.9 percent pharmaceutical grade), unlike table salt, which, he says, is loaded with chemicals. His website contains a number of studies from Allergy: The European Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology and the U.S. National Library of Medicine as well as one from The New England Journal of Medicine on the longterm effects of inhaled hypertonic saline on children with cystic fibrosis. But he recommends checking with your doctor before starting any new treatment. Because the amount of salt being used is actually small and is not being ingested, Patrick says you don’t have to worry about it raising your blood pressure. In other words, this is one kind of salt that you can add to your “diet.” For more visit breatheeasyusa.com. n


COMPARE US.

When it comes to selecting a doctor, training and experience make all the difference. When it comes to your health, it’s important to see the most qualified, and experienced physician for your condition or injury. Compare ONS physicians to their counterparts anywhere, then you be the judge. With 20 sub-specialty trained physicians in orthopedics, neurosurgery, sports medicine and physical medicine/rehabilitation, ONS is the most comprehensive and advanced practice of its kind in the region. Aetna

ONS participates with -

Oxford

UnitedHealthcare

Cigna - Multiplan

ORTHOPAEDIC & NEUROSURGERY SPECIALISTS, PC WWW.ONSMD.COM

GREENWICH, CT | 203.869.1145

FREE HEALTH SEMINARS

ONS Spring Calendar JOINT REPLACEMENT SURGERY SYMPOSIUM Wednesday, April 2, at 6:00 p.m. Orthopedic surgeons and joint replacement specialists Frank Ennis, MD, Brian Kavanagh, MD and shoulder specialist Seth Miller, MD will present a joint replacement symposium in the Noble Conference Center at Greenwich Hospital. Registration requested. Call 203-863-3627 or register online at www.greenhosp.org. RACKET SPORTS INJURIES: Is tennis your game? Do you love the pace on the squash or paddle court? Tuesday, May 13, at 6:30 p.m. Orthopedic surgeons Gloria Cohan, MD and Katie Vadasdi, MD of ONS will present a talk on racket sports injury prevention for women in the Noble Conference Center at Greenwich Hospital. Registration requested. Call 203-863-3627 or register online at www.greenhosp.org. UNCOVERING THE TRUTH ABOUT BACK PAIN: Separating fact from fiction about back pain and spinal disorders. Tuesday June 3, at 1:30 p.m. Neurosurgeon Scott Simon, MD of ONS will present this workshop in Noble Conference Center at Greenwich Hospital. Registration requested. Call 203-863-3627 or register online at www.greenhosp.org.


tressed

All up Sisters transform onetime bank into chic salon By Mary Shustack Photograph by Bob Rozycki

Zamira Cutra and Val Tana

For anyone who’s heard of VaZa Salon and wondered what it’s all about, here’s the scoop. VaZa is a nod to the first names of Val Tana and Zamira Cutra, the women behind Ossining’s new style destination. Capitalizing on Cutra’s business background and Tana’s experience in the beauty industry, VaZa opened its doors in November. 32

And the sisters will not only get your tresses in top shape, but do so in a onetime bank they transformed into chic surroundings. “Everything that we did in the salon was oriented to details,” Tana says. That is clear from the moment one enters the salon – or rather before one enters. An email system handily confirms your


appointment (and sends a thank you, sometimes arriving before you even get back to your car). You’ll be warmly greeted, offered a beverage and led to one of two spacious changing rooms where you slip into your gown. You can pause in the sleek waiting area before your consultation. Then, it’s on to the shampoo beds (more on that in a bit) for a wash, condition and finally, a scalp massage that will transport you to another place. When it’s time for the service, whether it’s a cut, color or a simple blow-out, it’s all about your needs. What are you looking for? What do you like? And when you’re getting color, instead of staring at yourself in the mirror as you wait, you can move over to the “conversation table,” fashioned from reclaimed wood perched above a pair of vintage sewing machines to use your computer, read a magazine or simply zone out to the music. The VaZa vibe is so laid-back that Cutra says when customers are done they sometimes “just say ‘I want to just sit a minute and relax.’” And that, as you might guess, is perfectly fine. “We’re not rushing anyone in or rushing anyone out,” she adds.

BANKING ON A FUTURE

Cutra and Tana, both Westchester residents, had searched for the perfect spot to launch their longtime dream and found it in the street-level space on Main Street. The long-vacant former home of the Ossining National Bank, which occupied a 19th-century building renovated in 1908, simply captivated the women. They were charmed, Cutra says, by “first and foremost, this corner location. The columns. The character to all the buildings in this area.” And that character – embodied by marble columns, oversize windows and exposed brick walls – has been preserved rather than pushed aside. “The columns existed. The windows existed. We just kind of had to bring everything back to life,” Cutra says. “I felt like we were the right people to show it some love.” The process from initial idea through opening day took nearly 15 months. They signed the contract in June and went through the permit process, working with an architect. Nine weeks of intense construction – everything from a new HVAC system to flooring – was completed to their exacting standards. “You have one shot to do it the right way,” Cutra says. And that extended to even the smallest touches, such as handbag hooks designed to hold the heaviest of purses. “My biggest thing is every woman should have someplace to put their bag,” Tana says. Other elements have a bigger impact,

such as the shampoo beds from France that add a dramatic and luxurious touch. “They took six months to get here,” Cutra says, adding they not only feel great but also help align your spine and release tension.

A GREEN APPROACH

Having renovated in a way that preserved so many vintage details, it’s no surprise that a dedication to the green approach is important to Tana and Cutra. VaZa proudly carries Surface products, which are made with sustainably harvested ingredients and certified organic botanicals. “We really believe in everything that they stand for and our customers can relate to that, too,” Tana says. Though Cutra admits running a green salon can be a challenge, “We really love that challenge.” Even small touches, such as ceramic mugs rather than disposable cups, are implemented. When it comes to services, VaZa does everything from a child’s first haircut to a dramatic up-do for a special event to men’s styling. DevaCurl products give a hint to the emphasis on curly hair at VaZa, a specialty of Tana’s perfected during her early training in Manhattan. “I have my own spin,” she says, noting she likes to cut curly hair dry and in its natural state. “We like to call it ‘The VaZa Curly Cut.’” As she explains, “Cutting the hair dry allows you to see the curl pattern and the shape of the hair as you are cutting it.” Other popular services, she adds, include the celebrity-favorite Balayage. It is, she says, “a hair painting technique from France used to create natural looking, sun-kissed highlights that are low maintenance.” Men’s gray blending, a “quick color service that blends white hair making for a subtle less obvious re-growth,” is another specialty. Tana notes that continuing education and training for the staff of nine are also key elements of VaZa’s approach.

Music by

Stephen Flaherty Book by

Terrance McNally Lyrics by

Lynn Ahrens Based on the novel “RAGTIME” by E. L. Doctorow

$67

(plus tax)

SPECIAL PRICE

Includes 3-Course Meal, Parking and the Show! Expires 5/4/14 - Some restrictions apply

Feb. 27th May 4th

Thursday thru Sunday Evenings Thursday and Sunday Matinees

Westchester’s Own Sweeping Musical Portrait

BURSTING WITH COLOR, PAGEANTRY AND FIERY RHYTHMS Brought to you by the same producers of

IN THE HEIGHTS

the 2013 Sold Out and Extended Hit

LOOKING AHEAD

The sisters say that they look forward to being a part of Ossining’s downtown revitalization. “Ossining is a true gem in Westchester County, a hidden gem,” Cutra says. “We’re really excited to be here.” With a grand opening set for April 10, the coming wedding and prom seasons and the expansion into makeup application, VaZa’s calendar is filling up quickly. But the focus, Tana and Cutra agree, is constant. As Cutra says, “We want to make people look and feel good.” For more, visit VaZa Salon at 137 Main St. in Ossining, at VaZaSalon. com, on Facebook or by calling (914) 800-9137. n

One Broadway Plaza, Elmsford Minutes from I-287, Sprain Brook and Saw Mill Parkways

For Tickets: (914) 592-2222 www.RagtimeWestchester.com

Ragtime is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, 421 West 54th Street, NY, NY 10019. Tel: 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684 www.MTIShows.com

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These Shaolin Temple grand masters of the 31st generation, Shi Deru and Shi Deyang, demonstrate the martial aspect of tai chi.

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The Tao of tai chi Power through movement By Audrey Topping What is empowerment ? Perceptions of empowerment vary greatly across time and culture. Some people are empowered by material gains, while others are empowered by a spiritual quest. A battered woman feels empowered when she is freed from the threat of violence and can make decisions about her own life. Workers feel empowered through unions. In essence, empowerment speaks to self-determined change and control. While nations can foster this, true empowerment comes from within. Tai chi ch’uan (the “supreme ultimate force”), a melding of martial arts and meditation, has long been a source of individual and social empowerment in Asia – as I discovered when I joined people doing tai chi in the parks of China. Central to Chinese philosophy and medi-

cine is the concept of the “chi,” or life force. One of the aims of tai chi is to inspire the circulation of chi in order to enhance one’s physical health and vitality as well as to foster a calm and tranquil mind. The seamless, dance-like discipline consists of a number of sets of smooth, graceful movements, performed in a contemplative state. Many sets are derived from the natural movements of animals and birds, with picturesque names that conjure up images, like White Crane Spreads Wings, Wild Horse Leaps the Ravine and Lion Shakes Head. Other exercises are based on the philosophical context of Taoism, which is a reflective, mystical Chinese tradition founded by the philosopher Lao-tzu, an older contemporary of Confucius. In the 6th century B.C., Lao-tzu authored the seminal work of Tao-

ism, “The Tao Te Ching.” The philosophy has many elements, but fundamentally it espouses a view of a world steeped in the beauty and tranquility of nature. Symbolism in names was a potent force in Taoist thinking. As part of their contemplation of nature, the Taoists observed the heavens and were keen students of astronomy and astrology. This is reflected in such tai chi forms as Embrace The Moon, Heavenly Steed Soars Across the Sky and Step Up to Seven Stars. When done correctly, tai chi moves the chi in an even flow through the body’s vital center, dissipating potentially evil or destructive energy and sending it away. It is calming yet invigorating. The practitioner thus feels empowered by increased energy, better balance, health and posture. n

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Second sight

Joan Carra is the new psychic in residence at Wainwright House in Rye, which offers programs in mind, body and spirit.

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There’s more than meets the eye to psychic Joan Carra By Georgette Gouveia Photograph by Bob Rozycki

You couldn’t pick a more apt setting to meet Joan Carra – the new psychic in residence at Wainwright House in Rye – than the stately holistic center’s library on a wintry eve. Picture wood paneling, serious portraits, books standing at attention and two lamps – one on and one that goes off and on as if it has a mind of its own. Or is it perhaps a sign from the Great Beyond? All you need is Sherlock Holmes to burst in and announce that the case – any case – has been solved. The logical Sherlock would, of course, scoff at any paranormal doings. We predict, however, that he would be disarmed by Carra. The Greenwich resident is a kind, warm-hearted woman. But don’t let that fool you. Having a session with her is an intense experience that packs a real emotional punch. It begins easily enough. Carra hands you a deck of cards – actually half a deck, just like her Aunt Josie used – for you to shuffle. The cards are spread, and you select several that remain for the moment face down. Carra groups the rest, turns yours over and, adding them to the other groups, begins telling you about yourself, your present and your immediate future. Then she asks you to open your palms and begins reading the lines and examining your fingertips. Having spent more than 30 years as a journalist and seen more than a few episodes of “The Mentalist,” you think, What? Here is a woman who’s good at reading body language and picking up on social cues, right? A lot of this must be observational, albeit instantaneously observational, which is partly what intuition is. And Carra acknowledges that palm and card reading are interpretive crafts. “What’s Texas?” she asks. And you

think, Texas? You’ve never been to Texas. And then it hits you like a thunderbolt – Texas, Austin, the home of the Greenleaf Book Group, publisher of your new novel, “Water Music.” Joan Carra is good. Apparently, that’s what Jack Rourke, author of “The Rational Psychic,” concluded. (She’s also been written up in five other books, including “Psychic New York” and “The 100 Top Psychics in America.”) In his book, Rourke calls her Jane: “I do not remember what I expected to see when psychic Jane took the stage, but I can tell you she was as unassuming as unassuming could be. Once she started working, those of us in attendance were mesmerized by her abilities. She called me up to the platform where she began speaking a laundry list of things only my twin could know. In fact I interrupted Jane more than once to prevent her from revealing things I did not want mentioned publically. After a gentle pause, Jane began sharing the very private last few moments my sister and I had shared as she crossed over. I was dumbfounded as Jane recounted my empathic near-death experience from my dead twin’s point of view!” As Rourke’s book suggests, it’s Carra’s work as a medium that is most moving. The cards go away, the palm-reading stops and Carra begins to speak about and for the dead – regrets and unfinished business but also their pride and happiness in you. Try as you might, you can’t help it: The tears fall. But in the end, you feel cleansed and lighter, as if you yourself have crossed a bridge. Carra has been crossing bridges for a long time. She grew up on Long Island in a family with psychic abilities and interests. There was the aforementioned Aunt Josie, the mother who had prophetic dreams

and the father who collected metaphysical books. (Psychic gifts run in families, she says, although anyone can tap into his or her own psychic talents.) Carra made her way to Greenwich Village and to Goddard College in Vermont. She had learned the psychic arts by doing. But she had also grown up with a sense that this wasn’t something you necessarily shared with others. “During a difficult period, I cried out to the universe,” she recalls, “and I experienced this light beam, which I knew was the all of one.” The door had opened to the path of healing. Carra read cards for fun while working other jobs. A friend got her a job reading, which led to restaurant gigs and a party agent. “Then it snowballed and I did a phone line, which actually was good training,” she says. Carra often has visions. She saw Hurricane Sandy five years before it happened,

and the Japanese tsunami. “These visions upset me … and they’re not always perfect with their timing.” So don’t ask her to predict who’s going to win the World Series this year or the weather next week. It doesn’t work that way. She does make some predictions, however. She sees the map of the East Coast changing, and not for the better, thanks to flooding, and she sees school violence in this country continuing. “The psyche of America is wounded.” One good thing she sees for the future is a high-tech invention that will give sight to the blind. Perhaps because of the rollercoaster nature of the job, Carra says psychics try to maintain a sense of optimism. And a sense of humor, “Because, after all, it’s so absurd.” Joan Carra conducts private and group readings as well as séances. For more information, call Wainwright House at (914) 967-6080. You can also contact Carra at (203) 531-6387 or visit her at psychicjoancarra.com. n

Oysters,

Pearls of Long Island Sound

Wainwright House Along with a new psychic, Wainwright House executive director Peggy Hill says, the center has new board members who combine business acumen with an affinity for the center’s mission – “to inspire greater understanding through body, mind, spirit and community.” Wainwright House – the oldest nonprofit, nonsectarian holistic center in the United States – was founded in 1951 by Fonrose Wainwright Condict, whose father, Col. J. Mayhew Wainwright, had built the French chateauinspired stone manse on land that belonged to his prominent family. Today, Wainwright House is a complex of three buildings totaling 25,000 square feet overlooking Milton Harbor that supports programs ranging from yoga to dream journaling to nutrition to environmental awareness. Among the upcoming offerings are a March 9 concert with Luke Hendon and Bandjango (in collaboration with Small Towne Theatre) that’s part of The Jazz Brunch Series and a weekend retreat March 14-16. For more, call (914) 967-6080 or visit wainwright.org.

November 2, 2013–March 23, 2014

Bruce MuseuM Greenwich, connecticut 203 . 869 . 0376 | brucemuseum.org

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Dr. Rosemary Ganser, left, and Carol Mitchell flank Danika.

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Galloping

to recovery

Carol Mitchell powers her horse back into shape By Mary Shustack Photograph by Bob Rozycki took full stock of Danika and what might be wrong. As Mitchell tells it, with a burst of a laugh: “She said to me, ‘Listen. Your horse is crooked and weak.’” Ganser remembers the diagnosis pretty much the same way. A horse’s “top line,” she says, should be flat as and straight as a tabletop. “To be blunt, she looked like an old lady,” Ganser says of the suffering Danika. It was a tough time for Mitchell, she says, as she finally had a horse but it was in need of quite a bit of attention. “I’m an amateur rider,” she says. “It’s not like I had a trainer to do all this.” And it also took an emotional toll. “I lost weight. I couldn’t eat. I was a mess.” Working closely with Ganser, Mitchell implemented a regimen of exercise – and some muscle relaxers – that in time saw Danika improve. “She’s always been the kind of horse who knows I’m trying to help her,” Mitchell says. “She was very receptive to it.” Mitchell says the horse remained willing to work through the problems and never gave her trouble. “If a horse wants to buck you off, they can buck you off,” she says. She would work out with her, helping the horse with a prescribed routine of exercises. “It’s like little horsey sit-ups,” Mitchell says of one move, while there were also other stretches. Leg circles, she notes, ideally manipulate the horse in circles as big as a dinner plate. “We started out as a tea cup she was so stiff,” Mitchell says. Over time, the exercises plus shoulder massages – and as important, Ganser’s combination of acupuncture and spinal manipulation (chiropractic) therapies – turned things around. “The pain had decreased significantly,” Ganser says. With a small setback – a cut to her leg last year – Danika was moving beyond her problem. “She was ride-able again,” Mitchell says. Today, Mitchell looks forward to the show circuit, where she often competes

from spring into October in Northeast venues, including Sussex, N.J. “I don’t go to Florida,” she says with a wry smile referencing the major circuit down there. “I wish.” But for Mitchell, having Danika is a rewarding return to a hobby she first found in her early 20s. “My first husband had horses,” she says. “I fell in love with dressage.” After her divorce, Mitchell didn’t ride for years. “I really wanted to have a horse again.” She began easing back into that world thanks to a patient who asked her to ride her horse. “I felt like it was kismet,” she says. “I was so nervous because it had been like 20 years.”

But it all came back to her once Danika was hers. “It was perfect,” she says. And having Danika back in form has been nothing short of rewarding. “I told Carol two years and we’re coming to the two-year mark,” Ganser says. Indeed, the progress has been amazing, as the pair approaches the dressage season. “Now I can really sit on her,” Mitchell says. “It’s fabulous.” As Ganser says of Mitchell, “She’s a very dedicated rider.” And one who wants the best health for all those she cares for. For more on Mountain Stream Budo, visit mountainstreambudo.com. For more on Visiting Nurse Service of New York, visit VNSNY.com. To contact Dr. Rosemary Ganser, email her at drrdganser@aol.com. n

Inside the Artists’ Studios: Small-Scale Views

Lori Nix (American, b. 1969) Lori Nix Studio, 2013 Mixed media Courtesy of the Artist and ClampArt Gallery © Lori Nix

Good health and overall fitness are important to Carol Mitchell. The Putnam Valley woman has, after all, black belts in three martial arts disciplines. She is also an instructor at Mountain Stream Budo, the martial arts school that her family owns and operates in Putnam Valley. Having earned her doctorate in physical therapy (DPT), Mitchell also works as a physical therapist for the nonprofit Visiting Nurse Service of New York. That job finds her traveling to work with patients throughout northern Westchester, helping them regain their mobility and recover from medical issues. So when Mitchell’s horse started having health concerns, she was not about to ignore the problem. With the aid of a trusted Fairfield County veterinarian, Rosemary Ganser of Georgetown, Mitchell has helped return her horse, Danika, to full strength and looks forward to the 2014 amateur show season. On a recent afternoon at Northfork Stables in Putnam Valley, where Mitchell boards her 7-year-old Warmblood, she took a few moments to reflect on the path she and the horse have taken since she bought her a couple of years ago. “This was my dream horse,” she says, remembering when she spotted the then 4-year-old. “She had just had a foal,” Mitchell says. “She was out of work for a year.” Before she fully bounced back, Danika suffered some sort of injury. “You know… horses play out in the pasture,” Mitchell says. But Danika’s horseplay was of concern, as the horse clearly was not at full strength. “She started to have back soreness when I was riding her,” Mitchell says. As she would with any person she is treating, Mitchell knew the problem needed to be identified and addressed. “You can use the same principles,” Mitchell says. A preliminary examination with a veterinarian ruled out spinal issues and any viruses or disease, so Mitchell turned to a veteran who she had worked with years ago. Ganser, who has had her own practice for the last nine of her 23 years in the field,

December 14, 2013 – March 9, 2014

Bruce MuseuM Greenwich, connecticut 203 . 869 . 0376 brucemuseum.org

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‘Ripped’ and ready for a new venture By Ronni Diamondstein

Brian Ripka at Tough Mudder race. Photograph courtesy of RIPPED.

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Much of what he did to build this business was based on the business style of his mother, Judith, the founder of Judith Ripka Jewelry, whom he says has had the greatest influence on his life. Ripka had a front-row seat watching his mother build a business from the ground up and create a brand.

Brian Ripka with his mother, Judith Ripka. Photograph courtesy of Brian Ripka and Judith Ripka, Judith Ripka Jewelry.

Brian Ripka, president of Judith Ripka Jewelry, loves the exhilarating feeling he has after a run and says he gets his best ideas during this daily ritual. So it should come as no surprise that RIPPED, his new fitness center in Rye Brook, was the result of one such workout. One day, Ripka ran past a cycling studio and wondered why there wasn’t one for runners. That got him thinking about how he could create a dynamic workout in a luxury environment with great music and world-class instructors. So with this vision for a new kind of fitness center, Ripka set out on a quest to accomplish this goal. On this journey, Ripka met Obi Obidake, a fitness expert, and realized it was not only about running. It was about muscle-toning as well. Obidake designed an exclusive training program that combines 25 minutes of treadmill running with 25 minutes of a boot camp regimen that includes strengthening, weight lifting, stretching and core in a high-intensity interval training format. Obidake says that this training method produces unprecedented results that will change the body, burn fat, build lean muscle, increase endurance and strengthen the mind. The center offers two classes – RIPPED All Over, an intense 50-min-

ute total-body workout that’s equal parts cardio and weight training; and RIPPED Lite, with the philosophy that everyone has to start somewhere. The instructors break it down, teach the basics, correct form and give options, using lighter weights. Ripka sees this as a kind of personal training. “Classes are limited to 19 and we have two instructors in the room,” he says of the eight instructors from Westchester County and Greenwich. “It’s much more hands-on – part personal training, part small groups.” In the War Room, as Ripka calls the classroom, it’s all about doing your individual best. “It’s a noncompetitive environment. Everyone works at his or her own level.” Always the quarterback, he adds, “In the class we’re all in this together, bringing out the best in each other.” It’s important for Ripka to be actively involved. Often you can find him behind the desk or teaching the Lite class. Much of what he did to build this business was based on the business style of his mother, Judith, the founder of Judith Ripka Jewelry, whom he says has had the greatest influence on his life. Ripka had a front-row seat watching his mother build a business from the ground up and create a brand. He applied her business strategies and phi-

January 25—April 13, 2014 Organized by Cincinnati Museum Center

Bruce MuseuM Greenwich, connecticut 203 . 869 . 0376 brucemuseum.org

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Brian Ripka also serves as president of Judith Ripka Jewelry. Among their offerings are the Allegria three-stone guava chalcedony cuff bracelet and matching earrings (above); the Delmar 18-karat gold bracelet and matching earrings with pavé diamond web design and baroque pearls (top right) and Eternity rings in 18-karat gold and pavé diamonds (lower right). Prices upon request. Photographs courtesy Judith Ripka Jewelry. For more, visit judithripka.com.

Pasture to Pond:

Connecticut Impressionism March 22 — June 21, 2014

Childe Hassam (American, 1859–1935) Old Indian Trail to the Sea, 1906 Oil on canvas, 22 x 24 in. Private Collection

Bruce MuseuM Greenwich, connecticut 203 . 869 . 0376 | brucemuseum.org

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losophy to his new venture, giving the same attention to detail to RIPPED that he and his mother do to designing luxurious gems for women. RIPPED, which opened in January, is a state-of-the-art space with all the amenities you would expect in an upscale fitness center. Ripka, an Armonk resident, searched all over the country to find the best of everything and tended to every component himself, from the trainers to the sound system, with playlists created to keep clients motivated and inspired, to the towels folded just right. “In Atlanta I walked into a gym, and they handed me a water bottle,” Ripka says, “so I knew RIPPED had to have that, too.” Everyone who takes a class gets a free one, and the studio is equipped with the Natura waterfiltering system found in some restaurants. Clients are also treated to the complimentary Fuel Bar with healthy snacks. And the fitness center boasts a germ-free environment, maintained by a team of cleaning professionals in-

between every class. In his travels, he also discovered Woodway treadmills, a gold standard for training professional athletes and the military, featuring patented rubberized slats for a superior running surface that not only feels great but helps protect against bone and joint injuries. “For me, it’s always about the product. Whether it’s a beautiful piece of jewelry or a high-intensity exercise class, the product must be superior in every possible way.” Empowerment is a word that resonates with Ripka, and his goal is for everyone who comes to RIPPED to experience that thrilling feeling. “I love bringing out the best in people. I want them to go at their own pace, have a good time and come out like they pushed themselves and were the best they could be at that particular moment.” For more about RIPPED and its free introductory class, call (914) 481-5755 or visit rippedfit.com. n


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Evolving into ‘best and brightest’ Women in China today are more emboldened than their ancestors By Audrey Topping

Television personality Geng Jia.

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This is the second of two parts. The first appeared in the February issue and can be found at wagmag.com.

I

first went to China as a student in 1946 to join my father, a diplomat accredited to the Canadian embassy as Minister Counselor in Nanjing, the capital of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist China. We were often invited to celebrate National Day Parties at the President’s Palace and I was fascinated by Mme. Chiang, who always dressed in stunning Chinese gowns and welcomed her guests in impeccable English. She was one of the famous Soong sisters, in the top 1 percent of women in China who were highly cultured and educated. But 90 percent of ordinary Chinese women were illiterate and totally dependent and subservient to men. The streets of Nanjing, then the capital, were crowded with refugees from the Civil War raging in the North, along with hungry beggars, drug addicts and destitute prostitutes with their sinister pimps. Shortly before the Communist troops occupied Nanjing, I was evacuated to Canada. When I returned to China as a journalist 20 years later, during the Cultural Revolution in 1966, the first thing that struck me was that the beggars and prostitutes were off the streets and the women were walking proudly beside their husbands, not the traditional three paces behind. After the Communist victory in 1949, Mao Zedong ruthlessly eliminated drugs by imprisonment or executing the pushers and forcing the opium addicts into rehabilitation centers. He also effectively eradicated the sex trade. Prostitutes were classified as victims of capitalist exploitation and rehabilitated. Any public display of affection between the sexes was forbidden. By the time President Richard Nixon made his famous trip to China in 1972, China had closed the traditional gap between the sexes and improved the lot of the people. There was a new harmony between men and women. Married couples referred to each other as ai-ren, meaning “sweetheart” or “lover,” rather than as husband or wife. They also shared some household chores, shopping, budgeting and child care. The autocratic chauvinistic husband, at least in the cities, seemed to be a thing of the past. Yet, the Chinese still have not obliterated all sexual roles. There are still discrepancies in jobs and pay for equal work. Engineering is considered a man’s job while women work in silk factories, staff day care centers and teach elementary schools. The bar on prostitution remained effective until the introduction of the consumer free market in the 1980s. Free trade led to a resurgence in prostitution, especially among country girls with no skills. Hustlers came out of the woodwork and high-class call girls became available to wealthy clients. According to a recent United Nations report, up to 6 million women were estimated to be working in the sex industry. Today, some beauty salons have curtained off back rooms and karaoke parlors are managed by beautiful female attendants who often double as call girls. Police can be paid to look the other way. But periodically the government cracks down and during these “vice sweeps,” thousands of prostitutes and “the usual suspects” are rounded up, often before important political meetings, and incarcerated in short-term labor camps. The New York Times recently reported that “Women describe the camp labor as tolerable but tedious. …The indignities of incarceration do little to dissuade women, who can earn more than $1,000 a month as prostitutes, triple the average income for unskilled laborers in China.”

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Businesswoman Gabrielle Xuan Chen

Officially, women have equal rights in the workplace. The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong reported that women hold more than half of the senior management roles – a ranking that places China first in the world. However, in a recent survey of 3,000 women, one in five claimed their pay was cut when they had children. One in nine lost her job when pregnant. The One Child Policy was introduced in the 1960s to deal with official fears that the population would devour too many resources and suffocate economic growth. But recently in Beijing, I was amazed to see many proud couples pushing baby carriages made for twins. Then I learned that the women were furtively using fertility drugs to produce multiple births. The One Child Policy has been recently changed with rules on the book that couples can have two children if one of the parents is a single child. Fathers are entitled to seven days of maternity leave. The change was adopted as it became apparent that China was heading into an era of an aging population that would lack sufficient youngsters to support the elders. The One Child Policy had also produced a serious gender imbalance. Because of the Chinese preference for boys, thousands of female embryos were aborted. Now men are finding it difficult to find willing brides. The women, perhaps according to Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory, have evolved into the best and the brightest. Most urban women are well-educated, freespirited and able to earn their own living. Women are in demand for the first time in the history of China. And many are being as finicky and choosy as the men used to be – a situation the men themselves created. n

....and I was fascinated by Mme. Chiang, who always dressed in stunning Chinese gowns and welcomed her guests in impeccable English. She was one of the famous Soong sisters, in the top 1 percent of women in China who were highly cultured and educated. But 90 percent of ordinary Chinese women were illiterate and totally dependent and subservient to men.


A model of reinvention Health issues led Donna Bunte to a career in holistic medicine By Patricia Espinosa

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For 10 years, Donna Bunte lived the glamorous life of the high-fashion model – gracing the covers of Australian and British Vogue, Mirabella, Glamour and W and living in London, Paris, Munich, Milan and Sydney. 48


or 10 years, Donna Bunte lived the glamorous life of the high-fashion model – gracing the covers of Australian and British Vogue, Mirabella, Glamour and W and living in London, Paris, Munich, Milan and Sydney. But Bunte (pronounced boon TAY) has always been more than just a pretty face. When she got married and had children, she decided her interests and ambitions went beyond the camera (though she still models periodically). Like sister models Kathy Ireland, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum, Bunte has worked hard to flesh out a career apart from modeling. That hard work began in earnest while she earned a master’s degree in acupuncture from the Tri-State College of Acupuncture in Manhattan and became certified in Chinese herbal medicine, all while modeling part time and starting a family. In 1995, Bunte opened her practice in New York City and in 1999, founded Greenwich Holistic Health, after moving to Old Greenwich with her husband Michel Mein, son Logan and daughter Julia. For two years the busy mom commuted between offices until the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when, she says, it became too difficult and she decided to devote herself entirely to her Old Greenwich practice. Greenwich Holistic Health is rooted in the ancient beliefs and practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which encompasses Chinese herbal remedies, nutrition, acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion (the use of an herb heated over acupuncture points), cupping (a process of creating suction on the skin by using heated cups to stimulate blood flow) and Qigong (aligning breath, movement and awareness for exercise, meditation and healing). “I wanted to learn a complete system of medicine so

I went into Chinese medicine,” Bunte says about TCM, which treats the whole person and not just the disease. Accessing different modalities, she’s able to diagnose and treat her patients’ wide variety of problems, which run the gamut from sports injuries to infertility. But each patient is unique and each comes with his or her individual needs. So that’s why all of her patients start by filling out a detailed form, followed by a comprehensive consultation in which Bunte sits down with a patient, the two talking about major complaints and all the little stuff in between. “People call it alternative medicine, but it’s been around longer than Western medicine,” she says with a laugh. Indeed, Chinese medicine has been healing people for thousands of years. But, she adds, “It was (the Greek physician) Hippocrates who said, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food’ and that was back in 460 B.C.” Using food as medicine is a concept that resonates powerfully in her practice. Whether it’s teaching healthy food choices or helping people lose weight, Bunte advocates using Standard Process cleanses to detox the body. “They (Standard Process) were the first company in the country to make vitamins back in 1929. They grow everything on their farm in Wisconsin, so it’s all foodbased. The food that is used in the supplements and the cleanse are things that help whatever your ailment is. If it’s a cleanse, it’s things that detoxify the liver and the kidneys, like burdock root and milk thistle or sweet pea vine – all different things that support your system while you’re eating simpler. ” Chinese medicine is all about balance. “I’m trying to find the imbalance, find the root of the problem, not just fixing symptoms. Those are part of what’s wrong, but there’s usually a reason behind them. Maybe it’s just stress, but I do look at the whole picture,

you know, lifestyle, sleep, food, how good is the quality of your food.” By way of example, she offers, “Maybe you’re completely fatigued. Your knees hurt. Your ears ring. You don’t get enough sleep, and you have a dry mouth. Those are signs in Chinese medicine of what we call kidney deficiency. The kidney Qi governs reproduction and your overall energy. … Say you’re depleted, wired and tired, running on empty, then you’d need some kidney Qi tonics.” Acupuncture plays an integral role in her practice, being used to release blockages that cause imbalances in the body. Illness arises when excesses disrupt the balance. “(Acupuncture) works to unblock blockages in the system so that the Qi (energy) can flow through the pathways of the body. Blockages show up as pain, dysfunction, like digestive problems, or insomnia or a pain in the muscle from maybe an injury. “Think of a river that has rocks blocking it. If you remove the blockage, the river can flow,” she says. “All acupuncture does is allow it to flow. You can release the excess and tonify the deficiencies.” Still, Chinese medicine does have its skeptics, as Bunte acknowledges. “You know, some people may say you wouldn’t go to someone like me for heart issues. Well, you surely want to see a cardiologist, but we can reduce the stress that can cause heart problems, the cholesterol with the diet and herbs. So almost everything is treatable naturally.” Though if someone is really unwell, she says, it’s important for him or her to be under the guidance of a physician. Quite often she works in unison with Western doctors, as when her cancer patients are undergoing chemo treatment. “I’m prescribing herbs that are shown to reduce tumors, like certain mushrooms and boost the immune system from the chemo, radiation and nausea. Acupuncture

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Photograph by Bob Rozycki.

helps with nausea,” she says. And, as it turns out, acupuncture also helps with wrinkles. Facial rejuvenation (or what some people refer to as an acupuncture face-lift) can lessen facial lines. “I know the anatomy and I know where the muscles insert so we work to tighten things so they don’t sag. But it’s a commitment. It takes about 12 sessions,” she says about the treatment, which she performs in her office. “I’m more about health, but when I’m treating someone for beauty, I’m also looking at their overall health. And why is their skin bad? Are you kidney deficient? Why do you have circles under your eyes?” Bunte’s holistic approach to wellness began as a per50

sonal journey when her own medical issues led her to Chinese medicine. “I healed myself many moons ago with Chinese herbs. I had ovarian cysts that they wanted to remove and I got a book on Chinese herbs and did it myself,” she says matter-of-factly. When doctors discovered she had a heart condition, once again, she healed herself. “Western doctors wanted to put me on heart attack medicine for a valve problem and I researched nutrition and eliminated all sugar from my diet and got into nutrition that way and realized how we really are what we eat.” And after years of trying to get pregnant and being di-

agnosed with “unexplained infertility” by Western doctors, she turned to acupuncture. “I had basically two months of treatment and everything changed. I was a different person. I didn’t have painful cycles and was able to get pregnant right away,” she says with a huge smile. Through the wisdom of ancient Chinese medicine, Bunte learned how to ameliorate her illnesses and to help others live a balanced and healthy life. “I can give people energy; I can relax them; I can balance them,” she says of her holistic approach to health. For more, visit donnabunte.com. n


way

In enviable shape

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Presented by Houlihan Lawrence


OLD STONE HILL COUNTRY ESTATE at a Glance • Pound Ridge • 7,167 square feet • 7.71 acres • Bedrooms: 4 • Baths: 3 full, 1 half • Amenities: Carriage/pool house, eat-in kitchen, fireplace, first-floor master bedroom, garage apartment, guest cottage, high ceilings, lake/pond, stream, master bath, patio, pool, powder room, privacy, vaulted/cathedral ceiling, view, walk-in closets, water view. • Price: $4.75 million 52


STORY BY HOULIHAN LAWRENCE PHOTOGRAPHS BY TIM LEE Cloistered at the end of a long drive, this idyllic 7.7-acre estate is anchored by a striking Arts & Crafts shingle-style home that is in perfect harmony with its glorious surroundings. Masterfully designed by architect Ralph Mackin and constructed with exceptional quality and integrity by builder Daniel Divitto, the residence is rich in historic references with meticulous attention given to every detail. Offering a wonderful floor plan with a great flow and expansive outdoor spaces, it is perfect for grand-scale entertaining. The home mixes cedar, shingle and fieldstone to stunning effect while offering every modern luxury. Picturesque and peaceful, the property is equally impressive, encompassing a pond, pool, several outbuildings, handsome stone walls and many private seating areas – all overlooking the 4,300 acres of pristine and serene beauty that comprise the Pound Ridge Reservation. This spectacular property, with more than 7,100 square feet of sumptuous living space, features all the hallmarks of quintessential Arts & Crafts workmanship. It is built with extensive use of organic materials, including fine woods and stone inside and out, low-slung gabled roofs with wide overhangs and superb interior details like custom millwork, built-in cabinetry and soaring open-beamed ceilings. The signature wide front porch with hand-

forged ironwork, a massive two-sided stone fireplace centering the Great Room and a chef’s kitchen accented with beautiful river-stone countertops count among the many special highlights of this unique home. All the main rooms including the expansive main-level master suite lead to surrounding terraces and porches opening the home to its breathtaking naturalistic landscape. Several well-appointed outbuildings truly make this a one-of-a-kind retreat. A charming guest cottage with a living room, kitchen, bedroom and full bath, as well as an Adirondack-style, one-bedroom apartment over the two-car detached garage, offer comfortable accommodations for guests. A carriage house – which has been converted into a pool house and home gym with a living room, full bath, wet bar, workshop and screened porch – is steps away from the magnificent heated pool. A small pond cabin is perched by the water for entertaining, including fishing, canoeing and ice skating. Several masterfully designed barbecue areas and secluded seating spots punctuate this incredible property, which offers the finest in indoor and outdoor living in the heart of Pound Ridge. For more information, contact Janice Bergstein at Houlihan Lawrence at (914) 714-0403, (914) 764-5762, Ext. 303 or jbergstein@houlihanlawrence. com. n 53


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empowering kids to get fit By Ronni Diamondstein

Childhood obesity is exploding in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years and has immediate and longterm effects on health and well-being. The causes are clear – poor diet and a lack of exercise. Kids are glued to their assorted electronic devices or sitting in front of a television for hours each day. Despite the availability of a variety of food year-round, less-thanhealthy fast food is often on the family menu. The crisis has spurred leaders ranging from former President Bill Clinton to first lady Michelle Obama to Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant to act. Which is great news to Jodi Levine, owner of Jodi’s Gym in Mount Kisco and Manhattan, who’s been getting kids moving for more than three decades. “Finally, the world is catching up with what I believed in,” she says. “I’m happy to see it’s become more mainstream. Kids need good role models.” Practicing what she preaches has never been a problem for the woman who offers gym classes to kids ranging in age from 9 months to 12 years. “I was always an active child, climbing trees and playing outside,” says Levine, who started gymnastics at age 12. She went to Indiana State University on an athletic scholarship and competed in gymnastics on a national level. After earning a master’s degree in industrial psychology in 1980, Levine didn’t want to do anything sedentary, so before finding what she calls a “real job in real life,” she started teaching gymnastics in New York City. “I got so much from gymnastics. It’s a well-balanced sport. It helps you to be strong, flexible and have good balance.” She also says it increases body awareness, motor skills, strength and coordination. “I loved kids and I loved gymnastics and I had a vision that little ones could benefit from gymnastic classes that were just for fun,” says Levine, who started Jodi’s Gym in Manhattan in 1982. “Gymnastics improves their focus and concentration and builds their self-confidence. Exercise in general has so many advantages for kids. They feel less stress and feel good about themselves.” She says other benefits are improved self-esteem and body image. “And it improves their sleep.” Levine ran parent/child classes that were then called “Mommy and Me” for toddlers and children up to 3 years old. “The moms thought it was amazing. It was a really fun, positive introduction to movement. I wasn’t trying to make their children gymnasts and they were walking away thinking it wasn’t hard. It was just pure fun.” Activities like the “Teeny Tumblers” class where 9month olds wiggle and giggle and “Mighty Muscles Movers” – where kids up to 3 years old run, jump, tumble, swing and stretch – give kids a building block for exercise and movement. And Levine adds that the activities in her classes also provide children with early exposure to the “mind-body connection,” the interaction of the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the human experience. Levine expanded her horizons in 1999 after she moved her family up to Westchester County. “I couldn’t find a Jodi’s Gym model for my own children, so I decided to open a branch in Mount Kisco.”

Photograph of Jodi Levine by Bill Bramswig.

Today there are even “Jodi’s Gym to Go” programs where she brings classes to other sites like preschools. “Get your kids moving at an early age, and it will become a habit for good health,” Levine says. Little steps for more activity can be taken each day. “My kids always laughed, because I parked the car in the farthest spot in a parking lot.” And she has good advice for parents on finding activities that their children will like. “The worst thing you can do is force them to do something they hate. That will turn them off and they won’t want to do anything.” Levine says it’s important to know your children and respect them for who they are and find the right match of an activity for each of them. “Kids learn through play and just need to have some unstructured playtime. Let them climb a tree and swing.” And she says organized sports aren’t for every child. “If they burn out too soon, they can risk physical injuries and they shouldn’t have to be compared to others.” She encourages parents to be a role model by setting an example and recommends planning active family vacations. “Some of our best vacations with my two children were when we were skiing or on a bike trip.” Levine touts the total wellness benefits of being active and says that exercise and eating well go hand-in-hand. For Levine, to move is to have fun. “It’s just not worth it if

“I loved kids and I loved gymnastics and I had a vision that little ones could benefit from gymnastic classes that were just for fun. Gymnastics improves their focus and concentration and builds their selfconfidence. Exercise in general has so many advantages for kids. They feel less stress and feel good about themselves.”

it’s not fun. Find something you truly enjoy.” She is pleased to see a second generation at Jodi’s Gym when former students bring their children to her classes. “They learned it, they loved it, and that means everything to me.” For more, visit jodisgym.com. n 55


‘Little miracles’ through Pilates Story and photograph by Ronni Diamondstein

Body Wise Connection wraps an arm around people going through a difficult time, giving them some extra support and TLC. It began with Joy Puleo’s friend Sandy, a breast cancer patient, telling her, “I feel like my body has abandoned me.” Puleo, a Pilates instructor who owns Body Wise Pilates Studio in Chappaqua, decided to help others going through this experience and in so doing honor her friend, who eventually passed away. “Your world stops and circles around the big ‘C’ when you get the diagnosis,” she says. “There is fear and frustration.” Puleo, who has a master’s degree in applied physiology from Columbia University, wanted to give breast cancer patients the opportunity to focus on the strength that their bodies still have during treatment and the healing process. Knowing the benefits of Pilates, she started the nonprofit Body Wise Connection in 2009 to promote healing through movement. “Movement is the hallmark of health. When movement ceases, health suffers,” she says. Joseph Pilates (1883-1967), who created a method of fitness that emphasizes the core muscles as a way to maintain proper posture, alignment and breathing , believed that through the “coordination of body, mind, and spirit … you purposefully acquire complete control of your own body.” Puleo, who is the educational director of Body Wise Connection, saw this as a perfect match for women recovering from their cancer surgery and treatment. Body Wise Connection is now open to all cancer patients. Once they are cleared by their physicians, they can receive 10 one-hour Pilates training sessions at no cost to them. Body Wise Connection is affiliated with and works out of the Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, where it also offers a yoga class, and has also worked with the Dubin Breast Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Puleo says these Body Wise Connection clients see “little miracles in their own bodies.” She feels great satisfaction having them leave with a renewed spirit. Among the Body Wise Connection success stories, Puleo is proud of Rebecca Phillippo, whose life changed after working with her. “If there was ever going to be a silver lining in the cloud of my diagnosis, then meeting Joy Puleo was that for me,” says Phillippo, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36 in April 56

Rebecca Phillippo works with Body Wise Connection client Colleen Griffiths on the Reformer.

2010. “Not only did the cancer diagnosis have a mental impact on me, but it had a physical impact, too.” Cleared by her doctor after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, she started the Body Wise Connection sessions in February of 2011. “Pilates gave me confidence in my body. I could trust my body again and learn my new body, which wasn’t the same.” Every client has different goals. Phillippo, an avid biker, was gearing up for a race and wanted to feel good enough to compete again. “I was active throughout my treatment, and Pilates was the turning point to get fit again. Pilates really helped bring my strength back and continues to build my strength.” Phillippo loved what Body Wise Connection did for her and wanted to give back. “I started volunteering and helped plan their 2012 and 2013 Bike Wise fundraisers.” The following year she was asked to join Body Wise’s board of directors. The board is in the midst of planning another community health-related fundraiser to be held in June. Seeing the benefits that Pilates had for her physical, mental and emotional health, Phillipo, who owns a travel business, thought about becoming an instructor. She took a Pilates workshop with Puleo, who is a master trainer, and then went on to complete her training. “Not only am I working for the nonprofit, but I am now running my own private Pilates practice.” She works out of Puleo’s Body Wise Studio and sees Body Wise Connection clients there, too. Phillippo clearly knows from experi-

“Movement is the hallmark of health. When movement ceases, health suffers,” joy Puleo says. Joseph Pilates, who created a method of fitness that emphasizes the core muscles as a way to maintain proper posture, alignment and breathing , believed that through the “coordination of body, mind, and spirit … you purposefully acquire complete control of your own body.” ence what the Body Wise Connection clients are going through. “The work we do is to bring some relief in a really scary time in their life.” And Phillippo is sensitive to the specific goals each client has. “Some have never exercised before, and some are very athletic like me. Everyone’s body heals differently.” Phillippo and the other Body Wise Connection trainers, Kristen Briody and Doris Pasteleur-Hall, personalize the workout for each client and stage of recovery. Lorraine Phillips teaches the yoga class at the Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center. “Treatment has a long-lasting effect on the body and knowing how to exercise properly with the limitations you may have is very important,” Phillippo says. She listens to the cancer survivors’ needs and keeps in mind the fear factor, too, as some clients are afraid to move. “We try to progress if the client is ready. It’s up and down with treatment, and I know from my own experience that it is one step forward and two steps back.” She is determined to help her clients believe in their bodies again. “The sessions are very private and a time for them to feel special when they leave.” Phillippo

gets much satisfaction knowing that she is helping each client feel more confident and go about her everyday life, from performing household chores to physical activity. “I know it does good work, because I went through it.” Sometimes being around other people who are going through this difficult time is not easy for someone who has just gone through it, which Phillippo acknowledges might’ve been a problem for her. “I was surprised that I could handle it, maybe because the focus wasn’t on me. I am able to separate my own journey from theirs, which was helpful for me to get past my own diagnosis.” Puleo has plans for the future of Body Wise Connection beyond the scope of Westchester. “This is a very reproducible program. We have the core and infrastructure and developed a template. By connecting with other studios, we can reach thousands of people simultaneously across the country.” Puleo says she sees it as an opportunity to create communities to work with hospitals and enrich everyone: “Moving the human body is a beautiful thing.” For more, visit bodywiseconnection.org. n


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Pottery Barn’s Cambria dinnerware in Ocean, $32-$115, available at potterybarn.com.

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Got the blues? Popular, powerful color is having a moment, still By Georgette Gouveia Photographs courtesy of Pottery Barn These days, we’re feeling blue – but in the best possible way. Retail powerhouses J. Jill, Nordstrom and Pottery Barn are all in an indigo mood this spring. Among Nordstrom’s many offerings is a striking Diane von Furstenberg lamb leather navy moto jacket with white piping and white discs. It’s paired with her navy intarsia skirt that’s embellished with navy and white stripes framed by white flowers. Pottery Barn – which often works with artisans from India, a home of the indigo dye – is featuring blues in its paisley-accented Rayna bedding, Enzo medallion dhurrie rugs, ceramic ikat vases, Clift glass table lamps and evocative paintings and photographic prints. These arrive at a time when textile specialist Catherine Legrand – proprietor of an ethnic clothing boutique in Paris’ Marais district, has published “Indigo: The Color That Changed the World.” “It’s an amazing color,” says Lynda Pi-

scitelli, owner of Indigo Chic, which has juring myriad emotions. Ah, moody blues. four boutiques (Cold Spring, Hartsdale, “For us, it’s a peaceful and comforting New City and Rye Brook). When Piscitel- color, a fresh start to the new year,” says li began meditating while living in Paris, Kendra Stewart, public relations manager she would see the color in her mind. It led for Pottery Barn, whose art offerings inher to found Indigo Chic. clude northern California photographer “I wanted to open a store around denLupen Grainne’s calming im,” she says. “Americans love their “Shore” and photogradenim, which is indigo color. … I pher Rebecca Plotnick’s think of blue as fresh. … To me sophisticated “Paris it’s an alternative to black.” Boulevard,” featurBlue has the distincing a teal-blue door. tion of being both But Stewart acclassic – think of nauknowledges that tical but nice navy, blue can be bold or Yankee and Wall as well. It is, after Street pinall, the color of sea stripes – yet and sky, both varied, with of which can hues ranging turn turfrom baby bulent. No blue to inky Blue ikat vase, hand-thrown ceramic, 14 inches tall, doubt that’s midnight, con- 10.5 inches in diameter, $119, potterybarn.com. why blue is

such a cultural chameleon – at times sad and wistful (the songs “Am I Blue?”, “Blue Moon,” “Blue Velvet”); sometimes cheery (the song “Blue Skies”); sometimes experimental (the theatrical Blue Man Group); and sometimes traditional (the term “blue blood,” after the color of the veins peeping through the swells’ oh-so-thin skin). And sometimes erotic. Think blue movies and the films “Blue Velvet,” “Blue Valentine” and “Blue Is the Warmest Color.” Blue is often the canvas of nudity. When ESPN photographed sculpted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick au naturel for its 2013 Body Issue, it did so against the backdrop of the sea. But perhaps the most arresting shot was an interior one of Kaepernick stretched out on a black leather couch – propped up on his elbows, looking out at us – against a serpentine blue background that offset his painterly tattoos, including inscriptions of Bible verses and a mural of angels battling demons.

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Enzo medallion dhurrie rug in indigo, $59-$799, potterybarn.com.

Clift glass table lamp, light blue, $170, potterybarn.com.

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The ancient Egyptians would’ve understood. For them, blue was the shade of immortality – the color of the sky and thus divinity, a talisman to protect them in the afterlife. For the Greeks and the Romans – meh. Sure they used blue, especially the Romans, importing indigo dye as well as semi-precious lapis lazuli from Afghanistan. But blue was for plebs, not patricians. That all changed in 1137 when Abbé Suger, one of the great clerics and statesmen, decided to refurbish Paris’ Cathedral Basilica of St. Denis, the burial place of the French monarchs, installing stained glass windows in which cobalt blue made nice with red for a stunning violet effect. The stage was set for blue, albeit in its lighter ultramarine form, to be used in depicting the Virgin Mary, whose veneration took off in the 12th century. When King Louis IX of France, later St. Louis (1214-70), began wearing blue, it became the color of nobility. Woe to those in Europe who dyed it without a license or wore it without the pocketbook or pedigree to back it up. It’s been like that for blue – topsyturvy. First it was the color of the elite, then the working stiffs (thank you, Levi Strauss). Before World War II, it was the color of girls – pink, the cousin of commanding red, being considered better suited to boys. Indeed, turquoise blue was a favorite of Victorian brides, who would give their attendants dove-shaped turquoise brooches as wedding day mementos. Which, according to Tiffany & Co., may be why founder Charles Lewis Tiffany selected the shade for the cover of the Blue Book about the emporium’s annual collection of handcrafted jewels, first published in 1845. Today that robin’s-egg blue, or forget-me-not blue, is known as Tiffany blue and connotes a world of dazzling happiness. Rich or poor, male or female, one thing remains true blue: Blue is the world’s goto color. Both Indigo Chic’s Piscitelli and Pottery Barn’s Stewart suggest having fun with the versatile darling. For your home, Stewart says, “play with texture and pattern. Pair it with some warm woods, creams and ivories.” For your wardrobe, throw out the old rules, Piscitelli says. “Back in the day, people would never pair blue and black. But right now people are much more open.” Pair away – black and blue, silver and blue, and blue and tan (a hot combo for Nordstrom this season). “I love blue and saddle,” Piscitelli says. “It’s very tailored, very Ralph Lauren.” So go ahead, be blue. We guarantee it will make you feel a whole lot better. n


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wear

Laced-up luxe By Olivia Stumpf

Bloom-Giuseppe Zanotti London Birel lace-up, high-top sneaker, $1,695, available at Bloomingdales.com. Image courtesy Bloomingdale’s.

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Think python, lace, pearls and tweed: All allow for an individual fashion statement. Now think python, lace, pearls and tweed – on sneaks. They may sound like unlikely embellishments, but designers are embracing them as they take fancy athletic footwear from the runway to the red carpet to Rodeo Drive. Gucci (patchwork leather), Chloé (suede) and Miu Miu (patent leather) are spearheading the trend to bring high fashion to high tops. Meanwhile, stylish running shoes gave new meaning to “runway” this spring. For Paris Fashion Week, Dior’s Raf Simons replaced stilettos with his bubbly, beaded Amphibious shoes as surprised onlookers marveled. In Chanel’s spring-summer collection, models strutted the catwalk comfortably in a variety of pearly, blush, bouclé, quilted flat footwear. Accessorizing tulle skirts, cocoon dresses and luxe gowns with these sneakers gave sophisticated models a more youthful, athletic appearance. Although heels have been the footwear norm for the fashionforward, that hasn’t always been the case. During the early 1800s, women wore flat

shoes with everyday and formal attire. History certainly seems to be repeating itself as celebs like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kate Bosworth and Ginnifer Goodwin lace up. Perhaps they’ve discovered that paired with polished spring menswear for women, the versatile, vibrant sneaks exude effortless appeal. Fairfield County-based designer Stuart Weitzman would seem to second that. He brings a more sedate but equally luxurious style to casual footwear with his Henley Flat, the spectator-ish Zipit sneaker and the studded, vroom-vroom Cyclist sneak. Not sure how you should incorporate the slip-on or lace-up into a look? Becky Hillyard of the style blog Cella Jane says, “When deciding on an outfit, I always say ‘less is more.’ So if your shoes have a lot going on, then simplify the rest of your outfit by pairing them with a simple black trouser pant and black crew sweater.” Something can be said about sneakers making a statement. Not only are they easy on the feet (and more likely to preserve a pedicure), they offer a sense of empowerment. Isabel

Alexander McQueen’s men’s colorblock perforated suede sneakers, $720. Available at neimanmarcus.com. Image courtesy Neiman Marcus.

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Bloom-Gucci Coda high-top, satin colorblock sneaker, $1,100, available at Bloomingdales.com. Image courtesy Bloomingdale’s.

Ash Bisou lace-up, high-top wedge sneaker, $225, available at Bloomingdales.com. Image courtesy Bloomingdale’s.

Stuart Weitzman Charmain lace-up, high-top sneaker, $398, available at Bloomingdales.com. Image courtesy Bloomingdale’s.

Marant, creator of the popular bootie-like wedge sneaker, has cited self-confidence as the inspiration for her design. So does Keds, which sprinkles an ad campaign with inspiring phrases like “Don’t change,” “Trust yourself” and “Take chances.” Adds Hillyard, “I feel most empowered when I look like myself, comfortable in my style.” And comfortable in sneakers, too. The moral of the story: Five-inch platforms aren’t the only way to make you feel like you’re on a platform. For more from Becky Hillyard, visit cellajane.com. n Giuseppe Zanotti printed zip and buckle high-top sneaker in black and white, $870, available at neimanmarcus.com. Image courtesy Neiman Marcus.

Chloé quilted high-top wedge sneaker in neutral, $895, available at neimanmarcus.com. Image courtesy Neiman Marcus.

Valentino Rockstud camo-print sneaker in green/yellow, $795, available at neimanmarcus.com. Image courtesy Neiman Marcus.

Stuart Weitzman Zipit sneaker, $435, available at stuartweitzman.com. Image courtesy Stuart Weitzman.

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Salvatore Ferragamo Riviera men’s python lowtop sneaker, $1,200. Available at neimanmarcus. com. Image courtesy Neiman Marcus.


wear

Suit yourself …and lose the cover-up By Andrea Kennedy

Our attitudes toward swimsuits can be confounding. With the warning of warm weather, we stress about baring all, then pay top dollar for barelythere styles only to sheath our suits and ourselves in a cover-up until – Blink! – we’re disrobed and neck-deep with the speed and agility of an international spy. If this sounds like you, it’s time for a new swimsuit. And not one that’s only suitable for reclining poolside. Though we adore laid-back lounging in the perfect flat-tummy pose – especially with our WAG and Mai Tai in arm’s reach – impending pool parties require actual mobility. Suits should take you seamlessly from the pool to the cabana – or bar, or buffet – without having to fuss with a cover-up. Designers have picked up on consumers’ demands for better coverage without

compromising design. Skimpy doesn’t equal sexy – though, we’ve always known that – and this season is rife with wellconstructed options with such fetching dress-like details they call for promenades worthy of a red carpet. Whether in the Hamptons, out West, on an island or in the suburban sun, these cute suits bring the coverage so you can lose that cover-up. Chic and sheer is the name of the game with LUXE Luminosity by California designer Lisa Vogel. Her convertible bandini top upgrades the traditional bandeau bikini to a sexy body-skimming swimdress of Italian mesh. Jean-Paul Gaultier brightens up seethrough overlay with his tattoo-print tankini. The exotic design entices while drawing the eye down the midline for a slimming effect.

For a hint of tribal inspiration, try Carmen Marc Valvo’s Malawi Kingdom halter with gold hardware front and center. A free-flowing bodice with just enough length keeps this suit low-stress. For the high-diving diva, a dramatic one-shoulder ruffle will draw every eye in the splash zone. Neoprene supports in all the right places so it’s as functional as it is glamorous. Strut in this suit by itself or pair with a floor-length sarong for Oscarworthy elegance. You may want to feather your hair when you sport this ruffled number by Kushcush. Two tones but one piece, the Kiki suit flatters with its cinched waist and deep V. At first glance, this Charlie’s Angels charmer could be a girly aqua tank and navy hot pants. (We promise no one at the bar will care that you’re not wearing

Designers have picked up on consumers’ demands for better coverage without compromising design. Skimpy doesn’t equal sexy and this season is rife with wellconstructed options with such fetching dress-like details they call for promenades worthy of a red carpet.

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Norma Kamali. Photography courtesy Neiman Marcus. LUXE by Lisa Vogel. Photograph courtesy LUXE. 66


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actual pants.) On to designer Norma Kamali, who actually suited one of the original Angels – Farrah Fawcett, to be exact – and in her red poster-worthy piece that’s now in the Smithsonian, no less. Kamali offers throwback styles that still resonate today, though now more pinup than private eye. Her sweetheart halter with high-waisted swim skirt will make you a Katy Perryesque queen of the cabana. Kamali’s generous use of fabric keeps imperfections

well-concealed while body-hugging ruching offers a win-win by flattering curves and ensuring you don’t withstand the icecold slap of loose wet clothing. (It’s the worst.) For a more modern look, Kamali’s strapless swimsuit-slash-microdress looks straight off a dance floor in the Meatpacking District. Complete the ensemble with a wide-brimmed sun hat, bangles, a hot pair of shades and, of course, the hottest poolside accessory of all – SPF. n

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Nelson Soracco, membership chairman

Linked in Knollwood Country Club undergoes a renaissance

By Mary Shustack Photographs by Bob Rozycki and courtesy Knollwood Country Club

Bob Hughes, club president

Dan Amicucci, house chairman

Mauro Piccininni, general manager

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Tony Procops, golf chairman

Knollwood Country Club in Elmsford has a storied history that draws from its showpiece, a 6,500-yard golf course.


Knollwood Country Club, the historic golf and recreation destination nestled into a quiet corner of Elmsford, is all about shaping up these days. With a history entwined with some of golf’s most notable names – both local and national – the venerable club that opened in 1894 is in the midst of a renaissance. And members coming back this year – or those attracted by the current membership drive – will find plenty that’s new. A five-year renovation is under way, with features designed to attract new and younger members, especially young families. “I think a lot of people look at country clubs in lieu of a second home,” says Nelson Soracco, membership chairman. Indeed, Knollwood – whose early membership boasted Bouviers, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts – is a family-friendly club where generations gather for everything from a day on the links to an after-

An expansive clubhouse anchors the family-friendly activities and amenities at Knollwood.

noon in the pool to an evening of outdoor dining capped by a night filled with fireworks. The projects under way or completed within the past couple of years speak to what today’s members are looking for. The fitness center was revamped into a state-of-the-art facility, while the main dining room was redesigned. A new executive chef will expand the menu to include lighter fare and half portions, and a men’s lounge adjacent to the locker rooms is being completed. Course work, including hole redesign, also continues. All is following a master plan that the 136-acre club has fashioned in tandem

with its 11-member board of governors. Club president Bob Hughes notes that Knollwood is “in the midst of a milliondollar renovation.” All work is being done with an eye to balancing today’s needs with retaining the club’s vintage sensibility. “That’s the charm of it, but also it’s the challenge,” Hughes says. But, he adds, membership support of the projects is a clear sign that “everybody recognizes what we’re doing.” Throughout, the importance of tradition and history at Knollwood remains palpable, from the historic stone arch at the first tee, to the treasure trove of framed

memorabilia that lines the hallway to the Grill Room to plaques such as one that commemorates the club’s ties to the Masters tournament (through Knollwood member Cliff Roberts’ friendship with Bobby Jones). The history, after all, is one to be proud of. Knollwood was one of the first clubs to join the United States Golf Association and was a charter member of the Metropolitan Golf Association. Over the years, the club has served as prime training ground for legions of scholastic golfers who have gone on to college and professional play. And any talk of Knollwood would not be complete without mention of the

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The Grill Room is a popular dining spot filled with historic images and club artifacts.

Turnesa family, recognized most visibly through the Turnesa Room. “Every year we pay homage to the Turnesa family,” says Hughes of the golf dynasty – seven brothers strong – that included Willie, the two-time U.S. Amateur champion and British Amateur Champion (1947), and Mike, a touring professional who would become the Knollwood head pro for more than 40 years. As a handful of committee chairmen and general manager Mauro Piccininni gather to talk about the club and offer WAG an informal tour on a recent evening, Knollwood’s powerful drive forward is evident. The main dining room, with sweeping views of the course, was modernized in 2012, with a lighter feel that better capitalizes on its opening onto a patio, also used for dining. A rotating collection of art, provided by a local gallery, gives the room an individual appeal. Adjacent to the spacious clubhouse is a heated pool, children’s playground, fully equipped fitness center and men’s and ladies’ locker rooms. Walking through the facilities, it feels like you are in a wellloved and well-cared-for historic home. “It’s got a very casual flow to it,” Hughes says. “That’s what we want. We want you to be comfortable.” There is talk of family barbecues and 70

babysitting services, a pro shop and happy hour at the stylish bar, of Play for Pink and other charitable endeavors and a golf program for young players. The showpiece, of course, is the 6,500yard MGA course, which has hosted a U.S. Open qualifier and the LPGA MasterCard Championship and this year will also host events including the Westchester Amateur Qualifier. With holes being renovated, this year’s work focuses on the 18th and includes everything from expanding the green to tree removal to widening the fairway. The 19th hole – a literal hole and not a bar – is a club signature said to be used to break ties. There are accredited teaching professionals and a full driving range, putting and short-game centers and a new automated tee-time system. In addition, new Har-Tru tennis courts are also planned. An active social calendar ties it all together, from themed dining such as the Peter Luger steak night to an Easter egg hunt that draws hundreds. “Free time is so important so you have to have amenities here for the whole family,” Hughes says. As with all clubs, the setting serves multiple purposes. Soracco says a lot of members do business at the club, hosting

A club image from the 19th century gives witness to Knollwood’s storied past.

clients and holding company events. “It’s a private setting,” he says. “It’s a prestigious, private club.” But no matter what draws someone to Knollwood, the camaraderie makes it a winning place, says Tony Procops, the golf chairman. “I think the other thing that’s important, what makes Knollwood different than the other country clubs, is the membership. This membership is very unique. It’s very eclectic … and every-

one gets along.” As the club builds toward the 120th anniversary of its opening this September, it seems positioned to carry on what has become the Knollwood tradition. And today’s efforts, club president Hughes says, are designed to do just that. “That’s the way I look at it – putting modern touches on a timeless gem.” For more, visit kccclub.org. n


what’s new

A chick-lit pioneer enters a new stage in writing By Heather Salerno

There’s no place Jane Green would rather be than at her Westport home, the beloved retreat near the beach where she lives with her husband and their blended family of six children. That’s usually where she can be found, unless she’s tapping away at one of her best-selling novels at The Writers’ Room, a creative community center that’s snugly housed in a red clapboard building right in the heart of town. Otherwise, the author and passionate foodie is most likely to be in her kitchen, whipping up cheese straws, chicken kebabs, stuffed figs or other delicacies. Or she might be happily puttering in the garden, tending to her latest obsession – raising flocks of chickens. “I’m actually quite a hermit,” Green says with a laugh. “The older I get, the more deeply introverted I become.” That warm, homey vibe saturates Green’s novels, drawing millions of readers who have described her work as the literary equivalent of being curled up in front of a fire, wrapped in a cozy blanket. “I’m sort of a person who gravitates toward squishy sofas and soft fabrics and comfort and coziness,” she adds. “So I think it’s no coincidence that comes across in my writing.” Yet she also tackles the problems that face – and can empower – real women, delving into topics that usually chart the course of her own life, even if the stories themselves aren’t autobiographical. Originally from London, Green made an immediate splash in the U.K. while in her 20s with “Straight Talking” and “Jemima J,” about single girls in the city looking for Mr. Right. By her 30s, she’d moved to America and progressed to marriage and motherhood (“The Other Woman,” “Swapping Lives”). And now that she’s in her 40s, Green has graduated to more mature but still relatable themes – divorce, remarriage and stepchildren (“Promises to Keep,” “Another Piece of My Heart”). Those later books somewhat mirror her own recent experiences: After her first marriage ended,

Photograph of Jane Green by Ian Warburg.

Green found romance again with private investor/consultant Ian Warburg. The two had met several times at parties thrown by mutual friends, but they reconnected when she answered a Craigslist ad to rent a tiny cottage from him for her and her children. “Within a couple of months, I had fallen completely in love with living by the beach, and shortly thereafter, fallen completely in love with my landlord, who is now my husband,” she says. And with her 15th book, “Tempting Fate,” out this month, Green addresses adultery and the female midlife crisis. It’s an emotional look inside the life of Gabby, who is still in love with her husband of 20 years but feeling middle-aged and restless. Her impulsive decision to have an affair with a younger man fills her with regret and worry, since that betrayal could destroy her world. Green has written about infidelity

before, but it was always the man doing the cheating. This time, she decided to flip the script, curious to explore how a woman in a happy marriage could make such a disastrous mistake. The inspiration came after several acquaintances announced that they were leaving their husbands for men whom they believed were their soul mates. Within a year, however, Green says they’d all split up and the women’s lives were in shambles. At the same time, she confesses to receiving a few flirty emails herself from a young man she’d met at a book festival. “It was hugely flattering and great fun to receive these emails, but I started to realize how this could happen,” she says. “It isn’t about (women) being unhappy. It’s not about them looking

to have an affair. But when you’re a certain age, if somebody comes along and starts to pay you attention, that can become very seductive.” Green agrees that her fiction has changed greatly since she started out. In 1996, she quit her job as a feature writer for the Daily Express newspaper in England, giving herself three months to complete a book. “It was insane,” she says. “I cannot believe I did that now.” The gamble worked though. There was a bidding war for her first two novels, which launched her as a queen of the then-emerging chick-lit genre, along with fellow Brit Helen Fielding, who created the Bridget Jones character. But as Green moved beyond the singleton stage, so did her books. Her writing process changed tremendously, too. In the beginning, she says she would submit a first draft with few revisions. Then in 2009, with the publication of “Dune Road,” Green experienced a sales slump for the first time – and that made her rethink her approach. She shifted to a new editor and publisher, Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin’s Press, who pushes Green to rewrite each work again and again. “She has made me fall in love with writing again,” she says. “I actually really love seeing how the book changes and seeing how much better it can be.” So with Green now contracted to write two books a year, she’s always doing research for her latest volume. Luckily, that usually doesn’t involve venturing too far from Westport. “My research literally just involves talking to my friends and talking to friends of theirs,” she says. “I’m just fascinated by people and what they do, and why they do it and how it turns out. I do my research through living.” n 71


wonderful dining

Re-

inn-vented Jean-Georges turns historic into timeless By Andrea Kennedy

Jean-Georges Vongerichten at The Inn at Pound Ridge. Photograph by Andrea Kennedy. 72


I

t’s day two of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s latest dining destination, The Inn at Pound Ridge. He takes a seat with me in his chic country lounge and gazes at the setting sun. “Look at the colors,” he says. “Incredible.” Around him, a team of whirling dervishes hustles to reply to press, accommodate an influx of coveted reservations and celeb guests and prepare for their clockwork service. Considering his empire of dining destinations, he’s seasoned at very grand openings. But this January day the self-proclaimed “country boy” seems particularly at ease. Though Jean-Georges never anticipated opening a restaurant so close to his Waccabuc retreat, the fact that his work followed him means it also adopted the locale’s laid-back quality. “When you’re in the country, it’s different,” he says. “It’s our second night. Do I look stressed?” He doesn’t. His smiling eyes gleam with passion and pride. They dart around the room as he storytells of the landmark he revived. “A place like this, you have to be excited about it,” he says. “It’s a piece of history.”

Floor to ceiling facelift

Opened mid-January with fanfare from The Times to Page Six, The Inn by Jean-Georges and partner Phil Suarez emanates rustic warmth with all the trappings of a coveted and cosmopolitan cabin in the woods. Pulling up to the fully restored residence dating back to 1883, you may just feel like you’re arriving at your country dream home complete with pristine white picket fence. An ascending staircase greets you inside the front door along with a feeling of abundant warmth in light and temperature – like they’ve been expecting you, like you may just hang your bag on the newel post. More than a restaurant, it’s a retreat. “For me a restaurant has to be a place you’re going to spend three hours, four hours,” says Jean-Georges. “You stay and visit. Relax.” Creating The Inn in its present state was a renovation as well as a reinvention that proved a magnanimous twoyear undertaking not only to revive a once-beloved local watering hole (that in a past life was called Emily Shaw’s Inn) but also to celebrate its historic features. Under the direction of designer Thomas Juul-Hansen and JeanGeorges himself, the team preserved and restored the original stonework and added custom fretwork panels as room dividers that lend modern interest. Beyond repairs and upgrades, they also preserved the original floors. To add ground insulation they had to lift – and replace – each panel. “It was like putting back the Louvre in Paris, stone by stone,” says Jean-Georges. “People had no idea what a project it was.”

Setting the country table

Though a quaint white façade with green trim lures the eye from the roadside, The Inn is a massive chalet with two levels of dining and a long bar on each. The main dining room upstairs features cathedral ceilings that, like the others, are reclaimed wood. Tables, also wood,

Top, Baeckeoffe, a Jean-Georges favorite. Bottom, A salted caramel sundae. Photographs by Francesco Tonelli.

mingle with mid-century-style seating in khaki leather and earthy upholstery. Simple, extra-soft napkins rest on unfussy paper placemats, and small bud vases spring fresh sprigs. White porcelain tableware by Taiwan-based designer 3,co – a nuanced nod to his love of the East and conveniently available at ABC Carpet & Home – looks one-of-a-kind, each with distinct ridges and ripples like fresh from the potter’s wheel. Flatware is “real silver,” says Jean-Georges and “nobody eats with the same knife and fork.” Bread plates are also mismatched, hand-selected vintage porcelain with floral patterns – my favorite featured poppies – and painted with gold rims. “They’re all antiques,” the chef adds, and the sense that they’re from a country sophisticate’s collection absolutely charms. Illuminating the dining landscape is, one might say, the Jean-Georges of lighting design, Hervé Descottes. “I’m a lighting fanatic. ...I won’t do a restaurant if he doesn’t do the lighting,” says Jean-Georges. “Everybody has to look good. Everyone has to have a glow.” I counted three fireplaces and a handful of comfy-cozy gathering nooks adorned with fresh flowers and candlelight. Candles, in fact, are the sole illumination in one secluded cavern that contains a regally long dining table with tall candelabras. A glass panel offers guests a view of the wine cellar that includes beverage director Bernard Sun’s selections like a Benziger Tribute Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa, Domaine Weinbach Reserve Personnelle Gewurztraminer from the chef’s native Alsace and NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne.

Menu all-stars

I ordered a ginger-spiced Big Apple martini on my visit, just one of The Inn’s offerings that’s also served at his restaurants in Manhattan.

“I tried to bring a few dishes from restaurants in the city,” Jean-Georges says. “I call this ‘the best of.’” My husband and I relished our foie gras terrine masterpiece with dried sour cherries, candied pistachios and a circling of delicate white port gelée. The rich foie, served at the three-Michelin star winner Jean-Georges, complemented our light yet flavorful shredded kale salad with Serrano chilies and mint, an app from ABC Kitchen. We savored, too, the peekytoe crab crostini with dill and garlic aioli that’s reminiscent of a selection at his Mercato in Shanghai. “You can come to the bar here and have a nice burger, and we have a truffle pizza that is really nice,” says the chef. “I want to have a little bit of comfort food, familiar food, with little touches to make it different.” A favorite of those little touches – chilies. “I put chilies on everything,” he laughs. “I’m bringing chilies to the country.” Our grilled lamb main wowed in a smoked chili glaze prepared at the perfect heat from the chilies and from the grill. Kitchen kudos go to chef de cuisine Blake Farrar, formerly of The Mark, who Jean-Georges calls “a rock star.” You can see him and the rest of the talented team in action from the chef’s table inside the kitchen. Other not-to-miss items come from The Inn’s pastry chef Melody Farrar, who most recently was posted at ABC Kitchen and is the other half of the Farrar culinary power couple. She brought the house-made salted caramel ice cream that’s presented sundae-style over candied popcorn and peanuts. Also try Melody’s (what I call) “designer” doughnuts – airy, four-bite favorites that hold their shape beautifully and highlight flavor-packed glazes like lemon or chocolate with cocoa nibs that dazzle the taste buds and delight the inner 5-year-old. Another item that taps into childhood – Jean-Georges’ this time – is one of The Inn’s savory specials inspired from the chef’s youth in the French countryside. “I put something for my mom on the menu,” he says. “It’s a lamb shank cooked in a handmade clay pot made in Alsace, which I shipped over. Potato, white wine, carrots, onions – it’s very rustic. It’s called baeckeoffe. I grew up with that dish once a week in the wintertime.”

A (famous) farm-to-table

Entering spring, Jean-Georges says The Inn will feature about 95 percent local farm-to-table fare. His enthusiasm unwaning, he bursts, “It’s amazing” every time it strikes him how close the kitchen is to suppliers “just up the road.” “Martha, of course, is dropping off eggs,” he adds, as in Stewart, his Bedford neighbor. Frequent patrons will likely spot low-profile A-listers and Jean-Georges, of course, particularly on weekends when he’s not paddle-boating on his pond or perusing local farmers markets. If you see him this month, wish him a happy birthday – but only if you can catch him. The man is rarely still, whizzing between the back and front of house with the energy, he admits, “of a 12-yearold.” You could say he brings the pace of the city to the country. I say it’s the effervescence of a man in his element. n 73


wine

& dine

The benefits of wine for mind and body Story and photograph by Doug Paulding

W

ine is a magical, mystical elixir, a panacea that can help shape a lifestyle and promote health. When consumed responsibly and in moderation, wine can be empowering in a number of ways. We have all read of the health benefits of drinking red wine, particularly for protecting against heart disease and heart attack. But recent studies point to similar protective benefits from white wine consumption. The skin of red grapes is found to be rich in antioxidants called flavonoids. The pulp of red and white wine grapes contains these flavonoids as well, suggesting a similar benefit between reds and whites. Other health benefits include reduced risk of certain cancers, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even cataracts. Tannat is a powerful grape rich in antioxidant flavonoids and is indigenous to the southwest of France. Locals regularly consume mountains of foie gras, cheese and other high-fat foods that would normally point to a high rate of heart disease and heart attacks in the population. But researchers have found a lower-than-normal disease rate, known as the French paradox. Regular consumption of Tannat wine seems to counter the effects of the French diet, protecting arteries and hearts. But wine is so much more than a beverage to promote health and longevity. I enjoy the ritual of wine. At the end of the day, when the bulk of my obligatory work is completed, I will pour myself – and anyone near me – a glass of wine. This is a signal to my brain that I have put in the time, I have put in the effort. I made the day productive and now it’s time to put it away and morph into a different mode of relaxation, recreation, entertainment and fun. I believe having the ability to relax is as beneficial to health as the actual consumption of wine. And if wine is the catalyst to relaxation, so much the better. It should come as no surprise that wine is a social lubricant. At any party, listen to the laughter and volume level 74

Jean Gardiés, of Domaine Gardiés in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France, offers up some barrel samples from his organic winery.

change as the effects of a few glasses of wine are felt. Conversations may become more personal and soul-baring through in vino veritas, or “in wine, truth.” Friendships are forged and explored. After the hustle and bustle of the day, wine at a party can help change hierarchical relationships, softening the boundary between a boss and an employee, for example. If knowledge is power, then increasing your wine knowledge can lead to powerful wines. Long before I studied wine and became a wine writer, I had a keen interest in wine. Too many people drink wine without really tasting it. I like to swirl it in the glass, take a sip and push it around my mouth with my tongue and inhale it to breathe in and feel the flavors and textures. I like to discuss it briefly and hear what others might be experiencing. And because I have learned the nuances of wine descriptions and enjoy savoring quality wines, friends of mine like to share their trophy vintages. One friend of mine in Vermont will often open multiple, very expensive bottles in his home. If I’m late, he will have poured

off a small glass of each bottle for me to experience. At Le Château restaurant in South Salem, the owners would sometimes bring me tastes of older vintages to confirm their soundness before serving any to an MVP table. Another friend and his wife were in Bordeaux a few years ago. They knocked on the door of a favorite château to compliment the owner on his wines. The owner invited them in and opened some wine, explaining the difference between left bank and right bank Bordeaux. The left, or southern, bank is warmer and Cabernet Sauvignon will ripen readily there. The right, or northern, bank is planted with considerably more Merlot because it will ripen earlier before the frost. He explained to my friend that the left bank wines are more tannic while the right bank wines are fruitier. He then poured a glass for each of them and asked, “Well? Right bank or left bank”? After a proper taste, Berni, my friend, said, “Definitely left bank.” His host said, “Bravo. Viens avec moi. Come with me.” And with that they were escorted into the cellar where they tasted

If knowledge is power, then increasing your wine knowledge can lead to powerful wines.

multiple barrel samples and some older vintages. Berni’s knowledge got them the insider tour. Wine is a great conversation starter. If you see someone you might be interested in with a glass of wine in her hand, an easy opening line might be, “What are you drinking? Do you like it?” And before you know it, you have a new friend. Write me at Doug@dougpaulding. com. n


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Galleries, gardens and gators

N’awlins – On foot and on the plate Story and photographs by Andrea Kennedy

St. Louis Cathedral

77


The French Quarter

N

ot every day is Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but in terms of carnal gluttony it sure can be. This year the feast day of feasting falls on March 4, but as my recent visit proved, local fare tempts indulgence always. And I caved, time after delicious time. The saving grace that saved my behind – miles and miles of meandering around this intriguing and historic city. We landed in New Orleans in early January, just as Mardi Gras, or Carnival, season began – trading four days of frost for the fair temps of the bayou. A conference for my husband drew us to The Big Easy, and we stayed close to the French Quarter in the Central Business District at Marriott’s modern Renaissance Pere Marquette, with lots of local flavor like conference rooms named Storyville and our floor dedicated to jazz legend Count Basie. The spot put us in the best location in the city for eating and walking. Good thing, too, since we started with a splurge. After a long day of travel, we were relieved we only had to ride the elevator downstairs to dine at the hotel’s critically acclaimed MiLa restaurant. We started with cocktails – mine a Hoochie Coochie of bourbon, peach schnapps and ginger beer. Then came the sweet potato bread 78

with white bean puree, barbecue lobster, sweetbreads with grits and the crustycoated “Crispy Baby French Chicken” with crawfish. Welcome to N’awlins, y’all. By morning, I was revved up to explore with sights set on the Garden District, a destination known for historic and architecturally distinct plantations-turnedmansions as well as shopping on Magazine Street. We hopped a St. Charles streetcar for the little more than two-mile ride. By we, I mean myself and my trusty travel buddy, our 9-month-old, who was strapped to my front with all his diapering paraphernalia strapped to my back. Think of him as an adorable little weight vest. Little did I know that while New Orleans’ charming fleet of streetcars – made famous by Tennessee Williams – branch to most points of interest, that 15-minute ride was the only one I’d take on the entire trip. We rode along St. Charles to Washington Avenue, where we hopped off and headed south to tour the area settled back in the day by English-speakers who desired a comfortable distance from the Francophones. Here, if you’re dressed for it (we weren’t), stop in to Commander’s Palace for their rich Creole lunch and cheap martinis. To peruse the must-see Greek Revival and Italianate homes fes-

tooned with ornate balconies and intricate scrollwork, pick up a walking tour or just switchback along the streets solo. A favorite – the grand Colonel Short’s Villa, occupied by military heads during the Civil War, that’s fenced in by cheerful iron cornstalks. Keep due south and you’ll hit Magazine Street, a shopping destination, but not necessarily a touristy one. Offering authentic insight into local life, it’s lined with cafés and coffeehouses, galleries (the art kind), high-end retail, antiques and mom-and-pop shops. NOLA Couture sells modern accessories with Southern charm from bright and whimsically patterned bowties and pocket squares to wristlets and jewelry. If you, like we, land in New Orleans during Mardi Gras season, you’ll also see every eatery touting their King Cake, a circular pastry served only between Kings’ Day (the Carnival kickoff on Jan. 6, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, or Three Kings’ Day) and Fat Tuesday. I sat for a slice at Sucre, which makes theirs like thick brioche with a cream cheese filling and dusts it with Mardi Gras shimmer. Magazine Street spans six miles, so kudos if you go the distance. After all our touring, I pooped out after about a dozen blocks and headed back to the St. Charles

streetcar. The thing is, it never showed. A passel of us hopeful riders griped about “Why the holdup?” for about 15 minutes before folks started hailing cabs. Since a cab was a no-go considering my little man in tow (and no car seat), I just started walking. Good thing I got that King Cake. “Well, this is one way to see the city,” I thought, trying to ignore my achy feet and back. And I’m so glad I did. I (we) trekked the two miles back along St. Charles’ wide, grass-lined median passing jazz clubs; laundries that served pub food and beer; Lee Circle; Emeril’s headquarters; and the intriguing Eiffel Society – a museum, dining room, club and catwalk rolled into one that’s constructed from thousands of pieces originally perched on the Eiffel Tower. Mark one destination for our next trip. After a quick rest and with a ravenous appetite, I met my husband for dinner at the long-lived Arnaud’s, a short (thank goodness) walk away in the French Quarter. With the lure of live music, we took a seat in their jazz bistro to sip a bubbly French 75 – served covertly yet liberally there through Prohibition – while taking in some Dixieland. With Southern service as entertaining as the tunes, we dined on Creole dishes like escargot en casserole, a


Fried Alligator at Cochon

Crispy chicken at MiLa

Crab beignets at Restaurant R’evolution

sampler of gargantuan baked oysters and juicy gator sausage. Day two I awoke with my internal compass set to “beignet.” I strapped in my little man who’d been loving the sights – and I the extra workout boost – and thought we’d hop a streetcar to Café du Monde in Jackson Square. Hmmm, none approaching? A walk down Canal Street is just as nice, and nicer still is keeping up on that calorie burn. In 25 minutes time, I was ordering my powdered sugar-coated pastries and café au lait from Café du Monde’s to-go window and reveled in the sweet treat on a bench in a misty Jackson Square. After marveling at St. Louis Cathedral – the oldest in North America, which looked haunting in the day’s fog – we zigged and zagged the south French Quarter all afternoon, taking in the layers of charming Southern galleries, popping into haunts, perusing the French Market and an old U.S. Mint, becoming audience to almost hourly street parades and dodging the drinkers. (Though they’re ubiquitous along Bourbon and Decatur streets, the city insists that they – and the Spring Breakers who bare all – are not a Mardi Gras tradition. The Quarter hosts only a fraction of the city’s parades anyways, where krewes throw beads and doubloons

among more kid-friendly shenanigans.) Juxtaposing the historic sights with a modern find, we hit the highly recommended Cochon for dinner. A 15-minute walk from The Quarter, the hot spot by native chef Donald Link serves locally sourced pork (or cochon in local lingo) and contemporary Cajun cuisine that reminded me of Bill Taibe’s The Whelk in Westport, Southern style. We stuffed ourselves with smoked pork rib with watermelon pickle, shrimp and tasso with charred greens, fried alligator, gumbo, panned pork cheeks and their boucherie plate. Our final day, I attempted to take it easy, but with my walking workout on a roll and the fog evaporated I couldn’t help but hightail back to the Mississippi for some good ol’ riverboat watching. I detoured back to the French Market via quieter residential streets like Ursulines Avenue, where sits a historic convent plus plenty of blooming garden boxes on second- and third-story galleries – a quaint reminder that the French Quarter is also where many folks call home. Back at the French Market, I stopped at the Cajun Cafe and ordered a blackened catfish po’ boy from a memorable Cajun named Mark who served up not only the sandwich but a history of his Acadian immigrant cuisine as well. The po’ boy takes

Catfish po’ boy at Cajun Cafe

Quail triptych at Restaurant R’evolution

on many flavors – fillings of fried shrimp, oysters or even Vietnamese pork – though it’s always served in the same fluffy roll. This catfish with a Cajun kick felt light enough for lunch yet loaded with the salty-spicy flavors of the bayou – a good choice to enjoy on a bench facing the breezy Mississippi riverfront. To finish our visit with a flourish, we dined at Restaurant R’evolution by chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto – a meal we agreed was one of the best we’ve had. We began with their elegant Creole Louisiana Snapping Turtle Soup poured

tableside over mini deviled eggs, then sweetbreads and eye-rollingly scrumptious beer-battered crab beignets with four rémoulades. (My husband may fly back just for the latter.) Our main was the quail triptych – Southern-fried with a biscuit, absinthe-glazed and boudin-stuffed preparations (boudin being a type of Cajun sausage). We were too sated ourselves for dessert, but with the check arrived a three-tiered vintage jewelry box with each drawer offering a different flavored truffle. Somehow – bless our hearts – we managed to polish off every sweet morsel. n 79


chic choices Gifts and new products ideal for any occasion compiled by mary shustack

Here comes the bride (and the groom and their jewelry)

When WAG first met jewelry designer Samantha Levine last autumn, we saw right away this was a young woman with both talent and a determination to succeed. After all, the Mount Kisco gal behind Auburn Jewelry had already earned a law degree but had shifted gears to pursue her jewelrymaking passion. And now, Levine has shared her latest step with us – the introduction of Blushing by Auburn, a bridal collection. The custom line, like all her work, is handcrafted with Levine ready to create designs not only for the blushing bride but also her groom or even the entire wedding party. Consult with Levine for custom pendants, earrings or cuff links that match the wedding theme color or accent, adding that finishing touch to a memorable day. Available in sterling silver, 14k gold and yellow brass (from $66). For more, visit auburn-jewelry.com/bridal. 80

Photograph courtesy Auburn Jewelry.


Photograph by Bob Rozycki.

A taste of springtime Hot toddies. Warmed cider. Steaming cocoa. We have had our fill of this winter’s traditional drinks and are more than ready for spring to finally arrive. Whetting our appetite is a beverage that has really captured our fancy. Belvoir Fruit Farms is the purveyor of charmingly refreshing sparkling drinks. They are named after a British countryside destination and incorporate the said-to-be powerful properties of the elderflower. Rich in folklore, elderflower has been described as “the medicine chest of the country people” for the blossom has long been an herbal remedy used to ward off colds, treat sore throats, sprains and bruises and relieve hay fever. All we know is it’s just lovely to sip. We’ve tried the company’s Elderflower Lemonade and its Elderflower & Rose Lemonade – and we’ve already left the winter doldrums behind. Sold in 8.4-ounce bottles ($4) at Whole Foods and through amazon.com. For more, visit belvoirfruitfarms.com.

Photograph by Bob Rozycki.

Just add water for a tasty brew For those who want their coffee richly delicious – and fast – there’s a new portable product designed to do just that. Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen Pronto! is a new line of single-serve coffee billed as the product “where a great cup of coffee meets convenience in seven delicious varieties.” The cold-brewed liquid coffee concentrate is made from 100-percent Arabica beans. Add a brewstick to 10 ounces of hot or cold water, stir and enjoy the unsweetened Pronto! anytime or anywhere. Sold in boxes of six ($5.99). For more, visit barniescoffeekitchen.com.

Serving up a healthy portion

Photograph courtesy Slim & Sage.

Swimsuit season is just around the corner, so getting in shape just might be on your mind. Slim & Sage, a collection of stylish plates that help with portion control, is worth a look. You wouldn’t know it by appearance, but these tabletop designs use scientifically based portion-control elements to make slimming down both discreet and effortless. Slim & Sage founder Tatyana Beldock, a Harvard Business School graduate with health-care experience and a passion for design, teamed up with European designers and health-care experts to create the plate. The clever design artfully incorporates a way to easily adjust your proportions and build a sensible diet: Fill a quarter of the plate with lean protein, another with whole grains and the other half with vegetables. This patent-pending 9-inch plate is said to be able to help reduce calories more than 50 percent, and the plates are microwave and dishwasher safe. Adding a nice note, 2 percent of profits are donated to childhood-obesity research. Sold in sets of four for $99. For more, visit slimandsage.com. 81


chic choices PRETTY PALETTE

Ever wish you could get a polished look without spending hours being made up? Claudio Riaz has the answer. The Chicago-based makeup artist – who became fascinated with cosmetics as an adolescent watching his mother and seven sisters apply them, then went on to work for the likes of Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier – has developed an Instant Face Palette ($137) for fair, medium and dark skin tones. Each is essentially a powder, a highlighter, a blush and a bronzer – he doesn’t do foundation — all in one case. You sweep the fat, square Instant Face Brush ($135) over the palette; make a “3,” starting at your temple, caressing your cheek and finishing at your jaw line; and voilà, you have a face that’s fresh and pretty. For more, visit the Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester in White Plains; call (914) 467-5891; or find online at ritzcarlton.com or claudioriaz.com. – Georgette Gouveia

Spring is in the air

We can already sense spring in the air. No, wait. That was our spritzing of the latest fragrance from Dolce&Gabbana. Dolce, out this month, has been designed to epitomize the essence of spring. It’s decidedly feminine, a gentle floral turned opulent thanks to the combination of white water lily and white daffodil. Its heart is defined by the rich notes of white amaryllis, a special species of the flower making its fragrance debut. We’re told that expert perfumers with Dolce&Gabbana captured this delicate scent by using “headspace technology,” which takes the exact scent of the flower in full bloom without having to cut and grind the petals to extract the essential oil. Whatever it’s called, it certainly worked. The fragrance is available in Eau de Parfum bottles of 30 to 75 ml ($70 to $112). For more, visit saksfifthavenue.com.

Red-carpet ready The Golden Globes ceremony was one of the year’s first big splashes on the celebrity front. And while it may have been held back in January, we are still not over the dramatic look Jennifer Lawrence was sporting when she hit that red carpet. Sure, her Dior gown got most of the attention (and plenty of good-natured parodies), but did you see her makeup? Wow. Those dark nails and lips were what caught our eye. Create the look yourself with LAQA&Co.’s “Bossy Pants” Fat Lip Pencil ($18) and “Plonk” Nail Polish Pen ($11). Then you’ll be red-carpet ready yourself. For more, visit laqaandco.com. Photographs by Bob Rozycki.

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when

& where THROUGH MARCH 30 “Ragtime” – The Tony Award-winning tapestry of early-20th century America, via E.L. Doctorow’s prose, a rag beat and a New Rochelle setting. Westchester Broadway Theatre, 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford; (914) 592-2222, RagtimeWestchester.com.

THROUGH APRIL 12 “HATtitude: The Milliner in Culture and Couture” – Featuring more than 150 hats from 40 contemporary milliners and private collections. ArtsWestchester, 31 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains; (914) 428-4220, artswestchester.org/hattitude.

THROUGH APRIL 13 John Shearer’s “Chasing the Light” – Works by the man who captured some of the most historic moments of the 20th century. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, The Lionheart Gallery, 27 Westchester Ave. Pound Ridge, (914) 764-8689, thelionheartgallery.com.

SATURDAY, MARCH 1 “Metropolitan Opera Live in HD: Borodin’s ‘Prince Igor’” – Borodin’s defining epic, famous for its Polovtsian Dances, comes to The Met for the first time in 100 years. Noon to 4:30 p.m., Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 E. Ridge Road; (203) 438-6517, ridgefieldplayhouse.org. (Visit metoperafamily.org for more venues and tickets.)

SUNDAY, MARCH 2 And the winner is...“The 86th Academy Awards,” hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. This year, Oscar salutes movie heroes both past and present. Broadcast live on ABC (Channel 7 locally) at 7 p.m.

MONDAY, MARCH 3 “Cirque Ziva” – The Golden Dragon Chinese Acrobats bring the 25-century-old tradition of tumbling to life in a modern innovative circus performance. 4 p.m., Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 E. Ridge Road; (203) 438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

TUESDAY, MARCH 4 If you can’t be in N’awlins for Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, The Bayou Restaurant is the place to be in Westchester. Authentic Cajun, Creole food and a celebration with plenty of beads, masks and doubloons, plus the music of Otis and The Hurricanes. Come see who will be crowned the King and Queen of Mardi Gras. Three seatings at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. 580 Gramatan Ave., Mount Vernon; (914) 6682634, bayourestaurantny.com.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5 Although we all know that today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a little known fact is that on this day in 1963 the hula-hoop was officially patented.

THURSDAY, MARCH 6 “Women Of Ireland” – An all-female lineup of step dancers from “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance,” with special guest Anthony Fallon. 8 p.m. at The Palace Theatre, Stamford Center for the Arts, 61 Atlantic St.; (203) 325-4466, stamfordcenterforthearts.org. “The Civil War: A Feminine View Lecture Series” – The New Canaan Historical Society celebrates

Women’s History Month with its “CT at War,” March lecture series. The first program, “Aunt Hattie’s House,” a one-woman show, brings Harriet Beecher Stowe (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”) to life. 8 p.m. New Canaan Historical Society, 13 Oenoke Ridge Road, New Canaan; (203) 966-1776, nchistory.org.

ently, he did not heed the warning, as he was stabbed by Brutus and company on this day in 44 B.C. In an amusing coincidence, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton – who played Caesar pals Cleo and Tony – married for the first time on this day in 1964. (Beware the Brides of March.)

FRIDAY, MARCH 7

SATURDAY, MARCH 15 AND SUNDAY, MARCH 16TH

“Women of Wine” – Donna D’Agostino, founder and CEO of Click to Sip, will share her love and passion for wine. Appetizers will complement the tasting. 6:30 p.m., Westchester Italian Cultural Center, 1 Pope Place, Tuckahoe; (914) 771-8700, wiccny.org.

SATURDAY, MARCH 8 “The Journal News Golf Show” – The 10-year-old event features more than 75 exhibitors representing golf retailers, manufacturers, travel, instruction and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains; (914) 945-0480, countycenter. biz. Paint the town green at the 17th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown White Plains. The revelry starts at noon, with 2014 Grand Marshal Mary Helen Jordan leading more than 26 musical performances, five floats and 90 groups.

SUNDAY, MARCH 9 Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. So don’t forget to “spring” ahead one hour. “A Love Affair with Oysters: The History of the Men and Women Who Fish and Farm the Sea” – The third in a three-part series of programs exploring the history of shellfishing on Long Island Sound. The Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich; (203) 869-0376 , brucemuseum.org.

MONDAY, MARCH 10 Ronan Tynan – One of the original Irish Tenors, known for his shimmering voice. 11:15 a.m. and 6 p.m. Westchester Broadway Theatre, 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford; (914) 592-2222, broadwaytheatre. com.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12 Girl Scout Day – On this day in 1912 Juliette Gordon Low started the first Girl Scout troop in Savannah, Ga. – much to the delight of cookie monsters everywhere.

THURSDAY, MARCH 13 “A Night of Beauty” – Wherein the editor of this magazine shamelessly plugs her new novel, “Water Music,” featuring nibbles from 42 The Restaurant and makeup samples and consultations. 6 to 8 p.m. Bloomingdale’s, White Plains. (914) 684-6266, lorna.simpson@bloomingdales.com

FRIDAY, MARCH 14 Community Partnership Luncheon – Join The Girl Scouts of the Hudson for a silent auction, luncheon and award ceremony as the group presents its 2014 Humanitarian, Leadership and Community Service Awards. 11:30 a.m. Renaissance Westchester Hotel, 80 W. Red Oak Lane, Harrison; (914) 7473080 ext. 739, girlscoutshh.org.

SATURDAY, MARCH 15 The Ides of March – Julius Caesar was warned by soothsayers to “beware of the Ides of March.” Appar-

The Westchester County Home Show – The largest and longest-running regional home show in the area offers a diverse array of home products and services, featuring local, state and national vendors. 11a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains; (914) 995-4050, jenksproductions. com. “The Winter Dance Party” – The official re-creation of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper’s final tour. Featuring all their hit songs, including “That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Oh, Boy,” “Rave On,” “La Bamba” and “Chantilly Lace.” Shows start at 5:30 p.m., Downtown Cabaret Theatre, 263 Golden Hill St., Bridgeport; (203) 5761636, mycabaret.org.

MONDAY, MARCH 17 Yes it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but for a change of pace, check out “Larry Bragg & The Side Guys.” Bragg (the Tower of Power lead singer known for his three-octave range) has assembled a powerhouse of professional musicians from the New York City session scene for an evening of cool, soulful funk. STAGEONE, 70 Sanford St., Fairfield; (203) 259-1036, faifieldtheatre.org.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19 THROUGH APRIL 10 The Jacob Burns Film Center introduces “The Westchester Jewish Film Festival,” with 39 programs celebrating the grand sweep of the Jewish experience. 364 Manville Road, Pleasantville; (914) 747-5555, burnsfilmcenter.org.

Music School of Westport, 212 Post Road W., Westport; (203) 227-9474, suzukischools.org. Elvis Presley is inducted into the U.S. Army on this day in 1958 for a two-year stint. Women sobbed.

TUESDAY, MARCH 25 “National Theatre Live in HD: ‘War Horse’” – Live from London’s West End, “War Horse” takes audiences on a journey from the fields of rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France. At its heart are life-size puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, which bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to life on stage. 6:30 p.m., Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 E. Ridge Road; (203) 438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26 Wanda Sykes – Named one of Entertainment Weekly’s Funniest People in America, Sykes brings her stand-up show to Westchester, 8 p.m., Tarrytown Music Hall, 13 Main St., Tarrytown; (914) 631-3390, tarrytownmusichall.org.

THURSDAY, MARCH 27 Toastmasters – Increase your self-confidence, communicate more effectively and become a better public speaker and leader. 6 p.m. Abbott House, 100 N. Broadway, Irvington; (914) 591-7300, ext. 301, abbotthouse.net. “Rick Springfield: Stripped Down” – A rare, acoustic intimate solo performance with music and storytelling. Springfield plays his top-40 hits, including “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody” and “Human Touch,” as well as his Grammy Award-winning “Jessie’s Girl.” 8 p.m. Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 E. Ridge Road; (203) 4385795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org.

FRIDAY, MARCH 28

Hooray, we made it! Today is the vernal equinox, otherwise known as the first day of spring.

“Glitz and Glamour” – Junior League of Central Westchester’s spring fundraiser and silent auction. 7 p.m., Pepe Infiniti, 300 Central Ave., White Plains; (914) 723-6130, jlcentralwestchester.org/glitzglamour.

FRIDAY, MARCH 21

SATURDAY, MARCH 29

“The Real, Original New York DOO WOPP SHOW” – Featuring Judy Mann & the Chiffons, Eugene Pitt & the Jive Five, Jay Siegel’s Tokens and a cappella by Classic Sounds & The Sheps. 8 p.m. Paramount Theater Hudson Valley, 1008 Brown St., Peekskill, (914) 739-0039, paramounthudsonvalley. com.

“100.7 WHUD Kids Fair” – The radio station’s 19th annual day of education and fun for kids ages 3 to 13 and their families. Tickets available only at the door the day of the event. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains; (914) 995-4050, whud.com.

THURSDAY, MARCH 20

FRIDAY, MARCH 21 THROUGH SUNDAY, MARCH 23 Baseball Card Show – Buy, swap or sell at this New York, Long Island and Connecticut sporting event, which includes memorabilia for sale and autograph signings. 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains; (914) 995-4050, nyshows.org.

SUNDAY, MARCH 23 “Pillow Concerts” – Suzuki Music Schools of Westport and Orange faculty members Andrew Smith (violin) and Alexis Zingale (piano) present Edward Grieg’s violin sonatas. Bring a pillow. 3 p.m., Suzuki

SUNDAY, MARCH 30 “America’s Favorite Train Depot” – From its celestial ceiling to its mysterious catacombs, Grand Central Terminal lives up to its name. Learn the secrets of the iconic transit hub with Sam Roberts, author of “Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America.” 2 p.m. Ferguson Library, 1 Library Plaza, Stamford; (203) 964-1000, fergusonlibrary.org.

MONDAY, MARCH 31 Springtime in Paris – Much to the delight of lovers worldwide, The Eiffel Tower opened in Paris on this day in 1889. Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season. Play ball!

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w’reel deal

Flying high now … on the power of ‘Rocky’ By Sam Barron

It was Dec. 14, 2006 and I was on my way to the Varsity Cinema in Toronto. For a Westchester-centric magazine, this is the third time I’ve written about Toronto and the second time I’ve written about this theater. My editor is going to have a word with me. (Editor’s note: I am.) I was filled with nervousness and excitement. I was on my way to an advance screening of “Rocky Balboa,” aka the sixth installment in the “Rocky” franchise. I was friends with someone who ran a pop culture site called andpop.com and occasionally did some writing for it. I once broke a story about the Hilary Duff movie “Material Girls” being unlikely to be released because they couldn’t find a distributor. A week later, the movie conveniently found a distributor and a release date. Occasionally, he would give me free stuff like a pass to “Babel” or DVDs like “Just My Luck” and the Mo’Nique vehicle “Phat Girls.” Yes, I still have them and if you want them, I can give them to you. But that December, he gave me the greatest perk of all – a free ticket to an advanced screening of “Rocky VI.” I grew up on the “Rocky” movies. I think TBS was contractually obligated to show “Rocky IV” three times a weekend and I watched it every time. “Rocky IV” had everything – a robot, an evil Russian, James Brown, Apollo Creed dying (that boxing match traumatized me as a kid), Rocky training in the Russian mountains and two of the greatest lines of all time: “If he dies, he dies,” and “I must break you.” Alamo Drafthouse, how have we not done a “Rocky IV” quotealong yet? Also, “Rocky IV’s” fight, scored to Vince DiCola’s “War,” is one of the greatest things. Rocky gets knocked down about 10 times, but this is the USSR, so no one is going to stop the fight. In the 15th round, Rocky somehow knocks down evil Ivan Drago (played by Dolph Lundgren, whose character did steroids, something Rocky would never do) and even wins over the Soviets in the process. After the fight, Rocky gives a stirring speech that ends with these immortal words: “If I can change, and you can change, EVERYBODY CAN CHANGE!” 84

I am 100-percent convinced that that speech led to the implementation of perestroika and glasnost and the end of Communism. Fun fact: I met Sylvester Stallone once and yelled that at him. From “Rocky IV,” I soon discovered “Rocky III,” which has Rocky fighting Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. There’s also a cameo by the Muppets, plus Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” perhaps the ultimate empowerment anthem. “Rocky III” remains easily my favorite of the Rocky movies and is one of my favorite movies ever. Apollo and Rocky running on the beach! “Rocky” and “Rocky II” are also great movies. Compared to the others, “Rocky”

is a little slow, so 11-year old Sam was not as enthralled as he was watching “Rocky III” and “Rocky IV,” but it’s still an amazing movie. All he wanted to do was go the distance. “Rocky II” is basically what the ending of “Rocky” would be if a movie studio meddled in “Rocky.” “Rocky II” is a whole lot of nothing, but Rocky running through Philadelphia with the kids is amazing. As is “Yo Adrian, I did it.” “Rocky II” may be my fifth favorite Rocky movie, but that just means it’s still in my top 10 overall movies. And then there’s “Rocky V.” When I was a kid, I liked “Rocky V.” But as I watched it for the 26th time and then the 37th time, I started to realize why every-

one thought the movie sucked. No one wants to see brain-damaged Rocky. No one wants to see Rocky finding out he’s broke. People want to see Rocky fight, not train someone else. And worst of all, during the climactic fight, when Rocky fights the boxer he trained and nurtured, Rocky’s son yells, “Get him, Dad, he took my room.” That might be the best worst line in recorded history. “Rocky V” was so bad, it killed the franchise. Being a child of the ’90s, I watched “Rocky” on VHS and TBS, never seeing it in theaters. Which is why I was so excited for “Rocky Balboa.” While the announcement of the movie was mostly a punch line, I had faith that Sylvester Stallone would pull it off. When the trailer first hit over the summer, I got goose bumps. I think I watched the trailer about 300 times. So there I stood in line at the Varsity for the “Rocky Balboa” screening. I was beyond excited, finally getting to live a dream of seeing a “Rocky” movie on the big screen. (Some kids dream of playing centerfield for the Yankees. I dream of seeing a movie. Sounds about right.) I was also really nervous. I mean, What if “Rocky Balboa” sucks? I know it’s libelous to imply Sylvester Stallone would make a bad movie, let alone a bad “Rocky” movie, but the guy isn’t perfect. I got so nervous in fact, that before the movie started, I had to take refuge in the Varsity bathroom several times. Yes, I think I became the first person ever to have an upset stomach because he was nervous about a movie being good. After my stomach (semi) calmed down, we were led into the theater. We had the trailer for a movie called “Blood and Chocolate” that the audience laughed at. You would remember a movie called “Blood and Chocolate,” too. And then the movie began and I was able to breathe. “Rocky Balboa” ended up being a great movie. The audience cheered when the training montage began, bringing back Marie and Spider Rico was a nice nod to longtime fans and the final fight was very well done. I left the movie emotionally satisfied and after my trip to the bathroom, probably about five pounds lighter. n


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Pet of the Month

Good golly, Miss Molly – this is one dog that will keep you on your toes. She’s a 1-year-old Australian Shepherd rescued from a high-kill shelter. Molly is a happy-golucky, playful girl who’s great with other dogs. Being a member of a working breed, she needs an active home with a big yard and energetic

At home with Tess Our cover gal Donna Bunte at home with her retriever puppy, Tess. Photograph by Bob Rozycki. 86

owners who will keep her busy, as Australian Shepherds are very intelligent and enjoy being occupied. But after a good workout, she’ll calmly snuggle with you as she loves affection and just wants to please. To meet Molly, visit the SPCA of Westchester at 590 N. State Road in Briarcliff Manor.

Please note: The SPCA does not accept deposits, make appointments or reserve animals for adoption even if it has spoken about a particular dog or cat with you. It’s always firstcome, first-served among applicants, pending approval. The SPCA is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. To learn more, call (914) 941-2896 or visit spca914.org. n


Swing into Spring Fashion Show

Silent Auction & Luncheon Sunday, April 6, 2014 Hyatt Regency, Greenwich 11:30 am - 2:30 pm All proceeds to benefit

For tickets call (203) 622-7998 or visit www.communityanswers.org

Featuring: Brooks Brothers; Lilly Pulitzer; Stella M’Lia; and more‌

Corporate Sponsors: Cummings & Lockwood, LLC Exclusive Media Sponsor: WAG Serendipity

Benefit Committee: Sonal Khichadia, Chairperson Shalini Ahmed Radhika Patel Brooke Bohnsack Chitra Shanbhogue Nipa Kumar Liane Tel Meera Kurup


watch Paging Scott and Zelda

It was a party to make Gatsby proud. The Picture House in Pelham, which features new, independent and classic cinema, dispelled the cold winter chill with a red-hot Roaring ’20s-themed evening at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle. Guests in period garb enjoyed vintage cocktails, dinner and a speakeasy with a back-room casino. Silent and live auctions of luxury items thrilled the partygoers as they danced the night away to the strains of Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks and DJ Gaspar Ramirez. Photographs by Deborah Karson. 1

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1. Bill and Kelli Wise 2. John Calvelli with a cutout of himself 3. Josh and Kelly Brown 4. Tom and Paula Canning and Claire and Geoff Allen 5. Shaun and Jenny Heelan 6. Ed and Dareuschka Oppedisano 7. Maribel Perez and Amy Harclerode 8. Louise Middleton and Carolyn Cassidy 9. Diana, Ellen and Michael Chandler 10. Nadine Barnett Cosby and Andrew Cosby III 11. Jeffrey Scott and Marianne Yen 12. Sunny and Emmanuel Hostin and Kathy Sussman 13. Jeff Klein and Cristyne Nicholas 14. Cristyne Nicholas, Dale Hisiger, Ann Sorice, Dominic Chianese and Clayton Bushong 15. Rob and Sherry Donovan 16. Joan, Joe Jr. and Annie Solimine 17. Christine and John Hartley 18. Dana Thayer and Nora Mazur 19. Claire Doyle 20. Cynthia Brown 21. Dominic Chianese and Natasha Caputo 22. Carol Custer and Missy Palmisciano 23. Beth Manspeizer and Drew Schwartz 24. Valerie Lemon 25. Gavin Lambdin and Jeb Hastings 26. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, the horn section

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watch House party

The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service inaugurated their new presidents, Diane Cummins and J. Phillip Faranda respectively, at their association’s Gala 2014, held recently at The View in Piermont. More than 250 Realtors from Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties attended the event. The organizations represent more than 9,000 real estate professionals and some 24,000 properties in the area. 1. Carol Christiansen, Marcene Hedayati, Leah Caro, Eydie Lopez, J. Phillip Faranda and Irene Amato 2. Barry Kramer, John Crittendon, Jerry Lott and Carol and John Kope 3. David Moore, Gail Fattizzi and Cynthia and Joe Lippolis 4. Richard Haggerty, J.P. Endres and Drew Kessler 5. Ed Sumber, Diane Cummins and Phil Faranda

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Roam-ing around

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When in Roam, shop. That’s what fashionistas and supporters did recently as Roam – the exclusive Greenwich boutique owned by WAG fave and former cover girl Babe Rizzuto – hosted an event to kick off Greenwich Hospital’s Great Chefs fundraiser March 7 at Westchester Country Club. Guests enjoyed Champagne and pizza and spicy meatball hors d’oeuvres along with knowing that a portion of the evening’s proceeds went to the hospital. 6. Janet Delos, Andrea Guido, Jenni Salinas, Stephanie Ashley, Jill Odice and Maria Hill 7. Janet and Demetris Delos 8. Valerie Horn and Tia Potter 9. Anne Friday and Julie Taylor

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Food, love and wine

Nine former and current board presidents of the Food Bank for Westchester were recognized recently at a gala at Tappan Hill for leading the organization’s fight against hunger for the past 25 years. On hand to salute this group were local and state dignitaries, as well as many business leaders and professionals. 1. Laura and Tim Plunkett 3. Eli and Marsha Gordon and Elizabeth Bracken-Thompson and Geoff Thompson 4. John Ritacco  5. Rick Rakow and Ellen Lynch 6. Joel Mounty, Joseph Masterson, Rev. John Duffell, Spencer Barback, Robert Redis and William Harrington 1

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all about business

Some 200 people recently attended the “2014 CEO Evolution” panel discussion hosted by Citrin Cooperman and moderated by its partner Mark L. Fagan and the University of Connecticut School of Business in Stamford. Panelists for the event – which was sponsored by the Fairfield County Business Journal and Stamford-based consultants CBP – included Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment and two-time U.S. Senate candidate.

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6. Marjorie Weintraub and Stacey Cohen 7. Alan Booth and Jeffrey Glick 8. Diane L. Ash 9. Sally A. and Eric B. Cohen 10. Mark L. Fagan

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The Professional Women of Westchester’s recently held a Valentine’s Day “I Love Networking” event at 42 The Restaurant in White Plains. The well-attended event benefited the American Heart Association. More than 125 ladies and a few good men joined in the fun. 1. Rose Colonna, Jamie Imperati and Jen Colonna 2. Jenifer Ross, Kerri-Ann Skeen and Judy Campisi 3. Diane and Bob Arenholz 4. Laura Damiano and Aida Krgin  3. Dave Hecker and Mario Suarez 6. Michele Milazzo and Cristina DeFrancisco  

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Networking and nibbles

The Greenwich Chamber of Commerce hosted its After Six event at Greenwich’s newest steakhouse, Blackstone’s, at 28 W. Putnam Ave. More than 125 attendees – a sold-out crowd – participated in business networking and sampled appetizers. 7. Pamela Pagnani, Marcia O’Kane and Charles Kaufman III 7

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Birthday bash

The Greenwich United Way marked its 80th anniversary recently with “Legends of the ’60s,” a benefit concert at the Palace Theatre. Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees and Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders reprised some of their greatest sounds in a rollicking celebration for the organization, founded in 1933. More than 600 concert goers were rocking the aisles as supporters bid online for vintage guitars autographed by the stars. 1. Amanda Davis 2. Barbara Richards, Virginia and Juan Meyer and Karen Royce 3. Kevin Keegan, Ann Bloomdahl, Larry Simon and Karen Keegan 4. Micky Dolenz, Barrett Burns, Peter Noone, Patricia Burns and Mark Lindsay 5. Al and Robbie Kestenbaum and Kathleen Clements

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PRINCE WILLIAM HAS PRINCE HARRY, SNOOPY HAS SPIKE – YOU KNOW, THE BAD-BOY BABY BRO WHO’S A CHUNK OF CHARM AND A TON OF TROUBLE. That’s what WAG Weekly is to WAG. In our e-newsletter, we let down our hair (and occasionally, our grammar) to take you behind behind-the-scenes of the hottest parties and events, offer our thoughts on the most controversial issues of the day, share what couldn’t be contained in our glossy pages and tell you what to do and where to go this weekend – all while whetting your appetite for the next issue. If you can’t get enough of WAG — or you just want to get WAG unplugged — then you won’t want to miss WAG Weekly, coming to your tablet each Friday a.m.

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watch Opening of a Life Time

It was like a Hollywood premiere – complete with red carpet and slow-moving vehicles – as some 2,700 people turned out for the official opening of Life Time Athletic in White Plains. The resortstyle fitness center boasts 10 indoor tennis courts, three pools, a spa, a café and a dedicated space offering many activities for the kiddies. Guests were treated to tours of the facility and sampled healthy offerings from the café.

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Top dogs

Dapper dogs were all best in show recently at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester in White Plains when the SPCA of Westchester hosted a fundraising gala aptly named “Top Hats and Cocktails.” Proceeds from the evening went to benefit the Briarcliff Manor branch of the organization.

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4. Irma Jansen, Matthew Vaccaro and Heidi Lobel 5. Deborah Mehne, Lisa Rockefeller, Maria Milito, Barbara Kobren and Shannon Laukhuf

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X-ray vision

Early this year the White Plains Hospital Imaging Center at New Rochelle opened its doors to the public. This is the first imaging center in the Sound Shore region opened under the auspices of the hospital. On hand to welcome all to the new facility at 1296 North Ave. was hospital CEO Jon Schandler, President Susan Fox and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Branson. 6. Noam Branson, Susan Fox, Pamela Weber and Jon B. Schandler

Super giving

The Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County held a phonathon on Super Bowl Sunday that raised more than $60,000. Volunteers gathered in the Social Hall of Temple Sinai to assist this organization, which helps build and support a strong Jewish community and helps those in need. Photograph by Gail Conklin. 7. Carla Wise, Loraine Wernow, Stan Goldberg and Gary Waschitz

Want to be in Watch? Send event photos, captions (identifying subjects from left to right) and a paragraph describing the event to hdebartolo@westfairinc.com. 94


“A NIGHT OF BEAUTY” Hosted by author and WAG editor Georgette Gouveia

Join us for “A Night of Beauty” with Georgette Gouveia, editor of WAG magazine and author of “Water Music” — the first novel in her provocative, sensual new series “The Games Men Play.” Get face time with our local personality, then take time to treat your face to one-on-one skin care consultations and makeup applications from all your favorite brands. Indulge in savory hors d’oeuvres by 42 The Restaurant and snap a photo for WAG. Your $25 reservation is redeemable on cosmetics, skin care and

Where love is more than a score t h e g a m e s m e n p l a y. c o m

G E O R G E T T E

G O U V E I A

fragrance purchases.

THURSDAY, MARCH

6-8 P.M. CHECK-IN 5:30 P.M.

Space is limited. To RSVP:

(914) 684-6266 lorna.simpson@bloomingdales.com

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BLOOMINGDALE’S

White Plains, Cosmetics on 1 95


wit wonders: What gets you moving?

belmont

bruehl

delos

friday

giblin

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howard

C. labi

G. labi

salo

silano

taylor

“To help people. If I can do something to help people and put them in a positive direction, that gets me motivated.” – Ron Belmont, supervisor, town of Harrison and mayor, village of Harrison “I’m always moving. I just love the way it makes me feel. When I was in my 20s, I could eat whatever I wanted. Now in my 30s, my metabolism is not what it was. That keeps me going.” – Erin Bruehl, writer/editor, Advanced Media, United States Tennis Association, Pleasantville resident “Thinking about my family, my wife and our new twins. Having children changes your life.” – Demetris Delos, M.D., Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists, Greenwich resident “Live music, what else? Live music really animates me.” – Anne Friday, in fashion, Greenwich resident

“I’ve lost 45 pounds. In high school, I was this allaround jock. Then I went to college, didn’t play anything and gained the weight over two years. When I started the weight-loss journey – that has been what keeps me moving. I do yoga. I run. I’m sparked by people, whose comments have been so supportive.” – Lorey Giblin, manager, Breathe Easy, Bellerose, N.Y. resident “Fitness, because in winter, we want to stay fit so that in summer we can show more.” – Maria Hill, manager of outreach services, Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich resident “Music. Rock music. Really any kind.” – Glenn Howard, metabolic specialist, Life Time Athletic, Ramsey, N.J. resident “Skiing and canoeing. They’re my new sports.” – Carol Labi, Realtor, Harrison resident

“A good workout in the morning. I’m on my bike. And then a good power shake for breakfast and I’m ready to go.” – John Salo, Life Café department head, Life Time Athletic, Madison, N.J. resident “I think that the way a class makes me feel. I feel so awesome after a Physique 57 (strengthening and cardio) class. That keeps me motivated to take one and see the changes in my body.” – Jessica Silano, client services team, Physique 57, Harrison resident “My daughter. She’s an inspiration to me. She lost her father 10 years ago, and I’m very proud of the way she’s handled herself. She’s in college now and still wants me to stay with her and her roommates when I come to visit.” – Julie Taylor, jack of all trades, Greenwich resident

“I’m motivated to stay fit and looking good, and I like it.” – Gabby Labi, junior, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, Harrison resident

Compiled by Georgette Gouveia. Contact her at ggouveia@westfairinc.com. 96


@RPlayhouse

GREAT SHOWS!

80 East Ridge, Ridgefield, CT • (203) 438-5795

www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org

/ridgefieldplayhouse

GOLDEN DRAGON CHINESE ACROBATS

present

"CIRQUE ZIVA"

The Spirit of MICHAEL JACKSON

Sunday, March 2 @ 4PM

Friday, March 21 @ 8PM

Fully choreographed choreographed with with dancers, dancers, Fully music and and incredible incredible laser laser show! show! music

Chinese acrobats that will amaze!

The Music of

PINK FLOYD

Saturday, March 22 @ 6:30 & 9:30PM Colorful Colorful lasers lasers and and lighting lighting effects effects and and the the legendary legendary music music of of Pink Pink Floyd. Floyd.

WORLD BEAT SERIES

ROCK SERIES

Tartan Terrors

Dickey Betts & Great Southern

Friday, March 7 @ 8PM

Saturday, March 8 @ 8PM

With Special Guest The Mighty Ploughboys

With Special Guest Chris Berardo & The Desberardos

Get your Irish on with a wild celebration of Celtic song and dance!

Ramblin’ Man, Jessica, Blue Sky and more!

Matt Schofield

Tinariwen

With Special Guest Brian Jarvis Band

Grammy Award Winners Best World Music Album! A unique blend of unique blend of electric rock and North African traditional music!

Thursday, March 13 @ 7:30PM Guitar & Bass Magazine’s “Top 10 British Blues Guitarists of All Time!” Each ticket holder gets a free glass of wine or beer and Tequila Tasting with Cabo Wabo!

Eddie Money

Thursday, March 20 @ 8PM With Special Guest Doug Wahlberg Band

Two Tickets To Paradise", "Baby Hold On", "Walk On Water", "Think I'm In Love" and "Shakin" and more!

Rick Springfield

Stripped Down - Solo Acoustic

Thursday, March 27 @ 8PM

“Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I've Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody” and “Jessie’s Girl.”

DOYLE COFFIN ARCHITECTURE SINGER SONGWRITER SERIES

Don Willams

Wednesday, March 19 @ 8PM With Special Guest Colm Kirwan

A night of Classic Country hits "Good Ole Boys Like Me," "I Believe In You," "Love Is On A Roll," "Amanda" and "Tulsa Time.”

Christopher Cross

Friday, March 28 @ 8PM

With Special Guest Joshua Payne

Best known for his hits “Sailing,” “Ride Like the Wind,” “Think of Laura,” and “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) among many others!

Wednesday, March 26 @ 8PM

CLARK CONSTRUCTION COMEDY SERIES

Jay Mohr

Sunday, March 30 @ 8PM

Former SNL cast member and “One of Comedy Central’s 100 greatest stand-up comics of all time.”

Jim Belushi

AND THE CHICAGO BOARD OF COMEDY Thursday, April 3 @ 8PM A great night of improv comedy…less of a “show” and more of a party! You may even end up on stage!

Artie Lange

Saturday, April 5 @ 8PM

From The Howard Stern Show to MADtv and countless films to his latest project, The Artie Lange show on DirecTV, Artie has done it all!

Charles Grodin

Friday, April 11 @ 7:30PM

A comedic journey through showbiz with the legendary actor "A first rate storyteller" - New York Times "A natural born raconteur" - Newsweek



WAG Magazine March 2014