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october 2013

Stuart Weitzman’s shoemanship Anthony Davidson delivers the kicker Handing it to Dr. Beverly Guo Fashioning fun in Greenwich


Street feet: urban ballet photographer Luis Pons

Digits and tootsies galore what’s new

(premier feature)


october 2013

historic handiwork • 14 unbounded love • 18 having a ball • 20 stealing back life • 24 best foot forward • 28 beyond acrobatics • 32 warhol’s shoe fetish • 36 soaring and splashing • 40 get enlightened • 42 fast and furious footwork• 44 Mr. Shoe biz • 47 hip to haute • 55 Hands-on medicine • 58 reflex-ions on reflexology • 60

A performer from Cirque du Soleil.

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october 2013

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66 wonderful dining Nose-to-tail holy grail

68 where are they now? Climb every mountain

70 what’s new

The ‘law’ of attraction

71 wanders

Journey to the icy white continent

74 wagging

Protecting paws in salt season

76 w’reel deal Extreme touring

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The fight to overcome breast cancer endures

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Handing it to youthfulness

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More than skin deep

84 when&where Upcoming events

86 wit

We wonder: What’s the most extreme thing you’ve ever done?

WAGvertisers Arthur Murray Greenwich - 81 The Bristal - 31 Callari Auto Group - 11 The Cambium - 5 Christopher Noland Salon and Beauty Spa - 4 Club Fit - 29 Dr. Michael F. Gioscia - 45 Empire City Casino Inside front cover Greenwich Medical Spa 15 and inside back cover Houlihan Lawrence 51, 52, 53, 54 Hudson Valley Hospital Center - 13 Hudson Valley Surgical Group - 27 Kids Express - 57

Kinsley Power Systems - 29 LaLa Rouge - 63 Mapleton - 35 Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich - 77 Momentum - 12 Neil S. Berman - 41 O2 Living - 57 Performing Art Center - 75 Palomino Restaurant - 37 Penny Pincher - 55 Phelps Memorial Hospital Center - 39 Putnam County Golf Course - 67 R & M Woodrow Jewelers - 1 Raymond Opticians - 57 Red Maple - 78 Renaissance - 61 Ridgefield Playhouse - 85 Ripped Fitness - 6, 7 The Royal Closet - 8 Ruby Media Group LLC - 87 Salon D’luxe - 43 Sarah Hodgson - 45 Sarah Phillips - 3 Skin Center for Advanced Medical Aesthetics 79 and back cover Sunset Cove - 83 Support Connection - 80 Westchester Medical Center - 17 White Plains Hospital Center - 9 Wilmington Trust - 23 Zaltas Fine Jewelry - 59

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We’re out and about

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With Martha Handler and Jennifer Pappas

10 Waggers 12 Editor’s letter Cover photograph by Bob Rozycki.

Anne Jordan Duffy, Barbara Hanlon, Marcia Pflug, Missy Rose, Corinne Stanton and Patrice Sullivan

Lend your voice to our November “Voices” issue. Our sales staff would love to hear from you. Contact them at (914) 358-0746.


PUBLISHER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dee DelBello MANAGING EDITOR Bob Rozycki EDITOR Georgette Gouveia SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Caitlin Nurge Harrison CLASS & SASS COLUMNISTS Martha Handler • Jennifer Pappas STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Anthony Carboni • Bob Rozycki

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MEDICAL COLUMNISTS Michael Rosenberg, MD • Erika Schwartz, MD PHOTOJOURNALIST Audrey Ronning Topping FEATURES ADVISER David Hochberg CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sam Barron • Jennifer Bissell • Cappy Devlin • Jane Dove • Patricia Espinosa Andrea Kennedy • Sarah Hodgson • Dana Ramos • Mary Shustack ART DIRECTOR Dan Viteri

Audience Development ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Alissa Frey EVENTS MANAGER Holly DeBartolo Director, promotions and sponsors Marcia Pflug CIRCULATION SALES Marcia Rudy • Sylvia Sikoutris

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What is WAG? Some readers think WAG stands for “Westchester and Greenwich.” We certainly cover both. But mostly, a wag is a wit and that’s how we think of ourselves, serving up piquant stories and photos to set your own tongues wagging.

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Sexual Dysfunction and Cancer Wednesday, Oct 2: 6:30pm

Dickstein Cancer Treatment Center, 3rd Floor Conference Rm Join therapists Randy Cohen, Ph.D. & Melissa Ferrara, F.N.P. as they discuss the impact of a cancer diagnosis on sexual function. All breast cancer survivors and caregivers are welcome. To register, call 914-681-2703.

The Genetics of Breast Cancer Thursday, Oct 3: 1:00pm


White Plains Library, 100 Martine Avenue Learn how genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer can help you in this interactive presentation by WPH Genetic Counselor Nicole Boxer, MS. Call 914-681-1192 for more information.

Brake for Breakfast

Tuesday, Oct 8: 8-9:00am Dickstein Cancer Treatment Center, 2-4 Longview Avenue Spend five minutes, get a free, healthy, drive-through breakfast and the latest information on breast cancer screening and prevention from health experts. For more information, call 914-681-1119.

Breast Cancer Zumba-raiser Wednesday, Oct 9: 5:30pm

Love Dance and Fitness Studios, 196 Maple Avenue Put on your pink and join our Zumba-Raiser. $10 per person. All proceeds benefit the White Plains Hospital Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk Team. To register, call 914-681-2328.

What’s New in Breast Cancer Care & Beauty Bar Thursday, Oct 17: 6-8pm

Bloomingdales, 175 Bloomingdale Road An interactive panel discussion with leading breast cancer physicians from White Plains Hospital on the mezzanine level of Bloomingdales. A $25 registration fee is redeemable in the form of a gift card to spend at the Bloomingdale’s Beauty Bar that night. Cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres following the panel. To register, please leave a message at 914-684-6257.

Shining a Light on Breast Cancer Awareness Expo & Survivor Fashion Show




Saturday, Oct 19: 11-3pm

The Westchester Mall Join us at the Westchester Mall to celebrate survivors! A free health expo will be followed by our not-to-be missed “Walk of Hope” Survivor Fashion Show at 2:00PM.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

Sunday, Oct 20: 9:30am Manhattanville College, 2900 Purchase Street, Purchase Walk with the White Plains Hospital Team. Please call Una at 914-681-2034 for more information.

Oysters and Pink Champagne Wednesday, Oct 30: 5-7pm

42 at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester Come out to 42 at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester for our Pink Finale event capping off a month of breast cancer awareness with $1 oysters and pink champagne. For more information, please call 914-681-1119.

For more information, please call 914-681-1119.


Sam Barron

Jennifer Bissell

anthony carboni

holly debartolo

Cappy Devlin

jane dove


Alissa frey

martha handler

sarah hodgson

Andrea kennedy

Jennifer pappas

dana ramos


Bob Rozycki


Mary Shustack

Audrey topping

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new wagger Alicia T. Cappelli

is the director of public affairs for SkinCenter in Hartsdale. A specialist in health care administration and marketing, Alicia previously managed a team of consultants for Beth Israel in New York City and its affiliates, launched the Women’s Health Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center and taught at Iona College. Alicia lives in Westchester with her family.

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If there were a scouting report on me, I think it would be “good hands, bad feet.” I have fairly typical writers’ hands – smooth, not too plump or thin, without a mark or line on them. Indeed, you’d never guess my age by looking at them, and, as any dermatologist will tell you, hands – not faces – are what give your age away. My feet, however, are another matter – size 8½ D tootsies – the width of which condemned me to blue or black lace-up Oxfords as a child and, if I was lucky, Keds. I’ll never forget how excited I was when I got a pair of cutout white shoes with an eyelet pattern for my First Communion, until this bratty classmate – with banana curls no less, think Nellie in “Little House on the Prairie” – informed me that my shoes were ugly and old-fashioned. All I can remember is peering at my feet over this albatross of a puffy bridal getup and feeling, well, horrible. I can’t help but think that’s why I’m obsessive today about pedicures and stylish pumps. There’s a part of me that will always be that child. In a world of war veterans, cancer survivors and victims of terrorism and accidents who would be happy to have any kind of hands or feet, we can be terribly silly about our extremities, can’t we? Women in particular torture themselves, even removing toes, to fit into the latest styles. But then, world culture has often used footwear as a way to control the so-called fairer sex. China expert Audrey Ronning Topping – who has added immeasurably to WAG with her recollections and insights of the East – has a particularly searing piece this month about how her missionary grandparents helped end the torturous practice of foot-binding in China. The description of the practice and the images are horrifying. (The practice reduced the feet of upper-class girls and women to gnarled hooves capable of only the most mincing of steps.) Yet when it comes to feet, it’s not a case

of ignorant East, enlightened West. Few aspects of Western culture are more beautiful than the ballet, as the stunning work of street and dance photographer Luis Pons attests. But as New York City Ballet principal Sterling Hyltin tells us, too, dancers pay a price for that beauty in terms of pain and the need for vigilant foot care. So does Sheila Stanton DePaola, also profiled here, who steps lively as an Irish dancer. Thank goodness for cover guy Stuart Weitzman, whose gorgeous, innovative shoes and boots come in four widths not only to accommodate less-than-ballerina feet, but also generous ankles and calves. Once I discovered Stuart Weitzman shoes, I knew that my days of lace-up Oxfords were over. So needless to say, I was over the moon at the opportunity to meet the man behind the footwear and I must say I found him to be as distinctive and elegant as my moody blue, deep purple, peep-toe Stuart Weitzman pumps, pictured here. Of course, our “Extremities” issue isn’t all feet. It’s feats, too – the breathtaking theatrics of Cirque du Soleil, the artistry of Andy Warhol, the accomplishments of hand surgeon Beverly Guo and educator and soccer devotee Anthony Davidson. It’s about being comfortable in the skin we’re in and going to extremes mainly in service of others. Few people exemplify this more than Kurt Kannemeyer, whose August quest to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to draw attention to the special education children at St. Christopher’s in Dobbs Ferry, where he’s director of development, has been a favorite WAG story. Kurt almost made it to the top, stopping some 2,000 feet short when altitude sickness set in. But he remains undaunted and primed for another attempt next year. Kurt reminds us that we all have our “Kilis” to climb and we’ll get there together by putting one foot in front of the other.

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g r o . hc

Henry Fuseli’s “The Artist Moved by the Grandeur of Antique Fragments” (1778-79), red chalk on sepia wash, Kunsthaus Zürich

Myrna Loy’s hand and footprints outside the former Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood express her gratitude to Sid Grauman.

historic handiwork: extremities in the arts By Georgette Gouveia

Hands and feet – where would we be without them? Other body parts may be more beautiful, even more erotic – although that’s debatable as we’ll see in a bit. But hands help us to create and comfort, while feet get us where we’re going. Because hands play an integral role in writing and drawing, they’ve always been a popular subject in the arts. In the Bible, we’re told that God created man in his own image, male and female he created them, not merely by willing them from his brain but by fashioning them with his hands, as if he were a humble potter. The Creation becomes a metaphor for creativity, powerfully expressed in Auguste Rodin’s “The Hand of God” (modeled circa 1896, executed circa 1907), in which that hand rises from a rough piece of marble to cradle Adam and Eve, their limbs tumbling together like babes in the womb as they emerge from stone into sensual flesh and blood. This being a Rodin, God isn’t just creating humanity. He’s fashioning sex, perhaps the ultimate creative act, along with it. The hand, then, becomes a metaphor for the mind of the artist. Note how in Salvador Dalí’s oil painting

“Metamorphosis of Narcissus” (1937), the hand that sprouts from an arid, Surrealistic landscape to hold an egg ever so lightly between its thumb and forefinger mirrors the nude figure of Narcissus gazing at himself in the pool. Or is he also thinking? Perhaps of Guido Daniele and Mario Mariotti, artists who have transformed hands into extraordinary images of animals and athletes. Or Dalí countryman Señor Wences, alias Wenceslao Moreno, the ventriloquist who turned his clenched left hand into the face of a puppet for many appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” So it’s not just the visual artist the hand represents, but the musician, her fingers flying across an instrument; the dancer and the actor, his gestures punctuating the movement; and the writer, who puts her digits to computer keys to pound out prose and poetry. Even singers use their hands to finish their melodic thoughts. (And let’s not forget George Costanza, Jason Alexander’s character on “Seinfeld,” who had a brief but sensuous stint as a hand model in one episode.) Hands, of course, can be creative in other ways, as George and the “Seinfeld” gang – who struggled to be the masters of their domains in the wickedly funny,

surprisingly tasteful episode “The Contest” – well knew. “I want a man with a slow hand,” the Pointer Sisters sang. “I want a lover with an easy touch.” And here, dear reader, the demure hand draws a curtain. The hand that pleasures, creates and rocks the cradle can destroy as well. In Oliver Stone’s 1981 film “The Hand,” things quickly get out of hand as the severed right extremity of a comic book artist (Michael Caine) takes on a bloody life of its own. Given all that the hand can accomplish, the foot would appear to be more, well, pedestrian (from the Latin meaning “going on foot.”) Yet in the film “My Left Foot” (1989) – for which Daniel Day-Lewis won the first of his three Oscars – the title “character” is the means by which Christy Brown, stricken with cerebral palsy, becomes an artist and writer. The film is a poignant reminder that eloquence is often born of absence. The hand or foot that picks up the pen or paintbrush for its fallen “comrades” can speak most beautifully. (One of the most powerful examples of this – and the motif that ran through a great “M*A*S*H” episode – is the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major, which Maurice Ravel composed between 1929 and 1930 for Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his

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Dieric Bouts, “Christ in the House of Simon” (1440s), oil on panel, Staatliche Museen, Berlin.

The press has since moved on to other circuses, but old sex scandals die hard: When ex-Bronco and Patriot Tim Tebow was spotted getting a mani-pedi before his brief, illfated tenure with the Jets, some joked that he was just preparing to audition for the boss. Guess that’s why they call it “foot” ball. 16

right arm in World War I. The music is so rich that it’s hard to believe only one hand is playing.) As with the hand, the foot can be ennobled by art and religion. Few scenes in the Gospels are more moving than that of the sinful woman, often identified with Mary Magdalene, washing the feet of Jesus with her tears and anointing them with costly oil from an alabaster jar during a dinner at the home of Simon the Pharisee. When he and the guests begin to remonstrate, Jesus silences them by saying that she has been forgiven much, because she has loved much. At the Last Supper, he displays the humility she has shown, washing the feet of his disciples, a custom that continues to be repeated on Holy Thursday. But just as the hand can be the instrument of humble creativity or gory destruction, Edenic innocence or leisurely eroticism, the foot can be a lethal weapon (Bruce Lee movies, anyone?); kicky fun (Lucy stomping on the grapes in a classic “I Love Lucy” episode); or a naughty overture, as anyone who’s ever played footsie can tell you. Indeed, the foot is the nonsexual body part most often associated with fetishism, or podophilia. Sigmund Freud considered foot-binding to be a form of fetishism. (See related story.) Among the foot fetishists Wikipedia lists are some surprising and not-so-surpris-

ing gents, including serial seducer Giacomo Casanova; composer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, filmmaker Erich von Stroheim; novelists Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Thomas Hardy, Victor Hugo and James Joyce; and artist Andy Warhol, who drew and painted hands, feet and colorful women’s shoes with spiraling straps, bows and kitten heels. (See related story.) Shoe fetishism is known as retifism, after NicolasEdme Rétif, who could’ve given the Marquis de Sade a run for his money. Even the King himself, Elvis Presley, was said to fancy a foot. And not just for his “Blue Suede Shoes.” And then there’s New York Jets coach Rex Ryan. Not-so-sexy Rexy raised a ruckus in 2010 with some Internet videos that allegedly starred his voice and his wife’s soft feet. (Hey, at least they weren’t some other woman’s feet.) The press has since moved on to other circuses, but old sex scandals die hard: When ex-Bronco and Patriot Tim Tebow was spotted getting a mani-pedi before his brief, ill-fated tenure with the Jets, some joked that he was just preparing to audition for the boss. Guess that’s why they call it “foot” ball. n Join the conversation: #wagextremities

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Unbounded love How a missionary couple gave Chinese girls the chance to run free By Audrey Ronning Topping

Women with bound feet photographed by James Ricalton in 1900.

“What induces a mother to impose such suffering upon a daughter? How my heart aches for all these little Chinese girls. When I think of myself in Iowa at the glorious age of 10, running and leaping on my horse, galloping over the fields and jumping the creeks and these poor children have no freedom at all and can barely walk.” – Hannah Ronning, China missionary, 1891


hroughout the ages many customs have been developed by mankind seemingly to enhance or control women. In the West, there were laced corsets and stilettos. In China, there was the cruel practice of binding the feet of young girls so that they would be only three inches long. Folklore has it that around the year 700, an empress gave birth to a girl with a clubfoot. To change her deformity into a model of beauty and elegance, the emperor made it mandatory for all young girls in the higher classes to break and bind their feet. The fetish lasted almost 1,000 years and was imposed upon concubines and wives to keep them from straying or escaping a beating. My American grandparents, the Rev. Halvor and Hannah Ronning, who went to China in 1891 to serve with the China Inland Mission, became directly involved in curbing this cruel custom. The first student in my grandmother’s missionary school for girls in the interior of China was not a member of the gentry but a 10-year-old she had rescued from the slave market for the price of a few silver dollars. It was unusual to find a slave girl for sale that had bound feet for it was only the privileged classes that perpetrated that horror upon their little girls. The servant class and lowly peasants let the feet grow normally, enabling them to do the hard work expected of them. The orphaned girl had been kidnapped. When Hannah found her, she was hysterical with fear and suffering from pain in her tightly bound feet. Back at the mission, Hannah unwrapped several yards of filthy bandages that tightly bound the child’s broken feet. The girl screamed in agony as the blood suddenly rushed to her toes. Hannah lowered her feet into a bucket of warm water with soothing oils. The child sighed in relief, but Hannah was horrified. “I saw with my own eyes what the Chinese call ‘killing the feet,’” Hannah later wrote in a letter to mission headquarters in Min-

nesota, imploring officials there to send funds for a hospital. “The smell was quite revolting, but we tried not to notice. Her poor feet had been forced into line with the leg and the toes doubled under the soles of the feet. The big toes had been forced crooked to overlap the others. The bandages had been applied with a cruel amount of pressure. The child’s feet were blue and the skin cracked and indented where the circulation had been completely cut off. Fortunately, she is not yet permanently crippled as her young bones are still soft. “It must be the cruelest custom ever inflicted by man. Mothers sleep with sticks, which they use to beat the child if she disturbs the household with her wails and if that doesn’t work, they sometimes lock her in an outhouse. The poor darlings are in such pain that their mothers give them opium to stifle the agony. We are told that the pain lets up after three years, but many of the girls die of gangrene or shock before that. Some go mad and others become opium addicts. When they grow up, they are crippled for life. They get no exercise, because they can only walk on their heels with the knees stiff. The feet are no longer than a hand’s width. The muscles of the calf never develop and the lower legs are like broomsticks with drooping folds of skin. But, thank God, our little girl will not suffer this. She will recover in time and we will do everything we can to give her a good education. Halvor baptized her and we have named her Sarah. “I cannot imagine that the Chinese men find it attractive, but they say it is so. They call these hideously crippled feet ‘golden lilies,’ but the operation transforms the woman into a fetish, and thus, a pure object of love. They call it the ‘code of love,’ but I call it a code of suffering and tears imposed on women for control. No gentleman will marry a girl with natural feet and to have an unmarried daughter is the ultimate disgrace for a middle-class family. Now I see that we must first unbind the minds before we can unbind the feet.”

Chinese shoe for bound foot, 18th century.

When the winter plum trees bloomed to herald the spring of 1894, the missionaries hung posters on the town bulletin boards announcing the opening of a free school for all children regardless of sex or social standing. Books and writing materials would be furnished by the mission. This was shocking news for the local gentry. There had never ever been a school for girls in the interior of China. Only boys of the upper classes were to be educated. To ensure success, the mission school was to open on the propitious ninth day of the ninth moon, Sept. 9, 1894. Halvor and Hannah Ronning had invited the local officials for tea and explained that reading and writing would be taught first in Chinese and then in English. Halvor pointed out that the merit system established by Confucius was to be highly recommended but that it allowed for only one boy in a whole village to be educated, whereas the Mission School would give every child the opportunity to go to school. Hannah pointed out that they wanted to restore the educational opportunities that girls enjoyed during the great Tang Dynasty (618-907) when China was at the height of its glory and girls had the same opportunities for education as boys. “The elite group,” wrote Halvor later, “listened with an air of apathetic indifference, which seems to veil the inner feelings of most polished Chinese gentlemen.” He was soon to discover their real feelings. At 6 a.m. opening day, Halvor dressed smartly in a mandarin scholar’s robe tailored to fit his tall Nordic frame. Then he placed a long false queue or pigtail attached to a satin skull cap to hide his wavy, fair hair and set out for his new schoolhouse with long, purposeful strides. He

was full of enthusiasm, but it was not the auspicious beginning he had anticipated. “When I came to the schoolhouse,” he wrote, “I found one small, ragged urchin sitting on the steps. That was all! Just one! Two with my adopted son Peter. However, I welcomed the child warmly and carried on classes as if I had a full house. “The next day the boy, whom I discovered was the nephew of our loyal gatekeeper, came back with a friend who looked so bedraggled and frightened I had to laugh. That was a mistake. He ran off crying and Peter had to fetch him back. So now there were three. I taught them how to count. The boys learned quickly. They were proud of themselves and left promising to spread the good word. The next day, there were five. That’s what we call progress, isn’t it?” While Halvor was making progress, Hannah was despondent. Hers was to be the first girls school in the interior of China, but in spite of their earnest campaigning, not a single girl had appeared on the first day. This was not surprising considering the history of women in China since the downfall of the Tang Dynasty in 907. Educating females was a revolutionary idea. Women, the Chinese believed, were necessary for the proliferation of the species, but inferior by nature. The sages stressed the danger of educating women or letting them go freely about lest they gain the upper hand. There are two old sayings that reveal the attitudes at that time: “At the bottom of every trouble there is a woman” and “If women take to learning, what will men do?” With this way of thinking inured in the minds of the Chinese for centuries, it was no wonder that my grandparents had a difficult time getting girls to go to school.

Beggars, servants and the poorest peasants were often freer than an upper-class woman, who could be divorced if she dared to venture alone on the streets. If called upon to go on an errand without her husband, she had to ride a mule with an escort or travel in a curtained sedan chair carried on the shoulders of two bearers, who reported her every movement to their master. If she was accompanied by her husband, she was obliged to walk three paces behind. Three days after Sarah’s feet were unbound, she became the first girl to attend Hannah’s school. A week later, another 10-year-old girl was brought to the mission by her father, a well-to-do gentleman in the salt trade who had been converted to Christianity by Halvor. The salt merchant set an example by bringing his daughter to school and soon others followed. The only criterion for entrance was that the girls must unbind their feet. Two weeks after the opening, Halvor wrote: “I have 11 small boys and Hannah has five girls. We must not be discouraged. Building has begun on the dormitories and the mission work is expanding rapidly.” Today, the school they founded is comprised of grades one to 12 with a spacious campus and track where the girls can run freely. The complex contains the largest middle school in Hubei Province. Grandmother’s tombstone still stands in the courtyard of the elementary school. When my husband and I visited the school last year with some of our children, we were cheered by 4,000 students, causing my grandson (Halvor’s great-great grandson) to remark. “Hey Grandma, in China, you’re a rock star!” Audrey Ronning Topping’s new book “China Mission: A Personal History From Imperial China to the People’s Republic,” published by the Louisiana State University Press Oct. 7, is available for discount preorders on n Join the conversation: #wagfootbinding


Anthony Davidson in his

Manhattanville College office. 20

Having a ball By Mary Shustack Photographs by Bob Rozycki

When Anthony Davidson was interviewing for a job at Manhattanville College, the man who would be chosen dean of the graduate school was asked why he was interested in coming to Purchase. The reply he gave was as cheeky as it was quite possibly truthful: “Two reasons. You have two soccer fields.” Of course, the longtime university dean, consultant, entrepreneur – and avid soccer player and fan – would display more than just a sense of humor to those looking to find the next dean of the School of Graduate & Professional Studies. It’s certain Davidson’s well-documented commitment to education, progress and integrity captivated the search committee. But his easygoing manner and winning personality surely didn’t hurt and since officially joining Manhattanville in the summer of 2011, Davidson has already proven himself. He’s fine-tuned the master’s programs and launched certificate programs, moves designed to increase Manhattanville’s reputation as an attractive destination for post-graduate business training. Doing such work is what Davidson says drew him to the rolling campus off Purchase Street after more than a decade at New York University, where he last served as dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies in business and a clinical professor. “For me it really was the opportunity to build and grow,” Davidson says. “Manhattanville is in a growth stage.” While busy making strides on the academic side, Davidson still manages to have time for the beloved sport that’s never far from his mind – or view. “Obviously, part of my deal is I have to overlook the field,” he says with a laugh, welcoming visitors into his Reid Castle office that indeed looks over a soccer field. A look around underscores his allegiance to the game he’s loved since his childhood in England. (Make sure to admire the Chelsea Football Club banner but mention anything Manchester, or what Davidson calls “that other team,” at your own risk).


A lifelong athlete, Davidson and pals

would spend countless hours kicking “anything that moved” as their soccer, or as they called it football, skills were honed. “We were playing with a Coke can,” he says. “You kicked anything.” Formal play, if sometimes dangerous, was the natural progression. Davidson shares the tale of a particularly rough moment when he was barreled over only to wake up in the infirmary with one thought – Had he scored? “It hurts a lot less when you score,” he says with a smile. But even the most casual chat with Davidson reveals sports to him means more than just winning. The man who had the “dubious distinction” of being not only an athlete but also a member of the chess club was often the captain, rarely the star. He liked being the underdog, liked using strategy to defeat raw strength. “I do believe in any sporting game that I do, I play it strategically,” he says. “It’s part of my DNA.” Whether it’s on the soccer field, the tennis court or ski slope, Davidson finds great reward in sport. “It’s not about being perfect,” he says. “It’s the pursuit of perfection that I enjoy.” And that’s mirrored in his philosophy on what makes an MVP, which he would often award during his early years as a teacher and coach. “To me, the person who earns the MVP is the player who performs so far above their level.” He finds that still true today. “It’s the same thing when I play ball. The success stories are people who perform at levels higher than what you expect.”


Davidson came to America some 37 years ago to work at a soccer camp in upstate New York. After a few summers, he decided to finish his schooling here since England in the late 1970s was “depressing.” “I was still a teenager with an English accent,” he says. “I was perceived as being a real jock.” His early days teaching soccer, he says, taught him a lot as well.

“The truth of the matter is kids are so easy. Whatever you invest in them they repay it hundredfold.” Back then, long before the saturation of youth leagues and soccer moms, the game was new and served as “the great equalizer.” Veteran jocks were learning the rules just as their less-athletic counterparts. The latter, Davidson says, gained a confidence that translated beyond the field. “They suddenly were not being seen anymore, not to be cruel, as ‘Mr. Loser,’” he says. It changed them “in relationship to their peers.” Lessons from the playing field would stay with Davidson, who in time would go on to earn degrees from Baruch College-The City University of New York and a doctorate from Cass Business School of City University London. He would have jobs in sports and academia, in consulting and as an author. Throughout, he says, sport has played its part with its lessons about teamwork, sportsmanship, performing at your best level and prioritizing. “When I grew up and played soccer, there was no trash-talking,” he says. “It was unsportsmanlike conduct.” And the father of four finds it disheartening when Little League squabbles lead to inappropriate behavior from adults. “It takes away from my enjoyment,” he says. And while American football, tennis and skiing have been part of his athletic life, there’s nothing that compares to soccer. While Davidson says his days in formal leagues may be done, he’s often tapped for fill-in spots and is hard-pressed to pass up a pickup game near his Queens home. Still, he says he is “really critical” of himself, especially when taking the field with players 20 years his junior. He is, though, still a holding midfielder with “a pretty accurate pass and free kick.” These days that comes from experience if not necessarily training. There are no long jogs or hours spent in the gym. “I would take the car out of my driveway to the car in the street,” he admits. But, he says, “Give me a ball, and I’d run all day.”



Over the years, Davidson says, sports have been put on the backburner a few times. But it’s been, Davidson says with a laugh, “not because of my career, maybe marriage.” With his wife and children, ages 11 to 24, Davidson has long lived in Queens. He says it offers the “right balance” of a setting, part suburban and part urban. It’s the “same concept” of the life he found outside of London. And is his wife athletic? Not so much. “Of course, she thinks we’re all insane and I’m fanatical – and we are,” he says, noting one of his daughters even blogs for the Chelsea football club. To this day, Davidson says the connection to soccer helps him in his professional setting. He’s amazed at “how much it permeates.” “It crosses all lines,” he says. It’s helped him break the ice with everyone from a visiting rabbi to an at-first reticent student. “It’s quite amazing, the depths,” Davidson says. “It’s absolutely unique and universal.”


Davidson has been known to find himself back on campus on a random Sunday with a mix of his children and various nieces, nephews and friends. “Sometimes we get together a nice big family game and we’ll play ’til we collapse,” he says. It’s no surprise, then, that he’s happy to head out to the field on a recent afternoon, as the dazzling sun – and WAG request – invite a little escape from the office. “Anything’s worth it for soccer,” he says. He’ll take a few playful shots in his usual workday attire before changing into athletic gear, which includes a Manhattanville soccer jersey that was a gift from the athletic director. Davidson is clearly enjoying himself, showing off his skills and even a few moves one might see on the professional field. He’ll aim the ball to suit a photographer’s request, “even though my favorite spot is the top right corner.” It’s quite the workout, but as the photo shoot nears its end, Davidson still wants to be sure nothing else is needed. After all, he’d be happy to stay out on the field the rest of the day. “I love playing ball. What can I tell you?” n Join the conversation: #waganthonydavidson Anthony Davidson takes to the soccer 22 field at Manhattanville.

Art by renowned illustrator Alex nabaum.

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Stealing back life Luis Pons restores his health through street images By Georgette Gouveia Photography by Luis Pons


ometimes in life you find yourself in a dark place or squander an opportunity and wonder, why? It’s only later that you realize the valley, the lost moment were just stations on your way to becoming what you were meant to be. That’s how dance photographer Luis Pons sees his life. Two years ago, he experienced a mysterious illness that left him in a state of clinical depression and anxiety that ultimately led to a brief addiction to Xanax. But it was also at that time that the information technologist took up the Nikon D3000 he had bought himself for Christmas 2010. At first, the Riverdale resident sought out solitary subjects amid the swirl of New York City, much as the painter Edward Hopper had done. “I was looking for people, moments, landscapes attuned to what I was feeling,” he says. “If someone was disconnected, I would snap his picture. I also would photograph couples, because at that time, I wasn’t myself and I felt disconnected from my wife. I learned that to be an individual street photographer makes you a voyeur. You’re stealing moments.” These black-and-white images, then, stole small yet eloquent moments – a scruffy man smoking and thinking against his bookstall, a little girl sitting on a street looking solemn-faced at the camera, an unusual Pietà in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in which Pons’ view concentrates on the clasped hands of Mary and her dead son. Yet it wasn’t enough. Pons – who has played piano, violin, cello and classical guitar and written poetry about dance – wanted to create visual poetry, visual music. “The dancer is striving to link mind, body and soul in one perfect moment,” he says. “My struggle was to realize those aspects of me.” He began with one dancer – the flamenco artist Glenda Sol, who let him photograph her and her class. In his pictures, she stands in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, all erotic hauteur, displaying the

floral-print black shawl before her like a toreador tormenting the bull with the fluttering red muleta. It’s no accident that the inverted V of the shawl mirrors the Gothic arches of the beloved landmark. Pons is fascinated by geometric lines and reversals, as in his photograph of Madison Jayne Cole leaning back on one of the glorious male nudes that crown Columbus Circle – her outstretched arms supported by his, her raised right leg and pointed right foot echoing the line of his planted left leg as if they were engaged in a pas de deux that only she were aware of. Other photographers have “choreographed” dancers in New York City. Balletomanes will remember Richard Corman’s photographs for a 1998 New York City Ballet advertising campaign, in which poses from such works as George Balanchine’s “Apollo,” “Prodigal Son” and “Jewels” were set against some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. What makes Pons’ photographs different is that juxtaposition of grit and glamour, as in the images of Sara Ezzell posed in the long tulle skirt of the Romantic era like a latter-day Giselle come back from the dead amid the wild verdure of Yonkers’ abandoned greenhouses. This is street photography at its finest, requiring a kind of stealth approach. Packing a Nikon D600, a full-frame digital camera, Pons heads out early in the morning for a shoot so as not to interfere with the IT job he calls his “patron” or his family – wife Elizabeth, who has her own day-care business in upper Manhattan, and kids Alana and Devin. Pons and his dancers – who have included students of the New York City-based Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet and the Ellison Ballet – discuss in advance what the dancers will wear. There’s no Vogue magazine-style entourage. Makeup is minimal so as to keep the look natural and not distract from the pose. On that, Pons may defer to the dancers. “I’ve gotten smarter on ballet terms, but they know their craft. They know their line.” So it’s just Pons, the dancers, the camera 25

and a moment – often in a busy, sometimes off-limits environment that forces the team to act like a flash mob. Pons will hoist a dancer atop a monument, as in the picture of Cole in Columbus Circle. Sometimes it’s the dancer who offers support. For the enchanting photo of Bryn Michaels kicking her leg up and flashing a grin as she balanced on pointe in a cobblestone SoHo street – hardly the easiest thing to do – Michaels had 26

to watch out for Pons, who had his back to the traffic. The result is a fascinating depiction of balletic grace in the concrete jungle that finishes with a flourish of hands and feet. (“I’m always looking at the ends.”) That urban beauty is an interest born of Pons’ childhood in Washington Heights during the 1970s and ’80s, the so-called “Bronx is burning” years. “In the ’70s and ’80s, there was always

glass on the street and cracks in the sidewalk.” Pons’ musical abilities earned him a scholarship to Mannes College The New School for Music in New York City. But Pons says he “squandered” that opportunity by failing to appreciate it fully. Perhaps or perhaps it was just the means to this end. He is now selling prints of his work on his website. He’s started a relationship with Alvin Ailey American

Dance Theater. Most important, while maintaining his IT job, he’s begun to think of himself as a dance photographer, realizing that as you see yourself so others will see you. Pons knows, too, that his work is a metaphor for his life as he shoots through the urban undertow to that light at the end of the tunnel. For more, visit lponsphotography. com. n

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Sterling Hyltin and Gonzalo Garcia in “Rubies” Photograph by Paul Kolnik.

from “Jewels.” 28

Best foot forward By Georgette Gouveia

Sterling Hyltin, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, is as good as her name – a graceful ballerina known for her kicky, flirty performances in smart, sexy roles but also a gracious young woman who offers to continue our conversation on another day to make sure we get all the answers to our questions on the use and care of hands and feet in the ballet. What she has to say on the subject is revelatory to say the least. It will also make you glad if your worst encounter is with a pair of unyielding stilettos. We begin with a discussion of hands, often overlooked by lovers of the dance who are so bewitched by fleet feet. But hands are important, no? “Absolutely, as far as hands go, they may get there last, but they have to get there,” she says. Meaning, she adds, that the hands not only connect with, hold and caress a partner or link with other dancers. “Sometimes the hand isn’t what you’re supposed to look at, but it gestures to an-

other part of the body.” As in “Mozartiana,” a soulful tribute to Wolfgang Amadeus by way of Tchaikovsky and George Balanchine, who cofounded City Ballet with Lincoln Kirstein. It’s a work that Hyltin (pronounced hill-TEEN) describes as “a full meal with a hearty role for the ballerina.” Ultimately in ballet, the hands finish the line of the body, serving as a bridge to the air. And there must be no impediment to that transparent bridge. At City Ballet, the hands are “naked,” she says. Female dancers can wear clear nail polish. The married ones may choose to wear their wedding rings. But there are no bold nail lacquers, gloves or flashy jewelry, unless a role requires them. The feet are more complex and what everyone wants to know about, right? For toe or pointe shoes are like a nun’s veil, a symbol of a rite of passage into a world few of us will ever enter. Hyltin says she doesn’t remember the exact age she began pointe work – it usually starts between

ages 11 and 14, not so coincidentally around the time of puberty – but says, “I loved it right away.” The Amarillo, Texas, native began her dance training at age 6 with the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet, entering the School of American Ballet, City Ballet’s official school, in the fall of 2000. When she became an apprentice with the company two years later, she stepped into another dancer’s shoes, those of former corps de ballet member Megan Pepin, literally. They fit perfectly. But Hyltin was on the way to shoes of her own. She joined the corps in 2003, became a soloist three years later and a principal in 2007. Along the way she has shown striking diversity – originating the role of Juliet in “Romeo + Juliet” by ballet master in chief Peter Martins; bringing a saucy edge to the main ballerina in the “Rubies” section of Balanchine’s “Jewels”; and playing the shrewd village girl who teaches her bumpkin of a boyfriend a thing or two about the power of woman-

hood in the comedy ballet “Coppélia.” Like most of the women in her company, Hyltin gets her pointe shoes from Freed of London, which has been making them by hand in that city since 1929, although the company has a location in Long Island City. The shoes are peachy pink (they can be dyed for different roles); are made of satin with a wood toe box; and are tailored to the ballerina’s measurements and specifications. “Some dancers like more satin on the sides. Others don’t want the shoes to be cut as high.” Hyltin likes more satin, because she thinks it looks better on her feet. (At 5 foot, 4 inches – 5 foot, 8 inches on pointe – she wears a size 4 toe shoe, which translates into a size 6½ street shoe.) Even without the extra satin, you would know a Hyltin pointe shoe: Her name is on the bottom. There are all kinds of urban legends about ballerinas taking the peach beauties reverently in their hands and then taking






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The first thing Hyltin does when she takes a pair (of ballet shoes) out of the box is to turn them over and step on them. Then she bends them at the “shank,” which supports the ball of the foot. (Dancers also bang the shoes against a wall before going onstage.)

Sterling Hyltin in “Coppélia.” Photograph by Paul Kolnik.

a hammer to them to soften them up. Not exactly but close enough. The first thing Hyltin does when she takes a pair out of the box is to turn them over and step on them. Then she bends them at the “shank,” which supports the ball of the foot. (Dancers also bang the shoes against a wall before going onstage.) Hyltin sews the elastics on the heel and then the ribbons. If there’s one thing she’s obsessive about, it’s her heels, so she’ll tug the shoes up once or twice before going out onstage, even though she doesn’t need to. With class, rehearsal and performance all in the mix, Hyltin can dance anywhere from four to eight hours a day and go through nine pairs of toe shoes in a week. On one day alone, she went through two pairs in five hours of rehearsal, though she 30

says she tries to salvage the seasoned ones for rehearsals that don’t require as hard a shoe. Once the shoes have “died” – yes, that’s the technical term for it – the ribbons are snipped off to be used on other shoes. Periodically, autographed pairs of dead shoes make their way to the City Ballet Gift Shop on the promenade of the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. There are few things more poignant than these battered beauties, like shells strewn along the sand, awaiting new homes and others to love them. Love doesn’t come cheap. Toe shoes can cost anywhere from $30 to $75 per pair, and companies like Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre spend close to $100,000 a year footing the bill. So toe shoes can be hard on the budget though probably harder on the bunions.

“I’ve danced with a sprained ankle and a torn ligament,” says Hyltin, who’s just back from a tendon injury that sidelined her for the summer. “But those were nothing compared to a corn I had in between my toes. I broke into a cold sweat as it took me 20 minutes to put my toe shoe on.” Hyltin takes an Epsom salt bath every night “not only for my feet but every part of my body.” She also gets regular pedicures to slough away the calluses, although she adds that her feet have to have a certain toughness for pointe work. On her toes, she favors lighter colors that “help the feet look pretty,” disguising the chips that are inevitable with pointe work and reminding her that there are open-toe shoes and a life beyond ballet. While over-the-counter ointments like

Arnica and Traumeel help with the pain, Hyltin is careful not to over-moisturize her feet or the rest of her body, due to perspiration. But she does wear scent, continuing a City Ballet tradition that began when Balanchine presented his ballerinas with different scents so he could always tell who was in the building. Hyltin favors Hiris by Hermès, which she describes as having overtones of grapefruit and musk. “I don’t,” she says, “do sweet.” The New York City Ballet’s fall season runs through Oct. 13. Performances of Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” run Nov. 29 through Jan. 4. For more, visit n Join the conversation: #Wagsterlinghyltin

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beyond acrobatics Cirque du Soleil puts performers through their paces By Georgette Gouveia

ust call her Your Honor. As company manager of “Amaluna” – a dazzling new touring production from Cirque du Soleil – Jamie Reilly says, “I have many hats, and it looks to the outside world like I’m the mayor of a small village.” That village will be rolling into Queens right near Citi Field next spring when “Amaluna” makes its Big Apple bow. And you can be sure that it takes a village to create a village – 112 artists and employees representing 16 countries. Those ranks swell with some 150 locals during the eight days it takes to set up the 2,600-seat big top, the concession tents, artistic tent, box office, administrative offices and kitchen and the two and a half days it takes to dismantle them. “I’ve been doing this for 12 years and I’m always amazed at how efficiently it’s done,” Reilly says. If that’s impressive, well, then, so are Cirque du Soleil’s 19 different shows, which actually range from A (“Alegría”) to Z (“Zumanity’) with stops at The Beatles and Michael Jackson in between. For the uninitiated, Cirque du Soleil was created in 1984 by accordionist, stilt-walker and fire-eater Guy Laliberté, who had founded Quebec’s first internationally recognized circus. Laliberté’s idea was to take the circus to its logical extreme. “One of the beautiful things is we have all the acrobatic elements of the traditional circus, but we go beyond acrobatics,” Reilly says. “We have a story line.” It’s a point underscored by “Amaluna,” which takes its cue from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and is directed by Diane Paulus, artistic director of American Repertory Theater, whose recent work for ART includes “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” and “Pro-


metheus Bound,” a musical based on Aeschylus’ play. “Diane brings the theater to the circus,” Reilly says. Here she has a gender-bending take on one of the Bard’s most beloved works to play with. The mysterious island that is the setting is ruled not by the magician Prospero but by the queen Prospera, aided by various goddesses, and, as the title suggests, the cycles of the moon. (The cast is 70 percent female.) There is, however, always a little yang to the yin in the form of a group of young men who are tossed up on the island by a Prospera-induced storm. One of them, the stalwart Romeo – who seems to have wandered in from another Shakespeare play – falls in love with Prospera’s daughter, Miranda. But young love must be tested before it has its way. One of those tests comes in the dance of “1,000 Arms and Sticks.” Inspired by an Indonesian ritual, the silver- and black-clad company, wearing long gloves with painted nails, aligns to create the image of a woman with 1,000 arms. During the enchantment, the Peacock Goddess spirits Miranda away, leaving Romeo to journey to the Underworld through a forest of sticks that recalls a Vietnamese circus tradition. “It’s my favorite,” Reilly says of the sequence. Still, “Amaluna” is not all dance theater. There are some old-fashioned and newfangled acrobatics as well, such as an uneven bars routine right out of women’s gymnastics, a first for a Cirque du Soleil show. The circus’ esprit de corps is one thing, however, that will never change. So if there’s snow on the roof of the big top, it’s all hands on deck, including the company manager, who knows how to wield a shovel.


“Everyone goes out of his way to ensure we put on the best show we can,” Reilly says. The show’s currently in Minneapolis before heading to San Francisco and San Jose, where it will winter before arriving in New York in April. That’s a lot of time on the road. “I’m very passionate about the show and the company,” Reilly says. “But what the show teaches is balance.” The cast and crew of “Amaluna” travel with two full-time physiotherapists and hire a local Pilates instructor and masseuse in each city they travel to. Meanwhile, Reilly heads to the gym a few times a week for some “me time.” She also takes time for a mani-pedi, “though not as much as I’d like to.” But when she can, she says, “I’m the first one in the spa chair.” For more on “Amaluna,” visit n

Join the conversation: #wagcirquedusoleil


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“Diamond Dust Shoes” by Andy Warhol, 1980. 36

warhol’s shoe fetish By Georgette Gouveia


ndy Warhol – whose 15 minutes of fame show no signs of ending – was many things, some of which may surprise you. He was a devout Roman Catholic, whose jewel-colored Lizes, Jackies and Marilyns reflect the Byzantine icons of his Carpatho-Rusyn-American childhood in Pittsburgh and whose memorial service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral extolled his work in soup kitchens. (This reporter can attest to this, having seen him regularly in the 1980s at Saturday evening Mass at The Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Manhattan.) He was a savvy, hardworking entrepreneur who wasn’t above taking to the streets with an assistant and copies of Interview magazine to ensure that the publication remained in the public eye. He was a craftsman, well-schooled in art and art history from his studies at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and

his years in advertising. And he was a foot and shoe fetishist. “There are stories from one of his former romantic partners (the poet John Giorno) about his fondness for toes,” says Matt Wrbican, chief archivist of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, which contains hundreds of thousands of paintings, photographs, prints, films, videos, letters, wigs and articles of clothing belonging to the Pop artist (1928-87). “He did a large series of drawings of feet for a book project. He drew the feet of Christopher Isherwood, Leontyne Price, Tammy Grimes and Cecil Beaton. They would pose for him, though in the case of Beaton, Warhol drew his feet while he was sleeping and put a flower between his toes. “There are drawings of feet with Coke bottles, soup cans, dogs, American flag motifs and sea shells. There are also photos of feet (like Mick Jagger’s) that are not the sources of the drawings but works by themselves. He had a real

fascination and attraction for feet.” In a few photos, you can see Warhol’s own tootsies, clothed in bright red socks, peeping through a pair of shoes he cut oddly, not in any attempt to be fashionable but more likely to relieve a corn or bunion, Wrbican says. Warhol owned lots of shoes “everything from Top-siders to Reeboks to (18 pairs of ) cowboy boots and anything in between, including loafers and penny loafers.” Among his shoes was a pair of Ferragamos, splattered with paint. “He also owned women’s shoes made by Halston – brightly colored, metallic leather with rhinestone heels, really over the top.” No doubt these will play a special role in the exhibit “Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede,” which bows at The Warhol in May. Warhol’s professional interest in shoes was enhanced by his illustrations for I. Miller, a shoe company that hired him in 1956. His witty, full-page color ads – which ran in the society pages of The New York Times and The New

York Herald Tribune, never the tabloids – “really pushed the brand forward,” Wrbican says. And it inspired paintings like “Diamond Dust Shoes (Random)” (1980), whose brightly colored repetition of a commercial object is the quintessence of Pop. Like most artists, Warhol was just as fascinated by hands. His five-finger exercises include a Polaroid of his left hand; “Rorschach Hand Prints” (1984), featuring handprints in primary acrylic colors on a bright pink canvas; and “Sidewalk” (1983), a photograph of Cary Grant’s, Judy Garland’s, Shirley Temple’s and Jack Nicholson’s hand and footprints outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (now the TCL Chinese Theatre). But what is perhaps most fascinating is the way Warhol’s use of hands fell along gender lines. “He had this way of posing the hands of people in portraits,” Wrbican says, “the men with the hands in the frame, the women without. Jay Shriver, his


“Owl and Feet” by Andy Warhol, 1961.

assistant for the last seven years of his life, said it made the men seem more active and masculine with their hands in the frame.” These were, of course, commissioned portraits of accomplished but not necessarily readily recognizable people. For portraits of famous women, the rules were somewhat differ38

ent. Warhol’s portraits of Karen Kain, Liza Minnelli and Diana Vreeland all have their hands in the frame. Might he have been saying that fame gives a woman the kind of commanding presence usually reserved for men? Warhol also used a lighter paint for women’s skin tones than for men’s, although once again when it came to

renowned women, all bets were off. Paintings of Brigitte Bardot, Grace Jones and Princess Caroline are so colorful, Wrbican says, as to transcend Realism. The use of lighter colors for female skin tones has its antecedents in art history, he adds. And that may be yet another surprise: Warhol, the avatar of

the avant-garde, was nonetheless a student of the artistic tradition. “He understood that you have to know the rules in order to break them.” n Join the conversation: #wagwarhol

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Soaring Dentist rides a high on extreme sport By Patricia Espinosa

What do you get when you combine wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding and gymnastics into one sport? One extreme sport called kiteboarding.


Kiteboard enthusiast Ervin Braun has no problem pushing himself beyond the limits while some of us take it easy on the couch. It’s a lesson the Old Greenwich resident has imparted to his three children – Scooter, who discovered Justin Bieber and owns two record labels; Adam, who founded the nonprofit Pencils of Promise; and Liza, who’s in her final year of medical school. I caught up with the intrepid dentist while he was in Vancouver just as he was getting ready to go for a ride, or is it a fly?

Do you kiteboard with your kids? “Yes, as a matter of fact, we all learned together at the same time when we took a trip together.”

How long have you been kiteboarding? “It’s been about seven, eight years now.”

What’s so great about the sport? “The thrill of traveling on the water then launching up into the air, going 20

feet in the air, floating down gently and landing back on the water is incredible.”

What led you to kiteboarding? “Great question. I was actually a very active windsurfer for about 25 years, and I would literally travel all over the globe looking for wind. I was very passionate about windsurfing and I took a vacation to the Dominican Republic and there’s a place there that’s known for the wind called Cabarete. It’s a beautiful beach with a halfmoon kind of bay. On one side were all the windsurfers and on the other side kiteboarders. It was a sport I didn’t know much about. So one morning when the wind wasn’t (strong) enough for the windsurfers, I decided to walk around the bay – about a 20-minute walk along the beach to the other side – and I saw all these kiteboarders. And one kiteboarder came barreling in towards the beach. I watched him jump and as he jumped, he looked at me and kind of winked and turned in what’s called an air jive and went right back in the other direction. It took my breath away. And I thought, ‘Wow, I’ve got to do that.’”

Is it fair to say you’re a thrill-seeker? “I would have to say yes. I guess I do a

lot of extreme sports, I heli-ski. I mountain-bike. I like to do things that are challenging, that give you excitement but depend on your skill level to deliver the amount of excitement you reach rather than just jumping off a bridge with a bungee cord. Yeah, that’s exciting but basically there’s no skill involved. I like to challenge myself in that regard.”

We’re doing this interview over the phone, because you’re in Vancouver right now. Are you there to kiteboard? “It’s an interesting question. No matter where I go, I always potentially kiteboard. The beauty of the sport, unlike windsurfing where there’s a giant board and a big sail, is that with kiteboarding the kite packs up into a little backpack and the board is a small little board like the size of a snowboard. So you can carry all the stuff you need and literally go anywhere and everywhere. You just need a body of water and wind.”

Have you ever had an accident? “Yes, I actually almost lost my right eye. I got smashed into some rocks. But with that said, I want you to understand that it’s like any other sport. If you use poor judgment

you can get yourself into trouble. I caught around 40 stitches around my eye. But I’m fine. I just now see it as a badge of honor.”

What is your fondest kiteboarding memory? “My son Adam and I took a special trip to the northern coast of Brazil where we kitesurfed (the difference from kiteboarding being the water has waves) downwind for seven days from village to village. We had guides following us on dune buggies that would travel with our luggage on these pristine beaches with literally no one around, miles and miles of untouched beach. It was an extraordinary trip.”

What would your advice be to someone considering trying the sport? “One thing I will say with kiteboarding, the key to happiness is when you’re learning, you go to a very good school or instructor that can teach you safety and how to do it properly and you really learn quickly. And that sets you up to be better at it. If you try to do it yourself, it’s really potentially dangerous. I love the sport and I’d love to see more people get into it, because it’s really wonderful.” n


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GET enlightened Himalayan art shines at the Rubin Museum By Georgette Gouveia


ands and feet have always played an important role as symbols in religion and religious art but perhaps never more poetically so than in Buddhism, as we discovered on a recent visit to the Rubin Museum of Art. Situated in what was part of the original Barneys department store in Manhattan’s intimately elegant Chelsea district, the 9-year-old, 70,000-square-foot museum contains more than 2,000 objects that make it the premier institution of Himalayan art. Among those are works in which the feet and particularly the hands are articulated in such a way as to convey ideas. “Mudras are loosely defined as hand gestures, from the Sanskrit ‘mud,’ meaning ‘bliss’ or ‘to please the gods,’ and ‘dhra,’ meaning ‘dissolving,’” says museum guide David G. Rosenberg, who grew up in New Rochelle. The idea being in Hinduism, from which mudras are derived and later in Buddhism that a mudra “dissolves duality,” he says. Just as the hand connects partners and the body with space in ballet, so “a mudra brings together the deity being observed and the devotee.” Mudras are used in East Indian classical dance, which has inspired martial arts; Hindu poojas (offerings); Tantric worship, a style of early Indian meditation and ritual; and yoga. There are set numbers in both Hinduism and Buddhism and countless variations, colored by the pose of the figure and its facial expression. The right hand represents the male, compassion and skillfulness; the left, the female and wisdom. This is a complex subject that’s not always easy for Westerners to grasp. But Rosenberg says that we should think of it in terms of the hula dance or American sign language, in which “the hand gestures are symbols for something else.” Perhaps the best way to understand mudras is to view some of the collection highlights with an expert guide like Rosenberg. We begin with one of the 42

most beloved goddesses in Tibetan Buddhism – and one of the most beloved works in the Rubin – “Tara, Mother of All Activities.” This goddess of compassion is so beloved in fact, he adds, that when she comes off the floor – museums like to rotate their collections, showing only a portion of their holdings at a time – “Everybody says, ‘When’s Tara coming back?’” The love affair with this 13thcentury Tibetan brass work is instantaneous. Here is the essence of womanhood – strength, vibrance, sensuousness and intelligence – embodied in a graceful but voluptuous form that suggests the influence of Hindu art. This seated Tara’s also a wonderful example of hand and foot mudras. While the left leg is drawn up and in as if she were about to meditate, the right leg is off the seat, the foot flexed and the toes splayed. “She’s ready to spring into action if we need help,” Rosenberg says. It is the foot of great protection. Tara’s generously open right hand conveys “boon giving.” The left hand is more complex. The thumb and middle finger meet in a gesture of protection, wisdom and compassion. The index and ring fingers and pinky symbolize the three jewels – the Buddha, the ancient Indian prince Siddhartha Gautama, who renounced worldliness to find enlightenment; the Dharma, or teachings; and the Sangha, the Buddha’s original disciples. Rosenberg moved on to several works depicting the Buddha, including “Shakyamuni Buddha,” a 16th century Tibetan painting made of pigments on cloth. The left hand is in a resting, meditative pose while the right points down. This “touch-

“Tara, Mother of All Activities,” Shyama Tara Tibet, 13th century, brass with inlays of silver, Rubin Museum of Art.

ing the earth” pose signifies the Buddha drawing the earth’s attention to his enlightenment. It is his signature gesture. Early on, Rosenberg says, the Buddha – who is not a deity but “the Enlightened One” – instructed his followers not to depict him. But human nature being what it is, followers couldn’t resist having a likeness in their own image, much like the portraits of Jesus. In the Buddha’s case, these include depictions of his hands and feet. Lamas (Tibetan monks) would also sometimes leave their actual hand and footprints on paintings as seals of approval.

This calls to mind the stars leaving their imprint in cement in front of the former Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Perhaps this is a measure of how far world culture has declined, from religious figures to movie stars, Rosenberg says. But it’s also possible to look at this in a Jungian way – the hand and foot as cultural archetype. Hands and feet carry our identities. What they have to “say” is important. n Join the conversation: #wagbuddhist


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“The stories I’ve heard is that the British wouldn’t allow the Irish to dance. The top half of the doors to the houses would be open. When the British looked inside, they wouldn’t know the Irish were dancing, because they didn’t see any arm movements.”

Fast and furious footwork By Georgette Gouveia Photographs by Anthony Carboni

— Sheila Stanton Depaola Sheila Stanton DePaola

Whatever Sheila Stanton DePaola does and wherever she goes, she is sure to step lively. That’s because this music teacher by day is also an avocational step dancer. Sheila, who teaches chorus and general music to prekindergartners through eighth-graders at the Pocantico Hills Central School in Sleepy Hollow, performs and competes with the White Plains-based O’Rourke Irish Dancers. Sure, they’re booked come February and March. But don’t even think of inviting Sheila over during Thanksgiving weekend. You’ll find her and supportive hubby, Stephen DePaola, (“He’s got a bit of Irish in him,” she says) at the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas, a competition featuring thousands of step dancers who converge on Philadelphia to perform. There you’ll see dances involving quick, intricate footwork – either solos, for which the dancers wear hard shoes with fiberglass tips, similar to tap shoes; or céilís (“KAY lees”), group dances for which the dancers wear gillies, soft shoes similar to ballet slippers. It’s only in the céilís, Sheila says, that the dancers raise their arms in a somewhat stiff arch. Unlike other kinds of folk dancing – such as flamenco, which is characterized by sinuous arm movements and a supple back – step dancing is all about the legs driving into the ground, with the arms at the sides. There are any number of reasons for this. “The stories I’ve heard,” Sheila says, “is that the British wouldn’t allow the Irish to dance. The top half of the doors to the houses would be open. When the British looked inside, they wouldn’t know the Irish were dancing, because they didn’t see any arm movements.” Other theories suggest that the same doors were actually used for a small dance floor that didn’t allow for much room and thus arm movement or that the stiffened arms actually called greater attention to the flashing legwork in competition. Whatever the rationale, the combination of fleet feet and infectious music has proved to be a bewitching one, igniting a craze in this country in the 1990s with “Riverdance,” starring Irish dancing champions Jean Butler and Michael Flatley, and then “Lord of the Dance,” which 44

Flatley created after leaving “Riverdance.” Sheila didn’t need any Lord of the Dance for inspiration. “I certainly grew up with the love of Irish music and dance,” she says of her Yorktown upbringing. On Sunday afternoons, her father made her listen to the Irish music program on WFUV-90.7 FM, Fordham University’s radio station. Little did he know that he was nurturing a step dancer. But though she studied the art in a local school, music had the professional claim on her heart. It wasn’t until a parent of a Pocantico Hills school student suggested she get back into dancing that Sheila took the necessary step. Now she practices up to 90 minutes a week with the O’Rourke Irish Dancers and one hour, two to three times a week, on her own. Because she’s tall, 5 feet 10 inches, she’s “always the gent” in the céilís, which have prescribed partnering and patterns that echo quadrilles. That lofty height comes with a 9½-10 shoe size, which translates into a 7-7 ½ step dance shoe. Whether Sheila’s in pumps, boots, gillies or running shoes (she’s also a half-marathoner), the Purdys resident admits, “I do not have pretty feet.” That’s because step dancing relies on a lot of toe work, as

in ballet. So the muscles under her feet are more developed than those atop, causing the tootsies to curl. Sheila keeps them in shape with regular pedicures and reflexology massages. What really keeps those toes a-tapping, though, is the tune within. Regardless of the kind of dance, there are only two types of dancers – those who visualize patterns and steps, copying both until they are ingrained in the body, and those who respond to the music, particularly its rhythms. Sheila is the latter. “I think of it differently,” she says. “I have the counts and beats in my head.” Just as her musicality has enhanced her step dancing, so her step dancing has influenced her teaching career. Sheila has been known to bring in a bodhrán (“boron”), an Irish drum, and have the students mimic its sounds and rhythms by tapping pencils on empty pizza cartons. “It’s fun,” she says of the Gaelic-flavored music lessons. “And it makes for some interesting marches in class.” For more, visit n Join the conversation: #wagstepdancing

The O’Rourke Irish Dance Adult Team at the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas.



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Mr. Shoe Biz By Georgette Gouveia

Photograph courtesy Stuart Weitzman.

very woman remembers the first time she fell in love with Stuart Weitzman. For me, it was when I purchased a pair of his moody blue, deep purple suede peep-toe pumps with a ribbon bow on the front. I had flirted with Stuart before, of course, years ago with a pair of black peau de soie peep-toes bearing an abstract rhinestone “S.” (Where are they now, I wonder?) And then there are the classic neutral patent-leather spiked high heels that go with everything. But for me, nothing will ever top Stuart’s rhapsody in blues. “You can’t wear those to the supermarket, though,” says Stuart, chairman and designer of Stuart Weitzman Holdings L.L.C. No, of course not, well, maybe. I have certainly worn them during the best and the worst moments of my life, to accent an LBD, because I know that no matter what, with Stuart’s shoes on my feet, I’m assured of putting my best foot forward. Stuart knows just what I mean. “A shoe can ruin your day, or it can make it,” he says. And that’s why Stuart Weitzman’s shoes marry style and comfort, luxurious materials with sumptuous silhouettes. He demonstrates their voluptuousness in the sleek showroom of his Manhattan headquarters, holding up strappy gladiators, vixenish, thigh-high boots and sexy, peekaboo booties – the world’s most glamorous shoe salesman. If you’re a shoe aficionado – and what woman isn’t? – it’s hard not to swoon in rapture.

There’s no business…

Stuart, a Fairfield County resident, is as elegant as his footwear, looking dapper in a bright blue knit pullover, white slacks and socks and buttery taupe buckskin laceups that he made for himself from fine cowhide. Stuart does not make shoes for men, explaining his decision with ready stats that reveal a quick mind, the kind that can range in conversation fluidly from baseball to brain surgery. The average man buys 1.8 pairs of shoes a year, he says. But the average woman buys 14 pairs. You do the math. It’s a no-brainer. The Stuart Weitzman woman is, however, anything 48

but average. She’s a fashionista, a professional woman, a bride falling in love – with his footwear – for the first time. “That’s how they get to know us,” he says of the brides, queens for a day. But his devotees embrace some real queens, including Latifah. “She’s my favorite,” Stuart says. And the Queen B – Beyoncé. “Everyone should see her once in his lifetime. It was epic,” he says of one of her recent concerts. The man whose $1 million Swarovski-crystal sandals graced the Oscars’ red carpet has never lacked for Hollywood admirers. Look, there’s Jennifer Aniston on the set in Stuart’s Alex wedges or Diane Kruger at a Fox party in his black goosebump nappa Nudist heels. But perhaps no female luminary has had more synergy with Stuart’s footwear than supermodel Kate Moss, who galvanizes the company’s fall campaign, shot in black and white by Mario Testino, wearing boots that are made for walking – luxuriant thigh highs, combat lace-ups, men’s-inspired Chelseas and the iconic over the knee 5050s, celebrating their 20th anniversary – and very little else. “Fashion is the extreme. It’s the edge,” Stuart says. And few have more staying power and edge than Kate, WAG’s January cover girl. “When she started out, she had that rebel streak,” he remembers. “She’s very street-savvy. She doesn’t have to wear designer clothes. She can go into Zara, put on an outfit and look perfectly stylish.” So can the girls who pair their floral print dresses with UGGs in the Miami heat. “The runway shows, the big fashions start in the streets,” Stuart says. “Those kids find things in cheap shops and they make them work.” What trends have bubbled up from the streets for fall? Stuart ticks them off: “Mannish footwear – tassel loafers and lace-up shoes, though you can put a heel on them – kitten heels, neutrals, taupes, animal prints, blues.” But he adds that this season, it’s not about color. “Last year, someone needed burgundy. Now it’s all about the silhouette.” And the silhouette everyone wants is the boot. Here, though, is the thing, the genius of Stuart Weitzman: His footwear is made of rich, generous fabrics and cut in such a way that even those of us with size 8 ½ D tootsies and ample calves can feel like a Kate Moss, if only for a moment.

“That’s a big aspect of our company. A lot of companies are so focused on the design, they forget the customer. It costs $2 a pair to make (four) widths,” Stuart says of the more than 400 styles, which come in sizes 4 to 12. “At our price range that’s nothing to produce, because if the shoe hurts, you can’t wear it. It affects your personality.” Stuart, who has a playful wit, is fond of paraphrasing Madonna: “My shoes are better than sex.”

A “shoe”-in

Fine for Madonna. But why does he think those of us who are less than goddesses are so passionate about what we put on our feet? “It starts with Cinderella,” he says. “She’s the real hero of the story, not the prince. Nearly every little girl idolizes her. Then there’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’ – Dorothy and the magic ruby slippers.” For girls, just as with Cinderella and Dorothy, shoes are a rite of passage. Growing up on Long Island, Stuart remembers his father – shoe designer Seymour Weitzman of Mr. Seymour – promising Stuart’s sister a pair of high heels for her Sweet Sixteen. And that’s all she talked about and really wanted. “Shoes do two things: Anyone can wear the shoes Kate Moss has. You’re not going to wear her bathing suit or her dress. But you can wear her shoes and feel great in them. And shoes become a memory.” Certainly, a special pair has for Stuart’s wife, Jane, who was the chief designer of his Manhattan store windows for more than a decade. (Her book, “Art & Sole: More Than 150 Fantasy Art Shoes From the Stuart Weitzman Collection,” is just out from HarperCollins.) They were dating and living in Boston (in the same building, Stuart, ever the gentleman, notes, but not in the same apartment), and Jane needed a pair of pumps for an event. Stuart delivered the handmade goods and while Jane liked them, she failed at first to notice the inscription inside – “Made Expressly For Mrs. Stuart Weitzman.” As quick as her husband, she remarked, “Does this mean I’m not getting a ring?” She got the ring – along with two daughters and a granddaughter. Told she’s a lucky woman, Stuart gallantly replies, “I’m the lucky one.” Yet for all his passionate philosophizing about shoes, Stuart candidly acknowledges that at first he didn’t want anything to do with his father’s business. That was his brother Warren’s turf. Stuart, who attended the Wharton

Stuart Weitzman sketches a new design. Photograph by Bob Rozycki. 49

School at the University of Pennsylvania, had dreams of Wall Street. And then their father became ill and died. “I have always looked at tragedy as a way to make opportunity,” he says. As a child he had apprenticed under his father at the Mr. Seymour factory in Haverhill, Mass., learning pattern-making, production and distribution. With his father’s death, the 22-year-old Stuart plunged into the business. Over the years, it has gone through several acquisitions, mergers and expansions. What’s never changed is the quality. Today, the brand looks to the Far East and e-commerce as continuing new frontiers. It’s not all work for the man who makes the most stylish sneakers you’ll ever see. The southpaw loves to play tennis (fellow lefty Rod Laver was his favorite though he enjoyed Ilie Nastase and Jimmy Connors as well) and recently competed as a member of the U.S. table tennis team in the Maccabiah Games, sometimes referred to as the Jewish Olympics. (Among the showroom’s distinctive features is a mural of pingpong balls.) Much of Stuart’s time, however, is spent in Spain, where for the past 35 years, his shoes and handbags have been manufactured in Elda and the surrounding region. There he is known as “Don Stuart” – a don to rival Quixote and Juan. Don Stuart, though, probably has more women – fans – than Don Juan ever did. “I do,” Stuart says, “but Don Juan had more fun.” Given the joy that the brand has brought to so many feminine hearts, we sincerely doubt it. For more, visit Stuart Weitzman shops in The Westchester, White Plains, on Greenwich Avenue and online at n

Join the conversation: #wagcoverstuartweitzman


Kate Moss in Stuart Weitzman’s fall 2013 advertising campaign. Photograph by Mario Testino.



Modern amenities,


By Mary Shustack Photographs by Bob Rozycki and Tim Lee

Presented by Houlihan Lawrence

3 CLIFTON at a Glance

• Irvington • 6,137 square feet • 0.98 acres • Bedrooms: 6 • Baths: 6 full, 2 half • Amenities: Geothermal HVAC, walk to train, exercise room, seven fireplaces, high ceilings, walk-in closets, walk-out basement, balcony, privacy, library. • Price: $3.95 million


John Esposito, at home in Irvington.

t’s not every property that offers the most modern of amenities in decidedly vintage surroundings. But having just that is a big part of the allure of a 1905 estate nestled into the serene Ardsley Park enclave of Irvington. So often, those intent on modernizing simply wipe away history in a grand sweep to install all that’s bright and new. It’s lucky for those with an appreciation of the charms of the past that John Esposito, his wife, Dawn, and their family have called 3 Clifton home since 2006. For this family went to great lengths to update their six-bedroom, six-bath home in a way that not only created a haven of understated luxurious living but preserved the artistry of an earlier era, allowing it to shine once again. Reviving the Italian Renaissance splendor has created an enduring masterpiece complete with standout features that include a terraced entry, a covered loggia, a handcrafted staircase anchoring the grand foyer and seven fireplaces that add warmth and charm throughout the more than 6,100 square feet of living space.


For commuters to Manhattan such as Esposito and his wife, the home offers unparalleled convenience. It’s both a five-minute walk to the Ardsley-on-Hudson station and, Esposito says, a 35-minute drive into Manhattan. Esposito is a founder of Truman’s Gentlemen’s Groomers, which offers salon and spa services (haircuts, shaves, shoe shines, massages and skin treatments) at two city lo-

cations. The company, he shares, has recently launched its own product line. Dawn, he adds, also commutes to midtown for her job in asset management. It was back in 2005 when the couple found themselves looking to move out of the Upper East Side and ended up in the village where Dawn was raised. “I grew up in Jersey. I lost the battle, ” Esposito says with a laugh before confirming he’s comfortably at home in Irvington and appreciates the charms of a community where privacy is respected and success lives a quiet lifestyle. In 3 Clifton, the family found a home that fit both its needs and its preferences. “I grew up in old houses, so I love old houses,” Esposito says, with this home in particular long admired. “Dawn used to run by this house,” Esposito says. “It was kind of one of her dream houses.” And becoming its owners did not disappoint. The home, Esposito says, has solidity – constructed of concrete, with an evocative stucco exterior and terra-cotta tiled roof – that cannot be replicated today. “The big problem at the time was all the summer estates were burning down,” Esposito says of a turn-of-thelast century local issue. “By the time the fire department could find the house, the estate was gone.” But that would not happen at 3 Clifton. Featuring reinforced concrete in both the walls and under the floors, the home was built for a retired stockbroker determined to avoid such a fate. As Esposito says, “His big claim to fame (was) he wasn’t going to take out fire insurance.”


Though a century old, 3 Clifton was in good shape when Esposito moved his family in. There was, though, a desire to make updates and upgrades. Looking back now, Esposito says: “We’ve done a lot.”

All was done, Esposito says, with the intent of living here for a very long time – not as a return on an investment. Much of the work was “behind-the-scenes,” including the installation of geothermal heating and cooling (highly efficient and environmentally friendly), in-floor radiant heating and a modern rewiring made tricky due to all that concrete. Other work ranged from elaborate (a total kitchen revamp) to the most routine, such as landscaping and wood refurbishing. “Even the new doors that we put in we did to match the old doors,” Esposito says. “It was important to us to maintain the integrity of the house and the feel of the house.” The family’s approach can best be illustrated by the front terrace’s balusters. With each having been originally hand-done, there were the slightest variations in size which became problematic when it was time to make repairs. “We could have taken an easy way,” Esposito says, using modern replacements. Instead, artisans did the work one by one.


Clearly, it was all worth it – and despite its understated grandeur, 3 Clifton remains an accessible, appealing family home. “The kids, we don’t restrict them,” Esposito says. “They have full rein of the house.” And there is a lot of house, even though it never overwhelms. “It’s a big home, but it’s not a ton of rooms,” says Esposito. “It’s got all the space you could possibly want.” The hallways are indeed wide. Atop the grand staircase is a long gallery-style hall with bedrooms branching off. “The proportions of the house are something I like, too,” he says. 53

High ceilings and a seemingly endless collection of French doors provide light and a certain lightness throughout. Pairings of modern and classic throughout the home create a playful, artistic sensibility. A pair of foyer chairs, all curves and lush upholstery, evoke an earlier era, yet they’re steps away from others with a more geometric feel. “You look in the bar room, and it’s a little more modern,” Esposito says of the eclectic approach. “It’s always mixing it up.” That bar room is a gem, a tiny space in a soothing blue where a full bar from France holds court. Complete with zinc sink and porcelain taps, it holds a special meaning – it was their wedding gift to each other. “We bought each other a bar,” Esposito says, noting it has traveled with them from Gramercy Park to the Upper East Side to Irvington. But it just might stay, should the next homeowner be equally captivated by it, given how ideally it fits the space. “There’s sentimental value, but I think this will be negotiable,” Esposito says. One thing not moving is the formal living room’s showpiece, a massive stone mantel original to the house. “We’re not selling it, because we feel it’s a part of history,” Esposito says, noting he has had at least one offer to sell the piece that makes the room – an elegant space where a Marlon Brando print by Russell Young adds a glamorous accent. Across the foyer, wooden beams anchor the formal dining room, which has seen many a large gathering. This floor’s major project was a modernization of the kitchen, literally re-orienting it from one side of the home to the other and now also flowing into a family room. Today, the space is a sophisticated showcase of granite counters, walnut cabinetry, Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances and an expansive butler’s pantry. The family can gather for meals at an island/table. Adjacent is a mudroom, a convenience especially helpful with children. On the second floor, the master suite is, again, a study in understated elegance. “What I love about this bedroom is it has three sides of windows,” Esposito says. It also has a fireplace and an adjacent sitting room with its own fireplace, each with access to the stone loggia. 54

“You get the breezes off the river,” Esposito says, pointing to the inviting lounge chairs. “I do a lot of reading out here.” Back inside, ample walk-in closets and twin baths complete the surroundings. The other bedrooms are also spacious, with his older daughter’s a generous and classically appointed charmer. “She’s got a nicer bedroom than most adults,” Esposito agrees, though his son’s built-ins also earn raves. The basement level is vast, complete with one of the home’s two laundry rooms, a pingpong table, a wine cellar and a mirrored gym. “My wife is a cross-country runner, and I played lacrosse at Georgetown, so we’re a relatively athletic family,” Esposito says. Connected to the workout space is an elaborate steam shower, which Esposito says is “probably overkill, but it works.” Natural light flows through a trio of high windows and makes the floor’s office anything but workmanlike. And not to be neglected, the top floor – ripe for reinvention for countless uses – currently houses a cavernous playroom and guest/nanny suite. “This is basically a kids’ playroom that eventually was going to become an adult playroom,” Esposito says.


The interior of 3 Clifton is impressive, and its surroundings only add to the appeal. “We love the exterior,” Esposito says of the land featuring century-old trees, formal English gardens and various shrubs and perennials. Sitting on just under an acre, the home is further enhanced by its outdoor amenities. “We did a lot of work in the garden,” Esposito says. A patio was also created off the kitchen, though it seems to have been there forever. A grill area, Esposito says, was a straightforward project. “We didn’t put in a full outdoor kitchen because it’s right next to our kitchen.” Around the side, a porch off the formal living room offers further opportunity to savor the property and lends itself to large-scale entertaining. “We’ve had bands on this porch,” Esposito says. “We’ve

had 155 people here for a party.” Amenities even extend to the separate, two-car garage that echoes the design of the house and is also heated. “One of the previous owners was a Ferrari dealer and he kept them in there – and he kept them heated,” Esposito says.


As Esposito says, the family did all the work on 3 Clifton intending for it to be a longtime home. That plan changed when another long-admired village property became available to them and they made the purchase. “We weren’t looking,” Esposito says. “We weren’t planning on moving. We loved this house.” Now, with a larger – and also historic – dream house nearing completion of major renovations, the family will soon make a move. But no doubt, those who next call 3 Clifton home will be long grateful to the thoughtful work completed by the Esposito family. For more information, contact Josephine O’Leary-Weir at Houlihan Lawrence at (914) 393-0563 or n

Hip to haute on and off the Avenue By Patricia Espinosa Photographs by Anthony Carboni

Who says all good things must come to an end? At least that was the sentiment shared among Greenwich merchants when “Fashion’s Night Out” came to an end last year. The brainchild of Vogue editor-inchief Anna Wintour, FNO began in 2009 at the height of the recession in an attempt to get shoppers back into stores. The idea took hold across the country in more than 500 places, including Greenwich. But last year, the powers that be decided that FNO would be no longer. No worries, fashionistas. It doesn’t look like Greenwich Avenue is abandoning ship anytime soon, judging by the throngs of shoppers that showed up Sept. 12 for the third annual “Fashion on the Avenue.” It’s all thanks to Geri Corrigan, Saks Fifth Avenue’s director of marketing in Greenwich. She has spearheaded the effort to organize a community event by

partnering with other merchants and the town to create a red-carpet runway show on Greenwich Avenue from Lewis to Elm streets. More than 80 models strutted the latest in fall fashions, including Anne Friday, Jill DuPont, Nanci Boudé and sisters Erin and Kelly Gallagher while Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich showed off its latest 2014 SL550 roadster, E350 Cabriolet and 350 4Matic sport wagon and Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich dancers performed a samba down the catwalk, dazzling spectators who ran the gamut from the well-heeled set to a scantily dressed transvestite taking selfies on her iPhone and a darling little girl skipping down the runway before the show. But the real fun began following the runway show at the nearly 40 open house parties up and down the avenue as retailers stayed open late, luring customers with music, food and bubbly.

Event producer Jen Danzi headed over to the Saks Fifth Avenue’s post party after modeling a Lazaro bridal gown from Fontana. “It’s the center of ‘Fashion Night on the Avenue,’ and it’s where everyone heads after the runway show,” she says. And it’s easy to see why as customers were regaled with food, wine and vodka tastings, coffee-roaster demonstrations, a string quartet, a DJ spinning, chair massages, character sketches, makeovers and much more. “It was just a fun night for everyone to come out to kick off the fall season,” says Billie Messina, Saks’ manager. “We had very good business that night, and when you think of the amount of people in that night, it made them aware of what the trends are for the fall season and got them thinking about what they didn’t buy last night. It will spark some ideas of what they need to add to their fall wardrobe.”

Danzi, a Greenwich native who has seen the avenue change shape over the years, says “Fashion night is great, because it appeals to so many people who love fashion but can’t make it into New York City.” And, she adds, “Greenwich Avenue fashion has come a long way. Richards has been carrying high-end designers for years, leading the way for designers to make Greenwich Avenue their home. With stores such as Ralph Lauren, Hermès, Vince, Joie, Scoop, Theory, Intermix, BCBG, Calypso, ROAM, Alice + Olivia, Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew and Vineyard Vines, not much is missing from our humble strip.” Allied Property Group Managing Partner Tom Torelli – whose company is active in retail leasing on Greenwich Avenue, representing tenants such as Tiffany & Co. and Brooks Brothers and recently completing leases with new kids on the block Vince, Joie and

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Geri Corrigan, Saks Fifth Avenue’s director of marketing, and Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei.

Marmot – says he came for a fun night out with wife, Megan, and to support his many clients involved in the event. “I’ve been to the event twice before, but this year may have been the best, because the fashion retailers seem to be having more fun with it. And I suspect the retailers saw more sales as I spotted a fair amount of shopping bags.” After the catwalk, the couple headed over to parties at Saks, Sandro and ROAM, then dined at Barcelona. A booming noise could be heard from around the corner on Elm Street where perennial Wagger Babe Rizzuto and daughter Sophia Wojczak of ROAM were showing their support with a rockin’ party replete with a DJ, makeshift lounge and lite bar resembling a Manhattan club, all in the store’s back 56

parking lot. Customers danced (myself included) and shopped while sipping from mini Moët & Chandon bottles with red and white swirl straws. “That’s really our thing – have fun shopping by creating a fun, relaxed shopping environment so you can come out, have a drink. We’ll make you an espresso and help you find your style,” Rizzuto says of her yearold boutique, which prides itself on its “un-Greenwich” edgy and eclectic look. Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei, who also is on the event’s board as honorary chairman, says, “‘Fashion on the Avenue’ provides an opportunity for all of our outstanding businesses and retailers to show off the very best in merchandise and bring the commu-

nity out and have some fun modeling fashion and all the accoutrements that go with it.” John H. Howland, president and CEO of event sponsor First Bank of Greenwich, says, “We love doing stuff in the community like this. It’s amazing to come down here and see this group of people from all walks of life.” Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich General Manager Lou Liodori says he got involved in the event, because, “If something is important in our clients’ lives, it’s important to us as well. We are one of the oldest retail businesses in town, and we are very loyal to our community.” So is Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom, says president Christine Georgopulo.

“It’s important to support ‘Fashion on the Avenue’ for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that Geri is our neighbor and a friend, but also we believe in being a part of and giving back to the community and supporting our fellow merchants. We were delighted to bring some entertainment, joy and social dancing to the party. After all, dance is universal.” Not only that, she adds, but its influence on fashion in recent years is unmistakable. “Major designers are reflecting the fashions seen on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ Prada is using much more bling on their clothes and bags, as are YSL and quite a few others. And we all know that bling makes everything better.” n

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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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Hands-on medicine By Jane K. Dove Photograph by Bob Rozycki

“I love my specialty, because I can examine a hand with a problem, figure out the mechanics and see exactly what needs to be done to make it better.�


Dr. Beverly Guo


ersatile, tireless, swift and nimble, our two hands are vital assets to daily existence. Working alone or in tandem, they are sensitive enough to perform delicate surgery, strong enough to lift heavy objects and dexterous enough to thread a needle, button clothes, tie shoelaces, type on a keyboard or manipulate a computer mouse endlessly, along with hundreds of other functions. Beverly Guo, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hands with University Orthopaedics P.C. of Hawthorne, has had a fascination with these two extremities since first studying anatomy in medical school. “Since I was a little girl, I was always interested in seeing how things work,” she says. “I also wanted to do something to help people. Once I got to medical school, I found the hands very interesting. They are a wonderful balance of bones, muscle and tendons and can do amazing things.” Structurally, the hands are the most intricate components of the body, with much “machinery” packed into a small space.

Healing hands

“I love orthopedics as a specialty, because you can actually make this work better and see lots of positive outcomes,” Guo says. “You need your hands for everything you do, so it is very satisfying to be able to give people back the use of these vital parts of the body.” Guo says our hands are marvels of construction.

Under the palm, there are five cylinder-shaped metacarpal bones, which extend from the wrist area to the knuckles. From the metacarpals rise the finger bones – 14 joined, flexible phalanges. The bridges between the forearms and the hands are the wrists, each of which has a collection of small bones fitted closely together containing strong ligaments. All in all, the wrists and hands contain 27 bones and dozens of muscles, tendons and ligaments. Guo says her approach to making her patients’ hands better is very “can-do.” “I love my specialty, because I can examine a hand with a problem, figure out the mechanics and see exactly what needs to be done to make it better. I think this is a characteristic shared by most surgeons – that’s why we are in that specialty. We like getting direct and immediate results.” The hands work so well and so tirelessly, she says, that we often take them for granted. “But when something goes wrong, it has a big impact on your daily life.” Even a relatively minor injury to one digit can affect the functioning of the entire hand and breaking a thumb can really limit what you are able to do.” Try taping two of your fingers together to see what Guo means. “I tell this to patients and if they try it, they are amazed at how limited the usefulness of the hands becomes. And if, for example, you have a broken thumb, you cannot even turn a doorknob.” Guo says the number one problem patients present to her in her practice is carpal tunnel syndrome. “Carpal tunnel syndrome is on the increase because

of repetitive movements in digital technology. It is basically a compression of a nerve in the wrist that produces numbness, pain and trouble sleeping at night. The good news is that it is an easy thing to repair – surgery followed by wearing of a splint – and then you can move on.” Arthritis is another common problem among Guo’s patients. “There are surgical techniques where the pain caused by bone rubbing against bone can be alleviated by putting tendons in the needed places in between the bones of the hand,” she says. “The patient’s own tendons are used for this. Arthritis can also be treated by injections, steroids and splinting.” Trigger finger is another condition Guo sees often in her practice. This is a condition that limits finger movement,” she says. “When a patient tries to straighten a finger, it will lock into place staying in a bent position.” Trigger finger is usually caused by an inflamed or swollen tendon in the finger. The condition should be treated by a hand surgeon. Guo also sees her share of hand injuries and is expert at repairs. “When you have a serious injury, always see a hand surgeon rather than a general practitioner,” she says. “We can make a quick and accurate diagnosis and get you on the road to healing.” Although hands are mostly taken for granted because they are so versatile and reliable, Guo says it makes sense to be aware of anything that seems amiss. “Ongoing numbness, swelling, tingling, pain – anything that bothers you deserves a visit to a hand surgeon,” she says. “We need to be aware of our bodies and respond when something seems wrong.” n





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Reflex-ions on Reflexology Don’t call it massage By Andrea Kennedy

My living room is dark and tranquil as I settle into a recliner – surprised at how comfortable I am considering 10 minutes earlier the chair was collapsed like a beach lounger. “What I’m doing to start is letting your feet and more importantly letting your body know that I’m here,” says Lisa Freemantle of Solefood Reflexology, settling in herself on a stool situated at my toes, which were elevated contentedly at her chest level. She closes her eyes. “Do you carry the tension in your shoulders?” she asks, her fingers getting to know the padding below my pinkie toe. I do, I tell her, though frankly I don’t find her inquiry all that inspired. Doesn’t everyone? Not as much as I do, I later discovered along with more intriguing information during my first session of reflexology.

The introduction

“The idea is the relaxed body is more likely to function well if there are no restrictions or tensions in the body,” Lisa says. She lives in Westchester with a client base predominantly in Connecticut. Though she works from yoga studios and spas, she’s also 100-percent mobile and self-contained, which is how she arrived at my fifth floor apartment in White Plains – her folded recliner in one hand and in the other, her stool, also folded, resting atop a pretty duffel containing a pillow, towel and blanket plus other helpful goods like creams and wipes. “People are coming from work, from sport,” she says. “I come prepared with everything from spray to gloves if necessary.” I stumble over myself with apologies for not sprucing up my pedicure before our session. Her feet look practically perfect with toes painted the color of wisteria, but with my 5-month-old and full-time job, such frills fall through the cracks. I assure her I did just lather my feet in the shower (so much so the suds had me slipping all over the porcelain) and she in turn reassures me to not be silly. “That’s probably the most common thing people say to me,” says Lisa. “I truly mean this when I say it: I work on feet all the time – men, women, children – and (a pedicure) is the last thing I expect anyone to do. I’m used to a million and one pairs of feet.” I feel instantly comfortable and thoroughly vindicated when I hear her explanation of why gussied-up tootsies aren’t necessarily best for the cause. “I like to see feet in their natural state,” she says. “I like to see where people lay down extra layers of skin. Is that protecting a particular reflex? Is there a reason why there’s a hard spot there?” Lisa asks if I have any medical conditions she ought to know about, and I love to hear her speak since she has the most delightful British accent and uses words like “ought.” I don’t have any, so she starts some soothing music (also from her Mary Poppinsdeep duffel) as I dim the lights, glide into the recliner 60

Photograph by Katherine Cook.

and prepare for – well, I wasn’t quite sure what. “There’s absolutely nothing for you to do except tell me if something doesn’t feel right,” she says. That sounds good to me.

The session

We both close our eyes, and both stayed closed for the entire 45-minute session. She works only on my feet, since they are the largest canvas in reflexology which also includes hands and ears. “You should feel pressure, and if there is discomfort that may be an indication that that’s a place where there’s some stress or tension in the body,” Lisa says, my feet now lathered with cream and feeling simply

divine. “You might notice changes in texture – parts of the feet that are hard, crunchy, tight, grainy. Those are the kinds of indications I look for that there might be tension.” By the time she completes her explanation, I’m already in a state of bliss simply from her soothing tones and gentle touch. I notice a band of tingling between my temples that strikes me as interesting. “You might feel things traveling through the body,” she says. “Sometimes people describe it as energy or electrical stimulation or you might just find yourself drifting away in a sleep-like state.” Lisa works her way around the soles of my feet, sometimes simply touching or holding, which she

likens to “connecting circuits.” At times, she rubs as well, which may lead some to equate reflexology with massage. Be ye not so naïve: Massage and reflexology are wholly different methods and require entirely different training. While masseuses manipulate muscle and the connective tissue of the body, reflexologists focus on reflexes found only in the feet, hands and ears to identify and release tensions, promote balance and stimulate circulation from head to toe, front to back. Though reflexology may feel like a glorified foot rub, the benefit to the foot is secondary. Lisa hits a tender part of my left arch, and – though she’s already indicated that reflexologists are by no means diagnosticians or offer any medical treatment at all – I’m curious what it means. She’s way ahead of me. “Right here you have the reflexes to the kidney and the whole of the urinary system, so the area of the body linked with hydration,” she says. A breastfeeding mother, I’m shamefully poor at keeping hydrated. “In Chinese theory of medicine, they understand that emotions are literally held in different area of the body,” continues Lisa, who began her reflexology training in Hong Kong while working there as a French and German teacher. “They will tell you that the kidney is associated with the emotion of anxiety.” Ding ding ding: Lisa’s three for three. Apparently, I wear my foot on my sleeve. “Does it affect your digestion when you’re stressed?” she asks. Four for four. She posed the question upon noticing that my reflex associated with the large and small intestine

135614_HPNSH_WAG.Magazine.Ad_9x6.indd 1

is particularly tight, and she warns of another area around my ankle related to hormones with reflexes secondary to digestion that may be holding tension as well. She’s right. “One of the most common physical reasons that people come to me is because they hear reflexology can help with digestive issues like IBS, colitis and those kind of issues,” she says. In fact, I’d been conscious that something’s been going on in my stomach throughout our session. “When the body moves out of the stress mode into a more relaxed mode you often hear or notice or feel someone’s stomach grumble,” she says. “If you feel that happening, it’s actually a very good sign that the body is moving from a fight-and-flight state to one of rest and digest.” Victory! By the time we finish, I have completely dozed off – she says it often happens during work on the toes, which hold the reflex connected to the brain – and awoken feeling the best kind of noodle-y. She sprays my feet with refreshing aloe mint and somehow they feel more special to me now – softer, certainly, and like some mystical missives that communicate my every ill with Lisa playing translator. She’s a compassionate facilitator in identifying and relieving tension and stress and also a remarkable complement to doctors of Western medicine. She’s worked with cancer patients plus other hospital patients and their families at places like Greenwich Hospital and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. “It’s great when someone’s attached to a monitor

and you can see their blood pressure drop,” she says. While Lisa advises that reflexology is not considered a medical treatment – though nations like China and Denmark have adopted the practice to such ends – her clients testify that she can identify a health problem before it manifests. She even correctly identified that one client was having a problem with her right eye, though there were no outward physical symptoms. “The feet don’t lie,” Lisa says.

The aftermath

Days later, I’ve been better aware of improving hydration and my belly seems to be – for lack of a better word – working. I even find myself handling stressors better and wonder if it has anything to do with Lisa calming the reflex connected to my adrenal gland, which she says may encourage the body to reduce the output of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. The science of reflexology is still uncertain, Lisa says, but in a world of evidence-based conventions, her happier, healthier clients are compelling proof of its many benefits. “Somehow if it were only proven that it is only relaxation and stress relief that is already such a huge health benefit,” she says. “I believe there’s probably a lot more to it than that, but even if that’s the only health benefit, it’s a big only.” I, for one, am a believer. To book an appointment with Lisa or to learn more about reflexology and how to find a qualified practitioner, visit n


9/12/13 11:31 AM


Bootie call


These boots may be made for walking, but they’re also for showing off. This season finds designers in a decidedly playful mood, with seductively serpentine offerings from Gucci, curving heels from Givenchy and peep-toes from Givenchy and Laurence Dacade. Leopard roams the fashion range once again (roar, Jimmy Choo and Lanvin). But red, the color of autumn, is also big in all its myriad brilliance, from Laurence Dacade’s deep crimson to Rag & Bone’s true burgundy. Like what you see here? Then walk on over to Neiman Marcus at The Westchester, White Plains – and strut your stuff.


For more, visit n






1. Saint Laurent Paris zippered, blackand-white, spike-heeled bootie, $995. 2. Prada zippered, spike-heeled platform black bootie, $990. 3. Rag & Bone Kinsey in burgundy suede, $595. 4. Givenchy purple-striped boot with curved heel, $1,890. 5. Charlotte Olympia Puss in Boots, $895. 6. Stella McCartney animal print-heeled, black bootie (not available at Neiman Marcus). 7. Jimmy Choo Blaine leopard-print Pony in smokeblack, $1,495. 8. Brian Atwood Lindford peep-toe, spike-heeled, black lace bootie, $495. 9. Pierre Hardy purple suede and black patent platform bootie, $895. 10. Sergio Rossi Mermaid open-weave bootie with scalloped details, $995. 11. Tabitha Simmons Harmony red suede bootie with crochet details, $1,195. 12. Fendi fur-trimmed black bootie, $1,700. 13. Valentino black, patent, cutout, T-strap bootie, $975. 14. Gucci purple python boot, $3,300. 15. Lanvin animal-print, lace-up bootie, $890. 16. Laurence Dacade deep-crimson bootie, $1,195.




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Tops to Tips Hats and gloves dominate fall runways By Andrea Kennedy

Kate Spade Fall/Winter 2013. Courtesy Kate Spade.


Like a gift wrapped in tissue and bow or an impeccably garnished cocktail, a fashionable ensemble is nary complete without your hat and gloves. To formal wear, they bring Golden Age-glamour; to cold-weather dress, they bring all the coziness of a hot toddy at an Aspen chalet. They may classify as accessories, but this fall hats and gloves have turned into statement pieces. What were once mainstays in the days of Betty Draper have until now been reserved for occasions like high tea or a day at the races. I think of throwback fashion formalities of the ’40s, when ladies like my grandmother from suburban Chicago would take the train to her job at a city bank with her hat and in fact two pairs of gloves – one to wear while reading the paper aboard and, the other, a fresh pair to greet the workday devoid of ink stains. Seems designers have been reminiscing, too, since the hat-and-glove combo appeared all over fall runways. Hats, of course, have typically speckled among special occasion outfits, weekend wear and hipster culture alike. Beanies are having another day this season from BCBG’s basics to more unusual evolutions from Alexander Wang. Stella McCartney came out with a fantastically fashionable wool baseball cap that’s sporty luxe for the tomboy all grown up. From there, make sure to explore gloves in the season’s many styles and textures, including animal prints and patent leather. Pair a show-stopping headpiece with the elbow-length glove dominating fall catwalks and hello, Dolly! On the runway, Ralph Lauren’s fall collection featured opulent formal wear – his evening gowns finished with shearling hats and opera gloves. Complete with feminine silhouettes and chandelier earrings, the result was a little “Anna Karenina,” a little “Downton Abbey,” and overwhelmingly exquisite. Donna Karan’s designs feature more shearling hats, this time with matching arm cuffs for an air of regal fierceness. The fur finishers completed full ensembles of luxurious draping and rich textures for looks elegant as an Upper East Side evening but with a feel of dramatic warrior chic. And speaking of drama, John Galliano’s flair was ever so apparent at the Oscar de la Renta show where delicate mesh gloves poked out of extra-long sleeved blazers that were bold colored and belted messily. Topping the look were grand cloche hats that seemed three stories high. Tommy Hilfiger, on the other hand, went more subdued with his modern-day Ivy League looks and plenty of Brit inspiration. Pairing a neat pull-on angora hat and fingerless mittens with a multi-textured argyle mini-dress, knee highs and tasseled loafers, he produced the stuff of prepster dreams. And for a ladylike look worthy of the classiest dames, Kate Spade infused a colorful modernday approach to her fall outfits with inspired classics that matched brights in hat and coat and neutrals in gloves and bag. Grandma, I think, would approve. n

Saks Fifth Avenue rabbit fur beret. Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue.

Ralph Lauren knit angora hat. Courtesy Ralph Lauren.

Valentino leopardprint leather and calf hair gloves. Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue. Stella McCartney wool baseball cap. Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue.

Donna Karan Fall/Winter 2013. Courtesy Donna Karan.

Ralph Lauren Fall/Winter 2013. Courtesy Ralph Lauren.

Gucci patent leather gloves. Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue.

Oscar de la Renta Fall/ Winter 2013. Courtesy Oscar de la Renta.

Tommy Hilfiger Fall/Winter 2013. Courtesy Tommy Hilfiger.


wonderful dining

Nose-to-tail Holy Grail The Cookery’s conquest of culinary neo-nostalgia By Andrea Kennedy


lump and glistening, a suckling pig makes its way from fire to table. The muscly chef – Italian mane messily tucked behind his ears – presents the animal on a slab of wood to its ravenous feasters before carving the creature tableside. It’s a scene of bacchanal dreams. The full-pig dinner is just one of the extreme eating experiences by acclaimed chef David DiBari of The Cookery, a playground of innovative Italian comfort food, irreverence and gluttony. DiBari doesn’t just plate up pork belly, he serves up the whole hog, unleashing eaters on a carnal, culinary escapade. He doesn’t just offer oysters by the dozen, he hosts entire evenings where revelers drown as many half shells as they can handle with craft beer. He’s been known to toss a fresh pig over his shoulders and bids guests to join in “gastronomic perversions and barbarism.” “It’s simple human nature. We love to eat and we love to have sex,” he says. “And, you know what? We can’t live without both.” For having such a provocative philosophy, DiBari is surprisingly soft-spoken. “Sometimes people need a way to scream,” he says. “This is it.” His in-your-face food attitude has been heard loud and clear – what he calls a progressive approach to simplicity. “What’s more simple than roasting an animal and putting it on a table?” he says. “Something as dramatic and beautiful and simple as that? I thought, ‘Why not?’” A man of contrasts, he respects and rebels against Old World-style, from “The Last Supper” brazened on the eatery’s main wall á la Andy Warhol to the pork-and-clam sausage that turns the classic combo on its head. DiBari serves up perfectly prepared traditional favorites like dense, rich, daily homemade mozzarella with a dash of fresh thyme, melt-in-your-mouth meatballs and his Zia Maria’s broccoli confit with a kick. He rounds the corner on convention with striking, soulful pastas like gemelli slathered in crushed duck liver sauce and truffle oil then slams the blackboard with daring specials often featuring delicacies of animal extremities like fried duck tongues, veal brains or pig tails. “We make simple, approachable things, and we make them really, really well,” says


Chef David DiBari prepares to carve the whole hog. Photograph courtesy of The Cookery.

DiBari, the youngest chef in Westchester to earn an Excellent rating by The New York Times at the ripe age of 24. “That gains a confidence with your audience, and then you can just do whatever you want. They love it.” Perhaps his neo-nostalgic approach manifests best in DoughNation, his wood-burning pizza oven on wheels – a genius marriage of new school food truck meets old school symbol of the motherland. Speaking of mothers, this good Italian boy inscribed his mother’s name, Laura, on the oven façade in mosaic. A longtime nurse for cancer patients, she also inspired DiBari to launch The Cookery’s fundraisers for breast cancer patients, the next to be held Oct. 7. A coveted presence at foodie events, he’ll also be on the town with The Cookery for happenings like Hudson, Hop and Harvest in Peekskill Oct. 5 and Cooktoberfest at Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Oct. 21. He’s become a veritable culinary celebrity who, for the record, prefers to go simply by David. Still, he’s that strong, silent-type complete with rock-star alter

ego, tattoos and long hair that has women going gaga (and not just for his pork). No matter, ladies, he’s taken. DiBari is making dreams come true though for foodies with the upcoming launch of his highly anticipated brickand-mortar pizza venture, The Parlor, just blocks away from The Cookery at 14 Cedar St. Set to open mid-October, he’ll be slinging 16 styles of Neapolitan pizza, like a favorite that features lemon, basil, garlic and smoked scamorza that will forever change the way you view a pie. Vegetableand fish-driven appetizers like roasted razor clams and Brussels sprouts will also get kissed by the flames of his second woodburning oven. Not one to follow convention, all the beer will be bottled and all the wine on tap – a feature that also lets the chef tap into his own nostalgia. “There’s something about tap wine right now that reminds me about wine that people made in my town,” says the Verplanck native. “There’s a mineral content to it, it’s easy to drink and it feels like it should be with pizza. We’re going to fill carafes with it.”

With his first two culinary hot spots as proof, DiBari has surely crafted another winning eatery with his forward-thinking creations that honor his past – and one woman in particular. “My grandmother was most of my inspiration to be honest,” says DiBari, wistful of the days he sat with her under a grapevine peeling peas from their pods – a scene Fellini would have liked. He credits her with roots of his culinary soul and even the prized family-style table in The Cookery’s front window – the perfect size for his fullpig dinners – that once belonged to her. “You try to do the craziest thing you can and emulate the chefs you work for,” he says, “but it wasn’t until I got here that I realized that everything I was searching for I had already known. I was searching for that closeness to the garden, to her, to those flavors she produced. It wasn’t crazy at all, it was right there. … Whatever she made she made with soul, and that’s what I was looking for.” The Cookery is at 39 Chestnut St. in Dobbs Ferry. For more information, call (914) 305-2336 or visit n

where are they now?

Climb every mountain By Mary Shustack Photograph courtesy of Kurt Kannemeyer


o say Kurt Kannemeyer is a determined man would be an understatement. WAG has been following Kannemeyer’s story, introducing him in June’s travel-themed issue and checking in again in August, when we looked at those who go above and beyond for wellness in all its forms. It was then that the director of development for St. Christopher’s in Dobbs Ferry attempted to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. He made the climb to raise funds for and awareness of the work of the residential treatment center, which serves special education students. Catching up with Kannemeyer on a recent morning, he talked about the challenges – and the success – of his trip. Oh, he didn’t make it to the summit. In fact, altitude sickness caused him to stop at 17,000 feet, just 2,341 shy of the peak. But as those who know Kannemeyer might guess, he does not consider the trek a failure. “I think sometimes people lose the importance of trying, because we are so fixated on getting to the goal,” he said. Attempting something monumental – preparing, then getting out there and giving it your best – is what should be recognized. After all, Kannemeyer said, “That in itself is victory. That in itself is success.” Kannemeyer, who was dealing with a previously undisclosed irregular heart-


beat, took the outcome in stride from the moment he realized he would not top Kilimanjaro. “I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t sad at all. Every time I would look back, and I would see her, I was like ‘I’ll be back.’ I will see her next year.” He got more out of it than he ever imagined, especially as he talked to the team of porters and guides who would accompany his party of four climbers on the eight-day odyssey. “I saw Tanzania through the eyes of its people,” he said. “That’s what I experienced.” And it made him think of his own life, which saw him journey from South Africa to a role helping American students through the work of St. Christopher’s. “In America, we have so much to be grateful for.” Kannemeyer has been receiving support from his friends, colleagues and even the students since his return. One student’s reaction, he said, was particularly heartwarming: “Mr. Kurt, you made it so high for us.” And he said he was quick to reply that “Yeah, but I’m not stopping now. I’m going back.” Many memories, including moments of sheer awe, will keep the dream alive. “I stepped out of the tent at 13,000 feet. The picture I will never forget, never, never forget. I saw the earth covered in a blanket of white.” Above the clouds, Kannemeyer

would continue the journey. It had been a steady-if-difficult trek that would suddenly take a turn for the worse. “It’s amazing how the body reacts to altitude,” he says. But it wasn’t his heart condition that came into play. “It’s strange because I didn’t come down because of that.” Instead, he would battle the altitude sickness that affects so many. “Something strange happened when I got to the 17,000-foot mark,” he said. He began vomiting, had a massive headache and started to get dizzy. The guide was more than concerned. “He said, ‘I think it’s time for you to maybe consider turning around,’ and I said, ‘No. It’s for the kids.’” He proceeded a bit, but each step became tougher. “I knew it was altitude. What went through my head was like, ‘Why now?’” Finally, the guide stepped in. “He said, ‘I know you’re a very determined guy.’” And then he offered words that would make all the difference. “‘The mountain will always be here, but sometimes we won’t,’ he said. ‘Let’s go down.’ At that point, I looked at him, and I said, ‘OK.’” But that was not the end of the story. “I said to him, ‘I am going to go down, and I’m going to come back next year, and I’m going to do this, and you’re coming with me,’ and he said, ‘OK.” Then Kannemeyer said he felt a sense of achievement that only grew as

that day ended. “I’m standing on the side of Kili, and it looked like somebody had taken a paintbrush… It looked like someone had painted a plethora of stars. The full moon ricocheted off the side of Kili.” At that moment, Kannemeyer said he looked out over the scene and realized one thing: “I said ‘Wow. I made it.’” He shares a quote that hangs on his office wall: “Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.” And he is taking that to heart, already beginning to work toward next year’s return. “I’m going to prepare myself even harder,” he said, noting he’s going to seek equipment and training sponsorship. The trip’s fundraising side was also a success. To date, Kannemeyer reports the effort has netted close to $10,000. Next year, he hopes to raise $25,000. All proceeds will be used to fund an endowment for St. Christopher’s. Though now back home on the other side of the world, Kannemeyer is already visualizing his reaching the peak next year. “One thing I do know, without a shadow of a doubt, is I’m going to reach Uhuru, and I’m going to hang our banner proudly,” he said. And when he does? “I’m going to push my hands up like Rocky Balboa, and do it for St. Christopher’s.” n

Kurt Kannemeyer attempted to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in August.


what’s new

The ‘law’ of attraction Attorney-to-be Samantha Levine designs a career in jewelry By Mary Shustack Photograph by Bob Rozycki


his month, Samantha Levine will receive the results of the state bar exam. But she’s not biting her nails, worrying when she can start practicing law. That’s because the 26-year-old has already launched another career – as a jewelry designer. Through Auburn Jewelry, Levine handcrafts one-of-a-kind pieces in a Mount Kisco studio. “I love doing this,” she says as she walks a pair of visitors through her tools and methods on a recent afternoon. “It’s a lot more fun than working at a desk.” Though not throwing a potential career away, Levine says for now law will remain “a nice thing to be able to fall back on.” Keeping a hand in both the practical and the creative is nothing new for Levine. “I always tried to balance my course load in school between arts and academics, so it’s been something I’ve been used to.” And that goes back to high school, when jewelry design caught the attention of the then 14-year-old. Levine, whose family moved from Manhattan to Mount Kisco when she was in the sixth grade, remembers the moment she became infatuated with jewelry design. It was on a tour of Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, when she spotted a metals studio as part of the artdepartment facilities. “I was like ‘Wait a second. You can use a blowtorch in school?’” The answer turned out to be yes – and Levine had found her calling, with her collegeprep work augmented by jewelry making. “I had always been very artsy growing up,” she says. Painting, with studies at the Katonah Art Center, was her specialty. While her work, from animal portraits to seascapes, decorates her apartment, jewelry design offers something more. “It’s a fun craft because you’re not just painting. You sketch. It’s building and finishing.” Levine graduated from Skidmore College in 2009 with a bachelor of arts degree in American studies and a minor in jewelry and metals. In 2010, while attending Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, Mass., she enrolled at Metalwerx in Waltham, a school and 70

Samantha Levine in her Auburn Jewelry studio in Mount Kisco, wearing her signature Elle Collection pendant.

community studio where she further advanced her skills while also working toward a 2012 doctor of law degree. Since then, Levine has worked parttime at a law office in Yorktown but turned all her attention to Auburn Jewelry in May. So, how did Levine come up with her company name? It’s simply her middle name, given to her by her parents in honor of the Massachusetts mall they frequented in their younger days. Now, it’s become Levine’s calling card – and the path to a most creative future. As she says with a laugh, “I always hated my middle name, but I guess I’ll embrace it.” And embrace it – and the business – she has. Except for a break to study for and take the bar, the past few months have been all about the jewelry, with Levine working primarily with sterling silver, 14- karat gold, copper and enamel. She’s using hammers, blowtorches and saws to create pendants and bracelets, necklaces and rings, cufflinks and key chains. Levine, who has her own apartment carved out of her parents’ home, asked for something unique for the holidays back in 2011 – a metals studio. “I asked my parents for all the jewelry equipment for Hanukkah,” she says. “You can’t really do anything with metals until you have all the materials to do it.”

And now, she has a basement space as workable as it is convenient. “I don’t have to worry about when I can get to the studio,” she says. In the studio, Levine is often focused on her newest pieces, the small, circular pendants of the Elle Collection. These nowsignature charms, which feature hand-cut initials or symbols surrounded by enamel colors, have recently expanded from sterling silver to also include gold. Designs and colors are always being updated, with the fall collection coming in chocolate brown, hunter green, teal and dark red. “The pendants are really cool, because I pretty much can put anything inside it,” she says. Designs range from anchors to seahorses, a cross to the Star of David, flags to geographic images, including Texas, New Jersey and Cape Cod. All share a proprietary enamel process. (Ask Levine about it and she’ll playfully tell you “It’s a secret, a trade secret.”) Down in the studio, she’ll cut and buff, saw and solder at any time of the day or night. She’s surrounded by examples of her work both current and past. All share, she says, a common link. “I only make jewelry that I would wear. I like very classic pieces that can be worn with everything, anything.” And that has definitely helped Auburn

Jewelry find an audience. Jewelry lovers can order directly from Levine, but also find her designs showcased in a handful of shops in Westchester, including D’Errico Log Cabin Jewelers in Scarsdale and Mount Kisco. “I always liked the idea of supporting local people, especially someone who is young,” says Allison Kadanoff, the manager of D’Errico on East Main Street in Mount Kisco. She says Auburn pieces, which she describes as “very wearable,” have found a fast audience, including a bride who bought initial pendants for the members of her bridal party. “It’s the same idea so they go together, but it’s personalized,” she says. Another memorable sale, Kadanoff adds, was by a young man who bought a double-circle sterling necklace for his girlfriend. As they were each off to separate colleges, the necklace, he told Kadanoff, was symbolic of their connection. For Levine, being in stores is part of the business plan that is keeping her moving ever forward. In addition to working with a small-business coach, Levine also relies on the expertise of her boyfriend, who’s in finance, to help with the business side of things. “It’s tough. There are so many aspects to running your own business,” she says. “When I feel overwhelmed I just head down and make some jewelry.” The jewelry also encompasses charitable projects, such as the dance-themed pendant created for an American Ballet Theatre benefit auction. Levine also has an ongoing relationship with the SPCA of Westchester, donating 10 percent of the sales of her dog bone and fish pendants to the local organization (which has been the source of her family’s rescue animals). While Levine finds her work fulfilling, it is also a challenge, which she welcomes. “There’s a lot of things that I want to do. I have so many ideas that I can’t get to them.” But, she says, there’s time in what she hopes will be a long career in jewelry design. “I’m going to take it day by day. I would absolutely love to do this forever.” For more, visit n Join the conversation: #WagSamanthaLevine



to the icy white continent By Cappy Devlin


re you an extreme explorer? Then start planning a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Antarctica, earth’s final frontier. Out there you’ll discover a world of waddling penguins, wide-winged albatrosses, walruses galore, gulls, cormorants and terns diving for fish. There seals have many names, such as leopard seals, Antarctic fur seals, Southern elephant seals and crabeater seals, while the whales by any name are magnificent. There you’ll see islands of floating ice, shining in the sun, and white glaciers framed against a radiant sky. Blue, green and lavender icebergs spread out before you into a world of amazing white where it rarely rains or snows and a cozy, luxury ship awaits your daily return. Let me introduce you to some extraordinary cruise companies to make your dreams come true: Lindblad Expeditions was the first in 1966 to explore Antarctica and now Lindblad is aligned with National Geographic, making up one of the best ice teams anywhere. The National Geographic Explorer


is the newest ship in the fleet and arguably the finest expedition vessel on the seas. Abercrombie & Kent continues to be a leader in Antarctic journeys after more than 175 trips. Chartered by A&K, Le Boréal features all-balcony staterooms and suites. Tauck World Discovery owns Le Boréal, built in 2010, as well as Le Soléal, built in 2013. The ships are known for elegance, eco-friendly technologies and the highest quality standards, with six decks and French and international cuisine. How do you get to Antarctica? You fly to Buenos Aires and spend one or two nights exploring this fabulous city, where pleasures include sightseeing by day and tango performances by night. Then you fly to Ushuaia, to the southernmost city in the world and embark on your cruise to Antarctica. While crossing the spectacular Drake Passage, which extends 600 miles from the tip of South America to the Shetland Islands, the expert naturalists and guides onboard will help you spot whales and other marine life that glide along the ship. Your first sighting of the Antarctic Peninsula will be a memory to last a lifetime. Images of ice, sea,

Photographs courtesy of Tauck World Discovery and Lindblad Expeditions.

land and sky effortlessly blend together into a portrait of spectacular beauty. The towering icebergs and unique formations of ice are arrayed in blues, greens, clear and snow white. With nearly 24 hours of daylight from November to February, you have ample time to plumb the peninsula and the surrounding islands. During the day, you can take several Zodiac amphibious crafts to remote islands and shorelines. These sturdy inflatable rubber boats are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. Kayaking also provides one of the best means for personal exploration – although keep in mind that the volatile weather there means it won’t be like kayaking on the Hudson. During island explorations, you’ll find abundant wildlife on beaches and cliffs and in the waters. The countless penguins have little to no fear of humans. They’ll even spend time observing you. During my visit, the naturalists told me that penguin behavior is endlessly fascinating. There are more than 100,000 penguins. So you’ll have plenty of opportunity to walk among them on the beaches, observing their rookeries, trails and treks into the sea to find food

and greet you. Seals also thrive in today’s Antarctic where they have no natural land predators – neither polar bears nor man. Thousands of sea birds ride the winds and scan the sea for food. And keep an eye out for a magnificent whale, on the prowl for a tasty meal of fish and krill. Naturally, you may be tempted to say: “Iceberg, right ahead.” A massive one, larger than Chicago, broke off Antarctic’s Pine Island Glacier on July 8 and is now floating in the Amundsen Sea. Now reflect that once upon a time, some 180 million years ago, a large equatorial land mass broke off and went its way. Today, it is a place dedicated to peace and scientific research, the great white continent of Antarctica, which astounds with glacial landscapes and abundant wildlife. For more, visit Cappy’s Travel at 195 N. Bedford Road, Mount Kisco. Call (914) 241-0383 or email n

Your first sighting of the Antarctic Peninsula will be a memory to last a lifetime. Images of ice, sea, land and sky effortlessly blend together into a portrait of spectacular beauty. The towering icebergs and unique formations of ice are arrayed in blues, greens, clear and snow white.

Join the conversation: #Wagwandersantarctica



Protecting paws in salt season By Sarah Hodgson


ew things are as pronounced for pet owners as the changing seasons, with various months bringing their own reassurances. During September, the cool weather is refreshing, but the shift in schedules can be stressful no matter how many legs you balance on. In October, trees shed their leaves – beautiful but bringing with them a blanketing of ticks, not so beautiful. Towards autumn’s end young families celebrate Halloween, which kids love, but most pets do not. It’s a night of unrest populated with unidentifiable fiends and goblins, who, after pounding upon the door, extend their hands imploringly into what pets perceive as their den. Parading through the calendar we greet November and December with feasts our pets are decidedly not invited to and then, perhaps worst of all, the January to March spread, which heralds shorter days as well as the perils of ice, salt and snow that can spell trauma for our pets’ precious paws. A word about the paw. I routinely pose the following question to my clients: “What is the most skin sensitive region on

your pet’s body?” It’s a query that leaves many puzzled, so I routinely offer a multiple choice: • tail • nose • paw I applaud those who guess “nose,” though I point out that this is the most “sensory” sensitive area. The most “skin” sensitive areas are the paws, or more specifically, the pads of the paws. Unlike people, dogs do not wear shoes, generally speaking. The neurons located on a dog’s feet are in direct communication with the brain, conveying the same information we might glean by looking down. So back to the pet-concerning perils of winter. As few Northeastern towns leave anything to chance, communities are already stockpiling salt for the coming season. Though there are many forms of salt, think of large granules of your basic sodium chloride mixed with other additives – both natural like sand for traction and chemicals that enhance the meltability of generic road salt. As your dog’s paws are more porous than skin, they’re often more sensitive

Pet of the Month Meet Scruffy, a 2-year-old Australian Shepherd/Wire Terrier mix. He was rescued from a high-kill shelter where he’d been abandoned and had only days to live. He is a smart, beautiful, unique-looking dog. We couldn’t sit back and let him be put down so we brought him here to the SPCA of Westchester to get a second chance and find him a forever home. He is a perfect size, not too big and not too small. He loves other animals and children so he’d make a great family pet. Scruffy can be energetic and likes to play, so a big yard to romp in would be ideal. To meet Scruffy, 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 first-come, firstserved 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) 9412896 or visit


to the burning caused by salt and other chemicals. Road salt stings and when it contacts cracked, winter-dry paws, you’ve got a painful predicament. Your dog’s solution? Lick, lick, lick – sodium and chemical additives be darned. Should you get shoes for your dog? Well, that is one option, but many dogs balk at the idea and go to phenomenal lengths to dodge your efforts or to remove their booties once they’re affixed. Further, I’ve heard many stories of dogs who simply stage a boycott, refusing to budge. That said, if you think your dog will tolerate such an accessory it’s worth a try. In the end, prevention is worth a pound of cure, or a pound of salt for that matter. If you can’t avoid a salted passageway either carry your dog over the area if that’s possible or rinse their paws with warm soapy water ASAP. Remember to consider what you use at home. Purchase dog-safe ice melt or sand and keep a bucket of water handy to rinse your dog’s feet after a walk on suspect surfaces. If you’re accustomed to walking on streets and sidewalks that are salted in inclement weather, consider new grounds

– an open field perhaps or the back parking lot that remains unplowed. Of course, nothing is without caution. My second concern in wintertime is ice – not the kind of ice that hangs from trees and awnings capturing sunlight and deflecting its rays into a mirage of rainbows. No, the type of ice that is routinely concealed by a layer of white fluffy snow and can be as threatening as a knife blade should your dog step on it the wrong way. If you suspect a layer of ice on the ground, limit your dog’s bounding and racing if at all possible. Keep your dog on a leash and walk on well-trodden paths and shoveled driveways. Boring, but safer. Of course, I’m probably putting a damper on all things winter. Like many of you, I love a good snow in all its forms, and our dogs are no exception. There’s snowball snow, sledding snow, stick-to-the-treesand-take-a-million-photos snow. Winter provides photo op after photo op, whether your favorite children walk on four legs or two. But walking and allowing your dogs to romp in blissful abandon in the wintertime is something pet parents have to be mindful of – for better or worse. n

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THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR and Other Eric Carle Favourites


ver ion Glo eld d: Sav nfi Picture Lois Gree © photo

13 eighth blackbird MAY 3




HARLAN JACOBSON’S TALK CINEMA Select Tuesdays & Saturdays Major Sponsorship for the season is provided by The Vivian and Seymour Milstein Endowed Fund. The Great Orchestras and Chamber Music Series are made possible by generous support from the Tanaka Memorial Foundation Special thanks to Corporate Sponsors Steinway & Sons and Pernod Ricard USA.




w’reel deal

Extreme touring Sam gets up close and personal with ‘Chloe’ Story and Photographs by Sam Barron There’s something about seeing landmarks featured in movies. Who hasn’t wanted to dine at Tom’s Restaurant from “Seinfeld” or visit the Magnolia Bakery featured in “Sex and the City”? I visited Austin and saw the field where they shot “Friday Night Lights.” I had to climb over a fence to get onto the actual field. A few seconds later, they opened the field for band practice, and I could’ve just walked right in. My love of the city of Toronto is up there with my love of movies. I went to Ryerson University, located downtown, and loved it. It didn’t hurt that a lot of movies were filmed there, including my all-time favorite “Dirty Work” and the movie “Chloe.” A site called Torontoist started running a column called Reel Toronto, which featured films shot in Toronto and then told you where they filmed everything. It became my bible. I soon realized a fun Toronto trip would be to see where they shot some of my favorite movies. My first endeavor was “Dirty Work,” a comedy starring Norm Macdonald and the most quotable movie of all time. I’ve done the “Dirty Work” tour twice. Getting to see some of the actual locations was awesome. I saw where Mitch called the real cops. (No one will get that line, because no one has seen “Dirty Work”.) But “Chloe” would be my magnum opus. It’s a movie shot in Toronto, set in Toronto and directed by a Torontonian, Atom Egoyan. Like “Dirty Work,” “Chloe” is a movie few have seen. Julianne Moore hires Amanda Seyfried (Chloe), a hooker, to see if her husband (Liam Neeson) is being unfaithful. Stuff happens, and Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore end up having relations. I was pumped for “Chloe” when I saw the trailer and it featured a sex scene in Allan Gardens, a greenhouse I lived across from for years. It was a good movie and I recognized many Toronto sites, including the place where I lived. A “Chloe” tour had to happen. Planning the “Chloe” tour was a daunting task. Egoyan shot all over the city and the Google map I put together was a maze. Friends told me to do it in two days (or 76

Admiring rare plants or thinking about the Liam Neeson-Amanda Seyfried sex scene? You know the answer.

Café Diplomatico, a nondescript Italian restaurant in Toronto, became its own character in the movie. The poster overlooks the table the characters sat at in the movie, and I got to sit there.

One of the homes featured in “Chloe.” They used different houses for interiors and exteriors because the interiors’ homeowners wanted some privacy. Now you see why.

not at all), but I was insistent. With a TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) Day Pass, I knew the “Chloe” tour could be done. The first stop was Allan Gardens. While everyone else was admiring rare plants, I was trying to figure out where Liam Neeson and Chloe had sex. Another notable feature in “Chloe” is the family’s modern ravine house. The glass house’s architecture is a character in itself. There were actually two “Chloe” houses, one used for exteriors and one used for interiors. The “Chloe” interiors’ family wanted a different house for exteriors so they could have some privacy. Of course, they didn’t count on me. Both houses were on the same street. Nobody was home, allowing me the chance to take a lot of photos. Sorry for violating your privacy, “Chloe” family, but

both houses are really nice. Several stops in and I had already gone all over the city and was exhausted. This was going to be a long day. I headed to Yorkville, a wealthy area of Toronto with fancy shops akin to Fifth Avenue. Much of “Chloe” takes place here. They probably have their own WAG. TAG, perhaps? The scenes featuring Chloe and Julianne Moore were shot at the Windsor Arms Hotel, which costs $500 a night. Despite the stuffiness, the staff didn’t seem to mind me walking about taking photos and being a nuisance. I thought of asking to see room 211, where the actual sex scene took place, but thought better of it. I walked through Toronto’s entertainment district, an area I had never really gotten to know. I ended up at the Rivoli, one of Toronto’s hippest music and com-

edy clubs, which is mentioned in “Chloe.” I took some photos, used the Rivoli bathroom and was on my way. I had taken the “Dirty Work” tour the day before and I had been out walking for five hours at this point and I am out of shape. My feet were killing me, with two spots to go. I walked two miles from the Rivoli to another hip bar, Levack Block. This walk was my Bataan Death March and the Quiznos I ate probably didn’t help. Levack Block led to my final stop – Café Diplomatico. Café Diplomatico is an Italian restaurant in Little Italy/Portugal Village. (Toronto is very diverse.) It is basically a second character in the movie. Café Diplomatico is where Chloe first meets Liam Neeson, as Julianne Moore mentions how he has lunch there all the time. Another key confrontation takes place there. I knew it was the perfect place to end my tour. I had a meatball parm (Yes, right after eating Quiznos. I know.) and sat at a table next to a poster of Chloe signed by Egoyan. I talked to staffers about the movie, and they seemed pleased that I came into Café Diplomatico because of “Chloe.” The waitress pointed out that I was even sitting at the table they sat at in “Chloe.” So a seven-hour, 12-stop tour ended with me sitting at the “Chloe” table at Café Diplomatico. It’s safe to say the 2013 “Chloe” tour was a rousing success. I went home and watched “Chloe” a few weeks later. It was surreal seeing all the sites in the movie and knowing I had been there. Some people go to Toronto and see the CN Tower. I went to a house because a movie filmed there. For my next trip to Toronto, I’m already trying to put together my next tour. I’m torn between “Billy Madison” and “Cinderella Man.” People have said I should turn this into a business, but I don’t think tours of movies no one has seen is a business model. Atom Egoyan did not respond to my interview request, because he was busy at the Toronto International Film Festival. He’s also probably filing a restraining order. n Join the conversation: #wagwreeldeal

MBG081308P-WagMag Oct13(PR)-BC.pdf











3:30 PM


The fight to overcome breast cancer endures


ctober is National Breast Cancer Awaren e s s Month, a time to reflect on where we are in treating this disease and how far we need to go to cure it. In addition, Oct. 16 has been designated Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, an initiative designed to promote education, awareness and access for women who may wish to consider breast reconstruction. Sadly, both observances remain extremely critical as the scourge of breast cancer has not been eliminated yet. This year, the American Cancer Society predicts that there will be 232,340

By Michael Rosenberg, MD

women diagnosed with new breast cancers in the United States. Each year, an estimated 50,000 mastectomies are performed and more than 300,000 partial mastectomies or lumpectomies, as well. Yet despite the magnitude of this problem, there is still a great need for sharing information. For women with a diagnosis of breast cancer, treatment consists of surgery and possibly radiation therapy, chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy. A breast-conserving lumpectomy is the choice of most women, as long as the cancer can be safely removed with clear margins. In order for the cure rate to be equivalent between mastectomy and breast conservation, lumpectomy must be combined with a course of postoperative radiation therapy. This usually requires daily treatments five times weekly for a total of five weeks.

Some excitement has been generated about the possibility of lowering the requirement for postoperative radiation with the use of a new technology called IORT, or intraoperative radiation therapy. For now, IORT is typically combined with postoperative radiation therapy, while research into expanding its uses is ongoing. While surgery and radiation are directed at control of the disease within the breast area, systemic therapy is aimed at preventing or treating the spread of breast cancer elsewhere in the body. The two types of medical treatments for breast cancer are traditional chemotherapy and hormonal therapy, with Tamoxifen still the most common hormonal medication. In addition to its role in treating breast cancer, Tamoxifen can help prevent the development of breast cancer in a high-risk

group of patients. The amount of information on this topic can be overwhelming, so consultation with an oncologist is a critical part of the treatment of patients with breast cancer. A very exciting aspect of our understanding of the development of breast cancer and a possible guide to its treatment has been the advancement of our knowledge of the human genome and specific genes that are associated with the development of breast and ovarian cancer. The BRCA genes have been identified in a number of women who develop breast cancer and we have learned that those women with the BRCA genes are at a very high risk. While there is no specific gene therapy that has been developed yet, we can use this knowledge to guide and advise women regarding the treatment options available to them. When faced

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with a known BRCA gene mutation, doctors can offer women the option of a prophylactic mastectomy to prevent the subsequent development of a cancer. With the advancement of the techniques available to us for breast reconstruction, these women can receive nipple-sparing surgery and immediate reconstruction to make their chests look balanced when they are wearing a bra or swimsuit, to regain their breast shape permanently and to avoid use of an external prosthesis. So how can you protect yourself and the women in your life? First and foremost is the recognition that the earlier breast cancer is detected, the better and more effective are our treatment options. Women starting in their 20s and 30s should have regular breast examinations with health care providers and starting at age 40 obtain a mam-

mogram on a regular basis and an ultrasound examination if indicated. For women who fall into a higher risk group, MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, should also be considered. For all of us, support of ongoing research holds the hope of cure for this disease. Studies to identify risk factors, better treatment options and even nutritional or other behavior modifications to prevent breast cancer need our support. During this month, join us in one of the many walks for a cure, use the breast cancer stamp when you mail letters (a portion of the money raises funds for research) and support the organizations that are committed to research into a cure. Breast cancer affects all of us and it will take all of us working together to beat this disease. Please send any questions or comments to n

Aphrodite of Milos (Venus de Milo), MusĂŠe du Louvre. Photograph by Shawn Lipowski.



Handing it to youthfulness By Alicia T. Cappelli

What may not be common knowledge is there are many hand-rejuvenation treatments that can improve the look of your hands and even turn back the hands of time (pun intended).


any of us don’t think of our extremities as being objects of beauty. However, our hands (and feet) are areas that reveal much about our outward beauty, youthfulness and even our overall health. So many appearance-conscious people spend money on aesthetic treatments from facials to plastic surgery. The emphasis is on the face and other areas that we believe are those that define us as youthful or attractive to others. While perhaps not the focal point of our outward selves, our hands are a real giveaway of our age. Age spots, sun spots, liver spots and sun damage can make a person’s hands look much older than they really are. “As we age and lose collagen, our hands can appear too thin and almost ‘skeletonlike,’ as some of my patients describe,”

says Dr. Joseph J. Sozio, of SkinCenter in Hartsdale, a full-service aesthetic center. “Due to a loss of natural elasticity and a thinning of the skin that occurs over time, the veins also become more prominent.” What may not be common knowledge is there are many hand-rejuvenation treatments that can improve the look of your hands and even turn back the hands of time (pun intended). For example, there are laser and light technologies that can reverse the appearance of sun damage, sun spots and brown spots on the hands, a tell-tale sign of biological age. In addition, dermal fillers can restore lost volume. As the name suggests, fillers “fill in” the creases and indentations that result from lost collagen, giving the hand a fuller, less-boney look. And for those with sweaty palms, a condition that can be embarrassing in social and business situations that require the essential handshake,

a bit of Botox can treat that very effectively and last for a year or more. By the same token, our feet also reveal something about our well-being. Some people experience a loss of natural padding in the balls of the feet from “wear and tear” and from wearing fashionable but damaging high-heeled shoes. “That too can be remedied with the use of fillers, such as Juvéderm, for example, which fills in the area to create padding,” Sozio says. While some of these interventions may sound surprising, it points to the growing concern about wanting to look and feel our best, from our hands right down to our very toes. So next time you are curious about someone’s age, look at his hands, arms, legs and feet. You’ve got to hand it to him if you cannot tell his true age. n




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put sexy back in your step Discover the difference. • Salsa • Rumba • Cha-cha • Samba • Ballroom COME TO A HALLOWEEN PARTY TO BENEFIT KIDS IN CRISIS… Friday, October 18, 2013, 4pm - 10pm  Group Dance Classes for all ages  Great Food, Drink, Tricks & Treats for All!  Costumes optional Sophia’s will donate 20% of all costume sales and rentals worn at the party; Arthur Murray suggests a $20 donation at the door. 100% of all donations go to benefit KIDS IN CRISIS.

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6 Lewis Street, Greenwich, CT 06830 • 203.769.1800 •


More than skin deep By Dana Ramos


aser technology is being used widely for numerous medical conditions, including various skin problems. Indeed when it comes to the body’s largest organ, laser companies claim to fix just about anything. Curing skin diseases and removing unwanted hair and tattoos are high on the list, as well as repairing cosmetic issues like wrinkles, acne, rosacea, toenail fungus and more. All of these are done in-office with topical numbing creams (needed in some cases) and offer quick results. But do lasers really work? What are the costs? And are there alternatives to lasers that can improve your skin? Here is a menu of what lasers can do to help: 1. Hair removal. In the past, the only thing that worked for permanent hair removal was a process called electrolysis, which was slow, painful and took forever to treat large areas. Laser hair removal is now the standard for hair removal and the technology improves every year. “The FDA requires us to say ‘permanent hair reduction,’ not removal,” says Dr. David Bank, director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mount Kisco. But most women find that after a few treatments, the results are indeed permanent. In the past, dark-skinned women could not use laser hair removal, because lasers didn’t react well with melanin. But many of the newer lasers can be used on all skin types and colors. Just be sure to ask ahead of time if the physician you choose uses lasers appropriate for dark skin. Costs vary depending on the size of the area treated and how many visits are needed for best results. Treatment for a small area like upper lips can start at $50; full bikini areas start at about $150. 2. Broken blood vessels, veins, rosacea, some scars and fine lines: The Vbeam laser has been a godsend for people suffering from unsightly rosacea or broken blood vessels on the face, as well as many other issues. Using a quick burst of intense light, the broken blood vessels or capillaries under the surface of the skin are destroyed, but the skin is not. Depending on the severity of the condition, more than one treatment may be necessary, but for most cases of small broken blood vessels or mild rosacea the effect is immediate. Post-treatment swelling usually lasts only a day or two. Some rosacea patients form new broken vessels in time, so maintenance treatments may be necessary. “The reason these treatments are so costly,” Bank says, “is the laser technology. It costs a lot to own and operate these machines.” Costs vary widely depending on the area being treated. The average cost starts at about $400. Insurance doesn’t cover this. 3. Deep skin resurfacing for deep acne scars, sun damage, discoloration and wrinkles. CO2 laser resurfacing is the go-to laser for deep scars or resurfacing the skin completely, but people with dark skin should avoid this type of laser as it can produce uneven results in skin color. Unlike more gentle laser treatments, this intense treatment requires a week or more of downtime as your face heals, but the results can be dramatic. The costs, starting at about $2,500, are also dramatic, especially


Photograph by K. Lambert

if you need a second treatment for very deep scars and wrinkles. 4. Gentle skin resurfacing for acne scars, sun damage, discoloration and wrinkles. Unlike the CO2 laser, which can make dramatic changes in one treatment and requires downtime, the Fraxel laser is meant to resurface with one or more treatments, has little or no downtime and can be used on all skin colors. “There are two different Fraxel lasers,” Bank explains. “The more intense is the CO2, which requires one or two treatments and is ablative. The Fraxel model is a milder laser that requires more treatments, but is non-ablative.” Fraxel results will be less dramatic than the CO2, but like the CO2 laser, Fraxel also helps build up collagen under the skin and improves overall skin tone and quality while working to remove scars and skin discoloration. Also in the gentler category is the Erbium: YAG laser, which some doctors prefer. Depending on condition and areas to be treated, costs range from $750 to $1,500 per treatment, and the maximum benefit is usually achieved with an average of three to five treatments, spaced two or more weeks apart. 5. Acne. Lasers are sometimes combined with newer light therapies and other acne treatments to control acne, because results with laser and lights are not usually complete or permanent. Diode lasers are often used to prevent future breakouts by destroying the sebaceous glands that produce acne, but they aren’t considered effective for cystic acne (which can respond very well to an oral medication such as Accutane, generic name isotretinoin).

In general, lasers are better used for removing post-acne scarring and are not the go-to method of acne treatment at this time. Yet they might be one day, because technology changes rapidly in the laser world. Costs for laser acne treatments range from $200 to $400 per treatment, and more than one is usually needed. 6. Treatment for psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo. The Excimer laser has been an exciting new development for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo (white patches on the skin where the cell production of melanin has stopped). Several treatments over the course of a few weeks are necessary, and insurance often picks up the costs. If you have no insurance, doctors will usually negotiate a price with you. 7. Tattoo removal. It is estimated that about 25 percent of the population in the United States has tattoos, and about half of those individuals will eventually want all or some removed. The easiest tattoos to remove are those with blue or black ink, so keep that in mind if you decide to get a tattoo (because chances are good that you will want it removed one day). There are very specific lasers that are used for this sort of work, such as the Qswitched, Nd:YAG or the PicoSure, which require several treatments. Sometimes, there will be discoloration of the skin remaining (either light or dark patches). Costs vary depending on the size of tattoo and number of treatments needed, but expect to pay between $1,000 and $5,000. 8. Toenail fungus. Using lasers to treat toenail fungus is relatively new, and studies are still being done to assess the effectiveness and to find which laser technology works the best. Lasers might be a good alternative for you to try rather than taking strong oral medications like Lamisil, which has side effects and thus can’t be taken by everyone. There are no side effects for toenail laser treatment. Insurance won’t pay, as toenail fungus is considered “cosmetic” and not medically necessary. And even after you zap the fungus, you must return to good foot hygiene and topical creams, because the fungus can return. The cost is about $1,000 for treatment. New machines and technology improvements are constantly arriving. Bank says: “Call your dermatologist, tell them what you need and ask if they have the right machines to treat your condition.” And if lasers are too expensive for you, or maybe you think they are just “overkill” for your fine lines, skin discoloration, brown spots and mild acne, try do-it-yourself at-home skin peels, which, when done correctly, can give your skin quite noticeable improvement for just a few dollars. My book, “The Skin Regime: Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin” (available on, teaches you all the inexpensive do-it-yourself methods. (Bank was the technical adviser for the book as well as this article.) Try the new 1-4-All Peel by The Skin Regime, which can be layered for a mild or strong peel, depending on what is right for your skin type. To learn more about “The Skin Regime” book and the 1-4-All Peel or to purchase the peel, visit To reach Dr. David Bank and his team, call (914) 241-3003 or visit n

OPEN FOR LUNCH, DINNER & SUNDAY BRUNCH OPEN YEAR ROUND BOOKING HOLIDAY PARTIES Voted Best Place to have a party by Westchester Magazine Voters







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238 Green St. | Tarrytown, NY | 914.366.7889 |

when&where Sunday


Tuesday 1


Wednesday 2

October 2013 Thursday




A show featuring more than 200 artists, gourmet food, live music and activities, on the Dutchess County Fairgrounds.

Chuchito Valdes will appear at Caramoor as part of “Sonidos Latinos” Oct. 4. Gabe Palacio photo.











St. Christopher’s, Inc. in Dobbs Ferry hosts this annual benefit at the Leewood Golf Club in Eastchester and Chestnut Ridge Tennis Club in Mount Kisco. (914) 693-3030, ext. 2707 or

Fine art and contemporary crafts are again on offer as the annual event that kicked off Oct. 12 concludes at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich.






Bloomingdale’s and White Plains Hospital increase awareness for finding a cure for breast cancer with an event featuring skin consultations and makeup applications, cocktails and music, at Bloomingdale’s in White Plains, on the main floor. (914) 684-6257.


A lecture on how our brains make and find images and how artists turn images into paintings, sculpture and photographs, at the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan.




Fresh off her long run as part of “The View,” Behar returns to her standup roots with a show at the Tarrytown Music Hall.


THE MAGIC OF WOMEN’S HEALTH THEATer “The 39 Steps,” a fastAWARENESS paced whodunit, at the LUNCHEON White Plains Performing “The Dancing Lady” by Michael Buonaiuto is the face of the Hudson Valley Arts Festival.



“Industrial Sublime: Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s Rivers, 1900-1940” opens at the Hudson RivCancer Support Team’s Arts Center. (914) 328- er Museum in Yonkers, to 15th annual Gayle K. Lee 1600. Continues through continue through Jan. 17. Women’s Health Aware- Oct. 27. ness Luncheon at Westchester Country Club in Rye. (914) 777-2777.

A wine-tasting benefit featuring musician Blessing Offor at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights.




Fine wine and cuisine Jazz Forum Arts brings to benefit the Boys & the nine-time Grammy Girls Club of Northern Award winning trumWestchester and other peter for a one-night-only Mount Kisco Rotary performance at the Tarphilanthropic programs, rytown Music Hall. Tarat Mount Kisco Country Club.

A 5K run to benefit Special Olympics Connecticut, at Seaside Park in Bridgeport.



2013 FALL FESTIVAL ‘SIGNED, SEALED The Caramoor Center & DELIVERED for Music and the Arts COLLECTOR’S in Katonah kicks off its festival with “Jazz in the PARTY’

Courtyard: Sonidos Lati- An art sale event featurnos,” Spanish Courtyard. ing works by Silvermine Guild Artists, faculty and internationally known artists, at the Silvermine ‘LIGHT UP THE Arts Center in New CaNIGHT’ naan. Andrus’ annual fall gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester in White Plains. (914) 965-3700, ext. 1318.

Alberta Cifolelli’s work will be part of the Silvermine Arts Center benefit Oct. 5.







A fundraising event to benefit Gilda’s Club Westchester, at The Woman’s Club of White Plains. (914) 391-3909.


“Othello” comes to Westchester Community College Oct. 19.



Gilda’s Club Westchester has an Oct. 18 benefit planned.


The Bard’s take on injured pride, jealousy and revenge, in the Academic Arts Theatre on the Valhalla campus at Westchester Community College.



The Atlantic City Ballet brings “Dracula” to the Academic Arts Theatre on the Valhalla campus at Westchester Community College.

Fine wines and gourmet food at Estherwood Mansion in Dobbs Ferry.




Guiding Eyes for the Blind has Oct. 6 wine tasting.


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


Peter Wolf

Robert Cray Band

Lead singer of J. Geils Band

Five-time Grammy Award Winning Blues Guitarist and recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame! With hits “Smoking Gun,” and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.”

Sunday, October 20

Thursday, October 10

With hits “Lights Out,” “Come As You Are,” “I Need You Tonight,” “Love Stinks” and more!


Lisa Marie Presley The Memphis-born Presley reclaims those roots on her new album Storm & Grace — an Americana-inspired showcase for her songwriting talent and smoldering alto voice.

Patrizio Buanne

Wednesday, October 23


Saturday, October 26

The Italian Michael Bublé!


Longtime Dave Matthew’s Band Guitarist! A great night of music with this Grammy Award winning guitar virtuoso!

Sunday, October 27

Sunday, October 13

After a seven-year break, The Wallflowers are back! With hits 6th Avenue Heartache”, “One Headlight” “The Difference” and “Three Marlenas.”

Joshua Payne

With uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ songs, the Fab Four will make you think you are watching the real thing.


Toad the Wet Sprocket

Wednesday, October 16

One of the most abundantly gifted of a new breed of singer and songwriter. Your Love, My Home, his debut CD, introduces not only an accomplished singer with experience in every musical genre from opera to rock.


With hits “Fall Down,” “Walk on the Water” and “All I Want.” Touring in support of their album New Constellation due out in October!

Wednesday, November 6

Psychic Medium Thursday, October 17

With Special Guest Bobby Paltauf

Internationally acclaimed clairvoyant medium, spiritual counselor, teacher and healer.

Richard Lewis

Neil Sedaka

Saturday, October 19


“Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” “Calendar Girl,” “Love Will Keep Us Together,” and more! Tickets include open bar & hors d’oeuvres!


Thursday, November 7

With Special Guest Mike Jacobs

A night with singing legend


A two-time cancer survivor, his debut album “Truth” draws from the unique perspective of someone who’s faced and overcome adversity.

Bettye LaVette

Friday, October 18

From Curb Your Enthusiasm! Lewis ranks among Comedy Central’s Top 50 Comedians of All Time!


Charlie Scopoletti

Anna Raimondi

A Whole New You Series


The Fab Four


Bringing to the stage nostalgic Rock 'n' Roll hits such as "House of the Rising Sun," "It's My Life," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," and "Spill the Wine."

Tim Reynolds & TR3

Saturday, October 12

Join us in the lobby at 7:15pm for free wine and cheese tastings and artist reception International singing sensation and Italian heart throb with traditional Italian songs and American standards!


Eric Burdon & The Animals

Friday, October 11




Join us in the lobby at 7:15pm for free wine and cheese tastings and artist reception. Veteran jazz artist and Grammy Award nominee has earned superstar accolades for her new album, Thankful and Thoughtful.


Tony Kushner

Thursday, November 14

An Evening of Converation with Pulitzer Prize-winnning Playwright, Oscar nominated Screenwriter and Author of Angels in America and Caroline, or Change.











wit wonders: What’s the most extreme thing you’ve ever done? “The most extreme thing I’ve ever done was skydiving, and I did it in upstate New York. The instructor was harnessed to my back. (Laughs) I wasn’t free-falling. …I felt I had a different perspective on our atmosphere having felt the precipitation of a cloud. I learned to aim high and stay grounded. That’s the way to achieve.” — Asad Dean, stylist for Indulge magazine, Fort Worth, Texas resident “Climbing a glacier in the North Cascades in Washington state – not realizing it would be a real glacier. That was exciting.” – Jim Dratfied, owner of Petography, Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y. “The most extreme thing I’ve ever done was a 50mile bike ride in Columbus, Ohio, to raise money for cancer research, with no previous training. And I did it.” – Lindsay Ellingson, model and Victoria’s Secret angel, New York City resident “Going to New York, knowing no one, and starting my own jewelry business.” – Gabriele Frantzen, Gabriele Frantzen Inc., New York City “The most extreme thing I ever did was walking up to a developer and asking if I could use one of his homes for an art project. Then I got seven interior designers and over 30 artists together to design a home full of real art that was used in new and different ways. All of this was done in five months. I then opened it up to the public.” –Barbara Galazzo, director, Gallery 66 NY, Cold Spring resident

“Skydiving in South Africa. You jump out of a plane and your cheeks are like this – bluh, bluh, bluh, bluh, bluh. You don’t have the sensation of falling until the last few feet. It was fun.” – Julie Henderson, model, New York City resident “I am a daredevil who loves a good stunt and never feels more proud than when I can pull a rabbit out of a hat. I love a good challenge and take on dares like children eat candy. It translates now to boundary-pushing design schemes for clients. Back when I was a reporter for CBS, I was assigned a remote live shot at Gatorland in Florida. I decided to walk barefoot, with encouragement from the gator trappers, in a pond of gators and feed them chicken legs. This is the kind of stuff you can’t make up and I will do. Have a good dare? Let me know. ” —Samantha Knapp, creative director, Tiger Lily’s Greenwich, Greenwich resident “I’m from Peru, and I went to the jungle there, where no one goes. – Luanna Perez, fashion blogger, New York City resident “Other than doing the crossword puzzle in ink, the most extreme, or perhaps the word is stupid, thing I ever did was ask the wrestler Killer Kowalski to demonstrate his infamous sleeper hold – on me.” – Phil Reisman, columnist, The Journal News, Yonkers resident “Helicopter-skiing in Switzerland. It was my most breathtaking moment outdoors.” —Babe Rizzuto, owner, ROAM, Greenwich, Harrison resident

Compiled by Georgette Gouveia. Contact her at 86

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watch Big night on ‘The Avenue’

Greenwich’s third annual “Fashion on the Avenue” drew hundreds to the iconic street Sept. 12 to watch and be watched. From Lewis to Elm streets, Greenwich Avenue was decked out in a red carpet for a runway show featuring tots to teens. Geri Corrigan, director of marketing for Saks Fifth Avenue in Greenwich helped spearhead the event. Photographs by Anthony Carboni.









All identifications are from left unless otherwise noted. 88

1. Erin and Kelly Gallagher modeling Roberto Cavalli and Plevé jewelry from Saks Fifth Avenue. 2. Anne Friday, Nanci Boudé and Jill DuPont model fashions from Out of The Box. 3. Sabrina Forsythe with Geri Corrigan. 4. Jessica Gisondi and Alexandra Shieron modeling Nancy Rose Performance Wear by Pure Barre Greenwich. 5. Fancy dance moves by two performers. 6. Pint-size model works the carpet. 7. A couple of cuties show off fall wear. 8. Walking before an admiring crowd. 9. Smiling for the crowd. 10. Lookin’ good. 11. Life’s a beach. 12. Wearing shorts, but not short on good looks. 13. Best foot forward. 14. Gym dandy. 15. Cool fashion for a hot night. 16. Smiling for the fans. 17. Golden look. 18. Artistry in motion. 19. DJ Eliana Carson 20. ROAM owner Babe Rizzuto and friends. 21. Megan and Tom Torelli















watch An ace among men

Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue flagship was a mob scene as Novak Djokovic, who reps the fun day- and activewear, stopped by to show off his new Uniqlo red and black threads for the US Open. Nole, who is gracious and gorgeous beyond photos, answered questions about his faves and posed for pix with select fans. Although he ultimately lost to equally stunning archrival Rafael Nadal in the Open, Nole has still had a good season, winning the Australian Open, making the finals of Wimbledon and the US Open and the semifinals of the French Open – a match against Rafa again that The New York Times called “a masterpiece.” Win or lose, Nole is to his fans an ace of hearts. Photographs by Georgette Gouveia and the Billy Farrell Agency. 1. Novak Djokovic at the recent Uniqlo event. 1

Color and black-and-white

Jessica Alba was among the celebs taking in Ralph Lauren’s spring collection during New York Fashion Week. The pieces covered all the bases, from mod, angular black-and-white throwbacks to the ’60s to shimmery, undulating gowns in brilliant cobalt blue, green, red and lime. Clearly, there was something for everyone. Photographs by Photography/FirstView and Post/shootdigital. 2. Jessica Alba with David Lauren. 3. Looks from the Ralph Lauren Collection. 2



Fore! a good cause

More than 400 golfers attended Montefiore Medical Center’s 15th annual golf tournament. The event raised more than $750,000 to support The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, which was ranked as one of America’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News World Report. This year’s tournament, hosted at three courses in Purchase, had a record-breaking turnout that included physicians, community members, business partners and Montefiore associates.



1. Thomas Costello, Dr. Philip Ozuah and Peter and John Skae 2. Charles Agins, Robert Beneventano and Tony and Anthony Caprio Jr. 3. Bob Kane, Rosemary Porreca, Debbie Cardile and Francis Porreca 4. Dr. Steven M. Safyer



Classic kickoff

Morello Bistro on Greenwich Avenue hosted a pre-tournament party to launch the NFL Alumni CT Chapter Celebrity Classic for the second year in a row. Jimmy Branigan, general manager of Morello, welcomed NFL Alumni players, sponsors, family and friends. The evening began with a rendition of the national anthem sung by Sadie Seelert, a 12-year-old Broadway actress and student at Saxe Middle School in New Canaan. Chapter President Steve Thurlow spoke about the NFL’s mission of “caring for kids,” advanced through hundreds of fundraising, community service and social events each year. Tiffany & Co. bracelets and Super Bowl raffle tickets were sold to raise money for the chapter’s efforts. Morello’s specialty appetizers and cocktails were enjoyed by all. 5. Front row, Dick Swatland, Jeffrey White, Jimmy Branigan and Kelly McCoy Back row, Bill Cooke, Steve Thurlow, Bob Hyland, Tom Longo and John Lium 6. Don Worthley and Steve Thurlow 7. Sadie Seelert



for the arts

The Katonah Museum of Art’s board of trustees has announced three-year appointments of new board officers – Tara Coniaris, president; Cynthia Brennan and Jeanne Markel, co-vice presidents; Ellen Grimes, treasurer; and Amanda Alfieri, secretary. All have been members of the board of trustees for several years and look forward to making significant contributions in their new roles. 6


8. Tara Coniaris, Debbie Mullin and Marilyn Glass


watch Art in Mount Vernon


Nearly 100 people braved the heat and looming thunderstorms on a recent night when Arts on Third hosted the Sponsors Reception and Silent Auction at Mount Vernon City Hall. The civic group, whose mission is nothing less than “the revitalization of a community,” has enlisted 33 corporate sponsors and another eight community sponsors. The event – which featured the art of Mount Vernon artist Diane Monet, great-grandniece of Claude – was an overture to the Arts on Third Arts and Entertainment Festival. Photographs by Bill Fallon.


1. Diane Monet and Ernest D. Davis 2. Judy Williams 3. Nichelle Johnson 4. Tex Allen 5. Mark Gross 6. Karen Thomas-Griffith 7. Jacqueline Considine 8. Jackie Richardson, Ann Frey and Ericka Brown 9. Ralph Fatigate, Noam Bramson and Ralph Angelo Tedesco 10. Anthony M. Bove










Atlas hugged

During New York Fashion Week, models, bloggers, stylists and other assorted fashionistas turned out in force for Tiffany & Co.’s celebration of its revamped Atlas collection – those baubles, bangles and beads with the Roman numerals. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvre minis, bevies, a thumping DJ and most important, one another’s company. Photographs by Will Ragozzino/


1. Hannah Bronfman, the DJ of the evening 2. Jessica Stein, Aimee Song, Karen Elson and Chiara Ferragni 3. Doutzen Kroes 4. Rachel Parcell and Emily Jackson 5. Lauren Valenti 6. Lindsay Ellingson 7. Jessica Stein, Chiara Ferragni and Aimee Song showed off their Atlas jewelry.







Horsing around

More than 4,000 lovers of equestrian sports thronged to Old Salem Farm in North Salem recently for the American Gold Cup CSI4*W, a World Cup qualifier. Under peekaboo sunshine, fans enjoyed a national array of high-end boutiques and familiar treats as well as an international field of 36 entries. In the end, Brianne Goutal and her mount Nice De Prissey took the $200,000 cup, presented by Suncast and broadcast on NBC, with Tracy Fenney and MTM Timon finishing second and Beezie Madden with Coral Reef Via Volo finishing third. Earlier in the competition, members of the Hakim family, which owns Old Salem Farm, joined with event organizer Stadium Jumping and representatives of horse farms, county government and Hermès, which provided the first double-tier VIP tent in American show-jumping history, for a press kickoff and reception.



8. Kamran Hakim, Beezie Madden, Robert P. Astorino and Michael Morrissey 9. Brianne Goutal, Hunter Harrison, Geoffrey and Martha Morris and Peter Malachi 10. Courtney Caverzasi and Gretchen Hunt 11. Michele Savino and Nick Dello Joio 10



watch Dancing in the street

“Fashion on the Avenue” sponsors and friends gathered at the Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and salsa lessons. 1. Lory Kelsey, Allyson Spellman and Elle Murphy 2. Helen Koven, Mary Ann Henry and Kristen Miller 3. Sabrina Forsythe and Courtney Fischer 4. Christine Georgopulo, Geri Corrigan and Marcia O’Kane 1




Bravo, Rolando

Rolando Santana wowed the crowd at Center 548 during New York Fashion Week with his chic, ladylike, classic spring collection. Floral ensembles that played with the tension between green and red on a creamy field evoked Frida Kahlo – one of Santana’s muses – while kicky sheaths with feathered, ruffled hems kept the “Gatsby” trend going. Peplum and bouclé continued their welcome appearance while lacy, crocheted dresses spoke to the designer’s gift for sculpted, textured looks. Clad in a black shirt and trousers, the ever modest Santana, the White Plains resident who was our cover story in September, took the briefest of curtain calls. Too modest. Rolando, take another bow.


Shedding a light


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter recently held its “Light the Night Walk” kickoff party to honor local cancer patients at the Grand Prix New York in Mount Kisco. The event included presentations from local blood cancer patients, mission and fundraising workshops and advocacy information. The 2013 Westchester “Light the Night Walk” will take place Nov. 2 at Rye Playland.


1. Edye McCarthy, Helen Anbinder and Dave Warmund 2. Dennis Chillemi, Barbara Gallagher, Christina Palmieri and Chris Meyers 3. Alex Cohen, Cristiana Caruso, Brooke Emmett and Emily Genzlinger 4. Peter, Brian, Keith and (front row) Terri Froehlich



Too darned hot

Everything was “Wunderbar” at Westchester Broadway Theatre as the Elmford-based dinner theater revived “Kiss Me, Kate,” the classic Cole Porter take on “The Taming of the Shrew.” The show runs through Nov. 3. Photographs by John Vecchiolla. 5. William Michals and Christianne Tisdale (as Fred and Lilli). 6. Michael Kubala and Michael Farina perform “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.” 7.Christianne Tisdale (as Lilli/ Kate), William Michals (as Fred/ Petruchio), Missy Dowse (as Lois/ Bianca), and Brian Ogilvie (as Bill/ Lucentio).



A home run for charity





Former New York Yankees’ manager Joe Torre assembled a lineup of heavy hitters from the worlds of sports and politics – including former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa, former St. Louis Cardinals’ ace Bob Gibson and former New York Knick John Starks – for the annual celebrity golf and tennis classic to benefit the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation. The organization aims to raise awareness and educate youngsters at risk of domestic violence. The event took place at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. Photographs by Josh Sailor Photography 8. Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, Rudolph Giuliani 9. Bob Gibson 10. John Starks

Want to be in Watch? Send event photos, captions (identifying subjects from left to right) and a paragraph describing the event to 95


You know, I like to think of myself as a fun person, but if extreme adventures are your cup of tea, then I’m not the gal for you. For example, I’d like to go to Africa, but then I think of the dozens of shots I’d have to get, the 30-hour flight there and back, the multitudes of creepycrawly things that creep and crawl all over you and the possibility of getting eaten, gored or bitten and I think that I’d rather just go on safari at Disney. I hear it’s quite nice. India sounds awesome, too, but I don’t want to catch Dengue fever or dysentery. I don’t like extreme temperatures either, (I have bad circulation); I don’t like to rappel (I’m afraid of heights); and I don’t particularly like to whitewater raft, surf or swim across great bodies of water, because I’m afraid of sharks and I get sunburned easily. But I am fun. I swear. I loved the new ice bar in Manhattan that we just went to. That was pretty extreme. The cups were made out of ice. In fact, everything was, and it was literally 5 below 0 Centigrade (32 degrees Fahrenheit) in there – hence the name of the place, Minus5 Ice Bar. As I get older (and probably due M to continuous hot flashes) I find that I’m starting to like cold locales better than hot ones. In hot climates, when the temperatures soar and you have nothing left to remove, you’re screwed. But in the cold climes you can just keep


By Martha Handler and Jennifer Pappas

layering up. And the fabrics they’re using (GORE-TEX, Polartec, etc.) make it all that much more comfortable and enjoyable. But I know that ice isn’t for everyone. For years I’ve been trying to drag my husband to the ICEHOTEL in Sweden, but he has absolutely no interest whatsoever. He does, however, like ice bars, or at least he likes putting on furs and drinking vodka. Minus5 at the New York Hilton Midtown is my new favorite. There’s a VIP room that has ice benches all around with layered skins on top. There’s another area with a carved Statue of Liberty and an American flag frozen into the wall, still another with a large seating area and huge chandelier and a terrific bar with an adorable bartender (at least ours was). I also liked the fact that they have a photographer with a great camera to take pictures of your experience. I would highly recommend going there after dinner on a sultry night. But I would BYOG (gloves) as the ones they have for sale are very thin and after a few minutes of holding an ice glass, you’ll feel mighty chilled. In any case, it was probably a good primer for my upcoming trip to Antarctica. Am I crazy for going? You are not crazy. You are just the J opposite of me. Antarctica is another continent that is not on my “bucket list.” As I mentioned before, I have trouble getting blood to my extremities. I lose cir-

culation in the frozen food section of the grocery store. And you are right. Those gloves were horrible. My fingertips were white by the time I exited the place, and we were only there for 15 minutes. All kidding aside though, I do appreciate people who live on the edge. And I do have my own moments of “death-defying thrills.” I love to drive race cars fast (I started racing when I was a teenager), and I am currently taking flying lessons. Still, when it comes to risking life and limb, I’d generally rather watch than do. me. Rather than leave a beautiM Not ful corpse behind (and let’s face it, it’s way too late for that anyway), I’d prefer to be scarred from head to toe and have corresponding stories and adventures for each of many defects. And I’m pretty sure my future grandkids would rather brag that their “Grandma was eaten by a 1,300-pound ferocious leopard seal while exploring the outer reaches of Antarctica,” than that I simply passed away from old age and boredom. Use it or lose it, isn’t that what they say? I was just researching a 10-day dog-sled trip in Alaska where you go from hut to hut each night while the Northern Lights twinkle and swirl above you. Sounds like pure heaven to me. The extreme sports that I just don’t get are those with finish lines (marathons, Ironman races, etc.). It’s hard for me to understand how “winning” would give you any lasting satisfaction. I’ll

stick to the extreme adventures that challenge me but also allow me to take in the vistas, the smells, the flora and the fauna. And if I’m going to ravage my body, I want to do so in interesting locales with other crazy adventurers, not pounding the pavement through some crowded city with thousands of others. Wag Up: High-definition television: For the J feeling of truly being there, without having to actually BE THERE! Flip tops – so much better and fastM er than screw-on tops. Wag Down: Autoimmune issues like RaynJ aud’s Syndrome (which I have), that cause me to miss out on many things that I love doing, like skiing, iceskating, dogsledding (yes!) and snowshoeing. It’s just not worth losing a digit over. Bathing suit designers – Is there no M one out there who can design a decent bathing suit for a middle-aged woman? They’re all too short in the torso, they don’t have enough bosom support and the bottoms are not nearly ample enough. No wonder I like cold climates. Join the conversation: #wagclassandsass

Email Class&Sass at You may also follow Martha and Jen on Facebook at Wag Classandsass or access all of their conversations online at

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WAG Magazine October 2013  
WAG Magazine October 2013