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BRINGS HER BAND – AND HUMOR – TO RIDGEFIELD
IN NEW YORK STATE 2014, 2015, 2016
Fascinating designs ARTISTRY EXPLORED
Painter Nathan Lewis Dealer J. Russell Jinishian
Architects Brad DeMotte and Rocco DiLeo
CHEF DAVID DIBARI
Pushing the culinary envelope
Alison Kouzmanoff ’s fabrics The book on Indian textiles
SET TO MUSIC
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WESTCHESTER & FAIRFIELD LIFE
MARCH 2019 | WAGMAG.COM
COVER: Megan Mullally. Photograph by Emily Shur. Courtesy Megan Mullally. See story on page 72.
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IS DESIGN ART? It’s a question that’s at the heart of our “Fascinating Designs” issue this month. As we explore in our opening essay, art and design are not necessarily the same thing, art having a transcendent quality that surpasses design’s functionality. But sometimes-useful objects have a beauty, an artfulness, too, as in the current exhibit at Gallarus Arts Space in Katonah (Laura’s story). And art sometimes calls attention to its craftsmanship, as you’ll see in our stories on Taddeo Zuccaro’s rarified drawings; a provocative touring exhibit of artists’ books (artworks that use some aspect of the book); the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery of stirring marine works in Fairfield (Mary’s story); 20th-century New Canaan artist Carl Schmitt (Phil’s piece); painter and Sacred Heart University professor Nathan Lewis (Bob’s interview); and Lalique’s “Flying Falcon” sculpture, its latest collaboration with McLaren. Complicating the relationship of art and design are our changing aesthetic tastes, which Ridgefield architect Brad DeMotte discusses in our profile of him. The intimate spaces of prewar homes and office buildings may be brilliantly built, beautiful, artistic even, but they are no longer in fashion. All the more reason for us to preserve and repurpose what we can, as Jena discusses in her passionate essay. There’s nothing complicated, though, about the exquisite skills described in Gina’s profile of chef-restaurateur David DiBari, who has two new restaurants in Westchester County — The Rare Bit in Dobbs Ferry and Eugene’s in Port Chester — and Eugene’s designer Rocco DiLeo of RDstudio; our article on Norwalk designer Lynn Morgan; our peek at the latest from Graff jewelers in Greenwich; and our look at Thames & Hudson’s “The Indian Textile Sourcebook.” India is one of our subthemes, turning up in Mary’s conversation with fabric creator Alison Kouzmanoff, formerly of our staff, and again in our story on Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers’ new Westchester office, coming to White Plains in May and headed by our What’s New Again? columnist Katie Banser-Whittle. We know this is going to be a big addition to the county’s sociocultural landscape. Our other subtheme is an art form whose design is part of its ineffability — music. We introduce you to pianist Heloïse Piéaud, whom we first encountered at the launch party for Highclere Castle Gin, covered in February WAG. Meghan Mullally — the designing woman who co-stars on NBC’s long-running hit “Will & Grace” — of course, needs no introduction. But who knew she was one half (with Stephanie Hunt) 12
An example of book art – a handmade journal by Assouline with a relief cover of “The Three Graces.”
of the band Nancy And Beth? (And yes, the “And” is capitalized.) The duo will be performing at the Ridgefield Playhouse and Café Carlyle in Manhattan, as Gregg describes in his cover interview. Broadway star Christine Ebersole also needs no introduction. Ebersole, who’ll be headlining a benefit for Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, tells Gregg, “Music can be a great healing balm.” That balm is central to the Institute of Music and Neurologic Function, which is partnering with Wartburg in Mount Vernon to offer a variety of music therapy programs to everyone from children with developmental disabilities to veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to dementia
patients. The ability of music to penetrate even the most fragile of minds and bodies speaks not only to the power of art but the terrible wondrousness of the human brain — which may be the greatest design of all. A 2018 Folio Women in Media Award Winner, Georgette Gouveia is the author of the “The Penalty for Holding” (Less Than Three Press), a 2018 Lambda Literary Award finalist, and “Water Music” (Greenleaf Book Group). They’re part of her series of novels, “The Games Men Play,” also the name of the sports/culture blog she writes at thegamesmenplay.com. Readers may find her novel “Seamless Sky” and “Daimon: A Novel of Alexander the Great” on wattpad.com.
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BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
CRAWLING DOWN THE WEST SIDE HIGHWAY ON MY WAY TO AN ASSIGNMENT IN LOWER MANHATTAN RECENTLY, I NOTICED THE IAC (INTERACTIVECORP) BUILDING BILLOWING OUT ON 11TH AVENUE. “That’s an intriguing building,” I said to my driver, Marcel Lutama, with whom I’ve had many traffic-induced architectural conversations. “Pfffft,” he snort-retorted. Clearly, one man’s Frank Gehry marvel is another man’s garish monstrosity. Beauty, it is said, is in the eye of the beholder. (And I thought it was about bone structure. See Johnny Depp. But that’s another story.) And so it is with design. But is all design meant to be beautiful? Is all art? And is design also art? The answer to all three is, in the words of Ira Gershwin, “It ain’t necessarily so.” Design implies a certain understated usefulness, as in modernist architect Louis Sullivan’s famous dictum: “Form follows function.” A Louis Vuitton handbag, a Jason Wu gown and a Ferrari may all be beautifully designed, but the point of each is to hold your wallet, keys, phone and makeup; gussy you up for a big event; and get you there respectively. Yes, you could choose other “vehicles,” so to speak. But that doesn’t make these three brands any less useful. Whereas art, though it is designed, is only about itself. Vincent van Gogh may have created his sunflower paintings poignantly to hide the cracks in his Yellow House in Arles, France, as he prepared to welcome fellow painter Paul Gauguin in the hope of creating the Studio of the South and enjoying some human companionship — yet that doesn’t
“The way you look tonight” — Two of New York’s dominant architectural styles come together as the beloved Chrysler Building, a paean to Art Deco dreams, watches Mercury, the winged god of commerce, take flight from Grand Central Terminal’s Beaux Arts façade.
detract from their artfulness. You don’t have to know this story at all to appreciate the beauty and humanity of these works. Life isn’t all van Gogh sunflowers and Louis Vuitton handbags, though. The reader may pause here to consider his or her own idea of bad design — like virtually every ladies’ room in which the hand dryers and paper towel dispensers are always a mile from the sinks and there are never enough hooks or pull-down shelves in the stalls for coats and purses. To this we offer two examples from history. Ford Motor Co.’s Edsel (1957-59) was such a disaster that the hapless car has become synonymous with commercial failure. A number of theories have been advanced as to why this is so. While experts say the car was badly marketed, it ultimately came down to an unappealing style and what Consumer Reports said was poor workmanship. In other words, it was badly designed. The Edsel of modern times may have been New Coke. (Remember that?) Coca-Cola, whose chief product has a distinctively crisp taste, nevertheless wanted a sweeter soda to compete with Pepsi-Cola, preferred in blind taste tests. So in 1985 it came out with New Coke, to which the public had an immediate aversion — forcing the company to bring back Coca-Cola Classic as an alternative to what became Coke II, which mercifully exited the market in 2002. (Some think this was all a ploy to make Classic Coke more beloved, but really, only Machiavelli was that Machiavellian.) It’s harder to say what makes bad art, because, again, art doesn’t have to work the way a car does or rack up sales the way a soft drink does. What we can say is that in the era of modern art (1860s-1970s), the postmodernism of the late 20th century and our own time, many artists have been more concerned with the expression of ideas than with traditional, classical beauty. Willem de Kooning’s “Marilyn Monroe” (1954, oil on canvas, Neuberger Museum of Art collection) is no archetypal glam portrait of the sex goddess, featuring as it does a red slash of a mouth and lopsided Cleopatra eyes. But it conveys the harshness of Hollywood’s blond ambition while remaining true to Abstract Expressionism’s desire to express and incite emotion through shapes and colors. There are, however, works that represent great design, great art and great beauty, including one that has been in the news again recently — the Chrysler Building in Manhattan. Created by architect William Van Alen for Walter Chrysler, founder of the Chrysler Corp., and topped the week before
the stock market crashed in October of 1929, the Chrysler Building remains perhaps New Yorkers’ most beloved building, as well as the tallest brick one with a steel framework in the world at 1,046 feet. With its sleekly elegant, tapered, terraced silhouette — punctuated by modernist eagles, gargoyles and 1929 Chrysler radiator caps — along with a diamantine tower and spire, this national landmark is also one of the finest examples of Art Deco style. And it’s on the market, again. In a Jan. 13 New York Times piece, Big City columnist Gina Bellafante wondered who would buy it: “Despite its significance, it is plagued by the same problems that face so many office buildings in the city that went up between the 1920s and the 1970s….They lack the light and efficiency of contemporary working spaces and are hugely expensive and time-consuming to repair and modernize, with warrens of rooms, interior columns and low ceilings.” Her comments reflect a shifting design aesthetic away from intimate, detailed, durable spaces filled with equally well-crafted objects to transparent open-floor plans at home and at work dotted with angular furnishings made of disposable materials that afford you the greatest opportunity to do what you want, which seems increasingly to spend as little time as possible caring for the house and the workplace. But does this aesthetic lend itself to great design,
DESIGN IMPLIES A CERTAIN UNDERSTATED USEFULNESS, AS IN MODERNIST ARCHITECT LOUIS SULLIVAN’S FAMOUS DICTUM: “FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION.”
This SMEG Dolce & Gabbana toaster at Neiman Marcus Westchester demonstrates that form needn’t merely be functional. Photograph by Sebastián Flores.
let alone great art characterized by great beauty and individuality? Experts doubt it. “A lot of new houses lack quality of space,” says Ridgefield architect Brad DeMotte, who describes a decline in postwar architectural design on Page 18. “But many people would rather have a bigger house that lacks detail than a smaller one with character and detail.” This is particularly true for the younger generation, he adds. “A millennial doesn’t want what he perceives to be clutter. There’s no market for sets of dinnerware.” Yet graceful sets of Wedgwood china or the curving reliefs of French provincial furniture help convey who you are. Their lack suggests a lack of individuality. “A lot of houses are starting to look the same,” DeMotte says. It may seem counterintuitive, but this minimalist, cookie-cutter aesthetic is balanced by an excessive awareness of itself. “People took design for granted,” says George G. King — the new deputy director of ArtsWestchester, New York state’s flagship arts council (Page 80). “Now…everybody wants to be a designer.” The “notice me” quality of design threatens what has defined it — its usefulness. In the publishing world, it makes it hard to distinguish between editorial content and advertising, says book artist Chris Perry (Page 68). “I love design, but I love it in service to something else,” he says. Yet now the something else seems to serve it. The Jan. 13 cover of The New York Times Magazine — “What Is Beauty For?”, an article that questions beauty’s evolutionary role — featured the word “what” over “The New York Times Magazine” banner as the other letters cascaded around an image of a strikingly plumed bird. King notes that he gave up trying to read the end credits of the Oscar-nominated “The Favourite,” which presents text vertically throughout, perhaps as a metaphor for the characters’ myopia. Form, it seems, no longer follows function. Function follows form. Yet the aesthetic of design may be changing again. “I do think things are coming back,” says Rowayton interior designer Lynn Morgan (Page 48). “You’re seeing a lot more Old World glamour.” Retro is joined by high style in the every day, as in Smeg Dolce & Gabbana’s brightly patterned appliances. And the Chrysler Building may see new life as part of a billionaire’s art collection, an apartment building or a home for Amazon. Will it, centuries from now, be to New York what the Parthenon is to Athens? King thinks it will. The jury’s still out, however, on Gehry’s ICA Building.
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Compass Connecticut, LLC is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage.
BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
“GOD IS IN THE DETAILS” COULD WELL BE THE MOTTO OF RIDGEFIELD ARCHITECT BRAD DEMOTTE. A custom pool house in Katonah hugs rock outcroppings and curves about the irregularly shaped pool itself. A freestanding garage in Easton has a loggia on one side supported by Doric columns that both creates a façade and suggests a Greek temple. And everywhere houses and even homey commercial buildings are graced by turrets, gables, cupolas, Palladian windows, wraparound porches and verandas, giving his work a favorite DeMotte quality — character. “Architecture,” he says, “is both an art and science, but not all architecture falls into the art category.” The postwar era created a huge building boom as returning G.I.s and their loved ones longed for families and homes of their own, the sooner the better. It was, DeMotte says, a turning point in residential architecture. “Anything prior to that — the late 1800s, the early 1900s — are great buildings that are architecture-driven. After that, design definitely took a back seat to building itself. The houses that were being built were not that great in quality.” This has been driven by a lot of things — builders building for themselves, cost consciousness and changing societal tastes. “Some homeowners … would rather have a bigger house with a lack of detail than a smaller one with character and detail.” Millennial homeowners, too, don’t want what they perceive to be clutter. This is particularly true when it comes to home accessories. “There’s no market,” DeMotte adds, “for sets of dinnerware.” Too often, he says, the results are homes that all look alike. But not always. “There’s a small percentage of homes built by people with money — a lot of money. They’re creating houses with great quality of space.” Certainly, he is doing his part, working at the moment on two projects involving 100-year-old Tudors in Mamaroneck. One renovation and expansion requires gutting the interior — specifically two floors — as well as refreshing the exterior, while the other is
Before (inset) and after of a Queen Anne Victorian in Greenwich.
about enlarging the kitchen and adding a family room with a multilevel terrace. But both updates will be in keeping with the style of the homes. In these and other projects, DeMotte says he tries to balance his clients’ wishes with his role as architect-guide. He’s been doing this for three decades, though his interest in architecture began with a 10th-grade drafting class that the Haverstraw resident took at North Rockland High School. From then on he was focused on architecture. But after two years at SUNY Delhi, he realized he needed to learn how to build as well as design so he took a year off to work for a company that did both. He finished up with four more years of schooling at Kansas State University, then worked for four years at a Mount Kisco firm — three as an intern before getting his license. He was freelancing as well. When the recession of 1990 hit, he was ready to go out on his own. It was, he says of that economic downturn, “a blessing in disguise.” Today, he heads up a firm with two full-time employees that has seen some reverse trends as homeowners not only downsize but move back downtown in their communities. DeMotte remains focused, however, on “what makes a house unique and desirable, from curb appeal to the details inside.” For more, visit demottearchitects.com.
A Greenwich house gets a makeover (top).
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EVERY TELLS A STORY,
DON’T IT? BY BOB ROZYCKI
IT’S HARD TO KEEP UP IN CONVERSATION WITH NATHAN LEWIS. THE SLOUCHY SENSIBILITY OF A SKATEBOARDER WITH BLACK CAP, BLACK TURTLENECK-T AND BLUE DENIM PANTS WITH RED STITCHING BELIES WHAT’S TICKING IN HIS SKULL. (Think Nietzsche, Trump, privileged white male, cellphone culture, literature, #MeToo movement, science, philosophy and, oh yes, narrative painting. And then he’s riffing on Ovid’s “Apollo and Daphne.”) The painter and associate professor of art at Sacred Heart University corrects the assumption of a visitor to his Seymour studio and says while he might have done some skateboarding in his younger years, his passion was BMX riding. He had a half-pipe in his parents’ backyard in Sacramento where he and his friends would perform acrobatic stunts on those sturdy, tiny-framed sport bikes in the California sun. By his own admission he was a daredevil, but he wasn’t pro material like his pals. It was the end of the ’80s and a young Spike Jonze was documenting the skateboard and BMX culture on video, while buddy Andy Jenkins was doing the same in print with Mark “Lew” Lewman at Home Boy and then Dirt magazine. Lewis liked what he saw. He cut his teeth as a publisher of his own zine that covered his fellow BMXers’ exploits. He was photographer, writer, layout artist and printer via a Xerox machine. For the next few years he was in and out of college navigating through different disciplines — engineering, photography and art. 1993 found him in St. Petersburg, Russia. He lived just a few blocks from the State Hermitage Museum housed inside the immense Winter Palace next to the Neva River. He was a constant visitor, breathing in its collection of Leonardos, Rembrandts, Rubens and Riberas, and then waiting to exhale. One day the curtains in a section of the museum that was usually closed happened to be open and the daylight played across Rembrandt’s “Sacrifice of Isaac.” Abraham was ordered by God to kill his son. In the painting, an angel grasps Abraham’s hand. The long, curved knife it held is
In Nathan Lewis' “War Bells” (2011, oil on canvas), seven people looking skyward crowd the canvas. It appears they’re standing outside of a dilapidated building. Each gaze is intent. There’s a tinge of fatalism or maybe it’s rapture? Courtesy Nathan Lewis.
suspended in air. Abraham’s other hand covers his son Isaac’s face. The light. The shadow. The detail of the faces. It catches your breath. It caught his breath. “I was in a state of arrest for a half-hour,” Lewis says. The size of the painting — 52 by 75 inches — was probably another subtle influence on Lewis, as were the other Rembrandts. In Lewis’ owns works as well, it’s go big or go home. “Till We Find the Blessed Isles Where Our Friends Are Dwelling” (2008, 72 by 120 inches) is Lewis’ acrylic reinvention of artist Emanuel Leutze’s 1851 depiction of “Washington Crossing the Delaware.” The painting’s title is a phrase from Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” a book in part about eternal recurrence. The blessed isles are a heavenly paradise. It was near the end of the second term of President George W. Bush (a Texas oilman who in July 2008 had lifted an executive order banning offshore oil drilling) that Lewis wondered how a new America would be represented. Choosing Leutze’s painting, Lewis tells a narrative of young adults trying to achieve their respective futures, just as Washington and his men were seeking American independence through a secret attack on Hessian and British forces in Trenton, New Jersey. Washington is replaced by an Asian-American woman who is holding a tiny oil derrick. She is also seen near the back of the boat holding a doll while the oarsmen — including one who looks like Lewis — battle rapids and navigate past a large rock. The American flag is torn. The passengers are multicultural. A gas can attached by a rope trails behind the boat. Perhaps a reference to a fight to gain energy independence from foreign oil. Lewis says he is interested in how art can tell multiple stories. “Art is a way to create dialogue. With this administration, there are so many movements, people are speaking up more… black lives matter… #MeToo… more social consciousness… It’s an interesting time to be an artist due to the political climate.” Lewis mentions the Vietnam War protests: “I look back on those times and we’re going through that now. We don’t trust our leaders.” On the day of the visit to his studio, another movement — feminism — was evident on a large scale. Lewis’ latest work in progress was hanging on a wall. It’s a stark departure from his color-filled paintings. This one is about 7 feet tall and consists of a charcoal drawn female figure holding a banner. The finished artwork will be Lewis’ submission for the Nasty Women Connecticut’s third 24
Nathan Lewis in his Seymour studio. Photograph by Bob Rozycki.
Size matters: Nathan Lewis’ “Till We Find the Blessed Isles Where Our Friends Are Dwelling” (2008) is 72 by 120 inches. Courtesy Nathan Lewis.
annual Art Exhibition to be held March 8 in New Haven. The title of the exhibit is “Complicit: Erasure of the Body.” Nasty Women Connecticut began as part of the international art movement in the first days of Donald Trump’s presidency. Its mission statement in part reads, “We use art as a vehicle of communication to unite all communities in our local area and we demonstrate solidarity in the face of threats imposed upon so many of our own neighbors by the current administration.” That goes hand in glove with Lewis’ philosophy about using art as a dialogue.
“For me, part of the process is trying to understand some of the difficulties women have to go through. As a privileged white male, have I been complicit?” Working on a roll of heavyweight drawing paper, Lewis first covers it with charcoal and then using different size erasers creates the female image. His inspiration? “I had a dream of a figure holding a flag in a wasteland. Paintings come from dreams sometimes.” For a look at more of Nathan Lewis’ works, visit alvarezgallery.com/artist/Nathan-lewis.
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PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN UNKNOWN MAN BY PHIL HALL
viewed from Borglum Road in Wilton’s Silvermine section, the Carl Schmitt Foundation is easy to miss — an old, somewhat down-at-theheels, 2-story residence set back from a lopsided carport, flanked by two small and undistinguished oneroom structures. And on a winter day when the trees are bare and the ground is moist from a thawed-out frost, the foundation grounds seem rather unwelcoming. But when the doors of the three structures are opened, the visitor enters a vastly different world. Dozens of brilliantly composed paintings — some in frames, most unframed — are carefully arranged in rooms flooded with bold natural light. The paintings span a variety of styles, from neoclassicism to postimpressionism to Cubism, while the subjects range from the profundity of Jesus’ parables to the quotidian of a still life to the enigma of a portrait subject whose expression and body language offer no easy clues to its inner emotions. Andrew de Sa, the creative director and artist-in-residence at the foundation, acknowledges the versatility of Carl Schmitt’s output always comes as a surprise to those who view his creations for the first time. “That’s what really struck me,” de Sa says. “He could have easily made a career of portraiture in New York. But he really experimented, and what is fascinating is that these aren’t from different periods. He went from this style to this style and back and forth.” Equally amazing are the breadth of Schmitt’s artistic years. Born in Ohio in 1889, Schmitt began his studies in New York City in 1906 at The Chase School (today Parsons School of Design), where the American impressionist artist William Merritt Chase conducted classes. Schmitt continued painting until his death at the age of 100 in 1989. Schmitt’s approach to painting was fairly
Self-portrait of the artist toward the end of his life. Photographs copyrighted by the Carl Schmitt Foundation and reproduced with permission.
“Blue Madonna,” part of the collection at the Carl Schmitt Foundation studio in Wilton.
unique. “He would paint one color at a time and build up from there,” de Sa says. “He would start by painting the whole canvas blue, then the next day red, and he was very systematic about it. He would have certain days when he would only paint certain colors. And he would mix beeswax with the colors. Then he would strip away and reveal the colors underneath. He is going in and patching out, so you can see the blue from the first day and the yellow from the second day.” Also, de Sa continues, Schmitt offered a theory on the three stages of light — a lyric style that is “very flat and about patterns,” an epic stage in which “the light from without” shapes the depth of the space and an inner light that “captures the inner essence of things,” whether it is a person or an inanimate object. Coupled with diverse influences ranging from Asian prints to gothic paintings, Schmitt
caught the complexity of the world through a kaleidoscope that radically changes shape and shades from canvas to canvas. De Sa notes that Schmitt’s sketchbook, which was never intended for public view, is even more astonishing. “He was a supreme draftsman,” he says. “His pen work is just amazing. He kept endless sketchbooks. He was always drawing.” Fame came early to Schmitt, who opened a New York City studio in 1916 and exhibited his work at major venues during the 1920s, including exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the now defunct Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Art Institute of Chicago. A reviewer exposed to Schmitt’s work at the 1926 Carnegie International exhibition in Pittsburgh dubbed him “the logical heir of the great Americans such as Homer and Eakins.” He was also a guest at the Yaddo artists’
retreat and a co-founder of the Silvermine Guild of Artists, located in the Fairfield County area that would become the home he shared with his wife Gertrude Lord, the daughter of prominent architect A.W. Lord, and their 10 children. But the Great Depression erased Schmitt’s financial security and a bout with tuberculosis in the mid1930s derailed his health. On the advice of doctors, he went into medical self-exile at a sanatorium in the Italian Alps, joined later by his family. War clouds, however, made a prolonged European stay impossible and he returned to his Connecticut home in 1938. “A few patrons supported his work, but he lived with his family for most of his life in poverty,” de Sa recalls. “He always got by, sometimes barely. Today, no one really knows who he is.” What happened that shifted Schmitt from being the toast of the art world to an obscure painter struggling to keep food on the table? According to de Sa, Schmitt had no time for self-promotion or having his works easily available for public view. His social circle consisted mostly of writers and intellectuals and not his art world peers. And his only known television interview was on a local Connecticut station later in his life. The artist forced the camera crew to shoot in the evening because he would not pause from his daylight painting hours. Schmitt also took a harshly utilitarian view of his work. “He compared artists to peasants. He would labor and do his job, which was to paint,” de Sa says. “He understood he had to support his family, but his goal was to create these images. I don’t think he cared where they would end up.” Indeed, de Sa is not able to offer an exact figure on Schmitt’s output. After his death, his art was divided among his 10 children. The foundation’s collection comes from donated work by two of Schmitt’s offspring. The rest of his extant work is mostly in private collections. His most famous piece, a portrait of the poet Hart Crane, is in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The Carl Schmitt Foundation was established in 1996, with the initial goal of preserving the Schmitt property and making Schmitt’s artwork available through two books, “The Conscience of Beauty” and “The Vision of Beauty.” De Sa came aboard last September and coordinated the Oct. 27 symposium “Defining the Role of the Catholic Artist Today” in Washington, which brought Schmitt’s religious art into a new view. The foundation’s collection is available for public viewing, albeit through advanced scheduling, and de Sa is now in talks with Connecticut museums to arrange a long-overdue retrospective of Schmitt’s work. “I am passionate about getting us into a really bigger sphere,” he says. “It is a story that has not been told.” For more, visit carlschmitt.org.
BY MARY SHUSTACK
IN THE MIDST OF A COMMERCIAL POCKET TUCKED INTO A RESIDENTIAL AREA OF FAIRFIELD — NOT A WAVE, SAIL OR SEA BIRD IN SIGHT — SITS THE J. RUSSELL JINISHIAN GALLERY OF MARINE AND SPORTING ART. It’s housed in a former bank, an airy, high-ceilinged space ideal for the countless works of art on display. And these range from classic oil paintings of clipper ships to oversize ceramic shells, from bronze dolphins to acrylic works depicting buoys, from scrimshaws to insanely intricate ship models. A visitor stands in awe of the array on a recent morning, as the veteran marine-art expert and dealer Jinishian breaks into a smile that lets you know he’s seen this reaction before. “Well, if you like boats, you’re in the right place,” he says by way of warm welcome. Relocating from downtown Fairfield, where he was for two decades, Jinishian has called this space home for some six years. It’s clearly a destination, one that art collectors, sailing enthusiasts and interior designers alike continue to seek out in recognition of the enduring appeal of the gallery’s subject matter. Design trends may come and go, but though a specialty, marine art has an avid following — and is a subject much broader than one might realize, Jinishian says. “They think that,” he says, pointing to a particular work, “a clipper ship on the high seas. Today, it’s every aspect of being on the water or being by the water.” Whether it’s a contemporary scene of a favorite Block Island shoreline or a ceramic starfish, Jinishian says, “all that falls under” the marine art category.
“I say ‘As long as it’s wet, we call it marine art.’ No. Just kidding,” he says with a laugh. The category has, he shares, indeed broadened over his 30-plus years in the field, which explains the finely carved wooden goose or the sculpture of a sea otter floating on its back. “People tend to buy things, because they like to look at them,” he adds.
FROM EARLY DAYS
Growing up in Old Greenwich, Jinishian was surrounded by “sailing and boating.” He studied art history at the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design in London and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornell University. Early career days found Jinishian serving as a program director for the Silvermine Guild of Artists in New Canaan. “I was a young buck then,” he says with another laugh. His experience would continue to bridge the art and marine worlds, and Jinishian would serve as the director of the Mystic Maritime Gallery at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut for more than 12 years. He was also an art columnist for the Connecticut Post newspaper, with work appearing in Art New England. He would eventually write “Bound for Blue Water,” a guide to contemporary marine art. In 1995, Jinishian became the director of Big Horn Galleries in Fairfield. In 1997, he founded his own specialty gallery in a space right above Big Horn. A testament to his dedication to the field, Jinishian is today on the advisory board of the National Maritime Historical Society, is a member of the New York Yacht Club and is an honorary member of the American Society of Marine Artists.
THE GALLERY’S DEPTH
John Stobart's "The Lower Landing" (1895), oil. Courtesy J. Russell Jinishian Gallery.
The gallery features contemporary work from around the world, as well as classics from earlier days, all on consignment. An impromptu tour offers an introduction to the nearly 1,000 pieces in the inventory. A showpiece is the Lloyd McCaffery (born 1949) scratch-built ship model of Britannia, a 1682 100-gun British ship. The work features a pear, apple, holly and lancewood with an English oak burl base. Jinishian offers a look through a magnifier — and the staggering detail reveals why it not only commands a six-figure price tag but also prompts Jinishian to proclaim the artist “the finest miniaturist of our time.” Nearby stands an Andrew Wyeth 1947 watercolor called “Sea Birds” depicting a serene Cushing, Maine, scene. A work by contemporary British artist John Stobart takes us back to 1895 to a vaguely recognizable scene, one we learn is Cos Cob’s waterfront in Greenwich.
With his extensive network, Jinishian is able to source various works, commission art and advise collectors on selling work, as well. “It’s a small group of people who are true collectors, who’d rather go to an art gallery than go to the beach on a hot summer day — but they do exist.” Most often, he says, customers come to him when decorating or remodeling. “They have a need to fill a space with something that reflects their interests or what they like.” Some may collect yachting works such as the America’s Cup works on display, while others might be obsessed with tugboats, naval scenes or sea life. “Everything you have reflects who you are,” Jinishian says. And his offerings provide enough variety seemingly to fit any interior or budget. “Here you can spend $200 or $200,000 — and everything in between,” Jinishian says. “Once people make art a part of their surroundings, there really is a lot of return on that.”
BEYOND THE SEA
It all adds up to a virtual museum, one with a laidback atmosphere where questions are welcomed, as when a visitor points to a collection of what turns out to be called half models or half-hull models. Jinishian says they were originally used to help in boat design. “They were usually carved by hand by a boat
J. Russell Jinishian in his namesake Fairfield gallery. Photograph by Mary Shustack.
builder instead of being drawn out,” he says. “These days people are having them built of their own boat, as a decorative object.” Jinishian features his work beyond the gallery walls, from an extensively detailed website to lectures on marine art and collecting to exhibitions. Last month, for example, the “Contemporary Masters of Marine Art” exhibition and sale at the Ocean House Resort in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, wrapped up. He has also participated in Marine Art Masters at the Riverside Yacht Club in Green-
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wich, while also showing at the Union League Club Art Gallery in Manhattan. Jinishian also has work on display at the Sportsman’s Palette Exhibition at Orvis Sandanona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook, New York, a nod to his related specialty of sporting art that includes fishing and hunting works. He also has published MarineArtNews, a specialty publication for collectors and historians. Through it all, Jinishian has found his chosen focus maintains a special place in the art world. “Something draws people to this subject matter. Sometimes it’s just the sheer beauty.” Jinishian is quick to note that those working in the field are “really skilled artists,” as the genre can prove challenging. “There’s a technical angle you’ve got to get right,” he says. An artist not only has to capture the precise details of a ship but also have an eye for artfully depicting the water, the light and the natural elements to create a cohesive work. In the end, it seems Jinishian sees his role as one of facilitator. “I’ve really been trying to pass on information,” he says. After all, he says, “There’s no Consumer Reports for art… My job is to help people understand it.” J. Russell Jinishian Gallery is at 1899 Bronson Road in Fairfield. For more, visit jrusselljinishiangallery.com.
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IN KATONAH BY LAURA JOSEPH MOGIL
part-griffin seminude female figures alongside cherubic faces with wings. “The kind of riotous, surreal sense of design is the reason why they’re in the show,” he says. “They’re just so ‘trippy’ that they’re almost contemporary in their wildness.” Among the other pieces of furniture on display is a 1950s Baker chair by Danish architect and designer Finn Juhl (1912-89). “The teak chair has a lightness to it and is so poetic. Even though it’s supposed to house a body, it’s like a piece of architecture. I also love the way the designer wanted you to cherish the pure wood by leaving it blond and unfinished.” Muenzen’s eye for design extends over to scientific objects as well. “I’ve included a 19th-century polished brass microscope that’s incredibly elegant. It shows jeweler-type work in terms of its chasing and finishing of the metal. And I like thinking about how this object evokes a whole period of time when scientists like Darwin were looking at the unexplored world.”
— Greg Muenzen
“The show is about objects that are functional, but also artful. They have a purpose to them but they also transcend their use,” says gallery owner and Katonah resident Greg Muenzen. He points out that the bright red 2001-02 Evoluzione Ducati MH900e motorcycle from Italy, which was designed by Pierre Turbinate, is a prime example. “The lines in it are incredibly evocative and it’s a sublime sculpture. I love that it conveys a sense of speed, adventure and total abandon, even when it’s completely still,” he says. Whether it’s an ornamental French Renaissance cast iron fireback from the 1580s, a 17th-century gingerbread mold carved out of walnut or a 1950s American laminated wood bow, the pieces in the show were created to be handled and yet possess profound beauty. “In fact, I chose to display the bow on a pedestal because of its amazing minimalism and elegance,” Muenzen add. “It’s important to highlight that even ordinary objects that we work with all the time can be incredible and enrich our lives.” In the back of the gallery are two 17th-century Florentine Sgabello, armless chairs popular in the Renaissance. Intricately carved out of walnut, the chairs are adorned with part-mermaid,
“THE LINES IN IT ARE INCREDIBLY EVOCATIVE AND IT’S A SUBLIME SCULPTURE. I LOVE THAT IT CONVEYS A SENSE OF SPEED, ADVENTURE AND TOTAL ABANDON, EVEN WHEN IT’S COMPLETELY STILL”
SEEING A MOTORCYCLE WHEN YOU PEEK IN THE WINDOW OF THE GALLARUS ARTS SPACE IN KATONAH MIGHT COME AS A BIT OF A SURPRISE. HOWEVER IT FITS PERFECTLY INTO THE EXHIBITION, “HIGH DESIGN: ART FUELED BY FUNCTION,” WHICH IS ON DISPLAY THROUGH MARCH 31.
A 2001-02 Evoluzione Ducati MH900e in Gallarus Arts Space’s “High Design: Art Fueled by Function” show, on view in Katonah through March 31. Photographs by Gregg Muenzen.
Muenzen, who is an artist as well as gallery owner, has two pieces on display in the show. One is a primitive-type sculpture made out of branches that is meant to evoke the Gallarus Oratory, an early stone church that was built in the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland in about 800. “What I was trying to conjure was the idea of the oldest sense of design that’s part of our DNA. Whether it’s Irish, American Indian, or any of the early communities in Europe, we all started with these structures.” His other piece, the “Giant of Katonah,” is a
wooden sculpture that alludes to the past of the charming hamlet. When the government decided to build a reservoir and flood the original Katonah in 1897, the townspeople had to move their homes and churches a couple miles away to the present-day location. More than 50 buildings were rolled on logs pulled by horses to the new site, a strenuous endeavor for all involved. The piece features an 8-foot architectural beam that Muenzen imagines as the size of a heroic person. “It’s in the show as a designed object because it’s resting on a
It is said the rarefied, ravishing Raphael was born on a Good Friday, April 6, 1483, and died on a Good Friday, his 37th birthday, in the arms of his mistress. His short life was, as art lovers know, extraordinarily productive, yielding iconic works that continue to speak to us today. Taddeo Zuccaro (1529-66) — who would die a day after his 37th birthday, on Sept. 2 — would be known as “Raphael reborn” for the beauty of his compositions. From a family of painters, Zuccaro moved to Rome at 14 and found lucrative patronage, working primarily as a fresco painter for Popes Julius III and Paul IV as well as Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. Those who have not seen his works in the Villa Farnese in Caprarola or the Castello Orsini in Bracciano have had a chance to encounter them in an exhibit of his drawings at Gallarus Arts Space in Katonah recently. In the Renaissance, drawings were used as studies or preliminary sketches for paintings, sculptures, tapestries and other works. But they also exist today as artworks in themselves. Works like “Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife” (circa 1550) and “Group of Six Reclining Nude Women” — both pen and brown ink works in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art — capture not only the acuteness of Zuccaro’s pen but the sharpness of a mind attuned to the urgent emotions of his subjects. — Georgette Gouveia
pallet with wheels. I like the ambiguity of it: Is it a functional, is it architectonic or is it art?” Also on display in the gallery is a collection of Old Master drawings by the painter Taddeo Zuccaro (1529-1566). (See sidebar.) Praised by Michelangelo, he rose to be one of the most accomplished draughtsmen of the late Renaissance. Muenzen points out that in some of Zuccaro’s pen and ink drawings there’s such fineness to the line work that it almost looks like the filigree of jewelry.
According to Muenzen, the two shows parallel each other. “Renaissance artists and sculptors like Zuccaro were trained in guilds, so oftentimes their early training was as objects designers. They created functional items such as silverware and candelabras, and there weren’t the divisions that we see today,” he says. In addition to exhibitions, Muenzen also hosts multiple special events every month. “I’ve always wanted to have a gallery that was very vigorous and vital. In addition to the artwork, we have poetry readings, live music, lectures and artist workshops. It’s a gallery that’s about ideas and being creative in the space.” Among the upcoming events is a gallery talk on March 9 (3-4 p.m.) that coincides with the “High Design” exhibition. Titled “The Evolution of Greco-Roman Amorini into Renaissance Putti," the art history discussion will include slides on ancient Greco-Roman sculptures of infants representing varied human emotions, which Renaissance artists such as Donatello and Michelangelo rediscovered and designed into their religious as well as secular sculpture commissions. In addition, the John Pondel Jazz Trio will perform a concert Saturday March 23 at 7 p.m. (with doors opening at 6:30). Both events are free. When asked what he likes most about owning an art gallery, Muenzen says, “I love watching people interact with art. Perhaps you can notice that little bit of magic that comes across their face when they see something that hits them or intrigues them. Those are the special moments that I like to observe.” For more, visit gallarusarts.com.
A 17th-century Florentine Sgabello chair in “High Design: Art Fueled by Function.”
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THE FABRIC OF HER LIFE BY MARY SHUSTACK
at WAG love to hear about a former colleague’s success, so it was exciting when Alison Kouzmanoff got in touch to share news about her new venture. The onetime designer for Westfair Communications Inc., WAG’s parent company, has launched Palampore Fabrics and Hangings out of Germantown, New York — and its artistic creations are deceptively simple and quietly sophisticated. Kouzmanoff, who relocated from Westchester County, shared a bit about the new venture recently, including details of its name. “‘Palampore’ is the name given to Indian fabric panels of the 17th and 18th century, widely used in European interior design. Palampores are distinguished by their intricate, stylized natural forms, by the contrast between the exterior borders and inner motifs and by their versatility. Palampores were used as wall hangings, bed coverings and canopies, draperies and table linens.” Examples of the historic work can be found, we also learned, in the collections of institutions ranging from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. We always knew Kouzmanoff was talented but found out lots more, including that she’s not only a graphic designer but also a fabric designer, photographer, weaver and avid gardener. The debut Palampore collection offers fabrics and hangings, all custom-printed in the USA using ecologically sound, nontoxic, 100-percent biodegradable inks, with no water used during printing. We were more than intrigued by her story — and by the artful look of her work, so reached out for even more details, which she generously shared: Please tell us about the origins of Palampore Fabrics and Hangings. How long have you wanted to do something like this and how did you know the time was right? “I’ve been interested in textile and pattern design ever since college. I have a collection of fabrics and a library of books on fabric and decorative design. My husband is an architect, and
A selection of fabrics from the debut collection of Palampore Fabrics and Hangings. Photographs by Alison Kouzmanoff.
I’ve worked as a graphic designer for years, so design is a part of my life. When we moved to the Hudson Valley, the natural forms of plants that grew outside my windows spoke to me and began to merge with what I had learned about historical textile design. I became fascinated with the seed pods, leaves, tendrils, flower heads and all the natural forms that grow on our land and I began to use them as inspiration for fabric designs. I’ve always wanted the independence of my own business and so when I had enough designs for a first collection, I decided the time was right to launch.” Can you share a bit about your background (from education and experience to interests) and what that has brought to this venture? “I had the good luck to find a design major in college that allowed me the chance to study a range of media — textile design, yes, but also photography, filmmaking, weaving, ceramics, graphic design and woodworking. After college I have been working steadily as a graphic designer and business manager for design studios, a cartographer, various publications and other designers.” Who do you see as your ideal customer — and how has the brand been received in these early days?
“My ideal customer is an interior designer or home decorator who loves my designs. One of my first customers was a woman who had an unusually long table. She wanted a tablecloth for special occasions but couldn’t find anything long enough. She saw my website, liked Dogwood, and called me. I arranged to have it made into a tablecloth to fit and she used it this Thanksgiving. “Initially I’m offering four hangings and 14 fabrics. In the future I plan to also offer stitched goods such as bedding, curtains and pillows as well as wallpaper. I’ve had a wonderful response and am looking forward to introducing new patterns soon.” And finally, what have been the biggest challenges — and rewards, so far? “The biggest challenge has been to balance the different roles one has to play to start and run (a) business — designer, marketer, business manager. It feels like there are always 100 things to be done. The biggest reward has been the feedback I’ve had from people who like my fabrics. I love design. It gives me pleasure to create something I think is beautiful. But I work alone. So when I put my designs out there and people respond, that’s very rewarding.” For more, visit palamporefabric.com.
A pillow created with fabric from Palampore Fabrics and Hangings.
March 23, 2019
Our Annual Celebration in Honor of
Dr.Jill Ratner and her lifesaving work on behalf of children, both here and in Haiti.
March 23 2019
Whippoorwill Country Club Armonk, NY
RSVP Today at:www.handsupforhaiti.org
FOR THE TASTEFULLY UNIQUE
Our signature Queen Anne’s Lace hand-printed and woven featherweight Royal alpaca scarf. There’s just nothing else like it.
MARCH 2019 2019
TREASURE HUNT BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
about to be a new cultural player in our area. Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers has announced that it will open a regional office in White Plains in May. The auction house — founded in the 1960s in Bolton, Massachusetts, by Robert “Bob” Skinner, an engineer turned antiques connoisseur and dealer — conducts approximately 75 auctions a year in its galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts. (It has 19 specialty departments in everything from fine art to fine wines and rare spirits, from military memorabilia to antique automobiles.) While Skinner will retain a presence in Manhattan — where it has had an office for five years — and Coral Gables, Florida, its tristate operations will be run out of Westchester.
“It really comes down to accessibility, to being able to reach our clients in New York City, Westchester and Connecticut,” says Katie Banser-Whittle, Skinner’s regional director and WAG What’s New Again columnist, who will head the office. Though the internet gives Skinner a global reach, the auction/appraisal world remains a tactile one. The White Plains office will serve as a meeting place for Banser-Whittle, Skinner specialists and clients as well as a springboard for her to travel. “It gives her the basis to turn on a dime and see collections,” says Marie Keep, Skinner’s senior vice president and managing director. Though the actual location will not be announced until it’s ready to be occupied, the space will be naturally well lit and versatile, says Banser-Whittle, a Westchester resident. And it will provide a perfect backdrop for auction previews, says Keep, who is founding director of Skinner’s Fine Wines & Rare Spirits Department. Jewelry and spirits are two hot categories
now, with antique jewelry and bourbon being particularly collectible, she says. For those reading this article with one eye on the treasures in their own homes, Banser-Whittle notes that vintage Louis Vuitton trunks also maintain their popularity, as do Plains Indian artifacts. “In European Furniture & Decorative Arts,” Banser-Whittle adds, “we have seen some momentum in early furniture (trestle tables, armchairs, mirrors, etc.), with good solid, simple forms that highlight high-quality construction. “Like many other departments, it comes down to rarity, especially in the Clocks & Instruments Department. Wristwatches have certainly seen a trend in the positive direction in the vintage stainless steel tool watches. Dive, pilot and automotive pieces are great examples that attract seasoned collectors as well as new collectors. Pieces in these categories can range from a couple hundred dollars for a good Swiss 17 jewel manual-wind or automatic-movement watch from the 1960s to ’70s to six-figure pieces from the same time period. The quintessential names such as Rolex, Omega and Heuer certainly demand the top prices.” What’s hot “changes constantly,” Keep says. “You have to stay flexible. It’s not only about the category but how to sell it.” For more, visit skinnerinc.com.
A collection of Chinese monochrome ceramics from a New England collector to be offered in Skinner’s Asian Works of Art auction March 22. Courtesy Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers.
AN ODE TO
THE SEASON-OPENING WEEKEND AT LYNDHURST – BUILT AROUND THE LYNDHURST FLOWER SHOW – IS GROWING, PUN FULLY INTENDED.
BY MARY SHUSTACK
That is by design, says Howard Zar, executive director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation site in Tarrytown. In all aspects of programming, including the April 6-7 event, Zar says the focus is on building from past success. “What we recognize is people want to be met at their interest level.” That means this year’s edition of the annual event is being staged not only as a showcase of lush floral design, along with an antiques show and a high tea, but will also incorporate a decidedly new element, art exhibitions and installations by contemporary artists influenced by nature and flowers. “Then you have choices and options of what might attract you” and what you want to participate in, Zar adds, noting that programming has also been expanded to reach a previously unexpected audience. “Last year we realized we had a lot of kids, or a lot of families with kids,” he says, pointing to this year’s family workshops. In addition, he says, there will be a boutique in response to feedback from numerous attendees who wanted a floral-themed shopping experience. THE CENTERPIECE EVENT Once again, the flower show is the weekend’s focal point, with visitors permitted to walk through the main house of the estate at their own pace, not on a guided tour. It’s an ideal introduction, Zar notes, for first-time visitors — or a way for regulars to savor the mansion in a new manner. In room after historic room, floral designers will have created vignettes that reflect the surroundings and serve to showcase their creativity. Throughout, the show — co-founded by floral artists Gerald Palumbo of Seasons On the Hudson and Ned Kelly of Ned Kelly and Co. — is designed to recreate the opulence of the Gilded Age and draw inspiration from the mansion’s heyday, when its interiors were regularly filled with flowers from its own gardens and greenhouse. In addition, the show has also grown to reflect the way Lyndhurst was historically considered a showcase of contemporary — and cutting-edge — art and architecture. From formal dining room to library to bedrooms and alcoves, participants find a space in which they can design their vision. Some, Zar says, go for the flat-out elaborate,
Detail of “Cardinal” by Portia Munson, one of the contemporary artists exhibiting in this year’s edition of the Lyndhurst Flower Show. Courtesy the artist.
while others “want to do a very tailored display.” Among the 2019 participants are Arcadia Floral Co. in Mamaroneck, Colonial Village Flowers in Scarsdale, Forever in Bloom in Mount Kisco, Glorimundi Flower & Event Design in South Salem, House of Flowers in Mamaroneck, Joseph Richard Florals in Armonk, Ned Kelly & Co. in Piermont, Seasons on the Hudson in Irvington and Manhattan, Stems in Brooklyn, Wile Events in New Jersey, Worship Luxury Inc. in New York City and X-quisite Flowers and Events Inc. of New Rochelle. THE NEWEST ELEMENT Integrating contemporary artists into the mix signals a new direction for the show, giving artists a historic canvas of sorts. “I think for them it’s a very interesting situation,” Zar says. These participants include Brooklyn flowercrown artist Joshua Werber, whose work will top mannequins featuring fashions once owned by Lyndhurst heiress Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand; New York City terrarium artist Paula Hayes; and Catskill artist Portia Munson, who’s noted for her floral mandalas and will here display a three-story floral print. In addition, Brooklyn-based floral artist Whitney Crutchfield of We Gather will lead botanical weaving workshops for families.
The weekend will again kick off with an April 5 Preview Party, an evening hosted by the Garden Club of Irvington to benefit the restoration of the historic fountains and perennials in the Lyndhurst Rose Garden. Visitors to the property throughout the show, Zar notes, will also be able to see the progress of the lower landscape restoration, a project they will be able to follow on return visits. “As people get here during the summer, they will see a very different landscape starting to evolve,” he says, noting it’s just one aspect of restoration work underway throughout the property. The work also includes the placing of marble sculptures long in storage and attention directed to the walkway from the mansion veranda through the rockeries. “People will really start to see the Lyndhurst landscape and setting fully revived and restored,” Zar says. SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING SWEET While the flowers are in focus, the weekend will also again feature the popular complementary events, an antiques show and high tea on both April 6 and 7. Antiques on the Hudson returns from Barn Star Productions, a showcase of fine art and vintage finds. The show will be held in a heated tent pavil-
ion with a carpeted floor, showcasing dealers who will offer everything from garden urns to estate jewelry, English silver to contemporary art, maps to textiles and more. Bob Richter of PBS’ “Market Warriors” fame — and author of “Vintage Living: Creating a Beautiful Home with Treasured Objects from the Past” (Rizzoli) — will lead a walking tour of the show on April 6, followed by a book signing. High Tea with Saint George Bistro of Hastings-on-Hudson and Seasons will be offered, with timed seatings. Rago Arts & Auction of Lambertville, New Jersey, will also again be displaying floral-themed jewelry and offering appraisals by appointment, while Lyndhurst is teaming up with Wave Hill, the Riverdale public garden and cultural center, to present an April 6 “Farm to Garden Conversation.” Last year’s kickoff weekend proved a dazzler, attracting lifestyle maven — and Bedford resident — Martha Stewart, as well as featuring a walk-through with veteran antiques expert Leigh Keno of “Antiques Roadshow” fame. Zar thinks this year’s multidimensional weekend can prove even more successful, with the additional offerings giving attendees “one if not two other things, if not three other things you’ll want to do while there.” For more, visit Lyndhurst.org/flowershow or barnstar.com.
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Anj Smith’s “Architecton Alpha” (2007).
Djordje Ozbolt’s “Great Liberator” (2011). Images courtesy Hudson Valley MOCA.
BY RYAN DEFFENBAUGH
hat does it look like when states fail, or the world as we know it collapses? In an atmosphere with daily headlines tracking potential climate catastrophe, political division and inequality, a new exhibit from Peekskill’s Hudson Valley Museum of Contemporary Art places a spotlight on dystopian contemporary paintings. Titled “Where is the Madness You Promised Me: Dystopian Paintings from the Marc & Livia Straus Family Collection,” the exhibit runs through April 21 at the nonprofit museum, which is just outside downtown Peekskill on Main Street.
Sven Kroner’s “Untitled (Lech)” (2005).
The 14 artists with work displayed in the exhibit come from around the world. Their paintings each represent dystopian interpretations that “go beyond the typical gray, post-apocalyptic landscape,” the museum promises in its official description of the exhibit. “The theme that runs through all of this is that each of these artists is imagining a future where there is a lot of distress,” says Effie Phillips-Staley, executive director of Hudson Valley MOCA. It is the second exhibit at the museum to draw from the Marc and Livia Straus collection. Marc and Livia Straus founded the museum in 2004 and have been collecting contemporary art for more than 50 years. “It is an extraordinary collection,” says Phillips-Staley. “In the art world they are well known for what
Daniel Pitin’s “The Old Swimming Baths” (2009).
they collect and how long they have been doing it.” For the dystopian exhibition, some of the artistic interpretations don’t feel far from the world we live today. An untitled painting from the German artist Sven Kroner shows a somewhat tranquil watery landscape that appears inviting, initially. “But when you look more closely, you see remnants from an earlier world; a washing machine in the corner, a backhoe floating in the water” Phillips-Staley says. “People who might otherwise be swimming and out enjoying themselves, they suddenly take on a different context.” Asked whether the exhibit is meant to respond to today’s anxieties, Phillips-Staley notes that artists are always interpreting and responding to their environment. “So what these paintings do is they are each artist’s interpretations of their fears of the future. Each one of them is considering how might
things go. What are my worst fears and how might they look?” “Where is the Madness” is the second major exhibition the museum has launched since it rebranded last fall to its new name. The museum was previously the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. The museum features more than 12,000 square feet of exhibit space, but is in a former housing supplies warehouse building that can be overlooked by drivers down Main Street. Philips-Staley, who started as director last year, said the museum hopes the new title brings attention to the strength of the museum’s collection. “The exterior of the building doesn’t really let on to what you see when you walk through the door, which is often shock and amazement that the work we have here is world class,” Phillips-Staley said.
“The work we have here you would see in the galleries of any major contemporary art museum in the world. The quality is genuinely that good.” Phillips-Staley said visitors have picked up since the museum rebranded to the Hudson Valley MOCA name, including for its major exhibition, called “Death Is Irrelevant: Figurative Sculpture from the Marc and Livia Straus Collection.” That collection is still on display at the museum and features sculptures exploring the human body. The museum also recently expanded its hours. Doors open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays; noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for seniors, students, children and Peekskill residents and free for members and children under 8 years old. More information at hudsonvalleymoca.org
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A DESIGNING WAY
A lodge-style house in Montana’s Big Sky country with architecture by Brooks & Falotico and interiors by Lynn Morgan Design. Photographs courtesy Lynn Morgan Design.
BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
of Lynn Morgan’s interiors make you want to plunge right into them and curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. At a Rowayton oyster house, rooms in various shades of blue and white with nice but nautical stripes and shell patterns bring the Long Island Sound — just footsteps away — indoors. The spaces in a New Canaan Colonial play with a similar palette — minus the shells and the thin stripes — adding a breezy sophistication that brings Palm Beach north. And a Big Sky ski lodge lets you “rough” it with cathedral ceilings, stone and wood
furnishings, an earthy palette and floor-length windows that command soaring views of the Rockies. “I’ve never been guided by trends,” says Morgan, whose Lynn Morgan Design is based in Rowayton. Rather, the easy-to-talk-with designer is guided not only by her own tastes but those of her clients — along with their backgrounds and the settings of their projects —“to help them achieve their own style.” So the sandy-colored lodge in Big Sky Country is a world away from the New Canaan Colonial with its saturation of color — as if it were a Thomas McKnight painting come to life — because, well, Big Sky Country is a world away from New Canaan. Geography is important to Morgan. So is personal history. “Where they grow up says a lot about a person,” she says.
But whatever the interior, touches of Morgan thread through — the love of the sea and its primary colors, blue and white, with pops of shades like crimson and lime. Curved, upholstered furnishings marry hard, angular pieces. Artwork dominates walls. (Those are Andy Warhol paintings of Native Americans in the ski lodge.) Education, particularly visual literacy — reading art books and attending galleries, museums and fairs like Art Basel — is also important to her. Morgan’s love of the sea and its cool palette was born in Savannah, Georgia — a place redolent of American history. There she grew up rearranging furnishings in her childhood home, painting furniture with her mother and traveling to Palm Beach. She still has a home in Savannah, in the historic district and, when we spoke, was off to the Kips Bay
Decorator Show House in Palm Beach. (The New York show house is upcoming). After boarding school, Morgan attended Mount Vernon Junior College in Washington, D.C. (now part of George Washington University). Then she headed to New York City and a career in magazine publishing. From a young intern, she made her way up to decorating editor at the now defunct House & Garden where she learned both the decorating and magazine businesses as she traveled for the publication. Other jobs may have paid better. Few offered such an entrée into the worlds of color and composition. “We ate tuna fish sandwiches and loved it,” she recalls. Once Morgan married and had children, the commute from Connecticut to New York City became a bit much and Lynn Morgan Design was born. She still travels, juggling projects around the country. In Greenwich, she’s been working on the interior of a 22,000-square-foot house for four years; in South Carolina, on a plantation. Along the way, she has noticed one trend and that is a return to glamour and romance, which should stand her in good stead. But then, her work has always been about “a timeless sense of design.” For more, visit lynnmorgandesign.com.
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April 7, 2019 at 3PM Jamie Laredo, conducting Pamela Frank, violin Beethoven: Violin Concerto Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
Tickets: $36-$98 Call the Purchase Performing Arts Center Box Office: (914) 251-6200 Or visit westchesterphil.org MEETINGS | CELEBRATIONS | RESTAURANT 21 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury, CT 203 • 744 • 1776 www.ethanallenhotel.com
HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE BY JENA A. BUTTERFIELD
“WE SHAPE OUR BUILDINGS. THEREAFTER THEY SHAPE US.” – WINSTON CHURCHILL A sweeping staircase, exquisite crown moldings and massive doors make for an impressive entrance at Lounsbury House in Ridgefield. But first impressions don’t start there. The grand, neoclassical-style house looms large on Main Street with its tall Ionic support columns and 2-story portico framing the façade. When visitors walk the wide wraparound porch — one of two — period details reveal themselves. And by the time they settle into communal rooms that boast fireplaces, chandeliers, a grand piano and the house’s original stained glass window, the grandeur and feeling of importance have been transferred to their purpose in being there. There’s no question that when a structure this finely crafted has been repurposed to serve an entire community, quality of life is enriched. For 60 years, Lounsbury House has been utilized as a community center and event space. So, whether it’s been booked for a lavish wedding or used for senior luncheons, a children’s Bunny Brunch or business meetings, the majesty and whispered history of the house exalts the experience and functions become more than just functional. Originally built in 1896 by Gov. Phineas Chapman Lounsbury, the house is an example of the potential that historic structures can fulfill once restored, preserved and adaptively reused. “A lot of people who have grown up here feel it connects them with their roots,” says Suzanne Brennan, executive director of the house. To replicate such efforts in other towns and cities, myriad of entities need to recognize the value these structures can have, not just aesthetically, but economically. In the case of Lounsbury House, mounting costs of care and restoration are mitigated through event rentals, membership dues and fundraising. Placing importance on historic preservation has served Ridgefield well. Commerce is in part driven by visitors who are in turn drawn to the town’s charm and quality of life. This beneficial economic aspect of historic preservation is an important piece of an
The Ionic support columns and double wraparound porches make for an impressive entrance at Lounsbury House. Courtesy Claudia – weddings & portraits.
argument that’s gaining headway. But re-education is another critical component. In Yorktown, an area rich in history (especially related to Colonial times and the Revolutionary War), preserving historic structures is a priority. This is evident by the town motto, “Progress with Preservation.” To reinforce that ethos, the Yorktown Landmarks Preservation Commission (YLPC) will be holding a workshop on May 8 focusing on its disappearing architectural history. The symposium will review some of the treasures that were lost to modern development, how its legacy stands today and attempt to dispel the misconceptions of preservation. For example, many historic homes were built to house multiple families and uses, making them viable to repurpose as affordable or luxury housing. It’s possible to increase population density and create housing while still protecting moderate size structures, not building ever skyward. At the Yorktown symposium, a network of municipal and state personnel as well as developers, real estate agents, civic leaders, educators, property owners and the general public will hear examples of historic preservation’s contribution to economic growth. Unfortunately, before the benefits of preservation were as recognized as they are today, large swaths of the town’s legacy were demolished. The area of Yorktown Heights’ 19th-century commercial hub was largely torn down. And one of the most preserved Main streets in Westchester (in the hamlet of Shrub Oak) had its historic district declaration removed. But more and more people, especially millennials, are making economic choices based on aesthetic appreciation and the comfort of nostalgia. They are choosing to frequent businesses housed in historic districts, proving character and charm do resonate and keep property values strong. Of course, the battle rages on in the world of business and urban planning. Recently headlining the news is the Strand Bookstore in Manhattan’s East Village. Its owners are fighting a proposed landmark designation. Things like cumbersome paperwork and onerous renovation demands can
be a deterrent. But in many cases, those limitations on business are often overstated. An important argument on the part of hesitant business owners, however, is the lack of protection for the business itself. Landmark designation helps only to preserve the structure, not the type of business it houses. The compensation and incentive for small-business owners are just not there. It can be an unfair disadvantage compared with, say, the (close to $3 billion) incentive that a company like Amazon, a direct Strand competitor, was to receive before its move to Queens was quashed. Historic buildings can indeed elevate the culture of the business. But if the business is not protected too, it could suffocate. Still, it’s been evident that historic architecture can fuel a community’s perception of itself. That lesson reached public consciousness after the destruction of the Roxy Theatre and demolition and modern reconstruction of Pennsylvania Station, both in Manhattan. Such losses gave rise to the modern historic preservation movement in 1965. The destruction of these grand temples of commerce did more than deal an aesthetic blow. It altered the psychological health of the community at large. As the late architecture historian Vincent Scully put it, “One entered the city like a god. One scuttles in now like a rat.” But out of their ashes came the preservation of their great rivals — Radio City Music Hall and Grand
"BUT MORE AND MORE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY MILLENNIALS, ARE MAKING ECONOMIC CHOICES BASED ON AESTHETIC APPRECIATION AND THE COMFORT OF NOSTALGIA."
Peter Pratt’s Inn, also known as the historic Carpenter Davenport House is one of Yorktown’s “Homes of Historic Distinction.” In 1965, the Pratt family became the fifth owners of the property. Today, the restaurant retains its original Colonial design, and patrons, dining by the fireplace, can look up to see the same chestnut beams resting on the granite boulders that have supported them since the 18th century. Courtesy Lynn Briggs, chairwoman of Yorktown’s Landmark’s Preservation Commission.
Central Terminal. The celebration of these grand structures has become another important tool in the effort to reinforce their importance to an area. In that spirit, the Greenwich Historical Society will hold its annual Landmarks Recognition Program April 28. Four properties will be recognized as examples of Greenwich’s unique architectural legacy. They will include The Greenwich Town Hall, The World War I Memorial on Greenwich Avenue, and other early 20th-century structures representing architectural styles such as Georgian Revival, Egyptian Revival and Tudor. Grand architecture should, at its essence, feel timeless, outlast trends and serve as useful, flexible space. Paradoxically — yet equally important — it should be a structural expression of both the time and space it was constructed, a tangible reminder of a city’s past yet a continuation of its character. This connects us to our geography, to those who came before us — and those who will come after us — while architectural craftsmanship speaks to what we’re capable of as a people. Historic structures herald a future not only grounded in an identity forged over centuries, but one that can be critical to economic progress. History tells us that the wrecking ball should not be the first tool in our arsenal and true progress accommodates the past. For more, visit lounsburyhouse.org, yorktownny.org and greenwichhistory.org.
Recent Recognition Quoted in multiple publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, and The New York Post, amongst others Has appeared on several television shows including NBCâ€™s OPEN HOUSE NYC Dawn Knief, Compass
A proven leader in Westchester real estate with over 20 years of experience, multiple 5 star awards, and a reputation of excellence, Dawn Knief is actively committed to helping everyone, from first time home buyers to large scale investors, find their place in the world.
Top 10 Brokers in Westchester in Closed Sales Over $3M, 2017 (The Real Deal, January 2018) Ranked in REAL Trends Americaâ€™s Best List 2018
Connect with Dawn for a confidential meeting to learn more about your options for buying, selling, investing, and developing. firstname.lastname@example.org 914.393.1159 DawnKniefRealEstate.com
Real estate agents affiliated with Compass are independent contractor sales associates and are not employees of Compass. Equal Housing Opportunity. Compass is a licensed real estate broker located at 90 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Fl. NY, NY 10011. All information furnished regarding property for sale or rent or regarding financing is from sources deemed reliable, but Compass makes no warranty or representation as to the accuracy thereof. All property information is presented subject to errors, omissions, price changes, changed property conditions, and withdrawal of the property from the market, without notice. To reach the Compass main office call 212.913.9058.
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MAKING WAVES BY JENA A. BUTTERFIELD
call it liquid gold. From the creatively designed architecture that surrounds it to the gold medal swimmers and water polo players that train in its waters, the pool at Chelsea Piers Connecticut has been churning out champions since they took their first plunge there in 2012. The Olympic-size pool is housed in the $50 million, 400,000-square-foot facility, which also boasts two indoor ice rinks, 12 squash courts, seven indoor tennis courts, a rock wall and a heck of a lot more set on almost 33 acres in Stamford. In an award-winning feat of engineering (with construction managed by the A.P. Construction Co. and design by architects James G. Rogers and Associates), truncated columns and inverted king trusses were added to shift weight sideways in order to accommodate a large open space for the pool and at the same time support rooftop tennis courts and an indoor playing field. Now the large facility has become home to an elite aquatics club that’s been garnering a lot of attention as well. For the third year in a row, it was recognized as a Silver Medal club on the USA Swimming Club Excellence list. It has won state championships multiple times, regularly has athletes selected for the nationals and the Youth Olympic Games team and trains water polo players who qualify for the Olympic Development Program National Championships. “Records are being set left and right,” says Erica Bates, vice president of corporate communications at Chelsea Piers. “What’s in the water in that pool? You jump in and come out a champion.” Accomplished backstrokers and breaststrokers are certainly winning accolades, but the stroke of genius that first contributed to a winning club was the hiring of aquatics director and Stamford native Jamie Barone. Before returning to his hometown for the job, Barone coached at the famed North Baltimore
The pool at Chelsea Piers Connecticut. Photographs courtesy Chelsea Piers.
Aquatics Club where he trained under Bob Bowman, longtime coach of all-time Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps. Barone himself competed at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Trials and, for three years, was ranked in the top 100 in the world for his performance in the breaststroke. He was Rookie of the Meet at the 2003 Summer National Championship and won in 2006 in the 4x100 medley relay. In Baltimore, he had been honing his coaching philosophy and establishing a network. But when he heard there was going to be a 50-meter pool a half-mile from where he grew up, he couldn’t resist. Barone was hired a year before the pool opened, in 2011. By then, impressive blueprints were already drawn up, but he was able to have some input on the nuance of the pool’s design. “I made some requests.” Add Bates, “He had this vision of what he wanted.
He knew what to build and built it.” And, Barone notes, “I was fortunate enough they said ‘go do that’ with very little restrictions.” He dove right in. The flexible space includes a movable bulkhead and bleachers and there’s a 30foot movable floor, the first in the country. The award-winning pool and program has a coaching staff that includes Olympic Trials Qualifiers, former national and international competitors and NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) qualifiers. Barone points to his coaching team as the biggest reason for success. “We have six full-time coaches that work with the team who all have a similar philosophy,” he says. “Three of them I coached in Baltimore. I hired them and brought them up here. And we’ve spent the last seven years cultivating a culture that’s breeding successful people.” Barone’s philosophy and program is unique in
Chelsea Piers Aquatics swimmers on the blocks.
that his competitive athletes only train six times a week, no double practices. It was a decision he made at the onset. “Kids have too much pressure as is,” he says. “We want them to be motivated to come every day.” “Even for all younger swimmers, we offer more practice in a week than we recommend you attend. We don’t want 10-year-olds exclusively swimming.” Barone himself played five or six sports growing up. He’s learned it’s a winning formula, but recognizes few other clubs encourage it. “So, we will be the flexible ones and give you every opportunity to play multiple sports.” That decision has paid off. “The health of the team speaks to the philosophy,” he says. Bates adds, “From the moment (Barone) started it, his success was unbelievable. He works on the complete athlete. He says ‘Bring me a well-fed, well-rested athlete and I’ll do the rest.”
But swimming is not the only success story. Chelsea Piers Athletic Club (CP-AC) Water Polo (formerly Greenwich Water Polo) is also ranked one of the fastest-growing clubs in the Northeast. Water polo director Paul Ramalay has coached over a decade at the National Junior Olympics. After only five years, the club has the most representatives of any in the tristate area qualifying as Academic All-Americans. Last spring, five players were selected for the USA National Team Selection Camp in California, which hosts the top players in the country for the purpose of determining who will make Team USA for international competition. That is the second highest number coming from a club in the Northeast. CP-AC athletes have gone on to careers in swimming and water polo and won scholarships to schools such as Georgetown, Princeton and Notre Dame universities and Dartmouth College.
“I am lucky enough I get to coach hard-working, smart, passionate, motivated kids. Just good people,” Barone says. He feels so lucky, he often wonders, “Does the sport create these amazing individuals or is that (who) is attracted to the sport?” That excellence is the thing that has always drawn Barone to the sport of swimming. Coaching the young athletes at Chelsea Piers and helping to propel them toward possible Olympic and collegiate careers is just where he wants to be. But there is one thing he does miss about training as an athlete. “The thrill of the competition,” he says without hesitation. “Stepping up on the blocks and knowing you have only yourself to rely on.” But he’s beyond that now. “The commitment to doing it well is great,” he says with empathy for his young athletes. “But knowing we’ve had a hand in their development is priceless.” For more, visit chelseapiersct.com.
CABARET BY GREGG SHAPIRO
ACTRESS AND SINGER CHRISTINE EBERSOLE HAS HAD THE KIND OF PROFESSIONAL CAREER MOST PERFORMERS ONLY DREAM ABOUT. A regular presence on the big screen (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Tootsie,” “Amadeus” and the upcoming “Starbright”); the small screen (the 1981-82 season of “Saturday Night Live” as well as “American Horror Story,” “Madam Secretary,” “Royal Pains” and “Ryan’s Hope)” and the stage (her recent Tony Award-nominated performance in “War Paint” and her Tony Award-winning turns in “Grey Gardens’ and “42nd Street,” among others); Ebersole can seemingly do it all. She has also made a name for herself in the world of cabaret and will be bringing her cabaret stylings to the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah for its May 4 benefit. Christine was kind enough to answer a few questions in advance of her performance: Christine, you are going to be performing a cabaret evening in The Music Room at the Caramoor. What can you tell the readers about the process of putting together a cabaret show? “At this point, it’s just drawing on the body of work that I’ve done over the last 45 years. What the evening will be about just naturally emerges.” There’s a Playbill.com clip online from one of your cabaret shows in which you’re singing “Alfie.” In the interview portion, you talk about the theme of the show being “What eternal force can we hold onto that will get us through troubled times?” — something that resonates now. What role does music play in times like these? “Music can be a great healing balm. Of course, it can also work the other way, as a destructive force. When the intention behind it is to evoke the source, which is our Creator, that has a different, healing effect.” As an actress, what are the challenges and rewards of portraying real people, such as Elizabeth Arden in “War Paint” and both Big Edie and Little Edie Beale in “Grey Gardens”? “‘Grey Gardens’ was unique in that there was a documentary out about them (for reference), so that made it a different category. There are photographs of Elizabeth Arden, but not a lot of things on film. It was much more of an interpretation. They’re all interpretive, but
Christine Ebersole. Photograph by Kit Kittle.
one required a technical aspect, as well, in getting the manner of speech, movement and all that down.” Did portraying Arden have any effect on your personal attitude toward cosmetics? “No. I certainly appreciate good skin products. I find that Elizabeth Arden is really top drawer, A1, in terms of quality. I use their products. I don’t know that I’ve used them in the same way that I do now, just because of being introduced to them in a very special way. I think mostly it’s about good skin. After that the rest is just fine-tuning. If you don’t have good skin, it doesn’t matter how much makeup you put on.” Is there a real person on your bucket list that you would like to portray onstage or on screen? “No. I like to be in this discovery mode, where things will come to me.” You worked with Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie on both “War Paint” and “Grey Gardens.” What makes that working relationship one that you’d want to repeat? “We have a history. I really appreciate their
campy, it has powerful messages. I think a cartoon can get away with saying things that a live-action show might not be able to say. “That’s true.”
artistry and their collaboration. We all discover, together, what needs to happen and where it needs to go.” Movie musicals have become increasingly popular in this new century. If there was a movie version of “War Paint,” what would it mean to you to reprise your role as Elizabeth Arden on screen? “Wouldn’t it go to Meryl Streep?”
Are there other upcoming film or stage projects that you’d like to mention? “Yes, I have a new television show that I’m shooting in April. It’s a pilot that Chuck Lorre of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ has produced. It stars Billy Gardell, the Mike from ‘Mike & Molly.’ It’s called ‘Bob Hearts Abishola,’ about a salesman who falls in love with a Nigerian nurse. I play Bob’s mother. I’m really excited about that.”
I hope not. “I don’t think it would be me.” You recently lent your voice to the characters of White Pearl and White Diamond on Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe.” What is the appeal of those characters and voicing an animated character on such a popular show? “It was a lot of fun doing that. I’m not young and I don’t follow those (shows). I think it has a very young following, doesn’t it?”
Finally, we recently lost Carol Channing, one of the greatest and most celebrated performers in modern entertainment history. Would you care to share any thoughts about her? “She was an iconic performer and person. She really encapsulated what it is to be a Broadway performer. I don’t think she ever missed a show. A warhorse. A consummate performer.”
Actually, I think it’s a mix. “I think it’s kind of a phenomenon. Do you know why?”
Christine Ebersole performs at Caramoor May 4. For more, visit caramoor.org/events/ christine-ebersole/.
Maybe because, in addition to being kind of
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BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
WHEN YOU’RE PLANNING AN EVENT, THE SOUNDTRACK HELPS CREATE THE MOOD. IT MIGHT BE AS INSISTENT AS A DJ PULSING TO THE BEE GEES’ “STAYIN’ ALIVE,” OR AS SUBTLE AS A PIANIST UNSPOOLING CLAUDE DEBUSSY’S “CLAIR DE LUNE.”
At the recent launch of Highclere Castle Gin with the eighth Earl and Countess of Carnarvon — owners of the castle, which is better known as the setting for “Downton Abbey” — pianist Heloïse Piéaud set a romantic tone at Manhattan’s SoHo Grand Hotel that was as delicate yet unmistakable as Chanel No. 5. It helped, of course, that among the pieces she threaded through the Great American Songbook like a string of pearls was the main theme of “Downton,” John Lunn’s “Did I Make the Most of Loving You?” with its urgent pianistic opening. In a sense, piano bar suits Piéaud’s temperament as well as that portion of her Franco-American repertoire that embraces everyone from Cole Porter to Edith Piaf, with stops at Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald along the way. Although she is in her last year at the 100-year-old Manhattan School of Music on a full scholarship, hers is a somewhat reserved demeanor. Playing at a cocktail party allows her to recede naturally into the background. “It’s not a concert,” she says. “They’re not listening to you but they can be listening.” Indeed, if they have any sense they will or stop to pay tribute. Piéaud is that good. The Highclere launch was not her first big gig, Piéaud says. That would’ve been a birthday party for Lois de Menil, the political historian and wife of Georges, middle child of a family that The New York Times dubbed “the Medici of modern art.” Piéaud put together a Franco-American program of standards for this most Franco-American of families — printing the music, rearranging it, because she had to play the melody as well as the harmony since she didn’t have a singer, and reviewing it.
Heloïse Piéaud. Courtesy Heloïse Piéaud.
I LOVE THE PIANO SO MUCH. BUT I SEE A LOT OF COMPETITION. YEARS AGO IT WAS EASIER TO HAVE A SOLO PIANO CAREER. TODAY EVERYTHING HAS TO BE PERFECT.”
“It was very stressful but a great experience, because it taught me how to deal with stress,” Piéaud says. Giving a recital, she adds, is “way more strict.” She talks about this with her teacher at the Manhattan School, Jeffrey Cohen. “You can’t have a piece by Ravel after a piece by Bach,” she says of the jazzy modern composer and the baroque master respectively. In a program that may be 1½ hours long, you have to balance short pieces with longer ones. Cohen is also particular, she adds, about matching key signatures from the end of one piece with the beginning of the next so that the whole program flows. Cohen — whom Piéaud met at a music festival in Tignes, France — was the reason she came to the United States four years ago. Born in Toulouse and raised there and in Paris, attending conservatories in each place, Piéaud always loved the piano though her first instrument was the harp. Pedagogy has also always been important to Piéaud, herself a piano teacher. A dissatisfaction with her harp teacher led her to forsake that instrument for the piano. The conservatoire approach proved no more fulfilling. “In France, the teachers are very good, but they
are also very strict” — to the point, apparently, of being hypercritical. “I lost my confidence a bit.” When she met Cohen, “I liked his approach. It was different.” In America, she has also found her fellow students to be less critical — collegial rather than jealous. Now with one more year to go and a recital coming up in December — in which she will no doubt play some of the Romantics who are her favorites, Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt, themselves great pianists — this New York City resident is looking to her future. “I love the piano so much,” she says, even collecting autographs of some of the greats like Lang Lang. “But I see a lot of competition. Years ago it was easier to have a solo piano career. Today everything has to be perfect.” She’s also discovered, for better or worse, the role that marketing plays in any career. “I know people who are not as talented as others, but they’re good at Instagram and so they get many more offers to play.” That’s why she’s contemplating a master’s degree in the business side of music. “I don’t think it’s possible to have a solo career if you don’t know how it works.” For more, email email@example.com.
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MUSIC TO HEAL BY
BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
is perhaps the most elusive and ineffable of the arts, which may be why it can reach those who find it difficult to communicate or can no longer express themselves in any other way. “Music is the only art that affects all areas of the brain,” music therapist Concetta Tomaino says. So it stands to reason that some aspect of it can appeal to those suffering from what psychologist Howard Gardner called “the shattered mind,” be they dementia, stroke and Parkinson’s patients, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or children
Renée Fleming and Harry Ballan. Courtesy Wartburg.
with learning disabilities. There’s a music therapy for everyone. With that in mind, Tomaino, who’s been a music therapist for 40 years, founded the nonprofit Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF) in 1995 to study the relationship between music and the brain, offer music therapy and provide therapists with the latest in training and techniques. Since 2017, IMNF has partnered with Wartburg in Mount Vernon, which offers a full complement of senior services on its 34-acre campus, including a nursing home, assisted living, adult day care, affordable housing, outpatient services, rehabilitation and home health-care aides. “We’re interested in creative aging and lifelong learning,” says David J. Gentner, president and CEO of Wartburg and the Wartburg Foundation. “That has changed to look at broader offerings and a bigger picture that includes the arts. We are thrilled to partner with IMNF and Concetta Tomaino.” Recently, that partnership took center stage as IMNF honored opera star Renée Fleming and board member Harry Ballan with the Music Has Power Awards at The Times Center in Manhattan. Fleming, who came to Wartburg to see Tomaino’s work for herself this past summer, was cited for her part in launching a collaboration between The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the National Institutes of Health on music, wellness and the brain. Ballan, dean of Touro Law Center in Islip, was hailed for his support of IMNF. At the event, he said, “It was a privilege to be honored together with Renée Fleming in service to all those whose lives have been and will be saved by music’s unique power to heal and promote human flourishing. In accepting this award, I celebrate the partnership of the IMNF and Wartburg and the work of all those who tirelessly pursue the mission of healing through music.” Anyone who has ever cared for someone with some kind of mental affliction knows how important that healing can be if only to provide a haven for patient and caregiver alike. Music can be a distraction, an escape, an oasis, a refuge. “It’s a magical moment when we can give a caregiver a brief respite,” Gentner says. Tomaino says, “Music is associated with personal pleasure, releasing the chemicals dopamine and serotonin in the brain’s frontal
cortex.” Which may be why whether we’re happy, sad or mad, we tend to pump up the volume. But music is more than a release and mood influencer as different aspects of the art form stimulate different parts of the brain, Tomaino says. For example, “children with learning disabilities have poor rhythm preceptors. Rhythm influences motor coordination.” This is something youngsters can work on in Wartburg’s outpatient rehabilitation program. Musical rhythm may also play a role in the treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease, which affects the motor system, including stride length in walking and balance. But Parkinson’s patients, Tomaino says, also benefit from singing and humming exercises that improve breathing and keep the vocal chords supple. Singing can also be key to those suffering from aphasia, the inability to comprehend and/or produce speech. Here patients are taught to mimic sentences set to melody in a kind of Sprechtstimme (German for “speech-voice”), the half-speaking, half-singing technique sometimes used in Broadway musicals (think Rex Harrison in “My Fair Lady”) and in recitatives in opera. (In this way, singing can also be used to help those who stutter.) Singing, drumming, musical selections: Indeed almost every aspect of music comes into play when treating veterans with traumatic brain injury and PTSD, because part of the treatment in IMNF’s “Healing Music” program for vets involves socialization and self-regulation, Tomaino says. So that when a veteran has a panic attack, for instance, he or she can go to breathing and meditation techniques or a piece of music that provides a wellspring of peace. (At the Music Has Power Awards, “Healing Music” participants not only performed but led attendees in a sing-along featuring “Stand by Me.”) No brain trauma is as baffling as dementia. But even in this, music can make inroads. “We’ve seen for years working with memory care patients that there is something there,” Tomaino says. “(Music) triggers recognition as opposed to a specific association.” That’s true even in end-stage dementia, she says. Perhaps the only kind of dementia that music doesn’t affect in a beneficial way, she adds, is frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which strikes earlier than other forms of the disease, is more gradual and adversely affects behavior and language before it ravages memory. Patients with FTD may experience music as so much noise, Tomaino says. But they are in the minority. Though the profession of music therapy wasn’t formalized until 1950, using music and the other arts to heal has been around since at least ancient times, Gentner says, and is part of all cultures: “We’re just getting back to it.” For more, visit imnf.org and wartburg.org.
INSPIRED BY ANTIQUITY BY MARY SHUSTACK
Jewelr y design is a subject that continues to fascinate. Those seeking evidence need only look to New York City Jewelry Week 2018. November’s inaugural, informative and downright enjoyable event — one that extended beyond the city’s borders to include institutions such as the Katonah Museum of Art — was a dazzling cavalcade of nearly 100 exhibitions, lectures, workshops, tours, collaborations and special events dedicated to promoting the world of jewelry. While the 2019 event is already set for Nov. 18-24, those with a love of jewelry, particularly its design, can feed their passion now at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery in Manhattan. That’s where “A View from the Jeweler’s Bench: Ancient Treasures, Contemporary Statements” continues through July 7. The exhibition delves into jewelry design by way of contemporary jewelers and how they draw from antique forms and techniques to create modern-day works of art. The exhibition focuses on, as its name signals, the creative process and how the jeweler’s bench is where the work is made by hand. To that end, the exhibition includes not only a jeweler’s bench but also tools and sketches to explore further the process itself. It also traces the connections between the past and present through form, technique and materials. Sasha Nixon, who earned a master’s degree from Bard Graduate Center in 2018, has curated the exhibition and will lead March 16’s “Curator’s Spotlight Tour.” The dozen contemporary jewelry artists featured in “A View from the Jeweler’s Bench” include Ashley Buchanan, Jeanette Caines, Lin Cheung, Giovanni Corvaja, Mary Lee Hu, Gabriella Kiss, Otto Künzli, emiko oye, Mary Hallam Pearse, Nicole
MARCH 2019 2019
Jacquard, Anya Kivarkis and Kiff Slemmons. Though the work is indeed diverse, British-based Cheung seemed to sum up not only her approach but foreshadow the focus of the exhibition, as well, in a 2013 interview with Current Obsession. The interview with the digital platform and independent contemporary jewelry magazine is noted on her website. “I use archetypal jewelry forms in my work as a basic language with which to build a conversation about jewelry. By borrowing and referencing the familiar shapes of lockets, rings and necklaces, I am priming the pieces ready to receive an idea, a thought, an observation. They are visual cues indicating I am commenting on something I’ve noticed about jewelry — the subject of jewelry and the possibilities that surround the jewel — and not the jewel itself.” She continued to tell Current Obsession that her work is part of a new tradition. “A new generation of makers are reevaluating and repositioning these iconic forms at the core of their work from which to build their ideas. Inside every piece of contemporary jewelry can be found the DNA of its archetypal ancestor. A self-referential ‘jewelry language’ is developing and as a result is perhaps less concerned about what jewelry is, but exploring instead what is it doing, where is it, what is it saying, who does it belong to and why.” The Bard Graduate Center Gallery is at 18 W. 86th St. in Manhattan. Exhibitions that also continue through July 7 there include “Jan Tschichold and the New Typography: Graphic Design Between the World Wars” and “The Story Box: Franz Boas, George Hunt and the Making of Anthropology.” For more, visit bgc.bard.edu.
Mary Hallam Pearse's “Untitled (Necklace),” from the “Girls Play Games” series (2013), silver, aluminium, diamonds, polycarbonate. Courtesy of the artist. Image courtesy Bard Graduate Center Gallery.
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VIEWED ANY GOOD
LATELY? BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
SOME THREE YEARS AGO, SOMEONE CAME UP TO ARTIST CHRIS PERRY AND SAID, “YOU’RE THE BOOK GUY.” “That was telling,” Perry recalls. “It showed that I was doing something he’d never seen before.” What Perry does is book art — an art form that is said to have originated with 18th-century poet-artist William Blake, but that really took wing in the 1970s when teaching institutions like The Center for Book Arts in Manhattan were founded. What, pray tell, is book art? Well, it’s not a book with an artful cover and illustrations or a group of two-dimensional artworks bound into a book. Rather book art uses elements of a book — its shape, pages or text — to create a new work that cannot be “read” in a traditional or even literal sense. “There’s some confusion about it, because it’s an art and a craft,” says Alice Walsh, another book artist. She and Perry are here, however, to dispel that confusion for you in their new exhibit “Freed Formats: The Book Reconsidered,” which begins touring our area March 30 with shows at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists and Mark Twain Library in Redding. The numbers are impressive — eight venues, 135 pieces and 53 artists from 17 states and two foreign countries. Though they serve as co-curators, Perry and Walsh have not put themselves in the show. Rather they want you to consider — and, perhaps, discover — an unusual but growing art form, also referred to as artists’ books, that lies at the intersection of art and design. Some of the works closely resemble actual books. “Reading Tea Leaves” (2018) by Hartford’s Charlotte Hedlund — made of assorted papers, tea dye, digital print and beads — looks like an open book, albeit a richly layered and textured one that also suggests Asian calligraphy and tea
Swiss-born Vivian Rombaldi Seppey’s “Flying Words” (2014), made of dictionary and thread, is one of the many thought-provoking words in the touring exhibit “Freed Formats: The Book Reconsidered.”
ceremonies. “Black Book Library” (2001-18) by Katonah’s Shiela Hale evokes shadow boxes and cabinets of curiosities, along with the box assemblages of Nyack native Joseph Cornell, displayed on a bench she made herself. Other works play off the book form and writing. “Book Jacket” (2017) by Manhattan’s Béatrice Coron is literally a jacket made of cutout Tyvek with a book cover that can hold the folded jacket. “Proverbial Threads” (2007-18) by Brooklyn’s Robbin Ami Silverberg is a series of more than 100 industrial bobbins wrapped in repeated proverbs from around the world on the subject of women’s work. (Here are a few gems: “A wife is the best piece of furniture,” from the Netherlands, but also “A household with a woman is like a flower bed; a household without one like a wasteland,” from Uzbekistan.) These labor-intensive works are transparent about design, quite literally. “Burning Me Open” (2011) by Denver’s Alicia Bailey uses purpleheart, copper leaf and etched acrylic to create a work that suggests bound panels of stained glass. Book art also illustrates the transcendent quality of art in other ways. “So, I became an artist late in life,” says Walsh, a Carmel resident who’s the program specialist for Workforce Development and Community Education at Westchester Community College in Valhalla. A former associate producer of August Wilson’s plays on and off-Broadway who
Vivian Rombaldi Seppey’s “Paris.”
also co-produced a musical version of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” in Colorado and worked at an NPR offshoot in Anchorage, Alaska, Walsh studied paper and printmaking at the Putnam Arts Council, then turned her love of books and libraries into book art. Among her works is “Ex Libris: Found Art From a Public Library,” which used vintage catalog cards from the Mahopac Public Library.
“Alice’s work is personal about what you see inside a book,” Perry says. “I use the book volume as a way to create other things.” Trained as a painter at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the University of Saskatchewan Emma Lake Campus and the Corcoran School of Art, Perry turned to book art in response to a book he self-published 35 years ago that was “pretty unsatisfactory.” (In between he worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan and for a sculptor and was a cabinetmaker.) When he returned to art full time in 2007, he decided he was going to learn to make books properly. He’s been using the book’s shape in a sculptural way to explore his fascination with water. Together, Perry and Walsh have been working on their book art show, which began at the Ridgefield Guild of Artists, since 2016. Just as the art form has transformed the book as we know it, so book art has transformed their lives. “Freed Formats: The Book Reconsidered” will be at Ridgefield Guild of Artists and Mark Twain Library in Redding March 30 through April 28, the Putnam Arts Council and Mahopac Library May 12 through June 9, Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven June 15 through July 28 and Five Points Gallery in Torrington, Connecticut, Sept. 19 through Oct. 19. For more, visit Instagram. com/freed_formats/.
The Schoolhouse Theater & Arts Center
The Color ofLight An extraordinary new play
by Jesse Kornbluth
Henri Matisse. The great man had nearly died. Before Monique inspired his masterpiece, there was the cancer. “Night Nurse needed” read his note. “Must be young and pretty…”
April 4th-28th TIX: SchoolhouseTheater.org
(914) 277-8477 | 3 Owens RD. Croton Falls, NY | SchoolhouseTheater@gmail.com 70
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ACTRESS-SINGER-DANCER MEGAN MULLALLY IS A DESIGNING WOMAN IN THE BEST SENSE OF THE TERM. FOR EIGHT SEASONS (1998 TO 2006), SHE DELIGHTED SITCOM BUFFS AS THE TIPPLING, TOUGH-TALKING, SELF-ABSORBED SOCIALITE KAREN WALKER ON “WILL & GRACE,” WHO SERVED AS THE LESS-THANINDUSTRIOUS EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO INTERIOR DESIGNER GRACE ADLER (DEBRA MESSING). Karen was the “Ab Fab” type who would buck up an angst-filled Grace with a snappy line like “Oh, woulda, coulda, shoulda, Prada.” Karen was more interested in hanging with their friend Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes), a flamboyantly gay actor, and sparring verbally with Grace’s soulmate, gay attorney Will Truman (Eric McCormack). So timely and funny was the series in its first run that it returned to NBC in 2017, with Karen as brazen as ever (although she now supposedly finds rich clients for Grace’s business). If you only know Mullally from that acclaimed, scene-stealing role, however, then you don’t know the half of it. In addition to being a comedic actress with flawless timing (and a knack for the dramatic),
Stephanie Hunt, left, and Megan Mullally Photographs courtesy Megan Mullally.
For the uninitiated, I’d like to begin by asking you both to say a few words about the genesis of the band name Nancy And Beth — with a capital “A.” Megan Mullally: “Oh, my God. People can’t get over their emotional distress over the capitalized ‘A.’” Stephanie Hunt: (laughs) MM: “They can’t calm themselves. Let me explain the capitalized ‘A.’ First of all, it’s because we like it. Second of all, we’re Stephanie and Megan. But this is a band. We didn’t want people to think it was just two people who were just going to stand there. It’s a band. So, we capitalized it. But I’m telling you, the furor that that has caused. People have refused, publications have refused, to print that capital A, and I’m like, “But you put a dollar sign in Ke$ha! Why can’t you use a capital ‘A?’ I don’t get it.” On my honor, I will make sure to inform my editor that the A is capitalized. MM: “You are a dreamboat.” Thank you! So, where did the name actually come from? SH: “I would say it came from the ethers and solidified a telepathic communication that Megan and I have together. All of this was done over email. It was in a long list of names that we were considering. We had a dinner and we talked over a long list of names. Then Megan sent me a bunch of those in an email, and she included Nancy And Beth somewhere in the middle. As soon as I saw Nancy And Beth, I emailed back, “Nancy And Beth, that’s the best one.” She had thought that Nancy And Beth was the best one, too. We both immediately understood the comedic undertones and existential hankerings and it works perfectly.” Among the “dollfaces,” as the band is referred to in the liner notes, is Joe Berardi, who played with you, Megan, in the Supreme Music Program. Is Nancy And Beth in any way an outgrowth of SMP? MM: “Only in the sense that I wanted to have 74
a musical concern going again. But it really is because of Stephanie. I don’t think I would have set out to start a band again, because Supreme Music Program never really broke up. We could have continued playing. But then I met Stephanie and it turned into this whole other thing.” SH: (Laughs) MM: To put it mildly. What was involved in the process of recruiting the rest of the band members, including the incredible Petra Haden, for Nancy And Beth? SH: “I’m from Austin, Texas. Megan and I met doing a movie — ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ (from 2012) — and Kim, a good friend of ours who worked on the movie, suggested that we reach out to Andrew Pressman, the bass player. We were doing recordings here in Austin. The band started with just Megan and I singing with a ukulele. We were thinking maybe we could have a guitar player and bass player as our vision for the band was expanding and we were one-upping ourselves on what we could do. We did some recording in Austin with Andrew and Datri (Bean).” MM: “That was totally random. Stephanie called a friend of hers who knew Andrew and Andrew knew Datri. It was a good piece of synchronicity.” SH: “It was all kismet. We have all been on the same page (since that time).” MM: “Petra came about because I think Stephanie and I wanted to do the Joni Mitchell song ‘Blue’ in three-part harmony. We wanted to do that song, but you can’t make it any better than Joni Mitchell. We thought, what if we tried to do it exactly, all the way down to the big, wide vibratos, but in threepart? I’d met Petra from around L.A. But I didn’t know how freaking unbelievable she is, this weird genius. And I mean weird in the best possible way. I knew her records where she does everything (the instrumentation) with her voice.” Right, such as “Petra Goes to the Movies”? MM: “Yes. I knew about that and that’s how I knew she was great at harmonies. But Stephanie is also a harmony savant and I’m a harmony dumbo. At a certain point, she would just start busting out a (vocalized) horn part or something. We were like, ‘This is great.’ We didn’t have a horn section, although Datri plays trumpet, so I guess we do have a horn section now.” Choreography plays a considerable role when it comes to Nancy And Beth. Who comes up with the dance steps? SH: “Megan. She’s a choreography savant.” MM: “We all have our specialties. That started because I was a ballet dancer and then I did a lot of musical theater. I was always doing that, even when I was a little kid. I would shut myself in my room and come up with dramatic moves and perfect them and make my mom come in and watch. For Nancy And Beth, that’s our stock in trade. It’s like two little girls playing. I was an only child. But if I’d
Stephanie Hunt, left, and Megan Mullally.
ONE GENRE OF MUSIC THAT WE’VE NEVER DONE IS A TORCH SONG. INSTINCTIVELY WE DON’T DO VICTIM SONGS.
she is a chanteuse with the ability to belt listeners into next week. Mullally, who won raves for her performance in the Broadway revival of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” as well as debuting the role of Elizabeth in the “Young Frankenstein” musical, also has a more experimental harmonious side as she demonstrates with co-lead vocalist Stephanie Hunt in their band Nancy And Beth. With an eponymous debut album already under its belt and a sophomore full-length one scheduled for release in 2020, Nancy And Beth is taking to the road for a concert tour that includes a stop at The Ridgefield Playhouse on May 10 and Café Carlyle in The Carlyle in Manhattan May 14 through 25, before jetting off to Australia in June. I had the pleasure of speaking to Megan and Stephanie about the band, the music and more.
had an imaginary friend growing to dance with, it would have been Stephanie.” That’s quite a compliment, right? SH: “Yes, that’s amazing.” MM: “She’s the imaginary friend I always wanted. Except she’s real. Stephanie has a very magical quality where I promise you, there’s a very good chance that she could actually be imaginary.”
On the other hand, putting together an album is more deliberate. For example, “Please, Mr. Jailer,” which people might recognize from the John Waters movie “Cry Baby,” is just one of the fascinating cover song choices on the album. Why was that song chosen? MM: “First of all, we didn’t know it was from ‘Cry Baby.’ We knew the Wynona Carr version of it from the ’50s. After we made the record, somebody said, ‘I love that song. From ‘Cry Baby,’ right?’ I was like, ‘Wait. What?’ If I had known it was from ‘Cry Baby,’ I might not have wanted to do it. I like John Waters, but, then I watched the clip on YouTube and I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ But the Wynona Carr version is amazing. Stephanie has an amazing Library of Congress-sized volume of music in her brain. She knows every song from the ’40s through the ’60s. You can’t stump her.”
— Megan Mullally
I ASKED STEPHANIE A FEW MONTHS AGO, ‘DO YOU REALIZE THAT WE’VE NEVER DONE A ‘MY MAN DONE ME WRONG SONG?’
As the anniversary of the release of the eponymous Nancy And Beth debut album approaches, what has the experience been like for each of you? MM: “The first record came out great. The second record, which comes out in 2020, is so good. We’re so excited about it.” SH: “There’s a horn section it.” MM: “We got Quincy Jones’ horn arranger to do some arrangements for about four or five of the tracks. All of the tracks sound totally different from each other. We do so many different genres and eras. This will be our third year in a row of touring. I look forward to it so much. This year we get to go to Australia and all around the states. It’s going to be cool.” SH: “Every year it changes. Our show evolves as we both evolve as human beings. We let that affect whatever the show is. We don’t even know what it’s going to be, which is one of my favorite parts about this band. It’s a very stream-of-consciousness experience onstage.”
In keeping with the retro vibe, Nancy And Beth covers Lattie Moore’s rockabilly number “100,000 Women Can’t Be Wrong.” Stephanie, is that song an example of the music library in your head? SH: “That one I think was a Shazam (music identifying app). I was in a record store and it was playing and I Shazammed it. Some of it we already knew and sometimes there’s stuff that if it’s even remotely a candidate, we’ll write it down. Neither of us knew the Gucci Mane song ‘I Don’t Love Her.’ We
were Googling something else.” MM: ‘Someone had told us about this song ‘Gucci Gucci Prada Prada’ (by Kreayshawn). SH: “We Googled that and this is how the ethers come into play.” MM: “Gucci Mane came up. We thought the name ‘I Don’t Love Her’ was intriguing. We listened to it, and we were like, ‘Oh, this is a keeper.’” That was a daring choice. Of all the songs in Rufus Wainwright’s canon, why was “Vibrate” selected? MM: “That was one that I knew of. I have a couple of his records and I’ve always liked that song. The way we choreographed it is kind of witty. I come up with the steps and then Stephanie remembers them. That’s how it works.” SH: “I also knew about that one before. But it also hinted that it could use some movement in it, with the ‘vibrate’ lyrics, even though we mostly stand still. We do subtle, cool choreography.” Megan's character Karen sang “The Man That Got Away” on a recent episode of “Will & Grace.” Is there any chance that we might ever hear a Nancy And Beth song incorporated into an episode of the show? MM: “I wish. I feel like the chances are relatively slim, but that would be amazing. But wait, you gave me an idea. Stephanie and I could do ‘The Man That Got Away’ in harmony. One genre of music that we’ve never done is a torch song. Instinctively we don’t do victim songs. I asked Stephanie a few months ago, ‘Do you realize that we’ve never done a ‘my man done me wrong song?’ We don’t pick those. Unfortunately, because it’s probably the alltime greatest torch song, ‘The Man That Got Away’ is a victim song. We want to do a little of everything, so we could do it.” Megan, you recently hosted the SAG Awards and got high marks for the Alexander McQueen gown you wore. In terms of career achievements, what do both of those things mean to you? MM:“I’ve worn a lot of Alexander McQueen dresses. I always buy my own clothes. I love Alexander McQueen, but I just have to wear whatever looks good on me. That’s where that begins and ends. Hosting the SAG Awards was amazing. Back in the day, during ‘Will & Grace,’ we were at the SAG Awards quite a bit. I was lucky enough to win a few SAG Awards. It’s probably my favorite awards show because it’s actors sitting at the tables, your cast and a lot of your buddies. Hosting it was really cool. I tried to have good jokes and look cute.’” You definitely succeeded. Nancy And Beth performs at The Ridgefield Playhouse on May 10. For more, visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org. Nancy And Beth also performs at Café Carlyle at The Carlyle in Manhattan May 14 through 25. For more, visit cafecarlylenewyork.com. MARCH 2019
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George G. King. Courtesy ArtsWestchester.
KING RETURNS TO WESTCHESTER ARTS BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
addition to welcoming Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers to Westchester County in this issue, we’re also welcoming back a longtime supporter and shaper of the arts here — George G. King, the new deputy director of ArtsWestchester. Arts lovers will remember King as the first professional director of the Katonah Museum of Art during a time when the museum moved to its Edward Larrabee Barnes-designed home (1988-98). “It was a great opportunity, a great period of growth and I had a great run there,” King says. But another great run was to follow at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he also served as the first professional director (1998-2009), overseeing a tenfold increase
in the collection and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, the only one of its kind devoted to American modernism. From 2009 to 2012, he was executive director of the American Federation of Arts, which creates traveling exhibits for museums around the world, and did independent curating and consulting. “And then this came along,” he says, this being the opportunity to assist CEO Janet T. Langsam in running ArtsWestchester, the largest private arts council in New York state. Time has not altered King’s courtliness — a quality no doubt honed by being the son of a diplomat. Over coffee in his freshly painted office at the Arts Exchange, the council’s headquarters in downtown White Plains, King says that he has not had much time for decorating
yet. There are other priorities. “I came back knowing Westchester well and admiring what Janet and the council have done, which is to help people understand the arts on a daily basis,” he says. Among the ways the 54-year-old council has always done this is through arts education and reaching out to underserved communities. These goals dovetail in Teen Tuesdays and Thursdays, a program that offers arts workshops to 12- to 16-year-olds, who then take what they have created to The Coachman Family Center in White Plains, St. Christopher’s Inc. in Dobbs Ferry for children with emotional and behavioral challenges, the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester, the City of White Plains Youth Bureau and various Westchester school districts. The new
Artsmobile, a partnership with White Plains Hospital and Con Ed, is a van that will be outfitted with art supplies to visit communities with limited access to the arts, beginning this summer. Among the other ways in which ArtsWestchester serves the county is with its public art program. The council is working with the Arts Council of Rockland and the New York State Thruway Authority to place sculptures on both ends of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. And the Arts Exchange itself will become a Christo-like project later this year when Amanda Browder envelops it in a quilt made of pieces sewn by members of the Westchester community. Like most arts councils, ArtsWestchester is not only a granting organization, channeling money from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts to its affiliates; it’s also a presenting organization, mounting exhibits and hosting lectures and performances in its 2-story, ground-floor Grand Banking Room. The council accomplishes all this with an operating budget of $4.1 million to $4.5 million, King says, and a staff of more than 20. The largest portion of its budget, $1.5 million, comes from the county, which he says, has been “very
generous.” In addition to NEA and NYSCA money, there’s earned income from tenants and the annual gala, golf outing and Arts Awards, as well as the Arts Bash event that includes tours of the artists’ studios in the Arts Exchange. Individual contributions and some corporate and foundation support round out the pie chart. But there is always the need for more money, particularly with a vintage building. King says the Exchange’s 216 windows — not counting the Grand Banking Room — need to be replaced, no small project. You sense, though, that if ever there was a man up to the tasks of helping to guide an arts council through the challenges of infrastructure and the 21st century, it is King, whose fluid background has not been without its own challenges. The son of an officer in the United States Foreign Service and an Australian mother, King was born in Mexico City and grew up in Africa and France. The family lived in Algiers, Algeria, during the days of the Algerian War (1954-62), in which the country sought its independence from France. “I saw death on a daily basis,” he says. “I was young enough not to understand the severity of what was going on. Our apartment building had windows broken by bombs. It was something you
got used to, if indeed you ever got used to it.” As the country was coming apart, so was King’s family. With his parents divorcing, King and his older sister were sent off for their own safety to an austere boarding school in the south of France, where they learned to be self-sufficient. Art was an early influence. His father, who was subsequently stationed in Mali, would be an early contributor to what is now the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. Coming to America at age 12, King attended the Fay School in Southborough, Massachusetts, and then the Wooster School in Danbury before going on to Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, and the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. He became a painter. But he also wanted to eat, he says, so in 1982 he took an entry-level job at what is now Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan. Lisa Taylor, its first director under the new Smithsonian banner, would become King’s mentor. “I stayed there seven years,” he says. “It was like the equivalent of a master’s degree in museum administration. I was off and running.” And he’s been doing so ever since. For more, visit artswestchester.org.
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FANCY BECOMING AN INTERIOR DESIGNER? BY GINA GOUVEIA
1976, Fairfield University has offered a certificate in interior design program for students, mostly adults, who are seeking formal training and certification in the field. It has grown exponentially over the years under the able stewardship of Robert Hardy, who has served as director of Interior Design Certificate Programs at Fairfield University’s College of Arts & Sciences for more than four decades. The program has produced scores of design professionals who have gone on to open their own studios or obtain gainful employment with larger architectural and design firms, building construction firms and retailers. Intrigued by this local resource for aspiring design professionals, we recently spoke with Hardy: How is it that you came to develop the certificate program in interior design? “I had a professional design practice and a female professor at Fairfield University, who taught the very first course in the program, asked me if I would like to teach a class. In spring of 1977 I taught one course, that led to two and it just evolved from there. “I discovered that I really loved academia and working with students. I retired from my practice to do it fulltime and it really changed my life. My mission was to try to turn it into something of value geared towards adults — most of them are making a career change — so everything is geared toward the adult student and trying to make the program flexible so they can do it.” What’s the first step for someone who wants to pursue an interior design certificate? “Anyone who shows interest is referred to me so that I can understand their objectives. They all say, ‘I've always wanted to do this.’ Students need to learn the language of design first. It’s documenting and translating very specific details of illustrations.
Professor Robert Hardy with student Timothy Beaupre. Photograph by Elizabeth Hastings.
“Drawing and presentation is where we start the program. We have a very patient instructor, Patrick Kennedy, who has been doing this for some time, teaching a lot of the technical aspects. He knows just how to draw people out and not leave them behind.” How is the program structured? “There are three different tracks. Everyone starts at the same place. As the program progresses, for those interested in professional certification, they need 60 credits to become ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) members and obtain NCIDQ certification (from the National Council of Interior Design Qualification). That’s the majority of our students. A smaller percentage do a professional certificate only and an even smaller number do just the residential certificate, building a portfolio but not pursuing the accreditation.
“Our philosophy is that all students must learn the manual skills — doing pencil sketches and hand drawings, using drafting equipment and detailing every aspect of design first in this way. Of course, it is necessary to use CAD — computer aided design software — but, that’s the last phase. Putting it on the computer alone is just too rigid as a planning mechanism.” What is the time commitment? “Everyone asks this question. I say it’s going to take time — two courses at a time is probably, realistically, the most a student is able to handle. Almost all our students work full or part time and/or have children at home. Some work in Manhattan. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. “It's going to take at least two years for full certification, taking all the prescribed courses and exams depending on how quickly you do it. I am the advis-
er for every student, so I know where everybody is in the process and I communicate with them and figure out what they need so I can come up with a specific program. I’m there to help them make the right choices to complete it in a reasonable amount of time.” It sounds like a very individualistic approach. “It’s the passion behind why I created the program in the first place, so I am willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Students usually ask about the course workload before they sign up for it and I guide them through it. “I also found early on that adult students are very limited to when they can come, so evening and daytime classes are scheduled with this in mind. We’re building the student’s portfolio in stages so when they do get to the end, they’ve taken what they need. If everything was sequential, it wouldn’t work. It would just be too rigid.” Who was your mentor or the designer you admired most as a student? “I can’t say there was a specific designer that I wanted to be. I always said that I was proudest of the fact that nobody recognized my work. I didn’t put a stamp on it. “When I left for interior-design school at age 20 — after attending UMass for two years — my father told me one piece of advice, ‘When you start your classes, you need to decide where you fit. Look to
the people who are better than you are and watch what they do.’ It was sage advice. “Sixty students started the program at New York School of Interior Design, but 30 were cut after the first year. I made it through to the second year. There were about five students I thought were incredible. I watched what they did and always tried to emulate those students who were ahead of me.” Did your father work in the design field? “My father was a contractor and he did custom construction for the very wealthy, so as a child, I was exposed to that. Then, I got to be 16 and he told me, ‘I will pay for whatever you want to do, but every summer you will work for me and I think that experience will be valuable to you.’ And it was. I started carrying cement blocks and by the last summer I was doing finishing work. I even learned how to shingle roofs. “The country was in recession when I graduated and I found my first job because of my background in construction. I worked for Gimbel’s (department store) in construction and design and I was lucky because that’s what we got me started.” Who are some of your notable alumni? “There have been so many, but I think one of our most successful is Gilles Clement of the House of Clement in Westport. “He is incredibly talented — just amazing — and he has a very successful design business. As a student,
he sometimes frustrated me in completing assignments, but then he would surprise me and turn in all his work on time. He completed his final project in time and it was perfect.” What are some of your tips for students to achieve success in this field? “A successful designer has to come up with solutions that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also work for a particular application. Interior design is visual and people respond to it. In addition to being creative, you need to be able to problem-solve. As a designer it’s always about problem solving. “It’s a function of left and right brain — one being intuitive and creative; the other analytical. You need both or, if you are more one way than the other, you need to find a partner who is opposite from you. “Every student has a different style, but courses such as rendering and perspective force students to look very carefully at everything — moldings, details — all the parts of the process that help you think three dimensionally. And remember that there’s always someone worth watching. Be inspired by that person and you will gain. “I love watching people grow and learn and go out there. I tell them use your passion. All students have that. And, as designers, we have that in common. We have a need to create, fix things and make things beautiful.” For more, visit Fairfield.edu.
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For women, a walk-in closet can be their own private space.
LADIES, TIME FOR YOUR OWN ‘CAVE’ BY CAMI WEINSTEIN
most of us women, the idea of our own totally customized walk-in closet is equivalent to a marvelous “she cave,” and a dream come true. As I look around my own overstuffed walk-in closet full of shoes, clothes and belts I dream of an organized closet with everything in its own place. (My husband does not believe this is possible with me). If you are thinking of creating the ultimate closet, here are some ideas that will be sure to make you swoon. Make your closet glamorous and unique to your personal lifestyle. Many larger homes are now featuring smaller master bedrooms with separate his and hers walk-in closets. I use the term closet loosely since these are more often a room connected to or through the master suite. Many clients I work with have taken over one of their children’s rooms once they leave for college
or move out to start their own lives. Closets can be completely customized to suit your needs. Clothes can be sectioned into gym wear, casual dress and dressy. Clothes can also be color coded and organized by use. Closets can be designed with glass doors so that you can see and keep track of your clothes, feature your designer bags on shelves and include drawers that lock for your jewelry, belts, scarves and gloves. A valet hook is always great to keep an outfit ready to go. Of course, a large area designated for shoe and boot storage would be a must. Don’t forget plenty of room to hang your dresses and slacks. For my closet, I’d like to have an island to lay my clothes out on and drawers in the island for storage. I’d definitely want a fabulous light fixture and seating. Don’t forget a full-length mirror and luxe carpeting. Some closets have features such as a mini beauty salon so that you can have your hair blown out and a manicure station for a truly glam night out. You can also feature a mannequin that can be custom made to your size specifications so that you can dress the mannequin before your big night and see how you will look. I know that sounds excessive, but if you go to a lot of black-tie galas it can be helpful especially once you have your gorgeous clothes just pressed. Other walk-in closets that double as a woman’s space can also work as her office with a desk and computer to get an early start on work before leaving for the day. I often start work early with a huge cup of coffee and who wouldn’t love to do that in your own beautiful and quiet she
cave/ closet? A TV would also be great to catch up on the morning news as you are getting ready for the day, as well as a great makeup table. Make sure your closet has plenty of light and hangers to keep your clothes in the best possible shape. I prefer a combination of wood hangers for heavier coats and velvet or padded hangers for dresses and blouses. Organization is key to any closet renovation. It’s a good idea to section your items into winter and summer clothes. This keeps seasonal clothing at your fingertips. I also recommend taking the time to clean out your closet each season. This ensures getting rid of things you no longer wear, and it allows you to figure out what you need to fill in your wardrobe. If we broaden the definition of the she cave, it can be a nice place to escape your daily routine for a bit, maybe, just to read and unwind. Design and decorate it with colors and elements that please you. If you have smaller closets and still want them glamorous and personal, then wallpaper the insides or paint them a shade of your favorite color. This is a way to give your closet interiors a fun element of surprise and a sense of luxury that is really only for you. There are many ways to create a stylish and functional closet that can help you jumpstart your day or unwind in at the end of it. Enjoy the process and definitely include that element of surprise when you open your closet to look for that favorite pair of jeans or boots. For more, visit camidesigns.com.
STARTING JUNE 9 | TICKETS ON SALE APRIL 1 SUNDAY PUBLIC MATCHES | TICKETS START AT $40/CAR EXCLUSIVE EVENTS: PLAYERS’ LOUNGE VIP | VEUVE CLICQUOT AFTER POLO THE BRANT FOUNDATION ART STUDY CENTER: OPEN EVERY POLO SUNDAY 1-3PM
BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
Clockwise from top left – 1.Gown (peshwaz; detail), Hyderabad, Telangana, 19th century Muslin; 2. Yardage (detail), probably Sanganer, Rajasthan, circa 1850 blockprinted mordant-dyed cotton; 3.Rabari man’s jacket (kediyun; detail), Kachchh, Gujarat, 1980s cotton embroidered; 4. Skirt cloth (detail) Mochi community, Kachchh, Gujarat, late 19th century, silk embroidered; 5. Gonda woman’s cap, Southeast India for the Dutch market, 1720-60, hand-drawn mordant and resist-dyed cotton; and 6. Shawl (dupatta; detail), Hyderabad, Telangana, circa 1880, woven silk and silver badla embroidered. From Avalon Fotheringham’s “The Indian Textile Sourcebook” (Thames & Hudson). Images copyright 2019 Victoria and Albert Museum.
WHATEVER THE SUBJECT, INDIAN WORKS TEEM WITH COLORS, PARTICULARLY RED AND GREEN – WHICH VINCENT VAN GOGH CALLED THE “COLORS OF PASSION.”
FEW PLACES SAY “DESIGN” QUITE LIKE INDIA. FROM THE 5TH-CENTURY AJANTA CAVE PAINTINGS – IN WHICH TIME CANNOT OBSCURE GRACEFUL FIGURES REVEALED AND CONCEALED BY COLORFUL CLOTHING AMID HELLENISTIC STRUCTURES – TO THE MOST UTILITARIAN CONTEMPORARY OBJECTS, INDIA OOZES COLOR, PATTERN, TEXTURE, AND LIFE. Avalon Fotheringham’s “The Indian Textile Sourcebook: Patterns and Techniques” (April 9, Thames & Hudson, $55, 400 pages) helps explain why. A curator in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Fotheringham has drawn on more than 10,000 pieces in the museum’s Indian textile collection of “ancient fragments, sacred temple cloths, luxurious court dress, trade textiles designed for markets all over the world and a variety of everyday fabrics and clothing from across the subcontinent.” That collection and the book are no small feats, as the climate on the subcontinent has wreaked havoc with textiles dating as far back as 6,000 B.C. Thus the oldest that survive are from some 2,000 years ago. They, along with works in the more durable media of painting and sculpture, suggest that the first patterns were abstract and geometric, followed by floral and figurative works, though there is some overlap. Whatever the subject, Indian works teem with colors, particularly red and green – which Vincent van Gogh called the “colors of passion.” The book is organized into three sections – Floral, Figurative, and Abstract and Geometric. Each section begins with text that introduces plates that are in turn divided into three categories – Structure, textiles in which the pattern is woven, knotted or crocheted; Surface, featuring dyed, painted or printed textiles; and Embellishment, finished textiles whose patterns are created by the addition of material. What this organization shows, Fotheringham writes, is that “the motifs that flourished over this long textile history are partly the result of the intertwined relationship between design and practice, the designs of textiles both driving, and developing out of, evolutions in techniques.” For more, visit thamesandhudsonusa.com
BEATING CANCER IS IN OUR BLOOD.
The Connecticut Westchester Hudson Valley Chapter would like to THANK our executives! We challenged them to raise $10,000 each. Together they raised $140,310 Boston’s Children’s Health Physicians WINNER! Alanna Levine Rosen & Company, Inc. Stephen Rosen Seattle Genetics Elizabeth Bove Montefiore Medical Center Mark Rubin Jackqueline McLean Markes McClean Smiles
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ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE? 88
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Judy Kensley McKie Studio Furniture Antelope Sofa (1978), Massachusetts, was sold at Skinner Inc. for $33,210.
FURNITURE AS ART BY KATIE BANSER-WHITTLE
furniture” describes an important creative movement that burgeoned in America in the 1960s. The term is shorthand for unique or limited production objects that combine imaginative design with functionality and fine workmanship. Those qualities characterize the work of Massachusettsbased studio furniture master Judy Kensley McKie. McKie started young, helping her father, a graphic designer, in his hobby woodworking shop. Her formal training was in painting, at the Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating in 1966, she turned to woodworking out of necessity. With very little money and an apartment that needed furniture, McKie decided to make a table as a gift for her future husband. That began the creation of a body of work that places her at the forefront of contemporary American furniture design. (Her artistry is not limited to furniture. Her genius is also expressed in drawings, prints, tiles, trays, bookends and wall sconces. The list is as limitless as her creativity.) The 1960s and ’70s saw radical changes in 90
art, politics and science. McKie was an active participant in that groundbreaking era of experiment and exploration. A spirit of fearless adventurousness has characterized her work from the beginning. At this period, McKie joined with other countercultural activists in the New Hamburger Cabinetworks co-operative workshop in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The members taught and encouraged one another. Here and in a woodworking co-op that she helped found at Cambridgeport in Cambridge, Massachusetts, McKie honed her technical skills, taught herself how to carve and began to explore the organic sculptural furniture that has made her famous. Beginning with tables and cabinets, McKie’s witty and whimsical furniture soon expanded to other forms — sofas, benches, chairs, stands and chests. A signature theme in almost everything she creates is zoomorphic form — elegantly abstract monkeys and dogs, birds and bugs, alligators and antelopes. However, it is the essence of the animal and not scientific replication that McKie seeks. She says of her own work, “If you can definitely identify the animal, I didn’t make the piece.” McKie’s designs are perfectly aligned with the age of globalism. She acknowledges influences from around the world — African, Native American, Pennsylvania Dutch and Indonesian, to name a few. She is a time traveler as well. There are echoes in her work of ancient Greece and Egypt, pre-Columbian civilizations, the Italian renaissance, Scandinavian modern and Art Deco. Whatever their inspiration, the results are uniquely and unmistakably McKie originals — and how. McKie is experimenting with materials and techniques as well as form and design. In most cultures and eras, wood has been the primary
ingredient of furniture making. Not surprisingly, it is often her choice. But McKie also works in bronze, marble, resin, stone and steel. She uses paint, carving, stain, lacquer, pyrography (woodburned decoration) — whatever means available to best express her artistic concepts. McKie is often described as an exponent of art as furniture as well as furniture as art. By definition, studio craftsmen are artists as well as artisans, intimately involved in every aspect of what they make, from design to finished product. In McKie’s case, everything she creates is rooted in her early training in fine art. Each piece begins with multiple drawings. McKie describes her rather idiosyncratic process this way: “You do a drawing, work everything out, cut all the parts and put them together, and then you start carving. As I see the shapes emerge from the pieces of wood, that’s the pinnacle of the creative process.” The result is furniture that is fully functional and as well as sculptural. The chair is comfortable and meant to be used. The cabinet provides convenient storage. The console table suits its purpose of displaying a few prized decorative objects. At the same time each is a timeless and elegant work of art, at home in any home. McKie has never created designs for mass production. Her aesthetics and her technical perfectionism are incompatible with that process. She does make some works in extremely limited editions, usually no more than a few dozen. Her pieces always involve a lot of handwork. Producing such limited editions allows her to achieve a balance between sufficient output to satisfy a growing market and her own need to keep imagining, inventing and moving on to a new idea. For more, contact Katie at kwhittle@ skinnerinc.com or 212-787-1114.
FLIGHTS OF FANCY
BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
animals are more fascinating than the peregrine falcon. None is faster. Thanks to its sleek, pointed wings, slim, stiff feathers and efficient circulatory and respiratory systems, it is an aerodynamic marvel, swooping down on prey like a dive bomber from great natural and, increasingly, manmade heights at speeds exceeding 200 mph. With the banning of the pesticide DDT in the 1970s, peregrine falcons have, like other raptors, made a big comeback, often building their nests on the tops of bridges and skyscrapers in cities like New York. (The peregrine is the official bird of Chicago, where it is quite at home, as seen in the recent documentary “World’s Fastest Animal” on PBS’ “Nova.”) Since the Middle Ages the peregrine falcon has been a symbol of aristocratic power among both European nobility and the native peoples of the Mississippian culture on these shores. Small wonder then that the “Flying Falcon” — which takes flight this month — is the second creation in the “Essence of Speed” series that marks a collaboration between crystal-makerturned-luxe-lifestyle brand Lalique and McLaren, manufacturer of high performance sports cars. (The first animal inspiration, the cheetah, was released in sculptural form last year. The third will be unveiled when it’s released next year.) Made in Lalique’s patented satin-finished crystal, the “Flying Falcon” and the “Cheetah” each comes in a smaller standing edition, limited to 375 (the number of editions of McLaren’s P1 supercar), while a larger piece, cast in the lost-wax tradition, has been limited to 20 pieces to commemorate the 20 Formula One World Championships that McLaren has won to date. The falcon’s noble mien, trainability and versatility have long made it a cultural symbol. The peregrine is the national animal of the United Arab Emirates and the official mascot of Bowling Green State University. Its sleek profile appears on Idaho’s 2007 quarter. The falcon is also the inspiration behind 92
The “Flying Falcon” from Lalique’s “Essence of Speed” series captures the sleek power of this raptor. Courtesy Lalique.
Atlanta’s NFL team. In the fabled form of a golden, jewel-crusted statuette presented to Charles V of Spain by the Knights Templar, it becomes the MacGuffin, or plot point, that Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet chase in the iconic film noir “The Maltese Falcon” (1941). The bird is also the metaphor for the tension between power and freedom in “Falconer,” the late Ossining resident John Cheever’s 1977 novel of redemption and resurrection, and the emblem of money and status on the 1980s nighttime soap
opera, “Falcon Crest,” perching prettily with a hood on at the beginning of each episode. Now, courtesy of a Lalique design, the “Flying Falcon” is ready to alight on your mantel forever. The lost-wax sculptures in the “Essence of Speed” series are $69,000 each. The small sculptures are $2,800. Both are available this month at Lalique boutiques nationwide. Other Lalique works can be found locally at Woodrow Jewelers. For more, visit lalique.com or call 212-3556550; or visit woodrowjewelers.com.
SPORTS. CULTURE. SEX.
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13.57 Carat D Flawless Emerald Shaped Diamond Ring cut from the Lesedi La Rona Diamond. Photographs courtesy Graff. Multishaped Ruby and Diamond Inspired by Twombly Earrings. D Flawless Emerald Shaped Diamond Ring cut from Lesedi La Rona Diamond.
MULTIFACETED BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
luxe jeweler Graff — whose approximately 60 stores worldwide include a salon and private viewing room in The Vault at The Saks Shops at Greenwich — design begins with art but it doesn’t end there. Laurence Graff, who founded the company in 1960, is a passionate modern and contemporary art collector, whose holdings include works by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. But it is the calligraphic painter Cy
Twombly (1928-2011) who has proved an enduring muse. The latest pieces in the Inspired by Twombly collection — which as always are created in-house in London, from design to finished product — play with the artist’s love of line. Rubies and diamonds alternately loop about the neck, dangling pendants of the gemstones. Rubies and diamonds also coil about the ears, dripping ruby teardrops. In another pair of earrings, oval sapphires are topped by ribbons of diamonds, while a multishaped diamond bracelet dances on the wrist in interlocking ovals. So clever are the designs that you never see their metal underpinnings, much like the painter who has disguised his sketches with a panoply of color. Graff is, of course, renowned for its diamonds. In 2017, Graff acquired the Lesedi La Rona, the largest rough diamond discovered in the last decade (1,109 carats). Late last year, the first of 67 stones were released for sale. The main stone will be revealed this spring. Architecture and interior design play a big role,
too, at Graff, which remains a family business, with Laurence’s son François as CEO and two other family members directing design, merchandising and production. Recently, Delaire Graff Estate opened an Owner’s Villa and six Superior Lodges amid the mountainous beauty and vineyards of the Cape Winelands region in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The 6.458-square-foot villa — which accommodates eight guests and two staffers — includes a living room, dining room, a fully equipped kitchen, entertainment and study areas and a 46-foot pool. The lodges, each 818 square feet and accommodating two — have access to a private outdoor space with a heated plunge pool. Designed by David Collins Studio, the villa and lodges blend bespoke materials, sleek furnishings and an earthy palette, which complement modern and contemporary African artworks from Laurence Graff’s collection. Mmm, which to choose — the jewels or the South African adventure? Why not both? For more, visit graff.com and delaire.co.za.
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TRENDING MELLOW BY MEGHAN MCSHARRY
the legalization of marijuana making inroads throughout the nation, there’s a new trend on the lifestyle market — the use of cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) as ingredients in skincare and wellness products. I first dipped my toes into the world of CBD last summer in an attempt to soothe my stress and help get a better night’s sleep, since no amount of melatonin was doing the trick. After hearing rave reviews, I placed an order from luxury CBD company Lord Jones. The gummies arrived on my doorstep and I opened the package to reveal an elegant Hermès-orange box filled with nine red and yellow, old-school gumdrops. At $5 a pop, I hoped to experience the anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties I had been promised by reviewers of the product, and the supposed benefits of CBD. All of that, without the sleepy, giggly or paranoid high one may feel from the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana. While certainly not life-changing, I did feel more relaxed after popping my first gumdrop. One piece, with 20 milligrams of CBD inside, caused a mellow wave of calm to wash over me as I lay down to rest that night. I slept better that night than I had in weeks and awoke to my alarm with no sense of grogginess — well, some grogginess, but nothing more than the average early morning wake-up. A few months later, in one of my many nights spent browsing the Sephora website, I noticed cannabis had swept the beauty world. Milk Makeup, a newer, trendier beauty brand marketed to millennials, released its Kush Mascara with hemp-derived cannabis seed oil in its formulation. Milk has now added lip products containing cannabis, claiming that the oil has nourishing and soothing properties. When a brand offered to send samples of CBD-infused teas to the WAG office, I happily
Photographs courtesy Neiman Marcus.
accepted. Anything to help me mellow out at the end of a long day spent in fluorescent lighting is welcome in my book. We sampled the Buddha Teas CBD line, which comes in a variety of flavors, including chamomile, peppermint and matcha green tea. With 5 milligrams of CBD in each tea bag, it certainly doesn’t pack the same punch as other consumable CBD products but may give an added element of relaxation if you love a cuppa chamomile before bed at night. The best part? It tastes just like tea. There is no marijuana-like smell and no oily residue. Now Neiman Marcus has stepped into the highend cannabis ring. As part of its Trending Beauty Initiative, Neiman Marcus is carrying a number of cannabis-infused beauty products, including balms, lotions, soaps, oils, serums and masks to
nourish the skin with all of the benefits of hemp. “Cannabis beauty brands are becoming increasingly popular and CBD products are the next big thing in beauty,” says Neiman Marcus beauty buyer Kim D’Angelo. “Neiman Marcus plans to continue to expand our CBD assortment while offering customers the latest and greatest in Trending Beauty.” Highlights of the CBD collection include Sagely Naturals Relief and Recovery Cream, which combats discomfort and soreness; Code of Harmony Glo-Berry Glistening Skin Oil Serum, to moisturize and balance skin; and the Cannuka CBD Calming Eye Balm. While the CBD beauty debut has not yet hit Neiman Marcus Westchester, the products can be bought online. For more, visit neimanmarcus.com.
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THE ONE, THE ONLY FEKKAI BY MEGHAN MCSHARRY
at WAG, we love a bit of pampering, which is why we jumped at the opportunity to visit the Frédéric Fekkai Salon in Greenwich. The salon, at 2 Lewis Court off Greenwich Avenue, has a classic brick façade surrounded by block paving, which instantly reminded me of the streets of Soho. Upon arrival, I was warmly greeted by staff who introduced me to stylist Elie Camoro, a Fekkai
Frédéric Fekkai. Courtesy Frédéric Fekkai & Co.
protégé and Greenwich native who now serves as co-creative director of the brand. Elie took one look at my hair and knew it needed a trim. He was right. I hadn’t gotten a cut since July. He snipped off my ends while my hair was dry to even out the length and eliminate split ends. After washing my hair with volumizing shampoo from Fekkai’s newest product line, The One, Elie suggested we try beachy waves for my blowout. I’m a wash-and-go type of gal. My hair dries pretty straight, so the idea of some body in my hair was right up my alley. Elie dried my hair while he told me about his transition from collegiate baseball player to training with Fekkai as his mentor. He then finished my look by using a curling iron to give my locks some body. The salon was kind enough to give me Fekkai’s “The Gifted One” multitasker, also from The One line, which works as a smoothing and protecting finishing serum. If you’ve never tried anything from this line, run
— don’t walk — to the store and pick up some. The One has by far the best-smelling products I’ve ever used in my life. Fekkai Greenwich made me feel perfectly comfortable from the moment I walked in, and Elie is a personable stylist who I thoroughly enjoyed talking to while getting my hair done — no awkward small talk. After years of practicing under Fekkai, Elie is a natural when it comes to both cutting and styling hair. I’m already looking forward to going back soon. Not only was I lucky enough to be treated to a blowout at Fekkai, but I was also able to learn from the man himself in a recent email interview. Fekkai has styled some of the most famous tresses, so I wanted to know more about what makes him tick and what trends he’s loving. Fekkai gets many of his ideas from his hometown, Aix-en-Provence, France, which “is known for being an inspiration to some of the world’s master painters,” like the postimpressionists. He says it’s “impossible not to get swept up in this history” whenever he visits. As for his favorite hair trends? “I love a blunt bob with some texture. It’s a bit of a nostalgic nod to the ’90s, but also looks chic and on trend,” he said. “It’s easy to style for either a casual or more formal look, so it suits today’s modern woman who is always on the go.” I wanted to know how to best take care of my hair and Fekkai said that it’s important not only to use the right products, from shampoo and conditioner that suits your hair to heat protectant for styling tools, but also to nourish from the inside out. “If you’re drinking enough water and getting the necessary vitamins from your diet (vitamin B and C especially), your hair will thank you,” he said. Out of curiosity, I asked him which celebrity he has not yet worked with but would love to style. “Anyone who’s not afraid to try something bold or different. I’d love to do Kerry Washington’s hair,” he said. “She has amazing bone structure that lends itself to a strong, face-framing cut that makes a statement.” As for the future of Fekkai, Frédéric explained the company is working toward the next chapter by “accelerating the brand both digitally and in person. Bringing the salon experience to the next level is one of our main focuses right now. Having that real-life experience with the brand is invaluable. We’re also accelerating our digital presence while continuing to bring the best innovation through our products. I’m excited for our customers to experience Fekkai in a new, modern way.” For more, visit fekkai.com.
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The pool at the Emporium Hotel South Bank, Brisbane. Courtesy Emporium Hotel.
BY JEREMY WAYNE
of this column will know I am skeptical of “design” hotels. This is because design, in the hotel sense, too often means light switches that are impossible to locate, showers that either soak the bathroom floor or scald you (or both), drapes that would have Einstein scratching his head to open and close — and ugly, ugly buildings. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Design
hotels worthy of the name need to be intuitive, ergonomic, aesthetically pleasing and uncomplicated. The rest is a bonus. Here are a few that fit the bill, or at least my bill. The 1 Hotel in South Beach, Miami, is designed for total guest comfort, using only reclaimed and recycled materials. What’s amazing is that it works. It takes its green credentials seriously but never at the expense of comfort. This place is beautiful, sleek, hip, lavish and responsible — adjectives you would not normally expect to find attributed to the same noun — and it is, frankly, the place you want to be. (It’s packed, year-round.) Room keys or plastic cards don’t exist at the 1. Instead, you are issued a thin wooden disk on check-in. Like everything else here, from the refillable soap
DESIGN HOTELS WORTHY OF THE NAME NEED TO BE INTUITIVE, ERGONOMIC, AESTHETICALLY PLEASING AND UNCOMPLICATED.
Lobby at 1 Hotel, South Beach. Courtesy 1 Hotels.
containers and filtered water taps, to the clothes hangers made of newspapers or recycled old maps, the key is biodegradable. As well as opening your room door it allows you access to all floors, as well as signing rights at any of the 1’s three pools, shops, Haybarn spa, gym (possibly the coolest and best equipped in all Miami), and, of course, four restaurants. Built on an entire city block of Collins Avenue, between 23rd and 24th streets, 1 Hotel demonstrates through exceptional design that you can have impeccable green credentials and still be oodles of fun. Repurposing historic buildings is the forte of design-forward hoteliers the Sydell Group. Their hotel, the Line — set in a repurposed neoclassical church with 60-foot vaulted ceilings, bang in the heart of the multicultural Adams Morgan neighborhood in Washington, D.C. — is far and away the coolest hotel in D.C. Take all the adjectives associated with the nation’s capital — conservative (right), frustrating (and how) early-to-bed (you assume) and throw them out of the Line’s arched, milk-glass windows. All right, work if you must — there’s free Wi-Fi for visitors as well as guests, after all — but basically you’re at The Line to play. First, at Brothers and Sisters — Erik Bruner-Yang’s all-day restaurant, which takes up most of the hotel’s vast lobby and where they
do an insanely good octopus hot dog with spicy yuzu kosho — and then at A Rake’s Progress, Spike Gjerde’s first-floor gallery restaurant, where the shtick is small birds, smoked and roasted over a stone hearth. There’s also a coffee shop, called, madly, The Cup We All Race 4, and a kind of Asian tapas bar called Spoken English, for food on the hoof. That’s right: No one’s going hungry here, but once all the eating and drinking is done, the Line, like its London counterpart, The Ned (located in a former bank in the heart of the financial district), also delivers you a great night’s sleep. The hotel’s 220 guestrooms are handsome and well-proportioned, combining utilitarian chic with urban sophistication — parquet floors, custom brass bed frames, solid oak writing desks and lashings of plug sockets exactly where you want them. With its 1,100-square-foot fitness center, and even its own radio station, this brilliant D.C. newbie is attitude-free and apolitical, although you’ll be as likely to bump into President Donald J. Trump at the Line as you would be to meet celebrity vegans Beyoncé or Ariana Grande at your local steakhouse. Across the Pond, design reigns but does not rule at the wonderful Das Stue Hotel in what was once the Danish embassy in Berlin. Designer
Guest duplex at Hotel Arts Barcelona. Courtesy Hotel Arts Barcelona.
Patricia Urquiola’s soft, tertiary-colored interiors combine freeform, amoeba-like shapes and rich, indulgent textures. If this were your home, it might be a mishmash, but Urquiola’s talent is that the sum of the seemingly disparate parts is an utterly pleasing cohesion. Comfortable, too: Sink into one of those armchairs, lounge around the 50-foot indoor pool or pull up a chair at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Cinco, and you’ll know what I mean. And the artwork is fun as well as relevant. That crocodile head sculpture, for instance, or Bernard Moretti’s intricate wiremesh animals — well, the Berlin Zoo is literally on the doorstep. Down in Monaco, the $280 million renovation at the legendary Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo proves the adage “Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose” — “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” So how exactly do you improve on original design dating back to 1864, in a property that set out to establish Monaco as the place to be? Well, honestly you don’t. All you do is update and refresh, bigtime. Oh, and add an entire new floor, and do it, seemingly, while all the Monegasques are blinking, or at least having an afternoon nap. 102
The hotel remained open virtually throughout the entire renovation process. The new floor houses the upper level of the Princess Grace Suite — whites, creams, and soft beiges everywhere; photographs and ephemera (the suite was completed with the close collaboration of Princess Grace’s son, Prince Albert); a pool, naturally, and yours from $48,000 a night. Two of the hotel’s four wings were also demolished and rebuilt, leaving the hotel with a ravishing 7,000-square-foot inner garden, called Le Patio, in the process, and terraces added as if by magic so that now every one of the hotel’s 207 guest rooms and suites has outdoor space. If minimalism is your thing — and which of us isn’t feeling the Marie Kondo force? — check out the Hotel Arts Barcelona on your next visit to the Catalan capital. It’s a celebration of cream, pale gray and taupe. When I first stayed at the Arts nearly 25 years ago, I resolved to go home and redecorate, throwing out every last piece of junk and painting every one of my sad, sorry, rooms a vivifying, life-enhancing shade of pale ivory. Unfortunately, that never happened. All these years later, I can confirm after a recent visit that the Arts is as fresh as the day it opened, while my
poor house has aged several aeons, continuing to accumulate junk and visibly dilapidating. A lesson there, I think. Lastly, should you be headed to the Antipodes any time soon, let me tell you about Brisbane. I was there last fall — its spring — and was blown away by the sheer vibrancy of the place. Australia’s third largest city and gateway to its famed Gold Coast is having a moment. From sandboarding and surfboarding to night markets to a huge number of hip bars, Brisbane is also home to some of Oz’s most exciting new design hotels. All opened within the last year, properties like the W, with its contour-line design referencing the snaking Brisbane River; the moodily decorated Ovolo Inchcolm; and the second Emporium Hotel in the city’s Southpoint complex, with its cuttingedge but user-friendly technology; all show that great hotel design need not be confined to “firsttier” cities. And another thing, too: It shows that retro-design be can cool and comfortable without being even a touch ironic. For more, visit 1hotels.com, thelinehotel.com, das-stue.com, montecarlosbm.com, ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/spain/Barcelona and smccvb.com.
KENYA, TANZANIA, ETHIOPIA & RWANDA TOURS Exceptional Camps & Lodges | Authentic Experiences Private tours for groups and families with children
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Africa Photo Tours Inc. | 455 Tarrytown Road Suite 1302 White Plains NY 10607 | (646) 221-6186 worldwide mobile | www.johnrizzophoto.com All packages include photography lessons | John Rizzo is a former Newsweek photographer, has worked on 6 continents & winner of two Arts Alive Grants, 2013 &2016
SIMPLY CHARMING BY DEBBI K. KICKHAM
the travel problem I typically encounter. I visit a wonderful country and, unfortunately, discover very large things that won’t fit into my Louis Vuitton luggage. As a result, I have given up on those and typically buy locally made beauty products from my destination. Nothing wrong with that — I’m the queen of cosmetics — but I always yearn to find something more memorable and long lasting. Enter Jet Set Candy. Faster than you can say, “TSA,” you will discover the gold bracelet and necklace charms of your dreams — and your destinations. The divine designs are the brainchild of Nicole Parker King, a sixth-generation New Yorker who attended Rhode Island School of Design and served as creative director at L’Oréal, overseeing the brand Skinceuticals. Throughout her travels to six continents and more than 50 countries, Nicole was always on the quest for the perfect souvenir. The seed for Jet Set Candy was planted while on a trip to Sri Lanka where, after only finding generic T-shirts with sunset designs and home goods that were more authentic but not easily packable, she set out to reinvent travel souvenirs with a line of collectible, stylish keepsakes for travel lovers. While living in India for 3½ years with her Australian diplomat husband (now at the United Nations), Nicole refined the concept and created the designs that would form Jet Set Candy’s debut collection. It launched (to great success) immediately on the couple’s return to New York in October 2014. The brand, originally sold at Bloomingdale’s trunk shows and online, features charms that are “small, chic and fit into your luggage,” she says with a laugh. She personally designs all of the charms — she trained as a graphic designer — which are manufactured in the
If you love New York, why not get some Jet Set Candy charms of a MetroCard, taxi and a Chrysler Building that opens to reveal the key to the city? Courtesy Jet Set Candy.
United States, Italy, India and Thailand. No matter your destination or transportation, there’s a gorgeous little gold (or silver) Jet Set Candy charm for that. Lilliputian luggage tags are made to feature more than 200 destinations and airport codes. There are about 20 train tickets — even those for Rye, Greenwich and Darien. Petite passport stamps cover about 195 countries — both recognized and not recognized by the United Nations. “Anywhere you go on the planet, we will have a charm for it,” she says, adding that her company even has a charm for North Korea. Then there are the “anywhere” charms, such as a palm tree, clamshell, or anchor. Love Hawaii? How about a simple little surfboard or flip-flops? Your favorite Swiss Miss might like the minibar of chocolate Toblerone. But let’s not forget the Singapore Sling cocktail shaker, the Italian Vespa scooter and the Cannes movie clapboard. Then there are the really special charms that contain stupendous surprises à la Fabergé. For example, there’s a Chrysler Building charm that pops open to reveal the key to New York City. An Indian puppet dances its way across your wrist. One of the newest is a beer stein from Germany that opens mechanically. You, however, may prefer the little London taxicab that holds a cup inside saying, “London is my cup of tea.” One of the most adorable and crave-worthy
is the new Parisian charm that is a bottle of perfume, though equally enticing is the mini street sign saying “Champs Elysées.” But the most popular Paris charm, she says, is the Eiffel Tower. The charms — which can be paired with a Jet Set Candy matching Infinity bracelet — also offer instant gratification. In other words — you don’t have to take the charms to a jeweler, to have them soldered on. The bracelet links are specially made so that you can open them and add a charm as easily as 1-2-3. All the charms and bracelets are available in sterling silver, gold vermeil and solid gold. The packaging itself comes in candy colors, with different travel quotes inside each box. Your goodies are encased in map-designed tissue paper, with gift tags shaped like luggage tags. “It’s super cute,” she says. You may just want to follow the example of one of Jet Set Candy’s billionaire customers, whose wife and friends always took “girls’ getaway” trips. He gifted his wife — and each of her nine girlfriends — with $17,000 bracelets outfitted with 20 solid-gold Jet Set Candy charms that reflected their many trips together. Isn’t that a great way to wear your wanderlust? For more, visit jetsetcandy.com. And for more on Debbi, visit gorgeousglobetrotter.com and marketingauthor.com.
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offers distinguished charm, Italian-inspired cuisine and an elegant setting
For a truly memorable experience, call 203.322.6950 1620 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06905
BYGONE OPULENCE FOR TODAY’S TRAVELERS BY BARBARA BARTON SLOANE
are in the Adirondack wilderness, driving a winding road with snowcovered pines forming a narrow passageway. Ahead of us, an intricate gate fashioned from logs and branches spells out “The Point.” After punching in a code, the gate opens slowly as if to say “Take a deep breath. Relax. Let the wonders of this very special place envelop you.” And so we do. From the end of the Civil War to the beginning of the Great Depression, Gilded Age magnates built magnificent mansions along the rugged lakeshores of upstate New York that became collectively known as the Great Camps. The Point Resort in Saranac Lake was built as a private retreat for the family of William Avery Rockefeller Jr. — brother of John D. Sr. — from 1930 to 1933 by Adirondack camp architect William Distin. It is on a 75-acre peninsula jutting into Upper Saranac Lake and consists of a main lodge and 11 distinctive, delightfully decorated rooms for a handful of lucky guests. The rooms have Adirondack twig furniture, huge stone fireplaces and down beds, with elements striking a balance between being grand and intimate. The Point Resort is the last of the Great Camps of the Adirondacks, considered by many to be the premiere resort in the country and Condé Nast Traveler’s highest-rated property. It is consistently honored with one of the hospitality industry’s top awards — the Forbes 5-Star designation for “flawless service and the finest of amenities. (The) staff is intuitive, engaging and passionate. They eagerly deliver service above and beyond the guests’ expectations.” Want breakfast in bed, lunch at a fairytale cottage in the woods, or a sumptuous dinner served by the fireplace in your room? Done. In fact, service is so amazing, it almost seems as though you have but to think it and presto, it happens. Entering the Grand Log Mansion, we were greeted by the general manager, who ushers us into the Great Hall and offers a glass of Champagne. Everything about the Great Hall
The Point Great Hall. Courtesy The Point Resort.
is great. It evokes the Adirondack camps of old with rough luxe, animal trophies lining the walls, massive native-cut stone fireplaces, vast sink-in sofas and a view of the frozen silver lake beyond. We were told that our visit coincided with a recent renovation that focused on each of The Point’s guest rooms, the Great Hall and the Pub, the former garage that is now a cozy hangout with a full bar and games area. The Great Hall is where meals are served and it shines brightly with luxuriant new fabrics, drapery, furniture and lighting, setting the stage for the tradition of dining en famille where guests gather as high society of yesteryear once did for vibrant festivities deep in the forest. Our room is beautifully prepared for us — a carafe of wine, a roaring fire in the fieldstone fireplace that reaches up to the timbered ceiling, lamps softly glowing, candles flickering. We are delighted by a cloud-soft bed made entirely from branches, its tree-trunk post giving the feel of a bed growing out of the floor. It is amusing fun — so much so that Goldilocks herself would have pronounced it “just right.” Icicles 4 feet-long form a grid over our leaded glass windows like so many pieces of Swarovski crystal and the snow on our roof is as deep and sumptuous as vanilla icing on a wedding cake. The warm comfort of our room beckons us to linger, but the experience of lunch with fellow guests is too appealing to pass up. Each evening, cocktails are served at 7, dinner famously at 8 and, every Wednesday and Saturday, dinner is suggested black-tie, a bow to yesteryear’s tradition of elegant Great Camp dining. So, Saturday we dine by candlelight, the table laid with fine china, crystal and silver. There are individual menus at each place setting and, when I turned over my menu, I see that all of
the guest’s names are listed by first name only. Discretion and privacy at The Point is, well, the point. Our extraordinary dinner is enriched by lively conversation and generous amounts of fine wine, making for a true house-party atmosphere. After dinner, a happy surprise awaits us — a snow picnic by a bonfire in the woods. Earlier in the day, we’ve mentioned an interest in seeing the bonfire before departing. Unbeknown to us, this is arranged. We are led down a snowy path twinkling with fairy lights to an all-out roaring bonfire. Around it, Adirondack chairs are piled high with warm woolen blankets and cushy pillows. The icing on the cake — a fully-stocked bar, long branches to spear marshmallows and the fixings for s’mores. Who could ask for anything, ahem, s’more? As the next day dawns sunny and bright, it is snowshoeing for us. A guide leads us over the frozen lake and into the woods, up hills and down dales, all as silent as snow. Then before departing, we make it a point to tour the Boathouse, the most requested guestroom at the resort. This is a spectacular open and airy 950-square-foot suite with a lofty, beamed ceiling that vaults over a storybook canopied bed in the center of the room and above the boats and water, with a wrap-around deck offering panoramic views of the lake to the mountains beyond. Here you have the romantic notion of “roughing it” in comfort, elegance and gentility. Formerly only available from May to October, this suite is now fully winterized and is available to be enjoyed year-round. As we prepare to depart, the ever-attentive staff has prepared box lunches for our journey. Nothing left to chance, nothing forgotten. No, wait…there is one thing they’ve overlooked: Tissues to dab our eyes as we bid The Point adieu. For more, visit thepointresort.com.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
HITTING IT OUT OF THE PARK BY MEGHAN MCSHARRY
we all need a bit of a morale boost. And who better to get it from than a former New York Yankees coach who was part of their 2009 World Series championship team? Dana Cavalea, who we featured in WAG in March 2014, was the performance coach for the Bombers for 12 years. He’s worked with some of the best on the winningest team in North American history. (Yes, Red Sox fans, we are aware of your team’s recent World Series triumphs.) Along the way, he’s picked up a few strategies for success, which the Stamford-based man now shares in “Habits of a Champion” (Jet Launch, $19.99, 140 pages). “My objectives are to bring the same techniques, culture, attitude, service, firstclass training and development programs to entrepreneurs, executives, companies, students, and pro athletes,” he writes. He opens with this idea: Do you love to win or hate to lose? Makes you think, huh? “What I appreciate about the question, ‘Do you love to win or hate to lose?’ is that it makes you take inventory on who you are and what you stand for. Would you want to make $1 million dollars a year while the company is headed out of business? “How long will that million last as your severance? It is all interconnected. Teams cannot win if only the captain wins. Workforces cannot win if only the CEO wins. Both outcomes result from a bad culture,” he writes. Much of his advice centers on our own personal attitudes toward different aspects of our lives. When things are difficult, it’s important
Dana Cavalea, left, with Yankee legend Derek Jeter. Courtesy Dana Cavalea Media.
to maintain a good attitude. “When your world feels like it is crumbling, remember: It is only happening in your own mind. If you are down on your luck, it’s only in your own mind. And if you feel like the world is on your shoulders, that things won’t improve, that you are stuck and can’t see a way out, remember, it is all in your mind. You have the power to change your mindset in an instant. Do it,” Cavalea says, riffing on a philosophy that dates from Aristotle. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done, but it’s still sound advice. Cavalea highlights the importance of surrounding yourself with people who support you rather than harm your psyche. He notes former Yanks’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez referred to the latter as energy vampires. “Avoid them at all costs.” In today’s world, many people are overworked and stress levels run higher than ever. Cavalea’s advice? It’s worth making sacrifices to have the time you need.
“Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a few cents more per gallon for gas. Or, take the toll road to save on the traffic. Some of those small choices over time can wear you down without you being aware of it. Stress. Fatigue. Take the short way home and pay the toll.” What I appreciate most in “Habits of a Champion” is that Cavalea gives it to us straight. He tells readers what they need to hear to be the most successful version of themselves without sugar coating any part of it. Using his own personal experiences and wisdom and knowledge gained from the likes of Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and even his own mother, Cavalea teaches readers to use time wisely, create a routine that works, be respectful and demand the same respect in return. Don’t be surprised if this read causes you to step outside of your comfort zone and re-evaluate your perspective on all aspects of your life. For more, visit danacavalea.com.
NYC’S HOTTEST CHOREOGRAPHERS CHERYLYN LAVAGNINO DANCE © CHARLES ROUSSEL
CALEB TEICHER & COMPANY “One of the brightest lights in tap today.” — The New Yorker
ABBY Z & THE NEW UTILITY “Where few dancers have gone before.” – Boston Globe
Celebrated Bharatanatyam Artist
CHERYLYN LAVAGNINO DANCE “It’s rich stuff.” — NY Times
KEIGWIN + COMPANY
“Dance That Hits Your Pleasure Receptors.” — The New Yorker
BALLET HISPANICO © PAULA LOBO
MEGAN WILLIAMS DANCE PROJECTS
“Whip-smart and vastly entertaining.” – DanceBeat
“Gorgeous to look at and thrilling to watch.” — Chicago Sun-Times
COMING SPRING 2019
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CIRQUE DE DIBARI BY GINA GOUVEIA
the moment, David DiBari, the acclaimed chef-owner with a firm grasp on pushing culinary boundaries in the river towns of Westchester County, is like a plate spinner. Good thing he’s adept, because those plates have become a lot fuller. Admittedly, there’s a talented troupe behind him, but this culinary force is leading the charge in the opening of two establishments creating a buzz in Westchester. In the past year he acquired two new spaces, opened a restaurant in December, dealt with a fire and flood at another and, when I caught up with him in late January, he was in the throes of preparing to open the second. Oh, and did I mention his wedding, last May, to his beloved, Chickie? THE BRITISH INVASION In both cuisine and design elements, DiBari’s two newest ventures are noteworthy. First, an opportunity arose last summer for him to partner with his buddy and Dobbs Ferry native, Scott Broccoli, on a new place. Now, with its opening last December, DiBari is offering his loyal customers even more variety in the form an authentic British gastro pub, The Rare Bit. Scott had returned to “Dobbs” a few years back, wanting to raise his children in his hometown. In his 17 years as a successful restaurateur in the San Francisco area, he had six places — one even named Dobbs Ferry in honor of his birthplace. He talks about “flirting” with his old pal for a while, finally convincing him that they could acquire the space of the former Cedar Street Grill, plus an adjacent storefront, diagonally across from DiBari’s popular pizza joint, The Parlor. “I could open restaurants,” Broccoli says, “but not having an infrastructure in place here, I needed David to put it together. The timing was very tricky, but it ended up working out.” The collaborative design team, as DiBari calls it, combined artful touches of classic and modern Victorian décor — precious chandeliers and an eclectic, kitschy assortment of Victorian-framed paintings, plus mirrors and sconces dotting the walls. There’s a tiled backstop and plant wall
David DiBari. Photographs courtesy The Rare Bit.
Fish and chips at The Rare Bit.
framing the space behind the grand-scaled wood bar in the expanded lounge area, where we find numerous banquettes and high-top tables. As for the creative menu, my friend who accompanied me to lunch noted, “This place stretches your palete.” Yes, indeed, it does. With its focus on cuisine rooted in the gastronomy of England, Scotland and Ireland, the menu even plays with a nod to colonial times by offering a few dishes representative of India, such as a standout Chicken Tikka with basmati rice and naan bread, crafted with homemade dough from The Parlor. Think about it. Where else will you find an artful and delicious Scotch egg in these parts? Or for that matter, bangers and mash and a cheesy Welsh rarebit — the namesake dish? There’s a scrumptious fish and chips — the batter is gluten free — prime roasts and a full English breakfast, replete with homemade sausage and beans. To my surprise, the one side that really tickled my taste buds was the mushy peas. The Rare Bit’s opening executive chef, John Poiarkoff, most recently of Restaurant North in Armonk, explained that a patron suggested this addition, plated with the Scotch egg and available as a side dish, and he really nailed it. With an ancestry self-described as “Eastern European mutt,” Poiarkoff is humble and soft spoken, but clearly serious and knowledgeable about food, beverage and restaurant operations — no doubt, the reason that DiBari recently offered him the role of “culinary director” for all his locations. Poiarkoff, a graduate of the French Culinary
Institute, honed his skills in Manhattan at places such as The Modern and, in Brooklyn, he was the opening chef for a few establishments, so his prior experience, combined with Broccoli’s expertise, proved useful in enabling the quick, six-month turnaround of The Rare Bit space. Poiarkoff was eager to help DiBari develop the ambitious food and beverage program and proud of bringing dishes not often found, such as fish chowder from the Isle of Skye, to the menu. And, they have been well received, Poiarkoff says that business has been more robust than they had anticipated and adding, “I think every British person in Westchester was in here in the first three weeks after we opened.” A CLASSIC DINER COMES TO PORT CHESTER Meanwhile, DiBari has been putting the finishing touches on Eugene’s, a diner-concept restaurant, in preparation for an early March opening. He committed to the space on Main Street in Port Chester last year, but to create what he envisioned required a total gut renovation. Yet not complete when I visited, I get it immediately, even though I enter from the rear of the restaurant. Hello, 1970s. DiBari tells me that, for him, this was a passion project. “I always wanted to open a diner,” he says — this one named for his grandfather, Eugene. The creation of the space, as well as the menu, gave him the freedom and “license to have fun,” something that is not lacking at DiBari’s other places. His “brand’s” motto, adapted when The Cookery
opened, is actually “Eat Serious. Have Fun.” From his early days, DiBari’s goal was to have his own restaurant and it was his chief mentor, the accomplished chef-restaurateur Peter X. Kelly, who shored up any doubt DiBari had about the modest space on Chestnut Street in Dobbs Ferry becoming his first home. “He just looked at the place and assured me it would be perfect.” The cozy space has a bustling vibe and an even more imaginative menu, including its signature whole-roasted pig supper, available for groups of six or more on demand. Once you get to know this talent, it all makes sense. He was, after all, classically trained at The Culinary Institute of America and did his time behind the stoves at renowned kitchens such as Windows on the World and Babbo in Manhattan before coming north to assume executive chef duties at Eastchester Fish Gourmet and then Zuppa, in Yonkers. At Eugene’s, DiBari really stepped it up in the design department, working with Rocco DiLeo of RD Studio in Port Chester, though DiBari sourced a few items at the Brimfield Antique Show in Massachusetts, his go-to place for unusual décor elements. There is specially sourced wood paneling throughout the large high-ceilinged space, Tiffany pendants over the long counter, with teal-colored seats facing the open kitchen. Jonathan Adler pen-
Bangers and mash at The Rare Bit.
dant lights hang at the end of the front main bar with classic black bar stools. There’s even a groovy loft space upstairs, “the shag room,” for groups of up to 12 or so, for lounging and dining. With its abundant seating and robust menu, DiBari hopes the place will be a draw, particularly with the nearby Capitol Theatre crowd and beyond. Their dining hours will be flexible, too — initially open for lunch, weekend brunch and dinner before eventually starting to serve breakfast. The menu will offer something for everyone,
but expect to see DiBari and team’s playful twists throughout. “I was into bringing back the big classics that create a celebratory experience...(diners) will be able to have caviar with their pancakes, together with a great bottle of French Champagne.” There will be a section on the menu called “having fun with eggs,” plus diner classics like matzoh ball soup, meatloaf, foot-long hot dogs and even a Thanksgiving dinner every day. With a gleam in his eyes, DiBari tells me, “Look, at the end of the day I created four playgrounds for my chefs, and the best part of my day is stepping into one of my kitchens to cook with them.” The kitchen is outfitted with state-of-the-art “toys,” like a stunning rotisserie that roasts meats either vertically or on a traditional horizontal spit. At the entrance to the dining room, there’s a diner-classic, a glass-enclosed fixture to showcase their house-made desserts. I ask DiBari how he will kick back after Eugene’s opening is safely in his rearview mirror. He tells me he would be happiest touring around the country following punk rock bands like The Bouncing Souls, or his favorite classic rock band, Pearl Jam. But, what about the honeymoon that had to be put on hold due to all the activity this past year?, I ask. “Yes,” says DiBari, “right, that first!” For more, visit therarebitdf.com.
E R OA R I N
One of New York States Top 15
Best Hole In The Wall “ Restaurants That Will Blow Your Taste Buds Away
| SEAFOOD & RAW BAR
Stop in and experience the charm of this historic eatery, a neighborhood favorite since the Roaring ‘20s! Enjoy our cozy tavern where it’s always lively and cheerful or relax on our patio overlooking our horseshoe and bocce ball courts. Live music on Saturdays and some Fridays On Sundays, enjoy outdoor live music from 4 to 8:30 Happy Hour Daily from 4-6 and again from 9-11 on Thurs, Fri and Saturday nights.
105 Somerstown Turnpike, Katonah, NY (Corner of Rt. 100 and Rt. 35) www.muscoottavern.com 914 • 232 • 2800
BY GINA GOUVEIA
THE PATHS TAKEN BY TALENTED, CREATIVE PEOPLE TO USING THEIR FINELY HONED SKILLS ARE OFTEN AS DIVERSE AS THE INDIVIDUALS THEMSELVES. SUCH IS THE CASE WITH ROCCO DILEO, AN ARCHITECT AND DESIGN PROFESSIONAL WHO FORMALLY ESTABLISHED HIS BUSINESS, RDSTUDIO INC., IN 2009. You may remember that year as a particularly challenging time for the U.S. economy — post the Great Recession of 2008. This speaks to the courage of this talented individual, who told me he thought to himself then, “If the businesses of others have tanked, then we’re all starting from the ground up. What better time to start a business?” His story of perseverance and commitment to craft should encourage anyone who needs a little extra push to continue along his individual journey. A first generation Italian-American, DiLeo comes from a long line of masons — including his father who was a tile layer, so he learned various skills alongside these artisans growing up. “As a young kid,” he says, “I had a passion for doodling, tracing and drawing. I also liked taking things apart and trying to understand how they worked.” Unsure of the direction he was going to take professionally following high school, DiLeo attended Westchester Community College and found that he enjoyed his courses in drafting. Simultaneously, he started working with a connection of his father’s, a residential architect, James Polera, who encouraged his skill and became his mentor. With his passion solidly ignited, he enrolled in the City University of New York and graduated five years later with his professional architect’s degree. Having experience in small-scale, residential projects prior to his formal training, DiLeo found himself working for a much larger firm, Bartels-Pagliaro Architects of
The wine shop interior of VinoTeca in Atlanta features steel display shelves, vintage wooden tables and mid-century modern benches, creating a unique and inviting shopping experience. Photographs by Tom McGregor.
Norwalk, as it was known at the time. There, the majority of the projects he worked on were highend, waterfront residences dotting upscale communities, mostly on the Connecticut side of the Long Island Sound. He recognized immediately the benefit of being exposed to this bigger world, collaborating with a team of remarkable people who had such vast experience with complicated projects. “They were much smarter than me,” DiLeo says modestly, adding, “I took this (experience) with me.” Dipping into the commercial space and larger-scale projects proved to be the winning combination, further adding to his diversification. In 2012, a former boss at Bartels introduced him to Barteca Restaurant Group, which oversaw construction for the bartaco and Barcelona Wine Bar restaurants. Barteca took a leap of faith, DiLeo says, appointing him director of design. Its mandate? To create restaurants that were accessible and approachable. This design philosophy was incorporated into every establishment he worked on for the group — from Boston to Tampa and as far west as Boulder, Colorado. With a team that grew alongside him over a period of five years, they designed 30 restaurants. What started as a consulting job became fulltime employment within the organization. “It was a huge job, but at the same time, a dream job — one I was reluctant to take. I was having such
At Barcelona Ironworks in Atlanta, the tiered roof were designed to draw attention to the downtown skyline.
fun working on my own and growing my business.” Yet he acknowledges that the further development professionally enabled him to add another niche to his growing portfolio and reinstate RDstudio Inc., officially on March 1, 2017, the same day his second daughter was born. The benefit of hard work is not lost on DiLeo. His experience with restaurants bred other projects on the commercial side, and his expansion enabled a move from his home office in Valhalla to his own professional space in Port Chester with three employees. They officially opened
their new offices in December 2018. RDstudio has evolved into a full-service firm, now offering architectural, interior design and project management services to homeowners plus an ever-growing base of commercial clients. Current projects include a 16-unit residential project in Harrison and two more Barcelona Wine Bar restaurants, in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, but now on behalf of one of his many restaurant clients, the Del Frisco Restaurant Group. As both a friend and longtime customer of David DiBari, DiLeo worked with him on the overall layout and design of his new Port Chester place, Eugene’s. “We’ve known each other for some time, but this was our first collaboration and I think it was a good fit.” Having seen the space before it opened, I can attest to the fact that he delivered the “retro-basement” feel he was aspiring to. DiLeo credited his young team of professionals for bringing new ideas to the table. He loves the collaborative nature of their work, telling me that, “The best idea wins, no matter who it comes from. “People have placed their trust in us,” DiLeo says. “It’s a responsibility we take very seriously. The process is often nerve-racking for the client, so we are all about listening, guiding and providing an accessible, approachable service that is customer service focused.” For more, visit rdstudio-inc.com.
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OPENING RECEPTION ArtsWestchester’s Modern Families exhibition focuses the camera lens on the families we’re given and the families we choose.
On view: March 5 – May 4, 2019 31 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, NY 10601 Gallery Hours: Tue – Fri, 12-5pm | Sat 12-6pm Supported by
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEESIA FORNI
The Sleek interior of Le Moulin.
YONKERS À LA FRANÇAIS
Josyane Colwell’s more than four decades of experience as a chef and caterer have taught her anything, it’s that creating a meal is more than just whipping together a list of ingredients or arranging food on a plate. “Food is like having a hug,” says Colwell, who is affectionately referred to by friends and frequent customers as Josy. “It’s that kind of emotion.” Colwell aims to share that emotion with diners who visit her intimate eatery and wine bar, Le Moulin, in Yonkers. At Le Moulin, many of the dishes are inspired by Colwell’s childhood years growing up in the south of France, where dinners
Roasted chicken with sautéed greens.
Black sea bass with mussels.
Fried eggplant, zucchini and tomato.
were created using whatever ingredients were in season or vegetables that had been picked fresh that day from the garden. Colwell employs those same methods in Yonkers, where her menu rotates each week depending on what ingredients are available. Before opening the restaurant at 1 Pierpointe St. in 2016, the self-taught chef operated her catering business of the same name from Irvington for more than 20 years. In her new space, dark wooden tables and industrial chairs and fixtures lend a modern feel to the cozy eatery, while many wines are sourced from Colwell’s home country. Colwell, ever the accommodating hostess, says the restaurant’s seating arrangements can be adjusted to fit various party sizes or needs. High-tops can be incorporated for a less formal affair or cocktails, while long farm tables are brought in for larger, sit-down dinners. Bridal showers or group brunches are typical at Le Moulin, and Colwell frequently makes space on the dining room floor for live jazz performances or a featured opera singer. Colwell’s years of experience are apparent not just in the food she serves, but also in her hospitality. When she’s not working in the kitchen, she’s talking to diners, explaining dishes or sharing stories of her culinary beginnings. Our meal starts with a stack of fried eggplant, tomato and zucchini atop a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. Juicy jumbo shrimp are served on a bed of chopped mushrooms, an unexpected delight. Roasted chicken is simply delicious, with sautéed greens and roasted onions. A veal shank osso buco, paired with julienned vegetables, is equally scrumptious. Colwell will tell you herself that her sauces are where her cooking skills truly shine. A dish of black sea bass is a spectacular example, served with a pair of mussels and a rich white wine sauce. The restaurant also offers a number of appetizers or small plates, like a charcuterie board, perfect for nibbling while enjoying a glass of Cabernet. Cheese crisps are the serving basket for a savory ratatouille, while bite-sized salmon cakes are served individually with dill aioli. Colwell notes that the area surrounding her restaurant and wine bar is seeing a shift. New luxury apartment complexes are sprouting up on either side of her quaint space, offering the chance for a new batch of Yonkers residents to enjoy the unique dining experience at Le Moulin. “It’s a new adventure,” she says of her waterfront restaurant. “I’m excited to see what happens.” For more, visit lemoulineateryandwinebar. com.
HOW GREEN IS THIS VALLEY STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY DOUG PAULDING
Loire Valley to the west and south of Paris, and the Champagne region to the east of Paris have been the northernmost regions in France for grape cultivation and winemaking. The Loire River, at 630 miles, is the longest in France and drains nearly a fifth of all the landmass of France. The river itself, with the water moderating the air temperatures while throwing off reflected sunlight, is responsible for bumping the temperature up a few degrees to allow for proper growing conditions. The Loire Valley — known as the Garden of France, as much of the fruits and vegetables necessary for people and livestock are grown there — and the Loire River have, for centuries, allowed for relatively easy access to Paris. Castles and chateaus were built along the river originally as fortifications against enemy invaders. And then a bit of one-upmanship began, with each king, lord or merchant wanting to outdo or, at
least, impress the aristocracy and the locals. Today there are close to 300 chateaus in the region. On a recent trip we visited a few, notably Chambord and Chenonceau. With 600 rooms, 282 fireplaces and 83 staircases, including a centerpiece double-helix staircase inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, Chambord was originally used primarily as a hunting lodge. Chenonceau was built in the 1500s and gifted to multiple kings’ mistresses over multiple generations. It was used as a hospital during World War I and occupied by the Nazis in World War II when it was bombed by the Allies, its chapel windows destroyed. Today, however, a resurrected Chenonceau is close to welcoming one million visitors per year. Oh, but the wines. If you are a fan of honest, pure, unmanipulated and fruit-driven wines, the Loire Valley is perfect for you. On a previous trip to the region, Charles-André de Cossé-Brissac, the owner of Château de Brissac, told us, “The Loire Valley is quite simply the most versatile winemaking region in all of France and, quite possibly, the world.” It is the top French region for white wines, the second French region for sparkling wines after Champagne and the second French region for Rosés with 79 appellations and denominations. The total wine production of the region is 320 million bottles per year, a fifth of that for export. The wines near the Atlantic tend to be exclusively white, usually made from Muscadet, an easy drinking wine and perfect for virtually any seafood pairing. As you move inland toward the east, white wines made of Chenin Blanc and
Sylvain Naulin, managing director of Interloire at Chambord, a massive Loire Valley château originally built as a hunting lodge. 120
Sauvignon Blanc will be found and Rosés become part of every winery’s inventory. Further west and closer to Paris we find significant red production. These are carefully crafted wines that can be opened young though patience will be rewarded. And the terroir is special. The Loire River runs east to west, spilling into the Atlantic well north of Bordeaux. The Loire and its many tributaries create weather pockets of comfort to vineyards all over the region. Sylvain Naulin, managing director of Interloire, the Loire Valley’s wine group, told me, “There are major soil differences on the north and south side of the river. And at the confluence of the Loire and its tributary rivers you will find ideal growing conditions for dynamic reds.” In the past the reds have been fresh and fruity, ready to drink when bottled. The Loire producers are now growing and harvesting red grapes from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay and Malbec, known locally as Cot. And, as they do in Bordeaux, they will blend individually vinified grape types until they have a wine of style and substance. The soil is perfect for creating wines of structure and flavor beyond the typically fruit flavors. The regional soil consists of volcanic rock, gneiss, granite, schist, chalk and limestone and each of these will impart its unique specificity to the wine. It is not a regional propensity to use much oak for aging. Some producers use none. Some employ the judicious use of oak for balance and structure but rarely flavor. And some really good news: It would be difficult to find a wine costing more than $50. There are more than 4,000 wineries in the Loire Valley. With all the educational opportunities in the wine world, both formal and informal, with producers keeping meticulous notes on growing conditions and production methods and all the information sharing between producers and regions, the wines of the Loire are still ascending in quality. Liz Gabay, a master of wine, told me, “Wines of the Loire are very much at the beginning.” Muscadet producers are adding structure and flavor by leaving the pressed juice on the lees — that is, the pulp and skins — longer. The Sauvignon Blancs and Chenin Blancs of the region are being produced as a lovely still wine or coaxed into a bubbly Cement, available at a fraction of some other bubbliest of the world. And with global warming helping the red wines to ripen properly, producers today have more options for harvest time, helping them create the wine they envision. A few days in the Loire Valley were transformative. It is very much a region moving forward. If you haven’t tasted some wines of this region for a while, you owe it to yourself to give some a try. It’s easy to find a Loire Valley wine that will pair with any food, any time of day and any situation. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Private Events and Catering
TATTOO YOU? BY DAVID ERSTEIN, MD
may seem cool but turning skin into a canvas for artwork, messages and permanent cosmetic designs poses health risks, some of which can prove serious. The tattooing process penetrates the outer and inner layers of skin, paving the way for possible allergic skin reactions, local and systemic infections, rashes, inflammation, scarring and even a potentially heightened risk for some cancers. The skin is the largest organ in the body, serving as a barrier to the toxins and bacteria surrounding us in our environment. The tattoo artist breaks down part of this barrier by using a machine that creates literally hundreds of needle pricks in order to inject tiny particles of ink into the dermis — the skin’s inner layer. A new tattoo is literally a traumatic injury to the skin and, as such, activates the body’s immune system, with white blood cells identifying and attacking the ink particles as foreign invaders. This response can lead to temporary pain and heightened sensitivity in the tattooed area, skin inflammation and itching. Even with proper “aftercare” of the tattoo, keloids — scar tissue — may develop at the tattoo site or granulomas, nodules that form around the ink particles, might appear. Other possible health complications associated with tattoos include: • Engorgement of lymph nodes with ink particles; • Infections that can prove aggressive or dangerous if not promptly treated; • Allergic reactions, such as swelling and rashes; • Sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease affecting primarily the lymph glands and lungs; and • Lichen planus, a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder. Individuals with pre-existing skin conditions like psoriasis need to be particularly careful before proceeding with a tattoo. In about 25 percent of psoriasis cases, a tattoo may prompt growth of psoriasis-like lesions on or around the tattoo site. Meanwhile, tattooing has gone from
Under the beauty of a tattoo, a medical danger may lurk.
“exceptional” to mainstream, with four in 10 adults between the ages of 18 and 69 in the United States now sporting some type of picture, design or message on their skin, according to a 2017 Statista survey. The widespread acceptance of tattoos — even in the workplace — leaves scientists feeling increasingly uneasy about tattoos’ potential longterm effects, especially health complications that may be related to contaminants — like titanium dioxide — common to tattoo pigments. Some of these pigments are also used in print toner and car paints, and the toxins in them have proven carcinogenic to animals but not humans — yet. Authors of a study published in a September 2017 issue of Scientific Reports express concern about how nanoparticles of pigment toxins found in the lymph nodes of tattooed individuals might behave in the body. These particles were less than 1 percent the width of a human hair. Earlier research, described in the British Journal of Dermatology, indicates that pigment nanoparticles travel beyond the immediate tattoo site and may be toxic to nerves and the brain. Tattoo inks are also unregulated by any government agency. Does that mean tattoos should be avoided? Not necessarily. But people must first carefully weigh the pros and cons of a tattoo and then, perhaps, talk to their
physician before proceeding, especially if they have an underlying skin condition or immune system disorder. Choosing a reputable, licensed tattoo artist and ensuring that inking needles are correctly sterilized are obvious, first-step recommendations. Equal in importance, however, is the follow-up attention a patient should give a new tattoo to minimize complications. Here are my care tips: • Keep a new tattoo covered with a sterile gauze or bandage for at least the first day. • Gently clean the tattoo area daily with plain soap and water. Moisturize it several times a day for a couple of weeks following application. • Don’t expose a new tattoo to the sun until it is completely healed. • Avoid swimming or immersion in pools, hot tubs or bodies of water to minimize chances of infecting the wound. • Don’t scratch an itchy tattoo and let any scabs that form heal on their own. • Contact a physician if the tattoo site remains red, swelled, itchy or painful after more than a week or 10 days of recovery time. David Erstein, MD, board-certified in allergy and immunology and internal medicine, is with Advanced Dermatology P.C. For more, visit advanceddermatologypc.com.
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FLEXING THE KINDNESS MUSCLE
UCLA, said this regarding the value of relaxation for children: ‘We cannot impart the lessons of kindness when we ourselves are agitated and distressed by the tumult in our lives and in our worlds. Likewise, children have difficulty being kind when they are in the grip of negative emotions. This section provides children and adults with the tools to master negative emotions.’ “Anger, fear, frustration, sadness — any emotion can interfere. This is why we have a section in the book on breathing and relaxation. Kids and parents can benefit from these exercises in their daily life (as well as in higher anxiety situations).”
BY GIOVANNI ROSELLI
Atkins is a psychologist, author and frequent guest expert in the media. She is a mother of two adult sons and grandmother of six grandchildren. Over the last several years, I’ve gotten to know Dale and her husband, Rob, who live in Greenwich. Recently, I talked with her about the book she has co-authored her niece, Amanda Salzhauer, “The Kindness Advantage: Cultivating Compassionate and Connected Children.” Why did you write a book about kids and kindness? “Our original plan was to write a book about teaching children how to be charitable and compassionate. It is a topic we had heard others discussing and I had many people ask me about. We also observed kids in our practices and in everyday encounters and were often disappointed to see that many of them were not engaged or connected in the way we know children can be. “As we began the process, we interviewed people whom we viewed as very charitable and then our focus shifted. We realized that most of the people we interviewed shared several characteristics — acceptance, empathy, commitment and others — that comprise the fundamentals of kindness that we write about. Kindness is the anchor for all of these other attributes.” How did you decide to collaborate? “I had the idea for a book about charitable children based on questions and conversations that came up during various talks and media appearances I had done. Ten years ago, after I published “Sanity Savers, Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life,” the recession of 2007-08 was having its effects. For the next few years, I spoke in the media and to groups in different parts of the country about raising financially responsible and charitable children.
Amanda Salzhauer and her aunt, Dale Atkins, with their book, “The Kindness Advantage: Cultivating Compassionate and Connected Children.” Courtesy Dale Atkins.
“Amanda Salzhauer, my co-author and niece, has always lived a charitable and connected life. Her three daughters were always encouraged to work in the garden and ‘serve’ in some way, whether in their everyday lives at home, as mentors in their schools or communities or contributing to their friends’ projects. As we spoke further about raising charitable children and the idea for the book, we decided to write it together. Amanda is a social worker and extremely engaged as a leader in her community.” Why do you include a chapter about offering relaxation tips, techniques and examples in a book about kindness? “Studies of children who regularly practice relaxation techniques strongly support their effectiveness. These children show a heightened compassion for themselves and others, improved focus, increased resilience and self-esteem, and a sense of inner calm. A simple place to start is with ‘belly breathing.’ Having your child practice focusing on his or her breath is a way to calm him or herself. Dr. Norma Feshbach, former chair of the Department of Early Childhood and Developmental Studies at
You talk about people’s brains changing when they help others. Can you discuss the “helper’s high”? “There is actually a physical response in our body. When we do something kind for someone, think kind thoughts, or even watch someone else do something kind, endorphins (‘feel good’ chemicals) are released in our brain. These endorphins improve our mood resulting in the ‘helper’s high.’ What is really amazing is even when we witness an act of kindness, oxytocin is released. Not only is oxytocin connected to increasing self-esteem and optimism, it can lower blood pressure and improve overall heart health. We benefit when we are kind (or observe kindness).” Within the context of survival, it’s known that we have an instinct to be sympathetic and caring. Why do we need to work on it? “Even though we have those instincts, it is important to nurture them. Think of it as a muscle. Although it is part of us, we need to use it to make it stronger. If we don’t use it, it becomes weak or atrophied. Kindness, when practiced, can become a habit. Our kindness muscle can become very strong.” What should a parent do when his child does not want to sacrifice playtime for helping someone? “While we want to encourage families to engage in volunteer or service projects, that should be one part of their family life. We do not want them to resent ‘doing good.’ Like a balanced diet of food, kids need a balanced diet of activities. This would include plenty of unstructured playtime, outdoor time, quiet time and volunteer time. That said, no one thing should be sacrificed at the cost of the others. For more, visit thekindnessadvantagebook. com and reach Giovanni on Twitter @ GiovanniRoselli and at his website, GiovanniRoselli.com.
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PET OF THE MONTH
YOUNG BLUE EYES let those cool blue eyes fool you. Aspen, a gorgeous, young Aussie/Hound mix, has a sweet temperament that lets her blend right in with two- and four-legged creatures. She was rescued from an overcrowded shelter down South — a hard beginning belied by her speckled beauty and huge smile. She’s a cool mixed breed who packs a lot of fun into a small package. To meet Aspen, visit the SPCA of Westchester at 590 N. State Road in Briarcliff Manor. Founded in 1883, the SPCA is a no-kill shelter and is not affiliated with the ASPCA. The SPCA is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. To learn more, call 914- 941-2896 or visit spca914.org.
Photograph by Sebastián Flores. 126
The Perfect Location for your Next Event... Â Â? Â? Â?Â?
GIANT BY ROBIN COSTELLO
Mahopac’s Marie Orser has her house and heart full with an English Mastiff named Jax. Although still just a pup, big things are in store for her boy. She should know. This is Marie’s third time around with a Mastiff. “Jax has a sweet disposition, but does get into mischief like any puppy would,” she says. A common question Marie is asked: How much does he eat? “Oh, he likes to graze all day long, she says, adding that it will take about two years for him to reach his full weight, about 230 pounds. Her recipe for success: “Patience, 30 to 40 pounds of dog food a month (plus scraps and treats) and a sense of humor.” Jax at 11 weeks and 20 pounds. Courtesy Marie Orser. 128
www.BlossomFlower.com 914.304.5376 877.458.1709
WHEN & WHERE
MARCH 2 In honor of Leonard Bernstein, the Borromeo String Quartet presents a program celebrating American music. 8 p.m., Westport Arts Center, 51 Riverside Ave.; 203-222-7070. westportartscenter.org The American Chamber Orchestra offers music to warm your heart during the winter months, including Ravel’s “Bolero”; Bruch's “Scottish Fantasy,” with violin soloist Gary Capozziello; and Grieg's “Holberg Suite.” 7:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 2475 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield; 203-845-7928. americanchamberorchestra.com WPKN Independent Community Radio celebrates its sixth annual “MUSIC MASH Record Fair” with thousands of vinyl LPs, 45s, CDs, posters and memorabilia for sale, along with food and drink. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Read’s Artspace Gallery, 1042 Broad St., Bridgeport; 203-33-9756. wpkn.org
MARCH 3 Fairfield University emeritus professor Orin Grossman and pianist Frederic Chiu present an afternoon of music for one piano, four hands and music for two pianos by Brahms, Saint-Saens, Gottschalk, Gershwin and other favorites. 3 p.m., Fairfield University Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, 1073 N. Benson Road; 203254-4010. quickcenter.fairfield.edu
MARCH 3 AND 31 The Music Conservatory of Westchester presents its new Musical Masters Lecture Series, which consists of in-depth insight from experts on diverse music topics. Michael Boriskin, artistic and executive director of Copland House, will explore the world of chamber music on March 3. Mark Morganelli, artistic director of Tarrytown’s Jazz Forum Arts, will discuss the cross-fertilization between Brazilian music and American jazz on March 31. 2 p.m., 216 Central Ave., White Plains; 914761-3900. musicconservatory.org
Kodo performs March 8 and 9 at the Quick Center.
MARCH 5 THROUGH MAY 4
MARCH 8 AND 9
“Modern Families” is a visual exploration of who and what constitutes the American family today. Noon to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays, ArtsWestchester, 31 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains; 914-428-4220. artsw.org
Japan’s preeminent taiko ensemble, Kodo, showcases the spectacular sonic possibilities of time-honored traditional Japanese drums in its show “Evolution.” 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield University, 1073 N. Benson Road; 203-254-4010. quickcenter.fairfield.edu
MARCH 8 THROUGH 31
MARCH 4 Color Camera Club of Westchester hosts “Making Your Travel Photos Work” by David H. Wells. He displays his photography and discusses tips on lighting, equipment and interacting with subjects. 7:30 p.m., American Legion Hall, 27 Legion Drive, Valhalla; 914769-7758. colorcameraclub.org
"Modern Families" is at ArtsWestchester March 5 through May 4.
M&M Performing Arts Company presents Noël Coward’s comic play, “Blithe Spirit.” When the play’s protagonist, writer Charles Condomine, holds a séance as research for a new mystery novel, he has no idea that he’ll end up being haunted by his now-deceased first wife, Elvira—a ghost that only he can see. Times vary, Lyndhurst Mansion’s Grand Picture Gallery, 635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown; 914-9623431. mmpaci.com
MARCH 9 THROUGH 17
“WALA: Kaleidioscope,” a show of works by 15 artists from the Wilson Avenue Loft Artists (WALA) in Norwalk. Opening celebration 5:30 p.m., Arnold Bernhard Center at the University of Bridgeport, 84 Iranistan Ave.; 203-240-7333. sasd.bridgeport.edu/schelfhaudt-gallery
“Tête-à-Tête: Reinventing the Conversation Bench,” an exhibit of a design competition juried by John Edelman, Patricia Kane and Paul Goldberger. Opening reception, 6 p.m., Westport Arts Center, 51 Riverside Ave.; 203-222-7070. westportartscenter.org
The Clocktower Players present “Annie.” Set in New York during the Great Depression, the story centers on a young orphan, whose luck changes when she’s chosen to spend a fairy-tale Christmas with billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Times vary, 85 Main St., Irvington; 914-400-7428. clocktowerplayers.com
experience something real #PAC1819 March
2 Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Hungarian Fire 9 Orange Is the New Black’s Lea DeLaria Live in Concert 10 Trusty Sidekick Theatre Company Shadow Play 16 Aspen Santa Fe Ballet 23 Portland Cello Project Homage to RADIOHEAD 30 Jazz at The Center Spectacular with Cyrille Aimée April 7 Tiempo Libre Pictured: Cyrille Aimée © Noe Cugny
7 Westchester Philharmonic All-Beethoven Season Finale 20 The Triplets of Belleville 25 BODYTRAFFIC May 4 Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Deeply Inspired 5 Daniel Kelly’s Rakonto: Student Voices
LUCILLE WERLINICH, Chair of Purchase College Foundation
WHERE & WHEN
"Peter Pan and Friends on Ice" is at Westchester Community College March 10.
“Peter Pan and Friends on Ice” - Novelist J.M. Barrie’s classic tale is retold as an ice-dance musical adventure to Neverland, performed by professional ice skaters, singers and acrobatic performers. 3 p.m., Westchester Community College Academic Arts Building Theatre, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla; 914-606-6262. sunywcc. edu/ smartarts
Kate McGloughlin’s “Requiem for Ashokan” tells the story of loss surrounding the devastation her ancestors endured during the creation of the Ashokan Reservoir, New York. This exhibition includes written text, a handmade artist’s book, and audio files narrating both sides of the story from both sides of her family — the settlers and the immigrants. Opening reception, 2 p.m., Center for Contemporary Printmaking, 299 West Ave., Norwalk; 203-899-7999. contemprints.org
MARCH 15 Opening reception for The Greenwich Art Society’s 102nd annual Members Exhibition, a competitive juried show drawing fine artists from the tristate region. 6 p.m., Bendheim Gallery, Greenwich Arts Center, 299 Greenwich Ave.; 203-629-1533. greenwichartsociety.org
MARCH 17 AND 18 The Chamber Players of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra present “Spring Strings,” a concert of music from the classical period to today, including pieces by Haydn, Strauss, Bailen and Bruckner. 4 p.m. Sunday, Round Hill Community Church, 395 Round Hill Road, Greenwich; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Greenwich Arts Council, 299 Greenwich Ave.; 203-637-4725. greenwichsymphony.org
Irvington Town Hall Theater will host the All Shorts Irvington Film Festival (As iFF)’s spring program, “In the Blink of An Eye.” The festival will screen a collection of short films from around the world that capture moving snapshots in time. 7:30 p.m., 85 Main St.; 914-5915434. asiffestival.com
MARCH 30 AND 31
Taconic Opera will present a performance of Verdi’s “Requiem" at two locations — Ossining United Methodist Church and White Plains Presbyterian Church. The requiem is the musical setting of the Roman Catholic funeral mass for the deceased. Verdi's includes four soloists, a double choir and an orchestra. Conducted by Taconic Opera’s director, Dan Montez, the performances will feature the opera’s orchestra, lead singers and chorus. 3 p.m., locations vary; 855-886-7372. taconicopera.org
Friends of Music Concerts presents an evening of 17th and 18th century arrangements performed by the Juilliard Baroque Ensemble. 8 p.m., Pleasantville High School, 60 Romer Ave., Pleasantville; 914-861-5080. friendsofmusicconcerts.org
Presented by ArtsWestchester (artswestchester.org) and the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County (culturalalliancefc.org/FCBuzz-events).
Pianist Vsevolod Zavidov won the 2018 Grand Prize Laureate of The Drozdoff Audition. A prodigy, he debuted at the Grand Hall of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory at 8, has performed around Russia and, as a soloist, has played the concertos of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and Shostakovich. 3 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, 1101 Bedford Street; 347-224-7577. fishchurch.org
World class entertainment in the Bronx
Currents by Maymana
MAYUMANA Sunday, March 3 2019 at 4PM
Directly from Israel
Ticket Prices: $45, $40, $25 Children up to 12, $10 any seat
Directly from Israel, Currents by Maymana is an upbeat performance for all ages.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s & Irish Culture Ticket Prices: $45, $40, $25 Children up to 12, $10 any seat
Sunday, March 24, 2019 at 4PM Created by Chris Hannon, former principal dancer for Lord of the Dance, Murphy’s Celtic Legacy features original choreography combining traditional Irish and modern dance techniques presented with multimedia elements, song and live music.
Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 8PM
Sunday, March 31 2019 at 4PM
Tickets: $100, $65, $60, $55
Russian National Ballet Tickets: $45, $40 and $25 Children up to 12, $10 any seat
The Russian National Ballet brings the world’s most beloved ballet gloriously to life with Tchaikovsky’s classic score!
Fever Records & Sal Abbatiello Presents a night of stellar performances. To see the list of artists performing see our website.
Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 8PM
Complexions Contemporary Ballet Tickets: VIP $75, $45, $40, $25 | Children up to 12, $10 any seat
The International hit rock ballet, “Star Dust, A David Bowie Tribute,” commissioned by Detroit’s own Music Hall makes its Lehman Center debut to dazzle audiences with its spellbinding glamour!
Murphy’s Celtic Legacy
Saturday, March 23 2019 at 8PM Tickets: VIP $100, $65, $55, $45
Grupo Niche is a salsa group founded in 1978 in Cali, Colombia. Currently based in Cali, Colombia, it enjoys great popularity throughout Latin America.
Ruben sings Luther
Saturday, March 30 2019 at 8PM Tickets: VIP $75, $45, $40, $25
Ruben Studdard: American Idol winner, actor, singer with 5 top ten hits including Superstar, a Luther Vandross hit. Put the two together and you have a larger than life recreation of a Luther Vandross concert.
Box Office 718.960.8833 Online tickets and full schedule www.LehmanCenter.org Kids up to 12, $10 all seats VIP Reception & Prime Seating
Program subject to change Box Office fees will apply
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! Azure Stages, a professional soundstage in Scarsdale, recently celebrated its grand opening. Attendees received a studio tour, a complimentary professional headshot from Shan Wong and a lesson in how to take better photographs and make better videos from the experts on hand. The facility is utilized by clients in the film, video production and photography industries for commercials, event and modeling photography, features, special-effects shots, media tours and much more. Photographs by Ricky Restiano Photography.
1. Barry S. Surman, Joe Piacentino, Robert DePalma and Natasha Caputo 2. Eric Newland 3. Phil Gries, Michael Barry and Topher Reifeiss 4. Gavin Rosenberg, Marty Napoleon and Daren Caesar 5. Maria Licari and Angela Civale Abate 6. Christina Rae, Rachael Engelhardt, Karen Roberts and Alessia Bicknese 7. Robert Bruzio 8. Topher Reifeiss 9. Tom Vincent and Dan Traglia 10. Giovanni Manna, Alessandro Torma and Steven Komito
Westchester Community College recently presented the institution’s 33rd annual President’s Forum event, “Where Are We Now?,” featuring a distinguished panel of politicians, journalists, historians and other intellectuals on a topic of political importance. The event, moderated by Brian Lehrer, began with a luncheon, continued with a panel discussion and concluded with a reception. 1 Alexis Grennell; Christina Greer, MD; Brian Lehrer; Douglas Shoen; Belinda S. Miles; Ari Fleischer; and John Berman
More than 250 people from the lower Hudson Valley were in attendance at the Falkirk Estate & Country Club in Central Valley as the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors (HGAR) welcomed Ron Garafalo, sales manager with John J. Lease Realtors in Middletown, as its 2019 president. Renee Zurlo, regional manager with BHG Rand Realty in Central Valley, was reelected as the 2019 president of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service (HGMLS). HGAR is a nonprofit trade association consisting of almost 12,000 real estate professionals doing business in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties as well as the Bronx and Manhattan.
2. Barry Kramer, Ron Garofalo and John Crittenden 3. Deb Clark, Rachael Heiss and Kerri Stretch 4. Ed Day, Maureen Halahan, Richard Haggerty, Ann Garti and Jennifer Stevenson 5. Nicole and Rey Hollingsworth and Teresa Belmore 6. Renee Zurlo
The Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation, the charitable arm of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, recently presented a check for $15,000 to Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, located in Tarrytown. Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
7. Mary Prenon, Robert Shandley, Krissy DiFranceso, Maryann Tercasio, Tom Conklin, Gail Fattizzi, Stephanie Liggio, Ron Garafalo, Crystal Hawkins Syska, Cathleen Stack and Aimee DeCesare
Approximately 150 people attended Westfair Communicationsâ€™ C-Suite Awards ceremony. Many who gathered in Stamford for the evening were eager to be photographed before and during the event. Photographs by Bob Rozycki.
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Tom Gabriel, Janine Prete and Loretta Spence Barrie Adedeji, Fred Welk and Dawn Reshen-Doty Amalia Escalera, Maria Escalera and Sofia Escalera Grace Ferri, Kelvin Hui and Lee Baldwin Bob Robustelli and Chris Jones Tim Tulfer and Kathy Downey Meryl Hertz and John Gettings III John Vuono and Viorica Ghetu-Vuono Valerie C. Smith, Joanne Dunn and Elissa Ramos Joe Jenkins, Lindsay Fenety, Bill Benefiel and Richard Sgaglio 11. KC Moonan, Vitas Jalinskas, Laura Jalinskas and Deb Ryan 12. Hayley Morland, Margaret Mead and Jennifer Carroll 13. Bernard Petersen
Honoring: Susan Fox President and CEO of White Plains Hospital May 8, 2019 Tappan Hill Mansion, Tarrytown, NY Featuring Emcee: Janice Dean Meteorologist for Fox & Friends To register or donate, visit womenonthemovenyc.org.
Congratulations C Suite Honorees
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It’s one of our favorite shows of the year — the “St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester Trend Presentation” at Neiman Marcus Westchester in White Plains to support the Harrison-based provider of mental health, addiction recovery and residential services. Chuck Steelman, special events coordinator for Neiman Marcus, was on hand Feb. 7 to give the 75 women in attendance NM fashion director Ken Downing’s 411 on the spring trends. Steelman divided the trends into five fashion personalities — the hopeless romantic who indulges the eternal feminine with ruffles and bows; the free spirit questing in rich patterns, textures and spice colors; the colorful personality in saturated shades; the urban sophisticate in polished power suits and sleek moto jackets (thank goodness the moto hasn’t left us); and the go-getter, jet-setting the world in statement jackets, matching sets and layering pieces. What we also observed is that big earrings and sunglasses remain “in,” apricot, creams and white are also hot colors; shorts are back, along with the power suit; and fashionistas can continue to pair their fancy dresses with casual jackets by day and fun furs by night, Steelman said. The scarf dress and the scarf hat (think Johnny Depp’s bandana in “Pirates of the Caribbean”) are also big. Though the guys didn’t hit the runway — what a pity — Neiman’s has identified some trends for them. They include athletic-tech effects in tailored clothing made of performance fabrics with tech details, bombers in beige and tan, metallic sneakers, floral-print sportswear, muted olive and grassy palettes, distressed denim and the belt bag (an abbreviated backpack worn like a crossbody.) For more, visit stvincentswestchester.org and neimanmarcus.com. Photographs by Sebastián Flores.
1. Chuck Steelman. 2. Margaret Sutton, Georgette Gouveia and Marie Silverman Mariche. 3-15. Some of the hot looks from the “St. Vincent’s Hospital Westchester Trend Presentation” at Neiman Marcus Westchester Feb. 7.
The Connecticut Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CTAHPERD) recently selected Bronson Starsiak of Simsbury as the recipient of its Young Advocate Award. Starsiak was recognized at CTAHPERD’s annual awards reception at the Red Lion Hotel in Cromwell for co-founding S.K.O.R.E. (Students Keen on Recycling Equipment). The nonprofit collects new and gently used sports equipment and partners with underserved schools, teams, churches and communities to help outfit students for sports in order to promote health, self-esteem and collaboration. To date, the S.K.O.R.E. organization has placed sports equipment into the hands of more than 2,000 Connecticut students 16. Karen Bosworth and Bronson Starsiak
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Recently, Heineken USA hosted business leaders from the Westchester community for its 15th annual holiday party. Guests were treated to hot d’oeuvres and Heineken beverages, including the company’s new nonalcoholic drinks. Attendees learned that for the 15th year in a row, Heineken USA had partnered with the city of White Plains and the White Plains Business Improvement District for its “New Year. Safe Ride.” program. On New Year’s Eve, a dedicated fleet of 30 cars, provided complimentary rides home for those 21 and older traveling from the heart of downtown White Plains to anywhere across Westchester County. Since its inception, the successful program has provided free and safe rides home to thousands of Westchester County residents of legal drinking age. Photographs by Shan Wong, Azure Stages.
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Tara Rush Stephanie Kersten-Johnston Tom Roach Carole Sears Maureen Falvey, Tara Pallisco and Matt Skinner Donia Vance, Margot Brady and Lisa Kennedy Jill Coronel Natasha Caputo and Christina Rae Hannah Gerety, Aleesia Bicknese and Andrea Chnowski 10. Sibylla Chipaziwa, William Knight and Brooke Bizzell Stachyra
BRUNCH AT ALVIN’S
Recently seen at Alvin & Friends in New Rochelle two of WAG’s favorite actresses, CCH Pounder (star of “Avatar,” “NCIS: New Orleans”) and Lorraine Toussaint (“Orange is the New Black,” “Selma) Both stopped in for a leisurely Sunday brunch at the hometown hot spot. Be sure to catch Lorraine’s new show “The Village,” which debuts on NBC on March 12th.
11. Gwen and Alvin Clayton and Lorraine Toussaint and CCH Pounder
ENCOUNTER WITH BUDDHISM Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan once again hosted the Labrang Tashi Kyil monks for a highly visual and experiential cultural event as part of the monks’ 2019 USA Tour. The four-day event — aimed at educating the public about the culture and religion of Tibet and the teachings of the Dharma while raising funds for the monks’ monastery — took place from Jan. 25 -28 with a special presentation for the public Jan. 26. 1-3. The Labrang Tashi Kyil monks made their third visit to Silver Hill.
Wartburg in Mount Vernon hosted its inaugural “Music Under the Stars” with an intimate meet-andgreet under the tent in the meadow on Wartburg’s campus followed by a performance by Dominic Chianese, best-known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano’s uncle Junior in “The Sopranos.” As an accomplished tenor, he has spent more than 30 years spreading joy through music by performing in nursing homes. He is currently filming a CBS series, “The Village,” scheduled to air this spring. 4. Dominic Chianese and David J. Gentner, MD
On Feb. 7, Scarsdale celebrated the grand opening of Medi Tresse, a medical practice that specializes in female hair rejuvenation. Medi Tresse’s mission is to offer women with all types of hair loss the chance to regain fuller and more luxurious hair. The Medi Tresse team understands how emotionally devastating thinning hair of any kind can be and provides clients with nonsurgical hair re-growth treatments. Photographs by Aaron Kershaw. 5. Kimberly Pryslak; Antonella Montiverdi; Dan Hochvert; Mary Wendel, MD; and Mark DiStefano, MD
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IF YOU COU LD REDESIG N ANY THING , WHAT WOU LD IT BE?
“If I could redesign anything, it would be our infrastructure (highways, city layouts, etc.) I don’t know anything about architecture or engineering, so I wouldn’t exactly be up to the task, but I just feel that if you were starting from scratch, you could find a more efficient way for everyone to get around.”
“Bras! Women wear bras every day, they’re such an integral item and yet they are so uncomfortable and primitive. I’d be proud to put my name on a better way to ‘support’ women.”
“Hands down, I would redesign my apartment. I live in a studio apartment, so space is very important to me. I feel like the layout of my apartment makes it harder for me to make good use of my space. You know what? Let’s redesign all apartments to maximize space efficiency, that way I’m not the only one who benefits.”
“I’d redesign motorcycles to have better safety features. I don’t own one, but I’ve always wanted one. But it’s always seemed like such an unnecessary gamble. There has to be a way to keep it fun and thrilling while improving on the important aspect of safety.”
“My glasses! I know glasses probably aren’t the most important thing to fix in our society, but I am frequently losing them, dropping them and having to adjust them. It’s such a hassle. I’d love if there was a pair of glasses that didn’t slide but didn’t pinch my nose and distract me all day.”
Bill Powell geologist Bronx resident
librarian New Rochelle resident
“You didn’t say it had to be a physical redesign, so I would do a renovation on our school structure. It feels like the whole way we go about educating people is backwards. There are so many kids who fall through the cracks and so many support structures that are lacking in every school district. I think that’s an important thing to take a second look at and redesign.”
“I would redesign how we park our cars. Parking lots are so huge and inefficient. I was just in Japan, and there’s an amazing focus on saving space and time where possible. I think we could use more thinking like that here. I’d start with parking lots, because it would free up a lot of space in our towns and cities and I drive to school and work, so it would have an immediate impact on my life.”
“The first thing I would redesign would be baby carrying devices. My wife and I just had our first child and strollers, car seats and baby carriers are all very complicated and I’m always worried that something is going to collapse or pop out or something because there are so many pieces to lock and buttons and things. I’d love a simpler, safe way to bring my baby out of the house with me.”
“I find the world to be pretty efficient the way it is. I hope that isn’t a nonanswer. I just feel that we put so much effort on improving things, always moving forward, that we can forget how great things are in this moment. The world has never been easier to navigate or learn about than it is now. I think that’s important to remember.”
“I think I’d most like to redesign public transportation. It’s obviously pretty good as it is, but I think with a fresh pair of eyes and some creativity it could be even better. I don’t know enough about bus routes and the physical limitations of where trains and things can travel, but I feel that with the information and logistics we have now, we could figure out an even more seamless way to commute, travel and explore our world.”
student White Plains resident
teacher New York City resident
writer Bronxville resident
student White Plains resident
bartender Yonkers resident
handyman Yorktown resident
*Asked throughout central and northern Westchester County at various businesses.
data analyst Scarsdale resident
financial adviser Chappaqua resident