Our passage to India
With John Rizzo & Jeremy Wayne
SERGEI POLUNINâ€™S leap to self-determination THE QUEST FOR CIVIL RIGHTS: Billie Jean King, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy JAMES PATTERSON A literary venture with Bill Clinton TRAVEL BY DESIGN With Jamie Creel and Markham Roberts CRUISING THE HIGH SEAS The Crystal, Regent and Oceania lines
Inspired Journeys JUDGED A
MAGAZINE WESTCHESTER & FAIRFIELD LIFE JUNE 2018 | WAGMAG.COM
IN NEW YORK STATE 2014, 2015, 2016
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Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo areregistered (or unregistered) service marks used with permission. Operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Real estate agents affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. are independent contractor sales associates and are notemployees of Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Equal Housing Opportunity.
CONTENTS J U NE 201 8
The journey to becoming who you are
An ace of a humanist
The not-always friendly skies
Next stop the moon
Oceania's world, your way
Along came James Patterson – and Bill Clinton
The world at your fingertips
Where in the world is Jamie Creel?
Beyond the Gideons Bible
The lure of the Thunder Dragon
31,000 miles to healing
Map to success
When the ‘World’ came to NY
The sound of silents
Sergei Polunin’s turning point
‘Adjustment Day’ is here
Sensous, spiritual India
There’s no place like home for a good curry
Balloon safari over The Serengeti. Photograph by John Rizzo.
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WIT If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?
Our passage to India
With John Rizzo & Jeremy Wayne
SERGEI POLUNIN’S leap to self-determination THE QUEST FOR CIVIL RIGHTS: Billie Jean King, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy JAMES PATTERSON A literary venture with Bill Clinton TRAVEL BY DESIGN With Jamie Creel and Markham Roberts CRUISING THE HIGH SEAS The Crystal, Regent and Oceania lines
Inspired Journeys JUDGED A
MAGAZINE WESTCHESTER & FAIRFIELD LIFE JUNE 2018 | WAGMAG.COM
IN NEW YORK STATE 2014, 2015, 2016
See story on page 94. Painted elephant and driver. A driver was tending to his uniquely painted elephant, where no two are the same – at Amber Fort, located seven miles outside the city of Jaipur. Elephants are used to carry visitors to the fort from the base of a hill. Amber Fort was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan,before the capital was shifted to present-day Jaipur. Photograph by John Rizzo.
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TH E TALENT B EH I N D O U R PAG E S
JENA A. BUTTERFIELD
DEBBI K. KICKHAM
LAURA JOSEPH MOGIL
BARBARA BARTON SLOANE
COVER FEATURE: WAG'S PASSAGE TO INDIA STARTS ON PAGE 92. Photograph by John Rizzo.
NEW WAGGERS It all started for SEAN SMITH when illustrator Sheilah Beckett drove herself to the hospital in her AustinHealey 100-4 one December day to have her son. By 2Â½, Sean was a cocktail party entertainer, identifying pictures of various exotic cars. Sean now shoots and writes for numerous prestigious American and European automotive magazines, in addition to his work for all the top auction houses and private commissions.
JOHN TROCCOLI, M.D., F.A.A.D., attended Yale University where he graduated summa cum laude with distinction in psychobiology. He earned his medical degree from Harvard University. Troccoli is board certified in dermatology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He has worked as an associate at Advanced Dermatology PC since 1997.
EDITOR’S LETTER G EO RG E T TE GO U VEIA
une WAG finds us taking to the open road, the high seas and the not-always friendly skies for our annual travel issue. It’s an opportunity to salute our cast of Wanderers — Jeremy, who’s on the trail of the burgeoning food scene in New Delhi; and Debbi, our queen of cruises, this time aboard Crystal Cruises. Meanwhile, cover photographer John Rizzo — who leads photographic tours around the world — weighs in on his work in India, while Doug, our resident Dionysus, reports from under the Tuscan sun, as it were. Thus, our worldly Waggers offer two compelling subthemes this month — the Indian Subcontinent and cruises. Audrey — who has had an illustrious career abroad with her foreign correspondent husband, Seymour Topping — recalls her time in the kingdom of Bhutan. Gina, an adventurous foodie, checks out Oceania Cruises, which teams with everyone from Canyon Ranch to Jacques Pépin, while Danielle explores Regent Cruises. They’re just two of the companies that work with Courtyard Travel, the boutique agency with a global reach that we first learned about during a travel-fashion trunk show at Neiman Marcus Westchester. Elsewhere, we consider the effects of travel on related career paths. Mary visits with Jamie Creel at his Manhattan “cabinet of curiosities,” Creel and Gow, and interior designer Markham Roberts — both of whom she first encountered at the Bruce Museum’s annual “Art of Design” panel in Greenwich — and discovers just how much some pretty glamorous trips have influenced their work. Laura has a piece about a Stamford woman, Jane Ubell-Meyer, who provides luxe hotels with the latest best sellers and new releases in a program called Bedside Reading. Could anything be more fun? Perhaps Danielle’s trip to Sweet Charlie’s in Mamaroneck for hand-rolled ice cream. (Hmm. Yum.) But life isn’t all hand-rolled ice cream and snuggling up with a good book. It isn’t all hygge — the Danish/Norwegian word for cozy contentment. (See Jane’s column.) “I’ve been on a journey my whole life,” says barre instructor Lori Laub, featured in our Wellness section. That journey has led her to some painful discoveries about her father, the late Josef Guttman Best, who survived at least four concentration camps and whose own journey to a new life in America she recounts for others. 14
A painted elephant. Photograph by John Rizzo.
Journeys — including the inspired ones we describe here — are, of course, different from vacations. Often, their companions are love and loss, as Connecticut-reared author David Margolick learned when he wrote “The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy”; as Billie Jean King learned in a brilliant career as a tennis player and civil rights advocate that led her on an odyssey of sexual self-discovery; as Hastings-on-Hudson author Laura Farenthold learned in a series of road trips with her daughters in search of their late husband and father (Jena’s piece); and as travel expert and former Pan Am flight attendant Wendy Sue Knecht learned when the Indian crew she had trained was fatally hijacked in Karachi in 1986. But journeys are also open-ended. June WAG includes an un-WAG-like story about the Ukrainian ballet star Sergei Polunin, seen on local movie screens recently in the Bolshoi Ballet simulcast of “Giselle.” Polunin’s own journey took him from
poverty in Ukraine to prodigious and prodigal success with the Royal Ballet in London, where he realized that ballet stardom was his mother’s dream for him, not his own. Which is the greater hell — desire without talent or talent without desire? Is ballet the road unrecognized here or is he meant to explore other paths? As Ursula Le Guin writes in “The Left Hand of Darkness”: “It is good to have an end to journey toward. But it is the journey that matters, in the end.” A winner of a 2018 Folio Women in Media award, Georgette Gouveia is the author of “The Penalty for Holding” (Less than Three Press), a Lambda Literary Awards finalist; and “Water Music” (Greenleaf Book Group). They’re the first two novels in her series “The Games Men Play,” which is also the name of the sports/culture blog she writes at thegamesmenplay.com. You can also find her novel “Seamless Sky” and installments of her “Daimon: A Novel of Alexander the Great” on wattpad.com.
The journey to becoming who you are BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
“It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish,” composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Dorothy Fields observed in the 1973 musical “Seesaw.” It’s an odd observation when you consider that “Seesaw” is based on the play “Two for the Seesaw” by William Gibson (of “The Miracle Worker” fame), about the brief love affair between a midwestern lawyer who can’t let go of his ex and a bohemian New York dancer. But the sentiment expressed in the song is nonetheless a very human one and a very American one. We all love stories about people who travel from point A to point Z, if only in the mind, to recreate themselves. America itself was founded by such people, initially from Europe but today from all over the globe, who believe with the 19th-century novelist George Eliot that ,“It’s never too late to be the person you might’ve been.” Much of the time this takes the form of a physical transformation, because who doesn’t love a good makeover story, whether it’s a house or a body on scores of TV shows (“The Biggest Loser,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) or a movie goddess slumming it to become, well, the movie goddess she already is. (See Cher in “Moonstruck,” Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” Barbra Streisand in “The Mirror Has Two Faces” and Jennifer Lopez in “Maid in Manhattan.”) There’s also the Cinderella sports story that usually involves a male name that begins with the letter “R” (“Rocky,” “Rudy”) and the rags-toriches, overcoming adversity story that usually ends the nightly news on a feel-good note. Consider Ieshia Champs, who overcame horrific loss — her house in a fire, her job, the father of two of her children to cancer, her mother — to graduate magna cum laude from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law on May 11 while raising five children ages 5 to 14. We can find examples of these archetypal tales in everyday life, but many of us like to draw, too, on the lives of the saints, perhaps the ultimate “it’s not
where you start” group. Generally, they were no angels — at least not at the beginning of their life journeys. But then came that road-to-Damascus revelation (literally, for St. Paul) and they set off on a different path. For St. Francis — a golden boy in 12th-century Assisi — an encounter with a beggar and time spent as a prisoner of war recovering from an illness enabled him to see in his own suffering that of others, until in the end he could find in the suffering of others his own. You don’t have to be a saint, of course, to undergo such transformation. England’s most heroic king, Henry V, begins as something of a playboy — at least in one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, “Henry IV, Part 1.” In his brilliant Act 1 soliloquy, Shakespeare’s “Prince Hal” suggests that he will imitate the sun, "Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That, when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wonder’d at By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapours that did seem to strangle him." The real medieval Prince Harry was already a courageous leader and capable administrator in his youth, though some historians agree with the Bard that when he became king, he adopted a new asceticism — and never looked back. “The War of the Roses” (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988) describes historian Tito Livio observing in 1437: “…As the old king lay dying, the prince, now designated his father’s successor, summoned a monk of exemplary purity to whom he confessed his past sins, and from that time his way of life and habits were completely changed. After the death of his father, his life was free from every taint of lustfulness.” This kind of transformation story — in which you start at the top only to find it wanting — is the trickiest, most complex and, perhaps, ultimately, the most telling. For anyone can renounce a life of poverty and ugliness for something more. But to sacrifice, to open yourself like a flower in a spiritual or secular cause when you have much — as in the Indian Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha, or Scrooge after his three spectral Christmas visitors — is to look at worldly excellence and say, “there must be something more that I can do,” and that takes a real desire for transcendence. I often think of the tennis player Andre Agassi, a real punk kid with a world of talent who hated tennis because his father forced him to play it. He took drugs and didn’t always play up to his potential, particularly in his early Slam finals. But as
Despite its rich garb, this portrait hints at the austerity Henry V adopted as a king.
he matured, he began to see the value of the education he squandered in his youth. He created the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, which has raised millions for the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy for underprivileged children, a charter school in his native Las Vegas, and wrote the wise, funny, “Open: An Autobiography” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009) that shows real writing talent. He became what he “might’ve been,” but then, who he and we might’ve been is who we should be, who we are, deep down inside. We just have to bring it up and out into the light, fighting for the air every step of the way. We just have to begin — or start again. “The world is round,” observed the former U.S. Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest, “and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”
This kind of transformation story — in which you start at the top only to find it wanting — is the trickiest, most complex and, perhaps, ultimately, the most telling.
Billie Jean King 18
An ace of a humanist BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN RIZZO
“What does WAG stand for?” Billie Jean King asks. “A wit or a gossip, but we like to think it means ‘Women Are Great,’” comes the reply. King roars with laughter. “I love it,” she says, punching the air as she raises her fists in a series of small, fluid gestures. “Toot your own horn a bit.” For most of her life, the tennis legend has been helping others do just that, galvanizing those who might’ve been unsure of the first step. She has been called a feminist, an activist for women, the LGBTQ community and other minority groups. But for her, feminism and activism are part of a larger “ism” — humanism. Anything less is limiting. “When women do something for women, it puts us in a box,” she says. She is well-aware of the irony of that statement at a press briefing before a benefit for Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Fund for Women & Girls at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich. The fund supports underserved women in everything from getting an education to starting a business to leaving an abusive relationship. (On this day, it will raise more than $700,000, with King spurring the effort with a $10,000 contribution of her own.) She knows that at a time when women do not earn pay equal to that of men for equal work; when U.S. maternal mortality is rising, particularly in the black community; when violence against women is a global crisis, “women understandably have this need to reach out to women. And women are leaders. What you do for them is not just for women but for children and nonprofits. When you help girls, you’re helping people. But it’s important to think of all genders.” And linking various concerns: The students advocating gun control — whom King sees as the heirs to the nonviolent struggles of Martin Luther King Jr. — should be talking to the leaders of Black Lives Matter, she says by way of example. “It’s important to help each by listening to each other,” she says. Shortly thereafter we go off to a scrumptious lunch in a ballroom embellished by centerpieces of roses, tulips and hydrangeas anchored by tennis balls in honor of the sport and the woman who helped shape it. We tend to think that those who achieve greatness in a particular profession must’ve emerged from the womb virtually clutching a stethoscope, a slide ruler — or a racket. But as King describes at the luncheon and in her book “Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes” (LifeTime Media Inc., 2008), tennis wasn’t her first love. Growing 20
Billie Jean King serves up a dynamic talk in Greenwich.
up modestly in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s — the dutiful daughter of a strict Navy man turned firefighter and a homemaking mother who preached persistence and the adoring big sister of a baseball-loving brother (future San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Randy Moffitt) — Billie Jean was enchanted by the piano. “In the 1950s and 1960s, (tennis) was still perceived as a country club sport,” she writes in her book with co-author Christine Brennan, “and we definitely were not a country-club family.” It wasn’t until the fifth grade — when her friend Susan Williams asked her if she would like to play tennis with her at the Virginia Country Club — that King first learned of the sport. “What’s tennis?” she asked.
You get to run, jump and hit a ball, Susan told her. Here King, a born performer, looks out at the audience with an expression of astonished delight. “Those are my three most favorite things,” she remembers telling Susan, with whom she’s still friends and who’s on her “morning blessings list.” The tennis lessons offered by Clyde Walker — the instructor for Long Beach’s Parks, Recreation and Marine department — were free on Tuesdays, but King needed a racket, which, her father said, she would have to pay for herself. “He was very good on delayed gratification,” she says to audience laughter. Working odd jobs in the neighborhood, she saved $8.29 in a Mason jar and plunked it down at Brown’s Sporting Goods for a racket whose strings
and grip were purple, her favorite color. It was soon clear on Long Beach’s public courts, Long Beach Polytechnic High School, California State University, Los Angeles — where she majored in history and met her future husband, Larry King — that Billie Jean had greater hand-eye coordination for tennis than she did for the piano. Today, tennis players are among the world’s richest athletes. But when King was starting out on tour in the early 1960s, the men made little; the women, less. In 1968 — the beginning of the “Open Era,” in which professionals were admitted to the Grand Slam tournaments alongside amateurs — Wimbledon champion Rod Laver earned 2,000 pounds (roughly $33,638 in today’s money). In earning her third Wimbledon crown that year, King earned 750 pounds. ($17,627 today). Two years later, she, Jane “Peaches” Bartkowicz, Rosemary Casals, Judy Tegart Dalton, Julie Heldman, Kristy Pigeon, Kerry Melville Reid, Nancy Richey and Valerie Ziegenfuss would form the Virginia Slims tour, with backing from Gladys Heldman, publisher of World Tennis magazine, and Joseph Cullman III, president of Philip Morris USA. Out of that tour grew the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Says King of her role: “I had a vision for the sport and decided to go for it.” But despite a higher profile and greater prize money, the respect for women’s tennis — with its eye-catching Ted Tinling tennis dresses — was still not there, particularly after rival and world No. 1 Margaret Court lost a match to flamboyant former world No. 1 and promoter Bobby Riggs, who was 25 years older than she. With the women’s movement at its height and Riggs grabbing the taunting headlines, King had little choice but to rise to the challenge, playing Riggs in a “Battle of the Sexes” winner-take-all $100,000 match that was as much a cultural phenomenon as it was a sporting event. King entered the Houston Astrodome on Sept. 20, 1973, enthroned like Cleopatra on a feathered litter carried by four bare-chested “servants”; Riggs in a rickshaw pulled by skimpily clad models. He gave her a big Sugar Daddy. She presented him with a piglet (as in male chauvinist…). Some 90 million people worldwide — 50 million in America, glued to ABC-TV — saw a fit, 29-year-old King defeat Riggs in straight sets — 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. For viewers and their contemporaries, it would remain a touchstone — President Barack Obama would tell King that he watched the match as a 12-year-old — one that would be reimagined in the 2001 TV-movie “When Billie Beat Bobby,” starring Holly Hunter and Ron Silver; the 2013 documentary “The Battle of the Sexes”; the 2017 feature “Battle of the Sexes,” starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell; and the recent One Year Lease Theater Co. production “Balls.”
What many do not know is the two had a respectful affection for each other. Bobby, she writes, “acted like a true gentleman when the match was done, he behaved with integrity and he was a great sport.” King spoke with him often before his death from prostate cancer in 1995, including a phone call the night before he died in which the last thing she said to him was “I love you.” King would recall this in a US Open interview
Some 90 million people worldwide — 50 million in America, glued to ABC-TV — saw a fit, 29-year-old King defeat Riggs in straight sets.
in 2006, the year the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens was named for her. It was a professional highlight in a life of highlights, including 39 Grand Slam titles — 12 in women’s singles, 16 in women’s doubles and 11 in mixed doubles, including a record 20 at Wimbledon. The professional triumphs have been accompanied by personal pain. In the luncheon’s question-and-answer session with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation president and CEO Juanita T. James, King is candid about her lesbianism, which she discovered in 1968, and her inability to deal with it publicly for many years, in part because of her parents’ homophobia, which led to an eating disorder. She finally was able to talk with them about her sexuality in 1994. By then, she and Larry had been divorced seven years. (She is godmother to his son by a subsequent marriage.) And she had fallen in love with Ilana Kloss, her South African-born doubles partner. Today, they are business and life partners and a fit King is active in any number of gay-related issues. She’s on the board of the AIDS Foundation established by her friend, Elton John, who with lyricist Bernie Taupin wrote “Philadelphia Freedom” for her World TeamTennis organization, the Philadelphia Freedoms. As the luncheon ends, the song comes up and King rises to lob balls into the standing, clapping audience as if she never left the court.
The not-always friendly skies BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
Wendy Sue Knecht, above and right, poses in the turbofan 22 of WAGMAG.COM JUNE 2018 engine one of Pan Am's planes.
Wendy Sue Knecht has always loved to travel. Born in Columbus, Ohio, raised in West Orange, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Arizona, she had already seen a good deal of the country by the time career choices loomed large. “In college, I thought, I’d love to see the world.” So she set out to do just that by becoming a stewardess with Pan Am World Airways, a job she held from 1979 to ’91 when Pan Am went out of business. She then worked for Delta Airlines part time for 20 years. “From traveling, I got a lot of ideas,” she says, like Beyond a Bag, “a travel bag that starts out small, expands and reverses to multitask.” It’s available on Amazon now and under the Jenni Chan brand on the Home Shopping Network in the fall. Knecht’s love of travel and design brought her recently to a travel fashion trunk show at Neiman Marcus Westchester that also introduced us to Courtyard Travel and Regent Cruises. (See
Photographs courtesy Wendy Sue Knecht.
related stories in this issue.) Along with her great travel tips — chief of which is “travel light… if you have enough for a week, you have enough for a month” — we were intrigued by the title of her 2014 book “Life, Love, and a Hijacking: My Pan Am Memoir.” So, Life: Knecht was a flight attendant in the days when they weren’t called that and didn’t come in different shapes and sizes. As a stewardess for Pam Am — whose name conjures images of a Park Avenue skyscraper that is now the MetLife building, Leonardo DiCaprio’s rogue pilot in “Catch Me if You Can” and the Beatles deplaning with signature Pan Am bags on their first flight to America — Knecht had to be as glamorous as the airline she worked for. That meant a certain height (which she just cleared at 5 feet, 2 inches and ¼) and weight (height-appropriate, which meant thin), with makeup expertly applied and her luxuriant curls corralled. Pam Am stewardesses also had to be college-educated and proficient in a second language. (Knecht’s was Spanish, and she would be based in Miami.) Love: Later, the outlandish discrimination stewardesses endured, including being fired for gaining approximately five pounds, would be among the cases in “Sex-Based Discrimination,” a casebook edited in part by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Earlier on, Knecht says, “we didn’t know about political correctness.” Inappropriate remarks, a world based on how you looked “went with the territory.” Unlike some of her colleagues, she wasn’t out to get a husband. As Knecht writes, friends found her picky when dating and skeptical about marriage. She dated a pilot when she was in her 20s and he in his 40s. “I thought he was an old guy.” One she respected though. “I have so much faith in our pilots. At Pan Am, they were sky gods.” She also dated a passenger — which she decided
to avoid doing in the future. She writes well of Dan, a Texas ex-patriot she fell in love with in India, but marrying him and living in places like Saudi Arabia while he pursued his career with an engineering firm would’ve clipped her wings. Instead, she married later rather than sooner. Her husband is a doctor whom she identifies in the book only as Dr. K. They live in Studio City, California, and are the parents of the furry, four-legged Murray. A hijacking: Knecht had some close calls — a rapid decompression, an engine fire. But nothing like she experienced on Sept. 5, 1986. She had trained a flight crew based in Bombay (now Mumbai) and had gotten close to its members, particularly Neerja Bhanot, who overcame an abusive arranged marriage to become a model as well as a flight attendant. On leave from Pan Am, Knecht returned to Bombay to see Dan and ran into the flight crew she had trained on its way to Frankfurt. Hours later, Pan Am 747 Flight 73 with 379 passengers and 13 crew members was hijacked to Karachi, Pakistan, by members of the Abu Nidal Organization, who
demanded to be taken to Cyprus. Per Pan Am protocol, which was to keep the plane grounded, the cockpit crew fled through an escape hatch in the cockpit. That left the cabin crew, led by purser Bhanot, to defend the passengers against the terrorists, who opened fire when the auxiliary power went off and tossed in hand grenades. In the end, 22 were killed and 100 injured. Among them was Bhanot, who died shielding three minors. Knecht helped comfort the survivors and attended Bhanot’s cremation. “I’m still friends with her family and got involved with the movie ‘Neerja.’” More than 30 years later, Bhanot remains a hero in India. Her brother and sister have visited Knecht in Los Angeles. “They help keep her alive.” The searing experience hasn’t stopped Knecht from traveling. (We talked just before she left for a trip to Dijon, France.) “You just have to live your life,” she says. For more, visit wendysueknecht.com.
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Alyssa Schaier of Courtyard Travel Ltd. sampling fried tarantula. Photographs courtesy Courtyard Travel Ltd. 26
Next stop the moon BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
“What’s nice about Courtyard Travel is that it has all the resources that come with being part of a major company yet all the service of a boutique hotel,” Alyssa Schaier says.
The Maldives, a popular destination.
Schaier handles marketing and sales for the “ultra-leisure, luxury” business, part of Tzell Travel Group, the fourth-largest travel management company in the United States, with annual sales of $4 billion. While based in Great Neck, New York, Courtyard has clients around the nation. Three of its 39 employees serve the Westchester-Fairfield market. Recently, Courtyard has collaborated with Neiman Marcus Westchester on two events — a travel fashion trunk show featuring travel expert-entrepreneur Wendy Knecht and Regent Cruises; and a barre class spotlighting instructor Lori Laub and Oceania Cruises. (See related stories.) More recently, Courtyard president Sheila Yellin was slated to do an event at West Point on stressfree travel for military families — “I’m honored to see if I can help” — and an “exciting” one with foodie cruise line Oceania at the 92nd Street Y with chefs Jacques Pépin and Anthony Bourdain. Relationships are what it’s all about for Yellin, who founded the company “at least three decades ago.” She met Schaier at a promotional event and brought her on board. “We have global relationships with resorts, hotels and tour operators to get clients VIP treatment,” Yellin says. “We pride ourselves on service. We’re not just order takers. We’re always here for the clients….It’s a 24-hour service. If someone needs help, I get the call.” Adds Schaier: “Everyone thinks he’s a travel agent just like everyone who reads WebMD thinks
he’s a doctor. But the computer is not going to understand nuances if something is wrong.” The result, Yellin says, is a sense of security with Courtyard from the moment you leave your home to the moment you return, whether you’ve traveled to Portugal, Malta and Croatia or the Maldives or Argentina. These are the hot destinations this season, she says, along with river cruises. France, Italy, Greece and the Caribbean remain popular as well. Asia is also on the radar of those looking for something new, Schaier adds. “Part of it’s value,” Yellin says. “But part of it has to do with adventure.” Schaier knows all about adventure. In Vietnam, she sampled fried tarantula legs. ”They were kind of crunchy.” There are some limitations, she adds: “We’re not going to North Korea — yet.” Or any place with a government warning, Yellin says. Otherwise, the sky’s not the limit. Says Yellin: “To use Alyssa’s phrase, ‘Next stop the moon.’” And maybe Mars? For more, visit courtyardtvl.com or call 800437-9685. Bug market on the way to Cambodia.
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Parallel lives BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
“The Promise and the Dream” — a new book by Connecticut-raised David Margolick — tells the story of two great men on parallel roads that intersected in tragedy. Like “Rebel Spirits,” the small but incandescent recent New-York Historical Society exhibit that was its byproduct, the compelling book considers the lives and increasingly dovetailing work of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. — two men bound by history, by civil rights activism and, in the end, by death. June 6 marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination in Los Angeles when he was 42 — two months and two days after King was assassinated in Memphis at age 39. 30
Yet, the two men were in each other’s presence only a dozen or so times. Indeed, the book as well as the exhibit — created and curated by journalist, movie producer and author Lawrence Schiller, who also commissioned the book — have shared the only photograph in which King and Kennedy appeared side by side. On June 22, 1963, they posed with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and other leaders in the Rose Garden of the White House — Kennedy, then attorney general, smiling, seeming-
ly untroubled; King gazing away from the camera, distracted, no doubt because President John F. Kennedy had just confided to King that he was under “very close” FBI surveillance, in part for having alleged communist associates. That photograph tells you everything about the worlds that separated King and Robert Kennedy, so much so that when Margolick met with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the first of Robert Kennedy’s 11 children, he says she told him that he didn’t have a book. But the Putnam, Connecticut-raised Margolick — a longtime contributing editor to Vanity Fair and the former legal affairs reporter for The New York Times — said, “I took that as a challenge.”
Left: Robert F. Kennedy on the campaign trail in 1968. Right: Martin Luther King Jr. arriving in the Watts section of Los Angeles after the 1965 riots. Photographs by Lawrence Schiller. Courtesy the Lawrence Schiller Archives.
What he concluded in taking up that challenge — he said as he walked us through the exhibit — was that King and Kennedy “were in the same universe, aware of one another and cared about the same thing. But they came at it from different angles and at a different pace. “(Former Kennedy aide) William vanden Heuvel said, ‘They approached the top of the mountain at the same time but from different sides.’…Bobby was much slower to come to a civil rights agenda. But they ended in the same place.” Growing up in Bronxville and Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, the devout seventh of nine children in the formidable Kennedy family, “Bobby Kennedy emerged knowing very little about black people,” says Schiller, who met him in 1961 through Kennedy brother-in-law Peter Lawford and at Marilyn Monroe’s house and later became one of his personal photographers. Nor did Kennedy’s early association with Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist witch hunt in the 1950s do much to inspire the minorities and liberals who would later come to see him as a champion. Soon, Kennedy would be immersed in making
his adored, glamorous older brother president of the United States, which meant walking a fine line between civil rights justice and courting the South, where civil rights were anathema. “There’s a wonderful story in the book of Bobby driving in an open convertible in Harlem and a kid runs up beside him and says, ‘Give me five,’” Schiller says. “The driver had to explain this was a term of endearment.” Kennedy thought the boy wanted money. Just as Kennedy had to open himself up to the poverty, prejudice and horrific violence blacks endured, King had to educate himself about white people, Schiller adds. The bigotry he had witnessed and experienced growing up in Atlanta as the middle child of a father as tough at Joseph P. Kennedy — the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. — had taught him to be wary of whites and powerful men like the Kennedys in particular. “As the great (pitcher) Satchel Paige once observed, ‘White man still in the lead,’” Margolick says. What broke the ice and cemented a relationship of sorts was the Kennedy outreach to King and his then-pregnant wife, Coretta, when King
was thrown in a rural Georgia penitentiary for driving with expired plates and an Alabama license several months before the presidential election of 1960. John Kennedy called King’s distraught wife while Robert Kennedy worked to free King. JFK’s presidential opponent, Richard Nixon, did nothing. It may have cost Nixon the election. And yet, post-election, King and the Kennedys would dance a careful two-step as they negotiated civil rights legislation during one of the bloodiest, most dangerous periods of the civil rights movement. King was still navigating between mainstream blacks and militants, both of whom were dissatisfied with him for different reasons, while the Kennedys were striving to redress inequality while retaining the image of a unified America at home and abroad. It wasn’t until a year after the assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, that the Civil Rights Act would be passed. That same year, Robert Kennedy would be elected to the U.S. Senate from New York and continue the journey of enlightenment as an anti-poverty, pro-worker and
civil rights activist. Ultimately, King, the polished preacher, and Robert Kennedy, the visceral politician, were very different men with different roles to play on the world stage. And so it is not surprising to learn from Margolick and Schiller that they had different attitudes toward the destination that awaits us all. “There’s no question that Martin Luther King feared death since he was stabbed,” Schiller said, referring to a 1958 incident in Harlem in which a mentally ill woman plunged a letter opener into his chest at a book signing. “After that, he was always looking over his shoulder. Bobby didn’t care if he died. He was a fatalist.” Many look at King’s “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech — delivered in Memphis the day before he was assassinated — as a Lincolnesque premonition of and meditation on death, although Margolick said King used similar language in a 1957 speech in Montgomery, Alabama. It’s worth quoting part of the 1968 speech here as it is one of the great speeches in American history: “Well, I don’ know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the
mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And so I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” The speech was followed the next night by another of America’s great speeches, Margolick said, this one delivered in a black neighborhood in Indianapolis by presidential candidate Kennedy, who broke the news of King’s death: “For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my own family killed, but he was killed by a white man.” Kennedy went on, “My favorite poet was Aeschylus and he once wrote, ‘Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the
heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” Other American cities burned that night but not Indianapolis. Two months and two days later, Kennedy was dead. “I’m going to say something risky,” Schiller said, prefacing his remarks on the pair’s legacies. “Sometimes people taken from us achieve more in death than in life.” Consider, Margolick said, the hit Dion song “Abraham, Martin and John,” which linked Lincoln, King and the Kennedy brothers as martyrs to freedom. “These are moments in time, snapshots of an era,” Margolick added of the images in the exhibit and the book that captured King and Robert Kennedy’s journeys — now forever entwined in the imagination. “But in a sense, they are misleading. They suggest artists of another era. They seem more resonant than they should be.” David Margolick’s “The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy” (Rosetta Books, $30, 400 pages) is now available. For more on the recent exhibit “Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.,” visit nyhistory.org.
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OCEANIA’S WORLD, YOUR WAY BY GINA GOUVEIA
f you are thinking of dipping your toe into cruising waters for the first time or, even if you’re a seasoned cruiser, look perhaps to Oceania Cruises, a favorite among discerning and mature travelers. Founded in 2002 by industry alumni from Renaissance and Crystal cruises and launched in 2003, the line is now publicly held. Its core guiding principle remains firmly rooted in kaizen — a Japanese word meaning “incremental change for the better” or, as a business philosophy and method, “continuous improvement since inception.” Speaking recently with Thierry Vuolo, director of sales and marketing for the Northeast, we learn the line’s points of distinction — cuisine, value and distinctive itineraries. With Jacques Pépin, the French culinary veteran, as the consulting executive chef of Oceania, it is best-known as the “foodies” cruise line for its stellar cuisine. Pépin directs the line’s menus, curate’s namesake restaurants and is an active participant on a few choice cruises, offering lectures and cooking demonstrations for guests. More foodie facts: In all kitchens, Pépin insists on using only Viron flour imported from France, whose exacting milling standards ensure proper production of genuine baguettes at sea. Same for the Planchot-brand flour and Valrhona chocolate used in the croissants. Vuolo cites the cuisine offerings and Wine Spectator-cultivated wine program for attracting discriminating diners. Distinct, too, with Oceania Cruises is the noted lack of upcharge for enjoying meals in the fine-dining restaurants on board, with only alcoholic beverages additional. Catering to those with special diets, the line has been recognized by PETA for
offering exceptional vegan fare, and it received the Best Dining Award in 2016 and ’17 from Cruise Critic, a trusted online cruise review website. Celebrating its 15th anniversary at sea, Oceania pointedly decided at its onset not to be everything to everyone but rather to cater to the over55 empty-nesters who enjoy longer voyages — on average 21 days — all the way up to the 180-day, around-the-world cruises. All the exotic ports of the world are represented — only the Galápagos and Antarctica are not on the scheduled itineraries — with the Baltics, Cuba and Asia among the most popular for travelers coming from the metropolitan area. With no ship-sponsored activities for children, Oceania, nonetheless, has been host to countless families who are responsible for their young charges or bring along the au pair. More recently on select sailings to Alaska, a multigenerational destination, children have supervised activities led by certified camp counselors during the daytime hours. Another shift has occurred with Oceania Cruises now offering shorter itineraries — such as eight days/seven nights — that appeal to the 30- and 40-somethings. Its smaller ship sizes — four regatta-class ships carry 684 passengers and two larger vessels carry 1,250 — permit the luxury of direct access to many ports where space is tight, from Monte Carlo to Mombasa. Their tonnage allows for lots of time at dock, leaving guests to craft all sorts of excursions and experiences of interest without feeling rushed, sometimes even spending two or three overnight stays in select destinations. Oceania Cruises excels in its unique niche as an upper-premium line, a less congested category of cruising just below luxury.
Kotor, Montenegro is one of Oceania Cruises’ destinations.
An Oceania Cruises ship sails into Portofino, Italy.
It boasts many features that set it apart from its competitors, offering an impressive and luxurious guest to staff ratio of 1.7:1. Appreciated for its warm, sophisticated ambiance and casual “country-club” dress policy, Oceania requires no formal wear, as on some luxury lines. Guests repeatedly praise the laid-back vibe, the adult time and the on-board amenities, plus the residential feel of the private guest quarters and public spaces, which create a Ritz-Carlton-like feel on board, according to Vuolo. The two larger ships, Marina and Riviera, specially commissioned for the line and launched in 2011 and 2012 respectively, offer Ralph Lauren Home-designed owners’ suites, and an exclusive, Dakota Jackson-designed private dining room for up to 10 guests. Each has an on-board, worldclass cooking school, the Bon Appetit Cooking Center, with 24 induction cooktops at the ready for guests to prepare and taste a range of cuisines from brunch specialties to gourmet pastas. All are led by CIA-trained chef Katherine Kelly who provides hands-on instruction in person, with technical close-ups on view via a huge flat-screen TV for participants. Given their larger size, the Riviera and the Marina — refurbished in 2015 and ’16 respectively — are able to feature a distinctive Artist Loft Enrichment Center, a full-fledged, fine art studio where guests receive private instruction from renowned artists in a variety of mediums. In general, the pricing structure enables guests to take advantage of attractive specials, offering cruisers a great value. The OLife Choice promotion, a limited-time inclusive package, provides round-trip airfare and the choice of an excursion, a beverage package or shipboard credits as a bonus. Oceania has a mindful body and spirit program through its explorations ashore, on-board complimentary classes in yoga and Pilates, Canyon Ranch Spa Cuisine menus and, one of its greatest features, the Canyon Ranch Spas, offering a vast array of services unique to the brand. Another useful perk for guests is complimentary transportation into town, negating the need to purchase an excursion or take a taxi. This is often utilized and appreciated especially in industrial ports, such as those found in the Mediterranean. Vuolo says that the cruise business is booming these days, even in the competitive hotel-at-sea market. Companies and nonprofits alike work with travel agents to offer sponsored cruises, also newly popular in the industry. Looking ahead to summer and 2019, the line will launch cruises from New York City's ports to New England, Canada and Bermuda. The world truly awaits. For more, visit oceaniacruises.com.
Room service aboard an Oceania Cruises ship. Photographs courtesy Oceania Cruises. JUNE 2018
James Patterson and Bill Clinton. Photograph by David Burnett. 36
Along came James Patterson – and Bill Clinton BY GINA GOUVEIA
With scores of novels penned over the last five decades, chances are pretty high that you've read one or several of the books by the prominent and popular author James Patterson. At this point in his career, it's hard to say which individual novel or series of novels — Alex Cross and “Women's Murder Club” are among his most famous — would be our favorites. Perhaps, for the younger crowd, it's the “Middle School Series,” which, on its own, represents nearly 40 novels. Since leaving the advertising world in the late 1970s, he has delighted readers with his quick-moving reads and compelling characters, earning him a further accolade, the world's best-selling author. Patterson is about to become even more successful, if that’s possible. He and President Bill Clinton have teamed for Clinton’s first foray into fiction, “The President Is Missing” (Hachette Book Group/ Little Brown and Co./Alfred A. Knopf, $30.) Available June 4, the book is already on several “50 Most Anticipated Books of 2018” lists. The pair will hit the road to promote it, first on June 3 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan as part of “Bookcon 2018” and then at Barnes & Noble Eastchester at 7 p.m. June 19. "This novel will take you right into the White House,” Patterson says in a book trailer released on YouTube featuring the two authors. “(It) will make you feel the impossible decisions, the stress, the dangers out there in today's world and the importance of the American presidency." It’s a subject Clinton knows only too well.
"Being president is a profound honor,” says the 42nd American president and Chappaqua resident, whose autobiography, “My Life,” was a number one best seller. “But it can also be the most difficult job in the world because every day means something new, and it's not all good (cue the Bill chuckle)." The Clinton-Patterson pairing marks the first time a president has teamed with a best-selling author. Indeed, Patterson is so popular that the game show “Jeopardy” recently ran a whole category of clues about him, and an interesting bit of trivia came out of that. While still in his advertising career at J. Walter Thompson in Manhattan — he started as a copywriter and left as CEO — Patterson coined the slogan, "I don't want to grow up. I'm a Toys ‘R’ Us kid." Sadly, this iconic brand, the biggest toy seller in the 1990s, has filed for bankruptcy and is currently liquidating all its U.S. stores, but it did enjoy a catchy jingle thanks to him. Born and raised in Newburgh, Patterson has taken his readers on a literary adventure from the onset of his career, publishing his first novel in 1976 with Little, Brown and Co. “The Thomas Berryman Number.” After being rejected by more than 30 publishers, it went on to win the Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1977. Another of his more popular works, “Along Came a Spider,” came along to bookstores — you remember those — in
The Clinton-Patterson pairing marks the first time a president has teamed with a bestselling author.
1993, the first to feature the character Alex Cross, the famed Washington, D.C.-based FBI agent and psychologist. That novel was adapted into a 2001 film of the same name starring Morgan Freeman. And now we have “The President is Missing,” which takes place over three days in Washington D.C., and, spoiler alert, features a president who
has gone missing. In addition to identifying as an author, Patterson has proudly added the title philanthropist to his personal byline. The Patterson Family Foundation and Patterson personally have donated millions of books and dollars to our nation's educators, grammar and secondary schools, colleges and universities, literacy programs and independent bookstores. His philanthropy earned him the National Book Foundation's 2015 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Patterson and his family have called Briarcliff Manor and West Palm Beach, Florida, home when he’s not on the road promoting his books. There are seven more hitting shelves before year’s end, across all of his series with various collaborations. And that’s welcome news to fans who hope the author will be intriguing them for years to come. Which leaves us begging the question: Will we see a sequel to “The President is Missing” from these two powerhouse collaborators? Time will tell. Admission to the Bill Clinton-James Patterson event at 7 p.m. June 19 at Barnes & Noble Eastchester will be by a limited number of wristbands, distributed to purchasers of the book starting at 9 a.m. on the day of the signing. For more, visit barnesandnoble.com.
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The Seven Seas Navigator in Venice. Photographs courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
THE WORLD AT YOUR FINGERTIPS BY DANIELLE RENDA The Seven Seas Voyager's horizon lounge deck.
t sounds like something of a dream to embark on leisurely excursions around the world. Imagine exploring the Maori and Scottish heritage of Dunedin, New Zealand, coasting down the Tigre River or embarking on a photographic tour of Antigua? Or exploring the history of the Anastasio Cárdenas Cigar Factory in Cuba, walking around the base of a glacier in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park or buzzing through Canada’s Newfoundland Insectarium? These are just some of the adventures available through Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The Miami-based company, formerly known
as Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, is home to four ships — Seven Seas Navigator (490 passengers), Seven Seas Mariner (700 passengers), Seven Seas Explorer (738 passengers) and Seven Seas Voyager (700 passengers) — and is preparing to welcome a fifth, Seven Seas Splendor (750 passengers), in 2020. The ships sail to faraway corners of the world, reaching 450 destinations on all seven continents — yes, including Antarctica. The possibilities are endless. With each voyage, guests have the option to take part in as many shore excursions as they’d like. Actually, they have the option to partake in anything they’d like, as each cruise is all-inclusive.
Whether you’re venturing to Koto Kinabalu, Malaysia or Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, luxury will be your Seven Seas companion. Most of the ships’ suits have private balconies (and walk-in closets), adding to the feel of a home away from home. Guests have the option to go big (4,443 square feet) or sail simply (300 square feet). Those longing to immerse themselves in the flavors of the sea can participate in the Culinary Arts Kitchen (exclusively aboard Seven Seas Explorer), where they can take cooking classes. Or guests can experience the ships’ enrichment offerings, which feature lecturers such as Erina Kilmore, the board director at Tourism Noosa and director of sales at Australia Zoo, and wine expert/author Tyson Stelzer, as well as programs like the Club Mariner Youth Program. If a good night’s rest is what you’re after, comfortable sleep is hardly a concern. The Regent Suites on the Seven Seas Explorer boast horsehair mattress bedding worth $150,000 alone, along with an in-cabin spa offering unlimited spa treatments. Three of the ships — Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Voyager, and Seven Seas Mariner — also recently underwent a two-year, $125 million major renovation to ensure their
amenities were up to speed. The Seven Seas Navigator — which has nearly one employee for every guest — essentially became a new ship, with new furniture in its suites and an upgrade of its library, casino, lounges and restaurants. Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers the allure of world travel without the fuss of planning. There’s no meticulous scheduling of stops: It’s all done for you. There’s no worry about transportation: Seven Seas offers complimentary air trips on international flights, complimentary round-trip air travel on domestic flights, one complimentary night pre-cruise hotel package and complimentary transfers between the airport and the ship. The only thing that’s required is a (little) sense of adventure. The line includes world cruises, which take up to 147 nights; grand voyages, which take up to 77 nights; and transatlantic travel, such as a 14-night voyage from Miami to Barcelona. If you’re looking to get away, but not for too long, there are also 10day trips, including one that sails from New York City to Canada then down to Bermuda and back, departing Oct. 8. We say, let’s go. For more, visit regentcruises.com.
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American style BY MARY SHUSTACK
When “Decorating The Way I See It” by Markham Roberts was published by Vendome Press in 2014, Vogue selected it as one of the top-five interior design books for fall.
“In a creative business, I think you keep your mind open.” We wanted to hear more, so we followed up with Roberts after the panel, when he was kind enough to share a bit more of his story — including a trip on the Nile — with WAG:
Roberts, the New York-based interior designer and author of the book, was called, “a master of timeless American style” in the review. WAG got a glimpse into his world in early April, when Roberts participated in “Art of Design,” the Bruce Museum’s annual panel discussion held at Greenwich Country Club. Roberts, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, would graduate from Brown University before coming to New York and starting his design career with the legendary Mark Hampton. He would launch his namesake firm in 1997, one that has found him not only garnering some high-profile work — the revamping of Oscar de la Renta’s Tortuga Bay Hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for example — but also industry recognition, including being named to the prestigious Architectural Digest AD100 list of top architects and designers since 2014. At the panel, Roberts said inspiration is everywhere, from nature to travel.
The panelists at the Bruce Museum’s fifth annual “Art of Design” event each represented a different aspect of working within the broadest definition of design. Yours was perhaps the most traditional, in that you have carved out a successful career in interior design. You spoke about a lifelong interest in design — sharing how, at age 10, you even met with your mother’s decorator to design your own room — and would go on to work with the legendary Mark Hampton. Can you share a bit about your background, influences and what truly brought you to the world of design? “Though I never knew specifically that I wanted to be a decorator until I began working for Mark Hampton and was actually doing it, in hindsight it should have been obvious. I was always interested in museums and architecture and design. I loved movies with beautiful houses, and I had a great appreciation for antiques and art. I studied art his-
Clockwise from top: Markham Roberts in his office; and two of his projects, including a Greenwich Backcountry estate. Photograph by Eric Piasecki; and a Montana lodge. Photograph by Nelson Hancock. All images courtesy Markham Roberts.
tory and architecture at university, and moved to New York after to figure out what I wanted to do. It was by chance and a mutual friend that I met Mark Hampton and, when he offered me a job, I gladly took it and quickly realized what I loved doing.” How do you approach that delicate balance between pleasing a client and doing work that’s rewarding to you? “As a decorator, you have to remember that it is your client’s house and not yours. That said, clients come to me because they are familiar with my work or reputation and they understand that I have a lot of experience and knowledge informing the design I come up with for them. I explain at the outset that I will always be honest about why I think something works or doesn’t. I have strong opinions and I think very carefully and specifically about each job, so if a
client has an idea that is different from mine, I try to understand what drives their idea so that together we can decide to incorporate it, adapt it or scrap it. “I can only think of one time where a client made me do something I really thought wasn’t the best choice. Once completed they saw it was wrong and asked me to change it to what I had suggested. So I had a T-shirt printed up that read, ‘You’ll never hear me saying I told you so.’” Everyone wants to hear what the latest trends are. Surely you keep up on what’s in, what’s new — but how does it affect what you actually do? Is your vision timeless or always evolving? “I try hard to not pay attention to trends or whatever ‘what’s hot’ is, because I would rather be influenced by a client or their particular house or landscape or even a painting or piece of art they
own. I approach each job individually and the last thing I would want would be for a fad or current social media craze to guide an overall design. That is not to say I like to decorate in a vacuum. Design is cyclical and fluid, and there is no limit to inspiration that can come from everything that has gone on before and is going on now. I just try to look at things through a lens of each job and not to think of trends to copy or apply.” Please tell us a bit about your work on Oscar de la Renta’s Tortuga Bay Hotel in Punta Cana, a high-profile project that has earned much praise. How did it come about, what were the biggest challenges — and rewards? “Working on a beautiful tropical island was certainly not a hardship. I had known of the hotel and Oscar’s design from a few vacations in the Dominican Republic. Oscar’s wife, Annette, had
introduced me to the hotel owners and suggested me for the job to freshen up the interiors and help with an expansion. Being familiar with the de la Rentas’ houses and style, (I) was happy to take on the project. Getting to work on something that was originally designed by someone you admire is a real honor on top of being an interesting exercise. “The designs are simple but luxurious and comfortable in a way that’s appropriate to the climate and the Caribbean. We used Oscar’s fabrics from his collection for Lee Jofa, and we solely employed Dominican craftsmen to weave the wicker and carve the mahogany pieces that fill the rooms. The only real challenge was our time constraint of having to do it quickly as the hotel remains open off-season with guests throughout the year.” And finally, you told us in Greenwich that you often have five or six major projects underway at any time, while also mentioning the enduring influence of nature and travel on both you and your work. How do you relax? Does your schedule allow for much personal travel? What’s your favorite vacation memory? “Since I travel so much for work, I am most relaxed at home and in my garden in the Hudson Valley. I do try to take advantage of travel for work though and will often get to extend trips by a day or
Markham Roberts’ work on a Carnegie Hill townhouse. Photogaph by Nelson Hancock.
two to see something interesting or go some place I haven’t been before. This summer I have to go to Naples, and I will make sure I get to see as much as I can of the gardens, palazzos and museums in the vicinity while I’m there. “Most memorable was a recent trip to Egypt. I had been before, 30 years ago during college with our Egyptology professor, but this time we were a large group of friends and took two boats, called
dahabiyehs, up the Nile from Luxor to Aswan. It was like being in a time warp. There were vast stretches of the river with small agrarian and herding communities that could have been there 3,000 years ago. Drifting on the water in that relaxing way and then wowed, of course, by the sights and spectacle of the grand temples, made it a perfect trip. Those experiences will surely stay with me.” For more, visit markhamroberts.com.
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WHERE IN THE WORLD IS JAMIE CREEL? BY MARY SHUSTACK PHOTOGRAPHS BY BOB ROZYCKI
etting up a meeting with Jamie Creel gives a glimpse into his globetrotting lifestyle. “I am in Paris till Sunday and then will be in New York for a couple of weeks,” he wrote us in prompt reply to an interview request. We had a hint about his enviable schedule after hearing him speak at the Bruce Museum’s fifth annual “Art of Design” panel discussion in April at Greenwich Country Club. The Greenwich-born owner of Creel and Gow, a singular home décor gallery in Manhattan, talked about the profound influence of travel on his business — even sparking its creation. “The a-ha moment for my store was a trip I took with a group of friends to the Galápagos Islands,” Creel said, explaining how a conversation on that journey inspired the desire to open a shop that would serve as a modern-day cabinet of curiosities. And that is what Creel and Gow is — an artful outlet for the treasures Creel comes across, or commissions, on his worldwide treks. For the past 20 years, he has split his time between homes in Manhattan and Paris — and, more recently, Morocco. All feed the passion that’s on vivid display at Creel and Gow, an Upper East Side gallery that Creel opened in 2012 with British-born, onetime Sotheby’s specialist Christopher Gow. Having bought out his business partner last autumn, Creel is now forging ahead as the sole proprietor of the boutique filled with the artfully unexpected, be it silver-enrobed seashells, ostrich eggs on pedestals, early 20th-century Chinese opera costumes or a vintage cigar cutter in the shape of a miniature guillotine. Throughout, it’s a hand-selected and wide-ranging inventory that’s assembled without thought to the latest fad. 46
“I always feel like I’m going against trends sometimes… Taxidermy?” he said, sparking laughter from that Greenwich audience. IN THE CABINET When we did catch up with him at Creel and Gow on a recent morning — in the company of plenty of said taxidermy — Creel acknowledged he’s always on the go. “People kind of track me sometimes on Instagram,” he said with a laugh. In Paris, his days are filled with daily trips to one of his strongest sources — the venerable Drouot auction house. “For years, I was buying for my home and I would go to the auctions in Paris every day. After a while, you can only buy so much.” Now, it seems, those limitations have been lifted, so he’s free to shop away for the destination that has firmly established its niche. Creel and Gow is the place to find bowls carved out of precious stones, Coney Island funhouse mirrors —
Jamie Creel, opposite, surrounded by treasures at Creel and Gow in Manhattan; and from top, examples of the signature silver-dipped seashells and the recently completed “fish tank” front-window display.
and even original benches from the Paris Metro. “When we first opened, what we were doing was so different we got a tremendous amount of press and a lot of people talking about it,” he said. The interest has continued to grow, though he admits the gallery is not for everyone. “It’s definitely not for the person who picks up a catalog from a chain store who says, ‘That’s the look I want.’” Creel and Gow instead, he noted, offers “something a little bit unusual.” Leading the way are the signature silver-dipped seashells, a mainstay of Gow’s former New York boutique, Ruzzetti & Gow, that continue here. “The silver is done in Rome by two brothers whose other job is cleaning and repairing the silver at the Vatican,” Creel said. Popular, too, are the gleaming selenite “logs” that not only add a glam touch to the fireplace but were also showcased in the Drake/Anderson room at this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House. In addition, specimens such as “deconstructed” lobsters displayed in bell jars and carved sculptures in malachite speak to Creel and Gow’s earliest days. “In the beginning it was more about things related to nature, whether it’s animal or mineral,” he said. Taxidermy remains a constant — but, Creel stresses, the pieces are ethically sourced. “We’re not going out and shooting anything.” More often, a taxidermist calls. “He’ll say to me, ‘I have a flamingo’ or an owl.” A STORY CONTINUES Creel, who grew up between Locust Valley on Long Island and Manhattan after his parents divorced, said early travel, especially an extended stay in Kenya when he was 15, had quite an effect. “I think it’s probably ever since then that I got the bug.” Turning that bug into a business, though, was not a direct path. Attending college in Virginia, Creel studied “historic preservation and communications, so I’m not sure that it really counts,” he said with another laugh. Practical experience is drawn from the period, about a decade ago, when Creel had a Paris shop where he sold soaps and candles, items also carried stateside at Bergdorf Goodman. While it’s all part of Creel and Gow’s story, he said, “I never envisioned having a store like this as a kid.” Creel is proud of his attractive, street-level gallery housed within a historic townhouse, a space where vintage Loulou de la Falaise jewelry is dis-
played steps away from a striking selection of contemporary Moroccan passementerie necklaces. He’s in Morocco often enough to source goods regularly, from pillows and bedspreads to carpets to tabletop wares such as chargers. “There are so many craftsmen there that do wonderful things,” he said. But Creel added that he doesn’t want to “always have the same thing, even if it sells well.” He estimated 80 percent of his clientele are repeat customers, who delight in his ever-changing selection. “For me, this is exciting,” Creel said of the never-ending hunt that would soon take him to the famed fields of the Brimfield, Massachusetts, flea markets. “It’s not work. It’s fun.” So what’s next for Creel and Gow? “It’s always evolving,” Creel said. “My big thing is finding something different.” He took out one of his latest finds — a handful of gangly brass bird legs. “They’re just fun,” he said, clearly delighted in the quirky pieces. “My idea was someone could have a table and have a row of them.” And, in doing so, create a scene that’s a perfect tribute to the heart of Creel and Gow. Creel and Gow is at 131 E. 70th St. in Manhattan. For more, visit creelandgow.com.
Exotic eggs on display at Creel and Gow.
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BEYOND THE GIDEONS BIBLE BY LAURA JOSEPH MOGIL
orgot to bring your book with you while on vacation or on a business trip and have nothing to read? That won’t happen if you’re staying at a luxury hotel where Stamford resident and self-proclaimed “book-ie” Jane Ubell-Meyer has provided Bedside Reading. The program offers newly released books to hotels so that guests have best sellers waiting for them in their rooms and can even take them home. And the best part is that, unlike the minibar, it’s totally free. Ubell-Meyer works with a team of avid readers to pick out the perfect books, which are then approved by the hotels. Books come from an array of publishing companies, including HarperCollins, Macmillan, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Penguin Random House, along with a variety of independent publishers, authors and speakers’ bureaus. “Our goal is to pass on books that we resonate with and love,” Ubell-Meyer says. “The roots of Bedside Reading date back to 2002 when I placed ‘Buzz Bags’ full of free books and products on the Hampton Jitney,” she adds. The gifting program, created by her company Madison & Mulholland, got huge attention and was featured in articles that appeared in such major publications as The New York Times and Entrepreneur magazine. Soon afterward, Ubell-Meyer got a call from United Airlines to do its luxury gift bags for first- and business-class passengers, and she also was hired to create swag bags for the Grammy Awards and other special celebrity events for Hollywood’s film, music and TV nominees and winners. While she was busy at her job, Ubell-Meyer says she decided last March to go back to the one thing that she had always loved, which was “books and reading. “I had been doing the tote bags in the Hamptons for years, which quickly evolved from being placed on the jitney to being offered in hotel rooms. This time around I decided to place my focus on the books. “If you’ve published a book, you want it read in the Hamptons — by the beach and at the pool — and you want people to talk about it. So why not go to
Some of Bedside Reading's offerings.
the hotels, where people from all around Manhattan are coming for the summer to stay?” Last Labor Day, when she did her last Hamptons’ “Buzz Bag,” Ubell-Meyer realized there was an increased demand by the publishers she worked with to distribute their books, so she decided to take her program to a national level. She first called up the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan and asked if she could launch Bedside Reading at the hotel. Having worked with Ubell-Meyer before on other projects, the Mandarin was more than happy to oblige. Her first books offered there were The New York Times’ best sellers “The Golden House” by Salman Rushdie and “Tell Me More: Stories About
the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say” by Kelly Corrigan. The books were such a huge success that the hotel could hardly keep enough on hand to pass on to their guests. Ubell-Meyers’ business quickly expanded and she was soon offering Beside Reading at hotels across the country, from the Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach just north of Miami to the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C., and, in California, at Shutters on the Beach and Casa del Mar in Santa Monica as well as the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills. Each month new books are placed in all of the participating hotels’ rooms and suites. “Every ho-
tel gets different books so it’s not just about finding a book and placing it in a hotel. It’s finding the right book and matching it with the right hotel. I would say that it’s almost like pairing wine and cheese,” Ubell-Meyer says. She points out that her company is helping its authors by providing them visibility and access to people who are connected socially and in the business world. “The guests staying at five-star hotels are CEOs, decision-makers and influencers. We’re giving the authors’ books to these people who then, if the book appeals to them, could turn around and hire the writers as consultants and bring them in as keynote speakers,” Ubell-Meyer says. Also, there’s nothing better than word of mouth when it comes to promoting a book. Many of the books picked up at hotels have been brought into book clubs and shared with friends. “People love to talk about the great books they are reading, that’s part of who we are,” she says. “In addition, many of the hotels promote the books in their newsletters and on social media.” Ubell-Meyer has already started to expand her business. At the Acqualina, she has worked with the hotel to start Bedside Reading Children, where each month the selected book is read during a live story hour. The hotel also likes fiction and business books,
Bedside Reading founder Jane Ubell-Meyer places the latest releases in luxe hotels. Courtesy Bedside Reading.
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which she is more than happy to supply. A rebranded Bedside Reading Hamptons launched this Memorial Day at seven hotels, including The Maidstone in East Hampton and the White Fences Inn in Water Mill. While the Hamptons books feature best-selling fiction, nonfiction, memoirs and business publications, Ubell-Meyer says she is also “adding a number of emerging and independent authors to the list to help spread the word about their great talent.” Plans also include a fall launch of Bedside Reading Business in five-star business hotels (such as the Conrad New York) with books by such respected authors as Jeffrey Magee, Travis Bradberry and Leah Weiss, among others. In addition, a Beside Reading Beach is planned for next spring with romance, thrillers and light beach reads for vacation enjoyment. When asked why she founded Bedside Reading, Ubell-Meyer says, “Where else can I have a job that I get paid to do what I love? This is like a candy store for me and I get to pick all the candy that I want.” She adds, “I’m a book addict. I read all the time, and books have changed my life. This job really feeds my soul. And, if I get a chance to give back to an author and help them out, that’s a win-win for me.” For more, visit bedsidereading.com.
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THE LURE OF THE THUNDER DRAGON STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY AUDREY RONNING TOPPING
“Far away places with strange sounding names Far away over the sea Those far away places with the strange sounding names are Calling Calling me.” — “Far Away Places” by Alex Kramer and Joan Whitney. Copyright Bourne Co.
was 10 years old when I heard this song and knew it was beckoning me. Now, eight-decades later, those “faraway places” are wonderful memories. Among the most wonderful memories and strangest-sounding-names was that of Bhutan, Kingdom of The Thunder Dragon, so I had to go. Oddly enough, I met Bhutan’s Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche at a Buddhist retreat on the slopes of Kit Carson Mountain in Colorado. He was a Tulka, or “Living Buddha,” from the Gangteng Monastery in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon. The Rinpoche, meaning “Precious One,” traced his lineage to the Shakyamuni Buddha in the 6th century B.C. He was the ninth body incarnation of Padma Lingpa, the patron saint who envisioned the monastery 500 years ago. Got that? When I returned to my home in Scarsdale, this unique invitation was waiting: It brings me immense joy to announce the display of the most sacred treasures of Gangteng Monastery. I am undertaking renovation of Gangteng and must dismantle much of this ancient structure. This necessitates the transfer of precious treasures from the innermost chambers of the monastery where they have been preserved for 400 years. This gives me an opportunity to 52
In this Bhutanese dance, the hunters are converted to Buddhism and give up killing animals.
share the viewing of these precious treasures for the first time in Gangteng’s history. This event will be celebrated with the Seven Day Great Accomplishment Ceremony, followed by 5 days of dancing by the monastery’s lamas. On September 17, 2002 these treasures, until now only viewed by the 9 incarnated Gangteng Tulkus, will be revealed to those fortunate to be present. I hope you will join us for this auspicious occasion and experience the profound blessing of Gangteng’s spiritual heritage. Tashi Deleg Kuenzang Pema Namgyel, Gangteng Tulku I was among a few foreign guests who flew from Bangkok by Druk Air in one of Bhutan’s two small planes, (no seat belts but blessed by lamas). We landed at Paro, a high and relatively short airstrip, and continued by bus up the steep mountain road to Gangteng Monastery, “Mountain Fortress of the Gods,” standing close to heaven in a high alpine valley. The Buddha was born of a lotus, so the monastery is symbolically akin to the heart of a lotus blossom cupped by the snow-capped Himalayas, like frosted petals. The Tulka welcomed us into the monastery’s flagstone courtyard where lamas in fearsome masks and flamboyant costumes were dancing 12 legends glorifying the Guru Rinpoche. The sacred dances (Tshechu) were choreographed in the 15th century by Padma Lingpa, the first Gangteng Tulku. According to folklore, the Guru, an Indian mystic known as the Second Buddha, flew from Tibet on the back of a flying tiger to bring Buddhist dharma to Bhutan in 747 A.D. He lived a thousand years, performed multitudes of miracles and melded the Bonn religion with Buddhism. Before entering Nirvana, he concealed treasures in the Himalayas to be found, when needed, by treasure keepers. Thousands of excited devotees had trekked for miles to be empowered by the ceremonies. Bhutan — the size of Switzerland with 600,000 people sandwiched between two populous giants,
China and India — is the sole surviving Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. The others were swallowed by larger powers. Islam overran the Buddhist civilizations from Afghanistan to Mongolia in the 10th century. In the 1950s, Tibet, was claimed by China, India absorbed Ladakh and, in 1975, the kingdom of Sikkim became an Indian State. The kingdom of Bhutan discovered the wheel in 1967. Before that, foot or horseback was the only way to go. Bhutan skipped the Industrial Age, two World Wars, the sexual revolution, the arms race and even, until recently, cyberspace. Today the kingdom is striving to emerge as a modern nation committed to achieving economic development and prosperity while preserving a pristine environment and rich cultural heritage. In 1997, the fourth king made world headlines by declaring “Gross National Happiness” as Bhutan’s main concern. I asked the Tulku if they planned to bring electricity to this valley. He said: “This is the winter residence of 300 black-necked cranes from Siberia. It is a wildlife preserve. We can’t string overhead wires that would interfere with the cranes’ migration. When they arrive in October, they circumnavigate the monastery three times. How could we interfere with them? First on my wish list is roads and second electricity. We don’t have plans to bring electricity here until we get underground cables. The cranes take priority.” I was trembling with excitement as we entered the inner sanctum to see the treasures. No photos. Some, like the Buddha who cried real tears for the state of the world, were crafted by divine beings. Other treasures were created by masters of India, Tibet and Bhutan. When I touched a golden elephant, an electric shock stunned me. The Tulku said; “Simply by being in the presence of these objects you are blessed. If you make a wish it will be fulfilled within your lifetime.” And if you can’t believe this story don’t go to The Land of the Thunder Dragon.
31,000 MILES TO HEALING BY JENA A. BUTTERFIELD
“THERE WAS NOWHERE TO GO BUT EVERYWHERE….” – Jack Kerouac,“On the Road”
aura Fahrenthold — like beat generation pioneer Jack Kerouac — was “On the Road” when she found purpose. More accurately, she was face down in a pile of ashes, near her tent in the Oregon woods. The remnants of her spent campfire had just mingled with some of those of her late husband, Mark Pittman, whose urn she’d been clutching for company on the way to an outhouse when she tripped. The shock of losing a part of Mark to a world beyond her grasp — so far from her then-Yonkers home — caused a divine idea to manifest itself: Perhaps letting Mark slip through her fingers would be a way to connect with his true nature. In her fearless memoir, “The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles: A Love Story” (Hatherleigh Press/Penguin Random House) — journalist Fahrenthold, content editor at Woman’s World magazine, relives her husband’s traumatic death and the 31,000-mile road trip to healing with her grieving — sometimes eye-rolling, always up for adventure — daughters. “It was a way to be a family again,” the Hastings-on-Hudson resident told WAG of the decision to take then 11-year-old Nell and 9-year-old Susannah on an adventure outside of their comfort zone (bringing “Mark In A Box” along for the ride). “In order for my girls to heal,” she said, “they would need a lot of love, a lot of fresh air and a lot of sunshine.” Fahrenthold’s brutal honesty in the book is bolstered by a sarcastically wicked inner monologue that brings humor even to her most morbid thoughts and makes for an experience-packed adventure that honors Pittman’s spirit. In life, James Mark Pittman was a big, lumbering, cowboy boot-wearing financial journalist from Kansas with an inherent sense of fairness and a fire in his belly to uncover social injustice. His early adulthood was influenced by the writings of counterculture icons like Bob Dylan, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and the gen-
Above: Laura Fahrenthold standing in front of HaRVey. Photograph by Peter Freed. Right: Mark Pittman. Photograph by Laura Fahrenthold.
eration-defining Kerouac. Pittman shared their “iconoclastic contempt for authoritarianism” and even embarked on his own character-defining motorcycle journey one summer in college. Now here was Fahrenthold, face full of ash, harboring a scheme that seemed to be communicated directly from Pittman. With newfound purpose, the family changed course, buying an old RV (nicknamed HaRVey) and set off on a four-part, multiyear journey through North America to sprinkle Pittman’s ashes. Beginning in 2010, they went from Oregon to the Montana Badlands to New Mexico’s White Sands, Arizona’s Hopi Reservation — where they gained a stray dog — Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and the Canadian-American Bay of Fundy. Along the way, “Pittman” sailed from their fingertips off mountain tops, zip lines and horseback; hitched rides on a motorcycle, landed in the belly of an alligator and in the boots of a traveling musician. He was embedded where they went mud sliding
and surfing and, pointedly, in the family’s visit to the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. “…how many times can a man turn his head And pretend that he just doesn’t see?” — Bob Dylan, “Blowin’ in the Wind” It was Thanksgiving Eve 2009 when the award-winning Pittman suffered a fatal heart attack. He’d been in the midst of intense media focus after predicting — and doggedly reporting — the U.S. banking system’s collapse on the heels of the subprime mortgage crisis. Working as a reporter for Bloomberg News, Pittman became hell-bent on uncovering the root of the collapse, taking unprecedented steps toward making the Federal Reserve Bank more accountable to the American people. After his requests under the Freedom of Information
Act were denied, Pittman became the only reporter in history to sue the Fed. Was it some divine coincidence, then, that his grieving family was at one point in its elaborate road trip placed in the same bike-touring group as then Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke? Was it also a coincidence that Pittman’s favorite Dylan song, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” played at a moment Fahrenthold was desperate for his approval? During the family’s travels, Fahrenthold began to feel like maybe the conversation with her late husband continued on. Five years after stumbling through the continent, following no particular path but that of their hearts, Fahrenthold and her daughters found Pittman’s journals from that motorcycle journey of his youth. In it, he wrote of places they had been inexplicably drawn to. Then another shock: his description of a fictional character’s death mirrored, too accurately, his own. “Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” — Terry Pratchett, “A Hat Full of Sky” As Fahrenthold set out to navigate her revelation that “the greatest loss is what dies inside of us as we continue to live,” she found solace in the most unlikely of places — camping at Walmart. It’s where she bought the pink steering wheel cover
Daughters Susannah and Nell Pittman.
that became what she joked was her spiritual GPS. And it’s where she began to practice her story on a changing cast of housewife-shoppers — retelling her loss until the truth of it sunk in, then allowing their sympathies to heal her. “I grieved in the arms of America,” she said. It was a foothold toward the wonder she began to find everywhere. “We are really, truly connected to people,” she said. “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” — Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Left Hand of Darkness” “I think we were done,” Fahrenthold said of their journey to Kansas that ended their final trip. “I think Mark was done. It was time. We all had to let go.” Letting go of the material Pittman meant being able to find him everywhere else. Was he expressed in her running toward that outhouse in the woods? Or in the deli man in Yonkers urging her to take the trip? Or in Pittman’s favorite Dylan song? Whatever it was, she knows that what she found everywhere was love. And as she remembered the love shared with Pittman she asked, “Is it really gone or has it just changed form?” “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” For more, visit laurafahrenthold.com.
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Katrina Lenk. Courtesy Ghostlight Records. 56
Map to success BY GREGG SHAPIRO
Katrina Lenk is on a winning streak. In 2017, the Northwestern University-trained actress won raves and awards for her performances on Broadway in Paula Vogel’s “Indecent” and off-Broadway as Dina in David Yazbek and Itamar Moses’ musical adaptation of “The Band’s Visit.” Currently, she can be seen reprising her role as Dina in the Broadway production of the play that is based on the 2007 movie of the same name, co-starring alongside Tony Shalhoub. The musical, about an Egyptian touring band that ends up temporarily stranded in a small Israeli town after arriving there by mistake, seems like a good fit for a travel issue. We had the pleasure of speaking with Katrina during the spring of 2018, before the announcement of her Tony Award nomination. Please pardon me for opening with an obvious question such as this, but had you seen the movie “The Band’s Visit” prior to being cast as Dina in the Broadway musical? “I wasn’t aware of the movie. But when I got the audition for it (the musical), of course, I wanted to see what it was before I went in, so that I had an idea of the tone and a sense of the story and the place in the movie. I fell in love with it immediately. When the callbacks happened, I watched it one other time. I said, ‘I can’t watch it anymore.’ I loved it so much and the temptation to copy everything in there would be too great, I think. What I love about what (director David) Cromer, and also (book writer) Itamar (Moses) and (songwriter David) Yazbek have done with the show is that there are definitely moments where we pay homage to the movie. We’re not trying to avoid the movie at all. Certain scenes are set up to mirror how things were in the movie. We lovingly refer to the movie a lot in the show.” What does it mean to you to be the actress originating the role of Dina on Broadway? “It’s a huge honor. And terrifying and thrilling and wonderful. Ronit Elkabetz, the woman who
played Dina in the movie, has since passed away. She was a wonderful and revered actress in Israel and Europe. I’m so inspired by what she did. I feel honored and also unworthy to get to bring the role into the theater. But I feel very lucky that I get to do it.” You also have the distinction of being Dina on the “The Band’s Visit: Original Cast Recording.” What does it mean to you have your performance captured for posterity in that way? “That’s also terrifying (laughs). We did it so quickly. I’ve been in the studio many times before, recording records with bands. My experience was that it takes hours. You could spend a week on one song. We had one day to do all of the singing and some of the band arrangements. It was a very quick process, which can be good. When you don’t belabor every detail, which can often happen in the studio, it can be great. Because we were used to doing the show and singing the songs every night, in a sense, being in the studio for a long time, probably wasn’t a great necessity. We all knew what we were doing.” In addition to doing a spot-on Israeli accent, you also nail Israeli sarcasm… (she laughs)…as in the song “Welcome to Nowhere.” Was this something you were aware of before? “Israeli sarcasm? I had a couple of friends from Israel that I knew previously. I was always like, ‘They don’t like me. I don’t understand. What’s going on (laughs)?’ Getting to delve further into it, meeting more people from Israel and learning more about the culture and history of the place, now I understand why. And I love it even more. I have a deep affection for the Israeli sense of humor (laughs).”
As I’m sure you are aware, your name has been mentioned in terms of Tony Award buzz for “The Band’s Visit.” What would it mean to you to win a Tony for this show? “That’s kind of a tricky question. It’s something that is a great honor. It’s also something that most kids that grow up in the theater are aware of, watching the Tony Awards and thinking, ‘Maybe someday…’ It’s a wonderful thing that could happen. It could also be distracting in a way to only think about that or have that affect the work you are doing, as well as the sense of community you have with everyone else. It’s also a way to celebrate all the wonderful work that’s happening and not necessarily a competition. As an actor in a show that might get this kind of attention, it’s a matter of just focusing on the story we are trying to tell and making it the best we can make it.”
Dina also gets to sing “Omar Sharif,” one of the most beautiful songs in the show. What does singing that song mean to you? “I fell in love with that song when I was learning it for the audition. I was so moved by how smartly and beautifully Yazbek has written the song. It has a sense of being familiar in that I love all those classic songs from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. Then it has all the colors of the Arabic music. It sounds familiar and strange at the same time. I love that so many people are responding to it as I did when I first heard it. I’m so proud to be able to say, ‘Look, you guys. Listen to this cool song (laughs).’ That I get to sing it for people is a thrill.” You mentioned recording with bands. I interviewed you for the first time in 2001 when you were in the band Mabel Mabel. When you were in Mabel Mabel, did you ever show up at the wrong venue on the night of a show like the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra does in “The Band’s Visit”? “No. However, there were times when I wished that we were in the wrong place (laughs). We’d show up to a place and be like, ‘Oh, what? Where are we?’ Hoping ‘Please don’t let this be the place (laughs).’” Like you, your co-star Tony Shalhoub has midwestern/Great Lakes roots. What
has your experience of working with Tony been like? “He is wonderful! Very generous as a person and also onstage. Very much into, ‘What is the story? How can we work on telling this story together?’ Very much a team player. He’s also very funny, of course. There’s a lot of laughter backstage. It’s a joy.”
Katrina Lenk performs the role of Dina in “The Band’s Visit,” currently playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th Street in New York City. Tickets are $49 to $99. Visit thebandsvisitmusical.com for more information. The Tony Awards will be held June 10 at 8 p.m. at Radio City Musical Hall in Manhattan. Lenk also appears on an upcoming installment of “The Good Fight” on cbs.com.
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The Unisphere in Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park today.
WHEN THE ‘WORLD’ CAME TO NY STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY RYAN DEFFENBAUGH
ore than 50 million people arrived in Queens in the summers of 1964 and ’65 to attend the World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, today the home of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Visitors to the park can revisit some of its greatest attractions and pavilions through a historical walking tour offered once a month by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Developed by New York City’s “master builder” Robert Moses, the 1964-65 World’s Fair was actually not a sanctioned world’s fair. Plans to host the fair over two separate years, as well as to charge rent to exhibitors, ran afoul of the rules set by the Bureau of International Expositions, the Paris-based organization that certifies world’s fairs. So while world superpowers such as Britain, France and the Soviet Union boycotted New
York’s fair, the show brought together exhibitors from smaller nations, U.S. states and major American corporations. Still, it didn’t lack for cultural firepower. Among its must-see attractions was Michelangelo’s “Pietà,” on loan from the Vatican, which visitors could view on one of three conveyor belts that moved at different speeds. Walt Disney used the fair to test out his "Audio-Animatronics" robotics, which powered a lifelike Abraham Lincoln that premiered at the fair, as well as attractions such as the “Carousel of Progress” and “It’s a Small World,” which are still in operation at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The majority of the exhibitions and pavilions were torn down after the fair closed, but a volunteer-guided walk illustrates the details — large and small — left behind by the massive fair. WAG recently took the tour, about an hour and a half total spanning the roughly 900-acre park. It included four people who attended the World’s
Fair more than 50 years before, each of whom added some extra insight to the walk. The tour started, naturally, at the park’s Unisphere. The 350-ton, 12-story globe is the largest representation of Earth in the world. Commissioned by U.S. Steel, the globe wasn’t just the centerpiece of the fair. Parks officials say it’s also at the geographic center of New York City’s five boroughs. (It would later be used in a 1990s ad campaign by the New York City Ballet, which featured principal dancers in key roles set against Big Apple landmarks. The Unisphere was paired with Bedford native Peter Boal, now artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet, dressed as the title character in George Balanchine’s “Apollo.”) The Unisphere, guide Woo Sung Park explained, represented two of the fair’s major themes. “Peace Through Understanding” served as a counterpoint to a nation that was in the early days of the Vietnam War and was still coming to grips with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy a year earlier. But the globe also features three orbital rings that trace the routes of early satellites, emblematic of the fascination with space travel seen throughout the fair that would
culminate with Apollo 11 landing on the moon. America’s love affair with space can also be seen in one of a series of sculptures commissioned by the World’s Fair. In Donald De Lue’s “The Rocket Thrower,” a 43-foot bronze figure hurls a rocket-type object toward the sky with his right hand, while reaching for a constellation of stars with his left. The tour also gives the backstory on Flushing Meadows park’s creation on a former ashheap that was the setting for the turning point in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal novel, “The Great Gatsby.” The area was cleaned up and redesigned to host the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair, whose Modern, otherworldly pavilions beckoned tourists and locals alike. The profits from the popular fair were supposed to fund the creation of the park on the fairgrounds, but that fair actually turned a loss (as did the 1964 World’s Fair). A significant representation of the 1939 World’s Fair is the Queen’s Museum. The structure was built to house the New York City Pavilion at the original fair, where it featured displays about municipal agencies. The building later served as the meeting place of the United Nations from 1946 to
’50. For the ’64 World’s Fair, the museum building was renovated again to host a massive panorama of every building in New York City, which the Queens Museum still exhibits today. The tour also stops at the New York Pavilion and Terrace on the Park. The latter was designed as a helipad for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The T-shaped structure (for “Transportation”) now operates as a popular catering hall. The final stop on the tour was the 2,000-yearold “Whispering Column of Jerash.” The column is easy to miss within the park, but it’s actually the second-oldest antiquity in New York City, after the obelisk “Cleopatra’s Needle” in Central Park. The column was part of several erected in a temple in 120 A.D. in the Roman city of Jerash. The kingdom of Jordan presented the column as a gift to the 1964 World’s Fair. It’s a reminder that the park still holds princely experiences — and memories. New York City Parks volunteers lead free tours on the second Sunday of each month through November. The 90-minute tours begin at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m. at the Unisphere. For more, visit nycgovparks.org.
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Ben Model at the Wurlitzer organ in Loew’s Jersey in Jersey City. Photograph by Steve Friedman, © 2014. Courtesy Ben Model.
THE SOUND OF SILENTS BY PHIL HALL
ave you heard any good silent movies lately? Contrary to popular belief, the silent movies were never truly silent. Back in the day, the absence of a film soundtrack was replaced by live musical performances with each theatrical screening. The diversity of the accompaniment varied depending on the theater — a single pianist or organist for a cozy neighborhood cinema, a small ensemble for a medium-size venue and a full orchestra for the grand movie palaces of that bygone era. If there is a big-screen presentation of a silent movie today, there is an excellent chance that Ben Model will be at the keyboard for the live musical accompaniment. For more than three decades, Model — who teaches a course in silent film at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut,
— has kept alive the multimedia tradition of the silent movie, offering original and innovative compositions to match the moods, emotions, action and shenanigans of yesteryear’s cinematic classics. Manhattan-based Model is a resident film accompanist at The Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theater, and his passion for silent movie musical accompaniment has taken him to some far-flung and fascinating locales. “Probably the most off-the-beaten-path place that I’ve played has been Tromsø, Norway,” he says. “It is above the Arctic Circle and has the oldest functioning movie house in Norway, built in 1916. They have a silent film festival every year, and I’ve played every year since 2006. Some travel writer dubbed Tromsø ‘the Paris of the North.’ I’ve never been to Paris, so I can’t make a comparison.”
Model discovered silent movies as a child in the late 1960s, when old Charlie Chaplin shorts played on TV. While attending New York University in the early 1980s, he volunteered to play a piano during the film studies department’s silent-movie screenings. The 16mm prints being used by the school came without musical soundtracks and Model felt that viewing the old films in total silence created an uncomfortable experience. Today, the once-eager student who volunteered to play for his classmates recently became a star attraction in Hollywood, performing in late April for a screening of the 1928 classic “Show People” at the TCM Classic Film Festival in the legendary Egyptian Theatre. Across the Pacific, Model found his largest audience at the annual music and film festival held in Jecheon, South Korea. “Two years ago, I performed outdoors in the summer by a lake with an audience of 3,000,” he recalls. “I played for Harold Lloyd’s ‘The Freshman’ and Buster Keaton’s ‘Steamboat Bill, Jr.’” One unlikely location that has given Model a degree of stardom is Boise, Idaho, where he performs annually at the historic Egyptian Theatre on the venue’s original 1927 Robert Morton theater pipe organ. The Boise Philharmonic has licensed Mod-
el’s orchestral scores for their live accompaniment of silent film classics, and even the local school system knows Model’s work as sixth graders from the city’s public schools get special screenings of the silent comedy masterworks. “Students love it once they get past the word ‘silent,’" Model observes. “Show a Buster Keaton film to 11-year-olds — when the lights go off and the film starts, they go for it. For them, it is a brand-new type of humor that nobody does at all.” Although Model praises Boise for feeding his caffeine needs — “One of the things about Boise, there are tons of places to get good coffee” — a visit to the 2017 Buster Keaton Festival in Iola, Kansas, enabled Model to explore the neighboring town of Piqua, where Keaton was born in 1895. However, Model spent more time and had more lasting memories in Piqua than Keaton did. “His parents were traveling through the town with a medicine show, had Buster and then moved on,” he says. Perhaps the most poignant venues for Model’s shows has been at New York-area senior living facilities, where he performs during screenings of silent comedies. “They go over great,” he says. “The seniors say to me, ‘We don’t get to laugh like this.’
The most common question I get asked is, ‘When are you coming back?’” Model also teams with film historians Bruce Lawton and Steve Massa on the Silent Clowns Film Series, a monthly program of silent movie screenings held during the summer and winter at the New York Public Library for Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Outside of the theater, Model is an active film preservationist and entrepreneur. His Undercranked Productions DVD label has offered restored versions of rare silent films starring Lon Chaney, Marion Davies and the Spanish-born comedy star Marcel Perez, plus the “Accidentally Preserved” series of long-lost silent productions that were recovered from 16mm and 9.5mm prints owned by private collectors. And, as if that’s not enough, Model plays a live accompaniment to the films being studied in his course at Wesleyan. However, his long years of showmanship needed to be realigned to the classroom. “In the first semester, I had to teach myself to stop saying, ‘Thank you for coming,’ which I do for every show,” he says, with a not-silent laugh. For more, visit silentfilmmusic.com.
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Barbara Ostrom created “Art and A La Carte.” She said she imagined the room in the home of avid art collectors. “They are a couple who are confident in their unique and eclectic personal taste.” 64
PHOTOGRAPHS AND STORY BY BOB ROZYCKI
Top two photos: Philip Mitchell said his room was inspired by the history of family and love of collections. The room is “about the nostalgia I have for all that is grand about living well with beautiful things and entertaining enchanting people.”
Left: Alexa Hampton said she had been dreaming of campaign tents prior to creating “Olympia Folly” with its trompe l’oeil ceiling and walls. The concept involved a collaboration with de Gournay of creating a draped interior mapped onto paper by artist Chuck Fischer.
Never judge a gift by its size or the way it’s wrapped. You just might be surprised as to what’s inside. And so it was with a lusterless townhouse on East 76th Street in Manhattan last month. Unlike the row of mutually dull facades to which it was attached, its saving grace was a maroon sign affixed to the front door announcing in bold white letters “The Forty-Sixth Annual Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Show House.” It was not until the door opened that the very air changed. Colors peeked from around corners, enticing you to breathe in a heady perfume of pure imagination. A few steps ahead, the staircase was a near-psychedelic experience of colorful squares, triangles, rectangles and stripes, punctuated by black crescents cascading like a waterfall, all from the mind of Sasha Bikoff, who might’ve gone on holiday with Alice down a celebrated rabbit hole. From the basement to the top floor, the rooms popped with vibrant creativity. From a salon set in saffron by Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson to a room by Mark D. Sikes with a bed set amid a custom hand-painted Gracie scene with leafy branches and fluttering birds, all seven floors were, taken in total, a Technicolor dreamscape.
Sasha Bikoff created the showstopping staircase at the Kips Bay show house, above left; and right, show house chairwoman Bunny Williams said of her space (two views), “Imagine that you have a very comfortable living room in a tree house where you can look at the sky through gilded leaves and watch a spider make a giant cobweb.”
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Those wishing to live like Elizabeth I – or maybe just like a movie star – need look no further than Old Mill Farm in Greenwich – as much a resort as a home. Built in 1927 by investment banker Charles L. Ohrstrom and architect Charles Lewis Bowman, who created much of Tudor Bronxville, the farm is an impressive, 15,862-square-foot, eight-bedroom Elizabethan Tudor featuring 16th- and 17th-century English oak linen-fold panel walls, a great hall/living room with a 40-foot vaulted ceiling, museum-quality stained-glass windows, quarter-sawn oak floors and a stone rathskeller. The previous owner, Mel Gibson, renamed it Wayne Manor (a nod to “Batman”) and made it his Connecticut home for 15 years. It was modernized by the current owner with a sumptuous master suite featuring two updated Calacatta Gold marble bathrooms, luxurious family bathrooms — 14 full and seven partial in all — a high-end movie theater, double chef kitchens and a state-of-the-art sound system. Outbuildings include a Cotswold-style stone cottage with two four-bedroom apartments; a stable with living quarters as well as stalls and a horse paddock; a log cabin with original fireplace and a professional greenhouse. The grounds are considered the finest and largest landholding in Greenwich, with 75-plus acres of broad lawns, flower gardens and orchards, a boxwood maze, miles of trails and a spring-fed lake with a dock. Expansive flagstone terraces lead to an outdoor chess set, a 60-foot pool, a lit tennis court with a stone pavilion and a putting green, all showcased in an extraordinary English park setting for $22.5 million. Now all you need is your own dashing Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to ride and play chess with. For more, call Leslie McElwreath at 917-5393654 or 203-618-3165.
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Sergei Poluninâ€™s turning point BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA Sergei Polunin as Albrecht in the Bolshoi Ballet's "Giselle." Photographs by Damir Yusupou. 72
Sergei Polunin and Svetlana Zakharova in "Giselle."
We’ve all heard stories about those who have the love of – but not the talent for – an art or sport. Zelda Fitzgerald’s attempts to become a ballerina at age 27, an obsession that precipitated madness, comes to mind, as does heiress Florence Foster Jenkins’ determination to become an opera singer — despite an inability to sing — a wee obstacle dramatized by Meryl Streep in the movie named for the “singer.” But what about those with the ability but not the grand passion for what they do? You think of John McEnroe, the former world No. 1, who once said he never had the love for tennis that Jimmy Connors did, or Andre Agassi, another former No. 1, who went McEnroe one better and said he hated the game that he graced so memorably. Should we add the conflicted Sergei Polunin to the latter category? In 2010 at age 19, he became The Royal Ballet’s youngest principal dancer ever. Two years later, he pirouetted away from the company, amid complaints of strictures and tabloid reports of partying, drinking and drug-taking by the reigning “bad boy of ballet,” the once and future heir to Rudolf Nureyev.
“I hated the fact that I had to dance, when you have to do it. It’s like, 'Why do I have to do anything? Because you’re good at it?”' he asks in the fascinating 2016 documentary “Dancer.” It’s an existential question that speaks to the roles that history, geography, biology and, perhaps especially, money (or rather the lack thereof) have played in his life and in any life. Fortunately for balletomanes, he has recently concluded that there is a point in continuing a career that combines superb technical skills with physical beauty, a charismatic stage presence, real musicality, a soulful acting style and an almost animalistic hunger for experience that suggests not only Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov but actors Mickey Rourke and Marlon Brando — two of his heroes. Valentino Zucchetti, a first soloist of The Royal Ballet and a former classmate of Sergei’s, describes him as a “graceful beast,” for his mix of aggression and control. Others have noticed that dual nature as well. “He seems shy during rehearsals,” says Svetlana
Zakharova. “Onstage, everything’s different. He completely changes and opens up emotionally. And that brings the story to life with totally fresh feelings and emotions.” The Bolshoi Ballet star, known as “the tsarina of dance,” was undeterred by her fellow Ukrainian’s reputation and has taken him on as an occasional partner. The result has been pure magic, as in a performance of “Giselle” simulcast recently into City Center 15: Cinema de Lux in White Plains and theaters around the world that called to mind Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland, Natalia Makarova and Anthony Dowell and other great pairings in this quintessential Romantic ballet. Like Baryshnikov, Sergei has made the leap from stage to screens big and small — going viral as a kind of birdman beating against a gilded cage (actually a stylized tree house in Maui) for David LaChapelle’s “Take Me to Church” video (23 million views and counting) and scoring small parts in the recent “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Red Sparrow.” (In “The White Crow,” Ralph Fiennes’ upcoming movie about Nureyev’s 1961 defection to the West, Polunin plays Yuri Soloviev, a contemporary who was hounded by the Soviets after Nureyev’s defection and committed suicide in 1977.) But do such opportunities slake such a questing spirit? Although Sergei has said he is inspired by movies, he has observed, “Now I want to become an artist, rather than one thing, like a dancer or a movie star or a choreographer.” 'HARRY POTTER WORLD' Sigmund Freud said “biology is destiny.” But maybe history and geography are destiny, too. Sergei was born in Kherson, a port city on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine in the waning days of the Soviet Union. “Everybody was poor, you know, nobody had money and when everybody’s poor, you don’t feel the difference,” Sergei says in the documentary. “And when you’re a kid especially, you’re just having fun. You don’t know any troubles.” His father, Vladimir, with whom he has a warm relationship as demonstrated in “Dancer,” was nonetheless often away, earning money to support the family. He worked as a gardener in Portugal while one of Sergei’s grandmothers worked in Greece as an elder caregiver. That left young “Seryozha,” a budding gymnast, in the company of his mother, Galina, with whom he has a more complex relationship. Determined that her son not be condemned to the kind of dead-end life she saw all around her, Galina signed him up for ballet before she really understood what a ballet career entailed, moving the two of them to Kiev so that he
could study at the State Choreographic Institute. “That’s when I guess fun was over,” he says in “Dancer.” Four years later, they applied to the highly competitive Royal Ballet School in Great Britain. It was a long shot but Sergei’s natural talent and plasticity gained him admittance and sponsorship by the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. When her visa expired, Galina decided it was best to comply with the law and not compromise her son’s chances for success. Leaving him, she says in “Dancer,” was “my ultimate sacrifice.” He was just 13 and alone in a foreign country in which he did not speak the native language. “London was very different than Ukraine,” he recalls in the documentary. “Everything was beautiful, magical. I felt like I was in Harry Potter world.” Sergei persevered, taking twice as many classes, all in the hope of improving the lives of the family that remained at the center of his. He rose steadily — earning the gold medal at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne in 2006 and the rank of a first soloist in 2009. A year later, he was the youngest principal in The Royal Ballet’s history. However, he also discovered that ballet — an exacting mistress — is rarely a means to end but rather an end in itself. The dancer must dance. He can’t skip a day of class and hope his body, screaming in pain on the best of days, will bend to his will. “You feel like you’re a prisoner to your body,” he says in “Dancer.”
Nor can success in any profession heal a broken family. Sergei’s parents had divorced. He blamed his mother — and, perhaps, himself. He partied with friends — smoking, drinking to the point of passing out, doing cocaine, performing high, garnering the wrong kind of headlines in tabloid-crazed London. He endured the pain of tattoos, including one that looks like claw marks on his left breast. (“Why do you make yourself look like a freak?” his mother wonders in one of the documentary’s outtakes. “I thought you stopped being cruel to yourself.” He wished himself a career-ending injury.) On Jan. 24, 2012, Sergei resigned from The Royal Ballet immediately. “The artist in me was dying,” the BBC News reported him saying. GOING TO 'CHURCH' But what to do? He has long been influenced by American culture — among his many tattoos is the phrase “Dirty Money,” after the P. Diddy music group — but he says no American company would take him. So, he went where he did not want to go — to Russia, perhaps the pinnacle of ballet, where audiences do not give their hearts easily. Russia meant starting over, appearing on and winning “Big Ballet,” a kind of “Dancing With the Stars,” Bolshoi Ballet-style. He joined former dancer and choreographer Igor Zelensky, who became a father figure to him, at The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre
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in Moscow. He planned “Take Me to Church” — set to Hozier’s bluesy ballad — as a swan song. The sexy, haunting number, which makes superb use of Sergei’s off-balance turns and gift for explosiveness propelled out of stillness — has transfixed viewers who wouldn’t know a pas de deux from a faux pas. It gave him the strength to dance an evening of Jerome Robbins’ Chopin works at The Stanislavsky that included “Other Dances,” a pas de deux whose male role was originally created for Baryshnikov and Peter Martins. It was the first time his parents and grandmother saw him perform professionally. Afterward, they came backstage. In “Dancer,” it is both a wonderful and terrible moment in which you can’t help but think of all the years in which they weren’t together as a family. But then, we wouldn’t have had the miracle that is Sergei, would we? So what’s it to be? A career cut short and a lifetime of might’ve beens? Or a turn in the road in which dance remains a springboard for opportunities that feed an artistic hunger and restlessness, as they did for Nureyev and Baryshnikov? A hint may be found in some of the other comments he makes in “Dancer”: “When I dance I don’t think how I dance. It’s just who I am,” he says. “When you take off and hover in the air for a couple of seconds — you know, your body let’s you do that — it’s worth dancing for. When you’re dancing and jumping in the air, this is who you are.”
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SCENTS AND VENETIAN SENSIBILITY BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
Alessandrite I, in travel and full size, is a heady aldehydic floral that's part of Valmont's new “Storie Veneziane” collection. Images courtesy Valmont.
ust as the taste of a luscious, teadipped madeleine — the shellshaped, cake-like cookie — conjures the memory of his aunt for Marcel Proust in his seminal novel “In Search of Lost Time,” so a scent can fill you with nostalgic evocation and longing. Perhaps more than sight and sound, a scent can also define a place for you. For Sophie Guillon, CEO of Valmont Group, the Swiss beauty line featured at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor, among other luxe establishments, “La Serenissima” comes alive in its scents — the tang of the sea, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee served steaming as the first vaporetti (waterbuses) set off through the canals. Though a passionate Parisian, Venice has her heart, being the first city she visited with husband, Didier, the company’s owner and artistic director. For him, sight has been the Venetian conjurer. Visiting the fog-swathed city on a Christmas Day, he thought it the epitome of a J.M.W. Turner seascape. Luchino Visconti’s film of the Thomas Mann novella “Death in Venice” also sprang to his mind. So it’s no wonder that the city has hosted a
Valmont Foundation exhibit as part of the Biennale since 2013. Or that Valmont should turn to Venice for the inspiration for its Storie Veneziane, which consists of five intoxicating new fragrances. Each is housed in a bottle embellished with leather, a signature Venetian craft, and a jewel-colored mask made of handblown Murano glass — itself a product of the lagoon’s exceptionally fine sand and seaweed ash. The masks — designed by Didier and fashioned by master glassmaker Leonardo Cimonlin — seem to salute still another Venetian art, Carnival. Each fragrance lets you “wander” through a distinct neighborhood — perfect for a city of flaneurs. Verde Erba — a subtle, spring-like green floral with notes of woodsy syringa, papyrus and vanilla — invites you to stroll the Pontile Sant’Elena and explore the isle’s 12th-century church and monastery, soccer stadium and Biennale buildings. Alessandrite I — a heady aldehydic floral blending jasmine and bergamot in a bottle with a diamantine face — captures L’Arsenale’s mix of the traditional and the modern. Brilliantly crimson Rosso I — a floral oriental
bouquet of pink berries, Damask roses and oud — lets you get away from it all in the cloister of San Francesco Della Vigna. Gaggia Medio I — an amber scent with notes of cardamom and sweet sandalwood — pays tribute to arty, winding Dorsoduro. Blu Cobalto I — an oriental gourmand of patchouli, cocoa and opoponax adorned with a sapphire-colored mask — lets you shop with a difference amid the crafts and Baroque splendor of Campo San Moisè. Pick your passion or let fate decide. You can’t go wrong with any of these scents. Or splurge on all five and find yourself transported to Venice wherever you are — one, in a sense, with Proust. Le Storie Veneziane is available exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue's flagship store in Manhattan through August. It’s available in September at SPA Valmont at Hotel Plaza Athénée in Manhattan and the Hotel Bel-Air Spa in Los Angeles. The price is $420 (100ml). The travel size is also available for $210 (8.5ml). For more, visit storieveneziane.com and valmontcosmetics.com.And for more on this year’s Biennale, which continues this month with dance, visit labiennale.org/en.
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GLOBAL CHIC BY DANIELLE RENDA
lizabeth Jeffer is looking for the woman who wants to stand out — quietly. This was Jeffer’s vision when she launched Roztayger, a highly curated, online retail store spotlighting international designers. The former Chappaqua resident — she has since relocated to Los Gatos, California — wished to dissolve the notion of fashion being a chore. Dressing should be a freeing experience, she says, rather than an exhausting pursuit of the latest trends. So, she decided to ease the process by offering a selection of products — including women’s clothing, accessories and perfume — that are appropriate for everyday wear but incorporate a splash of personality. Jeffer refers to this as the “uniform.” “We’re all busy, so who wants to bother? You find out what works on the periphery and you try to experiment,” she says. The uniform doesn’t represent work wear. In Jeffer’s world, it refers to a daily go-to outfit — a look that communicates individuality, delicately without overkill. And one that hardly requires any thought to put together. “The main thing is to figure out your body type,
your lifestyle and how you feel, what you feel most confident in,” she says. “It’s really about feeling confident and not thinking about what you’re wearing.” For Jeffer, this uniform is usually a boyfriend-style jean paired with a neutral-colored blouse and accessories that may include bold shoes, statement jewelry or a timeless handbag. It may sound simple, but this uniform is the byproduct of years of experience devoted to perfecting that personalized effortlessness. Jeffer has worked in the fashion industry since she graduated from the University of Berkeley in California with an art history degree. After stints at several boutiques, she became interested in opening her own brick-and-mortar store but grew weary of the challenges of retail. Instead, she worked as a representative for small, high-end accessories designers and later as the co-owner of the Metropolitan Design Group, an accessories showroom in New York City. But in September 2011, she decided it was time to pursue her dream of opening a store, opting for the web in order to reach more clients. And with that, Jeffer began sourcing hard-tofind items. “I often find designers that don’t show in the
United States or designers that don’t market to the United States,” she says. In her pursuit of these designers, Jeffer travels — a lot. Every year, she makes the trip to Paris Fashion Week, which is her favorite part of the job, she says. But she also uses social media to leverage communication with designers who are under the radar, such as German handbag designer Tsatsas, North African handbag designer Anne Grand Clément, Japanese shoemaker Le Yucca, French cashmere designer Douce Gloire, and Chimala, a jeans company based in New York, which creates its garments in Japan and is known for its exclusivity. “They don’t want to look like they’re wearing the trend of the moment,” Jeffer says of her clients. “I like designs that are a bit left of center but not way out there.” Nearly all of Jeffer’s clients are based in the United States, she says, mainly from urban areas, such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Miami and Boston, but recently she’s been experimenting with pop-up stores in Los Gatos, something that’s been long anticipated. (Having relocated from her home state of California to New York after college, Jeffer was only planning to stay for a year or two, which eventually turned into
The Cream Small Brasilia Bag by Bonastre, $810. Photographs courtesy Roztayger.
a 20-year stint.) But she still dreams of owning a brick-and-mortar store, which she hopes to open in California. Along with Jeffer’s love for (and need to) travel, she’s devoted a portion of her website — which is appropriately named “Travel” — to busy gals like herself. “I have a travel-luxury link that pulls up my favorite pieces on what are helpful in travel on the page,” she says. “I think you want to bring various pieces that work in various situations. You want to make your life easier when you’re traveling.” And even though Jeffer’s brand has brought her around the world (and back), her main source of inspiration, and the company’s namesake, has remained her grandmother Rosalind Tiger. Jeffer recalls her grandmother, a style icon in her own right, in hats and stylish clothes from the 1920s and ’30s. “I would pore through her stuff looking for vintage gems,” Jeffer says. “She would laugh at me in her big hats and have me take whatever I wanted.” But most of all, she recalls her modesty. “She always had great style without exertion and a very humble attitude,” she says. It seems the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. For more, visit roztayger.com.
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THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING BAGS BY DANIELLE RENDA
Vibrant handbags are offered in various styles, which include trendy clutches, travel wallets and canvas pouches. The company’s newest styles (not pictured) include purses with a colorful, all-over gingham print. Courtesy Neely & Chloe.
raveling up and down the East Coast in a refurbished, vintage Airstream sounds like the classic American road trip experience. But for Neely and Chloe Burch, it was all in the name of fashion. The sisters — and nieces of Tory Burch, the chairman, CEO and designer of the eponymous women’s brand — were recent college graduates interested in launching their own accessories line, one that was timelessly chic but affordable for working women their age. They wanted to go back to the basics, homing in on the purpose of a handbag — to carry precious essentials — while bringing its design up to speed for on-the-go gals. But Neely, who dipped her toe into the fashion pool first, needed to know what appealed to her customers and what didn’t. So she targeted college students, a demographic she knew best, hosted a pop-up boutique housed inside of the traveling silver Airstream and assessed what worked. And that was only the beginning. The sisters knew they had an advantage. Coming from a bloodline of fashion entrepreneurs, the Burch women weren’t the first Burches to scale its
heights. Besides Aunt Tory, whose billion-dollar company includes more than 200 brick-and-mortar stores worldwide, uncle Chris Burch owned C. Wonder, a New York-based retail concept store that closed in 2015, and cousins Pookie and Louisa Burch own Trademark, a New York-based women’s accessories brand. Neely and Chloe’s father, Robert Burch, also co-owned Eagle’s Eye, a women’s and children’s footwear biz, with brother Chris for some 30 years. If the sisters want advice, it’s at their fingertips. But they wished to break through on their own. Just one year apart, Neely (Victoria) and Chloe both attended Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Neely, who studied art history, had been with Sotheby’s for one year when Chloe accepted a position in merchandising for J. Crew. But Neely caught the entrepreneur bug first and soon left Sotheby’s to pursue Neely by VNB, a traveling retail concept she created. It was this project that would later grow into the sisters’ eponymous line. Neely by VNB — which stands for Victoria Neely Burch — was designed to bring fabulous finds directly to consumers, namely college girls. In a restored 1930s Airstream made to resemble the most
stylish personalized boutique experience, Neely traveled as far south as Georgia, hosting some 50 pop-up shops on college campuses as well as select retail locations, paying close attention to how customers responded to the products. She bought women’s accessories for wholesale prices — with brands including Tory Burch (of course), as well as Superga, Dolce Vita and Joie — and sold them for retail value. After being on the road for a year and a half, Neely returned and persuaded Chloe, “after a lot of convincing and a lot of long conversations,” to join her company. In September 2016, Neely & Chloe was born. Neither of the sisters had educational backgrounds in business or finance, and they knew they had a lot to learn. “We were forced to become familiarized with the backend of the business,” Neely says. The sisters moved into a Tribeca apartment — they’re originally from Gladwyne, Pennsylvania — which they still share, and began working together on their brand, pooling all of their skills, experience and insight, with a little advice from their family. “We feel really lucky to have family in the business,” Neely says. Within a short time, Neely and Chloe generated $1.25 million from fundraising, which they collect-
ed from family, friends and investors. Then they began refining their products, which targeted women in their 20s and 30s, a bit older than their originally anticipated demographic. “Our customers are millennial women that are a bit more sophisticated, a bit more timeless, who are still young and trying not to spend an arm and a leg to get through the day,” Neely says. The brand, which is based in New York, has been described as selling handbags that look like handbags. In other words, form meets function — with a stylish twist, of course. Handbags by Neely & Chloe aren’t adorned with trappings or trimmings. Instead, their look is characterized by minimalistic, clean lines and strong, saturated colors, branding that is strategically placed inside the bags and with monogramming options for just $12. “I think for customization, something we go back to is that it should be more about you than it is about us when you leave the store,” Neely says. For added personality, the brand offers ornaments — which can be placed over the clasp — from the likes of a delicate gingko leaf to a feather, a snail and a lizard, as well as tiered tassels. The bags are meant to last — not only for the season but also for years to come. Each purse is designed with simplicity in mind. They’re large enough to house all essentials — phone, wallet, keys — but not large enough to compete with an outfit.
And with a price point that caps off at $300, they’re affordable for the working millennial lady. Going forward, the pair intends to continue focusing on the “finishing touches of a woman’s outfit” and is not planning to expand into clothing. “I think we’re really focused on creating a clean and concise offering,” Neely says. “I think we only scratched the surface for our consumers that are out there. I think until we feel like we are able to reach out to many women across the country, we want to maintain a really concise product offering.” But they do plan on bringing back the Airstream — again and again. From June through August of last year, the duo traveled from their home state of Pennsylvania down to North Carolina, Georgia and Texas, hosting trunk shows and sharing their products with new customers. This year, there’s another tour in the works. And, as for the sibling dynamic, Neely and Chloe say that it’s working to their advantage. “Our parents’ goal was for us to be best friends growing up,” Chloe says. “We went to high school together, we went to college together and now we work together. We are together a lot but we have different skill sets, so we complement each other, which is great.” Adds Neely: “It almost feels like working with yourself a bit.” For more, visit neelyandchloe.com.
Danielle Renda speaks with best-selling author Chuck Palahniuk at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, while he signs her copy of “Adjustment Day,” Palahniuk’s newest novel. Photographs by Elijah Riess.
‘ADJUSTMENT DAY’ IS HERE
BY DANIELLE RENDA
he Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn was bustling with activity as best-selling author Chuck Palahniuk visited to promote “Adjustment Day,” his first novel in four years. The Washington state native, who is perhaps best-known for the 1996 novel “Fight Club,” which became a film three years later with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton — made a stop in the borough to sign copies of his latest, which riffs on the themes of “Fight Club.” In line with his earlier novels — which include “Choke” (2001), “Tell All” (2010) and “Beautiful You” (2014) — Palahniuk’s latest work is a satirical creation with political overtones. The inspiration for “Adjustment Day” was a trip that he took to Madrid some six years ago. During his stay, Palahniuk began to see the United States from a European viewpoint — one that finds Amer-
ica at times outlandish. Palahniuk has said that “Adjustment Day” is one of his boldest novels and, like much of his work, it is not for the faint of heart. In “Fight Club” — which questions machismo even as it indulges its brutality — Palahniuk’s protagonist turns to the violent underground world of the title setting to explore what it means to be a man. “Adjustment Day” ups the ante as men from around the country aggressively organize, plan and manipulate others as they prepare to become leaders of a new nation. (Sounds prescient, doesn’t it?) “Fight Club” fans will recall that the first (and second) rule of Fight Club is that you do not talk about Fight Club. So we won’t spoil the experience for the reader by adding anything else. Except to say that Palahniuk has always been a grim jokester. That gallows humor has, however, helped contribute to his cult following over the years.
Even best-selling authors have writer’s block, and Palahniuk suggests listening to combat it. (Perhaps that’s why the cover of “Adjustment Day” features cartoonish blue, green and purple ears against a blinding yellow background.) “If I ever get stuck, I go out and spend time with people and, a lot of times, I might tell them if I have a general premise. I’ll say, ‘I’m working on a story about blank,”’ he says. “And the way to test a good story is if people instantly engage with it and they start to sort of fill out the idea with examples from their own lives.” When he wrote “Fight Club,” Palahniuk attended a lot of parties, he says. At these parties he would pay attention to minute details, whether it was a subtle joke exchanged between friends or an unusual dress of someone attending. He mentally shelved this information for references later expressed in “Fight Club.” It was a win-win, he jokes, because he was able to write while still having a good time. Besides “Adjustment Day,” Palahniuk has also published “Fight Club 2,” a graphic novel. For more, visit chuckpalahniuk.net. For more about Greenlight Bookstore, visit greenlightbookstore.com.
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VISITING SCANDINAVIA AT HOME BY JANE MORGAN
lthough shopping at Swedish-born IKEA has become a rite of passage for many Americans establishing the starter apartment (or live-in relationship), there is a lot more to Scandinavian design. Well-known for its high-end traditional crafts and cool architecture, it has since the 1950s become part of a modern movement that emphasizes simplicity, functionality and elegance over preciousness. Combining different industrial technologies, designers from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have radically changed the public perception of design from something reserved only for professionals to something reflecting the style of everyday life. Marked by pale colors, natural materials and lean, leggy furniture, the aesthetic has largely been a response to the region’s short days and infamously long winters. Although Scandinavia is cold, its brand of modernism can be quite warm as evidenced by a recent (although decades-old) design trend called Hygge. Pronounced "hue-gah," it is a Danish and Norwegian word that roughly translates into a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. If you've ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy day wrapped in a warm blanket or sipping a cup of hot cocoa in wooly socks while it’s snowing outside, you've experienced hygge without even knowing it. By embracing the indoors, welcoming others into your home, and taking plenty of time to treat yourself to little luxuries, you are engaging in hygge as an ideal form of self-care. Though hygge would seem to lend itself more to the harsher seasons, the softer ones might be the perfect moment to acquaint yourself with its minimalist pleasures.
The epitome of hygge (cozy contentment).
WHAT THINGS ARE CONSIDERED EXAMPLES OF HYGGE? Less is (much) more: Minimal furniture scaled low to the floor. Natural materials: Balance plastics or acrylics with light wood for a rustic charm. Texture: Warm and fuzzy, chunky-knit blankets, lambskin rugs and stone-washed linen bed sheets. (Good for cool nights at the beach house.) Color: Chalky whites with pastels and grays and white-painted wood floors. Accessories: Candles, books, personal photos, pottery, baskets, piles of blankets and scads of throw pillows. WHAT ABOUT FOOD? What you eat is also essential to creating those cozy vibes and it's all about homemade sweets, comfort food and hot drinks. While restaurants can certainly have a hygge atmosphere (think
candles on the table and a fireplace in the back), spending tons of money on an expensive meal isn't the point. It's more about relaxing with familiar comfort foods such as pastries, meatballs, copious amounts of coffee, hot cocoa and grandma's chicken pot pie. Spend a weekend afternoon baking your favorite chocolate cake. Hosting intimate evenings of good food, deep conversation and comfortable companionship with your closest friends or family is so hygge. The awful weather in our area this year has rivaled Scandinavia on more than one occasion so I think we could all qualify as honorary members of the hygge-practicing tribe. Maybe by the time this issue goes to print, I’ll be out of my wool socks and sweater. Hope springs eternal. For more on Scandinavian design, visit danishdesignstore.com, finnishdesignshop.com and moma.org. And for more on Jane, visit janemorganinteriordesign.com.
One of the area’s top squash clubs, is not actually a squash club. It’s much more. Ox Ridge offers a unique combination of activities for the whole family, with the unique benefits of belonging to one of the premier private sporting clubs in the Northeast. Squash at Ox Ridge will feature 6 Singles and 2 Doubles courts — all with glass back-walls to enhance viewing and coaching — and includes spectator seating, adjoining locker rooms and Pro Shop. Club members will compete in local, regional and national competitions. Pro Tour level professionals with a focus on junior development and adult programs work daily to enhance player skills at all levels, offering individual and group lessons, clinics and summer camps. But membership at Ox Ridge will mean much more: gatherings on the events lawn or on the pub/dining room’s wraparound terrace, enjoying the expanded equestrian complex with indoor and outdoor riding rings, playing platform tennis on one of our four lighted courts, or working out in the state-of-the-art fitness center. Unique membership options include our Founder Member class with a very attractive ”member’s interest” financial structure. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org , 203.655.2559 or visit oxridge.com
© 2018 Ox Ridge Riding & Racquet Club, 512 Middlesex Rd, Darien CT 06820
Harry Bertoia works, clockwise from left: Bush sculpture (1970s), patinated bronze and copper, sold for $53,125; Sonambient sculpture (1976), beryllium copper and bronze, sold for $38,750; and Sculpture screen for the First National Bank of Miami (1959), brass and steel, sold for $135,750. All images courtesy Rago Arts and Auction.
BERTOIA: FROM ITALY TO ICON BY JENNY PITMAN
arry Bertoia is best known as a designer of midcentury wirework furniture, such as his iconic Diamond chair. These designs not only brought Bertoia fame but sufficient “fortune” to pursue his passion for sculpture. Today, while Bertoia’s chairs can be found at auction for as little as $200 to $300, his legacy is increasingly built on his sculptures, which are highly sought after and can command prices into the six figures. Bertoia (1915-78) was blessed with his family’s artistic talent and enjoyed a long and varied career as a teacher, metalworker, designer and sculptor. As a teenager, Bertoia emigrated from Italy to join his older brother, Oreste, in Detroit, where he honed his artistic skills. In 1937, he was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of
Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. At Cranbrook, Bertoia studied painting and metalwork and began to produce his own jewelry. In time, Bertoia was hired by Cranbrook to teach metalworking, jewelry design and graphic design. All the while, Bertoia created his own monoprints and jewelry, which he promoted through Cranbrook and the Nierendorf Gallery in Manhattan. It was through his association with Cranbrook that Bertoia met Charles Eames and Florence Knoll who would foster his career as a furniture designer. In 1943, Bertoia moved to California to work with Eames on chair designs. Then in 1950 he moved to Barto, Pennsylvania, to work for Knoll Associates. At Knoll, Bertoia designed his wirework seating, including the Diamond, Bird and Bikini chairs. The designs were an immediate
sounds — what have been termed visual music. Bertoia installed a multitude of these tonal sculptures on his property in the late ’60s, giving performances and producing Sonambient recordings. Sound sculptures were Bertoia’s major interest in the ’70s with his son Val often collaborating with his father on these pieces. After Harry’s death in 1978, Val became the manager of the Bertoia Studio and has gone on to produce his own sculpture and Sonambients. “Bertoia’s sculptures have been on a mostly upward trajectory for the better part of two decades with some flat parts but seldom any downswings,” according to David Rago of the eponymous auction house, which sells many Bertoia pieces. “Bertoia was a genius and he was prolific and there is a critical mass of fine and varied material to both maintain interest and find new collectors.” The panels, bushes and Sonambients garner the most attention and achieve the highest prices at auction. There is variation within Bertoia’s work and there is a corresponding good, better and best hierarchy to value. A Bertoia bush that is more ro-
success and, within three years, Bertoia left Knoll to concentrate on his sculptural works. Bertoia was soon engaged by prominent architects, such as his friend Eero Saarinen, to create sculptural screens for significant American architectural projects. Among his most ambitious was the 1954 screen of 800 floating metal panels, some 70 feet in length, which was installed in Manhattan’s Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. (visible today in the North Face store at 510 Fifth Ave.). In all, Bertoia produced some 50 large-scale screens, sculptures and fountains across the country. Works on a relatively more intimate scale included panels, wire constructions, welded plants and his Sonambient-sounding sculptures. Among his most charming pieces are his welded plants, including dandelion and sunburst sculptures and bushes of patinated metal. Bertoia’s Sonambient-sounding sculptures are formed of copper, steel, bronze and brass rods, which vary in size from a few inches to nearly 20 feet. The rods are commonly capped with cylinders or drops and, when the closely placed rods sway, they emit
bust, with a colorful patina, can reach $50,000 at auction and will fare better than sparser, metallic examples. Bertoia’s Sonambients recently have been achieving the $40,000 to $60,000 range at auction and, as a result, Val’s works are gaining momentum. Even so, a visual music sculpture by Harry will bring eight to 10 times more than a similar piece by Val. Rago notes that three-quarters of his Bertoia consignments come from their original owners, many local to the Delaware Valley, where Rago has the advantage of being in the same location in which the objects were made. While buyers of Bertoia works are mostly American, Rago foresees a more international audience, as the worldwide interest in American midcentury design continues to grow. With the number of avid fans increasing in Europe, it’s only a matter of time before Bertoia pieces increasingly travel to foreign shores. For more, see Nancy N. Schiffer and Val O. Bertoia’s “The World of Bertoia” (2003). And for more on Jenny, email email@example.com or call 917-745-2730.
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Wane One working on his mural “Brighter Colors Better Life,” right, outside ArtsWestchester’s Arts Exchange headquarters at 31 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains.
CURB APPEAL STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY BOB ROZYCKI
blank canvas is generally white. Rarely is it black. Or made of asphalt. Artist Wane One painted his f i r s t train in New York City as a graffiti writer in 1983. Thirty-five years later, he painted his first street. Well, not an entire street, just a 1,650-foot-square section of Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains. Why? ArtsWestchester asked him to, to mark its 20th anniversary in a former bank building at 31 Mamaroneck Ave. He calls his artwork in front of ArtsWestches-
ter’s Arts Exchange headquarters “Brighter Colors Better Life.” Its inspiration is the arts organization’s enduring presence in the county. “It’s a deconstructed abstract piece,” Wane One says as he takes a break from painting on a warm May day. “All the shapes are breaking away. The color really tells the story in a 2-D form. The color, the energy, the balance.” All of it comes together to pay tribute to the energy of the city’s downtown. “The shifting colors are a nod to the transformative powers of the arts as embodied by ArtsWestchester.” The artist entered the world in West London as Wayne Peterkin. (Wane One was his signature on his train and street graffiti.) He came with his family to the Bronx in 1978. It was there that the graffiti-covered elevated trains caught his eye with their colors and distinctive lettering. He would later move from subway cars to canvas and clothing. He designed logos for hip-hop groups and later for Sean John menswear. He continues to collaborate with other fashion brands such as Nike and Reebok. His newest artwork is a collaboration with Arts Westchester, the city of White Plains, the White Plains Business Improvement District and Kite
Realty’s City Center. ArtsWestchester CEO Janet T. Langsam says “this old bank building” is filled up with artists. “Sponsoring jazz concerts and art exhibits helps bring creativity down to the streets of White Plains,” she adds. “This mural is the icing on the cake.” So how do you go about painting a street? “We started off with an asphalt base which seals the asphalt,” Wane One says. “And then we started doing the mural on top of that. In the end, we’ll do a UV clearcoat on top to protect it. It’s gonna enhance the whole street itself.” ArtsWestchester sees it as a veritable welcome mat to the front door of its nine-story building that houses a gallery and studios. Barricades were set up to keep traffic away as Wane One and his workers created the mural. The one thing the barricades didn’t keep away were onlookers. “It’s great working outdoors because you get to interact with all the locals going by. They’re like, so to speak, your art critics. You really get to know the honest feeling of how they feel about the mural,” he says, as the corners of his eyes crinkle and a wry smile appears. For more, visit artswestchester.org.
On the road…
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THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME FOR A GOOD CURRY BY JEREMY WAYNE
ravel is a trick, a mind game, a conceit. The more we travel the more we discover, but go too far, overstep the mark, be too ambitious and you may land right back where you started. Earlier this year I took a 14-hour nonstop flight from New York to Delhi, landing in the Indian capital after a substandard dinner and a sleepless night but overall none the worse for wear. At the beginning of the last century, that journey would have taken five weeks. You don’t need to fly 14 hours for culture shock, of course — I can drive 20 minutes to Little Italy in the Bronx to experience an exotic, authentic milieu that is culturally quite distinct from my own — but it’s fair to say that more often than not the depth of the cultural experience is in direct proportion to the distance traveled. In New Delhi — where more than 100 varieties of wheeled vehicles, from handcart to auto-rickshaw to monster trucks — choke the city’s streets, and an eight-lane highway can grind to a halt because a cow decides to stroll across the road, the drive into the city from the airport can set even the most mellow nerves a-jangle. But as soon as you enter The Oberoi hotel’s cool and elegant lobby, which is looking resplendent but confidently unflashy after the recent multimillion-dollar facelift by New Yorkbased Adam Tihany, you’re suffused with calm. At The Oberoi, New Delhi, you never carry a parcel or wait more than 10 seconds to speak to a concierge or have to explain anything to anyone more than once, because an army of sweet and smiling staffers, as intuitive as they are professional, are on hand to look after your every whim. I was in New Delhi to take a look at the city’s food scene, which is currently in overdrive, and where better to start than at The Oberoi, with its wonderful Indian restaurant, Omya, its rooftop Chinese-style Baoshuan and its new open-air rooftop bar Cirrus9. 92
The Tree of Life lobby in The Oberoi, New Delhi.
Exterior view of The Oberoi.
Tamarind Crab, beans foogath, cocunut curry.
But it’s to its spiffily re-designed ground floor café, threesixtyº, that I’m always drawn, for breakfasts of exotic juices, including jackfruit, papaya, tangerine and Java plum; for fruit-packed homemade jams and for perfect idlis, appams and dosas, straight out of the oven or pan. If New Delhi has been slow in attracting attention as a major world food city, it’s playing catch-up fast. Restaurants of all hues are opening apace and an international, multi-ethnic restaurant scene is booming. And it’s not just about eating out. The topic of good food in general has become burning hot, an irony that is not lost on me in a country where, according to the Global Hunger Index, up to 22 percent of the population may be undernourished. Then again, no one in Delhi need go hungry. One of the missions of the temples is to distribute food — the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh temple alone feeds more than 10,000 people a day — and I’m informed, I hope reliably, that there is enough for all. Over in trendy Khan Market, where the grocery stores sell Tuscan first cold press olive oil at 1,500 rupees ($25) a bottle, alongside traditional basmati rice at a few pennies per pound, I’m having lunch at the newest branch of SodaBottleOpenerWala, one
Masala Wild Mushroom, Water Chestnut, Paper Roast Dosai.
of Delhi’s hot restaurants. “No Swearing, Gambling, Asking for Credit, Politics or Loud Music” say quaint signs on the stairs as you enter SodaBottle, restraints the restaurants itself does not entirely heed, with Indian pop music blaring through most of lunch. A take on the old Irani cafés of Bombay, SodaBottle’s haphazard decoration of Art Nouveau lamps, old clocks and Edwardian wedding ephemera is echoed in chef Anahita Dhondy’s random menu. A native of Delhi, she has returned after several years away to cook tareli macchi, Parsi-style, crisp-fried fish, tangy sweet and sour prawns and a piping hot Irani “wrestler’s omelette” with onions, chillies and coriander. But there’s also a playful nostalgia for British India, or the Raj, with ginger nuts, Shrewsbury biscuits and English pound cake for “pudding.” Not only have I traveled nearly 8,000 miles to Delhi, but at the SodaBottle I also feel I have traveled through time, too, returning in a culinary sense to the food of my English childhood. Back in Khan Market the following day, I resist the pleasures of passion-fruit macaroons and what has to be Delhi’s best lemon tart at L’Opéra, walk on by Harry’s Singapore, where they do a marmalade martini that will lay you flat in 30 seconds, and head for
the Smoke House Deli instead. This Delhi deli is the place for cracking East-meets-West all-day breakfasts, where you can follow buttermilk pancakes with an “old school Masala,” a fluffy omelet complete with sali (potato sticks), or dive into a “Coronation” chicken salad. The Anglo-Indian and American-styled dishes seem to co-habit harmoniously on the same menu. The Indian capital is a vast and complex city, much of it designed by Englishman Sir Edwin Lutyens in the 1920s and ’30s, rippling out in concentric circles from its heart at Connaught Place. In the late morning in early spring, the city is already broiling under a fiery sun. Dirty and flyblown this metropolitan area of nearly 20 million souls can appear on its streets, yet you’ll find it lickety-spit in its mosques and temples and its Raj-era marble palaces. And it’s a model of spotlessness here too at the Manor, in the Friends Colony of New Delhi, where I recently enjoyed a light lunch of yam curry and gluten-free roti. The Manor, which is currently under renovation and will reopen in July, is under the same ownership as Indian Accent, TripAdvisor’s No. 1-rated restaurant in India, where one of the country's most celebrated chefs, Manish Mehrotra, wears the white. Indeed, Indian Accent has been doing some traveling itself. It now has satellite branches in New York and London while the original, in New Delhi, has recently moved from The Manor to the glittering, centrally located Lodhi. But while there is still a respect — and appetite — for classic regional cooking, times are changing. Over in Gurgaon, the city’s modern business district, where “Old” Delhi seems abruptly to come to a halt and which feels like lower Manhattan in places, you’ll find amaranta, the swanky Indian restaurant at the eye-popping Oberoi, Gurgaon, built around an unswimmable but totally Zen “reflection pool.” From the lightest fish biryani to barramundi, lightly steamed in a fragrant banana leaf, this “new,” lighter Indian food sings. However, in Cyber City, Gurgaon’s and New Delhi’s techno-hub, which houses some of the top IT and Fortune 500 companies, you get the sense you’ve suddenly time traveled into the future. Here, spectacular office blocks and sun-reflecting residential skyscrapers thrust heavenward, plasma screens broadcast news and share prices on street corners and the streets themselves — seriously — are air conditioned. You’ll find anything you want in Gurgaon these days, but in Cyber City the one thing that’s increasingly difficult to find is an Indian restaurant. You see, I’ve traveled too far. Overstepped the mark. And the more things have changed, the more they’ve stayed the same. I’m in need of a curry. It’s time, I think, to return to New York. For more, visit oberoihotels.com, sodabottleopenerwala.com, smokehousedeli.in and indianaccent.com. JUNE 2018
SENSUOUS, SPIRITUAL INDIA STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN RIZZO
o understand Indiaâ€™s amazingly diverse and enchanting culture fully, you would normally need a great deal of time. However, with both Hindi and English widely spoken, the ability to get to know these people is quite easy. It is the only 5,000-year-old culture in the world that speaks English as a second language. Hospitality, respect for traditions that transcend generations and the ability to adapt to other cultures without sacrificing their own are qualities that make Indians unique worldwide. This country will warmly take you in, and then astonish you with a sensuousness and sensuality that seamlessly blend the sacred and the profane and manifests itself in all of the arts and religious practices. The River Ganga (Ganges) is considered sacred
2 thakurs (lords) and rich merchants, havelis incorporate Hindu, Mughal and Rajput styles with exquisite carvings on walls, elegant facades and elaborate balconies. Today, Rajasthan havelis are storehouses of antique objects and memorabilia that were used by the royal families during the ancient and medieval periods. In India, the past is no further from the present than the spiritual is from the sensual.
JOHN RIZZO'S IMPRESSIONS:
and holds an important place in the Hindu religion. Hindus believe life is incomplete without bathing in the river at least once in their lifetimes. It is believed that drinking water from the Ganges with one’s last breath will take the soul to heaven. For thousands of years, the people of India have adorned themselves with jewelry created for almost every part of the body, such as rings, earrings, bangles, chains, anklets and crowns. In today’s India, although new styles have emerged to cater to urban tastes, the traditional style is still often the first choice. The Indian legacy of creating jewelry is considered to be the longest in the world. Nose piercing was brought to India in the 16th century from the Middle East. The ring, called a nath, is usually worn in the left nostril and can be
joined to the ear with a chain. Nose rings are worn predominantly by Hindu women. Usually the left nostril has the piercing because it is associated with the female reproductive organs and a piercing in that area is said to make childbirth easier and menstrual pain less. Many Indian women have their noses pierced at the age of 16, which was considered an appropriate age to marry at one time. In some parts, once a woman is married, the nose ring is never removed. But in today’s India, young girls often wear nose rings as a fashion statement having nothing to do with marriage. Havelis of Rajasthan, a northern Indian state bordering Pakistan, are the symbol of a rich cultural heritage that represents the glory and splendor of yesteryear. Once the residential palaces of kings,
1. As the sun was setting outside the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, a brother and sister team, with the parents close by, got inspired by my interest in their music. For a full 10 minutes, this young girl gave me her most creative dance, even stumbling at one point from dizziness caused by her great effort. The instrument her brother was playing is called a pena, a bowed lute used in folk music, constructed of a bamboo rod attached to a gourd shell. 2. A 10-year-old boy was leading his camel across the sand dunes in the Thar Desert, approximately 44 miles outside the fortified city of Jaisalmer. Earlier in the day, he was seen listening intensely to a transistor radio pushed against his ear while following the cricket matches that were being played in Mumbai. 3. A nomadic, tattooed shepherd is wearing the customary red turban for his caste while caring for his goats in the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan. There are four “varnas,” or social classes, with specific duties for each class. The Brahmins (teachers, scholars and priests), the Kshatriyas (kings and warriors), the Vaishyas (agriculturists and traders) and the Shudras (service providers and artisans). Although not as strictly adhered to in modern times, many occupations are still created based on heredity.
SAILING THE MOZART OF CRUISE LINES BY DEBBI K. AND WILLIAM D. KICKHAM
ue the violins to Mozart’s “A Little Night Music.” Why? Because when Crystal Cruises serves afternoon tea, Mozart is often in attendance. Yes, many cruise ships hold afternoon tea — but Crystal’s Mozart Tea is far different. First, it features a violinist and pianist who not only play Wolfgang Amadeus but other great composers of his era. There are more Viennese pastries than you’ll find in Vienna, including Linzer and Esterhazy slices, Dobosh torte and hot apple strudel. But the pièce de résistance? The servers are outfitted in 18th-century attire, with floral waistcoats, breeches and buckled shoes. It’s a showstopping photo op. My husband, Bill, and I recently sailed almost a month on Crystal’s Serenity, where everything was as superb as the Mozart Tea. We took an extended cruise from Charleston, South Carolina, to Maui, Hawaii, and were delighted to discover the many advantages of sailing more than the typical 10 to 12 days. One highlight: You can really get to know first-class entertainers — and yes, schedule lunch or dinner with them. What a treat. We became acquainted with one of the singers, who invited us backstage to her show on Broadway (“Aladdin”). This never would have happened if we had not spent significant time aboard the Serenity, which became our second home, and engaged other passengers and entertainers on a day-by-day basis. Now we yearn to take a World Cruise — as so many people do — remaining on board for about three months and experiencing all kinds of special events. It is so easy to adapt to ship life — spending all day cruising, wining and dining, visiting the spa and gym — or just reading a book
The Crystal Serenity. Photographs courtesy Crystal Cruises.
or taking a power nap. Crystal also has provoking lecturers who discuss everything from politics to world affairs, along with a fabulous "Hollywood Theater" where you can sit — with popcorn — and watch a movie. ‘FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD’ Another area where Crystal excels is the excellent cuisine that is readily available throughout the day in a wide variety of venues. For dinner, the main dining room offers the five-star treatment. Executive Chef Franz Weiss told me how all cuisine can be ordered gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and kosher. I often opted for a special low-fat meal — salad with a sweet balsamic reduction, dry-grilled fish, a baked potato and a wide array of vegetables. Dessert?
A penthouse suite aboard the Crystal Serenity.
Everyone into the pool (pods) on the Crystal Serenity.
One night, we special-ordered a low-fat carrot cake (sans cream cheese frosting) that was the very best we’ve ever eaten — anywhere. We also ordered Nutella crepes that fully sated our chocolate-hazelnut cravings. Even unusual requests are handled with aplomb: Once, Weiss was asked to serve both male and female Dover sole to a guest. He used vegetables to create a necktie on one filet and a skirt on the other, and the guest was delighted. Being an all-inclusive luxury cruise line, all of your spirits on Crystal are included in the price of your fare, including the finest wines. “We have a few thousand bottles of wine on board,” says Mario Da Silva, the head sommelier. For a truly distinctive, private treat, book the Vintage Room, where, for a minimum of $2,600, you will dine on gourmet cuisine paired with vintage wines of your choice. But don’t be intimidated — one family traveling aboard Crystal rented it to watch a football game and paired their favorite wines with hot dogs, cheeseburgers and onion rings. “They had a blast,” Da Silva says. FANCY FOOTWORK With so much superior cuisine, it’s wise to pace
This Crystal Serenity dining room features a Chagall-like ceiling.
yourself, lest you experience the anecdotal weight gain of one pound per day on a cruise ship. Of course, you can dance, dance, dance — and that’s where Crystal’s exemplary Ambassador Dance Host program shines. This upscale service is available on few cruise lines nowadays, a symbol of a golden, bygone era. Crystal hires several men who are professional ballroom
dancers whose only job is to dance with the single ladies at various venues throughout the day. Says cruise director Gary Hunter, “The Dance Host program is very successful. We have a lot of ladies who love to dance and having that opportunity here simply adds to the whole Crystal experience.” Indeed, adds dance host Dennis Love from Australia, “Sometimes husbands come up to us and ask us to dance with their wives, as they themselves are not dancers.” And have you heard of Mama Lee? She’s a household name on Crystal. Why? She’s been living on the ship for the past 12 years. Mama, who is in her 80s, is a legend on board (and has her own fan club). When she’s not socializing with other passengers, or doing needlepoint, she’s dancing up a storm and having the retirement of her life. Which brings us to another octogenarian: Julie Andrews is the Serenity's godmother, and her photo is prominently displayed in the lobby. Julie would most definitely sing the praises of Crystal Cruises and we would heartily concur: Crystal’s cruises are a few of our favorite things. For more, visit CrystalCruises.com and for more on Debbi, visit gorgeousglobetrotter.com and marketingauthor.com
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June 17 at 3 pm
Jaime Laredo, conducting Anna Polonsky, piano Orion Weiss, piano Rossini: Overture to L’italiana in Algeri Mozart: Concerto for Two Pianos, No. 10 in E-Flat Major Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 (“Reformation”)
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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
This Georgian on Carriage Trail, part of Greystone on Hudson in Tarrytown, recently sold to a hedge funder. Courtesy Greystone on Hudson.
A STAYCATION HOME BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
e at WAG were thrilled to stage our first Home Design Show in March at 6 Carriage Trail at Greystone on Hudson, a 100a c r e luxury development in Tarrytown. So we were delighted to learn that another house on the site, a $6 million listing, has recently sold to a hedge funder and his family. The 12,171-square-foot Georgian sits on 2.10 acres overlooking the Hudson River, the Castle Hotel & Spa and the Palisades Hills. It has eight bedrooms, nine full bathrooms and two powder rooms, along with a 2,020-square-foot master suite and 2,894 square feet of patios and covered porches. But statistics only tell part of the story of a house whose modern amenities (smart technology, a professional kitchen) belie an airy, Old World stateliness. Credit bespoke millwork, hand-cut stone walls, custom fireplaces with stone mantels and hearths, lofty, coffered ceilings and mahogany-paneled walls. French doors and abundant windows create airy, light-filled spaces. A covered portico, a two-story elliptical staircase and a wraparound porch add grand, romantic sweep. The house is also something of a staycation,
with optional in-home features, including a wine cellar, an indoor sports complex complete with a basketball court and a rock climbing wall and a home theater. The spacious backyard can easily accommodate a pool or a tennis court. The house that just sold is one of some 20 Greystone Mansion Groupâ€™s President Andy Todd plans to build on the site, the former estate of Josiah W. Macy, a partner of John D. Rockefellerâ€™s in Standard Oil. It was while excavating the site for 6 Carriage Trail, where we held our event and which we have written about in previous issues,
that Todd and his team made a dramatic discovery — the funerary pillar of Tiberius Claudius Saturninus, a former slave who collected inheritance taxes for the Roman Emperor Claudius in Greece. It was purchased in 1893 by Macy’s widow, the former Caroline Louisa Everit, at an auction at Rome’s Villa Borghese. In time, Macy’s estate went the way of all flesh — after serving as a militaristic school and a dance school espousing the philosophy of Isadora Duncan. But not the pillar. Today this funerary cippus is ensconced in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Leon Levy and Shelby White Court in the Greek and Roman galleries. Todd is pleased with Greystone’s contributions to art history — and to modern living. “It's great to see our dream becoming a reality,” he says. “Everyone who comes to Greystone is telling us that it's the most beautiful community that they have ever seen and we are very, very proud of that. “The beautiful shingle-style country estate at 20 Carriage Trail will be completed in June and we are getting ready to release a few more amazing houses very soon.” For more, visit greystone-on-hudson.com.
The Dog in the Dressing Room A New Comedy by Deborah Savadge
'The Schoolhouse is winning major league style’ -N.Y. TIMES
June 14TH - July 1ST www.SchoolhouseTheater.org | (914) 277-8477 | Croton Falls, NY | SchoolhouseTheater@Gmail.com
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Sankara Spa’s Relaxation Lounge. Courtesy the Castle Hotel & Spa.
BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
ometimes a place can change only to remain the same in essentials — delightfully so. Witness the new Sankara Spa at the Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown, formerly the THANN Sanctuary Spa. The revamped spa opened in January with a new emphasis on the hotel’s Japanese ownership, new sights and sounds and new products. Yet it remains a quality experience, one that affords clients terrific service. “We wanted to remain more honest and transparent about our Japanese roots,” Castle general manager Lloyd Nakano said over a delicious lunch of carrot soup, shrimp cocktail, burger and berries in the hotel’s Equus Restaurant, now helmed by executive chef Christopher Colom. (More about him in WAG’s July food and hospitality issue.) Since 2012, the Castle has been part of Sankara —
pronounced San KAH rah — Hospitality Group. As such it is allied with the Sankara Hotel and Spa on Japan’s Yakushima Island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is also a well-known nature preserve. When the corporate change occurred, Nakano says, “we weren’t in the spa business, so it made all the sense in the world to have an established company come in.” Enter THANN Sanctuary in 2013, with its Thaistyle massage and distinctive products. “Japan, of course, has its own deep-tissue Shiatsu massage,” he added. “We now felt we could compete with recognized spas.” Nakano said the Castle informed THANN of the sea change last September and began a refresh that has included all of the showers and saunas as well as the heating and cooling systems in the modern wood-and-stone building, whose construction had been part of an earlier $11 million renovation. The entrance has a sparer look, with rocks replacing tall graces in the manner of a Japanese rock garden, while the serene playlist has a broader range, embracing reedy Zen sounds as well as the sensuous, sinuous ones of Arabia. There are new masseurs and aestheticians and earthy new products for them to use, courtesy of Long Island-based Naturopathica. We had a chance to experience these in a onehour facial with lead aesthetician Nicole Carbone. The time flew as we chatted and Carbone applied a variety of products beginning with the Sweet Lupine Makeup Cleanser, the Chamomile Cleansing Milk and the Oat Cleansing Polish before going on to the Aloe Replenishing Mask, the Bio-Energy Lift Serum and the Bio-Energy Lift Contouring Cream — finishing with the Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum. We were most interested in this serum due to the dark circles under our eyes. Carbone said regular application will produce results in a month. But in the meantime, she offered this neat tip for puffy eyes. Place a teaspoon in the refrigerator. In the morning, place it over one eye, then the other for a quick peeper pick-me-up. In the afterglow of our facial and conversation with Carbone, we took in the familiar, comforting sights of the relaxation areas (with their chaise longues and refreshments), the gym and the yoga studio. In the locker room, which flows into a welllit area with sinks and mirrors, we sat applying our makeup, swaying to sounds that conjured a caravan on the Silk Road. A busy mom was dressing. She just had a massage and now had to dash. “Ninety minutes,” she said, “but it was well worth it.” We knew just how she felt. For more, visit castlehotelandspa.com or call 914-631-1980.
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
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
The Satin Pure collection of luxury bed linens by Hästens is expanding with new colors. Courtesy Hästens.
SWEDEN + PORTUGAL = GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP BY MARY SHUSTACK
AG recalls the evening we met Jan Ryde in Manhattan back in the summer of 2016. We had been invited to “Discover the Art of Sleep” by chatting with the fifth-generation owner of Hästens. Ryde was in from the luxury bed company’s headquarters in Sweden to launch a Manhattan flagship — and was surrounded by craftsmen also flown in from his native country to demonstrate the Hästens production methods. It was a memorable event. The concept store, complementing a showroom in Greenwich, was designed to recognize the importance of getting a good night’s sleep — and how the brand can pave the way. That paving, it seems, goes well beyond the dedication to craft its signature, all-natural premium product by hand. It also extends, it turns out, to what goes on those beds. Now, Hästens is expanding Satin Pure, its collection of luxury bed linens introduced in 2011, by adding three new colors. The new shades are
Night Shadow Blue, Light Pink and Misty Rose, all designed to add another layer to what has been called “the definitive luxury sleeping experience.” The Satin Pure collection is woven by hand in Portugal, with intricate techniques that use “super-light” cotton — said to feel weightless on the skin and help improve the quality of sleep. The bedding is designed to complement the brand’s designs, particularly the Appaloosa and Marwari beds created in collaboration with noted Swedish design team Bernadotte & Kylberg and unveiled at Salone del Mobile Milano 2017. The Light Pink and Misty Rose hues are recommended for the Marwari bed to play off its brown tones, while Night Shadow Blue was designed for the Appaloosa bed’s bold blues. All we know is that the introductions add more depth to the Hästens’ story, which traces its roots from 1852 and remains focused on the optimum way to refresh yourself for another day. As Ryde told us back then, “Sleep is so fundamentally important, the reason for what we do.” For more, visit hastens.com.
AMERICAN EATS & URBAN DRINKS WE ARE OPEN FOR BRUNCH NOW! EVERY SUNDAY STARTING AT 12PM Happy hour seven days a week from 4 to 6
128 Bedford Rd, Katonah, NY 10536 | 914-401-9600 | katonahwoods.com
Lamb chops were well-seasoned and cooked to perfection.
AN ITALIAN TOUR FOR THE PALATE STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALEESIA FORNI
nce you’ve walked through the doors of Sapori, the popular Italian eatery at 324 Central Ave. in White Plains, it doesn’t take long to realize that it’s a local favorite. The dinner crowd begins to enter before the sun sets. Patrons call out to the owners and servers by name. Requests along the lines of “We’ll take our usual seat” are frequently overheard. It’s obvious that most of the patrons are regulars and it doesn’t take long to understand why. Now heading into its fifth year, the restaurant, whose moniker translates to “flavors” in Italian, offers diners a chance to enjoy the tastes of northern Italy without the requirement of a passport. On a recent visit, we’re greeted at the door by Eddie Vucetaj, one of the restaurateurs behind Sapori. Eddie says that the restaurant focuses on local produce and herbs, something that he feels brings authenticity to the eatery. Recipes are simple and
fresh, he says, giving the spotlight to flavors that make up Italian cooking. We take our seat at the edge of the front dining area, where oversized windows give a view of pedestrians passing along Central Avenue and allow the waning daylight to shine through. If you venture through the rest of the restaurant, you’ll find a number of different dining alcoves, each with its own aesthetic. One offers seats near a stone fireplace, another sleek white walls and minimal decor. A brick-lined area features red leather booths and views of an impressive wine collection. There’s also a bar with seating for around a dozen diners and a small patio for outdoor seating. We start our evening with an order of baked clams topped with oregano and seasoned bread crumbs. We find the accompanying clam sauce so delectable that it is soon drizzled over both our appetizer and the focaccia we were served with our glasses of Malbec. An order of beef carpaccio sees
Bucatini paired with red sauce and pancetta.
A light cheesecake was decorated with sliced strawberries.
An apple pastry with vanilla ice cream.
thinly sliced filet mignon served below a smattering of arugula, mushrooms and shaved Parmesan, all topped with a truffle vinaigrette. It is difficult to pass up a range of soups and salads, from minestrone to a Sapori salad with shaved Parmesan and balsamic-lemon vinaigrette, but we decide to skip straight to the entrées. An array of homemade pastas include rigatoni with a traditional Italian meat sauce, linguine with baby clams and ravioli with a basil sauce. I select bucatini, in which thick noodles are cooked al dente and smothered with a rich red sauce accented with onions, tomatoes, chili pepper and Parmesan. But the real stars of this show are the slivers of pancetta scattered throughout the sauce, offering pleasant surprises of a subtle, smoky flavor. Another showstopper is the rack of lamb, in which a generous portion of oven-roasted cuts of meat sits above a sweet wine reduction sauce. Cooked medi-
It’s obvious that most of the patrons (of Sapori) are regulars and it doesn’t take long to understand why.
um rare, the exterior of each lamb chop is crisp and well-seasoned, while the interior remains juicy. For dessert, we enjoy a light and fluffy cheesecake garnished with chopped strawberries. Though I am usually more partial to a creamier, denser cheesecake in the French or New York style, the airier Italian version, made with Ricotta, does not disappoint. An apple pastry brings together warm fruit wrapped in a flaky strudel that is accompanied by a dollop of vanilla ice cream. It just so happens that my trip to Sapori coincides with the planning of my own trip to Europe, one that will include stops in Milan, the Italian Alps and my ancestors’ homeland along the Switzerland-Italy border. Though I’ve yet to embark on my journey through the Boot, it is certainly a treat to give my taste buds a preview of what is yet to come. For more, visit saporiofwhiteplains.com.
WINE & DINE
Querciabella export manager Giorgio Fragiacomo with eight vintages of its flagship wine, Camartina.
PLEASING THE TASTE BUDS – AND THE ENVIRONMENT STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY DOUG PAULDING
n more or less the geographic center of Italy, in the heart of Tuscany, Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni is spurring grape and wine production with an environmental passion that is helping to change the industry worldwide. Querciabella was founded in 1974 by his father, Giuseppe. Sebastiano took the reins in 1988 and has migrated the winery to full-certified organic and biodynamic production. In 2010, they implemented a completely plant-based approach to biodynamics, making wines suitable for vegans (given that animal byproducts are sometimes used in the winemaking process). With 183 acres of prime Chianti Classico vineyards along with 79 acres of vines toward the western coast of Tuscany overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, Querciabella makes several wines, both red and white, in many price ranges.
I visited the Chianti Classico region several years ago and then went to the Maremma in western Tuscany a couple of years later. At the time I was struck by the amount of biodiversity, sustainability and organic production of grapes and winemaking that was being embraced and enthusiastically employed by a certain majority of producers. But Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni has taken this to a new plane. Querciabella vineyards are alive and thriving. There are multiple crops planted between the grape rows, which encourages pollinating insects, birds and other beneficial creatures to make their homes nearby. These living and breathing vineyards not only provide sustenance for much fauna, they also make better fruit, and with better, in-balance soils encouraging deep rooting so they are able to tolerate extreme weather anomalies better than traditional vineyards. Super Tuscan wines are often made from noble grapes, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot not allowed by the Italian DOC
and DOCG governing wine councils, which ensure only allowed grapes are used and are from the specific area. Super Tuscan producers wanted to use other nonpermitted grapes from the region, so another quality control agency was formed called the Indicazione Geografica Tipica or IGT. There are many producers of Super Tuscan wines. Ornellaia, Sassicaia, Tignanello, Solaia, Masseto, Vigorello and Querciabella are a notable collection of such producers. I recently dined with Querciabella export manager Giorgio Fragiacomo in a private room at Carbone restaurant in Manhattan. The food was creative and wonderful but we were there to taste through eight vintages of Querciabella’s flagship wine, Camartina, spanning 12 years. Giorgio told me, “Wine is an integral part of our culture. We want to make a world-class wine that can compete with the best of France and other countries.” He continued, “Camartina is not made every year. Everything has to fall into perfect synchronicity to create perfect fruit to make this wine.” Typically, these wines are mature and ready for consumption four to seven years postharvest. And they will remain lovely and at a happy place and will improve for at least 18 years postharvest. We started off with the just-released 2011. This wine was still a baby but perfectly drinkable. Each vintage showed dark cherry elegance with varying degrees of black pepper and spice. Querciabella means “Beautiful Oak” in Italian and its judicious use of oak is subtle and beautiful. Camartina wines spend two years in oak — 80 percent in new and 20 percent in used French oak barrels. After bottling, the wine rests at least an additional six months, prior to release. The earlier vintages were about 70 percent Sangiovese and 30 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Since 2004, the wines have become more Cabernet dominant. Each additional year in the bottle has been rewarded with additional smoothness, balanced spice and nuanced flavors. Giorgio said they look to create a “feminine wine with finesse.” Each subsequent, older vintage has shown a maturity and an integration of flavors that have been sublime. In addition to the 2011, we tasted the ’10, the ’08, ’04, ‘03 (a difficult year), ’01, ’00 and ’99. My favorite was the 2000 vintage, which showed balance and round, hearty dark fruit, perfectly aged for optimum pleasure. The ’99 was also singing and lovely. These wines retail somewhere between $100 and $150. Some of the earlier vintages may be impossible to locate, but well-stocked stores may have some remaindered. Look for Querciabella in all their price points. You will be supporting a living winery that is supporting and enhancing our planet. And other wineries are watching it. Write me at email@example.com.
Brunch at its Best
Saturdays & Sundays 11am â€“ 2:30pm
430 Bedford Road | Armonk, NY 10504 | 914.730.0001 ModerneBarn.com | @ModerneBarn
ROLL IT UP BY DANIELLE RENDA
here’s something so satisfying about a refreshingly sweet scoop of rich, creamy ice cream. (Cookies n’ cream, please.) No matter the occasion, it’s a treat that always seems appropriate — and always makes the day a bit brighter. So it only seems fitting that when WAG asked Steven Billig, chief financial officer and brand ambassador of Sweet Charlie’s, an ice cream chain that recently opened in Mamaroneck, “Why ice cream?” We quickly rephrased the question to say, “Why not?” Steven is the father of Jacob, 22, and Kyle, 20, brothers from New Jersey who ambitiously decided to open a chain of ice cream shops because, well, they love ice cream. “Ice cream is very popular in our house,” Steven says. But the brothers didn’t want to open any ol’ ice cream shop. They wanted Sweet Charlie’s to have an edge, to stand out from the crowd. So they opted for Thai-inspired ice cream rolls, which are fresh — never frozen — and made in less than two minutes before the customer’s eyes. Not only is this entertaining, but it also eliminates the need to add stabilizers, emulsifiers and preservatives, ensuring the freshest possible quality. “There are people that are serving ice cream, but their ice cream could be frozen for six or seven months in a freezer before serving it to their customers,” says Steven. “For our ice cream, we don’t have any freezers.” The family receives its batter from a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, which is delivered to all of its locations — to include 20 shops by the end of the summer — on a weekly basis. When customers select their treat, they can watch the process unfold as a cup of the flavored batter is placed on a cold grill (-4 degrees Fahrenheit), which acts as a cooling agent that freezes the batter. Once the batter is frozen, it can be scraped using a broad, flat blade that molds the product into rolls. “We just want to bring the customer the freshest, healthiest version of ice cream that we can bring,” says Steven. When customers visit Sweet Charlie’s, they follow a menu that has four steps. First, they are
Sweet Charlie’s ice cream is made in less than two minutes, before the customer’s eyes, ensuring of the freshest, creamiest taste.
Popular Sweet Charlie’s combinations include Kiss and Tell, S’more Please, So Cal, Monkey See, Monkey Do and Wonder Filled. Photographs courtesy Sweet Charlie’s.
to select a base, which includes premium ice cream, nonfat yogurt and a vegan option. Next, they can decide whether they’d like their treat in a cup or on a Tall Charlie, which is a scrumptious, oven-baked, glazed doughnut. Next comes the
flavor, an array of mouth-watering combinations with catchy names, including: Kiss and Tell (mint Oreo), S’more Please (graham cracker, chocolate and roasted marshmallow), So Cal (Acai, honey, coconut, and banana) and Monkey See, Monkey Do (Nutella and banana). “My go-to flavor is the Wonder Filled,” says Steven, speaking about a delicious Oreo-flavored blend. The Namaste, he says, which is a blend of strawberries and cheesecake, has also been particularly popular with guests. Finally, customers can choose from a selection of unlimited toppings, which include fruit, such as blueberries, banana, and strawberries, chocolate, like chocolate chips, chocolate drizzle, and M&Ms; and sugary choices, such as roasted marshmallow, doughnut bites, caramel drizzle, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. Not only is Sweet Charlie’s available for visits, but the shop offers catering options as well. And who’s Charlie? He’s the brothers’ pup, a wheaten terrier and a poodle mix, to be precise. Sweet Charlie’s is at 362 Mamaroneck Ave. in Mamaroneck. For more, call 914-835-6666 or visit sweetcharlies.com.
Proprietor, Bobby Epstein of the legendary Muscoot Tavern in Katonah, invites you to experience his newest restaurant—
Kisco River Eatery Come in and savor the fresh raw bar and our impressive variety of steak, pasta, chicken and seafood selections in our warm and cozy atmosphere.
Gather • Eat • Drink.
Lunch & Dinner 7 days a week Sunday Brunch 11-3 Happy Hour Daily from 3-6 222 East Main Street • Mount Kisco, NY 10549 914 • 218 • 3877 info@Kiscoriver.com www.kiscoriver.com Free Parking Around Back
A FITNESS INSTRUCTOR ‘BARRE’ NONE BY GEORGETTE GOUVEIA
have been on a journey my entire life,” said Lori Laub. It’s a journey that has led the Goldens Bridge resident to turn her passion for fitness into a career as an instructor in barre, which she describes as “a fusion of ballet, Pilates and yoga.” But Laub is about more than that. The daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a student of Kabbalah — a form of ancient Jewish mysticism — she is also on a spiritual quest and a mission to see that the lessons of the past are not forgotten. We first met Laub in a barre class she conducted at Neiman Marcus Westchester co-sponsored by Courtyard Travel and Oceania Cruises. (See related stories.) With its roots also in orthopedic exercises for the core of the body, barre was developed in the 1960s and ’70s by dancer Lotte Berk. We didn’t have a barre at Neiman Marcus. But that didn’t matter. Laub — who teaches at The RITE Method Barre Studio in Rye Brook, the Hiit*Barre Studio in the House of Sports in Ardsley and the Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco — led the class, guiding us through small, subtle but strenuous moves designed to sculpt the body. It was a challenge that was revelatory. We realized that whatever your body type or fitness level, everyone can and should strive to have good form, as that will enable you to get the most out of a workout. This is particularly important as we get older, Laub said. “As we age, we get tighter. You want to remain fluid and strong.” She was talking after an energizing class at The RITE Method, a cozy storefront studio on Rye Brook’s Bowman Avenue (Biltmore Plaza). RITE stands for Resistant Interval Training Exercise, which involves lifting small hand weights, pliés on relevé (open-legged, turned-out squats on the balls
Lori Laub at RITE Method Barre Studio in Rye Brook. Activewear by Fierce and Regal. Necklace by Jennie Ng. Designs. Photograph by Sebastián Flores.
of your feet) leg stretches on one of two barres — the lower one being good for newbies like us; and pushups, along with other toning exercises. (We felt it the next day but not in an unpleasant way.) Maybe it was the pink, ballet shoe-style socks with grips studio owner Jill Goldman provided or the welcoming tone set by Lorraine Benowich, who curates the studio’s activewear, or Laub’s empathetic nature — “I’m feeling it just like you are,” she said — but we had no trouble adjusting to the class’ demands. Afterward, Laub told us her story. “It started 16 years ago,” she said. “I was a student of the barre method…and I realized I happen to love this.” She decided to seek certification to improve her own workouts. One thing led to another and the student became a teacher — one who has a Goldilocks approach. When she came around to deepen the class members’ stretches, her touch was not too forceful or too gentle. It was just right. “To me, it’s amazing how life turns and things fall into your lap. When you let go of fear, doors open up. Now I get to inspire others. It’s really healing.” For Laub, the healing is also necessary. She is the daughter of Josef Guttman Best, who was born
in Poland in 1925, the eldest of six children, and survived not one but at least four concentration camps during the Holocaust, including Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Through his crucible, he never lost his faith or his sense of humor, Laub said. Ultimately, he was adopted by an American sergeant from Brooklyn, William Best, who helped liberate Buchenwald on April 11, 1945. Laub, however, never knew her father’s story, which he kept hidden from the family even as she glimpsed the tattooed number on his left arm. There were other glimpses of the past. In 1993, future grandmother-in-law, Evelyn Laub, received a photograph of a young man weeping in the arms of a soldier that she recognized as Lori’s father and his adopted father. (The photo is now in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.) Then in 2005, her friend Wendy’s son, Max Meyer, interviewed Laub’s father as part of his bar mitzvah. It was almost as if her father needed the emotional distance of a third party to tell his story, Laub said. Laub’s father, who lost his entire family in the Holocaust, died in 2009. Today, Laub — chairwoman of the Holocaust Remembrance Committee at
Temple Shaaray in Bedford — tells her father’s story and celebrates his life. These days, there’s much to celebrate in the Laub family. Daughter Melanie — a tennis enthusiast and future physician’s assistant — graduated from George Washington University last month. Son Travis John, who graduates from John Jay High School in Katonah this month, is off to the University of Miami. Laub and husband Andrew, who is the co-founding CEO of the private equity firm Keneh Ventures, are celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary. Soon they’ll be empty nesters. “It’s scary, but I found my role,” Laub said. “I found my niche. I’m looking for the next chapter. I keep learning, growing, moving, finding the light in others so they can shine it.” For more on Lori Laub, visit her on Instagram @lorilaub. For more on The RITE Method Barre Studio, visit ritemethod.com. Fierce and Regal, whose clothes are featured in the photograph of Laub, will have a trunk show of activewear and athleisure attire at Life Time Athletic Westchester in Harrison June 9 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more, visit fierceandregal.com.
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Options from the No B.S product line. Photograph courtesy No B.S. Beauty.
NO BULL ABOUT IT BY DANIELLE RENDA
e put so much effort into dieting, exercising and living a healthy lifestyle. But do we hold back on skincare? This question is the driving force behind No B.S. Beauty, a woman-owned business that — as its name suggests — cuts out harmful ingredients that we may not know about. “Beauty is an $11-billion industry,” CEO Diana Briceno says. “The way we see it, there’s no longer a place for half-truths, hidden agendas... sponsored scientific studies and ads that highlight our insecurities to sell products.” No B.S. creates its products by stripping away
what it describes as the unhealthy, unnecessary additives — like parabens (a preservative associated with allergies and hormone disruption), phthalates (a solvent that’s proven to be allergenic, carcinogenic and capable of causing nervous system disorders), sulfates (foaming agents that dry the skin), petrochemicals, artificial colorants, fragrances, preservatives and alcohol. Instead it uses only the good stuff — plant-based natural ingredients that include cucumber, aloe vera, coconut oil, tea tree oil and green tea, paired with retinol (vitamin A), hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E and squalene. The result is a selection of face and body products — serums, moisturizers, cleansers
and toners — that are not only affordable but, the company says, also safe to use. Plus, the company is 100 percent gluten-free and vegan, claiming that it “would never, ever dare to test on animals.” “We developed No B.S. Beauty as a testament to our core beliefs that authenticity and bringing genuine value to customers are the tenets of success,” Briceno says. “Our mission is to serve the savvy and the curious who have a deep appreciation for quality, originality, functionality and purpose and don’t want any BS in their products — and in their life.” Briceno, who is from Caracas, Venezuela — a country known for its exquisite pageants and emphasis on beauty— launched No B.S. Beauty after years of experience in the industry. Having studied industrial engineering and worked as an associate brand manager at Procter & Gamble, she went on to create a makeup and skincare line for Dolce&Gabbana — which ignited her love for the beauty biz — and later went to Palladio Beauty as the vice president of marketing before launching No B.S. Beauty. “I am challenged to my core every day, but I have never been so happy and fulfilled,” she says.
“Our mission is to serve the
savvy and the curious who have a deep appreciation for quality, originality, functionality and purpose and don’t want any BS in their products — and in their life.” — Diana Briceno
Not only that, but Briceno is leading the company toward becoming something of a movement. Promoting the hash tag #LiveNoBS, the brand encourages others to eliminate toxins from their lives, whether it’s skincare, friends, relationships, jobs or self-doubts. Briceno shares the company’s mantra, which
includes empowering messages, such as “Tell your truth, pay it forward, be shameless. Always”; “Stop settling. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to get what you want;” and “Experience life filter-free. Travel. It will leave you speechless and turn you into a storyteller.” No B.S. is leading by example by giving back to the community through a partnership with Project Glimmer, a nonprofit that inspires at-risk teenage girls and women to believe in themselves by letting them know their communities care. For every product that No B.S. sells, the company donates one product to Project Glimmer. The company has already created buzz in the beauty world by taking a stand — and sharing it boldly (and unapologetically) with others. But there are still more plans in the works. According to Briceno, No B.S. wants to expand into hair care, baby care and male grooming while continuing to listen to client feedback and taking suggestions. “No B.S. is for people that want a BS-free lifestyle, so the sky’s the limit for us,” she says. “If you are in need of a BS-free product that does not exist yet, please let us know. We would love to make it for you.” For more, visit livenobs.com.
PRINCE WILLIAM HAS PRINCE HARRY, SNOOPY HAS SPIKE – YOU KNOW, THE BAD-BOY BABY BRO WHO’S A CHUNK OF CHARM AND A TON OF TROUBLE. That’s what WAG Weekly is to WAG. In our e-newsletter, we let down our hair (and occasionally, our grammar) to take you behind behind-the-scenes of the hottest parties and events, offer our thoughts on the most controversial issues of the day, share what couldn’t be contained in our glossy pages and tell you what to do and where to go this weekend – all while whetting your appetite for the next issue. If you can’t get enough of WAG — or you just want to get WAG unplugged — then you won’t want to miss WAG Weekly, coming to your tablet.
LIP SERVICE BY JOHN TROCCOLI, MD
our lips, your lips, your lips, your lips are juicy,” croons jazz bluesman Olu Dara, voicing a perennial lover’s homage. Consumers today lay out about $1.4 billion annually on makeup for a pretty pout. Now, there are increasing options for more lasting lip looks. Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen a cascade of procedures that offer a wide range of lip enhancements, either to augment what people were born with or to address changes brought about by aging. Over time, our bodies lose the key ingredients that keep our skin smooth and supple — and maintain the “plump” in our pucker. As we age, we start to see a decrease in collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA), resulting in skin sagging and wrinkling. In terms of our lips, we see increased lines around our mouths, as well as a thinning of the lips themselves. We’ve come a long way from the 1980s, when collagen was first approved as a dermal filler. Now, patients can choose from 15-minute filler injections to much more involved surgical implants. Lip enhancement injections typically bring back what was lost by replenishing collagen or HA, with fillers injected around the mouth or directly into the lips. The growing number of dermal fillers offers safe, minimally invasive ways to add lip volume and reduce mouth wrinkles. There were more than 2.7 million dermal filler procedures performed last year, reports the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, an explosion in demand that has made these injections second only to botox in popularity. This is in part due to the increased menu of choices to customize a treatment that will work for an individual’s unique needs. In addition to dermal fillers, patients may opt for more extensive lip enhancement, such as implants. Like the injectable options, implants have evolved, offering patients safer “biocompatible” ingredients. To help patients navigate the range of choices, I offer the following tips:
1. Choose your doctor carefully: These are not cookie-cutter procedures. In addition to numerous options, there are continuing advances. Our mouths are complicated and each person’s facial characteristics are unique. To make the most of what’s available and receive a customized approach, it’s imperative to find a skilled, up-todate doctor. Check credentials and review the doctor’s portfolio of work. 2. Be clear about your desired outcome: Your doctor will customize an approach based on what you want addressed. Do you want to minimize wrinkles around your mouth — for example, laugh lines or vertical lip lines? Do you want to address lost volume in your lips? Do you want to plump the lips you were born with? It’s important to articulate clearly your desires so that your doctor can identify the best options. 3. Consider a minimally invasive start: HA injections offer a wide range of formulations, providing different levels of correction, from minor
touch-ups to deeper interventions. The effects are not permanent, and, in the rare instance that the patient is not satisfied they can be reversed. For these reasons, people may want to consider starting with an HA procedure. 4. Understand the process and outcome: Make sure you have a very clear understanding of all aspects of the procedure and recovery, including any risks, especially for more invasive augmentation involving implants. You also want to understand how long the effects can last. While filler injections are not permanent, implants’ effects can be long-lasting. 5. Discuss combining procedures: We’re seeing advantages to using a variety of approaches. For example, botox and fillers together can accentuate each procedure’s results. Establishing an ongoing relationship with your doctor can help you take advantage of the ongoing advances in lip enhancement. For more visit advanceddermatologypc.com.
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C RT INJE
WELL Train for quality movement and in all directions, not dedicating too much time to specific muscles in isolation. Have a good, well-balanced mixture of bodyweight training, weight training and flexibility training. To go along with this, focus on moving well and without limitations first before advancing and trying to get more complicated. Stick to the basics and keep things simple. Find your lowest-hanging fruit and work to improve upon it, while challenging your strengths to make them even stronger.” What has been the highlight of your career so far? “As I continue to progress in my career, it has been extremely satisfying to mentor many up-and-coming fitness professionals. I’ve had and continue to have many mentors along my journey, and the fact that I can have an effect on someone’s career is something that I am proud of and take very seriously.”
Giovanni Roselli. Courtesy Nike.
GETTING PERSONAL BY GIOVANNI ROSELLI
s an experienced fitness professional, I often get asked a lot of the same questions about my background, philosophy, etc. So I wanted to take this month to answer some of these same questions and give you a deeper look at what makes Giovanni Roselli tick. When and why did you get into personal fitness? “When I set out to become a professional wrestler, I knew that I needed to get in the best shape
possible. Once I began transitioning out of fulltime wrestling, I began receiving offers for personal training. Although I knew what worked for my body in regards to training, I began studying and learning about the complexity of the human body. I was fascinated and I was hooked. I sought to learn as much as I could and never looked back.” What inspired you to become a personal trainer? “Since I was a young boy, I have always had a love and passion for fitness and exercise. It makes individuals feel confident and empowered. I appreciate and respect the fact that it keeps us healthy and living well. As my career was transitioning, I couldn’t think of a more rewarding position than to help people with their health and fitness.” What is your training philosophy? “My philosophy for training is to have a well-rounded approach to health and wellness.
What common mistakes do you see people making when it comes to personal fitness? “Putting quantity before quality, having unrealistic expectations, not prioritizing nutrition (not just for exercise but overall health), neglecting recovery and working through pain. Additionally, there is so much conflicting, confusing information because 'I read x/y/z in a magazine' or heard 'So and so said that I should do x/y/z.' Overall I feel like a big mistake is a lack of planning. I see people walking around not really knowing what to do, how much, how long, etc. and they never make much progress. As Coach John Wooden would say, 'Failing to plan is planning to fail.’” How do you keep your clients motivated? “To keep my clients motivated, I find what personally drives them. That may be to have the energy to play with their kids, minimize the pain that they may have been feeling for many years or get ready for an athletic performance. It could be myriad dreams and desires. I try to find the deepest meaning of everyone’s 'why' and tap into it.” And, how do you keep yourself motivated? “I’ve achieved everything I’ve set out for in life with hard work and discipline. With that being said, I am a firm believer that anything in life can be achieved depending on how much effort and work you put in. Every day is a chance to get a little better, and that is always my intention when my eyes open every morning.” Reach Giovanni on Twitter @GiovanniRoselli and at his website, GiovanniRoselli.com.
Joe Fuller’s beloved DeTomaso Pantera.
VINTAGE LINES STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY SEAN SMITH ars run deep in Joe Fuller’s ancestry. His grandfather Frank Meloun was the navigator for Bohumil Turek, a Czech racer. They competed in the 1933 Prague-to-Paris endurance race in a Czechoslovakian-built Aero car. They carried bread and wore sausages around their necks. (It was a very long race.) They would stop only to fill up the car. Joe has always been drawn to the art of the auto-
mobile. He feels cars have relationships with all of your senses and that movement is essential to life. One more reason for his love of automobiles — Joe has always been intrigued by design, shape and form. His father was the architect Joseph F. Fuller Sr., and he grew up with a T-square in his hand. Architecture pulled him toward automobiles. Ever since he saw the DeTomaso Pantera in magazines, Joe’s been in love. Riding with his mother, Zdenka, in Westport when he was 18, he begged her to slow down when he spied a Pantera sitting in the parking lot of Peter’s Bridge Market. They pulled into the lot so Joe could take a closer look. Everything about that machine spoke to him. Seeing one in the flesh made a big impression on Joe. He went straight home and started putting money in his piggy bank, because one day Joe would have a Pantera. At the time, he was in love with the car’s aesthetics.
As he did his research, he grew to respect the Tom Tjaarda design. But before he was a full-fledged architect and before the Pantera, Joe designed a garage addition for a man who sold him — at a good price — a Bradley GT 2. It was Volkswagen-powered, but it had gullwing doors. The fiberglass sports car carried him through college and on to better things. Joe studied at the New York Institute of Technology and was licensed as an architect at the age of 25. By 26 he designed and built his own home in Westport — the very home that he still shares with his wife, Susanne Risoli Fuller, an interior designer. ( Joe had the perfect partner and co-designer in a recent refresh of his self-designed home.) An architect has to master all the aspects of a structure — the skin of the building, the mechanicals, the interior. Early on, all these things gave Joe a deeper than usual appreciation of what was going on under the skin of his beloved automobiles.
track. Joe’s next step was a purpose-built racer. This came in the form of a 1960 Lotus 18 Formula Junior. In its day, Formula Junior was the stepping-stone to the top tier of racing, Formula One. Joe quickly learned the difference between driving a road car on the track and piloting a purebred racer. His need for speed is not restricted to four wheels. There are also the snowy mountains of Vail and the waters of the Long Island Sound. All this is well and good, and Joe recognizes his good fortune. He feels a strong need to give back. Joe is one of the creators of the New York Architects Regatta Foundation. The yearly regatta challenge enables New York architects and designers to support the efforts of charities focused on providing waterfront access and educational experiences to a wider audience of various socioeconomic backgrounds. The charities that have benefited from NYARC are Sound Waters, Sailing Foundation of New York, Hudson River Community Sailing, Rocking the Boat and Riverkeeper — of which Fuller is also a board member — as well as the Greenwich Art Society. The Pantera, though, remains the love of his vehicular life. If his wife gave him permission, he‘d probably park it in the living room. For more, visit architectsregatta.org and vscca.org.
was as close to perfect as an original Pantera could be. When the DeTomaso arrived at the shop, Joe and the brothers got to work making the car a perfect, sexy beast. And it has been with him ever since. But this isn’t a solitary passion; it’s a family affair. With Susanne in the passenger seat of the Pantera, his mom and nieces Lexy and Liza Barlow have to give chase in Joe’s 1972 Cutlass convertible. And since motion is essential to life, Joe found his way into vintage racing. A friend, Shaun Henderson, invited Joe to Lime Rock Park for the VSCCA’s (Vintage Sports Car Club of America’s) Spring Sprints. Joe had already taken a high performance driving class at the Skip Barber Racing School in Florida. He arrived at Lime Rock and took the VSCCA’s test in the Pantera, passed and was now ready to compete. There was one wrinkle, though. His 1972 DeTomaso was too new. The club wants its cars to be built no later than 1959. (The VSCCA has started to allow cars up to 1965 on a case-by-case basis.) Joe met J.R. Mitchell of GMT Racing at Lime Rock, who told him that a Lotus 7 was a good starter vintage racer. They found a Lotus that had been in the club for years. GMT Racing prepped the car and Joe was racing. From there he moved up in size and power to a 1958 Morgan Plus 4 — another dual-purpose machine, good for the road and the
O U TI
NIV E R
THE STANWI C H C LUB
JUNE 11, 2018
Co-Chairs: Michael Clain, MD, Adam Ercoli, Rich Granoff and Vicki Leeds Tananbaum Golf Captains Chair: Jeff Mendell Auction Chair: Amy Sethi
From when he first set eyes on the Pantera and fell for the brutal yet sensuous lines of his dream car — and as he was filling his piggy bank to near-bursting — he was discovering more technical reasons why he had to possess one someday. He took up residence at the firm his father had founded back in 1972, Fuller and D’Angelo Partners PC, creating designs for schools, high-end hotels and government buildings around the metro area, including the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering and Old Town Hall, both in Stamford, and Staples High School in Westport. By 1999, Piggy was full and it was time to start the search for the Pantera. He knew he had to begin on the more temperate West Coast. As the body was manufactured in Italy, the Pantera was prone to rust, rust-proofing not being an Italian strong suit. Joe found his way to Don and Bob Byars’ shop, Precision Proformance, a mecca for all things Pantera. They became fast friends over the love of the Italian-American hybrid, but at the time they had nothing for him. After a few days Joe was ready to head home empty-handed. A last minute call from the brothers changed everything. They had just been in touch with a 75-year-old machinist who lived in Palm Springs. He had a meticulously cared for 1972 Pantera that he felt he might be getting a little old for. The car
JOIN US FOR BRUNCH, GOLF ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE AT STANWICH, COCKTAILS, SILENT AND LIVE AUCTIONS AND DINNER RECEPTION For information or to register: call 203-869-3131 or visit onsf.org A GREENWICH HOSPITAL ALLIANCE
PET OF THE MONTH
OUT OF THIS WORLD PHOTOGRAPH BY SEBASTIÁN FLORES
hat’s Astro, a 5-year-old hound/ retriever mix. He’s a handsome, dapper fellow with a gentlemanly demeanor. Astro would love to live in a home with another dog. He enjoys them as they make him feel comfortable and confident. He was rescued from a high-kill shelter and most likely was never around cats so a home without any kitty friends would be best for him. Kids around age 14 and over might be a good fit for As-
tro, but, as always, it really depends on the kids. Astro would thrive in a quieter setting in which he feels safe and, of course, loved. To meet Astro, 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.
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JEFF LAZARUS’ ‘DOG’MA BY ROBIN COSTELLO
hew on this: It was a clever, offhand remark made on a first date that sparked a revelation within and a literary feat for Jeff Lazarus. When asked what religion he believed in, Jeff charmingly blurted out, “Dogtology.” Soon after, realizing he was not alone in his “dogmatic” adoration for a pet (his being a stray named Roamy) Jeff was inspired to put his thoughts to paper for a book entitled “Dogtology: Live. Bark. Believe, a Humorous Exploration of Man’s Fur-ocious Devotion to Dogs” (Skyhorse Publishing). It’s a guide for those who love all things canine. Never to be upstaged, a cat comes along and demands equal time. When prompted by friends
“Where’s the cat book?” Jeff responded by writing its counterpoint “Catakism: Bow to the Meow, a Humorous Purr-spective on Humankind’s Obsession With Cats.” Both of Jeff ’s whimsical and entertaining books chronicle the many ways we are owned by, yet spoil and cherish our furry, four-legged friends. They illustrate the moments of transcendent joy that animals bring into our lives and what a privilege it is to have loved a pet. These humorous books give weight to W.R. Purche’s theory “Everyone thinks he has the best dog (or cat). And none of them is wrong.” Jeff Lazarus’ books (shown above) are available at booksellers everywhere and at amazon.com.
A LAMBDA LITERARY AWARDS FINALIST
A quarterback's search for identity amid the brutal beauty of the NFL ORDER TODAY FROM AMAZON OR BARNES & NOBLE "The Penalty for Holding" is the second novel in Georgette Gouveia's book series "The Games Men Play," which is also the name of her blog exploring sports, culture and sex. thegamesmenplay.com
WHEN & WHERE
Through June 23 The Ground Glass, a Westchester-based association of fine art photographers, exhibits a selection of work by 11 members at the Pound Ridge Public Library’s Schaffner Gallery. A reception with the photographers will be held 1 p.m. June 9. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 271 Westchester Ave.; 914-764-5085, poundridgelibrary.org
Through July 28 The ArtsWestchester Triennial exhibit spotlights what’s new in the art scene in the Hudson Valley with the work of 15 artists. Noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays, ArtsWestchester Gallery, 31 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains; 914-428-4220, artsw. org/triennial2018
June 1 through Sept. 24 Lyndhurst presents more than 50 rarely exhibited works by legendary painter, designer and glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany in “Becoming Tiffany: From Hudson Valley Painter to Gilded Age Tastemaker.” The exhibit explores Tiffany’s early career, from his origins as a painter in Irvington to his becoming a “painter with glass.” 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays, 635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown, 914-631-4481, lyndhurst.org
“Pushing Off the Boat, Sea Bright, New Jersey,” 1887 by Louis Comfort Tiffany, oil on canvas. Nassau Museum. Courtesy Lyndhurst.
June 2 though Sept. 2 The Bruce Museum presents the traveling exhibit “National Geographic Photo Ark.” The show features the photographs of Joel Sartre and is part of an ambitious project to document every species in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich; 203869-0376, brucemuseum.org
June 2 OCA Westchester & Hudson Valley Chapter presents its 21st annual Asian American Heritage Festival, featuring traditional Asian dance and song; masters of the martial arts, including lion dancers; professional artists; children’s dance troupes; and family friendly activities. Noon to 6 p. m., Kensico Dam Plaza, 1 Bronx River Parkway, Valhalla; 203-326-1534, oca-whv.org
The Spring Arts Immersion Salon at Beechwood Arts & Innovation will explore the theme of being “Fired Up!” as interpreted through music, art, film, performance and culinary arts. Artists will be showing collaborative work on the theme. 8 p.m., Beechwood Arts & Innovation, 52 Weston Road, Westport; 203-226-9462, beechwoodarts.org/ EventDonate.html
June 3 through Aug. 26 The “Biennial FOOTPRINT International Exhibition 2018” presents current trends and innovations in global contemporary printmaking, all within the boundaries of one square foot. Juror Susan Tallman of Art in Print magazine reviewed more than 300 prints from artists representing nearly 20 countries, selecting more than 80 to exhibit. Center for Contemporary Printmaking, 299 West Ave., Mathews Park, Norwalk; 203-899-7999, contemprints.org
June 2 and 3 Peekskill Arts Alliance presents the 21st annual “Peekskill Open Studios,” during which more than 100 artists throughout the city participate in group exhibitions, collaborative performances and open studios. Noon to 5 p.m., locations vary; peekskillartists.org Hudson Chorale presents its spring concert, “Celebrating American Composers,” featuring Vincent Persichetti’s “Celebrations,” based on the poetry of Walt Whitman; the premiere of two original works by Robert Convery; a choral arrangement by Leonard Bernstein; and highlights from George Gershwin’s folk opera “Porgy and Bess.” Times vary, Pleasantville Presbyterian Church, 400 Bedford Road, Pleasantville; 800-838-3006, hudsonchorale.org
June 5 American Theatre editor-in-chief, Rob Weinert-Kendt will speak and lead a panel discussion of theater artists from around Connecticut on the subject of “Repertory in American Theatre.” Organized by Thrown Stone Theatre and sponsored by Theatre Communications Group. 6:30 p.m., Ridgefield Library, 472 Main St.; 203-438-2282, thrownst.one/rep-rsvp
June 7 In celebration of “Timeless — The Works of Seward Johnson,” an exhibit of 36 of the sculptor’s works around Stamford, The Avon Theatre is organizing a reception ceremony in Latham Park at the foot of Johnson’s iconic “Forever Marilyn,” a 26-foot-tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe. Then there will be a screening of Billy Wilder’s “The Seven Year Itch,” starring the actress, at the theater. Reception: 6:30 p.m., 269 Bedford St. Film: 7:30 p.m., 272 Bedford St., Stamford; 203-9673660, avontheatre.org
June 8 through 17 YCP TheaterWorks presents a production of “Twelve Angry Men.” A 12-man jury must begin deliberations in the first-degree murder trial of a 19-year-old man accused of stabbing his father to death. As the men try to reach a unanimous decision, one juror casts considerable doubt on elements of the case. Times vary, Shrub Oak United Methodist Church Parish Hall, 1176 E. Main St.; 914-245-2184, ycptw.org
June 9 The Philip Johnson Glass House celebrates the start of a new season with its annual Summer Party fundraiser, featuring a farm-to-table picnic, lawn games, music and a curated auction. Noon, 199 Elm St., New Canaan; 203594-9884, the glasshouse.org
June 10 As a fundraiser to aid the New England Ballet Company as it recovers from water damage to scenery, props and costumes, the company presents “Retrospective Renewal,” a celebration of 25+ years of choreography by Victor Trevino, artistic director and resident choreographer. 5 p.m., The Klein Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Ave., Bridgeport; 800-424-0160, theklein.org
June 14 though July 1 The Schoolhouse Theater & Arts Center presents “The Dog in the Dressing Room” by Deborah Savadge, a romantic comedy in which jealousies, games and secrets are uncorked along with the Champagne. 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, 3 Owens Road, North Salem; 914-277-8477, schoolhousetheater.org
June 16 The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk offers a seven-hour Lighthouse Cruise, featuring rare close-up views of eight historic lighthouses on western Long Island Sound. Aquarium educators will offer histories and anecdotes about the lighthouses. 9 a.m., 10 N. Water St., Norwalk; 203-852-0700, ext. 2206, maritimeaquarium.org White Plains Performing Arts Center presents Ballets with a Twist’s “Cocktail Hour: The Show,” a dance performance that combines old Hollywood glamour with 21st-century pop in a series of cocktail-themed vignettes. The works contain original choreography, music and costumes. 8 p.m., City Center, 11 City Place, third floor, White Plains; 914-328-1600, wppac.com
“Holy Water” from “Cocktail Hour: The Show.” Photograph by Nico Malvaldi.
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Taconic Opera will host its annual chamber concert, featuring the opera’s conductor and music director Jun Nakabayashi as well as soprano Samia Bahu. The program, titled “Vocalise,” will include works by Gustav Mahler, Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner and Sergei Rachmaninoff. 3 p.m., Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco, 605 Millwood Road; 855-886-7372, taconicopera.org
FOR YOUR NEXT MITZVAH, BIRTHDAY OR PRIVATE PARTY
Singer-songwriters Stephen Stills and Judy Collins return to the Ridgefield Playhouse to perform songs from their rich catalogs along with songs from their 2017 collaboration, “Everybody Knows.” 7:30 p.m., 80 E. Ridge Road; 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org
June 19 Louisiana native Marc Broussard has developed an ardent fan base over the past 15 years with his extraordinary vocal ability and songwriting, blending influences from Otis Redding-type soul and R&B to John Hiatt and Dr. John’s funk and blues. 8 p.m., FTC Warehouse, 70 Sanford St., Fairfield; 203-259-1036, fairfieldtheatre.org
June 21 Custom ed graphics aniz d vi capabilities deo
The Pequot Library presents “Gatsby In Connecticut: The Untold Story,” a program featuring a screening of the 2018 documentary. After the film, enjoy a discussion with the filmmakers as well as a book signing of Richard Webb Jr.’s “Boats Against the Current: The Honeymoon Summer of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.” Registration suggested. 7 p.m., Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Ave., Southport; 203-259-0346, pequotlibrary.org
June 23 Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts presents its “American Roots Festival,” a full day of American music, from folk and country to bluegrass and gospel capped by performances by acclaimed singer-songwriter Aimee Mann and multi-instrumentalist Valerie June. Starts at Noon, 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah; 914-232-1252, caramoor.org
A Whimsical and Unique Venue for Your Next Party! • Talented Events and Audio/Visual Team • Indoor or outdoor open floor plans lets guests enjoy a variety of environments • Multimedia Gallery with 35 x 12 foot projection screen and customizable interactive floor • State-of-the-art sound and theatrical lighting system For a personal tour, call 203 899 0606, ext. 208
Friends of John Jay Homestead will celebrate the start of summer vacation with an outdoor screening of “The Princess Bride.” The family friendly film tells the story of Westley, a farmhand who must rescue his true love, Princess Buttercup, from the odious Prince Humperdinck. 7 p.m., 400 Jay St., Katonah; 914-232-8119, johnjayhomestead.org
June 24 The Aldrich Museum launches its “Main Street Video” program, a 12-week series featuring short video works by four artists in the Museum’s historic Old Hundred building. The first video is Marina Zurkow’s “The Thirsty Bird,” which is followed by an animation workshop in The Studio. You can make a stop-motion video inspired by the exhibitions on view, with the guidance of an expert from the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. 1 p.m., 258 Main St., Ridgefield; 203-438-4519, aldrichart.org
steppingstonesmuseum.org/rentals Presented by ArtsWestchester (artswestchester.org) and the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County (fcbuzz.org).
AN EVENING TO E.A.T.
End Allergies Together (E.A.T.), a nonprofit that funds research for the growing food-allergy epidemic, raised more than $500,000 at its third annual “Evening to EAT” at l’escale restaurant bar at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor. More than 340 guests were in attendance as best-selling author and food allergy activist Robyn O’Brien was honored with the Courage Award for her steadfast dedication to advocating for a healthier food system and greater collaboration among those trying to protect the health of our families. 1. Cameron Winklevoss, Merrill Debbs and Tyler Winklevoss 2. Carey and Jason Halio 3. Abbe and Greg Large and Sandy Kornblum 4. Ashley McGrail, David Javitch, Rikki Javitch and John McGrail 5. Alisyn Camerota and Elise Bates 6. Ellen-Jane Moss, Caroline Lisker, Robyn O’Brien, Alyssa Lipton and Stacey Saiontz 7. George Cain, Cindy Pulick, Maryann Murray and Gilbert D’Souza 8. Leslie and Pat Noland 9. Kim and Thomas Hall 10. Heather Woodbridge, Danielle Goodwin, Lindsey Worster and Fred Hahn 11. Jen Danzi, Vince Glenn, Cristin Marandino and John Marson 12. Joe Vulopas, JJ Vulopas and Jennifer Stewart 13. Kim Meier, Patrick Shaw, Finley Shaw and Liz Reed 14. Evan Edwards and Jake and Jackie Ourman 15. Taylor Baird, Cameron Carr and Mike Friedman 16. Scottie Bonadio, Victoria Gonzales, Hillary Carter and Jamie Kermode 17. Zach Diamond, Kate Gonta and Josh Miller
A D E S T I N AT I O N S PA R E S O R T
Recently, more than 150 guests attended “ArtJam2018,” the Neuberger Museum of Art’s spring art auction, held at the museum on the campus of Purchase College. The star-studded event celebrated the return of the Roy R Neuberger Collection, which has crisscrossed the country on two-year tour. Attendees were treated to cocktails, dinner by the bite and live and silent auctions. Proceeds from the evening went to benefit the art and education programs at the Neuberger. Photographs by Lynda Shenkman for Harrison Edwards. 1. Judith Fields and Avis Larson 2. Ava Zukowsky and Debbie Heidecorn 3. Thomas Schwarz, Tracy Fitzpatrick and Barry Pearson 4. Helen Stambler Neuberger and Jacques D’Amboise 5. Shari Sims and James and Abby Ritman 6. Francine and Richard Leinhardt and Susan Dubin 7. Charles and Janis Cecil 8. Brian and Lisa Feldman 9. Malcolm Lee, Gwen Clayton, Camille Lee and Alvin Clayton 10. Tony Maddalena and Marvin Schwartz 11. Mark Goldman, Ellen Meiner and Dina and David Brot 12. Ava Zukowsky and Emma Willis 13. Camille Lee, Steve Jordan, Bruce Willis and Alvin Clayton 14. David Jacobsen, Stephanie Dalton, Lisa Jacobsen and Jim Dubin 15. Barry Pearson, Robert Romano, Bonnie Klugman and Paul Zukowsky
DOUBLE DOSE OF GOODNESS
The Hudson Gateway REALTOR Foundation, the charitable arm of the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS, recently presented $2,500 to two organizations in our area -- Support Connection Inc. in Yorktown Heights, and the Center for Safety and Change in New City. Support Connection helps those affected by breast and ovarian cancer while the Center for Safety and Change provides services to domestic violence victims and their families.
16. Tracie McLee, Jeanne Shields, Robert Bangs, Kristine DiFrancesco and Elizabeth Santiago
A Day Program where they’re always in good company.
Waveny’s Adult Day Program in New Canaan offers meaningful camaraderie and care in a secure daytime setting. With ever-changing choices of recreational activities, hands-on personal care, managed medication, shower services, access to on-site therapies, and even overnight respite care, we serve the varied needs of seniors and their families. Free door-to-door transportation is provided throughout most of lower Fairfield County. Learn how to enjoy a free trial day by calling 203.594.5429 or visiting waveny.org.
Daytime Caregiver Relief with Free Transportation
When you need Home Care, choose the team you already trust. Waveny Home Healthcare and Waveny at Home bring the expertise, quality and local resources of a community-based healthcare system into the home. If you live in Fairfield County, Waveny’s visiting therapists, nurses, home health aides, CNAs, companions and even live-in aides can come to you. Our trusted team makes rehabilitation at home, and staying at home for the long term, a realistic choice. Learn how Waveny can come to you by calling 203.594.5249 or visiting waveny.org.
A nonprofit continuum of care that’s planning ahead for you.
TEAMING FOR BREAST CANCER The Breast Cancer Alliance (BCA) and UJA JCC Greenwich recently partnered to present the medical symposium “Hot Topics in Breast Cancer” at Old Oaks Country Club in Purchase. The panel, moderated by Dr. Orli Etingin, consisted of leading experts in the field — doctors Lee Jones, Elisa R. Port, Adam Yala, and Silvia Formenti. The panelists discussed new breakthroughs in prevention, screening and therapies for breast cancer. The morning helped inform women about how to take action for themselves and others. Proceeds will support breast health services for underserved women, early-stage breast cancer research and education. Photographs by Elaine & Chichi Ubiña. 1. Sylvia Formenti, MD, Orli Etingin, MD and Yonni Wattenmaker 2. Sonal Gibson, Sonja Parsell, Jennie Adams and Anna Janas 3. Jill Ciporin, Lisa Swotes, Merrill Spector and Andrea Pecoriello 4. Christine Tobak and Jody Lazlo 5. Liz Sandler and Mary Jeffery 6. Lisa Walsh and Valerie Gonzalez-Molina 7. Stephanie Tessler, Amy Brief, Carol Kushnick, Nancy Schwartz and Michelle Litt 8. Ellen Davis and Stacey Levine 9. Elisa Port, MD and Jane Och 10. Jennifer Hammond, Amy Leibner and Wendy Dulman 11. Debra O’Shea, Courtney Olsen and Jane Canning
Young families from Larchmont and Mamaroneck came together recently with UJA-Federation of New York to welcome spring with the senior residents at the Sarah Neuman Center in Mamaroneck. Flowers were planted in flower pots they decorated, and the kids interacted with the residents, including an impromptu piano performance by a charming 9-year-old.
12. Audrey Amissa and Gillian Rybak 13. Marisa and Graham de Sa
F I N D a p hys I c I a N. 134
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AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
More than 500 businesses and individuals supported Legal Services of the Hudson Valley’s (LSHV) 2018 “Equal Access to Justice” dinner, held recently at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester in White Plains. The sold-out event honored William P. Harrington, the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP and the Entergy Corp. The evening raised more than $500,000 for the nonprofit, which provides comprehensive, free civil legal services to those who cannot afford to pay an attorney. 1. William Glew, William Harrington, Michelle Cohen, Alejandro Cruz, Barbara Finkelsteinand Alfred Donnellan 2. Tara Rosenblum 3. CK Swett 4. Andrea Stewart-Cousins 5. Vanessa Kaye Watson 6. Marc Greenwald 7. Jonathan Harris, Michelle Cohen and Alejandro Cruz
TEAMING FOR BREAST CANCER, TAKE TWO
Greenwich’s Breast Cancer Alliance (BCA) partnered with Washington, D.C.-area institutions to present the medical symposium “Take Action Against Breast Cancer.” The panel, moderated by Judy Woodruff, consisted of leading experts in the field. Doctors Eleni Tousimis, Troy Pittman, Clifford Hudis, Rachel Brem and John Niederhuber discussed new discoveries and technology that can play a significant role in improving risk assessment, prevention and early detection for breast cancer. Proceeds will support breast health services for underserved women, early-stage breast cancer research and education. Photographs by Rodney Choice/AnnieWatt.com. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.
Mary Jeffrey and Yonni Wattenmaker Martina Grunwald and Jane Cafritz Laura Baum, Faith Breen and Ilana Gamerman Susan Hoag, Nicole Dauray and Jeannine Harvey Katy Sadeghian, Parisa Ghatri, Shahla Batmanghelidj and Tooran Malekzandi Kate Margolis and Penelope Bell Rebecca Magnuson, Katherine Kuhn and Whitney Rosenthal Monica Grell, Dana Kuhar and Christine Colby Giraudo Ilaria Luce Ripoll, Lisa Walsh and Hildegarde de Toth, MD Eleni Tousimis, Troy Pittman, Judy Woodruff, Rachel Brem, Clifford Hudis, John Niederhuber and Yonni Wattenmaker
Call (914) 849 - MyMD to find the right doctor for your personalized needs.
Venue for Any Occasion
Nestled on 28 acres of beautifully manicured gardens, the newly redesigned Serafina offers distinguished charm, Italian inspired cuisine and an elegant setting. Plan your gathering in our grand ballroom or the more intimate Club Room. For a special outdoor affair, step outside to Al fresco
or the impressive Rose Garden. For a truly memorable experience, call 203.322.6950
1620 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT 06905
‘RISING’ TO A CHALLENGE
Leake & Watts, the human services agency based in Yonkers, recently announced its new name, Rising Ground — and held a special event at the Skylark Lounge in Manhattan to celebrate the rebranding. After 187 years, the agency changed its name to reflect its mission and broad array of services that support children, adults, and families in need. Photographs by Ed Cody. 1. Franzelle Byer, Alexa Santoro, Parker Berman, Josh Lamberg and Maria Nicrone 2. Nick and Lisa Preddice, David Melby and Jody Rollins 3. Barbara Jackson, Agness Hassell and Ethylene Ziegler 4. Juliette Dudowitz and Claudine Colletti 5. Jose Jarra and Alan Mucatel 6. Jeanne and Lee Allen and Carolyn Mandelker
FEEDING WESTCHESTER’S FÊTE
Feeding Westchester, formerly known as Food Bank for Westchester, recently celebrated its 30th anniversary at a spring gala at Tappan Hill in Tarrytown. More than 400 attendees were on hand to help raise funds to benefit the organization, whose purpose is to provide nutritious food to residents in the county experiencing hunger. The $470,000 raised will equal 1.8 million meals. 7. Abigail and Jim Kirsch 8. Bruce Sabbath 9. Elizabeth Bracken-Thompson, Marsha Gordon and Jean Marie Connolly 10. Sue Norton and Rick Rakow 11. Ken Jenkins, Leslie Gordon and Anthony Scarpino
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
More than 600 business leaders were on hand for The Business Council of Westchester’s 16th annual Hall of Fame Awards Dinner. This year’s program, which was held at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle, honored six “change makers” who have transformed their industries and added to the economic vitality of the region. 12. Seated: Chris Combe, Bud Hammer, Lisa Hammer, Gerri Pell and Thomas LaPerch Standing: James Giangrande, Akshay Shetty, Anthony Justic, Marsha Gordon, Robert Schaeffer, Nunzio Meccariello and Michael Bonardi
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More than 300 Westchester community and business leaders and residents came together recently for the WJCS-Westchester Jewish Community Services gala at Brae Burn Country Club in Harrison. The evening was a celebration of the 75th anniversary of WCJS and raised funds to help support its programs. 1. Alan Trager and Andrea Stewart-Cousins 2. Debra Schiff and Bernard Kimber 3. Shari Schneider, Sarah Kayle, Linda Plattus and Nina Ross. 4. Suzanne Yearley and Robert Wiener
MY SISTER’S GALA
More than 450 community members gathered at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester recently for My Sisters’ Place’s (MSP) annual spring benefit. The event featured cocktails, dinner, a fund-the-future appeal and a silent auction. MSP honored the Westchester-based volunteer organization, The Children’s Hope Chest (CHC), for more than 10 years of partnership. Photographs by Alan Flamenhaft.
5. George Latimer, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Anthony Scarpino and Benjamin Boykin 6. Susan Mara McDonnell, Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Andrew Adams, Michael Thomas and Zak DeOssie 7. Heather Solomon, Helaine Shapiro and Marilyn Wilson bottom: Val Ryan, Wendy Kleinman, Mark Canno, Sara Mahoney, Randi Menchel, Melinda Velez, Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Lisa Smith and Dina Fisher
HIGH (STYLE) SCHOOLS
The Breast Cancer Alliance of Greenwich staged a runway event recently with more than 20 of its Junior Committee members. The fashion-forward teens sashayed down the runway in styles from Richards, with hair and makeup by Maison D’Alexandre. The high schools represented included Bronxville, Greenwich, Greenwich Country Day, Greenwich Academy, Brunswick, Fox Lane, Greens Farms Academy, Sacred Heart Greenwich and Stanwich. Sponsored by Carnegie Pollak Private Tutoring and Test Prep, the show raised funds for breast health services for the underserved. Photographs by Kathleen DiGiovanna. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Elexa Wilson and Hayley Duffy Eva Serra Mary Jeffery, Elisa Wilson and Xandy Duffy Carolyn Jeffery, Maggie Sandler, Lulu Forrest and Jamie Jeffery 12. Max and Yonni Wattenmaker 13. Megan Doherty. Marisa Barbosa and Jackie Shannon
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IF YOU COU LD LIVE ANY WHERE EL SE, WHERE WOU LD IT BE?
Robert Adams retired, Scarsdale resident
clothing designer, Ossining resident
Kenneth Browne voice actor, New Rochelle resident
personal assistant, Mount Vernon resident
interior designer, Hastings-on-Hudson resident
"I've been around a lot. At my age, I don't think there's a place I'd rather be than here in Scarsdale. It's quaint, comfortable and an easy commute to the city."
"If I could live anywhere, I'd live in Portland, Oregon. You get the best of both worlds there – drive to the coast to go to the beach or hit the mountains for some skiing."
"If I could live anywhere, I would live in Hawaii. Relax on the beach all day. Get away from all the bustle of city life."
"My dream is to live in New York City. I love the lights and the movement of all the people. I hate coming back to the suburbs."
"My dream place would be London. The city is so chic and has so much history."
paralegal, Hartsdale resident
freelance contractor, Crestwood resident
"I would love to live in Paris. I love the language, the culture and the food. It's such a diverse and interesting city."
"I would live in Chicago. I love the food there. It’s also similar to New York, so it wouldn’t be too big of an adjustment."
"If I could live anywhere, I'd go to Thailand. Or New Zealand. Somewhere exotic."
"I love New York. I came from Brazil and I never thought I'd be able to live in such an amazing city. I would never choose any other place."
"I would love to live in Spain, a small, country town. Delicious, fresh food and a beautiful environment."
entrepreneur, Rye Brook resident
hair stylist, White Plains resident
*Asked throughout central and northern Westchester County at various businesses. 144
personal trainer, Larchmont resident
The Bruce Museum presents
National Geographic Photo Ark Exhibition June 2 â€“ September 2, 2018 Underwritten by
BRUCE MUSEUM BruceMuseum.org