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Contemporary Culture


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People + Ideas

16 Your Personal Piece of Paris 20 Men & Their Shed


24 Art/Place Celebrates its 30th Anniversary 26 When Art & Fashion Intersect

Events + Gatherings

30 Parties, Exhibitions & Activities


38 Golf Resorts: Riviera Maya 42 Travel: The Art of Living in St. Thomas


48 Over the “tapas” at Bellota 50 Wine & Spirits: Krug


Photography: Chris Granger CONTEMPORARY CULTURE


March/April/May_CT-NY-FL Edition $5.99








M A RCH 21�24, 2013



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58 Timepieces: The Inner Beauty of Skeleton Watches 60 Decor: Bringing the Outside In


62 Motoring: Tesla Model S 66 Yachting: Pershing 108’: Versatility and Forefront Technology 69 Decorative Arts: On The Block


71 Venü Magazine’s showcase for fine furniture,textiles, jewelry, art, antiques and accessories.


74 Music: Jon Cleary 76 Music: Saying Goodbye to the Rolling Stones 80 Art: Yale’s New Art Gallery Scores a Winning Touchdown 83 Film + Entertainment: Fox on Film 85 On Stage: Florida’s Actors’ Playhouse 88 The Daisy Column: Miami Society The powerful, The chic, The unique





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Showcasing local Arts, Culture, and Style without any contrived formality. VENÜ is published six times a year as a fresh yet discerning guide to art, culture and style throughout Connecticut and beyond. Not too artsy or too fussy, we’re thoughtfully written for the curious, the acquisitive, and those devoted to the one-of-a-kind and hard-to-find.


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President, Creative Director: J. Michael Woodside Vice President, Executive Director: Tracey Thomas Copy Editors: Cindy Clarke, Michael Foley, Brian Solomon Senior Arts Editor: Philip Eliasoph Film & Entertainment Editor: Peter J. Fox Decorative Arts Editor: Matthew Sturtevant Publisher: Venü Media Company Art, Design & Production: Venü Media Company Contributing Writers: Nora Adler, Sissy Biggers, Frederic Chiu, Cindy Clarke, Cheryl Dixon, Jeanine Espositio, Peter Fox, Jennifer Matthews Frost, Bobby Harris, Nancy Helle, Mike Horyczun, Lorenz Josef, Janet Lansem, Kathleen Lucente, Ryan Odinak, Daisy Olivera, William Squier, Matthew Sturtevant, Monica Suleski Business Development: Shelly Harvey/Connecticut, Liz Marks/New York Legal Counsel: Alan Neigher, Sheryle Levine (Byelas & Neigher, Westport, CT) Distribution: Thomas Cossuto, Man In Motion, LLC Office: 840 Reef Road, 2nd Floor, Fairfield, CT 06824 +1.203.333.7300 Tel +1.203.333.7301 Fax Advertising Sales: Editorial Contribution: Subscriptions: Call 203.333.7300

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Bracelets & Necklaces To Capture Life’s Precious Moments



Your Personal Piece of Paris

The story behind Korbella’s line of limited production jewelry made with genuine pieces of the Eiffel Tower By Kathleen Lucente Nothing is more innately personal than the memory that nestles inside you after an unforgettable experience. A sight you never thought you’d see, a place you never thought you’d go, a piece of history you never thought you’d touch—each archived in your mind as a token of a cherished moment. As time wears on and photographs fade, there is a special



familiarity that burns inside and motivates us to tightly hold our treasured memories. It was exactly this kind of deeply burning personal passion for preserving a memory that motivated Paul Michael Bedell to create Korbella. When a family trip to France left an indelible impression on Bedell, he was driven to commemorate the experience in a way that

would be lasting and worthy of the city he fell in love with. He sought to create a precious memento embodying the intangible beauty, history, and culture deeply cherished by so many. Disappointed with the usual trinkets found in souvenir shops—key chains, coffee mugs and letter openers—Bedell set out to create a memento capable of capturing his dreams and memories of Paris. To do so, he set his sights on the very heart of the city: the Eiffel Tower. Undeniably one of the world’s most famous and recognized landmarks, the Eiffel Tower has welcomed millions of visitors since opening in 1889. In the year it opened, royalty, politicians and luminaries including the Prince and Princess of Wales, Japan’s royal family, Buffalo Bill and Thomas Edison, climbed the spiral staircase that once connected the lower floors of the Tower to the top. While it was originally intended to be a temporary monument, the Eiffel Tower has endured for more than a century. Valued at more than half a trillion dollars, the Tower is recognized as the most prized landmark in all of Europe. More importantly, this beloved monument has become inextricably linked to the romance and mystique of Paris, and a destination in its own right. Unbeknownst to most, the spiral staircase inside the tower was removed in 1983—cut into 24 sections and sold at auction. One segment remains on permanent display at the Eiffel Tower; another was erected in Disneyland; and the others are scattered across the globe. Recalling a magazine article about a Christie’s auction involving a piece of the Eiffel Tower, Bedell began his research and a quest to acquire the precious artifact. After extensive research and negotiation, Bedell successfully acquired an upper portion of that staircase element in the later part of 2011. Thus began the development of Korbella and the Eiffel Tower Forever collection, a limited production line of jewelry made with actual pieces of the Eiffel Tower. After 25 years as a financial services executive, Bedell was ready to take on a new challenge that was more about dreams than deadlines. Bedell was a longtime admirer of fine jewelry, beginning with the vintage European heirlooms in his mother’s jewelry box. While living in Indonesia, Bedell was impressed by the level of craftsmanship and workmanship in the jewelry designs. Years later, while living in Hong Kong, he witnessed a different perspective, one that seemed to emphasize speed-to-market and mass-production, and often delivered accompanying levels of poor quality. When launching his own jewelry line, Bedell had a vision: “I knew that I wanted to



Photo: Kimberly Davis Photography

create pieces of true quality, comprising classical elements that would be both timely and timeless—even if that meant the process would take longer.” Each design in the collection began with Bedell’s concepts or sketches, which were then translated into CAD, and prototyped with 3D printers. In stark juxtaposition to this modern technology, Korbella employs the ancient method of lost-wax casting to create its beautifully detailed pieces. The amount of handcrafting is extensive, as each Eiffel Tower artifact is cut by hand, carefully sanded, polished, and sealed with lacquer. Skilled artisans then frame the precious Eiffel Tower “diamonds” and discs within .925 sterling silver, 18k gold vermeil, or solid 18k gold. The jewelry is created entirely in the United States, with the exception of the clasps, which are sourced from Italy. “I’m told the best clasps come from Italy, and as I’m part Italian, I’m inclined to agree,” says Bedell with a smile. The pendants and charms are cast in New York and the chains are made in Rhode Island, where the pieces are also set, polished, and finished. A certificate of authenticity accompanies every design purchased from that includes a piece of the Eiffel Tower.



“Everyone has their own Paris,” says Bedell. “We offer beautiful jewelry made from the most perfect icon of Paris, providing unique context: these are empty vessels, awaiting you to fill them with your memories, of your Paris.” While named Eiffel Tower Forever, the collection is finite; once the rare resource is exhausted, production will cease forever. Within the limited production collection, the Coeur de Paris (“Heart of Paris”) pendant is noteworthy as a true limited edition piece: only 500 silver and 300 vermeil pieces will be created worldwide.

Korbella is also able to customize various elements of its offerings, executing the designs in different metals such as platinum or rose gold, or substituting gemstones, to accommodate customer requests. One of Bedell’s greatest joys in this pursuit is hearing from customers about “their Paris,” as they recount their experiences, memories, or dreams about the City of Light. Some write of a special evening and a memorable kiss at the Tower; others recall a romantic stroll along the banks of the Seine, a moonlight cruise, or a special picnic in a Parisian park. Regardless of the storyline—romance, inspiration, family fun, anniversary or wedding—there is a common thread of sincere emotion, as Paris manages to touch so many hearts, even those who have yet to visit. “Everyone has their own Paris,” says Bedell. “We offer beautiful jewelry made from the most perfect icon of Paris, providing unique context: these are empty vessels, awaiting you to fill them with your memories, of your Paris.” All Korbella designs are available exclusively at For more information or to view or purchase the Eiffel Tower Forever collection, visit











Men & Their Shed

Founded in 2009 on Lake Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand, Broken Shed is premium vodka with an equally amazing success story


By Jennifer Matthews Frost uccessfully migrating from Greenwich, Connecticut to a “Broken Shed” on the shores of Lake Wanaka (pronounced: Wahnahkah), New Zealand, two friends and their native New Zealand partner, have expertly researched, formulated, and distilled the smoothest and most pure new vodka to enter the spirits market to date. Founded in 2009 on Lake Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand, Broken Shed is premium vodka with an equally amazing success story. Just a bit over four years ago, Steve Turner was in the IT world and Mark O’Brien was a property developer. Both men were raising families in Connecticut, had sold their respective businesses, and deciding what to do next. Not yet ready to retire, but poised for the next “adventure”, the natural magnificence and relaxed lifestyle of New Zealand was immediately appealing. Separately, but each with the blessings of their equally adventurous wives, Shannon and Carrie, Steve, Mark, and families embarked on a journey to the opposite end of the world landing on the shores of Wanaka, New Zealand. Here they imagined enjoying, for a time, life lived at a different pace than what they had been living in the admittedly bucolic suburbs of Manhattan. The new chapter: “Big City” to “Broken Shed”. People often ask, “Does The Shed actually exist?” It does. Complete with a pot bellied stove, deer antlers and furnishings donated or found in




Entrepreneur local “waste busters”; it is located on the shores of the pristine Lake Wanaka. It is here in what Mark and Steve jokingly refer to as the “shed sessions” that the initial creative process began. Steve is credited with associating the purity of Lake Wanaka and the physical site of the iconic “Broken Shed” (nestled in Mark O’s backyard) with the world’s most prestigious (if not, still, the best kept secret) vodka. The idea was actually born over martinis in that very shed as the gentlemen were enjoying their go-to, premium imported brand from afar. Commenting that vodka is 60% water, and noting that they were suddenly living in the country with the purest water sources in the world, they questioned why their vodka choices were limited to those from other nations. Forever the entrepreneurs, Mark and Steve knew they could do better and decided to investigate further. They figured that selling vodka to their mates in the area would be a great way to create a local business uniquely suited to their new home’s geography. Tastings in the shed became suddenly popular, not surprisingly, as their best mates became the most honest focus groups. Those initial “shed sessions” were not naïve, however – they knew that the spirits market is a crowded one, indeed. In a culture that is saturated with high-end marketing budgets, social media and “real-time” publicity, a new product needed to be of the highest quality (and remain consistently so) to thrive. From the beginning days, their strategy has been grassroots and direct – like their product. The pair was on their way, producing a reasonable blend, but they knew that the exceptional level of distillation could not fully be achieved until the third member of this entrepreneurial trio came into the picture. Mark Simmonds, a native Kiwi from Central Otago, had not only years of expertise in bottling wines and juices, but also the local beverage creds, and the courage to inspire the trio to go for it. The newly formed team spent the first six months looking at ten different water sources throughout New Zealand and, ultimately, chose the best two from the North and South Islands resulting in a unique taste profile with exceptional purity. They then went on to find the perfect source from which to distill. After experimenting with all the popular options, the decision was made to craft their spirit from whey. As a natural resource (not a food source), whey was perfect in both taste profile and being naturally gluten-free. An initial satisfactory blend was achieved but Mark S challenged the team to go further and create a vodka without any additives – unheard of in the spirits industry. As the experienced craftsman, Mark knew that he could create a vodka to meet the industry norm yet wanted to go beyond this and blend a truly pure spirit, one free of the short-cuts used by other



You can spend a lot of money marketing vodka that might have the cache but not the quality or taste. Our feeling is that New Zealand itself is an inherently good brand and any products coming out of it must live up to its standard. vodka brands. He was aware that adding even the smallest amount of substances helped to soften the mouth feel; dreaming of a vodka with the absence of these base ingredients made the process that much more important. He went on to perfect this process and soon Broken Shed became the premium vodka of New Zealand, surpassing the competition, receiving a 91 Rating from Wine Enthusiast and the 2011 Silver Award in the International Wine and Spirits Competition, validating the time and effort spent to create the perfect recipe. As far as the men behind the brand Mark, Steve and Mark (as if out of central casting) embody the handsome, natural ruggedness that people associate with New Zealand – and rightly so. But unlike actors or models – these guys are the real deal and their personal and professional bond is apparent as soon as you meet

them. The vodka they have created embodies that authenticity and purity of spirit – literally. This past June of 2012, Broken Shed made its US debut in the state where two of the three founders originated. The Connecticut welcoming was followed by a late-September 2012 New York launch, and both have been met with great accolades. New Zealand, long known to the world’s sports enthusiasts and travelers as a sought-after destination (and now associated with the home of that broken down shed and the vodka it inspired) made the welcome to our shores a warm one. As they have been asked and responded, “People think of New Zealand as rugged, beautiful and clean, so when you order a Broken Shed vodka from New Zealand, you’re saying I like the best, I like premium, I like clean, crisp, I like purity. You can spend a lot of money marketing vodka that might have the cache but not the quality or taste. Our feeling is that New Zealand itself is an inherently good brand and any products coming out of it must live up to its standard. ” Much is written about the connection between the geography of New Zealand and the iconic “Lord of the Rings” trilogies. Actor Elijah Wood, who stared in all three films, said of the region “There’s a real purity in New Zealand that doesn’t exist in the States. It’s actually not an easy thing to find in our world anymore. It’s a unique place because it is so far away form the rest of the world.” Perhaps only two fearless friends from Connecticut and kindred Kiwi could be intuitive enough to create this pristine spirit, and then bring it back home to share with all of us. In a time where marketing plans and advertising campaigns emphasize flash over substance, it is refreshing to know that there are three men who have the humility to name their creation after the shed where their idea was born. Broken Shed Vodka has consciously chosen a different path – one that is authentically and completely its own. Cheers!




Diane Pollack stands in front of her wall installation of monoprints themed, women seen and not seen in our society.

Creative Synergy

Art/Place celebrates its 30th anniversary with eight new members and gallery space by Nancy Helle

Art/Place - one of the oldest artist cooperatives in Connecticut which celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2012 - enters the New Year with renewed energy from the addition of eight new members. Another source of pride is a new gallery, ideally located at 70 Sanford Street in a building shared by the Fairfield Theatre Company, creating a new synergy between the arts. “This is an exciting new chapter in the life span of Art/Place says Florance Zolan, a founding member and current co-chair of Art Place. Diane Pollack, her co-chair adds, “We have a wonderful opportunity for additional exposure through the Theatre Company audiences, and we are delighted with our new location right in the heart of town. Upcoming exhibitions showcase the diversity of talents among Art/Place members. “The Space Between”, February 28 through March 30, presents the vision of two painters as to “what is unseen in the universe”. Toby Michaels is concerned with cosmic space. “At first glimpse, you may see only darkness and stars but there is really an abundance of things happening in the void,” says Michaels. Mary Elizabeth Peterson is fascinated with water in its



various forms – pond, lake, river and sea, and concerned about the survival of our natural resources and the many increasingly rare species. Both artists were inspired by the 800 AD poet Rumi’s work: We are the night ocean. Filled with glints of light. We are the space between the fish and the moon. From April 4 through May 4, Art/Place is “falling in line” by presenting “Drawn In”, an exhibition which explores and promotes the concept of drawing, planned in conjunction with the Aldrich Museum’s program “Draw On”. The goal of both organizations and other participating groups is to stimulate interest in drawing and encourage the public – even those with no art experience whatsoever – to approach drawing from a variety of different points. Art/Place will sponsor collaborataive and interactive programs, with materials provided, throughout the month. Events will be posted on the Website.

Poetry is the inspiration behind two artists having solo exhibitions from May 9 through June 8. Diane Pollack’s theme is “women seen and not seen in our society”. Her installation of monoprints, some with hand-stitching will be accompanied with poems by Ben Johnson, Walt Whitman and others. Mary Louise Long’s abstract paintings and monotypes focus on brilliant colors and powerful forms, rendered with painterly markings. Her work is influenced by classical mythology and poetry, including poets as varied as Lord Byron, Rilke and T.S. Eliot. Elected by a jury of artist peers, New Art/Place members include Ishita Bandyo of Branford, Mollie Keller of Trumbull, Grace McEnaney of Newtown, Bevi Bullwinkel of Fairfield, Demitri Papolos of Southport, Ruth Kalla Ungerer of Westport, Elizabeh Nagle of New Canaan and Paul G. Larson of Greenwich. In addition to Zolan and Pollack, other members include Dave Pressler of Shelton, Phyllis Clamage of Stratford, Carole Cole and Elisa Khachian of Fairfield, Susanne Keany and Barbara Bernstein of Weston, Toby Michaels and Mary Elizabeth Peterson of Westport, Cate Leach of Darien, Sandra K. Meagher of Rowayton, Mary Louise Long of Stamford and Martha Reinken of Greenwich.

Art/Place is open Thursday through Saturday, 12 to 4 p.m. and during special performances of the Fairfield Theatre Company. 70 Sanford Street, Fairfield. 203-292-8328. www. The work of Art/Place members is also showcased in ongoing exhibitions at the Watermark Gallery at 3030 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

SPOTLIGHT: Jennifer Butler/Clothing Designer

I thought this sculpture, Untitled, by Mark Swanson, was the perfect “disco ball” for my Panne stretch velvet jumpsuit.

When Art And Fashion Intersect

“So, where do you get your ideas?” People frequently ask me that. Because inspiration can’t always be pinned down, I tend to give them rambling answers. “It can be anything– the fabric, the music I’m listening to, something someone said, or a need I see in day-to-day life.” So, in general, my ideas come from anywhere. Art, however, is a constant. The worlds of art and fashion intersect, but although everyone wears clothes, once we finish grade school, and art is no longer something we ‘do’ or practice every day, we don’t always think we‘get’ art. I see art everywhere, in the cut of a skirt, the angle of a seam, the handle on a mid-century cup. Having not visited for a few years, I went to the New Britain Museum of American Art to see my friend Dalton Ghetti’s art project “3,000 Tears” unveiled, and I was floored at the museum’s collection. I turned the corner to Lisa Hoke’s “The Gravity of Color,” stopped in my tracks at the top of the stairs and said to myself “We need to do a fashion shoot here. How can I make this happen…” I felt NBMMA is bursting at the seams with amazing works, rolling out great beauty as you walk along, slamming you with exclamations of passion, presenting them in a way that lets you take it all in like a fabulous ride.



I’m big on sculptural shapes for the body. This is a storm coat with a removable hood, because sometimes driving with a hood is such a bother... but hoods are so functional. Flip Your Lid, silk and faux fur coat

In the main entrance our models play on a Howard Fromson bench to show off her Cowels Gone Wild silver sweater, Simple metallic wool tweed skirt, and his Waxing Poetic Waxed denim raincoat, Jens stretch pant in red cotton/lycra, Zip It lined sweater, Skimcoat lined t-shirt.

Hair: Blow of West Hartford Makeup: Leslie Atiles for Distinct Artistry Photography: David Esposito for Lucio Photography



SPOTLIGHT: Jennifer Butler/Clothing Designer

The Benton room of murals at NBMMA is amazing. I wanted to show the full scope of what I did in one shot. The saturated colors of these paintings is in such incredible harmony with my fall collection, when I saw everyone line up for the shot, I almost cried tears of joy. The finished shot had a Wes Anderson Royal Tenenbaums vibe. Left to right, Crinkle in the Hood dress, Night Garden stretch top, Secrets pants, Mixed Media silk and wool dress, Milday Newpenny velvet dress, Glam Edge beaded brocade jacket, For the Birds Silk vest, Jens wool pant.

I love the ceremony of putting on a dress to mark an occasion. Everything changes - how you carry yourself, your confidence, sometimes, how much fun you’re going to have. This is true if whether you’re age 6 or 60. The most important thing is that you’re physically comfortable, so although these dresses are formal, they feel like pajamas. This is my daughter Hazel, and she would wear this dress to Stop & Shop. Modern Princess: embroidered silk organza and Duchesses satin dress with beading.



We all thought the longer we photographed Yvonne in front of this portrait, the more she resembled her. Gold Dig Her, metallic tweed suit

I do a lot of Bats Mitzvah dresses, and tweens LOVE pink. I had some textured, modern pinks in the collection, but was about to shy away from them. I saw this painting by Martin Kline, Empossioner, 2001,2007, and thought they would look fabulous with it, and I feared not the crazy pinks. I told my oldest daughter Olivia that she was going to be wearing a pink gown in the shoot, and she was very, very happy. Pinkle Crinkle: Silk organza, silk taffeta and crinkled acetate gown with beading

Color is extremely important in my work, but people seem to fall in two camps -“I think hot pink head to toe would be great for my son’s wedding” and “I need a black dress.“ I walk a fine line between the two, and this dress is a perfect example. What’s Your Angle?, beaded silk chiffon and acetate gown

Art: The Gravity of Color, Lisa Hoke



events + gatherings

By Ryan Odinak


Executive Director, Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County

The Fairfield Community Theater–A Great Community Partner!

The Fairfield Theatre Company (FTC) in Fairfield, has evolved into one of the region’s most energetic and productive performing arts venues. From their first season of plays in 2001 on the campus of Fairfield University, to the opening of StageOne in Downtown Fairfield in 2004, to a string of sold-out performances by major artists such as Boz Scaggs and Cheap Trick at the Klein Auditorium, FTC has made magic, time and again. They have presented over 1,000 live performances to the delight of more than 150,000 patrons to date. The organization is dedicated to a simple premise— that the broadest spectrum of live entertainment and cultural exchange is essential to the vitality of our society. Producing Artistic Director, John Reid, focuses on how to best leverage this iconic organization to benefit the community. “I view FTC as an asset of the town of Fairfield and the broader community of Fairfield County. FTC’s role is to use the resources that we have to benefit the community first and foremost. We strive to present the very best in music, education, art, film, and theatre. We partner with

other area nonprofits, leveraging our facilities to help them raise funds to support their various causes. We want to be seen as a collaborative partner that has the best interests of the community in mind at all times.” Known primarily for bringing the best in live music such as Shawn Colvin, The English Beat and Joe Lewis Walker, to the region, FTC has expanded programmatically in the past year. They collaborated with Art/Place in transforming part of the building into an art gallery and office of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. The renovated area has a New York City gallery feel and has turned into a highly talked-about feature with many show sponsors holding private gatherings for clients and friends in this intimate space. FTC has also added a monthly film series in partnership with PBS. FTC helps the community by reaching out to children. Their Saturday Morning Kids program is a partnership with KEYS (Kids Empowered by Your Support). Rob Sylvan, KEYS director, said, “The mission of KEYS is to provide music lessons in piano, guitar, violin, cello and the other orchestral instruments to students in Bridgeport who have no other access to this profound life experience. Saturdays are not easy days to find a space that can handle and feed 25-30 music students. FTC has come through wonderfully, providing pianos and keyboards, knowledgeable and helpful staff backup, numerous rooms in which to hold classes, and a fantastic recital stage.” FTC has teamed up with the Northeastern

Looking for something different to do? is the place to find out what’s happening in Fairfield County any day of the week—featuring theater, exhibits, music, history, science, family fun, classes and local artists. Click on Pick a great event to attend. Then Go—bring your family, meet your friends or fly solo.™ is presented by the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County. For more information contact the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County by emailing, calling 203-256-2329, or visiting the Web site at



Children’s Theatre Company to present a series of children’s plays this year. The FTC venue has been host to numerous charitable events for local nonprofits seeking to raise money. The organizations include Near & Far, Connecticut Challenge, Pilot House, and Thomas Merton Center. Benefits have been held for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy and Sandy Hook Elementary. FTC also teamed up with Operation Hope, to collect over 5,000lbs of food through food drives held during shows. In terms of local community impact, the patrons who attend FTC productions each year have made a considerable difference to local businesses. Reid emphasizes, “Recent research says every patron who comes to a show at a venue like FTC spends close to thirty dollars at the surrounding businesses— going to dinner on the way to a show, or stopping for refreshments after a show. By bringing about 40,000 people a year through our doors, I think it’s clear that we are generating business for the area—about $1.2 million dollars in new revenue. With the community’s ongoing support, I see great things ahead for FTC, and that starts with community involvement!” Stay tuned and find out what’s happening at FTC and other great venues throughout Fairfield County by visiting Top left: Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Far left: Cheap Trick’s Rick Nelson (at The Klein). Bottom: Jesse Crites and FTC’s Saturday Kids: KEYS Program Top right: FTC’s Saturday Kids: KEYS Program.

Neuberger Museum of Art presents:

Nadín Ospina, Casa de Xolotl,2005, stone, 26.8 inches high. Courtesy the artist.

Pre-Columbian Remix

the art of enrique chagoya, demián f lores, rubén ortiz-torres, and nadín ospina Opening Reception: Sunday, April 28, 1–4 pm Music, hors d’oeuvres, tours. Free admission. April 28–July 14, 2013 Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, New York 914 251–6100



events + gatherings

Facebook: Beechwood Arts Website:

Welcome to Beechwood Arts, a non-profit to help expand how the arts are created and experienced. We foster collaboration across all arts genres and generations in the areas of music, art, dance, sculpture, performance, filmmaking & culinary arts. We do this by creating intimate, immersive and innovative salons and programs that blur the lines between

audience, artist and venue. We host and curate Arts Immersion Salons, Art Open Houses, Collaborative Artist-inResidence Programs, Innovative Arts Workshops and Innovation Labs and integrate community with the arts. We hope you’ll become a part of the fabric we’re weaving at Beechwood Arts! -- Jeanine Esposito & Frederic Chiu

Ringing Out 2012... The scramble caused by Hurricane Sandy required cancellations & adjustments but did not deter Beechwood Arts friends as they rallied and celebratedwith enthusiastic gusto for our last 2 months of the year! Westport Library Innovates at Beechwood! We led members of The Westport Library staff through a pro-bono “Innovation Lab” using the same thinking that Jeanine uses with her corporate innovation clients. The team worked to expand their minds and collaborate on new ideas for the library, leaving the day with some developed, ready-to-go solutions. A mini concert by Frederic was their reward for a hard day’s work.

Westport Historical Society puts Beechwood on its Holiday House Tour.. Tour-goers came to see Beechwood in its Holiday clothes and were fascinated by the unique mix of contemporary, edgy art in an 1800’s salon setting. They also loved the secret passageway that is said to once have been used in the underground railroad. All proceeds went to The WHS.

"Working on innovation at the Westport Library is a continuous goal, and working on innovation at Beechwood Arts brings fascinating results."- Maxine Bleiweis, Library Director

... And Looking Forward to an Expansive 2013 Beechwood Arts will focus on bringing our signature Arts Immersion Salons and other events to a wider audience... stay tuned! Beechwood Arts Immersion Salons: Live to a screen Near you! An exciting surprise opened the year when a generous patron stepped forward to equip Beechwood with the technology and equipment necessary for us to stream our Salons and workshops to a worldwide audience!

Beechwood Arts NYC 70’s “Downtown” Birthday Bash! While the 70s were a gritty, bankrupt low-point in the history of the big city, a “Big Bang” of arts and music collaboration exploded in NYC’s Downtown Art Scene. We celebrated with a live graffiti artist, audience readings, a concert by Frederic Chiu of minimalist Philip Glass, art & talks from internationally renowned NY 70s artists Audrey Flack, Marisol Escobar and Larry Silver along with new contemporary artists whose work is reminiscent of the period plus NY-style wood-fired pizzas!



Culinary + Art Perfect Partners! Beechwood Arts is starting to work with local Top restaurants to install gallery-quality art in their venues. A win for culinary hot spots that cater to an arts-sophisticated audience in Fairfield County, a win for artists who will have their work be seen in a setting mixed with culinary arts, and a great fit for Beechwood Arts and our mission of mixing these genres. First stop, Blue Lemon in Westport – a Top 5 restaurant (out of 70 in Westport) on Trip Advisor.

Beechwood Arts on-line! We will officially launch our on-line gallery. Not just an on-line gallery, but a place where we will continue to curate an innovative mix of art, music, performance and culinary arts. We anticipate launching our on-line gallery by March.

Art and Antique Dealers League of America Announces 3rd Edition of The Spring Show New York City – May 2-5, 2013 Carolyne Roehm to create floral Mise-en-scene


Photo: Ann Watt

he Art and Antique Dealers League of America (AADLA) is pleased to announce the 3rd edition of their Spring Show NYC, open to the public May 2-5, 2013 at the Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue and 67th Street. The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) continues to be the fair’s opening night beneficiary with an invitation-only preview Wednesday, May 1., the premier online marketplace for purveyors of luxury goods, is the show’s sponsor. “1stdibs is delighted to continue its sponsorship for the 3rd edition of the AADLA Spring Show NYC and to support the ASPCA, the opening night beneficiary,” said Michael Bruno, founder and president, 1stdibs. “It’s been very gratifying to see the growth

of the Spring Show since its inception three years ago and we are proud of our association with the dealers and the ASPCA.” “As we head into our third year, we are delighted to welcome back our partner 1stdibs and the ASPCA as our beneficiary,” said Clinton Howell, the League’s president. “We are particularly gratified to have the enthusiastic support of so many of new and returning dealers.” Howell also announced that Carolyne Roehm, the celebrated style arbiter, horticulturist and prolific author, will design the flowers throughout the exhibition hall. “If there is one person who embodies elegance, sophistication and taste, it’s Carolyne Roehm,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have enlisted her extraordinary talents to create an unforgettable ambiance for the Spring Show.” Ms. Roehm also joins the Spring Show as a Co-Chair, alongside Michael Bruno, Mario Buatta, David Patrick Columbia, Robert Couturier, Celerie Kemble, Edward Lobrano, Brian McCarthy, Miles Redd, Ellen and Chuck Scarborough, Michael Smith, Bunny Williams, and Vicente Wolf. Showcasing an astonishing array of wares-from ancient artifacts to fine furniture to modern masterworks on canvas and midcentury decorative arts-the May Spring Show NYC has quickly established itself as a not-to-be-missed important art fair destination for collectors, curators and interior designers.

Fairfield Museum and History Center Will Host Special Great Depression Exhibition “Art for Everyone” The Federal Art Project in Connecticut March 16 – April 21, 2013 Fairfield Museum and History Center Exhibit hours are from 10 a.m. ( will host a to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and special exhibition, Art for Everyone” 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. MuThe Federal Art Project (FAP) in seum members are free, Cost for nonConnecticut from March 16th, 2013 members is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors through April 21st, 2013. This exhibit and students. Children age 5 and under are admitted free of charge. will feature more than 20 Connecticut artists of the FAP, who forever capABOUT THE FAIRFIELD MUSEUM tured scenes of life in Connectict on AND HISTORY CENTER canvas during the Great Depression, The Fairfield Museum and History Center using their work to change the idea (FMHC) is a non-profit educational that art was elitist to the concept that institution that hosts more than 18,000 art was actually public property to be visitors annually. The Fairfield Museum enjoyed by everyone. is located at 370 Beach Road in Fairfield, The Federal Art Project originally CT. Hours are Monday - Friday from 10 opened in 1935, giving 173 Conn. arta.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from noon ists the opportunity to showcase their to 4 p.m. Admission is free for members, talents by documenting everyday life. Bell Bouys on Dock, Breatrice Laving Cuming, 1942 $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and This effort was spearheaded by Presistudents and free for children age 5 and under. For more information dent Franklin D. Roosevelt, who endeavored to provide economic reon exhibits and upcoming programs, visit or lief for the unemployed by creating the Works Progress Administration call the Fairfield Museum at 203-259-1598. (WPA) and the FPA, the visual arts division of the WPA.



events + gatherings

Melissa Barbieri “Literary Depths” April 25th, 2013

Opening reception: Thursday April 25th, 2013 Samuel Owen Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by the well known artist Melissa Barbieri. The paintings of marine life range from sea charts to silver leaf sea horses and monstrous giant squid. The exhibition includes over 40 paintings in various media, and premiers an exciting new series by the artist called Literary Depths. Oceans and imaginations are mysterious places. The creatures that populate them are fabulous and furtive. They lie below the surface, coming into the light as we look away. They beckon from this other world, calling to us from the darkness. Melissa Barbieri finds this underwater world powerful, romantic and inspiring. She finds its artistic possibilities compelling and inexhaustible, and it is an ideal subject for her. There are infinite layers of meaning and emotion in it, just as there are layers of color and texture in her oil and fresco paintings. She has been immersed in painting sea life for a number of years, and her most recent work combines her passion for art with her other passion in life –literature. After a day of painting, Melissa usually indulges herself with an evening of reading, and it was perhaps inevitable that she would one day find a way to meld her two loves. Samuel Owen Gallery is pleased to be presenting a brand new series of paintings that does just that. Melissa Barbieri captures the creatures of the deep with paint, underscores her vision with text, and transports us to a stunning intersection of art and literature called Literary Depths. It is a place of

vivid color and dynamic forms; of hand-lettered prose and poetry; of squid and sharks and scary octopi that perfectly illustrate her vision. “I’ve always loved text and font and different styles of the handwritten word, and I love the art of writing itself, so the icing on the cake is when I find the quote that seems made for my painting and I can integrate the two into a whole; sometimes I conceive of an idea for a painting first, and then I spend weeks searching for the perfect piece of prose to paint on it to articulate my vision. This occurs by happenstance, but it’s one of the most exciting elements of painting this series for me.”

Samuel Owen Gallery is open Monday – Saturday 10:30 - 5:30; Sunday 11:00-3:00. Please call 203-422-6500 for more information.

ARTHUR HEMING Chronicler of the North February 8 – June 2 See the only U.S. art exhibition featuring Lyme Art Colony member Arthur Heming, renowned for his vivid depictions of Canada’s northlands in paintings, sketches, essays and books. Organized by Museum London in London, Ontario.

96 Lyme Street Old Lyme, CT Exit 70, off I-95 860.434.5542 for information and hours




events + gatherings

By Janet Langsam CEO, ArtsWestchester

The Ripple Effect The arts, for many people, are personal. People draw or paint to capture inner beauty. They harmonize with friends for fun. They give their kids or grandkids ballet lessons to encourage poise. They hope theater will impart self confidence and that culture will make their children better citizens. Those of us who love the arts also believe that the arts make better people…expand their knowledge, feed their soul, give voice to ideas. Yes, it’s all very personal.


ut, there is increasing evidence that the arts are more than personal. They have a “ripple effect.” When arts are in the schools, learning improves. When paintings are in hospital rooms, healing improves. When art is in the workplace, creativity improves. When kids experience art, behavior improves. And art in the neighborhood becomes a “no graffiti zone.” Broadly speaking, the ripple of benefits from film centers, music halls, dance studios, performing arts centers, theaters, galleries and outdoor venues includes more vitality and dynamism in our communities, more new and restored buildings, more tourists, more restaurant goers and more people and businesses moving into Westchester because



it’s an appealing place to live, work and play. But the benefits don’t stop there. The benefits of arts activities also drive ripples through our economy. The most recent report conducted by Americans for the Arts shows that the economic impact of the arts in Westchester has increased to a high of $156.44 million, supporting 4,800 jobs These figures compel many urbanologists to consider the arts a “public benefit.” ueling this view is the impressive record the arts have of community building, place-making and civic engagement. Those terms are metaphors for the power the arts have to build identity. Places, just like people, have a persona. The arts have been known to give places, neighborhoods and cities an identity that reflects the values of the people who live there. They promote pride, ownership, stature and self esteem. Without the arts, Westchester would be just another American county, without distinction, and, without the Music Hall, Tarrytown would be just another river town. For me personally, I think about the public benefit of the arts as a bridge. As technology increasingly becomes the way we participate in our communities, we as a society are perhaps more connected, but less engaged. Through the arts, however, diverse groups of people

come together in-person, share common experiences, hear new perspectives and understand each other better. So, let’s enjoy each other’s cultures as a bridge to ease some of the challenges and tensions we face in the world. Upcoming cultural events in Westchester include: comedian Sandra Bernhard on March 9th at the Tarrytown Music Hall, National Players performing Romeo & Juliet March 17th at Westchester Community College, Aretha Franklin Live in Concert at the Westchester County Center on March 27th, Joan Rivers at the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase on April 7th and an exhibition of photographs of Hurricane Sandy entitled Who Has Seen the Wind on view at ArtsWestchester’s White Plains gallery this spring.


Photo: Charles William Bush

For more of Janet Langsam’s cultural musings, be sure to visit her blog at For a full calendar of arts events visit:

LEFT TO RIGHT: Amanda Lebel, 02, Lithography, Pochoir; Phil Demise Smith, Mr. Clear Silk, Poetry, Silkscreen; Anita Soos, Color Cadence 9, Monotype; Gary Lichtenstein, Awakening 2, Silkscreen; Matthew Comeau, Litho Heads –Kerouac, Lithography


Connecticut Printmakers Invitational

APRIL 7 – MAY 19, 2013 OPENING RECEP TION: SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2 TO 5 PM The innovative use of printmaking techniques in fine art, showcasing original prints by 12 area artists. Mathew Comeau | Ann Conrad | Jennifer Davies | Amanda Lebel | Gary Lichtenstein | Bryan Nash Gill | John O’Donnell | Robin Price Ammanda Seely Salzman | Nomi Silverman | Anita Soos | Phil Demise Smith | plus Christina Goncalves, printmaking student Curator: Renée A. Santhouse, M.A., Center for Contemporary Printmaking

299 West Ave | Mathews Park | Norwalk CT | 203-899-7999 | |

Louis Bosa, Emily Grenau Levi, Milton Avery, Charles Cunningham, Gordon Vailey Washburn, Umberto Rornano, Do Silvermine Arts Center John Hovannes. Hermon More, Perry T. 63rd Annual Dong Kingman, Calvin Albert, Jean DeMarco. of the Northeast derArt Eliot, Philip Evergood, Rico Lebrun, Reube April 13 – May 24, 2013 cent Glinsky. John Gordon. H. Har M. Thurman, S. Lane Faison, Jr. Phillip I. H. Baur. Gordon Mackintosh Smith. Elliot. Tom Armstrong. Frederick Forge. Irving Sandier. Henry Geldz Kramer. Carolyn Lanchner. Linda S Charlotta Kotik. Eliza Rathbone. Rosevear. Lisa Messinger. Allan St Tuchman. Elizabeth Smith. Ben Tom Eccles Opening Reception Saturday, April 13th, 6:00PM

A competition that highlights the diversity of work that is currently being made in the Northeast by emerging and established artists.

1037 Silvermine Road New Canaan, CT 06840-4398 (203) 966-9700 Media Sponsor

Curator: David A. Ross Chair of the School of Visual Arts’ MFA Program, New York

SilvermineAoNE_venu_01b.indd 1

1/20/2013 9:43:26 PM


by Bobby Harris

Photos Courtesy of Shutterstock

Riviera Maya: Golf, Yes, and So Much More, Too! o matter how dedicated a golfer you are, there is so much more to do when you visit the Riviera Maya area of Mexico that you’ll find yourself torn when planning out your day’s activities. Get in touch with your inner Indiana Jones or Captain Nemo, pamper yourself at a spa, indulge in water sports, or shop the fabulous “Fifth Avenue of Mexico.” There’s something of interest in the area for every member of your family or group of golf buddies, something for every taste.       Tulum is the only archaeological site located by the sea, and it offers not only a chance to explore an ancient civilization but also the opportunity to go for a swim in the sparkling Caribbean. Built in the top of an ocean-facing cliff, the site offers over 60 well-preserved structures within three massive walls, including a main temple. All these are remnants of the ancient Mayan civilization.     As for the beach, it offers cabañas and charming “eco-hotels,” as well as sparkling sands to bask on and glimmering waters to frolic in.     If you prefer your cultural interactions to be more modern, consider spending time at Xcaret, a theme park that’s the antithesis of the plastic Florida attractions. Here you can learn about the area’s ecology and Maya history, relax on the beach, float down one of two subterranean rivers,



swim with dolphins, or wander jungles—and those are just some of the possibilities. Riviera Maya is also home to the largest coral reef in North America, and that’s only one of the opportunities for divers, snorkelers, and justplain-swimmers.    But perhaps you’d prefer to snorkel in the world’s largest aquarium, Xel-Ha. There are even a few small archaeological sites at Xel-Ha, since the area is rich with remnants of the ancient Mayan culture. There are still more beaches at Akumal, which feature reefs that call to divers from all around the world. “Akumal” means “place of the turtles” in the Mayan language, but you don’t have to be a turtle fancier to become fascinated with Akumal. There are silky beaches, caves, and subterranean rivers that are yours for the exploring. Come and be an adventurer… or just soak up the sun and work on your tan. And if caves are your thing, Aktun Chen, another area destination, offers caves aplenty.     But for those less interested in archaeology than in modern-day acquisitions, Playa del Carmen’s “La Quinta Avenida” (literally “Fifth Avenue”— and do think of New York City’s famed like-named street) offers shopping in a panoply of venues with a multiplicity of merchandise types for every taste and interest. There is both traditional and international cuisine on

Parrot Tulips, Giclée on Canvas or Paper




Photos by Dave Finn

El Camaleon

Iberostar Playa Paraiso

offer at restaurants up and down the street, and nightlife that keeps the street lively till the first blush of morning. If your body is protesting because you danced till dawn—or if you simply want to indulge yourself because vacations are for pampering—treat yourself to a spa visit at one of the several spas that pervade the Riviera Maya. With a variety of offerings and approaches, they will soothe your body and renew your spirit.    But we’ve talked so much about the other wonders and delights of Riviera Maya, you may be wondering, What about the golf? Indeed! Riviera Maya is known for its world-class golf courses and resorts. Here is a sampling:


Golf Club El Camaleon Mayakoba Designed by Greg Norman and framed by the unspoiled nature of Mayan cenotes (subterranean caves and sinkholes), tropical streams, and the Caribbean Sea, this 18-hole, par 72 golf course gets its name from its diverse layout and ever-changing landscape. It bends through the tropical jungle, dense mangroves, stunning oceanfront stretches of sand, and long channels with limestone borders. The fairways are Paspalum lined with sand dunes and mangroves, and the course features unique hazards such as cenotes and crystal clear lagoons. Here you will also find a 360-yard driving range, a fully stocked pro shop, locker rooms, and a snack bar. The golf carts are equipped with GPS yardage information software, and players can record their scores electronically. Golf Club Playacar Located just one hour from Cancun’s Hotel Zone in Playa del Carmen, the stellar par 72 golf course offers 7,144 yards surrounded by lakes nd exuberant vegetation. It was designed and constructed under the supervision of Robert Von Hagge and is considered the most challenging golf course of the region. There is a well-supplied pro shop. Golf Club Iberostar Playa Paraiso What better recommendation could there be than from GOLFWEEK Magazine, which ranked Playa Paraiso one of the Top 15 Best Courses in the Caribbean and Mexico? This Dye family creation is immersed in the ancient Mayan jungle and offers not only superb golf but spectacular nature all around including distinctive natural rock work.    The course’s “All-Inclusive” concept means that your green fee includes the golf cart, range balls, all food and beverages such as beer, liquor, wine, 40


Bahia Principe

bottled water, soft drinks, (before, during, and after your round), as well as your souvenir yardage book and all taxes. The pro shop is stocked with the latest in golf apparel and accessories, including top-of-the-line rental equipment in both steel and graphite, for both right- and left-handed players of both sexes.


Playacar Palace What do you want to treat yourself to? Golf? A spa visit? Swimming with the dolphins? Touring around Mexico and visiting the local sights? There are various packages that, according to your tastes, include your activities and accommodations. Most of the Playacar Palace’s luxurious guest rooms and suites offer ocean views, so you can sleep with the soothing sounds of surf wafting through your window and wake to the sunrise over the Caribbean.    With a choice of six in-resort dining and drinking venues (plus 24-hour room service), you can avail yourself of your choice of delectable dining cuisines in a casual setting. Foods are prepared using a mixture of the finest local and imported ingredients. Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraíso The 310 adults-only suites here include oceanfront, ocean view, and garden view, as well as two magnificent Presidential suites and 10 secluded villas. The resort boasts four restaurants, a five-star buffet, snack/bar/grill on the beach and at the pool, six bars, and 24-hour room service.     Amenities include champagne upon check-in, a pillow menu, mini-bar stocked with favorite beverages, daily newspaper and shoe shine, and butler service on the beach and at the swimming pools.     In addition to golf, there are facilities to practice various sports, including a fitness center with machines, aerobic, gymnastics, dance, yoga, tai chi or spinning rooms, outdoor shooting facilities, archery, tennis, basketball, volleyball, beach volleyball, table tennis, darts, and billiards. Water sports include catamaran, kayak, introduction to diving in the pool, snorkeling, and water polo. For an additional fee, guests can arrange to participate in water sports and activities such as the banana boat, boat trips, PADI diving school, jetskiing, parasailing, sailing lessons, water skiing, and windsurfing. 18 holes of pleasure and more—wherever you play With the variety of activities at your fingertops, and some of the Caribbean’s greatest golf, you can’t miss on a golfing vacation to Riviera Maya.

Fine Art | Framing | Installation 3310 Post Road | Southport | CT | 06890

(203) 255-1555



Travel: St. Thomas

The Art of Living in St. Thomas Article by Cindy Clarke Photograph by Steve Rockstein





Travel: St. Thomas

The waters here are crystalline blue, aquamarine necklaces that embrace powdered sands gently softened by surf and sun. Breezes whisper, caressing barely clad bodies with hints of romance and passion. The sun, warmly attentive, flirts with clouds overhead, puffed and poetic, enticing dreamers to imagine fashioning a life on this idyllic tropical isle.


am basking in silent reverie on a toweled chaise at The Ritz-Carlton, casually reaching out for a freshly mixed, expertly stirred guava colada, iced to perfection. I murmur my appreciation to a beach attendant whose sole goal is to see to my comfort. I look out at the Caribbean waving before me. Catamarans, powered by billowed sails, bob and weave at sea in view of neighboring emerald islands. Pelicans and long-tailed swallows dip and dance as they ride the winds over mirrored shores, taking their time to search out an always fresh taste of local seafood specialties. “Can you believe we have to go home in four days?” lamented my daughter, clearly upset by the thought of returning to mainland



reality. I shared her anguish. When you’ve had the opportunity to soak in the tempting treasures of islands like St. Thomas or nearby St. John, and those seaside hideaways on Jost Van Dyke and Tortola, a week in the Caribbean is just a tease really. After all, when Columbus happened upon these oases of pleasure in the 15th century, he thanked the heavens, eternally, by naming them after saints Thomas and John. Later pirates and bootleggers laid claim to these private ports, anointing visitors with their own brand of holy spirits to heighten their euphoria in the form of rum. Then the Danes sailed in, sweetening the land with sugar mills. Along with golden-shored playgrounds and abundant sunshine, today’s travelers continue to find riches upon their

arrival in duty free shops selling perfume, designer watches, jewelry and more, and in resorts and restaurants that cater to the good life. What does it take to live here year round? Besides the wherewithal to chart a course for adventure and cast your cares – and suits – to the past, the locals – we’re talking transplanted ones from urban addresses in states like New Jersey, New York and Texas, or landlocked places like Tennessee – cooked up their own jobs. Many, like Knoxville-native Cassidy who tended to us at The Ritz-Carlton, came for vacation and never left. It helped that his father relocated here before him, living out his dream of owning a beach bar and captaining deeppocketed tourists on yachts bound for deep-sea adventures in the sun. Cassidy’s job now was

to make sure the time-share owners at the The Ritz-Carlton, resident-wanna-bes who plunked down six figures for partial ownership and a few glorious weeks each year in an oceanfront villa, felt luxuriously at home while on holiday in St. Thomas. Hard work? Hardly. Musicians by night, beauty care distributors by day, Texans Drew McHolm and partner Jesse Boatwright moved to St. Thomas a year before we met them singing for their supper, literally, while they enriched our gourmet dining experience, vocally, at the acclaimed Old Stone restaurant in mid-island. Restaurateur Tony May, another “ex-pat” who hopped from the island of Manhattan to this 32-sq. mile isle with his own for recipe for a new life, took over the management of the Old Stone a few months ago, uniquely delighting diners with his chef’s farm-to-table menu of exotic and local fare – think wahoo with a filet of kangaroo – creatively prepared and served with panache in the midst of a once aristocratic stone mansion. There were others we met who made us lust after their life choices: Randy, The RitzCarlton tennis pro and captain-for-hire who has made a great living out of playing with island visitors, and my daughter’s college friend Mylène who coordinates dream weddings for hotel guests. Just when we thought we couldn’t be more envious of the people who successfully made the move, we had dinner with artist Tony Romano… in his art studio… at his private home… overlooking the quintessential maritime vistas of Red Hook Harbor… under a starlit night… a stone’s throw from The Ritz-Carlton… and a gazillion miles from the worries and pressures of our everyday world.

Tony Romano is a St. Thomas celebrity. An accomplished chef and artist, his palette of paints and pastas has pleased palates of all tastes on the island for some 24 years at his restaurant. Sadly, Romano’s closed in the fall of 2012, leaving visitors longing for his Italian food and genuine, family-style hospitality. We were back on the beach, lamenting (again) that we couldn’t enjoy a meal at Romano’s, when we learned from The Ritz-Carlton and Romano’s regulars that Tony was now offering private chef dinners at guest villas or at his home. Intrigued, I contacted him by email to inquire about his catering venture. He responded with an impromptu invitation for us to join him

at his house for a casual bowl of Pasta Fagiole, a dish he was preparing for the evening arrival of friends that weekend. Did it matter that we were four strangers? Not to Tony, who truly, remarkably, relishes his role as chef, host and friendly innkeeper! His unexpected offer turned out to be an invitation we couldn’t refuse. His four-bedroom villa, nestled atop garden-graced cliffs, opens to spectacular scenery, inside and out, testimony to Tony’s appreciative eye for natural and sensory beauty. His chef’s kitchen, functionally designed in the heart of the house, is command central, a culinary workshop where Tony turns out some of the most authentic Italian fare we’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. A tray of hand-selected cheese with fig jam and toast, and wine, perfectly paired, kicked off a night we won’t soon forget. Fresh yellow-fin tuna, impeccably seared, caperseasoned and plated atop a bed of arugula with an artist’s sensibility and grace, came next, showcasing the deft hand and subtle flavoring mastery of our talented host. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


Travel: St. Thomas

This was way more than the bowl of soup we expected, but we quickly caught on that Tony is pretty adept at exceeding expectations. Raised in an Italian family in New Jersey, he knew his way around the kitchen by the age of ten. His grandparents inspired him with tales and tastes from the old country, sharing traditions and techniques with an eager pupil who was soon cooking up specialties of his own. At eighteen he went to work at his uncle’s fine dining restaurant in Maryland, perfecting his culinary prowess there for the next twelve years. He seasoned his repertoire by studying music and art, personal accomplishments that play integral roles in his chosen profession. Like the many locals we met on our vacation, a trip to St. Thomas decades ago became a turning point for Tony who was enamored by the magic of the Caribbean. Deciding to forego offers in Florida and the Bahamas, he worked for three years as a sous chef in a St. Thomas restaurant, before going solo and opening Romano’s in 1988. His eatery soon rose to the top of the culinary hit list, remaining for years as the number one restaurant on the island. But a great dinner and fine wines were only just the beginning of an evening well spent at Romano’s. Patrons dined in Tony’s personal art gallery, with his original oils lining the walls as a veritable feast for the eyes, and the picture-perfect way to reintroduce the lost art of stimulating conversation. His work is a blend of modern impressionism, thoughtfully infused with his passion for his beautiful surroundings, his love of music and his personal experiences. His paintings grace

prized collections all over the world, with a select few honoring Tony’s home on the hill. During dinner, we sipped and savored the art of living in St. Thomas, admiring colorful textured oils, rhythmic and layered with emotion, that ranged from $350 for shadow box designs to $100,000 in value like “No Screw Caps,” his ode to corks. Playful and provocative, this painted narrative “thoughtfully pays homage to the culture, ritual, and romance of the wine cork while subtly drawing attention to social and environmental concerns affecting the wine cork industry.” Tony explained that art and wine have historically played a significant role in the development of human culture. Screw caps on wine bottles threaten this important dynamic. Not only do they compromise the quality of the wine, they also adversely impact the environment and the agrarian economies that harvest the cork naturally. The painting, bold in color and slyly political, affirms Tony’s disdain for screw-capped wine. It watched over us as we watched Tony open a Chilean Carménère, cork-stopped and delectably reminiscent of its luscious French

Bordeaux heritage. If corks were responsible for preserving this velvety taste of Old World Europe, we stand firmly with Tony. Even before we sat down for soup, we were sold on the artist, his views and his take on island life. So when he brought out the main event, we knew we were in for a treat. His Pasta Fagiole, served with crusty garlic bread, was a party of flavorful beans, spices, vegetables and pasta that welcomed us as family. His dessert, a fresh fruit compote topped with Chantilly sauce, sweetened the deal. And his art? A bonus banquet impossibly good and impossible to replicate. As Tony generously passed around more wine, including a quickly emptied bottle of Italian prosecco, we found ourselves lamenting our plight (again.) The next morning we were headed back to the snow and ice of a Northeast winter, while Tony was headed into his art studio next to his kitchen to paint in his heavenly tropical hideaway. We rose from the table, regretfully, as we prepared to bid our host goodnight. But Tony had yet another surprise in store for us as he brought out his signature cordial, Limoncello, personally created, locally made and lusciously lemon, evoking memories of the Amalfi Coast. He poured it from an original hand-painted signed bottle into our waiting glasses and toasted our new friendship. We cherished every drop of his hospitality. We left a piece of our hearts with Tony that last night in St. Thomas, but, gratefully, brought home a bottle of his Limoncello to continue toasting island life and a chef-hosted dinner we still dream about.

If your travel plans include a trip to St. Thomas, you can enjoy an evening with Chef Tony… in his art studio… or at your villa… dining on a menu custom made for the art of living in St. Thomas. For more information on his private chef services, his artwork and his culinary products, visit or contact Tony at or call (cell) 340.344.4450. Buon appetito! 46


382 Greenwich Avenue Greenwich, CT 203.422.6500




Over the "tapas" at Bellota When you’re dining, your eyes eat first. We watched Jordan, our tasting guide, place plate after plate before us, each visually enticing, artfully executed. We should have known we were in for a celebrity-studded line-up of appetite starters at Bellota when we saw Knicks coach Mike Woodson seated at the table next to us. That he was having dinner with his good friend, Chef Anthony Goncalves, was another hint at the star power of our talented host. Bellota means acorn in Spanish, the kind favored by the black-footed pigs of Portugal that make a meal of these tasty little morsels of nut. The chef, today a resident of Connecticut, drew the inspiration for both the name of his restaurant and his menu from his Iberian heritage. His family hails from Portugal. Anthony says they are all as passionate about food as they are about family and life. His grandmother, Gloria, and his father, Tony, taught him to cook, encouraging him to follow his passion. We’re glad he did. He’s won awards for his restaurants and received rave reviews from the best food writers in the business. Esquire magazine said he was “A Chef to Keep an Eye On.” And we did just that when we dined at Bellota on the top of the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester in White Plains. We’ve enjoyed the chef’s cooking before, having been blown away by his culinary creativity at 42. But we didn’t expect a full court press that literally set a new record for how many deliciously inventive small plates we could devour in just a few hours. The playbook was set before us as we sat down at a well-dressed table that virtually owned the White Plains skyline outside.



The view from up here is amazing, a glittering diorama of skyscrapers that tease the stars with bright shimmery light and flirt with the night. It enhances the romance that’s found inside. We counted 18 dishes on our custom-made menu, if you include the four desserts that were listed there – plus six more dishes that played out unannounced as the evening progressed. Our game plan was to savor each tapa, slowly, completely, judiciously. A sip of wine here, a tasting bite there. I think it was somewhere between the Gambas Piri Piri – shrimp, fired up in a bath of hot chili sauce – and the Coca Tellegio – a personal flatbread pizza of Manchego and Toledo cheese dressed with pistachios and jamon (think Iberian ham) and kissed with a truffled poached egg that we delicately pierced and painted over the top of the entire dish – when our inner pigs took over. When you’re dining, your eyes eat first. We watched Jordan, our tasting guide, place plate after plate before us, each visually enticing, artfully executed. She described every dish with a knowledgeable banter that revealed, in detail, each delectable ingredient, each preparation nuance. We nodded appreciatively, as if we ate like this every night and knew intimately just how each dish was prepared. We didn’t, of course, and it took every ounce of willpower not to let on that we couldn’t wait to dive into everything she placed before us. Seriously, who could resist those jalapeno topped crab-cake

lollipops, teasing us from their bed of honeydijon clouds, or the Platea de Jamon Iberico De Bellota, strips of prosciutto thin ham from those little black-toed pigs who dined on nothing but the namesake acorns of this fabulous eatery? Even the salad, the Ensalada de Maca e Queijo, which for many of us represents a dietary-correct main course, tantalized our taste buds with a marriage of apple, cheddar and arugula, dressed with caramelized pecans and apple balsamic drizzle that had us scraping our plates. Four down, fourteen more to go. Out came a parade of Portuguese influenced sandwiches and substantial side dishes… Arroz Pato, the chef’s homemade healthy-version of pork fried rice inventively created from fried barley, duck chouriço and poached egg (eggs are making their way into recipes everywhere these days, and the result is ingenious and comforting!), Marisco Fritado, a pool of fresh shrimp and calamari, lightly fried with a kick of jalapeño and lemon, a fall off the bone Short Rib Sandwich, nestled between a blanket of horseradish mayo and a bedding of broccoli rabe, a Fish Fry

Written by Cindy Clarke

Sandwich, a lightly battered filet of haddock, served with a thousand island aioli and arugula, and Patatas Bravas, crispy potatoes with a spicy kick-start sauce that held their heat, inside and out, for as long as they tempted us to try them. We needed a time out, or so we thought. Jordan surprised us with the chef’s “this isn’t on the menu but it’s a special of the day” sampling. It consisted of a platter of escargots, lamb empanadas, chick pea medley, blood sausage, grilled octopus embraced by an onion marmalade and a Meyer lemon, inviting with dollops of flavor that made each bite come alive with a signature taste all its own. Talk about a surprise lay up. Score more points for the chef. Our eyes were still feasting on the team of dishes that were setting up for the next half but our stomachs, or rather our weight-watching consciences, were starting to protest. To no avail as it turned out. Enter the entrée-sized tapas… Halibute, served with olive oil smashed potatoes, diced tomatoes and piri piri pepper… Portuguese fried chicken – PFC – served over cheddar grits, garlicky kale and tomato honey – Dedos Quelmados,

Our eyes were still feasting on the team of dishes that were setting up for the next half but our stomachs, or rather our weight-watching consciences, were starting to protest. To no avail as it turned out. Enter the entrée-sized tapas… torched baby lamp chops with chipotle onions… Padrones, blistered Padrone Peppers accented with coarse sea salt that were mostly sweet except for the one or two naturally hot renegades that made our eyes water and jaws jump… and the Pure de Abobrinha Assada, a home-style roasted butternut squash side, with cotija cheese and lime aioli that we couldn’t enough of. What’s this? We saw brandied flames rising off a hot plate of pork, skillfully seared tableside

by our waiter to melt-in-our-mouth perfection. Someone mentioned the word “full” but I wasn’t having any of it. Desserts were still to come, fortuitously saved to end the evening with a delectably sweet flourish. They made their entrance all at once… Housemade Pumpkin Belgian Waffles with maple-bourbon caramel, pecan-toffee ice cream, Chocolate and pistachio sorbet – a gelato meets Iberian ice cream encounter – the chef’s sweet interpretation of S’mores with more scoops of handcrafted ice cream that introduced a deconstructed version of those summer evening campfire favorites, graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate, sorbet style, followed by a not-on-the-menu duet of lemon meringue cinnamon crumble and grapefruit ice teamed with lime-infused marshmallows that begged to be enjoyed again and again. It’s funny how you can get a second wind after you indulge in a fantasyland of sweets. We wanted to keep the evening going, but only had room for something that didn’t require much physical exertion. I think I only had enough strength to sip at this point so I gamely ordered a cappuccino, skim, with no-calorie sweetener, as if I was back in control. I wasn’t. My cappuccino arrived with a perfectly formed heart in the center, reminding me that when you love your dining experience as much as we did that night, resisting temptation is futile. No wonder the Chef and the Coach are such good friends. Both demand excellence, expect accountability, have a passion for the game and inspire a team of seasoned players and newcomers to work, seamlessly, effortlessly as one big happy family who blend well together and compliment one another in perfect harmony. Way to go! Which leads us to comment on Chef Anthony Goncalves’ corporate tag line for Bellota and 42, “It’s different up here.” Here’s where we come out on it. It’s not just different up here. It’s spectacular.

Bellota is located at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester - One Renaissance Square - White Plains, New York 10601 - Reservations 914.761.4242 - CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE



A Magical Evening... ...with flare, elegance, stimulating company, great food, and champagne!




by Nora Adler

elcome to Turnberry Isle, Bourbon Steak, and Krug Champagne. Is this Magic, you ask? No, it is Miami at it’s finest dining hour. Where else can a normally boring Wednesday night turn into flare, elegance, stimulating company, great food, and champagne? Such was my Wednesday. I had the pleasure of being invited to partake in one of the seasons must lucrative events, Krug Champagne and Dinner at Bourbon Steak Miami. Our host Carl Heline, U.S. director of Krug, graciously greeted all those attending with, of course, Krug Grande Cuvee. A burst of fresh, crisp citrus bubbles began as the “Teaser” of the evening. The rest is, as they say, History. A Kusshi Oyster topped with Petrossian Caviar in a Burrata Spuma, along with Alaskan King Crab in a key lime vinaigrette Brioche, and a Tuna Tataki in lemon, togarashi and fresh wasabi were ALL paired with the Krug 2000 Vintage. The result was a mélange of velvet and silky textures bathing in my palate. While my senses recovered, our host informed us of the Champagne’s history, the non-conformist and revolutionary philosophy of Joseph Krug, the six generations of the Krug family still involved in its production, and of its exclusivity. It was refreshing to hear that this Champagne House has only 51 employees, and produces 35thousand cases yearly. We then proceeded to the second course, Smoked Diver Scallops “Shasu Shasu” with Hudson Valley Foie Gras, and Maitake Dashi; paired with Krug Grand Cuvee. The main course was Crescent Farm Duck Breast with a crispy thigh confit, blood orange, and a Parsnip Puree; paired with Krug Rose. Now I will take a moment to say that all those around me OOOOD and AHHHHD as they indulged! We also were “given” a special “treat”. We were served two “vintages” of the Grand Cuvee; a 2005 and a 2011 release. Let me explain that the Krug Grand Cuvee is a blend of approximately 120 wines whose bottling age may span ten to fifteen years, so there is no true “vintage”. With that said, the two “releases” were a lesson on how “bottling” time enhances the wine, assists in its evolution, and destroys the “myth” that so called non-vintages can not be “cellared”. In fact, Mr. Heline insists that their champagne may be consumed 100 years after bottling. I can only attest, my avid reader, that the Grand Cuvee bottled in 2005 had intense flavors, layers of powerful fruit, structure, a beautiful beer bread nose, and a striking topaz color. The Grand Cuvee bottled in 2011, although crisp, full of citrus notes, and a delicately pale yellow color, was shamefully dwarfed by the “older” bottling. Lesson to be learned, both are beautiful but when compared, well, one will always be left behind. Which one, you ask? Depends on your palate and your preference. Mine is obvious! The night ended with Artisanal cheeses, and a 1968 Madeira, D’Oliveiras Boal. Wow! Needless to say, it was a hit. Many Thanks to All involved in this Magical Evening!

COME CURIOUS. LEAVE INSPIRED. Colleen Browning The Early Works Bellarmine Museum of Art A Brush with Magic Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery

Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Fire Escape II, 1953. Oil on linen canvas. 30 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches. Collection of the Coleman Barkin Family.

January 24 – March 24, 2013 Fairfield University Fairfield University celebrates the life and work of this bold 20thcentury Realist in two exhibitions spanning her seven-decade career.

“This prodigiously accomplished outfit…combines Crescent City R&B, blues, harmony-rich vocals, a hefty helping of funk and a whole lot of rousing high spirits.” ~ Jazz Times

Cover Story

Landing Back In New Orleans “Welcome! You’re in our world now!” Chef Carl Shoubut said as we slid into the banquette chef’s table in the sparkling kitchen at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans Garden District. There’s no more coveted experience in this special world than dining in the front seat of one of American’s most celebrated kitchens.

Written by Sissy Biggers Photograph by Chris Granger



Photo: Chris Granger,

Cover Story


t lunch and dinner at a legendary jazz brunch, Commander’s culinary team conducts a gastronomic-fest that tops most lists for visits to New Orleans. After a few sips of the famous turtle soup –a velvet elixir of snapping alligator turtle in a rich veal stock finished with a splash of sherry—I had eased back into the Big Easy. When I “check-in” on social media to boast of landing back in New Orleans, for every “like” clicked in response there is an envious post, “I have NEVER BEEN to New Orleans!” Who could stay away from the Delta’s most popular destination where European traditions and Caribbean influences blend in food, art and music? New Orleans lures conventioneers and big spenders, fanatic foodies, sorority sisters, wandering minstrels and jazz aficionados. It can be hard to understand this curious—sometimes cacophonous culture. But soon after that first whiff of jasmine and jambalaya in the air, the strains of jazz over Jackson Square and the open arms hospitality at every corner, visitors will “know what it means to miss New Orleans,” the bittersweet refrain of Billy Holiday’s 1947 standard. After 15 years of visiting this city that REALLY never sleeps, I know what it means to miss New Orleans, “to miss her each night and day and the feeling gets stronger the longer I stay away.” I never stay away for long. Like so many, my first visit was on convention business with my husband and then my role as host of Food Network’s early sensation, “Ready, Set, Cook!” demanded I return at every chance to dine (“research!”) in the city’s legendary restaurants. And in 2008, we got a true lagniappe --that little something extra Louisianan’s come to expect in life--when our daughter chose Tulane University in New Orleans for her undergraduate studies. When Chef Emeril Lagasse effused enthusiastically, “You tell your Lucy she has PEOPLE here!” I knew what he meant. Even first-timers to New Orleans soon feel that they have “people” here when lavished with Mardi Gras beads by volunteer greeters at baggage claim. After a short drive into town, you can expect your garrulous cab driver will be a fast friend and press a card into your hand, “in case you need ANYTHING!” And after just a few ventures down your hotel street, be ready to answer when your neighbors greet you with a familiar, “How y’all doing?” Commander’s Palace, arguably one of the city’s most-visited restaurants, has set the standard for fine dining and hospitality in New Orleans since the 1970’s when John and his sister, Ella Brennan, of New Orleans’ “first-family” of restaurateurs, reinvigorated the landmark restaurant. Today, co-proprietors and first cousins, Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide 54


Martin carry on a new generation of awardwinning hospitality. At Commander’s kitchen chef’s table we savored foie gras on bread pudding and seared coldwater scallops with crisp oysters and Cajun Caviar, losing count of the bread pudding soufflés that floated upstairs to guests in the airy, Garden Room overlooking the courtyard’s moss covered vine. Finally, we were swept away by a dessert storm of flambés and soufflés in whisky sauce, pecans and pralines and chocolate fondants. After dinner we posed for pictures in front of Commander’s whimsy Victorian façade of aqua-blue shingles that soon after the first wave of Katrina shock had receded in August 2005, was draped with a large sign “We Know What it Means.” “Go on now,” Ms. Brennan urged as she poured us into the city cab to the French Quar-

Photo: Chris Granger,



Cover Story

ter. “Be a little bad—that’s what New Orleans is all about!” Each has their own way to find their “bad” in the Vieux Carre, or in the Quarter as locals call it. Is it a bad thing to wish the bartender at the Carrousel Bar a hearty “Good Morning” while ordering a Gilbey’s gin martini straight up? Nothing feels as good as that second order of hot, powdered sugar beignets at Café du Monde! And, if you ask for a floater and a to-go cup for that Brandy Rum Punch at the Loew’s Swizzle Stick Bar—the bar keep will assure you it is a very good idea.


uring our January visit the city was dusting off from the College Championship Sugar Bowl, gearing up for an early Mardi Gras to roll into town and to welcome the first Super Bowl since 2001. While a more perfect world would have seen the city’s golden-child, Drew Brees march the Saints into the Super Dome, the city’s pride and enthusiasm to welcome tourism was at an all time high. The Crescent City has spent months shoring up roads, straightening sloping sidewalks and polishing popular venues in anticipation of 2013. Mardi Gras begins a full year of festivals and tournaments that celebrate the NCAA’s Women’s Final Four, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Tennessee Williams, Creole Gumbo, Po-Boy’s, Voodoo Art and Red Dresses—to name a few! While Bourbon is the most famous of the streets in this famous party hectare – I use it more as a “latitude with an attitude”—the dividing line in the Quarter to find favorite haunts and shops. I quickly cross Bourbon Street’s parade of beads and commemorative hurricane glasses en route to the Chartres or Royal Street—unless it’s Friday, when I can’t stay away from the 200 block of Bourbon and Galatoire’s crab etouffee. Everyone has their hit list of restaurants that define their New Orleans; Oysters at Desire, Bourbon House’s Oyster Po-boy, Mr. B’s Barbeque Shrimp, but a recent wave of new restaurants is bringing some new concepts to the Vieux Carré. A standout is SoBou (for South of Bourbon) with its sleek and dramatically lit apothecary entrance on Chartres Street. Celebrated, Chef-owner, Tory McPhail has created a “Cajun saloon” – updating New Orleans classics on small plates. Behind the curved marble bar singing bar-chef Abigail has been known to serenade and soothe with French

Photo: Chris Granger,

liquors and a lusty rendition of “I Wish I was in New Orleans.” The stainless self serve wine station and table side beer taps allow diners to select and pour their own perfect pairings for sharing fresh Pork Cracklins’ dipped in pimento cheese fondue and Crispy Gulf Oyster tacos. SoBou is a focal point of the charming W Hotel French Quarter. Nestled behind historical facades and balconies the W’s guest rooms and public lounges are imbued with the same visionary design and comfort expected of the brand in other major cities—and the sun drenched courtyards and swimming pool are an ideal refuge just steps from the action. For a short stay it is ideal for its proximity and its full service amenities--unrivaled in the Quarter. Other restaurants that had palates abuzz in the Quarter were Sylvain on Chartres— the only destination to experience Chef Alex Harrell’s inspiration to swathe the more high-brow Veal Sweetbreads in Buffalo Style sauce and Restaurant R’evolution for its aptly named (and shaped) Pig Out Board—a binge of house cured salumi which happily feeds two. The elegant bar on Bienville is a perfect place for a more “grown-up” view of passing parades of decadence. While the frat boys on Bourbon may ask you to show certain gifts for the gift of beads, only one block away on Royal Street, gifts for princes, the works of European Masters, American craftsmen and contemporary artists are on display. Royal’s Street’s opulence and order so close to Bourbon Street offer a sublime respite and some equally eye opening window gazing. Among the most notable is M.S Rau ‘s extensive collection of Tiffany silver, extravagant jewels and important antiques. Cohen’s Antiques collection of Civil War weapons,

Photo: Chris Granger,

rare coins, maps and currency rival the great collections of any major American museum. Both welcome a steady stream of visitors of amateurs and haute art collectors. Don’t be afraid to wade into these shops for some art appreciation or to feel the weight of Civil War battle sword or that of a priceless ruby! Lunchtime is a good time to explore outside the Quarter so taking advantage of the complimentary Acura car service the W Hotel offers guests; we were ferried to New Orleans newest, hipster haven, The Bywater. Dubbed “sliver by the river” after Katrina, the higher elevation spared its delightful mix of New Orleans archi-

While the frat boys on Bourbon may ask you to show certain gifts for the gift of beads, only one block away on Royal Street, gifts for princes, the works of European Masters, American craftsmen and contemporary artists are on display. 56


Photo: Chris Granger,

Photo: Chris Granger,

tecture. We strolled the sunny streets of Creole cottages, commodity warehouses and occasional mansions and noted the progress of a nearly completed park that will connect the Bywater and its towering levees to the most southern banks of the Mississippi River. Maurepas is the restaurant of the moment with a no fuss, fresh approach to the best of locally sourced vegetables and meats—including a goat taco that really tickled our already seasoned palates! Rather than “missing New Orleans” one might want to forget all about it the morning after dodging revelers on Bourbon Street. It’s best to stay off that beaten, neon path and grab a cab to cross Esplanade Avenue to Frenchmen Street. The two-block enclave provides the bestkept secret of the highest concentration of live entertainment in New Orleans and a great place to finish the night with no cover charge and no beads or hurricane cocktail glasses. Frenchmen Street’s Blue Moon, Maison and Spotted Cat draw a more considered crowd of colorful locals, business visitors and bachelorettes and with the city’s burgeoning film and television industry, don’t be surprised to bump into the movie stars and crew out on the town! Once you’ve discovered this world removed from the French Quarter you’ll never miss it again! At Tulane, our daughter, Lucy excelled academically and recreationally and gained a lifelong pride and sense of responsibility for the city’s future. As parents, had we known graduation at the Super Dome would offer a Bloody Mary concession—we might have intervened had she chosen otherwise! That May 2012 weekend, three generations of my family gathered to celebrate in New Orleans—most for their first time. We crisscrossed the Quarter, feasted in Commander’s Garden Room and did our share of “bad” to celebrate the Tulane ’12. When the songstress closed the commencement ceremonies with her deeply heartfelt rendition of “Do you Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?” -- I knew they did. CONTEMPORARY CULTURE//MAGAZINE


Style: Timepieces

The Inner Beauty of Skeleton Watches By Cheryl Dixon They’re not naked… they’re skeletonized. It’s the inner beauty that makes skeleton watches so very appealing. Intricate mechanical watches becoming more and more popular… and skeleton watches (in which the movement is visible through either the front or back of the watch), are making a comeback. Watch brands like Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin are introducing modern versions, and vintage skeleton watches, at the height of popularity in the 1970s, are once again objects of desire. Skeleton watches are unique, and at the same time vintage and on the cutting edge of technology and fashion – capturing the attention of modern watch enthusiasts and vintage collectors. Especially as brands are introducing modern versions of skeleton watches, collectors’ interests in vintage models have been steadily increasing and their value is being realized. A collection of rare and unique skeleton watches was recently sold at Antiquorum’s auction in Hong Kong. Interest in and competition for these extraordinary timepieces drove up auction prices, clearly not an obstacle to the collectors lucky enough to now own these masterful works of artistry and craftsmanship.

Patek Philippe (Ref. 918/4) An ellipse-shaped skeletonized keyless dress watch made in 1996. Extremely fine and rare, skeletonized, 18K yellow gold, diamond and emerald-set keyless dress watch set with a total of 109 diamonds weighing 0.60 carat. The watch features an 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe long chain and cord fob. Accompanied by the original fitted box, the Certificate of Origin, Extract from the Archives, and registered guarantee card and papers. Sold for $73,726.

Cheryl Dixon is Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Antiquorum Auctioneers. Established in Geneva in 1974, Antiquorum has carved its own unparalleled niche in the auction world through its focused expertise in horology and by cultivating a thriving collector’s market for timepieces worldwide. For information on buying or consigning watches and free evaluations of your fine timepiece, visit



VACHERON CONSTANTIN (Ref.43580) - A very fine and rare 18K platinum and diamond self-winding skeletonized wristwatch with an 18K platinum and diamond Vacheron Constantin buckle. Made in 2006. Accompanied by a box. Sold for $46,723.

BLANCPAIN "VILLERET" (No. 80) - Very fine and elegant platinum skeletonized wristwatch with a platinum Blancpain buckle. Made in 1990s. Accompanied by a fitted box and guarantee (blank). Sold for $9,666.

AUDEMARS PIGUET - Very fine and elegant 18K yellow gold self-winding skeletonized wristwatch, with an 18K yellow gold Audemars Piguet buckle. Made in 1980s. Sold for $19,333.

Some notable modern examples: Patek Philippe 5180/1G-001: An example of impeccable craftsmanship, the watch’s movement is displayed with the hand pierced and engraved caliber 240 with its thin bridges and micro-rotor in a delicate case with attached gold bracelet. It is signed on the movement with a hand-finished signature around the mainspring barrel. Jaeger-LeCoultre 16124SQ Perpetual Calendar: Skeletonized watches meet technical ingenuity in the Jaeger-LeCoultre 16124SQ wristwatch featuring a perpetual calendar. The 260 parts that compose the movement allow the wearer to not only see the time, but provide all the normal functions with a perpetual calendar including the day, date, month, year and moonphases as well as providing a day/night indicator and power-reserve. Vacheron Constantin 85050/000R-20P29 Quai de L’Ile Day-Date and PowerReserve: In this model, one of the oldest watchmakers steps into contemporary bold design, even allowing buyers to customize many elements. The transparent dial combines both a transparent sapphire with frosted and engraved sapphire reserves and sections.

ROGER DUBUI, Horloger Genevois, “Pink Gold Square -Flying Tourbillon,” made circa 2005 in a limited edition of 28 examples. Very fine and rare, large, curved CULTURE/ /MAGAZINE square, water-resistant, 18K pink gold wristwatch with one-minute flying tourbillon regulator and a 18K pink gold Roger CONTEMPORARY Dubuis deployant clasp. This watch is 59 number 27 and is accompanied by a Roger Dubuis wooden box. Sold for $46,723.


Bringing The Outside In

How to design seasonally inviting, open-air living rooms Monica SUleski Images by Blue Ocean Photography Written by

Good design doesn’t have to stop at your backdoor. The great outdoors is not just what you see from the other side of your windows anymore thanks to a growing trend to make outside rooms like patios, porches, pool houses and decks part of your everyday living space! These outdoor living rooms are the perfect lifestyle additions for cooking, relaxing and entertaining and can be decorated to pamper and please just like the rooms inside your home. Almost any outdoor space can be turned into another room and just because it’s outside, it doesn’t mean it can’t reflect your inner style. It can be lavish with lots of luxury amenities like appliances, flat-screen TVs and full sound systems or understated and simple, with a few pieces of well-chosen outdoor furniture that create a thoughtful design statement. Of course, here in Miami where the weather is great yearround, taking advantage of endless patio living possibilities is a must! Space planning al fresco is very similar to what you would do inside your rooms, and the same principles apply. Outdoor spaces are places that bring people together so you’ll want to make them comfortably inviting and visually irresistible! Eclectic Elements suggests using 60


the same attention to detail to enhance both the aesthetics and function of these outdoor living rooms. Before you know it, you could be spending more of your down time outside of your four walls, than in! Just like the rooms inside, those on the outside can easily reflect your own personal style. What you want to create is a seamless

impression, a form of continuity where your back patio, deck or porch truly becomes an extension of your home. Bringing elements from your indoor rooms out not only makes the space seem bigger but it can easily double as a second living or dining room. Before you begin decorating, you must first consider how you’ll use your outdoor

space. Whether it will be used for entertaining, relaxing or dining, do take note of weather changes and if the spot you’ve chosen will be exposed to a lot of sunlight, is shady or is in a windy area. Adverse weather conditions can wreak havoc on furnishings and materials so you will need to assess their potential impact before investing in the design and décor of the space. It is very important to choose the right materials for long lasting durability. You might need waterproof and sun-resistant materials so make sure you pay attention to these important details before choosing fabric for your porch furniture. There are a variety of techniques used by Eclectic Elements designers that can help make your back patio look like an extension of your home. Some are more architecturally inspired, others are more decorative. Used together they will visually integrate the inside and outside of the home creating a seamless flow between the two. Once you’ve decided on the basics, you’re ready to create your own special paradise. With a little effort, attention to detail, and a bit of care, your favorite room might turn out to be the one

decked out in green outside the patio door! Weather permitting, a well-designed outdoor living space can often times be the most utilized area for a family. An attractive outdoor living area is also a great selling point for a home and can significantly raise your home’s value.  Outdoor furniture is an important component of your outdoor living space and is available in all styles and for all budgets. Weatherproof furniture comes in a variety of materials such as wicker, plastic, metal, wrought iron, aluminum, or wood.  Another thing to consider is whether your outdoor living area will be covered or not. Some people choose to enclose their outdoor area, while others have only solid roofs or open pergola type coverings. If you need shade or perhaps an umbrella, awnings can be another good option as they are available in a wide variety of fabrics and sizes, and can be attached directly to your home. They offer a very unique look and also add to the home’s value.  If you plan to use your outdoor living area at night, keep in mind you might also want to add outdoor lighting. Windproof, fire-safe and attractive, hurricane candles can be used as a natural light source. They add a romantic mood to any setting and create an intimate feel for all atmospheres. Solar lighting is also a growing trend for outdoor areas. The ease of not having to run electrical wiring makes this an easy option for everyone and is also very eco-friendly. At Eclectic Elements we use low voltage and solar lights that come in a variety of styles to compliment your space.  If your space doesn’t allow for a pool, the trickling sound of a water feature will be soothing and add a natural element of relaxation. Outdoor fire pits and fireplaces add warmth and coziness at night, while enhancing the ambiance when the sun goes down and the stars come out. Even the landscaping plays a big part in creating that picture perfect outside living area.

For more design tips, visit or call me, Monica Suleski, at 305-773-7467.

Rows of trees and bushes provide privacy – and shade. Flowers add natural fragrance and color. And greenery of all kinds adds a freshness and dimension that can’t be duplicated inside. Most importantly, be sure your outdoor living space is safe and works well for your needs and budget. With a little bit of planning, anyone can create an outdoor living space that can provide years of enjoyment and recreation for their family. Check List for Outdoor Rooms Fabrics: Durability and maintenance are top considerations in choosing materials for outdoor living spaces. Many fabric materials designed for outdoor use resist fading and water. But if they get dirty or get soaking wet from time to time, they will be prone to mildew problems. Keep covers on your upholstered furniture to keep it looking good longer. Counters: Granite is a great choice for outdoor counters. It is good looking, is impervious to water and is easy to maintain. Leathered and wood surfaces tend to attract dirt and mildew. Backsplash: Tile backsplashes are the preference of choice because they are so easy to keep clean. Stucco, while it is often cheaper, is difficult to clean when it gets dirty, which it does, quickly! Cabinets: Unlike wood, stainless cabinets will hold up to the elements and deter animals from trying to open cabinet doors. Lighting: Good lighting is key to adding ambiance and atmosphere to your outdoor space. Layer the light, shine it up in trees and down from branches on to your open seating areas. Be sure to choose UL-rated lighting fixtures approved for outdoor use. Even in a protected area, the fixture will be exposed to wind, dust, and moisture.



INDULGE: Motoring

by Lorenz Josef

Tesla Model S...

Hold the Extension Cord!

“You’d better get a 3,000 mile extension cord”, teased my friend when I told him that I wanted to drive coast to coast in the new, all-electric Tesla.


n a recent Sunday morning I got together for coffee with a couple of my car buddies and naturally, the discussion centered on cars. We started out talking about the new ultra highperformance cars coming out over the next year from McLaren (P1) and Ferrari (F 70) which I’ll be reporting on in future issues of VENÜ. However, at some point, one of the guys mentioned hybrid and plug in electric



cars. I brought up the new Tesla S electric vehicle which impressed me when I recently saw it on a cable channel. A few minutes earlier I had mentioned that I would love to do one of those cross country Cannonball Runs made famous about 40 years ago and subsequently fictionalized by the Burt Reynolds’ movies of the same name. I recalled reading about the first actual event and that the winners

were racing driver Dan Gurney and automotive journalist Brock Yates who drove a borrowed Ferrari from NYC to Redondo Beach, CA (almost 2,900 miles) in an amazing 36 hours. I was in my early 20’s at that time and was very impressed with their accomplishment and always dreamt of doing a similar Ferrari road trip. However, that was then and this is now! After a gulp of my Starbucks Green

Tea, I exclaimed that I now want to do my dream cruise in an all-electric Tesla and that is when the wise cracking began from my friends. One by one, each of my buddies piled on voicing their trepidations with these alternative energy vehicles. I tried to defend my position but quickly realized that I was not up to speed (no pun intended) on this technology. I decided then and there to separate fact from fiction and explore the new Tesla personally. When I mentioned that there was no dealer in Connecticut, one of the guys said Tesla had opened up a showroom in the Westchester Mall in White Plains, New York during the summer. The very next day I was at the Mall looking into the Tesla showroom. I did some research before I went to White Pains and discovered that Tesla was founded 10 years ago in Silicon Valley, California, but has only been building cars for about 5 years. Their first model, the 2 seat Tesla Roadster, was based on the diminutive Lotus Elise and to date 2,500 have been sold. Apparently, this model was never meant to be the end goal for Tesla, but was specifically targeted at the early adaptors of plug in electric technology. More importantly, the Roadster was to alert future buyers that the real car,

the five passenger S model, would soon be manufactured. Tesla is the brainchild of Elon Musk, a Wharton MBA graduate who co-founded Paypal and is also the founder of SpaceX (a private successor to the Space Shuttle program). Musk wanted to redefine automotive transportation by providing an environmentally better alternative. Incidentally, the Tesla is also “politically correct” because it is built in the USA at a former Toyota/GM auto plant in Fremont, California. Although the car’s name may be new to most people, the Tesla name is actually

more than 150 years old. It is in honor of Nikola Tesla the futurist, electrical/mechanical visionary who is best known for his contributions to the development of our (AC) alternating current electricity in opposition to Thomas Edison’s stubborn defense of his (DC) direct current invention. During his life Mr. Tesla held more than 700 patents many of which still impact us today as a result of his early scientific research on Radio, TV, Wireless Communications, X-Rays, etc. Back in White Plains, I was impressed before I even entered the Tesla showroom. The minimalist exhibit space reminded me



INDULGE: Motoring

of an ultra-modern art gallery or one of those Apple Computer stores, except on a smaller scale. Through the all glass walls I could see the new Tesla S in the center of the room guarded by a modern version of the “velvet ropes”. My first glance of the vehicle confirmed that this was indeed the Tesla which I had seen featured on that cable show. However, it was bigger than I thought, but looked even better in person. I did a walk around and noted the smart and clean overall design. Tesla’s sales team invited me to take a closer look. They magically opened the doors by waving their hands over the flush mounted chrome metal door handles which instantly popped out allowing me to grasp the handle and open the door. Within a few minutes the handles automatically recessed flat with the door. I was told this was done for aerodynamic purposes to reduce drag and improve

energy efficiency. I then realized that these guys at Tesla really had their act together! The doors opened generously and when I slid into the comfortable driver’s seat I was instantly taken by the enormous (17”) computer screen cascading down the center of the dashboard. Apparently it allows the driver and front seat passenger to operate virtually every function of the car. Since this car was actually plugged in and charging, the screen revealed that if I drove 64


it out of the Mall right now, I could go 206 miles without a recharge. Pretty impressive! The salaried (non-commission) sales team was absolutely great. No pressure and no attitude at my ignorance. They started my Tesla education by telling me that the top of the line version of the Tesla, the Model S Performance has the largest battery (85 Kw), most horsepower (416) and an impressive 4.4 second time to 60 mph.

The sales person then asked me to check out the Tesla’s generous trunk. I instinctively walked to the back of the car when I noticed them opening the front hood. I made a quick U-turn and joined the sales people at the front wearing my “I knew the trunk was in the front” poker face (after all, I drove a VW Beetle in my College days). However, I got a big surprise when I was also invited to the rear hatchback featuring a second, even larger storage space (32 cubic feet combined)! However, I’m sure that I could not disguise my puzzled look when I wondered where the electric motor was located. Apparently it is mounted very low between the rear wheels and is never in view. I also asked about the battery location because unlike other electric and hybrid cars, the Tesla S does not have a particularly high center tunnel where a plug in electric car’s battery is typically located. In fact, the Tesla’s battery is very thin and covers most of the flat platform of the vehicle underneath the passenger compartment.

One of the issues that my car buddies had brought up the day before was the short life and adverse environmental impact of replacing the battery. Apparently Nikola Tesla would be proud, as even those issues have been ingeniously resolved. After all, why go electric to stop polluting the air and then ruin it all by dumping a caustic battery in our land fill. First, I learned that Tesla’s batteries are warranted for up to 8 years/Unlimited Miles. When they finally have to be replaced, Tesla recycles the battery materials. In addition, climate factors (i.e. extreme heat or freezing temperatures) which can severely impact battery lifespan are regulated by imbedded systems in the vehicle. Most important to my fantasy trip, the battery in the top of the line model has the largest travel distance range. That is, once the battery is fully charged up, I could drive up to the maximum range of 300 miles between charges. See, I told my friends that I could make California……even if only a tenth of the way at a time! Now I’m thinking of all the relatives who I could visit on my coast to coast run. I’d never outstay my welcome, because after a quick coffee with each one and, of course, the obligatory connection with their electrical outlet, I would be on my way. However, if you are not welcomed by your relatives, don’t worry. Tesla is further supporting their cars by installing battery charging infrastructure systems (Supercharging) on select US highways (there is already one on I-95 in Connecticut). Amazingly, these roadside high rate chargers will restore 50% of the driving range in as little as 30 minutes and its free. Another thing which really impressed me is the high level of customer service and convenience that Tesla is all about. I recall from my introduction at the Mall, that once my car is built, Tesla will deliver it directly to my home with all the paperwork, insurance, and registration completed. Door to door service pickup and delivery is also available. Nice touch! The base model starts out at $49,900, but can go much higher. In fact when I went home and opened Tesla’s web site I was introduced to their clever “Design Studio” program. After building my fantasy car, including all the goodies on the top of the line Model S Performance, I more than doubled that price tag. I know that I can’t swing that amount of money right now and am hoping that Tesla will pity this poor Journalist and at least let me drive a Tesla S to Washington, D.C. According to Google Maps, it is only 285 miles from my house to the White House. If President Obama lets me park in the front portico at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, I’ll only need a 25 foot extension cord!

0.0000000024 HP.

This is all the energy needed to power the completely newly developed Manufacture movement, CFB A1001, from Carl F. Bucherer. It features the first reliably functioning peripherally positioned rotor and associates perfect aesthetics and progressive technology. It was designed on the basis of the holistic “Evolution Technology” Manufacture Concept, by which Carl F. Bucherer goes its own way with the development of movements and mechanisms, challenging the existing and striving for more intelligent solutions. A mechanical microcosm which is housed in a perfect environment, thanks to the unmistakably distinctive design of the Patravi EvoTec DayDate.

14-16 Spencer Place Scarsdale · New York · 10583



Ready to sail the seas all over the world, this Pershing yacht is versatile, powerful and elegant, not to mention its environmental impact

Pershing 108’: Versatility and forefront technology for the first three-engine model produced by Pershing

Pershing 108’ was created from the established collaboration of the yacht Designer Fulvio De Simoni, the AYT (Advanced Yacht Technology) of the Ferretti Group and the team of architects and designers of the Centro Stile Ferrettigroup, and has a versatile layout and on-board innovative technology, which make it a model ahead of time. In its DNA lies the concept of personalization that combines well with the sinuous lines and recognizable features that distinguish all the Pershing fleet yachts: super-structured windows matching the shipyard’s philosophy, aggressive profile, wide lateral windows and, of course, unparalleled performance. A cutting-edge ship, not only because of its layout and the on-board technology, but also for it motorization, which for the first time is split into 3, with the objective of ensuring high performance while being 66


considerate to the environment. In fact the standard version of Pershing 108’ has three MTU 16v 2000 M 94 L diesel of 2638 mHp (1939 kW) and reaches a maximum speed of over 42 knots thanks to the three surface propellers. The boat possesses high movement ranges, exceeding 1000 miles at 10 knots, with extremely low fuel consumption even at those speeds. When only the central engine is functioning, the boat can move at low speed with great silence and one would hardly notice that it is on. In the case of a light load, the boat can glide with only 2 engines and reach a significant speed, which is a very useful feature if there is a momentary failure. Generally, high levels of comfort have been measured, which translated in DbA represents a new benchmark for this category of boats. Performance of absolute prestige together with the usual “family feeling” that

over the years has made all the models of the Pershing fleet unique and recognizable, combining the distinctive traits of the brand and the important novelties such as the hull colour - white pearl – a distinctive colouring that characterizes all models of the new fleet. The standard layout of Pershing 108’, 32.90 m long, has 4 guest cabins and 3 crew cabins, providing the client with the possibility to choose from the among the various internal layouts, with the aim of offering spaces that are more versatile and personalized. The owner and the guests become the real protagonists, thanks to a radically innovative layout, capable of offering spaces that diversify according to the situation. With this in mind, the first hull of P108’ has a completely personalized under deck layout including a spacious VIP cabin at the

bow, a guest cabin, a TV or family room and a full beam master cabin amidships. The elegance of the interiors has been attended to in detail by exceptional established partners such as Poltrona Frau and ErnestoMeda, besides the stylistic prestigious innovations desired by the ship owner who preferred solutions designed by Fendi Club House and Armani Casa. On the wide sun deck at bow there is a C-shaped sofa and a table that can be lowered to seating level, in order to have a single sun deck level protected by a retractable bimini shade. The incredibly spacious sun deck has a retractable steering console, a large C-shaped sofa with a table that can be lowered to seating level and four folding chaise longue that turn into comfortable ergonomic seats, making this an independent and functional area that can be best enjoyed in moments of relaxation on board. The large cockpit can be used both during the day and in the evening. A spa-

cious covered area, equipped with a sofa and a table that can host up to 10 people, with an elegant crystal top with a steel base, as well as 5 modern chairs designed by B&B Italia. The interior design is characterized by the use of the frisè sycamore maple often combined with black Fendi leather that pleasantly creates a contrast of colour with the pearl grey carpeting and the decorative lamps, all designed by Armani Casa. However, the key element is the natural light in the architecture of the hall, coming through the wide opening of the lateral windows and the exclusive in-built transom door. The latter is made of two independent sections with electro-hydraulic

movements that can slide down towards the floor to create a single space of over 70 square metres. Upon entering the hall, towards the aft we find a dining table with a black python leather top and a large sofa, both custom made by Fendi Club House, facing a cabinet containing a 52� TV, an elegant coffee table and two honey-coloured leather ottomans. The bridge consists of three comfortable adjustable central pilot seats produced in collaboration with Poltrona Frau. The steering console was designed with the latest navigation and communication technology, such as the Furuno system. The area below deck can be accessed via a wide and comfortable staircase leading down to the pilot seats and a refined and elegant environment embellished with the Poltrona Frau leather that enriches the bed frames, furniture tops and wall TVs, giving the environment a very cozy and sophisticated style. The master cabin was




completely personalized and the Fendi Casa leather was used here as well. In the bow, the spacious and perfectly square VIP cabin offers wide and livable living space, equipped with a small cabin and high degrees of comfort. The guest cabin, with twin beds and en suite bathroom, is a great step forwards in terms of on board versatility. In fact, the beds were designed to flank so as to form a king size bed or to be used as two single beds. Instead of the guest cabin on the right, as in the standard layout of the P108’, there is a more user-friendly TV room, also known as the family room, with a large practical convertible sofa bed, customized with the fabric of the new Armani Casa collection and placed facing the large TV screen. The key feature of the master cabin is the suggestiveness of the natural light coming from the large lateral windows. The play of light and the colours are emphasized by the black Fendi leather that embellishes furniture tops, the headboard and the canopy. To complete this area there is another sofa bed with Armani Casa textiles, designed by Milano Bedding. Moreover, in the suite there is a large wardrobe, a very modern fully-equipped business area and 68


a fridge-bar. A very spacious bathroom that is refined up to the smallest detail completes the area dedicated to the ship owner: taps by Antonio Lupi, mosaics by Sicis, and accessories designed by Gessi. At the stern, accessible from inside as well as from the outside of the boat, is an area that has been equipped to accommodate the crew. It is made up of three cabins with bathrooms, a laundry room and a dinette combined with the kitchen. Pershing 108’ offers a creative solution also in another part of the layout as it has a kitchen in the passage way of the lower deck, a space combined with the dinette which gives importance to the central and convivial role of the preparation area. The collaboration with Ernestomeda has made it possible to build a unit with great char-

acteristics, with the base and the wall units of the Polished Glass version of the Elektra model with an aluminum frame and a Less Marine® handle, all in black. The structures are all made of aluminum, so as to be resistant to external agents and free from harmful emissions, as well as being much lighter. Moreover, the “Nuvola Stripe” hanging hood, retrieves space and guarantees greater suction. Finally, the innovative push-button locking system, in-built in the Less Marine® handle, on the thickness of the door, designed and patented by Ernestomeda, prevents the inadvertent opening of the doors no matter what the sea is like and at any speed. A large aft hangar with a folding bridge allows for the stowing of a 5m tender. Pershing 108’ has a second hangar that can contain water toys as well as their davit launch. With its highly innovative design and its unparallel performance, the new Pershing 108’ rightfully presents itself as being among the most representative models of the nautical world, testifying the continuous growth of Pershing in terms of research and development that aims at transforming materials, housing solutions and technologies into something new and truly unique.

by Matthew Sturtevant

INDULGE: Decorative ARts

On The Block:

Garage Find. Los Angeles Modern Auctions after 22 years. Oldenberg Family Collection.

Garage Find A print of a speeding race car that hung on a gentleman’s wall for 25 years seen only as a picture regarded as nothing more than something to decorate that wall was shown to a Bonham’s auctioneer who advised the potential client that it was very valuable. Now it will be offered for sale in Bonham’s print sale on April 16th in London for an $60,000 to $90,000. Toby Wilson, Head of Automobilia at Bonham’s, passed the print to Rupert Worrall the Head of Prints at Bonham’s on the hunch that the print was significant. His feelings were confirmed and way beyond the expectations of the client who had thought the value was more in the area of $30. Toby stated “I was attending an Automobilia Exhibition at Seaside California during the Pebble Beach week, when I was approached by a private client who had found ‘This old print that had been hanging in his garage for 25 years’ and asked “If I liked it?” He believed it was worth no more than $30. I identified the print as much more valuable than that and advised him that it was very suitable for sale in our specialist print sales in London.” The print turned out to be a Cyril Edward Power (British, London 1872-1951) “Speed Trial” Linocut printed in viridian, permanent blue and Chinese blue, on buff oriental laid tissue, signed, titled and numbered 7/60, with margins 196 by 375mm (7 ¾” by

14 ¾”). The car in the image is based on Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird, which broke the land speed record in 1931. Los Angeles Modern Auctions After 22 Years Los Angeles Modern Auctions’ 20th Anniversary season grossed over $5 million, the highest total in LAMA’s 20-year history. On Sunday, Part Two of LAMA’s 20th Anniversary Auction brought $2,044,381 with 79% of the 435 lots sold by value. In addition, LAMA sold 100% of the lots offered by two of the top consignors of the sale, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Peter Loughrey, Founder of LAMA:

Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

“My first auction in 1992 totaled $99,000. Twenty years later our fall season brought over $5 million. In the past twenty years we have seen record breakers, bargains, and everything in between, establishing a niche marketplace that champions Modern Art & Design. Moving forward, we anticipate continued growth in crossover segments where art and design meet, like the Noguchi Chess table and the Calder brooch. LAMA is quickly becoming the industry leader for creating the market for this type of material.” The highlight lot in the 20th Anniversary auction [Part Two], a rare Isamu Noguchi Chess table (Lot 285 est. $150,000 – 250,000) with strong exhibition history and provenance, brought significant attention and realized $187,500. Additionally, an impressive selection of ten works by Robert Rauschenberg, including Lattice (Hoarfrost), Samarkand Stitches #III, and Box Cars, together achieved $141,375. Additional Fine Art highlights include a David Park gouache on paper from 1960, Figure Playing Violin (Lot 21 est. $18,000 – 25,000), which went three times over the estimate bringing

$62,500; a group of eight lots by Andy Warhol, including Truman Capote, Mick Jagger, Jane Fonda, and Vote McGovern, totaling $166,688; and brooches by Alexander Calder (Lot 281 est. $25,000 – 35,000) and Jean Arp (Lot 280 est. $20,000 – 30,000) together realized $67,500. Oldenberg Family Collection January 17th Bonham’s 2nd annual Scottsdale auction at the Beautiful Westin Kierland Resort doubled there sold totals from their previous sale netting $14,000,000

sold placing Bonham’s Motoring department clearly on the map. The spectacular offering of automobiles from the Oldenberg collection commanded the day with the much-anticipated 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV selling to a private European collector for $1,215,000 considered to be one of the first muscle cars. James Knight, the Bonham’s Group Motoring Director stated, “It was a tremendous auction, and everything worked beyond our expectations. We achieved prices at this auction that created new benchmark figures and offered advice to our clients that proved to be wholly founded.” Further examples from the sale included the 1968 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider, one of several Prancing Horses well sold by Bonhams in Scottsdale that brought $912,500. And the rare supercharged 1938 MercedesBenz 540K Cabriolet A sold, within hours, after the auction for $1,312,500. This sale leaves Bonham’s a clear competetor in the US. We look forward to their next block buster sale.



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PULSE: Music

New Orleans Piano Panache: Jon Cleary

Bonnie Raitt’s description of Jon Cleary cuts right to the matter: “Jon Cleary is the ninth wonder of the world.” Born in England and bred in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jon Cleary is a triple threat, combining soulful vocals, masterful piano skills, and a knack for composing infectious grooves with melodic hooks and sharp lyrics.


longside his years of touring and recording with Bonnie Raitt, John Scofield, and others, he balances a career of writing and recording his own music and performing live with his power trio Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew, with whom he shares Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts’ stage on April 13, and also leading the noted funk band The Absolute Monster Gentlemen. Cleary can be heard on vocals and keyboards on Piety Street by John Scofield & The Piety Street Band, and on Bonnie Raitt’s Silver Lining and Souls Alike, on which Raitt covered the Cleary originals, “Fool’s Game,” “Monkey Business,” “Unnecessarily Mercenary,” and “Love on One Condition.” He produced several of his own recordings including “Occapella” released Spring 2012 and described by Jon as “having fun with the songs of Allen Toussaint.” His long list of recording credits include working with artists such as Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, India Arie, and Ryan Adams. Cleary was a 2012 Blues Music Award Nominee for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year honor, his 3rd nomination in this category. And in 2011, he was named among the Best Keyboards in the Blues Matters (UK) International Writer’s Poll. Photo: Rick Olivier

Article by Mike Horyczun VENÜ magazine had an opportunity recently to speak with Jon Cleary from his home in New Orleans where he discusses his music, his upcoming concert at Fairfield, and his bonding with The Big Easy, a city he has called home for over three decades. How did you come to live in New Orleans? I grew up in a musical family and heard lots of New Orleans music. My uncle had lived in New Orleans, and when I was a kid I used to hear great stories. And it seemed to me to be such an exciting place. As soon as I was able, and I was old enough to leave school, I just came. Not really having any grand plan, I was thinking it would be great to spend a little while here. As it turned out, I’ve been here now for over thirty years. It was the music that brought me, and it was the city that kept me here. How has New Orleans influenced you musically? The musicians, the music that I’m drawn to, the way I’m kind of hard-wired musically, is very much a New Orleans thing. I came with a New Orleans template. And it was just a good fit. The things that people do here are things that press all my buttons. It’s an evocative place, New Orleans. It’s hard to describe, if somebody hasn’t been here. But I think if you’re artistically inclined, it provides a fertile terrain for your imagination. On that note, can we talk about your writing style? Do you work on composing as a part of your daily routine? I have a studio, and I work in it daily. For me, composition is also part of the recording process. So I play drums and bass and guitar, keyboards, and do all the singing. I try to flex all my musical muscles on a daily basis. I started out as a guitar player, and I became a keyboard player. I’ve always been a singer. I’ve always composed tunes. The music that I play is here at home in my house, where there’s nobody around to listen. I do gigs because they’re fun, and I can make a living doing it. Those are



the circumstances where other people actually hear the music, but most of the music I play, gets played when it’s just me and the room. And I do that for hours and hours everyday. Some of it never gets used, or some of it gets logged away for future reference and turns up on a song a couple of years later. Do you have a preference for making music in the studio as opposed to performing live on stage in front of an audience? They are two very different things. I enjoy both of them. Making a record is one way to express yourself musically. The process is quite longwinded, but you can really hone in on details, sculpt stuff and change stuff much in the way that a painter or sculptor would with a piece of art before it’s presented to people. Getting up on stage with a bunch of musicians performing live, you’re still delivering music, but in an entirely different manner. There’s a thrill you get from performing live. I love the fact that in a live performance, you do things that are done once, and then they disappear into the ether. That’s why I don’t like the fact now that everybody has iPhones with movie cameras in them, because the idea of a live performance is something that just happens that instant. Every second of the performance is spontaneous and is different every night, at least the way that I play with my band, the Philthy Phew. You have a broad framework, but a lot of it is improvised, and you create stuff. You create art spontaneously, and once it’s done, it’s gone, forever. I like that. There’s something poetic in that. Speaking about your live performances, you're coming to The Quick Center on April 13 with The Philthy Phew. Can you talk a little bit about the band? I have two bands, one of which is a static lineup, which allows me to present material which requires lots and lots of rehearsal and arrangement. And then the other is the Philthy Phew, which is a shifting cast of characters. The idea for the Philthy Few is for me to utilize a trio context and take advantage of all the great rhythm sections that we have in New Orleans, a city that’s famous for its rhythm sections. I can decide gig to gig which musicians I like, which bass players and drummers I’d like to use. The trio format allows for a very much more raw, stripped (Continued on Page 85)

Photo: Katja Liebing, Blue Moon Photography



PULSE: Music

Saying Goodbye To The Rolling Stones “You’ve got the sun, you’ve got the moon, you’ve got the air you breathe, and you’ve got The Rolling Stones.” –Keith Richards, 1994


Written By PETER




he first ever Rolling Stones show took place on July 12, 1962, three months short of my first birthday. My first real contact with them occurred in midwinter, 1969. My father, a theatrical publisher, published the program booklets sold at the shows. As such, there was always lots of Stones music, demo records, “dummy” booklets, (these were the test printings of the booklets, which dad would bring home with him from his plant on twenty fifth street in Manhattan) and posters around the house. These items made us the envy of our school chums. All of this was natural to us. It was our default existence. When a single or album was released, dad would bring home the promotional copy and

would then ask us for our evaluation. There were seven of us, plus our friends. It was a grand time. In 1972, there was another Stones tour of the U.S., and the usual influx of goodies could be found scattered around the house. It was at this time that my father also brought home a promotional copy of Exile On Main Street, which I still have in my office. It was not until I listened to that record for the first time that I became addicted to The Rolling Stones. I was eleven years old. I told my father that I wanted to see them. He felt, correctly, that age eleven was just too tender an age to formerly introduce a boy to the dangerous world of The Rolling Stones. Dad had been frequently interacting with the band since meeting them for the first time in 1967. There were calls to the house from members of the Stones growing business apparatus to discuss photos and layout changes for the booklets. Again, all of this was normal for us. He had already done the same work for The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Gladys Knight and the Pips, B.B. King, Ravi Shankar, The Raspberries, and dozens of other acts, as well as venues like Radio City Music Hall. As such, house calls and phone calls from managers, agents and musicians were what we knew to be normal. Then in 1975, the band announced their summer tour from the back of a flatbed truck rolling down lower Manhattan. I was there with my father as were news crews and media who had been alerted to the event. Stunned residents craned their necks out of windows. Restaurant and office workers flooded into the street to catch a glimpse of the World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band, with new guitarist Ron Wood, and guest band mates Billy Preston and Ollie Brown as they blazed down the street, blasting out a tight version of Brown Sugar. I have only been star struck three or four times in my life. That was my first time. The tour, dubbed Tour of the Americas, was, at that time, the largest, most

ambitious rock and roll tour ever attempted. It began in Baton Rouge, and was to end in South America. The joke in the program booklet was in the credits for the tour personnel near the back pages of the booklet. For the Tour Security credit, the listing was a question-“Got any suggestions?” –A reference to the Altamont tragedy. ummer of 1975: I was almost fourteen, and my oldest brother from my father’s first marriage, David, had just returned home from Vietnam. Dad put him in charge of all of the vendors who worked for his company, O’Neill Press, Inc. (O’Neill is my mother’s maiden name), who would travel with the band for the entire tour selling program booklets. When the tour stopped in Madison Square Garden, my mother took a phone call during breakfast. It was a hot, humid overcast day. Without explanation, my parents directed us to help get the screens out of the garage, which was set back half an acre from our home in Long Branch, New Jersey


up to the house. They were giddy, happy, moving quickly to get the screens up around the porch to ensure privacy, but would not tell us what was going on. Then mom left for the market and was back quickly. It was then explained that we were having special guests that afternoon. A contingent of Stone’s roadies and concessionaires were en route to our house, and that it was not outside the realm of possibility that one or more band members might show up. We were forbidden to alert our friends. Cars began arriving around two pm. Station wagons and a black limo overstuffed with beings that transcended anyone with whom I had contact with before pulled up the driveway. The smells of patchouli, reefer, perfume and cigarettes mixed together in a cloud around them as they entered the house. There were bra-less-women-groupies who seemed thrilled to be away, even if briefly, from the tour. There was laughter and beer and people smoking weed in our backyard as the gang shared stories of life on the road with the Stones,

whose music was blasting from the safety of our house out into the Jersey shore night. ext stop on the tour was Philadelphia, and dad finally agreed to allow my brother James and I to attend. We were on the guest list, and were placed very close to the stage with my oldest sister, Rosina, who was in college. That stage, the shape of a lotus petal, unfolded its leaves downward to reveal the band as they hit the opening chords of Honky Tonk Women. It was an electric, supercharged show – performance art on a level never attempted before by a rock and roll band. By the end of the show, James and I looked as if we’d spent the last two hours standing in front of jet-engines, transformed by the experience. It was a rite of passage, and was the first of a total of eighty five Rolling Stones shows that I was to attend in my life. The addiction has been a happy one. Most of us have never lived in a world without The Rolling Stones. Though their


music will always be with us, their shows always viewable on disc or YouTube, it is the knowledge that they are still with us which, somehow, provides comfort, a comfort that we have always known and maybe taken for granted. I don’t know what the world will be like without it. While it appears that they may indeed play a limited number of more shows, the end of the existence of The Rolling Stones as a touring, album producing entity is clearly in sight. Those of us who love the band have always dreaded this time. Their fiftieth anniversary tour, limited to just five shows, is a clear signal that The Stones are near the end of the line. Happily, they are going out as they have existed for the past fifty years: The masters of their craft. Even in their late sixties and early seventies, they simply never let us down. Is there really a drummer whose abilities surpass the sublime dependability of Charlie Watts, even at age seventy one? Has there ever been a rock and roll front man with the ability to command total control of a football –stadium-sized-crowd like Mick Jagger? And Keith Richards is the author of a sound that did not exist before he invented The Rolling Stones. Without him, bands like Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin could not have been possible. And fifty years after they began, there will be no artist or band to which The Rolling Stones can pass the torch that bears their identity and legacy, The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band. While we will still have, as Keith Richards tells us, the sun, the moon, and the air that we breathe, waking up each day without the possibility of the announcement of a new Stones album or tour will be an adjustment for their fans. And we will never say goodbye.



PULSE: ART/Yale’s NEW Art Gallery


The Gallery is located at 111 Chapel Street, New Haven. Open the public, admission is free For information and visitor details call 203.432.0600 or go to

Remarking in “American Notes” published in London in 1842 about his recent visit to Yale College, Charles Dickens expressed a tinge of nostalgia for his native shore. “The effect is very like that of an old cathedral yard in England… seeming to bring about a compromise between town and country.” Admittedly New Haven was somewhat less urbanized in the horse-and-buggy era than today – but the irresistible lure of cultural placemaking endures. In celebration of the recently expanded and renovated Yale University Art Gallery, a new page is turned to its ‘never-ending story.’ It takes boldness of vision and exquisite architectural sensibility to synthesize an ensemble of distinctively period structures into a new coherence. I had anticipated a slightly tweaked configuration of historically inchoate spaces. Instead, an entirely

new arts plaza along Chapel Street transforms the museum into a world-class internal promenade. In one glance along Chapel Street we now discover the impact of a $135 million make-over. It’s all sutured into a freshly toned visage like a Park Avenue plastic surgeon taking a sagging dowager, doing some nips and tucks, bulking up the décolletage for some eye-candy appeal, and transforming her into a rejuvenated debutante queen. Take the 1928 neo-Gothic ‘Hollywood/Florentine’ gallery, add Louis Kahn’s iconic modernist landmark, and then, astonishingly, contemporize a Hitchcock-esque Gothic academic hall into a lightfilled nirvana, and Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” is complete! Like Bernini’s pearly white “Apollo and Daphne” sculpture, the transformation is nothing less than magical. The multi-year project was designed



PULSE: ART/ Yale’s NEW Art Gallery

and led by Duncan Hazard and Richard Olcott, in association with New York’s Ennead Architects. It was October, 1832 when “The Connecticut Journal” announced that tourists were arriving by steamship from New York and Philadelphia to marvel at Colonel John Trumbull’s eyewitness depictions of the heroic events of America’s Revolutionary era. Since there was no CNN or CBS Evening news to document just how colonial insurgents Franklin, Jefferson, Madison and Hancock were positioned at Independence Hall in 1776, Trumbull (ahem, who graduated rival Harvard at a tender age of 17) mythologized this moment for posterity. We rely upon its historical authenticity like a sepia-toned photograph of President Lincoln ( not to be confused with Daniel Day Lewis) reading by a flickering oil lamp. In truth, the compositional narrative in Trumbull’s painting is loosely and fictitiously based on Jefferson’s vague memory sketched on a scrap of paper years later while serving as our first ambassador in Paris. But then again, it’s just art. And Marcel Duchamp’s deadpan snow shovel upstairs follows the continuum. 80


Fast forward to the present- as the newest and perhaps most memorable latest chapter in Yale’s artistic heritage rockets into the 21st century. For Connecticut residents, still recovering from the battering of Superstorm Sandy followed shortly by unspeakably violent tragedies at Newtown, Yale offers uplifting excitement with inspirational solace. One wonders if enough Nutmeggers appreciate the extraordinary width and depth of our world-class institutions available at Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, equally distinguished as the nation’s oldest public institution of art opening its doors in 1844. You didn’t have to be a striving, but perhaps less than brilliant high school student with respectable A- average or flimsy SAT scores to know how nearly impossible it is to actually “get into” Yale. An official Fact Sheet from their Admissions office x-rays the recently arrived class with these bone-crushing numbers. Nearly 29,000 applicants from across the USA and abroad competed for 1,356 seats in the Freshman class. When only 7.1% of those who dreamed about achieving a Yale education will fulfill their wishes, be assured the rest of us have not be left out in the cold. With its warm open embrace – and




1. Wayne Thiebaud, Drink Syrups Wayne Thiebaud, Drink Syrups, 1961. Oil on canvas. Yale 2. Lichtenstein, Thinking of Him Roy Lichtenstein, Thinking of Him, 1963. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Richard Brown Baker, B.A. 1935 3. Hopper, Western Motel Edward Hopper, Western Motel, 1957. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903




PULSE: ART/ Yale’s NEW Art Gallery 1




1. African Installation Terracotta and Stone Figures, Bura, Katsina, Nok, and Sokoto, 900 B.C.E.–800 C.E. Terracotta. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of SusAnna and Joel B. Grae 2. Trumbull, George Washington John Trumbull, General George Washington at Trenton, 1792. Oil on canvas, Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of the Society of the Cincinnati in Connecticut 3. Curran Charles Courtney Curran, At the Sculpture Exhibition, 1895. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903 4. Van Gogh, Night Café Vincent van Gogh, Le café de nuit (The Night Café), 1888. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903

smiling front desk staff welcoming all – the new Yale Art Gallery bridges the gap from an elitist bastion to an Everyman’s paradise. With the wisdom of a King Solomon, the architectural vision of a Roman Baroque cardinal, and the showmanship of a very savvy P.T. Barnum for the smart-set, the Henry J. Heinz II Director, Jock Reynolds has outdone himself in overseeing this multi-year project. Reynolds, who knows how to get paint under his fingernails, is equally cordial with visiting elementary school students stepping off yellow school buses and high-powered, pin-striped clad captains of industry or financial titans on Yale’s Board of Trustees. Like Chick Austin at the Wadsworth, or Philippe de Montebello at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with this triumphant feather in his cap, the Reynolds era will forever be etched in stone. Reynolds’ touch is spot-on when describing how the “new galleries are superb places for viewing art, with space for generous installations in which recently acquired works provide new perspectives on longtime favorites.” And one suspects some gentle 82


intervention with his deft installation of many problematic galleries. Corners turn nicely, visual axes flow effortlessly, and surprises await with little nooks and crannies which allow pauses like airy cadences in a Vivaldi concerto. The Muhammad Ali knock-out moment is a stunning double punch hanging of two Mark Rothko’s. Hovering in an eerie silence like Kubrick’s 2001 monolith, the Rothko shrine opens to an ethereal contemporary gallery giving MoMA’s fourth floor a run for their money. With over 4,000 artworks on display including textbook examples of the arts of classical antiqutity, Asia, Africa, Indo-Pacific, and of course the entire western canon from Pollaiuolo to Pollock or Lippi to Lichtenstein, a visit to the Yale Art Gallery is not an optional “do it when I get a chance”. Re-arrange your calendar, cancel that unnecessary waste of time visit to the mall, or take a mental health day off from your job, but make time to relish what awaits. Yes, Yale has proudly displayed its artistic treasures for centuries – but trust me - there’s nothing “old school” about the new art museum.

PULSE: FILM + Entertainment

Fox on Film

& Entertainment by PETER FOX:

Matthias Schoenaerts as Ali, Photo by © Roger Arpajou / Why Not Productions, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Eye On Connecticut Production Something Whispered with Cuba Gooding Jr. Rating: TBD


ince the inception of Connecticut’s film tax credit, there have been two kinds of feature films produced here. There are the major league studio projects, replete with A-list movie stars and massive crews that come to the state in large trucks bearing the studio logos on the side panels. And then there are the independent films, with modest budgets, home grown crews comprised of Connecticut residents hoping for a chance at the big time. When an indie project gets lucky, maybe a lower B or C list actor signs on to work for a few days on the project. In addition to the tax

incentives offered to filmmakers to bring projects to Connecticut, the state also began to train residents to work in the industry with a three week crash course in on-set protocols. It was believed that the presence of an increasingly competent crew base would, over time, draw more projects here and help Connecticut resident filmmakers achieve the goal of initiating projects that would have a chance at distribution. Seven years later, Producer and Connecticut native Michael Goodin has bridged the gap between Tinsletown and the grass roots world of Connecticut independent film-

making. His project, Something Whispered, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. boasts a tightly woven story that was able to catch the eye of major Hollywood stars, and a smartly conceived and well executed production plan. By all accounts, Something Whispered stands a fighting chance at gaining wide theatrical distribution. Goodin, who is thirty one, rose through the production ranks with several small budget independent features. He had been working as a producer in New York City for over five years with a specialization in independent films. He recently wrapped Meskada, a feature film starring Nick Stahl (Termi-

nator, Sin City), Rachel Nichols (GI Joe, Star Trek, Alias), Kellan Lutz (Twilight, Nightmare on Elm Street) and Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints). Many of his productions have been screened at numerous prestigious film festivals including The Tribeca Film Festival, The Toronto International Film Festival and Slamdance. He has worked with a plethora of talented performers including The Sopranos’ James Gandolfini, Oscar nominees Amy Ryan and Michael Shannon, X-Men’s Famke Jansen, and The Day After Tomorrow’s Dash Mihak, along with numerous others. Originally from Middletown, Connecticut, Goodin did not attend film school, but began his career as a classically trained actor. After graduating from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, he set to work at learning the film business from the ground up. I asked him how Something Whispered first came to his attention: “I was contacted by the director, Peter Cousins, and I immediately loved the concept. Two story lines, one which takes place in 1750, the other in 1850, in the same structure, running at the same time. It also has a musical component in the vein of “Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?” After Goodin and his partners at Monolith Pictures came on board, the next steps were to find a location and talent. “The project was fully green lit when it got to us. It was fully backed. But the tax credits were a big factor (in making the film in Connecticut).” Set in 1850, the story centers on a man named Samuel (Gooding), who attempts to free his family from the brutality of institutionalized slavery, intent on escaping from the tobacco plantation they have been forced to



PULSE: FILM + Entertainment

Michael Goodin, Dean Cundey (DP), Jamiyl Campbell (Background, Production Supervisor), Michael Orefice (Gaffer), Jenna Dayton (Script Supervisor) and John Allegra (Animal Wrangler and Horses) on the set of Something Whispered. Photo by Robert Carne.

call their home for two generations. Heading north towards Canada, via that network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves in 19th century USA (aka the Underground Railroad), they are tracked by a group of ruthless hired slave hunters, who constantly threaten Samuel and his family. As with any period piece, there are production challenges in regards to

budget, and locations. “The story calls for things like horses and carriages, as well as buildings authentic to that era”, explains Goodin. “The Connecticut Film Office was extremely supportive. Connecticut fit the bill when it came to our location needs. We needed a lot of seventeenth century architecture and country churches. One big concern was the weather, and how the

Michael Goodin and Peter Cousens converse on set. Photo by Robert Carne.



film would look during certain seasons of the year. But, we found out that the weather here would actually help the look of the film.” Says Director of the Connecticut Office of Film Television and Digital Media, George Norfleet: “We were very happy for the opportunity to host “Something Whispered” in Connecticut. Not only did the production employ many graduates from our Film Industry Training Program, the storyline of the film also speaks to Connecticut’s rich history with the Underground Railroad and the many stations that can still be found today along Connecticut’s Freedom Trail.” The growth of the crew base in Connecticut was also a factor in shooting the film there. Says Goodin: “We wanted to do as much east coast and Connecticut talent as possible. Seven years ago, there was not much crew base in Connecticut. But with the

development of the industry here, I am more confident that the crew base can support projects such as ours.” The Film Industry Training Program, which was almost slashed from the budget last year, has survived and is now paying dividends to filmmakers who now chose to bring their projects to Connecticut. As the industry continues to grow in Connecticut, more and more of the state’s residents are finding work on film projects. Michael Goodin has bridged the gap between Hollywood and Connecticut, and is poised for success on a major scale with Something Whispered. The programs within Connecticut that support filmmaking will certainly help pave the way for others to follow in his footsteps. Stay tuned… Something Whispered is slated for completion in late spring 2013 and will be in the major festivals next fall.

Jon Cleary

(Continued from Page 74)

For musicians from New Orleans, there’s the evidence of the history around us everywhere here, not just physically with the buildings, but with the context of Mardi Gras, and the street parades, and the second line parades. You’re hearing styles that evolved in New Orleans a hundred years ago and not really changed all that much. down, bare essential element. You get to hear a really good New Orleans rhythm section, piano, bass and drums. But the line-up changes, and I like that. Every person is operating from the same repertoire and the same sort of history stylistically, but everybody brings out their unique sound. Everyone is different. My other band, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, has the same guys, pretty much all the time. I haven’t decided who to hire yet for the Philthy Phew show at the Quick Center. There’s just a great pool of rhythm sections in New Orleans. It’s hard to know who to take out. With The Philthy Phew, it sounds like you get the best of both worlds musically - it's fresh, but you're also tapping into the traditions and talents of your bandmates. For musicians from New Orleans, there’s the evidence of the history around us everywhere here, not just physically with the buildings, but with the context of Mardi Gras, and the street parades, and the second line parades. You’re hearing styles that evolved in New Orleans a hundred years ago and not really changed all that much. So everybody who’s a musician in New Orleans and is either born here or moved here like I did, and lived here a long time, can draw upon a musical repertoire, a musical vo-

Photo: Katja Liebing, Blue Moon Photography

cabulary that spans a hundred years. It’s quite varied, but it’s all New Orleans. There’s a common denominator between all the musicians that come out of this city. So you can assemble bands here, very easily. Everybody know exactly what’s required, and they draw on the same rich tradition which started with early New Orleans jazz men and went through R&B and soul, Latin influences, all kinds of stuff.

I decided I needed to be home to work on the music. We have some trips coming up to Japan, to Canada, some other gigs in South America. So there are always tours happening. But if I’m on a roll musically and have that sort of creative agenda particularly going, I like not to stray to far from it. I like to be close to all my instruments, something you can’t really do if you’re in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere.

Do you tour often, or does it vary? It varies enormously. I had period of about fifteen years when I was on tour pretty solidly with Taj Mahal and then Bonnie Raitt and John Scofield. And that was a lot of fun. Everyone else would go home and take a break, and I would go straight back on tour with my band from New Orleans. For the last couple of years, since Katrina - I think Katrina grounded everybody - when I was making my recent record,

For The Quick Center, will you be playing a variety of instruments? I’ll be focusing mainly on the piano. Piano in the New Orleans context is really a percussion instrument. It’s a great vehicle for playing the funky side of R&B stuff. And that’s what a lot of people like. And with the trio context, there’s a lot of room for me to kind of stretch out and play the piano. That seems to be what people like, so that’s what I give them.

Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew, 8 p.m., Saturday, April 13, 2013, Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Tickets: $35, $30, $25. The Quick Center is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For tickets, information, and directions, call (203) 254-4010, or 1-877-278-7396, or visit



PULSE: On Stage

By William Squier

Making a MirAcle Florida's Actors' Playhouse Celebrates a Quarter Century of Theatrical Excellence “It all started with a toothache,” claims Barbara S. Stein, Executive Producing Director of Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables, Florida. And, though she says it with a laugh, Stein isn’t kidding.


ll it took was a visit to the dental office of Stein’s husband, Dr. Lawrence E. Stein, by the head of one of the state’s largest chains of movie houses to set in motion a series of events that led Actors’ Playhouse to 25 years of producing professional theater in Florida’s Miami-Dade Country. As Barbara Stein remembers it, Michael Brown, the President of Wometco Enterprises, had come to see her husband with a dental emergency. During the time he spent in the chair, Brown mentioned to Dr. Stein that he was attempting to sell the lease to a twin-plex cinema in a strip mall near the couple’s home. “My husband and I had been going to that mall for years,” Stein explains. So, the doctor was very familiar with the theaters that Brown was taking about. The twin-plex was located in Kendall, a bedroom community in the southern part of the country. But, in the loss of that cinema Dr. Stein instantly saw an opportunity: the chance to bring live theater to town -- something he felt the area sorely lacked. And his wife agreed. Barbara Stein had grown up in Miami after moving to Florida when she was eight years old. “There was no culture,” Stein insists. “It was a dream to go to New York City to see Broadway shows. But, it wasn’t part of what you did.” When Barbara and Larry Stein met at the University of Pennsylvania, however, he introduced her to the pleasures of attending legitimate theater. Dr. Stein had been raised in Philadelphia where his parents had exposed him to plays and musicals from a very early age. So, he was eager to share his passion for the stage with Barbara. After they were married and moved to Florida the Steins continued to see shows as often as they could. But, the theatrical pickings were fairly slim.



So, when Larry proposed starting a theater, Barbara not only signed onto her husband's plan, she offered to take on the day-to-day responsibility of running it. “Within a week, we owned the lease,” Stein recalls. “Six months later, we’d built a stage.” The Actors’ Playhouse opened in 1988 with a professional production of the musical Man of La Mancha. And, slowly but surely, the theater began to attract a following. During their first two shows the Steins met and recruited the key members of their artistic team: Artistic Director, David Arisco, and the Director of Musical Theatre for Young Audiences, Earl Maulding. And once Arisco and Maulding joined the executive staff things really began to click. “They’re individuals who have terrific talent and abilities,” Stein explains. “So, we all

looked at how we could grow.” With Arisco’s input Actors’ Playhouse shifted away from staging well-known titles with large casts, eleven piece orchestras and expensive physical productions to intimate, Off-Broadway style musicals and reviews – shows that no other theater in the area was performing. “We changed the next show from 42nd Street to a little musical called Personals,” Stein recalls. “People heard about it and flocked to the theater.” For the next seven years, Actors’ Playhouse created a unique identity for itself by introducing local audiences to small shows with intriguing titles like Olympus on My Mind, Angry Housewives, Tom Foolery, 6 Women with Brain Death… and Prom Queens Unchained and their subscriber base grew. They also picked up an impressive number of Carbonell Awards – Florida’s answer to the Tonys (75 awards at last count!). “Who knows what life would have brought any of us had we not done this,” Stein wonders. Meanwhile, Earl Maulding was also making a name for the theater with Florida’s youngest playgoers. “We created the kids’ programming – we were the first in the area to do it, so there was no competition,” Stein notes. To house the productions, Actors’ Playhouse renovated the second of the theaters in the twin-plex. Beginning in 1988 with the quirky sounding Beauty and the Beast, Really? the decision to present theater for young audiences quickly proved to be a very savvy move. “The kids shows are routinely successful,” Stein reports. “They have an enormous return for a modest expense. And through the program – which bring 60,000 kids through the theater per year – we’re training them to be aware of and support culture.” And Actors’ Playhouse

PULSE: On Stage

Peter Rabbit

Alice and Wonderland

established a nationwide presence for its children’s productions when they launched the National Children’s Theatre Festival, now in its 17th year, which centers on an annual search for a new, family-friendly musical. Along the way, Barbara Stein says she learned the ins and outs of arts administration. “You can’t imagine how challenging this all is!” she emphasizes, with a laugh. “But, I’m a doer! I was always the president of this and the organizer of that. So, I figured it out.” Then, in 1992 Actors’ Playhouse was presented with a challenge that few theater administrators ever have to face. In August of that year Hurricane Andrew swept through Miami-Dade Country devastating the area. The hurricane made landfall only about 20 miles south of Kendall and Actors’ Playhouse was hit hard. “There were leaks in the roof that destroyed everything,” Stein recalls. “But, we rebuilt one side of the theater.” Members of the community rushed to help with donations of materials and services. And all of the artists involved in the next production, Damn Yankees, opted to work for free. “We kept the theater alive,” says Stein. At the same time, however, the Steins began to think about relocating Actors’ Playhouse. The mall was in the process of being transferred from one landlord to another when the hurricane hit and, because of that, repairs on the rest of the property had been stopped. And the new landlords made it clear to the theater that they would prefer to lease their space to a fitness club. “We had 10,000 square feet and had a long-term movie theater lease – which is very favorable -- so they wanted it badly,” Stein reveals. She decided to take action and phoned the folks at Wometco. At the time, the historic Miracle Theater in neighboring Coral Gables was the only movie house that Wometco hadn’t sold off. “But, they had a contract on it for a big box retail store!” Stein points out. “So, my call to them was timely. They thought that the city might have a


Actors’ Playhouse was one of the first regional theaters to be allowed to mount Disney’s popular musical Beauty and the Beast – an honor that was especially notable because it happened while the show was still enjoying a Broadway run. strong interest in talking to us.” They were right. “When I was growing up in Miami, the Miracle Mile in Coral Gables was a posh shopping street,” Stein continues. “All of that had changed. The city’s development director knew about us. We had a nice artistic reputation. And we were community leaders. So, the city took a very big risk. They bought the space and leased it to us for 45 years rent-free. Our obligation was to turn it into a performing arts center.” Once again, members of the local community came to their aid. In all, Stein estimates that people donated three and a half million dollars in goods and volunteer services to make restoration of the Miracle Theater possible. A key contributor to the project was the architect John Fullerton, who was willing to work pro bono to return the building to its former glory. The movie house opened in 1948 and, over the

next several decades, had been carved up into 4 cinemas. Fortunately, Fullerton discovered remnants of the theater’s original Art Deco décor still intact behind the modern walls and that became the inspiration for the overall redesign. Remarkably, the first phase of the project was finished in a mere six months, allowing the Steins to throw open the doors to their new home on November 17, 1995. And they launched their new theater as they had their original space with a production of Man of La Mancha. By 2004 the transformat ion of the Miracle Theater into a fully functioning center for the arts was complete. By then, in addition to the mainstage, the second floor housed both a small black box studio theater and a 300-seat proscenium theater that serves as the home of the Playhouse’s popular children’s theater programming. And a renaissance began to take place on Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile as new stores and restaurants filled the surrounding streets. In the years since, Actors’ Playhouse has continued to expand on its original artistic vision. Doubling the seating capacity of their mainstage -- from 300 to 600 -- allowed the theater to return to mounting larger shows like West Side Story and Jesus Christ Superstar. Actors’ Playhouse was one of the first regional theaters to be allowed to mount Disney’s popular musical Beauty and the Beast – an honor that was especially notable because it happened while the show was still enjoying a Broadway run. And in 2003 they launched the Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors. At the same time, they’ve gambled on the occasional premiere of a brand new work. They were chosen to present the southeastern regional premiere of songwriter Neil Sedaka’s Breaking Up is Hard to Do. But, their niche continues to be the intimate tuners that their audiences love, like Tom Foolery and I Love You. You’re Perfect. Now Change, each of which has been brought back several times. On April 7th Actors’ Playhouse will mark their 25th year with a gala evening at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Miami. Along with cocktails, dinner and Latin music, guests will be treated to a special performance by the cast of their production of In the Heights. For tickets and more details visit Actors’ Playhouse’s Musical Theatre for Young Audiences will also join in the anniversary celebration by reviving Excellent Conquest, a modern day, rock musical that was written for and debuted by theater back in 1994. The production runs from April 24 to May 25. “It’s been a long 25 years,” Barbara Stein concedes. “Dave and Earl have been there for all 25 of them. But, my husband Larry Stein is the man! I’m so proud of what he put me into. I love what we do.”





Daisy column

miami society. the powerful, the chic, the unique

by daisy olivera

Photo: Eduardo Ford

The Webster owner Laura Heriard Dubreuil with Stella McCartney

Afternoon Tea with Stella McCartney

standouts like “Hairspray” and “Miss Universe” with appropriate costumes of course. “A Night in Bangkok,” was the theme, with a lavish buffet of delicious Thai food and oodles of bubbly. Most of the action was on the expansive 2500 square foot terrace, landscaped with grass, trees and a fountain (which had to be removed to set up the stage). There were traditional Thai dancers, a half man/half woman (think Victor-Victoria), and a female impersonator. But the pièce de résistance was a spot-on celebrity look-alike of Psy, the Korean creator of the global hit, “Gangnam Style” who came with backup dancers and also nailed the dancing! The crowd went wild! Pranich admits he rehearsed the dance steps and song for three days but gave up. “It was Korean not Thai. I know when to quit!” The uber-chic crowd of over 200 was a dazzling mix of Miami’s most fashionable, socialites, designers, press, photographers, gay and straight from many different countries as is typical in Miami. The DJ from SoHo Beach House kept us dancing long into the night. Another flawless “Tui Style” night! Photo: Eduardo Ford

There was none more stellar gathering during Art Basel than afternoon tea with Stella McCartney at The Webster. Laure Hériard Dubreuil, founder of this favorite fashion destination, hosted the tea party. There were rivers of Veuve Clicquot flowing as Miami’s most chic ladies gathered at the exquisite boutique housed within the historic hotel, to preview McCartney’s brightly colored resort collection. McCartney was chatty and charming and happily posed for photos. Said McCartney, “I’m lucky that people turn up and they’re enthusiastic, makes me feel like I’m doing my job right!”

Restaurant mogul John Kunkel and wife Allison, collector George Lindemann

1111 Lincoln owners Mario Cader-Frech and Robert Wennett

TUI Pranich Celebrates 25th Year in Design With yet another legendary bash in his signature, overthe-top style, Tui Pranich celebrated 25 years as one of the top interior designers working today. Pranich, who was born in Thailand, grew up among the royal family there, travelled the world and graduated from Cornell’s School of Architecture. His interior design projects include work in major cities that range from the public spaces and the restaurant at the Setai on Broad Street in New York to the private homes of Jennifer Lopez, singer Shakira and director Francis Ford Coppola. Pranich has several homes around the world – Paris, Bangkok, New York – but this was held at his Miami Beach home; a spectacular, contemporary loft at Aqua with glittery views of the city and bay. Our creative host adores theme parties and gets into character. I remember



Photo: Eduardo Ford

Photo: Eduardo Ford

Petra Levin, Tui Pranich, Deco Drive WSVN CH 7 anchor Louis Aguirre

Miami Symphony Orchestra conductor Eduardo Marturet and wife, actress Athina Kiloumi Photo: Eduardo Ford

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VENU Magazine #18 Mar/Apr/May 2013  

VENÜ Contemporary Culture Magazine highlights the regions finest professional and emerging creative talent with stunning visuals and intrigu...

VENU Magazine #18 Mar/Apr/May 2013  

VENÜ Contemporary Culture Magazine highlights the regions finest professional and emerging creative talent with stunning visuals and intrigu...