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IS for versus. this conversation is about to get CONTROVERSIAL ...



Now at home in Hell’s Kitchen. from $39 FINAL WEEKS

from $79 MUST CLOSE APR 7





directed by LOGAN VAUGHN

music by DUNCAN SHEIK lyrics by STEVEN SATER choreographed by RICK and JEFF KUPERMAN directed by JESSIE NELSON

Warning: Theater experience may grab you and not let go. T I X AT M CCT H EAT ER .O RG / (646) 506 - 9393

PR 7



ard-winning w A ® y m m a r G and AITRESS W d from the Tony® n a G IN N E K ING AWA creators of SPR

E C I L A BY HEART new musical


book by

choreographed by


When the madness of the world is too much to bear, we take refuge in the stories we love. The Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning creators of SPRING AWAKENING reunite for their new musical ALICE BY HEART, inspired by ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. In the rubble of the London Blitz of World War II, Alice Spencer’s budding teen life is turned upside down, and she and her dear friend Alfred are forced to take shelter in an underground tube station. This world premiere musical encourages us all to celebrate the transformational power of the imagination, even in the harshest of times.

T I X AT M CCT H EAT ER .O RG / (646) 506 - 9393 the cast of ALICE BY HEART / photo by DEEN VAN MEER


JAMES BALDWIN In 1979 on WNET’s City Edition

(check local listings)

Streaming on NYC-ARTS.ORG



Toxic masculinity. There. That got your attention, didn’t it? Eve Ensler covers a lot in her interview this month, including abuse, sex, and why men are an essential part of the conversation, The author of The Vagina Monologes isn’t the only one with something to say in our V issue.. David Porter muses on what it means to be a man in the era of fourth wave feminism. And we weigh in on the tea v coffee debate; cats v dogs; meat v veg; and fur v faux. Woohoo! Let the debates begin.

Ruth Walker Editor, W42ST Sign up to my weekly newsletter at EDITOR RUTH WALKER










SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR SANDRA MANGAN (646) 847-9645 (646) 535-4407

March Edition






All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher ©2019. Please note: Every effort has been made to avoid errors, misspellings, and omissions in this publication. However, if you spot one please accept our sincere apologies.


All the highlights of our 50th issue celebration.

What does it mean to be a man in the era of fourth wave feminism? David Porter gets woke.





Sculptor Jordan Baker-Caldwell talks art, inspiration, and taking it easy.

Our pick of the big events you MUST see this month – starting with the grand opening of Hudson Yards.


How she lived without a mobile phone ... and why she eventually caved.


A revealing interview and photo shoot with the writer of The Vagina Monologues.

Hashtag your Instagram photographs #W42ST to get involved.

Glenda Jackson is one tough broad.



How a former celebrity reporter is making her mark in the business of Broadway.

32 THE MARIAH REPORT Two fans with plenty to say – and a platform to say it.


Their commitment keeps W42ST free for everyone else to enjoy. Please support them with your love and your business 34th St Partnership

Dianne & Elisabeth

Gotham Mini Storage

Hellcat Annie’s Tap Room


P.S. Kitchen

Acupuncture by Kristin Misik

Elizabeth Saunders

Grand Central Partnership

Hibernia Bar

Manhattan Plaza Health


The New York Medium

AKC Canine Retreat

Ensemble Studio Theatre

Green Fig

Intrepid Museum



Times Square Alliance

Baire Hair Removal

Exit Realty

Hafetz & Associates

Jadite Picture Framing

Mark Fisher Fitness


Title Boxing


Fine & Dandy

Heart of Chelsea


MCC Theater

The Artist Co-op


Body Factory Skin Care

Fountain House Gallery

Hell’s Creative

Lansdowne Road


Times Square Alliance

Wells Fargo

Chez Josephine

Frank M Burke

Hell’s Kitchen Barbers

Leanne Schanzer

New Victory Theater

The Marshal















Two die-hard drinkers discuss their beverage of choice.


Can the most googled diet of 2018 live in harmony with its polar opposite?


An actor and a publicist on their go-to places to eat, drink, and play in the neighborhood.


From walk up to elevator building to doorman and amenities. How one woman went through three apartments in two years – and managed to save money each time.


44 42

That commute to Jazz at Lincoln Center just got a whole lot easier.

50 62 36


Female-led businesses delivering the goods.


54 FUR V FAUX COVER When Victoria Black is not drawing or combing through the shelves at

The debate heats up.


Anti-gravity fitness has Sophia Strawser facing all her fears at once.


Barnes & Noble,

Let’s get things straight!

she’s probably


eating donuts from her favorite bakery. She’s worked with clients including the Art Directors Club, Penguin Books, and Brooklyn Grooming Co (yay beards!). thevictoriablack. com


Two pages of Hell’s Kitchen’s most handsome pups. Get involved by emailing


“When you bring home a dog, you bring home your best friend. When you bring home a cat, you welcome in your future murderer.”








eaders, contributors, business partners, cover artists, friends, and the family of brilliant people we’ve featured over the last four years – all came together last month to celebrate W42ST’s 50th issue, at the exciting new event loft space, Casa, on W51st St - 12th Ave. Everyone was talking about the cocktails, provided by Belle Isle Moonshine! Thanks, too, to Fresh From Hell for providing the food, Bacana for the sangria, and Grand Cru Wines for quenching our thirst. Here’s to the next 50!



Above: Chelsey Hill’s September 2019 cover won the popular vote; Alvaro’s cover for the anniversary issue. Left: Zachary Schmahl and Jonny Polizzi.


Clockwise from top: Austin Murray and Aaron Hock, Ensemble Studio Theatre; Lora Aroyo, Lynsey Farnsworth, Alexandra Huff, and Joe Rudy; Ian Llano and Howard Miller; Carla Duval and Dan Yaiullo; Cera Zittlow, Michael Bellantuoni, editor Ruth Walker, and Diana Kusko; cover artist Ian Sklarsky and publisher Phil O’Brien; Vanetta Schoefield and writer Sophia Strawser; Henri Myers and Terry Singh






Clockwise from top: Alvaro and Chelsey Hill; Korcan Cinar, Anthony Kitch, and Abdur Rahman; Robert Olson, Rich Barton, Sean Carlson, and Mike Collazo; Billy Woodward and Rosie Cohe; Benjamin Hey and editor Ruth Walker; Nacho Guevara, Elizabeth Moss, Shiri Eshel, and Sue Pazos; Christopher Harrison, Phil O’Brien, and Jillian Sage.




Reach for the sky Artist Jordan Baker-Caldwell talks art, the evolution of Hell’s Kitchen and finding zen in the city Interview Ruth Walker Photograph Hollis King I was making art before I could speak My mom told me I used to draw all the time.

The greatest gift my parents gave me

My dad is a musician – he plays the piano and the guitar – and my mom’s a jewelry designer. But I feel like I got two different types of creativity from both of them. My business acumen, my thinking about myself as a creative person in putting my art out there, came from her. My dad has this other side of being able to focus on something and learn it really, really well. And because of that, I’ve been able to teach myself a lot of things. I started as a child making things out of clay. Then I progressed, made things out of clay and wood. Then it went on to metal. But at every turn, when I didn’t know something, I just kind of tried it. And that’s definitely part of my magic. “I don’t know. Let’s see if it works.” Sometimes it works. Sometimes it just blows up.


I came to Hell’s Kitchen in 2006

I was born and raised in New York, and used to live up in Harlem. Then I moved down here, to an apartment on W36th St. It was my first foray into the world of living on my own, and I stayed. There were a lot of things that were centered around this area for me for a long time. One of the places I used to love was a store called Daphne’s – it was a great store on 34th St and Broadway that I used to always come to, because they had great clothes. And my mom used to go to trade



WEST SIDE STORIES shows in the Javits Center all the time. So I was always on this block. Did it feel dangerous? I think it was dangerous for a long time, but I’ve always been a huge person. I don’t know. People don’t seem to wanna mess with me, for whatever reason. But, yeah, it was kind of like a zombie movie. No one was ever around. The only people that were here were the people who knew to be here. You could almost see like a tumbleweed bouncing by.

All about Ascension

I was the first black – and youngest ever – artist to have a permanent sculpture in Manhattan. It was fortuitous that it just happened to be a block away from my place. I wish I could have said I planned it, but it just kinda happened that way. I’d had the idea for years, and was looking for a home for this piece that I’d envisioned. It actually came from a dream, where I saw this shape that I didn’t really understand. Then in my mind I spun it around, and got to see all the angles. I didn’t know what it was, I just had this weird kind of feeling of growth. I promptly forgot about it. Then I made a similar version of what is now the larger Ascension. And even when I made

BIO Born in Harlem, and a Hell’s Kitchen native since 2006, Jordan Baker-Caldwell became the youngest artist to have a permanent public sculpture when his ninefoot tubular steel artwork Ascension was erected on the corner of

“Just go wherever you can slowly. Then sit down. Have some tea. And relax. If you can find those moments, you can change your entire day”

W36th St - 9th Ave. He is on the board of the Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance. jordancanfly. com JORDAN’S HK Skylight Diner, W34th St - 9th Ave Blossom du Jour, 9th Ave 43rd/44th St Margay’s, 10th

the piece, I didn’t realize until I actually looked at it from a certain angle that this was the object from my dream.

There’s a sense of rising and lifting off

That’s exactly why I think it worked out so well being in Hell’s Kitchen – it’s the perfect example of what’s happening around here. There’s a lot of moving and changing and growth, and you can see it everywhere you go. Things are in a state of flux. The neighborhood’s becoming a whole new area but still retaining some of the old character, and everyone is figuring out how that’s gonna work out. It’s all happening slowly, kind of like how I would imagine the piece moving – evolving and growing.


Ave - 36th/37th St Enoch’s Bike Shop, 10th Ave - 37th St Hudson River Park

I always loved Hell’s Kitchen

You’re in the center of the city. You can go anywhere, up or down. And there’s a certain kind of creative atmosphere in the neighborhood. Every once in a while, you see an actor in some movie or some show … you still have that feeling that there are people who are creative living here. All around, there are actors, or dancers. It has an energy that you don’t feel everywhere in the city.

If I were the mayor of HK …

I’d buy one of these buildings and make it all artists’ lofts. I feel like that’s one of the biggest problems with the city – there’s not enough support for people who make the city great.

Where I hang

My favorite place, where me and all my friends go, is Skylight Diner. My wife is vegan, so we like Blossom du Jour. I don’t drink coffee, but I like Margays. And another spot is Enoch’s Bike Shop on the corner of 10th Ave - 37th St. I’ve been going to them for years and fixing my bike. And it’s the place where I often just happen to walk in and have an hour-long conversation. It’s a great spot.

I know it’s not a very New Yorker mentality …

But I’m kind of zen. There are some times where you have to really be in that kind of tense, New York state, but those times are few and far between. I just think sometimes you just have to be present. All those people trying to drink tons of pots of coffee. “I gotta go! Gotta go!” No, you don’t have to go. Just wake up a little bit earlier and walk slowly. That’s my thing. Just go wherever you can slowly. Then sit down. Have some tea. And relax. If you can find those moments, you can change your entire day.

My Hell’s Kitchen happy place

I love the waterfront. I go up and down the whole thing, just to relax and be calm. I’m inspired all the time, and I have ideas pretty much every second. But that’s a place where I go and let things settle. I just kind of sit there and think.


Limited Engagement March 27th – June 30th

410 West 42nd St.



What’s On

NEWS March 2019


After years of watching the towers of Hudson Yards rise to our south, New York’s newest neighborhood will officially open this month … but why should we care? What is it? The largest private real estate development in the history of the United States – 28 acres of towers and public parks supported by a platform above 30 active LIRR tracks and three rail tunnels. It officially opens on March 15. What’s there? More than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space, more than 100 shops, restaurants, a school, a hotel, an arts/performance center, three parks, and the highest man made outdoor viewing area in the western hemisphere. 10 Hudson Yards is home to companies including Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman, L’Oréal, and VaynerMedia. 30 Hudson Yards will house WarnerMedia, which includes HBO, CNN, Turner Broadcasting, and Warner Bros. BlackRock is moving its corporate headquarters to number 50. The city’s first Neiman Marcus takes pride of place in the 720,000-square-foot retail center, along with Zara, H&M, Tory Burch, Jo Malone, and Sephora. And dining options will include everything from high-end, fancy nosh through Citarella, to Shake Shack. At the center of it all will be artist Thomas Heatherwick’s The Vessel,

will commission and present visual art, live performances, and popular culture. It will open on April 5 with Soundtrack of America, a fivenight concert series conceived by filmmaker Steve McQueen, celebrating the impact of African American music. Other highlights include Norma Jeane Baker of Troy, a partly spoken, partly sung work about the lives and myths of Marilyn Monroe and Helen of Troy, starring Ben Whishaw and Renée Fleming; Björk’s Cornucopia, the artist’s first concert developed with theater collaborators, and directed by John Tiffany (the director of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child); and Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a futuristic kung fu musical co-conceived by Chen Shi-Zheng and the screenwriters of Kung Fu Panda.

a mile of vertical, interconnected stairways covered in coppercolored steel. And what’s that weird building on wheels? That’ll be The Shed, the city’s newest arts center – a jaw-dropping movable, adaptable structure that


Above: The Vessel – a mile of interconnected stairways. Let’s climb!

Will there be Instagram opportunities? I’m so glad you asked that. The answer is: hell yeah! That’s because, apart from the architecture, there will also be Snarkitecture. The team behind the kind of pop-up immersive museums that have become part of the city’s social media landscape will have a permanent home in Hudson Yards, putting on three exhibitions a year.

What’s On

NEWS March 2019 who find themselves performing opposite each other in a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Currently in previews, opening night is March 14.

Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

Ain’t Too Proud Imperial Theatre

This musical about the life and times of The Temptations is already in previews, with an opening night of March 21. It covers not just the hits, but how the band met, the heights they hit, and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear them apart as the US fell into civil unrest.


Signature Theatre Nudity and graphic sexual content are promised in this play in which Alan Cumming plays an older art collector opposite Ronald Peet’s young black artist on the verge of his first show. Ends March 31.

The Big Blind

Jazz at Lincoln Center The March 1-2 world premier of Kurt Elling’s radio-style noir drama is set in the seedy underbelly of the 1950s Chicago nightclub scene, when an up-and-coming jazz singer faces the loss of his voice, both literally and figuratively.

Musical Mondays

Second Stage Theater To celebrate the theater’s 40th anniversary, every Monday in March they’ll be putting on a onenight-only concert of some of the most defining musicals from their history – starting with The Last Five Years on March 4, followed

by Saturday Night on March 11, Dogfight on March 18, and Next to Normal on March 25.

New York Art Week

March is all about art, starting with SPRING/BREAK Art Show in Times Square (March 5-31), then going straight into the Armory Show at Piers 92/94 (March 7-10), Volta at Pier 90 (March 6-10), Clio Art Fair (March 7-10) at 550 W29th St, for independent artists, and the Affordable Art Fair closes out the month at Metropolitan Pavilion, March 28-31.

Burn This

Hudson Theatre Adam Driver and Keri Russell smolder in a play about two unlikely strangers brought together by a mysterious death. Previews begin March 15.

Hillary and Clinton

Golden Theatre Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow


star as the political power couple in a play that examines the politics of marriage, gender roles, and the limitations of experience. Previews begin March 16.

Billy Idol

The Town Hall It’s a nice day for a nostalgia trip to your punk past. The ‘White Wedding’ singer plays an unplugged gig of new work and classics on March 27 & 28.

Be More Chill

Lyceum Theatre Joe Iconis’s hit musical about a teenager who takes a pill that can make him more popular has transferred to Broadway. Now in previews, opening night March 10.

Kiss Me Kate

Studio 54 The Cole Porter classic stars Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase as two divorced, geocentric performance

Booth Theatre Taylor Mac writes this sequel to the Shakespearean bloodfest, starring Nathan Lane, Andrea Martin, and Kristine Nielsen. Previews begin March 5.


Circle in the Square A radical reimagining of the Rogers and Hammerstein classic that is transferring from St Ann’s Warehouse to Broadway. Previews begin March 19.


Winter Garden Theatre The 1988 classic Tim Burton movie is adapted for the stage, starring Alex Brightman and Sophia Anne Caruso. Previews begin March 28.


Walter Kerr Theatre The folk opera based on the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice begins previews on March 22 and opens April 17.


Marriot Marquis Theatre Based, of course, on the Dustin Hoffman movie about an outof-work actor who tries crossdressing to get more roles, this new musical starts previews on March 29 and opens April 23.


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How I lived without a cell phone



ach weekday at 4am, the alarm on my cell phone goes off. ‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles blasts from its teeny-weeny speakers. I wake up and make myself the world’s strongest coffee. It’s my favorite time of day. All things are possible at this hour. I sip my coffee, savoring its bitterness on my tongue. Then I sit, cross my legs, open my Headspace app, and meditate for 20 minutes. This routine is how I keep my sanity for the next 24 hours. Five years ago, I could never have imagined a cell phone could be such an integral part of my daily human existence, let alone my sacred morning hours. Between the years of 2010 through 2015, I lived without a smart, flip, or even one of those Nokia phones that looked more like remote controls than phones. My main mode of contact was a landline plugged into the wall as Alexander Graham Bell intended. I mean, seriously, he’d lose his shit if he knew we could watch porn on the subway using our phones. (FYI: You are totally gross if you do, especially during rush hour and/or when small children are present. You know who you are. We can see you.) How did I live without a cell phone for so many years? The answer is the one I give to people who ask how I live without drinking alcohol or owning a television set. “I live just like you do, minus

And how I eventually caved

ABOUT CLAUDIA Claudia Chung is a writer who moonlights as a school teacher. She is currently working on a book of essays and stories on the trials, tribulations, and the funny in being a young widow.

the booze and television.” You figure it out. You adjust. You live. I can honestly say that now – after four years of owning a cell phone – I’m not sure I can ever go back. But I do miss those years of being disconnected. It made others and myself more accountable. Instead of going back and forth countless times to work out a location and a time to meet, a short phone call was made ahead of time and plans arranged live. There was no going back. All parties had to keep their word. Period. I rarely got lost. I got into the habit of looking up directions at home, writing them down on a yellow Post-it, and stuffing it in my pocket. God forbid I did get lost and couldn’t find my way, I’d just ask another person on the street, preferably a good-looking male, to help me. I was forced into instant humanto-human contact, experience and serendipitous meetings. But, most

of all, I miss the complete freedom of disconnection. Solitude is a gift I relinquish every day by having a cell phone in my pocket. The idea that anyone can reach me, regardless of the time of day, feels intrusive and a tad slutty. Why am I giving myself away? Now, let’s flip the coin … These days, should I leave my cell phone at home, my ego is running amok, screaming: “Maybe someone is in love with me and needing to tell me!” “Is someone trying to steal my identity?!” “How will the world run properly without me being connected?!” Some experts have coined the term nomophobia for phone separation anxiety. It’s just like a deathly fear of birds is a real mental disorder called ornithophobia. I acutely suffer from both. However, I’m not on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. I don’t see myself ever on them, but never say never. I will always, always pay you back in cold, hard cash, never through Venmo. And you’ll never see me waiting in line playing Pokémon Go. I’ll be the gal holding a book borrowed from the local library. In the meantime, if you happen to be in love with me, you can reach me via email, text, or call me on my cell phone. I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can … most likely tomorrow.

“Alexander Graham Bell would lose his shit if he knew we could watch porn on the subway using our phones.”







All about Eve The author discusses the evolution of The Vagina Monologues, the #MeToo movement, and how men are the answer


Photographs and interview: Howard Schatz

ve Ensler has accomplished many things, including the writing of nine plays. She is best known for her play The Vagina Monologues, written in 1996. The once controversial and hugely influential play has become a classic, translated into 48 languages and performed in more than 140 countries. It won an Obie Award in 1997. She has received many other awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Isabelle Stevenson Award at the 65th Tony Awards. For my project Above and Beyond, I was very pleased to have Eve Ensler come to the studio for a portrait sitting and interview, which follows.

on television, you couldn’t say vagina; people say vagina now, and say it everywhere and on television. It doesn’t seem unnatural, and it doesn’t seem strange. When I started to do the play, the number of women who would come up to me afterwards, would literally line up to talk to me. I thought, great, they’re going to be talking to me about their wonderful orgasms and their sexual desire. In fact, what most women were lining up to tell me was how they’d been raped or battered, or abused. So, that’s why we started V-Day 22 years ago, to see how we could use the play to stop violence against women and girls. Our movement has allowed discussion about the right to talk about and think about, and protect our bodies. I look at what this next evolution is through the #MeToo movement, or the #Time’sUp movement; all those grow out of the work we’ve done. It’s a continuum. When I went through airports, people would stop me and they would say: “I

‘I thought, great, they’re going to be talking to me about their wonderful orgasms. In fact, most women were lining up to tell me they’d been raped or battered, or abused.”

HS: How has The Vagina Monologues, and your work in general, impacted our culture? EE: When I started The Vagina Monologues over 22 years ago, no one could say the word vagina. We couldn’t say it on television. You could say penis


Above and left: Eve Ensler photographed as part of Howard Schatz’s Above and Beyond project.

saw you in the Vagina Monologues.” Now people stop me and say: “I was in the Vagina Monologues.” I think this year there were 500 colleges that did the show, and every year there are hundreds. Young women not only have come into their sexuality and feel good about it, but they have become activists, leaders, and people who are fighting for social justice. They’ve become social workers and funders.


PEOPLE HS: Regarding the violence of men toward women, what is that about? Where does it come from? EE: Patriarchy, which is only 17,000 years old. If you think about humanity, we’re 200,000 years old. Patriarchy occupies a very small period of time within the existence of human consciousness, and I think it is deadly. I’ve thought about this for most of my life, being a survivor of sexual abuse, and incredible violence.

“Even the good men, the men who don’t rape, the men who don’t attack, the men who don’t batter, the men who don’t harass women; they are silent bystanders. They are silent participants if they are not standing up in a powerful way to end this violence.” What compels a man to rape a woman who says: “Stop?” What compels men to grab someone’s body at work, or harass someone? Or a father raping his daughter, as in my case? You grow up in a system that has taught you that men have all the rights. It’s first of all about domination, and the belief that there is one gender superior to another with the right to dominate.


Above: Kori got lucky with an incredible private roof terrace.

It’s a belief in the all-powerful father. But really, if you look at what it’s about, it’s about toxic masculinity and bringing up boys to believe, for example, that they can’t be weak; weakness means you’re emotional, that you’re vulnerable, that you’re able to cry, that you’re able to express your longing and desire, and your depth, and your empathy. Empathy is completely ruled out because empathy makes you weak. If you look at military training, one of the first things they beat out of young recruits are their feelings. You’re not allowed to feel worried, you’re not allowed to feel fear, you’re not allowed to feel vulnerable or terrified, you’re certainly not allowed to feel any empathy for your enemy, who you will be killing,


Above: Eve Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues more than 22 years ago, when the word vagina couldn’t be said on television.

because if you feel for them you will not be able to kill them. I think we cannot underestimate what happens to young boys when they are told every time they have an emotion, to shut it down. Not to feel. Not to cry. Not to care. What is in the hearts of men that allows this kind of violence? I think it’s the central question of our times. It’s the same thing that allows us to destroy the Earth, it’s the same thing that allows us to separate immigrant mothers and migrant mothers, and undocumented mothers from their children. It’s the hardening of the heart, and that patriarchal kind of bubble is the bubble under which the entire planet right now is suffocating and being incinerated.



PEOPLE HS: Do women have a responsibility in this situation? EE: The people who are responsible are men, and even the good men, the men who don’t rape, the men who don’t attack, the men who don’t batter, the men who don’t harass women; they are silent bystanders. They are silent participants if they are not standing up in a powerful way to end this violence. They have daughters, they have mothers, they have aunts, they have wives, they have girlfriends … why isn’t this fight their fight? I honestly think if we’re going to undo patriarchy, men have to lead this, because they are the people who benefit from it.

point where they are willing to stand up to their abuser, they are the greatest defenders of the abuser. Because to reckon with what has been done to you, to understand the oppression you’re suffering, to step into the pain you are actually feeling is really, really difficult. I think when you’re abused as a child, in whatever form, sexually or physically, you are a consequence of violence. My whole childhood was about being violated in one way or another, whether I was thrown against walls, or threatened with kitchen knives, or punched in the nose in restaurants. And then the early childhood sexual abuse completely screwed my mind. I think by the time I was 17 I was an alcoholic. I was already drinking every day, and I was drugging every day. And I grew up in the 60s, and I was stoned all through high school. All of that was just not to feel the horror that was inside of me, and I reached a point where I had drunk and drugged myself to the bottom. I was insanely promiscuous, I didn’t know who I’d end up with every night, I would just go out and … I grew up believing that if somebody wanted me sexually, I didn’t have a choice to say no, because I had never had a choice to say no. It took me years to understand that if someone wanted me, I could actually say: “I don’t want this.” Because it had been programmed into me that I didn’t have a choice. I was very fortunate that when I hit 23 or 24, and I bottomed out, and I was near death, that there were people who intervened, who really took me into a program and helped me recover.

‘I was insanely promiscuous ... I grew up believing that if somebody wanted me sexually, I didn’t have a choice to say no, because I had never had a choice.’

HS: Where was your mother when this was happening to you? EE: My mother was a poor woman who had nowhere to go, who married a man who had money, then had three children. My mother didn’t have a job, my mother didn’t have work, my mother was my father’s fourth child. She was devoted to my father, she was his child. She served him.

HS: But when you suffered what happened? EE: I can blame my mother for not standing up, and believe me, I’ve had periods in my life when I did blame my mother, but in the end I have to say, my mother was as much a prisoner to patriarchal oppression as I was. What was she going to do with a violent man who was her husband? She was just as afraid of him as I was. We all were. We lived under his tyranny. There are battered wives, before they reach that



HS: I’ve seen some of your talks with an audience of women. Have you spoken with groups of men? EE: When I started doing the Vagina Monologues, very few men came to see it. Now when it’s done, it’s half and half in the audience. That’s changed completely. And I can’t tell you how many young men would come up to me and say: “Thank you for this play, I’ve learned so much about vaginas. My girlfriend was raped, and now I feel like I know how to approach it.”

PEOPLE Opposite from top: The Dresden Venus by Giorgione; Titian’s Reclining Venus; The Grande Odalisque by Ingres. Below: The photographer and writer worked together to recreate the famous nudes.

I’ve never hated men. I’ve never felt like men are awful. I think men are irresponsible. I don’t think men are standing up in ways they should be standing up. HS: When the interview and portraiture had ended and Eve Ensler was at the door, about to leave our studio, I said to her: “There are a number of famous paintings, each of a woman posing on a chaise which have been done by many famous artists.” I then described it and showed her images. “Since you are so in touch with sensuality and your own sexuality, would you consider our working together to create such an image of you sometime?” She responded: “I’ll think about it.” She wrote me a few days later and we set about making plans.



To subscribe to Howard Schatz’s weekly Journal (Blog) “On Seeing” covering photography, art, imagination, creativity,  and the pursuit of surprise and wonder send your email address to contact@ A complete catalog of the Journal is available at


Et #MeToo, brute?

What does it mean to be a man in the age of fourth wave feminism? David Porter is giving it his best shot


or a time in San Francisco, I lived with a girl I knew from college. And another girl we both knew was in town for Bay to Breakers, the legendary seven-mile race from the Financial District to Ocean Beach. We threw a drunken brunch after the race and, once lit up with desire and crap sparkling wine, I pursued our guest around my apartment as if I were Pepé Le Pew and she were a black cat with an unfortunate stripe of white paint along her back. I remember both of us laughing. Then I blacked out, only to find out – after another friend developed a roll of film – I had been dragged to the couch, where a few friends shaved the hair off my chest and stomach. It was “all in good fun” – perhaps one of the most odious expressions historically employed in defense of male sexual aggression and, even worse, sexual assault. I was drunk, on my way to incapacitated, and I don’t think I laid a finger on this gamine alumna, thankfully. Looking back at this particularly drunken Sunday afternoon, and other

episodes from the seemingly brief interim between puberty and fatherhood, I can’t find an instance when I forced myself on someone else: my conscience is no grimier than a winter windshield which, by my current standards and cresting 50, seems almost pristine. I’m a 21st-century Noah, batting six-for-Ten Commandments. These days, though, my Bay to Breakers bolero would be considered sexual harassment, perhaps assault. I get it, and I like to think this admission is proof of some all-toonecessary maturity and sensitivity. Proof I’m evolving. Dipping a toe in the chilly deep end of adulthood. I don’t believe chasing after a woman, flecked with slaver, is an expression of masculinity. What is an expression of masculinity? Untucked plaid flannel shirts with a clashing plaid scarf? Van Halen on vinyl? Weightlifting, especially chest day? Drinking milk and orange juice straight from the carton? Misplacing my keys every day? I don’t know. I feel masculine, but I can’t explain why, which bespeaks either my failure as a masculine entity, as a writer, or both.

“What is an expression of masculinity? Untucked plaid flannel shirts with a clashing plaid scarf? Van Halen on vinyl?”



PEOPLE There really isn’t anything a man can do that a woman can’t. I can reach items on the top shelf at Food Emporium, open jars, and mismatch plaid. And I supplied some of the chromosomal

‘The seminal donation I willingly, thrillingly made to my son’s existence can be acquired across town at Manhattan CryoBank.’ matériel required to bring my beautiful son to God’s green Earth, but that’s about it. At this point, however, it’s only heterosexual women who need men for


sex, and the seminal donation I willingly, thrillingly made to my son’s existence can be acquired right across town at Manhattan CryoBank. And thus my gender shuffles off to obsolescence. So, as Lenin asked, what is to be done? I want my son to understand that a person’s disability, ethnicity, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation determine absolutely nothing about that person’s ambition, ethics, intellect, or morality. I want him to believe anything is possible, for each of us, by any of us, and for all of us. I want to help him see the potential for love, for greatness, for the incredible imaginative flights inherent within every one of us, as this might be the best way for him to find this within himself. As for his father, I’m trying to find the same path to the waterfall. I am striving to be a gentleman, something I believe is gender neutral. I’m trying, as I endlessly take arms against my sea of troubles, to dismantle my narcissism and, as much as I can, see everyone else as a universe much like I, one comprised of more burning stars than black holes. I’m on my way home with two dozen roses. I’m singing along with Sinatra. I’m holding doors open for everyone.


Above: What defines a man? Pumping iron on chest day? Or, below, mismatched plaid?

Changes, David Bowie Mannish Boy, Muddy Waters Growin’ Up, Bruce Springsteen Sixteen Blue, The Replacements I’m a Boy, The Who Life with the Lions, Billy Bragg Child into a Man, Peter Himmelman Real Men, Joe Jackson Sexual Healing, Marvin Gaye The Ballad of Billy the Kid, Billy Joel 29, Gin Blossoms A Strange Boy, Joni Mitchell In My Room, The Beach Boys Stories for Boys, U2 Boys Don’t Cry, The Cure He Ain’t Heavy, The Hollies Thirteen, Big Star Only the Young, Journey It was a Very Good Year, Frank Sinatra Walk like a Man, Bruce Springsteen Like a Rock, Bob Seger A Brand New Book, Graham Parker Bad Reputation, Freedy Johnston Bad Reputation,Joan Jett & The Blackhearts These Important Years, Husker Du The Boy with the Thorn in his Side, The Smiths Innocence, Kevin Salem Life Goes On, The Kinks Cars and Girls, Prefab Sprout She’s a Girl and I’m a Man, Lloyd Cole I Wish, Stevie Wonder Never Let Me Down Again, Depeche Mode The Wild Boys, Duran Duran Adolescence, Prefab Sprout Teenage Kicks, The Undertones Boy About Town, The Jam The Boys of Summer, Don Henley Authority Song, John Mellencamp Running on Empty, Jackson Browne The Logical Song, Supertramp The Captain and the Kid, Jimmy Buffett Kid, Pretenders, Marching On, The Alarm And the Cradle Will Rock, Van Helen I’m Eighteen, Alice Cooper Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana Time Runs Wild, Danny Wilde I’m a Man, Bo Diddley No Hard Feelings,The Avett Brothers It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World, James Brown






BROADWAYbaby How did a woman with no theater background become the city’s newest arts upstart?


Words Ruth Walker Photograph Nacho Guevara

o one does the sidehustle like a New Yorker. We’re in it to win it (and, God knows, this city is no place for the mediocre). Actors wait tables between auditions, writers walk dogs when the work dries up … some of us drive Uber or pick up social media gigs or start podcasts, all to make the rent or fire up our curiosity. So when Elizabeth Durand Streisand was pitching for investment for this great little idea she had to take the stress (and expense) out of buying tickets to a Broadway show, it was obviously not her only source of income. “It was interesting, going to investor meetings,” she says. “No one’s looked at your deck in advance. But as you’re walking in the door, they Google you, and they’re like, ‘Did you write this article about Kim Kardashian this morning?’ I’m like, ‘I did. But also I sold 100 Broadway tickets, here I am.’” For 18 months, she combined her day job as a celebrity reporter (covering such diverse subjects as who performed the best Charleston on Dancing With the Stars, swinging – and I don’t mean the

dancing kind – for seniors, and what your vaginal discharge really means) with running Broadway Roulette. “It was a lot!” she says. “And I had a baby. It was crazy.” She conceived the business concept as a kind of happy accident. “You know that John Lennon quote, ‘Life’s what happens while you’re making other plans.’ I didn’t set out to be a celebrity journalist, I set out to be a fashion editor, and then I was broke. And celebrity journalism was easy and paid really well, and there I was. Ten years later, I was really good at it, and really settled in it, but I wanted to get married. “My husband, who’s much older than me, wouldn’t marry me unless I lived with him for six months. I call it our first negotiation. I told him I’d live with him, but he had to move out of his apartment. I needed him to also be uprooted, to show some incentive.” Eric agreed. But he was also torn. He had that rare New York gem: a beautiful apartment with a hands-off landlord and hadn’t had a rent increase for a decade. Relationships come and go, but real estate? That’s for life. “He wasn’t going to give that up, in

‘“Did you write this article about Kim Kardashian this morning?” I’m like, “I did. But also I sold 100 Broadway tickets.”’


Opposite: Elizabeth Durand Streisand went from celebrity journalism to the business of Broadway.

case it didn’t work out. So he kept it, and basically ran an Airbnb hotel out of it while we were living together.” It was still in the days when that wasn’t illegal, she adds hastily. What Elizabeth brought to the arrangement was her celebrity knowledge of New York nightlife: where to eat, where to get the great pizza, where to go on a Tuesday night to dance. But one thing everyone always wanted to do was see a Broadway show. “And I was like, ‘I got nothing.’ “They’d say, ‘I want to see Hamilton.’ I’d be like, ‘Yeah, good luck.’ “Finally one day, I said, ‘Do you want me to just get you tickets to something random that I can find, under $100? And they said, ‘Yes.’” It went down a treat. Then she started charging a surcharge. Then Eric said: “Maybe we should make this a business.” So they did. They built a basic website, and launched Broadway Roulette. You choose your dates, describe your theater preferences, and for $49, you get a surprise ticket for a show that could be anything from Wicked to Hamilton. “Everyone’s talking about machine learning and algorithms, and we use that for some things, but what’s nice about this is, when was the last time you had a genuine surprise? Like somebody bought you a sweater that wasn’t a thing that followed you around on Facebook for a week, and you loved it?” They sold $1 million worth of tickets before figuring … maybe now would be a good time to go for investment. They raised $440,000 and just closed a


second round of $1.5m, on a business valued at $5 million. Morgan Stanley is an investor. So is Randi Zuckerberg. Elizabeth gave up the day job. What is, perhaps, most surprising, is that all of this has been achieved from a position outside the Broadway establishment. “I was one of the normal people, like normal New Yorkers who go once or twice a year for a special occasion. And every time I went, I’d be like, ‘That was amazing. Why don’t I go more often?’’’ Fifty percent of her customers have never seen a Broadway show before. Many of them don’t even know what Will Call is. “And it’s so cool to send somebody to their first Broadway show,

partly because they’re the opposite of a jaded theater-goer. They walk into the theater, and they’re like, ‘Whoa!’ And someone screams at them because they’re trying to get a Playbill from the wrong usher and it’s intimidating, but it’s part of the experience. She singles out Charlie Flateman, of the Shubert Organization, and producer Daryl Roth as great supporters of her personally in the industry. “I wouldn’t say that I went into meetings and felt, ‘No one took me seriously because I’m a woman,’” she says. “But I did feel that way with investor meetings. All the time. I’d be sitting next to Eric, and I run the business, but everyone would be looking at him. “I’d answer a question, then they’d ask him the same question. And what was so interesting for me is, he didn’t say, ‘I don’t know this.’ He’d just give a different answer than I gave. And he gave it with such confidence that whatever he said sounded totally believable. First it really annoyed me. Then I learned there was no other way to raise the money. “I think women are their own worst enemy, because we’re too honest and practical. We’re too realistic. And we have to not be that way for certain things. And this is one of them. “The celebrity journalism was actually good for that, because I was able to do things that other people just wouldn’t do, like pick up the phone and call somebody I didn’t know, and say, ‘I want to have a meeting,’ and they’d say, ‘No.’

‘I think women are their own worst enemy, because we’re too honest and practical. We’re too realistic.’



Below: Elaine Stritch spins the Broadway Roulette wheel.

And I’d say, “OK, I’m going to call you back in a month. Sorry in advance, but I’m going to call you until we have this meeting.’ And that did lead to meetings – sometimes bad meetings – which then led to better meetings, which led to deals. Next step: Beyond Broadway, which could include tickets to anything from the Met to Alvin Ailey to whatever’s playing at, say, Ars Nova or the Public or Playwrights Horizons, all quality controlled by a team of dedicated theatergoers. But instead of eliminating shows, you tell them what kind of experience you want. Parents visiting? Recovering from a bad break-up? Team bonding? They’ve also started partnering with neighborhood restaurants. “You can go before the show and get a free glass of wine. And we’ve picked places we like, like P.S. Kitchen. The woman who runs it, April Tam Smith, was my mentor at Morgan Stanley. Everyone who works there, who’s back of house, are people who have come out of incarceration or need a fresh start. And 100% of profits go to charity. I’m like, ‘Who has a side project of a restaurant in Times Square? That gives all their money away? That’s insane, you’re nuts.’ She’s not normal. I mean, no one’s that nice. “And it’s become a darling spot for Broadway hangouts. She’s been able to get Mean Girls there, and Band’s Visit.” She hopes the whole thing is a step towards people becoming that true Broadway fan: the patron. “It’s like dating. If you go on a date without too many expectations, you’re like, ‘There’s always a guy for me, maybe I’ll have a good time, that was a great night.’ Because that’s how you find the person. But nobody … well maybe a few people, I have one friend who married her high school boyfriend. But most people don’t. The idea that you have to do all this research because the first thing you ever see, or the one time you go a year, has to be the perfect match. What if it doesn’t have to be the perfect match? “People go to the movies all the time, sometimes for a film they don’t even want to see, but because a friend wants to go. And movies in Manhattan can be $34. For $16 more, you can see a Broadway show.”












Two diehard Mariah fans, one kitchen table … and a ton of stuff to talk about. How The Mariah Report was born Words Ruth Walker Photograph Anthony Morrison


here’s a slightly obscure song on Mariah Carey’s Rainbow album. It’s called ‘Petals’, and in it the singer describes her complicated, conflicted feelings towards her sister Alison.

“I wish there was a way For me to trust you But it hurts me every time I try to touch you” They are, she says, the most honest lyrics she’s ever written. Back in 1999, when the album was released, Martin Burgess was working in a record store in Sydney, and Rainbow was playing on a loop. Over. And over. And over again. “At first I really didn’t like her. She had changed her image and was hyper-feminized, and everyone was like, ‘Oh Mariah’s a slut now, she’s gone crazy.’ But after playing the album, I was like, ‘Damn, this is really good.’ I kept listening to it, studying it, and I went home and listened to it some more. It really started to burn into my brain. “‘Petals’ is a very obscure album cut – not many people know it. There were


Opposite: Dan and Martin did a live podcast for their 200th episode at Rise bar.

lyrics in there that were really personal to me. I felt, ‘How did she know that about me?’ It was this really deep connection.” That was the beginning. Then he started studying her life, getting to know about more than just the songs. “She’s biracial – she had a black father and a white mother. My mother’s from Peru and my father’s from New Zealand, so me and my sister were very brown compared to everybody else in Sydney. I was different. And listening to Mariah, it was like, ‘Oh, someone else gets it.’” When she plays Radio City Music Hall this month, Martin will be there, of course, along with Dan Enriquez, his co-host on The Mariah Report, the podcast they’ve been presenting for three years from Martin’s Upper West Side apartment. “You get a little bit of everything at her concerts,” says Dan. “There are some that are really hardcore obsessed and they are loud and proud with it, dressing up as lambs ...” Hang on – people dress up as lambs? “Yes, because we’re called lambs as Mariah fans. It started years ago. It was a nickname, a cute little pet name that she had with one of her best friends, and the fans just took it on.”


Upcoming projects by our members Imagining Madoff

59E59 Theaters, Theater C March 1-March 23 Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff is in prison, determined to control his own narrative for history as he dictates to a visiting biographer stories about his childhood, his family, women, money, and an all-night meeting he had with Holocaust survivor and poet, Solomon Galkin.

Presence: Public Speaking Workshop

61 Local (Upstairs), 61 Bergen St, Brooklyn March 5 A workshop and networking opportunity, using tools from Amy Cuddy’s book, “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenge,” and the skills of classical theatre, focusing on voice, body, and personal empowerment techniques.

Passive Streams of Income

The Artist Co-op March 27 TAC’s Signature Series provides access to experts in both innovation and business for artists. In this session, we will hear from Liz Scully, a business strategist and Emmy award winner,n how to build passive streams of income as an artist.

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The Owl Girl

The Center at West Park, 165 W86th Street. February 28-March 20 In a newly reimagined Middle East, two families with keys to the same house try to live in it together, with unexpected consequences.

A Second Birth

The Center at West Park, 165 W86th Street March 1-24 In a rural village in southern Afghanistan, a family struggles with the tradition of bacha posh - the practice of raising a daughter to act, dress, and behave like a boy. As her feminine features begin to blossom, Nasim(a) must confront the relationships of her past and the traditions of her future to find out who she truly is.


If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka

Playwrights Horizons February 15-March 31 A decidedly contemporary riff on a West African fable, Tori Sampson’s explosive new play is brimming with live music and dance as frenemies jockey for their rank in a culture built on ideals forever out of reach.

Existential Questions for the 21st Century

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For Martin, this will his 15th Mariah concert; for Dan … “I lost count after 40 or 50. I’ve heard her sing Hero a million times, and every once in a while she still brings out that version that brings a tear to your eye.” The pair were introduced by a mutual friend at Posh one fateful night in 2014. “Straight away, we’re like, ‘Oh, you’re a Mariah fan?’” recalls Martin, “and we started talking nonstop. We hit it off instantly.” “I was probably eight years old when I heard her first single on the radio,” says Dan. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, who is this vision of love? What is this?’ Ever since then I was obsessed with her voice. I didn’t know much about her past or her history at that point – I was too young to even comprehend those things. I think for me, it was the Emotions album, where she

had a song called ‘Make it Happen’. That’s when I really felt she was speaking to me. That was in 1991, and ever since then, it’s been just me and Mariah.” Dan and Martin would text and hang out and dissect the music. They went to one of her Christmas shows at the Beacon Theatre. Then they would text and hang and dissect that. Then one day Martin said: “We should start a podcast.” That was in August 2015. “In those early days, it was called The Lambily – like a family meeting, but lambs,” says Dan. “But about six months in, we realized that people weren’t understanding what that means. So we made a hard switch, became The Mariah Report, and we’ve been growing ever since.” On a good week, they have between 30 and 40 thousand listeners. “I’m pretty sure Mariah listens to us,” says Martin.

‘I was probably eight years old when I heard her first single on the radio … and I was like, “Oh my God, who is this vision of love?”’


Above: Mariah fans call themselves lambs.

Wait. What? “Call me crazy, but we’ll say something on the show and then we’ll see Mariah do it. We came up with something called a suggestion box … we’re just gonna suggest Mariah does this …” “Like not wear this dress,” says Dan. “In Las Vegas, she was wearing this horrific pink dress,” explains Martin. “We don’t want to talk poorly about her. We love her, but …” “Not in that dress,” says Dan. “That was a god-awful dress. Take that dress out of the wardrobe. It’s horrible! I think two weeks later, she’d switched that dress out for a new one.” “We never saw it again. It was like, ‘OK, she got the memo.’” Martin met Mariah for the first time at a meet and greet in Manhattan recently. “It was really quick. She touched my hand and I, of course, got nervous and froze. I couldn’t speak. I had this list of things to say … but nothing.” “I’ve met her so many times I can’t even count,” says Dan. “When we went to the album signing back in November, we were also celebrating our 200th episode of The Mariah Report. I went up and then her manager whispered something in her ear and she grabbed my hand and said, ‘Congratulations on your 200th episode’. I was like, ‘Oh my God, thank you so much. We do this for you, we love you,’ and she said, ‘No, no, no, this is my time to tell you thank you’. It was such a sweet and amazing moment.” And, while they’d never cheat on Mariah, they’re already starting to think of other subjects that would make amazing podcasts. “I have tons of ideas,” says Martin. “We don’t want The Mariah Report to suffer because doing a good podcast takes time. But, apart from Mariah, we love other things, like Oprah. And true crime.” But for now, they’re just looking forward to seeing the legend do what she does best. From a seat in the front row of the mezz. “I’ve seen Mariah so many times,” says Dan. “I’ve been up front, I’ve been in the back. I’ve graduated out of the crazy fanatic land. Now I just want to sit and enjoy the show.”



Boys in the

hood In a world of multi-hyphenates, two Broadway boys are playing out a very naughties version of the odd couple Interview and photographs Michael Kushner




lex Wyse and Wesley Taylor are perhaps best known for their work on stage (in 2018 they appeared on Broadway in Waitress and Spongebob Squarepants, respectively), but behind the scenes, they have yet to put down their pens. These two multi-hyphenate friends came together to create the web series Indoor Boys, which they write, direct, and star in. This Indie Series Award-winning comedy follows two homebody roommates figuring out the boundaries of their no-boundaries friendship. Alex and Wes met through mutual friends in the New York theater scene. There was no big moment, just a series of party conversations, followed by some likes and retweets. But the real magic started when they both found themselves in Los Angeles. “We started hanging out more frequently and thought we had a great odd-couple dynamic. We knew we had to create something together, but we weren’t sure what.” So Wes showed Alex a one-act play he had written, which they decided to adapt into a short film. Upon completing it, they realized they had something special on their hands, and decided to make a second instalment in the lives of the two characters they played. Then they made a third. Then a fourth. A fifth. The story took shape. And 16 episodes later, the pair shows no intention of slowing down. As the so-called “Indoor World” expands, so does the acclaim. The second

Left: Alex and Wes have created a world of “sexy, messy” friendships. The best kind!

“We’ve both had our families make us cringe. Also, my mother likes to clean, and Wes was once with a guy who asked him to squeal like a dolphin.”

season has been freshly nominated for 13 Indie Series Awards, including Best Comedy. “To be working together is an enormous joy, a blessing both personal and creative, and like any relationship, it’s something we have to continually work on,” Alex says. “With our scripts, our direction, our acting, and our edits, we trade the work back and forth, constantly trying to improve each other’s game,” says Wes. “That has created some tense moments, of course, but it has taught us how to better compromise, and then, in turn, create a more supportive and creative partnership.  “Also, we make each other laugh a lot, and we can’t agree who is taller,” chimes in Alex. Indoor Boys puts the modern-day gay relationship under the microscope, exposing its complications, humor, love, and passion. “We hope people laugh,” says Alex. “We definitely laughed a lot making this, and first and foremost we want to be entertaining.” “We also hope people see some of themselves in Indoor Boys,” says Wes. “We wanted to create a world full of sexy, messy friendships and rising tensions, and then in the second season, how overbearing families affect the friendships you’re trying to patch up.”  In answering how much of the story is based on reality, Alex replies: “It’s only truthful in that we’ve both had relationships we couldn’t quite define, and we’ve both had our families make us cringe. Also, my mother likes to clean, and Wes was once with a guy who asked him to squeal like a dolphin.” “But outside of that, we have a much more functional friendship than our characters. Plus, we are both so professionally driven, whereas the characters in Indoor Boys are wandering a bit more through their lives, bumping into expensive china along the way,” says Wes. 

You can watch both seasons of Indoor Boys at  or follow @indoorboystv on Twitter and Instagram



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Confessions of a


In the battle of the brews, Ruth Walker and Chelsey Hill compare caffeine hits


e’re just hanging out, Chelsey and me. She’s got her coffee, I’ve got my tea. The one thing we have in common (apart from a signature red lip) is that we’re both 100 per cent committed to our beverage of choice. A leafbased drink never passes her lips. And coffee? Ugh! Too bitter for me. “I like that part,” says Chelsey, eyes lighting up. “My body’s in shock a little bit when I first drink it, I squint, then I’m fine. It wakes me up.” A self-confessed @coffeehooker – “it’s my version of a shoe whore, plus it’s my initials” – has been drinking Joe since

the tender age of eight, when most of her peers had barely graduated from Capri Sun, and came up with the moniker when she was just 12. “My first ever coffee wasn’t exactly a cup,” she says, “it was a coffee milkshake, and it was at Borders bookstore. I loved it. And the buzz! Oh my gosh! “I now have quite a tolerance. I can drink a triple shot and go to bed and not feel it. My teeth, however, have been affected, because I’ve been sipping it pretty much constantly since I was eight years old. ” When I drink my tea, it’s a PG Tips with cold, skim milk. No sugar. When I have time (which is not very often), it’s from a pot, and sipped from delicate,

“It’s kind of like a bitch slap drink. It hits you in the face and you’re ready to go.”

Top: Chelsey and her signature drink. Above: Tea and a good book – Ruth’s happy place.

vintage china. I have my first cup in bed, reading emails. A second cup after I’ve showered. A third when I get to work. It’s what makes me feel human. But it’s undoubtedly a leisurely affair. In Scotland, I’d be called a tea jenny (noun; a person who drinks a lot of tea; a tea addict; someone fussy about tea). Which sounds so lame compared with a coffee hooker. I’m despondent. “I’ll have a vente quad shot latte,” says Chelsey, “and sip it for three hours. It’s always ice, even if it’s negative 20 outside.” It’s like a trademark, she explains. An essential accessory. A professional illustrator, she draws herself a lot, and her self-portraits are never without a pair of sunglasses and coffee. “I feel like it’s glamorous. I’m not sophisticated. I’m not a elegant lady. I’m a coffee hooker. It’s kind of like a bitch slap drink. It hits you in the face and you’re ready to go.”

Cup for cup comparison Tea

and encouraging mental


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Origin - 2737 BC


Origin - 9th century AD

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Caffeine - 70mg per cup

Risks - clinicians warn

Caffeine - 185mg per

Risks - too much

Health benefits - protecting

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brewed teas as opposed to

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The two biggest diet trends of 2019 are pitted against each other. There can be only one winner … or can there? Samina Kalloo reports

t’s the high-fat, low-carb, meat-heavy eating style everyone’s talking about. The most-Googled diet of 2018, the ketogenic (keto) plan parallels the popularity of Atkins back in the 1990s and has become trendy as a method for weight loss, mental clarity, and a slew of other health benefits. But with veganism growing in popularity, there’s a conflict. Meat v plants.

Going keto: the pros

Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is far from new. In fact, it has been recognized as an effective tool in the treatment of epilepsy in children since the 1920s. By drastically reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed, it tricks the body into starvation mode, and burns fat for fuel. Remarkably, and for reasons that are still unclear, this process, called ketosis, has an antiepileptic effect and has been shown to be therapeutic for a myriad of conditions including cancer, acne, diabetes, neurological complaints, and heart disease. Some research has also supported the ketogenic diet as an effective tool to treat obesity, but there is a substantial chance of regaining some of the weight within a year.

And the cons

Once your body transitions into a state of ketosis, you may experience side effects known as “keto flu.” Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, poor sleep, difficulty with exercise, and constipation. While these typically subside after the body adjusts, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Nutritional deficiencies may also occur if you’re not including a variety of suggested foods. Not to mention the fact that, as with just about all restrictive diets, it can be emotionally draining. It can also result in social isolation, where

Left: Can the keto diet and veganism live side by side?

you want to avoid events or gatherings in an effort to not be tempted by non keto-friendly goodies.

Going vegan: the pros

According to a 2017 report on eating trends, veganism has skyrocketed by 600% since 2014 in America, and 6% of the population now cut out animal products from their diet. Properly planned plant-based diets are healthy and effective for weight and glycemic control, as well as a slew of other health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health. One recent article published in the journal Nutrients reported that plant-based diets may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease events by 40% and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about a half.

focus on non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower and leafy greens as well fatty ones like olives and avocados (as a kegan, avocados will be your new best friend). You could also include foods such as nuts, seeds, berries, oils, and perhaps some processed foods like vegan meats made from soy, and unsweetened dairy alternatives.

In a LTR?

There has been a lack of research on the long-term effects of the keto diet on humans, and there are more opinions by healthcare professionals surrounding the potential pitfalls. This is likely because it’s so hard to stick with that people can’t eat this way for a long time –and it’s even more difficult to follow with vegan restrictions. While more research is needed, some findings are enough to suggest that a reduction in animal products, especially red and processed meats, and highfat dairy products is likely to have a beneficial effect on your health.

“By drastically reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed, it tricks the body into starvation mode, and burns fat for fuel.”

And the cons

One of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of vital nutrients such as folate, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and B-12. Some of these nutrients can be easily supplemented and others can be included with careful planning to include fortified food products.

In perfect harmony: going “kegan”

While it can be challenging, following the keto diet as a vegan is absolutely doable. The classic ketogenic diet consists of higher fat, low carbohydrate foods like seafood, cheese, meat, eggs, and oils. On the flip side, someone following a ketogenic, plant-based diet would


The bottom line

When it comes to any diet, cutting out major food groups always poses some health risk. And results will not last unless you can sustain it as part of a lifestyle change in the long-term. You don’t need to go keto, full vegetarian, or vegan to get the best health benefits. The focus should be on eating more of the right plants, limiting less healthy food options, and moderating your intake of healthier animal products.


An actor’s


Playlist Bond 45

W45th St - 7th/8th Ave The cozy downstairs bar and dining area are one of my favorite post-show spots.

Trattoria Trecolori

W47th St - 7th/8th Ave This has been one of my go-to spots since I first opened The Book of Mormon. From the brother owners Marco, Victor, and Phil, to the front house, to the waitstaff, you won’t find a more welcoming, unpretentious, and accommodating restaurant in midtown. The pastas are fantastic, cooked to al dente perfection. The prices are a bargain for this area.

Hudson River Park

It’s a bit of a walk, but well worth it, particularly, in the warmer months. You can lay out on the grass and get some sun or have a leisurely early dinner break between shows. It’s the perfect place to just chill, read, write, or work.

52nd Street Project

10th Ave - 52nd/53rd St This is a community-based arts organization that brings kids from Hell’s Kitchen, starting at age ten and lasting through their teens, together with theater professionals to create original work. I’ve been involved with the Project since 1993, and it’s been one of the most rewarding, fun, and fulfilling things that I’ve ever done, as an actor and a human being.

Lambs Club

W44th St - 6th/7th Ave One of my very favorite spots for lunch, pre-show dinner, or post-show cocktails.With beautiful neo-art deco interiors, incredible staff, expertly mixed cocktails, inspired wine list, and food by Geoffrey Zakarian, you can’t go wrong.


All Along The Watchtower - Billy Valentine & The Forest Rangers If You Only Knew - Morgan James Hard Times - Baby Huey Do You Wanna Funk - Slyvester Who’s Gonna Save My Soul - Gnarls Barkeley Michael Potts is currently playing Mr Hawkins in the Broadway musical The Prom. His other credits include The Iceman Cometh, Jitney and 1984 on Broadway, and he has recurring roles on HBO’s The Wire and True Detective. He’s part of the original cast of The Book of Mormon.


A publicist’s


Daylist 8.30am

Mark Fisher Fitness, W39th St - 9th/10th Ave I love starting my day at Mark Fisher Fitness. Without fail, I’ll get an incredible workout with fantastic support and direction from the staff, and a wildly inclusive community. The community is the reason I show up there five or six times a week to lift heavy shit and move my body with other humans.  


Marseille, 9th Ave - 44th St My favorite brunch spot also has the best bloody Mary in the city! Paired with a spinach and goat cheese omelet and those delicious little carrot bread bites, I leave feeling full and happy. Plus, now there is a raw bar so oyster happy hour is a necessity.  


Bird & Branch, W45th St - 8th/9th Ave A newer coffee spot in the neighborhood, this sweet little storefront (that used to be my dry cleaner) is perfect for taking meetings with prospective clients over the most incredible ginger tea. The whole vibe is fresh and bright and is very conducive to getting things done. Sometimes I’ll head there for a few hours to work even if I’m not meeting with anyone.  


Becco, W46th Ave - 8th/9th Ave Often referred to as my “Cheers,” Becco is also a killer Italian restaurant. I love to sit at the end of the bar and chat with the phenomenal staff while I drink bubbles or some delicious red wine and nosh on any number of my favorite dishes (plus they have the most amazing unlimited pasta deal in the city). And they treat everyone who walks through the door as though they are family. You can find me there more often than not – so much so that one summer they named a cocktail after me! (RIP the Lavender Lady McGill.)  


District M at RowNYC, 8th Ave - 44th/45th St While many locals prefer to stay away from the touristy hotels in the neighborhood, this place is an undiscovered gem. Recently I partnered with DJ Duggz and DJ Ari Grooves to host a new monthly theater industry party called S.N.O.B. (Sunday Night On Broadway). It is the perfect way to unwind after a long week and blow off some steam with great music, good people, and flowing cocktails.    Emily McGill is the founder of the boutique press firm Press Play.  She has represented the Tony Award-winning productions of A Raisin in the Sun starring Denzel Washington, Memphis, and Billy Elliot. Clients have included inspiring individuals, creative companies large and small, first-rate entertainment properties, and male strippers. Yes, male strippers.






DING ATE Walk-up or elevator? Doorman or mind your own business? Amenities or oldworld charm? Where would you rather live?

Photographs Phil O’Brien Words Ruth Walker








hree apartments. Two years. More space each time. And paying less rent. What’s Amy Hayes’ secret? “I’m good at shopping,” she laughs. The actor and director moved to New York two years ago – planning to stay for just four months. But life took over, work took off, and she’s still here, about to start rehearsals on a new production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Along the way, she’s graduated from a basement studio apartment in a brownstone (technically a walk-down), to a one-bedroom in a brand new elevator building, to a huge two-bedroom with views of the Hudson in a building complete with elevator, doorman, gym, garage, and laundry in the basement … moving further up the west side each time, while keeping her work base firmly in Hell’s Kitchen. “I raised our kids in Indiana, taught university, had a theater company, founded a Shakespeare festival with young people. Then my kids grew up and they were like, ‘Why are you still in the Mid West? Get out of here.’ So I did. “The plan was I would come here for a couple of months while my husband went down south and wrote his play, then we’d move to Chicago. But I was here two months and things started happening so quickly. I called him and said, ‘I’m not leaving.’. “I’ve just started my theater company, Duende, and start rehearsals this month.”

balcony and elevator (but no doorman). Pros: “Everything was brand new, I had a lovely landlady, and the rent was cheaper. I also had a lot of privacy.” She also had an in-unit washer dryer. Cons: “When my family was there, my son was sleeping on the couch. And with new construction, you miss things like crown moldings, those charming little jut-outs in the ceiling, and the way the doorways are rounded instead of squared. “Then their property tax went up so they raised my rent. My rule for myself was that I wasn’t going to move unless I found more space for less money. And I could stay in Manhattan.” Rent: $3,000

Apartment #1

Apartment #3

In the beginning there was a sublet. A beautiful, garden apartment in a brownstone a block from Central Park. Pros: The character, the convenience, the location. Cons: ““It was just a studio so it was perfect for me, but not big enough for when the family come to stay.” Also, there were no laundry facilities so she had to send hers out. Rent: $3,200

Apartment #2

Then came a one-bedroom in a brand new building in Harlem, complete with

Above: From brownstone basement to a Harlem one-bed, to home in Washington Heights, with room to breathe.

“Now I have to go through a super and my landlord to drill into the wall and do stuff I’m used to doing. I can hang my own damn drapes. I’ve got a drill.”

“I did a show Off-Broadway and one of my cast members invited me to lunch at her house – River Arts Building in Washington Heights. A lot of artists live here: Philharmonic players and actors and opera singers and artists. It’s a prewar building with a doorman, gym, and garage.” A two-bedroom came up, and she swooped. Pros: “I have about three times as much space as my old place, and a great view of the river.” Cons: “I’m further away from everything


and it takes me longer to get anywhere. There’s not a CVS or Duane Reade near me, and the restaurants aren’t great. “I’m a mind-your-own-business Mid Westerner who has always owned my house. And suddenly I have a doorman who knows about my comings and goings. “Now I have to go through a super and my landlord to drill into the wall and do stuff I’m used to doing. I can hang my own damn drapes. I’ve got a drill. “So I don’t love everyone knowing my business and having to ask permission for things. That’s my learning curve. I still haven’t done anything I’m ashamed of my landlord knowing, but I’m sure that day will come.” Rent: $2,995 Of all the apartments, she’s found the most sense of community where she is now. “There was a little bit in the brownstone, but it was very transient. In Harlem, there were only ten people in the whole building and I hardly saw any of them. “This building is huge, but people are very friendly and I’ve already made very good friends.” All that space and the view – “the only thing between me and Jersey is the Hudson” – more than makes up for any shortcomings, but she does miss one thing about that little studio in the brownstone basement. “I was the only one who had access to the garden,” she says, “and I miss having dirt to dig in. “I guess if I could have anything I wanted,” she adds, “I’d want to be in Hell’s Kitchen, on the river side, in a brownstone with a fireplace. And a balcony or a garden.”


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neighbor! The hood is growing ever day, but where the hell does everyone come from – and why? This week, we hear about rooftops, basketball, bars, and all that jazz … and signed the lease for February. It’s true – there are definitely more “deals” or incentives available at that time because people prefer not to move in the winter. However, we were not the only people trekking it to leasing offices in the snow.

Rebecca Kim Profession: Assistant director, public relations and external communications for Jazz at Lincoln Center

On the tick list: One bedroom, one bath. Good storage (whatever that means in Manhattan standards) and sun! Our apartment in Queens had no sun and we couldn’t keep any of our plants alive, so I was really looking forward to growing herbs and things.  

Moving from: My husband Andrew and I are both born and bred Queens, NYers, which means we’ve commuted our whole professional career. We wanted a location that could decrease the commute as much as possible. And HK made walking to work a possibility. To: The Westport, on 10th Ave 55th/56th St. Why? Our jobs require us to work often long and irregular hours and we realized that we spent more time commuting than anything else. We honestly didn’t see each other Monday through Friday. So we decided it was time for a change, so that we can have more quality time to do the things we want to do before and after work.   But why Hell’s Kitchen? We initially started our search all over the city – UWS, UES, Hudson Yards, Financial District, etc. Through our search, we found that we really liked the west side – there are lots of small shops and restaurants, and it still feels a bit more “old” New York and less built up than other places.

Our budget: $3,000-$3,500

Above: Rebecca living it large on the Westport rooftop.

Along the way: We looked at all types of apartments – walk-ups, small buildings, large buildings, pre-war, new builds, etc. We wanted something that was convenient and near enough things like a supermarket and Duane Reades, but away from the crowd. As we narrowed our search to Hell’s Kitchen, we decided 9th Ave was as east as we’d go, but we wouldn’t go further west than 11th  Ave – you’d be surprised just how long those blocks are and how far the trains feel at that point! And as much as there are great bars and restaurants on 8th and 9th Ave, we didn’t want to be that close to the hubbub.   We also started our search in January


What sealed the deal: The gym in the building and the rooftop deck with grills. They weren’t part of our list but those extras were so great. The rooftop at The Westport was my rooftop bar all summer – the views are better than most bars in the city. For my husband, it’s the half basketball court that’s also in the building. The best thing about living in HK: It still feels like a neighborhood and like family.

VITAL STATS Building The Westport # stories 26 # units 371 Built? 2002 Amenities? Doorman, elevator, gym, rooftop, concierge, laundry on each floor Pet friendly? Yes


LIVING What a S’well party!

Sarah Kauss launched S’well in 2010, with a vision to rid the world of plastic bottles by creating craveable, reusable ones instead. Seven years on, it’s the fastest growing woman-owned business in the country. Proceeds from sales go to support UNICEF’s programs to bring safe water to communities around the world. The teakwood Commuter is designed for splash-free sipping on the go. $40,


QUEEN! These fierce women-owned brands are rocking the business world

Thread softly

With a simple thread, we can give new life to a vintage dress, a teddy bear, or even to our own flesh. That’s the inspiration behind the Ava vase from Ayadee, designed by Elena and Sumar. “If a simple thread can provide so much strength, a thoughtful word and a kind smile can lift someone’s spirit. A beautiful reminder that with just a mundane act of kindness we can change the life of others.” Each white vase with copper metal thread is made by hand, making each one unique. $185,


Fly the flag

A pennant to lift you up every day. Rayo and Honey is a brand that hand makes accessories in Brooklyn, designed by Roachele Negron, who launched in 2015 with the aim of taking those positive affirmation quotes off Instagram and into real life. Her pennants have been spotted in the hands of Tracee Ellis Ross and she was all over the women’s march. $50,


Lobsters for life

Shawn Laughlin’s proudest moment? When her company, Caskata, was chosen to create the tableware for the Met Gala. “I grew up as a little girl going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my grandmother on the weekends. Seeing the famous Temple of Dendur space filled with gorgeous tables featuring our dinner plates as a central focus of the event design was a real thrill.” We’re giving all the love to the lobster collection. From $18,


Back to the 70s

How much love do we have for this 1970s Milo Baughman velvet swivel chair? A lot, my friends. A lot. It’s part of the Coming Soon collection – a furniture and design store launched by Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria at the intersection of the Lower East Side and Chinatown in 2013. $2,000,

Super bowls

We couldn’t have a feature on fabulous, women-owned businesses without mentioning Domus, here in Hell’s Kitchen, owned and run by Nicki Lindheimer and Luisa Cerutti, who hand-pick beautiful pillows, jewelry, art, and gifts for their W44th St store. These stoneware bowls are great if you like to drink your café au lait comme les Français. But they’re just as good for Fruit Loops. $20 each,

Misty the unicorn

The dry, dehydrating atmosphere of New York apartments plays havoc with even the most blissful of sleepers. But once you’ve been converted to a humidifier, there’s no going back. Crane was launched by Katie Sotor, a former social worker, who recognized the value of a humidifier when her own children had blocked noses, and the only way to comfort them was to run a hot shower and let the steam sooth their congestion. She helped launch Crane in 2005 with the first kid-friendly, cool mist humidifier in the shape of a character. $54.99,

Box of dreams

When Catherine Choi got clean from a drug addiction, her new way of life included overcoming her fear of failure and sense of worthlessness ... and eating her way to good health. She launched SoYoung, she says, to empower others to live their best life. Her retro lunch bags and backpacks have been seen in the hands of Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, and Sarah Jessica Parker, so she must be doing something right. $32.50,

Death by empowerment

The Outrage isn’t kidding! They really are outraged. These candles take a match to the glass ceiling, the patriarchy, and gender roles. And it’s a fair guess that the company has some bold feminists leading the charge. Their mission? To raise $1m for progressive organizations fighting for social change – and unite the outraged voices of the nation to make a difference. $9,




#W42ST Hashtag your Instagram pics and they could star in the mag!

Snowflakes falling gently. Fireworks bursting over the Hudson for Chinese New Year. Dressing rooms for Broadway shows. The skyline twinkling in the winter night. And Fashion Week. What a month it's been! And our Instagram family captured it all. Remember, anyone can be on these pages. Just tag your images #W42ST and you could be the one whose photograph ends up in the next issue.






To faux,


Christine Fellows takes an uncompromising look at fashion’s hottest topic

he only time I’ve been accosted for wearing fur was nearly two decades ago at the Village Halloween Parade where I was Liza Minnelli. I wore a full-length, beaded evening gown, a restyled Beatles wig, and my grandmother’s blond mink stole from the 1950s. As we waited along the sidewalk for the parade to begin, the woman with whom I shared a space also occupied by a garbage can and a molded plastic bin


delivering the Village Voice, exclaimed to no one in particular: “I can’t believe in this day and age people still walk around with dead carcasses on their backs.” It took me a few seconds to realize, oh, she’s talking to me. Correction: she’s talking ABOUT me. I told her directly that I couldn’t believe she couldn’t let it go on Halloween. “I’m Liza. Liza wears mink.” She refused to engage. Instead, satisfied in her judgment, she pretended I wasn’t there. Had we engaged, I would have told her: “It’s been dead for 50 years and, due to a


flood during my childhood, I have nothing of my grandmother except two photos and a couple of old furs.” Then I was mad at myself for thinking I should qualify my choice to a not-so-perfect stranger. In reality the answer is: “It’s none of your business.” Before researching this article, I thought I knew exactly how I felt, but this rabbit hole is deep and rifled with straight-up propaganda on all sides. (So many puns, shame, shame.) It took 30 articles written over a

STYLE 20-year period for me to feel like I understood the subject. I still maintain the basics of my beliefs, but also find my fur window a little more closed. I’m a moderate and thus gravitate towards the middle. And with that I commit to you: no one invested in this debate will be happy after reading this. Let’s first establish all the options: Ranch fur (farmed) Wild caught fur Overseen by the Federal Government through game and wildlife Management, and includes hunting and injury-free trapping. This is the system that brought back buffalos, beavers, wolves, coyotes, wild horses, etc. Accidental fur Died of natural causes, includes road kill from the likes of Peace Fur, who estimate animal control throws away more fur than we farm in the US per year, as well as the skins of animals from all varieties of farms for fabrics or meat. Vintage fur Faux fur No fur Full disclosure, I own a vintage clothing store and I sell fur as old as 100+ years. I didn’t regularly wear fur until about a decade ago, when I inherited one from my husband’s grandmother. By the third time I wore it, I learned why fur is practical. The anti-fur industry is unwilling to consider pragmatism. They deduct it to a status symbol: mere fashion for braggarts. Of course, some people love the look of fur and gravitate towards it for that luxury reason. However, you need only forget your gloves once to understand fur’s real value. When I found myself without my gloves, I put my hands in my pockets and they were immediately warm. I don’t mean they warmed up quickly. It was immediate, like there’s a tiny fireplace in each pocket. Then I got it. It’s truly warmer than any man-made insulator. Whether it’s goose down or fur, nothing compares to nature. Fur cuffs, collars, and hems have had a practical purpose for thousands of years too. They are not a decoration. Those who live above the Arctic Circle always

wear fur trim known as a Polar ruff. The largest is the Sunburst that has fur as long as three times the diameter of the wearer’s head. It creates a halo barrier causing the wind to dissipate away from the face. It’s how the Inuit go ice fishing with uncovered faces in 30 below temperatures. It’s impossible for faux fur to recreate this. Snow melts and refreezes on fake fur. As the Inuit have informed PETA, if any synthetic could compare, they’d be using it. What about a fashion industry that has decided to kick real fur to the curb? I’ll skip the list since it’s widely publicized and the last thing luxury fashion houses need is a free plug from me. But the fashion industry has mercurial moral standards. It uses factories powered by dirty energy, relies on synthetic fabrics leaving micro-plastics in the ocean, and dumps toxic wastewater into our ecosystems. This could be a commercial marketing choice driven by

Above: PETA’s most famous “I’d rather go naked” campaign.

“The fashion industry has mercurial moral standards. It uses factories powered by dirty energy, relies on synthetic fabrics leaving micro-plastics in the ocean, and dumps toxic wastewater into our ecosystems.”


SM that is just as easily reversed by everyone but Stella McCartney in ten years’ time. There’s no getting around the fact that faux fur is bad for the environment. Natural fur is ashes to ashes. Faux is made from petrochemicals. Their 1,000-years-to-degrade microfibers are shedding into our water systems, adding an even smaller, impossible-to-filter plastic into the Great Garbage Patches swirling in each ocean and all of the seven seas. Faux fur is fashion. These coats are bought for the trend of the moment and, once banana yellow fur is out, so is the coat – in the trash. Faux fur lovers will own at least 10 coats in their lifetime but wear each for a maximum of six years before discarding. Real fur is used for at least 30 years and handed down in families or sold to stores like mine. Most will own no more than two furs in a lifetime. If these furs are vintage, road-kill, or wildlife managed, they will have far less environmental impact than faux fur. What does PETA think of all of this? Who cares? They’ve always had a take-no-prisoner’s attitude, and are not interested in any opinion beyond the truth they know to be true above all else. They’re always outfitted for war. PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk says: “We are complete media sluts. We didn’t make up the rules, we just learned how to play the game.” The anti-fur lobby has compared the penning of pigs to children in concentration camps, created a video of a naked woman being beaten to death by a mugger for her coat, write abusive, open letters to famous people wishing horrible ill-will towards them for the sake of a belief system. “Eventually, the lies are exposed, and freedom is won — for women, blacks, Christians, gays, Asians, the Irish, Catholics, Jews. Let freedom now include all beings.” So preaches PETA. However, women are far from equal and protected. The ERA still isn’t ratified. Our choices for our bodies are not wholly protected and can change based on physical location and socio-economic


Celebrating Ten Years In Business! Celebrating Ten Years In Business!

4 45 West 49 th St reet 4 45 West 49 th St reet

212 . 2 47.4 847

212 . 2 47.4 847 @FineAndDandyShop @FineAndDandyShop

STYLE position. In most of the world, women cannot live an independent life without the threat of irreparable physical, psychic, and economic harm. Black people are subjugated and marginalized all over the world. SubSaharan Africans are still sold in North African slave markets by Arab Africans. They are murdered for not using left turn signals in Texas. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Uyghurs, Buddhists, Hindus, Druze, Yazidi, etc are subject to every kind of cultural and societal alienation, imprisonment, torture, and forced migrations. When your neighbor burns your house down and takes your child’s hands with a machete, it’s time to move on. Gay people are thrown from ten-story windows in public executions, beaten to death in club parking lots, and hanged on fences in polite American communities. They are denied just about anything, even cupcakes. Asia encompasses 48 nations and almost all of them suffer from cultural, religious, and political corruption. China is housing up to two million people in re-education/labor camps they will probably never leave. India’s caste system is one of the cruelest social structures in history. And the Irish? We’re truly most ignorant about the racism among we white folks. The Irish might have equality under the law, but they’re still Gingers in the eyes of European society. Prince Charles lamented that Harry got the Spencer ginger gene and my British Protestant Kiwi Nana was so worried I would resemble my Greek mother, she completely forgot the possibility I could have red hair. The last word goes to Tiffany Haddish, who called out PETA in Essence magazine in December, saying: “I’m about to start protesting. I’m going to wear fur every day until they stop killing black people. Sorry, PETA. Don’t be mad at me, be mad at the police; because people are important and so are the animals.” In that one statement, Haddish unwittingly raises the question to her 4.4 million followers: Do black lives matter less than animal lives?

ABOUT CHRISTINE Christine Fellows has been wearing vintage clothing since her childhood in the 1970s, and left a secure job in banking at the age of 29 to open her first store, Miss Kitty’s, in Hawaii. After moving to NYC, she worked in Bloomingdale’s until another

You’re so fake! Belle Bakst weighs in in favor of going faux


shop beckoned. Couture du Jour opened on W44th St - 8th/9th Ave in 2007. couturedujour

inter in New York is incredibly bittersweet. It’s a time of immense joy, lights, and plenty of hot cocoa options. But it’s also freezing. All. The. Time. Winters deliver the type of unforgiving cold that has you reaching for every piece of clothing you own. And while faux fur has been all over fashion runways for some time, we’re seeing more of it on the streets than ever. It’s affordable: Real fur has always been connected to wealth (no surprise, considering a fur coat can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to the tens of thousands). Faux, on the other hand, is not only affordable (pricing can be as low as $60 for a full coat), but designers and brands from Gucci to Zara are now leaning towards it too, meaning the options really are endless. Real fur also has to be stored in a particular manner and temperature so it doesn’t deteriorate – many people send their furs to specialist furriers during the summer, which can be costly. Faux doesn’t need any type of fancy storage. It keeps you toasty: Contrary to popular belief, faux fur really does keep you warm. True, in the past, it was made of less sophisticated poly and acrylic fibers. But with so much new technology and microfibers that trap the air, creating insulation, faux now feels just as lux and warm as the real thing. It’s just as stylish as the real thing: Whether you pair it with a cocktail dress for a night out on the town, or over a pair of your favorite distressed denims, your faux coat looks and wears just as stylishly as the real deal. And the same goes for faux trimming on gloves, vests, even dresses. It’s animal friendly: Faux fur doesn’t harm animals. End of story. By wearing and supporting faux fur, you are making the conscious decision to avoid buying products that harm animals. My suggestion for the ultimate in eco friendly options? Be mindful of sustainability and buy one or two key pieces you’ll wear for years.


ABOUT BELLE Belle Bakst is a fashion stylist, womenswear writer, and Hell’s Kitchen girl. She lives on W42nd St with her husband Brendan. Her friends `know her for her rainbow color-coordinated wardrobe and bookcases. Her favorite place in the neighborhood is the Salvation Army on W46th St - 10th/11th Ave but will happily meet you for afternoon tea at Bergdorf Goodman too.



Believe it or not, I’m walking on air Hanging upside down, supported by a ribbon, in a studio with a dog. When you’re afraid of dogs. What could possibly go wrong? Sophia Strawser stretches her fears to the limit Where are we? AntiGravity Lab, W37th St - 7th/8th Ave Why would you? If you like to be upside down, like how your butt looks in leggings, or need a bit more strength and stretch in your yoga, this is the place for you. If you’re a beginner, like me: I gave their fundamentals class a try. The “FUN” class was perfect because ...


’d like to start by saying: I’m scared of heights. And, yes, I understand that aerial yoga is about supporting yourself on a ribbon that is roughly three feet off the ground, but here’s the thing … being upside down, supported only by a ribbon, doesn’t work up anyone else? If a ribbon can barely hold up my hair, how is it supposed to hold up my entire body? No one else? Strands of hair by my face is different to pounding ouch by my head. But regardless, the chance to sing ‘Believe it or not, I’m walking on air’

I’m that girl who hears: “You can take a headstand if you’d like” in a regular yoga class and decides to take an early savasana. Every move was explained, then replicated by the class. No surprises. Thoughts about falling : 829,290 Thoughts about how I’m not as strong as I thought I was: 9,243 Envious thoughts towards other women’s leggings: 2


Thoughts about when the class would end and I could be upright again: 234 Thoughts of regret after taking the class: 0



Above: AntiGravity’s resident pup.

under my breath the whole class was enough of a motivation to keep pushing through. (If you can sing the entire parody of that song used in Seinfeld, my number is (827) 82 … oh shoot, out of word count). If the Rockettes and Cirque du Soleil had a baby, it would be my instructor, Molly. She was encouraging, light-hearted, and could read a good “if you don’t help me down I’m going to have an anxiety attack” face from across a room. If you’re worried about not knowing how to do it, hop

STYLE into Molly’s class. She taught like it was made of beginners, but challenged and modified like we were a bunch of intermediates. The perfect balance really. (Get it? Balance? Again my number is (627) 928 … darn it, out of time.) All of this being said, every time I came back up from being upside down I was happy I’d done it. I felt refreshed. It was very similar to that kiss of fresh, cold air when you go out in the first snow of the year. Or when you finally cross your legs the other way, regaining circulation.

‘This article is becoming less about this wonderful class, and more about what I’ve worked through in therapy this week.’ If all the perks above weren’t enough, the studio is the home of a calm little doggie, Newton. Newton joined our class, taking the ribbon in the back. It reminded me of when they brought puppies on campus during finals week in undergrad. “You may be stressed, but here’s a puppy to make you forget!” I should also mention I don’t adore dogs. And by don’t adore, I mean I was attacked by one when I was young. This article is becoming less about this wonderful class that everyone should try, and more about what I’ve worked through in therapy this week. Thanks for listening. Mother, I promise only some of this is rooted in my childhood. I’ll be a bit more grounded next month, emotionally as well as physically, but until then check me out @SophieStrawser.



$50 dog adoptions* *Dogs two years and older

{ adopt an adult dog }


Sober significance OK, let’s get real. Who’s sober? Who’s abstaining? And who’s just plain weird? Kristen Jongen digs out her white board

Hello friends,

I feel like it’s been years since we last spoke. I mean, with the holidays, a fresh Congress, polar vortex, government shutdown, and my decision to stick with neutral nail polish, 2019 has already been a blur. I’ve missed you! As many of you know, I am a political junkie. I read several newspapers (and by newspapers, I mean online articles) a day on current events and political happenings. Although I’m well versed, I still need to reference a basic American civics chart on occasion to understand what each branch of government is responsible for and who reports to whom. I get confused. It occurred to me this week that, as sobriety becomes a more popular choice among New Yorkers, we, here at SIC, also need our own chart. There seems to be some confusion about what sobriety is. I think it’s important we all get on the same page. A refresh from Webster, Urban Dictionary, my maniacal rehab notes, and Google will be good for everyone.


Not intoxicated or drunk. Habitually temperate. Free from excess, extravagance, or exaggeration. Showing self-control. Sane or rational.


Son Of A Bitch Everything’s Real. To be clear: people who do not drink, but use other mind-altering substances (marijuana included), are not considered sober. Relax! Jesus, don’t shoot the messenger.


An act of recovering. The regaining of something lost or taken away. Restoration or return to health from sickness.

ABOUT KRISTEN An internationally recognized author,

In the sober world (and in Eminem’s aptly titled 2010 album), the term recovery refers to the active participation in a rehabilitation program. Alcoholics Anonymous is the most well known but NYC has many options. Not all people who don’t drink or do drugs are in recovery. Other popular forms of recovery are: Smart recovery. Refuge recovery. If you know of others, pm me on IG. To be fair, the Urban Dictionary also refers to the term recovery as: The act of prostitution. Getting a john. “Hey KJ, where are you working now?” “Oh, I’ve been doing some recovery in Chicago.” Don’t you judge me!


Forbearance from any indulgence of appetite. Self-restraint, self-denial. The state of being without a drug on which one is dependent. Addicts who quit a substance without “recovery” are considered abstinent.


A movement started in the hardcore/ punk scene that is a commitment never to drink, smoke, or do drugs.


artist, and motivational speaker, Kristen has written and published two books and is the voice behind

Some people include abstinence from promiscuous sex. Others abstain from caffeine.


People interested in a sober lifestyle who may not identify as addicts.


A term coined in NYC for sobriety not based in 12 steps.


A term invented by moi, to identify sober/ drinking relationships.

Soul Soup books, prints, and greeting cards. Listen to her weekly Sober in the City podcast. If you’re having a hard time with drugs and alcohol, find support meetings at nyintergroup. org

Are you guys with me? Did I lose anyone? I know it’s a lot to absorb. Sobriety is not about hating on alcohol or drugs. Whether you are a recovering addict, a heavily-using non-addict, a person who just doesn’t like it, or a freaka-doodle who can have one glass of wine and be sated; a sane and sober lifestyle is available for everyone. The good news is that there are a lot of us out here taking stock of the good, the bad, and the ugly landscape through earnest eyes. For now, c’est la vie, carpe diem, and live, laugh, love. You can measure your spiritual fitness based on your response to those phrases. Don’t fret, I’ll be back next month with my opinions and personal agenda to push. Until then, make smart choices Your friend,


Follow me on IG: KristenJongen



Wagging Gaston

Human’s name: Nicole. Age: Six years old. Breed: I’m adopted so my humans aren’t really sure what breed I am, probably a mix of a German shepherd and something with short hair. What makes me bark: I only bark at the softball games at Dewitt Clinton Park because I want to run too, otherwise I’m just an old man who just wants cuddles. Three words that describe me best: Shy, loving, patient. Confession: I shred every toy I’ve gotten within 10 minutes of receipt, except for my dear stuffed shark. Instadog: My mom posts photos of me sometimes @pintsbites_n_tights.


Turkey Muffin Human’s name: Thalia. Age: 11. Breed: Brussels griffon. What makes me bark: Food deliveries! Three words that describe me best: Tongue-in-cheek, sweetie, hilarious.  Confession: I once climbed up on the kitchen table and pooped on it when I was mad at mommy.


Lucki Humans’ name: Travis. Age: I just turned 15 in November. Breed: Rat terrier. What makes me bark: The doorbell. I’m very protective of my space. Three words that describe me best: Energetic, loyal, loving. Confession: I’ll eat anything. Instadog: Dad posts for me @iamtravisL


tales Watson Human’s name: Alexa. Age: 11 months. Breed: Lab/Rhodesian ridgeback mix. What makes me bark: I’ve barked once, I think it was at the TV. Three words that describe me best: Cuddly, loving, silly. Confession: Mom’s bras are my favorite chew toy Instadog: No, but my human has an Instacat!


(“Big Ern”)

Humans’ names: Jillian and Adam. Age: One year old. Breed: Shih tzu. What makes me bark: When I really wanna play! Three words that describe me best: Weird, funny, and very nice (I’m a big goon). Confession: Shoving my ball under the couch for attention. Instadog: @erniebear_


These camera-happy canines took a time out from the morning stroll for a quick Q&A with W42ST

Dog day care


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For a limited time, new patients receive a complimentary exam during their first visit! Heart of Chelsea Veterinary Group is now in Hell’s Kitchen! We are proud and excited to bring our standard of thorough, compassionate, concierge veterinary medicine to the residents of Hell’s Kitchen and surrounding neighborhoods.

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Escape the daily stress with 90 minutes of therapeutic yoga practice which enhances flexibility and circulation, relieves tension, anxiety and stress, and detoxifies the body. You will find a sense of peace and calm. It includes passive stretching with massage and acupressure techniques, working along the energy lines of your body. This therapy is performed on a mat on the floor.

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Who would you choose to pull the plug? Esther Chen knows what four-legged companion would be loyal to the last


f it were up to a dog or a cat to decide whether or not to pull my plug, I’d trust the cat. Who wouldn’t? The dog would be jumping around sniffing every corner and harassing every staff member for attention. Hello … ??? Focus! Back in the day, when playing outside was actually a thing (and kids weren’t attached to their phones), cat and dog owners used to let their pets roam freely outside. My cat, Cathy, was one of those pets. She was the neighborhood cat, the boss of the block. She would watch over us as we played outside all day long, whether it was basketball, or tag, as we ran through our neighbors’ yards. I remember in between basketball games, Cathy would walk over to us and rub against our legs as cats love to do, vying for attention during those precious moments in between games. As we resumed play, she would resume her position on the grass and watch us play. As my sister and I grew older, and the seasons changed, Cathy would follow us on the ten-block trek to school, almost halfway there. As a young kid, I was always worried she wouldn’t find her way home, or she’d get hit by a car. But sure enough, I’d come home, and Cathy would be at the doorstep, waiting for our arrival. This is the kind of loyalty that comes with owning a cat. Cathy has since moved on to frolic around in kitty heaven with the rest of her old buddies. So now, it’s just Kimchi and I, living the city life. It’s a bit different from living in the suburbs, that’s for sure, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I mean, who else would be willing to share 200 square feet without so much as a peep? Thankfully, Kimchi and I have synched our bathroom schedules at this point. And have I mentioned that you never need to take cats out for a walk? I mean, who wants to take a dog out for a rest break during a polar vortex?



Making the case for a best friend versus a nocturnal predator – Vicky Kuperman


here’s a very big difference between cat people and dog people. When we bring a dog in our home, we are feeding and housing our best friend. When we bring a cat into our home we are feeding and housing our future murderer. A cat is born with built-in night vision goggles! That thing is not protecting you – it’s hunting you. You have a dog – When you’re sleeping, it’s sleeping; you’re awake, it’s awake. You’re stressed, it’s stressed. I just think it’s creepy that a cat’s day starts when yours ends. You fall asleep and the cat’s like: “Finally my day can begin. I can wander around and make her feet bleed hahahahahahahaha!” Have you ever seen a You Tube video of a person bringing home a dog for the first time? It’s just a big ball of fur and happiness and ohmygod there’s toys and giggling and everyone’s in a bathtub and everyone’s getting engaged … Have you seen a video of a woman bringing home a cat? It’s usually her neighbor or her 85-year-old mother videotaping her. And she looks terrified. She’s standing in one place and going … “Is he behind me? He’s right behind me, isn’t he? I haven’t seen him in 72 hours. Has he drunk out of his water bowl?” I could spend a long weekend at someone’s house and not even know they had a cat. I could spend a long weekend at someone’s house who has a dog and not even know there’s people there. Just saying: “Who’s a good boy?” all weekend. My mother showed me a picture of her Christmas. The dog is in front of the tree eating all the wrapping paper, then there’s just two yellow eyes in the middle of the tree. Like a Satan ornament, ready to attack. My mom was like: “Every Christmas for 14 years, the dog’s in front of the tree eating the wrapping paper, the cat’s in the tree.” I was like: “WE HAD A CAT?”



Esther Chen is a stand-up comedian, actor, and host from Taiwan. In addition to being seen on FX, HBO, Buzzfeed, Fung Brothers, and MTV, she was nominated for the best-supporting actress at Planet Connections Festivities. She is also the dialect coach for Mr Robot seasons 2 & 3. She will be appearing at West Side Comedy Club on March 5, Smokes N Jokes: Joke Lab, Williamsburg, on March 23 and An Beal Bocht Cafe on March 28. @TheEstherChen

This is an edited excerpt from Vicky Kuperman’s new comedy album, Three’s Company, now available on iTunes. She is a Hell’s Kitchen resident, stand-up comedian, and co-author of the resistance book How to Spy on Your Neighbor: Your Survival Guide for the United States of Russia, which she co-wrote with Isabella Patrick, available at Domus or on Amazon.




“If I’m too strong for some people, that’s their problem.” Glenda Jackson


he 82-year-old actress Glenda Jackson returns to Broadway this month as King Lear, after her triumphant run in Three Tall Women last year. The Tony she won for that performance joined the two Oscars and two Emmys already on her mantelpiece. Outspoken and uncompromising, her roles have often been of powerfully


independent women: the sculptor who rejects romance in favor of her career in Women in Love; the divorcee who enters an affair with a married man for the sex in A Touch of Class; and an active participant in at least three bisexual (fictional) love triangles.  But she quit acting in 1992 to become a British Member of Parliament, having said the country was being “destroyed” by Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative


government, and she was willing to do “anything that was legal” to oppose her. After a 23-year absence, having retired from politics, she returned to acting, first in the play Blood Sex and Money, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, then as King Lear at the Old Vic, for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Olivier Award. She reprises that role this month, and her strength shows no sign of fading.

Wells Fargo and Hudson Yards are Shaping New York’s Future Together.

Epitomizing the best of everything a New York Neighborhood has to offer, Hudson Yards is the largest and most exciting real estate development project in North America with shops, restaurants, public squares and gardens, and the Vessel, a walkable art installation. As a founding partner of the development, Wells Fargo will be the “Preferred Bank of Hudson Yards”, which means you can find a branch as well as 8 ATMs conveniently located in and around the property.

Grand Opening Celebration Starts March 15th

Preferred Bank of Hudson Yards © 2019 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved.



Profile for W42ST Magazine

W42ST Issue 51 - The V Issue  

V is for versus – we're talking toxic masculinity and modern manhood. And, on a lighter note, cats v dogs, tea v coffee, meat v veg, and wha...

W42ST Issue 51 - The V Issue  

V is for versus – we're talking toxic masculinity and modern manhood. And, on a lighter note, cats v dogs, tea v coffee, meat v veg, and wha...

Profile for w42st

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